FRIENDS OF MIDDLE SCHOOL 
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Pictured above: Sailing boats purchased by FoMS for the Middle School Sailing Programme

PURPOSE

The Friends of Middle School (FoMS) Committee is a friendly group of parents who meet monthly to organise social events to benefit the Middle School community and fundraise to support parent-driven Middle School initiatives. The object of FoMS is to connect parents with others at the school. A diverse group, the committee plans events such as a Welcome Cocktail Party (in Term 1), Breast Cancer Awareness Day, a Middle School Parents' Dinner (in Term 2), a Melbourne Cocktail Party (in Term 3) as well Saturday mornings throughout the winter sport fixtures (coffee and home-made cake in front of a roaring fire at the Ernest Clark Pavilion) to facilitate this.

The FoMS wish to promote comradeship among the parents, recognising that the more accepted they feel within and by the community of Geelong Grammar School, the more willing they will be to participate in the life of Middle School. By so doing, they will better communicate with staff and students and share in more of Middle School life. Their activities and effort are directed to these objectives.

An inclusive group, the FoMS hold monthly meetings during which the Head of Middle School presents her report and the Committee go over plans for upcoming activities. On occasion, different guest speakers from within GGS are invited to present to the attendees. All Middle School parents are warmly invited to attend any Committee meeting to hear more about the FoMS and/or get involved in its activities. 

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HISTORY

The Middle School Parents' Association (as it was originally named) was a brain child of Andrew (Andy) Beauchamp, Head of Middle School (1995-2004). The idea came to him in 1998 - the Highton Campus has just closed and a 'Middle School' was instituted at Corio. It was Andy's job to weld this into a viable entity within the Corio campus. He set about doing this by establishing strong lines of communications with parents, encouraging them to involve themselves in many facets of the school. The Association was a way to offer parents an opportunity to actively support the Middle School. 

Since then, and over the last 22 years, Friends of Middle School have significantly contributed to Friend-raising and Fund-raising to benefit the parents, students and staff of Middle School at Corio. In 2014, the committee was expanded to enable greater involvement by parents who represented all year levels (from 5 to 8).

PAST PRESIDENTS

Immediate Past President: Libby Naylor (2018-2019)

Past Presidents: Harriett Lawrence (2017), David Watters (2014-2016), Andrew Burgess (2013), George Chirnside (2010-2012), Helen Baillie (2008-2009), Michael Bland (2007), Anna Tantau (2006) (Chair), Michael Bland (2005) (Chair)

FUNDRAISING EFFORTS

Through their fundraising activities, the Friends of Middle School are able to provide financial support within Middle School areas which would not normally be covered by the annual budget. 

In the past, through FoMS assistance, new bicycles have been purchased for the GGS fleet to be used on the Great Victorian Bike Ride. This allowed some of the older bikes to be retired or used as spares. Similarly, new iPads have been purchased for the use of students in the Middle School Panckridge Library, and these have proven to be very popular among all year levels. A computer-controlled vinyl cutter has been purchased for the Design and Technology Department where students use the machine for model making and sign writing. Other fundraising projects have included an improvement of the indigenous garden, funding a new basketball ring, outdoor table tennis tables and Lego robotic kits. This last purchase has enabled the robotics programme to grow and flourish, particularly in Years 5 and 6, with students representing GGS at the annual Lego League Space Challenge Competition in Melbourne - all due to this generous donation.

Most recently, the FoMS have funded various author visits, prizes for Middle School art exhibitions and a purchase of a coffee machine. This purchase now enables the Committee to run a coffee stall on Saturday mornings for parents at the Biddlecombe Oval. This has proven a great success, with enthusiastic feedback also from visiting parents, all due to the committee members who give of their time to prepare and serve coffee and welcome all who come on the day, thus further developing the FoMS' aim of connecting the community.

A FoMS initiative in 2019 was to organise and fund a morning tea each term for Middle School children, encouraging day and boarding students to spend time together. FoMS were also delighted to organise a purchase of four Optimist boats to compliment the Middle School Year 5 and 6 Sailing Programme.

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FoMS Breast Cancer fundraiser - Mothers' Day weekend 2019

CURRENT COMMITTEE

Co-Presidents: Leah Carr & Vanessa Eldridge
Secretary: Janet Ashton
Co-Treasurers: Kim Nankivell-Rowell, Jules Scudamore, Carina Reilly

General Committee Members:  
Wendy Clark, Joanne Dean, Karen Dodd, Glenys Hanrahan, Sue Stone, Sarah Van Newkirk Connor, Janet Wilkins

If you would like to join the Committee or would like more information about Friends of Middle School, please contact: supportgroups@ggs.vic.edu.au

MEMBERSHIP

Membership of the Friends of Middle School is free and automatic once your child joins Middle School at Geelong Grammar School, Corio Campus.

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UPCOMING EVENTS: 

3 September 2020 - Year 8 Parents Timbertop Information Session (via ZOOM)