Wednesday evening of last week saw the inaugural TSS/St Hilda’s Debating Competition, where students from Years 4 through 6 were offered the opportunity to work in mixed teams and debate the topic, ‘Google is Making us Lazy!’
Sixteen TSS boys represented our Prep School, with a similar number of girls participating in the event held at St Hildas.
Students were given half an hour prior to the debate to meet and combine their arguments, then proceeded to debate this topic across two rounds. For many, this was their first debating experience, whilst several others brought their knowledge of debating structure to the occasion. All students represented themselves, their teams and their schools with enthusiasm and pride. Though the highlights were many, one notable moment was seeing Kai Salam and his sister Ella debating together on the same team. Oliver Croy, Punnet Singh and Nate Polwarth were all members of a winning team from across the two rounds.
Congratulations to all students who participated in this event. It was certainly a great night for those involved.
Winning team in Round 1 included Nate Polwarth.
Winning teams in Round 2 included Oliver Croy and Puneet Singh so those 3 boys received medals.
Developing skills in ethical understandings remain a high priority for educators. The Ethics Olympiad promoted respectful, creative and rigorous discussion of ethics amongst students within and across school communities.
On Wednesday 9 June a scholarly group of Years 5 and 6 students competed in the inaugural Junior School Ethics Olympiad.
Meeting up online to discuss six cases with schools across NSW, WA, SA, VIC, Canada, NZ and South Africa, our team tackled issues around the themes of friendship, environment, animal rights and lying. Judged by highly esteemed Professors and Doctors of Philosophy, Sociology and Ethics, our students did an outstanding job. They showed a high level of respect towards those they competed against and their judges. Of most note was how deeply they discussed the issues and questions put before them. They developed discussions using their own knowledge of rights, responsibilities, values and ethics.
Not only did they learn from other’s ideas through active and empathetic listening, they took educational risks by expressing their own deep seeded perspectives respectfully, and in a well articulated manner.
Our TSS Junior Ethics Olympiad dream team were:
We congratulate their efforts.
Watching their son manage his nervous moments can be challenging for parents, but it comes with the parenting territory. How you react to an anxiety-inducing moment can influence the way he approaches uncomfortable situations in the future.
Sadly, avoidance is a well-entrenched pattern of behaviour that holds many children back from experiencing life as they would like. The comfort zone that many crave to stay in can be like maximum security prison where there’s no escape. It’s incumbent upon parents to make sure participation rather than avoidance becomes the most likely response even when they feel nervous and tense.
Recently, a mother of four, told me how she had approached her teenage son’s nervousness about taking a part-time job. Her fifteen year old son, a quiet, thoughtful, studious boy wanted a job but was too nervous to go for the interview. This mother took a firm stance with him and insisted that he go for the job interview, despite some incredibly strong resistance.
Mum said, “I drove him to the interview. He was so nervous that he was shaking. As we got closer he begged me not to make him do it. I felt so sorry for him , but I wouldn’t let him off the hook. I knew that if he wouldn’t do this then he’d always avoid the things that make him nervous. I told him that there was no option. This is something he had to do.”
Luckily, he was successful with the job interview. The first thing he did when he got home was to thank his mum for holding his ground and insisting that he go for the interview.
This is hard to do, but is good parenting in action!
There’s a natural tendency for children to avoid doing activities where they may fail, struggle or even risk being laughed at. At such times, parents who can see the bigger picture need to make decisions for their child to prevent the development of negative patterns of behaviour that are so difficult to break.
It takes significant parental sensitivity and courage to avoid taking anxiety-inducing activities temporarily away from a child or teenager. But it’s the right thing to do if developing a child’s confidence, rather than their feelings of helplessness is your goal.
The fifteen year old discussed above, still feels nervous before he goes to work, but the nerves are getting less each time. Importantly, his courage account is being filled along with his bank account each time he heads off to work.
You should never underestimate the value of a little parenting push, particularly if anxiety tends to be your son’s constant companion.
After a false start on Wednesday due to the weather, the boys enjoyed their carnival tremendously today. The Junior Carnival focuses on fun House Competition based upon the demonstration of skills taught throughout the first semester during PE classes. The boys run, jump, balance, throw, catch, navigate obstacles and demonstrate teamwork as they rotate around a variety of activity stations.
A tremendous amount of work goes into the planning and preparation for the carnival and I thank Mrs Deb Goudy for her leadership in this program, and to all of the PE team and early years teachers who also contribute significantly. It was a great event!
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