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
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.