The above poem “In Isolation” is written by a TSS student in 1919 during a period of isolation from The Spanish Flu. In spite of the obvious difference in time period, there are similar themes with this students reflection from 100 years ago, and the experience of students today. There is a realisation of taking liberties for granted, of not being able to meet up with romantic interests, of having to adjust methods of communication, of boredom, and of course, the opportunity to have a little fun. This poem, and the stories the reflections of Delpratt boys later in this newsletter, remind us that despite the challenging circumstances, we can find moments to enjoy ourselves, celebrate, and cherish. With this in mind, I would like to acknowledge the boys who had a birthday over the last 8 weeks – Particular mention to Will, Barry and Pat who turned 18 recently. I would also like to take the time to acknowledge Joe Castor and Darcy Douglas, who through consistent effort and application in their studies have made the Academic 1sts Team.
We have had 26 boys arrive back into boarding since restrictions have been eased. All of these boys, have arrived with a different experience of the last 8 weeks in isolation, though importantly, they have all returned with a positive attitude, keen to attend face-to-face classroom lessons, and catch up with friends. They have also been understanding of the controls put in place, and although there have been some changes, it has not impacted their ability to enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, there is still no clear answer around the return to full boarding for boys in Years 7-9. Please see correspondence sent out from our Dean of Boarding, Mr Tony Watt earlier this week – Boarding Update – Years 7-10.
We also understand that decisions around returning to school for many families have to be made shortly, and consideration given to quarantine arrangements for overseas boarders, require a sense of urgency. The School is currently looking at an equitable way to prioritise the remaining allowed accommodation in each house. There is also many questions from parents about the academic offering after 25th May, which the School is currently considering for Boarders unable to return. I anticipate the answers to these questions are imminent, and should be communicated to all parents (7-9) shortly by the School executive team.
In order to decrease the risk to the boys, staff and the community, there have been some changes to the boarding environment and operations.
Accommodation – Only individual rooms currently occupied and boys are spread out as far as possible over two floors. As discussed in the recent assembly, we are bound by government guidelines as it relates to boarding houses. At the current point in time, we are permitted to use the majority of our single rooms, yet only 25% of the dorms are allowed to be occupied as a maximum.
Bathroom facilities – boys have been allocated specific bathrooms to use and must only use those assigned when in the house. Bathrooms have an increased cleaning schedule by contractors. The aim is to minimise the traffic in each location and therefore decrease risk.
Dining Hall – Soap, and medical grade wipes are being used by the boys prior to meals. Max of 4 ppl per table, morning, afternoon tea and lunch is pick-up-and-go to reduce contact.
Visitors – reduced – no day boys in boarding house!
Off-Campus and OTR – No weekend leave permitted with anyone but family at this stage. OTR with HM permission. This will remain in place till next Monday 25th May.
Hygiene – Anti-bacterial hand-wash containers and hand-wipes are prolific across the school, and boys are reminded at regular intervals to use them. Boys have been excellent thus far with this routine.
Vehicle use – Very limited. I have collected the keys of boys with permission to have their car on campus. The reasons they were permitted to have a car on site, are no longer applicable in the current situation. Whilst we understand that boys appreciate the freedom, and responsibility, we are careful with permitting use in this regard.
Routine – I have asked our Duty Staff to ensure the boys maintain a strict routine in the house. Some boys would like to sleep in through the morning and rise just before class. However, I have reminded them that this is not in their benefit, and we would not be providing a healthy environment for them, if we allow it to continue. Prep Routine is also crucial for returning boys, and although it may take some initial wrangling to get these boys back to nightly study habits, it is in their best interests – a major priority for our duty staff to facilitate.
The subject information evening will occur via conference on the evening of Tuesday 26th May. It is important especially for year 10’s.
Once you have answered these questions then come up with a list of 6 or 7 subjects and rank them in a number of ways:
Make a list of questions for the conference such as:
Obviously these are only ideas but the more we communicate the better your decisions will be. One of the best ways is to ask your respective teacher now as to what is involved. Most Yr10 subjects have done watered down versions of the Year 11 and 12 programs but if you are sitting them in Semester 2 you will only of had a few weeks of experience before you make the decision. Remember these can be changed later on but the information you have the better informed your choice will be. For extra help and information all students have had access to our careers information page on our website, year 10’s especially links to major dates for University enrolment dates; key providers; students individual career plans etc. It may be worthwhile to get your son to discuss this with you. Click on the link for access: TSS Careers
Examination will occur for ALL students on Friday 12th June and continue until the close of school on Thursday 18th June that is Week 8-9. All though this is a way off it is important that students are preparing especially as we are beginning to return to normal. For the year 12’s these exams will be the penultimate exam prior to the externals at the end of October. This will be the exam that really is going to show how they are travelling before entering the last full term of their schooling. It is essential that over the next 5 weeks they knuckle down and make sure their study is identifying the holes in their understanding. This way they can take the appropriate measures to seek help.
What this will look like for our boarders who have not returned by this date, is yet to be decided.
Over the last week, all of the senior boys have returned to normal classes, including the year 12 boarders that have settled back into the boarding routine and have hit the ground running. Despite the novelty of having the dining hall to ourselves, boarding truly isn’t the same without each and every one of you younger boys here.
With the year 11 boarders joining us this week, we are hopeful that we will soon be able to resume boarding with as much normalcy as possible. I know that in times like these with so much uncertainty, keeping motivated can be hard, especially when you’re not in a classroom with a teacher constantly making sure that you’re doing what you need to be doing, but it’s important that you stay on top of your work.
Our current situation may not be ideal, but you need to make the most out of it. Enjoy the opportunity that you now have to spend time with your family, and the fact that you’re in your own home. I hope you’re all well and I’m looking forward to seeing you all when you come back to Dellie.
From a city of skyscrapers to a country flooded with wildlife and wonders, Hong Kong is completely different to Australia. Eight million people thriving in a landmass 0.01% the size of Australia makes for an experience like no other. Hong Kong is made up of numerous islands and is a one hour drive from China. It has a large British heritage and brings people of all nationalities together. Thousands of boarding students located around the world fly home to HK every term break.
After the emergence of the Coronavirus outbreak, life in Hong Kong has drastically changed. Gone, are the bustling streets and flooded train stations. Gone, are the hundreds of markets and stalls that line the roads of the city. Gone is all signs of life. This has resulted in quite a different experience for the thousands of students returning from abroad. Despite this, I have still managed to keep life somewhat normal from the confines of my neighbourhood. I exercise daily, whether it is playing soccer, basketball, tennis or hiking I try to get out of the house. I focus on my school work while still helping my siblings with theirs and staying in contact with my mates.
While life in Hong Kong has changed, I am slowly getting used to it and keeping a positive outlook on things. I still manage to do everything that I would beforehand and I’ve been trying many new things. While life at home is great, I can’t wait to return to Australia and to TSS.
These last couple months have been interesting, I understand that the corona virus has effected lots of people and I’m am glad that our community is safe and healthy. For the last few months it has been very quiet in the Dalzell household. learning new skills such as how to use and manage your time efficiently with online school is a difficult task. Having an active routine usually helps me stay awake and concentrated duding the day, but being at home all I want to do is sleep in haha.
Throughout these months I have had lots off spare time, I decided to build an arena rake, this was good fun to build as I enjoy the challenge of fabrication. The only real challenge I had to overcome was explaining how it works to Dad every five minutes. When the arena rake was finished Dad and I decided to start building the horse yards, these yard are about 200 meters by 300 meters. with three dividing fences in the middle which will give our horses individual paddocks so that we don’t have to buy new rugs ever three weeks, cause they fight and rip them on barb wire.
So Mum and Dad put in the posts with a post driver while I welded gates and stays on, this was a good job although it took a lot of time I was glad to see it complete. We then started putting the fences in Dad would line all the post up and I would have to bang them all in with the dolly, because apparently Dad begins to visually brake down as soon as he touches anything heavy or metal,
It actually wasn’t that hard cause the soil on our place is sand so they went in pretty easy. after all the posts are in I had the job of making them reasonably level so that there were no uneven posts in the fence. Dad was sometimes in a mood while building the fence, we did do the first one on a Saturday so Annabel and I were sleeping in while dad was fighting the fence aha, so when we went out to help him he was pretty pist. so I began making the posts level and accidentally hit the wire in between the hammer and the post causing it to snap. It was funny hearing dad abuse a tree from 100 meters. we eventually finished the paddocks and began school again. I am looking forward to coming back but it has also been really good being home, can’t wait to see the Delly Boys.
Over the past month locked in home I have had a very unique experience. Whether it be sliding around on a surfboard behind the buggy or created something in the sheds that is practice. We were forced by this experience to open our eyes to see what we have in front of us.
We started off by fencing a paddock and making stables inside them. We had a deadline because the girls in the family needed to get their horse onto our property. After that we had to create an idea on how to move a chicken coop that was flimsy. We constructed a sled so we could safely tow the chicken coop around without it collapsing.
We were also able to do many things at home to compensate what we couldn’t do. We were able to make a rope swing because we couldn’t go to the one in town. But not any rope swing, we held onto the excavated and were flung around until we were over the dam. We also tied a rope onto an old surfboard and attached it to the back of the buggy. We were towed around down hills into water and over bumps.
Over the last month, my time has been spent preparing cultivation for whatever may come next with Jamie my younger brother and myself keeping a tractor going, as well as putting implements back together. Likewise keeping the house patch looking good and helping dad in the shed doing things such as changing tyres for the chisel plough, truck etc. besides this we also have a house from Blackall that we have been trying to renovate for the last six years. And in my spare time, motorbikes. Written by Jack Cameron, Springsure.
My name is Finnegan Beirne, I’m a border in yr 10 Dellprat house at TSS. I live and have grown up In Lae, on the east coast of Papua New guinea.
In Lae there are many different things you can do during your day, game fishing is what i mostly spend my time on holidays or weekends, game fishing in Papua New Guinea has so many different aspects and species you can target it is place that is very uncharted. Our target game fish is mostly a Blue Marlin, within waters of PNG we are a ‘breeding ground’ for blue marlin our average size is from 40 – 200KG then commonly they move down towards Australia. while we enjoy catching blue marlin PNG has some of the best reef systems in the world so we enjoy targeting reef species as well. In Papua New Guinea once a year there is a 10 day fishing commpotion in the 4 main towns and cities being Pom, Lae, Rabaul, and Madang this is a great chance for all the anglers and different people from towns or cities to see what another spot has to offer.
Over the last few months I have been at home due to COVID-19 and I have had a really good experience. Online classes have been really effective in keeping us up to date with school work, I have also been able to help out at home in the mornings, afternoons and weekends. Before they shut the camp grounds we were able to get plenty of skiing done and had a really great time. We have been lucky to enough to be in a corona virus free region for a while now.
Since I have been home for the last few weeks, I have been helping my parents on our property ,with loading hay on to trucks to go into Roma feed lot , helping paint our new house and been doing a bit of contour maintenance. So that is mainly doing over the holidays , hope every one is well
On the holidays I got up to lots of things. We had to do some mustering and drafting cattle. Days were different. Some days were burning, scorching hot days and some other days were freezing cold days. I went camping the night before ANZAC day with the good old 2 minute noodles for dinner and then woke up and drove to the driveway for the minutes silence at dawn. Our property MENA PARK stands for Middle East North Africa Park which was an army base in Egypt during WWII. That’s what I got up to this holidays.
When I first got home we were straight into shearing. Which took up considerably less time then we had hoped. With the sheep Shawn I spent 2 days taking them back to there paddocks. Whilst were waiting for a few weeks to join the ewes and rams me and Alex(my brother) started building a new chicken coop. Then easter came around and we went camping for the weekend. And in these last weeks I’ve been fixing up my ute. And after finishing a day of school I usually go down to the shearers quarters and have a game of pool or go to the dump and get the 10cent cans. This week has become a lot more school focused due to egxam block and I’m hoping to and the week mustering goats.
My experience being home over the time we have been quarantined has been an experience I will never forget. It has been a much different holiday than I normally have when going back home. Although it has been different not being allowed to go to the corner store to get milk I believe this pandemic is an experience that we can all take something out of. Whether it be not going to school, being at home, spending time with your family or making an effort to get more fit, there is something we all can enjoy within this experience.
Over the last month and a bit my experience has been an enjoyable one as I have been able to do things I would not be able to do every weekend or throughout the day if I were at school. For example, I have had I lot of time fishing down on my beach and in the boat on the water. But isolation has also left me with the painful task of gardening and chores around the house. Although I am missing my friends at TSS and can’t be playing footy in the arvos, I am still thankful of being home.
Well hasn’t this been an interesting time in everyone’s lives? My name is Kiirra Bligh I am currently the Vice-Captain of The Delpratt House. TSS has allowed all students to be able to learn from home with the new Online Learning. This with all that is going on is exceptional as people like myself in year 12 allowing them to still learn for their final year. It is a bit of a struggle being at home and doing school work as most boarders like myself work with their family during the holidays and have found it hard to balance both but overall have managed to do so with great attendance from most boarders especially in Delpratt.
Boys have been socialising over social media and the House meetings Mr. Bland provides with breakout rooms, this has allowed the boys to not lose contact with their mates. I can guarantee all the boys are keen to get back to school but as a whole everyone has taken the misguiding virus and made it into a positive with all boys, teachers and parents doing the best they can to adhere to this abnormal time.
Thank you and stay safe. Kiirra Bligh
Over the past two months, Hong Kong has had two waves of infections. The life in a pandemic seemed difficult at first but after a while, I kind of got used to it and appreciate the opportunity to catch a breath from everything. I am thankful that Hong Kong already has it better than a lot of countries out there, with most of the stores remain to be opened and sufficient supplies so our daily lives aren’t that affected. The only things affected would be social activities and exercise. To keep myself both physically and socially active, I can only go for a run in the morning when there aren’t that many people out on the streets and maybe sports with friends once every two weeks. Fortunately, it seems that the virus has come to an end here as of now thanks to the medical workers and everyone taking care of each other by wearing masks outside. Hopefully, we can all return to our normal lives soon!
My overall experience in the Delpratt house and TSS has been absolutely wonderful. In my home country, we didn’t have house systems like this and I was quite surprised when I realised how united Delpratt was like, just like a family. In Delpratt, my friendly peers especially the ones in my year helped me out a lot when it comes to me adapting to a completely new environment. Due to my language barrier and cultural differences, I am quieter around people than usual but my housemates didn’t just leave me alone. Instead, most of them would invite me to join their conversations even when they know I won’t say much and I am extremely grateful to have them as my friends. If I haven’t talked to you yet, please feel free to talk to me when TSS is back in business! Other than the awesome peers, the staff, from the housemaster and assistant housemaster Mr Bland and Mr Huckstep to all the MODS, are the most caring and helpful people I have met. It means a lot as an International Student to know that whenever you need help you can simply reach out and someone would try their best to help you.
Over the last couple of months much has changed to my normal routine. It started off with school getting shut resulting in going home 2 weeks early. For me, home is Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. I quickly realised that most of the stores were shut and there wasn’t much to do. It is difficult to maintain fitness during this period of isolation but I have been doing what I can by going running and playing football. School changing to online has also been difficult to adapt to, especially with many important exams taking place in week 2. But the teachers have been really good at organising material to be easily accessible on Canvas. In these challenging times, I think it is important to not lose discipline and be ready for when school eventually starts.
Although the look of the holidays for the boys in the Gold coast and other cities around the world may had looked very boring the holidays at Yamboon were as busy as ever. For the first two weeks I had online school but on the holidays it was straight into work with the time being filled up with lots of metal work and rebuilds with the main job being fixing the scraper bucket, in the time I spent working I learned the new skill of hard facing.
Over the school holidays I was planning on using my new water ski the a brought with the money earned over the Christmas holidays but that was unable to happen. So, we had to fill the time up with something else like motor bike riding and bonfires. When the school holidays ended my brother and I went back to school we had an Austrian backpacker join use for planting. One of his first experiences on our farm was waking up at 5am for the ANZAC day dawn service over the radio. When my school days are finished my job is to go light fires in the paddocks to burn off all the dead weeds and at the moment with planting in full swing it looks as thought the is no slowing down while at home.
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