We know our boys

You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” – A.A. Milne.

This famous quote from a childhood favourite is encouraging. It gives reason for hope. It motivates us to do more and to be better than we were yesterday. Perhaps in its simplicity, we may lose sight of the fact that such strengths are derived from adversities. In a world where we meticulously mitigate risks, how can we ensure our boys experience the necessary challenges to develop the competence and confidence to be effective learners?

At Ipswich Grammar School, we know boys.

We know our boys need to move. A boy’s cerebral cortex is largely dedicated to spatial functioning. When our boys are active, their ability to remain alert increases. Our teachers know our boys learn best when they are ‘doing’ and provide frequent opportunities for our boys to engage in hands-on application of tasks.

We know our boys need purpose. Our boys are driven to achieve when they see value in a task. Our boys know the reasoning behind the recite-recall-apply process of our warm-ups and the intention of each lesson. Our teachers consistently provide our boys with real-life context as to ‘why’ we are learning a concept or skill and our boys are motivated by a clear and precise objective.

We know our boys need positive relationships. Establishing respectful relationships is imperative to our boys’ success. Our teachers show genuine care, concern and interest in our boys. They provide our boys with specific feedback on their next-step goals and offer praise for their effort. Our teachers believe in our boys and in turn, our boys are willing to ‘have-a-go’ at any set task.

We know our boys need to be challenged. Our boys develop resilience when they experience difficulties. If we continue to learn what we already know, we are in fact learning nothing at all. Our 30/40/30 model sees our teachers routinely expose our boys to next level content. In doing so, our boys develop the mindset and toolkit to persist through hardship and strive towards success.

All boys are capable of building resilience. As we encourage our boys to be actively engaged and make decisions in their learning with increasing independence, we enable them to become increasingly competent and confident in their own ability. Developing resilience helps our boys to navigate the ups and downs of life. As Jordan Hoechlin once stated, “It never gets easier, you just get better.” May we always strive to be better.

Anj Caldwell

Junior School Curriculum Leader