9 February 2023

Getting started in our centenary year

Middle School
Getting started in our centenary year
Getting started in our centenary year
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At Carey, for the last 100 years, students have found themselves moving from a summer break into the promise of a new year.

Each year students have perennially found it a little difficult to switch back into the school routine; however, for many families it is actually a relief and reassuring to move back into a more structured program and have students engaged in all the things the Carey journey has to offer. There is certainly a contrast from the relaxed days at the beach or at home, regular family celebrations, sleep ins, fewer commitments, free time, televised sport each evening and being in a smaller family group to that of the daily routines of a school term back to earlier mornings, classes, competing demands, meetings, expectations, rules, being a member of a larger group, being organised and the list goes on.

As we move into our exciting centenary year, we are working hard to support students to get back into the habit of displaying behaviours that illustrate and reinforce our school values of care, respect and growth. Empowering students to chart their own journey and collectively build our ‘ways of working’ is an important strategy to support students to take ownership of the Middle School culture. The concept that ‘action provides the basis for learning’ and ‘learning provides the basis for further action’ is important in building cohesive cultures – as we reflect on our heritage and the values that underpin the School in our centenary year, we will certainly be working hard to build a learning community that both honours the past and looks boldly to the future.

Over the first couple of weeks, key events set the momentum in Middle School and strive to support the students in developing and strengthening relationships, embedding positive behaviours and building on successes. Mr Walters’s wonderful measure of looking after yourself, looking out for each other, taking every opportunity and doing your best always set the tone in our first assemblies. In the Middle School, habits are created by building strong brain pathways by doing things over and over again – hopefully the first couple of weeks of the year provide the students a space to keep developing, honing and solidifying good habits of learning. Some of our keys focusses will be on resilience, resourcefulness, reflection, taking responsibility and being kind and caring. The challenge for schools is often how we create an environment where these habits can be fostered and nurtured. Throughout the semester and especially over the last few weeks, Middle School students have had wonderful opportunities to lay down neural pathways that will set them up for the rest of the year.

The beauty of a new year is that it is full of promise, it carries with it a sense of renewal and hope and as I said to the students in the first assembly, we are defined by what we do as much as who we are, and kindness is a really good place to start.

Michael Nelson
Head of Middle School


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