​We are hearing a great deal in the media at the moment about student disengagement and student discipline. There is a growing concern across the country that students are behaving badly, lacking discipline and becoming increasingly disconnected from school.

​This week, students around the country from Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 have undertaken the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) testing, an annual nationwide measure through which parents/carers, teachers, schools, education authorities, governments and the broader community can determine whether or not young Australians are developing the literacy and numeracy skills that provide the critical foundation for other learning and for their productive and rewarding participation in the community.

​This week, I was delighted to host a guest at Lowther Hall, Mr Ollie Lovell an eminent Australian educationalist who visited the School to chat about teaching and learning and to plan some professional learning that our staff will undertake in the coming months.

​There is no joy like the first day of a school year and 2024 is off to a truly wonderful start. The sound of girls’ voices has again filled the buildings and grounds and it has been smiles and hugs a plenty as students have reconnected with each other.

​Hats off to Lowther Hall’s 2023 VCE students whose results reflect the combined efforts of girls and staff alike. The ATAR scores achieved by the Class of 2023 are impressive, with more than one third of the cohort being placed in the top 10% of the nation!

​I was interested to read in a recent edition of Company Director magazine, an article in which the new Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission, Sue Woodward, reflected (amongst other things) on the recent decline of volunteering across Australia.

​When I was in Canberra two weeks ago for the Anglican Schools Conference, a number of speakers addressed the theme of “awe and wonder” and the ways in which seeking experiences that evoke these responses in us can be positive for our mental health and for building our understanding of the world and each other.

​In a recently published OECD report, the disciplinary climate in Australian schools was found to be one of the least favourable across the globe. In contrast the 2020 Alliance of Girls Schools’ Australia Report: The Girls School Edge: A comparison of outcomes for girls from single-sex and co-educational schools, cited PISA data from 2015 and 2018, which provides strong support for the contention that single-sex school students are more likely than co-educated girls to report experiencing learning environments in which they are able to fulfill their learning goals due to substantially lower amounts of disruption or distraction than their counterparts in co-ed schools.