Towards 2025 – Her Signature Co-curricular Programs

Featured within St Catherine’s School’s Towards 2025 Strategic Plan, the Her Signature Co-curricular Program provides opportunities for all our students to craft their own Co-curricular experiences.

Her Signature encourages, inspires and enriches participation for our students, empowering them to be authentic and fearless. Our students create their own signature journey within St Catherine’s vast array of Co-curricular activities in Sport, Music, Performing Arts, Debating, Public Speaking, Global Programs, Exchanges and Community Service.

Underpinned by three essential pillars, designed to provide opportunities for students to step outside their comfort zones in supportive and safe environments, encouraging them to learn, investigate and challenge themselves. The pillars are:

  • Character – by creating resilient, persistent and responsible women
  • Engagement – with a community focused approach
  • Leadership – through inspiring the next generation of aspiring leaders

As our Year 12 students prepare for life after St Catherine’s, I asked four of our senior students to reflect on their experiences within the Co-curricular life of our School. The reflections from Allegra, Francesca, Ruby and Elodie provide great insights into the learning, challenges and self-discoveries they made about themselves through their Co-curricular journeys.

Reflections on your Co-curricular Journey…

Winning The Head of Schoolgirls Regatta for the first time in St Catherine’s history was a memory Francesca will never forget.

Francesca: I am so grateful for the abundance of Co-curricular opportunities I have experienced at St Catherine’s. Sport has played the biggest influence on my time at School and has provided me with some of the happiest moments of my life.

My journey in sport began with GSV Netball, GSV Cross Country and GSV Athletics. I loved Netball as I was surrounded by my friends and learnt the importance of teamwork. Additionally, GSV Cross Country and GSV Athletics is where I established a passion for hard work. Athletics is also where I looked up to the older girls as role models and aspired to achieve what they did.

These sports have had a significant impact on my life, however the most challenging, yet gratifying sport I was involved in was Rowing. There was something so special to me about working together with a group of girls who loved hard work and determination as much as I did. It taught me discipline, which assisted me so much in my academics. Winning The Head of Schoolgirls Regatta for the first time in our School’s history was one of the proudest moments of my life.

Allegra: Throughout my time at St Catherine’s, I have been so lucky to have participated in a wide range of Co-curricular activities including GSV Sport, Debating and Public Speaking, plays and musicals, Bond Mooting, Tournament of the Minds, Rowing, choirs and the list goes on. I remember in Year 7 we were constantly encouraged to give everything a go and jump straight into the vast opportunities St Catherine’s offers. Throughout my Senior School education I have tried to follow that advice and be an enthusiastic participant in as many Co-curricular activities that could fit into my timetable.

Elodie: Some of my most memorable experiences and strong connections at St Catherine’s have been in the context of my Co-curricular activities. From the commencement of my journey in Prep I have been involved in a wide range of sports including Swimming, Athletics, Cross Country and Gymnastics.

It was not until I was in the Senior School that I really developed my passion and skill for Hurdles and Sprinting. I also played Football and was a junior and intermediate rower. It was always my plan to be a part of the senior Rowing program, but I was injured and so stood in as a cox.

There are so many musical instruments and ensembles on offer at School, it can be hard to choose or limit ourselves. I was one of the Epstein Singers in the Junior School and also played the piano and trumpet. My focus however has been strings, beginning with the violin and then transferring to the viola at the suggestion of my teacher, Mrs Cook. Currently, I remain involved in Senior Strings.

Learned Experiences from your Co-curricular Journey…

Francesca: Through my involvement in Co-curricular activities at St Catherine’s I have learnt to value and respect those who work hard and persevere to achieve their best.

In addition to this, the most important lesson I have learnt is when something does not go your way or is cancelled, use it as an opportunity to work harder than everyone else because that is how success is achieved.

2021Gold Duke of Edinburgh Trip was a highlight for Allegra.

Allegra: Being involved in many school activities has helped me realise that you do not need to be great at something to enjoy it – it is all about showing up and being a part of a team. A highlight of these activities has been making friends with girls in all different Year levels or friendship groups that have similar interests to me. For example, on the Gold Duke of Edinburgh trip this year, we developed a close-knit group of friends from both Years 11 and 12.

Elodie: I have discovered my greatest strengths and weaknesses through my Co-curricular experiences. My most important lessons have been persistence and acceptance. I have learnt to rely on myself and also how to be a part of a team.

I have also learnt there is no shame in failing; not trying at all is what lets us down. Another lesson is that sometimes we pigeon-hole ourselves (or allow others to do so) and to be involved in something outside our comfort zone inevitably brings out the best in people.

I have gotten to know so many fantastic girls across all Year levels and with different interests because of Co-curricular activities. It has taught me that we should not make assumptions about people or limit our connections.

Our days are busy when we are involved in Co-curricular activities, so I have developed some valuable skills – like being organised and using my time efficiently – which has served me well in many other aspects of my life.

Sometimes, it can be assumed by others that we are involved in an activity because we are good at it – even so, something worthwhile always involves hard work as well. My experiences have taught me not to be afraid of hard work and that sometimes we have to accept that in the end, we cannot control the outcome.

Ruby: Since my time in Year 7 I have been involved in a number of clubs, including: STEM Club, Environment Club, Drama Club, the SRC and A-Team.

These outlets for creativity and inter-cohort connection are a great, yet more importantly, underrepresented aspect of life at St Catherine’s. In these Clubs, a sense of belonging and purpose is sought after – this togetherness, an undeniable necessity for newcomers.

In the Clubs, you are surrounded by like minded individuals, which is somewhat of a guarantee for camaraderie and unity. Such sentiments, I imagine, would be beneficial to our Year 7s, particularly given the absence of connection this school year (COVID). Another facet to the Co-curricular experience is GSV Sport. The GSV program is a phenomenal base for meeting girls from other Year levels, whilst keeping fit. The early-morning training sessions, frozen fingertips and inter-school rivalry fosters a bond unlike any other.

In all instances, through sharing a common interest and, at times, hatred for that 6:30am GSV alarm, I learned the importance of commitment, patience and confronted my fear of that mysterious inter-year level barrier for the first time.

To younger girls, I would remind them that these Co-curricular programs are beneficial for numerous reasons and enrolment in such opportunities is recommended.

I only wish I had gotten involved more!

Mrs Gina Peele, Director of Student Programs