Principal

CamNews

Principal

This year we have introduced some exciting Science initiatives across the School including our Full STEAM Ahead Science program at Ormiston and the Year 7 Girls Invent program in Senior School Science, as well as Coding Clubs and robotics programs at both campuses.

At Camberwell Girls our secondary students have, for a number of years, been keen advocates of the Mathematics and Science programs with many continuing them into tertiary studies. Over the last two years approximately one third of Year 12 students have enrolled in Science, Engineering or Health Science courses at universities and many have been the recipients of prestigious scholarships including La Trobe University’s Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarship, Monash University’s Women in Engineering and Engineering Excellence Scholarships, University of Melbourne’s National Biomedicine Scholarship and Victoria University’s Chancellor’s Scholarship.

The importance of Science graduates in Australia is being closely aligned with the need to drive the innovation agenda and future economic growth. We are all acutely aware that the nature of work is changing as we see jobs in a number of industries being modified or reconfigured by automation. Research by PwC released in 2015 indicates that over the next 20 years about 44% of jobs will be at risk from digital disruption and that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education is important in building the future problem solvers and innovators that we need.

In recognising the importance of creativity and design thinking in the process of problem solving, the Arts are also highlighted, leading us to now consider the importance of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education. The focus on ensuring that girls remain engaged in these fields is essential as we ensure that females are actively contributing to these important fields of endeavor.

I have always been interested in the concept of Constructivism; learning through doing and experiencing things, then reflecting on those experiences. It is a joy to watch young children with their natural curiosity, observing the world around them, often asking endless questions and then developing their own explanations to make sense of the world. As children grow older, building and designing projects that have a purpose and ‘tinkering’ with objects to understand how they work are both important experiences that help students learn how to think creatively about solutions to problems by learning through trial and error.

In planning the refurbishment of our Science spaces in Senior School, the concepts of tinkering, building and designing have been at the heart of our thinking. In addition to traditional laboratories, we will also be creating a Makerspace. The development of Makerspaces worldwide in schools and community spaces (often libraries) are enabling young people to design, experiment, build and invent using a variety of materials. They are not solely Science laboratories, art rooms or computer laboratories, they are usually a combination of all, enabling students to learn about new tools and technologies through projects that require them to collaborate, navigate uncertainty and take risks with their learning. Makerspaces often also incorporate robotics opportunities. We are anticipating that the refurbishment of our ground floor classrooms will commence after Year 12 exams in November and will be completed during Term One in 2017. These spaces will include a Science laboratory, robotics laboratory and Makerspace. It is anticipated that the second stage including renovation of the first floor classrooms will commence in November 2017.

In expanding our Robotics program, which currently includes Dash robots, Bee-bots, Sphero robots and Lego NXT and new EV3 robotics, we were delighted that the Parents and Friends Association agreed to finance the purchase of a humanoid robot and related computer hardware. This very generous support by the Parents and Friends Association enabled us to take possession of two NAO robots last week, the other purchased by the School. One will be allocated to Senior School and the other to Ormiston. Students will be able to program the robots virtually on computers first and then download onto the robots; from simple drop and drag programming through to textual coding in the programming language of Python. This will allow implementation of a wide range of abilities for the robot, from creating interactions with people through responding to voice commands and questions, to performing a range of action from dancing to acting. I am confident that we will see some very sophisticated programming from even our youngest students!

I am delighted to announce that Tilly Kutey (Year 9) was recently identified as a top performer in the 2016 Big Science Competition. She is now one of 54 young Australian girls attending Curious Minds, a girls only program designed to encourage their continuance of STEM studies. Tilly will attend two residential camps and be part of a mentoring program. We extend our congratulations to Tilly.

As research indicates that 75% of the fastest growing occupations require STEAM skills and knowledge, we are committed to providing our girls with the best learning opportunities in, and across these disciplines to ensure that they are the motivated and creative innovators that the world needs. In the meantime, we also plan to have a lot of fun!

 

With best wishes,

 

Debbie Dunwoody
Principal

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Expanding Diversity Sharing Leadership

CamNews

Expanding Diversity sharing Leadership

Next Generation Learning – ‘Expanding Diversity Sharing Leadership’

The use of technology as part of Next Generation Learning is a highly successful initiative at Camberwell Girls Grammar School. The goal of Next Generation Learning is to make it possible to expand the breath of student experiences and to personalise learning according the individual needs and pace of the student and emphasising student centred classrooms. Next Generation Learning is alive at Camberwell, we place great emphasis on teaching Next Generation Learning skills and dispositions needed to enhance students’ futures including curiosity, creativity, computational and critical thinking and collaboration. We embed these skills within our classroom programs and emphasise them with next-generation technologies such as Cisco video conferencing systems, iPads, laptops and robotics.

Learning at Camberwell Girls provides a student centred approach that is collaborative, infused with technology and is flexible and dynamic. Although Next Generation Learning is based on a wider philosophy of teaching and learning, technology plays a vital role in supporting and extending these key principles. This is achieved by students collaboratively working with others, including peers, teachers and experts and by expanding the ways in which they share information to an extended audience.

To facilitate these aims Camberwell Girls has integrated a range of technologies into the curriculum including; telepresence (video conferencing), video content creation, authoring and sharing and collaboration.

When educators look at the impact of innovations on learning Bloom’s SAMR model is often used. With respect to technology it can be seen as having the following impact on learning:

> Substitution: the use of technology acts as a direct replacement for a previously non-technology inclusive task without no functional change
> Augmentation: while technology acts as a tool for substituting what was done previously, it does create improvements in the teaching and learning
> Modification: the use of technology allows for a significant redesign of the learning experience
>Redefinition: the use of technology allows for the creation of tasks that were previously not possible

The use of video conferencing allows substantial modification of learning activities. We provide opportunities to immerse our students in relevant and creative virtual experiences that give learning a true purpose.

Students accessing experts such as:

> GeoScience Australia in Year 8 Geography investigating tsunamis
> Year 11 Science students learning from scientists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics
> Year 2 students rising Reef HQ to interact with a diver in the aquarium
> Year 3 students visiting the Alaska Zoo Polar Bear exhibit to learn about global warming and habitat destruction
> Year 3 learning about footing food and puffy faces with the NASA team at Space Centre in Houston
> Year 4 connecting with the Sydney Opera House
> Foundation students spoke to the keepers at Werribee Zoo
> Years 5&6 Learning from counsellors at the “Kids Help Line” on building resilience.

In addition to having “experts” visually visit the classroom, our Junior School students have been preparing for their participation in the TtEDSC Virtual debating program, an Australia wide initiative that links students together from around the country to debate topics of current importance.

With an emphasis on providing the tools to allow students to create and collaboration, we have seen students continuing to create video based content across a range of subject areas in the Senior School including, Mathematics, Science, English, Geography. While we recognise that the traditional methods of creating and sharing information are important, research has highlighted that access to video based content is an increasingly important means of sharing and accessing information.

Creating purposeful audio and video is a key aspects of Next Generation Learning as the world is becoming increasingly multi-modal. To ensure students are competent producing clear video and audio, this term we will see many of our Junior School classes visiting the purpose built TV-Studio to create their own when I grow up videos, audio books, travel advertisements or Olympic bids. In the senior school students in Mathematics, Geography, Science and English have utilized the TV studio and a range of apps to author and share research via video.

The ability to think and act computationally (like a computer) is becoming more important because as the world becomes more automated, it is vital we understand the the way machines work in order to harness them to best meet our needs. To develop computational thinking skills all students at Ormiston have been learning through the use of Robots. Our Dash robots have been a hit in Early Learning, with students learning how to control them to perform a range of tasks and actions. Foundation to Year 2 students have learnt to use symbolic coding to navigate maps using BeeBots to plan and follow paths. Our Year 3-6 students are learning to use visual block coding to program Dash and Sphero robots within Full S.T.E.A.M Ahead short courses.

Our Year 4 class and our Senior School Code Club have benefitted from a purposeful collaboration with technology experts from Xero, through which they developed the skills and confidence to use computational thinking skills to design and produce, amongst other projects, their own computer games. This term Year 4 students will harness the skills and knowledge gained from the collaboration by mentoring Year 5 students to develop their computational thinking skills by teaching them the craft of game making.

Our iPad and laptop programs are a vital part of supporting next-generation learning and all students have daily access to learning technologies. The iPads allow for differentiation and support of learning needs while also inspiring students to develop new and creative ways to present their learning. Daily access to computers and tablets puts valuable information at students’ fingertips instantly and supports and promotes authentic inquiry and digital literacy skills.

Students use their iPads and laptops in class to learn through the publishing and maintenance of blogs and digital portfolios, creating their own video screencasts explaining concepts to others, producing book trailers and advertisements, critically evaluate sources, and expose students to a variety of digital literature. Senior School students use SEQTA, the student, teacher and parent portal and learning management system to produce and submit assignment work digitally in a number of different formats including written work and video. Video based content can then be uploaded into Show and Share and used as resource for other students. Students in Year 7 & 8 have been scripting, filming, editing and sharing short stories about the uses, advantages, dangers and ways to stay safe using social media. As their target audience is a younger age group, they have been required to consider the age and experiences of their audience and plan accordingly. Show and Share then allows these students to share their work with their audience and gain valuable feedback.

As part of our alliance with Cisco Systems, as a Cisco Exemplar School, we have had the opportunity to share our vision, experience and leadership with a number of other schools and educational organisations around the country including State Education and Catholic Education Departments and schools across Australia.

Camberwell Girls staff are in high demand as mentors to other schools and organisations, reaffirming our commitment and leadership to the integration of innovative technologies into our curriculum.

 

Kim Perkins                                                     Emma Hinchliffe
Head of Digital Learning                                 Digital Learning Leader

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The Senior School celebrated Diversity Week this week – a week where we celebrate our vibrant and inclusive community!

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The Junior School Foundation class had some new fluffy classmates join them this past fortnight!

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Welcome to Term 3.

CamNews

Welcome to Term 3

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We were delighted to return to school this term with our new classrooms and courtyard completed in the Senior School. This concludes 18 months of extensive building and refurbishments. Students and staff are now enjoying the Anne Feehan Building, beautiful new classrooms and freedom of movement across the courtyard! I am very grateful to the staff who managed this project led by Steve Cuddon, our Chief Finance and Operating Officer and Michael Lawrence, our Property Manager. Both Steve and Michael have been very responsive to the needs of students and staff during this time to ensure the least amount of disruption possible.

At the beginning of this term we welcomed two staff to cover Long Service Leave positions. Rebecca Leondidis who is taking Mrs Scarff’s Foundation class and Fay Mak who is replacing Nima Reddy one of our Laboratory Technicians. We are also delighted that Geoff Cunningham has commenced as an Art Technician in the Senior School. Geoff is an artist and was an Artist-In-Residence working with students last term. Our new manager of the Uniform Shop is Nancy Leong, a former parent of Camberwell Girls and active member of the former Parents’ Auxiliary. Former parents, Tiffany Butler and Jo Chadwick are also assisting Nancy to provide support in the shop.

 

Child Safe Standards

This year there is a new regulatory landscape surrounding child safety as a result of the Betrayal of Trust Inquiry. This inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other non-government organisations, commenced in Victoria in April 2012. As a result there have now been amendments to the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic.), the introduction of the Child Safe Standards and the release of Ministerial Order 870, explaining the specific actions that schools need to take to meet the Child Safe Standards.

Whilst the first phase of implementation of the standards applies to schools and education and training organisations, the second phase of implementation during 2017 will apply to other organisations that provide services for children such as churches, sport and recreational services, youth organisations, coaching and tuition services as well as camps.

The Child Safe Standards apply to child sexual abuse, physical abuse, serious emotional and psychological abuse and serious neglect of children. They aim to:

  •     Create a culture where protecting children from abuse is a part of everyday thinking and practice in organisations
  •     Strengthen existing approaches to preventing and responding to child abuse and provide for consistency in how these issues are managed.

The seven standards are:

  •     Standard 1: Strategies to embed an organizational culture of child safety
  •     Standard 2: Child Safety Policy / Statement of Commitment
  •     Standard 3: Child Safety Code of Conduct
  •     Standard 4: School staff selection, supervision and management practices for a child-safe environment
  •     Standard 5: Procedures for responding to and reporting allegations of suspected child abuse
  •     Standard 6: Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse
  •     Standard 7: Strategies to promote child empowerment and participation

There are also three principles that apply to each of the standards:

  •     Promoting the cultural safety of Aboriginal children
  •     Promoting the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds
  •     Promoting the safety of children with a disability

Whilst our current policies and procedures in these areas have been compliant, in implementing these new standards, a number of policies have been reviewed and there has been the development of a statement of commitment as well as a new Child Safety Policy as required by the standards. In the next few weeks as we will be discussing the updated policies and procedures with students and parents will receive a more detailed letter with copies of relevant policies for their information. There will also be periodic updates and opportunities to discuss any questions with relevant staff.

I look forward to seeing you at a number of events this term including our eagerly awaited performances of CATS and Ormiston Alive.

 

With best wishes,

 

Debbie Dunwoody
Principal

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Principal

In today’s editorial Mrs Dunwoody reflects on the fantastic evening that saw our Senior School Library be officially named, Brooksbank Library after the founder of CGGS.

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The Senior School celebrated Diversity Week this week – a week where we celebrate our vibrant and inclusive community!

Junior School

The Junior School Foundation class had some new fluffy classmates join them this past fortnight!

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CGGS was thrilled to finally be able to host two fantastic events this past fortnight that have been postponed for the past two years!

Principal

CamNews

Principal

As we conclude a very action packed Term 2, I would like to thank students, staff and parents for all of your contributions in ensuring another very successful term at Camberwell Girls.

From a building perspective, it has been wonderful for our Senior School students to utilise the new Anne Feehan Building with the collaborative classrooms and open communal spaces.  As the term has progressed we have gained some access to the courtyard and by the commencement of Term 3 we will have access to the remaining classrooms that are being refurbished, as well as easy access around the courtyard.  We are now planning for some Science classroom refurbishments that are scheduled to commence later in November.  These are smaller projects but will provide improved Science, Robotics and Makerspaces for student learning.

As we become more aware of the importance of not only the development but the ability for young people to demonstrate enterprise skills, I really relish as I see this coming to life at Camberwell Girls.  Last week I enjoyed talking to the Year 6 students at their ‘Grow Your Mind Day’ activities.  The girls had spent the term working in groups of 3-4 developing businesses that raised $600 for an orphanage in Nepal.  In speaking with the groups, the girls understood the business and creative skills that they were developing and I felt from the moment I arrived, that the girls were very aware of the importance of their marketing and communication skills.  It was one of those very special occasions when I knew that our girls were being prepared for their futures.  In addition, all businesses were related to developing growth mindsets so I know that I will be practising my juggling these holidays after my lesson and purchase of juggling balls.

On Friday in the Junior School Hall we enjoyed the Foundation Aussie Animal Expo where the girls presented on the animal they had researched during the term.  What a great opportunity for the girls to demonstrate their skills in communication and collaboration.

Demonstrating their development and creativity, we have recently enjoyed the individual VCE Music Performances and VCE Theatre Studies Performance of ‘The 39 Steps’.  Both events were genuine highlights as they demonstrated great work and commitment.  Last weekend I took the opportunity to stop by and view some of a ‘CATS’ rehearsal.  It was very inspiring and I am extremely excited about the shows early next term.  I am pleased to report that ticket sales are going strong with audiences of over 250 people at both the Friday and Saturday evenings. Thursday’s opening night we have sold 130 tickets. Our goal is to reach 500 guests each night, so if you haven’t already booked your tickets, I encourage you to do so. Pinwheel and Co are also doing a pre-theatre meal to make life that little bit easier.

This term Ms Barbara Pang and Mrs Estelle Xue replaced Mrs Lin Zhang whilst she was on Long Service Leave.  They have provided great continuity for the girls and I thank them both for their contribution this term.

It is with great sadness that we farewelled Danni Jackman today. This has been a very difficult decision for Danni, given her long-standing and deep connection to Camberwell Girls. She is a past student, having been here from Prep all the way through to Year 12 in 2000. I would like to thank Danni for her outstanding contribution to the School, and also as a passionate teacher of History and an exceptional Year Level Coordinator. We are proud of the care and inspiration Danni has provided for our girls over the years and we hope that future opportunities may see her remain in contact with our School community.

Our Uniform Shop Coordinators, Mrs Andrea Mitchell and Mrs Samantha Easton have resigned from their positions as of the end of term.  Both have given very dedicated service to the School community over many years including the coordination and introduction of a number of new uniform items this year.  We thank them and wish them all the best for the future.  We are taking some time to look at the future services to be provided from the shop, however the usual operating services will continue in the meantime.

A number of staff will be taking some well-deserved long service leave during Term 3.  We wish Science teacher, Lorraine Peterson all the very best during her leave in Terms 3 and 4, Foundation teacher, Heather Scarff  for Term 3 and Nima Reddy one of our Laboratory Technicians who will be on leave for part of Term 3.

I wish all of our students, families and staff a very relaxing and safe holiday and I look forward to seeing you return in Term 3.

 

With best wishes

 

Debbie Dunwoody

Principal

Recent Articles

Principal

In today’s editorial Mrs Dunwoody reflects on the fantastic evening that saw our Senior School Library be officially named, Brooksbank Library after the founder of CGGS.

Senior School

The Senior School celebrated Diversity Week this week – a week where we celebrate our vibrant and inclusive community!

Junior School

The Junior School Foundation class had some new fluffy classmates join them this past fortnight!

Connected Community

CGGS was thrilled to finally be able to host two fantastic events this past fortnight that have been postponed for the past two years!

Academic Pressure

CamNews

Academic Pressure

At Camberwell Girls we are committed to a holistic education in preparing our girls for their future.  We are also aware that the work of the future will be markedly different from that of today due to significant disruptors like automation and globalisation.  There are also growing demands for the development of enterprise skills in addition to academic achievement.

Our children regularly feel the pressures of achieving high results in whatever they are doing.  As teachers and parents we want them to be able to do their best, however we must always consider a balanced approach.  Too much stress and pressure will probably result in poor performance and more significantly poor wellbeing for the child.

Beth Sarlos, one of our Counsellors, has written the following piece to provide strategies for working towards promoting positive achievement and wellbeing.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody

 

Whilst a certain amount of stress may be useful for studying, as it may assist students to work harder – too much can have the complete opposite effect and may lead to ineffective learning. Academic pressure leads to stress, feeling overwhelmed, anxiety, lack of sleep, procrastination and in the end, all of this may affect learning. Even the most academic students may have problems with studying, learning and exam performance.

The topic of anxiety and stress in students is well documented and a constant in the wellbeing and education research literature.

Statistics into the well-being of our nation’s young people are quite concerning.

According to Mission Australia’s 2015 Youth Survey:

> one in sixteen young Australians are currently experiencing depression
> one in six is experiencing an anxiety condition
> suicide is the biggest killer of young people and accounts for more deaths in young people than car accidents
> young people on the whole are most concerned about coping with stress, school or study and body image (in that order)
> a quarter of young Australians say they are unhappy with their lives. In 2013 almost one in four young people (24.3%) said they were sad, very sad or not happy when asked to report how happy they were with their life as a whole

A University of New South Wales (UNSW) research study surveyed Year 12 girls from a range of schools in Sydney and reported that of the 722 students surveyed, 42% reported high levels of anxiety symptoms, high enough to be of clinical concern, 16% of students reported severe levels of anxiety and 37% registered above average levels of stress.

In the same study nearly half said the pressure was self-induced (44%), with other sources including family (35%) and school teachers (21%). The statistics for the more gifted students were much higher. The main causes of pressure identified were workload (50%), expectations to perform (26%) and importance of exams (22%).

Whilst these results are concerning, the UNSW researchers stated it is the impact of the academic pressure that is most concerning. 44% of students described themselves as regularly being irritable, nervous and agitated. When pressure was high, not all coped well – 32% reported an increase in procrastination and 14% became more competitive with friends. As expected, students became more result focused, prioritising the outcome of tests over the process of learning or simply feared failure. The impact of pressure and stress therefore had the effect of altered learning behaviours.

Such research and statistics are giving us evidence that our Year 12’s are certainly stressed and feel pressured however this is not at all confined to VCE years. We are beginning to notice that this level of stress and pressure to succeed runs across many of the year levels and ages. We see girls as young as Years 7 – 9, increasingly worried about performing well in VCE, concerned about ATAR scores years away and feeling pressure to always perform better and to constantly excel.

As parents and schools we are having many useful conversations around safe partying, dealing with drugs and alcohol, bullying, and sex education. It seems conversations around academic pressure and stress have been somewhat lacking. As a School, we are increasingly finding there are many girls dealing with academic pressure to succeed and subsequent stress, this comes from both the girls themselves and from family.

One of the biggest stresses for students it seems is the attention parents place on grades. Well meaning parents in an attempt to motivate, inspire or give a young person what they did not have growing up, are placing their children under a lot of pressure to succeed. On top of a demanding curriculum and homework, they are giving their children extra tutoring, extra homework, expecting high involvement in co-curricular activities, constant good grades and wanting them to excel academically, sometimes the expectations being beyond what the student can achieve. Add social media into the mix and the tendency of adolescents to be online constantly and you have a young person who is bombarded by information overload. They can never take a break or switch off. Life for many young people becomes entirely focused on school work.

How is this pressure affecting children? What we are noticing is that students throughout the year levels are in turn feeling the increased pressure. The result is stress, anxiety, feelings of being overwhelmed, depression, early burnout, and emotional and mental health problems. This of course impacts their capacity to learn effectively.

Some parents it seems are losing touch with what is happening to their child or what their child may be experiencing and going through. Young people are increasingly finding themselves not heard, criticised and made to feel they are just not good enough. There is always a place for motivating a young person to aim high and to achieve their absolute best. However, when does it become too much?

So what can we do and how can we prevent our children from experiencing this level of stress and pressure?

> Teaching young people how to recognise stress and how to manage their stress better via stress reduction techniques such as mindfulness, relaxation and learning how to be calmer and how to achieve calmness. Here at Camberwell Girls, our Pastoral Care Program accompanies the academic expectations we have of the girls. We balance the academic expectations with co-curricular activities that help to create a more well-rounded and robust student. The Positive Education and Mindfulness Program teaches girls to be resilient, how to reduce their stress and how to cope more effectively with pressure in their lives
> Learning how to regulate their emotions more effectively
> Learning more realistic thinking
> Encouraging and teaching better time management skills, study routines and effective planning so that they are not studying late into the night
> Encouraging regular sleep and healthy eating
> Encourage the girls to have a balanced lifestyle, incorporating regular exercise and social times into their week
> Parents can model to their children how to cope with their own stress. Many parents themselves lead a very stressful lifestyle and demonstrate unhealthy coping mechanisms. Young people internalise and learn these messages.
> Parents need to be supportive, motivating and encouraging, without being pushy and pressuring. We can push them to do well but need to understand not go overboard.
> Parents need to be in touch with where their children are emotionally. They need to notice when their children are feeling overwhelmed and feeling under pressure. Sometimes apparent lack of effort or perceived ‘laziness’ may be the result of depression, anxiety, executive functioning problems or organisation problems. It may be that the young person is not lazy, defiant or is not trying. With kids who have organisational problems perhaps parents can help by becoming almost like a personal assistant helping the young person become organised and planning. Alternatively speaking to the teacher or counsellor may also help.
> Avoid using fear, lecturing or punishment. It simply does not work and may create further stress.
> Try to keep the relationship with your child going strong. Often parents best resource is the relationship with the adolescent which helps to assist, contain and help steer but not control. Try not to lecture and talk too much.
> Spend more time having family dinners and outings as part of your family ritual where discussions are not just about school. Sometimes in the push for achievement we are not connecting with our children and they are becoming more isolated from us.
> Focus on effort rather than the outcome. Here at Camberwell Girls we are teaching the girls about growth mindsets rather than fixed mindsets

Stress and pressure is a given in our fast paced, complex and highly competitive global world.  It is understandable parents and schools are reacting and trying to make sure students keep up academically and be ready for a competitive workforce, by ramping up the academic pressure. Unfortunately many kids are collapsing under this pressure and are feeling increasingly stressed, isolated, tired and inadequate. Teaching our young people how to manage stress and being mindful ourselves of the pressure we are placing on them to succeed will go a long way in preventing emotional and mental health problems. Essentially students who are not happy and emotionally OK cannot learn. Happy children in turn, learn more effectively.

As parents and as educators we need to find the right balance between encouraging and motivating students to succeed and bringing out their best, without pushing then so hard that they crack. Juliette Fay in an article recently wrote, “You often hear successful people saying… my parents pushed me to succeed, you don’t often hear, my parents really loved me for who I was and let me decide what I was passionate about.”


Beth Sarlos
School Counsellor
BBSc, BSW, Dip Ed Psych, DipFamTher

 

References:
Fay, J. Parental Pressure: The Fine Line Between Caring…and Caring Too Much.
Mission Australia Youth Survey Report 2015
UNSW Research Summary.   (In) Alliance of Girls Schools Australasia. The curse of Perfectionism. Nov 2015

Recent Articles

Principal

In today’s editorial Mrs Dunwoody reflects on the fantastic evening that saw our Senior School Library be officially named, Brooksbank Library after the founder of CGGS.

Senior School

The Senior School celebrated Diversity Week this week – a week where we celebrate our vibrant and inclusive community!

Junior School

The Junior School Foundation class had some new fluffy classmates join them this past fortnight!

Connected Community

CGGS was thrilled to finally be able to host two fantastic events this past fortnight that have been postponed for the past two years!

National Reconciliation Week 2016

CamNews

National Reconciliation Week 2016

Our History, Our Story, Our Future: National Reconciliation Week 2016

‘As Australians, we are all here, woven into this country. As part of our reconciliation journey, there are truths to tell, stories to celebrate and relationships to grow. Reconciliation is at the heart of our nations’ future.’

Retrieved from:
http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/

Reconciliation Australia
reconciliation.org.au

There is no doubt that I feel very fortunate to be an Australian, albeit a first generation Australian in my family. This is where I belong. I have had wonderful opportunities to travel widely throughout this vast country, through deserts and out to the sea, following the roads and destinations described in the lyrics of so many Midnight Oil songs! I have my favourite destinations where I feel my ‘spirit of place’ and I have been privileged to be welcomed onto country by indigenous elders.

In understanding who we are today, we need to develop an understanding of our past, including the laws and practices that have had a devastating impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We need to learn about their stories, the sadness experienced and also the triumphs.

The journey of reconciliation challenges us as a nation to question, who we are and the Australia we want to be. It also challenges our beliefs in what is fair and reinforces that unity makes us stronger. Reconciliation is a part of my story.

National Reconciliation Week was first celebrated in 1996 and falls between 27 May and 3 June. There are two significant dates in the relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

  1. the anniversary of the 1967 referendum and Mabo Day (27 May)
  2. the anniversary of the 1992 High Court judgment in the Mabo Case (3 June)

National Reconciliation Week aims to give people across Australia the opportunity to focus on reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and to be united in our vision to succeed through strong relationships and a shared sense of what is fair and just.

At Camberwell Girls, our community has united together under the leadership of our Reconciliation Captains, Catherine Chen and Ashley Chan, supported by Mrs Ali Larkey to celebrate National Reconciliation Week in 2016. Many other staff and students have also assisted with school displays and baking lemon myrtle shortbread.

Today we have been very fortunate to spend the day with Murrundini, Ngurungaeta of the Wurundjeri people and some members of his extended family. Spending the morning in Ormiston, he conducted a Welcome to Country ceremony. The students then participated in a number of indigenous cultural learning experiences such as storytelling, dance, paperbark art and boomerang throwing.

At lunchtime, the Secondary School moved out onto the oval to form the Aboriginal Flag for a photo. Murrundindi then conducted a traditional smoking ceremony and we raised the Aboriginal and Australian flags together in a symbol of unity.

The development of our Reconciliation Week activities has been a community project. Mr Craig Goodwin and Mr Ben Jenkinson helped to organise the Ormison activities, Mrs Karen Bartram organised the displays in the main Reception, in the cafe and also the balloons on the driveway. Mrs Anne Devenish organised displays of art work and Aboriginal artifacts in the libray, including a fishing net made by Murrundindi’s grandmother and a basket made by his mother. Murrundindi also loaned us some prints for display in the library including the signed Batman Treaty. This treaty was signed at Merri Creek by John Batman, the leader of the Port Phillip Association. This treaty is considered significant as it was the first and only time that occupation of Aborginal lands was formally documented with the traditional owners.

Next week Murrundindi will return to Camberwell Girls during Reconciliation Week to work with students in Senior School. He will also attend our Reconciliaton Assembly on Tuesday, where the theme of Reconcilation will be explored.

In valuing our rich and diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, we begin to learn from each other, understand not only our differences but also the things we have in common and the way that we are woven into the fabric of our country.

 

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody
Principal

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Global Citizenship & Connectdness

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Global Citizenship & Connectdness

Global citizens stand together, ask questions why, reject the naysayers and embrace the amazing possibilities of the world we share.  (Hugh Evans, 2016: What does it mean to be a citizen of the world?, Ted.com)

 

Last Friday night we held our first Social Justice dinner at Camberwell Girls, hosted by our Social Justice Captains to raise money for the Green Gecko Project in Cambodia. We were extremely privileged to have two special guests, Tania Palmer, an Australian woman and founder of the organisation and one of her Cambodian daughters, Kim Suan (now 22 years old) present on the night to share their stories with the attendees. The night was a resounding success with over $4,000 being raised for this very special organisation.

Last week Tania and Kim spent a day at Camberwell Girls, getting to know the 19 students and 4 staff who are travelling to Cambodia in the September holidays for our inaugural trip. They also attended Assembly where all of the Senior School learnt about Tania’s journey and the purpose of the organisation.

A very special moment occurred at our dinner on Friday night when Tania told the audience that Camberwell Girls was the first school that she has partnered with, as most schools just wanted to come in for a visit and disrupt their programs, never to be seen again. Her experience had shown that it was not worth letting schools in to visit. Through her understanding of our strong social justice program, commitment to the Green Gecko Project to forge an ongoing partnership and our relationship with the Asia Pacific Youth Foundation (APYF), an organisation she trusts, Tania agreed to formalise a partnership with Camberwell Girls. It was so moving to hear her confirm her commitment to us after having spent time at our School and meeting members of our community. She was clearly pleased with her decision and we too are honoured to be in this partnership.

International social justice partnerships help our students to look beyond their everyday world and life of privilege to really see themselves as members of the human race; as global citizens. When we truly embrace our position as global citizens, we take responsibility to act on some of the world’s greatest challenges including extreme poverty, climate change and human rights issues.

Our journey to the partnership with APYF and the Green Gecko Project started almost 18 months ago when we began to search for an organisation to work with to recommence our international social justice program. We wanted to work with an organisation that had established a strong record of respectful relationship with their community, whose programs operated in the Asia Pacific region, the possibility to develop an ongoing relationship so that we could really work together and learn from each other and where they had the resources to provide strong back up and support in the event of any emergency situation.

After researching a number of providers we shortlisted four to interview, finally deciding on APYF, a registered charity committed to working with disadvantaged children, families and communities in the Asia Pacific Region. Through APYF, we became connected to the Green Gecko Project, an organisation that supports over 100 children who have previously lived and begged on the streets of Siem Reap in Cambodia. They ensure the children have access to education, security and a safe home as well as working with the child’s families by providing support with social enterprise and community outreach programs. The Green Gecko Project was registered as an NGO (Non-Government Organization) in Cambodia in 2007.

I know that our students and staff look forward to sharing their experience with you when they return and I hope that you will support our many efforts to raise money for the education of the Green Gecko children into the future.

Connectedness within a community is also very important and one of the key objectives of our School Captains. Karen, Tiarnie and Cindy have been inspiring role models to our students this year and they have also been working effectively with their group of School and House Captains and Leaders. The girls have written a report giving you an insight into their work and priorities this year. I encourage you all to read it HERE

 

With best wishes

Debbie Dunwoody
Principal

Recent Articles

Principal

In today’s editorial Mrs Dunwoody reflects on the fantastic evening that saw our Senior School Library be officially named, Brooksbank Library after the founder of CGGS.

Senior School

The Senior School celebrated Diversity Week this week – a week where we celebrate our vibrant and inclusive community!

Junior School

The Junior School Foundation class had some new fluffy classmates join them this past fortnight!

Connected Community

CGGS was thrilled to finally be able to host two fantastic events this past fortnight that have been postponed for the past two years!

Preparing Young Women for the Future

CamNews

Preparing Young Women for the Future

Religious Education at Camberwell Girls 

How do we prepare young women for success in an unknown future?

This was the question put to teachers at the recent staff professional development day, influenced by a viewing of the film ‘Most Likely to Succeed’.

Religion is not usually seen to be synonymous with success, at least in the conventional sense of the word. But how about in terms of the unknown future? The very fact that religion is prominent in the news means that it is a very present reality for all of us, whether we like it or not. The days are gone when, under the influence of the European Enlightenment, we could think of our era as a time of ever expanding, triumphant secularity.

Religion is certainly about the unknown, and indeed, about the essentially unknowable. The nineteenth-century scholar Rudolf Otto summed up his notion of what he called ‘the Holy’ in the concise Latin expression, tremendum et fascinans, pointing to a combination of overwhelmingly terrifying (‘tremendous’) vitality and at the same time enticing fascination. The point is that words fail us when we consider the holy. More recently, the theologian Monica Furlong, quoting the British novelist Iris Murdoch, warned that the power of religion can be ‘a dangerous delight’. Religion does fascinate, but as the news reminds us constantly, it is dangerous – almost too dangerous to handle. But that is exactly why we need to handle it, and empower young people to handle it well.

As an Anglican School, Camberwell Girls has always offered Religious Education. This does not make us a ‘religious school’ (a term we sometimes see in the newspapers, suggesting some sort of heavy-handed religious proselytism) nor is it a religion-free zone. We welcome all students, whether they share particular religious beliefs or not, but we are also unapologetic about our Christian (and specifically Anglican) ethos. Students are introduced to this Christian, Anglican ethos both through timetabled classes and through public worship (‘common prayer’, as the Anglicans have customarily called it).

The classes in Senior School follow an agreed curriculum. In Years 7 and 8, students are offered an introduction to the key stories in the New Testament and the Hebrew Scriptures, respectively. In Year 9, students are asked to engage with a series of ethical problems, and given some technical conceptual tools to make sense of these problems and their responses to them. What is the difference, for example, between a rules-based and a results-based approach to ethics, and how might this influence people in making particular ethical decisions? In Year 10, all students are introduced to the critical reading and interpretation (exegesis) of selected biblical texts, following Unit 1 of the VCE Texts and Traditions study design. At Years 11 and 12, the School offered VCE Religion and Society this year for the first time, and it is hoped that this will continue into the future.

Religious Education, however, is far more integral to the culture of the School than simply the designated RE classes. Social Justice has a long history at Camberwell Girls, arising out of the School’s Christian ethos. More recently, some other themes and life skills previously covered in RE have moved into core programs in their own right. The Positive Education program engages students in activities on issues that were formerly, and are still also addressed in RE: identity and belonging, virtues and character strengths, meditation and mindfulness.

For Anglicans, belief has always been expressed more through common prayer and practical service than through intellectual formulations. It is not surprising that activities such as these, along with explicit times of prayer and praise, should embody our deepest convictions about who we are and what reality is like, ‘yesterday and today and forever’. The future is unknown, always open and opening to the new, in ways that can be both exciting and alarming. The faith that inspires our School’s ethos is a faith in one who is always doing a new thing, and in whose hands are not only the past and the present, but – even more so – the reality to come.

With best wishes,

Duncan Reid
Head of Religious Education

Recent Articles

Principal

In today’s editorial Mrs Dunwoody reflects on the fantastic evening that saw our Senior School Library be officially named, Brooksbank Library after the founder of CGGS.

Senior School

The Senior School celebrated Diversity Week this week – a week where we celebrate our vibrant and inclusive community!

Junior School

The Junior School Foundation class had some new fluffy classmates join them this past fortnight!

Connected Community

CGGS was thrilled to finally be able to host two fantastic events this past fortnight that have been postponed for the past two years!

Learning Enrichment Program

Learning Enrichment Program

Learning Enrichment Program

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Our girls and staff returned from holidays very excited to explore and settle into our new Year 7 and 8 Building. Big, bright beautiful classrooms and open spaces, large window seats, an internal green wall, writable walls, new lockers and a new Senior School reception including Health Centre, have all proven to be a great hit with girls.

I am also delighted to let you know that the CGGS Council has agreed to name our new building the Anne Feehan Building. As Principal of Camberwell Girls Grammar School from 2001 to 2014, Anne was instrumental in establishing a number of innovative curriculum programs, major building projects including the new Ormiston Campus and the Woodstock Building as well as establishing the integration of the Cisco Technology Network to enable more collaborative engagement in programs. She had a vision for the future preparation of students and the design of this new building was also a key part of her legacy. As we are still completing our courtyard and the refurbishment of some adjacent classrooms we are planning to formally open the building later in Term 3.

At Camberwell Girls we are committed to providing the best learning opportunities for students and catering for individual needs both academically and pastorally. We recognise that each child learns differently, requiring the tools and confidence to realise her own capability. During the last 12 months we have been evaluating a number of our programs that support and extend student learning across the whole school through our Learning Support Department. This year we have established a more extensive program, renamed the Learning Enrichment Program that caters for a wide range of student abilities.

Learning Enrichment Flow Chart

Girls may be referred to these programs by their teachers or parents. Once a referral is made, a member of the Learning Enrichment Department will organise a meeting with the girl and her parents. For further information on these programs, please email: our Head of Learning Enrichment, Ms Sacha Sereda (SeredaS@cggs.vic.edu.au) Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School, Mrs Cathy Poyser (poyserc@cggs.vic.edu.au) or Head of Junior School, Mr Paul Donohue (donohuep@cggs.vic.edu.au).

In addition to these Learning Enrichment programs, many departments offer girls the opportunities to participate in competitions and forums to extend their learning experiences. We also have a wide range of co-curricular clubs and activities that the girls can join and lists of these are located in SEQTA, where you can log in, click on ‘Documents’ in the left-hand column, scroll to ‘Co-Curricular Activities’ and click on the document name as required.

It has been very exciting to see the development of so many new curricular and co-curricular programs at Camberwell Girls as we focus on programs that will build our girls skills, confidence, ability to think creatively and to innovate, preparing them for their futures.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody
Principal

Recent Articles

Principal

In today’s editorial Mrs Dunwoody reflects on the fantastic evening that saw our Senior School Library be officially named, Brooksbank Library after the founder of CGGS.

Senior School

The Senior School celebrated Diversity Week this week – a week where we celebrate our vibrant and inclusive community!

Junior School

The Junior School Foundation class had some new fluffy classmates join them this past fortnight!

Connected Community

CGGS was thrilled to finally be able to host two fantastic events this past fortnight that have been postponed for the past two years!

Global Citizenship & Relationships

CamNews

Global Citizenship & Relationships

The understanding, valuing and inclusion of diverse cultures and the development of intercultural competency skills is essential in preparing girls for their futures, enabling them to engage in action that will make a positive difference to the lives of others and respond to social and environmental challenges.
CGGS Strategic Plan 2015-2019

One of the six pillars of our Strategic Plan is Global Citizenship. It is important to acknowledge that we are all interconnected and prepared to address issues that impact upon us living in our global village. The development of intercultural competency skills in our girls are necessary as in their professional lives they are destined to work with individuals from different cultural backgrounds. This competency is more than factual knowledge about different countries – their history and political systems, it is also about understanding different cultures – beliefs, customs and values; often enhanced by a deeper connection with a community or people.

At Camberwell Girls we are committed to developing local and global partnerships to create collaborative learning opportunities for our girls. A few weeks ago I was very fortunate to travel to Shanghai and Hong Kong to meet with a variety of people. At functions for current, former and prospective parents as well as old grammarians, I shared stories of our priorities today, the accomplishments of our girls and listened to many stories shared by our current parents, former students and their families. One of the families, whose daughter graduated from CGGS in 2008, re-scheduled a flight to another major city to spend half an hour talking to me about the School they still hold so dearly in their hearts.

A highlight of the trip was visiting our sister school, Shanghai No 3 Girls High School and being hosted by Principal Xu. Shanghai No 3 Girls High School commenced in 1881 as St Mary’s Hall, merging with McTyeire School in 1892. The School was reformed as Shanghai No 3 Girls High School in 1952 and has since been divided into a Middle School(Years 7-9) and a Senior School (Years 10-12). We had an extensive School tour with English teaching staff and also met with some key personnel. Discussions with Principal Xu centred around our exchange program and how our CISCO technology may enable further student and staff collaborations. Our Director of Teaching, Learning and Innovation, Ben Jenkinson, who is currently in China presenting at a conference, will also visit the school to meet with technology staff to further investigate these learning opportunities.

Last week we were very fortunate to host a delegation from River Valley High School (RVHS) in Singapore, including the Principal Mrs Teo. After attending the Cultures of Thinking conference in Melbourne, they visited CGGS to share teaching practices focused on developing 21st Century skills. They toured both campuses, observed classes, met students and held discussions with some of our leaders of learning. Opportunistically, so the conversations could continue, Ben Jenkinson was offered a reciprocal tour of River Valley’s impressive five hectare, 2500 student campus (Yr7-12) when he arrived in Singapore a few days later. After touring RVHS, Ben reported that it is a truly bilingual and bicultural English-Chinese school that is very focused on the future and a well rounded, holistic development of its students.

In continuing the focus on strengthening the relationships with our sister schools, this week we hosted a visit by the Principal of Nanyang Girls High School (NGHS), Mdm Heng and leadership team member, Agnes Ng. NGHS is a very prestigious girls school in Singapore with 1600 students in Years 7-10. This visit followed on from my visit to NGHS last year, where we agreed to recommence our student exchange program and investigate ideas for further student and staff collaborations. I am delighted that a small group of CGGS students will be participating in an exchange with NGHS students later this year. During their visit to CGGS this week a number of leadership staff briefed our NGHS guests on key programs at the School and explored some ways that we may be able to initiate some student collaborations utilizing our CISCO infrastructure. These initiatives will be developed over the coming months.

Throughout all of these interactions it was so clear that we have many similarities, in thinking and in values and that we can all work together to provide some exciting learning opportunities for our communities. We all know that our students need to develop the social competency skills to understand and work with others from different cultural backgrounds as they navigate our highly connected world. Developing relationships with these school communities will provide a myriad of possibilities for our students and staff and I look forward to sharing them with you in due course.
With best wishes

Debbie Dunwoody
Principal

 

NOTE
If there are any Year 8 girls interested in attending a two week exchange to Singapore in August 2016, they should email our Education Outdoors Coordinator, Mr Maycock to learn more about the program and express their interest.

Recent Articles

Principal

In today’s editorial Mrs Dunwoody reflects on the fantastic evening that saw our Senior School Library be officially named, Brooksbank Library after the founder of CGGS.

Senior School

The Senior School celebrated Diversity Week this week – a week where we celebrate our vibrant and inclusive community!

Junior School

The Junior School Foundation class had some new fluffy classmates join them this past fortnight!

Connected Community

CGGS was thrilled to finally be able to host two fantastic events this past fortnight that have been postponed for the past two years!