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Message from the Headmaster – March 2023

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As students have settled into the academic year, we have continued to encourage them to accept the challenges and opportunities that are being presented on a daily basis.

In assemblies over the past six weeks, many young men have crossed stage to be recognised for their academic successes, leadership, and/or successes in sport or the performing arts. Their accomplishments are worthy of celebration and are exemplars for others to follow. We hope they also prompt your sons to take advantage of future opportunities available to them.

Your sons are part of an environment that presents what is possible and challenges them to be the best they can be.  The most engaged students respond by willingly participating and competing. They show self-discipline by being at School on time, meeting expectations and managing their time to meet their learning and extracurricular commitments. While not all students cross stage, we commend those who are actively engaged in School life.  

Students who regularly meet or exceed our basic expectations show what can be personally achieved at all levels of their education. Regular attendance and commitment to learning is evident in the School’s 2022 University Entrance pass rate, where 86.5% of Form 7 students earned the qualification against national averages of 42.7% for boys and 53.3% for girls. There is a parallel between our students’ average ‘regular attendance’ rate of 93% and their level of achievement.

I raise this with you as we enter a busy time of the term so that you can reinforce with your sons that their daily attendance, engagement and commitment to School standards will pay off. Likewise, we are committed to minimising disruptions and maintaining a high-quality environment for them to progress their learning.

W. Clement Stone suggested, “You are a product of your environment, so choose the environment that will best develop you towards your objective.  Analyse your life in terms of your environment. Are there things helping you towards success – or are they holding you back?” Muhammad Ali said something similar, “It’s not the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

Your sons should now have started their study programmes for the Term 1 examinations, which start on Friday 31 March. In recent weeks we have discussed the value of ‘discretionary effort’ in assembly, reminding all young men that the work they do when no one is looking may have the greatest impact on their progress. The next four weeks are an important time for your sons to be putting regular discretionary effort into their studies.

Finally, as parents, Carol Dwek reminds us all of our responsibilities and the difference we can make to the lives of our children: “If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence.”

Per Angusta Ad Augusta

Tim O’Connor