Delpratt Housemaster – Conan Bland
The boys have hit the ground running since arriving back to school, both figuratively and literally. The new students have been warmly welcomed to the Delpratt family, as has last years Rogers boys, who have settled into a different routine and environment. The boys are also running three days a week to prepare for cross country at the end of term. Over the break, I have thought long and hard, about ways to improve different aspects of the House. It is our responsibility as Housemasters, to constantly make sure that we look for opportunities to maintain the positive aspects of our house culture, and always look to improve it. Our culture is a combination our boys values and behaviours, so it is crucial that we look for opportunities to reinforce examples of positive behaviour, whilst also, making sure we establish explicit expectations, and give strong consequences to behaviours which are not beneficial to our House.
Within this framework of reward and consequence, at either end of the spectrum, boys should know that we care about them, because we do, each and every one of your boys. Reinforcement of something a boy has done well in front of the entire House, will appear tokenistic if not delivered sincerely. However, if boys know we are sincere, it can have a net positive impact on the entire house. Additionally, as staff, when we give consequences to the boys, they will naturally think we don’t like them. So, it is our responsibility, as adults, to touch base after the consequence is complete, and make sure they know we still care, and equally notice their positive traits. Ultimately, the strength of our culture will often reflect the strength of our relationships with the boys.
This year, Sam and I started the term by meeting with each year group individually, and reflected on last year, while sharing what we thought they should keep doing, stop doing and start doing. I will summarise some of key points with each year group below.
Year 8 – They come to Delpratt from Rogers with a solid reputation, as a group of boys that are active, kind, and accommodating. We urged these boys to continue taking every opportunity to try new activities, look out for each other and get outside, away from tech distractions as often as they can. They need to make sure they know their place in the house, abide by the house rules, and respect the other boys, especially their dorm captains. The most crucial point we have for these boys is that they need to watch the seniors closely, and aspire to be the kind man, a man of strong values and moral courage. They will have plenty of influences throughout the next few years, across the entire school, and we expect them to make good choices about who they aspire to be.
Year 9 – This meeting primarily focused on establishing an identity. Year 9 is a complex time for boys, a time of physical growth and hormones, and a time where boys attempt to establish an identity. This year can set them up for how they will be remembered post school. We spoke to the boys about the way they should communicate to one another. To make sure that language they use should be mostly positive, respectful and complimentary, rather than creating an environment that is competitive and pervaded by banter. Year 9 also has a strong influence on Year 8, so they have a responsibility to use this social power positively.
Year 10 – This meeting focused on good choices in 2020. These boys have two year groups above them and two below. So within the social hierarchy, they have as many boys looking up at them, as they do looking down. This is a perfect opportunity to start establishing themselves as potential leaders of the house. They should be providing advice to junior boys, noticing them, while also supporting the efforts of our senior boys. These boys should be establishing their senior academic routine now, and making mature decisions around a balance between social activities, technology use, and study.
Year 11 – This meeting focused on these boys taking opportunities to lead in small ways, and demonstrate their capacity to be the “good bloke” who is kind, helpful, generous, values driven and approachable. With house, and school leadership positions being voted on towards the end of Term 3, what are they doing to be noticed now, will impact how others vote. This year for them, should also not feel like a campaign, as being a “good bloke”, should not be feigned. It is something all the boys should aspire to, all of the time. Year 11 is also the start of Senior Academic subjects, and the harder they work this year, the easier Year 12 will feel. If boys do not have a vocational goal in mind, then that is something we need to action. It is difficult to maintain motivation for their studies without a firm goal in mind.
Year 12 – While all boys are custodians of a house’s culture, it is the Year 12s that set the tone. Yes, we have out house officials, though every Year 12 boy can be a leader by doing the right thing. This is their house, and the way act, sets the example for everyone else. So, it is absolutely crucial that our Year 12s are on board with creating an environment where boys respect the house, uniform, staff, and each other. We will support them in every way we can to ensure they have a successful and enjoyable final year, though in return we have asked them to be proactive and mindful as leaders of this house.
My name is Solomon Kasokason and this year I have the privilege of being the 2020 House Captain of The Delpratt House. I live in Port Moresby Papua New Guinea, and started boarding at TSS in year 7 in Rogers House and have enjoyed every minute of being a boarder. As House Captain, I am merely the representative of the thirteen other grade 12 boys who lead this house. For the last 4 years since moving up to the clocktower from Roger’s in 2016, Dellie has been much more than just a boarding house, but home for me and my 60 odd other brothers.
There is no doubt that spirits are high amongst all of the boys and they’re keen to give their absolute best for the house this year. Despite us not making it in the top six in the swimming cluster, knowing that each and every boy gave it their best effort and that it was the best outcome we could produce, is all we as a senior cohort can ask for. We’ve always been one of the smallest houses in the school, and we definitely punch well above our weight. Being the smallest in number doesn’t stop us at all. As a senior group, we hope to maintain the strong culture of our house, and we will continue to improve it for all of the boys who come after us.
We would like to formally invite all parents to the Annual Delpratt Chapel Service which will occur on Sunday 15th March at 10am at St. Alban’s Chapel. The event falls the day after The Head of The River so it would be fantastic if those travelling down to watch their boys row are able to stay for this important event in the annual house calendar. RSVP [email protected]
During study periods, most boys will either work on something that is due the soonest, or will work on something they enjoy the most (and avoid the subject they do not). If they do not have a plan, study is unstructured and ineffective.
Below is an example of a study plan for one of our Year 8 students which details the minimum expectations of time per week students in Delpratt should be committing to study (approx 1.5 hours each day during prep and a few hours on the weekend). A study plan should always start by the student entering due dates, then we work backwards from there.
Often, students will find, they will need to complete assignments well before the due date, as exams and assessments may be due at once – this is the case in Week 4 this term.
It is always best if the plan is printed and placed on the wall of their dorms, so the boys can physically mark off their progress each day. Our house mentors will be working with each pastoral care group to ensure that each student, in each year group, has a study plan that is updated throughout the year. The aim is not to do it for them, but teach them the skill of doing it on their own.
I was away playing tennis from the 5th January until the 7th February. The first 10 days I went away with a TSS group to Shepparton and Albury. It was during the fires and play had to be suspended on some days due to the smoke. I was playing AMT (Men’s) and advanced through to the third rounds in both tournaments, however I injured my arm slightly and didn’t perform as well as I would like. The highlight was winning the doubles with Mr Hensel at Albury and earing $150 as a result. It took me over 12 hours to get back to Brisbane due to the fires. I then left almost immediately for New Zealand were I spent 3 weeks playing ITF World Junior tennis tournaments. I went over with the National Academy. First of all, we went to Wellington. It rained one day and the weather was windy nearly every day. It is hard to play tennis in the wind. I made it through to third round in the singles and quarter finals in the doubles. We then went through to Christchurch. Again it was really windy. I won my first match but then had the number 2 seed in my second round. I played well but he eventually beat me. I made it through to quarter-finals in the doubles again. After that I went through to Auckland. The Auckland tournament was a J3 and so was more difficult and I had to qualify for this tournament. I won all three rounds of qualifying to make the main draw and then I also won my first round match in main draw before going down in second round in a very tight three setter. We also won point for winning our first round match in doubles but then couldn’t get on top of the number 1 seeds in the next round. Over all, I earned myself 20.25 ITF ranking points over the three tournaments which when added to my rankings I already have means that my world junior ranking is now 830. Overall, I am happy with my results.
10th-21st Feb Year 7-12 Assessment Period
27th Feb House Cluster 1 competition. Senior School photo day.
6th Mar GPS Swimming Championships.
11th Mar Parent Teacher Interview Bookings Open.
14th Mar GPS Head of The River Rowing Championships
15th Mar Annual Delpratt Chapel Service 10am.
24th Mar Last day to book parent teacher interviews
28th Mar TSS Cricket Presentation Evening
1st Apr Parent teacher interviews from 4-8pm
2nd Apr Senior School Cross Country. Last Day of Term 1. Boarders can depart from 3pm or under arrangement with HM. Parent teacher interviews 4-8pm
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