From The Principal

Insights – developing skills for our students to thrive in the world around them

Dear Community,

I would like to share with you, the presentation I gave at this morning’s KDSPA Annual Breakfast with keynote speaker, Dr Arne Rubenstein, speaking on “Raising the young women and men of the future in a rapidly changing world”.

Late last night our Year 8 group touched down from an incredible experience in the Northern Territory where they were able to learn about Australia’s indigenous heritage, meet indigenous students of their own age and appreciate the extraordinary connection to land ...

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Insights – embracing heritage

Dear Community,

Today, our Year 8 students have flown to the Northern Territory to participate in our Jabiru Camp, one of our peak Outdoor Education experiences. This presents a very meaningful opportunity for our students to gain exposure to the world’s longest surviving culture, to learn about issues facing indigenous Australians and to have the opportunity to interact with indigenous students of around their own ages.

This year’s national campaign for National Reconciliation Week was “Don’t Keep History a Mystery”. It focused ...

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Insights- our insides should match our outsides

Dear Community,

In The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf states that: “she wins who calls herself beautiful and challenges the world to change to truly see her.”

This week all students from Year 6 through to Year 12 had the privilege of hearing a similar message from an incredibly powerful and engaging guest speaker, Adrienne Gold. Having worked for decades as a fashion stylist, broadcaster and television presenter, Adrienne was known as the ‘Queen of Canadian fashion’. This took a dramatic turn ...

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Insights – promoting positive behaviours

Dear Community,

Many of us can think of a time in our own schooling where we felt hard done by due to an unfair punishment or the approach to discipline of a particular teacher. Whether it was the dark days of corporal punishment, shouting or name-calling these moments often caused a serious impact in students’ attitude, progress and sense of wellbeing.

It can be said that alongside the explicit curriculum that we focus on teaching, each school has its own norms, practices ...

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Insights – the art of friendship

Dear Community,

I saw a fantastic cartoon of a little girl who is perched on a swing in mid-conversation with her imaginary friend on the empty swing beside her. She has a speech bubble which reads: “All my [Mummy’s] imaginary friends are on a place called ‘Facebook’.”

The humour in this clearly draws from the absurdity of the misappropriation of the term “friend” by social media sites. Social commentator, Simon Sinek, argues that it is important to distinguish between our ...

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Insights – future-focused and holistic approach to learning

Dear Community,

This week I had the enormous privilege of attending the Premier’s VCE Awards where two of our students, Jordan Bloumis and Erin Spitz were named as worthy recipients. At the event I watched on as many of the state’s top performing students were recognised.

Also this week, our Yrs 3, 5, 7 and 9 students joined students nationwide in sitting the annual NAPLAN tests which are designed to determine students’ individual and collective progress in literacy and numeracy.

Both the VCE ...

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Insights – importance of the early years of education

Dear Community,

At this week’s Prep and Beyond Evening we spoke with parents about the vital importance of the early years of education. The Jesuit Maxim of “Give me a child until the age of seven and I will give you the adult,” has been supported by more recent discoveries in neuroscience which has shown that the most significant time in our lives in terms of the rapidity of the development of our neural pathways occurs in early childhood.

It is during ...

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Insights – reading both on the lines and between the lines

Dear Community,

In multi-award winning children’s author, Paul Jennings’ book, ‘The Reading Bug’ he outlines that one of the great gifts we can impart unto our children is a passion for reading. Jennings argues that reading with our children is an emotional act and should be an expression of our love and connection. He explains that “this act of love forms an association between the child and books. The word book brings pleasure. The feel, look and smell of books are ...

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Insights – Adopting an optimistic mindset

Dear Community,

Recently a group of our leadership and wellbeing staff attended a fascinating presentation at the School of Life by renowned Positive Psychology advocate Dr Martin Seligman. Dr Seligman’s presentation was entitled, ‘On Hope and Helplessness’. He used it as an opportunity to explore a significant shift in approaches to psychology which now emphasises promoting wellbeing rather than rectifying mental ill-health.

As part of our School’s model for student wellbeing we incorporate aspects of positive education in order to encourage the ...

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Insights – Emerging Jewish Identities

Dear Community,

In my office I keep a copy of a large and unique book. The outside of the book is entirely covered in a tallit, which we traditionally use to bury our dead in. Inside in miniscule print is the word “Jew” repeated 6 million times. Each page of this book has the word written 4800 times and there are 1250 pages in it. The book is suitably called And Every Single One Was Someone.

When I look at the book ...

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