The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

From the Head of Middle School

The actions of our boys today are their habits of tomorrow

We welcomed 150 new boys across Year 6, 7 and 8 into the College and Middle School last week.  As I said in my welcome back address to many of the parents at our brief morning tea on Wednesday, and again later that day to our boys, I put the spotlight on the relationship between actions, habits and character.  I was hopeful of making the point that our repeated actions become habits and the sum of our habits forms our reputation.  My question to them was: "What sort of reputation do you want? As this will tell you what sort of actions you should be trying to turn into habits."

Four simple examples that may or may not have made it to the dinner table conversation last Wednesday I used to clarify my question were:

  • If you don't want to be seen as the time-wasting late guy, be on time to your classes, every day.
  • If you don't want to be seen as the disorganised guy, pack your bag and get your uniform laid out ready the night before school, every night.
  • If you don't want to be seen as the rude guy, thank your teachers, thank your parents, and compliment your mates, daily.
  • If you don't want to be seen as the stinky guy; wash your hair and wear deodorant, regularly.

The concept of actions becoming habits is a critical one for early adolescent boys and therefore us as Middle School teachers and parents.  Our goal for boys entering into Senior School and particularly into Year 11 & 12, is that their endeavours, inside and outside the classroom, are underpinned by good habits.  Habits that enhance effective and efficient learning and relationship building.  If I throw in four topics such as: being seen as a reader, respectful, fit  & healthy and diligent, I do not think your sons would have any trouble coming up with another four illustrations to highlight these characteristics.  It might be worth having this conversation at dinner sometime this week.  Tell them Mr Ledger asked you to.

Thank you for helping us have a very smooth start to the year.  I look forward to seeing you at the Parent Information Evenings this week. 

Mr Richard Ledger
Head of Middle School