How eager we all are for the return to School on Monday and, hopefully, the Spring Hill campus a week later.
Staff have prepared carefully for every eventuality and our teachers look forward to meeting their new classes, welcoming new students, and special permission is happily granted to Year 7 girls to wear their beautiful new navy felt hats ‘in class’ on Monday if they wish.
I hope this edition of BGGS News will provide a sense that there is already much to look forward to.
This year we will create a new Strategic Design that aims to shape the direction of Girls Grammar as we approach the 150 Year anniversary of this pioneering endeavour in girls’ education, and in the years well beyond; reflecting the new realities of contemporary society and education. Special projects under consideration include a major master-planning exercise that will take in to account the new property acquired last year at 89 Gregory Terrace, the possible introduction of Years 5 & 6, a formalised and ambitious response to the sustainability imperative and the refurbishment of Main Building. We look forward to celebrating 70 years of the Parents & Friends Association and the return of some of our significant social events for parents such as the Welcome to New Parents Evening and Spring (now Autumn) Luncheon.
In every action we consider, however, educational philosophy is fundamental, and the most significant work of the year ahead remains the delivery of quality education, in whatever format is appropriate. Many will have seen the outstanding ATAR results for our second Year 12 class (2021) in the new system, and the hard work continues to refine both curriculum and assessment. Our teachers expertly balance a focus on what is essential for academic success without ever diminishing a deep interest in their subjects or joy in learning. We remain committed to providing an environment and experiences that support the development of our girls as thoughtful, intellectually well-equipped and confident young people.
We are well aware, however, that our children are living through unusual times. A recently published research review from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, led by paediatrician Professor Sharon Goldfeld, proposes that children are facing a ‘generation-defining disruption’ due to the public health restrictions that have necessitated remote learning, social distancing and the dearth of normal activity–from school sport to traditional family gatherings–and too much time indoors on screens. This will come as no surprise, however, it reminds us how important physical activity, diverse experiences and friendships attained through co-curricular activities, and social connection remain in our children’s lives. As soon as possible we will make as much as possible available to our students and to our families.
Certainly, the Arts have suffered greatly during the pandemic and many, including our own students (think Gala cancellation etc.) have felt the loss of their connection to live music performances, theatre or art in its many and varied forms. Arthur C. Brooks writing in The Atlantic yesterday makes a compelling case for us to make Art ‘a habit, not a luxury’. He offers no panacea to this strange ‘time warp’ we inhabit, but it is worth a read and perhaps making a commitment to ‘Treat art less like a diversionary pleasure and more like exercise or sleep or loving relationships: a necessity for a life full of deep satisfaction’.
Welcome to the start–at last–of the Brisbane Girls Grammar School academic year. I sincerely hope it is a good one for you and your families.
Ms Jacinda Euler