From the Head of Crowther Centre – Dr Ray Swann
Truth and learning
Recently I spoke to the Secondary School boys in an assembly about two things to think about as we head towards the last part of the semester.
First I talked about the lessons we have learnt from Henry V, which is how they were introduced to the effective learner model. Using this story, the boys came to understand that like the King of the past to have success we need be ready, have a plan, know how to learn and be receptive to feedback. For many, the die has been cast for the semester and feedback will follow in the form of reports. The important thing is that time is spent in reflection and in looking at progress. This can happen for your son at coaching day with his tutor, and ultimately with you as a parent and guardian.
The second thing I spoke about was truth and the importance of truth in our lives and learning. I invited the boys to consider key moments in their life when they were perhaps not 100% honest, and why being truthful matters – not only from a moral perspective but also from a learning perspective.
We spoke about how, if you don’t know your own truth, you are susceptible to the influence of others. If you don’t know what you stand for, what matters, what you believe in – your truth (and ultimately your purpose) – you can waver about in the prevailing wind. How when you are not connected to your purpose, you can find yourself in situations and positions that are not aligned with your core values. I challenged the boys with the idea that when people don’t know their own truth then bad things are permitted to happen.
So, why is it sometimes so hard to tell the truth? Why is it confusing, murky, fraught, hard to pin down? Why do we carry things around, hide them away and even sometimes rehearse other versions to tell people? I think it has to do with finding our voice and, like most things, practice. We need to get better at telling ‘our truth’.
As teachers, parents, older brothers and so on, we also need to help people find their truth and where they are coming from. Because when you haven’t got a strong voice of truth ‘worked out’, it’s easy to make mistakes and need to re-go at things – and it can be a bit of a rough ride. But a great time to practise this is at the end of the term.
An amazing curriculum
Last week, I had the great pleasure of accompanying the Year 5 boys and teachers to Ballarat and the immersive learning experience at Sovereign Hill. I think the Year 5 boys could pan for gold all day!
Having seen how the curriculum has been carefully planned prior through the literacy program in the lead up to the camp, I could see the many links that the experience was forging for the boys. They learnt new vocabulary, were engaged in scientific processes (for instance, smelting: the process of purification), saw industry and culture and, of course, developed an understanding of the political tensions during the Gold Rush period. But then there were the social and emotional aspects of the day, too. I saw the boys talking, socialising, helping, sharing and, during dinner, practising wonderful manners (with the help of Mr Tellefson!).
Congratulations to the Year 5 teachers and team for this fantastic learning experience.
Parent Workshop Program
This week, we ran an Effective Learner Workshop for our Chinese parents and guardians.
The event was a huge success and I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Maggie Lynch, who helped bring the group together, and to Chun Lei, who was our star translator for the afternoon.
As I mentioned last week, preparations for our Semester 2 parent workshop program is underway. If there is an area of need that you would like to suggest or if you are interested in attending future events, please email your thoughts and expressions of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, if you have any feedback, we would love to hear your thoughts. Please email us at email@example.com