Binding the Blue—shared stories of resilience and hope

With girls resuming their learning on-campus, this week will be the final edition of Binding the Blue—Shared stories of resilience and hope. We thank the BGGS Community for sharing their good news stories, big and small, with the School. It has been a privilege to share these messages of creativity, adaptability, determination and optimism with our community and we hope they have brought a smile to you all. If you do have a story you’d like to share with the School community, please email communications@bggs.qld.edu.au.

Week 6

Aged Care Home and Healthcare workers moved by Girls Grammar’s Notes of Hope

Brisbane Private Hospital (BPH) and aged care home, Aveo Newstead, were delighted to receive notes of hope from our Grammar girls. Aveo Leisure and Lifestyle Coordinator, Ms Michelle Mcburney, said the Gift of Music video had also been playing in the main lounges at the home bringing joy to all who watched. A representative from BPH said the girls’ thoughtful words of acknowledgement and encouragement were welcomed by their healthcare workers. Well done, girls.

 

Aveo resident, Isla, was delighted to receive a note of hope from BGGS

Pausing to reflect on the positives of remote learning

As part of an activity called, Permission to Pause, students were encouraged in their Year 7 Ethics lessons to reflect on the positive experiences of remote learning.

The exercise proved to be successful with girls sharing their experiences, some of which included researching their ancestors and designing a family tree, creating a vegetable garden, learning family recipes, and spending more time with loved ones.

Baked with love

Last weekend, Esandi Tennakoon (10B) spent her spare time baking for her neighbours and local healthcare workers. Esandi shared the baked goods with her local hospital and GP clinics, thanking staff for their tremendous effort in keeping our community safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Week 5

Hirschfeld House challenge Grammar girls to ‘walk around Australia’

Hirschfeld House Captains, Phoebe Lingard (12H) and Mimi Wackwitz (12H), along with Hirschfeld House Sport and Service Captains, Josephine Burke (12H) and Matisse Black (12H), and Emily Wilkie (12H) and Eleni Karanicolas (12H), have challenged Grammar girls to collectively walk 15 835 kilometres ‘around Australia’.

Originally designed as a fitness initiative to keep girls on their toes, the challenge has evolved into an unofficial interhouse competition, with each House competing to see who can walk the most kilometres by the end of the Term.

Already the girls have walked the equivalent of Brisbane to Sydney, and they are confident they’re on track to reach their goal by the end of the Term.

 

Hirschfeld House Captains, Phoebe Lingard (12H) and Mimi Wackwitz (12H), along with Hirschfeld House Sports Captain, Matisse Black (12H), and Hirschfeld House Service Captains, Emily Wilkie (12H) and Eleni Karanicolas (12H)

The Gift of Music

Service Captains, Gia Cayas (12G) and Eva Seet (12B), continue to lead by example during the coronavirus pandemic. Since the disruption of COVID-19, the girls have worked tirelessly with Director of Service, Mrs Lynne Mungomery, to ensure BGGS maintains its commitments to the charities supported by our School.

While a number initiatives have had to be modified, the girls have gone above and beyond to provide hope and support to many in our community. Their latest initiative, The Gift of Music, was organised in conjunction with the School’s 2020 Charity, Rural Aid.

Due to COVID-19, Rural Aid’s Gift of Music Program, offered to children living in remote and rural areas of Australia was cancelled. In true BGGS spirit, our girls answered the call to contribute to a virtual concert, which has been distributed to rural families who would have been involved in the Program.

An overwhelming number of Grammar girls participated in the virtual concert, delivering their musical performance with pride, which you will see below.

Week 4

Second Chance Committee works together to provide hope

The School’s Second Chance Committee, comprising girls in Years 11 and 12, is dedicated to supporting women experiencing homelessness in Brisbane. In light of COVID-19, and the increased risk of homelessness at this time, the committee continues to meet via Zoom to discuss the importance of raising awareness and providing support for this cause.

After discussions with several organisation to determine how BGGS can provide appropriate support, the Second Chance Committee is delighted to commence work on a number of new initiatives. Currently, girls are contributing to the School’s Service project called ‘Notes of Hope’, in which the School community is encouraged to write or decorate notes that share a positive message. Second Chance members will deliver these to women and children experiencing homelessness. The Committee is also planning to record videos of Grammar girls reading children’s books, teaching songs and dances, and doing crafts such as origami. In the coming weeks, students will also be collecting donations of arts and craft supplies and board games to distribute to these families. Information about these projects will be shared via BGGS News and Minerva.

Abigail Lui (12O)

The Second Chance Committee meets via Zoom with Coordinator, Ms Hannah Gillam

Wacky Wednesday

The Student Council challenged all girls to wear wacky headwear on Wednesday. The student-led initiative was designed to keep spirits high and add some colour to the girls’ daily routine, while some students continue to learn from home.

Baked with love

Dean of Co-curriculum, Ms Ellena Papas, spent her Mother’s Day weekend baking and delivering homemade creations to the mothers of her friends who were unable to return home for Mother’s Day due to border closures. Ms Papas said it was lovely to bring joy to those close to her during this difficult time.

BGGS alumna, Josie Dooley (2017), creates isolation games

As sporting events around the world are postponed or cancelled, Queensland and Melbourne Renegades wicketkeeper, Josie Dooley (2017), has used her creative talents to invent the World Isolation Games.

Josie designed the games as a distraction from the mass of coronavirus content, and to provide humour to her online followers.

Week 3

Snaps of Gratitude

The School’s psychologists have been busy ensuring all in our School community are well supported during this period of remote learning. Last week, as part of the Staff Wellness Group, and as a point of connection while we remain physically distanced, staff shared images of something for which they are grateful. Images of loved ones, nature, and pets brought a smile to us all.

Grammar girls showcase their talents in new Passion Series

The Grammar sisterhood is perhaps more united than ever, as our girls looks for creative ways to stay connected with their peers. The BGGS Student Council has led the way in finding new and positive ways to navigate the complexity of remote learning. When the School moved to remote learning, the Student Council launched the Passion Series, encouraging girls to showcase their talents and interests, and celebrate the diversity of the Girls Grammar community. Already we have seen an array of talents from our girls including drawing, singing, baking, and filming and editing.

Cross Country Head Couch, Mr Tim Franklin, runs marathon in his apartment

Cross Country Head Coach, Mr Tim Franklin has designed and completed a number of creative fitness challenges to inspire positivity and encourage physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, including running a marathon from the comfort of his own home.

It took Mr Franklin more six hours to run 2000 laps around his lounge room to complete the 42.2 km marathon distance.

Mr Franklin, whose personal best for a marathon is three hours and eight minutes, wasn’t concerned about how long it would take him to complete the run, but instead was focused on promoting the importance of being active while staying at home.

‘The aim of these challenges is to inspire people to participate in physical activity and improve their physical, mental and emotional health,’ he said.

And if the marathon was not challenging enough, Mr Franklin then decided to conquer climbing ‘Everest’ without leaving his apartment building. He ran inside his building’s fire escape stairwell, from the ground floor to the roof, 161 times—equating to a total of 35 000 stairs, simulating the elevation gain from Everest Base Camp to Everest Summit.

Since completing this challenge, Mr Franklin ran a marathon on ANZAC Day in support of the Mates4Mates Charity to raise funds for returned service personnel suffering from PTSD or physical injuries. This coming Sunday, Mr Franklin will run 58kms in a challenge he calls ‘A K for a Day’—running a kilometre for every day since Australia commenced physically distancing.

Students may have also completed the School’s ‘At-Home Workouts’ featuring Mr Franklin with Sports Manager, Mr Liam Mulligan. This series of videos are designed to ensure students can stay active while learning at home.

 

Cross Country Head Coach, Mr Tim Franklin

Appreciating the things we take for granted

Year 11 students have documented their thoughts on remote learning for archival purposes. As part of the exercise, many girls uncovered what it is they miss most about being at school and developed a greater appreciation for the small moments of human connection often taken for granted before the COVID-19 pandemic. This reflection was written by Sophia Rothwell (11G).

Being able to come to school and learn in a classroom surrounded by human activity and human interaction is something I used to take for granted. Apparently, it took a global pandemic for me to realise just how incredible it is to learn in a classroom. Learning remotely has taught me so much about support, independence, the strange importance of eye contact, and the blessing that is normalcy and routines.

On my first day of remote learning everything was new and unfamiliar, but after the first week I settled into a routine and I was no longer overwhelmed. The past weeks of learning remotely at school have brought a flood of change, but the consistency and unspoken support from the staff, and the girls who sat at least 1.5 metres away from me, brought some peace and necessary clarity. It is this silent support, the natural support that you don’t receive at home from your peers, which makes a classroom environment so exceptional.

It’s nice to know that there are people you can lean on if you’re having ‘one of those days’ or just struggling to comprehend our uncertain circumstances. I love looking around the classroom and feeling motivated to complete my schoolwork because everyone around me shares that common purpose. I am constantly practicing my personal skills in independence, taking responsibility for my education, and adopting new classroom habits—like not speaking too loud into your microphone to avoid the whole classroom turning around at the disturbance. Obviously, online learning does pose its challenges, but if I ever need advice there is always someone to ask. One thing I didn’t know I was missing, when I was learning at home, was being able to look people in the eye. It’s hard to focus on a person’s eyes through a screen, so being able to turn around and smile at a friend or eat lunch and laugh together, makes everything worth it. Learning remotely from school gives structure to our daily lives and brings normalcy to this crazy, upside down, circumstance. I very much look forward to resuming my learning at School next week and being able to safely continue my studies with the support of my teachers and friends close by.

Online Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation Classes

The School’s Mindfulness Coordinator, Mr Donald Pincott, and Mindfulness Facilitator, Ms Emma Jones, have be leading online yoga and mediation classes for staff and students on Thursday mornings. These classes are a great way to prepare yourself for the day ahead. The sessions are designed for all levels of ability and information about how to participate in the live classes is available in Daily Notices and News on Minerva.

Week 2

Healthcare Hero-grams

The Kirsten Jack Memorial Leukaemia Committee (KJ) met remotely for the first time this week. KJ members have been looking for ways to raise awareness of the important causes the committee supports, as well as finding new opportunities to give back to the healthcare community. KJ Student leaders, Annabel Douglas (11R), India Edwards (11G) and Abigail King (11R), asked girls to consider sending ‘Hero-grams’ to healthcare workers in the West Moreton Hospital District via the Ipswich Hospital Foundation page.

The Hero-grams, or messages of thanks and praise, are shared with healthcare workers from all fields across the state. Some of the messages shared by Grammar girls include:

‘Thank you so much to all healthcare workers for putting your lives on the line for others. Your commitment, care and leadership during these uncertain times is truly inspiring and our community is so lucky to have people like you. Thinking of you all, best wishes!’ – Abby (11R)

‘Thank you for backing Australia during these uncertain times, your bravery deserves all the gold medals in the world! Wishing you all the best, thinking of you all.’ – Charlotte (9R)

‘Thank you for your hard work and sacrifice. Your courage and willingness to confront this situation head-on has been amazing and has helped countless numbers of people. Your hard work does not go unnoticed, words cannot express our gratitude for your work and dedication. Thank you for making the hard personal sacrifices you have made to protect us, even when you are exhausted, during this scary time. Thank you for your selfless service, now and always.’ – Annabel (11R)

KJ is also looking at ways to support their partner charities by sending messages to children and their families who have had to enter even stricter isolation due to their medical conditions. The group is aiming to spread awareness and positivity while staying connected to fellow KJ members, and the charities the group supports.

ANZAC Day

On Saturday 25 April, many Grammar girls acknowledged the heroism, tenacity, and resilience of the ANZACs by supporting the RSL’s Light up the Dawn campaign. Girls participated in at-home dawn services, lighting a candle or playing the last post, to honour our service women and men.

One Grammar girl, Lauren von Hoyer-Davies (7W), stood with her family at the bottom of their driveway and listened to the service broadcast from the National War Memorial. Pictured here, Lauren is wearing her great grandfather, Major Thomas Ferry’s, medals. Thomas’ daughters attended BGGS, and Lauren is delighted to be able to continue that tradition. Lauren is joined by her grandfather Robert, who served in the Royal Engineers in Darwin during World War II, and her bother Connor.

Beanland House sponsors a Smart Pup

Last year, Beanland House donated $4500 to their 2019 House Charity, Smart Pups. The organisation was delighted by the Beanland girls’ generosity, allowing them to name one of the recent puppies.

After much deliberation, the girls decided to name the adorable pooch, Erbie. The name derives from the periodic element, Erbium. Girls recently selected this element on the School’s ‘Wall of Thanks’ in the new Science Learning Centre, which recognises the donations of the BGGS community. Beanland House hopes to meet Erbie later this year.

Back to Basics

Grammar girls have revisited some of their favourite childhood games during their lunch breaks this week. Girls and staff enjoyed skipping, playing hopscotch and other ball games, while appreciating the lovely autumn weather.

A new purpose for the Canfield family tea set

Eliza Canfield (8E) and her mother, Margaret, have made the most of staying at home, learning to make hand-poured soy candles. Eliza has used this new skill to create candles in a set of antique teacups that were given to her mum as a gift from her mother. The teacups originally belonged to Eliza’s great, great grandmother almost 100 years ago.

Week 1

In great disruption lies opportunity—the opportunity to reflect and learn, develop resilience, and support one another. Attributes of selflessness, togetherness and humility are often revealed when communities experience hardship.

Indeed, the Student Council has led by example, personifying these qualities as they ensure every Grammar girl is supported by her peers during this time. Already we’ve seen House dress up days, online exercise workouts, and a passion series dedicated to showcasing the interests and talents of students.

In periods of uncertainty, it is natural to look to what unites us, stories that reinforce our shared humanity—for many girls this is the Girls Grammar sisterhood. More broadly, the desire for good news, particularly during times like these, is one shared by many.

For that reason, the School will be sharing the ‘good news stories’ of the BGGS community, to help maintain a sense of connection as a School community, even while physically distanced, and to provide some positivity in ‘news feeds’ filled with content relating to the current health crisis. Binding the Blue–shared stories of resilience and hope will showcase the creativity and adaptability demonstrated by our community since the School’s transition to remote learning.

The first of these stories are below and we encourage you to continue sharing your good news with the School.

Year 11 design students create PPE for frontline workers

Year 11 students are using their design-thinking skills to help medical professionals working on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic. Girls were tasked with designing personal protective equipment (PPE) solutions, and using the School’s laser cutters to manufacture the much needed PPE. BGGS alumna, Dr Amy Langford (2004), has been working with students via video conference to ensure the masks are appropriate and practical for medical professionals to use when treating patients. This authentic and innovative learning scenario will form the commercial design unit for students studying Design in Term 2.

Appreciating local landscapes

As part of Year 10 Ethics, students are embracing the practice of momijigari—the Japanese tradition of admiring autumn leaves. Girls have explored their neighbourhoods to revel in the wonders of autumn and appreciate the colours that start to emerge at this time of the year. Momijigari encourages people to savour the feeling, where deep calm and excitement intertwine and instil the human instinct to pause, just for a moment, and appreciate all that the natural world has to offer. Year 10 student, Tia Fitzpatrick (10M), compiled this video from observing autumn leaves in Pullenvale.

Year 7 Drama

Year 7 Mackay students experienced their first BGGS Drama lesson via Zoom this week. Despite the unusual introduction to their Drama studies, girls enjoyed exploring ways to incorporate the practical aspects of embodied learning, and key skills for collaboration and performance. In this video, students are taking part in a game called ‘Spot the Leader’.

Jacqueline and Caitlin Trappett participate in ABC’s virtual choir and the ANZAC Day Light up the Dawn campaign

Caitlin (70) and Jacqueline Trappett (9O) joined 100 chorister from around the country as part of the ABC’s virtual performance of I am Australian. The girls and their mother, Christine, were invited to be part of the ABC choir by Ms Astrid Jorgensen, former Music Director at Queensland Show Choir.

From a young age, Caitlin and Jacqueline have sung with Queensland Show Choir and the girls are now members of the Queensland Young Voices ensemble. Unable to attend their normal choir rehearsals the girls are delighted to continue singing online.

I am Australian is such an iconic song and it was fun to bring the community together and share the joy of music during this difficult time,’ Caitlin said.

Caitlin and Jacqueline, along with their mum, and grandparents also participated in the Returned and Services Leagues’ (RSL) Light up the Dawn ANZAC Day campaign, singing Advance Australia Fair with the Queensland Show Choir. The campaign encourages Australians to adhere to physical distancing rules while honouring the sacrifice of those who have served our nation during war and armed conflict.

Having previously sung at the ANZAC Nurses Vigil in the School’s Encore group, Jacqueline said being involved in the RSL’s recording of Advance Australia Fair was a special way to commemorate ANZAC Day this year.

‘Even though we cannot all sing together physically at the moment, this was a special opportunity to sing with my friends and commemorate ANZAC Day’.

The performance of the national anthem is available online for all Australians to play fot their at-home ANZAC Day services.

Caitlin (70) and Jacqueline Trappett (9O)

Student Council encourages incidental exercise

The Student Council are encouraging girls to participate in incidental exercises while learning from home, challenging students to play with their pets, jump on the trampoline, participate in activities with their siblings, dance, and get creative with how they can stay active at home.