Term 1 is travelling well and there is a distinct ‘buzz and hum’ to each campus. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the engagement of students in the classroom, in the playground, and within and beyond the red brick walls of Merton Hall. Our students have been out and about engaging with the community and making new friendships. On Friday 12 March we held our much-loved blessing of the animals at Morris Hall. Reverend Ross so capably blessed all the animals at the event we fondly refer to as ‘Pet Chapel’. The old saying, ‘be careful working with children and animals’ belies the fact that they are just so entertaining! I thoroughly enjoyed this happy occasion, and it was delightful to see so many students proudly displaying their furry and four-footed friends at Morris Hall. Yesterday, Sunday 21 March, was world poetry day and today as a whole school we have celebrated this with ‘Poem in your Pocket’ Day and indulged in reading our favourite poems to each other. It has been a delightful day of sharing and honouring poets, contemporary and classic.
Our Merton Hall Grammarians are well into their preparation for the upcoming House Drama and our junior students are engaged and happily working hard in their learning. There has also been a high participation morning and afternoon in our Artemis Programs, and they have been representing MGGS strongly at Girls Sport Victoria (GSV) events. They seem to be making up for last year and we all remember well this time last year when Premier Daniel Andrews declared an unprecedented State of Emergency in Victoria in response to the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and we were well in to our first period of remote learning. It is nice to be together and back into the usual swing of school. It is a hive of activity here at MGGS!
A hearty congratulations to our entire MHRC family! The sense of community and camaraderie at the Head of School Girls Regatta was inspiring and MGGS had the best presence on the river. Our Seniors were outstanding with reward for the discipline and effort they have consistently put in across 3-4 years on the final day of the season. For our 1st VIII this is the best result for the School since 2012. It is also the first time we have won the 3rd and 4th VIII events. Combine this with a gold to our 5th Quad and a Bronze to our 5th VIII, this marks the both the largest Senior’s squad our program has boated as well as the most successful results for an MGGS Squad in our programs history. Our Juniors and Intermediates have had such interrupted seasons; however, they have bought into the MGGS methodology based on long term development in preparation peaking as Seniors. It is extremely impressive to have several of our crews on the podium, in ‘A’ finals and winning ‘B’ finals, whilst sticking to the plans of the greater collective, that being ‘to do the basics better than anyone else, and not compromise our development for the sake of chasing results in the short term’. Overall, our teams performed particularly well and there were many medals won; indeed, too many to highlight in this paragraph.
The message we strongly communicate to our Grammarians is that the joy of participation and teamwork are the most important keys to any sport; our rowers’ sense of camaraderie and upholding of our school values is inspiring. I am so proud as a Principal, when I witness our Grammarians supporting each other and for the last race of the day at the HOSG regatta, it was MGGS who ran along the riverbank cheering on their buddies and their passion and support brought me to tears.
Thank you to our families for supporting their daughters in the rigorous training and build up for the event and thank you to Mr Angus Seller, Ms Alex Hagen, Ms Bella Logie-Smith, Ms Sally Bailey, our Rowing Captains Ms Phoebe Faulks, Ms Elsa Ajani, and Ms Emmanuelle Coates, and all the rowing coaches who have worked with our Grammarians this season. As our Senior Rowers continue their training for the upcoming Nationals in Lake Barrington, Tasmania in a few weeks, we wish them all the very best. We know that they will be outstanding ambassadors for MGGS. I was delighted to have a morning on the Yarra with the squads on Friday and I continue to fall in love with this sport. We can see big seasons ahead for these girls. Bravo!
The Middle Years Chapel of Thanksgiving was held on Monday 15 March with the theme of ‘Togetherness’. This is a rite of passage when we officially welcome our Grammarians into Wildfell and St Hilda’s and present them with their special badges. Our Grammarians, Ariana Sevier (Year 8), Nicole De Valter, and Addi Dean, (Year 7), Scarlett Culliver (Year 6), and Kitty Mirabella, and Penny Jamieson (Year 5) led the Chapel with grace. Our musicians, Elle Ladakis (Year 7) and Cecilia Xu (Year 8) performed with poise. Thank you to Ms Lynn Broadway, Reverend Kirsty Ross, Ms Sally Hill, Ms Billie Staples, Ms Natalie Scott and Ms Lauren Birch for their fine leadership of this cohort.
The Morris Hall Twilight Concert on the Tuesday 16 March was exceptional. Thank you to Executive Director Early and Junior Years, Ms Sarah Gill and our new Music Specialist educator, Ms Joanna Patocs for the preparation and leadership of our young Grammarians for this event. Our Grammarians performed with such polish and grace; it was a joy!I
As the year unfolds, true to our dynamic MGGS approach we are excited to announce the establishment of the STEM Auxiliary at MGGS. Working in support of our Science and Mathematics faculties at the School, we are looking to enlist parents who are interested in promoting and helping girls across all areas of the School engage in STEM. Thank you to parents, Liz Halifax and Professor Cassandra Szoeke who have been instrumental in starting this auxiliary.
A wonderful new initiative driven by our Senior Years Grammarians in the Media and Technology Club, titled ‘Doughnut Diary’. They have created a campus based news feed to share information to the MGGS Community, and will present fortnightly from a giant sculptural doughnut made by past student Gabbie Nelson.
In closing, may I remind all parents about the importance of being alert of all pedestrians when dropping your daughter off at school, especially at Morris Hall in the Kiss and Go area.
We have only a few weeks to go before the end of Term, and many fabulous school calendar events to enjoy. I know we enjoyed many a Zoom choir in 2020, however, nothing can compare with the simple pleasure of shared singing with others (even whilst wearing masks), and I am looking forward to joining our community for our Music High Tea, House Drama, and our Easter Service at St Paul’s Cathedral.
I wish you all a happy and safe Easter and Term break!