From the Principal - February 2022

From the Principal - February 2022

From the Principal – February 2022

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Has the new year brought a fresh approach to life amid the uncertainty of the pandemic?

After only two weeks back at school with face-to-face learning I would not be surprised if many parents and students answered this question with a resounding ‘yes’!

For our youngest students in Pre-Prep, their routines have actually been established now for three weeks. Whilst others were at home waiting for the school year to begin, or like our older girls, learning online, Mrs Cleverly and her team were orienting girls to bidding farewell to parents at the gate and exploring the delights of the Pre-Prep rooms and garden.

For many of our students the first week of the school term proved to be even more challenging than most years; not because of the January weather, but due to the uncertainty of what being back at school in this particular COVID environment would mean if they or their classmates were to become unwell.

Maintaining optimism and an approach to life that can sustain us through uncertainty can be challenging at the best of times. Moving into this third year of life amid the continual rollout of health mandates has been demanding for many. At home I’m sure you continue to draw upon your capacity for flexibility and finding humour where you can. How else can you respond when you learn that much anticipated events, significant in the life of your child or family, have been delayed or postponed to a yet to be determined date.

Undoubtedly, the approach to life you adopt at home has an influence on the way your daughter will continue to navigate this current environment. At school, drawing on the virtue of hope, and thoughtful behaviours such as those known as the Habits of Mind, enable us as a community to cope with the complexity of continuous adjustment to change.

I quite like the position of James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, he states: “You don’t have to be the victim of your environment. You can also be the architect of it”.

We are mindful of the girls’ sense of agency as they navigate each day, whether they are establishing new relationships, applying themselves to new learning, or in the case of our Year 12s undertaking final year assessment and finding ways to lead the School when COVID restrictions prohibit us from coming together as a community.

I commend the resilience I see in so many of our St Hilda’s girls and the parenting approaches which enable you to model attitudes and behaviours which allow your daughters to thrive. As their school, we are committed to creating an environment where productive habits of mind are cultivated in our day-to-day interactions.

If I return to the question which leads this article, I would respond, the fresh approach is intentionally practicing persistence. Deliberately focusing the mind on problem solving.

 

I’m sure for many in our community, this is a behaviour already well-developed. As the year continues, and we introduce students to the work of Bena Kallick and Art Costa’s Habits of Mind, my hope it that whatever the age of your daughter, you will continue to assist her to be comfortable with ambiguity and to approach each novel situation with a well-developed sense of humour!

Wendy Lauman
Principal

Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Hope, Grace