The value of pressing pause

Karen Mahar

By Karen Mahar, Assistant Principal, Deputy Head of Junior School

As we approach the end of the school year, many of us are working our way through the busyness that this time of the year demands; completing and finalising tasks, marking assessments, and writing up learning summaries.

At this time of year, it seems appropriate to consider the immense value of pausing.

Pausing allows reflection, which is an essential part of any learning process. It enables a deeper and more thorough appreciation of lessons learned and the potential for greater connections to other learnings and, in doing so, a greater opportunity to gain contentment from these achievements.

Reflection can be an empowering process.

Some of the reasons people are encouraged to pause and reflect include:

  • To help form a better understanding of critical variables influencing the unfolding of your day, week and/or year;
  • To better evaluate what has been accomplished and celebrate the learning journey experienced;
  • To celebrate success and revel in the delights offered by any achievements;
  • To identify and learn from mistakes; and
  • To plan for next steps with more confidence.

Developing a habit of reflection can be an empowering process. It can be calming, reassuring and often proves to be stabilising. Reflection enables a greater appreciation of lessons learned and the potential for increased contentment derived from any personal or shared achievements.

This month, Year 12 students are participating and engaging in milestone events associated with the culmination of their time as a Radford student. This is an ideal opportunity for our community to reflect and highlight what we value. These aspiring adults are ready to transition into life after school.

In Week 4, many Year 12 students visited the Junior School. Doing so reminded us that many people in the Radford ‘village’ are involved in the education process of our students and contribute to varying degrees of each students’ learning journey. This event presented many opportunities for staff and students to rekindle memories of times spent in the Junior School and relive past moments. Collectively and collaboratively, they shared significant stories of their experiences in the Junior School.

Year 12 students Sam Lloyd, Chris Bush, Callum Sharma and Aaren Nikolovski return to the Junior School. Credit: Alan Lee

Avenue of Honour

All students and staff gathered on Tuesday for a wonderful College tradition - acknowledging and cheering Year 12 students as they depart their final chapel service and prepare to leave the College.

Surely it is one of life’s greatest wonders that these previously ‘little people’ - who once zestfully jogged off to join their friends or sometimes cried as they struggled to leave a parent in the family car - are now young adults, brimming with confidence and unfulfilled dreams, who will stand before us at their graduation later this week!

So, as the school year wraps up and the summer holiday break approaches, we are encouraged to intentionally take time to pause, reflect, and enjoy. Removing ourselves from the constant hustle and pace of everyday life can be rewarding, allowing reflection and opportunity to rejuvenate and recalibrate.

Families are encouraged to pay attention and look out for moments of joy, awe and any kindness encountered. Pause, enjoy, and hold them close to your heart.

As the Foo Fighters sing proudly, “It’s times like these we learn to live again.”

Year 12 students walking the Avenue of Honour.