Defining Excellence

First and foremost, I would like to thank every member of the CBC community for the kind welcome you have afforded me as a new member of the College Leadership Team. It is a privilege to be responsible for the teaching and learning opportunities the boys receive, and I look forward to working with each of you more closely as your son continues his personal journey towards becoming a CBC Gentleman. img_2100.jpg

At the Parent Information Evenings earlier this term we identified key academic focus areas, tailored to students age and stage in development. For example, Year 7 students are asked to focus inwards, working towards independent organisation and discovering a sense of belonging in their first month of timetabled classes. In contrast, the Senior students, while making a final push towards achieving their academic goals are challenged to consider the community. How can they use the skills they have obtained to show kindness to others? Where can they take actions that consider the needs of the community? Seeing the boys in action at the House Swimming Carnival was an outstanding example of this. The sense of joy in participation was palpable and it was heartwarming to see the encouragement and support shown to all students who put on the racing cap to earn points for their House.

A constant theme discussed at every parent information evening was defining academic excellence, specifically the opportunity for the College to work in synergy with the Community in celebrating effort as well as achievement. A student should not be defined by the score they receive in a test, but rather by the effort and dedication they put into their preparation. Just as the student who jumps into the pool to cover for an absent friend at the Swimming Carnival is a success, so is the student who commits to a study goal, makes sacrifices in order to complete schoolwork and extracts the most of every classroom moment. Parents can support this by affirming their son on their levels of effort and dedication rather than simply the grade they receive for an assessment. Setting the bar 'just higher than you can jump right now' and committing to the actions required to help clear it are important steps each student can take with regards to owning their own academic journey. Furthermore, for students at a stage in their journey that they are beginning to consider future academic pathways, how can they accurately make decisions based on potential if they are not working to the best of their ability? In some instances, this means approaching their studies in a different way and in assemblies and meetings with students I have been asking them "what are you willing to do different this year in order to achieve your goal?".

The rest of Term promises to be an exciting one, and I encourage the boys to challenge themselves by trying something new. Perhaps they can join the Iona / CBC Book Club, attend an English or Math help session, try their hand at Lego Engineering Challenges or get fit with part of the Run Club on Wednesday mornings. I look forward to connecting with you again soon at the upcoming Parent Teacher interviews.

Mr Jean Paul Papineau
Deputy Principal - Teaching & Learning