Yearly archive - 2014

Girton Student Emotional About Results

Year 12 Girton Grammar student Bevan Madden, today received an ATAR score that will allow him to study Science, which has been his dream for as long as he can remember.

Headmaster of Girton Grammar School, Matthew Maruff, said that the overall VCE results for the school were excellent and that Bevan deserved his outstanding individual result.

bevan_madden“Bevan has worked hard so it’s wonderful that he will be able to follow his passion into the field of Science.

Bevan said that Girton had given him great academic tuition but that it was really the relationships that he had formed with teachers, friends and his parents that had made the difference.

“We were explicitly taught skills at Girton to build our emotional intelligence and this gave us the confidence to make good choices, be resilient, have fun and try new things.

“We learned that how you feel impacts on how you learn so a real culture of care has developed in the school where we all help each other,” he said.

As the first Australian school to adopt Yale University’s internationally renowned ‘RULER’ approach, Girton Grammar is a national leader in the development of social and emotional literacy skills. Student wellbeing is integrated across all of Girton’s curriculum, programs and activities and the physical, social, emotional, cognitive and spiritual health of students and staff is a priority.

“I feel really lucky to have been to a school where every student has a sense of belonging within the larger school community and our House system fosters this.

“Expectations from teachers are quite high but every student knows where to turn if they need someone to talk to,” he said.

Girton Student Says Results a Team Effort

Girton Grammar student, Jessica Farrar, has achieved an ATAR score ranking her in the top 9% of the State, having already received a scholarship for departing students for her outstanding contribution to her school and her community. Headmaster of Girton Grammar School, Matthew Maruff, said that the overall VCE results for the school were excellent and that Jessica deserved her outstanding individual result. Teagan Brown, Olivia White, Jessica Farrar, Hansani Tennakoon“Jessica has worked diligently and has been incredibly supportive of her peers along the way, as they have her,” he said. Jessica said that she was overwhelmingly relieved and could not wait to get together with friends to celebrate and share results. “We have had such a friendly and cohesive Year 12 and everyone has worked really hard. “I feel like my results actually belong to so many people – my friends, my family and my teachers – who encouraged and supported me all the way. “My friends, in particular, have been amazing, giving me guidance and support whenever I needed it, any time of the day or night. “My VCE score really is the result of a team effort,

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which my friends and the school have nurtured right from the start,” she said. Jessica hopes to study Medicine at Monash University, Clayton. “It’s been such a big year and I can’t wait to start university but I will definitely miss my friends and family in Bendigo. “I’m sure there will be other Girton students who will study at Monash, which will make leaving my close friends in Bendigo a bit easier,” she said.

Successful Girton Student Praises Teachers and Friends

Year 12 Girton Grammar student, Stephanie Dolman, has thanked her teachers for getting her through VCE and helping her to achieve an ATAR score that will likely get her into a Bachelor of Health Science degree at La Trobe University in Bendigo, where she has already been offered a La Trobe University Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarship. stephanie_dolmanHeadmaster of Girton Grammar School, Matthew Maruff, said that the overall VCE results for the school were excellent and that Stephanie deserved her outstanding individual result. “Stephanie has not only worked really hard but she has also rallied her peers to be their best. “We have high but reasonable expectations of our students and Stephanie has met these in every way, academically, emotionally and socially,” he said. Stephanie said that the teachers at Girton were instrumental in helping her to achieve everything that she had hoped she would in her final year at school. “The opportunity to form relationships with teachers at this school is incredible – it’s more like having a family connection than a student-teacher relationship. “I am especially grateful for the weekly ‘Maruff Master Classes’ that our Headmaster provided to Year 12 students. “I found them immensely beneficial and my vocabulary, as well as general knowledge, increased exponentially as a result. “The sessions always generated intellectual discussion about ideas raised and the feedback on my draft English pieces was so helpful,” she said. Stephanie said that Mr Maruff provided the encouragement, praise and wisdom that allowed her to feel confident as she walked in and out of the English exam. “In the words of our Headmaster; profound ideas make an indelible impression on our psychological landscapes. That’s the way he spoke with us, which helped us extend ourselves,” she said.

Year 12 Girton Grammar student and School Captain, Thomas Duke, has achieved an ATAR score of 99.95

Year 12 Girton Grammar student and School Captain, Thomas Duke, has achieved an ATAR score of 99.95 giving him the highest ATAR Score possible in the VCE. Headmaster of Girton Grammar School in Bendigo, Matthew Maruff, said that the overall VCE results for the school were excellent and that Tom deserved his outstanding individual result. Thomas Duke, Girton Grammar School Bendigo, got a perfect ATAR score of 99.95, at home with mother Christina Sasse and father Richard Duke“Tom has been at Girton Grammar since he was 5 years old and has been Dux of his

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Year level every year since Grade 3. “But what stands Tom apart is not only his academic ability, but his all-round depth of talent and even more importantly, his contribution to those around him and to the community at large. “From Salvation Army Red Shield Appeals to our Student2Student reading mentor program, Tom has been involved in the school and broader community. “His music and sporting flair is boundless and he was voted by his peers as our male School Captain for 2014,” Mr Maruff said. Tom said that Girton Grammar had afforded him every opportunity he could ever imagine and that his teachers always went over and above for the students. “I have been at Girton for two thirds of my existence and the school is more like a family than anything. “We were always taught that how you feel impacts on how you learn and both the teachers and students at Girton genuinely care for one another, creating a positive learning environment. “The friends I have made here I will have forever and I am so grateful for the support and encouragement that my teachers and family have always provided,” Tom said.

Girton Students Top Bendigo Region

Girton Grammar School in Bendigo has topped the region for VCE results with a median ATAR score of 81.4 and 54% of its Year 12 VCE students ranking in the top 20% of the State.  Thomas Duke, School Captain for 2014, achieved a perfect ATAR score of 99.95

Headmaster of Girton Grammar School, Matthew Maruff, said that the results were excellent and commensurate with VCE results for the school in recent years.

“Teachers and students have worked so hard and these results are just reward for effort.

“Our students have supported one another and together, strove for their best, united by a camaraderie and common purpose.

“We believe that learning involves working in partnership with parents and nurturing the growth and development of the whole person, so our parents are also to be acknowledged in these great results,” he said.

Other VCE highlights for Girton Grammar are as follows:

  • Two of Girton’s students finished in the top 1% of the State
    Thomas Duke (99.95) and Georgia Jenkins-Smales (99.55)
  • 11% of Girton’s students finished in the top 5% of the State
  • 25% of Girton’s students finished in the top 10% of the State
  • 54% of Girton’s students finished in the top 20% of the State
  • 9 students achieved perfect scores of 50 in subjects as diverse as Mathematics (Thomas Duke, Liam Murphy and Zoe Deed), English Language (Thomas Duke), Music Investigation (Andrew McKinnon), Studio Arts (Sophie Rhule), Outdoor and Environmental Studies (Riley Luke) and Sociology (Leah Hotker).

Mr Maruff said that Girton Grammar aims to be the Australian benchmark for excellence in Regional education with the achievements of students an important measure of the success of the school.

“We aim for students and staff to exceed well beyond a level considered average.

“I am immensely proud that the desire to learn is so evident in this year’s VCE results,” he said.

Friends of Drama – Dinner meeting date change

The date for the Friends of Drama Dinner meeting has been changed to Tuesday 25th November at 6.30pm at the Cambrian Hotel, Arnold Street Bendigo.

 Anyone interested in joining the Friends of Drama for 2015 is invited to join the Committee and families for dinner on 25th November.

 Please contact Vicki Matthews if you would like to attend. or 0401 688 998

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Choir Students Learn From The Best

Internationally acclaimed composer, singer and vocal arranger, Tony Backhouse, will visit Girton Grammar School on Wednesday 12th November to work with Junior School choirs and impart his unique and inspired vocal coaching techniques on dozens of budding young singers.

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Head of Girton Grammar Junior School, Don Thompson, said that there was nothing quite like learning from example.

“Tony Backhouse is the best of the best in his field and has conducted vocal workshops all over the world with thousands of people.

“We have a strong music and vocal program at the school and exposing young people to musicians of this caliber will make a lasting impression,” Mr Thompson said.

In demand for his inspiring teaching style, Tony Backhouse has run more than 2,000 vocal workshops throughout the world for the public, for festivals, schools, universities, churches, private organisations and corporate training events. He has also written, composed and performed music for the likes of Tim Finn, Renee Geyer, Cate Cebrano and the Sydney Children’s Choir.  Tony lives in New Zealand and founded Australia’s foremost acapella gospel choir, Café of the Gate of Salvation.

“Performing in a choir encourages students to learn the value of sustained team effort to achieve excellence and the concrete rewards of hard work.

“With around 178 music lessons conducted every week in our Junior School, I am sure our students will be very receptive to everything that Mr Backhouse has to share with them,” Mr Thompson said.

Out of the Classroom into the Lab

In a bid to get students to study science through to Year 12, especially Physics, a program called Growing (Junior) Tall Poppies in Science (, has been developed to allow students and teachers to work alongside scientists using cutting edge research facilities. Sacha Mann is in Year 11 at Girton Grammar School and is one of only 10 students in Victoria to be accepted into the program and granted access to an eminent Scientist/Mathematician who will be connected to the school throughout 2015.

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Headmaster at Girton Grammar School, Matthew Maruff, said that teachers need ways of exciting young science students. Sacha Mann_physics 1 “This means having the techniques, training and facilities in place to support an engaging and modern curriculum. “The science lab is where the real learning happens – it’s where the theory is put into practice and where the magic of science imprints on a young person’s mind forever.

“We are so proud that Sacha will collaborate with scientists on their current research to develop activities that will promote science,” he said. Sacha was selected for the Growing (Junior) Tall Poppies program for her academic excellence and passion for science and maths along with her capacity to communicate science to her immediate and broader community. She will be accompanied by 5 other Girton students next year in a week-long immersion program where students will work with scientists to formulate inquiry-based questions and experiments and then publish the results. “This is a great opportunity for Sacha and her peers to have a really authentic science experience and to appreciate science beyond the classroom. “The program will allow the school to develop contacts with industry scientists and for students to get a good idea of what a career in science looks like,” Mr Maruff said. Media contact: Alex Fisher (03) 4408 5985 /


Monday, August 11, 2014 NEW $13M BUILDING SUPPORTS CURRENT SCHOOL OF THOUGHT Following two years of planning and a year of construction, a new state of the art multi-purpose building was officially opened today at Girton Grammar School and named The Naunton Family Building. Mr Matthew Maruff, Headmaster at Girton Grammar School said that the $13 million building is an asset not only to the school, but to the city of Bendigo. “By having the very best facilities we support the excellence in academic and co-academic areas of education that the school consistently strives to achieve. “This level of investment is also significant for future staff and students and signifies our commitment to the growth and progress of the school. “Bendigo is a great place in which to live and work and quality schools play a huge part in strong communities and in helping to bring talent to this city. “Most of the work done on the building was by local Bendigo businesses with e+ Architecture doing design work and Fairbrother Pty Ltd carrying out construction. “We sought the views of staff and students with regard to what makes great teaching and learning spaces so the building tells a personal story for many. “When it came to naming the building, it was an easy choice. Donald Naunton and his wife Carolyn have contributed countless hours in volunteer work for the betterment of the school and the wider Girton community. “Their eight children all attended Girton Grammar as well as two of their grandchildren who are currently enrolled in the school. “In different roles as Board Member, Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Finance Committee over the past 21 years, Donald has guided the school through large expansion projects with his wisdom and careful governance ensuring that these projects were delivered prudently and successfully. “He will leave a powerful legacy for which future students will always feel grateful,” said Mr Maruff.

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The new four storey building features a 176 seat lecture theatre, art room, careers guidance centre, eight science laboratories, Year 12 study rooms and a library. A three storey atrium acts as a centre piece for the building which has extensive natural light and flexible open spaces. The building meets the highest possible environmental standards with energy consumption about half that of the previous buildings, carpet made from 70% recycled materials, double glazing and environmental film on windows to improve temperature control and a state of the art heating and cooling system. “This new building supports Girton’s model of learning which has three simple but powerful aspects: emotion, motivation and cognition. “We have an incredible community of support for the school through our Board, our staff, and our student and parent networks which have made the investment in this superb new building possible,” Mr Maruff said.

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