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Student Services Update – March 2024

As the term swiftly moves towards the assessment period and summer extracurricular activities reach their apogee, our students are increasingly busy and face challenges for their decision-making skills.

For students and their families, finding and holding hope through the plethora of choices that now confront them can be challenging. Yet ironically, there is certainty in the School day and the routines here at Auckland Grammar School which international research confirms has a mitigating effect on the anxiety many young students now feel. 

A parent recently suggested to a counsellor, “in my day we would never use the word ‘anxiety’, we would get a bit nervous before a Maths test or performance day with the orchestra. Now my son talks of the anxiety around ensuring that he maintains his physique or that he needs a new phone in order to support an updated digital platform.” The risk of peer judgement is not limited to a few close mates. Peers he has yet to meet may judge him, and he may experience negativity or anxiety. Learning to reframe and rename anxiety as a normal response which can be identified and overcome is a key skill for our young men to master. 

SchoolTV, a digital platform supported by Auckland Grammar School, helps the wider community understand the drivers around navigating complexities. The information available on SchoolTV support parents, teachers and deans to talk with their son/students and, conversely for their son, to believe that their parent might understand their complex ‘physical real’ and ‘digital real world’ a little more. Please take some time to explore the SchoolTV platform. It is packed with podcasts by people who support adolescents and whose experience and training supports parenting.

Helping students navigate subject and career possibilities with an understanding of how the brain works makes this journey around choices less confronting and allows students to research and discuss options.

Do contact the Student Services team if you wish to frame up next steps as a parent. Often counsellors bring a wide perspective and can link home and school contexts without emotional ties. Encourage your son to contact one of the counselling team to explore further. As always, an early and informed discussion between the Student Services counsellor and your son before they get ‘stuck’ is a positive, be it around a subject choice, post school option or, tools to better emotionally self-regulate. You or your son can contact the team directly via email or you can fill in the online form found here.