The other day got me thinking!  With several other staff, I began the task of writing the School’s new Wellbeing policy titled Wellbeing@CaloundraCity.  There were the usual conundrums when commencing a new piece of work – where do you start the document?  What do we already have?  What can we celebrate?  What can we improve? What are other’s thoughts on the topic?  What is happening in the student’s lives at this moment in time?  What do they really need, now?  I began to think about what it was like when I grew up compared to the students I teach.  For me; Life was slower, with less technology and on-demand conveniences. Life was harder, with more manual labour and do-it-yourself lifestyles. Life was more boring, with fewer screens and activities to entertain you. Life was quieter, without social media pinging you at night and day. Life centred around family and ‘rules were rules’. While these realities may sound depressing to some, I believe they actually nourished the ‘grit’ in my generation’s lives.  With less glitz, glamour, noise and clutter, people seemed to be stuck with something longer, even when the novelty wore off.  There wasn’t an expectation to be entertained; that everything would be fun or fast or that someone else would do the work we had been assigned. Today’s culture of speed and convenience has led to a ‘Google Reflex’ and ‘YouTube It’, where we assume, we can (and most often do) click and find answers in seconds.  They don’t have to memorise as much.  They don’t have to wait as much.  They don’t have to work as physically hard as we once did.  They don’t have to search as long. I once heard a term I use with parents and teachers lots now-a-days – “helping by not helping”.  Resilience is not a trait that some people simply possess, and others do not.  We all want to help our kids and students be successful, but sometimes the greatest lessons come from not being successful.  My point is that many young people seem fragile and ready to give up at the first sign of setback or adversity. We, parents and teachers tend to want to rescue them.  As well as helping those in their time of greatest need, can I suggest we also focus on pro-actively equipping all students with the tools to ride out challenges and manage their wellbeing.  We need to build resilience before the stressful events.  That’s why wellbeing practices are so important.  It is also why Wellbeing@CaloundraCity is so important.  So, what are the skills we should be developing in our young people? The American Psychological Association (2014) suggests ’10 Ways to Build Resilience”: Maintain good relationships with family members, friends and others; Avoid seeing crises or stressful events as unbearable problems; Accept circumstances that cannot be changed; Develop realistic goals and move towards them; Take decisive actions in adverse situations; Look for opportunities of self-discovery after a struggle with loss; Develop self-confidence; Keep a long-term perspective; Maintain a hopeful outlook; and Take care of one’s mind and body, exercising regularly. How can we make a start to making our children resilient?  Talk to your children and tell them it is ok to struggle.  It is ok to seek assistance.  It is ok to talk lots when they need to.  But remember sometimes the best help is not helping at all. Over the coming weeks, I will write reflections on the topics I address the School’s Wellbeing@CaloundraCity document. Students verses Staff Activities The last two weeks have seen the students and staff challenge each other in Volleyball and Oztag.  Whilst the competition was excellent and both games played in tremendous spirit, it was the fact that the events took place at all, was the best thing.  Students and staff competing and laughing together outside of the classroom.  The students nominated in such large numbers for the games they could have filled teams several times over.  The students saw the staff in a different light, not one as a teacher but as a competitor.  Over the coming weeks, it is the student’s chance to nominate the game or challenge to be undertaken.   The staff look forward to it. Just for the record, the staff are still undefeated! Duke of Edinburgh Award and Bridge Award The COVID19 issues have caused all sorts of problems for the students involved in both the Award levels.  Community Service now has to be done at home or at school.  Most of the students have found someone they can assist at home or in the neighbourhood whilst ensuring that they themselves are safe.  Outdoor Adventure has had to be put on hold, but we are now able to commence some planning for future adventures (restrictions allowing). The Year 7 Bridge Award students will undertake an exploration of bike tracks from the School to Aura Outdoors Park and back on Friday 4 September.  The group shall meet at Raelene Boyle Hall car park at 7am for a safety briefing and then navigate via various bike tracks and bikeways to Aura and return.  A Parent Information letter will be emailed home in the coming days. The School’s Bronze and Silver Award students will hopefully travel to northern New South Wales for an exploration of the old Chinese Gold Diggings and the upper reaches of the Clarence River.  The group will do three days white water canoeing and 2 days walking Frasers Gully recording the locations of recently discovered Chinese gold diggings from the late 1870s.  This adventure is open to all Year 9 – 12 students and parents.  The adventure dates are from Monday 21 – Saturday 26 September (Week 1 of the September School holidays).  The adventure will base itself at the very beautiful and remote Clarence River Wilderness Lodge.  Interested participants should contact me at the School as soon as possible please.   Friday Night Basketball The School has nominated three teams into this competition – Junior Boys, Junior Girls and Intermediate Boys.  Mr John Joseph has written and developed an eight-week skill development and training sessions for the students.  Team coaches/managers Mrs Kylie Lush (Junior Boys), Mrs Sherrie Cuthbert (Junior Girls) and Mr Phillip Webb (Intermediate Boys) have also been heavily involved in training with the students.  The first round of competition commences in the next couple of weeks with a home game for all three teams on Friday 28 August.  Unfortunately, no spectators or family are allowed at the games or training at this stage.  We wish the three teams well as they continue their training. Raelene Boyle Hall to be used by Super Netball Teams It is very exciting to announce that a number of Super Netball teams and their feeder teams have enquired about using Raelene Boyle Hall as a training venue on weekends over the coming months.  Whilst it is disappointing that the students will not be able to watch or be in the building at the same time as the athletes and staff, the School has negotiated that training sessions will be conducted by the Sunshine Coast Thunder for our girls later this year and early next year as they prepare for the 2021 Monday Night Netball season.  This will be an unreal opportunity for the students to be coached by world standard netball coaches and officials and will be such a huge boost to our developing Netball program. Happy, calm students learn the best! Have a great week everyone.  Go Gently. Peter McMahon Head of Student Head of Physical Education and Sport.

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