Thank you for watching the first in the Grammar Magic Series. In two weeks, we will feature students from our Junior Campus as together we tell our Grammar story.
What a fabulous start to the year we have had. This year we welcome 106 new families and if their welcome is anything like the warm one my wife Jane and I have received, they will feel the heartfelt embrace of our community. I believe we are not just a school, we are ONE community working together to create a learning journey for our children that reflects our desire to make the world a better place. Much like the mighty Tamar, we have all started our journey in different places and Grammar is a testament to the power of coming together and creating something much greater than ourselves. Our students are at the heart of all that we do. We are a place of connection and belonging. And this is what I call the “Grammar Magic”.
My challenge for this year is to look, listen and learn as I lead the school into the next exciting phase of growth as one of Tasmania’s leading schools. This year I pose for all members of our community a challenge which resonates with our Anglican values of Compassion, Safety, Inclusivity and Respect. I need each of our families to embrace and work with us to create the layers of opportunity that ensure the lessons their children learn at our school are lessons for life. How will we work together to provide an educational offering that nurtures, challenges and inspires our children to be amazing adults, effectively contributing to and leading their future communities and workplaces?
On Monday 219 staff came together for their start-of-the-year training and professional learning. Grammar must be, above all else, a safe place and this was a key theme in our program. We welcomed 22 new recruits across all areas of the school including 12 teaching staff. We will share and celebrate with you in the coming weeks the wonderful talents of our staff team. A quality education offering starts with quality people.
There have been numerous highlights since arriving in early January and I am relishing each one as an opportunity to look, listen and learn. Travelling to Lake Barrington to see our senior rowing crews training at summer camp was a great experience. Hearing a school chant that seems to have been around since time immemorial was inspiring, as was the stunning lake. I look forward to many regatta visits. The students rehearsing at the summer intensive for our musical production of Cats have amazing talent and I cannot wait for the performance season in May to come around. Our cricketers have been playing well and it would be remiss of me not to highlight the achievements of Aiden O’Connor who scored 202 not out against St Patricks!
As we settle into the school year It was wonderful to welcome onto the Mowbray campus 74 Grade 7 students. We also had 50 new students commence Kindergarten and ELC on Thursday. I had the pleasure of spending some time in each Junior Campus class this week and loved seeing the joy and excitement on their faces as friendships were renewed and the seeds of new ones being firmly planted.
On Tuesday evening we were delighted to host a function for our 40 Hawkes boarding families, the boarding staff and key staff in the lives of their children. What a fabulous community Hawkes is, with boarders ranging in age from 10 to 18 and coming from Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Flinders Islands, the North East, West Coast, Central Midlands to Campania. At least 10 distinct cultural backgrounds are represented. Our boarding house is a place of diversity and inclusion and our new head of boarding, Theunis Pieters and the team are working hard to ensure this unique community is well looked after and very much part of the fabric of Grammar.
A lot has been happening around our campuses. The Broadland House restoration has now been completed – what a grand building that stands as a testament to our strong heritage and recognition of the Broadland House Church of England Girls Grammar School. The new green spaces at our Junior Campus are being prepared for our students. I sincerely thank the generous members of our community, especially those from the Diprose families, who have worked hard to prepare the grounds for planting. We are hopeful of a mid-Term 2 opening of the space.
What a wonderful week it has been, our very first for 2023. I very much look forward to getting to know you as we move through the school year.