“It’s Not a House, it’s a Home”: Developing Strong House Community and
Positive Relationships with a Service Mindset

David Vassallo (The King’s School)

Science Centre, Lab 5

This workshop will examine practical strategies and ideas for developing a strong House community and positive relationships between boys within a pastoral House setting. Explore how a range of House initiatives, community service projects, and games can help boys connect across year groups, build common experiences, and lift House spirit. These strategies not only offer opportunities for leadership and mentoring across year groups, they also foster a service mindset in regard to what each boy can “offer” the House and the wider community. It’s not a house, it’s a home.

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

Dominic Wilkinson (St Ignatius’ College Riverview)

Science Centre, Lab 7

Why is it that some students win the schooling race and others finish last or don’t finish at all? Acknowledging that there are no easy answers to what is a complex relationship between an individual and the system in which they exist, this workshop will draw upon research and practical experience to highlight the barriers to engagement and explore avenues that promote success for students. In particular, it will focus on the value of multidisciplinary support for students with specific needs and demonstrate, using case study examples, possible ways in which 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.

Resilient young men or excuse makers? – Building a Paradigm Shift

Jill Sweatman (Neuroscience Communicator and Learning Expert)

Science Centre, Lab 8

Why are we allowing many of our youth to be unaccountable for their actions? Are we failing our young men when we, as teachers and parents, let them “off the hook” for their poor actions? Why? When did it become okay to consciously allow some of our boys to get away with: Bullying others; being non-accountable for their actions; turning a blind eye to addictions – gaming, alcohol, gambling, and/or drug taking; accepting excuses for, and allowing, absenteeism as “ it’s just the way it is, today”? What can we do to create a school of resilient future leaders without compromise? Let’s redefine resiliency. Let’s empower our boys to grow to be strong men with soft hearts, not excuse makers. Let’s change this disturbing pattern that has crept into our schools and family systems. In this thought-provoking session Neuroscience Communicator and Learning Expert, Jill Sweatman, will share a new model and critical keys to create resilient boys and future leaders. She is known as the BRAIN WHISPERER™️ and provides information built on the principles of neuroscience and psychology with a particular focus on changes in the brain related to digital immersion.

Community Outreach

David Strutt (The King’s School)

Science Centre, Lab 9

The Community Outreach Program holds tightly to the belief that we live to serve one another. Strong men display and develop their soft hearts and exercise their sharp minds when actually serving the community in a practical and obvious arena. Operating within the School timetable at The King’s School, the Community Outreach Program is the primary opportunity for students to engage with the wider community through volunteering.

In this session, David will explain how students who volunteer to join this program are allocated to agencies that serve the community. Many of the agencies are Aged Care facilities, although centres that support disabled people, historic houses, and primary schools are also appropriate placements. While providing service to the community, the students who participate in the program develop meaningful and long-lasting relationships with clients that promote the development of compassion, through establishing a sense of responsibility for actions.

Outdoor Education in the Early Years

Teri-Ann Kladal, Samantha Lynch & Anna Claire Coore (The King’s Preparatory School)

Science Centre, Lab 10

“The best kept classroom and the richest cupboard are roofed only by the sky” (Margaret McMillian 1925). In this workshop, hear how the Outdoor Education program at The King’s Preparatory School is based on the belief that young children’s basic need for wellbeing and involvement, along with their urge to explore and make sense of the world, is developed through high-quality play in an outdoor environment.

Photo Release: Setting Boys’ Creativity Free

Linda Galvins (The King’s School)

Visual Arts Block

Have you ever wondered how to make your students’ projects, assignments, and visual diagrams stand out? This workshop will make you an expert in a practical and easy printing method called Photo Release. Photo Release can be used in a wide variety of subject areas. This easy process is fun and results are immediate; a practical task that can be used in the classroom to engage and motivate boys in their learning. At the end of this workshop, take home some highly effective and finished artworks and begin the journey with the boys in your classes.

Bane or Boom: Using Dopamine to Engage Boys in Their Writing with Video Games

Russel McCool (The King’s School Preparatory School)

Science Centre, Lab 11

Screen time is an inescapable reality of a modern digital childhood for iGen. Dopamine plays a significant role as part of this generation’s ever-expanding digital engagement. Video games have been widely credited with hijacking and distracting adolescents at home. Games such as Fornite provide a digital smorgasbord of dopamine for adolescents to feast upon and pamper their neural pathways in an addictive and distracting manner. Similarly, using interactive digital narrative (IDNs) provide intense sensory stimulation with incredible graphics, scenery, and storylines infused with infused evocative encounters that boys love to engage within their writing. Within the classroom, video games provide a stimulus that readily captures students’ interest and promotes engagement in writing. In this workshop, you will be introduced to two classic adventure video games and walked through a lesson plan on how to implement this into a literacy unit of writing. Practical examples and resources will be shared during the session from the presenter’s classroom.

Better Boarding: Building Benevolence in our Boys

Michael Symons and Ben Chadwick (The King’s School)

Science Centre, Lab 12

At the nucleus of what society needs young men to be is kind. For many of our boarding students, they see their own “bedrooms” in North Parramatta far more than they do their own in their family homes. Embracing the values of the school, the boarding community here at Kings has taken a very active approach in ensuring selflessness, compassion and empathy are the trademarks of residential living. In an active pursuit of developing character, all stakeholders help forge benevolence through a range of peer-to-peer mentoring, fundraising, and the implementation of a soon-to-be released boarding curriculum.

Building up the Boy

Aaran Booth & Susan Brady (The King’s School)

Science Centre, Lab 14

Join Susan Brady in a chat with School Sergeant Aaron Booth about the diverse ways of dealing with the different situations that boys find themselves in. Central to this discussion will be the primacy of relationships.

Resilience and Faith: Equipping Boys to Engage in Respectful Worldview Dialogue with Others

Stuart Tye (The King’s School) & Doug Broadbent (The Shore School)

Science Centre, Lab 15

The ability to participate in a conversation with others regarding matters of faith is a necessary and complex skill for our students. In a world that is becoming increasingly intolerant, the emotional intelligence demanded of our alumni to navigate the challenging and sensitive waters of religious freedom is a very real graduate aim. This workshop will attempt to acquaint attendees with the current state of play and to share best practice in the field. It is aimed at those who teach Studies of Religion, Biblical Studies, and teachers who teach in a religious school that have felt “out of their depth” when matters of faith arise between students in the classroom.