Welcome to College. We are suddenly in 2020 and another busy year of College life is upon us.
The House system is one attribute that sets College apart from other schools. From the outset, the physical nature of the Houses allows the boys to have a strong sense of belonging. This unique structure means College’s pastoral care is second to none, with no boy left behind. As most of the time outside of class is spent in the House, it will become like your second home and the boys in your year group, and to a lesser extent the other lads in the House, become part of your family. Beyond this, the Houses provide a platform for a plethora of good natured competition – for instance music and singing, plays, rugby, rowing, cricket, chess, to name but a few. As with anything, what you put in is what you get out and I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to seize as many opportunities as you can in your time at College. The House system gives you the chance to get out of your comfort zone and try many different things you wouldn’t otherwise try.
I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to seize as many opportunities as you can in your time at College.
Academic work is intrinsic to College life and students’ results reflect this focus. The calibre of teaching and facilities, small class sizes and an underlying culture of excellence allow boys of all abilities to flourish. Sport is an integral part of the College experience and beyond the excellent results a large number of teams and individuals achieve, sport offers a way to learn about our strengths and gain valuable life lessons. Through sport I have learned perseverance, integrity, empathy, time management and discipline – all of which I have been able to apply to other areas of school and life in general. The arts and culture are also a fundamental part of College and, again, the opportunities in these fields are immense. College offers a wide range of programmes, junior and senior drama productions, Theatresports, chamber groups, orchestra, Big Band, rock music, choirs and so much more. The depth of experience of those in charge of each aspect allows all boys to perform to the best of their ability and have fun while doing so.
Naturally, with the resources available and range of talent at College, our students achieve success in many different areas – but, while we are justifiably proud of our achievements, in the words of current New Zealand men’s eight rowing coach and former Mathematics teacher Tony O'Connor: “Lads, I’m here to teach you to be good men first, maths second.” This philosophy is shared by all staff and sports coaches, and programmes such as MANifesto, MINDfit and Immerse & Inspire for Year 10 students underpin this focus on personal development and help sculpt the boys into the ideal College graduate.
There is a strong emphasis on mental health and wellbeing at College. It is a key focus of pastoral care in the Houses and in the work of the two College counsellors. This allows all boys to learn and perform to the best of their ability while they are at school and helps them develop the skills to live healthy and balanced lives.
As an Anglican school, the Rev. Bosco Peters also has considerable influence in guiding boys to acquire the ideal graduate attributes, as he helps us to understand the importance of College virtues and the Christian message. Christian values are taught and followed, but Rev. Peters also gives insight into other religions and ways of thinking, encouraging us to keep an open mind. In an increasingly diverse world, College teaches us the importance of traditions and virtues, but reminds us to keep the door open to innovation.
Your time at College will fly by – and my advice is to seize every opportunity and get stuck into everything that is offered to you. Try new things, make mistakes, make memories, make friendships, and have fun.
Head Prefect 2020