Barbreck Update – Attitude is everything!

Throughout this year, both during lockdown and with the return to campus, I have been amazed by the wonderful attitude of the girls. I saw girls during lockdown cope with IT issues, changes to online learning, manage the portal, work hard on their return and adjust to what life has thrown at them throughout the year.

On Wednesday we saw the Barbreck Iron Girl Competition, where the Year 6 girls compete in a 3-part race: run, swim and another run. The competition, while more suiting the highly trained athletes, saw 90% of the girls take the competition seriously. They were there to do their best! What stood out for many of us watching the race was the committed attitude shown by the girls. We were all so proud of them all! Their attitude caused me to ponder and to seek more information on how this attitude benefits them long term.

Jennifer Elliott, CEO and Founder, Integrity and Values, posted “If you think your skills are the sole factor of where you are today, you could be wrong.” She goes on to say “your attitude is what has given you that extra push in getting you over the line. Your altitude is most definitely determined by your attitude.”

Attitude ties in with the work we do in Barbreck about Growth Mindset – the belief that talents can be developed and grow, as opposed to a closed mindset with the belief that a person has a limited set of abilities that cannot change- no matter what you do.

I have always explained attitude to students as the lens through which you view life, whether it be home, work or school. If you have your positive attitude lenses on, things that go wrong are viewed as a bump in the road, something to deal with and then resume the journey. When you have your negative lenses on, it can often result in a bump in the road becoming a road block with no detour – it is where the journey ends. We see this with students who once they become upset or frustrated, they stay that way all day. They have no way of helping themselves to adjust and adapt. They see everything from that point on as negative.

Dr. Laura Kubzansky, professor of social and behavioural sciences at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has explored the health benefits associated with having a positive attitude. She says “Your outlook—having a sense of optimism and purpose—seems to be predictive of health outcomes”. She went on to say that “emotional vitality—characterized by enthusiasm, hopefulness, engagement in life, and the ability to face life’s stresses with emotional balance—is associated with a substantially reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.”

By having a positive attitude, our girls are setting themselves up well to be able to adjust and adapt quickly, view obstacles as things to be quickly dealt with (they are not indicative of failure), have greater chances of reaching heights professionally and personally, and will have reduced risk of health issues such as heart attacks and stroke.

As educators and parents, this gives us cause to support our girls develop a great attitude – one that is positive, sees ability and talent as being able to be grown and developed, sees difficulties and setbacks as things to be dealt with, sees failures as learning opportunities and life to be lived and enjoyed.


After The Bell

Out of School Hours Care is provided by After the Bell and is available from 7.00am until the commencement of the ELC program at 8.45am. This service is also available in the afternoons from 3.00pm until 6.00pm. The Out of School Hours Care Program operates within the ELC building. Find Out More 

Ms Karen McArdle, Head of Junior School