Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  7 / 20 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 7 / 20 Next Page
Page Background


autumn 2016

The fourth annual International Day of the Girl Child

was celebrated on 11 October 2015. To celebrate this

event, Ruyton students were offered a range of

opportunities to share their ideas and views about how

special it is to be a girl. It was agreed to host an

afternoon of debates against Trinity Grammar School

boys. The topics of ‘Society expects different things

from boys and girls’ and ‘Co-educational schools are the

best for education’ were designed to engage students in

subjects concerning young people. Selected students in

Year 5 and Year 6 collaborated during their lunchtimes

and conducted additional research at home in

preparation for their debates. In a short amount of time

they developed clear arguments and impressive public

speaking skills, under the excellent mentorship of the

2016 School Debating Captain, Claire Smart. On the day

they presented compelling arguments and spoke with

passion and confidence.

This is an extract from a piece written by Amber Barry

Year 6 (2015) and Juliette McLean Year 5 (2015). For the

first topic,

Although Ruyton made many good

arguments, Trinity, in the negative, won the first debate.

One of their winning arguments was that laws are the

same for both males and females and, therefore, society

ultimately treats both genders equally.

For the second


Ruyton debated the negative and Trinity the

affirmative. Ruyton’s arguments were much more

convincing this time round and won the second debate.

One of our winning arguments was that boys’ and girls’

brains develop at different rates and therefore it is

important to be educated in a single-sex environment

where different learning styles can best be catered for.

The girls are to be commended for their outstanding

commitment and we thank them for their contributions

to our celebration of the International Day of the

Girl Child.

Members of the Years 5 and 6 Ruyton Debating Team

2015 were:

Jacalyn Kelly, Juliette McLean, Tara Minehane, Minduli

Weeraman, Amber Barry, Asha Jassal, Ruby Jovanovski,

Lily Willmott, Gabi Brown/Chairperson and Georgia


Ms Nalini Welsh,

Year 5-6 Year Level Co-ordinator and

Year 6 teacher

Our School - a connected village

The strong connection between all members of the community is a key strength

of Ruyton. It is a privilege to work in close collaboration with students, parents and

staff to maximise the learning for every girl, enabling them to reach their potential.

The central focus of the concept for the redevelopment of the Junior School was

the creation of large shared space; a flexible space that the Junior School

community can use in a variety of ways to support learning, teaching,

collaboration and connection. Our goal was to create a heart for the Junior School,

a place where students, staff and parents can gather for both formal and informal

occasions. This space is based on the principles of a piazza in Italian culture, the

town centre. A vibrant and lively place, it will be used by classes and year levels for

a variety of learning experiences and community events.

We applied this same thinking, in terms of building community, to the design of

year level learning spaces. As a consequence, the classes in each year level have

been located in close proximity. Each class will have its own separate learning

space within a larger year level studio. Designed as a connected learning village,

the new design will provide shared spaces for large and small groups to

collaborate, while also accommodating independent learning experiences.

Most importantly, the different spaces will support learners to utilise their own

creativity and imagination, empowering student voice, choice and agency.

Research shows that learning environments can elicit positive emotional

responses that may lead not only to enhanced learning but also to a powerful,

emotional attachment to that space. Physical spaces can provide a place where

students love learning, a place they seek out when they wish to learn, and a place

they remember fondly when they reflect on their learning experiences.

According to Graetz (2006) there are key elements that should be considered

when designing learning environments. The first is coherence, or the ease with

which a setting can be organised cognitively. The second is complexity, or the

perceived capacity of the space to spark curiosity and stimulate thinking. The third

element is mystery, which refers to the expectation of learners that entering the

space will lead to increased learning. Enchantment is the final element and this

recognises the capacity of environments to carry us away, heighten senses and

leave the learner spellbound.

We believe the flexibility of the new design will continue to strengthen our

community and foster a strong sense of belonging for each of our girls. It will

provide a place where girls learn with great curiosity and enjoyment; a place

where the joy of learning is clearly evident.

Mrs Nicole Ginnane,

Head of Junior School

Time of the Girl Child

Inaugural Debate