It was with great excitement and some trepidation that the new Year 7s, many with Mum and Dad on either side, strolled down the driveway for the first time. We believe very strongly in the vertical Pastoral Care system at Whitefriars and day one provided our new Year 7s with the time and space to spend with their big brothers in Year 12.
The day began with an assembly and two especially important rituals. Our Year 7s processed into the assembly in House groups, led by their House Leader and House Captain. They were greeted by the Year 12s who stood to welcome them. The second ritual was the presentation to the Year 12s of their Year 12 tie. This tie signifies the role they will play as the leaders of the student body. It also becomes their Old Collegian tie when they finish the year. This is a symbol of belonging to the Whitefriars family forever. The morning continued with Year 12s helping the Year 7s navigating the ever-challenging combination lock and a tour of the campus.
College Captain, Harry Evans, addressed the assembly and provided some important advice for both Year 7s and Year 12s.
Today is a very special day, because for half of us, today is our first, first day at Whitefriars, and for the other half, today will be our last first day Whitefriars. It does not matter where abouts you are on your Whitefriars journey, because you are all here today and you are all ready for what is going to be a fantastic year.
To us new year 12s, it is ridiculous how fast this day has come, but we are here now, and I know that we are all ready for our year ahead. And I remember telling you all that this year is going to be one of the biggest years of our lives. For some of us, it might be tough, it might be a grind and there may be times when it all seems a bit too hard. But I also remember telling you boys that this year can and should be one of the greatest years of our lives. It is our final step we must take before we move into the real world and I for one want to make the most of it.
There is only one thing that I ask of you, and I am sure you will be reminded by your teachers, but at the end of the day this is really all that can be asked of you, please give it your absolute best. Before you know it, this year will be over, so let’s make sure we give it all we have. Let’s work hard, but let’s also make sure we have fun while we do it.
Now, us year 12s, we have all been here before, and we are all very familiar with Whitefriars. But for you Year 7s and any other new Whitefriars students, today might be a big step for you because you are moving to a new school which means there will be new people, and new building and new rules, and lots of change, and change it good, but it can also be scary.
What I have done, is I have reached out to some of my mates in Year 12 and I’ve asked them “what is one piece of advice you would give your year 7 self?” I got all these great responses and I have narrowed it down to three simple rules, and if you all follow these rules, I am sure you will all have a smooth transition into Whitefriars.
So here they are:
Rule 1 – Give everything a go.
You are all incredibly lucky that your parents have sent you here because Whitefriars has countless opportunities for all you to excel in whatever area that may be. You can become whatever version of a Whitefriars boy you want to be. So, give everything a go because you will never know what it might lead to.
Rule 2 – Have fun.
You will be amazed at how quickly your years at Whitefriars will flash by. Take it one day at a time, and always try to enjoy every part of your journey.
Rule 3 (the most important rule of all) – Be yourself.
Everyone in this room today is a unique and different, and that is what makes our school so great. I know that all of you will find a part of Whitefriars that you can call home. Do not be afraid to be who you are, because that is all we can ask for.
Thank you for your time, now let’s have an amazing 2023 together.
I wish all members of the Whitefriars community a wonderful 2023.
Mr Mick Lafferty
Deputy Principal – Students