As one of Queensland’s eight Grammar schools, Rockhampton Girls Grammar School is also one of the oldest schools within Queensland’s independent system. Next year we will celebrate 130 years of providing quality education to girls, of encouraging girls to pursue their dreams, of growing their leadership and empowering them with the skills and confidence to be capable, ethical young women who lead full and rewarding lives beyond their schooling years.
When you consider the thousands of students who have studied and lived within Paterson House, or any of our school’s many buildings, the families who have walked through Girls Grammar’s gates, or the many individuals who have supported the school in so many ways, there are so many experiences, stories and memories that highlight community pride and connection. This sense of pride is clear when Old Girls talk about their time at the school, it is evident when we gather on assembly to acknowledge the wonderful achievements of our students, and it is tangible when we gather together in celebration of our community, particularly at our annual Speech Night.
School pride can be displayed in many ways, but it usually reflects a feeling of strong connection to the school or being proud to represent the school and the values it stands for. What is clear is that schools with a strong sense of pride are obvious as soon as you walk in the school gates.
School pride also gives students a sense of ownership which has flow on effects leading to many positive behaviours. For example, a white paper published in the United States, found that 'Students with school spirit do more than show support for their school. They perform better academically, are more socially and civically engaged, and are happier in general than their less-spirited peers. What’s more, the majority of principals (92%) feel that high school spirit is tied to high student achievement.'
Students with strong school pride were found to be more involved in school activities, resulting in a strong sense of efficacy, increased desire to pursue and accept opportunities available at school and a desire to make the most of their schooling experience.
School pride is also linked with general happiness. Students with strong school pride are substantially more likely to say they felt happy, to promote positivity, to show empathy and compassion and to show responsibility. This goes hand in hand with building strong long-lasting friendships, developing good self-esteem and growing in confidence.
School pride has ongoing benefits after finishing school. The research highlighted a connection between school pride and students’ abilities to learn and grow after they have graduated from school. This was related to increased self-esteem, greater participation in service and community projects and leadership in a range of settings.
How can we work together to promote school pride at Girls Grammar?
School spirit builds when students, parents, teachers and administrators work together to build a sense of community, to promote the positives and to drive a sense of pride in the school. As a community, there are many things we can do to encourage and promote Girls Grammar pride.
Celebrate our history
As one of Queensland’s oldest schools, our history is worth celebrating. From its first days, the school has been led by people who believe strongly in the value and importance of educating girls and women, of empowering them with self-belief and self-confidence and of connecting them with peers, past students and our community. Our many traditions celebrate that history, reminding us of those who have fought through adversity and challenges, to appreciate the history whilst looking to the future to ensure our girls are prepared with the strong learning foundations and personal capabilities they need to engage effectively in what is our increasingly complex world.
Encourage student involvement
Girls Grammar offers a very diverse range of cocurricular activities, including sports, clubs, competitions and community events. Students with higher levels of school spirit are more likely to be involved in school activities. Involvement in a range of activities not only provides an opportunity to show school pride, it fosters friendships and helps students feel connected with and involved in their school. It gives students an opportunity to give back to their community, to show they care and to make a difference to their peers and their school.
Actively involved parents raise more involved students which builds school pride, through a shared experience of supporting the school. However, when parents are engaged in their child’s school it can also have academic benefits, including higher retention and graduation rates, enhanced cognitive development and academic achievement and higher motivation and greater ability. There are numerous ways parents can be engaged at Girls Grammar including through involvement in the P&F meetings, attendance at meet and greet mornings (advertised on the calendar), support for girls when they are competing, performing or getting awards on assemblies, volunteering in the school and attending key school and community events.
Encourage girls to wear their uniforms correctly
Students with a strong sense of pride wear their uniform well. Wearing the Girls Grammar uniform is a badge of pride. It is a symbol of our community and part of the proud tradition of Rockhampton Girls Grammar School. Our uniform helps to create the Girls Grammar identity and is an important part of being a Girls Grammar girl. Wearing the uniform correctly is a sign of respect to the school and to the values of the school.
Our Uniform Policy, available on the school’s website, outlines the correct school uniform. Whenever students are wearing Girls Grammar uniform, it should be worn perfectly to reflect the pride they take in identifying themselves as a member of our school community. After school, students should change completely out of their uniform in preference to mixing and matching items of uniform or wearing non-uniform items with the school uniform. This includes when students are on school grounds after school, when they are off campus (e.g. after school) or any time (except in their own home).
At Girls Grammar, we like to acknowledge, congratulate and celebrate our students’ successes. Our assemblies promote sporting, cultural and academic achievements and we also use social media, particularly Facebook, and our publications to share accomplishments with our students, parents and wider community, including our Old Girls, who love to see current students excelling. Please send us information about your daughter’s successes, particularly if they are in sports and areas outside of the Girls Grammar program. Please also read our newsletters and publications, and join us on Facebook, so we can celebrate together.
The provision of encouragement and a study environment conducive to learning supports students to develop positive attitudes towards study. This can lead to improved results, which builds confidence and the emotion of pride from personal achievement. This pride heightens when students are acknowledged on one of our assemblies or through a one-on-one academic conversation with a Care teacher. By working together to encourage good scholarship, and acknowledge growth and achievement, we can foster a desire to keep improving and build a sense of satisfaction, connection and enjoyment of school, all of which contribute to a culture of school pride.
Building school pride is most effective when all stakeholders are involved in practices that create, engage and retain school spirit. Providing a culture of pride, achievement and determination is a very important contribution that we can all make to our 130-year history. Girls Grammar is a wonderful school. I am proud of our girls and I know that they are proud of their school. We have a great history and a bright future, and I thank every member of our community for the Girls Grammar pride they show and share.
Varsity Brands White Paper 'School Spirit: the Connection between Student Achievement, Involvement and Confidence' https://files.varsity.com/publications/varsity-brands-white-paper/assets/common/downloads/publication.pdf