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Principal’s News – August 2016

By | August 25, 2016

Top private girls' school in Havelock North, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

During the past few weeks, the girls’ resilience has been put to the test with the cancellation of events due to poor weather conditions and the closure of school in the midst of the Havelock North water crisis.


It is always difficult to see the girls disappointed but, in times like these, it is pleasing to witness their ability to adapt quickly and bounce back with an optimistic outlook. These characteristics are key ingredients to building resilience alongside courage, self-awareness, social connections and humour.

Although there is no way to predict adverse events, we do know that challenges, obstacles and issues are a part of everyone’s lives. How we cope with those challenges and protect ourselves from serious health implications comes down to our resilience.

Psychotherapist and Wellness Counsellor, Ivan Staroversky, describes resilience as a fitness test for our mental health.

“If physical fitness is the speed with which you can recover from physical stress, resilience is the speed with which you can bounce back from psychological stress,” Mr Staroversky says.

If we are resilient we are more likely to pick ourselves up and swim against the tide in situations of stress, disappointment, trauma, loss and other adverse events.

Here at Woodford House, we have been preparing our girls with strategies to endure such events through theoretical learning and practical experiences.

This term, our School Counsellor, Kelly Fisher, and the Hawke’s Bay Primary Health Organisation have been running resilience workshops for our senior boarders. These workshops are facilitated by Edmund Otis who is a health educator, a licensed psychotherapist and a public speaker.

We are also providing a group of Year 9 students with the opportunity to take part in resilience-building workshops for eight weeks, and a group of Year 7 and 8 students will have the opportunity to advance their social skills and emotional literacy.

We are confident our girls will continue to build their “soft and hard” skills as they encounter life’s valleys and mountains. The recent events have certainly confirmed that we are a strong and resilient community.

Mrs Julie Peterson, Principal