It is hard to believe that we are over halfway through Term 2! So much has been achieved, but many exciting events and activities are still to come.
Week 4 was National Boarders’ Week and the boarders were easily identified around the School with their pink tie-dyed socks and hair ribbons adding a splash of colour to the navy uniforms. The Boarders celebrated by leading a special assembly in Artemis. Ayun Chan and Stella Lee shared personal reflections of their experiences during and post the COVID Lockdowns. Director of Boarding, Ms Amanda Haggie and her team are doing a wonderful job supporting and caring for our 79 boarders in this very special and close-knit “home away from home”.
We were deeply saddened to learn of the fire at Christchurch Grammar and the loss of their ELC building on Punt Road on 12 May. We reached out to them to see if we could assist and have arranged to give them a supply of home corner furniture and lockers to assist with fitting out the temporary ELC classroom.
Our staff have been kept busy with organising Morris Hall and Merton Hall Experience Tours for prospective families over the last few weeks, and the demand is such that we are scheduling several additional tours before the end of the term. At Merton Hall, our Year 10 ambassadors conducted tours of the School and we thank them for volunteering to give back to their School in this way. At Morris Hall, the staff were able to demonstrate the joy of discovery and collaboration for our Prep to Year 4 students in the learning studios.
One significant annual event for Year 12 students and their mothers is the June Fowell Memorial Dinner, acknowledging the significant mentors in the students’ lives. This was held at The Pavilion in the Arts Centre on 19 May and was a very happy occasion. June Fowell was a well known and respected member of the MGGS staff for thirty years. She held many roles, including Head of Religious Education (from 1992 – 2001), Year 12 Co-ordinator, Boarding House ‘mistress’ and Co-ordinator of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. She was an important mentor for countless students and is remembered for her adventurous spirit, her love of the outdoors, travel, and Mungo House.
Our guest speaker for the evening was Andrea (Andy) Young (2010), who has worked in the beauty and wellbeing industry for many years and started her own company (BodyCo) four years ago. Formulating her own skin and body products, she aims to help others maintain healthy skin. Andy’s honest and heartfelt address encouraged our Year 12 Grammarians to have a go and believe in themselves, even through challenging times.
On Saturday 21 May, our Year 9 Grammarians departed for their Midwarr indigenous cultural immersion camp on the Mornington Peninsula (Bunurong/BoonWurrung Country). Our staff have worked closely with Culture College in Arnhem Land to build a local experience connecting with aboriginal elders from the Peninsula, alongside members of the Yolngu community to explore language, kinship, weaving, dance and art. Despite the chilly mornings, each day was clear and sunny, and the students enjoyed being together and learning on country.
Simultaneous Storytime took place on Wednesday at Morris Hall. This is when a picture book, written and illustrated by Australians is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, homes and children’s facilities all over the country and the world. This year’s book is called Family Tree by Josh Pyke. It was lovely to see everyone together in the Multipurpose Room sharing the experience. Every girl from Prep to Year 4 has also created a leaf showing their family which will make up Morris Hall family trees.
Modern Languages Week offered a wide range of activities, experiences and foods from around the world to enhance language learning and cultural immersion. Students studying languages enjoyed Chinese painting lessons, Spanish art and dance demonstrations, an Italian dance performance and French singing lessons. Merton Hall students were treated to a variety of culinary experiences and sampled Spanish tacos, Chinese noodles and dumplings, Italian pizzas and gelato, as well as French crepes. The Assembly in Artemis on Friday celebrated the wealth of opportunities available to the students and demonstrated the linguistic talents of our students.
Our 3 and 4-Year-Olds’ grandparents and special friends were invited to visit and share morning tea in the Dining Hall last week. This was followed by activities in The Hub where our early learners sang songs, drew pictures and built Lego with their special guests.
The Merton Rowing Club Sausage Sizzle was held to raise money for the Henley Royal Regatta trip. At the end of the day, the girls had raised $961. Further fundraising activities are scheduled in support of our international ambassadors to the UK in the weeks leading up to their departure.
Morris Hall Social Service day took place on Friday to raise money for Zoos Victoria Fighting Extinction program. Our Grammarians were invited to dress up as flora or fauna and enjoyed a range of activities. See the wonderful images of the event here.
Tickets for the Senior Years Production, Matilda, went on sale last week and were sold out within 24 hours. In response, the Drama Department has organised a third show for Tuesday 7 June and scheduled a staff preview on Monday 6 June. We look forward to this and the Morris Hall Production of Seussical Kids on Thursday 23 June. It will be so exciting to be able to attend these performances live in Ross Hall for the first time in several years.
Friday 27 May marked the start of Reconciliation Week and four of our indigenous students met at the flagpole near the Chapel to raise the aboriginal flag. This will fly each day until our Prep to Year 12 Reconciliation Assembly on Monday 6 June.
On Thursday 2 June there will be a casual clothes day with the theme of ‘Wear it Yellow” or a touch of yellow to raise money for Children’s Ground, who work with indigenous communities and support indigenous literacy in Victoria and the Northern Territory.
We need to remember not to count the days left in the term but to make every day count!