Torch - Fall 2013


Whole Girl , Whole School By Leslie Anne Dexter & Dr. Michael Simmonds

T he Junior and Upper Schools at Havergal College are connected by more than a bridge that crosses a ravine. The schools are united by a common mission of preparing young women to make a difference. With this in mind, we decided to co-author a single message for this issue of The Torch because it underscores the interdependence of our respective schools to instill in every girl an empowering belief that anything is possible. This Whole Girl, Whole School approach begins in Junior Kindergarten and continues through Grade 12. While the developmental needs of Junior School students differ from their Middle and Senior School counterparts, the Whole Girl, Whole School focus enables students at every age to engage, not only with trusted adults, but also with local and global communities. Take for example the Institute at Havergal—at its core, the Institute builds capability in students of every grade through group- and

team-based problem-solving methods that promote dialogue and critical thinking. As importantly, Junior and Upper School students know where to go to discuss (and act upon) their ideas. Student-led initiatives are supported by our new guidebook, Ready, Set, Dream: Thinking Your Ideas to Action , which helps girls translate their ideas into action in the Junior School’s Learning Hub or the Upper School’s Forum for Change. The guidebook was co-created by Old Girl Alex Medline 2011 and the Institute team. More evidence of our whole school collaboration can be found in the professional growth initiative that was developed by JK to Grade 12 teachers. Last year, a team of teachers from both schools worked closely with the Director of Curriculum & Faculty Development, Seonaid Davis, to establish a best-practice approach to professional growth. What emerged was a framework for professional learning that was common to teachers at every grade

Leslie Anne Dexter, Head of Junior School, and Dr. Michael Simmonds, Head of Upper School


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