Posted on: Wednesday 24 July 2019
Posted in: Middle School
Researchers have found that engagement in and commitment to an activity is a proven route to happiness and wellbeing. Co-curricular activities provide a wealth of opportunities for students to explore and discover their passions and to engage with others in teamwork, building networks and relationships. Such experiences, whether in sport, debating, service or performance, enrich a young person’s sense of self and her capacity to connect purposefully with others and contribute to her community.
Beyond the curriculum, our girls engage in a rich array of Creative Arts activities. Performing music is a fundamental and important part of any musician’s journey. It not only provides a means for personal expression and communication but contributes to their personal wellbeing by developing confidence and a sense of camaraderie through the shared experience. The Gala Concert last Saturday evening was a wonderful showcase and celebration of the musical talents of our choirs, bands and music ensembles. The theme, “A Royal Gala”, embraced the musical legacy of artists such as Aretha Franklin, Carole King and Queen and was enjoyed thoroughly by a very appreciative audience. Comments from the Creative Connections Committee encapsulates the evening.
The extraordinary atmosphere within the Gala Concert was portrayed through the hundreds of students performing on stage, whether they were playing an instrument or singing. The night started off with Big Band performing New York, New York while later the Rhythm and Blues Band hit the stage and performed a Carole King classic, I Feel the Earth Move. These two bands really showed the audience the calibre of musicality in the School. Senior Strings performed two songs that further embodied the theme Royals which were the March of the Titans and Solitary Wish. As the Band and Strings played these pieces with pure joy and perfection, it can be said that audience was not let down. Senior Choir performed Royals by Lorde and Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder; Royals was performed A-Cappella using all the separate voice groups to create a wonderful atmosphere on stage. Sir Duke, however, was performed with more funky energy with unique parts and harmonies along with some groovy dance moves. Senza Ragazzi performed Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen with extraordinary harmonies giving the audience shivers as well as Queen of Soul (a salute to Aretha Franklin) which got everyone in the groove. The Gala Concert was quite possibly the most highlighted event of the year and will definitely be remembered by the students, teachers and audience members.
The debating program offers girls opportunities to develop the skills of researching, organising, and presenting information in a compelling fashion as well as gaining confidence. Last week, both of the Year 8 teams and two of the Year 9 teams were successful in their debates and will proceed through to the quarter finals of the Gold Coast Debating Competition. Their victories were very convincing with the topic, “Popularity is the most important thing”, providing some interesting viewpoints.
A highlight for Year 7, at the end of last semester, was the social afternoon with TSS. The girls enjoyed hosting the boys for a range of games organised by the Year 8 Middle Sisters, and sharing afternoon tea. There was lots of excitement as the groups moved through various activity stations, including ‘Knights & Cavaliers’, Dodge Ball, Bang and speed-dating. A fun afternoon was had by all.
Sport fosters many physical, emotional and social benefits where the focus is on participation, enjoyment and skill development whilst providing an environment where girls can develop their skills. The Inter-house Athletics Carnival provides an avenue for girls to demonstrate their talents outside of the classroom context. This is scheduled for Thursday, 25 July with all students expected to be in attendance.
Focus Weeks are an integral part of the Middle School culture as they provide an avenue for leadership through important learning experiences for the girls. Poppy-Jane Todd reports on the 9S Focus Week held at the end of last semester.
In light of the theme ‘Together as a Community’, the 9S Focus Week aimed to support the White Ribbon Foundation, a charity focused on the prevention of violence against women. The girls endeavoured to promote the charity’s core values of courage, integrity, respect, collaboration and leadership through a range of activities that included selling ‘spider’ drinks, a hand painting activity that formed a ‘bridge of support’, distributing white hair ribbons and a ‘Guess the Lolly Jar’ competition which ran throughout the week. The girls not only raised $260 to go towards the White Ribbon Foundation, but also created a large banner of white handprints to show support of this important cause. It was truly a week to remember.
Work in the Visual Arts helps students to cultivate different modes of thinking through exploration, discovery and creativity. This semester, the Visual Art department hopes to foster an environmentally conscious culture through a unit of work that explores the environmental impact that come from packaging waste. Year 7 students have been encouraged to develop an understanding that by reducing, reusing and recycling, they are helping preserve our natural resources. The girls have been challenged to design and create a fashion statement with an environmental message using their imagination and recycled packaging items. To assist us we would greatly appreciate donations of the following packaging items: shopping bags, empty packets, wrappers, tissue paper, paper bags, labels and tags etc.
I hope that the girls utilised the holiday break to reflect on their efforts and achievements to date. 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. Given the start of the new semester, I would like to take this opportunity to remind parents that 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 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. I encourage students to take advantage of these opportunities to improve their academic focus.
Subject preference forms for Year 9, 2020 are due by Friday, 26 July. Work will then be undertaken to create groupings of subjects that allow the maximum number of students to achieve their optimal subject choices. This may mean that some students will not get their first preferences, but the priority very much is to try and meet everyone’s learning requirements within a workable framework.
Please see below for some key dates for Term 3 (refer to the school calendar on the website for more detail and updates).
Head of Middle School