Deputy Headmaster and Head of Preparatory School

Mr Jeff Symms

End of Year

As one of the boys gleefully pointed out to me yesterday – there are only 8 more school days left in the 2017 school year.  I think all of us – teachers, parents and even the boys, have marveled at how quickly 2017 has sped by.  As we enter these final weeks, please mark in your calendar the important events that are coming up:-

Friday November 17:-    Presentation Assembly for Years 3-6. 12.00pm Pearce Theatre

Sunday November 19:-   Friends of Prep Carols by Candlelight  4.oopm

Monday November 20:-  Preschool Christmas Concert. 10.00am. Pearce Theatre

Tuesday November 21:-   Celebration of Achievement Years Reception – Year 2.  Annand Theatre. 9.00am

Wednesday November 22:-  Celebration of Achievement Years 3-6.  Annand Theatre. 9.00am

Wednesday November 22:- Year 6 Gradual Service.  Chapel of St Alban. 6.30pm

Thursday November 23:-      Reception to Yea 6  Christmas Chapel.  Pearce Theatre. 9.00am

Thursday November 23:-      Year 6 Final Assembly and Honour Guard.  Pearce Theatre. 1.00pm.

Book packs

Some parents have been enquiring about book pack lists for 2018.  The process has changed slightly and there is now no need for parents to undertake any prior purchasing.  All books and equipment will be at school for your son on his first day next year.

The only item that parents might like to retain from the current school year, or purchase a new one of, would be a pencil case.

Friends of Prep Christmas Carols

This event has sold tickets like hot cakes!  There are very few left (less than 200) – so don’t miss out.  Buy yours today through flexischools.

Please note that there is no teacher supervision of students at this event.  All attending children must be accompanied by an adult.

Building Independence as a pathway to Resilience

With a new school year just around the corner parents often ask, ‘What can I do to help them prepare?’.  There are a number of things, but one which has life-long benefit, is helping them build their independence is one of the most important.  A strongly independent child is also usually a very resilient one.

Michael Grose, our partnered parenting expert, tells us that children are hardwired for independence.  From about 15 months of age, most children will start to make a strong case for self-sufficiency.  They will start saying ‘No’ and often state ‘I can do it!’ when mum or dad try to help them complete tasks.   Right from this moment, parents should harness this desire for independence, rather than keep insisting in doing things for them.

Parents often site the fear of risk or injury for stepping in to help their children to soon.  But the reality is, it is impossible to remove all risk from life’s endeavours.  Children will fall, they will bump themselves, scrape their knees and be upset by what others might say.  But in time, they will learn, if permitted, how to avoid these situations and as Michael Grose says:- ‘…stare down their fears and test themselves out in new situations. Falling down, brushing yourself off and trying again is part of the natural learning experience for children.’

He advised that parents should assess a situation for real danger, then stand back and allow their children to explore.

There is a clear link between this developing independence and building resilience.  Michael explains:-

‘Independence is the pursuit of mastery over one’s self and one’s environment and rarely happens without mishaps and mistakes. It nearly always involves hurt, hardship, frustration and fear. That’s where resilience comes in. Resilience is the art of bouncing forward after experiencing these hurts, hardships, frustrations and fears. Resilience is what comes from seeking out self-sufficiency and independence.

The fact that there’s a whole genre of language devoted to resilience (mostly cloaked in cliche) is no accident. Terms such as “Get back on the bike/horse when you fall off”, “Come on, brush yourself off and get on with it” or “What doesn’t kill you makes you strong” are built into the pyche of past generations. Many parents today will cringe at these terms as they appear a little callous and out of touch. Conversely most current parents’ relationship with risk and adventure – both required for independence-building – is very tenuous at best, non-existent at worst.

Therein lies the challenge. I haven’t met a parent, carer or teacher who doesn’t want the children in their care to develop resilience that will last a lifetime. Yet many of those same adults will block the pathway to children’s resilience by over-indulging them, solving their problems and not giving them real responsibility. In doing so they deny kids the sense of mastery that comes from sorting out their own problems, getting themselves out of jams and getting up after a fall.’

Sound advice.

This school holiday period what can you do to help prepare your son for the challenges of the new year?  Help him develop his independence and build his resilience!

Preschool Parent Information Evening last week

It was wonderful to see our 2018 Preschool parents at the Information Evening last week.  The Preschool year is such an important one for the boys and I appreciate what a big year it is too for parents who are sending their son off to ‘school’ for the first time.

Our Preschool program has been a tremendous success and a real benefit to the boys long term academic success.  As the only Excellent rated service on the Gold Coast we know that the personal development and learning programs that are in place to support the boys are second to none.

While enrolment to this year level is almost finalized we do have a very small number of places available so share this news with your friends and have them act quickly if they wish to secure one of these last places.

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