I’m sure that anyone who attended the Lowther Hall annual Carols Service last night at St Paul’s Cathedral will agree that we are truly blessed to have a school capable of producing such beautiful singing and creating such a special occasion. The girls, as always, made me incredibly proud as they lifted their voices together in song with great enthusiasm. An enormous thank you to everyone who contributed to the service, particularly our Director of Choral and Voice, Ms Joanne Carroll, whose repertoire choices and training of the choirs are second to none!

There are a few occasions each year where I stand back and reflect on how very fortunate we are to belong to such a wonderful community. I am reminded that I truly have the best workplace in the world and indeed the best job in the world.

It was lovely to return to school after a long weekend with girls and staff refreshed and eager to return to the busy schedule of the week! Girls in Years 10 and 11 are now well into their examinations and the very excited Year 3 girls left for camp before school this morning! I am looking forward to visiting them later today. I would like to thank those parents who undertook the survey about reports which was sent out a couple of weeks ago. As you know, it is important to us to listen to feedback about our processes and procedures and to strive to improve everything we do. Approximately 150 families responded to the survey, with slightly more than half of those having Senior School daughters only and the remainder having daughters in Junior School or in both Senior and Junior Schools.

This week, we bid our final farewell to the class of 2014. We have recognised them at formal assemblies and watched them toss 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!

We know that feedback is one of the most effective strategies when it comes to teaching and learning. Not only is it important for teachers to give feedback to the girls about how they are progressing and what they need to do to improve, but it is essential that teachers also collect feedback from their students to assess their progress. This “cycle of feedback” is central to the way we operate in classrooms at Lowther Hall, and helps to ensure that each girl is being challenged at just the right level and that every girl is learning.

It is always exciting to return to school after a term break and in Term 4 this is especially the case with the energy that Spring brings. This week started with an inspiring day in which members of the teaching staff shared their reflections on learning they have each been doing over the year – action research regarding best practice classroom teaching, informed through peer observation, data collection and extensive reflection and reading. We are fortunate at Lowther Hall to have a committed team of professional teachers who lead the way in learning for our girls.