Balancing competing commitments is a lifelong challenge. During the formative years, this can be particularly difficult for students as they juggle their schoolwork, sporting commitments, work and leisure activities.
At Girls Grammar, we support our boarders to meet this challenge, through practical guidance and in-time support but also through helping them to develop skills and understandings that they will use throughout their lifetimes.
This stage of term time provides a good example. Many of our girls get overwhelmed with study, assignment preparation and homework. The easy solution can be to skip training, practices or games to finish these tasks. However, it important that they understand the impact of this decision. It is important that our girls understand that when they join an activity, whether it be a sport, music or other pursuit, they are making a commitment to the team. Coaches, teachers, mentors are all volunteering their time and a team cannot be as strong without the dedicated commitment of all members of the team. Furthermore, showing commitment to the team through strong attendance at training, practices and games shows respect for peers and team mates. As a coach myself, I find it disappointing when girls opt out of training and leave their team mates with only a few attending, which makes the session difficult to run effectively.
In the boarding house, we want to support our girls to learn ways to manage their time so that they are able to juggle all their commitments. We encourage them to ‘space’ their study. This means that rather than completing assignments or study the day before they are due, they design a study planner that allows them to complete a little bit of work each day. This not only allows them to develop the study skills and habits which are vital for success in older grades, it improves knowledge retention and skill development. Teachers provide the girls with the necessary information to plan their school work and exams in advance and the design of a study planner allows them to factor in their training sessions and games during peak study times.
This balancing of commitments is a life skill that we all need to manage as adults. We have conversations with the boarders around this especially around exam block. We encourage the girls to put up a schedule of their week on their pinboard or their bedroom door so they have a visual reminder of their responsibilities. We ask for parental support by encouraging their daughters to stick to the study plan and asking them to avoid leave during study sessions. Supporting our students to get the balance right and learn life skills of juggling commitments is important and we will continue to work with the girls to develop healthy approaches to managing their commitments.
Wishing you all a great weekend and hoping you are all getting the right amount of rain where you live.
Head of Boarding