Sally James and I had the privilege of attending and presenting at the Global Forum on Girls’ Education, in New York City from 7–9 February. It was rewarding to collaborate with colleagues from across the globe who share our interest in girls, and their learning and development. We were reassured through the speakers and different sessions at the forum that St Mary’s has a programme that creates an environment for a successful and meaningful education for women. We shall continue to research best practice in girls’ education, and review and develop our programme accordingly.
An important aspect of girls’ development is their self-confidence and esteem. At St Mary’s we have always encouraged participation as a way to develop each girl’s self-esteem. We believe that when an individual finds a niche, an interest and even a passion for a particular activity, she is able to better define herself. There are girls who excel in cultural endeavours and in sport, others find satisfaction and reward in service, while others build character through their focus on their spiritual lives. Through these experiences the girls’ academic and personal development is enhanced.
Over the past weekends I have observed the girls at the aquatics festivals. It is worth noting the excellent performance of the divers, swimmers and water polo players who have thrilled the spectators, but there have also been girls who have supported the festivals as first-aiders and administration assistants, and in events and marketing roles. Together, they have all contributed to the ethos that is distinctly St Mary’s School. As they each make individual contributions, they are also developing their interests, character and self-esteem, which ultimately fulfils our aim.