From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

With the disruption of the last two years and the cancellation or modification of many of the events that we place such a high value on, including music performances, Home games, the CAS Track & Field Championships and worship in the Chapel, just to name a few, much of our messaging to your sons this term aims to ensure that the essence of our ethos and the important traditions of the School are not lost.

That is why we are speaking to your sons about the importance of standards in dress and deportment. That is why we have recommenced services in the Chapel. That is why Mr Gray, and Old Boy from the Class of 2000 and Acting Activities Master, was invited to speak at this week’s Middle School Assembly. The title of his occasional remarks was “Trinity – an Old Boy’s Perspective”. He spoke of the School’s ethos and our aim to send our graduates out into the world as young men of character. He reminded them that they were the custodians of the traditions and hallmarks of Trinity students; a firm handshake, a direct gaze, boys and young men who take pride in being well mannered, who take pride in their uniform, and who are respectful of the institution and the people who form part of our community. He told of his personal disappointment when we fail to reach our lofty standards, and he shared one anecdote about a member of the public who observed that the manners and deportment of a small number of our students was not what we would hope … and that the member of the public was an Old Boy himself, still keen to guard the reputation of the School that he cherished, years after walking out of the gates for the last time.  The feedback from the boys and young men of the Middle School about Mr Gray’s remarks was very positive, and I hope his remarks have been the subject of dinner table conversation this week.

Another sign that we may be on the way back to business as usual was the Music Academy Recital I had the pleasure of attending on Wednesday evening. After such a long lay-off, the standard of performance was extraordinary. We were treated to pieces from composers including Mendelssohn, Strauss, Elgar, and I particularly enjoyed Andy Lin’s haunting performance of the 3rd and 4th Movement of the Suite for ‘Cello by Bloch. However, the final performance of the evening, Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen (the Gypsy Airs), by David Lin, brought a smile to every (masked) face in the room. To see such a young musician play with such technical proficiency, confidence and panache was very impressive. I have no doubt that, like his brother Michael from the Class of 2020, we will enjoy many more fine performances over the next six years. Bravo, one and all!

Finally, I was delighted to hear Jeremy Chia, the House Captain of Wilson Hogg House talk about growth in his Quad address this week. He made the observation that the Characteristics of people with a growth mindset include self-discipline, a passion for learning, self-belief, calculated risks and most importantly, they view every challenge as an opportunity to improve themselves. That … it is important to adopt a growth mindset to make the most of the opportunities the School has to offer. He suggested that we adopt the advice of former NFL Coach Dino Babers … “that it is better to be consistently good, rather than occasionally great.” And he concluded by noting that … a growth mindset ought not be something we discard after finishing School. But that having a mindset that places a high value on a continual process of improvement throughout our lives embodies the cornerstone values of Mind, Body and Spirit that are an integral aspect of Trinity Grammar School.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

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