This week, we bid our final farewell to the class of 2015. We have recognised them at formal assemblies, watched them throw their hats off the Mansion balcony and at their Valedictory service yesterday afternoon they were given a lit candle as they left the Cultural Centre which they symbolically carried out into the world, ready to shine! At Lowther Hall we see our job as being to educate young women so that the world might be a better place because they are in it. And I am confident that each of our graduating students is ready to fulfil that mission – to shine a light into the world. I thank each girl for all that she has contributed to our School during her journey. This morning, I spoke to girls in Years 7, 8 and 9 about preparation for exams. In particular, the girls have been encouraged to get a little more sleep (9 hours is the ideal for teenagers), to commit to study in silence (no messages, notifications, music with lyrics or TV) and to use study techniques which are really likely to make a difference. Girls in all three year levels have the slides from today’s assembly and parents of girls in Years 7 to 9 might like to ask their daughters to step them through our discussions so that they can support them in the coming weeks!

It has been delightful to welcome back girls and staff for Term 4 with some warmer weather. The term is off to a busy start and the Visual Arts staff are working hard to prepare for the Revealed Art Exhibition which opens on Friday night. I do hope that all families will make the effort to come and view not only their own daughter’s work, but the fantastic work produced right across the School.

Congratulations to all girls and staff involved in last night’s Annual Music Concert at the Recital Centre. The standing ovation at the end of the evening was testimony to the level of enjoyment and appreciation felt by everyone in the audience. I was certainly very proud of the standard of performances, but even more than this, enjoyed watching so many girls achieve personal milestones regarding confidence in performance and the pursuit of excellence. The Sound of Music finale captured the special place that music has at Lowther Hall, with a palpable love of singing evident. Thank you to parents for their support, to the music staff for their vision, leadership and commitment and to the wonderful girls for their outstanding playing and singing. Thank you too, to everyone who offered feedback after last year’s concert so that this year could be even better. We will now begin planning for next year! This morning our Year 9 girls set off on their Duke of Edinburgh Adventurous Journey to the Grampians and the Year 12 students commenced their 2 day Retreat. The term will finish with a whole school assembly tomorrow where we will continue to celebrate the School’s 95th year and share highlights from Term 2. I wish all families a safe and enjoyable break and encourage our most senior students to strike a good balance between rest and study as they prepare for their final external examinations in November.

Father’s Day Breakfast I am looking forward to celebrating Father’s Day (a little in advance) with girls and their special guests tomorrow morning at the School. Dads and male mentors play such an important role in the raising of girls and I thank all of the fathers in our school community who support their daughters to develop the skills and values that will assist them in the adult world. Annual Music Concert No doubt many families are eagerly anticipating this year’s Annual Music Concert which will take place next week at the Melbourne Recital Centre. We have taken on board parent feedback from last year in planning this year’s event, which we hope will prove an enjoyable night out for performers and audience alike. Summer Uniform Changeover at the start of Term 4 A reminder that from the beginning of Term 4 we have an optional changeover period as the girls transition to summer uniform. Students can make an informed decision about whether to wear summer or winter uniform for the first 2 weeks of term, however, full summer uniform must be worn from Week 3 in Term 4. Summer uniform items should be checked during the forthcoming break to ensure that the various pieces are neat and correct and that dresses are the appropriate length as girls are likely to have grown.

It has been a week full of opportunities to catch up with parents – be it at Coffee, Cake and Conversation, the Book Week Parade, the Year 7 2016 Information Night or at the Wednesday Breakfast for current Year 7 parents. I am so grateful to families for the ways in which they work with us to support the girls and create the wonderful sense of community that we enjoy at Lowther Hall. We have also had a very positive response to our parent survey with a higher response rate from parents than Independent Schools Victoria usually see. Thank you for supporting us in this important feedback process.

It has been a week full of opportunities to catch up with parents – be it at Coffee, Cake and Conversation, the Book Week Parade, the Year 7 2016 Information Night or at the Wednesday Breakfast for current Year 7 parents. I am so grateful to families for the ways in which they work with us to support the girls and create the wonderful sense of community that we enjoy at Lowther Hall. We have also had a very positive response to our parent survey with a higher response rate from parents than Independent Schools Victoria usually see. Thank you for supporting us in this important feedback process.

​As usual there has been a great deal happening this week. On the property front, renovations are well underway at the back of the Mansion to create a new reflection space and an office for our Chaplain – a project supported by the fundraising which happened at our 2014 Twilight Festival.

Thank you to parent Mrs Lucy Allison who sent this beautiful photo of a rainbow above the mansion which she took this week. It is a reminder that it is always worth stopping to look around us so that we can see the beauty in the world.