From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

At Trinity Grammar School we take the welfare and wellbeing of your sons very seriously. One way this is reflected in the School’s procedures is through the Welfare Teams. If a member of the staff or parent has a concern about a boy’s wellbeing or mental health, a referral is generated and triaged at the weekly Welfare Team meetings at the Senior School, Middle School, Preparatory School and Junior School. Each referral is handled individually, and a team approach is taken for each case. Students may, and do, also self-refer. A referral may require the involvement of one of the Counselling & Psychological Support team, it may require the involvement of the Academic Support team, or it may require a referral and liaison with external professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, paediatricians, or community mental health teams. It is not unusual for a boy to remain on the Welfare Team caseload for multiple weeks, or until such time as the team is confident that his needs are being appropriately managed. Your son may never require their services but, if he does, I can unequivocally state that he will be in good hands.

As we head toward the end of term, may I also remind Year 12 students that, for them, the coming break is not really a holiday, and it is likely to be more helpful to consider the time as study leave. A good Year 12 student ought to be able to allocate six hours a day of revision and preparation for the upcoming examinations and still have plenty of time for exercise and discretionary relaxation and socialising. A healthy diet is important, so is eight hours of sleep each night, and so is routine. A good Year 12 student will continue to set the alarm and avoid the temptation to sleep ‘til lunchtime. Like an athlete preparing for a match or a race, a good Year 12 student ensures he is fit, healthy and rested, and he takes a strategic and planned approach to his preparation for the upcoming examinations. Most importantly, a good Year 12 student does not procrastinate.

It is a good thing to remind those who intend or are considering matriculating to university that they are likely to have a four-month break after their examinations, and that exercising some self-discipline and understanding the value of delaying gratification may be a useful way to help them make the most of the leave. May I also add that now is the time when Year 12 students should be building their handwriting capacity. The public examinations for the HSC and IBD require candidates to write quickly and legibly. An average student ought to be able to write in the vicinity of 2500 words in a two-hour examination. It is axiomatic that your son must build his handwriting capacity and stamina if he is to produce work under examination conditions that reflects his ability and his knowledge. I am informed by a physiotherapist friend that attaching weights or batteries to the end of a pen in the weeks leading up to an examination is unlikely to be efficacious, but that regularly writing using pen and paper for the next three months is the only way to develop this critical motor skill.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

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