A line in the School Song exhorts students to ‘draw strength from our diversity’, and indicates a culture at Brisbane Girls Grammar School that celebrates each girls’ individual contributions. Every girl, each in her own way, contributes to the life of the School—but at the same time, paves her own individual way forward. It was with this in mind that our 2020 Head Girls, Arwen Dias-Jayasinha (12G) and Abbey Grice (12E), addressed the School at this week’s Assembly and announced the Student Council’s motto: ‘2020 me and you, be the glue that binds the blue’.
The motto aims to encapsulate the essence of our unique School culture, encouraging girls to support each other, be part of a united team, and collectively build the Grammar community.
As each Grammar girl contributes to the School community in her own way, looking after her wellbeing is also crucial to make the year truly rewarding. The following is a compilation of some simple considerations to ensure healthy minds and healthy bodies are maintained throughout the year.
- Be open-minded toward friendliness: As girls settle into their new House Group, or into new core and elective classes, it is normal that they may feel uncomfortable. Friendships are fluid, and with an open mind toward friendliness, girls can create many positive relationships which will reduce stress levels and foster different levels of connection with the School (Fuller, 2016).
- Practise doing your best: Strive toward personal bests. Child psychologist, Mr Andrew Fuller (2016), suggests that each year, students aim to develop one positive aspect of themselves by simply appreciating that quality, and practising doing it well in order to become ‘the best you’ possible.
- Be prepared for learning: Written articulation of goals brings priorities to the foreground and enables students to remember what they are striving to achieve as well as serving as a reminder to do their best.
- Be proactive: Encourage girls to surround themselves with people who bring out the best in each other. Proactive behaviour and seeking help before problems arise will develop independent learning and increase the likelihood of goal attainment, which in turn can impact on positivity and happiness (Covey, 2005).
- Turn attention to intention: Focus on tuning in rather than zoning out. Avoiding distraction is a choice and it is one that takes intentionality, which is difficult for teenagers to practise. Establishing solid boundaries with technological distractions will positively influence levels of attention, productivity and psychological wellbeing (Blankson, 2017, p. 49).
- Create brain downtime: Allow time for device-free brain breaks. Enjoy unstructured, free play, be active and break into a sweat. Physical activity is essential for healthy neurological development, mental health and wellbeing, physical fitness, social development and academic performance.
- The days are long but the years are short: Girls are reminded to practise gratitude and verbalise appreciation to those who they love, and to demonstrate gratefulness through language and behaviour. Be kind. Be a good friend. Laugh and have fun.
Girls should also be mindful of when they need to rest and recharge. If girls are not feeling well and have any physical signs of illness they should take the time to recover so they can be fit for learning at school.
While these points may appear self-evident, it can be easy to lose sight of them in the busyness of an academic year. The School’s motto, Nil Sine Labore, is not only referred to in academic terms, but also in the context of girls working sensibly and strategically to be their best selves.
Mrs Emma Lowry
Dean of Students
Blankson, A. (2017). The Future of Happiness. 5 Modern Strategies for Balancing Productivity and Well-Being in the Digital Era. Dallas: Perseus Distribution.
Covey, S. (1998). The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens. New York: Simon & Schuster Sound Ideas.
Fuller, A. (2016). Set Yourself Up for A Great Year. [PDF]. Retrieved from http://andrewfuller.com.au/wp- content/uploads/2016/02/setyourselfup.pdf