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The following is an extract from the Head of Senior School’s Muster Address delivered on Thursday 8 February.

Congratulations on a great start to the year. Thank you for the way you have returned and slotted straight into a positive routine. With almost two weeks already completed, time is certainly marching on. If you are not already in full swing, it is now time.

I have two key messages for you today; the first about wellbeing and the second, gratitude.

We are a wellbeing school. Some say, we are the original wellbeing school. That is we care about your development from a holistic perspective. We are inclusive. We have a diverse range of programs inside and outside the classroom designed to support you and your development. We are preparing you for the challenges ahead.

On that theme, I am reminded of an address, US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, delivered at his son’s ninth-grade graduation. In part, it went like this:

“From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.”

It was a great address and I encourage you to read the whole speech online.

Wellbeing is not ‘everything going well’ and ‘feeling great’ all the time. It is the capacity to be positive, to reflect, to share the load and to bounce back from difficulties. It is my hope that you will experience wellbeing this year.

The second key message today is one of gratitude. I wish to express my gratitude to our teachers. Our teachers really make the school experience, and they are often the glue that holds us together. Please make it a regular part of your positive routine to thank your teachers after every class. Show your gratitude by paying attention and asking good questions. Even if it’s one of those classes that you are not enjoying. Find one learning in every lesson and express gratitude for it. These positive actions will have a positive ripple effect on the whole community. Thank you in advance.

Barnaby Eaton
Head of Senior School (Acting)