Communication from Archbishop Timothy Costelloe
You will be aware of the announcement earlier in the week of the guilty verdict handed down by the jury in Cardinal Pell’s trial. Please find a message provided by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe in relation to this here or in the attachment below. The message is a public one made available on the Archdiocese website.
Year 7 Camp
Some very excited but tired Year 7 students returned to us on Wednesday afternoon after experiencing their Year 7 Camp at Woodman’s Point. Our newest Mazenodians enjoyed rock climbing, flying fox, abseiling, beach skills and special sessions with their Year 11 Mentors among many other activities. Visiting them on Tuesday night, it was heartening to see the new bonds they were forging and their involvement with the dedicated group of Year 7 teachers and staff who gave of their time to run the camp. Thank you to Mrs Teresa Bulich, Head of Year 7, form and subject teachers. In next week’s newsletter, we will present some of the comments from the students regarding their experiences.
Fathers and Friends’ Breakfast
This morning we held the annual Fathers and Friends’ Breakfast for Year 7. The gym was set-up as a function room and our Boarding catering staff, led by Mr Barry Cornwell, prepared a hearty cooked breakfast for students and guests. Year 12 Prefects and Captains, along with Year 11 Mentors, joined the Year 7 students, demonstrating their commitment to their young ‘brothers’ in the transition program. Placing the breakfast before the long weekend enabled many boarding fathers to attend and I thank all fathers, grandfathers and father-figures for taking the time to be with us.
High Academic Achievers’ Lunch
On Wednesday and Friday we held High Achievers lunches to recognize students from Year 8 to 12 who demonstrated outstanding grades and student attributes in the Final Academic Report for 2018. The numbers continue to grow with this group as boys stretch themselves to achieve their personal excellence in academic pursuits. I reminded those at the lunch that there were many other students who had achieved their personal best through a focus on specific effort and were not at the lunch, but deserved to feel very proud of their academic achievements. I often ask our students to use a simple statement when judging their own efforts and achievements: ‘My personal best is always good enough’. If our boys can say to themselves, their parents or teachers that they gave their very best on an activity, a lesson, a test or an interaction with another person, then that is cause for celebration. If not, it is a learning moment and a time to re-load and work towards a specific personal goal.
Growth Mindset Muscles
The Deputy Principal section of today’s newsletter has Mr Bruce Derby writing about our recent staff professional learning workshop on growth mindset. Carol Dweck was instrumental in developing the growth mindset approach which looks to recognize and praise the learner for effort leading towards learning. Used well the growth mindset scaffolding can assist us all to take appropriate risk, go beyond our margins and view failure not as a cue to give up but as an important learning moment to go forward to new success. Empty praise, without a goal, can be as detrimental to growth as definitive praise which teaches a young mind what their worth is - ‘Well done, you’re so smart!’. I like to use the example of the Little Athletics movement when talking with students about growth mindset. Years ago when I competed in Little Athletics the focus was on the winner. Many years later when I returned to Little A’s with my children I liked the emphasis on developing in the child the sense of personal best brought about by focused effort that led to improvement and better mastery of track and field skills.
The reinforcing message to parents was to focus on developing in your child a growth mindset, ‘bettering’ your best through specific effort towards a skill. ‘Well done, your repeated efforts at training in spinning the discus off your finger led to a personal best’ replaced ‘Well done, you won! You are the best!’ The point being, one day you won’t win and receive a prize but you stand a better chance of growing that resilience muscle if the effort in relation to a goal is the focus. It is probably the reason why athletes continued to compete alongside Usain Bolt. They knew they had little chance of winning if their mindset had defined success as the outcome rather than the process and effort. Read Bruce’s article.
Thank you to the P&F for their Welcome BBQ last Saturday evening. As always, their generosity in modelling a friendly and welcoming community made the evening a special event. On Friday, March 8 all parents are invited to the Parent Sundowner between 6:30pm and 8:30pm in the Undercover Area. This is an adult only event and a great opportunity to meet new people and enjoy the company of parents and staff. Please see further in the newsletter for details about letting us know if you are attending - this will help with our catering.
My best wishes for a restful mid-term break this weekend. I hope there is the opportunity for good family time and relaxation.
“Be grateful for all the good the Lord helps us accomplish.” – St Eugene de Mazenod