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Welcome to Term 2. I trust that the holiday period provided an opportunity for you to spend some quality time with family and friends. In the final week of Term 1 the Year 7 cohort embarked upon their outdoor education journey. Very hot forecast temperatures in the Riverland forced a relocation of the program to Finniss and Deep Creek. Despite the cooler temperatures in these locations the students still encountered very challenging conditions with the heat and wind making activities difficult. The Year 7s acquitted themselves exceptionally well, taking on all the challenges presented to them and doing so in a way that always kept in mind the needs of those around them. They demonstrated skill and endurance throughout their hiking and canoeing and impressed with their ability to stay organised and focused.

Thank you to all staff involved in the planning and facilitation of the journey. Anthony Bates, Head of Outdoor Education, did an exceptional job putting together a modified program at very short notice whilst prioritising the safety and wellbeing of the students. The boys very much look forward to the Year 8 journey to the Grampians next year.

It was wonderful to catch up with many of you at Community Day. We very much appreciate you taking the time to spend a Saturday watching the boys represent their House in a range of sports and share a meal together with the House. Thank you to all our Heads of House who worked very hard organising the day, and to Teachers-in-Charge of the sports for their coordination of events.

It was also a great opportunity to speak with many of you at the Middle Years’ Parent/Teacher interviews this week. These discussions are designed to strengthen the relationship between teachers and parents and discuss the application of the boys to their studies. At School, we come together often as a Middle Years cohort and reinforce the values and expectations that underpin life as a Year 7 and 8 boys at Saints. How the boys commit to their studies is integral to our culture, and we continue to be delighted with the application our boys demonstrate to their learning.

Whilst academic achievement is significant, it is certainly not our sole focus. Our aim to is nurture Senior School graduates who have not only achieved to the very best of their ability academically, but who are well placed to transfer this academic success into a successful life post-school. We aspire to provide opportunities within the learning program for boys to develop life skills such as being confident communicators, great collaborators, excellent self-regulators, creative thinkers and critical observers. On the back of the Parent/Teacher interviews I encourage you to chat with your son about the feedback you received and be part of the goal-setting process they undertake with their learning.

The winter sports program begins this week for most boys and all necessary details can be found on Sports Zone in Keystone. Please have a look at these details when you get the opportunity, and if there are any questions these can be directed to the Sports Office. Whilst winning is important and enjoyable, it is not the reason that we have a compulsory sports program for our students. The lessons that come with being part of a team, the reliance that boys have upon each other to commit to their sport, the ideals of being a team member who plays fairly and abides by an umpire’s decision, learning to win with grace and lose with dignity are all values that boys learn from team sport.

I wish all students and teams the very best of luck with their winter sports over the next two terms.

James Tamblyn, Head of Middle Years