Exciting news for Year 11 student Ashleigh after she won last night’s ‘battle round’ on Channel 9’s ‘The Voice’ to stay on Team Jessie. Ashleigh’s moving performance of Disney’s ‘Colours of the Wind’ with fellow contestant Carmel Rodrigues received a standing ovation from all four coaches.

​Empathy is a highly valuable human quality but one which is not always straightforward for young people to develop. In Junior School this week at Together on Friday we will be exploring ways to practise seeing things from someone else’s perspective and considering another’s view. Developing the capacity for empathy is a shared responsibility of parents and staff and we appreciate everything that families do to assist girls to see various situations from the viewpoint of another, or to help them understand how another person might be feeling in a particular situation. One way in which we can assist young people to build their empathic skills is through assisting them to identify their own feelings so that they are better equipped to identify the feelings of others.

​Excitement is building in Senior School as the cast and crew of Beauty and the Beast make their final preparations for next week’s production. I hope that I will see many of you there! Similarly there is a buzz of anticipation in Junior School in the lead up to tomorrow’s Science Fair, which I am sure will be a highlight of the term. As each of these special opportunities takes place I am reminded of the dedication of the teachers who work tirelessly and with unrivalled passion to provide meaningful learning experiences for our girls, not simply in their classrooms, but through a range of wonderful additional programs.

This week I spoke to the Senior School girls about the use of good manners in their daily lives. Specifically I reminded them of the expectation that they (as a young person) give up a seat on public transport to an older person, a pregnant woman or a person with a disability.

​Sunday is Mother’s Day and this week we have the opportunity to celebrate at school with the Junior School and Senior School Mother’s Day Breakfasts and the Mother’s Day stall in Junior School. This is a time of year to pause and pay homage to our mothers, step-mothers, grandmothers, substitute mothers and all those women who have mothered us. When I reflect on the qualities of good mothers I think about: love – of the unconditional variety (reassuring when we mess things up); forgiveness – a willingness to always give us a second chance; honesty – a capacity to tell us the truth, even when it is hard to hear; encouragement – to give things a go and not to give up; selflessness – the capacity to put others first, and finally; industry and the demonstration of hard work (whether in paid employment or in the home).

Year 9 Information Technology students Chloe, Quyenie, Caitlin and Antigony are national winners in the Year 9&10 category of the Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge! The girls took out the honour against 2300 entrants, two thirds of whom were male.