Message from the Principal

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends,

Our School community participated in our Ash Wednesday Mass on Wednesday 1 March 2017. Ash Wednesday acknowledges the start of Lent, 40 days, which ends at Easter. We have entered a significant season of our Catholic Church calendar. We have recently introduced Take 5 in to our daily routine. Where we are encouraged to examine our day, identifying what has gone well and where we may have underachieved and we then choose to do better. When considering Lent, Jesus’ did not Take 5, He took 40 days to examine his life – what he thought was good, what He thought could be better and then He made the conscious choice to make a difference. Lent commemorates the 40 days and nights Jesus went into the wilderness to weigh up the good and the bad of choosing a path where He challenged the status quo of His time. If we were to apply modern psychology to Jesus’ crossroad experience, it was a time of self-reflection and a time to strengthen His resolve to change the world.
Traditionally prayer, fasting and almsgiving are the key foci. We contextualise these pillars of Lent in the following way: prayer = self-reflection, fasting = self-discipline and empathy and almsgiving = giving to others. Prayer is a highly personal and spiritual form of communication. At the very least, prayer should be a reflection on ourselves and how we could improve ourselves – how can we be the best version of ourselves. Fasting is a means of developing self-discipline. Traditionally fasting was a concrete way of empathizing with the poor. Which is more challenging? Giving up chocolate for 40 days or working more positively in our relationships? Self-discipline for adolescent girls could be about developing better interpersonal skills and empathy, and abstaining from negative comments and judgements about ourselves and others. Almsgiving during Lent is Stuartholme’s community forte. It is when we shine as a community; our care for those in need, our works of charity and the promotion of justice are integral elements of Stuartholme’s expression of Lent.
Over the past 5 years we have raised over $52,000 for Caritas Project Compassion. As Catholics, we gently impose a period of self-reflection, where we challenge ourselves to be the best version of ourselves that we can be – a healthy practice for everyone, whatever your beliefs. In contemporary times, a popular idea is: ‘It takes 40 days to make a new habit’. What habit would make us a better person, a more Christ-like person? I challenge every member of our community to dare themselves individually to develop more positive habits in their relationships and shed any bad habits during our Lenten season.

I would like to acknowledge the incredible achievements of a number of students. At the CaSSSA Swimming Carnival, Yasmin Squires and the All Age Relay broke CaSSSA records in their respective events. Congratulations to these girls on your outstanding performance. I am delighted to report that Stuarhtolme School won the CaSSSA Swimming Carnival this year. Congratulations to every girl who swam and cheered on the day.

At Assembly today we announced the winner of the Spirit Stick for the Interhouse Swimming Carnival – well done to Coen House on your well-deserved win. It was an incredibly tight competition with only 10 points separating first and sixth position.
This edition of the Newsletter is full of achievements by our students and I congratulate each and every one of you.

This weekend our 14A, 14C, 15A and 15C water polo teams are competing in the semi-finals. Good luck girls!

God bless and take care,
Kristen Sharpe