Building Positive Relationships
Jann Robinson, Principal | 22 March 2019
It was a great delight to see the students embrace National Anti-Bullying Day. The pledges the students wrote reflected very practical things they could do to make the world a better place. One of the challenges for students is the ease with which they can be thoughtless on Social Media, email and texts. It was a timely reminder for the School to reflect upon the ways we can build positive relationships.
It has been an unintentional by-product of the Internet that it has been used to bully others. The Internet was launched 30 years ago last week. Those who developed it saw the tremendous advantages of being able to work with others around the world and to connect easily. They never envisaged that it could become a place of meanness and bullying. Like so many things, the Internet is morally neutral but it is what people choose to do with it that makes a difference.
Last week in Assemblies I reflected on what we value and how we view people. Students can tend to think that the smart / clever people are those who are good at the traditional subjects like Mathematics and English. However, Learning@STLUKE’S challenges the students to think about being smart / clever in different ways. It challenges them to be resilient; to be people who don’t give up in the face of difficulties. It challenges them to be resourceful and not to be passive when they face a situation which is unknown. It challenges them to act with reciprocity so that they value the contribution of others and understand that inter-dependence matters in an individualistic society. It challenges them to be reflective and to go beyond the surface and material, and to consider the deeper meaning of life and existence. It challenges them with Restoration to act in the world with kindness and compassion.
This term we continue to have a focus on kindness. For our youngest students they think of it in terms of how they relate to those they see each day. However, our Seniors are thinking about bigger and more complex issues. They are looking at the ways they can make a practical difference to the wider world. They are concerned about climate change and how they might affect decisions that are made as well as beginning to consider the inequities they see in the world.
We want our students to engage in the discourse and to do so from a position of understanding the complexities of the issues. They need to be prepared to read widely and to read deeply. This is a huge challenge in the digital age. It means as a school we stay committed to an education which develops the ability to think critically and to really grapple with the big questions about life.