From the head's desk: 22 November 2019
In conversation with a colleague who leads a school in another province, I found myself saying, “What was she thinking?” when he relayed a story about a pupil in his school.
Neuroscience informs us that our girls still have a number of years ahead of them before their brains are fully developed. This provides satisfactory reason why their behaviour is often not aligned with their academic performance or their ability to discuss and debate issues of our world. Girls vociferously discuss the climate crisis but seem not to notice when they litter the campus. A key factor in raising our girls is guiding their behaviour by putting clear boundaries in place.
St Mary’s girls make mistakes and, at times, they find themselves in difficult circumstances. We choose to approach discipline and the girls’ transgressions in private, which allows them to deal with the sanction and consequences out of the public eye, however, there are always consequences. Girls in compromised disciplinary situations have a
chance to make amends, to alter their behaviour and to reflect on their misdemeanours. We believe that teenagers learn and benefit from a restorative justice approach.
The world in which our children live is one where the explosion of information and the exposure to knowledge, opinion and experience are unlike anything we have experienced before.
It is important that our girls engage with global issues and difficult subject matter that may confuse older generations. The challenge for the adults in their lives is to provide support, guidance and boundaries, underpinned by our values. I want to reassure parents that the boundaries are firmly in place at St Mary’s whether these relate to aspects of conduct, identity and behaviour, or substance abuse.
The school’s expectation is that parents share the same values and support our boundaries. Together the school and parents can insure our girls’ safe and secure passage to adulthood.
Head of school