News from the Field Studies Centre

News from the Field Studies Centre

Independence is an important thing, and on the surface, it might seem like the primary aim of an initiative such as the Field Studies Programme. But I would suggest that interdependence is so much more powerful. Learning that they have supports around them as each boy journeys through the inevitable ups and downs of the FSP, is a powerful thing. Interdependence is about building and sustaining relationships, and as a result, is a key focus of the FSP. A quote attributed to Mother Theresa that resonates deeply with me is that “nobody has everything and that is why we need others”. Very few things are as important as relationships, as the quality of our relationships are so closely linked to how well our life is going.

This week we launched the extension outdoor education activities which provide the boys with an opportunity to specialise in a chosen outdoor pursuit and further develop their skills. Activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing, marine and mixed outdoor pursuits are on offer, and provide the boys with an opportunity to engage in a recreational activity that they may wish to pursue long after they finish their time on the FSP. These non-traditional physical activities are also an integrated component of the PDHPE programme for the term. On Thursday we started co-curricular sessions, with activities of offer this term including volleyball, paddock to plate group, touch football, table tennis and swimming. Student agency is addressed by giving the boys choice on how they invest their time and efforts several afternoons a week. This is combined with free time sessions that provide for some down time for the boys over the weekend and following the outdoor programme.

The first of our series of parent-student contacts will occur on Saturday afternoon for the boys on the FSP. The students (and I’m sure the parents and extended family) are very much looking forward to connecting via the video chats. Advice from other schools who are also members of the Australian Boarding School Association, suggests that an initial delay of voice and video contact for a fortnight after arrival, can provide the students with the time they need to settle into their new environment and find their feet. We have put this process of making video calls to the test over the last two years, and found it provides an opportunity for meaningful conversations and an insight for families into the adventures the boys are having on the FSP.

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

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