Why a single sex, boy’s school education?
This is one of the many questions I was asked recently by the prospective parents of international students seeking a secondary education for their son in a suitable Australian school. It is also a common question in the back of local parents’ minds when endeavouring to discern the most appropriate schooling style for their son. After many years involved in the education of boys, my response was along these lines:
In a boys’ only environment, teachers focus with great intention on learning that addresses not only how to excel in academics but also how to enable growth into a young man of integrity and empathy.
The Carmelite founders of Whitefriars made the intentional choice to focus on the intellectual, physical, social and emotional lives of boys and young men because they shared an appreciation for the intensity and complexity of adolescent boys. With the Carmelite foundations of reflection, community and service providing a strong framework, boys are able to explore their values and establish the capability of making responsible decisions. Our boys are able to explore their own definitions of self, who they are and who they want to become; they learn to develop healthy, positive relationships, step out of their comfort zone and pursue their latent potential and aspirations. As educators committed to this Carmelite legacy, staff at Whitefriars strive to:
- Understand and celebrate the unique way that boys learn and develop
Encouraging boys to grow and mature at their own developmental pace, using strategies that address learning styles specific to boys. Recognising that boys are often physically active, competitive, apt to take risks and require variation in their learning.
- Teach in ways that boys learn best
Boys are more spatial and visual by nature. They demonstrate a natural affinity for areas like abstract mathematics and are hard-wired to learn more easily through action than words.
- Provide opportunities to enable each boy to develop to their full potential
Without the social pressures of a coeducational environment, boys are able to explore the full range of their personalities and potential. Casting aside stereotypes, boys grow to realise that they have many roles to play as scholar, athlete, musician, artist, designer and friend.
- Foster healthy, lifelong friendships
Positive, trusting relationships are critical to a boy’s learning. With teachers who are forthright and caring, boys lower their guard, share and give more confidently of themselves and develop a real sense of belonging.
- Facilitate the development of gentle, Christian men
Whilst the pursuit of high academic achievement is a key driver, the promotion of wellbeing, resilience, empathy and community service enable high quality learning. But these are all founded on the essential goal of forming ‘gentle men’ of integrity, grounded in Catholic faith and Carmelite tradition.
Tunstall Square Artwork
The Tunstall Square Traders Association in conjunction with Manningham City Council had a vision to revamp a portion the Tunstall Square’s carpark, turning it into an artist’s canvas. With an array of school groups mobilised, including Whitefriars, their efforts produced a variety of beautiful and creative art works. Long hours of work went in to each contribution and we congratulate Year 12 Art students Jayden West and Daniel Almaraz, along with their teacher, Ms Georgia Madden for their wonderful efforts in helping to make the project such a success. Images of the artwork can be found at https://www.facebook.com/tunstallsquare/ with the boy’s work located in the second top left carpark space – look for the brown tree and horses.
Year 9 Parent and Son Study Skills Evening
Following on from the recent Middle Years Student/Parent/Teacher Conferences, parents were invited to attend one of several Study Skills presentations with their son. These evenings were kindly facilitated by Mrs Ensor and were again extremely successful with very positive feedback from both parents and students.
How a student studies can have a profound effect on his results. Optimal outcomes are normally achieved when a student’s journey through school is a team effort between the student, his teachers and his parents/guardians. The study skills workshops addressed organisational skills, note taking, memory skills and ways in which we can practically support our boys through correct eating, sleeping and exercise patterns. Past students were also able to discuss what has and continues to work for them in their studies.
A reminder also that study sessions are now available in the Library and Academic Study Centre for Middle Years students. We continue to encourage students to attend the Library after school throughout the year to develop their approach to learning.
Next Wednesday 5 June, Whitefriars is honoured to be holding our annual Indigenous Celebration Day, inclusive of 2 games of football and a celebration luncheon featuring special guest, Cyril Rioli. Cyril is one of the most celebrated indigenous AFL footballers and a 4-time Hawthorn Premiership player and Norm Smith Medallist.
The whole College community will be in attendance for our Indigenous Celebration Ceremony between the two games of football.
Our thoughts are with Yianni and Thanassi Komninos whose grandfather passed away recently. Also with Sean Warren, whose paternal grandmother passed away this week. We pray that God’s peace is with the departed and brings comfort and courage to their families, along with loving memories to forever hold in their hearts.
Almae InFide Parentis