Mr Tony Watt
The memorable start to the boarding year has not dampened the activity program with boarders across all year levels fully engaged in the life of the School. More specifically, the boarding activity program has witnessed boarders from all year levels participate in a wide range of action. A sample of these include a trip to the golf range, an outdoor movie, a regular surf bus excursion, bowling, a trip to Time Zone, a trivia night (with big sushi voucher prizes) and bachelor cooking. We have added the activity of bachelor cooking as a regular Friday evening activity during the term to offer the more senior boys the opportunity to grow their skill base in and around the kitchen. To this end, we are utilising the skills of Ms Caitlin Anderson, the School’s Wellbeing and Health Promotions Officer.
Joining The Southport School in late 2017, Caitlin’s previous work as an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Sports Dietitian has further consolidated her understanding and appreciation of complete health – physical, mental and emotional. Caitlin is currently working across both campuses to assess, design and implement bespoke programs that support wellbeing health. We are delighted she is running a bachelor cooking program within the boarding community. The experience commences with a trip to the supermarket where Caitlin gives the background and philosophy on store lay out as well good advice on how to select fruit and vegetables. The boys then select an item from the Bachelor Cook Book and, with a partner, are instructed on how to cook their chosen recipe. Please click on this link to view the Cook Book or see the boys in action in the kitchen. The boys loved the session- thanks Caitlin.
One of the key strategic priorities of boarding is to ensure the boys in Years 7 and 8 have the skills and scaffold to make significant inroads in their academic success and therefore overall confidence. What I have found over two decades in boarding is that adolescent boys, particularly from a rural background, want to do well at school but they just do not know how. Last year we trialed a program that was funded by the Boarder Parent Support Group where we utilized tutors from an outside company- The A Team. The trial was a success and this year the School has funded a formal tutoring program for all boarding boys in Years 7 and 8.
The overall aim of the program is to provide a base support structure for new and existing students in Years 7 and 8. Once established, the boys will be taught specific strategies that will propel them towards academic success. To this end, the program runs each Tuesday and Thursday evenings for 2 hours with each term having featuring an overarching theme such as goal setting and time management, how to engage in class, or how to tackle exams.
Sessions typically begin with the tutors speaking with the boys personally about their weeks followed by a short themed-based activity. Groups split off and focus on their homework and assignments with their tutors alongside them, offering guidance and support.
The program also taps into the natural competitive nature of boys by utilizing a point’s based system into the boys’ learning experiences. Early in the year, the study groups created their own group name and then earn points as a team based around elements such as creativity, time management, productivity and participation. The points are utilized at the end of term for a specific fun activity.
The below video gives a small snapshot of the program.
President of the BPSG, Mrs Cherie McDonald writes:
Welcome all to the new school year and to our wonderful boarder support community of TSS. A very warm welcome to the new boarding parents for 2018, hoping your boys are settled and you too have adjusted to the change. My name is Cherie McDonald and I am currently the president of the Boarder Parent Support Group – BPSG, with Helen Wagner as Treasurer and Susie Kelly the Secretary.
A small introduction on the role of the BPSG – It is a group of parents assisting the boarding staff to create a supportive and active community within the TSS boarding school, working collaboratively to develop the best possible environment for our boys whilst in boarding. It is also an opportunity to continue to develop and strengthen our relationships with boarding staff and their respective boarding houses, working together with the common goal of providing our boys with a great TSS boarding experience. The BPSG is a positive platform offering support and being informed on what is happening in the TSS boarding community. If at any stage you have any concern with your son in boarding or a boarding matter please address this with your relevant house master or Tony Watt the Dean of Boarding at the time of the matter, or indeed any time. It is found this approach of addressing issues at the time, not weeks later, to be more effective for all involved.
Our first meeting for the year will be the AGM with the details below:
Date: Friday 9th March
Time: 3.30 -4.30
Venue: Memorial Room
Mr Greg Wain (Headmaster) will be present at the meeting along with Tony Watt (Dean of Boarding) to share their vision on TSS and boarding as well as provide an overview of the School’s handling of the Norovirus.
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