from Head of College, Graham Leddie
As Term 1 draws to a close, I would like to congratulate your sons on their efforts during the term. There have been some significant changes at the College this year with the new wellbeing philosophies, structures and systems taking shape. The students, staff and parents have embraced the changes and we will continue to fine tune our practices in both our pedagogical delivery and care of your sons. Well done on the changes and we look forward to even greater improvement.
Learning should not stop in the holidays
Many students are getting away over the holiday break, and will encounter new environments, culture and learnings. The holidays provides different opportunities for learning and experiences to develop oneself. I believe it is a great opportunity for each boy in Year 5-12 to read a book over the break. I will be supporting my own son to achieve this goal as it is crucial in boy’s literacy development. Time spent reading well before the onset and demands of the HSC years will pay major dividends in terms of creativity, writing, comprehension, spelling and grammar usage.
The Rise of Superman
Currently, I am reading a book called The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler. The book is about an exploration of how extreme athletes break the limits of ultimate human performance and what we can learn from their mastery of the state of consciousness known as “flow”. The book aims to decode the mystery of ultimate human performance.
Drawing on over a decade of research and first-hand interviews with dozens of top action/adventure sports athletes such as big–wave legend Laird Hamilton, big–mountain snowboarder Jeremy Jones, and skateboarding pioneer Danny Way, Kotler explores the frontier science of “flow,” an optimal state of consciousness where we perform and feel our best. The Rise of Superman explains how these athletes are using ‘flow’ to do the impossible and how we can use this information to radically accelerate our performance in our own lives.
Kotler examines the five core frequencies our minds run on, Gamma (performing at our best, flow state), Beta (multitasking mindset), Alpha (single point of focus), Theta (creativity) and Delta (sleep state, memory, intuition). We are at our best when we are in gamma mind frequency and research is indicating that focus, creativity, joy and humility increases our chances of getting into gamma (flow state). Interestingly, at Waverley we are trying to integrate these qualities in a greater way through both our Liberate and Wellbeing programs.
Parents’ Association Meeting
Thank you to the parents who came along to the Parents’ Association Meeting this week.
I presented the National School Improvement Tool which the College is using to assist in reflecting on our practice and lifting our performance. The National School Improvement Tool brings together findings from international research into the practices of highly effective schools and school leaders. The tool is designed to assist schools to review and reflect on their efforts to improve the quality of classroom teaching and learning. We have examined the tool with the teachers, support staff and College Board members thus far and will be coming up with specific goals and actions with Department teams.
There are nine inter-related ‘domains’.
- An explicit improvement agenda
- Analysis and discussion of data
- A culture that promotes learning
- Targeted use of school resources
- An expert teaching team
- Systematic curriculum delivery
- Differentiated teaching and learning
- Effective pedagogical practices
- School community partnerships
These domains are judged against a set of performance levels ranging from Low, Medium, High and Outstanding which enable schools to make judgements about where they are on their improvement journeys, to set goals and design strategies for improvement, and to monitor and demonstrate school improvement over time.
Last Newsletter of the Term
Next week’s newsletter will focus on a report from each Head of House about their activities, achievements and successes from Term 1 with a few reminders for the Term ahead.
New Zealand Tour
We wish our New Zealand Rugby tourists a safe and enjoyable time as they represent the College.
I encourage all parents to take their sons along to one of the Easter Masses in their local Parish. It is a time for reflection and thankfulness as we remember the death and resurrection of Christ. Let us be thankful for our rich blessings, celebrate the true meaning of Easter with our families, and rest as we end another busy term.
We wish everyone a happy, holy and safe Easter.