Assemblies are one of the places where I get the most opportunity to speak to the girls and share ideas with the hope that I will be helpful! Last Friday in Junior School Assembly we focussed on dealing with disappointment and the girls shared experiences where a person might feel disappointed: missing out on a lead role in the production, not being able to go on a planned holiday and being let down by friends were just some of the examples mentioned. We reflected on the fact that disappointment is part of life and so therefore it is important that we develop strategies to assist us in managing disappointment.

I encouraged the girls to try the following strategies:
  • Be aware of your disappointed feeling and manage it 
  • Don’t take the situation personally 
  • Reflect on your expectations and what you wanted to happen 
  • Look at the big picture and how much this matters 
  • Have another try or try something different 
  • Think about how to make the most of the situation 

Parents may like to discuss these strategies further with their daughters at home. 

On Monday in Senior School Assembly I explained to the girls that I had recently re-discovered my childhood copy of Alice in Wonderland – a story that is now over 150 years old! There were three ideas explored in this tale which I suggested might be useful for the students in the coming weeks and months:

Curiosity can lead to excellent outcomes – girls are encouraged to follow up ideas that they find interesting, explore their learning in more depth, experiment and ask why. 

The unfamiliar is to be expected – it is predictable that life will provide new and different experiences (as Wonderland did for Alice). Rather than letting this disconcert us or cause anxiety, we should prepare for the unexpected – especially when it comes in the form of a non-routine question in an exam! 

Wandering doesn’t mean you are lost – Alice wasn’t on a mission to leave Wonderland, nor did she know her way around. Despite this, she entered into the world in which she found herself, interacted with the weird and wonderful characters and asked for directions. In the end, she found her way back to her reality. Similarly, girls should not panic if they don’t have a clear plan for the future. There is plenty to be enjoyed in the here and now and we are confident that they will indeed (in the words of the Cheshire Cat) “end up somewhere”! 

Next week the Year 9 girls head off to Central Australia and Vietnam, the Year 8s will be on camp and the girls in Years 10 to 12 commence their examinations. I hope that each girl makes the most of her experience!