Dear College Community,

Greetings from our College. We are enjoying a deeply rewarding and enriching time with our students. Coming to ‘work’ is an absolute joy, especially seeing so many students dressed in their favourite characters for Book-week. Mr Moses advised that we’ve had a few Wally’s being found through-out the day (haha).

As of Friday, 4th June, I’m commencing surgery-related medical leave, but looking forward to returning next Term. Evidenced by happy children and growing waiting lists (we are currently taking bookings up to 2029); Mr Trimble (Secondary), Mr Moses (Primary) and Mrs Jasna Trimble (Childcare) will continue leading their areas of the school community with excellence.

During my absence, Mr Moses has kindly agreed to step into the Acting Principal’s role.If I continue to need time for recovery in Term 3, Mr Trimble will step up into the Acting Principal’s role, and Mr Moses will no doubt enjoy returning to a more ‘normal’ work-life. SCBC’s Heads of Schools and Director of Childcare are a blessing of high-quality leadership.  

This Newsletter is also an opportunity to warmly welcome Mr Matt Robinson as SCBC’s Director of Finance and Operations. I first met Matt at a local Rockingham Chamber of Commerce event. It quickly became apparent he was/is outstanding in his field of finance and accounting-related management. In humility and with highly skilled competency, Matt served as a volunteer on the SCBC Board for several years. Matt’s passion for Christ-inspired education, ultimately attracted him to the recently advertised role for the Finance and Operations area.  

Acknowledging we’ve significantly grown and developed outstanding building provisions for our students (NB: construction for the new Gymnasium is starting this year), SCBC will always be deeply grateful for Mr Trevor Darch (Business Operations Manager), and for Mr Joshua Beck (Finance Operations Manager). Similarly, Mr Tim Oates used his years of experience in Science to help provide shape and form to the STEM building. Our students continue to be blessed by the excellence of many. We love helping them thrive!     

Faith-full at SCBC – Our theme this year focusses on the College value of love.

Below are a few Bible verses that refer to love, followed by a reflective question.

‘Because Your loving kindness is better than life, my lips will praise You.’ (Psalm 63:3)

‘By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.’ (1 John 4:9)

‘Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.’ (Jude 1:21)

  • Question: What does it mean to keep yourself in the love of God?
  • An answer: The Bible encourages us that love is to be kind, to not envy, to not boast, nor to be proud. The love that inspires us is not rude, nor self-seeking. It’s not easily angered & keeps no record of wrongs. God’s love in our South Coast community doesn’t delight in evil, instead we rejoice in the truth. The love we want to reflect is protective, trusting, always hopeful, and perseveres. The love that inspires us never fails. (1 Corinthians 13).

Concept of ‘Flow’  

Sometimes when I’m swimming a kilometre at my local pool, I lose all sense of time. I’m not thinking about my technique or distracted by discomfort or breathing correctly. It literally feels like I’m ‘flowing’. I’m doing something I love; feeling drawn into a state of relaxing enjoyment.   

An inquisitive Hungarian researcher in the 1990’s interviewed very successful basketballers and sculptors. He asked them to describe their experiences when things were going really well. Common in their responses were the following: ‘they experienced intense and focussed concentration. There was a merging of action and awareness in total absorption; a feeling of being the locus of control, having clear goals with instant feedback. The activity was so engaging, that there was an overall sense of losing all awareness of time.’ Flow is meant to capture the optimal balance between skill, on one hand, and task/challenge on the other. The below chart helps to explain when we experience flow. Interestingly, a recent study has demonstrated that a failure to experience flow undermines happiness. The more people’s minds wander from the activities in which they are engaged, the unhappier they become. The reverse is true too. High challenges matched with high skills typically leads to experiencing ‘flow’. Said another way, it’s working within our strengths.

Educational insight of interest about teenagers

Teenagers who experience ‘flow’ in their learning experiences are more likely to be successful.

A Hungarian-US researcher (Csikszentmihalyi et al.,1993) tracked the development of talented teenagers throughout their high school. The researchers found that commitment to a talent area at 17 year of age was predicted by the student’s identification of this talent area, as a source of ‘flow’, 4 years previously. Similarly, another researcher (Heine,1996) studied students’ skills in mathematics. He found that those who experienced ‘flow’ in the first part of a math course performed better in the second half (controlling for abilities and grade point average). These findings suggest that commitment, persistence and achievement exhibited by teenagers are associated with previous experiences of ‘flow’. If you’d like to know more, you could read Chapter 10 from the book ‘Positive Psychology; The scientific and practical exploration of human strengths’.

Within a Journal called Educational Psychologist (47(2), 2012), an article refers to a study of high school students in the United States. The students reported experiencing ‘flow’ when they engaged in learning experiences that were challenging and relevant. When this happened, they reported feelings of autonomy, belongingness, competence and self-worth. Learning became very personally rewarding, and highly motivating. The students in the study also provided sobering feedback. Sadly, in the 526 US schools who provided feedback, the students reported rarely experiencing ‘flow’.    

Summary reflections

  • Great teachers have always known that helping students experience ‘flow’ encourages engagement and motivates mastery. We are very blessed at SCBC with staff who are deeply committed to helping their students experience optimal engagement, and many ‘flow-like’ learning experiences.
  • Our college staff community have a theme for 2021. We want to be known for reflecting God’s life-changing love, evidenced by our commitment to educational excellence, in all that we do. ‘Real excellence is God’s love in action.’
  • We’re reminded by the Bible that ‘we walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.’ (Romans 8:4) More than biology, we are spiritual beings.

Blessings to you and your family, and look forward to being back on campus with you next Term.

Des Mitchell