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It was wonderful to welcome students back to the School last week. I trust you enjoyed a restful term break and that you had an opportunity to spend some quality time with your child/ren.

As the students returned, recharged and ready for the term ahead, I prompted those in the Senior School to discuss their participation, achievement and contribution to the culture of this School with their mentors. Referencing philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, students have been encouraged to start with a thought (for example “I want to improve my vocabulary”), then turn this thought into a simple action to be repeated again and again until the action becomes a habit. This repeated habit will define their character and help them achieve their goal. Combining this simple process with the management of one’s peak load will also help broaden our student’s successes. By having a number of goals, students will be pushed physically and mentally to juggle their commitments whilst functioning at their peak load. I have challenged our Senior School students to converse with their mentors about what their peak load looks like and how to reach it to give themselves the best chance of achieving success across a broad range of opportunities.

On Anzac Day, Ray Stanley, our highly respected former Deputy Headmaster and returned serviceman passed away. With an infectious enthusiasm and sharp wit Ray earned the affection and gratitude of all over his 33 years of service to St Peter’s College. Across the School community Ray will be remembered by a generation of staff, past students and families as a passionate and influential leader who devoted himself to the education of future generations. An invitation is extended to our School community to attend a service to celebrate Ray’s life in Memorial Hall on Saturday 8 May at 2pm.

On Tuesday morning, a special Anzac service was held to remember all who have served and continue to serve in wars and conflicts around the world. Our Prefects read an Honour Roll of 378 names of sons of this School who served and sacrificed, and students placed crosses inscribed with their name in the ground. It was a moving and significant service and one that reinforces to our students the importance of reverence and gratitude.

Congratulations to our Sailing team on winning the South Australian Secondary Schools State Championships in Goolwa. This was a first for our School and a wonderful achievement by the boys and their coaches. Our 1st XVIII Football team also secured a convincing win over Melbourne Grammar School in a century-old intercollegiate pre-season match. And our Athletics team finished a commendable third in the Division 1 SSSSA A Grade Track and Field Championships.

Congratulations to the following students who over the holidays competed in national competitions: Australian Track and Field Championships – Adam Goddard, Jonathan Harris, Ian Irwin and Stephen Lacroix-Sneyd, National Under 15 Hockey Championships – Rhun Williams and Coell Williams, Under 18 Australian Basketball Championships – Harry Bruce, Dom Carter and Thomas Mestrov, National Age Swimming Championships – Isaac Au, Matthew Pearce and James Stockman and the School Sport SA Diving Championships – Dakota Gordon.

Best of luck to our Big Band, Stage Band, Jazz Band and Swing Bang who are competing in the SA Schools Jazz Festival this coming weekend. I look forward to welcoming Senior School families to Community Day this Saturday and our mothers to our annual Senior School Mother Son Breakfast next Thursday. This breakfast provides a wonderful opportunity to thank mothers for all that they do to support, nurture and champion our sons to be strong and lovely contributors to our community.

Earlier in the week I enjoyed celebrating the April birthdays of our Year 12 students with morning tea in my Study. Combined with monthly Prefect lunches, these celebrations provide valuable opportunities to check in with our Year 12 students and hear firsthand how they are navigating their final year of St Peter’s College.

Tim Browning