From the Principal – Listen to the signposts

Dear members of the Whitefriars College Family,

Welcome back to an exciting and opportunity packed Term 3 at Whitefriars. Hopefully, you all have had some time to breathe and recuperate after what has been a period of uncertainty and challenge.

I don’t wish to tempt fate, but I feel a sense of optimism and anticipation in the air. Not just because of an ease in cases and restrictions but because we are starting a new semester. Commencing a new semester gives us a chance to start over fresh, to put the disappointments, mistakes and missed opportunities behind us and to move forward. It is never too late to improve, to grow or to achieve the goals we set ourselves at the start of the year.

Another certainty in all this is that change, growth, and improvement do not occur by themselves. It takes equal parts effort, strategy, and a positive attitude to achieve our goals. I heard once that we do not learn from the experiences of life themselves as much as we learn from reflecting on them.

We learn too from watching out for the signposts which will show us the way. Signposts like student reports and Student Parent Teacher (SPT) conferences, which provide a rich stream of information to be mined. Often, students will read their report and then put it in a draw and move on. I know that the staff of Whitefriars have spent many thoughtful hours to provide more than a summary of the semester just gone through reports and feedback from SPT conferences but more importantly and valuably, they wish to deliver messages of hope about how things could be in the future if we grab hold of the advice that is offered to us. As parents I think one of the most significant things we can do in support of our children as they commence the new term, is to dust off the report that has been sitting in the drawer these past weeks and talk with our son about it or revisit the feedback received at SPT conferences. I promise that if we view what is offered through those resources in a positive and supportive light there is great value to be had.

I also encourage boys to speak to their teachers about their report and seek advice on what they can do next which will set them up for success for this coming semester. Perhaps too, once boys have heard those words of wisdom, they might think about developing a plan which will lead them to achieving their goals. Again, as teachers and parents we can assist our boys in turning their dreams and aspirations into concrete plans. A few moments spent now, especially now, can make all the difference in the result.

Those of you who are old enough to remember the 70s will remember the famous political slogan of that era… IT’S TIME! Well, it’s time right now for all in the Whitefriars community, students, teachers and even Principals, to grab hold of the moment, to carpe diem, as they say in the classics, and give it our best shot. These moments don’t come round often.

I ask the young men of Whitefriars now to consider what time you’ve given yourself to reflect, reset and refocus, to define the impact you want to make this semester and to identify what you need to do to make your dreams in to a plan. It’s never too late to start!

For us as Christian people one of the signposts we watch out for comes from God. Not necessarily in a literal or tangible sense but often through those who are the face of God in our lives and from scripture itself. One of my favourites in this regard comes from the Prophet Jeremiah:

For surely, I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord.

So, as we move into the term ahead, we could all do worse than to be open to listen to the signposts which will come our way and to attend to them. Who knows what exciting direction they will point us towards and what wonderful journey they will take us on?

Mr Mark Murphy, Principal