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Principal’s News – May

Julie Peterson 2015At Woodford our world is girl-centred. In our spiritual, emotional, physical, intellectual and artistic life, a focus on the needs of girls lies at the heart of who we are.

Much of what we do intuitively at Woodford aligns with best practice in girls’ education.

The Woodford philosophy is based on four cornerstones, which we balance across our students’ experience of school life; equal weight is placed on academia, sport, culture and their spiritual lives. Educationalists and the latest research in education reinforce this as best practice.

Trudy Hall is an educationalist from Harvard University. She says:

“Girls’ schools are focused solely on girls, how they learn, how they play, how they develop friendships, what they need to be successful.”

That reflects exactly what drives us here. We are not simply a school that happens to have only girls as its students; we are a school designed specifically for girls, the way they learn, the way they form relationships, and the needs they have as they grow into their adult selves.

At the heart of this response to the needs of our girls is our excellent pastoral care. We have a culture of continuous improvement that makes sure we constantly review and refine the way we care for our girls, and the way we teach them and meet their needs. Current research tells us that positive mental health outcomes come about when students are in a nurturing, personalised, unified and empowering environment. Here, we live in a community founded on these same values and united in a common ‘girl-centred’ purpose.

There is a great deal of research that reassures us we have our approach right.

(There is) an emerging body of national and international literature that a ‘whole school’ approach can be protective for students, promoting a positive shift in mental health for the whole school population, and helping to enhance academic and social competencies through more positive interactions between all members of the school community (as cited in NCC & AHRD, 2014, p. 101)

I know firsthand from conversations I have had with our senior leadership team, teachers, students and parents that one of the key reasons families choose Woodford is our small size. This is a real strength and lets us achieve a ‘whole school approach’ in all our cornerstones. Our pastoral care too is all-of-school. Our homeroom groups are ‘family sized’ and made up of girls across the year levels, who form strong supportive ties. Each girl is known well by her fellow students and our staff, and each girl develops a tangible sense of connection and belonging within her peer group, her House and within the wider Woodford family. This intimacy extends into the classroom, the sports field, Chapel, productions and music practice, and makes possible close interactions based on common values and goals, leading to high quality experiences for all our girls throughout their school years.

Mrs Julie Peterson, Principal

 


Coming Up

Pentecost Chapel Service – Sunday 24 May at 7.00pm (Parents welcome)

Memorial Service – Friday 29 May at 4.00pm

The memorial service for Mrs Beryl Black will be held in the Woodford Chapel. Parents and students are welcome to attend this special service.

PORTAL Day – Friday 29 May

You are welcome to attend either session. See further details in Ms Dunstan’s Portal Day article.

Exeat Weekend – Saturday 30 May to Tuesday 2 June

Please note the boarding houses will close at 5.00pm on Friday 29 May.

House Drama Practices –Sunday 14 and 28 June from 4.00 – 6.00pm

These are compulsory for all Year 7-10 students and House Directors.

Click here to see One Month In View