S​tudent voice is incredibly important to us at Lowther Hall and is an important aspect of our mission to educate the whole person. This means that when students come to senior staff with proposals, we give them a hearing and try to support them to bring their ideas to fruition.

​Whenever we have to endure something difficult, there is the joy that comes when it is over. Today, as music flows through the mansion again and the sound of girls laughing and talking fills the air, we know – once again – the happiness that comes from a return to school after a period of lockdown.

​National Reconciliation Week concluded yesterday and, despite not being present on site for the week, I was proud to see the Prefect Body and other student leaders acknowledging the occasion and promoting activities to advance reconciliation amongst their peers.

Whilst it is disappointing to be back in lockdown, I am extremely grateful to the staff, students and families for their ongoing flexibility and goodwill as we move into remote learning again. In my own Year 7 class on line this morning...

​At the end of last week I presented at a conference for Heads of Independent Schools on the topic “What inspires you?” In the session, my co-presenter (Principal of St Michael’s – Ms Terrie Jones) and I shared things that we had read and listened to over the last 12 months that had provided insight, nourishment or sustenance as we navigated the challenges of lockdown.

This week our Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 students undertook the annual NAPLAN (National Assessment Program in Literacy And Numeracy) tests. These Australia wide tests are designed to demonstrate the extent to which students across the nation are travelling against a range of outcomes in reading, writing and mathematics.

​This week has seen a re-engagement with many special events that we have missed during the last 12 months: Year 7 Camp, Raymond House Cross Country, Blinkbonnie House Parent Maths session and the staging of the Senior School Production – 42nd Street.

​I am an optimist and I am fortunate to come from a family of optimists. Such is my propensity to look on the bright side, in fact, that my friends tease me about my “Pollyanna” approach to some of the challenges we encounter. I must say that I am grateful for my disposition and for my prevailing belief that difficulties will pass, but I do have to say that the last twelve months has tested even me!

​This term I have written and spoken many times about the joys of being back together physically after so many months of remote learning last year. I have focussed in particular on the activities and events that we have been able to enjoy together, the importance of re-establishing cross-age programs and the benefits of seeing parents and caregivers face to face once again.