4 February 2019

Student and Staff Wellbeing

One of the keys to better wellbeing is improving the quality of relationships within a community. We each have a duty to make those around us feel valued and known. That is why "Knowing the boy" has been central to the way we operate at Scotch.

Strong and positive relationships rely on establishing connections between groups and individuals. Feeling connected is fundamental to wellbeing, to developing a sense of belonging, and to establishing a mindset of wanting to contribute. This sense of connectedness needs a basis in face-to-face contact; it is perhaps the deepest of human needs and recognises a fundamental commonality.

Connectedness forms through shared rituals and experiences but, more importantly, from the countless small gestures we can all make each day - to smile, to say hello, to call someone by name - these are enormously powerful acts of kindness that make someone feel known and valued and which help to build relation.

Our swimming carnivals offered many fine examples of connectedness, and one episode I saw on Wednesday sums this up for me. At the Junior School carnival, a number of Year 8s were helping out, time-keeping and supporting the younger boys. At the end of one race, one of the Year 8s reached over to the swimmer in his lane and congratulated him on his race. It was a gesture that was not necessary but which benefitted both boys and the community, and is a representation of what happens over and over every day.

In the next fortnight, I will be speaking to the Year 12s regarding the opportunity they have to be involved in a series of Year 2-12 functions we run over the year. Each term, we get the big boys together with the little ones and they get to know each other. This culminates in a gathering after the Year 12 March-Out, when each student is recorded talking about his reflections on his school days, and his hopes for the future. These are then stored, to be opened at the 10-year reunion, when the current Year 2s will be Year 12s themselves. This cycle will therefore connect our students to our OSC alumni.

At Senior School assembly on Friday of Week 1, I encouraged Year 11 and 12 students to sign up for our "Tackling Exam Stress" course, which will run towards the end of this term and the start of next. The course is designed around mindfulness and relaxation techniques and will be of great benefit to those who are willing to take the time to be involved. These techniques can also be applied in everyday life to focus and get more satisfaction and enjoyment out of the moment.

Please speak to your son about this if you think it would benefit him.

This four-week course will run on Wednesdays after school (3.45 to 5.00pm) on the following dates:

  • 29th March (Week 9)
  • 5th April (Week 10)
  • 26th April (Week 1 of Autumn Term)
  • 3rd May (Week 2 - during the examination period to help students relax)

The cost is $30.

Students should contact Ms FitzGibbon in The Residence or e-mail Cherie.FitzGibbon@scotch.wa.edu.au.

Mr James Hindle
Director of Student and Staff Wellbeing