In Blinkbonnie House Assembly this week, I presented the Prep girls with certificates celebrating their demonstration of the Quality “She is prepared to take a considered risk”. In keeping with this theme, Mrs Ashen read a picture story book to the girls called What do you do with a chance? which I will share with the Senior School community on Tuesday next week as they commence their two week orientation program in which they start their 2022 subjects. The text, perhaps somewhat predictably, provides the answer to the question posed by the title and suggests that what you should do with a chance is “take it” but what I like about the story is that the author, Kobi Yamanda, acknowledges that often this needs to be a deliberate and intentional choice that it is one that is not without risk. Alongside Yamanda’s text, Mae Besom’s sensitive illustrations depict the embarrassments and disappointments that can come from trying and failing when you take a chance but also the joy and exhilaration that can result when you take an opportunity and allow yourself to be challenged, transported or transformed.

I continue to be delighted that Lowther Hall girls from right across the school, are prepared to embrace new opportunities and step into new things with the confidence that they will thrive. Moving into a new part of the school, working with an unfamiliar teacher or a new set of peers can sometimes feel daunting, but also brings the chance for new experiences, new learning, new relationships and new growth. As the adults in the equation when girls are working through the challenges and opportunities associated with transition processes, we can all help the girls by: talking positively about the next step, reminding them of the many qualities they have that will help them to embrace new situations, de-catastrophising normal issues that arise as part of a change process and helping with the practical organisation of requirements.

In a year where so many opportunities have been removed, it is so good to have these positive and future oriented experiences take place. I look forward to walking alongside the girls at this time and helping them to embrace the chances that each new step in their journey will provide.

Ms Elisabeth Rhodes