This week, we bid our final farewell to the class of 2015. We have recognised them at formal assemblies, watched them throw their hats off the Mansion balcony and at their Valedictory service yesterday afternoon they were given a lit candle as they left the Cultural Centre which they symbolically carried out into the world, ready to shine! At Lowther Hall we see our job as being to educate young women so that the world might be a better place because they are in it. And I am confident that each of our graduating students is ready to fulfil that mission – to shine a light into the world. I thank each girl for all that she has contributed to our School during her journey. This morning, I spoke to girls in Years 7, 8 and 9 about preparation for exams. In particular, the girls have been encouraged to get a little more sleep (9 hours is the ideal for teenagers), to commit to study in silence (no messages, notifications, music with lyrics or TV) and to use study techniques which are really likely to make a difference. Girls in all three year levels have the slides from today’s assembly and parents of girls in Years 7 to 9 might like to ask their daughters to step them through our discussions so that they can support them in the coming weeks!

Each year, every Year 12 girl receives a yellow rose from a Prep student and, in turn, presents her with seeds, symbolic of the growth that we anticipate for her as she moves through the years at Lowther Hall.

It has been delightful to welcome back girls and staff for Term 4 with some warmer weather. The term is off to a busy start and the Visual Arts staff are working hard to prepare for the Revealed Art Exhibition which opens on Friday night. I do hope that all families will make the effort to come and view not only their own daughter’s work, but the fantastic work produced right across the School.

Stephanie (Year 9), Maddison (Year 10), Caroline (Year 11) and Mardi (Year 9) have become Victorian Champions winning the All Schools Track Relay U18 4x400m at Lakeside Stadium.

Congratulations to all girls and staff involved in last night’s Annual Music Concert at the Recital Centre. The standing ovation at the end of the evening was testimony to the level of enjoyment and appreciation felt by everyone in the audience. I was certainly very proud of the standard of performances, but even more than this, enjoyed watching so many girls achieve personal milestones regarding confidence in performance and the pursuit of excellence. The Sound of Music finale captured the special place that music has at Lowther Hall, with a palpable love of singing evident. Thank you to parents for their support, to the music staff for their vision, leadership and commitment and to the wonderful girls for their outstanding playing and singing. Thank you too, to everyone who offered feedback after last year’s concert so that this year could be even better. We will now begin planning for next year! This morning our Year 9 girls set off on their Duke of Edinburgh Adventurous Journey to the Grampians and the Year 12 students commenced their 2 day Retreat. The term will finish with a whole school assembly tomorrow where we will continue to celebrate the School’s 95th year and share highlights from Term 2. I wish all families a safe and enjoyable break and encourage our most senior students to strike a good balance between rest and study as they prepare for their final external examinations in November.

Our Year 6 Environment Captains have launched a new initiative to encourage all Junior School girls to be mindful of the environment by bring with them each Wednesday, lunchboxes that are free of rubbish and excess waste.

Our Annual Music Concert will be held on Wednesday 9 September at the Melbourne Recital Centre. The evening will showcase an array of diverse musical and vocal talent. Performances from the School’s Orchestras, Stage Band, Concert Bands, Choirs, Ensembles and Soloists will showcase the talents of girls from Year 3 to Year 12.

Father’s Day Breakfast I am looking forward to celebrating Father’s Day (a little in advance) with girls and their special guests tomorrow morning at the School. Dads and male mentors play such an important role in the raising of girls and I thank all of the fathers in our school community who support their daughters to develop the skills and values that will assist them in the adult world. Annual Music Concert No doubt many families are eagerly anticipating this year’s Annual Music Concert which will take place next week at the Melbourne Recital Centre. We have taken on board parent feedback from last year in planning this year’s event, which we hope will prove an enjoyable night out for performers and audience alike. Summer Uniform Changeover at the start of Term 4 A reminder that from the beginning of Term 4 we have an optional changeover period as the girls transition to summer uniform. Students can make an informed decision about whether to wear summer or winter uniform for the first 2 weeks of term, however, full summer uniform must be worn from Week 3 in Term 4. Summer uniform items should be checked during the forthcoming break to ensure that the various pieces are neat and correct and that dresses are the appropriate length as girls are likely to have grown.