From Mr James Horrocks, Head of Brennan House
2018 has started off with a busy term for all in Brennan House. There has been a wealth of activities for all members of the house to get involved in and we have been lucky enough to have been very successful across a number of these activities.
After a long and restful Christmas break we welcomed our new Year 7 cohort and introduced them to the Wellbeing Groups they will be in during their time in the Senior School. These Year 7 boys have thrown themselves into being a part of the Brennan Community along with the assistance of their Year 12 ‘Big Brothers’. Not long after their initial orientation, Year 7 went on their first camp as a year group to the Broken Bay Sport and Recreation Camp. This camp is always a big highlight for our Year 7 students and works as a fantastic way for them to meet the other members of their year group and form some new friendships. While on the camp they were able to get involved in a number of activities, ranging from raft building, to bushwalking, to cooking their own damper. It was fantastic to see the boys really involve themselves each of these activities and get as much as possible out of everything that was on offer to them.
Back at school, our Brennan Wellbeing Mentors have been continuing to work with their Mentor Groups each morning on a wide range of personal, social and cultural topics, addressing important issues such as combating bullying, International Women’s Day, Earth Hour and setting personal goals for the year. It has been great to see these groups engaged in animated discussions and activities each morning, as well as creating a welcoming and positive environment for all students as the first thing they encounter every morning at Waverley. Other key Wellbeing events throughout the Term have involved the running of presentations for each year group addressing the issue of cyber bullying. These presentations were run by “Brainstorm Productions” and seek to educate students on the serious impact that their online behaviour can have on those around them.
This term also saw the running of the House Swimming Carnival. For the second year in a row, Brennan were a force to be reckoned with, placing third on the day. Congratulations to all of the boys for their efforts in the pool, as well as out of the pool cheering their mates on from the stands. The participation this year was better than I have ever seen it, as was the pride in which the boys showed in their house. Our war cries were great, but can definitely be improved upon in preparation to defend our title at the Athletics Carnival later this year. In other house competitions this term, our Year 7 boys were unfortunately eliminated in the first round of the Dodgeball Competition. However, in the House FIFA Competition, Axel Pinkstone and Leo Carr did the entire house proud by making the semi-finals and beating some much older opposition along the way. This earned Brennan House more valuable points in a very closely fought House Competition.
As part of our Lenten Appeal this year, fundraising has been a major focus for Brennan House with boys raising funds for the Ruben Centre, based in Africa. This charity does some amazing work and the efforts of the boys to donate and take part in the Mufti Day has helped raise a very substantial amount of money that will truly make a difference for the many people supported by the Ruben Centre. Meanwhile, the entire school banded together to throw their support behind the World’s Greatest Shave for Leukemia. Again, Waverley was able to raise a fantastic amount of money, contributing over $16,000 to the Leukemia Foundation! It is excellent to see boys taking action and being so keen to get involved in any way they can, every little bit helps make a difference.
Week 4 saw the running of the Brennan House Mass, during which our Spirituality Prefect, Luca Zanarini, challenged all students in Brennan House to work hard in the face of adversity and to look for ways to support and encourage each other in our times of need. This was an excellent message and challenge to the boys and has set a good tone for the year to come. I encourage all students to remember this call to action and to implement it as often as possible throughout 2018.
On Friday of Week 5 we held our Term 1 Brennan House breakfast. This event is always a pleasant and informal way for all families within Brennan House to come together and also for mentors, families and students to catch up and welcome the new academic year. It was great to see so many parents and students make their way in and take part in what was a great morning.
Mentor/Parent/Student interviews, as well as Parent/Teacher interviews both took place this term and are an excellent opportunity for students to sit down with their parents and teachers or mentors to discuss some targeted goals for the rest of the year. Following on from these interviews all students should start putting together a plan set themselves on a path to achieving these new goals.
Congratulations also goes out to the newly elected Brennan SRC members. These boys all submitted excellent applications and have demonstrated a strong desire to help in a wide variety of school areas. I look forward to seeing the initiatives they implement throughout the remainder of the year. The Brennan House SRC members for 2018 are:
- Connor Andrews (Yr 7)
- Thomas Gleeson (Yr 7)
- Jacob Hassan (Yr 7)
- Andrew Moloney (Yr 7)
- Brandon Reid (Yr 8)
- Daniel McSweeny (Yr 8)
- Thomas Colman (Yr 9)
- Hugh McSweeny (Yr 10)
- Liam Andrews (Yr 10)
- Josh Gleeson (Yr 11)
- Thomas Tyson (Yr 11)
- Will Davison (Yr 11)
Last, but certainly not least, some “thank you”s. Firstly, to all of the Brennan House Wellbeing Mentors whose help, beyond just Wellbeing Time, in everything from preparing food at the house breakfast, to helping at the swimming carnival has been amazing this term and has helped each event be a success. Secondly, to our excellent Prefect team of Coen Finati, Luca Zanarini, Daniel Andrews, Daniel Hassan and Ethan Reid for their leadership and the example they have set throughout the term. Finally, to each member of Brennan House and their families for the way in which everyone has approached the beginning of 2018 with positivity and a desire to achieve their best. I look forward to everything that the rest of the year has to bring.
Wishing you a safe and restful holiday break with family and loved ones.