It has been deeply encouraging this year to see everyone focused and working towards the same goal: our students and their success. As a Board, we take pride in growing the students at St Cuthbert’s College into confident, resilient and well-rounded girls and young adults. We value the partnership we have with parents and caregivers as we work together to develop our daughters.
In my role as Chair, I often get asked about the direction of the school. I wanted to take this opportunity to answer some of your questions.
What’s happening with the girls’ leadership model?
The strategic objective is to achieve greater vertical integration and student connection between the three schools with a focus on ensuring every student feels she belongs, is valued, nurtured and supported within the wider College. Our revised Prefect Leadership Model deliberately strengthens House leadership through eight House Prefect roles so that every girl can aspire to lead her House and look up to her seniors. Houses will meet more often in 2018, providing deeper relationships and House spirit. Other leadership opportunities are essential to developing our girls in all dimensions.
What are the College’s plans for Kahunui?
Kahunui is our incredible offsite campus which provides month-long programmes for our Senior Students. Find out more here. There are four houses at Kahunui, each accommodating eight students. In January, we will start building another eight-person student house on the campus which will be under the stewardship of our Head of Campus Peter Evans. Peter and his wife Nicola are looking forward to working with student intakes in 2018.With staff development and health and safety training during January 2018, our Y13 students’ visit (usually at the start of Term 1) is postponed until mid-2018. This is a one-off change and Y13 girls will be back to January visits from 2019, where they will return to their footprint projects and retrace their steps. A celebration of Kahunui’s 10th anniversary will be timed around the Y13s 2018 mid-year visit. There are no other developments at Kahunui in the pipeline for our girls.
Is the Middle School structure changing?
No. In order to stay at the forefront of girls’ education, we regularly assess and review the College’s offerings to ensure they are continuing to provide our students with the best opportunities for our students to reach their full potential. While some assessment was conducted earlier in the year about our Middle School offering, there are no plans to change the size of the Middle School (such as expanding it to a Y7-10 model). The Middle School is thriving, and Y7 and Y8 are an important bridge from child to young adult and an essential time of development and preparation for Senior School years.
Why did you conduct an academic staff review?
It is the first time in 20 years that the College has conducted a strategic and structural review. We are the best girls’ school in the country and we need to ensure that we maintain that position. We want to ensure our students have key competencies and are prepared for an evolving global working environment. Principal Roz Mexted will be working with The Centre for Innovation, Research and Leadership in Education (CIRCLE) over the next three years to develop curriculum leaders across the College. Part of this work involves identifying the essential qualities of a St Cuthbert’s graduate, establishing teaching and learning objectives to support the acquisition of those graduate competencies and qualities and expanding student experiences here and internationally. All staff development will reflect By Love Serve and the four College Compass principles. Parent stakeholder groups will be formed when we develop a Community Engagement Plan later in 2018 to ensure strategy and planning reflects parents expectations.
Is the College changing any uniforms?
Principal Roz Mexted and Sports Director Dean Flyger have been working over the past six months with parent reps and students from premier sports teams. Final concepts have been on display in the Sports department with production expected in 2018. While there are no plans to change the day school uniform, we will review senior academy offerings in a strategic project from 2018.
What to expect for 2018 and onwards
Student wellbeing will continue to be a focus in 2018. By Love Serve is important, but so is self-efficacy in our developing girls. Eight Houses at St Cuthbert’s provide a family within the wider College and vertical links between Reception to Year 13, and we are continuing to strengthen those links.
Our recent whole College Carol Service touched hearts and as we witnessed joy in the eyes of students of all ages who brought the Christmas story to life through Music, Dance and Singing. As with any St Cuthbert’s event, a talented staff team was there, working tirelessly to ensure that it worked for our girls.
Your girls are at the heart of everything we do at the College. You have entrusted us with your daughter’s education and we encourage her to have bold dreams. By Love Serve is at the heart of our College Compass and core principles as we strive for excellence, build a connected community, develop all dimensions, pursue innovation and value our traditions. This applies to all of us: staff and students.
In early 2018, we will share with you the Board’s strategy and Ms Mexted’s vision for the College and how we can ensure that every graduate is the very best version of herself. Our staff are our greatest resource and they will continue to explore ideas and new initiatives to deliver the very best educational experience possible, from Reception to Year 13, in a connected and collaborative way.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank and farewell former Board Chair Simon Allen for his 12 years of outstanding commitment to, and stewardship of, the College, and former Deputy Chair Charlotte Hellaby for her long-serving and dedicated 11 years on the Board. The College has been so fortunate to have benefited from their immense contributions.
Wishing everyone a safe, happy and relaxing holiday and I look forward to seeing you in 2018.
Mrs Hayley Buckley
Trust Board Chair