the ruyton reporter
Head of Junior School, Mrs Nicole Ginnane; The Principal, Ms Linda Douglas;
Deputy Principal, Head of Senior School, Mrs Glenis Gumley; Assistant Principal, Director of Learning,
Mrs Cathryn Furey.
The Principal, Ms Linda Douglas with The Dux 2015, Katie Yang.
Rose A and Jane K, School Captains with The Principal, Ms Linda Douglas.
Nailing colours to the mast.
on our cover: The Margaret McRae Centre.
From the Study
‘A gender-equal society would be one where the word gender doesn’t exist: where
everyone can be themselves.’
Ms Gloria Steinem
On March 8 we recognised International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the
achievements and contributions women have made and continue to make
economically, socially, culturally and politically. On the day TED talks released
Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection.
It is a talk with a strong message for us all,
a reminder to cultivate a culture of excellence, of personal best, not a search
for perfection for the women of tomorrow.
Earlier in the year I attended the inaugural Global Forum for Girls’ Education,
one of over 920 delegates from 23 nations. Dr Tara Christie Kinsey, Principal at The
Hewitt School, and Rachel Simmons, author, educator and co-founder of the Girls’
Leadership Institute presented a session on
The Myth of Effortless Perfection.
coined in Duke University’s landmark study by the Women’s Initiative in 2003, the
concept of ‘effortless perfection’ has given a name to the constant pressure felt
by young women to be ‘smart, accomplished, fit, beautiful and popular,’ all without
‘visible effort.’ The price of such a lofty goal can have far-reaching consequences.
The truth is that effortless perfection just isn’t real.
There are a number of issues that create the core of girl struggles today. The
complicated nature of self-esteem, along with internalising behaviours, can lead
to stress, depression and anxiety. We understand the need for girls to experience
failure but we fail to recognise at times that girls, particularly high-achieving girls,
are debilitated by failure and therefore are less likely to take risks in their learning.
We need to actively teach girls the benefits of failure and clearly articulate the nature
of feedback, while being sensitive to their possible interpretation.
Maniacal over-preparation, otherwise referred to as performing with a capital P,
is not uncommon in high-achieving girls. Young women never talk about what they
want to do, but rather the things they have to do. With this in mind it is imperative
that we focus on restoring their agency to say no and give them time and permission
to contemplate what matters and why.
As parents, leaders and educators we have a responsibility to support our girls to feel
worthy, so that they have the courage to feel imperfect. They need to see us sweat,
see us fail, and see us recover: see us fall down seven times and get up eight. We need
to be real for them so they can truly be themselves.
At Ruyton our focus on continually reviewing our wellbeing programmes, increasing
our opportunities for mindfulness, and providing opportunities for mentoring and
coaching, are all important as we grow our girls. We need to champion them,
introduce them to opportunities, and lift them up to help them to achieve what’s
really possible for them. We also need to support them to learn from times of failure
and lack of self- belief. We all need to focus on supporting our girls to be brave and
true to themselves.
‘Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical
to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism
hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life
Dr Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re
Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.
The changing landscape of learning
Hiscock Court is once again alive with the sounds of Ruyton girls. Their chatter,
excitement and impromptu performances on the new stage are all part of our every
day life. The rejuvenated Courtyard Café has quickly become a meeting place for
students, staff and parents, as well as a social gathering place, with its comfortable
and inviting spaces. The newMargaret McRae Centre rises majestically above Hiscock
court, its flexible learning spaces being enjoyed by students and staff, as we discover
how best we can use these new facilities to ensure we engage our girls in powerful
learning experiences. The Year 11 and 12 girls are also enjoying the redeveloped Senior
The Junior School community returned to School this year to find work was truly
underway on the Junior School redevelopment. The final design will mean significant
improvements for the Junior School. (Please refer to page seven for more details.)
It has been necessary to completely gut the original Junior School building and strip
back the internals of the Carolyn Anderson building, as the two buildings will be joined
together in the reconfigured floorplan. The decorative tiles on the undercroft wall of
the CA building, commemorating donations frommany people across our community
have been carefully preserved, while outdoor seating, also donated by members of the
community, will be replaced to complement the new external design. All donors to the
CA Building will be recognised on the donors’ board for the redevelopment of the
Junior School. We look forward to meeting with Junior School parents during Term 2
to provide further details about the new Junior School, including both inside and
outside spaces, and how families can join with us in this project.
Each year our Year 12 Leaders identify their leadership focus and share it with the
School community in the Leadership Ceremony where they
nail their colours to the
These colours and beliefs unite our Year 12s as a year level community with
a shared purpose, not only for the year but for the future that stretches beyond: a
future which we hope sees them remain connected, upright and faithful. Our 2016
Leaders chose gold as their colour, the warmth and brightness described as the colour
of compassion in the Hindu culture, representing generosity and giving. As a year level
they will lead with
compassion and inclusivity.
In the Ceremony they emphasised the
importance of kindness to others and the need to help each other in difficult times.
Their value of diversity across the community was sincere and they are determined
to make even stronger connections across year levels to ensure that kindness,
enthusiasm and unity are their legacy.
At our first Senior School Assembly for the year we acknowledged the outstanding
achievements of a number of girls. Kathleen Hanson was awarded Boroondara Young
Citizen of the Year 2016 for her extensive support of others in the community. Sarah
Cheang, Roshica Ponnampolam and Laura Powell were all recognised as Monash
Scholars, acknowledging their academic excellence in Year 10 2015. Rose Adams was
awarded the Catherine Woods Scholarship, in recognition of her achievement of
academic excellence in Year 11 2015. Katie Yang was presented with the Dux 2015
prize (perfect score of 99.95) for her outstanding effort and achievement. In her
unassuming manner, Katie shared with the girls some of her study tips and personal
experiences of VCE, emphasising the need for us all to find our real motivation, set big
goals and be courageous. I am sure that every girl walked away from Assembly with
words of wisdom to guide them. Rose Adams and Jane Karopoulos, Co-Captains of
the School, delivered an inspiring speech, encouraging each girl to find her ‘why’ and
to make this year an extraordinary year. Congratulations, also, to the 2016 Drama
Captain, Alice Prior, who was selected to perform at Top Class in the Season of
As a School community we congratulate our 2015 Year 12 students on their VCE
results, with 46% of students attaining an ATAR score greater than 90. Katie Yang,
Sophie Kleiman, Eliza Li, Kaiwan Tang and Grace Yuan all achieved ATAR scores over 99
and study scores of 50 were achieved in 2015 by Sophie Kleiman in both English and
Literature and Eliza Li in Biology. We congratulate all of our 2015 Year 12 students, with
so many of them achieving their personal best. All of our girls received a first round
tertiary offer and over 60% received their first preference. These results reflect the
talent and hard work of our girls but also the quality teaching, counselling processes,
extraordinary support from families and the focus on development of our girls as
independent young women. We wish our 2015 leaders every success for the future.
Ms Linda Douglas,