Welcome back to a new academic year and the first newsletter of 2024. This year our newsletter will be emailed, and articles posted to our School’s website fortnightly rather than weekly. What’s On will remain a weekly publication where you will be able to see a snapshot of all events and school activities occurring throughout the week, and as always, our Rockhampton Girls Grammar School social pages will highlight the array of learning, cocurricular, achievements and celebrations happening across our school. If you haven’t already connected to our Website www.rggs.qld.edu.au or socials including Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, these are a great way to remain connected and receive up to date information.
Family Welcome BBQ
It has been wonderful to welcome back current families and those new to our school community on Monday evening at our Family BBQ. It was our largest turn out ever with over 400 parents, families, students and staff in attendance. The sense of excitement for the year ahead was felt as new connections were formed and existing connections strengthened, truly reinforcing our unique culture of community.
McKeague Deck was a buzz of emotions, anticipation, and nerves on Tuesday morning as our 80 new students and their families arrived to collect timetables, name badges and meet their buddies or Big Sisters. Experiencing these moments, as students and staff came together for the first time, was truly heartwarming. It marked the commencement of enduring memories and meaningful connections that would flourish among both students and teachers.
Welcome to New Staff
This week we also welcome new staff to Rockhampton Girls Grammar School. In Primary we warmly welcomed Mrs Jessica Richards as Year 5 teacher and in Prep, Mrs Nicola Simpson as our second Prep teacher and Mrs Kate Atkinson as teacher aide.
In our Secondary school, we are delighted to welcome back Dr Nikki Kelly to the Science and Technologies department, as well as Ms Nikki Glasswell, who will also be contributing her expertise to these subjects. Additionally, we extend a warm welcome to Ms Lynda Shannon, who will be joining the English and History department. This year we are thrilled to welcome Mrs Claire Jarrett to Girls Grammar as our School Counsellor. As an experienced primary teacher Mrs Jarrett is passionate about student social emotional wellbeing and mental health support particularly for females, and with her Masters in Guidance and Counselling is expertly equipped to the role. To begin, days she will be on site include Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays with a fourth day planned to be added in the near future.
Additionally, we welcome new staff in our boarding, kitchen, cleaning, and transport departments. It’s always wonderful to hear how polite, respectful and kind our students are towards new staff, helping them feel included and valued as an important member of the Girls Grammar community.
Professional Development and Educational Neuroscience
In preparation for the academic year, staff engaged in a range of professional development sessions throughout last week. In addition to annual mandatory training, learning included capital projects for 2024, strategic directions and professional goal setting as well as Educational Neuroscience and our journey ahead in becoming an accredited Brain Wise School. Led by Dr Judi Newman, Director of the Academy of Organisational Neuroscience, teachers, teacher aides and boarding supervisors began their Neuroscience learning journey during student free days at the end of November 2023. This important learning about the brain, how we can become learning ready, optimum learning conditions and strategies to improve academic achievement form the basis of our newly updated Pastoral Care Program that all students from Prep to Year 12 have already begun engaging in.
Capital Works Projects
In 2023 we achieved a great deal in updating facilities and completing capital works projects in alignment with our strategic focus areas of ‘Honouring our Heritage whilst embracing the future’ and ‘Fiscal and environmental stewardship’. This year we have a great deal to prepare for and celebrate in this space. With approval by the Board of Trustees, we will continue to provide improved and innovative facilities for students. These larger scale projects in 2024 will include:
Upper Luck House refurbishment to four general learning areas, meeting spaces and two boarding supervisor residences
Agricultural plot outdoor classroom construction
Overhead cabling upgraded to go underground
Stage 1 of stormwater upgrades
Refurbishment of McKeague stairs and Primmer classrooms 1 and 2
Complete upgrade of lower primary Discovery playground
Updates on these projects will be communicated to parents and carers throughout the year.
Parents and Friends Association
A sincere thank you to P&F Executive for their involvement at our Welcome Family BBQ, meeting new families to Girls Grammar and handing out flyers for the first P&F meeting of the year and AGM.
All parents, carers and friends of the school are welcome to attend Thursday 1 February at 6.00pm in Luck 1. We will begin with light canapes and refreshments in Littleton Plaza (outside Luck House) to meet and greet and welcome in the new year. All positions will be declared open with current vacancies in the role of Treasurer and Secretary. Parent input is vital for the continued success of our school community and students’ education. It is through the hard work of the P&F that we can complete projects for the benefit of our girls’ such as our Discovery Playground upgrade. I look forward to seeing many of you on Thursday evening.
To those families who are new to Girls Grammar in 2024, welcome and thank you for entrusting us to educate and nurture your daughter/s. This is a collaborate journey and one that we are committed to developing and strengthening.