Term 1 seems to have flown by yet so much has happened – International Women’s Day, 10 years-open Swimming Carnival, Library Lovers Day, Leadership Investiture, Valentine’s Day, Year 7 camp, Girls Grammar Long Lunch and more.
Next week we will be celebrating Harmony Week. This year in Australia, the theme is Everyone Belongs. Schools are usually a microcosm of our communities and at Girls Grammar we have more than 12 nations represented. Harmony Week provides us with an opportunity to talk about and celebrate diversity and to learn from each other.
Next Tuesday all students will be provided with an orange ribbon they can wear on both Tuesday and Wednesday as we recognise this week as a whole school. Our Year 11 girls and Care teachers have been working very hard at organising a range of activities for Wednesday morning that will immerse the girls in a diverse range of cultures from around the world. This was one of our most popular whole-school activities in 2022 and I’m excited to see our students enthusiastically engage once again.
Harmony Week values such as inclusiveness, respect, and a sense of belonging for everyone should not only be discussed, taught and embraced during this calendared week, but every week of the year. These are key values that as a school community we take very seriously in order to provide a safe and supportive environment for all.
At a national education level, it has also been recognised that social-emotional learning (SEL) is critical to the holistic development of individuals and as such, has been embedded in the Australian Curriculum through Personal and Social Capability.
So, what is SEL? SEL is a comprehensive approach to education that focuses on the development of the whole person, including their emotional and social well-being, in addition to their academic skills. It is based on the idea that emotional intelligence and social skills are critical for success in all areas of life, and that these skills can be taught and developed over time.
When individuals are socially and emotionally competent, they are more likely to engage in prosocial behaviours which in turn leads to more constructive and compassionate communities.
These skills are also critical in modern day workplaces where collaboration, communication and adaptability are increasingly valued.
Moreover, where issues such as discrimination, inequality and social injustice are prevalent, SEL can help individuals develop an understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion and become better equipped to address these issues in their personal and professional lives.
Next week, I look forward to joining with our girls to celebrate Harmony Week and embrace the diversity we have here at Girls Grammar.
Deputy Principal - Students