Start Where You Stand (Berton Braley - 20th Century American poet)
Inspired by a pre-Term 1 professional learning focus on the ‘growth mindset’ research of educational psychologist, Carol S Dweck (See Mindset – updated publication, 2012), Berton Braley’s poem captures the message we continue to reinforce with colleagues, students and parents – that today is a starting point... and the first term of a new school year is an opportunity to restart or to build even further on outstanding achievement:
Start where you stand
This is another chapter in the book,
This is another race that you have planned.
The world won’t care about your old defeats,
The future is your time and time is fleet.
Take courage, be brave and drive ahead,
Start where you stand...
From Preschool to Year 12, teachers will be reinforcing for students that high quality achievement requires effort – directed at the right targets. That is, ‘right practice’, not ‘just’ practice. Finding the words or the person to spark the aspiration is a shared responsibility and some of Dweck’s words are helpful:
‘The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.’
Dweck advises, ‘If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence.’
Breaking of new ground this year: Parents will note curriculum change across all three campuses: Cambridge International Global Perspectives and Primary Ethics at Gib Gate, i-Stem, ‘Creatable’ (industry-delivered course), a Year 8 Extension Mathematics Research Project and Extension Science at Frensham, and after-school classes added to the Sturt Design and Fabrication programme, through the School for Wood at Sturt. Physically, significant renovations and restorations have been achieved over the break at both Gib Gate and Frensham. Student boarding numbers at Frensham are at more than 73% of the total school enrolment, with our demographic mix including long distance – interstate and overseas, Sydney and local boarders, and Gib Gate’s Preschool has started with very high numbers for both the Reception and Transition classes. New Staff positions – in Languages, Mathematics, Innovation and Foundation create a new energy and challenge that drive essential ongoing review and new opportunity. We continue to ask, ‘What’s worth learning - in this rapidly changing world?’
I look forward to the year ahead - working with parents in our support of student progress – in all facets of the educational experience.
Ms Julie Gillick
Head of Frensham
Head of Frensham Schools