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In raising our children it is vital that we mark stages of development in obvious ways and celebrate their growth. The transition from childhood to adulthood in wider society is not marked by a one-way bridge of instructions and expectations, so in our partnership together is it essential that we construct these rites of passage and landmark key stages of development.

The Year 10 outdoor education Journey at St Peter’s College is one of these landmarks. It is purposeful in challenging the status quo of self-focus and individuality. It is a deliberate step away from the demands of technology and social media. Although we do not expect our sons to return and suddenly start vacuuming the house and tidying up like they never have before, it is possible they might return with a sense of perspective about their inner capability, confidence in their ability to persevere, gratitude for their opportunities in life and appreciation of the love and care provided by close family. It may be that the experience was not as enjoyable or as comfortable as they would have preferred, yet this is ok. Greater meaning and appreciation of the experience may emerge in the years ahead. The Year 10 Journey is an overt challenge to the adolescent life centred upon immediate gratification.

Before departure, our Year 10 students were farewelled collectively. It has been one of the few opportunities this year to link arms with parents face to face and share hopes of maturity and growth. None of us are finished products and we should expect that all our sons return with a renewed commitment to grow and mature. The combination of our love and expectations of them will help enable them to reach their potential.

Thank you to all parents for sharing this expectation and for your ongoing commitment to helping every student to thrive.

Tim Browning