This week’s inaugural Carmel Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA) drama production ‘Ways to screw up your College Interview’ was a resounding success. The audiences reflected the level of support that our talented performers have from the school community and the students on stage were fabulous. It’s not often that I laugh out loud so much I have to restrain myself for fear of embarrassing those around me, but the performances from the Carmel students were so brilliant, I had to remind myself to enjoy them appropriately! It was great to see both the experienced performers and those who took to the stage for the first time; this reflected one of the important ideas behind CAPA – to extend the opportunity of performing to more students. Our thanks and gratitude go to Mrs Crammond, Mr Duthie and all the other staff involved in the production.

Listening to Glen Gerryn talk to our Year 10 to 12 boys this week was a great way to end the term, with the imminent Pesach break providing time for them to think about the messages he delivered. Glen speaks to 100,000 high school students each year, as well as to top sporting teams. His website (The Hopefull Institute) provides a view of the topics he addresses and some useful resources for students and parents.

His ‘Seven Conversations with an Elder’, kept the boys entirely engaged for over an hour and some wrote more notes than they do in class! He talked about the need for young men to be honourable and outlined what this means. Glen provided advice on a number of relevant and appropriate topics including personal finance, fitness, exercise and relationships as well as addiction, relating this to alcohol, drugs and pornography.

Glen kindly stayed after school to talk to a range of AVѧԺ parents about addiction. The impact of his influence as a motivational speaker was amply reflected when one mother said that she had signed up to hear him speak tonight as a direct result of the significant change she observed in her son after he had heard Glen present at AVѧԺ last year.

Different external speakers spoke to other groups of high school students with a focus on developing personal capacity, which in turn enhances wellbeing. There are times when I wish I could be present at more than one event, so I could report back on them all, but I can confirm that Glen’s presentation certainly met the criterion of making his audience think.

Pesach provides another opportunity for us to think. Although the Pesach story may only have started for me two years ago, I am well aware of the way in which it has been passed on for many, many years. I love the idea of passing down the story through the generations through a Pesach seder, and by the time you read this, I will have enjoyed various sederim at school and reinforced my understanding of the story.

The current situation around the world is at the forefront of our minds and we continue to appreciate the security provided by our own CSG staff and that of the WA Police. As I enjoyed watching a Year 1 lesson earlier this week, I heard the teacher emphasising the need to think about what we’re doing and asking “Is that a good decision?” As we leave school for the Pesach break, I sincerely hope that politicians were taught by equally fabulous teachers and are thoughtfully going to make what our AVѧԺ Year 1 children would call “good decisions”.

I hope you enjoy a lovely break over Pesach.

Chag Pesach sameach.