Recently at assembly, I addressed the topic of uniforms with the students. In the short time that I have been at the School, uniform has already been raised as a topic of discussion. Students tend to be more interested in potential modifications to the uniform, of challenging the reasonableness of an aspect of the uniform, or the introduction of more mufti days. Some parents want to let me know how smart the students look, or how slovenly the students look. Some teachers want me to know either that they are tired of being the only ones to maintain standards, or that they think we are focussing too much on the externals and we should relax.
In 2015, the ABC’s news program, Behind the News (BTN) conducted the biggest survey of children’s mental health in history. It was called the Happiness Survey and 20,000 kids responded. The survey was designed to find out the kinds of things that affect children – what makes them happy, and what makes them sad or worried. The results from the 2017 Happiness Survey are in and once again it offers some surprising insights into what makes kids tick.
This time 47,000 Australian children, aged between six and 18, responded to questions on issues such as being different, bullying, arguments, family, friendships, schoolwork, world problems, body image, their future and health.
An address to the School by Saachin Simpson, Year 12, Trinity Grammar School Captain
There’s a riddle about a father and son that some of you may have heard.
It goes like this:
A father was driving his son to a sports game and they had a terrible accident. The father died immediately, but the ambulance got to the hospital just in time for the boy. When they wheeled the boy into the Emergency Room the surgeon turned around and said with great surprise:
“I can’t operate on this boy, he’s my son!”
By Tim Bowden, Head Master, Trinity Grammar School
The School recently celebrated International Women’s Day. I addressed the Middle and Senior students on the topic at a Quad assembly; the text of my speech is below.
You will have noticed a large banner for International Women’s Day, which has been hanging over the Quad. I know that a number of you have been wondering ‘Why?’ Why are we focussing on International Women’s Day? After all, aren’t we a boys’ school? Let me give you three reasons why all-boys schools should focus on International Women’s Day.
The ABC’s Behind the News latest ‘Happiness Survey’ of almost 47,000 children, has found that having a good night’s sleep is a key indicator of your son’s wellbeing. Sleep and wellbeing go hand-in-hand – children who regularly have the recommended amount of sleep each night reported significantly higher levels of both happiness and feelings of safety.
Sleep experts say teenagers today are sleeping less than they ever have. This is a worry, particularly because there is a link between sleep deprivation and accidents, obesity and cardiovascular disease in later life.
“You are what you think.”
How does negativity affect your son’s healthy development? We all have private conversations with ourselves. It is those conversations that neuroscientists have discovered are naturally more negative than positive, with children’s inner voices being particularly negative, usually driven by doubt, fear, and shame.
Have you ever heard your son ask questions like, “Do you think Steve likes me?” In his head, it’s likely to materialise into “Does Steve like me? Of course he doesn’t. I’m not cool enough.” It’s these negative thoughts that are likely to be repeated over and over.
Social development is critical to the growth and wellbeing of young people, particularly as they enter adolescence. Social skills for kids are less about being the most popular kid in school, and more about a child’s ability to form meaningful bonds with others.
Teaching kids social skills is not as difficult as it may sound. Let’s start with the basics.
Vanderbilt University found the top 10 social skills children need to succeed in school, based on surveys of 8,000 elementary teachers and two decades of classroom research, are to:
It can be challenging teaching your son to share, particularly in the early years, however it is a skill needed for play and learning throughout his childhood, and will follow through into the rest of his life. Sharing will allow your son to grow friendships and play cooperatively with his peers, as well as deepen his care and awareness of others.
Public speaking or performing on stage can be a challenge for many people. Even the most rational person can become anxious about standing in front of a crowd. The key to overcoming this fear is to practise.
Why is it important for your son to practise and master speaking or performing in front of an audience?
It’s likely you spend a lot of time trying to prise your teenager’s device from his hands. You are not alone. It is a fact that technology plays an increasingly vital role in your child’s life. It’s important that we recognise this and encourage children to use technology responsibly and as a learning tool.