From the Deputy Principal – Learning

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends,

Today we acknowledged the diligent work of students and teachers for a very energised and busy semester. Our assembly farewelled Ms Anna Starosta, recognising and celebrating her 29 years as a ‘Sacred Heart’ educator at Stuartholme School, and Ms Anna Weir, who leaves us to take up a new appointment.

I wish students and colleagues a restful holiday to take this time to reenergise. For those taking part in the Antiquities tour, God speed and blessing on a successful educational program to the historical ancient sites of Greece and Italy.

Student reporting is now completed and should be available late Friday night 24 June. When reviewing your daughters report take time to provide advice and set expectations for the future.

Our goal ‘Deep respect for intellectual values’ underpins our curriculum vision of academic excellence and personal achievement, how then do we assist students in ‘valuing their own intellectual pursuits’?

We are all passionate about the unique talents, and unleashed potential of our students and your daughter’s boundless energy. Yet, the main challenge that faces teachers, parents and students is harnessing that energy and directing it towards academic pursuits and the satisfaction that comes from prioritising, identifying immediate and long term goals, and seeing them come to fruition. Sean Covey in his book ‘The 7 HABITS of effective TEENS’ states that putting your ‘first things first’ takes courage and forces teens outside their risk free, easy, safe and secure comfort zone. The COURAGE ZONE, while uncertain, uncomfortable, challenging and adventurous is the place to go to maximise opportunities and to realise their full potential.

As parents and educators we owe it to our daughters and students to encourage them to enter the courage zone, to understand that ‘winning means nothing more than rising every time you fall’. Character building and resilience in students is the ability to bounce back from disappointments, to resist peer pressure, to be accountable for both our failures and successes and to face each challenge as key junctures in their lives. They can choose a weekend of excitement, chatting online to friends, watching movies or connecting to media devices, rather than their ultimate goal of being a successful student.

The ULTIMATE goal of achieving excellence in all we do cannot be gained without discipline to manage time, to prioritise goals, to overcome fears of failure, to be strong in the hard moments, to resist peer pressure or the pleasure of the moment. ORDINARY is easy, EXCELLENCE takes energy resilience and belief in our selves. Parents can encourage their daughters to enter the COURAGE zone by;

  • ensuring a quiet place to work without distraction – unplug the iPod, restrict online chatting,
  • setting clear goals designed to raise academic standards over time- small steps that are achievable result in higher self-esteem when a goal is reached and encourages further goal setting,
  • helping them bounce back after a disappointing grade, and
  • encourage higher order thinking in homework revision and not simple wrote learning (refer to Blooms taxonomy in the student handbook).

The time they have at school is too short and precious to not focus on their commitment to be studious. Improvement in grades is a product of revision and not just homework. It is not always fun, but the reward will be with an adventure that they may never have dreamed possible.

Albert E Grey said ‘All successful people have the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do. They don’t like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose’.

God bless and take care,

Ken Turnbull

Deputy Principal – Learning