Dean of Students | Mr Damien Fall
This week, our Senior students completed another milestone when they attended their last classes as school students. It was fitting that, on their final day, they also attended their final House Assembly and spent some time in sessions with their House Deans, reflecting on their time at Terrace. As I moved around and observed these assemblies and reflections, I was struck by how important the connection to House is for our young men. It is wonderful that they have a great sense of belonging to Terrace, but the feeling of family that exists within House groups is a highlight of the pastoral system. Many of our students’ strongest memories are from events related to their House, an indication of the importance of our pastoral system. We wish our Seniors the very best for their exams and for their Valedictory celebrations. As a College community, we will have the opportunity to farewell the seniors at their final assembly on the afternoon of Friday 17 November.
At the commencement of the year, we received strong feedback in support of a firmer stance against mobile phone usage at school. In 2017, we have attempted to consistently enforce the expectation that phones are kept in lockers for the duration of the school day. Dependence on devices creates a battle fought both at home and at school, but it is an important fight. There is recent research that strongly connects reliance on smartphones with adolescent mental health issues.
As with many of life’s pleasures, small doses are fine and moderation is essential. Our boys can struggle with self-moderation and hence, they need us to be firm with our expectations.
At this stage of the term, it is very easy for our young men to be thinking about the future – in only a few short weeks, they will be on holidays and away from the routines and boundaries of the academic year. However, despite the temptation to be thinking ahead, it is very important that our students live in the present and focus squarely on their responsibilities – finishing the year well, finalising assignments and carefully preparing for exams. Our message to students is very clear: it is business as usual for the remainder of the year and it is important to finish the year as well as possible. It is also tempting to let the hair and uniform slip as we get close to the end. However, our standards in this regard do not change and we expect students to continue to keep the bar high. I look forward to watching our men give their best until the end of the school year.