the ruyton reporter
The Principal,Ms Linda Douglas,Head of Junior School,Ms Nicole Ginnane,
Deputy Principal,Head of Senior School,Mrs Glenis Gumley,Assistant Principal,Director of Learning,
Mrs Cathryn Furey.
School Co-Captains 2015 Tiffany A and Sophie K with the Principal.
The Dux 2014,Gilliam L with the Principal.
on our cover:Lexie H in Year 3 classroom.
From the Study
Exceptional Student Achievement
‘Of course it’s hard. It’s supposed to be hard. If it were easy everybody would do it.
Hard is what makes it great.’
A League of Their Own
As a School community we congratulate our 2014 Year 12 students on their
exceptional VCE results. Their outstanding efforts placed Ruyton second in the
state for 2014, with 65 per cent of students attaining an ATAR score greater than 90.
Gillian Lim (Dux 99.95), Alice Adams, Isabella Beischer, Elaine Chan, Joanna Cookson,
Ann Du, Emma Fox, Tesse Kimber, Juncai Luo, Chenyi Mao, Pearl Paguio, Shalini
Ponnampalam, Lauren Sibree and Deanne Xu all achieved ATAR scores over 99,
accounting for 23 per cent of our student cohort. Perfect study scores of 50 were
achieved by Lauren Sibree (Business Management, English, Health and Human
Development), Gillian Lim (Art and English), Laura Aldous (Drama), Joanna Cookson
(History: Revolutions), Ann Du (Economics), Tesse Kimber (Biology), Grace Nix
(Media), Shalini Ponnampalam (English) and Katie Yang (French). Congratulations
to each of these students on their outstanding achievements. All of our girls
received a tertiary offer and over 60 per cent received their first preference. These
results reflect the talent and hard work of our girls but also the quality teaching,
counselling processes, support from families and the focus on development of our
girls as independent young women. We congratulate our class of 2014, our very own
League of Extraordinary Women. We thank them for their outstanding contribution
to the School and wish them every success for the future.
Laura Aldous (Drama) has been selected to perform at Top Acts and Elizabeth
Scarlett (Music Performance) has been chosen to perform at Top Class as part
of the Season of Excellence Concerts 2015. This is a wonderful achievement,
considering both girls completed these subjects as Year 11 students in 2014 and
we congratulate both Laura and Elizabeth on their achievements.
Congratulations to Sophie Kleiman and Grace Yuan who were jointly awarded
the Catherine Woods Scholarship at the first Senior School Assembly of 2015, in
recognition of their achievement of academic excellence as they enter Year 12.
As a Community we congratulate our rowers. Our Year 10 Junior State Champions
achieved a gold medal at the Head of Schoolgirls Regatta; the Senior thirds finished
with a silver medal and the Senior seconds received a bronze; and our Senior first
crew had an emphatic win to take out gold. As we go to print our Senior first crew
will be representing Ruyton at the national titles in New South Wales.
We remembered three significant and exceptional Ruyton women with the naming
of Speech Night awards in their honour in 2014. Mrs Suzanne Barrah, Old Ruytonian
and Deputy Principal of Ruyton from 1980–1991, enjoyed a rich professional life as
a teacher, mentor, colleague and friend. She brightened and enriched the lives of
many at Ruyton through her significant contribution as Deputy Principal. The
Ruytonian Editor Prize has been named in memory of her: a gift from the School
in recognition of her dedicated service. Mrs Jennifer Nicholls, staff member and
Deputy Principal from 1981–2009, excelled in her many roles at Ruyton. She laid the
foundations for our strong pastoral care programme and also provided the
opportunity for students to have a real voice in the School; developing their
leadership skills. The Assembly Captain Prize has been named in memory of her:
also a gift from the School in recognition of her dedicated service. The family of
Old Ruytonian Elizabeth Dougall Harold has honoured her memory with the naming
of the School Music Captain award. Elizabeth had a long association with Ruyton, as
a talented student, member of the Old Ruytonians’ Association committee, and
Board member. We were deeply honoured to present these three memorial awards
for the first time in 2014.
The Value of Mindfulness
‘In conclusion, a human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an
unhappy mind. The ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive
achievement that comes at an emotional cost.’
A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind, MA Killingsworth and DT Gilbert 2010
In starting his presentation on Mindfulness with this quote, Dr Craig Hassed
successfully engaged the attention of the Ruyton and Trinity staff in January.
For many members of staff it was the continuation of a learning journey into the
value of mindfulness for academic performance and personal and professional
development. For all of us it was a valuable afternoon, with a strong reminder to
train our minds to focus rather than wander.
Mindfulness is much more than learning to pay attention. It implies cultivating an
attitude of openness, curiosity and acceptance. Mindfulness is a method of tuning
in rather than tuning out; requiring attention and attitude. It is a method of
engagement where we practise being so present with the process that we cease
to be anxious about the outcome.
Dr Hassed gave the example of Murray Rose, one of Australia’s swimming icons,
as someone who cultivated mindfulness. When featured on ABC Australian Story
the reporter asked Rose,
‘Do you have a philosophy on life as an individual?’
‘I think it revolves around this secret of concentration on one thing. When
you are eating you do nothing else but eat. And when you are swimming you do
nothing else but swim, and I think that by doing that you achieve the greatest
satisfaction by devoting your whole self, your whole energies, your whole thoughts
to just one activity at a time. And I think that would perhaps be the essence of my
This year we will continue to explore the benefits of mindfulness at Ruyton.
Creativity and Innovation in Learning
‘To those who stay put, the world is but an imaginary place. But to the movers,
the makers, and the shakers, the world is all around them. An endless invitation.’
Anonymous, Instagram 2014
It is well documented that we live in an increasingly complex, inter-connected,
technological world. Successfully navigating this world today and into the future
requires understanding the scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical
principles that underpin it. Most importantly, we need blended mastery of Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) with Arts and Humanities to
create STEM literacy in all our students.
One of the most common questions asked universally by students is
‘Why do I have
to learn this?’
It is widely believed that a well designed STEM experience provides
them with the answer and the opportunity to apply skills from both maths and
science seamlessly, without stopping to ask whether it is maths or science.
As we prepare for the opening of the new Margaret McRae Centre later this year we
continue to investigate and develop STEM opportunities for girls and young women
here at Ruyton. We will build on the strong programmes already in place from Prep
to Year 12 and further support curiosity, creativity, collaboration, problem finding
and problem solving experiences for all Ruyton girls.
Ms Linda Douglas,