From the Principal

Welcome to Week Four of Term 4. The frenetic pace of the last weeks for our Year 12 cohort has subsided and the boys appear to be have settled into a good routine preparing for their upcoming exams.

We have had a delightful start to the term with the Year 12’s finishing off extremely well and the rest of the student body being settled and productive. The Year 10 and 11 boys have entered into their exam period with a focus and a sense of purpose. Next week we will have our transition days for these students to outline the upcoming Head Start program that commences on Monday 11 November. We will take time in the transition program to remind the boys of the need to make a good start to their 2020 academic year and to focus on their studies for the next three weeks. This is essential to ensure they have the best possible start and set themselves up to achieve results commensurate with their ability. I wish all students in Years 7 to 10 good luck as they prepare for exams over the coming weeks.

Whist this time of the school year is an enjoyable time, with the weather improving and the academic year winding up, it can also be a risky time if we switch to holiday mode too early. We have a saying in our family, ‘never go the early crow’. Whilst this is always said in a sporting context, with history littered with teams or individuals who got ahead of themselves, took their eye off the prize and ultimately came a cropper. I also think this mindset can be applied to our everyday endeavours. If we don’t see things through to completion, ensuring every ‘I’ is dotted and every ‘T’ is crossed, we may too fall short of the ultimate goal. So it is with this in mind that I remind the boys that there is at least four and a half weeks before the final closure of the school year, five and a half for our junior students, and so the boys need to ensure they work right up until the last class to make the most of the time they have. For our Year 12 boys this means applying themselves to the full right up until their very last exam.

Having said this, I also want to reassure all the boys that it is their best effort that we are after, knowing that if they apply themselves their results will take care of themselves. We have to be careful not to get too caught up in the measures our success-crazed world use to judge what it means to be successful or to fail. These measures have been distorted and sadly have spilled over into the world of school exams and results. The simple reflection I hope all our boys and their families use is asking themselves “Have I given it my best shot?” If the answer is yes, then regardless of the outcome, you have been successful.

If things don’t work out the way you planned in the first instance remember that most successful people who have worked hard and overcome difficult periods in their lives had moments of chronic self-doubt, and probably believed the whole world was against them.

Winston Churchill was absolutely miserable at school. J K Rowling received a mountain of rejection slips before finding a publisher for the Harry Potter novels. There are hundreds of examples of people who learned from their failures, bounced back and found success.

Could any of them have achieved the success they did if their lives had been an effortless progression from triumph to triumph? Perhaps, but it is more likely that it was the determination born in failure that put steel into their soul.

Nowhere is the galvanising effect of failure more evident than in sport. The winner takes the prize, but losers are not crushed: they grit their teeth and vow to try harder next time. They have a never-say-die spirit.  The history of sport is littered with heroes who refused to feel sorry for themselves when they were down. Failure? They did not know the meaning of the word.

Of course we should not romanticise losing or getting a poor result, but we do need to fight, tooth and nail, the perception that failure is a terminal disease, its sufferers doomed. So often, in every walk of life, but especially at school, it can be a wake-up call, heralding a new start.

Please enjoy a few quotes that may provide inspiration as we face the challenges that lay ahead.

Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.
Sir Winston Churchill

Try and fail but don’t fail to try.
Stephen Kaggwa

There is no failure except in no longer trying.
Elbert Hubbard

Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure…it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.
Robert Schuller

Have a great week and God Bless

Rob Brennan