Not so long ago, at least from your parents’ perspective, social media was not part of society. There were traditional media, and there was a social connection, and neither had any real relevance to the other. Information was shared face-to-face, over the phone, in a letter, or via the grapevine.
In these uncertain and challenging times, divisions and tensions have escalated globally and the College has not been immune. Stories of racism at the College surfaced on social media last week. As already communicated, the specific student at the forefront of these was immediately suspended and has since left the College.
Unfortunately, the College Council has been led to believe this was not an isolated occurrence. It has since been alerted to a number of other incidents that are also cause for alarm. Accusations and counter-accusations have been made in public which have escalated divisions and tensions. Impatience and frustrations have also risen.
Despite some perceptions to the contrary, the Council responded immediately by establishing an independent committee to look into these matters. This Committee is not only made up of representatives from Council, the College (staff and students), parents and alumni, but also has an independent member. The Committee has been drawn up to reflect the diversity at the College.
St Peter’s College, a Christian private institution a little over 20 years old, entered the education arena and mental grounding allowing them to cope with life’s challenges and correctly assimilate a world that often presents conflicting messages. We have always purposed that our students, regardless of any negative external influences, be best equipped to make the right choices; that they always consciously choose to do what is just and noble. Part of this includes an ever-present focus on diversity and inclusion that creates cohesion amongst the students and enables them to have rich and fulfilling personal and professional relationships beyond the school gate.
In light of the announcement from the President, I thought it would be beneficial to share some book-related resources to help get us through the next few weeks, both in terms of our school work, and reading for relaxation and escape.
Before I start, I encourage all of you to try and read more at this time. Reading is (typically) a low-screen time form of entertainment and escapism. Reading allows us to process our thoughts and feelings through the thoughts and feelings of our favorite characters. This is helpful in a challenging time like this. There is a book out there for everyone
Mr Simon Henderson, the current Head Master of Eton College (Eton, Berkshire, England), spent time as a gap year student, at St Peter’s Prep. This was years back when the current Rector of St Peter’s Prep, Greg Royce, began his tenure as Headmaster of the Boys School.
At ISASA’s request, Simon Sean Henderson was approached - asking him to deliver a keynote address at the ISASA and Independent Schools Heads’ Conference, which took place over the half-term last week.
St Peter's Boys Prep: Preparing boys to be able to adapt to the fast paced change that is occurring in the information age
A major theme of this year’s International Boys’ School Coalition Conference was the need for schools to prepare boys to be able to adapt to the fast paced change that is occurring in the information age. This requires that a strong moral compass be provided as well as the skills of collaboration, innovation and ability to evaluate and use technology, with a strong emphasis on creativity.
I am writing this article on the morning of World Teachers’ Day: 5 October. It is interesting to reflect on how the role of the teacher has changed in our modern world. Traditionally, the teacher has been the imparter of knowledge and skills aimed at preparing the child for a place in an industrialised workplace. Numeracy and literacy were combined with general knowledge and scientific skills to become the basket of goods delivered by the teacher.
One of the presentations that our staff enjoyed at the beginning of the year was on “The Five Love Languages.” This concept, which was introduced by Gary Chapman as far back as the 1990’s, still has relevance for both teachers and parents today. The basic idea is that different people value different expressions of affirmation and love and that by identifying a particular individual’s love language, we are able to support them in a way that is particularly meaningful to them. While everyone does need each of the forms of appreciation, our tendency is to react most favourably to one or two of the Love Languages.
Education is as much about failure as it is about success. In order to achieve our goals we must suffer a degree of discomfort and we must “knock the bar down” before we jump over it. If this were not the case, our journey towards becoming better educated would simply be a rite of passage and we would not be able to take true pride in our achievements.