The main purpose of this assembly was to talk about decisions and consequences. I wanted every student to walk away with a clear idea of the expectations of being a Newlands College student. This came with a very serious message because it is important that everyone feels safe at Newlands and that everyone is proud of the decisions they make. Here are some excerpts from the speech:
We all make decisions all the time. You’ve made a lot of decisions already like:
- You’ve chosen to attend NC
- You’ve chosen your subjects
- Some of you have already chosen some sports to get involved in
- Some of you have chosen to audition for The Wizard of Oz
- You’ve chosen to work in class
- You’ve chosen to complete your homework
There are good decisions and bad decisions. Each decision that you make has consequences. For example, your subject choices have consequences on what career path you might take later on. There are also good consequences for being involved in sport like making new friends, improving your fitness, learning new skills and having lots of fun.
These are the good consequences of positive decisions. On the flipside there are negative consequences for bad decisions. At Newlands we have consequences in place for poor behaviour and bad decisions. As an example, if you are late to class three times in a term, you will be put on an after school detention by your Form Teacher.
Our job is to make sure that when you make the wrong decisions that there are negative consequences so that next time you will make the right decisions.
We can also learn about the importance of making good decisions from this video about Charlie. Have a look at Charlie and his brother, and think about the idea of decisions while watching it.
Charlie’s brother in this clip finds out that Charlie likes to bite his finger and in a moment of youthful curiosity decides to offer his finger again to Charlie’s waiting carnivorous teeth. This is a decision that he makes. He has a choice. He does not have to offer his finger, but he chooses to. There is a consequence of this action. His finger is now sore. Now, there is a clear message here: think before you act. You have choices. Make sure you make positive ones, decisions that you are proud of.
The final point I want to make about making good decisions is about the decisions you make when it comes to each other. At Newlands College we treat each other with respect. We respect each other. We acknowledge that everyone is different. And we appreciate everyone for their uniqueness. We are tolerant. We promote individuality. We are respectful to all.
Bullying is not tolerated here. Name calling, verbal harassment, teasing, physical intimidation, laughing at, excluding each other, fighting, insulting, spreading rumours. All these things are bullying and they have no place in Y9 and they have no place at Newlands College.
Newlands College is a safe school, and it is safe because when someone makes a wrong decision and teases someone, then we tell on them. That’s how we remain safe. We look out for each other and we protect each other. If you are found to be bullying – there are consequences and make no mistake, the bullying will stop.
Please walk away with this message loud and clear. We tell because we will look out for one another and if we see someone being mistreated, or if we are mistreated ourselves, then we will tell someone about this. Tell your support crew, tell your friends, tell your Form Teacher, tell me. We cannot stop things that we don’t know about. And bullying is something that we will not tolerate at this school.
This will be a problem for none of us if we all make decisions we are proud of, and if unlike Charlie’s brother we think before we act. There are tough decisions ahead. Be proud of the decisions that you make. Good consequences will come your way.