One of the key themes in the social emotional learning program we have at Whitefriars, The Resilience Project, is Gratitude. Being grateful is being able to focus on what we have, not what we don’t. It is a way of thinking that promotes positive mental health and fosters a culture of kindness. As we come to the end of the academic year, there is so much I am grateful for…
The last two years have been extraordinarily difficult for everyone. Parents especially have had to bear the responsibility of having their sons at home for extended periods of time, no doubt creating increased tension in the home at times – I know because I am a parent of two school-aged children. I am so grateful for the manner in which parents have supported the College which has been such an important ingredient to drive teachers to foster continuity of learning for their sons. The messages of support and empathy from parents have been an incredible source of comfort for our College.
I am grateful for the skill, dedication and stewardship shown by our 8 House Leaders. They have been the glue that has kept our boys from slipping through the cracks and their constant care for the boys has gone a long way to keeping them engaged in their schooling and able to cope with the challenges that have come their way.
Pastoral Care Teachers
At Whitefriars, the pastoral care of our boys is one of the most important ingredients in ensuring that holistic success of every student can be experienced. Our vision is to create gentle men of compassion who are ready to thrive in the world beyond the gates of Whitefriars. I am so grateful for the work our Pastoral Care Teacher do with our boys’ day in day out. They care for them; they know them, and they guide them with unwavering support.
I am grateful for our teachers, for their dedication to the education of the boys. While the academic pursuits in the classroom are important, there is so much more to education at Whitefriars. Sport, Performing Arts, the Environment and Wellbeing – all areas which require a breadth of skills and a passion to drive within our school.
Our incredibly dedicated Psychologists have worked tirelessly to support well over 100 students and their parents this year, often going above and beyond to make sure our boys are safe, and their parents/guardians have the capacity to support their sons. They bear a heavy burden as they go home to their own families with the worries and concerns of others. I am grateful to have such gifted people in our community.
We have had some outstanding student leaders this year. Their dedication and passion for their school has been a privilege and I am so grateful for the contribution they have made in continuing to develop this wonderful school of ours.
And finally, to the students. They have endured unprecedented times, had experiences and milestones taken away from them and have had to draw on all their resilience to manage this year. The cumulative effect of the pandemic will not be known for a while; however, I am a firm believer in what doesn’t break you makes you stronger. I am grateful for the students we have – for the love they have for their school, for the positive relationships they form, for the qualities they demonstrate every day and even the for the difficult times when they make a mistake and learn to do better next time.
A teacher sent me part of a reflection written by a Year 7 student and I think it sums it up perfectly:
Whitefriars has changed me completely as a person. They have taught me so much and I’m not just talking about algebra. They taught me how to socialise, how to respect people and take some responsibility for myself. They taught me how to be compassionate towards others and to always do the right thing not only for myself but for my friends and family.
Deputy Principal – Students