Field Studies NewsLucas Thurston
From the FSC Week 4 Term 3
In a recent keynote address that I was privileged to listen to at the International Boys’ School Coalition conference, Julie Lythcott-Haims encouraged educators to “prepare the boy for the road, rather than preparing the road for the boy”. This philosophy struck a chord with me as I consider the challenge of the roads that each boy must walk along during their term on the Field Studies Programme. The roads take many forms, including living away from home for ten weeks; engaging in a rigorous physical fitness programme; taking full responsibility for their academic learning and ensuring assessment tasks are submitted on time; and engaging in a broad range of outdoor pursuits. Much of the preparation for these roads is done in the lead up to the experience by parents; extended family and friends; teachers; sporting coaches; and many others. The Field Studies staff then have the important responsibility of walking alongside the boys during their residential experience, and providing support when the road steepens, or the route ahead becomes faint.
Character formation is at the centre of education and is at the heart of the experiences that are designed for the boys during their time on the FSP. Over the last week the young men on Field Studies Programme 3 have been hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, engaging in cultural activities, and taking on the challenge of the high ropes at Tree Top Adventures. Each activity is thoughtfully programmed and carefully facilitated to encourage learning and growing, through the process of experiential education.
Last week saw the first edition of the Woollamia Times, our newly created student newspaper, hit the press. After reading this impressive publication I reached out to the creative team behind the project to better understand their motivation to produce a student newspaper.
Theodore: “The newspaper is a great way to get contributions from different people and a place where we can consolidate these contributions and display them around the campus. The student newspaper will also provide an archive, or a time capture of that week that you can look back upon in the future”.
Luc: “The Woollamia Times is a fun passion project that gives us something enjoyable to do during free time while on the FSP”.
Harry: “It provides a place to display some of the photos that we are taking and provides an opportunity to recap the experience for each group. We can also give the boys an insight into what is coming up next in the programme”.
The recently inducted group of Field Studies Leaders had their first formal meeting with the campus management team this week. The boys shared some interesting insights about their first month on the programme. It seems hard to believe that we would have been nearing the end of the programme under our previous four-week model, just as the boys are finding their feet and taking more ownership of their experience. We know that growth occurs when we are on the edge of our comfort zone and we are seeing many of the young men stretching themselves in a variety of ways, and collectively achieving great things while on the FSP.
Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
PSALMS 34:8 (NLT)