Powerful Learning

21 February 2018

Values and Leadership

Values and Leadership


Living our shared values is the responsibility of us all. We should never underestimate how much the girls emulate behaviour from those closest to them.

Our Ruyton values are deliberately broad and each term we focus on a particular value, while continuing to reinforce the remaining three values.

Term 1: Character

Term 2: Citizenship

Term 3: Endeavour

Term 4: Integrity

We support the development of values by allowing the girls to experience challenge, and to grow from practice, making attempts and experiencing failures in a climate of unconditional love and support. We view mistakes as ‘takes’; take 1, take 2 … on the road to success. We ask the girls to persevere, work outside of their comfort zones, and to seek help when it is needed. We want them to cope when they forget their library book or PE Uniform.

‘Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved.’ Helen Keller

My daughters and I recently watched a 2014 University of Texas Commencement Speech given by Naval Admiral William H McRaven. They were amused to hear that, like me, he believes making your bed each morning is character building. My three children are adults now and sadly I can report that only my son makes his bed each morning. My failure was not for lack of trying hard enough, but perhaps as a result of my stepping in and doing it for them.

I wonder how many of our girls make their beds each morning? And how do we support them to develop character through doing things they don’t enjoy, but that matter?

In his speech, McRaven shares lessons from his Navy SEAL Training that shaped his character; lessons learned through hardship, dealing with adversity, not being treated fairly and having to sit with discomfort.

As children transition to adolescence and adulthood, they need to deal with challenges from which we cannot protect them. The small steps and problems our girls face are potential rungs in a ladder they can climb to develop character. If we remove the rungs, they may be forced to take giant leaps, perhaps when we are not there. Effectively, we are reducing their ability to manage future adversity. How we respond to challenges our girls face creates a precedent they will draw upon in the future.

It can be hard being a parent. There will be times when the best course of action is to step in, but we must also recognise when our girls can solve a problem themselves. In working together with shared values, we provide solid foundations for your daughters to draw on in future years.

Year 6 Leadership Roles

Last Wednesday in Assembly our Year 6 girls were presented with their leadership badges and caps. They proudly made pledges to the Junior School community indicating their commitment as leaders to their respective portfolios. We look forward to the coming semester and participating in the many initiatives that the girls will lead.

Mrs Nicole Ginnane
Deputy Principal, Head of Junior School