Forward December 2017 Forward_2017Dec WEB - Page 8

AROUND THE SCHOOL on track for 2018 Co-education update At the time of writing we have 50 new female students and an overall increase in the number of male students in the Senior School. Sixteen of these girls are in Year 7, 11 are in Year 8 and 23 are in Year 11. Our two most recent tours, held in August and October, were attended by over 200 people, expressing interest in all year groups, from Kindergarten to Year 12. These new enrolments exceed our original expectations and are likely to continue growing due to the significant increase in interest that our Registrar and enrolments team are responding to. Many of you will have seen an article in the Sunday Times on 10 September that featured our new uniform. The article was a positive endorsement of our decision to provide our female students with options for summer dresses and shorts, and winter skirts and pants. This is just one of many forums where our decision to extend co-education has resulted in the School receiving positive attention and being considered a leader amongst our peers. During the year we have been working through a detailed Project Plan in preparation for the commencement of our first girls in the Senior School in 2018. Each school’s transition to co-education has been unique in its context with its own challenges and rewards. 8 One of our priorities has focused on staff professional development. In June and August the School engaged two separate but equally interesting speakers to talk to staff on different topics relevant to the extension of co-education. In June Margo Halbert spoke to our Senior School team on the topic of conscious and unconscious bias, then in August Natalie Charles, Head of Senior School at Carey Baptist Grammar School (Melbourne), spoke to all staff about her journey as an educator with a long history in boys’ schools and her recent move into a co-educational environment. Described by staff as “powerful and illuminating” Natalie discussed the challenges and differences of working in single gender and co-educational environments. Our Pastoral and Academic Leaders met with Natalie in smaller round table discussions that focused on key questions from these groups. In 2017 the Headmaster and Ms Jen Leah, Co-education Transition Coordinator, spent