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The Positive Power of Community


 

In his book, The Art of Belonging (2014), Australian social researcher Mr Hugh McKay reminds us of the great paradox that new and emerging communication media, while seeming to bring us together, in fact, make it easier for us to stay apart. McKay reminds us that it is how we live that is important, and that strong communities develop our moral sense and build our emotional security. He says that as ‘social creatures’ we can only reach our potential when we engage with our communities. McKay states: ‘a good life is not lived in isolation or in the pursuit of independent goals; a good life is lived at the heart of a thriving community, amongst people we trust, and within an environment of mutual respect.’ 

We witnessed the positive power of community in full force at the Ruyton/Trinity production of The Wiz last week. I think ‘joyous’ is the only way to describe us as an audience as we sat spellbound by the adventures of a girl, a scarecrow, a tin man and a cowardly lion. This power reinforced the ability of the Arts to focus our attention, to marvel, wonder and imagine, and to bring us together to celebrate endeavour, achievement and excellence.

Academic, psychologist, author and champion of grit, Professor Angela Duckworth, has said that children need to understand why sustained and concentrated hard work is such an important skill, and then they need to practise it; and they need to identify something they’re passionate about. She believes that if you want to reach your potential, live meaningfully and make a contribution to the world, then find something you care about, surround yourself with supportive people who will give you honest feedback, and practise, practise, practise. This, according to Duckworth, is the secret to life.

While we marvelled at the performance, we were all too aware of the hours, days and weeks of preparation that enabled this. The performers, staff, orchestra, backstage crew and parent supporters have lived and breathed The Wiz for the past few months – alongside their usual routine. Their shared passion and purpose have enabled them to remain committed through the ups and downs of preparation, to accept honest feedback, to show grit and determination, to overcome setbacks and difficulties, and push towards reaching their potential – and beyond.

The notion of honest feedback is an important one in Performing Arts. A performance doesn’t attract a score, a percentage or a grade. It isn’t for a gold medal or a trophy. Thank goodness. To me, it provides one of the purest forms of feedback, the honesty of self-reflection and audience reaction. Greater creativity results from enlisting enthusiasm and personal best rather than assessment. And a standing ovation on Saturday evening said it all. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

We watch our students take their tentative first steps in Early Learning and Junior Primary performances. We see them hone their talents and grow in confidence from Primary to Secondary productions and plays. Over the years we see individual growth and the emergence of new and undiscovered talent. We see students who immerse themselves in every opportunity, as this is what brings their passion to life. Each year brings a new team together, a new rhythm, a new challenge and new opportunity.

A little magic goes a long way. Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and that Cowardly Lion demonstrated this as they eased on down the road to see the mysterious Wiz and realise their dreams. And Dorothy, in helping her three companions to realise their individual dreams, reminded us that we often hold the key to achieving our own personal best. If we believe in our own ability, find our courage, compassion and creativity we can do it. And the positive power of a supportive community will never go astray.

Ms Linda Douglas, Principal Ruyton Girls’ School

Publish By
Religion Non - denominational
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Girl
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment Approximately 900 students
Fees: 12k - 16k Over 16k
From $13,262 (Early Learning Centre) to $33,246 per annum (Year 12)
Phone
03 9819******* 03 9819 2422
Fax
03 9818******* 03 9818 4790
Address 12 Selbourne Road, Kew 3101
Email
ruyton@*******
ruyton@ruyton.vic.edu.au
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Home » Education Advice » Get crafty these school holidays

Get crafty these school holidays


School Holidays are often filled with activities to keep the kids busy. Why not work as a team and create something fun together?!

Craft projects are a great way to teach children coordination, concentration and patience. These sewing kits provide an opportunity to work together with your kids to master the art of the needle. Plus, the final result will ensure your child has a new and unique bag to take back to school!

Winter woolly backpack- $14.95

Step out in style with the Winter Woolly Backpack pattern designed by Theresa Kyne. Perfect for those cold and chilly days, this backpack is made from warm blanket fabrics with pockets and straps in black-and-white chevron. Perfect for winter outings and adventures, and is as pretty as it is practical!

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Monster and robot kid’s backpacks- $11.95

They’re cool, they’re hip and they are the perfect, fun backpack for kids. The Monster and Robot Kids Backpacks have been designed by Sue Marsh, with growing kids in mind so all the straps are adjustable so the kids can keep using their backpack for years to come.

monster-and-robot1

Embroidered Child’s book bag- $11.95

Natashia Curtin’s From Cover to Cover book bag pattern — a fun library bag for children —features a selection of embroidered book covers to decorate the bag, including “Fall Asleep on the Last Page” and “Never French Kiss a Frog”. This makes a great gift for children and is a large enough bag for holding big children’s books.

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Owl read it to you library bag- $11.95

Any child will love a trip to the library with this super-cute embroidered owl drawstring library bag pattern from Nicole Stark and Sharon Ferrie, with two soft owls sitting atop some bunting with embroidered flowers, tree and bee buzzing past.

owl-read-it-library-bag1

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Home » School News » Learning through projects

Learning through projects


 

The practice of project-based learning is a Reggio Emilia teaching principle, which inspires education with young Ruyton students. Projects provide a rich inquiry-based approach to learning and operate on the notion that children learn best when they are fully engaged and focused. The children are instrumental in deciding the project topics. As educators observe and document the children’s interests, it becomes clear which topics would serve well to investigate. What is important within the project is that the learning is child-led, rather than teacher-driven. This ensures that a project-based way to learning is meaningful and authentic.

At Ruyton Early Learning, the children participated in a variety of projects. Both Kindergarten groups worked collaboratively on their City Project to complete an amazingly detailed city sculpture. In Co-Ed Pre Prep a project about a journey through space was explored. The children created solar systems, alien pictures, their own UFOs, set off some balloon rockets and used boxes to build an alien city. They learnt about space in their French class and were taught the words for moon and stars. The completion of the project was celebrated with an alien-themed morning tea.

The Girls’ Pre Prep are continuing with the Peace Project. This project was initiated by discussions around two books, Little Peace by Barbara Kerley and The Peace Book by Todd Parr. Both books offer very simple but profound ideas about what peace is, through photographs of people around the world and simple phrases. The children brainstormed their thoughts about peace and this documentation is on display in their classroom.

As the children engaged in the classroom projects they used everyday experiences and discoveries to weave magic into their learning. The projects provided opportunities for the children to connect and collaborate with their peers and educators, and to become co-researchers in the learning process.

Ms Teresa Wojcik, acting director of Early Learning

Publish By
Religion Non - denominational
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Girl
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment Approximately 900 students
Fees: 12k - 16k Over 16k
From $13,262 (Early Learning Centre) to $33,246 per annum (Year 12)
Phone
03 9819******* 03 9819 2422
Fax
03 9818******* 03 9818 4790
Address 12 Selbourne Road, Kew 3101
Email
ruyton@*******
ruyton@ruyton.vic.edu.au
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Home » Education Advice » Melbourne – The City For Students

Melbourne – The City For Students


International survey affirms Melbourne as a cultural and educational hub

Melbourne’s position as the cultural capital of  Australia has been confirmed and complemented by our ranking as the second best student city in the world and the best city for student diversity.

A recent survey by QS Top Universities gave Melbourne this flattering rating but our area of excellence was for welcoming International Students into our student population.

The fabric of Australia has cultural diversity deeply woven in and this cultural heartbeat beats stronger in nowhere other than Melbourne.

Our student population is a testament to this with the City of Melbourne citing that almost 55% of students living and studying in our city are International.

Paris led the QS Top Universities ratings as the best city in the world to be a student but impressively, Melbourne bumped London from second place.

While we may not have an Eiffel Tower or a thriving crepe industry, Melbourne’s diverse range of universities can offer something for everybody.

A historically interesting building at Melbourne University is as charming as RMIT is innovative and spunky. Meanwhile, Monash explicitly welcomes International Students with a whole day of celebration dedicated to them.

In general, the survey looked at a range of criteria including pollution, safety and cultural tolerance so in general, Melbourne is ticking a lot of boxes.

So whether you are from Australia or abroad, you can feel that little bit better about the university grind knowing that, as Melbournian uni students, we almost have it the best in the world.

Words: Georgina Owen

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Home » Education Advice » Storytelling Spectacular

Storytelling Spectacular


Be amazed by the musical marvel of storytelling and performance that is the 2015 Victorian State Schools Spectacular

More than 3000 public school students will take the stage in the Victorian State Schools Spectacular at Hisense Arena on Saturday September 12.

With the theme, ‘What’s your story’, this three-hour show will include a Steampunk Fairground, a taste of Alice in Wonderland, the groove of Beyonce and Daft Punk’s music and an orchestral rendition of The Great Gate of Kiev.

Students are behind every element of this incredible spectacular from the on-stage performance and set design to the technical backstage elements of lighting and sound.

The audience will be captivated with show-stopping vocals, high-energy dance routines, electrifying special effects, puppetry and awe-inspiring circus and skating tricks.

Since 1995, the State Government of Victoria has brought together students for this performance to give them the opportunity to develop and showcase their talents when this may not have otherwise been possible.

The Voice’s Harrison Craig, Hairspray’s Jaz Flowers and power house solo artist Vanessa Amorosi are just some of the Victorian Spectacular’s growing list of alumni so this is your chance to see students of today become the stars of tomorrow

The Spectacular fosters healthy, active, participatory lifestyles and produces a creative industry environment that complements school education on a scale that is beyond the capacity of individual schools.

This also gives students the opportunity to train with internationally renowned industry professionals and partner with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance to create a not-to-be-missed event by Victoria’s most outstanding young performers.

Come and tap your toes to Taylor Swift and Bjork, see talented student artwork on the large screens, be transported to a hip hop and swing hybrid and witness the vibrant, youthful talent of the Victorian State Schools Spectacular.

For more information visit education.vic.gov.au

Words: Georgina Owen

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Home » Education Advice » Painting the pathway

Painting the pathway


Art in school curriculum is vital in developing Australia’s future

The debate over the necessity of art in education is always prominent. However, the reality is that it helps to develop key motor and cognitive skills as well as emotional expression — all of which are vital for growing minds. Over the past two decades, the style of teaching has significantly changed. From what was previously a very rigid and formalised teacher-directed orientation, there is now more of a focus on individual development which consists of a child-centred orientation. This gives students a lot more freedom and enhances their ability to learn and absorb any information given to them. Furthermore, the link between creativity learned through subjects, in particular art-based ones, has proven to be pivotal in any classroom.

Frank Panucci, Executive Director of Grants for the Australian Arts Council, is a great advocate for schools incorporating advanced art-based curriculums. He says research has shown that students who study in this environment have reaped exceptional benefits as it teaches skills that are required in today’s working environment.

“There’s a range of research, both nationally and internationally, which shows that children who have a rich arts education throughout their schooling actually achieve greater outcomes across their curriculum,” he said. “They also develop a whole range of skills which are crucial to the 21st century, which is about creativity, innovation and working in teams.”

Research is carried out nearly daily on why art is so important for our education system — and the statistics don’t lie. The Australia Council’s Arts in Daily Life, a research group in conjunction with the Council, found that 9 in 10 people believed that the arts are an important part of the education of all Australians, as well as two in three thinking that the arts have a “big” or “very big” impact on the development of children. Not only is having the specific skill sets outlined by Mr Panucci very important, it also allows students to contribute constructively within a classroom environment that consists of a number of other students. This will then translate to displaying positive habits and correct behaviour later on in life.

Art education in Victoria starts as early as kindergarten. Here, children are given the opportunity to learn through ‘play’, making shapes, colours and even sounds. These skills are introduced to children at this time as it sets the foundation for all future learning capabilities later in life. It also aids in helping students excel at other complex studies and subjects, or even just other art-based subjects.

While art is subjective, for many people it is an effective tool for dealing with emotional expression or stress. For young students, art is a great avenue for emotional expression, developing confidence and helping create a sense of identity for themselves. Not everyone is able to articulate themselves effectively through the use of verbal language, so having an alternative avenue to portray their thoughts and feelings is important and should always be encouraged.

All of these elements play a significant role in shaping the future of a young person. Enthusiasm for art shown by any student should always be embraced as the successes that ensue could ultimately be endless.

Words: Simeon Barut

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Home » Education Advice » Developing team spirit

Developing team spirit


Teaching your child the importance of working in a team with a central goal is an invaluable lesson that they will carry on throughout their adult life. No matter where they work or what type of work they do, they will have to work with others and do it well to succeed. Sports programs are a great way to teach your child the value and importance of ‘team spirit’ as they provide a fun environment perfect for nurturing healthy competition and group team skills.

An increasingly popular sport in Australia and Australian schools is all-star cheerleading and dance specifically with the Australian All-Star Cheerleading Federation (AASCF).  All-Star cheerleading is a fast-paced, dynamic sport that encompasses stunt, tumbling, tosses and dances. It requires dedication and a strong working ethic from the male and female athletes. It represents a variety of elements, including teamwork, commitment, dedication, hard work, loyalty and lifelong friendships that are beneficial to children’s development. It creates the acceptance that everyone is valued in this sport regardless of their shape, height and ability.

In participating in All-Star Cheerleading, children are trying the best they can with their own efforts and are accepting themselves just the way they are. The Program Director Rosemary Sims-James said when this self-acceptance was mixed with exercise, health and fitness, many of the youth issues could be resolved.

AASCF aims to encourage mutual cooperation and communication among squads and to provide a central resource of cheerleading information and assistance. Cheerleading requires tacit cooperation among athletes, creating a great platform for children to learn about team spirit and communication skills. AASCF is committed to helping the sport and the athletes grow through the cheerleading education, camps and national competitions.

Athletes get to test their skills against teams of similar age and level at All-Star Cheerleading competitions provided by AASCF. Participants are judged upon the overall entertainment value of superior technical athleticism combined with creative presentations. The competition staffs are consisted of cheerleaders who are knowledgeable and passionate about cheerleading and can offer assistance and support to athletes at competitions. In 2014, more than 35,000 cheerleaders competed through AASCF.

The Scholastic Cheer & Dance Australian All-Star Program at AASCF started in 2005 and has around 2,000 scholastic competitors. Scholastic Cheerleading is associated with a school, and its main focus is cheering for other sports and raising school spirit. It provides a unique opportunity for primary school children to participate in an active, safe, and fun program in an inclusive atmosphere. Students can get their school dance and cheerleading clubs involves with AASCF through inviting AASCF staff to give input on weekly practices and provide advice on competition rules and routines.

Australian All-Star Cheerleading Federation

AASCF has been in operation recreationally for 20 years before its official establishment in 2005, run by the Program Director Rosemary Sims-James. Formalised cheerleading was introduced into Australia under the guidance of International All-Star Federation (IASF) and U.S. All-Star Cheerleading Federation (USACF), the international governing authority in All-Star Cheerleading. AASCF provides coaching and athlete skill education, accreditation and Australia’s largest national cheerleading competitions.

AASCF is also the designated Australian provider of the IASCF Coach Credentialing, a vital tool to educating the industry leaders and keeping the athletes safe. Coach Credentialing at AASCF involves expert training through classroom instruction, interactions with other coaches, hands-on training and exams coupled with written exams. It maintains the safety, integrity and public perception of the cheerleading sport.

For more information visit, www.aascf.com.au

Words: Sunny Liu

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