It has been wonderful to see all students now settled into a routine after a very busy start to the year. Throughout the month of February, we have had our Year 7 camp, the first of three Year 9 camps, 3 days of remote learning and our House Swimming carnival. Alongside all of this, our cast and crew for the 2021 school musical, Spamalot, have been incredibly hard at work preparing for their performances later in March.
Our Year 9s successfully completed the first of their three camps recently by hiking along the Great Ocean Walk. This is a challenging camp to begin their year with as they are required to be self-sufficient for the 5 days and carry all of their clothing, food and equipment with them whilst hiking upwards of 50km over the journey. For many students the physical and mental challenge this camp provides is significant; however, the sense of fulfilment and satisfaction upon completion that all students feel makes the effort very worthwhile. I would like to congratulate all students who completed the journey, as well as thank the staff who also attend and complete the challenging trip.
Our Year 8s are currently planning for their own camp coming up toward the end of March which sees them venturing to The Grampians in Western Victoria to complete a stepped journey around the national park as a way of preparing them for their Year 9 adventure in 2022. They too will be self-sufficient for the week and will engage in a variety of activities such as rock climbing, hiking, canoeing and bike riding. This is a new venue for our Year 8 camp and we are very excited for the experience this trip will provide our students.
On Tuesday 2nd March we held our annual House Swimming carnival at school. This day has our girls and boys competing separately with the girls in the pool in the morning and the boys in the afternoon. The two carnivals were both wonderful examples of friendly competition as well as House spirit. For our girls it was Somner/Stewart who prevailed on the day, whilst for the boys it was Gordon/Grant who were successful. A huge congratulations to these two Houses and to all competitors on the day. From an individual perspective our year level champions this year were:
– Year 7: Amelie Scherer and Ryan Jayarathna.
– Year 8: Holly White and Shenghao Jin.
– Year 9: Yuellyn Sun and Hovan Truong.
Congratulations to these six athletes for your wonderful performances on the day. It was great to see such a strong team going on to attend the EISM competition at MSAC on Tuesday 9th March.
When our students were not swimming on Tuesday 2nd they were involved in a gender-based learning activity involving a discussion around the topic of consent, as well as a panel focussed discussion titled “Strong Foundations” for our girls, and “Growing Strong” for the boys, both names taken from the respective school songs. The panellists included members of staff along with a number of alumni who kindly gave up their time to return to school and share their experiences and thoughts with our current students. We appreciated greatly the ongoing commitment our alumni show to the school in many ways. The questions were student driven and sourced prior to the session. They covered a wide variety of topics including attitude to school, motivation, friendships, work, bullying and life after school.
On Wednesday 3rd March our Year 9 leaders led the Middle School in their first combined assembly of the year. It was great to see the captains and vice-captains work collaboratively to put together a wonderful first assembly. They spoke about the challenges of 2020, the excitement for this year in line with the school’s theme of “Opportunities” as well as about International Women’s Day which occurred on Monday 8th March. It was great to see how both the girls and the boys of this generation recognise and enthusiastically embrace the opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.
One of the highlights of the year for many students is fast approaching with this year’s school musical almost at performance time. Despite some last-minute logistical challenges around performance dates provided by the theatre, our cast and crew are in their final stages of rehearsals before their opening performance on Friday 19th March. I certainly wish all participants the very best for the upcoming shows.