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Each year group was welcomed back to school with a message that highlighted the enthusiasm of staff on the return to face-to-face teaching. Whilst education has well and truly been de- and re-constructed in all parts of the world over the past two months, we have learnt overall that the human and relational element of teaching is key to the learning process.

In our first zoomed muster of the term, I thanked both staff and students for their agility in responding to these ever-changing circumstances. The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, has been quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life.” I am confident that the current situation will only help to discover and develop the right qualities in our young men when they inevitably encounter change again in the future.

These are also times in which our character strengths are being tested daily, and we have to continually remind ourselves about the need to put things in perspective. There are often people in a worse off position that ourselves, and this is certainly the case today, as we count ourselves relatively lucky to be resident in South Australia. In muster, I shared with the students the VIA Institute’s definition of perspective:

Perspective means the ability to see the bigger picture in life. Perspective is about being able to see the forest as well as the trees, to avoid getting wrapped up in the small details when there are bigger issues to consider.

A useful definition as we are all missing some of life’s small privileges and having to accept minor compromises in our usual routines.

I have invited all students who have Perspective as one of their top five VIA character strengths to come forward and approach me around campus – obviously maintaining their 1.5m physical distance. These could well be our leaders of the future.

Marcus Blackburn
Deputy Headmaster/Head of Senior School