Well done to everyone on an action-packed first two weeks of term. There have been a number of highlights:
In the first week, there was some excellent Biddle participation in the House Cross-Country competition. The Y12’s have been getting the boys out running in the mornings since the start of the year, and a number of boys are now committed to the School Track and Field and Cross Country programs, so this was an opportunity to show the results of this hard work. Led by the Blok brothers, there was lots of effort shown from the Biddle boys. In the Junior competition, we finished in second place overall and we finished sixth in the Senior years, resulting in a fourth place position overall, which is an excellent achievement.
More good news for Biddle was boys was evident when looking at the grades and diligence marks from Term 1. As I think you will be aware, there was a conscious effort on behalf of the class teachers in term 1 to ensure that the diligence grades were earned, and so many boys saw their average diligence increase (rather decrease as they hoped) as a result of this ‘raising of the bar’. We will be doing some detailed work with the boys this week to reflect on this so that they understand specifically, by using the diligence criteria, what they could and should be doing to improve their diligence scores further.
When reflecting on what I see in the house, whilst there is lots of evidence of effort and activity, I am sure that all boys are capable of making improvements in their approach to their studies. To this end, we will be supporting them in reflecting on what they have done, and on the approaches they have taken so far, so helping them to be very specific in the goals that they set themselves.
However, across the school as a whole, for Term 1, the Biddle boys were the second best house in terms of diligence, which was an outstanding achievement, and a significant improvement on last year. It is good to be able to dispel the myth that sometimes exists, that boarders are not as serious about their academic study as dayboys. Our boys in Biddle are just as capable and committed as anyone else, and can be proud of what they have achieved, whilst still aiming to improve further.
House Drama rehearsals are also in full swing. We are already greatly indebted to Sandy Hickson, Josh Baker and Taj Merrion for the work they have done in putting the play together and for the commitment they are showing in making the rehearsals happen. They are well supported by Ms Belinda Pilgrim, our mentor for the House Drama competition, and the boys have responded very well so far. Now is the point where lines need to be learned, and you may receive phone calls over coming days for assistance with costumes! Lots of work still to be done, but we are in an excellent position at this stage.
School sport is also well underway: Biddle are excelling on the football field, led of course by Liam Phelps, the First XI captain. Every A side at each year level from Y8-Y12 contains at least one Biddle boy, not to mention the B, C and D sides. Tennis is also the opportunity for a number of other Biddle boys to shine, and Jeffrey Chen, Lachlan Ferry, Wyle Cullimore, Baxter Allport and our new recruit into Biddle, Charlie White, in Year 8 look certain, amongst others, to be mainstays of the program throughout the season. In addition, we have a number of runners in the Cross Country program, and of course Couper Baskus is also training hard in preparation for the GPS Gymnastics competition at the end of this term.
As we are now well into Term 2, it is good that our uniform standards are being maintained. There are some boys whose Akubras are looking worse for wear, and so will need to obtain a new one. I will let parents know as and when this is the case.
Finally, congratulations to Cormac Kennedy Leverett, who was recently selected to represent Australia at the Junior Rowing World Championships in Lithuania in August. He has been selected in the double sculls, partnering another rower from Melbourne Grammar School. To sustain this level of excellence throughout such an intensive training regime is clearly an outstanding achievement and we will all be wishing him well as he prepares.
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