From the Senior Years

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.
Molière   |   

Over the past fortnight, students in the Senior Years have had a range of opportunities to experience the various ‘glories’ that come with overcoming obstacles, whether large or small, literal or figurative.

For Year 12 students, the ‘glory’ for many students was scaling the 20-metre height of Hardrock climbing Students had the ‘challenge by choice’ model where they could pick their way up various colour-coded climbs to suit their own experience and desire. All students surprised themselves with their own tenacity and courage – many were overheard saying “I did it” – a powerful experience of ones own capacity. What was also evident was joy. It was the joy and ‘glory’ that comes from doing dangerous things safely. Taking calculated risk – owning the risk and achieving it is such an important part of school life. Reflecting with Sienna P, she commented: “[Rock climbing] isn’t something that I normally do, but I really liked it.” These are great opportunities to experience obstacle students might not routinely encounter but really felt empowered in overcoming .

Across both Year 11 and Year 12, students will have risen to the challenge of a range of formal assessment tasks this week. I encourage parents and students to reflect on the ‘glory’ of ‘what went well’; while also reflecting on the next steps in learning and identify strategies to overcome remaining obstacles. To take lessons from physical challenges and adopt the mindset of reaching for the next grip hold, of shifting balance on a foot hold to boost higher up.

For the Year 11 students, the Nourish session focused on the idea of sleep being a ‘superpower.’ Sleep is a critical aspect of overall wellbeing, health and learning. For some students profiting from a good night’s sleep can be an obstacle – senior students are often very busy people. The demands of VCE studies require concentration, focus and effort. Schools are busy places with students engaging in a high number of interpersonal interactions each day. On top of this, many students work part time hours. All of which may be coupled with a rich co-curricular and social life both virtual and in person.

According to neuroscientist Professor Matt Walker, a renowned expert in the science of sleep that formed part of students Nourish program, some healthy tips for sleep include: regularity in going to bed and waking up each night, ‘keep it cool’ and reducing room temperature to 18 degrees, ensuring a ‘wind down’ routine each night, maximising the darkness where a person sleeps, and finally, if waking during the night to ‘walk it out’ if waking persists for more than 25 minutes.

Tom Crowle
Senior Years Leader