Mr Tony Watt | Dean of Boarding
Thank you for the wonderful turnout and support to our social gathering in Toowoomba earlier in the term. It was a most enjoyable occasion where parents and boarders of TSS came together to celebrate our unique and wonderful boarding community. We also thank Cherie McDonald and Helen Wagner for their efforts in organising the event and conducting the raffle.
Don’t miss our key boarding social gathering for the year which always proves to be a memorable evening. Details below:
This unbelievable prize includes full accommodation, all meals, airport transfers, game drives in Nairobi National Park (the Ololo Lodge has direct access to the park) with flexible dates within the next two years.
Recent activities have included a Year 9 Pizza and Pictionary night, a Year 7 to 9 social with St. Hilda’s and a trip to QUT for some of our seniors. This weekend our Year 10 to 12s head to the golf range to hit a bucket of balls and will go on a trip to the Carrara Markets on Sunday. Congratulations to the Biddle Year 9 Pictionary Team (pictured below) who easily took out champion House.
In recent times, we have reflected on the use of OTR (Over the Road) practices at TSS boarding. Over the past 5 years, we have witnessed both an increase in the usage of boarders going over the road and the attitude of boarders thinking this is an expectation, rather than an occasional treat. Parents too have expressed their concern and frustration at their son’s expenditure OTR and the frequency in which it is utilised.
To this end, we have reviewed the frequency and have amended the regulations that boys are permitted to visit across Ferry Road as highlighted in the below table. These times are applicable across all Houses.
Allowing boarder’s time to visit the shops across the road is an important issue in boarding, particularly the older boys. The activity does act as a psychological break out of the normal routine. Routines underpin boarding, but with this structure comes a sense of sameness, and at its worst, a sense of being institutionalised. The freedom that is associated with a group of boys who venture OTR is positive for their wellbeing, as long as it is controlled and perceived as a treat. We will trial the above schedule for the remainder of 2017.
This week I have been at the National ICPA conference in Alice Springs. Having a large majority of our over 300 boarders from rural and regional Australia, we believe it important that TSS support such an important body to ensure the quality of educational opportunities available to isolated children, as this is an ongoing issue of significance. It was also great to catch up with Loretta Stuart, a Dellie mum, who was representing the Tambo branch of the Queensland ICPA.
Over a two-week period (Monday and Tuesday nights from 6:30pm to 8:00pm) Year 10 boarders participated in a workshop entitled ‘Binge drinking: What’s the harm’. The workshop was designed to be informative and interactive. Boarders participated in large and small group discussions as well as individual and group activities. The workshop explored the issue of binge drinking, the choices faced by adolescent boys regarding alcohol and how they can make responsible drinking choices. The boys enjoyed the session and provided some feedback on what they learnt:
That 70% of 15 year olds actually don’t drink – so you are in the majority if you don’t drink
The hazards and risks of binge drinking
Never be afraid to speak up and always help your mate
The effects of alcohol on your brain
Speak up up when something is wrong
Take notice of what you drink
I learnt what peer pressure can do
What a standard drink is and how it destroys your brain
Thank you to all who responded to the Health Centre Survey. The feedback provided was most useful. Generally speaking, the feedback was most positive, with 98% of respondents satisfied or very satisfied with the Health Centre staff professionalism. Be assured we have read all of our feedback and are continually looking to improve our services across the board.
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