While many independent schools in Australia have an affiliation to a specific religion, many seek to ensure their community is diverse and represents the mix of religions, races, and cultures, found in our ever-increasing multi-cultural society. Whether in primary or secondary education, religious diversity strengthens the school community and helps students to gain a wider perspective, while developing empathy and an appreciation of others’ viewpoints.
By Bradley Barr, Deputy Head Master
How do you raise boys to become good men? How do you make sure they learn the ‘right’ lessons (and) find (the ‘right’) path to follow? How do you ensure they’ll be OK? - Celia Lashlie
It’s not uncommon for academic success to be foremost in the minds of parents when considering schools. But research by the Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) shows that Australian parents choose independent schools based on their desire to support a well-rounded school experience for their children. There are many reasons why it’s important to consider more than academics when choosing a school. But ultimately, it’s a personal choice and will be different for every family.
According to the Australian Government’s 2015 Mental Health of Children and Adolescents Report, almost three percent of Australian children aged four to 17 met diagnostic criteria for a major depressive order, with adolescents aged 12 to 17 at greatest risk. The report also found that approximately seven percent of young people aged four to 17 had an anxiety disorder.
Events such as R U OK? Day, remind us to be aware of each other’s mental health and wellbeing. While experiencing social and emotional difficulties is a natural part of growing up for children, sometimes symptoms display for an extended period of time or begin to interfere with everyday life, indicating more serious mental health concerns.
A healthy dose of confidence is vital to a child’s social and emotional development. A positive sense of self-worth is also critical to learning and academic success.
Confident people are usually authentic and express themselves and their opinions freely when the situation warrants it. Confidence generally leads to a happy and fulfilling life which is what we ultimately seek for our children. A lack of confidence can be symptomatic of anxiety and depression and so needs to be managed carefully.
For the most part, parents will instinctively know when their child is too sick for school. But there are always grey areas and scenarios which may cause you to question your judgement.
In the first instance, parents need to consider if their child could be contagious. You will also need to ensure he is well enough to participate in a full day of school activities and that a teacher will be able to provide the care he requires without impacting the rest of the class. Sometimes it can be hard to know how to tell if your child is too sick for school.
Creativity is billed to be the third most valuable skill in the workforce in the next two years, according to the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs report.
Why is it important for children to be creative? With rapid advancements in technology, artificial intelligence and automation, the next generation will need to be creative and adaptable with proven problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Creativity no longer belongs in the realm of the creative arts, it is a necessary skill for all aspects of learning and will be a workforce requirement in all manner of industry.
According to the Australian Research Council and Macquarie University’s report Reading the reader, how we read has changed dramatically as a result of the introduction of technology. With so many digital alternatives on the market, the consumption of the traditional paperback has seen a significant reduction.
‘Mindfulness’ is a concept that is becoming increasingly popular particularly with educators and employers.
Mindfulness, the act of maintaining a present moment of awareness through means such as meditation, breathing or relaxation, is certainly not a new psychological phenomenon.
It has, however, been given a lot of weight by schools that are focused more than ever on health, wellbeing and educating ‘the whole student’. For Christians, mindfulness also allows us to better use our space and time to be quiet in the presence of God in prayer.