From The Arts, to Show Team, sporting endeavours and school camps, academic achievements and recognition of hard work and improvement, this is what was acknowledged and celebrated at this week’s primary and secondary assemblies. It is the diversity in skills, personal development and achievements that we honour in our students that makes Girls Grammar unique. In addition to the girls, I must acknowledge our staff in their level of commitment, passion and skill that lead them to victory in this week’s annual Staff vs Year 12 Netball match. It was impressive and entertaining viewing and the challenge has already been set for next year’s seniors to commence training early!
With the announcement of our 2023 Prefects on the final day of Term 3, the transition in leadership roles and responsibilities has already commenced. Ms Kelly and I met with our incoming Prefects on Monday to commence the planning and preparations for the remaining events and activities throughout Term 4 and into the start of next year.
This week, students have been informed about two new lunch times initiatives that have commenced. You can read about the Reflective Thinking Room for secondary students in Ms Kelly’s Deputy Principal - Students newsletter article, and the other initiative is the Chill In Room for students in Years 2-12.
Many of our girls, have already learnt about the benefits of self-regulation and how important it is to be in a relaxed and calm state in order to learn or engage with those around them. Last year students completed Ready to Learn Plans where they identified situations that may make them feel stressed, or unable to focus. In these plans, the girls identified signs in their body and the reactions they might have when feeling this way, while noting the strategies they can use to help calm their body or self-regulate. Many of our girls understand the importance of being in a calm, relaxed state because when we aren’t, we are unable to engage with people around us and are unable to focus 100% on our learning.
Our staff at Girls Grammar have been engaging in professional learning on the brain and neuroscience in providing optimal conditions for students to learn. They do such a wonderful job in supporting individual students with their learning needs and social emotional development. They know that every girl is unique with diverse needs and abilities and they provide support, where possible in the classroom, when they may be worried, upset, feeling overwhelmed or need some quiet time away from stimulation.
At lunch times though it can be hard for some of our girls to navigate the outdoor unstructured activities and other students in the playground. This is why we have brought in our new The Chill In Space, to give our girls the option to play somewhere inside where it is quieter with the option to play board games or activities individually, in a small group with like-minded peers or with the teacher on duty. It’s a safe space available for girls in Year 2-12 to attend if they feel like some time away from others, if they are feeling a little down, or just want someone to have a quiet chat with.
This inclusive space will be open every lunch break in the Discovery Centre next to Mrs Bennett’s Year 2 classroom. Ms Kelly, our Deputy Principal - Students, Miss Tamara, our School Counsellor, and Mrs Embrey, our Learning Enhancement Coordinator will be on duty and available for students to chat to if they wish. We hope that this provides an alternative for some of our girls and reflects our ongoing commitment to positive mental health and social emotional wellbeing for our girls.