From the Director of Student Wellbeing
Achieving 2020 Vision
‘Nothing satisfies the human spirit more than purpose.’ Glenn A. Gerreyn- Get Your Hopes Up
Glenn Gerreyn’s inspiring messages to the Year 12 girls at the Ormond College Residential Leadership Conference were a powerful reminder of the importance of purpose and vision in our lives. Glenn told the girls that the session was ‘not about motivation, as that comes and goes’, but that they need to ‘pursue commitment instead, as you can rely on it’. He reminded the girls that when they were born, purpose was born too, encouraging them to ‘explore, dream and discover’, to create a ‘vision board’ to remind themselves of their potential, talents and aspirations.
The Year 12 cohort has likewise acknowledged the importance of purpose and vision in their chosen theme for the year: ‘Beyond’. Like the 2015 and 2016 themes of ‘Absolutely’ and ‘Golden’, this year’s theme typifies all that St Catherine’s girls will strive for. School Captain Mackenzie Leyden and Vice-Captain Georgie Sitch introduced the ‘Beyond’ theme in the first Senior School Assembly. Mackenzie likened the year to a blank canvas, telling the girls to ‘paint it, make it your own, make it special’. Her advice was to ‘Go beyond your comfort zone. Beyond your friendship group. Beyond what is easy and what is familiar. Take risks. Be yourself.’ Georgie asked the girls to recognise their ‘role as global citizens, to join Environment club, Knitting for Nepal, tutoring at Friday Night School’, to think about how their ‘actions today can help to soften the concerns of tomorrow.’ She noted that ‘the word ‘beyond’ represents conviction – applying yourself wholly to the task at hand. Taking initiative or taking a stand’.
The St Catherine’s School 2020 Vision, recognises this commitment to a vision. A common purpose to support our girls to realise their own dreams, aspirations and goals, both within and beyond School. The St Catherine’s School Charter states that ‘St Catherine’s is committed to nurturing and empowering independent and globally responsive young women, enabling them to approach all their endeavours with confidence, wisdom and integrity.’
The weThrive: Wellbeing@St Catherine’s Program initiatives are the focus of Strategic Intent 2 in the St Catherine’s 2020 Vision. The program encourages positive relationships, a commitment to life-long learning and the development of leadership skills, resilience, spirituality and social responsibility: key elements of a strong sense of purpose.
We are proud of the many achievements thus far in the Student Wellbeing Intent and five-year strategic planning. Student Wellbeing is recognised as integral to both personal and academic student progress and the Student Wellbeing Committee has set and achieved a range of goals and objectives since its inception in 2015. The creation of Scope and Sequence documentation from ELC to Year 12 has confirmed the whole School commitment to student wellbeing as a core intent. The strength of our program was also acknowledged by the invitation to profile our wellbeing program at the 2016 Positive Schools Conference. A more comprehensive list of achievements can be found in St Catherine’s Year in Review 2016 publication, available here.
As we move into our third year of Strategic Intent 2, new goals and objectives have been established. These include expanding the partnership with Swinburne University Emotional Intelligence Unit following the success of the 2016 pilot program in Years 4 and 8. In 2017, the Aristotle program will be delivered in Years 1, 4, 5, 8 as well as some elements of the program in Years 9, 11 and 12. A stronger focus on Restorative Practice as part of the Student Management plan is another focus for 2017.
In the words of Steve Jobs, ‘If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed, the vision pulls you’. St Catherine’s commitment to Student Wellbeing and the achievement of our Strategic Intent is an integral part of our 2020 Vision which pulls our community and, our students, toward an exciting and purposeful future.