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360° of Being – Year Level Themes

In the CamNews editorial this week, our Principal, Mrs Debbie Dunwoody spoke about 3600 of Being, a bespoke Wellbeing Program which launches on International Women’s Day – Wednesday 8 March.

Fostering student wellbeing is central to the school experience and is woven throughout the fabric of CGGS.  Whether it’s supporting students to develop life skills and relationship building in The Daily, engaging in House activities or connecting at School Assembly – wellbeing is a daily and ongoing priority. 3600 of Being is designed to not only foster individual wellbeing, but also the collective wellbeing of year levels and the school community as a whole. One of the ways we cultivate this is by setting year level themes for each cohort, designed to guide the thoughts, actions and words of the student body.

In this edition of CamNews, we share an overview of each of the Year Level specific themes which will be explored in 2023.

Year 7 – Connected Community

Wellbeing at Year 7 centres around the theme of Connected Community, which focuses on developing a sense of belonging and connection – with self, with peers and with the broader CGGS community. The curriculum supports the students to understand how to build these connections whether that be through pursuing activities of interest, signing up for varied student activities, the development of communication skills, respectful relationships and being open to new friendships.

Year 8 – Self Discovery

Wellbeing at Year 8 focuses on the notion of self-discovery, including respect for self and others. Students are encouraged to spot strengths not only in themselves but in those around them, looking at character strengths in action and positive self-talk. Through wellbeing sessions students explore growth mindsets and the important role that mistakes and failure play in our lives in developing resilience and learning. Year 8 students also investigate the role that social media, social networks and other mass media play in our lives and learn strategies to navigate these domains safely and effectively.

Year 9 – Personal Growth

The wellbeing focus at Year 9 is Personal Growth, and the students have chosen to embody this through the mantra ‘Better Together’, as it encourages connectedness and empowers the students to flourish in new ways. Year 9 also focuses on the evolving changes and opportunities that exist as students move into the more senior years of schooling. Students continue to explore their emotions, and devise strategies for emotional awareness and emotional regulation, particularly in response to periods of stress. They also devise personal strategies for study and organisation to enhance success and develop strategies for self-care, including help seeking.

Year 10 – Purpose and Passion

Year 10 is a critical steppingstone for students as they prepare for the challenges of the VCE. It is a chance to further develop and consolidate positive habits and routines to manage an increasing workload, before moving into the VCE years. As focus tends to shift towards academic outcomes, students are prompted to explore strategies that enable them to find balance and take stock of what they enjoy. At this stage, the curriculum looks at strategies for preparing for tests and examinations, including the impact of sleep, exercise and music, before moving into discussions about career pathways and responsible decision making for the future.

Year 11 – Forward Thinking

Wellbeing at Year 11 is primarily focused on the development of ‘Leadership skills’, recognizing that all students, regardless of formal titles, are leaders of our School and community. Time is also spent exploring how to ‘Maximise Study Potential’ and vital ‘Life Skills’ including financial literacy, business skills and wellbeing resources. Students engage in programs that provide the knowledge and skills to make positive and safe personal choices related to study, health and the future. Many students are also involved in mentoring younger students as part of the House and Co-Curricular Program.

Year 12 – Future Thinking

Through the mantra ‘Make it Happen’, the wellbeing program at Year 12 provides students with an opportunity to explore and envision the future through a range of practical sessions and activities that focus on pathways and opportunities in Year 12 and beyond. This includes VCE Achieve workshops that explore study skills and examination preparation, as well as Transition to Tertiary workshops that empower students to leave CGGS with the knowledge and skills to make positive and safe personal choices in the future. Additionally, all students continue to develop their leadership capacity, as they explore ways in which to mentor and create a connected community across all year levels.

Kate Giles                                     Kath Woolcock
Head of Middle School              Head of Senior School

House Dance

This Wednesday saw the finale of an intense and fulfilling few weeks of rehearsals in preparation for the highly anticipated, House Dance. The atmosphere in Barbara Sutton Hall was electric as the students showcased their stunning performances, and we loved every moment of it!

As many would know, House Dance has become a true highlight of the year at CGGS.

A proudly student led event, our Captains work to lead the dance & tech, and every student from Years 7-12 is welcomed and encouraged to get involved. Together, the Dance and Tech Captains are empowered to channel their creativity, leadership, and teamwork skills as they work to develop a range of dance performances for the students in their House.

In addition to the fun, joy, and camaraderie that House Dance elicits, it also presents a genuine opportunity for our students to explore the creativity and collaboration of devising a performance from start to finish. Every aspect of the dance routine, including multimedia, choreography, composition, costumes, sets, sound and lighting operation, direction and performance is all driven by students. House Dance also creates special moments to build new relationships from all year levels across secondary school.

We commend all four Houses on bringing together such outstanding performances- they were a testimony to the hard work, talent, and team minded approach of the students.  Our congratulations to Lawrence House who were awarded the overall winners of House Dance in 2023. Special awards were also presented for different categories:

Best Theme- Taylor

Best Tech- Taylor and Singleton

Group A – Schofield

Group B- Lawrence

There are so many House based opportunities woven throughout the school year and we encourage all students to consider being involved. Through these experiences it is often where lasting friendships have been forged, talents discovered, memories made, and new passions ignited. House Music is just around the corner and we hope to see many of our students involved.

Kate Giles
Head of Middle School

Our second Upskill Day for 2023 took place on Wednesday 22 February for students across Years 7-12.

The name Upskill means to expand your existing capabilities and develop new ones and at CGGS we are conscious of the need to support students to build their currency in this regard. Whether it’s now as they apply for part time jobs or later as they look forward to seeking early entry or scholarships to tertiary degrees, students need tangible examples of their proven capacity in a range of transferable skills alongside their demonstrated ability to be self-aware, self-regulated life-long learners. This is what the CGGS Upskill Program is designed to achieve.

More generally, it is a great opportunity for students to participate in and contribute to experiences that sit outside the academic program. All our Upskill Programs are designed to amplify the eight transferable skills that are a core component of our By Design Learning Architecture. Skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving carry significant weight for future employers and tertiary institutions. Giving our students the opportunity to actively engage with these skills outside of the academic sphere, equips them with a breadth of evidence to talk to when requested.

Year 7

As part of the transition to Senior School, our Year 7s were tasked with earning their first micro credential recognising skills in Graphic Recording. We partnered with Paul Telling from the Visual Storytellers Group who developed a bespoke course. Students completed skill-based challenges as they worked to develop their knowledge and understanding of the power of this form of note taking. Armed with the knowledge that recall of information doubles when a visual is used, students explored:

  • Mind-mapping and concept webs
  • Layout, space and flow
  • Lettering and images
  • Frames and headings
  • Borders and colour

Having completed these workshops, the Year 7s then embarked on a collaborative graphic recording challenge with a focus on their collective vision for the year. Applying the skills of the earlier sessions, students who complete this proof point, will earn an additional micro-credential that recognises their joint efforts in working as a team to create a shared narrative using the skills they have learned.

At CGGS, Micro-credentials can be earned in a variety of ways. A micro-credential is a small unit of learning represented through a digital badge or certificate. Micro-credentialing provides an opportunity to acknowledge, recognise and validate the different skills and knowledge that is acquired through different learning experiences, both in and outside of the classroom. At CGGS, we utilise the online platform Credly which students can access even after they’ve completed their time at CGGS. We are looking forward to supporting all of our students to earn a range credentials throughout their time at CGGS.

Year 8

For our Year 8s, Upskill provided the opportunity to amplify their communication skills with a session Speaking Superpowers lead by Ms Gordon and a great supporting team of Year 11 Mentors. Designed to help students identify and activate their communication strengths, students engaged in a range of activities to build confidence in what can often be a daunting experience. Problem Solving with the Maths Department was also on the agenda for the day with students working collaboratively to find solutions to some mind-bending problems.

Year 9

At Year 9, technology provided the focus for much of the day, beginning with a Digital Literacy session lead by Mr Wilkins.  From here, it was all about Drones, Laser Scanners and Total Stations. Welcoming the Melbourne University Geomatics Society on campus and lead by Ms Walter, students deep dived into the world of spatial science and engineering as related to accurately locating, mapping and analysing data points. They had the opportunity to learn about highly specialised (and expensive) technology that is part and parcel of this type of engineering and extends on essential skills developed in the Geography curriculum. Look out for a future CamNews piece from Ms Walter with further reflections on all things Geomatic.

To close out the day, the Year 9s, joined their Year 10 peers to participate in our CGGS Learning Commission, a project with the strategic objective to action student voice and agency. Working in vertical groups composed of both year levels, students analysed a range of data, including our own school data, to identify areas for action within the CGGS context. The observations and suggestions students have made will be collated and shared with leaders within the school with the intention of building a more complete picture of opportunities.

Year 10

For our Year 10s, Upskill began with a performance of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth by Eagles Nest Theatre Group. Complementing their study of the play in English, the performance was an opportunity to bring to life this famous classic text. One of the great benefits of the Upskill Program is that it enables incursions such as these to be delivered without interrupting subject class time unevenly. The Year 10s then engaged in a Service-Learning program, Exploring Global Issues for Women, the first of several events in the coming weeks aligned with International Women’s Day.


Our VCE students engaged in scheduled classes in addition to their Upskill Program for the day. At Year 11, who are engaged in leading our House Dance program, the flexibility of the day enabled them to fulfil their responsibilities in leading this co-curricular program. At Year 12 alongside scheduled classes, students attended sessions regarding the Science of Learning lead by Dr Forwood. Year 12 used Project Zero thinking routines to scaffold discussion and consider the function of working memory and long-term memory in learning. They explored how to maximise the limitations of working memory and learned about strategies which support learning, such as retrieval practice, space learning and interleaving. Year 12 examined the impact of high and low cognitive load activities via practical tasks. Through collaborative sculpture, each student transformed coloured wires to symbolise learning, with the interlinking wires capturing the power of our minds to create new thoughts, and the lights illuminating the multitude of ideas that are constantly being generated. Embedded in the sculpture is the double helix, an acknowledgement of the uniqueness of each student’s thinking. Additionally, we welcomed a representative from the UoM in the first of a rolling series of tertiary institution presentations. Anna -Liza Shepherd introduced students to the UoM range of courses, including the Graduate Degree packages. She touched on several topics including the study of ‘breadth’ subjects, study abroad opportunities, scholarships, their Access program (for students whose education may have been disadvantaged in some way), and job opportunities. As a follow up to this, the University of Melbourne offer course information sessions specifically for Year 12 students in Semester One, which will be advertised in the weekly Careers Newsletter.

The schedule for our next Upskill Day on 9 March is prepped and ready to go and we are looking forward to students upskilling in a variety of different areas including with partners HEX, Fit to Drive and Project Rockit.

Kate Manners
Director of Strategic Initiatives

Classics Club and the UK Literature Tour

Classics Club has commenced and all the students that have signed up for the UK Literature Tour in 2024 have been warmly welcomed into our club. We also welcome any other students who are interested in future tours.

We meet at 7.30am on Tuesdays in the Library and are starting to plan our meetings based on the itinerary of the trip with Harry Potter a focus for Term One.

Students are being asked to form groups of 4 to research and present an author or destination on our trip so that we can all learn and prepare for our journey.

We are super excited about going to the UK and our Classics Club is a great way to meet our fellow travellers and familiarise ourselves with the amazing history of Literature in the UK.

Thankyou to our 2024 Literature Captains, Siena Yap and Jaya Akritidis for leading the Club and helping us connect before the tour.

Anne Devenish
Head of Library

Our inspiring future leaders of business and commerce

Camberwell Girls Grammar School celebrates the achievements of Dina Mohd Ghazali (Year 10) and Emily Bai (Year 12) who were both accepted into the highly regarded “sheCommerce” program at the University of Melbourne. sheCommerce is an immersive academic enrichment program delivered by the University’s Faculty of Business and Economics for senior secondary students. The program exists to harness the passion and entrepreneurial spirit of tomorrow’s leaders, encouraging collaboration, creativity, and innovation.

Selection was competitive and saw only 40 young women from across Victoria invited to participate in the three-day residential program in late 2022. Dina and Emily were chosen based on their demonstrated leadership potential, academic merit, excellence in lateral thinking and problem-solving, and their commitment towards and aspiration for creating positive ethical and sustainable impacts in the community.

sheCommerce gave participants an opportunity to establish valuable mentoring networks with pillars of the business community, academics, and alumni. Emily reflects fondly on being afforded the opportunity to forge connections with like-minded individuals who share her passion for finance and economics. Dina was inspired by those around her making a difference in industry and through their research.

Not only are Dina and Emily wonderful ambassadors for our school, but they also epitomise the potential for young women excelling within the commercial realm. We congratulate both girls on being strong voices and advocates for impactful change.

Erin McEwan
Head of Commerce

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra: Sidney Myer Concerts

Sasha Wee (11A) participated in the Melbourne Youth Orchestra curtain raiser concert on Saturday 18 February, as part of the annual Melbourne Symphony Orchestra concert series at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Sasha was a member of the Melbourne Youth Orchestra percussion section and performed well-known orchestral works by Leonard Bernstein, Alexander Borodin and Arturo Márquez. A specific highlight for Sasha, was performing the Forrest Gump Suite by film and television composer Alan Silvestri.

Sasha is studying VCE Music Performance Repertoire this year and is preparing selected pieces on a variety of percussions instruments. The MYO and MSO partnership has enabled her to gain additional skills and further enrich her performance experience, whilst working alongside professionals in the music industry. Collaborating with like-minded student musicians during the rehearsal sessions was also particularly rewarding. Sasha caught up with Charlotte Lindsay (Class of 2022 and School Music Captain), who has maintained her connections with the MYO since commencing tertiary studies. 

Sasha’s Reflection

This year I have had another amazing opportunity to play with the Melbourne Youth Orchestra for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s curtain raiser concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. There is a three-day intensive rehearsal process, where five pieces are rehearsed and then performed at the event on the third day. This is my second year being a member of the Melbourne Youth Orchestra as a percussionist, and it has been a productive start to the year. Whilst one of my favourite pieces was Danzón No.2, composed by Arturo Márquez, learning the glockenspiel part for the Forest Gump Suite was so inspiring – it melted my heart every time I played it! A highlight of this experience was being able to play in an orchestra with so many like-minded peers and making many new friendships. I had the opportunity to catch up and take a photo with Charlotte Lindsay, who graduated from CGGS last year. I love participating with the Melbourne Youth Orchestra and I am so grateful to have been a part of this amazing music experience!

Kate Savige and Rohan Mack
Directors of Music

University of Melbourne: Faculty of Fine Arts and Music 2023 Brass Festival

Hannah Lin and Nonie McLean attended the 2023 Brass Festival at the University of Melbourne on Saturday 18 February. The Conservatorium of Music at Southbank was literally buzzing with professional brass players, music faculty staff and like-minded student musicians. The University of Melbourne offers a wide range of tertiary music courses, with each discipline area targeting the specific music practices and tools needed for students to pursue their artistic interests. This timely workshop provided our CGGS students with a valuable insight into life on campus and gave them exclusive access to the world-class facilities at the Conservatorium of Music. Hannah and Nonie are studying VCE Music this year, so the workshops and masterclasses they attended have inspired them to continue to develop the brass techniques and skills required to perform with confidence.

Hannah Lin’s Reflection

I attended a workshop for French Horn, a presentation about breathing techniques, and a Jazz panel discussion. I learnt that there was more than one technique to breathe when playing a wind instrument and/or singing. I also learnt that improvisation from Jazz could be developed from extremely technical training, including composing and lots of theory work. A highlight from my immersive day at the workshop was being able to try different models of instruments. I enjoyed the hands-on experience, learning about how the French Horns were made, what differences they had in certain models and how this influenced the sound.

Nonie Mclean’s Reflection

I attended a session on brass warmups and techniques, including a wide range of exercises that covered all the essentials of trumpet playing, which was really useful. The breathing technique session provided a lot of advice and some useful exercises to develop and improve my sound, which will enable me to play better. Hannah and I also attended a Jazz panel discussion session with panellists from the Faculty of Music and professional musicians. Jazz improvisation is an area of interest for me, so I was curious to learn more. A particular highlight was getting the opportunity to play some beautiful trumpets they had on display, including a piccolo trumpet, which I was able to try for the first time. The brass workshop day gave me a greater understanding of the techniques required to play brass instruments confidently and the sessions highlighted the wide range of music styles that brass players can specialise in.

Kate Savige and Rohan Mack
Directors of Music

Sports Leaders Breakfast

On Thursday 9 February we had the privilege of attending the GSV Sports Leaders Breakfast at Lauriston Girls School. We listened to 3 professional athletes – Georgia Griffith, Cat Phillips, and Rosie Webster.

They provided an insight into the life of a professional athlete, how hard it is to have a work/life balance during periods of intense training leading up to competitions and how the balance is not always 50/50. All three women emphasised the importance of doing sport in high school and having a go at different sports no matter your ability. They provided us with insights into the struggles of being a female athlete and the sometimes negative commentary they face before and after games and competitions. Cat Philips also highlighted the importance of relying on friends and family to help overcome this and other struggles they face. Overall, it was a wonderful breakfast and it was fun to meet some of our competitors from other girls schools in GSV.

Ruby Killington and Issy Tremewen
GSV Sports Captains


After years of brutal 6.00am starts, the CGGS triathletes were grateful for the later time slot on Sunday 26 February. On a beautiful sunny and thankfully cool morning we gathered at Altona Beach to compete in our respective legs of the race. The swimmers fought to get us an early head start, the bike riders struggled through the headwind, and the runners finished off their 3 k’s with a bang. A huge shoutout to Angela for completing all three legs by herself in the individual competition. Overall, it was a fun and challenging day, and it was so uplifting to have the CGGS community cheering us on. 

Sasha Feldmann
Sports Captain

Year 12 Formal

On Friday 17 February, the Class of 2023 had the night of the year at Kooyong Tennis Club. After weeks of planning and hours of preparation the night was bound to be one to remember! A fantastic formal video, photo booth, and teachers reliving their high school formal on the dance floor – shoutout to Miss Georgiou!

Such a successful night of beautiful things, all thanks to Mrs Robinson, the thing of all things, for making it happen.

Mia, Catia, Greta, Lily, Eleanor, Kate, Lauren, Paula and Jas


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