Middle School News - November 2019

Middle School News - November 2019

Middle School News – November 2019

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Middle School

It is hard to believe that we are at the end of yet another year, and whilst time has flown by, the girls have achieved many things. They have been involved in an amazing number of co-curricular opportunities as well as numerous curriculum activities both in and out of the classroom.

Last week the Year 9 Business, Finance and Management students transformed an area adjacent to Jennifer Reeves into a busy marketplace where the school community enjoyed indulging in some retail therapy. In the lead up to Market Day, students learnt about producing, promoting and marketing products as well as managing the financial aspect by researching potential expenses and completing projected and actual financial statements. This culminated in a very realistic market, where enthusiastic stallholders noisily spruiked their wares. There were stalls selling savoury food items, an array of drinks, handmade products that celebrated artistic talents and items to rejuvenate the body, mind and soul. Amid a frenzy of activity, queues of shoppers quickly filled the area and many of the stalls sold out. Market Day enabled the girls to learn about business through direct experience and provided a lot of fun with 10% of the profits being donated to a charity of the girls’ choice.

Year 9 Drama students undertook a performance challenge as part of their Drama studies into Theatre for Young People this term. Forming their own production teams, emulating that of a Theatre company, they developed a performance of the play, The Harbinger by David Morton and Matthew Ryan. The girls adopted production roles in costuming, set design and construction, prop making, lighting and sound design as well as the roles of directors and choreographers. Additionally, the students performed onstage roles to bring to life the tale of the Harbinger, a gothic fairy tale. This was a significant challenge as they applied acting skills in a range of performance styles and manipulation of a life-sized puppet that entertained a most captivated audience. The girls have relished the opportunity to apply creativity, problem-solving, collaboration and acting skills to a real-life situation. The class is to be commended for their enthusiasm, tenacity and teamwork in creating an engaging and entertaining performance for the audience of Year 4 students.

Year 7 took the initiative to raise funds for local wildlife rescue group, STAR (Stitchers for Tamborine Animal Rescues). Due to the devastating bushfires that occurred recently in the local hinterland, the homes of the inhabiting wildlife have been destroyed. STAR supports wildlife rescue groups by making knitted nests and pouches for the displaced animals in their care, a cause that the girls felt was very deserving, and a way in which they could help the local community who have been affected by the fires. They managed to raise $342.45 and collected 29 balls of yarn.

The Cultural Connection Committee organises events that celebrate the School’s rich and culturally diverse community as well as promoting greater understanding among students. This term the girls chose to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival which has its origins in East Asian countries. The festival celebrates family whilst giving thanks for the crop harvest and is held on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, when the full moon rises. Following tradition, the girls hung hand-made colourful lanterns of different sizes and came together to share food and cookies, as the mooncakes were a little difficult to make. They enjoyed the activity and spending time together but more importantly the increased understanding they helped foster enriches in our community.

The process of electing the Year 9 student leadership team for 2020 began several weeks ago, and we have been delighted with the number of girls putting their name forward and the high standard of applications we received for these leadership positions. One of the discussion points I have had with students during the interview process is the notion of shared leadership and what this means in the Middle School. Their responses were enlightening and indicated a growing awareness of the need to think carefully about the type of leader that they want to represent them in the Middle School. I congratulate all those who applied, and for the courage they have shown. It is always disappointing when we are unsuccessful, but it is important that we are gracious and show dignity by giving support to the girls who are elected. Students are encouraged to remember that there will be other opportunities and that we grow and learn from putting our name forward. The successful applicants will be announced at Speech Day.

Successful leaders need to access a wide range of strengths and skills. This week Year 8 enjoyed a seminar on Leadership. Through a series of fun games and activities the girls identified actions they can take to strengthen their leadership influence at school and in the community. By learning skills for team building, they gained valuable practice in communicating and working with their peers. The activities encouraged them to reflect on ways that they can lead themselves and others, and contributed towards the idea of being a positive influence through the choices and actions they take.

The Class Placement Policy in the Middle School demands that classes reflect a diversity of skills and ability. Placement of students in the 2020 classes will be made considering the following, where relevant, for both the student and the cohort: learning needs, academics, pastoral requirements, cohort dynamics, the mix of current and new students (including boarders and day girls) and selection for the Honours classes. Many staff contribute to the final lists, as it is necessary to ensure that all matters are considered.  Should any parent have a valid educational reason that could impact on their daughter’s class placement they should address their concerns in writing to the Head of Middle School by no later than Friday, 29 November. Please be mindful that past requests in relation to class placement will not be taken into consideration and if still relevant need to be voiced again.

The Connection Breakfast on Tuesday, 26 November, acknowledges and celebrates the completion of the Year 9 journey through the Middle School. All girls are expected to attend this special event and delight in having their parents accompany them. It is essential for parents to indicate, through Parent Lounge, if they are attending, for the purpose of catering and seating.

Speech Day will be held on Thursday, 28 November. It enables the School community to acknowledge the academic endeavours and achievements of our students. We look forward to parents joining us for these occasions.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the staff for their hard work and care for the girls in the Middle School and thank all of the parents for your support throughout the year. I also wish all of our families a restful holiday break and a peaceful and joyous Christmas.

Susan Sanburg
Head of Middle School

Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Hope, Grace