Small schools are becoming a bigger part of Queensland’s independent schooling sector, making up 39% of independent schools across the state.
With over 300 students from P-12, Girls Grammar is technically no longer classified a small school. Nonetheless we are a school that is ‘small by design’. Our educational philosophy includes a strong focus on the individual and on emphasising community. Our student numbers will always be purposely kept low.
There are many benefits to being a small school, including the ability to support the development of every student – academically, physically and emotionally. The culture of small schools typically revolves around hard work, high aspirations, respect for self and others, belongingness, and the expectation that all students will succeed.
Girls Grammar is a good example of this. Typically, we have smaller classes and lower teacher-student ratios than larger schools, supporting a more targeted focus on every girl, improved instructional quality and academic success. Students have a close working relationship with their teachers, facilitating understanding of each student which provides greater opportunities to delve deeper into the curriculum and move through it at a pace that suits the learners. The smaller size of classes can also make participation less daunting, encouraging student engagement.
Research shows that in small schools, relationships between students and adults are strong and ongoing. This is the case at Girls Grammar which has a caring and inclusive culture. Students feel accepted and safe as they are known by all our staff, in and outside of the classroom. As they are known, students are less likely to slip through the cracks.
Being a small school is also central to the building and maintaining of connection, relationships and community. At Girls Grammar, we are committed to finding ways for our parents to engage in the school and in their daughters’ learning. It has been wonderful in 2021 to see so many parents back at school events. In addition to our open invitation to assemblies and P&F Meet and Greet mornings, next week we will welcome parents to our Cross Country, our Primary Breakfast, Easter Bonnet Parade and Learning Conversations.
Our sense of community extends to past parents, Old Girls and other individuals who have a connection with the school. Community events allow us to come together to celebrate the school and its unique culture. A good example of this was last weekend’s Long Lunch. Held at the Robert Schwarten Pavilion, Rockhampton Girls Grammar School’s inaugural Long Lunch welcomed over 230 people. The guests included current and past parents, Old Girls, current and past staff as well as friends and supporters of the school. Attendees enjoyed a three-course meal, catered by Whisk Yeppoon, and entertainment by Camille Trail, a very talented singer songwriter who graduated from Rockhampton Girls Grammar School in 2015.
It was a wonderful community afternoon for the Girls Grammar community, providing a great opportunity for everyone to relax, catch up with friends, and share stories and memories of Girls Grammar. I would like to thank the P&F Association for their support and Committee members Rachel Hinton, Stacey Graham-Hohn and Liz Curtis for all their work and organization.
There are many benefits to being a small school. Small schools are conducive to individual care without sacrificing academic success. They also offer an environment that fosters empathy, connection and positive wellbeing. Girls Grammar is proud to be a small all-girls’ school and committed to building on its history of providing an educational environment unlike any other school in Central Queensland.