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From Deputy Principal: Student Engagement and Wellbeing

23 June 2023

I have been reading James Clear’s “Atomic Habits” where he talks about how making small changes to our habits can have a huge impact. Clear states that making small improvements which are unnoticeable on a day-to-day basis are far more meaningful in the long run. Little decisions and choices made over and over will start to add up and create significant results. And it is this approach I would like to encourage our whole community to adopt.

Over this, our first semester, we have focussed on these small improvements. Students, staff, and families have been asked to focus on achievable goals to set the tone here at the College. We have asked all students to attend class on time and prepared. We have also asked all students to attend school in full school uniform, adhering to the agreed Uniform Guide that all families have been sent. You can find it at the end of this newsletter as well. And we have asked all students to interact with all staff and all classmates with respect and collegiality. These are all achievable goals and set the tone for strong academic and social growth. As we head into the holidays, I ask all students and their families to review these “atomic habits” and to recommit to them for Semester Two.

Over the break I ask all families to do an inventory on their child’s uniform. Please ensure that your child comes to school Day 1 Term Three in the full correct uniform. It is an easy way to demonstrate to the broader community that they are one of us – that they are Thomas Carr. We are proud of our students and want the community to know who we are and what we stand for. This prepares our young people for their future roles. It teaches them that they represent not only themselves but their families and the organisation they are affiliated with – in this case, Thomas Carr College. Their uniform is their sign that they belong somewhere – here, with us.

I also ask that our students recommit to arrive to school and class on time. We know that ‘Every Minute Counts’ and that not only do we need to be punctual in life, but we need to be productive with the time allocated for a task. Arriving late to class, unprepared and without resources, diminishes the potential learning in that class. We know our families work very hard to send their children to our College. I encourage you, our families, to remind your children about this and to ensure they are getting here on time and ready to learn. It is obvious what this can lead to in the future for our students – a strong work ethic that will allow them to flourish and achieve their potential.

The last thing I would like us all to spend time resetting is the level of respect in our interactions with each other. It is important that all students understand the role of the teacher in the classroom. Our teachers work tirelessly to plan, implement, assess, and review the content of their lessons. They differentiate, modify, extend, and create content that improves each student’s capacity to learn. Our teachers also care deeply about their students. They want them to achieve, to flourish, to become the best version of themselves. For this to happen, they need to feel safe in the knowledge that they will be respected in their role. Our students can demonstrate this respect quite easily in the way they speak to and interact with their teachers and their peers. I encourage all families to have that conversation with their children so that they know we are all on the same page. You can find some useful resources to assist with this conversation at the Respectful Relationships website. This “Atomic Habit” can lead to a lifetime of respectful interactions so that our young people can have rich and fulfilling relationships in their workplaces and, more importantly, in their lives.

If we work together, families, students, and staff, on these “Atomic Habits” we can take the vital steps needed towards a healthier, more productive learning environment. Let us take these holidays to reflect upon which “Atomic Habit” we will focus on, think about the steps we will take to ensure we are reprogramming ourselves to take up better habits, and take the time to prepare for the start of Term Three with our new Principal ready to walk with us.

Enjoy the holidays and take care of yourselves and each other.

Ms. Ivanka Spiteri
Deputy Principal: Student Engagement and Wellbeing