23 Nov 2018

From the Head of Lindfield

Social Perspective Taking

Social Emotional Learning is now a core topic that is taught in Australian schools more systematically than it was in the past.  The vast array of concepts that encompass this area of learning can be daunting for teachers and schools as they navigate prioreties in order to plan experiences for students.  Hunter Gehlbach, an educational psychologist, sited recently in the Marshall Memo for his article on the topic (extracted below), believes that the social-emotional learning programs implemented in schools will have a longer-lasting impact if they focus on a concept that permeates many of our social interactions.  He describes how social perspective-taking can lead to positive outcomes as students navigate the social world.

Social perspective-taking is our capacity to make sense of the thoughts and feelings of others.  Essentially it involves having empathy and being able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes.

“The motivation and ability to ‘read’ other people,” he writes, “vividly imagining their unique psychological experience, provides the compass by which we navigate our social world. This capacity allows us to interpret the motivations and behaviors of our friends and neighbours, or to see situations from the point of view of strangers, or to understand and appreciate values and beliefs that diverge from our own. Without it, we cannot empathize, engage in moral reasoning, love, or even hold a normal conversation.”

In the article, it is claimed that there is research to suggest that perspective-taking is linked to less stereotyping of others, responding less aggressively to provocation, and developing better relationships with those with different beliefs – in other words, there’s a ripple effect to a number of other social-emotional competencies. It is not difficult to see how improving our ability to take other people’s perspectives, can lead to these desired effects.

Gehlbach’s suggests that perspective-taking can be taught in schools, if four key steps are followed:

  • Mustering the motivation to take the perspective of people outside our immediate family and social circle – for example, a cashier, a driver who cuts us off in traffic, a former classmate encountered at a reunion.
  • Choosing a particular strategy to use when “reading” the other person – for example, empathizing with someone who is terrified of giving a wedding toast (something you have no problem with) by thinking about waiting for a dentist’s opinion on a root canal.
  • Coordinating the available data to make inferences about the other person – for example, reading body language and facial expressions together with verbal cues.
  • After making inferences, evaluating if we’re on the right track, because it’s not easy to know what makes another person tick.

He believes perspective-taking can be integrated into any class at any grade level, and suggests three precepts for teachers to keep in mind:

  • Make it a classroom expectation for students to talk about others’ perspectives. Teachers can ask questions like, “What are some possible reasons the British may have wanted to appease Hitler?” rather than “Why did the British appease Hitler?” Students can also be asked to play devil’s advocate or restate a classmate’s opinion before responding to it. “When disagreements or interpersonal conflicts arise,” says Gehlbach, “it should be considered the norm for students to explain their side of the story and to listen while the other side explains theirs.”
  • Encourage students to be social detectives, not judges. It’s easy for students to jump to conclusions about a teacher giving low grades because she’s mean or a classmate starting a rumor because he’s spiteful, but they can be weaned away from shoot-from-the-hip characterizations by asking questions like, Why might she have done that? or What’s his version of what happened? “The more students get in the habit of investigating others’ perspectives rather than rushing to judge them,” says Gehlbach, “the more skilled they’ll become at looking for clues that might illuminate others’ decisions and behaviours.”
  • Provide low-stakes opportunities for practice. Perspective-taking is an unfamiliar process for many students, and it has to be okay to make mistakes as they learn.

 

“Once in the habit of trying to gauge other people’s ways of looking at the world,” Gehlbach concludes, “they will inevitably become more empathetic, more understanding, and more caring; they will become more thoughtful about how to navigate relationships; and they will become more likely to reach out across cultural groups rather than withdrawing into their own clique.” Marshall Memo Extract

 

Perspective taking is a skill that can be learned and one that we can instill in our boys by providing them opportunities to explore it, with our guidance, at times when it does not occur naturally.  As a Newington community who values diversity, we strive to engender a sense of open-mindedness in our boys.  At Lindfield, with our focus on the PYP, the learner profiles and attitudes that we are committed to modelling and teaching are geared towards encouraging the boys to ‘walk in another’s shoes’ in order to learn about the world.

 

“Learning to Walk in Another’s Shoes” by Hunter Gehlbach in Phi Delta Kappan, March 2017 (Vol. 98, #6, p. 8-12), http://bit.ly/2n6vzes; Gehlbach is at hgehlbach@panoramaed.com.

Extract from Teaching a Core Social-Emotional Skill – Perspective-taking, Marshall Memo, March 2017 (Issue 678)

 

Ben Barrington-Higgs

 

 

 

 

 

White Ribbon Day

Today, Friday 23 November all classes reflected on the importance of being a White Ribbon School and demonstrating Respect for All. Each boy decorated a black rock with a white ribbon and a powerful adjective related to their learning about the significance of respect.

These rocks have been placed in a rockery half way up the school driveway as a daily reminder of what it means to be a White Ribbon School. Parents and visitors are welcome to decorate a rock as well and these are available at the school office.

The White Ribbon movement promotes the development of respectful relationships to reduce and eliminate violence against women. This is a generational change and one that we are proud to be a part, especially as it ties into our existing practices and focus on ‘respect for all’.

Why are schools important to stop violence against women?

From a young age, young people are exposed to information, messaging and behaviours that can support and condone violence against women. Young people are also already exposed to, and influenced by, domestic violence.

A critical time for forming ideas

During this critical life stage, young people are already forming ideas about men, women and their relationships. Exposure to harmful messaging and gender stereotyping can lead to attitudes that support inequality and disrespect towards women.

Exposure to violence against women also has a clear and negative impact on children and young people’s behaviour, mental health, and social development.

Breaking the cycle of violence

Schools play a pivotal role in breaking the cycle of violence by teaching young people how to recognise and challenge violence against women and build respectful relationships. Breaking the Silence engages the wider school community to promote and role model gender equality and create a safe, inclusive school culture to stop violence against women.

The Australian Government have developed an online resource www.respect.gov.au containing a variety of resources to support initiatives of this nature and this very important issue. I recommend having a look at these resources, particularly the respect checklist as it provides some insightful prompts to have this important conversation with your son or daughter.

 

THE RESPECT CHECKLIST

https://www.respect.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Respect-Checklist.pdf

A practical checklist to help parents and family members identify some important aspects of respect to talk about with children.

 

START A CONVERSATION

https://www.respect.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Conversation-Guide.pdf

“Adults have the greatest potential influence to shape positive attitudes among young people.”

 

EXCUSE INTERPRETER

https://www.respect.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Excuse-Interpreter.pdf

Discover the hidden meanings of common expressions that can excuse disrespectful behaviour towards girls.

 

Pascal Czerwenka – Deputy Head of Lindfield

International Market – 16 November 2018

The International Market Organising Committee is pleased to report that our inaugural Market was a huge success on so many fronts, especially given that this was our very first one! The Organising Committee met this week to conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the event, in preparation for our next Market in two years time, and the feedback that we had all received from so many members of our school community was overwhelmingly positive.

The primary purpose of this event was to engage the community, to provide our boys with a meaningful and authentic engagement with entrepreneurialism and to support a worthy social justice cause, The House of Welcome and we achieved this purpose.

The Committee, consisting of members of the Lindfield P&F, Parent Volunteers and Lindfield Staff, lead various aspects of the Market and meet on a regular basis at school. We are very appreciative of the drive, energy, time and passion that was given by each person to make the event a great success. We would also like to thank the parents who volunteered on the night with the many tasks that needed doing.

 

Organising Committee:

Lindfield P&F

Neeti Jata

Jing Bray

Colleen Bromwich

Kate Hooke

 

Parents

Isabella Mannix

Anita Chronis

Dema Chaikhouni

Rachel Pinto

 

Staff

Pascal Czerwenka

Ben Barrington-Higgs

Angus Lawson

Eva Angel

Katrina James

Simon Edwards

 

Finally, we would like to thank all the parents and visitors who attended this event, bought raffle tickets, donated to the House of Welcome and brought Christmas gifts along to be donated.

We are hoping to have a final donation amount by early next week and have invited the House of Welcome to our Assembly on Tuesday to receive our financial donation and the many Christmas gifts that are around the Christmas Tree in the School Office.

Please visit our International Market page on SPACES to see who the lucky Raffle Prize Winners are, the amount of money raised and links to photos as they arrive.

https://spaces.newington.nsw.edu.au/lindfield/pages/2764-international-market

 

Pascal Czerwenka

Faith Matters

“Here is the little baby reaching out his arms to give you a hug”

Throughout this term in RE we have been looking at the Christmas Story and using Godly Play as a way of retelling and exploring the story. Godly Play is a form of storytelling that uses figures and models to tell Biblical stories and the create the space where children, and adults, can wonder and explore what the story means for them. In RE we’ve been using The Holy Family story to learn about Christmas and explore different characters in the Nativity story each week. In The Holy Family story there are figures for Mary and Joseph, the Shepherd and Sheep, the Three Wise Men and the cows.

At the centre of this story, which you can see in the picture, is a little figure of a baby representing the baby Jesus. When that part of the story is told the storyteller says the words “Here is the little baby reaching out his arms to give you a hug”. As I reflect on the message of Christmas I think that it’s summed up in that line. This little baby was born to give each person, and the whole world, a hug.

The core of the Christmas story is the birth of this little baby. This little baby was the Messiah, the King, the Son of God, yet he wasn’t born in a palace or some salubrious house. He was born in a stable surrounded by animals and filth. The first people who heard about this birth were not rulers or powerful people but lowly shepherds, people who were outcasts from general society. It’s in these two elements of the Christmas story that we see the core of love for all people.

At Christmas time we remember the love of God is made evident to all through the birth of Jesus. And right from the start there were no conditions or requirements put on this love. It was for all people; rich or poor, insiders or outsiders, the conformists and the non-conformists, simply there for everyone.

The last figure that is added to The Holy Family story is the Redeemer Cross, a stylised cross that mirrors the little baby figure. It reminds us that through Christ’s death and resurrection now He’s not in one place at one time but in all places at all times, giving the world a hug. At Christmas time, and throughout the year, it can be comforting to have this image of love for all of us.

My prayer is that you experience that warm hug of the little baby Jesus at Christmas time and remember the love of God for all people. May the holidays and the summer be a time of rest, relaxation and a time of joy with family and friend.

On personal note, thank you to everyone at Newington Lindfield for making me feel so welcome in my first year here. I’ve enjoyed getting to know so many boys, staff and parents and I look forward to more great things next year.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Richard La’Brooy

PYP

Making learning meaningful

There are 3 words that have a significant impact on learning – reflecting, feedback and feedforward – which usually occurs when we are nearing the end of learning, however, our focus for making learning meaningful is to use these words as many times as we can while we are learning and not keep it until the end. It is usually at the end of the year that most reflection is carried out by students, teachers and parents.

Being Reflective is one of the ten learner profiles of the PYP which encourages us to “thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experiences. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.” (IBO Learner Profile) To be reflective means to mentally wander through where we have been and to try to make some sense of what we have experienced. Most classrooms are oriented more to the present and the future than to the past and this means that students (and teachers) find it easier to discard what has happened and to move on without taking stock of the experiences of the past.

Reflection has many facets. For example, reflecting on work enhances its meaning. Reflecting on experiences encourages insight and complex learning. We foster our own growth when we control our learning, so some reflection is best done alone. Reflection is also enhanced, however, when we ponder our learning with others. It involves linking a current experience to previous learnings. To reflect, we must act upon and process the information, synthesizing and evaluating our experiences. In the end, reflecting also means applying what we’ve learned to contexts beyond the original situations in which we learned something.

Reflective learning is a way of allowing students to step back from their learning experience to help them develop critical thinking skills and improve on future performance by analysing their experience. This type of learning, which helps move students from surface to deep learning, can include a range of activities, including self-review and peer review.

As teachers, we pretty much give feedback all day long. We tell students how they can improve with their learning, we praise them for things they’re doing well and we amend their incorrect responses and we encourage our students to give feedback to each other. The experience of school could be described as one long feedback session, where every day, people show up with the goal of improving.

When we feedforward, instead of rating and judging a person’s performance in the past, we focus on their development in the future. Suppose a student is writing a story. Instead of waiting until he is finished, then identifying all the errors, we would read parts of the writing while he is writing it, point out things that are noticeable, and ask questions to get the student thinking about how he might improve the writing.

The most effective kind of feedforward helps people see opportunities for growth—ways they could take on new opportunities and roles.

Effective feedback starts with what is and helps add to it, expanding what’s possible, rather than simply pointing out problems. So rather than wait until a task or activity is done to point out all the ways a student can improve, we strive to find ways to give them specific pointers while they work, and only one thing at a time, so that they can process and act on it right away.

“Getting positive feedback about our performance may feel good, but it doesn’t break new ground. It merely confirms what we already know about ourselves and our talents, essentially holding our growth in check. But when feedback gets us thinking about how to spread that talent to others, it has a multiplying effect.” (Joe Hirsch)

Sue Gough – PYP Coordinator

Grammar in Year 2

What is an adjective? Do you have to think for a moment before explaining what a noun or verb is? What does an adverb do? How about, conjunctions, time connectives, superlatives, noun groups and adverbial phrases? Syntax? Even the word grammar alone can bring back bad memories for us as adults. From my days at school I can recall endless grammar worksheets and a feeling that grammar was a difficult skill to master, however, we have proof from our Stage 1 writers that grammar is nothing to be afraid of. We explicitly teach the boys parts of speech and sentence construction, they know what a noun and verb are, and how to modify their meaning through the use of adjectives, adverbs, and verb groups. Teaching in this way equips the boys with the tools and materials to write, and the language to understand and explore the skill of writing.

In these writing samples, the boys were given a simple sentence, lacking description and meaning.  Their task was to enhance the sentence and therefore increase its meaning. To successfully complete the task the boys have identified the nouns and verbs in a simple sentence and know where they can use adjectives, adverbs, verb groups and similes to make them more complex.

Before: Hulk was reading a book.

After: The Incredible Hulk was rapidly reading a princess fairy tale under a gumtree with brown leaves.

Before: He heard a loud bang.

After: Suddenly, an ear exploding sound hit the air like ten brass bands had suddenly started to play their highest note. – Harvey

Before: Hulk got angry.

After: The green Hulk lost his calm, and ripped his shirt.

Before: He fought the skrulls.

After: He sprung into action ready to fight the alien skrulls.

Before: Spiderman swings through the city

After: The ultimate web slinger launches off city buildings, rides on walls and fights like a spider.

What is Grammar?

Grammar is a set of rules that guides the way we choose and order words to create phrases, clauses and sentences.  It also guides the way we manipulate the structure words (creating a plural or changing tense) to create meaning.

Why is grammar important?

The use of correct grammar is important because it is the main feature within both our spoken and written communication that allows us to have our messages clearly understood. Using correct grammar makes listening and reading easier for others to understand and can make the communication process more enjoyable. As a child learns to write, grammar becomes an important process as they learn how to communicate their thoughts and ideas in written form. With a good understanding of the different grammatical components of language, a child is able to express themselves clearly and establish good foundation skills for writing. Grammar also helps children explore interesting ways of expressing and communicating their ideas and imagination accurately to their audience.

NOUN – a word that identifies people (Steve, son, Grandma), places (school, home, Sydney), or things (chair, bag, ball).

ADJECTIVE – a word that describes a noun, such as sweet, red, or powerful

VERB – a word used to describe an action such as run, happen, swing

ADVERB – a word that describes a verb such as slowly, quickly, happily

CONJUNCTION – a word used to connect clauses or sentences (e.g. and, but, if)

SUPERLATIVE – an adjective or adverb that expresses the highest or a very high degree of a quality (e.g. bravest, quickest, most fiercely).

Carol Peterson – Year 2 Teacher

Year 4 – Service Learning

As a part of the school’s Service Learning endeavours, Year 4 have spent time with the residents of The Lourdes Retirement Village in Stanhope Road, Killara.

It was a wonderful time spent between the generations, singing songs and enjoying each other’s company. It was so heartwarming to see the joy on both the boys’ and the residents’ faces as they sat beside each other to share a rare moment to stop and experience something new.

As the boys reluctantly left the facility at the end of the day, the enthusiasm with which they expressed their desire to return was inspirational. Some said they didn’t want to leave. As we’ve since discovered, these sentiments were also felt by the Lourdes’ residents.

It is also important to express the feelings of joy and happiness felt by both Mrs South and myself who accompanied the boys on the day and sang with great gusto. Both teachers have personal stories that resonate with the elderly, whether it be through family or friends. The fact that we were able to offer such a pleasant break in the day, was very satisfying.

We are planning another visit to see our new friends at Lourdes on 29 November. On that occasion, we shall be bringing our brass and wind instruments to play some tunes for the residents. We are hoping that this new relationship between Newington Lindfield and Lourdes will last and continue to grow in the years to come.

Such a positive experience has a tremendous impact on both the Year 4 students and the residents of Lourdes Retirement Village. We can’t wait to visit them again and share more happy times together.

Simon Edwards – Year 4 Teacher

Changing of the Guard – Year 6

As the academic year draws to a close, schools come into the reflection and celebratory mode of acknowledging hard work, positive contributions and looking to the year ahead.

For Stage 3, the end of the year marks a significant step for both Years 5 and 6.  Our Year 6 boys are preparing for the next big change in their educational journey.  This time of year can be very challenging for the leaving group. They are ready and waiting, while Year 5 is preparing itself for the responsibility of leading the student body.

Last week, Year 5 stepped up and met with their 2019 Year 6 teachers.  The purpose was to discuss their final primary school year, understand the expectations of school leadership as well as have the opportunity to express what their ambitions and expectations of next year are.

Over this term, Year 6 has been busy preparing for Year 7 by meeting with significant staff (for them) from Stanmore.  This has given the boys the opportunity to clarify expectations and allay the normal nervousness and trepidation that moving to secondary school brings.  Adults can sometimes forget what a big step this is. We know they’ll be fine and that they’re embarking on an exciting time. Fortunately, they have caring teachers and mentors to assist them.  Those not going to Stanmore have reported similar care and support from their new schools.

Before the big move happens, Year 6 had a Fair Day to organise, a Final Assembly to enjoy with each other, a Graduation Ceremony to celebrate with teachers and family and then the Prize Giving as their last event prior to leaving.

Year 5 then have the real sense of moving into the Year 6 space and assuming the mantle of school leaders.

Perhaps fittingly, both year groups spent the day together on 19 November in a surf skills day at North Narrabeen to enjoy being together as a single group for the last time before heading their separate ways.

 

David Musgrove – Year 6 Teacher

Family games which promote mathematical thinking

With the summer holidays just around the corner and Christmas shopping (hopefully) well underway, I thought it would be useful to provide a list of some great maths games which offer a fun way to engage in mathematical thinking.

Mancala

Mancala is a family of board games played around the world, sometimes called “sowing” games, or “count-and-capture” games, which describes the gameplay. Suitable for all ages.

Mabble

You might have seen this played at the International Market,  a scrabble type game with numbers, players need to make equations using their number tiles.  This game promotes problem solving, understanding, fluency and reasoning.

Rat-a-tat-cat

This is a children’s card game which helps develop timing and basic mathematical concepts.  It involves strategy, memory building and addition.

Settlers of Catan

A game of trading, resources and development, this board games is appropriate for ages 9+.  It encourages players to consider probability as well as developing strategy and problem solving skills.

Pop to the Shops

A fun game for junior primary students which is based around money.  Students develop skills in managing money and using basic arithmetic.

Sumoku

Great for mental math, this crossword style numbers game has you seeking combinations of numbers that add up to multiples of the “key number” (which you find from an included die).

Blink

Blink is a fast paced quick thinking game that is fun for all ages. It’s a game of speed, observation, and quick thinking. A single game can be played in just a couple of minutes.

Set

Similar to Blink, Set is a time-based set collection card game. A set is a combination that is all alike or all different in all categories: shape, number, pattern/shading, and colour.

Qwirkle

Qwirkle, is a simple game of matching colors and shapes that requires tactical maneuvers, quick-thinking and a well-planned strategy. Suitable for ages 6+.  

Rummikub

With brilliant simplicity, Rummikub provides hours of amusement and each game is different. Players try to place runs or groups (eg sequences of consecutive numbers or strings of the same number) of their tiles down in the play area. The winner is the first player to use all of their tiles and by accumulating the highest score.

Colleen Chan – Learning Enhancement Team

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Visual Arts at Lindfield!

Each week at Assembly an ‘Art Shot of the Week’ is presented to showcase the efforts the boys have put into their visual art. It also helps boys in other grades understand what their peers have accomplished.

As a part of Kindergarten’s current Unit of Inquiry into families, the boys created their own family portraits. A lot of discussion was generated about how many people were in each family. The different coloured eyes and hair, details were added. Many added a foreground and a background to complete their oil pastel and ink artwork.

The Stage two boys have created a soft pastel artwork that highlights the “Human Rights of Children”. The boys were able to identify many of rights that are taken away from children in developing nations. They selected colours that evoked an emotion and lines that expressed a feeling that was incorporated into their work.

The boys in Stage 1 have been working on a mini theatre. They created their own stage, puppet character and props to complete the work. They then needed to find a peer cameraman who would shoot the production in a professional manner. All their work was captured on video using the Book Creator app.

It was a perfect Spring day when the Year 5 boys attempted the paint dripping methods of Jackson Pollock. After looking at his many works and studying the history of his work. The boys found it wasn’t as easy as Jackson Pollock makes it look. The boys did well to control their brushes when applying paint to their sculpture forms. They are looking forward to taking their work home at the end of the term.

The Stage 3’s art shot revealed how they had made “Graduation Self Portraits”. Using a grid the boys drew their face and selected images that were important to them during their time at Newington. All boys worked hard with pencil to complete the work. Some of the boys’ work will be used for the graduation invitation. All works will be displayed in the library when we celebrate the Year 6 boys at their graduation.

Kylie Bain – Art Teacher

Music

End of Year Performances

Roseville College Visits

During week 3, girls in Years 3 and 4 from Roseville College visited Newington and joined with our boys in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 playing their instruments. It was lots of fun and a great experience to create larger ensembles. The Band was around 80 and there were two string groups. While there was no performance at the end of the days, each group was able to play at least 4 pieces together.

International Market

Creating a Flashmob at the beginning of the International Market by the School Band was a lot of fun. It was a great challenge for the boys – learning the music by heart and then really listening to make sure that they were playing together as they came together. They then continued to play a selection of pieces.

The visiting performers were lovely. The Taiwanese Flag Dances were amazing. The acrobatic skills of the Brazilian group and finally our own Bollywood Dances from Year 5 and 6.

The Senior School String Group played a fun selection of music. It was great seeing the talent from the Senior School. The singing section of the performance time was made up of Christmas Carols being sung by the Junior Primary boys and Year 5. It was lovely to see the boys having so much fun singing these traditional songs.

Then School Choir sang two fun songs about food – Raining Tacos and Oooo Barbecue. Both these songs the boys really enjoyed learning.

Instrumental Concerts

All the boys who play a string instrument performed on Tuesday evening this week. This concert is the culmination of what the boys have achieved during this year. The Year 2 ensemble ended their section with Jingle Bells with the Year 3 boys beginning their section with another Christmas song – Up on the House Top. This was the final time all the Year 3 boys will play together as a group. Some will keep learning their string instrument and play as part of the School String Ensemble. For others, they will move on to a Wind and Brass instrument.

The Wind and Brass players had their concert on Thursday evening. This was the final time the Year 5 boys play together. This year there were two Year 5 Ensembles and each group played their own repertoire. This is only the second time this year the Year 4 band has performed at a concert. They will be performing again at Lourdes, the Aged Care Facility across the valley next week. Earlier in the term Year 4 joined singing forces with the people at the centre and sang as a choir. All the boys and the Lourdes residents had a great time. We are looking forward to returning.

Vanessa South – Music Co-ordinator

Fencing

Fencing continues to be a very successful and popular club activity here at Newington College.  We now have a nucleus of 17 boys who attend the sessions each Monday from 3:15 to 4:15pm.

The boys have an excellent understanding of the skills and moves needed as well as a high level of situation game sense during matches.

We had two Inter School Matches this year against John Colet School. Newington College put forward a junior Team consisting of those boys who do fencing in the younger year groups and another team consisting of those boys from the older years.

Both teams did very well in very close fought matches. The younger boys won by a single point and the older boys lost by just 2 points in their respective matches. The following boys can all be very proud of the achievements they have made during the year,

Ethan Au-Yeung, Lorcan Bones ,Thomas Gray, Dylan Henry, Tristan Henry, Kolya Herbst ,Will Pratt, Aiden Webb, Jo Callow, Dan Davidson, James Frecklington, William Jones, Kevin Liu, Luca Ni,Oliver Senior, Nirav Shah and Jackson Stone.

Can I just finish by saying a big thank you to the College for its kind support over the year.

Tim Roslin – Fencing Coordinator

Martial Arts Club – Term 4

To the casual observer, our students always appear to be having a lot of fun.  And thank goodness for that; we absolutely want them to.  The best way to get someone to try something out of their comfort zone, such as a martial art, is to make it highly attractive.  We have built our classes so they feel like they are back-to-back entertainment.  On top of that, we are always looking to see how each student is doing so that their experience always remains blissfully positive.

The end result is a young person who looks forward to every class, and one who is becoming extremely competent at their martial art along the way.

For an instructor, it means that teaching always feels fresh, our aim being to have as much fun as the students.

 

Grading

Assessing students for their progress has been happening over the final few weeks of term and we are really pleased with the results.

The difference between students at the start of the year and now as we are finishing up for the year is just huge!  And even now, as weary as they are getting at this time of year, the boys seem to be delighted to be there every week.

The advanced students are now seeing very clearly what they can actually achieve with what they’ve been learning, in addition to the personal development that goes along with it.  The newer students have wonderful exemplars, giving them something to aim for.

I have been explaining to the senior boys that it’s possible they can have their Black Belt by Y11 with continuous training.  Their reactions are interesting; it definitely changes their view on their training so they actually start to own it themselves, as opposed to being enrolled in an activity by Mum or Dad.

 

Leader Program

A total of five boys participated in our Leader Program this year.  Remarkably, three boys, Marcus C, Jaiden S and Dylan H continued from 2017, and have completed or are in the process of completing L3.  This level of achievement actually has the boys teaching simple techniques under supervision.  To remind you, this is 40 hours of volunteering, with Marcus C and Jaiden S exceeding even that extraordinary effort.

The two new starters this year, Oliver F and Lorcan B, have already started working on L2, preparing to learn how to manage simple activities from set-up to finish.

With the continuing growth in our student numbers, there will be more new starters in the Program in 2019.  It is also worth noting that our Leader & Instructor courses count toward Duke of Edinburgh certification.  

As always, it has been my honour and my pleasure to teach your beautiful boys this year, and I am very excited to be returning in 2019.

All the best for a safe and happy holiday break.

Sensei Marice