Mrs Chilton
Head of Student Wellbeing

Prefect Theme 2023 – ‘With Spirit’

This week, in Assembly, the Prefects launched their theme for 2023. After much thoughtful deliberation, the chosen theme is ‘With Spirit’.

On their recent leadership retreat, the girls reflected on the ‘flattening’ impact that the last few years have had on moments of joy and celebration. As we move on from the ‘pandemic season’, the Prefect body wants to bring back these moments of joy, fun and spontaneity to the School community. The theme is also tied to our Christian mission as a school: we provide opportunities for every girl at Meriden to reflect on gospel and consider how it might shape their lives. We are looking forward to seeing what fun the Prefects have in store in 2023!



As we head into the examination period for Years 7-10, and the start of HSC assessments for Year 11, many girls will slip into patterns of poor sleep. This is ultimately detrimental to their learning but, more importantly, their physical health. At Meriden, we recommend that girls get a minimum of eight hours of sleep a night, in line with sleep research. Alarmingly, this research suggests that seventy per cent of teenagers are not getting enough sleep. While the message about sleep is one that we regularly convey to the girls, sometimes, despite our (and their parents!) best intentions, there are things that get in the way of good sleep:

  • Irregular weekly bedtimes and weekend sleep-ins: This confuses the body clock. Sleeping-in, particularly on Sunday, starts the school week off on a bad note
  • Sensory overload/multitasking: Flicking between homework, technology and other activities creates a ‘wired’ inefficient brain that finds it hard to wind down and go to sleep
  • Electronic devices too close to bedtime and/or during the night: The blue light emitted from the devices inhibits the hormone melatonin that helps us sleep. Adding to this, the device content excites the brain making it hard to go to sleep
  • Studying too late: Tired brains are slow and inefficient. This creates the cycle of taking longer to do homework, which delays bedtime further
  • Exercise too close to bedtime raises body temperature and cortisol levels, making it harder for some people to fall asleep soon afterwards
  • Poor bed association: Using technology in bed, for example, leads to mixed messages to the brain, muddling the association that bed is for restful sleep
  • Stimulant use: Caffeine, energy drinks, alcohol, drugs all impact on sleep quality


Lisa Maltman, The Sleep Connection, ‘Sleep Thieves: Why Are Children & Teenagers Tired?’


If you are concerned about your daughter’s sleep habits, please have a conversation with her Year Coordinator to explore what changes are possible to aid her sleep. There are also a number of helpful tips and strategies (which we include in our pastoral programs) that can be found here at The Sleep Connection website.