I would like to welcome our students, teachers and parents to Term 2 and I hope that you have all enjoyed a restful holiday break.

We have had a busy and productive start to the term with our Try a Day at St Clare’s occurring on Wednesday 26 April. Try a Day assists with the transition from Primary to High School for current Year 6 students. We welcomed 300 students from a number of Primary Schools in the ACT and NSW and despite the weather the day was filled with much excitement from start to finish. The girls were rotated through a number of subjects including Science, Information Technology, Languages, Hospitality, Textiles and Design, Graphic Design, Dance, Drama and Visual Art. The girls were also introduced to a number of key members of staff and spent some time with our exceptional College Leaders.

Open Evening on Thursday 27 April was a great success with a large number of prospective families attending the College for a tour and to engage with the various faculty displays and activities. Plutarch, the Greek philosopher, stated that “youth are not vessels to be filled but fires to be lit” and I challenged the girls on Open Evening to look for their Spark.  Spark is a metaphor – and a very good one – for the deep learning interests and passions that lie inside your daughter. Every girl has a spark or in some instances several! Spark was first described by researcher Dr Peter Benson. His work on strengths in young people was a cornerstone of what became the Positive Psychology movement. His Spark concept is the single idea that is changing the lives of girls today. Benson’s research team found that there are three kinds of Spark for our young people:

  • Possessing a skill or talent, for example in Music, Drama, Dance, Visual Arts, Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics, Writing, Archaeology
  • A Commitment to something, for example social justice, or to the stewardship of the earth
  • A personal quality such as empathy or compassion for others.

Girls who have a Spark in their life do better at school, are happier and are more confident and positive in their outlook. They are more caring, relaxed, and sociable, have good expectations for the future, can work harder and understand that good things take time.

For a Spark to be lit and to stay alive it requires two things. At least one adult in the family who is interested and helps make it happen (drives their daughter to drum lessons, buys the aquarium for the tropical fish, finds the right dance school) and an adult or two at school who also knows about it and is supportive. It is worth having a conversation with your daughter and finding out what her spark is and what makes her truly happy and engaged in learning.

Our ANZAC Commemorative Service was held on Friday 28 April. The St Clare’s ANZAC Spirit Award was presented to Hannah Edwards of Year 11. Hannah continues to demonstrate mateship and citizenship through her positive and supportive nature and helps to build a caring and inclusive atmosphere in the classroom. The Australian Federation Guard provided the catafalque party and the commemorative address was given by Major General Michael Crane, parent at St Clare’s College.

Best Wishes,

Brad Cooney