Schools are built on connections and relationships, with strong communities underpinned by a commitment to care for all. I believe this is one of Girls Grammar’s strengths. By committing to a partnership of care with our parents, we build strong relationships, and this brings many benefits to students, socially, emotionally and academically.
Building any relationship requires time, commitment and involvement, which can be a challenge in the busyness of life. But it is worth the investment as, when schools and parents have a strong and respectful relationship, it is easier for the school to learn and understand the information needed to facilitate the best outcomes for students.
The best way to build connections is to have regular contact with the school so that relationships are built over time. This facilitates mutual trust and respect so that if problems arise, everyone can work together to find solutions.
Parents can build relationships with Girls Grammar in several ways:
If you are able, attend school events which provide an opportunity for informal chats. Parents are welcome to attend assemblies, our P&F hosts a meet and greet once a term, and we have a number of functions calendared throughout the year.
Make contact with teachers via email or phone or have a chat with a teacher at drop-off or pick-up times. Please contact us before problems arise if there is information that would help us to support your daughters.
Attend our Feedback Conversations or parent meetings. For parents who can’t attend in person, we are happy to set up meetings via TEAMs. Encourage your daughters to attend these with you to make the most of the feedback that can be shared through the conversation.
Stay informed by reading the school’s weekly newsletter communications. Emails are also sent to all families when there are important announcements, such as when we updated our policies last week or when we have staff or program changes. Boarding families receive emails and updates from the Head of Boarding and many classroom teachers also send a weekly update. Please let us know if we don’t have your up-to-date email address to ensure you don’t miss any important information.
Our Facebook page also provides regular updates on the activities occurring within our community, as well as notices about upcoming events, such as next month’s Long Lunch. Throughout the year, the school is planning to hold parent seminars on a range of topics, and these will be communicated via email and on Facebook.
The following website has further information about how schools and parents can build relationships https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/school-learning/working-with-schools-teachers/relationship-with-school
Due to work and family commitments or the challenges of distance, we understand that not every parent is in a position to spend time at school. However, I would like to say thank you to all our parents and members of our school community for the connections that have been built, whether they are in person or via other means of communication. I also appreciate having so many individuals who are able to spend time in our community, who are able to volunteer or offer their time, who invest in building relationships with staff and who proactively work with us to provide their daughters with a quality education experience.
Parent Social Events
My thanks to our P&F for hosting this week’s parent meet and greet and to those parents who were able to join us for coffee, cake and conversation. All parents and friends are welcome to join us for our coffee mornings, providing a good opportunity to meet members of the P&F Committee and to have informal chats with the School Executive. A P&F meet and greet is scheduled every term – please see our school calendar for next term’s dates.
Another key event currently being organised by members of the P&F is the Girls Grammar inaugural Long Lunch. We are looking forward to coming together on Sunday 21 March for a wonderful lunch catered by Whisk Yeppoon and a relaxing afternoon of conversation, laughter and entertainment by Aria Top 40 Artist and Old Girl Camille Trail.
I would like to thank our P&F Long Lunch Committee, Rachel Hinton, Stacey Graham-Hohn and Liz Curtis for all their hard work – from everything they have planned, it is going to be a fantastic day! The Long Lunch is almost sold out so please contact our Community and Liaison Officer, Rachel Hinton, on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to purchase one of the last remaining tickets.
Teacher Professional Development
This week, teachers Gabriel Nader, Katelyn Schultz and I participated in the first meeting of the 2020 Teacher Growth and Development Program, run by Independent Schools Queensland. The program exists to support schools to investigate and implement evidence-based practices to improve student outcomes. Underpinning the program is the belief that every student matters and student outcomes improve when there is quality teaching and learning occurring in every classroom.
Over the next two years we will be working with ISQ to reflect on our current practices and learn how to further build on our current teacher professional development framework. This will require us to examine the multiple and complex layers that contribute to student learning as well as examine quality teaching practices that positively affect student outcomes. Given that “the quality of teachers is one of the most important influences on how much children and young people learn at school” (Wiliam, 2016), this is a program we are excited to engage with and we look forward to sharing more of our learnings as the program unfolds.
Our capital works projects are continuing to go well. This week our new kitchen cabinetry was installed in the CAB and we anticipate this project will be completed on time, ready for our Food classes to commence in Term 2.
Our primary students in particular enjoyed watching the large crane lifting roofs onto the CAB earlier in the week. The building crew managed to time the replacement of the CAB roof for Monday and Tuesday – right as the 41 degree heat hit!
The Paterson House hallway has now been repainted and is looking fresh, light and inviting with its new coat of paint. This will be turned into an Old Girls Hall of Fame and we are commencing conversations with our Old Girls Association about their vision for showcasing the many successes of our Alum.
Year 10 Camp
Currently our Year 10s are on camp at Yeppoon’s PCYC. The focus of the camp is to help students transition into the senior phase of learning and support them to understand and prepare for the journey ahead over the next three years. Through presentations from key staff, as well as Elevate, students are being provided with strategies that will help them to maximise successful outcomes for their graduation in 2023.
My thanks to Deputy Principal-Students Kara Krehlik and teacher Veronica Miller-Waugh for coordinating and attending the camp and to Deputy Principal-Studies, John Fry, for running sessions for the girls.
Years 1 to 4 Swimming Carnival
All and all, it has been another very busy but rewarding week at Girls Grammar which will conclude with a Years 1 to 5 swimming carnival tomorrow. Our primary girls are very excited about the opportunity to catch up on the carnival they missed last year while our pool was out of action. With this week’s hot weather, I am sure they will have a great morning of fun and friendly House competition.
Congratulations to Williams House for winning last week’s secondary carnival and Smith House for winning the Spirit Award.