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As part of the strategic direction set by the Board in 2011, Wenona determined we would be a School that is as professional and as deliberate in its practice for staff as it is for students. It has been a remarkable journey over the last 8 years, as we’ve invested time and resources into ensuring our staff have every opportunity to develop and refine their craft.
In 2013, the Wenona Board of Governors established Teaching Fellowships and Seeding Grants. They are awarded to teachers who are keen to explore alternative disciplines and experiences, where they can learn and be challenged to think outside the box. They then share this knowledge and experience with our School community. The focus of these grants is very much on experiential learning. Conferences can be fine, but they are invariably limited to sitting down and listening to someone speak. To be outside the classroom and learning in a relevant, contemporary and experiential manner, seems key to genuine learning.
As a result, we’ve had a teacher living in rural areas of Japan, learning the ancient art of Shibori, a Japanese dyeing technique; a teacher working with a team of street theatre actors in London; and another engaged in sustainable design solutions for disadvantaged South African communities.
In this fourth edition of Upon Reflection, we profile a teacher who spent time in a remote community in North-East Arnhem Land, teaching and learning about Indigenous music; a teacher who walked the Sarajevo route to understand about peace, conflict, and genocide in Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina; another who worked at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, learning the ins and outs of tertiary admissions across the world; and another who focused on developing game-based learning in the classroom.
We learn best when we are challenged to move outside our comfort zone and have the opportunity to experience problems in a real-life situation, drawing on solutions from different disciplines. Each of these teachers has been exposed to new and exciting experiences. They’ve tested their boundaries, deliberately seeking out adventure and challenge. And by thinking and reflecting on what they have learnt, they have brought their knowledge and experience back to our School community and applied it in a different context.
An adult who is always learning, will raise young women who are always learning.
An adult who is adventurous, will raise young women to be adventurous.
An adult who is curious about life, will raise young women to be curious about life.
An adult who serves others and who seeks to be a voice for change, will raise young women to serve others and to be a voice for change.
There are a myriad of ways in which our teaching and professional services staff are working on themselves, on their professional expertise and on their discipline, all to be the best role models they can be for our students. This edition of Upon Reflection seeks to capture a little of the work that our staff do behind the scenes, and I commend it to you.
Dr Briony Scott