Steven Bradbury, Last Man Standing

The Sports Awards night celebrated our students as teams and individuals who excelled in their field. The number of students who received a gold, silver or bronze award was testimony to the skill, dedication and the participation ethic of our students. Whether the students achieved an award or not on the evening I am proud of all of our students who gave it their best in our various sporting pursuits over the course of 2018.

Our guest speaker this year was Australian gold medal winner Steven John Bradbury, OAM. Steven was a short track speed skater, four-time Olympian and the first athlete from the Southern Hemisphere and Australia to win a Winter Olympic gold medal. Also known as ‘Last Man Standing,’ Steven became world famous when his strategy during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City paid off and he took out gold after all the other skaters in the race crashed.

Steven regaled us with stories about his lifetime of labour to become ‘an overnight success’ in speed skating. He impressed upon the students how important it was to be dedicated, have a positive mindset and then be prepared for a lot of hard work. Steven spoke highly of his coach Ann Zhang and encouraged GCC students to find a supporter coach in their life – whether it be a parent, teacher or actual sporting coach.

One of the highlights was Steven allowing his Olympic gold medal to be handed around the church so everyone could see and feel it up close.

This year the prestigious titles of Primary Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year went to Jared Moss and Indiah Loveday. The Middle School Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year are Jaymes Roser and Olivia McKenzie and the Senior Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year are Aiden McKellar and Chloe Dunford.

Finally I would like to thank our hard working PE and Sports department, not only for the successful and professionally run awards night but also for their tireless commitment to ensuring that every student who wants to have the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports and play them at the highest level. Well done team.

See all the photos here

Seven things you should know about your child

Today we had our Middle School Experience morning. Transitioning from Primary to Middle School is a big step and it is little wonder that some students are apprehensive about that (and parents for that matter). The Middle School Experience Morning gives students an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the classrooms they will be in next year, meet some of their teachers and ask the questions they need to so they feel more comfortable. It also gives students that are new to the College an opportunity to meet some of their new classmates.  

It is an important and challenging stage of any child’s schooling so I thought I would give some of the things that every parent needs to know about their Middle School child.

  1. Middle schoolers care more about what their friends think than anyone else. This is a substantial change from children caring most about what their parents think and we should be prepared for it when it happens. It is part of the growing up process. Encourage good, healthy friendships and keep communication lines open.
  2. Along with all other factors Middle schoolers have to deal with the beginning of puberty and their bodies changing. They have to deal with the onset of pimples, body odour, developing too slowly or too quickly and all the rest. Talk about what their bodies will go through before they reach this age to help prepare them and then ensure they have all they need to hygienically deal with what they are going through. Remind them it doesn’t last forever and they are not alone.
  3. Middle schoolers love a bit of drama and tend to exaggerate. Don’t be alarmed if they scream and jump on the table if they spot a cockroach above the door. The tendency to exaggerate is even more noticeable in friendship groups. There should be no surprise if the worst person in the world one day is their best friend the next. Try not to overreact and join their emotional extremes. Instead, respond in a calm way and try and keep a sense of humour and perspective.
  4. Middle schoolers do not respond well to unspecific public praise. This a big adjustment for parents who are used to their primary aged children lapping up public admiration and limelight. Don’t stop praising your middle schooler but keep it low key and in family moments rather than in front of their friends or in large groups. When you do praise, whether it be verbally or on Facebook, make sure that the praise is in response to something specific; whether it be an achievement, great effort or attribute that they have demonstrated.
  5. Middle schoolers can’t be trusted with confidences. This sounds awful but it is just part of what they are going through. Young adolescents are emerging from being the centre of their own childish universe to becoming aware that other people see the world differently. They become curious about the adults around them but haven’t yet learned the restraint that comes with maturity and want to share what they have learned. Even though your middle schooler may be looking and acting more like an adult every week, they aren’t there yet.
  6. Middle schoolers want to spend less time with their parents. Just as they care more about what their friends think than their parents (point 1) they will also want to be with their friends more than their families. This is normal and all you can do is encourage healthy friendships. Make their friends welcome in your home and offer to host gatherings. This way you can earn ‘brownie points’ with your child and at the same time you learn more about their friends and what your child is like when they are with them.
  7. Middle schoolers are often still children. One minute you may be enjoying an in-depth adult conversation with them about the meaning of life and the next they are throwing a tantrum because there is no ice cream for dessert. Expect it, prepare for it and be patient.

The years from 11 to 14 are difficult for our children and we need to do everything we can to help them successfully navigate them. Source: https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/middle-school-kids/

Mike Curtis, Principal

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