A message from the Principal

14 December 2016

When most people are focused on the ends of things; the end of the year, end of the exams, Christmas celebrations and other final events, we are busy planning for next year and the start of things as well.

On Monday, we had orientation day with a lot of excited Middle School students preparing for either the next year at Fintona or their first year with all that entails, both anticipation and some apprehension. I am still enrolling new families at all sorts of levels for 2017 and next week we open our scholarship entry for 2018, the test to be sat early next year. Handbooks are either being prepared and edited or are already in the hands of new girls. The transition program has begun for next year’s VCE students and Year 10 are on work experience, a preparation for beyond school.

Next year, we also have a number of new staff starting as we farewell staff who are retiring after a number of years at Fintona or moving on to new positions elsewhere. Some of our new staff have already visited us or will before the year finishes to meet their new colleagues, look at curriculum documents and tour the campus. It’s sad to say goodbye to people, but exciting to welcome new people with different perspectives and new ways of doing things. Change is always difficult but hopefully it also brings about renewal and stimulates ideas.

Next year we also launch our new Year 5 and 6 curriculum which we completed this year and there will be an increasing use of the Discovery Room not just by the Year 5 and 6s but by a broader group of staff and students.

We are also amalgamating our Drama and Music Faculties under one umbrella, the Performing Arts Faculty, as of 2017. Ms Elizabeth Exintaris and Ms Rowena McDowell, who will have joint responsibility for the Faculty, have already come up with some exciting plans for a couple of new ensembles and some other initiatives that will further engage our students in music making within and outside of the classroom.

Perhaps the ends of things is not just a celebration of all that has been achieved, of the great moments shared, the personal growth, the new discoveries and the feeling that it was all worthwhile, but also a time for reflection of what has been lost, what failed or didn’t work, of moments or opportunities missed or nostalgia for what can’t be revisited or regained.

Looking back on 2016 and the School's 120 years, there have been many highlights and achievements, lots of fun and laughter and lots and lots of personal growth and personal bests. As a bunch of humans though, there have been failures and tantrums, tears and anger and regrets. Hopefully, these reflections will make everyone more determined to feel grateful for all that we have and to redouble our efforts to do what we do well and live up to our potential both individual and as a school. We should also acknowledge that failures and unhappiness sometimes provide opportunities for growth and a better understanding of ourselves, rather than see them as a negative experience.

I thank everyone for their contribution this year and for making Fintona such a great place to work and learn in; I wish you well for Christmas and for whatever celebrations mark this moment in your family and a restful and safe holiday.

Mrs Suzy Chandler
Principal