Lauriston Girls' School
|Lauriston Girls' School|
Latin: Sancte Sapienter Strenue
("Holiness, Wisdom, Strength")
|Armadale, Victoria, Australia|
|Type||Independent, Single-sex, Day school|
|Principal||Ms Susan Just|
|Colour(s)||Navy Blue and White|
|Slogan||"A school for life"|
Established in 1901, Lauriston has a non-selective enrolment policy and is co-educational for three-year-old and four year-old Kindergarten, and girls-only from Prep through to Year 12. The school currently caters for approximately 1040 students and offers the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and is also one of the few Victorian schools that offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) for the Year 11/12 students.
Lauriston is affiliated with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA), the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia (AGSA), the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria (AISV), and is a founding member of Girls Sport Victoria (GSV).
Lauriston's main campus is located in Armadale, seven kilometres from the Melbourne CBD. The Armadale campus is architecturally interesting as it comprises not only classic Victorian buildings (such as Montrose in the primary school area), but also newer buildings such as a science and technology center constructed from energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly materials. Years kindergarten through 12, excluding year 9, are educated at the Armadale campus.
The school has a rural campus for its year 9 students, known as 'Howqua', near the town of Mansfield in the Victorian highcountry. Attendance is compulsory for all year 9 students, with the girls spending the whole school year on the campus as full-time boarders. It is similar to 'Timbertop' run by Geelong Grammar School, but students generally take part in a wider range of outdoor activities. Students at Howqua participate in activities such as downhill and cross-country skiing, horse riding, solo camping, hiking, rafting, rock climbing and other outdoor recreational activities, culminating the year with a 6-day hike through Victoria's mountainous regions. Students also participate in a community service rotation during the winter term, which involves activities such as building tracks, planting trees, gardening, visiting residential homes, acting as assistant teachers in rural schools, and running their own radio station.
There are 10 houses, each able to hold 12 girls although generally holding 10. Each house has 12 beds, a bathroom, a kitchenette, dining/main area, wardrobe spaces, hike room, drying room and two balconies. The campus also offers a dining hall, a "dungeon" which doubles as a fire shelter, class rooms, Resource center/library, music rooms, health center, art center, dance studio and staff houses. The campus offers great running tracks such as the ring road, rainbow track, weir track (a 4 km run), lone pine (originally named Peg Slam J- using the letters of the girls names who built the track as part of their community service) and more. At the end of each term, a running challenge of 9.4 km is to be run in 1hr, called the Howqua River Road Challenge.
It began in 1993 and in 1997 it became compulsory for students to attend the Howqua campus for the duration of a full school year. Originally students stayed at Howqua for 1 semester only, now it is compulsory for them to stay the whole year.Girls return home once a term on exeats (3 to 5 days) and return home for term holidays, before departing for Howqua again.
The concept of Howqua is to help girls develop emotionally and physically independent of their family in a world without constant technology. Mobile phones and laptops are banned from use at Howqua and internet is also not allowed. It also aims to forge strong relationships between girls and social skills are greatly developed. All year-round Howqua girls are urged to push themselves to achieve their goals, strengthening their sense of self-determination. The year leads up to many major end-of-year challenges, inclusive of a highly anticipated 17.3km run from TBJ (Telephone Box Junction) on Mt Stirling to the summit, continuing onwards up Bourke St to summit of Mt Buller. Many girls look fondly over their memories of Howqua, as it is a very unique[clarification needed] and extraordinary experience.
In the 2006/2007 summer holidays, bushfires greatly threatened the Howqua Campus. The campus was also very threatened by fires and evacuated for the first time in early 2009.
The 10 houses are: Hollyer, Gillespie, Thompson, O'Brien, Fitz-Gibbon (Fitz), Wirringga, Arthur-Robinson (Arthur-Rob, A-Rob), Cramond, Mirrabooka (Mirra) and Kirkpatrick (Kirk).
The Lauriston curriculum is managed within five learning areas, based on the developmental stages of children and adolescents.
- Kindergarten: 3 and 4 Year Old
- Junior School: Transition Prep to Year 6
- 7/8 Centre: Year 7 and 8
- Howqua: Year 9
- Senior College: Year 10, 11 and 12
Upon graduation, Lauriston students typically achieve high Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) and International Baccalaureate (IB) scores. In 2010, 13% of students received an ATAR of 99 or over, 36% achieved 95 or over, and 49% of students received ATAR scores of 90 or over.
Lauriston's music program caters for students from Prep to year 12, and offers a number of choral and instrumental ensembles, including bands and orchestras. Annually, there are approximately twenty-five performance occasions, including the 'Annual School Concert', and a combined concert with Xavier College.
From Years 3 and 4, a compulsory string orchestra group is formed. Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass is assigned to them.
Lauriston also stages one Musical and one Play each year, one for students in years 5 to 8 and another for years 10 to 12. Recent performances include Little shop of horrors and The tree, a play written by the students from 5-8.
Lauriston offers over 20 sports, which may be played at both competitive and recreational level. The school is an inaugural member of Girls Sport Victoria (GSV), which is an association of 24 similar type girls' schools throughout Melbourne. Through GSV, students in years 7 to 12 may compete at an inter-school level in Athletics, Basketball, Cricket, Cross Country, Diving, Golf, Hockey, Indoor Cricket, Netball, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball and Water Polo.
2009/2010 rowing season: The Lauriston senior first IV won the Victorian State Championships, the Australian National Championships and the Head of the Schoolgirls regatta. This is the first time since 1998 that all three major titles have been won by a single LGS crew, and only the second time in Lauriston history.
At the 2010 HOSG the LGS senior crews won Div 1 schoolgirl IV - first IV Div 2 schoolgirl IV - second IV Div 3 schoolgirl IV - third IV
Unfortunately, Lauriston Girl School rarely competes in VIII’s, which is where the competition is based in senior level of rowing in Australia. This is said to be one of the reasons why they are so successful in IV’s, although like any rower these girls train extremely hard for these impressive and rewarding results.
Alumnae of Lauriston Girls' School are known as 'Old Lauristonians', and may elect to join the school's alumni association, the 'Old Lauristonian Association' (OLA). Some notable 'Old Lauristonians' include:
- Hildred Mary Butler - Microbiologist
- Deborah Conway - Singer 
- Esme Mary Sorrett (Molly) Fink - Rani of Pudukota (wife of Marthanda Bhairava Tondiman, rajah of the southern India principality of Pudukota)
- Chloe Hooper - Writer and novelist
- Sybil Howy Irving MBE - Founder and controller of the Australian Women's Army Service
- Felicity Kennett - Former presenter of Network Ten TV lifestyle program Healthy, Wealthy and Wise; Wife of former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett
- Poppy King - Businesswoman; Young Australian of the Year 1995 (also attended Wesley College, Melbourne)
- Elizabeth Kilgour Kirkhope - Former headmistress of Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School; Former owner and headmistress of Lauriston Girls' School (Dux & Head Prefect 1914)
- Kit Willow Mitchelmore - Fashion designer
- Livinia Nixon - Channel 9 presenter and the Ambassador and face for the City of Melbourne
- Heli Simpson - Actress. The Saddle Club
- Fiona Stewart - Founder NotGoodEnough.org and partner of Philip Nitschke
- Kathleen Alice Syme - Journalist, company director and welfare worker
- Jessie Vasey - Founder of the War Widows' Guild of Australia (also attended Methodist Ladies' College, Melbourne)
- C. Rasmussen, Lauriston: 100 years of Educating Girls, The Helicon Press, Sydney 1999
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