Head of Campus update – 23 March 2017

Senior School has been its usual hub of activity this month with some very successful major events being held. We were fortunate to have Ms Donna Bauer as our special guest at our International Women’s Day celebration. Donna is a very proud past student of St Margaret’s School. Since graduating in 1988, Donna has had a varied career which included being Deputy Mayor of the City of Kingston and later a Member of the Parliament of Victoria. Donna spoke to the students about her experiences as a woman working in a male dominated environment and conveyed important messages to the girls about finding a work / life balance and ensuring we create the time in our busy lives to look after our health. The students were encouraged to Be Bold for Change and they have responded with some wonderful initiatives which included Do it in a Dress and the Empowering Women Forum (see reports below).

This week was an exciting one for Brydie Mitchell and Keira Vukovic-Smith in Year 7 and Lauren Herbert in Year 12. They have been busy raising awareness and fundraising for the Australian Alopecia Areata Foundation and their work culminated this week in having their hair cut off to make wigs for alopecia sufferers. What brave girls!

Friday 17 March was World Sleep Awareness Day and we celebrated this with a pyjama day. The girls were also provided with information about the importance of sleep and strategies to maintain good sleep hygiene.

This week we held our first School In Action open morning and it was a great success.  Our student ambassadors proudly showed visitors around the school and many people commented on the wonderful ‘feel’ of the school. Thank you to all of the students and staff who played a part in making this such a wonderful morning.

Last week we farewelled Year 9 students Naomi Drego and Caitlin Taylor who ventured off on their exchange trip to New Zealand. Meanwhile, a group of very excited and very lucky senior students and four teachers are finishing their packing in preparation for heading off to China at the end of term. We wish them all bon voyage and look forward to hearing about their adventures in both New Zealand and China upon their return.

The focus of our staff day held on Friday 10 March was on Developing Growth Mindsets in our students. The Growth v Fixed Mindset model is based on the research conducted by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist, Carol Dweck. As educators, we can help students develop a growth mindset by teaching them about their learning and encouraging them to understand that through dedication and effort their talents can be developed. At school, the students will be learning about the importance of developing Grit in their learning – the courage to take risks, to make and learn from mistakes, to take on challenges and develop the resolve to never give up. These are the messages our teaching staff will be reinforcing in our classrooms and which your child would benefit from having reinforced at home. If you are interested in learning more about Carol Dweck’s Growth v Fixed Mindset research, talk to any of the Senior School teachers or watch the Ted talk; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X0mgOOSpLU

Mrs Fiona Williams
Head of St Margaret’s Senior School