From the Dean of Year 11

The first weeks of Year 11 – weAccomplish

The start of this year has seen much excitement and anticipation amongst the Year 11 cohort as they settle into the final leg of their schooling. Although these years are often referred to as, ‘the beginning of the end’, I like to think of them as, ‘the most exciting years of Secondary School’. The girls have chosen each of their subjects and are starting to formulate some serious ideas about their future and how to accomplish these goals. Much discussion has taken place (mostly in my office!) about the difference in workload from Year 10 to Year 11. As the Dean, I see no expressions of surprise on their faces, nor do I hear any hints of irritability in their voices. Rather, I am witness to a Year level who are just ‘getting on with it’!

Our pastoral program this Term is focussed around preparing for the challenges of VCE. Mr Adrian Puckering, Director of Curriculum Innovation and Development, came and spoke to the girls about positive study habits and in the weeks to come Ms Amelia King, our School Counsellor, will look at strategies to help students cope with and manage stress. To support these areas, I am encouraging the girls to attend mindfulness sessions that are available at lunch, which has been a recent initiative by Ms Fiona Ganino-Day. My hope is that each student will have the skills they need to move through these years with a greater level of focus.

We have also spent time collaborating with other Year levels, in a joint assembly with the Year 12s and a mentoring program with the Year 7s. The assembly saw groups of Year 11s and 12s work together to create a School ‘chant’ for Head of Schoolgirls Regatta, while the mentoring program gave the girls an opportunity to help welcome our newest members of St Catherine’s. Each week, I post our upcoming Level program, as well as photos of the girls’ activities, on the Year 11 portal page. Here, you will also find a weekly reflection that selected girls write in response to a quote.

A buzz of excitement was definitely felt amongst the cohort last week with the announcement of two upcoming events; House Arts and, of course, the Formal! Each House was presented with stimulus material for the end of year production, House Arts – a definite highlight in the calendar. They will spend the remainder of the year planning a production that involves music, art, drama and dance. Next Term, the girls will attend their first Formal and I know it will be a night to remember for them!

Reflecting on the first half of Term 1, I feel incredibly privileged to be the Dean of such a wonderful year level and I look forward to working with them for the Semester.

Ms Lilly Dusting, Dean of Year 11