Last week, as I met with girls throughout the Senior campus, I came upon the practice rooms of our Music 1 HSC students and was treated to some wonderful recitals as the girls prepared for their assessment block.

Maja played one of her pieces on the harp, A Minstrel’s Adieu to his Native Land; Yige gave an inspired rendition of a Chinese folk song on our grand piano; Rebecca sang her chosen work, and Sky and Caitlyn delighted us with their songs from various musicals. It was enchanting! The girls were generous in sharing their music with me.

Next I wandered into a Year 7 Technology class, as they were preparing to make wooden pin machines, followed by the Year 7 Food Technology class. Here there was much excitement as aprons were being put on for the baking of scones. As I left to continue on my travels to more classes, I cheekily asked the girls to save some for me. When I returned to the office, I was completely surprised by a plate of hot scones, jam and cream. This was an incredible act of kindness and truly delicious!

Dr Emma Burgess
Dr Emma Burgess

This week I caught up with Year 12 girls in the locker area as they grabbed their books, laptop and essentials for learning or their study session. The girls talked about the huge week of assessments and the big day they had the day before, particularly with both English and Maths exams.

Sophie shared about the incredible act of kindness from Year 11 that had buoyed her and her friend’s spirits. Interested to hear more, I found that the Year 11 Ut Prosim Leaders had spent a number of weeks planning and arranging two wonderful acts of service to encourage the Year 12 students, knowing that their assessment block was coming.

First, they had organised for every student from Year 7 to 11 to write personal letters of encouragement to the Year 12 students. Second, the Year 11 Prefects had made special examination survival-kits for each girl to accompany the letter.

The girls described how these packages of love and care were hand-delivered during lunch time. They shared how it made them feel - supported, inspired and able to keep going.

These examples are an insight into how the ideal of service is fundamental to learning and empowering girls at Danebank.

As I reflected on this, I was reminded of the strength of our school motto, Ut Prosim That I may serve. Our motto was chosen by Miss Edith Roseby Ball as she founded and established the School. Her aspiration was to create a fine Christian girls’ school that would prepare girls for life, a life of service.

To her, and now to us, the motto expresses the Christian view that God has created us to serve Him and each other.