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
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
Members of the Years 5 and 6 Ruyton Debating Team
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