How much personality should the girls bring to the School for the benefit of their education? I hope the answer is self evident. I would assume the answer that would be given by all would be something like “developing the personality of every girl is the hope of every parent and school”. Voicing that personality in a manner that is helpful is step one. Seeing the natural inclinations of personality mature to be a personal strength is the objective we hold for all. The process can start in very small ways.
Walking through the Junior Years classrooms one morning late this week, I enjoyed watching an exercise where the girls were required to complete some maths exercises attached to specific sections of a picture that then required colouring. Each answer to a question resulted in an instruction of which colour to select for the design. It interested me that some girls had chosen to do all of the maths before they started colouring any section of the design, while some completed a maths question and immediately took up the colouring pencils. I am sure there is no rule about how this should be done. Should all of the maths be completed before the design colouring is started? What was clear, was that there were clear preferences for how to tackle the activity . Each girl had selected her preference. It was nice to see the individuality being allowed to blossom in this exercise. Imagine if they had been told there was a compulsory way to complete this activity. While that can be true of some activity in education and life, it is not always the best approach.
This was close to the message I gave the girls in the Middle and Senior Years during the week at Assembly. I started by showing a video clip from the recent Super Bowl (the Toyota ad). That ad gives the message that there is help close at hand (even for those doing extreme activities), and the second clip showed musicians bringing their personal quirkiness to a performance. It seems to me that a portion of school work combines the rules of academic life with the personal spirit of the learner coming together. As this was playing out in the Junior Years class with the maths and art activity, it is an increasingly common reality in later years. If we learn to get the best from each day in the classroom and add to that our personal energy and creativity for the activity, we will have real spark in life and the educational journey. The Toyota ad is a gentle reminder that the School has many ways a girl can seek assistance. This message was at the heart of the Year 12 Academic Committee who also presented at the Assembly. I think the girls all know there is help available. We all acknowledge that the challenge of getting someone to seek assistance is a skill we work on together between home and school. It can take more than one strategy.
The clips I showed are here:
Mr Peter Crawley