Dear Parents and Friends,
It is with great delight that I congratulate our two students Shamiso, (Year 6) and Allegra, (Year 3) for their outstanding performance in last Friday’s final of the Public Speaking Competition held at Parliament House. Both girls were poised and articulate and confidently presented their speeches with great passion and conviction and were awarded certificates of merit, which is a wonderful achievement. A very shiny trophy was also awarded to Shamiso for being the runners up in the senior division. The girls have made us very proud and we encourage them to continue with their participation in such important learning opportunities where they can be successful and happy with their pursuits.
I often hear parents call for their children to be happy, healthy and successful and so was interested in the recently published research of Dr Michele Borba who has identified a 40% drop in empathy over the last 30 years and a growing trend of anxiety and depression, especially in high achieving students from affluent backgrounds. Dr Borba argues convincingly that by focusing on growing our children’s moral compass, we not only enable them to be more empathic, kind and socially connected, but also able to achieve enhanced academic outcomes. Her research sees empathy as the bedrock to building skills in collaboration, negotiation, problem solving and critical and creative thinking. Borba brings a growth mindset to this concept of empathy building and demonstrates repeatedly how empathy is a skill that can be grown.
Through our Religious Education Program To Know Worship and Love, and our Bounceback Program for building these social skills there is much that we are doing here at St Mary’s School to grow empathy through our reflections of our Liturgies and prayers and through service learning projects. Next Friday, August 17, our SRC, under the initiative of our Year 2 classes will be demonstrating their empathy for the drought victims through a fundraiser called A Fiver for a Farmer. You will see the details in our newsletter so we encourage you to support our children for their social awareness and generosity. Well done SRC and Year 2!
For those parents who are interested in reading the research of Dr Borba please find the following details.
Unselfie..Why Empathetic Kids Succeed In Our All-About-Me World. Michelle Borba, Ed.D.
I wish you all a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.