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Insights into the process of learning can come from many different places. Years 3 to 6 students were treated to one such occasion last week, as we celebrated Lunar New Year. We were fortunate to have a very special visit from three Shaolin Monks from the Shaolin Temple, located in Dengfeng County, Henan Province, China. Warrior Monks Shi Yanshao, Shi Yanhai and Shi Yanming presented awe-inspiring movements to students, which demonstrated excellence, persistence and focus. We were left in awe at the precision, flexibility and athleticism that was shown. I was particularly impressed by the strength that was displayed in the stillness of their movements. It was a perfect definition of strong and lovely. It also linked in perfectly with our recent staff development around self-regulated learning, the ability to influence and direct your own thoughts and actions to successfully reach a learning goal.

Through a video presentation, we heard of the eleven years of training, studying and meditating that precedes officially becoming a warrior monk. It was stated that in the past the skills demonstrated were used to protect their monasteries and villages. But today, its perfection is a mark of faith. The dedication and commitment to excellence was evident in all we saw. For me, this linked so beautifully with our philosophy of learning. The importance of providing opportunities to develop skills, build upon prior knowledge and further extend our learning. High expectations with high support throughout the process. How encouraging for our learners to not just see the end product of such hard work and focus, but also to understand the learning journey, effort and hard work that went into this achievement. It is my hope that as our students wrestle with learning opportunities they draw upon the focus, dedication and persistence of these learners.

We thank Mr Wayne Chao, Director of Today Adelaide Media and President of Chinatown Adelaide of South Australia and Shelly Yu, current board member of the St Peter’s College Foundation, for helping to facilitate this inspirational visit. Thank you also to Mrs Baker for her organisation prior to and during the event.

Christopher Sanders
Deputy Head of Junior School – Teaching and Learning