Head of Campus – 22 February 2018

‘A rising tide raises all boats’

A wonderfully warm welcome to you all for the academic New Year of 2018.

It is wonderful to have you all with us on this incredible learning journey, whether new boys and families of our existing students and families.

We have made a fantastic start to what is going to be an extraordinary year at our great school. I am happy to report that boys have been working hard in the class room, hard in their sporting and cultural pursuits and engaging with new environments in the city and wilderness with aplomb.

There is much on the horizon to look towards and my challenge to our boys as a learning community is to become one in which together we will work hard, ask questions, grow and learn to become the best version of ourselves, as individuals and a community. Although many fine teachers departed us for new challenges at the end of last year, I am absolutely thrilled with our new staff. Mix expertise in Chinese language and community relations, an Order of Australia Medal, an Apple distinguished educator, a Master’s Degree in Pedagogy with a Victorian Award for Excellence in Careers Education and you will have some sense of the calibre of our new colleagues. Already their impact on student learning has been tangibly evident.

Our pure focus on this year is of our school improving in everything we do to appreciate that we can achieve excellence if we work together. It was the American philosopher Durant who drew on the work of Aristotle to say that ‘We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act but a habit.’ The challenge for the boys is to make the quest for excellence as part of their daily routine through their habits. As a result, we are placing a greater emphasis on the little aspects of our practice including appearance and learning routines. Our society has changed greatly in recent years to become one where ribbons are rewarded without results and trophies are presented without triumphs. I want all boys to understand the benefits of hard work, application, enthusiasm and engagement and the rewards that come from striving to achieve excellence in all endeavours.

Our motto for the year will be ‘a rising tide raises all boats.’ President John F Kennedy once said this as he reflected on the waters of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. For us, as a learning community, it has a deeper meaning, that is, that we all can play a hand in lifting standards, that we all have the capacity to drive change to make our school a great one, that the actions of one have the capacity to enrich the experience of others. We are stronger as one and the wonderful work of lifting standards, aspirations and expectations has been done.

All the very best for a wonderful year and a reminder of our School motto-Virtute et Labore translated from the Latin as By Valour and Exertion-another reminder of the importance of consistent effort.

Please enjoy reading about some of the fresh and exciting innovations that we have introduced this year to ensure that we meet our primary purpose-Growing Good Men!

Virtute et Labore’

Dr Steven Middleton
Head of Berwick Grammar School