As I write this newsletter, I remind myself that we are already more than half way through the term and our Year 12’s are quickly approaching their final days as students at Gippsland Grammar; they have begun their countdown and are excited about the prospect of finishing Year 12 and their secondary education. With the end approaching, there is also a rising in anxiety levels as they realise the enormity of the task in front of them and the challenge of ‘doing your best’ in the November exams. I must admit to having similar feelings as I returned to study this year to be confronted with exam and assignment deadlines.
I recently read an article where Trent Cotchin, the Captain of the Richmond Football Club, described how he had changed his approach to AFL football and leading a successful Club. He described feeling anxiety and pressure, but only when his sole focus was on the end-result.
‘The more you focus on results, the more you lose sight of the here and now and the things you can control. Your outlook shifts …you become distracted by things you can’t control. You forget your strengths, the things you are passionate about; the things that matter. You lose perspective. You also lose your sense of joy.’
Our Year 12 students can control their current interactions with their teachers and peers and the learning process that they experience each day in their classes. If they focus on what is happening now and find joy in what they are learning, the end-result will take care of itself. Once we finish school and complete our studies, we realise what an opportunity it was to simply attend school every day and learn.
Learning should be a joy for everyone. I ask our Year 12 students not to focus on the end-result or the destination, but to enjoy each day and make the most of the time left with teachers and peers. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to return to study. The time I can find to study reminds me of the joy of learning and of interacting with others in a genuine and authentic learning environment. I ask our Year 12 students to approach their final weeks of secondary school in the same way.
In other matters, you may recently have read or heard about a proposal by the Federal Government to change the manner in which it calculates the School’s funding each year. This is a serious issue for Gippsland Grammar, as we rely heavily on the support we receive from the Federal and State Governments. It is also important to note that your children currently receive far less support from the Government than students who attend Catholic Schools and Government Schools.
This is a situation we have accepted and lived with for many years; however, I am concerned that the current proposal may impact us negatively, further increasing the disparity in funding we receive, compared to other Schools in the area. I will keep you informed as to the outcomes of this proposal, but I encourage you to remind your local Member of the importance of our School to this region and the importance of the support we receive from both the State and Federal Governments.