Posted on: Thursday 26 July 2018
Posted in: Middle School
Welcome back to our Middle School community and a very warm welcome to our new families who are joining us for the first time this semester. I hope you all had a restful break and are ready for the busy term ahead. All girls are actively encouraged to participate in the School’s co-curricular program as it builds friendships, improves confidence and promotes a sense of community.
Music is instrumental in connecting us with one another. It encourages us to share parts of ourselves through the sounds and stories that are communicated. The theme of ‘Friends’ for the Gala Concert not only evoked memories from the past, but showcased the musical talent of our wonderful choirs and music ensembles. The girls shared their passion for music by performing a variety of musical styles, including classical, jazz, pop and music theatre and thrilled the audience with their enchanting voices and the uplifting and emotive performances from the ensembles.
Sport helps to build sense of connection in our community. It also helps to bond students through shared experiences and achievements. Participation in a sporting team helps to instil values such as discipline, focus and sportsmanship, highlighting the importance of teamwork, commitment and hard work. Over the weekend our rowers became the South Queensland Champions. The Year 8 Rowing Crew gained gold and silver while the Year 9 team won gold by 4 seconds. Well done, girls.
Guest speakers are an important part of the educational experience for our students. Research indicates that it helps students build important connections between what they are learning in school and the real world. Last week we were privileged to hear from two inspiring speakers, John Coutis and Jonny Shannon who shared their real-life experiences. Incorporating humour into their presentations to engage the girls, both speakers spoke of how they overcame challenges to persevere in life. John Coutis’ compelling stories reminded students of just how lucky most of them are and to be grateful for the blessings that we often take for granted. His underlying message encouraged girls to take themselves out of their comfort zones so that they can achieve their full potential. Jonny Shannon shared strategies of how the girls can proactively address the challenges of bullying and online safety as well as protecting their digital footprint.
At the conclusion of first semester, students would have received their Progressive Report. The aim of these progress reports was to increase feedback to students and parents on academic achievement as well as their attitude and effort towards their learning. With their report data in hand, the recent holiday break provided an excellent time for students to reflect upon the goals and undertake an appraisal of their current progress. For many of our students, they will be well pleased with both their efforts and achievements. For others, however, these results may provide the necessary stimulus to initiate a conversation as to how they may best achieve their goals in the coming semester. We encourage girls to develop work habits and skills to become more responsible for their learning.
The new semester provides an ideal opportunity for them to start afresh and begin the implementation of work habits they feel are required to build on their academic results. Tutorials can help students to gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter in a particular subject area as well as enabling them to operate with growing confidence. Tutorial sessions are available for students who would like additional assistance; Mathematics, English, Science, Languages and the Homework Enhancement Learning Program (HELP) operate on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon from 3.30 to 4.30pm. Staff at these sessions, are able to assist students with assignments, revision for tests or just completion of set homework tasks. A number of our Year 9 students have taken on the responsibility of becoming an Academic Mentor. They provide one-on-one support to students who need assistance with managing their academic studies. The girls work with younger students on the development of skills such as time management, organisation and study strategies at after-school tutorials and lunch time learning-skills workshops. We have a wonderful culture of learning within the School and I encourage students to take advantage of these opportunities to improve their academic focus.
Head of Middle School