Published on: 13 February 2015

Year 11 boys spent a day at UWA’s St George’s College this week, arming themselves with strategies to help maximise their potential and cope with the intensity of their final school years and beyond. Boys were asked to take responsibility for making their own way to and from the venue.

The annual Ad Astra Day, an initiative developed by the School’s Academic Committee three years ago, was an opportunity for boys to gain inspiration from a range of speakers and interactive sessions in a university-style setting. Ad Astra means ‘towards stars’ or ‘towards excellence’ in Latin.

This year’s keynote speaker was Vice-Chancellor of UWA Paul Johnson who is also a member of Christ Church’s School Council and a current parent. Professor Johnson gave a thoughtful and thought-provoking talk to the boys focusing on responsibility, regularity and reputation.

Director of Studies Margaret Brophy said the boys once again had an opportunity to ‘opt in’ to a number of interactive sessions throughout the day led by subject specialists. The program included sessions in English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Languages as well as service, IT and useful apps, getting the best out of your brain, revision strategies and pathways after school.

New Director of the Centre for Boys’ Health and Well-being Liam Casson introduced boys to the Live Well Wheel in a highly interactive and engaging session. A representative from the Commonwealth Bank led another new session this year on earning, saving and spending.

In an old boy panel session, the Year 11 boys heard three very different post Christ Church experiences from Shane Morrissy (2008), Stevie Eskinazi (2011) and Harry Howe (2012). Shane completed a degree in Chemical Engineering and is now doing his PhD, Stevie is playing cricket for Middlesex and completes one unit towards his Commerce degree each year, while Harry has established his own landscaping business since leaving school two years ago.

There were also representatives from Shell, who spoke about working in the oil and gas industry, and a representative from the building and construction industry.

In the evening, parents were invited to attend an information session about the day. About 50 parents heard an account from four boys on their experience, as well as Ms Brophy on the assessment policy and Director of Pedagogy Sharyn Bana offering advice and strategies for helping their boys through Years 11 and 12.

To view some of the sessions, see the Year 11 Academic updates notice in this week’s CCGS World.