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.
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!