Fabulous to see photos of the Grade 6, 7 and 8 students this week, relaxed and happy amidst the most stunning natural splendour of the Swiss Alps (Grades 6 and 8) and the Ardèche (Grade 7). The Middle School students are out and about as part of their extended curriculum which has taken them outside the classroom, an opportunity to explore, face challenge in a new environment and learn more about themselves and each other. Even the mountain goats ‘photobombing’ the Grade 6 students look as though they would like to join in!

Extending the curriculum with opportunities like this is a fabulous commitment to our philisophy of a holistic education; of course, there will always be a place for traditional classroom learning, writing, revision and tests, but in order to really grow as a person and as a human being, there is nothing like a week in the great outdoors to build character, resilience and friendship. Resonances abound with our core values of trust, respect and companionship.

My week has also taken me into new, uncharted territory  with visits to two ambassadorial events. Yesterday evening I was at the American Embassy for the welcome to the new ambassador, Ronald Gidwitz, and today I attended a lunchtime reception at the Indonesian residence to celebrate the country’s National Day. Aside from the fact that it was fascinating to get a glimpse into the world of the foreign diplomat (they eat well!), it was also brilliant to circulate, meet new people and make contacts; almost everyone I spoke to either had a child at St John’s or knew someone who did, which is a real testament to the international reach and reputation that we have.

So as the end of the week approaches, we look forward to seeing our own Grade 8’er returning home from Switzerland, surely full of tales from her adventures and without doubt, bringing me a huge bagful of laundry.  After my week of rubbing shoulders with ambassadors and CEO’s, a little domestic reality to keep me grounded!


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