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Principal’s Blog

August 19, 2019

Dear Students, Parents and Staff,

What can we learn from elephants? We know that elephants have a good memory and it is this fact that humans use to manage them.

When elephants are born in captivity, they are tethered to a stake to stop them running away. As a baby elephant, they are not strong enough to break the rope or chain. However, as they grow older the owners don’t have to change the strength of the rope as the elephant has learnt that they cannot break away. Interesting the adult elephant could easily break the link given their size, weight and strength but the knowledge that they are helpless against the rope has been ingrained into their memory from the very beginning.

The metaphor of the tethered baby elephant is very much part of the human condition. Naturally, we also learn behaviours or develop attitudes that hold us back from reaching our potential. To continually be better we need to develop a ‘growth mindset’. Making mistakes or being open to learning news things, are a couple of elements of the traits that are healthy in this area. The classroom learning walks undertaken by a staff team is a gauge on how students are embracing a growth mindset, focusing on how to be better and taking responsibility for their learning.

It was wonderful to hear first-hand many of the testimonies from Year 12 at their retreat recently. They acknowledge publicly that they felt nurtured and supported by the teachers throughout their high school days at St Francis Xavier (SFX). Of course, they included their parents and families in this recognition as well. The theme Each journey beings with a single step is most appropriate as they reflected on their time at school and the imminent launch into the adult world.

Strategic Plan

The College Strategic Plan expires at the end of 2019, so over the last week the staff and the members of the Community Council participated in the process of determining the SFX journey for the next three years. The data from the Satisfaction Surveys will also help to frame this plan. Once the Strategic Plan is finalised, it will be published on our website.

Best wishes,

Paul Carroll


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