Term 1 went by so quickly, and it is hard to believe that we are already into the full swing of Term 2. Reflecting on the year-to-date, the girls have fully embraced the many opportunities and programs that St Catherine’s offers. It has been pleasing to witness several girls who have been successful in both their academic studies and in their co-curricular activities.

I recently had the pleasure of watching a music performance from Ellie Cacopardo and Jacinta Yi. Together, before their cohort they beautifully performed ‘Aliez’ on the piano, which formed part of a task for their Music elective. It was also pleasing to hear of the Junior Crew’s success during the rowing season, with several crews making the A Finals in the Head of School Girls Regatta. Further, I know many girls enjoyed the opportunity to attend the David Hockney Art Exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). They found his work joyful and it has inspired them to explore more diverse colour in their own artworks back at School.

Along with academic studies and co-curricular activities, the Year 9s were encouraged to begin fulfilling their Leadership Diploma requirements. With information booklets in hand, many of the girls have joined clubs and become involved in activities outside of the School. In addition, it was lovely to see several Year 9 students participating in the Red Cross Doorknock appeal on Friday evenings. St Catherine’s believes in the importance of community service and their service will contribute to achieving their Diploma. The girls have also registered to complete the Duke of Edinburgh Award, with many of the requirements for this award aligning with the Leadership Diploma; girls will be able to achieve the different levels of this award over the coming years.

During Terms 1 and 2, preparations for the Heyington to Highland trip commenced with Ms Susan Hobson delivering an informative presentation to the girls on the role of the United Nations and the United Nations Sustainable Goals. The girls explored the relevance of these goals to Fiji, and the importance to the Fijian communities in achieving those goals. There were a lot of lively conversations around these issues and the girls fully embraced the opportunity to discover more about their upcoming journey.

We also spent time in the weEngage Pastoral Program revisiting the concept of Emotional Intelligence(EI). Many girls demonstrated their understanding of EI and easily identified positive and negative emotions. In this session, with some music from Adele and Abba (my choice), there were conversations about changing unhelpful emotions into positive emotions. Many girls were able to identify music that provokes different emotions and the choice of music they will need to change their emotions. We have also been encouraging the girls to use Mindfulness to help deal with their emotions, and with lunchtime Mindfulness sessions now occurring, it is great to see some of them have taken that opportunity.

It has certainly been a busy year so far, and with Term 2 just beginning I look forward to sharing and hearing about their further involvements in the life of the school.

Ms Fiona Ganino-Day, Year 9 Dean