At Donvale assembly this week, Junior School Chaplain, Janine de Paiva, had the students involved in a series of engaging games to remind us all that Christmas is only just around the corner. Her message was that when things do become hectic, as they will, there is a need to be more mindful of finding that moment to pause. It is often referred to as ‘being present’.

The Donvale assembly is one that regularly encourages students to stop and be in the moment. The Head of Donvale, Steve Wilson, always concludes the weekly assembly by inviting all to bow their heads, close their eyes, and take a moment to be in the present. In 2020, the whole-school theme will be ‘Reflection’. It is one of our Attributes of a Positive Learner, and is described by Professor Bill Lucas as:

‘Extracting the learning juice from every situation, whether those experiences are formal or informal. It is asking yourself the questions of, How did it go? What could I have done differently? What have I learned from that?’

In essence, reflection enables us to distil meaning from our experiences. The Donvale students are regularly invited to reflect at the conclusion of each assembly, and we see it across the rest of the School as well: our Year 10 and 11 students are about to embark on deliberate reflection as they prepare for their individual Positive Learner conversation with their mentor, and our Middle School students are currently involved in their Wabonga camping program and Civics and City programs where reflection is part of their daily practice. Next year will be an exciting year full of activity, but we will be reminded through our whole-school theme to find times to just be present.

Peter Robson
Director of Positive Education and Wellbeing