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This morning, I had the great fortune to be invited to the International Women’s Day Breakfast. The theme for this year is Inspire Inclusion and fits beautifully with SPSC being an Anglican School where we aspire to be an inclusive community. We explicitly have in all our classrooms the words, “Because we are Anglican we are inclusive.” Words alone do not mean we are inclusive, and it is the work we continue to do each day with our boys that will assist them in understanding the truth of the word inclusion. On International Women’s Day we are reminded of our role to contribute and help our community seek out a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that values diversity, equality and inclusivity. At SPSC we strive through our learning programs to instill values of truth, respect and service to help guide the decisions the boys will make in their lives.

Our Buddy Up program is a further example of the school inspiring inclusion. Earlier this week the students came together with their buddies to provide both a learning opportunity for all involved and some respite for the families. The power of this program is seen in both the interaction of our young people and the response the boys get from their buddies. This is just one example of our Service Learning initiatives which we value as part of our Anglican Identity.

Last week at Muster our Deputy Headmaster – Learning and Teaching, Mr Nick Carter challenged the boys around their actions in their studies. He used our core values to deliver some timely advice.

“I’m not apologising, because you should be reassured that when I – or anyone else here on stage – falls back on truth, respect, and service, we’re not just playing some secret teacher game of School Values bingo; we do it deliberately and meaningfully. These are our benchmarks for everything we do, every day. In many ways, they are our brand.”

Mr Carter went further to demonstrate how values can be seen in our actions in the classroom.

“I particularly wanted to think about this in terms of learning behaviours or learning strategies. By this I mean: when your teacher and your peers in class look at you in a lesson, which specific, deliberate actions do they see you taking to supercharge your learning?
This has nothing to do with how talented you are, it has a little to do with how much effort you’re putting in, but it has a great deal to do with your ability to self-regulate, which you will remember we were discussing last week, too. That is, your ability to think about your own thinking and act accordingly.
So, when you feel like you are stuck in a rut in your learning, what deliberate learning strategy do you use to get yourself out?”

It is timely as we come to the half-way point of the term, that students reflect on how they are progressing. What actions do they need to take over the coming weeks to ensure they do not get stuck in a learning rut. The teachers are here to support each and every student reach their personal best. This goes hand in hand with ‘our vision to be an exceptional community of learning.’  So over this long weekend, hopefully there is a chance for some rest, there is time for some fun and some time for deep reflection in preparation for the next half of the term.

Wednesday’s 91st McMichael Cup was a wonderful contest between our Captain of Tennis, Seb Birdseye (Year 12) and Co-Vice Captain, Krish Raju (Year 11). In what was the closest match of recent years, Krish was victorious in a third set super tiebreak 3-6, 6-4, 11-9. Despite the hot conditions an excellent standard of tennis was maintained throughout the match and both boys should be extremely proud of their efforts.

Finally, I want to circle back to the significance of International Women’s Day.  At SPSC we have a moral imperative to continue to educate our young boys to inspire inclusivity. They will not always get it right yet through education and the development of knowledge we can as a community make choices which lead to affirmative action.  With our School values at the core of our decision making, as a community we can inspire inclusivity.

David Nolan
Deputy Headmaster/Head of Senior School