Our girls are so fortunate to be part of a community in which they can build their confidence: being surrounded by adults who support and encourage them creates an environment in which they can take considered risks and speak out, preparing them to ultimately be women who can make positive contributions in the adult world. This week, I saw this development of confidence lived out in three events. Firstly, on Wednesday evening, we celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the Paris Cat jazz gig, which sees girls from Years 8 to 12 play with world class professional jazz musicians at a city jazz venue. Playing jazz requires the girls to take musical risks as they improvise and work as part of an ensemble in front of a live audience. It was a special treat this year to be joined by Old Grammarian, Evelyne Mandoukos, who returned to perform with our current girls, having been a performer in our first Paris Cat 10 years ago! On Thursday, the annual Lowther Women Luncheon, provided a forum for past and present students, parents, council members, staff and friends of the School to gather and celebrate International Women’s Day. The panel this year focussed on the 2020 IWD theme, “choose to challenge”, and it was inspiring to hear each panellist articulate the ways in which they have spoken out against, highlighted or sought to change the status quo, when they have felt that situations have been unfair or unjust. It is wonderful for our girls to have such passionate and principled role models leading the way for them. Finally, on Friday, I sat around the table with 9 students from Years 1 to 12, to finalise the tender for our new canteen operator. The girls asked questions and raised issues while sampling some of the food to be provided when the canteen re-opens next term. I was impressed by the thoughtful contributions by the girls and by their confidence to enter into dialogue about environmental, economic and health priorities that they wanted considered.

I hope that the long weekend affords all of our families a change of pace and that we will go into the final weeks of term with renewed energy as a result!

Ms Elisabeth Rhodes