I sat in on an interesting evening presentation to a group of women leaders at AISWA this week, entitled ‘The Art of Patience’. It served to reinforce one of my personal failings, but did provide some interesting thoughts around the importance of being patient. We heard about the need to not be reactive and clamour for instant results, rather to reflect, walk more slowly and not believe that all emails require an immediate response!  Speakers talked about “embracing the struggle”, and related this to students at school needing to be challenged if they are to learn; one speaker compared the role of the Principal to driving an ocean liner (“steering something huge”) which brought up many discussion points, both literal and metaphorical. I also liked a quotation from Desmond Tutu, pointing out that “We need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in”.

I’m not sure patience is a regular visitor to the thinking of all primary school children, but those at Carmel Primary School have experienced a significant focus on respect, this term. The students in various classes have enjoyed a guest appearance from Mrs Bolton, who joined them to discuss the meaning of respect and work out what it looks like in everyday life at school and beyond the Carmel gates. I have enjoyed hearing “That’s such a respectful way of putting it”, and “What great respect you are showing!” as I wander around the campus.

On an Arts note, the VAPA presentation evening last week was simply fantastic. The artwork, drama and music presented by Carmel students blew me away and it was wonderful to see such a range of talent on display. We really do have some impressive performers at our school and the musicians and actors who performed on the night were just brilliant. Playing instruments, singing and acting of an excellent standard were all on show and there was evidence of just a few tissues being needed as our Year 10 YOHFest winners performed their “Thank you, Mum!” piece. I am excited to think about the possibilities for students at Carmel next year as we launch our Carmel Academy of Performing Arts at the beginning of 2024. I am confident that this will provide opportunities for many more students to thrive in the Arts at Carmel School.

Julie Harris