As we farewell Term 1, it is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to two of our most valued and long-serving members of staff. Kay Staples and Chris Rattenbury will be sorely missed by students and colleagues alike as they retire from Rockhampton Girls Grammar School.
Kay Staples has been an integral part of the Girls Grammar boarding community for close to two decades. Her dedication to the growth and nurturing of our boarders throughout her time has touched the lives of countless students, and her tireless efforts in supporting the wellbeing, cocurricular and academic journey of so many have enriched the education of generations of many Girls Grammar graduates. Mrs Staples' warm and welcoming presence in the boarding house will be sorely missed, and her departure leaves a void that will be difficult to fill.
Similarly, Chris Rattenbury has been a vital member of our staff for more than 20 years. Her long standing, proud connection with Rockhampton Girls Grammar School has made her a fixture in our school, and her behind-the-scenes efforts in supporting our Food and Textiles and Hospitality classes have not gone unnoticed. Mrs Rattenbury’s knowledge of School history and years of supporting students and staff have earned her a great deal of respect and admiration and her absence will be felt keenly by all.
Coincidently when writing my Week 10 newsletter article, reflecting on the impact staff have on a school community like ours, I read an Independent Schools Queensland media release titled, ‘Size not an issue for small schools delivering quality outcomes.’
More than half of Queensland’s independent schools are proving that when it comes to size, good things really can come in small packages, as stated in the article.
Of the State’s 232 independent schools 121 are classified as a small school, meaning they enrol up to 200 students in primary schools, 500 students in high schools and up to 700 in combined primary and high schools.
At Girls Grammar, we proudly fit this category of ‘small school’ and are committed to maintaining what is described in ISQ’s article as offering students and parents a real sense of community in which educational outcomes can flourish.
To reflect the ethos of ISQ’s article, our school is a place where parents and students feel a sense of belonging with a team of teachers and staff who know them individually and fosters their individual talents. At Girls Grammar, students don’t get lost in the crowd and our provision of quality education prepares our girls to be successful in school and later in life. As out motto says “non scholae, sed vitae - not only for school but for life we are learning.”
ISQ’s article continued to outline other benefits associated with small schools such as ours, including educators being able to develop meaningful relationships with students, increased professional development opportunities for teachers and an emphasis on creativity when developing solutions for problems.
ISQ Chief Executive Officer Chris Mountford said, “Small schools are full of passionate educators who are committed to helping students reach their potential while developing a strong sense of community.” This sense of community is what we are so proud of here at Girls Grammar and part of what makes it so difficult to farewell long serving staff like Kay and Chris. On behalf of the Girls Grammar community I wish them both all the very best on their post-RGGS adventures and look forward to welcoming them back at future school community events.