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Secondary School

Throughout Term Two, our student’s dedication to learning, action and service has been outstanding. Individually and collectively, students have thrived academically, embraced opportunities for personal growth, and created lasting friendships and new memories.

As we turn our mind to the upcoming school holidays, we have a number of students from Years 9-12 embarking on two overseas adventures, either on the German Exchange where they are immersing themselves in the culture and language of Germany or on the service-learning trip to Timor Leste. While in Timor Leste, students will visit local businesses, engage with creative industries, and actively participate in conservation and sustainability initiatives. In anticipation, we thank Dr Forwood and Mr Wilkins for their support of the students and this experience. We wish our staff and students a safe journey while away and look forward to hearing all about the experiences upon their return.

We are immensely proud of the students’ efforts this term and we hope the holidays provide the opportunity to practice self-care and spend quality time with loved ones.

Kath Woolcock                        
Head of Senior School

Kate Giles                    
Head of Middle School

A HEXcellent Day of Accelerating Commerce Skills through Innovation

“Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow” – Robert Kiyosaki

Across Melbourne this week, thousands of startups worked to solve critical and creative challenges through innovation. The HEX team joined our Year 9 students on our recent Upskill day to also do just that. Anchored in the current Power and Enterprise unit our students are undertaking in Commerce, this HEX@CGGS Innovation experience, supported the development of one of four Upskill focus areas, Tech & Design Literacies.

In collaboration with the accomplished social entrepreneurs at HEX and our CGGS Commerce Department, students delved into the world of entrepreneurship, acquiring invaluable knowledge and honing their design toolkit.

Taking the initial concepts developed in their commerce classes for their Plan Your Own Enterprise (PYOE) project, students worked with the HEX team to enthusiastically brainstorm ideas for their business concept and collaborated with their peers, who they now refer to as “co-founders”. The group spent the morning exploring real-world social problems which ignited their passion to find innovative solutions that could make a positive impact on society and bring these back to their current PYOE project. Throughout the day, this supportive environment fostered experimentation and a fearless attitude towards failure, encouraging students to embrace setbacks as valuable learning opportunities.

Diving deeper into entrepreneurship, the students embarked on a journey of understanding the consumer. They discovered the significance of market research, unravelling insights into consumer behaviour through data collection methods which they used in real time with teachers and students across the school. Equipped with newfound skills, the students learned to identify gaps in the market and create products or services that catered to specific needs; again, amplifying the real-world application for their common commerce task.

“Our students are no longer just ‘learning’, but ‘doing’. HEX has added a new layer of authenticity to entrepreneurship education here at CGGS” – Erin McEwan, Head of Commerce

Immersed in prototyping, they transformed ideas into tangible solutions, honing their design skills and understanding the importance of user feedback. The end of the day saw them connect with a HEX specialist entrepreneur in smaller groups, to hone communication skills through pitching and branding.  With propositions and mentors, they crafted compelling narratives, developed strong value propositions, and delivered persuasive presentations. These communication skills enhanced their ability to promote their business ideas and laid a foundation for future endeavours, beginning with their PYOE project.

“Using our brainstorming from class plus spending time focusing on validating our idea with HEX showed me that what we are doing in commerce is real; it’s making more sense to me now. I’m actually thinking I might have a go at this idea outside of commerce too!” – Year 9 Student

As the day ended, Year 9 students eagerly showcased their entrepreneurial spirit. They presented their business ideas to peers and the HEX team; ready to take the feedback and progress of their work back into their commerce classes. Students commented that they experienced both using and growing their transferrable skills of communication, collaboration, creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking during this experience.

Kate Manners
Director of Strategic Initiatives

Opportunity Challenge

On Friday the main courtyard was a hive of activity as we celebrated the culmination of ‘Opportunity Challenge.’

Year 8 students from CGGS and CGS came together to host a vibrant interschool Fete which showcased our students’ entrepreneurial spirit as they set up stands, offering a range of creative goods and services, including bubble tea, chocolate toss and interactive games. 

Together students raised $748, with 100% of profits donated to Opportunity Challenge.  A big thank you to the Year 8 students who participated in this important opportunity to make a difference.

Kate Giles
Head of Middle School / Acting Year 8 YLC

Year 10 Work Experience

Work Experience is a vital part of the CGGS Career Education @ Year 10, another endeavour in the ‘#myfuture’careers program which will help students with their decision making for their future. It gives students an opportunity to work in a profession in which they are interested. It is designed to be exciting and informative, with experienced people offering insights into a number of different professions.

The students were introduced to the concept of work experience in October 2022, while in Year 9 and whilst June 2023 seemed a long way away, they were encouraged to seek placements early, as some areas are highly sought after.

Students were able to experience a wide range of industries, including veterinary practices, retail, accounting firms, design, marketing, dental practices, legal, local government, physiotherapy clinics, childcare & primary education, pharmacies, hospitality, architectural & building construction firms, film production, medical and allied health and environmental organisations.

Employers’ evaluations were overwhelmingly positive with many commenting on the terrific work ethic of the students, their maturity, courtesy, willingness to ask questions and the effort they made to fit into busy and unfamiliar workplaces. The students thoroughly enjoyed their placements.

The few students who, despite their best intentions, were unable to find a placement participated in the CGGS Virtual Work Experience Program: a digital program which is a touchpoint for our students to not only experience different industries, but to see these industries in action and to learn from their professionals. Our students completed four days of this novel program which included virtual tours, videos, podcasts, career timelines and more.  Upon completion, students received a certificate highlighting the industry task undertaken, the skills developed and most importantly, they received personal feedback on their work mapped to guidelines provided by industry.

The success of both types of work experiences suggest that future work experiences may comprise both real world placements and virtual work experiences.

Trish Dolan
Careers Counsellor

Year 9 Visit to McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery

In an age where technology dominates much of our daily lives, it’s crucial to provide young minds with opportunities to explore the realm of art and ignite their creativity.

Year 9 students embarked on an enriching excursion to McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery. As the school bus pulled up to the entrance anticipation and excitement filled the air. The students, accompanied by their enthusiastic teachers, were greeted by the welcoming staff of the park, who were eager to share their passion for art and sculpture.

The highlight of the excursion was the hands-on workshop, which was designed to encourage experimentation and exploration. Students were encouraged to think outside the box, pushing the boundaries of traditional sculpture. The skilled instructors provided valuable insights, demonstrating different approaches, and offering guidance to help students refine their creations.

Following the workshop, the students embarked on a walk through the park, immersing themselves in the tranquil surroundings and experiencing the breathtaking sculptures firsthand. The Park and Gallery is renowned for its extensive collection of both contemporary and traditional sculptures, making it the perfect introduction for next term’s sculpture unit.

The students wandered through the park, engaging with the artwork and discussing their interpretations. Each sculpture told a unique story, invoking emotions and inspiring contemplation. From towering abstract structures to intricately detailed figurative pieces, the sculptures showcased a diverse range of styles and themes, provoking thoughtful discussions among the students.

The Year 9 excursion to McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery was an unforgettable experience that left an indelible mark on the students’ artistic journey. The hands-on sculpture workshop enabled them to experiment with different materials and techniques, while walking the grounds of the park immersed them in the beauty and thought-provoking nature of sculptures.

Such excursions not only ignite creativity and inspire artistic expression but also cultivate an appreciation for art and its role in society. By providing students with opportunities to engage with art in tangible ways, we empower them to become critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, and well-rounded individuals who can appreciate the beauty and significance of art in their lives.

Rachael Miller
Head of Art and Design

Year 8 Melbourne Mindset

The characteristics of a Melbourne mindset differ from person to person, but for me I think a Melbourne mindset means being inclusive, creative and welcoming. Pardis

What does it mean to be a Melbournian? Year level spotlights are one element of our BY DESIGN Learning Architecture. The Year 8 spotlight is Identity and last week, as part of our Upskill program, our Year 8s were out and about exploring their local environment through engagement in an amazing race. Armed with a local map and mini-Lego figure mascot, teams of students explored Boroondara, collecting evidence from both natural and built environments, while looking a little more closely at their local community. Checkpoints along the way provided challenges including a mini AI pitch, emoji suburbs code breaker, and an Australian painting recreation.

A Melbourne mindset is to have the mindset to go forward, to take things in your stride. It is to live free with no regrets. It is to try new things and be open minded. It means that Melbourne is home – Ashley

For me, to be a Melbournian is a privilege …To live in Melbourne is to be inspired – to be inspired by the art, the music, the culture and the harmony. This inspiration fuels Melbourne’s dreams, and this is what I think it means to be a Melbournian – Ellie 

So what does being a Melbournian mean to you?

Charlotte Forwood                                                      
Director of Learning Design and Development  

Karoline Walter
Head of Geography

Micah Wilkins
Head of Digital Learning and Innovation

VCAA Plain English Speaking State Semi Finals – Sara (Year 11)

This week I was proud to support Sara from Year 11 as she competed in the VCAA Plain English Speaking State Semi Finals.

Earlier this term, Sara competed in the heats and her performance placed her in the top 24 speakers in the state, gaining her an invitation to compete in the semi finals.

All the speakers were of such a high calibre, presenting on social issues they were passionate about. Even though I had heard Sara present on ‘misogyny lurking in the shadows’ several times in rehearsal, I was still so struck by the way she delivered her powerful presentation.

She showed such high skill when she presented on the impromptu topic ‘change is good’ and represented CGGS incredibly well. She is a great example of someone who has taken so many opportunities at CGGS and has really honed and developed her skills through public speaking, debating and Model UN.

Jennifer Gordon
Head of English

AMEB: Outstanding Music Achievement Success – Hannah (Year 10)

The Music Department is delighted to share the news that French Horn player Hannah L was awarded the Associate Diploma, with distinction, from the Australian Music Examinations Board last week. Hannah performed a variety of AMusA repertoire to a panel of two French Horn experts and successfully responded to specific questions about stylistic conventions, demonstrating excellent knowledge of the artistic content within her pieces.

Hannah is currently studying VCE Music at CGGS, as a Year 10 extension subject, alongside her high level of commitment to a range of co-curricular music ensembles and choirs. Hannah continues to aim for excellence in her music pursuits, through dedicated practice and motivated focus. Her approach to learning and ability to maintain her motivation to achieve specific music goals is exceptional.

Congratulations Hannah, on achieving such a brilliant result. Your amazing music talents continue to be an inspiration for all of our CGGS musicians.

Kate Savige and Rohan Mack
Directors of Music

Author Visit - Nova Weetman

On Monday, in the Senior Library, we welcomed award winning author, Nova Weetman to speak to the Year 7s about her books and her writing style of Choose Your Own Adventure. Nova focused on building character in her stories and the students participated in an activity creating their own character.

“I learnt a lot during Nova Weetman’s visit, especially about writing different forms of stories and books which was something I have struggled with previously.  Nova talked about writing award-winning books and scripts for television shows. I was so happy to win one of her books and get it signed. This experience was really fantastic and insightful”. Elise, 7W

 “We were shown how to create new characters and the structure of choose your own stories. The experience was engaging and intriguing, I was chosen to receive one of Nova’s new books that she also signed! We are so grateful and delighted for Nova to teach us her way of writing, thank you so much Nova!”. Chloe and Ella, 7B

Anne Devenish
Head of Library Information Services

Senior Waterpolo 2023

What a season, what a team!

Congratulations to the Senior Waterpolo team for 2023, you were amazing.

7.00am trainings on a Monday morning to start the school day not to mention the school week, treading water for 60 minutes, while throwing and catching, add a lot of swimming to the mix, our end result … a waterpolo team that performed well above expectations.

Tuesdays = game day. We felt like VIP’s, we always had a big bus to take us to our venue, we were able to watch other teams play before our own game and recognise what other teams were doing and where we could improve.

Our throwing improved, our catching improved, we were always awesome at swimming but we started swimming with purpose and intent and we never gave up. We won some games, we lost some games and we drew some games but the best part was, we were a team, we improved greatly and we were there for each other.

Thank you to the Senior Waterpolo team for 2023, it was a pleasure to coach you this season.

Alexia McConnell
Senior Waterpolo Coach


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