Week 10, Term 3

A return to the full experience of our School

The return to live music and drama performances, uninterrupted seasons of sport, and the presence of the majority of our School population (students and staff) on most days in Term 3 has been a great relief to us all. The magic moments of performance—from the Year 7 & 8 Drama production of Charlotte’s Web to QGSSSA Athletics yesterday—and sense of community enjoyed on special occasions such as the Year 12 family picnic on Sunday, Father Daughter Dinner last night, or the P&F’s celebration of 70 years on Monday, allow us to set off into the holidays with a sense that we are finally ‘back on’ and in full.

2022 NAPLAN results

The School has just received the 2022 NAPLAN results and BGGS students have attained their highest average results since Year 7 was introduced in 2015. The students’ individual NAPLAN reports will be sent to families during the holidays. 2022 was the first year that our students took their NAPLAN tests online, it now being the compulsory mode for all schools across Australia. We are proud of the hard work of the girls and expertise of their teachers.

There are no State or National mean results available yet, however, Girls Grammar students—in each of the three sets of Year 7, Year 9, and Year 7 & 9 (combined)—have attained their highest average results.

Year 7 Average Score:  618

Year 9 Average Score:  653.2

Year 7 & 9 Combined:  635.6

For more detail see:  https://www.bggs.qld.edu.au/academic/academic-achievements/

Year 7 House Group conversations

Each week, I meet with the House Groups of different year levels, and this Term it has been my great pleasure to speak mainly with our Year 7 students. They asked excellent questions (would we ever consider ‘this’, why haven’t we done ‘that’), shared touching insights (the older girls have made me feel welcome and included), and provided some passionate debate and discussion. They are always curious to ask, ‘why don’t we have bells?’ Answer: they broke down in the 1990s and people enjoyed the peace. ‘Why do we have so many stairs?’ Such seemingly simple questions can lead to much deeper discussion than you might expect. Their mouths gape and they quietly reflect upon what they are hearing when I tell them it is historical. The girls’ school was established as a branch of the boys’ and they, literally, chopped off the rocky outcrop for us, as any aerial view of our two schools will confirm, hence the need for stairs. It is themselves, however, particularly their friendships with one another and their teachers, that they speak of most of all. The respect they have for their teachers—the excitement they experience in their learning, and their appreciation for all that they do to educate, support, and care for them—comes through so very strongly.

The Queen’s example

As we have watched the reflections upon the life and gift of service of Queen Elizabeth II we have been reminded of the power of example and inspiration. Hers was an extraordinary life, an enduring legacy as a global symbol of disciplined service and stability; but also, curiosity about, and genuine interest in, people amid profound challenges and progress spanning two centuries.

70 Years of the Parents & Friends Association

Our School has drawn great strength from the support and contributions of our Parents & Friends Association over the past 70 years. To acknowledge this milestone, a Minerva sculpture was unveiled at a very special celebration this week.

Minerva will be an inspiration, a daily reminder, to uphold certain principles and inspire the development of certain qualities. This Goddess of Wisdom reminds us of the power of intellect, the importance of wisdom, and that rare, somewhat elusive, quality of grace. Thanks to the exquisite artistry of Phillip Piperides, our new Minerva combines so beautifully both strength and elegance.

The P&F too—as an association—is both an example to us and an inspiration.

Since its inception in 1952, they have demonstrated the importance of service to our School and a fierce commitment to the environment in which education has been provided to generations of Grammar girls and young women. The P&F has inspired a willingness to build relationships, strengthen community and contribute in so many practical and important ways.

Wherever there was a need, such as a Sixth Form Dinner (1962), ceiling fans and a piano (1968), or art room furniture and video tape equipment (1970), the P&F was there to help meet it. Over 70 years there have been very significant contributions such as the $500 000 donation towards the Science Learning Centre in 2020 or the transformative gift of $400 000 towards the Bursary Program on Giving Day this year, establishing an initial corpus for a perpetual bursary, to be known as The Parents & Friends Association Bursary.

Smaller, more personal contributions have meant so much as well. Gestures of tangible support for the teachers, on behalf of all parents, such as an intimate morning tea with the ending of the OP system and introduction of the ATAR or, during the challenges of COVID, a personal gift for each and every teacher, hand-delivered in 2020.

President of the P&F, Dr Cate Campbell, drove this Minerva project from beginning to end and her passionate belief in the importance of this undertaking is symbolic of how she has led as President of the P&F—girls first, it is all about them. We know the girls will appreciate this joyous gift of Minerva —a thing of great strength and beauty—with the return of our Grammar girls’ muse, a solitary figure presiding over our School.  You can read more about Minerva here.

I hope you have a wonderful break with your daughters, whatever it entails, wherever it may be.

Ms Jacinda Euler Welsh