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Senior School Report - March 21, 2019

author: Hamish McCrum

20 Mar

Senior School Report - March 21, 2019

On Tuesday March 12 we held our parent/teacher/student interviews.  I encourage our students to use the feedback positively from these interviews and to take up the challenge to increase or decrease particular behaviours so as to improve their learning and ultimately themselves.  Should you have been unable to attend or obtain a meeting with a teacher and wish more feedback than you can currently obtain from PAM, please send the teacher an email seeking further clarification or suggestions for improvement.

When students don’t perform particularly well on a task, it is important how they react and are encouraged to react.  While it might feel good in the short term to blame somebody else or a set of circumstances, those who recover the best from a poor result take ownership and view the result as a valid assessment of where they are now, and take from it what they will need to do to improve.  It remains important to focus on the effort students are making; if we focus too heavily on the results many students will only choose easy tasks/subjects so they will get good marks and not “look stupid”.  They will then miss out on the growth and development that a more challenging subject will give them.  (Within reason – students do need to be realistic e.g. not take on Year 12 Chemistry if they have only been able to achieve 40% on the Year 11 exam.)

Last Wednesday, one of our former students, Tom Downie, returned to talk with our Year 12s about his journey.  This included playing football with GWS after switching from basketball halfway through Year 12.  He talked of some issues he had with debilitating anxiety and panic attacks, and how he received professional help for these and was then able to move on.  He is back playing footy for enjoyment and working as a mortgage broker in Melbourne, and looking relaxed and happy.  It was a pleasure to see him again.

This week a group of staff from many other EREA schools have been at St Patrick’s College for a conference.  One area they looked at was the problem of gambling.  The mobile smart phone easily has gambling apps added to it and these apps will keep many young men poor from their teens until who knows when, and will destroy marriages and families.  Unlike problem gamblers of the previous generation, it is harder to escape the clutches of the betting agencies.  Not going into a pokie venue, a racetrack etc. is no longer an escape.  People with betting apps who go a few weeks without making a bet receive special deals and “free money” to get them started again, sent to their phone.  The betting agencies have spent big on advertising, through television, google and paying commentators to spruik for them.  The hundreds of millions they have spent they get back and more from the ordinary people they have sucked in.  Please do your son a favour.  If he is over 13, check his phone for gambling apps, get him to close his accounts down, talk to him about the fact that “it is rarely the lamb that pecks out the eye of the crow”  (A.B. Paterson)  He does not want to be the sucker of the betting agencies.