It has been truly delightful to have returned from my sabbatical leave and to have commenced Term 3 with our committed staff and enthusiastic girls this week! In our whole school assembly on Wednesday I shared some reflections from my travels – and particularly the heightened awareness of cultural differences that come into play when you travel from one country to another. At Lowther Hall we are a culturally diverse community and this was demonstrated tangibly in assembly. Firstly, when girls from different cultural backgrounds shared some things that are special to them about their cultural heritage, and particularly when we enacted a human “graphing” exercise in the Cultural Centre with staff and students standing up to represent the country they, their parents or grandparents had been born in. The pride amongst the girls and the excitement at discovering the richness of our school’s cultural make up were palpable! Secondly, we were privileged to hear from girls who have different religious affiliations as they spoke about the way in which their beliefs impact their lives and how they live out their faith. Celebrating our diversity will continue to be a theme for us at the School this term. Director of Development and Community Engagement This term we have welcomed Mr Stewart Brook, Director of Development and Community Engagement who will be working with me and other members of the Community Relations Department to ensure that we have strong communication and support across all areas of the school community – parents, students, staff, old grammarians, past parents and foundation members. Stewart will be introducing himself to groups across the School in the coming weeks and is already enjoying hearing from various stakeholders about their special Lowther Hall connections. Building works You may have noticed that works have now commenced on the new Early Learning Centre, with the establishment of site sheds and the first steps in demolition underway. I look forward to sharing further details of this project with you in the weeks to come. The Cultural Centre refurbishment has also been progressing in the background. Last term we sought advice regarding the implementation of a new heating and cooling system. At this stage, we are continuing to explore further options and again, I will provide further details during the term. Voices of the Cathedral I hope that many of you will be joining us at St Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday 3 August when the girls sing at their first Evensong service. A reminder that reply slips for the girls attending were due to be returned at the end of last term. Please contact the School if you require another copy of the circular. Best wishes for the remainder of the term We are only four days into term and already there is so much happening! I look forward to seeing many of you at the forthcoming events and to working with girls and families in our shared mission.

​This week I am writing to you from Harvard University where Tracy Healy (Deputy Principal) and I are completing a week long course. The Summer School intensive is run by the Harvard Graduate School of Education and we have joined with 106 colleagues

​Today there have been a number of special events across the school with Year 9s returning from their adventures in Central Australia and Vietnam, Year 11s enjoying the second day of their leadership camp, Years 8 and 10 participating in a special cross-age program and Year 5s taking part in the Maths Games Day.

​This week our Years 10, 11 and 12 students are completing their mid-year examinations – an important opportunity to consolidate and demonstrate their learning this year to date and to gain valuable experience working under time constraints. This kind of assessment method is just one way in which the girls can demonstrate their skills – it is

During her time leading Junior School, Mrs Prandolini worked with great passion and dedication to create a community of confident and happy learners. She modelled and inspired high standards and was committed to ensuring that Lowther Hall remained a leader in teaching and nurturing its primary school students.

​Empathy is a highly valuable human quality but one which is not always straightforward for young people to develop. In Junior School this week at Together on Friday we will be exploring ways to practise seeing things from someone else’s perspective and considering another’s view. Developing the capacity for empathy is a shared responsibility of parents and staff and we appreciate everything that families do to assist girls to see various situations from the viewpoint of another, or to help them understand how another person might be feeling in a particular situation. One way in which we can assist young people to build their empathic skills is through assisting them to identify their own feelings so that they are better equipped to identify the feelings of others.

​Excitement is building in Senior School as the cast and crew of Beauty and the Beast make their final preparations for next week’s production. I hope that I will see many of you there! Similarly there is a buzz of anticipation in Junior School in the lead up to tomorrow’s Science Fair, which I am sure will be a highlight of the term. As each of these special opportunities takes place I am reminded of the dedication of the teachers who work tirelessly and with unrivalled passion to provide meaningful learning experiences for our girls, not simply in their classrooms, but through a range of wonderful additional programs.

This week I spoke to the Senior School girls about the use of good manners in their daily lives. Specifically I reminded them of the expectation that they (as a young person) give up a seat on public transport to an older person, a pregnant woman or a person with a disability.

​Sunday is Mother’s Day and this week we have the opportunity to celebrate at school with the Junior School and Senior School Mother’s Day Breakfasts and the Mother’s Day stall in Junior School. This is a time of year to pause and pay homage to our mothers, step-mothers, grandmothers, substitute mothers and all those women who have mothered us. When I reflect on the qualities of good mothers I think about: love – of the unconditional variety (reassuring when we mess things up); forgiveness – a willingness to always give us a second chance; honesty – a capacity to tell us the truth, even when it is hard to hear; encouragement – to give things a go and not to give up; selflessness – the capacity to put others first, and finally; industry and the demonstration of hard work (whether in paid employment or in the home).

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.