From the Head of the Preparatory Schooldeveloper
Winter Sport and lessons of growth
The beginning of the Winter Sport season has seen mixed results on the sporting fields; however, I want to commend our boys for the tremendous attitude and effort shown across all games. Over the last two Saturdays I have had the opportunity to watch our 4A, 5A and 1st XV Rugby teams play on TGS Number 1. As I have watched a couple of key themes have stood out. The first is ‘character’ and the second is ‘growth’.
As the boys have participated, it has been abundantly clear that our boys have played the games in the right spirit and have been full of character. Regardless of the result, and there has been a range, the boys have been positive, committed, encouraging, resilient and determined. These characteristics are so important and critical to a young person’s personal development. Whilst it is great to win games, the purpose of school sport is far broader. Sport provides a unique context for students to experience highs and lows, situations requiring problem solving and an opportunity to work together with their peers. This ‘learning context’ is the perfect place for the development of character.
The other theme that has been obvious is growth. Our 4As had a tough morning when I watched them. The first half was particularly one-sided, and not in our favour. However, the boys responded brilliantly in the second half following a rousing team talk at the break from their coach, Mr Short. The boys demonstrated more consistent levels of energy and physicality. Whilst this seems obvious in a rugby game, for many of our students this was one of their first competitive games of rugby.
Our 5As also had a tough game, losing by a few tries to Redfield College, however, their growth was very evident. The year before, these two teams had engaged in a very lop-sided game where our boys struggled to maintain competitiveness and fell away as the game went on. On the contrary, the 5As competed throughout, challenging the Redfield team on numerous occasions throughout the game. Unfortunately, they were slightly outclassed in the key moments but the growth in their play and skills was obvious to all in attendance.
Last Saturday our 1st XV played one of Scots senior rugby teams and put on a magnificent demonstration of team rugby. At half time Trinity led 26-0 having scored four tremendous tries as a result of sustained team pressure and classy individual skills. The second half was a tighter contest with less points on offer due to the strength of both team’s defence, with Scots finally narrowing the score line to 26-5 with a try in the final minute of the game.
What stood out to me was the growth of the students in the 1st XV. Yes, we have picked up a few new recruits in the last few years, but more importantly was the growth of the team as a whole and the skill development of each of the individuals. This should not be surprising. These boys have benefited from three years of coaching, hard work, and game experience. This growth has begun with the members of the 2022 4As and will continue in the years to come as the boys transition through the Primary 1st XV and into High School.
The purpose of this narrative is to highlight the trajectory of all learners. Growth is a natural reality for all of our students but is enhanced with hard work, feedback from experts and through the highs and lows of real-life experiences. It is a helpful reminder not to become too caught up in the result but to see each and every game as a learning experience and an opportunity to build character. Whilst this is clearly true in sport, it is also as true across the curriculum.
I shared much of this with the students on Monday morning at our Assembly and reminded the Year 4 to 6 boys of the opportunity to engage in an additional training session each Tuesday morning. Whilst this is compulsory for students in our ‘A’ teams, it is also available to all students who wish to participate and are keen to grow.
This week’s Auxiliary Meeting was a great time to connect with parents. It is lovely to be able to welcome parents onsite for these meetings as we continue to return to a state of ‘business as normal’. As always, there was healthy discussion across a range of areas, however, a significant amount of time focused on the topic of communication which was framed by a brief presentation by Philippa Lowe, Director of Marketing and Communications. Philippa shared the strategic direction for communication including the place of Prep News, the website, and the App moving forwards. I trust that this has provided greater clarity to those in attendance. I encourage parents to contact me if they would like more information about this area of School life.
This week, students in Years 3 and 5 engaged in the annual NAPLAN assessments. Whilst the media would have parents believe that these are ‘high stakes’, we continue to encourage the students to see them as a regular part of their learning journey. The data that the School and parents receive is valuable in continuing to track a student’s learning growth but it doesn’t have any influence on their long term success or trajectory. It also serves as helpful practice for more formal assessments that will become more common as students get older.
The safety of our boys remains a key focus for the School particularly in terms of the Kiss and Ride area in the morning and afternoon. We continue to urge families to not only follow the road rules but also to be wise in the way they drive in this area. Parents should be aware that we are regularly visited by Council Rangers. This is likely to be a regular occurrence to support the School in maintaining a safe and efficient Kiss and Ride area.
Chris Wyatt | Head of the Preparatory School
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” Romans 11:33