Dean of Students | Mr Damien Cuddihy

The first two weeks have moved by quickly and the College has well and truly settled into its usual routines.

Once again, the annual House Choir night didn’t fail to impress on a number of levels. Watching the various performances provided a great an insight into the heart and soul of the Terrace House system. The sense of community created by the House Seniors, House Deans, Mr Matt Cocking and his cultural team, is certainly a highlight on the calendar. We had well over a thousand boys on stage during the night and our congratulations to the deserved winners for 2017, Buckley House. Thank you to all those involved in creating such a wonderful event.

Last week, some of our year groups explored the concept of “being a mate that counts”. Boys often get caught up focusing on how other people are treating them within their friendship circles, but sometimes give less attention to the way they are supporting their friends. The underlying agenda supporting the phrase above, prompts the boys to develop an understanding that other people are the, “best antidote to the downs of life and the single most reliable up.” How they respond when their friends share good news can be very powerful and often determines the quality of their relationships with these people. Therefore, having self-awareness that the quality of our friendships is more important than the quantity, is central to developing sound adolescent well-being.

We had a good representation of families at the Sleep Connection presentations during the Parent/Teacher interviews on Wednesday night. The presenter indicated that research suggests that, amongst other reasons, one of the key causes of sleep deprivation in adolescents is technology and the “fear of missing out”. Each year, I’m in a privileged position to gain an insight into the lives of families journeying through issues linked to online gaming and social media use. The constant need for young boys to know what’s going on in a snapchat thread, or the attraction to be a part of an online game with a group of friends, can be very compelling and unfortunately sometimes destructive to families. Once a pattern of behaviour has set in, change can often be very problematic. My best advice for families in our younger grades moving into this area for the first time is that, “prevention is better than a cure”. Hold off on social media as long as you can, they’re not missing out on much. Once it’s permitted, set routines early and don’t let them have their phones in their rooms overnight. It’s as easy as that, and as hard as that.