first taste of secondary life was a friendly and welcoming
one. Providing opportunities of this nature to a wider range
of students has gone a long way towards the
democratisation of leadership roles within the School,
embedding the notion that all have something to contribute.
Year 7 and 8 students were encouraged to become more
responsible, empathetic and inclusive in their interactions
under the nurturing influence of the Year 11 and 12 student
leaders.Working with High Resolves, an external
organisation focused on developing global citizens and
leaders to act in the long-term collective interest of
humanity, reinforced these leadership goals and their
programmes proved an outstanding success.
As girls progress into Years 9 and 10, the focus shifts to
leadership within groups, such as the Student Representative
Council, the Sustainability Committee and the Community
Service Committee.The key focus of the Community Service
programme was fundraising for the Cystic Fibrosis
Foundation and Destiny Rescue, which aims to end child
sexual exploitation and slavery in developing countries.
Funds also went to both the Collingwood Language School
and The School of St Jude’s in Tanzania.
With service to others being at the forefront of our
leadership programmes the Year 9 girls prepared food for
Melbourne’s homeless through FareShare while the Year 10
girls hosted an annual picnic and raised money for the
Bulleen Heights School. Many girls supportedWorld Vision
through the 40-hour famine and raised $3300 for Oxfam’s
Nepal Response. Finally, theWesley Mission food-drive
delivered non-perishable food for families in need.Whole
school campaigns have also included the UNWalk for
Women and fundraising for the victims of the Nepal
Earthquake. A passion for environmental advocacy has
continued to be promoted through the leadership of the
Sustainability Captain in the Senior School and in the Junior
School by the Green Team.
The format of the Year 11 Leadership Camp programme was
redeveloped to provide appropriate training in problem-
solving and interpersonal skills for those about to embrace
whole school leadership roles.The reintroduced Citizenship
Awards continued to extend their profile within Senior School,
acknowledging and commending those who lead by example
and make a difference for others through their actions.
While each leadership initiative is small when considered in
isolation, like a tsunami that is barely discernible offshore,
we believe something big is building which will come rolling
in over successive years.
Ruyton is proud of its caring and collaborative community, in
which we aim to equip the girls with the skills, motivation
and confidence to face challenges in our complex world today
and to equip them to become accomplished global citizens.
Our girls have immersed themselves in real world issues and
recognised that students – no matter their race, religion,
culture or sexual orientation – should feel they are
appreciated and respected.This premise has been the basis
for a number of wellbeing initiatives undertaken this year.
We have continued to build upon a culture of tolerance and
inclusion. At special Junior School and Senior School
Assemblies early in the year student leaders rose from their
seats to make a pledge,
‘Inclusion begins with me. I commit to
until the entire School stood as one, united in its
determination to continue to stamp out behaviours that
undermine the cohesion of a school community.
The Junior School Counsellor, Dr Evie Bowtell, has led our
exploration of Mindfulness across the whole School,
involving staff, students and parents, a key component of our
wellbeing strategy throughout the course of this year.The
trialling of new programmes in some Junior and Senior years,
along with the maintenance of already successful practices
in other year levels, has created a dialogue that has
deepened our knowledge and provided strong foundations
for our future direction.Throughout the year a team of
Junior School teachers has been engaged in developing and
contributing to the review of a new programme called Five
Ways toWellbeing, which incorporates Mindfulness, health
and digital literacy.
A review of transition programmes, especially at the Prep
level, has enabled a smoother transition for girls moving
from the Early Learning to Prep.This has included the
introduction of an annual picnic where the current Prep
students create a gift for the new Preps, providing themwith
all of the information that a new Prep girl will require, from
the perspective of six year old. Early Learning students have
made visits to the Prep classrooms in Term 4 where they
observed similarities and differences between their own
learning environment and the Prep’s space.
The growth in independence and social skill development of
the girls through the Year 4 South House programme, in its
second year of operation, has been notable.This programme
equips the girls with the skills to negotiate challenges and
manage relationships that are positive and mutually
beneficial. It has also challenged us to rethink the
experiences and opportunities for girls in Years 5 and 6.
Annual Report 2015