How Boys Learn

For more than a century CBC Fremantle has been educating young men and guiding them through the transition from boyhood into manhood.

Those familiar with the education of boys know that all too often they can be just content to settle for mediocrity. They are happy to do the minimum in order to achieve what is just acceptable. At CBC we endeavour to break this stereotyping of our young men. At CBC we believe challenge helps to motivate boys and taps into their natural inclination to rise to the task so we constantly encourage students to strive for excellence by setting new and attainable limits.

Similarly, we believe that boys receive far too much 'bad press' as the media is all too eager to portray our male youth in a poor light. Such stereotyping can become self-fulfilling and greatly decreases the sense of self-worth which boys possess. At CBC we work hard to dispel such misconceptions. We regularly acknowledge the many achievements of our boys and actively promote these within school and into the wider community. In doing so we help lift the profile of our adolescent boys and celebrate their gifts and talents.

At CBC, we have extensively researched and analysed the ways in which boys learn. We understand that boys often find communicating difficult and are reluctant readers. Boys also fear failure and will often opt out of learning rather than risk not achieving. Rather than ask for help on a task, boys will tend to act out the need for assistance. At CBC we know that boys find more success in tasks that are clearly defined and broken down into smaller sections allowing for immediate feedback. With this knowledge of how boys actually learn, our staff are continually upskilled in different teaching strategies that are specifically tailored for boys and maintain the important connectedness between boys and their teachers. The well understood maxim, 'boys learn teachers, not subjects', informs our thinking and practice.

Having positive role models is critical in the development of our boys. It is important that they aspire to be young adults with dignity and integrity. The teachers act as mentors, displaying a genuine concern for their students and a real passion for their subject. Our vertical pastoral care system has boys from Years 7 to 12 in the same Mentor Group with the same adult adviser throughout their schooling and complements the College's belief in the importance of stability in relationships in the lives of young men.

Share the Journey

One program which distinguishes the College in terms of enhancing relationships is the father/son experience called Share the Journey. This initiative is largely run by a group of dads from within the College and involves fathers and their sons taking a walk together along the Bicton foreshore on a Sunday morning. Each dad walks solely in the company of his son, and along the way are a number of group talks aimed at promoting reflection on the importance of the father/son relationship and the pressures that need to be overcome so that it is not neglected. The final affirmations given by the dads to their boys are a powerful statement about how they value the experience and the relationship.

Long experience in educating boys has also resulted in the College developing some definite views on the management of student behaviour. We believe that at all levels, students need boundaries. Boys in particular, respond to a structured but not a restrictive environment with consistency, firm boundaries and clear rules and procedures. This may explain why boys enjoy and achieve success in sport where boundaries and rules are very evident. In a similar way, the need for boys to be involved in co-curricular activities is very important. It broadens their development, allows them to learn in different ways and can often add a sense of purpose to their schooling. At CBC we have an extensive program in sport which has seen the College enjoy recent success in the areas of Swimming, Cross Country, Athletics, Cricket, Football and Soccer among others. Our vibrant Music program is an active and well supported feature of the school, and Art and Drama are also high profile subjects.

When boys are given responsibilities they grow immensely. At CBC we consider it imperative that our students have the opportunity for leadership in all aspects of their schooling. Our commitment to social justice activity demonstrates that the areas of service, equity and faith development are a priority. Additionally, the College seeks to stimulate empathy, raise the conscience and stir social responsibility amongst the boys. All of these are qualities that society would seek and desire in good young men.

The College recognises the unique partnership that exists between the school and parents in the formation and development of boys. Parents are the primary educators and an important source of role modelling for their sons. At CBC Fremantle we encourage parents into our school, keep all lines of communication open and provide them with support and information. Ultimately, in partnership, we are seeking to achieve the same thing - educated young men of faith and integrity with a keen social conscience.