From the Director of Student Programs

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford

At St Catherine’s School, our co-curricular programs harness students’ ability to work within a team and develop a shared connection to achieve a desired outcome. These programs include the co-curricular offerings at St Catherine’s School, including the Music, Sports, Debating and Performing Arts. Achieving the desired goal, outcome or success in each of these programs requires a cultural understanding in the shared experience. This includes a commitment to attending the rehearsals or training sessions, to improve skills, goals and sharing the way the team will achieve these goals.

St Catherine’s School’s values of empathy, perseverance, integrity and curiosity run through the heart of the co-curricular programs, establishing a culture of inclusion, improvement and teamwork which is vital to the success of our co-curricular programs. Upon reflection, other aspects can be attributed to the growth and development of our girls through their involvement in co-curricular activities; these include inclusion, opportunity, growth, achievement, connection, encouragement and culture.

Angela Duckworth, author of GRIT, The power of passion and perseverance, suggests the benefits from participating in an activity come from participating for two years.

There are countless research studies highlighting that kids who are more involved in co-curriculars fare better on just about every conceivable metric – they earn better grades, have higher self-esteem, are less likely to become involved in trouble and so forth. A handful of these studies are longitudinal, meaning that researchers waited to see what happened to kids later in life. These longer-term studies come to the same conclusion: more participation in activities predicts better outcomes. The same research indicates that overdosing on co-curriculars is pretty rare.

In reading about the established Danish Rowing Program and the philosophies behind the success, with small numbers of participants in the Sport, Nikolas Prydol highlights the point, of creating a culture around, “I want to succeed together with you, so we can keep on pushing each other” rather than, “I want to succeed at the cost of you”. Working with each member of any sporting group, musical ensemble or choir to raise the strengths in students of all abilities, brings the best out of the entire group, ultimately harnessing teamwork, performance and assisting in the formation of relationships.

One notable example of late is the Richmond Football Club’s historic win in the 2017 AFL Grand Final. In reading an article published in The Age, written by Tom Carmill, there was reference to the processes of recreating the shared vision and culture within the Richmond Football Club. Richmond Football club acknowledged, an “Appreciation of vulnerability allowed the Tigers to develop authentic relationships, improve teamwork and strengthen commitment”.  

Our wellbeing program, wethrive:wellbeing@stcatherines works closely with the co-curricular programs ensuring students build on their self-confidence, resilience, empathy and integrity, assisting students in their academic endeavours.



Mrs Gina Peele, Director of Student Programs