As the term draws to a close, I would like to thank students, staff and families for their contribution and support of all our programs during Semester 1. Each edition of CamNews highlights the many opportunities afforded to our students, as we focus on their academic progress and personal development. There have certainly been many stories to share so far this year.
In recent weeks a team of staff created and ran a conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI) called ‘AI for Good’ to enable our girls to explore the exciting world of AI through multiple perspectives. At the end of my editorial I have included an article by Kate Manners (Deputy Head of Senior School – Teaching and Learning) and Nirvana Watkins (Deputy Head of Senior School – Wellbeing Curriculum and Programs).
There is no doubt that our students have access to a wide range of learning and co-curricular opportunities that develop their knowledge, understanding, skills development, attitudes and values. We also know that the ability to transfer knowledge and skills (including transferrable skills) to new or emerging contexts is also very important for our students, as is the mindset for such engagement. Our education programs are focussed on these types of learning opportunities and many examples have been shared throughout the term.
There have been numerous opportunities for students to develop their learning. From the Foundation students visiting Healesville Sanctuary and Year 1’s learning about how living things change and grow at the Melbourne Zoo. Year 5 students examining how perspective influences our ideas of Australia’s past at the State Library, through to the Year 7 excursion to the Werribee Treatment Plant. Year 9 Enlighten Education Day and their Dignity and Artificial Intelligence Conferences. Years 8 and 9 German Film Festival and Year 9 Model United Nations Convention. Year 10s examining the development of green spaces in an urban context and visiting the Holocaust Centre as part of their work on World War II. The OGA Public Speaking Competition and the student led House Music. The list is endless.
We have showcased learning to our families through the Year 3 ANZAC Assembly, Year 5 Mars Colony gallery, Year 6 sustainable energy investigations, Year 7 Girls Invent Fair, VCE Theatre Studies performance of Antigone and Cabaret Night.
Our Service Learning commitment has been evident through visits to the Hedley Sutton Residential Aged Care Centre by Year 2 students, and through students and staff providing weekly assistance at both River Nile and Dream Stitches programs. We celebrated National Reconciliation Week and during this time participated in the Worawa Sports Competition. We hosted a grandparents and special friends presentation by Murrundindi for Years 3 and 4 families, and a group of students and staff were honoured to participate in the Mungo Youth Festival. A highlight was our annual Service Learning Soiree where we acknowledged programs and raised money for the Green Gecko Project in Cambodia and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
It has been wonderful to see the growing participation in sporting programs across both schools. Increased participation was seen in our new Years 2 and 3 Netball program and the House and GSV Cross-Country carnivals, with students progressing to district, division, regional and state carnivals in Junior School and our Junior Secondary team winning their division. The Senior GSV Football team won their division for the third consecutive year and our Saturday Netball teams have been performing very well in the Boroondara competition.
In addition, students and staff participated in the UK Literature Tour last holidays and the popular Music Camp at Mt Eliza earlier in the term. Throughout the term Years 5, 6, 7 and 8 students have all attended camp. We held the Year 11 Soiree where girls and their partners enjoyed this important social occasion and our school Chess Team won an open zone chess tournament against both girls and boys teams. We also celebrated two of our students receiving Premier’s VCE Awards for their results in 2018.
From a community perspective we enjoyed the Mother’s Day breakfast and reunions for students who completed their education at CGGS 10, 30 and 40 years ago. Two parent seminars were also held on the important topics of ‘Adolescent Use of Technology and the Internet’ and ‘Pornography, Young People and Sexuality’.
Whilst this is not an exhaustive list of all the learning opportunities in Term 2, it certainly provides an overview of the richness of the learning and experiences offered at CGGS. I am very grateful to our enthusiastic and dedicated staff who enable all of these opportunities – we are so fortunate.
In concluding the term, I would also like to wish Mrs Emily Pandya all the very best as she will be taking parental leave for the remainder of the year with her second child. We are delighted to welcome Ms Christa Cook who will be replacing her for Semester 2.
Next term I will also be sharing information with you about the development of our next strategic plan and the opportunity for you to provide input.
Finally, I would like to wish you all a relaxing and safe holiday and I look forward to welcoming you back for a very exciting Term 3!
Year 9 Artificial Intelligence (AI) For Good Conference
“Creativity is the power to reject the past, to change the status quo and to seek new potential. Simply put, aside from using one’s imagination – perhaps more importantly – creativity is the power to act.” – Ai Weiwei
Intentional harnessing of human creativity was at the core of the Year 9 CGGS AI For Good Conference which took place on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 June. This two-day event was expressly designed to enable our Year 9 students to explore the exciting world of Artificial Intelligence through multiple lenses, culminating in the completion of the AI For Good Challenge, a joint partnership project of Australia’s Education Changemakers and Microsoft.
Setting the tone for this event were Summer Howarth, from the Eventful Learning Company and Jeanette Cheah, Melbourne-based co-founder and CEO of The Hacker Exchange, whose ‘In Conversation’ looked at the power of blending brains to make a difference to the world. The Hacker Exchange is a company that exists to change the face of business, by creating a generation of leaders who are global citizens, who never stop learning, and who take action to create the world they want. For Jeanette, diversity in teams is essential; the hacker, the hipster and the hustler are the perfect blend!
From here, the Year 9s delved deep into Artificial Intelligence, what it is, how it works, where it’s going with sessions titled ‘Robots…So what?’ and ‘You, Me and AI’. Students began to think about how AI might be used to innovate solutions for the environment, accessibility or humanitarian action. Our resident NAO robot had a starring role alongside Year 9 student Bethany Orme, who spotlighted her experience of the Year 8/9 Robotics Elective, sharing how facial recognition technology can be adapted in robots to help blind people with object recognition.
The final session of Day One of thisdeep dive learning experience had students attend an AI Expo in the CGGS Maker Space, designed specifically to enable students to experience a variety of AI technology from Spheros, Makey Makeys, Make It Coding, Hour of Code, and EV3s, all in readiness for their design sprint on Day Two.
The Challenge kickoff on Day Two had students considering the problems that they find unacceptable in the world today. They learnt about the design thinking process and the rules of ideation to help them consider ethical applications of AI. The AI For Good Challenge engages students in generating solutions to real world problems. When given the opportunity to share their own knowledge, diversify their thinking and take responsibility by creating new value, CGGS girls are bursting with imagination and potential.
Kate Manners (Deputy Head of Senior School – Teaching and Learning)
Nirvana Watkins (Deputy Head of Senior School – Wellbeing Curriculum and Programs).