My first day at Girls Grammar was different from anything I have ever experienced. Within ten minutes of entering the school I had not only been introduced to my entire cohort and both English teachers, and had the amazing realisation that everyone had name badges so it was impossible for me to get their names confused, but also been told that I was pretty and literally dragged into the group of friends I still had when I graduated. I was the only new student that day and felt like a shiny new toy in the best way possible.
By my second day, I thought I had everything sorted, except it was sports day; the one day when nobody wears a name badge. Determined not to let anyone realise that I’d forgotten all their names, I stuck to the one person whose name I could remember and somehow, despite being outwardly against any form of sport, ended up in every single event. As I sprinted the end of the 1500 m (despite being anti-athletic I was still fiercely competitive), I experienced the moment which summarised Girls Grammar for me; despite having not so much as spoken to any of the other year levels, they had all learnt my name and cheered me to the finish line. That was the moment when I knew I was home.
Before being at Girls Grammar, I had been at a school with an entirely different approach to learning. Despite having been one of the brightest students, and multiple complaints being made, I had been told to bring a book to class in lieu of doing any form of extension work. Conversely, within two weeks at Girls Grammar, despite having joined in Term two, I was boosted up a full grade in Mathematics and offered extension texts in English. The teachers never drew attention to this, most of my Year level never even knew, but for the first time in my schooling life I felt that the teachers were teaching me, rather than merely teaching a group of faceless students.
By the time I reached Year eleven, I had almost forgotten the girl I had been before. Instead, I felt valued and confident and, most importantly, like I was worthy of whatever I got. That might not sound like something world changing, but for a person who had previously been belittled by teachers and led to believe that she wasn’t smart enough, it changed my outlook on life.
I graduated Girls Grammar as the Dux of the school and the top or equal top student in five of my six subjects and as one of two OP 1 students and I owe that in no small part to the passion and determination of my teachers, but that is not what I feel I graduated with. I graduated as someone who had previously been terrified of public speaking but this year stood up in front of all Year 11 and 12 students to compete in the Valedictorian competition. I graduated as someone who had once considered herself unworthy of authority, but stood for and was awarded a Prefect role and loved every minute of it. I graduated as someone who used to come home every day angry or upset but who hadn’t had a truly bad day since 2011. So, thank you Girls Grammar, not just for helping me to reach my academic goals but also for allowing me to change from who I was into who I wanted to be.
2013 has once again proved to be a highly successful year for Girls Grammar students with the Year 12 graduating class performing exceptionally well with OP scores. Special congratulations go to OP1 students Nicola Cole and Emilia Festa. Approximately 20% of the graduating class achieved an OP score between 1 and 3 which is significantly above the state average of 10%. Girls Grammar students also performed above state averages in the other benchmarks of OP 1-10 and OP 1-15. These results are made possible due to the wonderful achievement of the girls in the QCS test where 25% of students achieved and ‘A’ compared to the state average of 16%.
These results follow on from our students’ achievements on Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 NAPLAN testing where 100% of students in Years 3, 5 and 7 achieved at or above national standards – the only school in Central Queensland to achieve such a result. Our Year 9 students also scored significantly above state and national averages.
“These significant academic achievements are a demonstration of Girls Grammar values in action. We provide learning in a caring, small yet academically rigorous environment,” says Principal Ms Melinda Scash. “Our students are going from strength to strength with their academic achievements which is testament to their continued hard work and efforts of our dedicated staff.”
Recent media coverage has highlighted that our girls have performed exceptionally well in the 2013 NAPLAN tests. We are proud of the efforts of our students who always approach assessments with calmness and an appropriate level of seriousness and perspective.
100% of our Primary and Year 7 students tested at or above the National standards which is achieved by few schools nationally. This success is a recognition of the individual academic care afforded to Girls Grammar students in small classes, with personalised programs and specialist teachers. Our Year 9 cohort also achieved to a very high level and ranks as a leader in the region in literacy and numeracy.
Whilst we are proud of the results, we also acknowledge that they need to be viewed in context. NAPLAN results provide a rich source of data which provides teachers with insight into consolidation and extension opportunities for your daughters.
We congratulate all students on the way they managed the challenge of the National testing and look forward to continuing to build on these strong academic results.