Boarding Report – September 8, 2016

September 7, 2016

One of the many highlights of my time as Director of Boarding is the time spent with our boarders. Without the connection afforded to our Housemasters in their role each day the -‘unscheduled’ moments that I have are ones I cherish. In my role it is certainly a challenge to take the time to simply press -‘pause’ on the many expectations and responsibilities that must take precedent to ensure the wellbeing of our boarding community, down tools and spend half an hour in the common room with a number of our boarders. It has been a focus of mine to do just this this year and in doing so I have inadvertently created quite a competitive environment with the introduction of a table tennis competition in Kenny House. In itself it is nothing new -“ however with the help of one of our GAP Tutors the competition has an extensive list of rules -“ and a visible ladder, divided into divisions, that sparks many challenges and a healthy, competitive spirit. Our boarders are drawn to the common room as they return to the boarding house after school to witness their -‘brothers’ move up and down the competition ladder. Being able to share in some of these moments, the camaraderie and boarding -‘banter’ is priceless and gives unquantifiable job satisfaction.

I am also indulged by our Senior Housemaster (and Co-ordinator of Basketball) Tam Westwood who allows me to coach the 2ndV (Boarders’) Basketball team -“ -‘The Dream Team’. As I write this we are preparing for a third consecutive GF appearance and what would be a third consecutive premiership. The success of our boarders’ basketball team, as it had been for our boarders’ football team, is on account of one thing -“ no, not first rate coaching -“ it is the brotherhood that exists between our boarders. That desire to support their fellow boarder through thick and thin creates a spirit that breeds success.

Speaking of success -“ as will inevitably be touched on in our Housemasters’ reflections -“ we must acknowledge the outstanding contribution to our boarding community that Ryu and Shota, our Japanese Exchange Students, have brought. It is such an enriching experience for all and long will it continue. We wish both young men the safest of journeys home and all the best for their future endeavours -“ we shall follow their triumphs with so much pride. Pride that we also have for our Yr12 cohort as they near their own finish lines. For some this term marks the end of the time with us and whilst we shall have many opportunities to acknowledge all that they have brought to the St Patrick’s College community I can openly say now that they shall be sorely missed and we thank them for the wonderful memories they have left us.

As this is our last Crest edition before the holiday I wish all within our boarding community a lovely holiday -“ and to our Yr12 cohort I offer this advice -“ hard work now will be so beneficial in just a short space of time.

Kenny Catch-up

The final two weeks of Term 3 are here with a mix of excitement and sadness within Kenny. Excitement for a number of reasons; the boys are looking forward to getting home and recharging the batteries for a hectic last term. Many of the boys are excited to be spending some time with family and friends. The Year 12’s are getting closer to their final examinations and their final days as students.-

However, the end of Term 3 means that Kenny has to say goodbye to Ryunosuke and Shota -“ two Japanese exchange students who have become as much as a part of Kenny as anyone else. It has been wonderful to have these two vibrant, funny and energetic boys in Kenny for the term and I know I am speaking for all when I say how much we will miss them.

Kenny certainly changes dynamics in the fourth term as we farewell twelve, year 12 students, and our year 11’s get a taste of being the older kids in the house!

We have just begun the selection process for the 2017 Boarding Captain and it is wonderful to see the calibre of students coming through, displaying many leadership qualities that make boarding at SPC such a wonderful experience. Whoever is successful in their application, I have no doubt that they will follow on from Sam White and do a fantastic job for all.

Miss Tamara Westwood

Senior Housemaster, Kenny House

All is going very well at Kenny House with two weeks remaining for our third term. Miss Westwood is doing a superb job with our boys throughout the week and it is such a privilege to be working together as the Kenny team. Our boys remain busy with their school commitments and sporting finals for those involved. Activities continue with some boys attending the Golf Driving Range, for a first time player, our Japanese exchange student Ryunosuke, was an absolute natural. All did relatively well playing mini golf afterwards. A highlight was Ed Stanton one of our GAP Tutors, he actually takes a run up to hit the golf ball! A shopping trip around town at the weekend for those interested meant the boys could be transported wherever they so desire and have lunch out for a change. Parent/Teacher interviews are with us again. Mr Silcock has arranged for the Boarding Housemasters to be available for parents that require any feedback or any issues they would like to discuss. So make a note in your diary if you wish to attend and catch up with us between 2.40 – 3.30 pm on the 16th September. This will be the last Kenny House report from me until next term, please enjoy your breaks if you have them and enjoy your time with your boys home. Take care.

Mr Ewen Larsen

Weekend Housemaster, Kenny House

Phyland/Farley Catch-up

Phyland & Farley has been a very busy house over the past few weeks. We recently welcomed Sebastian Paul to Phyland & Farley and it has been wonderful to see a new face settle in well and be welcomed so warmly by the rest of the house. It is very much a testament to the young men in the house to be so welcoming and well mannered. As we look to close out the term we are starting to plan for a meal outside of the boarding house. Last term we went to La Porchetta for my daughter Madeleine’s 1st birthday, which was fantastic. These dinners present a wonderful opportunity to both celebrate and relax as a house group. Sadly, it may also be the last opportunity we have as a house to celebrate together with the year 12s’ routines set to change next term as they prepare for and sit their final exams. The dinner next week will provide the young men an opportunity to farewell Nathan Abbott who returns to his community at the conclusion of this term.- –

For some this past term has been trying whilst others have had an easier run. What has been most important throughout both the good and more challenging times has been the support the young men have shown each other and the maturity they have demonstrated.

Mr Michael Murphy

Housemaster, Phyland/Farley House

A mixture of football finishing and study requirements rising has seen Phyland and Farley’s weekends becoming livelier as the term progresses. This has allowed for more discussion between boys and myself than usual, especially outside of the more structured Monday to Friday. The recent discussion being, who will be the boarding leaders next year? This has led to year 12s reminiscing over previous years. One particular conversation stood out between two current year 12s that are almost inseparable now but back in year 10 couldn’t stand each other. There was a rather odd and awkward moment when both admitted that they had each requested another room after their first week of sharing in Year 10. Laughing about it now they both agreed they were different people from their year 10 selves. Talking to the more experienced staff I have often heard similar lines about how the boys change between year 9 and year 12.- This was also a major theme for the boys and staff casting their votes for boarding leaders. Focusing more on what the boarder will become in the following year and less on what challenges or mistakes they had, had previously.

Mr Daniel Willey

Weekend Housemaster, Phyland/Farley House

Look after yourselves.

Mike Silcock

Director of Boarding