News From the Field Studies CentreLucas Thurston
The boys are encouraged to do hard things while they are on the Field Studies Programme. Hiking more than 16km in a day is hard; managing assessment due dates is hard; waking up early to participate in a fitness session is hard; living in a dorm with their peers can be hard. Persisting through the hard things shapes our character. It gives us credit with ourselves that we can draw upon later when we encounter another hard, or challenging thing. It also builds awareness of others and empathy as we see others pushing through their own hard things. The young men are encouraged to step into challenges on the FSP as they encounter them, offer help to their peers when they need it, and access support from their teachers and leaders when they require it.
The heavy rain last week meant that flexibility was required both from staff and students to make the necessary adjustments to keep the programme running. The boys approached the changes with open minds and positive attitudes across the board, which was great to see. The obstacles that we have encountered when facilitating the FSP over the last 2.5 years including the impact of bushfires, flooding and COVID restrictions, means that we have now have plan A, B, C and D ready to go should we need to make last minute changes to ensure safety. Our outdoor staff are trained to complete dynamic risk assessments in the field which complement the extensive pre-activity planning that has been completed. Keeping the boys safe while encouraging them to take positive risks, continues to be priority for us.
The young men have now participated in the first two weeks of Outdoor Extension and Co-curricular activities which are designed to provide the boys with choice and autonomy. The diverse range of interests that the boys present with are well catered for on the FSP. Many of the students continue working with their peripatetic music teachers; the swimming and water polo boys spend time in the pool each week; and students with specific training regimes for elite sport are well catered for. Observing the boys dedicate extra effort and use their free time effectively to pursue their goals has been something that has impressed me about the students on the FSP throughout the year. The structures and supports that the FSP provides encourages the formation of healthy habits and helps each boy discover more of the potential that exists within them.