As Principal, I regularly meet with people, or tour the school, albeit with some adjustments and precautions due to the current circumstances. Overwhelmingly, the families I meet comment on the warm feeling and positive tone of the school so I thought this week would be a good opportunity to share some of the feedback I regularly receive:
Our girls are friendly, down-to-earth and welcoming. Students will call out a warm greeting and their interactions are always natural and unscripted. People comment on the authenticity of our girls and our school environment and state it is different to other schools.
The interactions we see in every classroom highlight how relationship driven we are. There we observe open dialogue, confident discussion and lots of smiles. Our students are always respectful, reflecting that their relationships with their teachers are underpinned by care, not control or fear.
I regularly receive comments about how quiet our school is, absent of yelling or sounds of disruption. This is very different from it being silent. Every classroom we enter or walk past is filled with talk – sounds of students collaborating, interacting, questioning and problem-solving. Student learning engagement is high and dialogue is natural, focussed and constructive.
Many visitors are also surprised at our size and the range of facilities – whilst a small school in terms of student numbers, our purpose-built learning spaces are spread over six hectares. Our classroom spaces are larger than average and furniture is used flexibly to support learning. Our primary classes all have a number of spaces or rooms, allowing the teachers to designate learning zones. It is easy to discuss differentiation and explain how learning occurs in specifically designated areas when parents can see the spaces before them. We are also blessed with purpose-built specialty areas – our drama spaces, dance studio, art room and music spaces showcase the rich learning that occurs.
One of my favourite Girls Grammar qualities is the confidence of our girls and it highlights one of the greatest advantages of being at a girls’ school. Many girls know and understand that they can do anything. But girls’ schools build self-belief and self-confidence. Our girls engage in activities without fear, they speak confidently in front of their peers, they put forward opinions and they advocate for their needs. Visitors to our school sense this and comment on the difference they see in our girls.
Girls Grammar is a great school – we are blessed with caring staff, wonderful girls, and supportive parents. We have a Board who is dedicated to building on the school’s rich history. Our Old Girls are proud of their school and give back to the community in so many ways. It is an absolute pleasure to tell people about Girls Grammar and I relish every opportunity to showcase the opportunities and advantages of being a part of our community.
Soon, Stacey McCarthy and I will be undertaking some regional visits. On August 8th and 9th we will visit Moura, Biloela and Tannum Sands. On the weekend of 21st – 23rd August we will then visit Rolleston, Springsure and Emerald. We are looking forward to meeting our families and seeing some more of the hometowns and regions from which our girls come. Due to current restrictions, gathering sizes are limited but we are sure we will have a wonderful time with those who are able to join us.
Mrs Deanne Johnston