As the second term of the academic year concludes, I take this opportunity to commend your sons for responding positively to our expectations of them. Their approach to class work, study and then the end of term examinations, as well as their ongoing commitment to extracurricular activities throughout the term, has been impressive.
Responses from the student body set the tone on a daily basis, and as a result of being part of a positive environment your sons have had the opportunity to focus on the tasks before them, whether that be a class, a sports practice, a fixture, homework, an assessment or study.
The impact of firstly, understanding the School they are part of and secondly, taking the initiative to contribute, will make an immeasurable difference to their progress and their growth as a young man.
As families prepare to enjoy the end of Term 2 break, I also want to recognise that there are considerable distractions and ill-informed messages given to young men, that can influence who they are and what they achieve.
Distractions and ill-informed messages are presented in a variety of forms and can include: shared content or interactions on social media platforms, being tempted by seductive advertising to vape, the peer pressure associated with recreational alcohol and drug use or the outcomes of exhibiting poor judgement when banter turns into provocation. Like you, we communicate with young men about how to identify and manage such circumstances to help them make informed decisions that benefits their welfare.
We also talk with young men about their personal responsibilities including how to establish and maintain mutually respectful relationships; by how they treat others. The media has recently focused on boys' treatment of girls' as a result of the Christchurch Girls' High School's sexual harassment survey which has presented an alarming summary. This reinforces the importance of our ongoing discussions with them about respect for others.
At School our young men receive regular messages about their personal responsibilities (in and outside our gates). The health education programmes at all levels of the School also provide students with facts, advice and strategies to help them make good personal decisions.
Our young men do know the standards expected of them as they grow into contributing members of our society. They can also identify and recognise the values we want to see being displayed through their words and deeds - respect, integrity, courage, humility, excellence, commitment and pride. While these are already well-supported by Grammar families, I encourage you to endorse them once more with your sons over the holidays.
It has never been more important for our young men to have a solid foundation that is supported by their families and schools; a foundation that has clear expectations, reduces distractions and reminds them of their personal responsibilities. With a foundation in place they can aspire to excellence, in who they are as young men and consequently, what they can achieve.
Enjoy a safe and relaxing holiday with family and friends.
Per Angusta Ad Augusta.