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the ruyton reporter


From left:

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

personal philosophy.’

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,