As we reach the end of the year I wish to thank all the parents, students and staff that have engaged with various aspects of the project to extend co-education into the Senior School this year. There is a real sense of anticipation and positivity among our students, parents and our staff about the new year and being part of an exciting new chapter in the history of our school. We will enter 2018 confident in the excellent educational experience that we will provide for all the girls and boys in 2018. All of our students will benefit from an increasingly diverse environment that reflects the modern world.
When Term 1 begins in 2018, 48 female students will help write a new chapter in the history of our school. We have 16 girls enrolled in Year 7, 11 girls in Year 8 and another 21 enrolled in Year 11. They will join the more than 100 girls currently enrolled in our Preparatory School. We are also excited about the new 3-year-old program that will commence in 2018 for both boys and girls. Enrolments for 2018 are still open and we are still receiving new enquiries every day. We encourage anyone still considering commencement at the School in 2018 to contact our Registrar
as soon as possible.
The School is seeing a significant increase in interest in enrolments for 2019 for both boys and girls, when we will be welcoming girls in all year levels. As most of you will be aware, in 2020 we will also provide boarding opportunities for girls. Please see the information below in the facilities section about boarding facility developments.
Year 11 Welcome
As part of a broad range of orientation activities, Senior Secondary students new to Year 11 in 2018 joined current students and staff on Friday 17 November for the Senior Secondary Step Up Day. This introduction to pastoral routines and key pastoral staff, including their Head of House, will help all new students in Years 10,11 and 12 navigate their transition to Guildford Grammar School next year.
To finish the year, all current and future students (Year 11 2018) were invited to participate in the Peer Support and Leadership camp. Over three days this week, students are participating in two key training activities; the Peer Support Leaders training day, which was held yesterday, followed by the leadership and teamwork camp at our Stronghills outdoor education campus, held today and tomorrow. This camp is providing the students with some practical strategies and skills to use when working with younger students, as well as the opportunity to work effectively in teams and strengthen friendships and social support networks ahead of the challenges of Year 11 and 12.
Step-Up Day, Years 7 - 9
Our hope and indeed our goal, is to see students quickly feel supported and confident as they transition to a new school environment. One important event on the school calendar aimed at facilitating this process is our Senior School Step-Up Day and this year over 150 students entering Years 7 to 9 in 2018 took part in the activity-filled program. This year’s event featured a number of interactive activities, including mountain bike and team challenges, explosive (but very controlled!) science experiments and a mystery tour of the Senior School campus. ‘Ask Away’ sessions provided a forum for students to receive answers to their burning questions and to hear from key staff about the House system, the wide variety of sport and co-curricular opportunities available to them and how to get involved, as well as information on what their day will look like as Senior School students.
Supported by volunteer Year 10 group leaders, students rode, jumped, hypothesized, questioned and explored their way through a rotation of activities across the day and in doing so got to know some of their new peers, met a Senior School teacher or two and learned a little about the geography and cultural nuances of what will soon be their new school setting. The day finished with a short reflection and some thank-you’s that received a collective cheer and applause from all those who participated in the day.
Current Student Engagement
On November 2 and 3 we were fortunate to have Michelle Mitchell visit the School. Michelle is a recognised thought leader and national speaker on teenage health and wellbeing matters. She worked as a teacher before establishing Youth Excel in 2000, a charity which helps young people make positive choices during difficult times. Youth Excel’s innovative work is dedicated to enhancing the lives of children and adolescents through psychology, counselling and life skills education.
During her visit to the School, Michelle ran workshops based on respectful relationships and considerate behaviour with our Year 7 and Year 10 students. Based on her work in schools around Australia, and informed by significant surveys she has completed with both male and female teenagers about what they value in healthy respectful relationships, Michelle provided our students with an insight and information into how co-educational relationships exist in a day-to-day school setting.
The workshops were held in Year based House groups and provided the students with the opportunity to discuss a number of topics related to the introduction of co-education and what respectful relationships look like in the school setting. Our work with Michelle around respectful relationships is one of the strategies we will continue to use to assist in supporting the social and emotional development of all students. Michelle is set to return early in 2018 to continue her work with the School.
Over the course of the last semester the Headmaster and Transition Coordinator have worked with students in all Year levels from 7-11 to answer questions and concerns and discuss the positive changes that they anticipate in 2018 and beyond. The overwhelming feedback from current students is positive, placing a high value on aspects of their schooling such as teaching staff, the House system and their involvement with sport, as well as their appreciation of the spiritual life, history and traditions of the School and the outstanding facilities and grounds. These aspects of their schooling will be maintained and there is much to look forward to from a student perspective, including increased diversity in the student population and the broadening of curriculum and co-curricular offerings.
Sport Program Development
After many detailed conversations with our incoming students, we have finalised the girls’ sport offering for 2018. Guildford Grammar School will be fielding female performance teams in the following sports:
- Cross Country
We are also entering the following development sports teams into appropriately levelled competition; water-polo, basketball, beach volleyball, indoor volleyball and 7’s rugby. We will also have modified soccer, AFL and touch rugby programs as introductory sessions throughout the year.
Our aquatic program will run year-round and encompass both open-water and pool swimming in the newly heated pool. We have increased our focus on the athletics program, running it in line with other summer sports, and have added both team and individual triathlon to this area. We have also introduced the Equestrian program to the suite of offerings. Students taking up this program can opt to do this for a full year or half a year and we look forward to the first competitors representing the school in March 2018. All students will have the opportunity to engage in these activities where it fits with their various commitments.
In Term 1 girls in Year 7 and 8 will train in their performance sport of choice on Monday afternoon and will spend Friday afternoon training for the development sport. The girls will compete at various times appropriate to the code or level of sport they are playing. Additional sessions for aquatics and running will also be available. Game day will vary and once we have fixtures from the competitions we will publish them in full. For our incoming Year 11 students, Term 1 training will be held on Tuesday or Thursday and again once fixtures have been released for the sports we will publish them accordingly.
The Clothing Shop has a full list of the sports the girls have opted to do and the requirements for each one and can provide advice at the allocated appointment times. As the girls will be participating in two sports we have utilised the PE kit for non-performance based sports, where the competitions allow. All girls in formal performance based competition will require the specific sports uniforms and relevant equipment.
Students in our Preparatory School have loved their Thursday afternoon sport at the Ready Steady Trot Program. The introduction of this program has been very successful and we hope next year to provide more students with the opportunity to participate.
We have recently advertised for a part-time Sports Development Coordinator, Equestrian. This person will work with our Teacher-In-Charge of Equestrian and our Directors of Sport to work on the long-term development of our program. We have had some great applications from people with extensive experience in equestrian sports and strong connections in the associated industries.
In other equestrian developments, the School can advise that we have agreed to host a two-day horse event involving Dressage, Show Jumping and Cross Country phases. Our students will be able to enter if qualified (suitable membership of Equestrian Australia) and it will be held on-site on 29 and 30 September, 2018, during the school holidays. The event is being run by an experienced group that have agreed to partner with the School on the development of some of our on-site facilities. Developing equestrian facilities is a long-term goal for the School, requiring careful thought and significant investment. Whilst we work on this, students will attend various activities off-site and in conjunction with suitable partners.
Prior to our Step-Up days in November all essential services for our female students were fully operational. Modifications to House bathrooms have been completed and every House has access to fresh newly refurbished facilities for boys and girls
The final-fit out of new male and female change rooms in the gym area has been completed. We are working on final touches to the girls’ common room.
A wide range of outdoor furniture has been ordered and will be installed over the Christmas and New Year break.
Modifications to our Clothing Shop to cater for an increase in stock and alterations to change rooms are complete and our multi-purpose courts are all ready for basketball and netball.
Over the Christmas break work will be concentrated on our House areas:
- Harper House will be re-modelled, illustrating our plans for all remaining houses – this work has been scheduled and budgeted for in 2018.
- St George’s House will move into the freshly painted new area on the top floor of the building that also houses Henn's House.
- School and Freeth Houses will over time be provided with more space providing better opportunities for organisation and use.
- Stirling, Bennett and Woodbridge Houses all will receive a fresh coat of paint and new carpet.
- A second treatment room will be created in the Medical Centre.
- Final touches will be put on an existing space that is being fitted-out to support our food technology course in Year 7.
The School has completed an update of our Master Plan and this has been shared with School Council. A design brief is being developed that will inform the architects who will be invited to submit expressions of interest for the building of new boarding facilities. All expressions of interest will include a consultation phase, possibly commencing as early as the end of Term 1 2018, that will provide the architect, boarding parents and students the opportunity to have input into the design of the facilities.
We are pleased to confirm that new uniform items are starting to arrive into our Clothing Shop. Parents of new students have been invited to make appointments for uniform fittings from January 4, 2018. We encourage new parents that have not yet made an appointment, to do so as soon as possible, so as to secure a convenient time. For all current parents the Clothing Shop will be open for business as usual from January 15, 2018. We encourage parents to make an appointment by contacting the Clothing Shop directly on 9377 9209 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our summer dress was the last item to be designed and ready for manufacture in our range for female students due to some complexity in the design process. We are pleased to advise that the Guildford Grammar School summer dress fabric represents a unique fabric development. The specialty jacquard woven fabric has never been adopted within the Australian schoolwear market-place for summer dresses. This unique fabric, woven with a representation of Guildford’s characteristic “fleur de lys” and yarn dyed stripes, is the most technologically advanced summer fabric seen in Australian uniforms. Comprising 65% polyester and 35% cotton, the fabric features white stripes and yarn dyed navy fibres to achieve this unique look. The dress will be machine washable on gentle cycle and given the use of jacquard yarn dyed fabric, it is durable and easy to iron. The woven design will maintain greater colour-fastness than alternative printed fabrics. The design is not printed and therefore premature fading will not be an issue. We are pleased to provide our girls and families with the best quality fabric available.
As highlighted in previous correspondence, the key difference to the boys' items are:
Summer shirts are an improved fabric in a slightly different shade and include the school crest.
- The winter pant fabric is slightly darker with a soft hand feel.
- Socks are a modern length, fibre and knit material.
- New knitwear and hats - the new knitwear has three unisex style options, for both girls and boys, and is made with 80% Merino soft wool. All students will be able to purchase a hat that complements the uniform beautifully.
The School wishes to emphasise that all current uniform items can be worn until they need to be replaced. You can expect the cost of items to be similar to our existing uniform and that of other schools locally. There will be some variation both up and down, for example where crests have been added to shirts or new technology in manufacturing processes has created efficiency. A full price list is available on both the website and the portal. You are able to access images of the designs by clicking here.
In recent communications we have indicated that we planned to change the uniform for our youngest students too, from 2019. The redesign was motivated by the School’s desire to provide our youngest students with a uniform that best enables their learning and encourages their enjoyment at school. The changes also reflect feedback from a number of parents in the uniform survey conducted at the start of 2017. You are able to access images of the K to Year 2 designs by clicking here.
The new uniform items for students in Kindergarten to Year 2 will be introduced for all students from 2019. In order to make the transition easy we will have the items available in the Clothing Shop from the end of Term 3, 2018 as we enter the warmer months, and students may wear them in Term 4.
Because this uniform is not available from the start of 2018, students entering Year 1 (2018) will continue to purchase the more formal uniform and wear items from this range for the remainder of their schooling.
From 2018 students from Kindergarten – Year 2 may wear their own swim wear (full bather, briefs or jammers – no boardies) or purchase from the School's range, which will include a swim short and rashie option for all students.
There is no pressure for anyone to purchase the new items immediately. Current Kindergarten – Pre-Primary items can be worn into Years 1 and 2 from 2019 and new items can be purchased as they are needed.
From 2018, students in Years 1 and 2 will have the option to wear a tie. It will no longer be compulsory, even if they are wearing the more formal uniform. Students in Years 1 and 2 will be asked to continue to wear black lace-up or velcro shoes whilst in the current more formal shirt and short uniform.
Again, I wish to acknowledge the work of the Uniform Design Committee, particularly the parents who gave up a significant amount of time to attend lengthy meetings. I also acknowledge the work of our design team, Mr Jonathan Ward, Ms Melanie Whitling, Mr Michael Farrugi and Mr David Johnson. We set tight time frames for the delivery of the new uniform for girls and met the challenge not only for them but have succeeded in providing enhancements and additional comfort for all of our students.
Year 7 to 9 students have now received confirmation of their Discovery Learning program for 2018. Students were able to select from a diverse range of Discovery course options that include many new courses such as Freestyle History, Dance, 3D modelling, History of the Universe and Creative Photography, to name a few. Pleasingly, based on student preferences, all new courses offered for selection will run in 2018 with multiples of some courses being timetabled to accommodate demand.
Our Year 7 and 8 Arts and Technology courses have also been re-designed and written to accommodate mandated Western Australian curriculum requirements and include a number of new study options. These are The Guildford Gourmet, Design for Wood, Design for Metal and Music Concepts and Creation.
We trust our students will benefit from the opportunity to explore and engage with their selected courses and in doing so come to know more about their strengths, talents and areas of interest.
Full details of the Catalyst program for 2018 are available by clicking here
Our Music program is experiencing exciting growth due to the large range of opportunities available to students.
In 2018, due to an increased interest in contemporary voice lessons, Mr Mark Underwood will join our Music Department as a Music Teacher, Junior Secondary and Contemporary Vocals. Mark is an accomplished Musical Director and Vocal Coach, and has been a contemporary voice performer with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Perth Symphony Orchestra, Manteca, Perth Jazz Orchestra, Straight Ahead Big Band and the Burswood Show Band. He has also worked at Wesley College for the last 13 years.
Instrumental music registrations are now open for 2018 and our new 2018 Music Handbook is on the Portal for existing and new students. This includes information on ensembles, orchestras and bands. Anyone with questions about our music program can call Annie on 9377 9280 or email email@example.com
The School is pleased to offer a large number of co-curricular activities for students in Years 10 and 11 on Friday afternoons, as has previously been the case. An increasingly diverse range of activities are open to all students and they have recently attended a Co-Curricular Expo to provide them with an opportunity to see what is on offer in 2018.
In the interests of our new students will be considered as we plan this program in the future. It is expected that diversity in ideas and interests will only enhance the program for all students. You can view our comprehensive Co-Curricular Handbook by clicking here.
Feedback and ideas from parents, students and Old Guildfordians is always welcome. If you would like to share your thoughts, you are encouraged to contact Kristy Teo, Project Manager or Jen Leah, Co-education Transition Coordinator, on 93779222, email firstname.lastname@example.org
, or use the feedback button on the School’s website
to provide us with comments or feedback.
Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year holiday period, we look forward to seeing all our students new and returning in 2018.