Torch - Fall 2015

Left: Middle School Costa Rica excursion; Top Right: Middle School CAIS Leadership Retreat; Bottom Right: Senior School Nicaragua excursion

leading moments are characterized by surprise and uncertainty, when it’s hard to predict what’s coming next or know what direction to take. Even disagreement in the face of options allows our students to debate and debrief the merits of each choice. Havergal’s classrooms are places of inquiry, exploration and curiosity, but, as in any school, the day is highly structured and there is a degree of predictability in how the days unfold. The dynamics of a group change off-campus when girls are exposed to many different and new situations. The opportunity to experience a more fluid and open-ended environment is invaluable in cultivating real-life skills beyond the classroom. There are a wide range of excursions available at Havergal, including one-day field trips, partnership experiences such as ArtHeart and Best Buddies, grade-wide outings like the Grade 5 trip to Algonquin Provincial Park and the Grade 8 trip to Saint-Donat and the numerous trips on offer through the Institute at Havergal’s Global Experience Program in the Middle and Senior Schools.

We build excursions that offer our students opportunities to work within a group, to articulate a position in the face of conflicting values, to influence others toward a solution and to show strength and insight by following through on a commitment. In essence, our excursions allow each girl to explore questions about her own power and authority in a world where change is the only constant. We want our girls to ask themselves questions such as “What does my voice sound like when I lead? What kind of leader am I? What is leadership to me? What does leading by example or by direction look like when I do it?” To achieve this goal, we create off-campus opportunities for our students to lead—times when the right thing to do or the best direction to take is less certain than it may be in the classroom, which is a place fixed in space and time. Excursions offer so many less defined moments: moments that are unscripted and open-ended, or moments when a student can influence the way that the activity unfolds, either in a high-profile role or by quietly ensuring that the group remains focused on its goals. Excursions provide the right age-appropriate opportunities for each girl to find her way when she’s a little off balance, unsure or surprised by her environment. Some of the greatest learning and



Made with FlippingBook. PDF to flipbook with ease