News from the Field Studies Centre

News from the Field Studies Centre

The Field Studies Centre sprang back to life this week as the third cohort of students for 2022 stepped off the bus and began their term of adventurous learning at Woollamia. The boys spend the first two days on programme orientating themselves to their surroundings and learning many of the processes that support the smooth operation of the campus during their time here. On night one, the boys also experience a Welcome to Country evening with one of our local Aboriginal Elders and learn about the significance of both the land on which our campus is situated, and the broader Shoalhaven region.

During the break I had the opportunity to present a workshop session at the International Boys’ School Coalition conference, highlighting the incredible experience that Trinity boys engage in during the Field Studies Programme. Schools implement rite of passage experiences for their students in a variety of ways, aiming to build leadership skills, develop independence and grow character. The immersive nature of the FSP sets it apart in many ways and demonstrates a strong commitment to our mission to grow young men of fine character.

One of the keynote speakers at the conference, Julie Lythcott-Haims, had a lot to say about the importance of building agency, resilience and the development of character in young men. When considering resilience, she spoke about building the belief in each boy that “I can cope when things don’t go well”. She went on to suggest that as schools we need to embrace the fs: falling, failing, flailing, fumbling and feedback, and build a cultural expectation that “if I fall down there is a community ready to hold me up”. We have been speaking to the boys this week about the community that is created during the Field Studies Programme each term as a new cohort arrives and begins interacting together. Living and learning alongside a group of peers certainly provides many opportunities for the boys to support one another through the challenges that are encountered.

On Friday the boys launched into the academic programme and began working with the teachers who will guide them through the place-based learning programme this term. A wide range of in and out of the classroom learning experiences are planned for the term which will see the boys interacting with the natural and built environment both on campus and in the community more broadly. On Sunday the students will have their first Outdoor Programme sessions and begin the process of building a range of skills that will help them to develop confidence and competence in a variety of outdoor pursuits. Mr Pitts and the Outdoor Team have developed an outstanding programme that will engage and challenge the boys and expose them to various beautiful parts of the Shoalhaven region while on the FSP.

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

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