Secondary – Pastoral

Social Intelligence – The ability to connect with other people

“Human beings are social creatures. Simply to exist as a normal human being requires interaction with other people.”—Atul Gawande

As our Year 12 students headed off on their retreat to take time to focus on what is important for them as they finish Year 12, we were all reminded that being empathetic not only allows us to grow and flourish but supports our friends and families to do the same.

Why does social intelligence matter?
Social intelligence is as important as IQ when it comes to happiness, health, and success. Empathetic people are less likely to experience anxiety, depression, and addictions later in life. They are also more likely to be hired, promoted, earn more money, and have happier marriages and better-adjusted children.

Pulse Check
Think about yourself. How many of these things are true?

  • I have a lot of relationships that are mutually beneficial, enjoyable, and supportive.
  • Most of the time, I can tell how other people feel and have a good idea about how to respond appropriately.
  • My relationships make me feel good about myself.
  • The people in my life help me be my best.

So how can we help our students to increase their social intelligence?
Model it.
Wait your turn before speaking, and when you speak, acknowledge others’ points of view: “I see why you look at things this way, and it makes sense why you do. But I have a different perspective.” Treat others’ feelings with curiosity and validation, not frustration or judgement.

Celebrate it.
Notice when someone made others feel included and valued: “It was nice of you to make sure the younger kids had playing time in the game, so they all felt like they had a role.”  Encourage teamwork and loyalty over hierarchy and competition. Reframe conflict as an opportunity to better understand how deeply reasonable people may feel about opposing views: “Our neighbours voted for another candidate, but we all care about the good of the country; we just have different ideas of how to achieve it.”

Enable it.
Create opportunities to help everyone feel equal, for example by giving even young family members responsibilities or a say in decision-making, or allowing students to vote on a classroom activity. Environments in which everyone feels needed and consistently acknowledged help reduce victimization and increase achievement and productivity.

From the Heads of 7-9 – Mr Brian Bull and 10-12 – Mr Mitchell Cummings

“Fall seven times and stand up eight.”
This Japanese Proverb was one of the thoughts that Secondary students were asked to consider during their Week 5 Assembly. It was also linked with one of the ‘Deep Learning’ competencies or the 6 C’s – Character. An element of Character is ‘Perseverance’. Perseverance alongside grit, tenacity and resilience are all very strong character traits and of which we hope that the students of Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College will embrace to enhance both their academic and personal achievements in life.

Perseverance is the quality of continuing to try to achieve a particular aim despite difficulties, no matter what they are. Around this time of Term 1, students will be receiving task notifications or may well be starting to hand in work, sitting a class test and experiencing an increase in their workload. It will be a test of their perseverance to ensure that all these things are completed to the best of their ability. One of the other things about perseverance that students were asked to consider was that most of the time perseverance has a good buddy called “hard work”. The footballing great ‘Pele’ said “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”

Some tips that were also suggested in helping to persevere, particularly at school were.

  • Setting realistic and achievable goals.
  • Knowing what the difficulties or stumbling blocks are or could be.
  • Make a start – Doing 1 thing at a time.
  • Recognising that it will not always be easy. It may involve ‘Hard Work’.
  • And know that you are not alone – there will always be someone that will help you, just ask.

There is no magic formula to help us persevere or some supercomputer program that guarantees us perseverance. Perseverance comes from within. It is a measure of our character.

“Fall seven times and stand up eight.”

Ms Bain also reminded the students of the Secondary School that ‘people of good character are people who put their hands up to help others not hands out expecting something for themselves.’

This week sees Year 12 enjoying their Leadership Retreat. There will be a more detailed report of the Year 12 Retreat in our next fortnights’ Bulletin issue. From what we have heard, Year 12 and the accompanying staff are having a great time on Lake Macquarie. Here are some pictures from their “Mud Run”.

Bishop Tyrrell Day is fast approaching, and some preliminary information has already been sent out about the activities for the day. We look forward to celebrating this important day in our College story.

Mr Cummings and I are always around, wanting to chat and happy to see anyone who would like to visit our office.

Ms Tania Lloyd
Deputy Principal / Head of Secondary School