27 November 2017

Year's End

We should all look forward to taking a break - whether that is at the end of the day, the end of the week or the end of the year. We need the chance to rest and to recharge, and to remind ourselves of what is good and important in our lives. Sometimes, in the rush of 'getting things done', we can lose sight of what really matters. While normal routines allow us to be efficient with our time and achieve a great deal, taking time off from the normal routine allows us to unwind and reassess how we do things and how well we are traveling. It allows us time to do nothing - something I have written about before. It may even allow time for us to be bored, to dream about the future, and to escape the summer heat into the pages of a good book.

Year's end is the natural time to take a break. It is a way to reward ourselves for the successes of the previous twelve months, as well as being an important step in preparing for the next twelve. It is the big breath out and the deep breath in that helps us to refocus our energy. It is also a time for coming together and sharing. Singing Christmas carols is a perfect example. Another fine example occurred on Friday 10 November, when Cameron House ran their annual fundraiser. This was incredibly well-supported by all other Houses in Senior School and the girls from PLC. At the start of this afternoon, we got all the participants to form together in the shape of a dolphin as part of the launch of 'The Big Splash', a mental health awareness campaign we are a part of with Perth Children's Hospital. This will form part of our on-going discussions about youth mental health.

Year's end offers the opportunity to pause and take a few moments to reflect on the year that has passed, to pause and give thanks for the good things and good people in our lives, to pause and resolve to continue to fight for the things we believe in, and to pause and set challenges for ourselves in terms of the standards we will seek to set for ourselves.

Transitions

Year's end is also the time when we run our Transition Days, when Year 5s spend a little time getting used to their new Middle School surroundings, and the Year 8s spend a day familiarising themselves with the people and environment of Senior School. Staff work closely across Junior, Middle and Senior Schools to ensure that relevant information is shared so that each student can adapt and get the most out of their new environment.

There is often an element of fear at transition points in life - we leave the relative safety and comfort of what is known and familiar for the relative mystery and discomfort of what is less well known and unfamiliar. I think that sometimes we take some of the wonder and satisfaction out of managing a transition point by making it almost too familiar. Navigating a transition point is a rite of passage which is hopefully accompanied by a willingness to think and act in a more mature and independent way. Whilst there is always an element of sadness at what is being left behind, there is hopefully also excitement and joy at the young person who is developing as a result of moving into a new environment.

The online resource, SchoolTV, has a recent edition which deals with transitions. You may wish to look through some of the material via this link.

I hope the holidays provide everyone the chance to laugh more and to show more kindness, to be more mindful of others and our surroundings, and to allow more awe and gratitude into our lives.

Mr James Hindle
Director of Student and Staff Wellbeing