From The Principal

Fri , 02/06/2017

There are three phrases which I use a lot, and which I have seen in action over the past two weeks.

The first of those phrases is holistic education, and is a phrase which means to educate the whole child. Not focusing on one skill or attribute, but looking at them as a whole.

The second phrase I use often is about students being at their best, and I see it as my job to ensure that every student has the opportunity to be at their best – in the classroom, in leadership, in extra-curricular … the places and the ways in which young people flourish are varied, and I see it as my job to provide opportunities for them to find what they are good at.

And lastly, I often talk about a broad and balanced education – ensuring that school experiences are rich, varied, engaging and stimulating.

In the last two weeks, I have had the opportunity to see in a very real sense what is meant by each of these phrases, and I am very proud of the way that the College is providing broad opportunities to educate the whole of your child, and give them opportunities to shine.

As a Principal, I want students to try every opportunity they are presented with. I get no greater pleasure than in seeing students busy and involved in numerous things each week. Of course, balance is needed – young people need time to be with friends and families, to take part time jobs, to be online and involved in recreational activities. Young people also need time to sleep – it is crucial in adolescence, proven in numerous studies, that teenagers need sleep to develop their brains.

All of these things, some more than others, are healthy when they in balance. In fact, the research is clear in showing that it is those students who become involved in diverse extra-curricular activities at school who enjoy the best academic outcomes.

Young people should be taking advantage of the diverse extra-curricular and curricular activities which we offer at TSAC. There will be a time later in life, when they will, due to time and financial constraints, have to narrow and limit what they do with their time. For now, when they are still relatively time rich (and when their parents are paying for it!), what better time to involve themselves in all that there is to offer?

Earlier this week I spoke to a Year 9 student who was on her way from a Maths class to a DT lesson in which she was going to be using the 3D printer. Later that day, she had a Musical rehearsal and that morning she had had sports training. The reason for our conversation was that she stopped me to ask about an idea she had for a group of students to undertake an activity to raise money for charity. What a varied and action packed day! I had confidence that that girl had gone home satisfied that she had been engaged, her brain had been worked and challenged and that deserved her sleep in.

And so to my last two weeks, in which I have seen the Intermediate Girls Soccer team fight with great resilience to position themselves on the edge of finals, attended the Vocal Soiree where I saw young people displaying marvellous creative, courage and talent to sing to a room of nearly 200 adults, saw the creativity on display in the Senior Art Exhibition, have seen our da Vinci Decathlon team, only newly formed, power to a third place finish in one of the most challenging academic activities that we have on offer, and have watched Year 11 and 12 students knuckle down to hard study in preparation for their upcoming Exam Block.

This is a holistic education in action – young people engaged in positive relationships, creativity, academic study and sport. They are benefitting from healthy minds, bodies and spirits.

Our school is one which provides rich opportunities for success, and I am very proud of the 900 students around me who are seeking out their opportunities to show us their very best.