A fortnight ago we had the annual College Ball at the Pullman. It was a real success and over the last few days I have been thinking about what were the key ingredients in making it such a great event.
From my perspective, the factors were:
1. The support of the College family.
There was a big turnout of Y12 and Y13 parents to the Ball information evening. Parents made it clear at the meeting that they both understood and supported our position on pre Balls and parties after the Ball and on the fact that if the guidelines for these events were not followed, then the College would not be able to support their actions with the police or the media. This kind of community support was absolutely key to the success of the Ball.
Parents willingly put up their hands as volunteers to help with the extensive security programme, knowing that it would be critical in making it a safe night. Past parents and current parents gave time, energy and donated goods to helping the girls realize their spectacular design for the evening and in providing medical and cloakroom support. Don and Louise Mann led a fantastic team of prefect and Visual Arts Committee parents.
2. The fantastic attitude of the students.
In the reception line as we welcomed girls and their partners it was clear that they had listened carefully to the advice regarding alcohol – there was not a single student, male or female, about whom we were concerned. They were excited, friendly, courteous and ready to have fun. From the moment the doors opened the kids danced to the great DJ, enjoyed their dinner and were wowed by the fantastic decoration of the ball room. At no point in the evening did anyone’s behavior cause concern. Throughout the night, Pullman staff complimented us on the students’ behavior and on how co-operative and polite they were – after 13 school balls this year, they were in a position to judge!
I was really proud of the girls – they looked fantastic and they made the most of the evening. The boys were great – they were really well presented and only a couple of them wanted to kiss my hand in greeting – always a good sign to have so few… The kids danced until the very last moments of the Ball and as they left they thanked parents and staff over and over.
It was deeply satisfying to see the girls and their partners having so much fun, genuinely enjoying themselves and showing genuine respect for the work of parents, their peers, the Pullman staff and for the College.
3. Support from the staff
Many staff gave up their Friday night to work at the Ball and did so with positive enthusiasm. A big team of staff came to see the girls enter the Ball to see them transformed from their uniformed daily life and to see the brilliant decorations. The girls made it clear that really valued their teachers’ interest and support.
It was a genuinely good night and Justine Mahon, Helen Robertson and I learnt a valuable lesson about the direct connection between photo booths and Facebook…