Wellbeing Report – May 29, 2015

May 28, 2015

I hope you will have a chance for a break from the usual routine over the upcoming long weekend. With the middle of the year approaching, winter settling in it is important that everyone takes care of themselves and those around them. We notice it in some of the boys when they lose a bit of motivation in the face of pending end of semester deadlines and exams, on top of the usual winter coughs and colds. And the boys are not alone. Still, it is part of the cycle each year, so there are no surprises and each season brings its own benefits. A long weekend helps!

Next week we commence end of semester exams. There was a time when exams were somewhat out of favour as a form of assessment -“ possibly as a reaction against the over reliance on them as the sole or main way to measure a student’s learning (and to some extent, the teacher’s teaching). Over recent years we have brought them back because in balance with other forms of assessment, they are one excellent way to objectively measure student learning, relative to expected standards, and free of undue external assistance or influence. Used this way, they should not be a cause of anxiety in students, but a great way for boys to test themselves -“ just as they like to do in so many other ways. Give and you will receive -“ is a truism that covers many circumstances. In a good school it is particularly true in terms of boys joining in all the activities the school offers. Obviously this applies in learning -“ do the work and you’ll get the results -“ but it also applies to sport, music, camps, retreats, student leadership and the myriad of other extra opportunities beyond the classroom we provide. They exist for a purpose -“ to help the boys learn, grow, develop and broaden their experience. When boys are fully involved, they benefit greatly.

As winter bites with darker, wetter days and long nights, it is not only time to knuckle down to the routines of school, particularly study and exam preparation, but it is also time to think of those still left out in the cold -“ one way or another. The homeless of Ballarat who each night hunt for some kind of shelter students are reminded how fortunate they are to have a safe and warm home to go to, a school to attend each day and a future of opportunities and choices in front of them.

– On Thursday night Year 10 students experienced -‘One Night of Homelessness’ providing them with some insights into the conditions many young people in Australia experience on any given night. There are 36,00 homeless young people in Australia with one in seventy young people aged between 12-25 years sleeping rough every night. With only a blanket and a warm cup of soup students were exposed to the elements along with input from those who have experienced homelessness first hand providing for a powerful learning experience. Many thanks to Mr Matthew Taylor and Mr Howard Clark supported by a number of staff for the organisation and running of this very important event.

Best wishes for the week ahead.