Last Saturday, Girls Grammar hosted a high tea to celebrate Mother’s Day and it was wonderful to see so many of our girls in attendance with their mothers, grandmothers, aunts and so many other special women in their lives. Mother’s Day is a special time of year. It’s when we get to celebrate the first person who felt our presence, the first person who loved us, the first person we loved. It’s the person we’ve turned to countless times for advice or for a sympathetic ear when something has upset us. Mother’s Day is also a great time to show our love for all the other wonderful women in our lives who have built us up, challenged us, and made us better versions of ourselves.
I would like to thank all our mothers, grandmothers and female role models for the significant role you play in the lives of our girls and young women. I also add my thanks to all the fathers, grandfathers and important men in our girls’ lives. By having strong mentors and role models in their lives, our girls grow up knowing that they have people who believe in them, support them and encourage them. By having trusted, secure relationships, our girls build the confidence to believe in themselves, to dream big and to pursue every opportunity. They grow up knowing that they are amazing, strong women who can achieve anything. Girls having this belief is so important, not just for themselves but for our community, our society and our nation. I thank you for all you do to love and empower girls.
As I write this, our Year 8s and Year 11s are on their camps, with the Year 8s travelling to the Kinchant Outdoor Education Centre, near Mackay, and the Year 11s staying at The Caves for their leadership program.
Research clearly pinpoints that camps provide opportunities, benefits and impacts that cannot be achieved in any other educational context or setting. By attending camps, students feel increased connections with their peers, teachers and school. Camps help build relationships, resilience and self-reflection. They also help students to step outside of their comfort zone and enter their courage zone, which is where new skills are developed.
Our Year 8 camp provided students with a range of programs and activities which reinforce Australian Curriculum skills, and promote teamwork, leadership and resilience. Students engaged in activities such as high ropes, adventure games, raft building and team challenges that allowed them to collaborate and think critically to problem solve.
The focus of our Year 11 camp is to build trust, leadership, cooperation and initiative in a safe and supportive environment. It promotes lateral thinking and team dynamics that play a key part in developing leadership. I must commend our Year 11 students for their positive and thoughtful contributions and engagement. The range of activities provided a balance between building theoretical understandings and developing leadership skills through team and individual challenges, including rock climbing, adventure caving and initiative games. Perhaps the most powerful aspect of the camp was the self-reflection on leadership and responsibility, an important process as the girls prepare to commence their role as senior leaders later this year.
Reports are that our students and staff have had a lot of fun on their camps this week. By engaging in activities together, they build their connections and understanding of each other. The enhanced relationships reap benefits in the classroom where our students feel known, supported and cared for.
I would like to thank all our staff for planning and delivering such important camp programs for our girls and for giving up time with their own families to attend the camps.
More information on our School’s camp program is available at https://www.rggs.qld.edu.au/policies-standards
This week our Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 students sat the suite of NAPLAN tests. This can be stressful for some students and I would like to congratulate our girls on their positivity and cooperation. The data the school will receive later in the year will allow us to review and further develop our programs. Dr Fry writes about the school’s approach to NAPLAN in his article this week. I would like to thank him and our classroom teachers for administering this national assessment.