Dean of Students | Mr Damien Fall
Exams have been completed in the past few days and a number of other important activities have been a focal point for the final two days of school. From an academic perspective, the completion of exams has allowed Year 12 students to spend two days completing QCS preparation, while Year 10 students have undertaken external aptitude testing. The data from this testing allows us to monitor the academic progress of the boys in comparison to their natural ability. Often, if a young man’s achievement is below what we believe he is capable of, it is an indicator of a pastoral need that we can assist with. There is a strong connection between academic and pastoral progress and we should never view them as being independent of each other.
Students from Years 7 to 10 have also taken part in various presentations over the final days of term; these are part of our formation program and are key contributors to the Terrace Gentlemen we aim to develop. Students from Years 9 and 10 attended a presentation from an organisation known as ‘batyr’. Their focus is preventative education around the topic of youth mental health. They presented the statistic that, in an average group of 30 adolescents, seven will experience significant mental health issues, but only two of them will actually reach out for help. The boys heard real-life stories of presenters who have faced significant challenges in their lives. Most importantly, they heard of the need to speak out and find help for themselves or someone else if they see warning signs.
Students from Years 8 and 9 heard Cam Adair from ‘Gamequitters’ speak about his experience as a recovered gaming addict. His impact comes from being able to speak the language of gaming in a manner that students understand. He does not completely oppose gaming, but gives advice about how to manage the incredible temptation that comes from games and to live a well-rounded life. On Wednesday evening Cam addressed a large audience to share some thoughts and wisdom about gaming with parents of adolescent boys. We were pleased to welcome a large number of parents from Brisbane Grammar School, who share a similar interest in what is a highly relevant topic.
Year 10 students also spent some time in activities and presentations from a company known as yLead, whose messages revolve around leadership and respectful relationships. Finally, students from Year 7 attended a ‘Peer Power’ session titled ‘Leading a Legacy’. Topics included the leadership potential of every individual and the need to embrace and welcome diversity. In a few days, our formation program covered a wide range of topics that we view as being of great importance. Parents often talk about their desire for their sons to become well-rounded young men and we feel that sessions such as those outlined above all add to their growth and maturity.
I am sure all of our community are looking forward to a nice break over Easter. I wish all of our families an enjoyable, happy and Holy Easter season. I look forward to continuing our journey in Term 2.