From the Principal

Mazenod - ACC Cross Country Carnival Victors

 

Congratulations to the ACC Cross Country team after a rather warm day yesterday competing in the carnival. Today’s Sport News section provides more details of the victory and the wait Mazenod has endured since our last win in this competition.  This is one of the most spectacular sporting events on the Western Australian schools’ program due to the sheer number of competitors in each race. Over 3,500 runners compete on the day and an age-based race can have more than 300 runners competing from 65 schools.  Our boys have trained for many months and shown great commitment. Unlike team sports where a weekly training schedule is followed by the reward of a match, Cross Country runners train for several weeks to compete in a one-off fixture at the end of their season. Well done to the boys, led by Captain Ben Dupont and coached by Mr Tim Grabski and Mr Brad Gardner.

 

Developing Persistence and Focus- Homework and Study

 

A challenge we face as parents is often the mini battle we have with our children over homework and study. I have often relayed during assemblies the story of Michael Jordan, the celebrated American basketballer. Jordan believed his goal shooting success under pressure on the court was not due to his talent but failures. Countless hours of practice with varying success rates of ‘making’ the basket and missing the shot brought about incremental improvement over time. He failed, tried again, failed better next time and continued the pattern until he succeeded more times than not. For our boys in this generation that is a fairly confronting concept - fail, fail better next time, continue to practice and effect incremental success. It is confronting because they have been influenced by instant gratification, the power of this moment. Success can be at the end of a fingertip, a key stroke or screen swipe. It could be argued that we are coming out of a period of time where our collective child-raising focus was too far skewed towards protecting our children from failure, bumps in the road and coming second (or last).  I know I was guilty of this as a parent at points. It is a challenge to raise and educate a boy against this backdrop, but a great one to tackle. Our conversations with our students about persistence and grit are easier when the topic is based on their likes, interests and talents. There is no doubt Michael Jordan liked basketball and was motivated to pursue it. It is much harder to sell possible failure and persistence when their struggle sits with something they do not enjoy, like or connect to – perhaps homework, study or a particular subject.

 

In recent weeks, we have had presentations from our study partner ‘Elevate’ for various year groups, ending with presentations to Year 7 students and Year 7 parents this week. I would like to share with you some tips that you can utilise at home with your sons, regardless of their academic year:

 

1. Is it motivation or discipline that helps learning success?

It might be motivation that spurs some people to succeed but not always. Motivation can follow from something being fun or satisfying. Our children are experienced at seeking out instant gratification and fun. Homework and study are not fun. Your son might say to you that he has no motivation to do a subject or learn a body of work. You would probably recall the excitement your boy displayed when he was little explaining his learning or his desire to complete a task set for him in class. Exuberance and motivation drove that passion and joy. Over time success in learning becomes harder to achieve and it definitely rattles self-belief and motivation. That is when it is important to help him talk about discipline to do the work. Discipline fosters the commitment to the long term and that is something in adulthood that we know is an essential life skill.

 

 

2. Goals help.

They certainly do! Help your son set small, well defined and reachable goals when approaching setting out homework, study planners and study. Help him identify a clear, realistic statement to follow, nothing ‘wishy-washy’. Perhaps, I want to lift my mark in Mathematics by 5% is far more tangible than I want to improve my grade in Mathematics. A goal alone is pretty fragile without a few strategies and some talk about what might happen if he actually takes some time to reach that 5% growth. What might be some indicators along the way that show he is on the right track?

 

3. A Life Timetable rather than a Homework/Study Timetable.

As our Elevate Education partners say in their workshops to our students and parents- develop a Life Timetable rather than a Study Timetable. Over ambitious planning can last as long as a New Year’s resolution and leave your son feeling pretty hollow when it does not come off. Work with your boy to make a weekly plan that maps out all the good things and then look for the natural gaps to plug-in the homework and study. The gaps will be there and require some negotiation. Throwing together a weekly planner by starting with homework/study will most probably spark the response, or definitely the mindset, there is no time left for the things I like and want to do. That is a fairly disempowering place from which to build conversation, a commitment to study.

 

These steps do help but they do take time. Our key to helping foster personal success in our boys is persistence.

 

Arts Eisteddfod

On Tuesday evening the Arts Department held the annual Eisteddfod, showcasing the work of students in visual arts, performing arts and media. I greatly admire the talent, determination, courage and commitment our arts students demonstrate through nights like the Eisteddfod. Congratulations to the students and staff on a fine evening’s performance.

 

National Reconciliation Week

 

We have celebrated NRW along with the nation this week.  It is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The week is held annually from 27 May to 3 June and is preceded by National Sorry Day on 26 May.

 

Small Cell Information

 

In consultation and partnership with Telstra, Mazenod College would like to inform parents of a proposed important improvement to the mobile service coverage at the College. The proposed addition will include two small panel antennae, mounted on top of the Junior Block. The new Small Cell facilities will be designed to provide improved mobile phone coverage in the areas of the Boarding House, Priest Residence, Administration and Design and Technology buildings. Quality coverage across the campus has been an issue for many years, as the local terrain of the area is a limiting factor to sustained and beneficial coverage. We understand that some members of our community might have genuine concerns about the levels of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) that the new facility will emit and we are committed to addressing those concerns responsibly.

 

Small Cells points emit very low levels of radio waves [also known as radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields] when being used. The safety of radio waves has been extensively studied for more than 50 years. The Small Cell facility must comply with the same safety limits that are applied to other wireless devices. These safety limits have been established by the International Commission on NonIonizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). They have been endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and widely adopted by the EU and governments around the world. The safety limits have a large safety margin built into them making the implementation safe for everyone, staff and students.

 

For further information please visit www.telstra.com.au/eme and EMF Explained Series www.emfexplained.info.

 

You are welcome to make further queries through Mr Hugo van Niekerk (ICT Director) vanniekerk.hugo@mazenod.wa.edu.au as we work through this period of information and consultation.

 

Enjoy the week ahead.

 

“Let us rejoice together at the good wh