A great school must have the pursuit of wisdom at its heart in order to promote great teaching and powerful learning. Cranbrook encourages and enables each young man to make the most of his talents and to be a well-rounded, balanced individual. We set high expectations and encourage our students to strive for excellence and aim high, as through doing so they will broaden their range of experience, acquire strength of character and self-knowledge.
We expand our students’ horizons in order to understand and appreciate the world beyond themselves, building self-belief and empowering them to voyage out to discover who they are and what they can do.
Five years ago I made the move from the comfort and familiarity of my junior school into the bewildering unknown of Cranbrook Senior School. It was a momentous transition: a new environment, new teachers, peers and routine, but very quickly I felt at home. The defining quality of a school isn’t its campus, its access to resources, or the strength of its sports or debating teams, but rather its environment and ethos and ability to nurture, inspire and bring out the best in every individual within it. You can’t point to these things like you can to a trophy in a cabinet, or new science lab, but they are qualities that as an anxious new student at Cranbrook I sensed and which put me at ease.
I have grown and benefitted enormously from the last five years spent in an environment where excellence, effort, imagination, individuality, tolerance and respect are guiding principles, and in which our actions and contribution are judged by reference to Cranbrook’s motto, Esse Quam Videri: to be rather than to seem to be. At Cranbrook we are judged by reference to what we do rather than by image, and this principle is as relevant to my role as it is to every other aspect of school life. Being the Head Prefect of Cranbrook is a responsibility that extends far beyond just appearance and title.
As Head Prefect I am one of 30 prefects chosen for their ability to provide leadership and service within the School in accordance with Cranbrook’s principles. Our role extends much further than the traditional notion of maintaining order and discipline: we aim to inspire and motivate every boy by the example we set and the encouragement we give, be this in the pursuit of academic excellence or the support of effort in sport, co-curricular activities or community service. The members of our prefect body are diverse, and we each bring our individuality to the role, but we are united in our collective endeavor to see Cranbrook excel both academically and in the other areas that make our school life so rich.
I am immensely proud to be Head Prefect of Cranbrook and to lead our prefect body, and I strive to bring to this role the kindness, enthusiasm and strength shown by previous Head Prefects before me which have helped shape Cranbrook into this school that I love.
Beyond the black iron gates, the sandstone walls and the wooden fences, lies a ground of diversity and an area in which every individual is welcomed.
For me, Cranbrook has been a place where I have discovered new interests, been challenged in various ways, and developed relationships with all kinds of people, both adolescents and adults, males and females. One of the best elements which the School possesses is the idea of placing equal emphasis among all activities, and areas of the School, whether it’s sport, academics or co-curricular. The range of opportunities are ever more existent, and each boy is brought up in an environment where respect for others is paramount, so that everybody is encouraging of one another, and there is a celebration of difference.
When I started at Cranbrook, in Year 7, I was naturally inquisitive and did not hold back in involving myself in various activities which I wanted to explore. However, even for those who may be more anxious, reluctant or hesitant, there is always an option to harness one’s inner interests or talents.
Inside the classroom, Cranbrook offers well-equipped facilities, and teachers who have a love for the subject which they teach, and a love for teaching also. The House system allows for teachers and students to bond well, and the strong pastoral system ensures that every boy’s queries and needs are attended to.
Outside of the classroom, Cranbrook is a labyrinth filled with different paths and segues to new horizons and unseen spectacles. The well renowned CITF (Cranbrook in the Field) programme, is one which is so distinctive to Cranbrook, and is a collection of experiences which past students feel nostalgia towards. On these camps, students are exposed to the incredible countryside of New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT, and are shown the beauties of the bush, whilst sharing quality memories with other students, a teacher and an instructor. The course also assists boys in developing their orienteering and leadership skills, in an unfamiliar environment.
It is a great honour to be a prefect at Cranbrook, and this School has been enormously kind to me, as I feel ready, prepared and motivated to front the HSC, have a year to open my eyes to the world, and study elsewhere.