15 October 2018

Head of Middle School

This is our last Thistle of the year and it marks a really exciting final two weeks of Semester 2. Today was Orientation Day, the beginning of an eye-opening transition process for 150 new boys into the College next year and the movement of boys from Junior to Middle School. This last Thistle also marks the end of a three-year period in Middle School for our Year 8 boys who spent their day in Senior School coming to grips with their new House system and teachers. With orchestras, choirs and bands all setting up and rehearsing at various venues preparing for Speech Night it seems like everyone is on the move at the moment.

Some highlights of the year for me a have been the Round Square Conference in April and the growth in exchange opportunities across Australia for our Year 8 boys. In Year 7 the action research projects undertaken by all Year 7 has been recognised internationally by our Middle Schooling Association and further by Notre Dame University as an innovative approach to teaching the trans-disciplinary skills of research. The Year 6 Science Fair has always been a favourite of mine however the new unit introduced in Year 6 this year titled Global Awareness, hot on the heels of the UK's Brexit vote and the US elections has proven to be an outstanding vehicle for understanding how interdependent countries are with each other and how political borders on a map are one thin arbitrary line that fails to recognise human interaction and needs.

Perhaps the year has been best summed up for me by one of the Year 8s who when reflecting on what Middle School is about said this:

"It's not all about the grades in Middle School. It is about how you treat others. These are the people who will be there to help you when you need it most." Fraser Webb 8M

I could not have said it better.

Our two photos of the week are from our assembly on 18 November: Max Avon-Smith(7.4A) handing over our donation to Dr Allan Duncan of the PMH Foundation and Mr Ramsay handing over the inaugural Ramsay Cup to the winners of the Staff Vs Student Competition for the year.

As we head off on our summer break, please accept my sincerest thanks for your support this year: in meetings, on the sidelines, via email and at assemblies and in the hundreds of other interactions we have with you over the course of the year. We deliver a rich and supportive programme, significantly because of the support we receive from you. Thank you.

Mr Richard Ledger
Head of Middle School