March 15, 2023

Many parents will have heard our Headmaster state that we are proud to be a traditional boys’ school with a contemporary outlook. We believe Hale offers the ‘best of both worlds’ by providing an environment for boys to learn amongst other boys with whom they are more developmentally aligned, as well as opportunities to get to know and work alongside girls from St Mary’s, St Hilda’s, Perth College and other schools.

This year we will endeavour to build upon existing programs and implement new initiatives. Already we have introduced partner dancing sessions in Year 11 for students from Hale and St Hilda’s, which have been very well received. During these lessons, students have not only learned to dance with a partner, but they have gained confidence and understanding about appropriate physical contact.

The Prefects with a Year 7 portfolio have been working on organising a Year 7 activity afternoon with the students from St Hilda’s. This is in addition to the Butterfly Day they share with their peers at St Mary’s working on a service learning project.

We are reframing the Year 8 and 9 sessions with St Mary’s and the Year 12 workshops with Perth College that have been previously titled ‘Positive Relationships’, ‘Respectful Relationships’ and ‘Healthy Relationships’. The overarching name for all of these co-educational workshops is now ‘Connections’, for a number of reasons. Firstly, the simplicity of the title will be easier for our students and staff to recognise and understand. Secondly, we know many adolescents associate romantic connotations with the term ‘relationships’, but the sessions are much broader than that. Our aim is to connect our Hale boys with students from other schools; to get to know each other and learn to work alongside one another. From there, we hope that relationships (professional, platonic, romantic, balanced, positive, respectful and healthy) will ensue. Students need to be afforded the opportunity to get to know one another first, before delving into deeper topics about what makes relationships positive, respectful and healthy. These learnings are covered in great depth in our Personal Development, Character Education and Conversations programs in the later junior years through to Year 10.

The first instalment of the Connections program has taken place with Perth College in Year 12. In previous years, these workshops were optional and offered to students in the evenings across three weeks in June. Recognising the immeasurable value of such a program, we have decided to run the first workshop (student-led discussions about all of the varying facets of relationships throughout adolescence) during an afternoon in school hours to engage all students in both cohorts. From there, students will have the opportunity to enrol in two optional evening sessions where they will hear from a guest speaker and be able to ask questions of experienced panel members.

Of course, the programs outlined above are just a few of the many opportunities on offer for our boys to connect with girls. Please see the Co-educational Opportunities flyer for a current list.

With International Women’s Day being celebrated recently, it is Hale School’s sincere aim that our boys ‘Embrace Equity’ (the 2023 theme) by respecting themselves and others. The School’s goal is to provide education, opportunities for positive interaction, and also role model behaviour that will allow our boys to be successful not only at school but in life.

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