16 October 2017

FROM THE HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL

Each week at our Senior School assembly we learn of the outstanding achievements of so many of the boys. In the Summer Term alone, there were six boys selected to represent Australia and twenty boys selected to represent Western Australia in a diverse range of sports. The rate at which the boys are being selected for state and national representation has continued to be a feature at this term's assemblies.

With so many boys achieving at such extraordinary levels, we risk underestimating the scale of these achievements. A short announcement followed by brief applause at an assembly does little to help us understand the true nature of some of these achievements. In a new initiative from Mr Hindle, Head of Student Leadership, we recently enjoyed the first of a series of student interviews that will reveal the challenges and motivations that are behind some of the boy's success.

In the first of these interviews, Cody Witham, Year 12, Keys, who has just been selected in the Australian Wrestling High Performance Programme in the lead up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, spoke of his training schedule, his willingness to try a range of sports before discovering wrestling and the importance of finding your passion. Cody's humility and relaxed speaking manner were impressive and his advice to students was clear - Be prepared to try a range of different activities in the search for your passion and whatever it is that you choose to do, strive to do your best.

Too often people attribute success to ability and sometimes even luck but this is a limited and misleading view. As Cody revealed, effort and application are the keys. In a review of the qualities of highly successful people, Art Costa and Bena Kallick, in their book, Discovering and Exploring Habits of Mind (2000), identified traits such as persistence, attention to detail and flexibility, to name just three qualities, as common amongst those who are successful. Cody's example was a clear illustration of these qualities and left a strong impression on all of us.

Another recent example where effort and attention to detail were the primary attributes for success was the senior production, Billy Budd. This was an outstanding performance in every sense and a credit to the boys involved. From the student run sound, lighting and stage management to the convincing character performances on stage, Billy Budd was an outstanding success. The director of the production, Mr Andrews, is justifiably proud of the cast and crew. There is no doubt that the boys involved in Billy Budd will have fond memories of their involvement in this production for many years to come.

Dr Rob McEwan