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Deputy Head: Making good decisions

2016 Year 12 players across three of the winter codes ‘binning the cards’. Costa Fragias (Football), Thomas Fuller (rugby), Lachlan Drew-Morris (rugby), Adam Lawther (AFL)

From the Deputy Head of College, Patrick Brennan

Good Decisions and Owning Behaviour

 An ongoing theme for our students in 2017 is taking a moment to pause when faced with a decision. The older our boys become, the more often they find themselves in situations where they are faced with choices; often a good choice with positive outcomes versus a second less desirable choice with negative outcomes. This could be travelling to school on public transport, in the playground, at sport on the weekend or out with their friends.

Unfortunately, as age increases so do the consequences. Research suggests boys are slow to develop their decision making skills and their ability to consider the consequences of their decisions. Encouraging boys to pause when they make a decision, gives them a little more time to consider their options and indeed evaluate the consequences. I am also encouraging our senior students to speak up to their peers and students in younger years when they think a bad decision is about to be made. All of our students can demonstrate leadership in this way.

We all make bad calls from time to time. Over the break a small number of students were involved in incidents which reflected poorly on themselves, their families and the College. Thankfully, each of these students took ownership of their behaviour, put their hand up and admitted fault. Many of these boys had already made amends for their poor decisions. I thank these students for taking ownership and would encourage all of our students to do the same this year.

Good Health Decisions

The students have been back at school for over a week now and we are hoping they are getting into good routines and habits.

Leading child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg gives us some clear tips for adolescent health:

  • Ensure adequate levels of sleep by limiting screen time before bed
  • Ensuring a balanced diet high in fruit and vegetables and low in sugars and fats. A nutritious breakfast also fuels them up ready for their day
  • Maintain hydration during the day. This affects both physical and cognitive performance. Thirst and coloured urine are clear indicators that the negative effects of dehydration have commenced.
  • Plenty of exercise.

Behaviour at Sport

As we commence the second half of the CAS summer season I would encourage all students to keep up the ‘Bin the Red’ campaign that our seniors established in 2016, which resulted in a significant reduction in Sports Tribunal hearings.

The boys have been encouraged to play hard but fair whilst representing the College. We want our students to develop good team skills and learn how to respond well when things do not go their way. We have encouraged them to be gracious in accepting the umpire’s decision even if they think/know they are right.


A big thank you to parents for the way the majority of their sons returned to school in terms of their uniform and haircuts.

Students out of College uniform require a uniform pass from their Head of House whilst students with inappropriate haircuts are asked to return home immediately and have the situation rectified.


The ‘Clean Waves’ initiative last year saw some improvement in the state of the playground at break times. In saying that, there are still a number of boys who choose to leave their rubbish on the ground, making the school environment untidy. The campus is looking fantastic and I would encourage all students to have pride in their environment by placing all litter in one of the many bins around campus.

Have a great week.