From the Director of Student Programs

As the new School year has begun in earnest, so to have the Co-curricular programs at St Catherine’s School. At the start each new year, all students have the opportunity to take part in new activities, programs and clubs. Walking around the School grounds before School, at lunchtimes and after School, there is a buzz of activity, with students taking part in clubs and activities.

While to some, these activities are a continuation, for others they may be trying these activities for the first time. For our Year 7 girls, each activity they take part in is new; for our Year 12 girls, they are leading the way with cross Year level activities from Rowing, ensemble rehearsals or rehearsing for A Mid-Summer Nights Dream.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit the Rowing Camp at Nagambie; it allowed me to reflect on the opportunities available to students at St Catherine’s School in our Co-curricular offerings. Our rowers work diligently on the process of the task they are given, ultimately allowing the outcome to look after itself, to achieve the goals set within each crew. The rowers are challenging themselves in each session, in both the intensity of their training, working with others and refining their technical skills, and they are working on the process.  The simple formula ‘process vs outcome’, is appropriate in achieving your best in all areas of life, schoolwork, musical performance, Debating and sporting activities.

The St Catherine’s School 2020 Vision allows the opportunity to work on the process to attain an outcome. Our co-curricular program intends to Encourage, Inspire and Enrich the knowledge and skills of each student in a variety of areas, including the Arts, Sport and cultural pursuits, as outlined in Strategic Intent 3 – Co-curricular opportunities.

At St Catherine’s School, we are proud of the ‘process’ in working to deliver the offerings in the Co-curricular programs. In 2016, The Heyington to Highlands Year 9 Experience allowed our girls to experience service learning, in working in three villages in the Fijian Highlands. A small group of Year 10 students attended NASA Space Camp in September, in addition to the creation of an exchange in Delaware for students in Years 9 and 10.

Year 8 student, Alexandra, Demetriou, placed eighth in the Australian All Schools 800m, Under 14 race

Year 8 student, Alexandra Demetriou, placed eighth in the Australian All Schools 800m, Under 14 race

The success of the St Catherine’s School Sports Carnival has allowed our students the opportunity to pursue pathways to sporting organisations outside of School, including 2016 Year 12 graduates Annie Anezakis and Madeleine Baker who recently accepted Sporting Scholarships at Princeton and Boston Universities, respectively. Students in St Catherine’s Aquatics Club have been actively involved in external competitions, allowing for further development and racing opportunities. Year 8 student, Alexandra Demetriou, competed in the 800m event at the Australian All Schools Track and Field Championships in Canberra in December 2016, finishing eighth overall. In addition, the St Catherine’s First VIII competed in the World Junior Championships National Selection Trials, representing Mercantile Rowing Club.

DAV Debating in 2016, included participation of 36% of the Senior School students with strong performances from A, B, C and D Grade debaters. Four of our debaters have been invited to trial for the Victorian Schools Team for 2017: Georgie Sitch, Demi Markakis, Juliet Grant and Kavina Kalaichelvam. The St Catherine’s School 120 Gala held at the Melbourne Recital Centre last year, showcased the strength of the musical opportunities at St Catherine’s. The finale included students from Years 5 to 12 performing epic songs from musicalsThe musical Sweet Charity, in partnership with St Kevin’s College, provided the opportunity to combine the theatrical production of Units 3&4 Theatre Studies with the strong performances from students from Years 9 to 12.  The Years 7 and 8 students performed in the play, Hating Alison Ashley in Term 4.

As we move into 2017, new goals and objectives have been developed, including the ability to assess and monitor co-curricular participation of individual students, a review of the camp offerings in the Senior School, and the opportunity to review the Colours and Awards processes at St Catherine’s School. As T.S Eliot said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go.” At St Catherine’s School, we are committed to providing a strong Co-curricular program for every student to experience and achieve their best.

By working on the process you allow the outcome to look after itself, and to see how far it is possible to go.

Mrs Gina Peele, Director of Student Programs