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I am sure many parents can fondly recall watching the epic The Wizard of Oz in their childhood. I’m not sure why, but I always found myself drawn to the scarecrow. Not due to his apparent lack of brains, but because he was intensely loyal to Dorothy, and even stood up to his fear of fire when facing the evil Wicked Witch of the West. Of course, the lion was the character who desperately wanted courage. As the king of the jungle he was supposed to be brave, fearless and unshakable in the face of adversity. The greatness of the story lies in the fact that the lion was indeed brave, even if he himself didn’t recognise it.

Through the Senior Years at Saints, our pastoral program is directed at four key character traits we believe our boys should display: courage, adaptability, respect and empathy (the pillars of our CARE program). This week the Senior Years focused on the first of these themes – courage. Like the lion from the film, many of our boys are far more courageous than they give themselves credit for. It takes courage to sing or act in front of other students, to face fast bowling, to push yourself that bit further in rowing or running when your mind is telling you’ve hit the limit. We see courage on display so frequently in our boys.

Our Year 9 students looked at the issue of peer pressure and the effect of the mob mentality. It certainly takes courage to stand up to your peers, or to restrain yourself from acting poorly when those around you are doing the wrong thing. The Year 10 program looks at ethics and which way boys direct their moral compass. The Year 11 students consider what it is to be a man, and that sometimes sharing how you feel may go against a stereotype. Finally the Year 12 program focuses on standing up for your beliefs, and we look at the brave story of Malala Yousafzai

I believe that being courageous is an integral part of becoming the type of person we want our young men to develop into. Like the lion, being fiercely loyal to your friends and showing bravery when the situation is called for, are traits every Saints boy should have. Our students will face many wicked witches, flying monkeys and haunted forests in their lifetime, and they are well placed to tackle these challenges by displaying their courage.

David Scott, Head of Senior Years