What’s the Opposite of Porn?

Collette Smart (University of Western Sydney)

Science Centre, Lab 5

By now, schools recognise pornography as the elephant in the [class]room. Still largely unaddressed, it has been dubbed the main sex educator of this generation, leading to what experts refer to as, “a public health crisis.” In this session, Collette Smart – psychologist, teacher and author – unpacks both research and practical ideas from the chapters on sex and pornography in her new book, They’ll be Okay (Hachette). The session will bust some myths on what we think about boys and sex, as well as help schools address the effects of pornography in ways that boys will be open to.

Values Education: Where to Start?

Belinda Baxter (The King’s School Preparatory School)

Science Centre, Lab 7

In this workshop, delegates will hear how the TKS Prep School Wellbeing and Character team has created and implemented a Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) Scope and Sequence using the school values as a core driver. With the goal of best preparing a boy for the curve balls in life and to set him up with social and emotional competencies for flourishing and resilience, a core set of skills and attitudes is promoted within a scaffolded and caring environment with trusted adults who will bridge the emotional gaps. We want our boys to be able to stand firm despite challenges, setbacks, and delays, to be able to rebound and move forward efficiently and bravely. We believe that active participation in opportunities that harness values growth, self-regulation, problem-solving, risk-taking, decision making for pro-social behaviours, leadership, diversity, and relationship skills are necessary for healthy character development and holistic wellbeing.

Resilience, Engagement and Schooling: Fostering Inclusion and Well-Being for All Learners

Dominic Wilkinson (St Ignatius’ College Riverview)

Science Centre, Lab 8

Why is it that some students win the schooling race while others finish last or don’t finish at all? Acknowledging that there are often no easy answers to the complex and intertwined relationship between an individual and the system in which they exist, this workshop will draw upon both research and practical experience to highlight the barriers to engagement and explore avenues which promote success for students. In particular, it will focus on the value of multidisciplinary support for those with specific needs and highlight, using case study examples, possible ways to address issues around student disengagement. It is hoped that participants will come away with a greater understanding of how they may set up support systems, classrooms, and broader schooling environments that foster inclusion, resilience, and belonging, while also reducing barriers to achievement.

Brave and Faithful Leaders: Broadening Understanding of Leadership Through Stories

David Idstein (The King’s School)

Science Centre, Lab 9

How do I influence those around me? How does this compare to those who have led successfully before me? In the excitement of our young men moving into senior leadership roles within our schools, the knowledge and skills required to allow for appropriate and broad leadership behaviours can be overlooked. This workshop considers an action research project in which stories of brave and faithful leaders of the past formed a leadership benchmark against which young men could compare themselves and aspire to. The boys reflected on their own behaviour and leadership style in group discussions, articulated how their leadership developed, reflected on how younger boys interacted with them as leaders, and discussed what they found successful, challenging, and how they grew.

Building Resilience: Rites of Passage

Matthew Powell (The King’s School)

Science Centre, Lab 10

For millennia, humans and young men in particular have embraced rites of passage as part of their transcendence from boyhood to manhood. Today, unfortunately, for a variety of complex reasons, formal rites of passage are no longer undertaken as they once were. I believe that this has partly resulted in many modern ailments that we witness on screens, headlines, and in our classrooms. In this workshop, Matthew will consider how to help young men rediscover purpose, meaning, and resilience, and highlight how we, as a society, need to reconnect with rites of passage and our ancient human wisdom.

Leadership as Action – Taking Leadership Training in Young People Beyond the Theory

Jason Nowland (The King’s School)

Science Centre, Lab 11

In this workshop, Jason will demonstrate how leadership is developed in The King’s School Cadet Corps through a training program where boys are given the freedom to lead in stressful environments, without immediate adult supervision. Through a series of passive supervisory controls only, cadets are allowed to develop their leadership on camp and throughout the cadet program. This is achieved via student-centred conduct of activities and controlled, but limited, supervision while on cadet camp trek. This forces young leaders into accepting the stress and responsibility of leadership in a very real way, encouraging them to embrace responsibility and making decisions for others in a challenging environment.

Invisible Bags, Cans and Rubik’s Cubes – How to Crack a Boy’s Context

Mark Story (Saint Ignatius’ College, Riverview)

Science Centre, Lab12

Some people believe Brad Pitt is the best actor in the world. However, after nearly 15 years as an educator, I believe that boys are the best actors in the world. They each carry a story or a set of experiences. Sadly, some are very delicate and hidden away deep down. Happy boys learn and want to feel valued – it’s that simple. Yet, it is so difficult when we don’t understand their context. So, how do we crack a boy’s context? Come along to find out…

Knowing Your Superpowers: Thriving through Character Strengths

Steve Owen (The King’s School)

Science Centre, Lab 14

Do you know your signature character strengths, those strengths of character that you own, celebrate and regularly exercise? Is it love, curiosity, perseverance, zest or gratitude that you favour? This workshop will introduce you to 24 character strengths, as defined through the VIA Institute on Character, and explore how this can enhance wellbeing. In particular, you will consider your own strengths and begin to see the gifts that you contribute to your environment and everyday interactions. We will also discuss practical ways in which you can nurture a better understanding of strengths for the young people in your care, helping them to realise their superpowers and use them to thrive.

Spiritual Men: Soft Minds & Hard Hearts?

James Peters and Jason Hobba (The King’s School)

Science Centre, Lab 15

Recent research is telling us that young men who are “spiritual” are more likely to flourish. Despite growing hostility towards religious adherence and faith-based education, the benefits of encouraging young men in their spiritual and religious practices cannot be ignored. How will our boys develop into men of integrity, humility and compassion? How do we cultivate faith without creating soft minds and hard hearts? In this workshop, Jason Hobba and James Peters will explore the role that spirituality and Christian faith plays in character formation and maintaining a pro-social learning community.

Managing Stress Mindfully

Dugald Loughnan (The King’s School) & Rhys Ibbott (The Southport School)

Science Centre, Lab 16

Rhys Ibbott and Dugald Loughnan have practised and taught mindfulness in a range of areas, from professional sporting teams to the Science classroom. This session aims to give teachers the confidence to be able to adequately facilitate a mindfulness program with students, either informally or formally, by showing them the resources that are available to effectively support student engagement and participation. It will also highlight to educators the benefits associated with student wellbeing and performance if mindfulness techniques are implemented consistently in their classroom practice.