News from the Field Studies Centre

News from the Field Studies Centre

This week we inducted the first group of Field Studies Student Leaders at the Woollamia Campus. Each of the four pastoral groups worked with their tutors to nominate two representatives to take on this formal leadership role for the term. The responsibilities of the Field Studies Programme (FSP) leaders include but are not limited to:

  • Supporting the FSP community values of safety; respect; productivity and unconditional positive regard
  • Promoting environmental stewardship and responsible use of resources
  • Meeting regularly with the Head of Camps to discuss elements of the Field Studies Programme and contribute to the Student Voice on campus
  • Attending the Special Quad Assembly at the end of term and participating in the ceremony that welcomes the current FSP students back to the Summer Hill Campus
  • Sharing reflections at the student briefings and providing their peers with an insight into the residential experience

I am pleased to announce that the FSP student leaders for Term 1 2022 are:

  • Cambewarra: Andrew Hoskinson and Aaron Soosay
  • Booderee: Lachlan Davis and Jacob Pham
  • Cullunghutti: Ignatius Cesarano and Patrick Thomson
  • Bundarwa: Thomas Deller and Ryan Hui

Traditional rites of passage often incorporate an element of separation. The young person leaves the familiarity of home and its routines, to discover new ways of living and unpack a range of responsibilities and challenges. The extended FSP creates separation by design. The boys undertake a journey where they must become both more independent and more interdependent at the same time. It has been said that part of what it means to become a man, is to come to the realisation that one’s actions impact upon others. Living in community at Woollamia, the boys quickly become aware of this truth.

Over the past week the boys have extended themselves both academically and physically. Students are working on a range of assessment tasks and are getting into the routine of Academic Prep in evenings, which is a time for independent study. The cross-country running programme is providing each boy with an opportunity to build their aerobic fitness in preparation for the challenges of the final expedition in Morton National Park. The students train twice a week in self-paced running groups, then engage in a timed 3km run each Friday afternoon. The improvements in fitness and the determination of the boys to improve from week to week is impressive. Who comes across the line first each week is not nearly as important as the growth that each boy makes. This can be measured both by completing the course more quickly, and in terms of the boys’ ability to maintain their effort in their target heart rate zone.

The boys on FSP 1 enjoyed connecting with their families using the MS Teams video chat function on Saturday afternoon last week. It was great to see the boys using the technology that we make available to them to such good effect. At the Field Studies Centre we have the best of both worlds: an ability to use digital technology when it is helpful, and then switch it off and take the learning outside the classroom and into the Creation at other times.

Tim Knowles | Head of the Field Studies Centre (FSC)

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