The good news of Easter

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The good news of Easter

The Swoosh, the sports company and the good news of Easter

The swoosh is, of course, the logo for the sports company ‘Nike’. The company was started in 1964, when it was called Blue Ribbon Sports, but 14 years later BRS became Nike. Nike is an ancient Greek word that means ‘victory’ related to the goddess called Nike; the swoosh can be taken to represent her wings. She flew over the battle-fields and brought victory to the side favoured by the gods. She was also believed to give victory to athletes and artists competing in the ancient games at Olympia. Hence her appearance on modern Olympic medals: she has a laurel wreath in one hand (the crown placed on the head of the winners), and palm leaves in the other (a symbol of peace after the battle or competition).

About 2000 years ago the word nike was also painted onto, or carved into, the walls of Rome: ancient graffiti! And the people who were responsible for this graffiti were not athletes or soldiers celebrating their victories: they were some of the early Christians in Rome. Members of the early church adopted this word as a way of expressing what they believed: that by dying and rising again Jesus was a “victor”. Ever since that time this is one of the ways that Christians have described what Jesus did, and continues to do, for us.

This is not victory over our enemies in battle, whoever they may be at any moment in time. It is not outrunning our competitors, in whatever field that may be. The victory of the crucified and risen Christ is victory over all the things that make human beings turn on each other: jealousy, fear, envy, prejudice, greed, hard-heartedness, injustice and self-centredness, all of those attitudes of heart and mind that obscure the reality that we are made in the image of God.

If we say that at Easter we celebrate Jesus’ victory over sin, then what we are celebrating is this:

  • that God in Christ has a way of absorbing all the sin of the world, and transforming it into goodness;
  • that God in Christ makes it possible for love and freedom to thrive in the world and in each of our lives.

There are many people in the world today who are intent on claiming victory, by whatever means. What we notice about the victory of Jesus, however, is that he didn’t win victory by killing others or annihilating anyone or misusing his power. He did it by becoming the victim of sin, of everything that is wrong in the world. It was most the vulnerable option, but through that vulnerability love was re-born, is re-born, and will be re-born. That’s what resurrection means: bringing love out of evil, bringing light out of darkness, bringing life out of death. May I wish you and your loved ones – love, light and life this Easter, or at least a glimpse of these most real realities.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Helen Creed
School Chaplain

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Creatively Learning Together

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Creatively Learning Together

Creatively Learning Together

When planning to engage an Artist-In-Residence to work with our students this year, we decided to think big!  Inspired by our learning with Murrundindi, the Ngurungeata of the Wurundjeri  people and our work in understanding mindfulness through our Positive Education Program, we decided to explore creating an artwork that would celebrate both of these Camberwell Girls priorities.  Engaging as many students, staff and where possible members of the Camberwell Girls community, the artwork needed to be quite substantial.

A number of years ago I had the privilege of attending the opening of a labyrinth at Elgee Park on the Mornington Peninsula, designed and constructed by artist Simon Normand.  Simon’s career as an exhibiting artist spans 30 years and encompasses an array of creative media. His works have won many awards and received critical acclaim.

Within both urban and rural settings, his work reflects his strong environmental ethos and connection with the Australian landscape. His works have included photographs and paintings from the Roper River region, South-East Arnhem Land, also living in the area in the Ngukurr community for three years.  He has held an exhibition of maps and photographs of the Mornington Peninsula depicting Boonwurrung country before colonisation.

In addition to the Elgee Park Labyrinth, Simon was the designer and creator of the Jessie Mary Vasey Labyrinth at Austin Health’s Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and has undertaken many sculpture and mosaic projects with school communities.

During 2016 Simon visited Camberwell Girls to assess possibilities for the creation of a significant art piece at the School.  One of the options that he presented to us was to create a labyrinth in the amphitheatre.

The labyrinth is an ancient pattern found in many cultures around the world and designs were found on pottery, tablets and tiles that date as far back as 5000 years.  Many patterns are based on spirals and circles mirrored in nature.  A labyrinth is a walking meditation that has only one path that leads from the outer edge in a circuitous way to the centre.

Unlike a maze, where you lose your way, the labyrinth is a spiritual tool that can help you find your way.  In terms of understanding the meditative benefit of walking a labyrinth it is best described in contrast to a maze.  You enter a maze to lose yourself, but you walk a labyrinth to find yourself.

Our Camberwell Girls labyrinth will also include mosaic features that have been created by students, staff and some members of the community.  The mosaic features are predominantly native Australian animals, as portrayed in the paintings by William Barak, the great uncle of Murrundindi and former Ngurungeata of the Wurrundjeri people.

In working with Murrundindi and Aunty Joy Murphy, Simon has gained permission to use the animal designs of Bunjil the eagle, the emu, the lyrebird and the wombat.  Mosaics will also form the stars in the night sky.  The sketch above represents the design of the labyrinth.

Simon will be working for approximately five months at Camberwell Girls this year on this project.  I hope that you will stop and view the progress as you visit the School over the next few months.

Simon has also been working with some of our Heads of Department to help us embed some of the learning in our curriculum for students.

It is wonderful to hear the delight of students and staff as they complete parts of the mosaic features.  We look forward to see the development over the next few months.

 

With best wishes,

 

Debbie Dunwoody
Principal

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Home Learning vs Homework – a PACED approach

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Home Learning vs Homework – a PACED approach

What do we value as important for a student when she goes home after her day at CGGS?

At a time when the nature of teaching and learning is transforming, with modern practices, digitisation, and abundant information available to students, this question has fuelled deep introspection for a number of Ormiston and Senior School staff.

Reflecting particularly on the polarising topic of homework, our teachers have been investigating their application of tasks for the girls to complete at home by asking:

> Why do we ask our students to complete it?
> Is it having a positive impact on learning?
> What does current research evidence tell us?

(educationally; neurologically; and from girls’-specific and well being perspectives)

Through broader consultation with students and parents of the School, we understand that homework is perceived to help set important routines and study habits that can lead to progress in student learning. It has also given some parents a chance to engage in and connect with their child’s learning.   However, it is increasingly apparent that for some families, the conventional approach to ‘homework’ has not always been a productive and positive learning experience and it has placed significant, burdensome pressure to their family life.

The impact from a girl’s perspective yields a similarly broad array of responses.  Whilst some students comment favourably or indifferently on the topic, a number also suggest their experiences could be improved, particularly with regard to stress they feel with their time commitments.  In other terms, many students feel compromised by their strong interests in both academic learning and in co-curricular and non-school based pursuits; they are sometimes simply unable to meet their competing demands.

To illustrate this, here is a snapshot of a week in the life a Camberwell girl in Year 9 (age 14).

With such compelling information from our students, combined with further provocation from leading research and news media across the world (see further reading below), we have embarked upon a bold re-evaluation of what we value for our students at the end of their school day.

At Camberwell Girls, we value each student having the time after school hours to:

> connect with her family;
> to enhance her personal development through play, leisure and socialisation activities
> to enhance her well being through health-related activities (including sleep);
> to connect with her local community through clubs, sports or events;
> and we value her home learning (not home ‘work’) as a productive part of her development.

Rather than removing homework altogether, we have placed renewed value on the ‘learning’ aspect to be done at home, recognising that the right kinds of tasks can offer significant learning benefit to our students.

Our aim is to emphasise ‘learning’ over any mundane, trivial or unnecessarily time-consuming tasks that could be called ‘work’, implying a job to be done, perhaps without any actual learning at all.  Unfortunately, most global research on the topic of ‘homework’ has identified precisely that effect:  lots of work, but zero to very little actual learning.

Foremost expert on all things teaching and learning, Professor John Hattie, Director of the Melbourne Educational Research Institute and Chair of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership illustrates through his longitudinal, meta-analysis of global research that homework in both primary and secondary schools is not impactful on student learning.

Despite this, Hattie challenges teachers worldwide not to eradicate homework, in favour of striving to improve it.

Thus we have developed our PACED Principles for home learning at CGGS.

The acronym PACED stands for Preparation, Application, Consolidation, Enhancement and Differentiation.

By developing home learning tasks that fit with these principles, we plan for each home learning task to be an enriching and productive use of her valuable time.

Throughout Term One, several teachers across our Junior and Senior Schools have been implementing these principles. Early feedback is universally positive, showing that the PACED approach is quite effective in helping students to grow their learning by productively using their time at home.  We thank those teachers involved for their commitment to trial and test this important learning strategy, as these early experiences will help us to evaluate and refine the home learning principles before implementation across all year levels.

On a final note, as researchers repeatedly point to reading at home as the most valuable task that a student can do to improve their learning, we continue to strongly advocate for this also.

~ Ben Jenkinson & Nirvana Watkins

 

 

Further reading articles

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Principal

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Principal

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science was acknowledged last Saturday. The UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the main intergovernmental body dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. In December 2015, the General Assembly of the CSW adopted a resolution to recognise the critical role that women and girls play in science and technology communities by establishing an annual international day of recognition, falling on 11 February each year.

Last Saturday, ABC Science featured the CGGS Girls Invent Program as their lead story to celebrate the UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science.Eloise Holwell, Angela Jia and Zara Mammone shared their experiences in the program and some information on their inventions that they have developed through their involvement in the program.  Click here to view the great article.

In September 2015, Camberwell Girls was invited to participate in the ‘Girls Invent’ program, an initiative of Scale Investors and Dr Mark Glazebrook, the founder of Girls Invent. Over forty students from Years 7-9 volunteered to be a part of the program and worked with Dr Glazebrook and a team of ‘Scale Angels’, supported by Camberwell Girls staff, Mrs Eleanor Macaro, Mr Mark Barnett and Ms Giselle Lobo. In December 2015, two teams pitched their ideas to Scale Angels. This was the foundation of the program at Camberwell Girls.

Identifying a problem or need, girls have learnt how to analyse the problem and develop solutions by investigation and then prototyping, modelling and creating solutions. It has been wonderful to see the excitement as girls build their prototypes out of ‘everyday’ materials, test and re-design them. They have been challenged to examine the market and test the need for their potential product or solution. Learning to pitch their idea has also been a core component of the process.

In 2016, the CGGS Girls Invent program was embedded into the Year 7 Science curriculum, whilst Angela Jia who started with the 2015 group, continued to develop her idea with an external female engineer as a mentor. We have been very grateful for Dr Glazebrook’s support as he has guided us in continuing to develop the program at Camberwell Girls, which will grow in 2017 as we launch our own Maker Space in March. This working space is part of the first stage of our Science Redevelopment, alongside an upgraded experimental laboratory and robotics laboratory.

An active approach to learning, where students build knowledge and meaning through the powerful process of learning by doing, rather than just learning about things, is the basis of constructivism. The Maker Movement in education is based on this creative approach to learning and is building momentum globally. Through the development of Maker Spaces in schools, libraries and community spaces, people engage in the process of inventing and tinkering (another common phrase for this process is hacking) individually or collaboratively, sharing and discussing ideas.

Our new Maker Space, which will also support the work of the Girls Invent Program, will be coordinated by a team of Art, Science and Commerce teachers, under the leadership of Mrs Macaro and Mr Barnett. Whilst the Girls Invent Program will again be embedded into the Year 7 curriculum, students of all ages will have the opportunity to use the space at a range of times to develop their ideas with staff to guide them. Further details will be available during the term. Dr Glazebrook will also be working closely with the team to ensure that we support girls to move beyond the initial stages of ideas and designs through to assisting them to create real solutions and products, engaging both their hearts and their minds.

Learning by doing, and creating solutions to real problems is an important part of our girls’ education at Camberwell Girls as we support them to ‘create their tomorrow’.

 

With best wishes,

 

Debbie Dunwoody
Principal

 

 

2016 Parent Survey Feedback
Each year we conduct a parent survey to obtain value feedback from parents about a number of key areas at CGGS.  The confidential parent survey was conducted by MYP Corporation through their School Results Survey (SRS) from 7-21 November 2016. The survey also enabled comparison of results with similar schools.

34.8% of parents participated in the survey (37% in 2015).  Parents indicated that the 5 top reasons for choosing CGGS from highest to lowest were:  academic excellence, school reputation, single sex, location and the size of school/classes.  The satisfaction rating is summarized in the table below.
Satisfaction Rating (out of 5.00):

CGGS Comparable Schools All Schools
2016 4.10 = 82.0% 4.07 = 81.4% 4.08 = 81.6%
2015 4.07 = 81.4% 4.07 = 81.4% 4.07 = 81.4%

The key areas in which feedback was sought were:

Values & Culture
Leadership & Direction
School Communication
Curriculum
Co-curriculum
Learning & Extension
Teaching Standards
Learning Environment
Resources & Facilities
Homework
Reporting
Pastoral Care/Wellbeing
Student Transition
Student Engagement
Parent Engagement

Of the 15 Key Areas surveyed, 11 received an excellent satisfaction rating & 4 received a good satisfaction rating  (Rating out of 5).  The rating of the highest 5 categories of satisfaction are listed below:

2016 2015
·      Learning Environment (4.33) ·      Values and Culture (4.23)
·      Leadership and Direction (4.25) ·      Learning Environment (4.22)
·      Values and Culture (4.23) ·      Leadership and Direction (4.19)
·      Resources and Facilities (4.20) ·      Resources and Facilities (4.14)
·      Pastoral Care & Wellbeing (4.10) ·      Student Engagement (4.11)

The lowest 5 categories of satisfaction from least satisfied to more satisfied were:

2016 2015
·      Learning and Extension (3.79) ·      Learning and Extension (3.78)
·      Homework (3.89) ·      General – 10 Statements (3.84)
·      Reporting (3.97) ·      Homework (3.96)
·      Teaching Standards (3.99) ·      Curriculum (3.99)
·      Student Engagement (4.06) ·      Co-curriculum (4.01)

Informed by the survey, the following will be areas of focus for the School in 2017:

  • Learning support and extension
  • Homework and project management
  • Reporting and feedback
  • Sport in the Junior School

I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents for their valuable feedback and look forward to our continued work in partnership.

 

Debbie Dunwoody
Principal

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Principal

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Principal

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I warmly welcome you all to the 2017 School year after what I hope has been a relaxing and rejuvenating holiday break. There is always excitement in the air as students return, whether they are returning to Camberwell Girls or commencing as a new student this year. In particular I would like to mention the significance of those who are commencing their formal education in Foundation and all of our Year 7 students who begin their secondary school journey.

I would also like to acknowledge the Chinese Lunar New Year, which we are currently celebrating. In the Year of the Rooster I wish you all happiness, good health and prosperity. The Rooster ranks tenth in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac animals. In Chinese culture, the rooster represents fidelity and punctuality for it wakes people up on time. I am delighted that we will be celebrating Chinese New Year on Thursday 9 February with a spectacular show of Gongfu, Dragon Dance and Lion Dance on the oval for the whole school community to enjoy from 12.15 – 1.15pm.

Prior to students returning this week a number of professional learning days for teachers and professional services staff were held, as well as leadership days for members of the key education and management teams. Staff learning is a priority at Camberwell Girls and I am delighted this year that Kate Giles has commenced in the new role of Director of Professional Learning and Partnerships. In her role Kate will ensure that our staff have the opportunity to engage in a range of quality programs as both participants and presenters.

In Years 7 and 12 we commenced the year with a special Church Service conducted by Reverend Creed in Barbara Sutton Hall, followed by dinner in the Fig Tree Café, operated by Pinwheel and Co. We have also commenced our Information Evenings that will take place over the first few weeks and provide a wonderful opportunity for parents to meet key teachers including Class teachers, Form Group teachers and subject teachers.

Teaching teams this year are continuing to work on a number of priorities including Curriculum Design where our focus is on teaching and assessing for understanding and learning transfer, activities where our girls are able to develop creative, problem solving, entrepreneurial and communication skills of the students as well as coding and robotics programs across the school as curricular and co-curricular opportunities.

The first stage in the renovation of our Science Laboratories during the holidays, which includes the development of our Makerspace, is progressing well and is due to be completed at the end of February. The upper floor of the Music Department, including the technology laboratory was also refreshed, two new offices in the Anne Feehan Building have been constructed and there have been extensive renovations in Senior School staff room to enable more collaborative work.

A number of new teachers with extensive experience have commenced at Camberwell Girls this year:

– Mrs Lara Banerji (Mathematics)
Lara has extensive experience teaching Mathematics, most recently at St Leonard’s College and The Royal Grammar School in the UK.

– Mrs Penny Byrne (Junior School Music)
Penny has over 30 years experience leading children’s music education programs in independent schools including Strathcona, Scotch College and Camberwell Grammar.

– Mrs Filomena Cricri (Global Politics and History)
Filomena is VCAA Assistant to the Chief Assessor for Global Politics and has been an assessor for 15 years. She has most recently taught at Lauriston and has held leadership positions at independent schools including Head of History, Head of House and Head of Community Service.

– Mrs Michelle Di Giovanni (Year 2 Classroom teacher)
Michelle is a very experienced classroom teacher and was most recently Unit Leader at Ashburton Primary School. She is also a qualified LOTE teacher in Italian.

– Mrs Roula Duggan (Head of Learning Enrichment)
As an experienced leader in schools, Roula was most recently the Head of Learning Strategies at Brighton Grammar School. She has worked extensively in primary and secondary education and has held leadership positions in Learning Support and as Year Level Coordinator in other schools including MLC and Academy of Mary Immaculate.

– Ms Sandra Fang (Junior School Chinese)
In addition to teaching, Sandra is a Chinese interpreter and VCE Assessor for Chinese Second Language. She has also taught Mandarin at the Victorian School of Languages.

– Mr Adam Levitt (Mathematics)
Adam has most recently taught Mathematics at St Paul’s Anglican Grammar in Warragul. He has also been a Head of Department and Coordinator of the IB Middle Years Program at Somerset College in Queensland.

– Ms Kate Manner (Head of English)
Kate comes to us from the Knox School where she held the position of Deputy Head of Senior School and has also been a Head of House and Year 9 Coordinator. She is an experienced VCAA Assessor for English.

– Mrs Nancy Robottom (Year 4 Classroom teacher)
Nancy is an experienced classroom teacher teaching in both Australia and the UK. She has most recently held the position as Unit Team Leader at Surrey Hills Primary School and prior to that at Uplowman Church of England Primary School in the UK.

– Ms Kirstin Shipsides (Chemistry, Science and Mathematics teacher)
Kirstin has most recently held the role of Head of Chemistry at Caulfield Grammar School. She has also been Leader of Junior Science Curriculum and Formative Practice Leader at the same school. Kirstin is also a VCAA Chemistry Assessor.

– Ms Annie Wilson (Legal Studies, Commerce)
Annie is a very experienced teacher who comes to us from PLC. She is a presenter for the VCE Legal Studies Professional Development Program and is a VCAA VCE Examiner for Legal Studies and Economics. Annie is also the author of numerous published texts in her methods.

– Ms Eleanor Wood (Head of Science)
Eleanor comes to us from Carey Grammar as a Biology and Science teacher. She has also held the positions of Coordinator of VCE and IB Biology, Year 10 Biology and Year 8 Science at Carey. Eleanor has also been an assistant subject leader of Science at the London Academy in the UK and has been a Science Education Officer at CSIRO Education in Queensland.

I am also pleased to welcome Mr Zac Mowat, Ms Hannah Simon and Ms Megan Supple as our Deakin Associate Teachers for 2017, Ms Jacquie Tolhurst as our new Clarinet Music Tutor and Mr Peter Kitney in his new role as Aquatics Program Manager.

We were delighted to welcome back from leave Ms Toni Vernon, Mrs Cathy Georgiev, Mrs Kath Buckingham, Mr Ken Trufitt and Ms Wiebke Kleine.

I am very excited about the calibre of our teaching team and the extensive programs and opportunities for our girls.

 

With very best wishes for the year ahead.

Debbie Dunwoody
Principal

 

 

The Class of 2016
The 2016 Year 12 students achieved excellent results. Hard work, good study habits, careful planning and informed decision making resulted in a high standard of academic performance and subsequent tertiary offers. This performance could not have been reached without the skills and guidance provided by our School’s dedicated and professional staff.

As in previous years, the University of Melbourne and Monash University were the preferred institutions of our students. RMIT University featured strongly this year, with Deakin University and Swinburne University well represented. Students were also offered places in ANU and the University of Sydney, and it was exciting news to hear that a Camberwell Girls student will be attending New York University in 2017.

Each year a number of our students are the recipients of university scholarships and prestigious award programs which the institutions offer in recognition of a number of factors, academic excellence and community service being examples. Camberwell Girls is proud to have contributed to these students’ achievements.

Commerce and business related courses were overwhelmingly the most popular courses chosen by our students this year. Some students opted to combine their commerce or business courses with another degree such as Arts, Global Studies and Law. Specialist courses in the Business area included Accounting, Human Resource Management, International Business, Marketing and Project Management. Arts was the next most popular course. Design courses were in vogue this year with many students gaining places in highly sought after specialist courses at RMIT University such as Fashion Design, Interior Design and Communication Design. These students faced a rigorous selection process that involved a combination of pre-selection programs, presentation of folios and interviews. Ably guided by Mr Barnett and his department, many of these students enhanced their chances of selection by participating in the interview preparation course held at school late in Term 4. Science, Engineering and Health courses accounted for a third of our students’ choices with general Science, Biomedicine, Engineering (including double degrees) and allied health courses such as Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Osteopathy and Nursing included in the mix. Other courses chosen by our students included Construction Management/Property & Real Estate, Digital Media, Global Studies, Journalism, Media and Communication and Music.

This highlights our School’s wonderful ability to cater for a student population with a strong academic focus, a rich diversity of talents and wide ranging individual interests. As past years have demonstrated, many of our graduates will distinguish themselves in a broad range of tertiary disciplines and vocational fields. We look forward to inviting them back as our guest speakers and following their career paths through the school alumni. Their knowledge of courses, tertiary institutions and transition issues will provide invaluable information for our current students.

Camberwell Girls is enormously proud of the class of 2016!

 

Kind Regards,

Trish Dolan
Careers Counsellor

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Principal

This week Mrs Dunwoody shares some exciting news about our Early Learning Centre.

Senior School

It has been a busy fortnight at Senior School with Year 7 Camp, lots of sporting success and the Winter Sleep Out.

Junior School

Our Year 5 & 6 students had some new classmates join them last week and our ELC students had a visit from Martin, our CGGS Gardener.

Community

You only have one more week to get your Early Bird Tickets to the event of the century!

Principal

CamNews

Principal

The last few weeks have been characterised by many special functions and events including:

> Junior School Choral and Instrumental Concert which showcased many of the 16 different musical groups at Ormiston

> Year 6 Graduation Evening and Graduation lunch.

> A very successful weekend of CamArt with many ‘meet the artist’ opportunities and the opportunity for members of the Camberwell Girls community and the wider community to view and purchase quality contemporary art

> An inspiring Year 9 Social Justice Learning Week where students attended workshops in the city run by the Salvation Army and the Big Issue, participated in the Sacred Heart Mission donation challenge and MAD (Make A Difference) challenge, visited a Social Enterprise Store in the city, participated in Community Service Days, finishing with a student conference day of sharing their learning

> A Year 9 Mentoring Breakfast led into the World of Work Day. This program assists in preparing girls for future opportunities.

> Karen Bartram also hosted a 1980s reunion

> Year 8 Enterprise presentations, many of which will be developed further in 2017 to develop the products through our Girls Invent and Makerspace programs

> A ceremony conducted by Murrundindi in honour of our new Mindi Snake Garden on our Woodstock Street Boundary. The garden was constructed by our gardener, Martin Conlon in consultation with Murrundindi. Mindi the snake is not a dangerous snake but a protector of children

> Our annual Carols at Camberwell event

> Carols Service at St Marks

Whilst it has been a busy time, it has also been a wonderful time to connect with people in the community.

In our final staff acknowledgements, I would like to thank Mrs Virginia Richardson, Mr Ian Naudi and Ms Elsbeth Hadenfeldt who have filled teaching contract positions for staff who have been on Family or Long Service and we wish them the best for the future.

We also farewell and thank Effie Barton who, at short notice, undertook the role of Head of Learning Enrichment from Term 2 this year on a contract basis.

I would also like to thank our Deakin Associate teachers Ms Jemma Banfield, Mr Edward Niu and Ms Jacqui O’Neill for their support of the sport, PE and camps program this year.

We also farewell Ms Cathey Dragasia as she secures a teaching position closer to her home and Mr Brett Stout who had led a very innovative Commerce Department over the last few years and coordinated the Social Justice Program this year. Brett has brought many new ideas and programs to Camberwell Girls and we wish him well as he pursues new career interests outside of teaching.

Having recently graduated as a Primary Teacher, Jana Mollinson our clarinet and saxophone tutor will be leaving Camberwell Girls after eight years to take up her first classroom teaching role next year closer to home.

After 12 years at Camberwell Girls, Mr Andrew Hester is leaving to take up an operations management role at Kilvington. Andrew has been Head of Science and Timetabler and a very active coach for a number of sports, as well as attending Fitness Camp. He is a very generous member of staff and we wish him well in his new position.

Mr John Gowdie joined the staff at Camberwell Girls in 2004 as a very experienced Mathematics teacher. He retires at the end of this year after 50 years in the teaching profession. John has provided great support to his colleagues over the years.

Mrs Ronette Clark will be retiring at the end of the year after 14 years at Camberwell Girls. Ronette is an English teacher and we will miss her gentleness, energy and professionalism but we are delighted that she will have more time to spend with her family and travelling.

Also after 14 years at the School, Mr Rob Nicholl will be retiring after 53 years in the teaching profession. Rob actually retired last year, but returned to fulfil a VCE class this year. We thank him for his commitment to Camberwell Girls and wish him all the very best for the future.

It is with sadness that we farewell Mrs Lorraine Peterson. Lorraine has been a dedicated teacher at Camberwell Girls for 35 years, originally teaching Geography and then moving to Science and Biology. Lorraine is always remembered very fondly at reunions as an energised teacher who never hesitated to provide additional assistance. We wish Lorraine all the very best as she spends more time with her family.

During 2017 Ms Ritsa Athanasiadis and Mrs Emily Pandya will we taking parental leave and wish them all the very best.

During the last few weeks students and staff have been collecting gifts and non-perishable food gifts for Anglicare, at both Ormiston and the Senior School for a range of student ages. It has been important for our students to think about the importance of generosity, giving and service in their lives, not only through this action, but through many in our Social Justice programs.

On behalf of the Staff at Camberwell Girls Grammar School we hope that the spirit of Christmas will bring peace and happiness to you and your families during this festive season and throughout the year ahead.

Have a very happy and safe holiday and we look forward to welcoming you back in 2017.

 

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody
Principal

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Principal

This week Mrs Dunwoody shares some exciting news about our Early Learning Centre.

Senior School

It has been a busy fortnight at Senior School with Year 7 Camp, lots of sporting success and the Winter Sleep Out.

Junior School

Our Year 5 & 6 students had some new classmates join them last week and our ELC students had a visit from Martin, our CGGS Gardener.

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You only have one more week to get your Early Bird Tickets to the event of the century!

Christmas is for Adults too

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Christmas is for Adults too

Christmas is for adults too!

It has become commonplace to hear complaints about how early Christmas appears in the shops, but I am not one of the complainers! In the Church, we have not even started the time of preparation yet –  the reflective season of Advent begins on Sunday 27 November – but I must admit that for the last few weeks I have been enjoying thinking about Christmas. I have admired special window displays, enjoyed making lists and plans and contemplated buying yet another magazine of special recipes! (I do look forward, however, to when we can celebrate an Australian Christmas: I know that polar bears are cute as stuffed toys, but the last time I looked, they were not part of the Australian landscape!)

What you will hear me complaining about is something else: the idea that Christmas is just for children, or just for families with young children. Sharing Christmas with children is undoubtedly a delightful thing to do: it’s plain fun for a start, and an important way for children to be brought up with strong, grounded hope. But actually, there is a lot about Christmas that is for grown-ups. In the Christmas story, we can find gutsy answers to the existential questions of life: Are we loved? Do we matter? How can we be reconciled to all that is against life and human flourishing? Who or what can we depend on? What goals are worth striving for?

The Christmas story takes us back to a bleak middle-eastern night, but, more importantly, it gives us eyes to see the present in a new way. If it is true that Jesus is “true God from true God”, “light from light” (to quote an early church Creed); and if this light “enlightens everyone who comes into the world” (to quote John’s gospel), then we have a stunning starting point for understanding life, for seeing every single particular life. My life, your life, our lives together…have been touched by nothing less than the light of the all holy, all loving, eternal God. That’s the kind of understanding that can surely make a difference to every single day of our lives, and our attitude towards the life we have been given.

So all you adults out there – mums and dads, grandmas and grandpas, aunties and uncles, brothers and sisters and friends of our girls – may I encourage you to be involved in Christmas this year for your own sake, as well as for the children. Take your children to Christmas services, but also go with ears ready to hear something new for you; supervise your children dressing up a Christmas tree, but also think about what you would like to put out for display, to help you to prepare for Christmas. I have included a very practical resource here, titled Taking Advent Home. In these pages you will find suggestions about how to make your own Advent Wreath and prayers to say as you light each candle, as well as some ideas about a Christmas Crib (Nativity scene) and Christmas tree. I am grateful to Rev’d David Moore at St John’s in Camberwell for seeking permission from the author of Taking Advent Home, Father David Wood, to share this with our school community.

May I take this opportunity to wish you some moments of quiet and peace during the Advent season. And may Christmas be a time of light, healing and joy. My prayers are especially with those members of our school community who will be missing loved ones this Christmas. We will be missing Ms Avril Vandersay, one of our music Administration staff, whose funeral was held on Monday 7 November. As it was not possible for many members of the community to attend her funeral, we will be holding a Thanksgiving Service at Camberwell Girls on Wednesday 23 November at 3.45pm, in the Chapel, for those who would like to attend.

Rev Helen Creed
School Chaplain

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Transition

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Transition

As we near the end of the school year our students will begin the process of transitioning to new environments; whether it be from Junior School to Senior School, transitioning to a new year level or to life beyond Camberwell Girls. For most students this is a natural progression however for some this may be a little more daunting.

This week Paula Kolivas, one of our School Counsellors, has written the article below offering ways in which families can navigate this process. At Camberwell Girls we are fortunate to have caring and supportive staff to assist in this process, so if you require any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact our Counsellors or Heads of School – Mrs Cathy Poyser and Mr Paul Donohue.

Best Wishes 

Debbie Dunwoody
Principal

 

During this past month, my family has been preparing to move out of our home and put our house on the market. We have been sifting through old toys, transporting bags of clothes to the local opp shop and sorting cupboards full of forgotten stuff. I was heard on many occasions saying to one of my kids or husband, “Be Ruthless! If it hasn’t been used in the last year, Bin it!” However, I found myself being less ruthless and struggling to dispose of many objects that had not been touched in years but had sentimental value.

Leaving the home that Tom and I purchased, as graduates, 26 years ago, the home we brought our 3 children to after their birth, and the home where our neighbours pop in for a cup a tea has actually been very difficult. I was aware that moving house was going to be stressful, but I have been quite shocked at the level of physical and emotional exhaustion it has created. This last week, my two younger children, on separate occasions, have both been in tears and asking to go back to the old house, with all their old things. Even though they are able to rationalise that we have moved to a ‘bigger and better’ place, they have been impacted by the change in their routine, the change in their environment and missing the familiarity of the past. It occurred to me that despite all the discussion and preparation for the move, despite their excitement about the new house and despite all the improvements, they were still grieving and progressing through their transition from old to new. This transition process is universal and impacts us throughout our lives each time change occurs.

For instance, at Camberwell Girls this month we are very focused on transition. It’s the time of the year where our 2017 students are being introduced to their new school environment. Foundation students and Year 7 students have their formal orientation programs, Year 10 students are moving into the VCE world, Year 11 students are completing exams and being briefed about Year 12 and our current Year 12 girls are finishing off their exam period and thinking about life after high school. Some girls are prepared and ready for the forthcoming changes, but some girls will need encouragement and reassurance that they are capable of facing the new challenges ahead.

Transition is a period of change and adjustment that has a beginning, middle and an end. It starts with a stage of anticipation and preparation. During this stage, students receive information about the forthcoming changes and lots of discussion occurs. This stage is followed with the arrival of their actual experience in the new setting where the student will become an active participant in the process, experiencing the changes and making connections with their new physical, social and emotional environment. Finally the transition process comes to a period of consolidation where students will develop a good sense of where they belong and how they can navigate the environment. How each student deals with this process depends on their personal situation and their stage of development and maturity.

However, despite student and parent anxiety, the average student rises to the occasion and successfully steers from kinder to primary school, from primary to secondary education and from childhood to adulthood. Students tap into their personal resources, their character strengths and with adult support are able to overcome hurdles and progress along their educational journey.

When thinking about students and their educational transition, we can direct our thinking to three broad areas of change and development – procedural, academic and social/emotional.

The procedural changes are the practical things that can cause stress but are usually easily overcome. These include developing an understanding of the timetable, the bell times, the school layout, the jargon, figuring out how to use the locker combination and where the closest bathrooms are located. Basically, the solution to these dilemmas can be read and memorised from a rule-book or manual. Within the first couple of weeks, students have adjusted to these changes with the support of their teachers and classmates and can then focus their attention on other challenges.

Academic expectations can appear daunting to many students. Irrespective of whether you are a Foundation student learning the basic phonetics for early reading or a Year 12 students learning physics formulas, students need to adjust to different academic demands throughout their educational life. The academic challenge for all students across the school is to develop into independent learners who can establish a balance between school, home and recreation. This may not be achieved easily and many students will continue their development in this area into their VCE years and beyond.

Settling into a new year level can be a very emotional time for students and parents. Students are adjusting to all the new elements of their lives – new teachers, new classmates and new friends. They are also juggling issues of identity, belonging and self-confidence at a time when they are trying to navigate their new environment. These emotions can be both positive such as excitement and anticipation as well as worrying like stress, anxiety and grief. It is very common for students to return home after school both physically and emotionally exhausted in the first few weeks of a new year. Parents need to be prepared for this and combat it with patience and understanding and the knowledge that this period will pass.

A successful educational transition is not left to chance at Camberwell Girls. A lot of reflection and work goes into how we are going to facilitate and support all our students through this process. Apart from the formal orientation programs, there is activity happening behind the scene with contemplation on class groupings, teacher selection, the pastoral care program and managing individual differences. All this is done to ensure a smooth and effective transition.

As parents, we can also support this transition process by having open conversations with our children about the changes ahead, rehearse conversation ‘starters’ with to help them make new friends, invite new class mates to our home, maintain old friendships, and encourage our kids to become involved in the House system and the extra-curriculum activities. But most importantly, we must express our belief that they will be able to identify and manage the challenges ahead. A positive mindset goes a long way to building self-confidence that a student is able to successfully complete any transition process. I know that my kids will settle into their new home and the sadness expressed last week is part of their transition journey. They will deal with this change and be ready to face the next one around the corner.

We are lucky to have great staff at Camberwell Girls who ‘Educate Tomorrow’s Woman’ and acknowledge that education is not only derived from books and examinations, but also from the successful navigation of a their social and emotional development. We are pleased to be sharing this journey with your daughters and look forward to witnessing and supporting their 2017 experience.

Best Wishes

Paula Kolivas
School Counsellor

 

Further reading – www.education.vic.gov.au/childhood/parents/transition

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Opportunities to be Creative

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Opportunities to be Creative

This year we commenced the first stage of the implementation of a number of extension programs in Senior School. Our acceleration programs in Mathematics have been implemented which also utilises our Show and Share technology, enabling students to work in a more personalised manner.

We also introduced our new 2040 Enrichment Program, where a group of students from Years 7-10 have been working on creative problem-solving tasks, engaging in competitions and forums. Students nominated themselves to be considered for the program.

Under the leadership of Science Teacher, Eleanor Macaro, Sharon Truong, Rochelle Scheid, Lilyan Zhu, Ally Quan, Chloe Bennett, Nikki Chen, Natasha Ranasinghe, Sarah Chuang, Shohaag Sengupta, Hiruni Sirimane and Irene Xian (from Years 8 and 9), have been working together to develop a community benefit project through the Future Problem Solving Awards, progressing from the State Finals to the National Finals last weekend.

The group chose to develop a project that would benefit our very own Camberwell Girls community. Titled, ‘I’m Talking’ – the team developed a program to combat the language barrier of our own EAL students and to help and support all students to fully engage and participate in the life of the School.

In the National Finals, the project was awarded second place. This is a truly terrific effort and I would like to congratulate all involved. The team now has the opportunity to develop their project further and enter it in the 2017 International Competition in Wisconsin in the USA.

Next year we are looking forward to expanding the program in Senior School and we will also be introducing some extension programs into Ormiston that will also complement our Full STEAM Ahead Program.

Our Year 7 Science students have also been very fortunate to be creative and innovative through their work with Mark Glazebrook from Girls Invent as they learnt about the process of inventing. Some of the inventions will be pitched to a group called Scale Investors, who support entrepreneurial women in early December. We will be developing this process further next year in our new Makerspace which is due to be opened mid Term 1 and will be open to students during lunchtimes as well as during class time so they can continue to work on their inventions. Makerspaces support the philosophy of constructionism which is about hands-on learning and building things. These spaces also provide important opportunities for students to be creative problem solvers through a design thinking process, embracing challenges, failures and success.

I must make mention of our wonderful Year 12 celebrations during the last two weeks. From Presentation Evening through to Farewell Day the following day, Leavers’ Service followed by Valedictory Dinner, were all occasions that were truly memorable.

School Captain, Karen Zhang spoke at Presentation Evening and challenged us all to value our education and life experiences, and to have the courage and boldness to walk through the doors that are presented to us. She also encouraged us to make mistakes – I loved her notion of amazing mistakes, glorious and fantastic mistakes!

When we are bold and not afraid of making mistakes, we have the opportunity to truly be creative. You can read Karen’s full speech here.

 

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody
Principal

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Principal

CamNews

Principal

The arrival of Term 4 always signifies commencement and celebration of important milestones in education – from completing secondary education for our Year 12 students through to the orientation and transition programs for new and continuing students later in the term.

Many of our Year 12 students spent time at school during the holidays participating in the Enhancement Program as well as the Trial Exams. They are well prepared for the examinations ahead of them and I thank all teachers for their support and care of our Year 12 students over many years. An education at Camberwell Girls is more than just an academic education. It is an education for life, where we hope that they will continue to highly value learning opportunities and make meaningful contributions to communities to enhance the lives of others.

During the next few weeks we will celebrate the achievements of our students, both academic and co-curricular, and we will have the opportunity to enjoy some key highlights from the 2016 school year at the Years 10-12 Presentation Evening, Leavers’ Service and Valedictory Dinner.  The Year 12 Assembly is also a time to share the students’ reflections with fun, imagination and enthusiasm and we look forward to their performances.

Our Year 12 students have been wonderful participants in school life and leaders this year. Our Captains, led by our School Captains, Karen Zhang, Tiarnie Ellingworth and Cindy Jiang have led with grace, integrity and enthusiasm by embracing opportunities to celebrate the people and the opportunities at Camberwell Girls. I thank them for their leadership, hard work and commitment this year. It has been a real privilege to work closely with them.

During the Term 3 holidays staff and students were involved in a couple of exciting new initiatives which you will read further about in the Junior School and Senior School news. Our first holiday program for Junior School students, Code Camp engaged over 60 participants! We are currently developing further school holiday programs to roll out in 2017.

In addition, our first group of students and staff travelled to Cambodia to work with The Green Gecko Project, supported by the Asia Pacific Youth Foundation. Our ongoing relationship with these organisations will enable us to support the education of children in Siem Reap. I would particuarly like to acknowledge the staff who have worked tirelessly on the organisation of this trip as well as extensive fundraising over the last 18 months: Shane Maycock, Melissa Campbell, Brett Stout and Kim Waters. They worked hard to ensure a successful learning opportunity for the girls.

I was also extremely fortunate to travel to the United Kingdom and Spain during the holidays to participate in a conference conducted by the Strategic Alliance of Global Educators (SAGE) and to visit partnership schools to develop a more extensive exchange program at Camberwell Girls.

Founded in 2012, by one of our sister schools, Nanyang Girls High School in Singapore, SAGE unites forward-looking and innovative schools from around the world with the aim of bringing educators together to form professional networks that allow wider and deeper sharing of pedagogical ideas, resources and best practices. Every two years, a SAGE partner school hosts a conference of school leaders to share and exchange educational resources and expertise on an international platform.

Camberwell Girls has now been invited into SAGE and we join 15 other leading schools:

> RDFZ Xishan School, Beijing, China
> The Affiliated High School of Peking University, Beijing, China
> Menlo School, California, USA
> The Perse School, Cambridge, United Kingdom
> Scotch College, Melbourne, Australia
> High School Affiliated to Fudan University, Shanghai, China
> Shanghai No. 3 Girls High School, Shanghai, China
> Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore
> School of Science and Technology, Singapore
> Nanyang Girls’ High School, Singapore
> Avenues: The World School, New York, USA
> Oulinkykin Yhtuskaulu, Helsinki, Finland
> Nanshan High School, New Taipei City, Taiwan
> Oregard Gymnasium, Copenhagen, Denmark
> Pathways School, Delhi, India

The theme of the SAGE conference held at The Perse School in Cambridge was ‘Transforming Education: global perspectives and partnerships’. Each school presented on the development of programs in the areas of bilingualism and biculturalism, 21st century classrooms (including 1-to-1 computing programs) and experiential learning programs. Some groups of students who had conducted research about learning languages with students from SAGE schools in different countries presented their research, as did teachers who were working collaboratively on projects about pedagogy.

A wider group of UK educators were invited to the second half of the SAGE Conference and I was invited to join two other Principals on a panel to share with the audience our views about the challenges facing 21st century schools and their leaders to a wider audience.

In addition to the conference I was also very fortunate to visit a number of schools in Spain that form part of The Cooperative Gredos San Diego (GSD). GSD was founded in 1985 as a small school in Madrid and has now expanded to eight schools with approximately 16,000 students in total offering extensive curricular and co-curricular programs including social sevice, sporting and camps programs. Over 2,000 students also participate in exchanges world wide each year and I am delighted that in 2017 Camberwell Girls and GSD will be offering cultural exchanges to secondary students.

Excellence in the development of our educational practices is enhanced through our ability to collaborate and we are now very fortunate to have increased opportunities to collaborate globally with other leading schools.

 

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody

Recent Articles

Principal

This week Mrs Dunwoody shares some exciting news about our Early Learning Centre.

Senior School

It has been a busy fortnight at Senior School with Year 7 Camp, lots of sporting success and the Winter Sleep Out.

Junior School

Our Year 5 & 6 students had some new classmates join them last week and our ELC students had a visit from Martin, our CGGS Gardener.

Community

You only have one more week to get your Early Bird Tickets to the event of the century!