From the Principal: 7 November 2022

From the Principal: 7 November 2022

We have come as far as we have because we are the cleverest creatures to have ever lived on Earth. But if we are to continue to exist, we will require more than intelligence. We will require wisdom. ― David Attenborough

The opening quote is important in the context of what it means to be educated and why the roles that schools and families play in the education of our young are so important. The experiences we put forward to our Grammarians contribute to the development of wisdom that results from a lifetime of learning. There is a great difference between intelligence and wisdom; both important qualities and not mutually exclusive. Wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment. This often comes with life experience over time. Conversely, intelligence is the ability to read patterns and acquire and apply knowledge and skills. It is using one’s logic to solve problems and make decisions. At Melbourne Girls Grammar, we are scaffolding both, personalising the learning for every Grammarian so that each student develops insight into their strengths and growth points.

This year our VCE examinations have started as scheduled by the VCAA and have felt less disrupted than the previous COVID-19 years. As I am writing this piece for Messenger, the VCE Economics is about to commence and, for many of our students, this will mark the midpoint of their exam period. Over the past few weeks, I have observed students working individually and in groups with their teachers, preparing for the exams. Many practice essays have been written, past papers attempted, and all marked and returned with honest and accurate feedback. The trial exams ran smoothly and were great preparation, and I am confident that our Class of 2022 are well prepared. My sincere thanks to our Chief Exam Supervisor, Ms Jenny Turner, along with her wonderful team of invigilators and the very experienced Senior Years Team who collectively ensure that there is a calmness to our exam centres, and assist students to focus on the task in front of them. Many of our invigilators are former MGGS teachers who have been supervising the VCE exams for years. Good invigilators create a special sense of calm and order to the exam setting and create the right tone for exam sitting, and the value of this cannot be underestimated.

A healthy sign of a scholarly school is the number of teachers who engage in outside professional associations invited as speakers to state, national and international conferences and who are examiners and assessors for the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCAA). This dedicated work complements their teaching, contributes to the professionalism of teaching, and enables them to be experts in their field. I am very pleased that we currently have 19 MGGS teachers assessing for VCAA this year. The VCE Examining staff include:

  • Ms Olivia Wilson – Drama
  • Ms Annarita Bardeggia – Italian (Oral)
  • Mr Jiwei Xu – Chinese SLA
  • Ms Fenglan Luo – Chinese (Oral)
  • Ms Aleks Ballarin – Biology
  • Dr Lenny Robinson – Philosophy (Assistant Chief Assessor)
  • Ms Lucy Jongebloed – History
  • Mr Rhys Page – Global Politics
  • Mr Luke Francis – English Language
  • Mr Andre Pitts – Economics
  • Ms Jasmine Shih – Physics
  • Ms Allison Bray – Geography
  • Ms Nicole Kaladzoglu – Legal Studies
  • Ms Caroline Foster – Classical Studies
  • Dr Josephine Lim – Chemistry
  • Ms Meg Brydon – English
  • Ms Kelsa Taleb – EAL
  • Ms Sarah Xu – Chinese
  • Ms Monique Sharp – Physical Education (Assistant Chief Assessor)

The Middle Years Production, The Witches, took place on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 October in Ross Hall. It was a great success and a product of many hours of work and effort from the Drama department and our talented Middle Years Grammarians. Gratitude to our: Head of Drama, Ms Vic Page; Director, Ms Cherie Hozynka; the Drama department and all involved in the production. Bravo!

We all remember the teachers who made a difference in our life! So, in 2022 I am delighted to announce a new School Award in recognition of a teacher who has positively impacted many Grammarians during her career at Merton Hall. At Speech Night, we will be awarding this prize for the first time. It is titled, ‘The Amanda Ford Award for Holistic Endeavour and Personal Development’. The Award acknowledges a student in Year 10 who has demonstrated holistic endeavour and personal development over the course of Years 9 and 10. Congratulations to Ms Mandy Ford and our deepest gratitude as a community for your exemplary service and contribution to the life of the School. I look forward to celebrating this event at Speech Night at The Melbourne Town Hall, Wednesday 30 November at 8 pm. See you there!

Yours in learning

Dr Toni E Meath