Dear Parents,

In the last ten days we welcomed the new D Form batch and a few new C Formers to school, starting the next chapter in their story. The Batch of 2023 is an enthusiastic cohort with bright smiles and bubbling with energy. A few of the new boys spent some time in the Wellness Centre with their sore tummies and homesickness but when I went to visit them, they seemed to be happily watching TV and enjoying the AC there! All the boys who were experiencing some form of homesickness are now up and about; I am certain that their first tutorial outing to the cinema in town helped on Sunday.

The week was busy with our regular classes and experiences like the SelaQui School’s QMUN in which our teams walked away with the Best Delegation award and won each of the committees in which they took part. We also participated in the Spectrum Arts and Crafts competition at the Unison World School from which our rug makers came away with a first place as well as the Mayo Girls MUN from where our team also returned with the Best Delegation award.

As Naella explained, this can all too easily become a problem because pornography is a dopamine trigger for the brain that is more addictive than alcohol or drugs and it can be consumed without limit. This actually causes changes in the brain, particularly in teenagers, whose minds are designed to learn very rapidly. The consequences for a person addicted to pornography are very similar to those addicted to drugs; decreased levels of interest and engagement, isolation due to the habit and the inability to focus on anything. The frightening thing is research shows that there are other consequences on a boy’s normal sexual development. Watching pornography leads to a situation in which one can only become aroused by pornography, not by another person; this is not the future that we would wish on anyone.
What we can do as parents is to understand that curiosity, boredom and anxiety or stress lead to boys seeking pleasure through anything that releases dopamine in their brains. The more we can provide alternatives, the easier it becomes to stay away from online pornography. Being part of a sports team, playing an instrument or being a member of an ensemble, creating something artistic and spending time in the company of others all release dopamine and increases our sense of wellbeing; in school it is easier for us to provide these things. At the same time we have experienced and trained staff in charge of pastoral care and the best firewall between us and the WWW that we can buy.
The PTM for B and A Forms on Saturday was well attended. Just over 70% of the A form parents and 90% of the B Form parents were present. I very much appreciate so many people making the journey whilst recognizing that it is not easy for everyone. Other than the information that we shared about the curriculum, an update on what is happening at school and what parents can do to support their sons and us in our work together, we had Naella Grew lead a session on the dangers of online pornography. Naella is a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with teenagers and their addictions. She visits school three times in a year and works with all of the students as well as teachers and parents. Over the years we have learned that about 40% of our D Formers and 70% of our C Formers have watched online pornography through unmonitored internet access at home on their computers and smartphones; and it starts mostly because of website pop-ups and curiosity about sex in the absence of good information.This is a text block. You can use it to add text to your template.
Apart from Naella, we also had some other visitors to the campus. Sonam Wangchuk, the recipient of the Rolex Enterprise Award 2016 for his work on desert irrigation with man-made ice stupas, was in school on Sunday afternoon and Monday evening talking to boys and masters about his work. You will be able to read his interview in the upcoming Weekly. His SECMOL school in Ladakh, made famous through the film, ‘The 3 Idiots’, takes students from the region who have potential but have failed in their former schooling. Their belief is that talent and knowledge only take you so far but imagination and resilience will take you all the way.

We just hosted the 27thAfzal Khan Memorial Basketball Tournament. Our boys worked so hard to get to the final, beating a very tough Asian School team 45 to 43 in the semis. Lt. Gen. Upadhyay was the chief guest for the final match in which our boys played a very strong and coherent Welham Boys School who went on to beat us. Defeat is not easy learning but will contribute to the development of all of our boys to see the team move forwards together; resilience again.
We also welcomed the five exchange students from the UK who are joining us for 5 months and having their experience filmed for Channel 4. Alfie and Ethan are living with the S Form in Tata House and Jake, Harry and Jack are living in Oberoi. Like the children in Sonam Wangchuk’s school, they have failed in their first go at education but have the potential and desire to learn from their time with us. We look forward to getting to know them and working with them over the next few months.
Congratulations to our hockey team who brought home gold in the Wynberg Allen hockey tournament during the week, wonderful news!

With best wishes

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