Delpratt Housemaster – Mr Conan Bland
Friday 29th May was International UN Peacekeepers Day. As a former United Nations Peacekeeper, almost 20 years ago, I actually didn’t realise the day had come up until couple of old colleagues sent me a message during the day. In reflecting on the what that time of my life meant for me, I distinctly remember the moments during the East Timor deployment that made me decide to pursue education as a career. It certainly wasn’t chasing militia or reacting to incidents, but it was the interactions with the the people it was our mission to protect. Particularly, it was the interactions with the children who despite living in extreme poverty, and raised through a period of violent conflict, remained extremely positive, happy, and hopeful. I distinctly remember during a Vehicle Check Point, while taking a break from manning a position, meeting a young boy who was walking 15km to school along the beach with a long smooth stick that he would use to write in the sand. Despite the 30km each day, no pens, or even chalk, he was grateful of the opportunity to learn and hopeful for the future.
Below is a short video of me teaching kids how to play cricket during a UN Mission in 2002.
Experiences such as this mean I always look for opportunities to ensure the boys are grateful for the experience of being at TSS, and the wonderful opportunities that you, as parents provide for your sons. Most of the boys regularly display behaviours that demonstrate their gratitude. However, on occasion, the boys forget how fortunate they are, such is human nature as we adapt to the freedoms and benefits around us. It is our job as Housemasters, to ensure the boys remind grounded, grateful, positive and hopeful, and an absolute privilege to be in a position to shape the outlook of the boys.
After the House Meeting on Sunday, we asked the Year 11s to remain behind for a serious chat. The talk was to remind them of the importance of remaining strong role models over the next two weeks, and especially leading into the first five weeks of Term 3. There is some incredible leadership potential among these boys, and what they may not have considered is the close proximity of house and school leadership voting. With Prefect voting and House Official voting to occur mid next term, now is the time for these boys to stop and consider the impact they are having on their peers.
For the House Captain and House Official voting, every boy gets one vote for each position. Obviously it is vital that this student is respected by their cohort, however they must also to respected across all age groups in order to have effective influence in the house. We reminded the boys that the next 6-7 weeks of boarding for them should not be a campaign, but a reflection of who they are, and who they will continue to be if elected. We would also encourage Yr 11 parents to continue conversations with their sons about leadership aspirations.
School Captain voting will consist of a number of polls sent to students and teachers. Prior to this vote, students will self-nominate for prefect consideration. Every student and teacher in the Senior School will receive a link to vote for school captain preferences. Usually, the outcome of the completed survey will be broken down into three data sets; Cohort Vote, Staff Vote, and Whole-School Vote. The results of the vote are discussed at a special Housemaster Meeting, where the 12 Housemasters advocate strongly for their boys, with the outcome of these discussions and vote, considered by the Headmaster for electing School Captain, and Foundation Prefect positions.
Congratulations to the boys below who showed evidence of considerable GPA Increase and Diligence Increase. The data below shows the boys who improved the most compared to the previous reporting period. GPA increase of 1.0 means a student has increased by a full grade point on the 15 point scale (e.g B to a B+, C- to a C etc). The Diligence scale is obviously an important indication of effort, albeit a combined subjective assessment from individual teachers at a given point in time.
I would particularly like to make particular mention of the following boys.
I hope everyone is well through the difficult unprecedented times. Big thankyou to The Southport School as the schooling has been running as per normal with online classes and normal schooling are taking place while still abiding to the laws behind the Covid-19 produced by the Government. Solomon Kasokason (House Captain) and Myself (Kiirra Bligh, Vice-Captain) are upholding the culture of the house as best as possible in these hard times with the majority of the senior years being back in boarding and we are all hoping that all students are returned next term. In these hard times it is reminded that we are still grateful in which what we have and still go to this amazing school. Personally I am very grateful to have the opportunity to go to TSS. The sporting facilities are one of the best in Australia if not the best. The academics at TSS allow for all different abilities to learn at the best levels possible. TSS also pushes boys to step outside the comfort zones and try things that most students wouldn’t do if they were not at TSS. I hope everyone is safe and well through this time of Covid-19 and everyone is still grateful in which what they have. Myself and Solomon are looking forward to potentially going back to having a full house next term.
The boys have recently participated in a range of Life Skills Sessions on a weekend in lieu of an off-site activity program. The Life Skills Sessions ran over 2 weeks for year 11 and 12, and consisted of a range of subjects
It was great to see the boys choose a range of classes to attend, and we commend the boys for the maturity they showed during all the sessions.
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