Friday 6 May 2016

Into the Groove

The freshness of the holidays has already been folded into the routines of classes and study. There is a palpable sense of purpose about the school and this is obvious in the intensity with which the boys are approaching their assessment regimes, which loom large over the weeks ahead. While some of the exciting initiatives in STEM continue to evolve across the Regis campus, the boys in Year 12 are processing their End of Semester Examination results and what that means for future consolidation of core course principles and priorities. Term 2 is characterised by little down time and at the end of the second week it is clear there is much to be accomplished over the coming weeks in preparation for examinations and major assessments.

Indicative of the return to routines is the celebration of ‘high mass’, which is conducted in the Dalton Chapel for the boarders and their families. Each fortnight the boarders attend mass in full school uniform, as they have done for over a century, to join in the sacrament of Eucharist and to give witness to the religious tenets upon which St Ignatius founded his schools and institutes throughout the world. A high point of the mass is the hymns accompanied by the grand organ in the loft of the Dalton Chapel, which speaks to tradition that resonates with the earliest history of boarding at the College. And, the Prayers of the Faithful had very particular relevance for the school community last Sunday. May they guide our deliberations as we proceed to consolidate on an exponentially busy period over the coming weeks:

  • We pray for the Year 12 students who have received their exam results. May they be proud of their achievements and be given the drive to improve further over the coming weeks.
  • We pray for the sick entering these colder months. May they keep warm and remain optimistic, particularly those who are homeless.
  • We pray for the well-being of those who use the roads over the coming winter. Many travel be safe and accidents be avoided.
  • We pray for the Year 11’s who are entering their examinations shortly. May they stay focussed and pursue their studies with determination over the coming weeks.

Elvis Gleeson (Yr 12)

Saturday heralded the winter co-curriculum program amid the splendour of the late April weather. The sun shone across the grounds of the College and all manner of sports were enacted, particularly the three codes of football – Soccer, Rugby and AFL, as well as Volleyball in the Gartlan along with other activities across a campus abuzz with activity. It was particularly enjoyable to talk to a number of parents on the Regis campus whose young men are in the very seminal stages of their involvement in their respective sports. Far from knowing whether they will develop into a front row, hooker, striker, goalie, ruckman or rover, these young men are exploring codes that will provide countless hours of team building activities, skill development and forge character as they become familiar with the subtleties and nuances of the sports over the years to come. That these young boys have access to clean air, spacious grounds, quality facilities and coaches and managers who instil values consistent with all elements of the educational program is something that should not be taken for granted. We formally move into the GPS season in Rugby over the coming week and the first school-based competition in AFL is about to be launched. Soccer will begin in earnest in a fortnight so there is much to look forward to on weekends over the coming term.

Cheshire and Teresa House celebrated their respective House masses and dinners during the week, as many other Houses will do over the course of the weeks ahead. These gatherings are a meaning opportunity to join in the sacramental life of the school for all families and also to formally farewell the graduates as they move towards their final stages of schooling at the College. While the transition to a fully integrated House system is still relatively new at Riverview, the bonds that have been forged between the junior boys and the seniors is already palpably apparent. And, it is also a time to reflect on the House patrons and the symbolic guidance they can provide, be they heroic figures such as Sir Leonard Cheshire VC who developed the Ryder Foundation, or, Mother Teresa who was awarded a Nobel Prize for her work in founding the Sisters of Charity who provide palliative care to some of the most disadvantaged in the world.

In Sights In Sanity is the title of the Year 12 Play, which opened during the week and be publicly performed in the O’Kelly Theatre this evening and tomorrow evening. A series of monologues taken from a panoply of literature, from Greek tragedy and Shakespeare to Edgar Allen Poe and contemporary film, explored the innermost workings of the mind where the line between reality and fantasy can blur. Compelling performances from the young veterans of the stage at Riverview provoked a whole raft of audience responses including laughter, tears, exhilaration and terror. Entering the theatre, one was acutely conscious of the fact that this was no ordinary play, as captured the burlesque parody of the theme; ‘… those dancing are insane only to those who can’t hear the music’. Congratulations to all who shouldered some challenging roles and provided such high level entertainment.

A big weekend looms. Many will find their way across to Hunters Hill for the Joeys V Riverview round, one that has been foregrounded by Old Boy and former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in a message of good wishes to the boys during the week. Best wishes are extended to all of the mums for Mothers’ Day. May it be a special day for all who give so much to the cause of family life and may it be a time to slow down and enjoy some family time amid the pace of the term.

Dr Paul Hine