From the Principal Brad Fry – Stories of Persistence and Empowerment

27th Apr 2016

Term 2 began separately with Boys’ and Girls’ Junior School Assemblies. Their common theme was persistence, commitment and ‘grit’.

Our Junior Boys heard about cancer survivor Terry Fox and his incredible goal of running across Canada with an artificial leg. Terry’s persistence engaged a nation and although he did not ultimately achieve his goal, his persistence and commitment were a wonderful example to our young men!

Our Junior Girls examined these qualities through Hilary Clinton and Helen Reddy (an Old Girl of Tintern!) bookending the face of brave, persistent women in Western society who have shown real grit since the appreciation of the capacity of women. The anthem “I Am Woman (hear me roar)” was played at the end to an enthusiastic audience of students, staff and parents in recognition of the path of bravery and grit trodden by Helen as one of the significant faces of modern feminism.

At today’s Secondary Assembly (with the theme of ‘Persistence”) I spoke to the students about the story of Mathew Hayman, winner of last Sunday week’s 2016 Paris-Roubaix bicycle race at his 15th attempt! Mat has been a selfless servant of others for 18 years in the pro cycling ranks and only won on Sunday by virtue of putting himself in a position others were to benefit from; an overnight success 18 years in the making!

As we enter the winter terms, with its dark mornings, rain and cold temperatures, motivation can be hard to find in many ways. For our students, staying optimistic, positive and persisting can be tough through the winter. While there are many benefits, personally and academically, to doing so, it really does require persistence, commitment and ‘grit’.

These are critical qualities for everyone in our community to develop or refine – and not just at Tintern. The development of persistence and grit is tough, there is no doubt and I know as a parent myself that providing the environment for it goes against many of our natural parenting tendencies. But in the current environment of increasing anxiety and psychological ill-health in our young men and women, the development of resilience and grit, while tough on parents and teachers, is key to their (and our) good mental health and fulfilment.

In the event you have queries about supporting and developing your child or seek more significant support as a parent, we are happy to assist or provide direction towards suitable others to provide support. Parenting has never been more difficult than it is in the 21st century.

Factis non Verbis

Brad Fry
Principal

Please click on the Video Blog below from our Principal, Mr Brad Fry and Head of Girls’ Middle School and Girls’ Education, Miss Oriana Constable. The interview discusses the Tintern girls Middle School experience.