Boarding Report – March 4, 2016

March 2, 2016

What a fortnight it has been for all within our boarding community. Whilst writing our previous boarding contribution to the Crest we were celebrating our first Boarding Community function for 2016 -“ and it certainly did not disappoint. Can I thank all those who attended this special evening. It is a hallmark of our boarding experience that we provide these occasions for all to enjoy and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. I would also like to publicly acknowledge the many non-boarding staff members who joined our celebrations to enrich the proceedings. We are blessed at this College to have such a warm sense of community that exists.

For Tamara and I the weekend continued at the Seymour Alternative Farming Expo where we had the privilege to market this fine College to a wider audience. Interest was high and certainly peaked with information about our new boarding precinct. The College launched the Boarding Precinct Appeal this past Friday night as the much anticipated plans were revealed to all. Our boarders attended this launch and were exemplary in their behaviour and participation. Many engaged with our invited guests as boarders past and present regaled each other with tales of their experiences. It was another very special occasion.

This is always a busy time for our boarders. Summer sports climax, pre-season work is in full effect for many winter sports and, on an academic front, this mid-term period marks a time of SACs and year level assessment due. Balance is always our message to all our boarders -“ a balance between their studies, co-curricular pursuits and leisure time. There should also be time for reflection, prayer and an appreciation of the wonderful opportunities that life presents them. Reading the -‘catch ups’ from both houses gives me a sense that this is being achieved and also focuses on the importance of looking after one another, of recognising when a fellow boarder is challenged and assisting them in a manner that perhaps only those within a boarding community can appreciate.

Kenny Catch-up

As writing this, it is obvious that the year is flying with March already upon us! Where have the first five weeks gone? However, now, more than ever, is an important time for the boys of Kenny to continue to develop effective time management skills, especially when it comes to their school work and the many extra -curricular activities that are offered to them.- As always, it is vital that the boys maintain communication with their teachers to ensure that they understand and are on top of the many assignments and school work required in each subject.

I’m really pleased with how the Kenny boys are looking out for each other and helping others through their days. It’s great to see all year levels getting along and making Kenny house a wonderful place to be.

Miss Tamara Westwood

Senior Housemaster, Kenny House

A further two weeks on and it appears all our boys have settled in now, including our most recent additions Liam and Tyrese. The two boys- are starting to show us their terrific personalities as well as involving themselves in all aspects of the boarding experience.

As usual for this time of the year the Rebel football boys are training very hard to have a chance of selection for the coming season, good luck.

A surprise visit last Sunday evening left the boys somewhat- star struck. Yestin Eades, one of our boarders from last year dropped by to say hello. Yestin now plays in the- AFL for the Essendon Football Club, so you can imagine how the boys admire him. It- turned out to be quite a- difficult task- to relax our boarders prior to bedtime on a school night, next visit he plans I will- ask him to make an appearance first thing- in the morning- so I have the remaining day to- return our boys pulse rates to normal!

The Kenny- boarders- are still participating in our weekend activities on offer which pleases me no end- and enjoyed the driving range last Saturday immensely. I do- look forward to giving you- further feedback in the upcoming weeks- as the journey continues.-

Mr Ewen Larsen

Weekend House Master, Kenny House

Introducing Keenan Waterbury -“ 2016 Captain of Kenny House

Year Level: – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 12- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Home Town: – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Jabiru

Interests:– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Sport, fishing & hunting

Favourite Food: – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Barra and goose

How long have you been a Boarder at SPC:- Since year 11

What made you choose to board at SPC:– – – People that I know who have been to SPC encouraged me to attend this school and just thought I would give it a go.

Future Plans:- – – See how far I go with footy or get a trade back home.

Phyland/Farley Catch-up

As we approach week 7 of term 1 both our new boarders and returning have already had a huge range of experiences both within the boarding community and the day school. Each- young man in the college will have enjoyed some fun and exciting moments, as well as some more challenging. In my two and bit years at St Pat’s I have found the difference between us and other boarding schools is in how well we support each of our young men at those more challenging moments. We have seen the young men in Phyland/Farley take to the sporting field in training and games, we have seen the young men working hard in study and we have seen many of our boarders make new friends.-

One of those most challenging moments for a- number of our young men has been homesickness.- Homesickness can effect boarders in many different ways and it is our goal to support them as best we can in this challenge.- –

The question this raises is what can we do as boarding staff and as families to help our young men in this transition. The most common response is always to try to keep busy, to “take your mind off things”; in other words to shift the focus of attention from what they miss. For some frequent contact with home can help, others not so much.

As a boarder myself I experienced this phenomenon, but was fortunately supported wonderfully by my Housemaster and his wife and children. One of the most useful links was the regular communication between Mr.Sheehan and my parents. So too, I think, is it important that we maintain regular communication and that in doing so we get to know your young men as well as we can.-

This brings me onto the final aspect of what I’ve written today. I am currently in the process of completing my second Masters degree researching best practice for supporting boarders in their experience of homesickness. The study is based upon the feedback of fellow housemasters and boarding staff from all over Australia. My hope is to produce a working document that enables us to provide suggestions for how we as boarding staff support our boarders, and you as parents might also do so.-

I look forward to completing this study and hope to provide you with the results upon its completion.-

Mr Michael Murphy

Housemaster, Phyland/Farley House

Look after yourselves.

Mike Silcock

Director of Boarding