21 April 2021

That autumn feeling

Heads of SchoolMiddle School
That autumn feeling
That autumn feeling
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'Notice that autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.’ – Friedrich Nietzsche

Something that autumn reminds us is that things are cyclical, and although our lives ebb and flow and we are always developing and shaping who we are, there is often a pattern. It emphasises the impermanence of life, stressing how vital it is to embrace the present. By doing so, we can savour what we have before it is gone.

After the excitement and hustle of Term 1 it is nice to move into what I hope is a calmer and more methodical learning rhythm. In Middle School, it is a great time to take on some of the information collected through the Parent Teacher Student Interviews that took place late last term and ensure that learning is focussed and productive over the rest of the semester.

As we move into the next phase of the year, students are encouraged to consider what we can learn from Term 1 and enter the rest of the year confident that they are developing as people. We know students are constantly evolving, testing and redefining their internal moral compasses, which is always evident when speaking to them about the traits of a ‘good person’. I was discussing this with some Year 9 students at the end of last term, and it was interesting that the students collectively are very astute at articulating the key behaviours, like kindness, respect, honesty, determination, diligence, self-discipline and positivity.

Over the term we will be working with students to continue to develop some of these traits and although obviously students make mistakes and are not always perfect, it is the growth and development that is so important. As we navigate our way into the year, we are continually monitoring each year level and the impact of 2020, and developing innovative programs to address issues that we have identified that may need a new approach.

Middle School-wide, at the House level and in the classroom, we will take opportunities to remind and support students with key behaviours and routines that ensure all students feel safe and can thrive in our learning community. As the term progresses, we hope to see continued growth and we would encourage discussion around the dinner table about how we function as a community. Our kids are impacted by societal issues and a key protective factor in supporting young people is to build and maintain a sense of hope – it is really important that we continue to provide positive and hopeful narratives.

Some of the focusses include:

  • being a good citizen in our community
  • being a good friend
  • looking after personal belongings
  • looking after our lovely new building (especially reducing rubbish)
  • managing and building relationships (stamping out bullying)
  • positive behaviours online and cybersafety
  • reducing screen time and developing a balance in on-and-off screen time
  • building positive learning habits – setting goals and having good learning skills
  • reducing time wasting and distractions
  • using appropriate language
  • racism and its impact
  • who to see if you are having difficulties – building a network of trusted adults.

I hope everyone has a wonderful start to the term and I look forward to all the great opportunities that present themselves throughout the rest of the semester.

Michael Nelson
Head of Middle School

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