Acting Deputy Principal and Senior School Report

October 15, 2021

by Acting Deputy Principal and Director of the Senior School, Mr Hamish McCrum

Last week we celebrated our Transfer of Leadership and Senior Awards, albeit without being able to gather all Year Levels in an assembly and invite parents, rather we filmed and shared this event. Some students have worked very diligently and contributed in ways which have made us so much richer, and unfortunately some fabulous students missed out on this occasion; their time will come.  Transfer of Leadership allows our Student Council of 2022 to take over for Term 4 and frees up our Year 12s to focus on preparing for exams.  I thank the 2021 Student Council for their excellent contribution under difficult circumstances.  Many of us are able (some more justified than others) to complain about how terrible the last two years have been.  In his final speech to the whole school, our College Captain Darcy Williams took a much more positive perspective.  Rather than complaining, he talked of how much stronger and more resilient students will be on the other side of this pandemic.  If they have been able to keep up a reasonable level of training for a particular sport, or engage with their studies to a reasonable level (not necessarily perfectly) then they will come out the other side so much stronger and more capable for this experience.  Training for sport in each other’s company will be joy compared to a few years ago, and studying at school or university when face to face rather than being online will now appear much easier to manage.

A list of Award Winners can be viewed by clicking on the following link: Student Awards 2021

Many students (and their parents) will be relieved to hear that students will be able to sit their Unit 3/4 exams even if they have been deemed a close contact.  They will however be placed in a different room to the main student body, will be very well spaced from other close contact students and the room will be well-ventilated.  They will require COVID testing every 48 hours.  People deemed as close contacts will not attend school except for the Unit 3/4 exams (and not for Year 7 to 11 exams).  Should any student test positive, they are not to attend their Unit  3/4 exams, but will be granted a derived exam score.  Even though many of our young men are vaccinated, they are still able to catch and transmit COVID, and so they and their families are asked to limit their exposure as much as is reasonable.

Students in Years 7 to 12 are asked to do their best with their studies, from this point in time.  If they have worked well for the last few months, well done, you have a good base, keep it going.  If their efforts have been mediocre or worse, they can not change this.  That time will not come around again.  However, they can do their best from where they are now, and if they keep doing this it can dramatically improve their outcomes.  In terms of preparing for exams, one thing I learned was to start early.  Imagine the exam is a day or more earlier than it actually is, because often it takes longer than you previously thought to get on top of all the material.

Teenage boys need sleep of 8 to 10 hours per night.  High quality consistent sleep can account for up to 25% of the variance in boys academic achievement – that is massive.

Insufficient sleep (amount or quality) is associated with poor emotional regulation, poor mental health, poor physical health and an increase in risky decision making.  It is recommended that students have a consistent sleep schedule.  Pick a time to get out of bed and stick to it, weekdays and weekends, rather than take chances with your mental health.  Get rid of the electronics, especially phones and laptops, out of the bedrooms. My mother used to say that “each hour of sleep before midnight was worth two hours of sleep after midnight”.  I have not yet been able to find research to support this, it may be waiting to be conducted.

Take care and God Bless,

Mr Hamish McCrum