Leadership News - Article 4
Written on the 17 March 2017 by Leadership
Year 10 Stepping Up & Retreats
The Year 10 Retreat day facilitated by Br John Ahern and his team is an integral part of the spirituality dimension of the College. Boys spend time reflecting on their life, who is their neighbour, how we should treat each other and experience the opportunity to mix with different people outside of their usual circle of friends. They are challenged to accept the increased demands of the senior years, especially in terms of taking responsibility for their actions.
Alongside the Retreats, we also hold the Year 10 Stepping Up Program for fathers or male mentor and students. This event was again a great success and we were delighted with the attendance and wonderful feedback we received.
One father wrote:
Brandon and I were very fortunate to attend the recent well organised and run Stepping Up Day held at the College last Friday. We had a fantastic time together and I observed that all other Fathers/Mentors, Sons/Students thoroughly enjoyed the day as well.
The reflection times at the beginning and end of the day were well respected and important for the overall message and outcome for all participants.
Fathers and Mentors also appreciated lunch served by their Sons/Students.
The day was a total success and I feel for any Father/Mentor who could not attend on the day.
Brandon and I finished the day agreeing it was one of the most rewarding days we have shared together, and we do a lot of activities together outside of school.
And from another:
I just wanted to say thank you to you and everyone involved in the planning and running of the great Stepping Up day yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it to be a great bonding experience with my son as well as other sons and dads. Look forward to the next one for me in three years' time!
Thank you to all the staff, students and families who embraced these activities. They were all very successful and we believe have added positively to the relationship between family and school.
R-12 Principal's Student Leadership Assembly
Today at the Principal's Assembly we presented over 60 leadership badges to students from Years 7 to 12. The badges carry the title of House Vice-Captain and with that comes the responsibility of being a visible leader within the community. A number of other leadership positions were also announced. As an R-12 community we had the opportunity to congratulate the Junior Years Captain, Charlie Crafter and Vice-Captain, Thomas Washbourne, as well as our Year 6 House Captains. Head Boarder, Hugh Walker, also announced our Boarding leadership positions.
Congratulations to all boys who now have an important role to play in seeking 'to enrich the experience of others through their service'. The full list of Middle and Senior Years House Vice-Captains and Junior Years House Captains are listed below.
There are literally thousands of quotes on leadership that can help explain what leadership should be. Nevertheless, we need to go no further than the most powerful example we have, in Jesus, for a very simple but powerful style. His leadership was quite simply "servant leadership" and as the title suggests, he was prepared to serve the people who actually believed they were his followers.
Junior Years House Captains
Middle and Senior Years Vice-Captains
Restoring and Repairing Relationships
At Rostrevor College, our students and teachers enjoy a relationship based on mutual respect, which helps to foster an inclusive and caring learning environment to allow students to achieve their personal best. Steve Biddulph (author of 'Raising Boys', 'Manhood', and 'The Secret of Happy Children') asserts that boys learn teachers and not subjects. Whereas girls are able to connect directly with subjects, a boy can only connect with a subject via the teacher. The psychological background to this phenomenon is complex but is based on the need for boys in their puberty years to believe that a teacher cares for them as a person, before they will allow them to impart knowledge or skills to them. Needless to say, the role the teacher plays is of greater significance for a boy and will be a key factor in their success as learners.
Having attended and/or hosted at the Parent Information Evening, the Year 10 'Stepping Up Father-Mentor/Son Day', the new Parent Drinks Evening as well as meeting new prospective parents on the recent Principals Tour, I have had many opportunities to reinforce the College's 'Pastoral Care' aim. As a community, we strive to provide a safe and supportive environment for our students. Contemporary research clearly states that students who develop meaningful connections with their school community are more motivated to achieve academically and less inclined to engage in anti-social behaviour than students who feel disconnected from it.
At the core of our pastoral approach is the belief that building caring partnerships will enhance the right of all members of the community to be respected; that is, the student's right to learn and the teacher's right to teach are paramount.
When rights are breached, 'Restorative Justice' principles and practices are deployed to help give students the opportunity to understand how their behaviour affects others in the College community and directly involves them in a process to repair the harm caused.
Essentially, Restorative Justice is about the five R's:
The traditional approach to school discipline asks three questions in response to wrongdoing:
· What happened?
· Who's to blame? and
· What do they deserve?
This traditional approach, leaves those who have been most affected by the wrongful behaviour without a voice, and without their needs being addressed as part of the 'solution.' It also doesn't effectively challenge the wrongdoer to be accountable to those he has harmed.
· What happened?
· Who's been harmed? and
· What needs to happen to repair some of that harm?
In this approach to dealing with wrongdoing, then, the focus is on the harm that has been done and the obligation this brings on the part of those responsible to 'right the wrong' as much as possible. It's an approach that seeks to develop in the wrongdoer an understanding of the breadth and depth of the harm their behaviour has caused to others so that they can best try to make amends to those most affected. In this way, it's an educative approach.
This doesn't imply that there aren't any consequences issued for misbehaviour as a result of a student's poor choice at Rostrevor College; there most certainly are. When a consequence is issued (for either 'Learning' and/or 'Behavioural' reasons), we also expect staff to engage in a pastoral conversation with the student as a way of promoting better relationships.
As always, we encourage parents/guardians to contact the student's Pastoral Care teacher in the first instance and/or his subject teacher with any concerns. For more serious issues, matters should be referred to the student's Head of House and/or the Head of Faculty
For more information regarding Rostrevor College's Restorative Justice Protocol, see page 21 of the Student Planner.