From the Principal - August 2019

From the Principal - August 2019

From the Principal – August 2019

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Words can be laden with meaning

Our guests in recent weeks at assemblies have included inspirational women with important words to share. Authors Elizabeth Wright and Frederika Roberts, co-founders of RWS (Resilience, Wellbeing and Success), urged us to consider how identifying our personal character strengths and applying them to the challenges we face, can assist us to develop greater well-being.

Marnie Carroll, guest speaker at our St Hilda’s OGA assembly, is a lawyer and cofounder of the Better Human Project. Marnie put to us the proposition that kindness is an underrated virtue when you are young. She provided us with an engaging presentation on the four pillars which underpin the Better Human Project; being better for people you don’t know, being better for people in your life, being better for your body, being better for your mind.

Their words reinforced the value of competencies associated with growth in the cognitive, interpersonal and intrapersonal domains, and support the key objectives of our THRIVE program.

During the past three weeks, I’ve been privileged to engage in many conversations with students, staff and parents about what the School is doing well and what we could improve. One of the questions put to me was, “What is this THRIVE thing?” In 2018 it was felt that the term CLD (Character and Leadership Development), had lost its meaning over time with its regular appearance on timetables. How then to proceed with curriculum and contact time designed to enable students to understand more about themselves, others, and the systems in which we operate? This was our approach.

Luke McKenna’s work on achieving personal best with a growth mindset, grit and wellbeing, and the personal and social capability learning continuum of the Australian Curriculum, influenced our decision to rebrand our approach in this domain as THRIVE.  Our small vertical pastoral groups, THRIVE CONNECT (TC), are designed to enable connection. Conversation in TC each week varies from reflection on social and emotional skills to the personal: How do we practise kindness? What do my teachers do that helps me to learn? How was your weekend? What character strengths do you see in others?

The curriculum content in our THRIVE SUCCEED year level classes introduces students to tools and mental models to expand their capacity to create the results they desire in their lives. Self-responsibility and team effort are promoted here as well as during House and Year Level activities.

Overall, our approach through THRIVE is to emphasise the value of personal connection, community and culture. These are words laden with meaning. They identify the attributes and skills which will enable our girls to navigate the fast-paced changes they are currently encountering.

I hope you will take the opportunity to acknowledge your daughter’s growing capacity to manage expectations and challenge, to thrive and to flourish.

Please also note the following Staff updates:

  • Catherine Jobson is now on Maternity Leave and we wish her and her family well as they await their new arrival. We welcome Rachel Horner as Acting Head of Year 7 until Catherine’s return.
  • Susan Tiplady is retiring from her position as Head of Banksia this term, and Nick Mageros has been announced as the new Head of Banksia. Susan continues in her teaching role.

Wendy Lauman
Acting Principal



Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Hope, Grace