Update, 30 July 2020

Welcome to my Week 3 update.

Zones of regulation

We have all been there, perhaps in the car, at work or at home. Someone or something has caused us to feel frustrated and angry. We can feel our temper rising and, just at the peak, before we blow our top, the actions we take at that point can define us.

I have rarely seen anything good come from someone losing their temper. Heightened aggression can leave people bruised and frightened. Instead, understanding the need to employ self-control and take an assertive, but calm stance is an important lesson we all need to learn.

At Melbourne Grammar School, we start this aspect of education from Day One. Grimwade House is introducing a new approach to teaching self-control called Zones of Regulation. It focuses on helping students to understand and deal with their feelings in difficult circumstances. Examples might include resisting an emotional outburst when something or someone upsets you and calming yourself down when feeling anxious or worried.

This teaching framework is not related to punitive discipline. Rather, it aims to provide students with the capacity to classify their emotions into zones and take appropriate action using the tools they learn as part of the program. By understanding how their feelings, and the impact their actions can have on others, we hope students will become more confident and capable in social settings.

New resources

‘How parents can support their VCE students’ webinar

The Parents website is an initiative of Independent Schools Victoria, providing a curated selection of news, features and resources for parents on raising and educating children.

In particular, parents of VCE students may care to note an upcoming free webinar titled How parents can support their VCE students which will be presented by clinical psychologist Andrew Fuller on Monday 10 August, 7.00pm – 8.00pm. You can find out more information and register here.

Grief and loss and COVID-19

A recent article published by ABC News is recommended reading by Barbara Jones, Head of Counselling and Psychological Services. Written by Professor Jane Fisher, Monash University, the article offers insights to possible emotions we might be feeling due to our current circumstances.

Titled With all our lives changing because of coronavirus, you could be experiencing disenfranchised grief, you can find the article here.

Do not fear, for I am with you

Each week, a Chapel service is available to Senior School students via webex. Here is the Homily preached by Rev’d Hans Christiansen, Senior Chaplain, in the Chapel of St Peter on Monday 27 July 2020 for this purpose.

Titled Do not fear, for I am with you, the Homily provides insights into the natural human instinct to fear what we cannot control, and how, by arming ourselves with trust and faith that God is with us, we can find the strength to face an uncertain future.

Calming the storm

The second in series of Bible studies sponsored by The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, Calming the storm is available here.

As indicated in the last Update, the first Bible study in this series of five was titled Do not be afraid and is provided here.

Thank you

Once again, thank you for your ongoing consideration and care. I am aware of the burden each of us is sharing at present, some under particularly trying circumstances. Not a day passes without me hearing about a wonderful act of kindness or ingenuity that has had a positive impact on others carried out by a member of our School community.

Best wishes

Philip Grutzner