From the Dean of Year 11

At the beginning of the year, I talked to the Year 11 students about VCE being the best years of their schooling. When I think about what makes a positive school experience, subjects are not the only thing on the agenda. Although the girls are well and truly immersed in their subjects, they are also involved in a range of co-curricular activities – from the School production to part-time employment. Suddenly, Year 11 becomes a balancing act, which I believe helps young people in their transition from school to life outside the classroom. It’s how the girls manage their commitments and overcome stressful situations that makes the difference.

During class this week, my Year 11 Visual Communication Design students walked in the room asking if we could do a mindfulness session. I take this as a positive sign that students are beginning to embrace this very simple, but incredibly useful, practice. As well as caring for the academic needs of our students, it’s equally important to acknowledge how their mental health can impact on their school experience. For the next two years to be successful, students need to ensure their wellbeing needs are met. Throughout this Term, the Year 11s will be completing more mindfulness sessions in the hope that this practice will become independent and part of a weekly routine.

At the end of last Term, our School counsellor, Ms Amelia King spoke to the cohort on the importance of learning how to manage stress. She talked about how students can rate their stress levels in comparison to the situation they are having to cope with. At times, a poor result or leaving homework to the last minute can feel as though students have reached their stress limit. Taking a moment to recognise stress levels can be a useful tool in managing this emotion.

As well as focussing on their VCE subjects and beginning to prepare for exams, many students are partaking in co-curricular activities or thinking beyond the classroom and finding themselves a part-time job. At the beginning of this Term, we had a guest speaker in to talk to the girls about how to write a successful resume and how to respond in an interview, not only for employment opportunities, but also for places at University where this may be part of the selection process.

The level program for this Term addresses the ‘whole student’ – with a focus on wellbeing and life outside the classroom. My hope is that the students will feel equipped with all that they need to enjoy these final years of schooling.

Finally, I would like to extend a congratulations to all of those, on stage and off, who were involved in the School production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The costuming, makeup, direction and truly wonderful acting made this show a great success.



Ms Lilly Dusting, Dean of Year 11