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Brennan House Report – Term 1, 2019

Head of Brennan House, James Horrocks

2019 has commenced with a busy and successful term for Brennan House. This success has been due to the enthusiasm and “buy-in” of everyone when it has come to the wide range of activities and events that have taken place in Term 1.

Starting off the year, we welcomed our new cohort of Year 7 students. As part of their first day in the Senior School they were partnered with a “Big Brother” in Year 12 who helped show their new “Little Brothers” around the school, helped them set up their lockers, collect book packs and introduce them to their Wellbeing Mentors. Not long after this Year 7 went on their first high school camp to Broken Bay Sport and Recreation Camp. This camp is always a wonderful way to welcome our new Year 7 students and allow them to bond more closely as a year group, while engaging in activities that challenged them both physically and mentally. It was good to see all boys pushing themselves to get the most they could out of their time on camp and developing some positive relationships with students and staff.

Back at school Brennan House were the first house to undertake the new school initiative of night-time House Masses and Family Suppers. It is always challenging to be the first in anything and I would like to both thank and congratulate all of the students and their wonderful families for their support of the night. The sense of togetherness that was on display that night was such a great thing to be a part of. I believe that this is a tradition that will continue to grow in significance over the years to come and has been highly successful in further nurturing the close knit and supportive community that is Brennan House. Thank you to our Prefects Will Davison, Tommy Tyson, Darcy Mullins, Alex Kapos and Josh Gleeson for the hard work and planning that they put into making the night happen. Thank you also to Max Curry, Liam Andrews and Charlie Alexander who stepped in to help run the music for the night. A very tough job on short notice!

This term has also been highly successful for the members of Brennan House in their sporting endeavours. The Junior School started strong by taking out the Junior School Swimming Carnival. This was followed up with another win by Brennan House in the Senior School Swimming Carnival, returning the swimming trophy to Brennan House for the fourth time in the last six years! These wins have secured valuable House Points and taken us to a strong Term 1 lead in the House Competition, one we intend to build upon throughout the year. Congratulations to all our Brennan House swimmers for your strong performances on both carnival days! These successes at the school carnivals carried over into some exciting races at the CAS Swimming Carnival against our rival CAS Schools. Hearing of all the PB’s that were swum on the night was very encouraging for the future of Waverley’s Swimming program.

The Amazing Race also made a return to the Waverley College calendar this year thanks to the planning and organisation of our Year 12 Prefect Leaders. This whole school challenge saw students from Years 5 to 12 tested in their Swimming, Running and Problem Solving abilities. Everyone who put their hands up to take part represented Brennan House with pride and the cheers from the Brennan spectators certainly helped us pick up a couple of places late in the race. Well done to everyone involved in the planning and running of this event!

The Lenten period encourages us to reflect, sacrifice and give to those less fortunate. It also drives our social justice initiatives during Term 1 each year. This year our annual Lenten Appeal saw us raising money in our Wellbeing Groups and through a whole school Mufti Day. In addition to this, a vast number of boys chose to raise money for Leukemia by shaving their heads as part of the World’s Greatest Shave. Seeing all members of the College banding together to support these worthy causes demonstrates the kind and generous nature of our students and the strong social justice ideals that they embody through their actions.

Academically, it has been a good start to the year for the house with students demonstrating their desire to work hard in the classroom with positive Term 1 reports and discussions with staff and mentors at their Wellbeing Mentor Interviews and Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews. Following on from this all students were guided by their mentors to set some academic goals for the remainder of the year given the feedback they received in their reports and interviews. I strongly encourage all students to refer back to these goals and make sure they have a plan in place to help them achieve these during the year.

Some of the other highlights this term involved; Year 9 Ballroom Dancing, the Year 8 and Cadet Camp, recognition of the National Day of Action Against Bullying, Study Skills workshops for Years 10 and 11, and the commencement of the Year 10/Year 5 Big Brother/Little Brother Program. Each of these events have been further opportunities for students in Brennan to continue their development as well-rounded, generous and supportive young men in the Waverley College community.

Our incredible team of mentors must also be thanked for their continued work throughout the term. The support and care they demonstrate, daily, encourages the young men of Brennan House to involve themselves fully and give back to others at every available opportunity. We welcome Ms Holly Medcalf to the Wolf Pack as a new Mentor with Brennan 10. Sadly, we also say goodbye and thank Ms Victoria Califano for her work this term with Brennan 6. Thank you also to Mr Stephen O’Donnell for his three years of enthusiastic leadership in Brennan 1, as he moves to Green House. Thank you for everything you have contributed to Brennan over the years and we wish you all the best with Green (apart from in House Competitions!). You are always welcome to come back and visit the Wolf Pack!

Finally, I would like to wish everyone the best for the upcoming break and I hope you enjoy a happy and holy Easter period with friends and family. See you in Term 2.

Up, up the Wolf Pack!