A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school in Marion, South Australia
Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Senior School - Edition 10 - 2019

Welcome Back

I would like to welcome all students back to Term 3 and hope that it is a rewarding and enjoyable one where you achieve the goals that you have set for yourself over the holidays. Also, a special welcome to the students and their families who have joined the Senior School at the start of this term.

Holiday Activities

As always, the holidays provided several opportunities for students to engage in other activities. Two of these activities were trips to the snowfields: the Telemark Ski Trip for students interested in Cross Country skiing and the Downhill Ski Trip. Both of these trips have been running for many years and are always well supported by students wanting to be involved. There was also an expedition to Edeowie Gorge in the Flinders Ranges at the beginning of the holidays for many students undertaking their Duke of Edinburgh's Silver and Gold Awards.

Thank you to Mr Gordon Begg, Ms Julie Engelhardt, Mr Rob McLean ('99), Mr Tony Ritson ('93), and the instructors for their involvement in these trips.

We also had our Sailing Team compete in the National Schools Sailing Regatta at Goolwa as representatives of South Australia given our first placing in the State Regatta in the previous holidays. After a variable start to the regatta, the team scraped into the final eight at the end of the preliminary rounds which gave them the opportunity to compete in the final series. The team performed extremely well in the finals finishing in second place, which has earned them an invitation to compete in an International Regatta in Auckland, New Zealand, later this term. I would like to congratulate all the students and thank staff member Mr Phil Rawlings for his organisation and support of the team during this regatta, and also Miss Kara Lucas for her support during the season.

At the end of Term 2 we farewelled the staff and students involved in the Dance Tour to New York. The feedback from the tour has been very positive and the students enjoyed a variety of experiences. I would like to say a big thank you to Ms Carolyn Obst, Ms Sophie Wilson and Mrs Tanya Jones for all their work in organising the tour.

Green and White

Last Saturday evening the Year 11 and Year 12 students enjoyed this year’s Green and White Formal at the Adelaide Convention Centre. I would like to commend the Formal Committee on their work and organisation in decorating the room and running the evening, which seemed to be enjoyed by all who attended. A special thank you to Head of Senior Students, Mr Tony Ritson, who supported and guided the Committee in the lead up to the event. The feedback from the Convention Centre was extremely complimentary about the behaviour of the students.

Year 12 Students

To the Year 12 students this is a term which much of the content of courses are being completed and major assessment tasks either being submitted or close to final draft stage to be completed early in Term 4. From experience it is also a term where students seem to catch any ‘bug’ that is going around and I strongly encourage students to maintain a healthy lifestyle involving a balanced approach to study and exercise as well as a sensible approach to their social lives.

Maintaining a regular and structured pattern of sleep is very important and it is the one area which concerns me with some students who seem to lack an adequate amount of sleep during the week and in particular on the weekends. While some of this can be attributed to the pressure of completing academic study, much is due to the need to be connected via social media very late at night or into the early hours of the morning, or the late nights/early mornings during the weekend.

I would encourage all students to be disciplined with the amount of time they are ‘online’ and if you need support, engage your parents in helping you to ‘disconnect’ and stay ‘disconnected’ until the next day. Regular sleep patterns is the secret and believing that having a long sleep in on a Sunday will compensate for a very late Saturday night is not a sensible approach, not to mention the hours that have not been allocated to study for some part of Sunday. On a Monday morning, it is clear which students have had a lack of sleep over the weekend, not to mention the work they have not completed. This can cause an increase in their stress levels as the term progresses.

If students need help with managing the demands of their academic, co-curricular and social lives, I would encourage you to talk with your parents, House Heads, School Counsellor and, for the Year 12 students, Mr Ritson. Our experience is those students who achieve the correct balance between these are those who will achieve their goals at the end of the year.

The Hunting

You may have seen promotions of ‘The Hunting’ which began last night on SBS. Apart from one of the main characters being played by Old Scholar, Luca Sardelis ('18), you may also notice appearances by Old Scholar Daniel Cropley ('18), and current students India Smart, Rohan Whitford and Blaed Farnden. There are several themes which are addressed in the series. This link helps explain the content and also some advice for watching the series The Hunting. Many of the issues are addressed at school through a variety of avenues including the presentation from Susan McLean earlier this year.

David Wallage
Head of Senior School