Girls Grammar recognises its responsibility as educators to develop thinkers and learners for a global future. With our guiding principles in mind the School has developed a programme of domestic and international experiences that allow girls to explore worlds outside their own.
Students are presented with a range of opportunities to engage in life-wide learning activities, through interactions with people and cultures, technology, texts and contexts.
These opportunities broadly fit into the following categories:
- International learning places
- Trans-disciplinary learning experiences
- Certified courses and expert tuition
- Connections to Service
- International competitions
International learning places
Language Study Tours
The International Studies Faculty offers students in Years 10, 11 and 12 the opportunity to visit and study at one of our five International Affiliate Schools which are located in four countries: France, China, Germany and Japan. These tours are designed to cultivate linguistic, social and historical/cultural experiences for our students. While attending the Affiliate Schools, students will undertake formal language study, live with a host family and undertake local sightseeing.
US Space Trip
Imagine the opportunity to undertake astronaut or fighter pilot training! The biennial trip to the US Space and Rocket Centre’s residential programme, commonly known as Space Camp, allows girls to do just that in a simulated and safe environment. The Space Camp programmes incorporate curriculum subjects such as maths, science and technology but importantly also help students develop skills that remain with them long after the camp session is over. The key focus of each programme is teamwork, but they also aim to infuse students with self-confidence, independence, and a sense of responsibility while developing their problem-solving and decision-making capacities.
Trans-disciplinary learning experiences
These tours have a cross-faculty application and aim to be a moving hub of learning, travelling to a different arts/history or language hub every two years.
On 25 April 2015, the 100th anniversary of the landing of ANZAC forces in the Gallipoli peninsula was commemorated. Ahead of this momentous event, the Girls Grammar ANZACs and Antiquities trip provided students with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Turkey, including Anzac Cove, Troy, Pergamon, Ephesos and Aphrodisias. The trip ended in Greece, visiting Athens and the Panhellenic sanctuaries of Delphi and Olympia.
It is anticipated that these tours will run biennially with the potential for another tour to a different destination in 2017.
Certified courses and expert tuition
While all of our travel experiences are designed to be fun and memorable we also believe an element of rigour and challenge which connects knowledge and purposeful real world skills can enhance the journey.
- The Northern Hemisphere Summer Schools Programme offers the opportunity to study at prestigious European and American universities during the mid-year break. The programme is run by an external organisation but the opportunity to participate is facilitated by the School. The School currently has partnerships with the Oxbridge Academic Program and Summer Discovery.
I feel extremely privileged to have studied at Cambridge University. It was an incredible opportunity for me to develop new skills, explore a new city and create unbreakable relationships across the world, an experience that will remain with me for the rest of my life. The medical science course allowed me to explore topics ranging from doctor-patient ethics to current topical issues in medicine today, opening my eyes to a possible future path as well as enriching my passion for medicine. Sarah Lawlor (Year 11, 2015)
- The annual Sydney Drama Tour sees students receive expert tuition from some of Australia’s finest tutors at NIDA (The National Institute of Dramatic Arts) and the Australian Young People’s Theatre.
The Sydney Drama Tour was a fantastic opportunity to experience professional theatre in a wider context, go behind the scenes to appreciate the busy inner workings of a large-scale production and to learn invaluable performance techniques from experts in the field. It also provided us with awareness and understanding of the many diverse opportunities in the dramatic arts, both behind and on the stage. The highlights of the tour were a spectacular and moving production of Angels in America by Tony Kushner and a spontaneous piano rendition by the current Drama Captain during a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House. (Year 12 student)
- The week long Sydney Goethe Institute mini-immersion programme is offered to students studying German when there is not a trip to Germany scheduled. The opportunity is provided to undergo intensive German language learning without the additional travel expense.
- The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a flexible programme that invites young people between the ages of 14 and 25 to participate in a number of activities over a set length of time. It is entirely voluntary and is structured so the participants can design their own unique programme centred on their interests and passions.
- The biennial Desert Colours Art Tour provides an opportunity for artists to not only witness some of the outstandingly spectacular scenery Australia has to offer, but to also develop and refine their art skills through engaging in daily art activities. Grace Muirhead (Year 11, 2015) put together the following video from the tour in 2015.
Each of these programmes has a dedicated member of staff who coordinates and helps students prepare for their travel experience.
Connections to Service
The School seeks to instil in girls a global outlook combined with an awareness of social issues to help them find ways to give back to their local and global communities.
Antipodeans Abroad is offered every two years to Year 10 and 11 girls. This popular programme involves an element of service and personal challenge where a growth-mindset is emphasised in order to overcome physical and mental hurdles. Courage, determination and generosity are essential throughout a three week expedition in a developing country. Students often return from the ‘Antips’ sojourn less inwardly focused and with a heightened appreciation of intercultural awareness.
International Young Leaders Forum
The overall objective of the International Young Leaders Forum is to create a platform for student leaders from participating schools to interact and to develop new networks, inculcate in them a keen awareness of global issues and a strong sense of social responsibility, to provide an avenue for intellectual engagement and inquiry into relevant issues facing the Asia Pacific region.
Students are exposed to five days of cultural exchange, problem solving, sightseeing and outdoor experiences. Growth opportunities are provided for future young leaders to enhance their academic, social and cultural development.
The International Young Leaders Forum (IYLF), held in Singapore earlier this year, was an unforgettable experience and one that has helped us all develop a range of leadership qualities and styles. It encouraged us to put forth our ideas in an open, intellectual environment while interacting with other delegates who are passionate about leading and making a difference. During the construction of presentations, we developed an appreciation of how cultural differences shape each delegate’s perspective on global issues. This was such a rewarding experience that has equipped us with the necessary foundations to become effective leaders in Year 12 and in our future careers. Starr Lee (Year 11, 2016)
Singapore Mathematical Modelling Forum and Challenge
Each year the Faculty of Mathematics is invited to send between six and ten Year 10 students to participate in the Singapore Mathematical Modelling Forum and Challenge (SMMFC) jointly hosted by Raffles Girls’ School and Ngee Ann Secondary School. In mathematical modelling students translate real-world problems into maths problems in order to solve them. It allows students to experience mathematics being applied in authentic situations and equip them with competencies necessary for the 21st Century. The SMMFC includes training in the use of appropriate data collection technology, collection of data at Universal Studios, analysis of data and participation in the culminating team challenge activity.
International Young Physicists Tournament (IYPT)
IYPT is one of the premier international physics competitions. It requires extensive research into very complex phenomena at levels beyond normal Senior Physics courses. Students compete in a national qualifying tournament and from there selections are made for the Australian team, (co-ordinated by the Brisbane Girls Grammar School Centre for Science Research, CSR). There has been at least one Grammar girl in the Australian team since our involvement began in 1998. In 2013 two Brisbane Girls Grammar School students were part of the five person team that travelled to Shrewsbury UK for the competition.
Travelling to Thailand for IYPT was a unique experience that I will never forget. The Australian team of five spent four days competing against other students from all over the world. Despite many stressful, late nights working on our team tactics and presentations, the tournament was incredibly rewarding – it exposed us to new areas of physics, taught us how to succeed and grow as a team, and allowed us to make new friends from all over the world. Elizabeth Cox (2015)
Junior Young Physicists Tournament (JYPT)
JYPT involves teams from schools across the Asia/Pacific region in a competition based upon IYPT. Students engage in theoretical and experimental research before the event and then present and defend their findings at the tournament.
International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO)
The International Junior Science Olympiad is one of the largest science competitions for national teams. Students are required to study advanced topics in Biology, Chemistry and Physics in order to compete in theoretical and practical examinations. Selected students compete as members of the Australian Team.
The enriching nature of the competition presented us with the opportunity to learn different ways of thinking and different approaches to problem solving. We were also exposed to wide variety of cultures and their different lifestyles. A major aim of the IJSO competition is to help forge cross-national links and academic networks that extend beyond borders. This cultural immersion provided us with insight into the perception of young women in different societies and the relative importance placed on girls’ education. Ranita Atcheson and Lauren Fidler (Year 11, 2015).