In three words or less, what does our school stand for?
This was the question I posed to students at High School Assembly last week. At the heart of this inquiry lies the concept of identity and the values that define our school culture. Abstract concepts indeed, and ones that our students welcomingly engaged with. They spoke about Rudolf Steiner, about living meaningful lives, about the school’s connection to nature and the unique approach to learning. I talked about the strength of unifying around a shared identity and the impact this can have on school culture, about the type of school we are and the one we want to become. Central to this is the students’ sense of agency in shaping their lived daily experience at school. This matters, and I’m committed to creating opportunities for students to learn about the role they can play in shaping school culture and identity: about participation, responsibility, the art of influence, and about framing goals around clear purpose and identifiable actions. This year, I will work with the Leadership Captains in Years 11 and 12 and the Student Representative Council (SRC) to consider ways they might contribute authentically towards this end.
Parent Information Evenings
The parent response to on-site Information Evenings over the last few weeks has been overwhelmingly positive. I witnessed again the strong bonds that bind parents at GRSS, and what struck me more than anything at these meetings was the depth to which teachers know and understand learning and learners at each stage of childhood development. The sense of commitment and passion they demonstrate for the work they do with your children abounds. Our Information Evenings are just one way that we support the parent-school partnership. Our Parent Education Program for Terms 2-4 is being reviewed currently and will be published before the end of this term.
Attendance and Leave Applications
A reminder that for Middle Cove students, school starts at 8.40am. At Castlecrag, it’s 8.55am. Attending school regularly and arriving on time each day sets up children for success, both academically and emotionally. Sometimes, buses run late, as do families. And that’s life. What’s more challenging is when lateness occurs regularly and students miss the opportunity to start the day in a calm, measured way, and with some healthy play with friends. Thank you for supporting us by ensuring your child is at school on time. A small sidenote: we are aware that the Northern Beaches bus has been regularly arriving at Middle Cove after 8.40am and as such, the timetable for this service will change from this coming Monday, March 6, to ensure all students arrive before school starts. Parents and Carers of students who use this service have been contacted and the new timetable is reiterated in this newsletter.
One more request regarding attendance. When planning family trips, Parents and Carers are asked to adhere to Glenaeon’s generous gazetted school holiday periods, published well in advance each school year. Lessons take place from Day 1 of a new term and right up to and including the last day of any term, and attendance is expected. Please know that Leave of Absence applications are not automatically approved.
We are now at the half-way point of Term 1. Can you believe it? A challenge for all of us: finishing the term with the same energy and optimism with which we started the term. And on that note, I’m off for a walk and to chat with students, which is the very best part of my job, and has the added benefit of fuelling the soul with hope.
With very best wishes,
Head of School