Achieving a big ambition can be viewed as reaching a number of small goals, one after the other. Almost without warning the stretch goal is met, and every one of those small tests is worth the hard work and effort.
Our Head of Sport Chris McIvor says it simply: “Everything’s a test!” and he said it often during the recent Year 12 Tongariro Crossing camp, which really encapsulates this notion.
This annual event is a test of emotional, mental and physical stamina. It’s one of the chief achievements that give our girls grit, determination, resilience and a huge sense of self-worth and personal achievement. It is a shining example of how important Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) is to our students and their teachers. At Woodford we work to educate the whole person, as part of their life journey.
All great journeys begin with a single step and all great achievements begin by reaching that first goal. From the outset, the girls faced disappointment. On Sunday evening, the tough decision was made to change the route from the Tongariro Crossing to the Traverse. The avalanche risk was simply too great. The Tongariro Traverse has a series of waypoints, as you reach each one you know you are a little further towards completing the big challenge. And along the way you are rewarded by the sheer beauty and overwhelming majesty of this very special part of our country. There is an exhilaration that comes, just being there.
Recently, the release of Australia’s largest ever survey of youth mental health (The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents: Report on the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing) reveals that 14% of young people aged 12-17 have experienced a disorder in the past year. Of particular concern are the rates of self-harm and major depressive disorder amongst adolescent girls, particularly for older girls aged 16-17, with 23% reporting having engaged in self-harm and 20% meeting the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder.
The secret to combating these statistics comes from inside the young people themselves. The trend is that they are turning to positive activities such as sport, exercise and healthy eating to help combat mental health. Introducing our girls to marvels like the Tongariro Traverse can really ignite a passion to achieve these big physical goals and that can, literally, be the first step to a life lived well and fully.
I would like to acknowledge Chris McIvor’s work on making this trip such a special highlight of the Year 12 journey. He has shaped an experience that gives the girls some risk but in a safe context and it is quite unlike any other school trip they will ever have been on.
Mrs Julie Peterson, Principal
Saturday, 29 August to Tuesday, 1 September – Mid-term Exeat
Boarding houses will reopen 4pm Tuesday (bookings for dinner required).
Sunday, 6 September at 7.00pm – Chapel Service
Wednesday, 9 September to Tuesday, 15 September – Year 11-13 Benchmark exams (Seniors on study leave)
Sunday, 20 September at 7.00pm – Chapel Service
Bus Service Update
The Woodford community would like to thank Bob and Adele Stevenson from Coachlines HB for their long-standing support to Woodford House as our main transport provider over the last decade. We welcome Nimons on board for our bus services going forward and are already working closely with them to ensure a seamless transition and continued quality experience for our Woodford community.