From the head’s desk: 21 June 2019

Deanne King

At a recent meeting of the campus health and safety committee, we scrutinised the safety standards on our campus, recorded injuries and analysed our safety record. What impressed me was the commitment and level of concern of each member of staff at the meeting – each girl’s safety was the priority of everyone present. I was rather concerned to hear that the driving habits of some parents in the car park resulted in the committee’s considering new signage. There are a number of cars which drive too fast and recklessly in the stop-and-drop, with the excuse of the driver being, “they are in a hurry”.

What does this say about the school being a place where our children are safe, happy and encouraged to thrive?

The media reports every day on violence, ill-discipline and a breakdown in the moral fibre at schools. Schools such as St Mary’s work hard to secure and offer an excellent education for children. A place where children can grow, develop and flourish is the aim of our school but, to achieve this, we require the support of parents in upholding our ethos and contributing to a harmonious environment.

Children should not receive mixed messages from the adults whose purpose is to guide and protect. This includes following rules that are put in place to ensure safety. I include here, messages about the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Parents need to model appropriate behaviour and protect adolescents from themselves.

It is also our responsibility to guide adolescents in finding their voices. This is something that we work to achieve with the girls at St Mary’s. The aim is for each girl to develop a confident voice which she shares. Nevertheless, it is also necessary to guide her voice and the moral and ethical value of how they communicate in society through social media. Current role models in popular culture and social media are often a detrimental influence and do not help our girls develop a voice that is measured, respectful and dignified.

Children want to know that they are loved, they want to know where the boundaries are and what expectations significant adults have of them.

Deanne King
Head of school

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