Friday 18 August 2023

Assistant Principal (Students and Engagement)

  • Connection grows belonging, resilience and allows students to thrive
  • Student Leadership Seminar
  • Talent Quest and Spec Spec
  • Connection grows belonging, resilience and allows students to thrive
  • Student Leadership Seminar
  • Talent Quest and Spec Spec

Connection grows belonging, resilience and allows students to thrive

Ave Maria offers a wonderful environment for students to connect and grow emotionally, spiritually and physically. Through connection, students strengthen their confidence of who they are, and how they can relate to their peers and the communities in which they move. Allowing students to experience ‘failing well’ in a psychologically safe space at school, provides them with an opportunity for growth. This in turn provides the opportunity for students to recognise their inner confidence, empathy and resilience.

A number of events have shown much evidence of students confidently growing in who they want to be, aligned with the values we hold dear at Ave of inclusion, compassion, truth and love. These are outlined below:

The Student Leadership Seminar

The Year 7-12 Leadership Seminar focussed on the Leaders leading their teams with compassion and using the diversity of the team’s strengths to accomplish a goal. The Principal, Ms Hutton, presented to the students, the woman who inspired her as she was growing up. This was her grandmother, and the informal leadership she demonstrated within the communities she supported, was incredibly strong. This demonstrated to the leaders that the diversity of voices within their teams need to be listened to.

Students were then walked through the Gallery of Inspirational Women, where they selected two individuals that would help inform their leadership. Sophie Smith of Year 11 chose Katherine Johnson whose work in aeronautics was inspiring. Sophie learnt from Katherine’s journey, that sometimes the work of leaders goes under the radar. Sophie indicated that it is important to recognise all quiet achievers in the teams she leads. Sophie also investigated the Chairwoman of Sports Australia, Josephine Sukkar, and gained further insights into how to fund projects and increase community involvement through greater collaboration.

All teams were then set the goal of achieving a warm crochet blanket that could be given to Vinnies to support warmth for a person in need. The problem was that whilst all leaders were given the resources of hook, wool, and a video on how to crochet, most struggled to accomplish the skill to create one square. As leaders this was then unpacked that not all people they lead, may have the same knowledge base, skill or inclination to achieve the end result. As leaders they had to work out how was this to be overcome as they complete Term 3 and Term 4. Some created very long chains whilst others did manage to begin forming their square. In ‘failing well’ students were called to show resilience and determination to support others in their teams that might also “fail well”. Growth occurs through ‘failing well’ and as such students were keen to learn the skill of crochet to achieve the end goal. As the time ran out, the leaders decided to continue this initiative in the Community week being proposed or as a co-curricular activity next year.

Talent Quest on Ave Day:

The talent quest on Ave Day was a wonderful example of students showcasing their musical, singing and dancing talents. We are very proud of the confidence shown of each performer. Confidence is one of the attributes from the Ave Charter of Education that we promote for student’s growth. Students and staff admired the acts and applauded loudly.

The Spec Spec Lip Sync Competition

The whole school connection between the Houses was strengthened in the performances of each House Spec Spec Lip sync performance. The joy of students was evident as they practiced in the lead up to the big finale. On the day of the final performance, the excitement was palpable as students in House groups moved to their song choice. Each House was able to articulate the relevance of their journey to their House patron and for the first time relate their routines also to the attributes from the Ave Charter of Education.

Clare House

Clare House showed great resilience from the attributes of the Ave Charter and from St Clare in being able to bring the whole house to learn the choreography and to have the group in sync. They had to overcome some hurdles on the way but did this through communication and teamwork. Congratulations to Ava Carrick and Alessia Torcaso for leading Clare House.

Francis House

Francis House showed critical thinking from the Ave Charter and inclusion from St Francis. They had to work out how they were going to use the space resources to have the whole house practise. They also had to ensure that everyone was able to be included through the routines chosen as not everyone is naturally into dancing. Congratulations to Piper Mollica and Amy Marazita for leading Francis House to win the Spec Spec Lip Sync Shield for 2023.

Helene House

Helene House used Helene’s love of learning to teach their House the steps to their song. Through this they showed that from shaky beginnings the House was able to learn the routine and grow in confidence which is an attribute from the Ave Charter. Congratulations to Katie Crocock and Elizabeth Curtolo for leading Helene House.

Mary House:

Mary House demonstrated Mary’s strength of character and the attribute of curiosity from the Ave Charter of Education to bring their House routine together. Mary would have been curious and concerned when God asked her to be the mother of our Lord. However, she accepted this calling. Mary House showed much curiosity in a song that many may not have been familiar with, however they showed strength in working together to produce a great routine. Congratulations to Ella Colomer and Abinaya Arunan for leading Mary House.

The many opportunities to lead informally and formally at Ave work towards student’s strengths. Strengths grow confidence and resilience and enable students to thrive.

May all our students belong, engage, and thrive.

Ms Leonie Rushbrook
Assistant Principal (Students and Engagement)