From the Principal: 11 June 2019

From the Principal: 11 June 2019

I was full of pride as I watched our Grammarians last Friday compete in the GSV AFL grand final between MLC and MGGS at Scotch College oval. It was a fine way to end the week and although we were defeated, all players were impressive and showed great sportsmanship. There were many stellar moments witnessed by a strong MGGS support crew complete with coaches, parents, grandparents, teachers, staff, students, Labradors and other assorted MGGS pets.

On our most recent information morning I met with prospective families and spoke about how as a school Melbourne Girls Grammar honours its traditions and history as a leader in education, and as a community we are proud of our capacity to balance the learnings of the past with a progressive educational outlook. I shared our future focused approach and how we always seek ways to support our girls and young women and keep them front and centre of everything we do. I elaborated on how collectively we strive to facilitate learning based on sharing knowledge, skills and experiences that will equip our Grammarians for whatever life throws their way. We know that their future will be characterised by rapid change and their capacity to adapt will be what they need to harness every opportunity and to take the lead. 

Our Year 5 Wildfell girls experienced snow at the recent camp to the Grampians. However, even inclement weather could not dampen their spirits and all participated with great enthusiasm and gusto. Bushwalking, abseiling, high ropes, ‘leaps of faith’ and team building were some of the activities enjoyed as well as meeting the local wildlife. My favourite photo from camp is of our Wildfell girls imitating a ‘mob’ of kangaroos! Outdoor educational opportunities such as this, offer occasions for students to develop grit and resilience. They also afford moments when students learn to understand themselves and others, returning home sometimes changed and appreciating the comforts of the family. Thank you to our wonderful team of teachers led by Miss Billie Staples who accompanied and cared for our Grammarians on camp.

The Senior Years Production of Radium Girls held on the 30 and 31 May was brilliant and definitely a highlight of the year. This thought provoking drama based on the true story of the dial painters who made labour history is a complex and demanding play. I am pleased with the choice of this drama as it allowed our Grammarians to explore history through a politically gendered lens. It is an intelligent and thoughtful piece of work and it speaks to the values of Melbourne Girls Grammar of integrity, courage, self-discipline and compassion. The award winning female playwright D.W Gregory has written a script that I know our students have enjoyed. Through creative collaboration in the rehearsing and producing of Radium Girls, the senior students have developed strong bonds with each other, have worked hard and have been impressive in their commitment to polish the final product for the audience’s enjoyment. In this process they have discovered more about themselves, about each other and about stretching beyond artistic limits. All student performances stood out as compelling and left me with the impression that these girls can do anything! On behalf of our community, I wish to acknowledge Mr Ryan Bowler and his team for leading our Grammarians and achieving outstanding fellowship, so fundamental to the success of the Senior Years Production. The joy in the making of this production has been highly visible throughout the School and I sincerely thank all involved for their passion and dedication. 

Events such as Radium Girls reinforce the potency the Arts have in communicating complex ideas. They provide us with insights into culture and society throughout history and are a wonderful avenue for our girls to express themselves individually or through performance groups, orchestras, choirs and ensembles. Collectively we can all engage with, celebrate and learn from the art practices of others. To this end, the Arts Auxiliary will be hosting the first in a stellar line up of events for our community with a Soiree featuring operatic singer, Kathryn Grey this Thursday. Tickets sold out incredibly quickly, so if you or your daughter are interested in experiencing more in the Arts, I would encourage you to lock into your diaries now our inaugural Dark Arts event on Wednesday 31 July, as well as look out for tickets for the next Soiree starring two of our OGs, Hannah Shin (2017) and Mana Ohashi (2015), on Thursday 1 August. These events are part of the School’s Arts Week celebrations.

 
2018 Premier’s VCE Awards

I am pleased to congratulate on behalf of the MGGS community the recipients of the Premier’s VCE Awards 2018. On Monday 6 June at The Melbourne Convention Centre the following students received their awards.
  • Jessica – Year 12, Victorian 2018 Premier’s VCE Awards for exemplary achievement Chinese Second Language undertaken at Xin Jin Chinese Language and Culture School
  • Isobel Nicholls – OG 2018, Victorian 2018 Premier’s VCE Awards for exemplary achievement as a Top All-Round VCE High Achiever and for Specialist Mathematics
  • Sophie Smith – OG 2018, Victorian 2018 Premier’s VCE Awards for exemplary achievement for Italian

We are very proud of their achievement and recognise that this award is a testimony to commitment to study whilst at MGGS. The Annual Premier’s VCE Awards Ceremony acknowledges outstanding results and provides an opportunity for the recipient’s family and Study Design teacher to witness the acceptance of this prestigious award. Gratitude goes to our parents and teachers who have supported and encouraged students in their academic endeavours.

I encourage all parents to attend our upcoming parent education by Professor Erica McWilliam titled ‘Future Ready, Future Capable’. This event will be held event on Tuesday 16 July at 6pm, Level 2 Learning Commons, Artemis. Information for attending this event is currently on eVI and can be accessed by the following link: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=507758&

We are fortunate to have Professor Erica McWilliam here as our critical friend for our Strategic Review and she has generously agreed to present to our community. The abstract for this event reads:

The future is not over the horizon waiting for any of us: rather, it is something that we create. As such, our future is both exciting and demanding. It is exciting because so much is now possible beyond the bounds of time and place that kept most of our ancestors living and dying within a 10 kilometre radius of where they were born, doing for a living what their parents did, living small-scale lives in small, stable communities.  It is demanding because we are all now creating a living, learning and earning self in a VUCA world – a volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous global order of things. It is a world of opportunities that come wrapped in barbed wire. And it is a world in which schooling has become more important and less relevant than ever. Professor Erica McWilliam elaborates on how parents and teachers can enable our young women to live, learn and earn optimally in this paradoxical and unpredictable world. She explores what it means to be “willing and able to add value to smart machines” as skill-sets that both engage and transcend traditional literacies and numeracies. In doing so, she explores the means by which parents and teachers can enable young people to function at the highest level of cognitive curiosity and self-direction that are necessary to being ‘future-ready and ‘future-capable’.  

Winter is upon us and in the final weeks of term our staff have been busy assessing student work and writing Semester 1 reports. Our senior students are in the thick of exams and assessments and our students have been impressive in their attention to the tasks at hand. The feedback given to students is critical in the learning process and I encourage all families to have a conversation with their daughters in how they perceive themselves to be progressing in their learning. Students will receive their reports on the last day of Term 2.

Author

Dr Toni E. Meath, Principal