Although invisible, school culture, like workplace and team culture, can be a powerful influence on how things are done. As we transition into what we hope will be our second complete term for the year, we continue to intentionally shape and support the evolving culture of the Senior School in positive ways.
Dr Paige Williams, author, researcher and Organisational Behaviour specialist argues that the fundamental elements of culture – Role-Modelling, Routines, Rituals and Rhythms – can be used to scaffold cultural change efforts. So, rather than, ‘shaping culture by relying on “adding on” to the way in which our school works, we can use our existing processes and practices to create containers in which new and evolving culture can be brought to light’.
With this framework for cultural evolution in mind, it has been wonderful to dip into the containers of Routine and Ritual, and once again engage in regular formal assemblies with 930 students in attendance in the Memorial Great Hall.
Both our annual Anzac Memorial Service and our Commissioning of the Year 12 Leaders and Induction of Year 12 Students have allowed our students to understand and engage in traditions of the past, as well as shape and participate in new traditions, which reflect our moment in time in the Carey story.
Yesterday, after months of waiting, I was delighted to present to our Principal the elected Year 12 Leaders of our School. As part of the commissioning process, each Student Leader declared, both publicly and in writing, their individual and collective commitment to serving our school and the people within it.
Engaging in this ritual, which began 99 years ago when our very first Foundation Prefects Howard Jenkin, Kingsley Rees and Keith Patterson signed the first page of Leaders Book in 1923, allows our students to consider how they will honour the legacy of those who have come before them, and carry on their tradition of serving our School with selfless humility in their own contemporary way.
Whilst honouring the past, this assembly also allowed us to add a new tradition into our Ritual container, the Induction of every Year 12 student as a member of the graduating class of 2022. This new tradition acknowledges all of our Year 12 students as leaders in our school who, each day, have the opportunity to influence the lives of others in our community, whilst also honouring our Year 12 Leaders’ vision to courageously create a culture ‘where through inclusivity, connections will thrive’.
We congratulate the Class of 2022, and we look forward to seeing how the final stage of their leadership journey at Carey unfolds.
Head of Senior School