By Stuart Davis, principal, St Leonard’s College
At St Leonard’s College, our greatest ambition is for all of our students to feel that they are known, nurtured and loved. These are the essential ingredients that lie at the heart of our college vision to provide an education for life. This is largely achieved through our Mentor Program, that sees each student allocated to a specific teacher who monitors their academic, social and emotional wellbeing throughout the year.
Undoubtedly, as we come to know and understand our young people and their families, we are better able to nurture them through myriad challenging pathways ahead. The most significant of these, the academic pathway, is our raison d’être. A large focus of our mentors as our young people pass through the college is on helping our students maintain perspective. Central to this is the need to nurture them to adopt growth mindsets. This requires that they accept the central premise that talent, ability and intelligence are not fixed. This starting point makes them more likely to pursue behaviours that are beneficial for learning, and less likely to see mistakes as threatening, which increases their resilience.
How we demonstrate our third ingredient – love – is more complex. The various stages of children’s development commence when they are babies with welcomed hugging, kissing, singing and open expressions of love. This outward expression diminishes as they move through adolescence until, as teenagers, they openly start to pull away.
Love at this stage requires that we give them sufficient space to find their place, but not so much space that we lose the ability to read their signals. They invariably require a greater say in decisions that impact on their lives and even greater understanding when discussing sensitive issues. It is my hope that our students discover the simple truth: the more they have love in their life, the more happy and efficient they will be, for it is through loving others that they become more connected to the world in which they live and learn to move beyond the confines of selfhood.
Principal – Mr Peter Clague Providing Exemplary Education for Over 100 Years Established in 1914, St Leonard’s College is Bayside’s […]