Last Friday afforded girls in Senior School and Junior School the opportunity to stop and reflect on the meaning of ANZAC Day and to participate in formal ceremonies where wreaths were laid, information was shared and other traditions were observed. The School was also represented by members of the Prefect Body at the community service in Queens Park on Sunday. It remains important to us as a School to acknowledge the price of warfare and to pay our respects to those who have sacrificed life, health and safety in pursuit of passionately held beliefs. At our Casual Clothes Day tomorrow the girls will bring $4 which will contribute to our fundraising for the School in Bangladesh which we fully staff and run. Over the coming term, various student leaders will be helping the girls across Junior and Senior School to learn more about this important global connection. It will be wonderful to see our Junior School girls wearing the green and red of the Bangladesh flag tomorrow as part of the awareness raising campaign. A reminder that as of Monday next week, girls are expected to be wearing the winter uniform. Please check that the uniform fits appropriately, especially around the neck of the shirt. Skirt length is to be at the knee. High uniform standards are important in assisting girls to practise attention to detail, strong personal presentation and in demonstrating respect for their school. Your cooperation and support in reinforcing these messages is greatly appreciated.

Learning Conferences have provided excellent opportunities for parents and teachers (and for older year levels, students also) to come together to discuss the learning which has taken place so far this year.

​Welcome back to Term 2! In only 3 days so much has already happened: The Senior School Athletics Carnival, the first rehearsal of the Girls’ Voices of the Cathedral Choir, training for Term 2 Sports and lots of learning!

​Year 11 student Maddison has become the Women's Under 18 Australian Champion in the 800m and 1500m track events! She is featured in this week's Moonee Valley Newspaper in recognition of her achievements.

​There has been much cause for celebration at Lowther Hall this week with many of our Senior School Sport Teams playing in finals and having well deserved and hard fought wins to come home division, zone or overall champions in their Term 1 sports. All things Senior School tennis, indoor cricket, softball, swimming, diving, triathlon and rowing were celebrated and shared at the Years 7 to 12 Term 1 Sports Assembly yesterday where we were reminded of the many girls who have achieved their own, or contributed to a team’s, sporting success over the last 8 weeks. Last night at the Autumn Band Festival it was clear that there has been much productive rehearsal throughout the term and it was delightful to see some of our youngest brass, woodwind and percussion students take to the stage alongside our more experienced players. Well done to all!

Our exceptional sporting program at Lowther Hall develops expert skill and understanding in over 25 different sports with teaching and guidance from over 35 coaches and teaching staff. This dedication to sport is generating impressive results from students who are flourishing and excelling in their respective arenas – some at national champion level! We would like to highlight some exceptional sporting results our students are achieving.

Teaching What Matters Over the long weekend, I attended a conference led by a group of educators from the Harvard Faculty of Education and, in particular, enjoyed the keynote address given by “Project Zero” guru, David Perkins. In his lecture, Perkins reminded the audience about the “Expanding Universe of Education” and the challenge for schools and teachers to equip young people to be able to make a worthwhile contribution in a world that is increasingly knowledge rich, connected and fast paced. He challenged us to think about the learning that really matters. At Lowther Hall this is a question which we consider regularly. We are fortunate in Australia, to now have a national curriculum that, whilst overcrowded, is mostly concerned with relevant questions and which focusses on the acquisition of skills and dispositions. The units of work that are taught from our very youngest year levels all the way to Year 12, are framed around big ideas that we consider important for the girls to wrestle with and consider, and which we hope they will find transferable to the world beyond school. As well as the subject based curriculum, we are also conscious that we impart to the girls, a curriculum of values, attitudes and qualities which in many ways are the most important. Some of these are articulated in the Australian Curriculum as “personal and social capabilities” – including self-management, self-awareness, social management and social awareness. These are addressed through the Personal and Social Development classes as well as through pastoral time and assemblies. Encouraging each student to develop the Qualities of the Lowther Hall Girl, also assist her in the acquisition of intra and interpersonal skills. Running through all the learning of the girls’ learning experiences, should also be the development of their capacity to think critically and creatively. Creative thinking is something that parents can support at home through the provision of experiences that allow an imaginative response – such as a trip to the beach to build sandcastles, the creation of an original recipe or the posing of a household problem that requires a solution. Similarly, critical thinking can be supported by asking “why do you think that?” or “why do you think that happened?” I am confident that this term, our students have once again engaged in a great deal of “learning that matters” and I encourage you to continue to assist the girls to reflect on their learning as they move into the Easter break.

As we celebrated International Women’s Day this week on Tuesday, I shared with the Senior School girls some of the reasons that I believe it is important for them to develop a thoughtful approach to matters such as gender equality and the role of women.

The Lowther Hall uniform has seen many changes and evolutions since our school began 96 years ago. The uniform is an important means by which our student community can feel connected to each other and it fosters a sense of belonging.

We are flying the French flag at the front of Lowther Hall this week in celebration of the arrival of students from our sister school in France! The girls and boys are currently being hosted by Senior School families and their visit is providing wonderful opportunities for our girls to practise their French!