Senior School

CamNews

Senior School

February 11, 2022

The commencement of a new school year is always very exciting for the students, but equally for the staff. And while we all experience some butterflies in the stomach the night before and as we walk through the gates, these are positive signs that we are looking forward to all the year ahead has to offer.

Highlights of the special programs undertaken by the Year 7, 11 and 12 students when they started back at school are outlined later in this edition of CamNews and I am also pleased to say that all our Year 7 students and those new to the senior School in Years 8 – 12 have also made a wonderful transition.

Our 2022 School Captains, Teagan Diep, Isabel D’Souza and Charli Lincke have christened themselves TIC and in the first Senior School Assembly for 2022 ensured they made as many references to this as possible – for example they were excited about the fantastic year ahead. They also outlined their term focuses for this year with the acronym CARE standing for Connectedness, Ambition, Recognition and Enthusiasm. Teagan, Isabel and Charli plan to have a Care Bear for each term and this term being Connection the bear is called Togetherness Bear. On behalf of the Senior School community, I wish the School Captains well with all their plans.

It has also been wonderful to see our other School and House leaders commencing their own portfolios so enthusiastically. Our International Captains, Shuhan Zeng and Daleney Ing coordinated activities and special food offerings through our school café, as we celebrated Lunar New Year. We are all hoping that the Year of the Tiger is a lucky one globally.

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Top Acts, Top Arts, Top Everything

‘Isolation’, ‘Remote’, ‘Distance Learning’… the language surrounding our experience of the past 18 months could not be further from some of the fundamental skills required by our performing artists. The ability to respond physically to their environment, to cultivate a relationship between audience and performer, to speak… to speak with resonance, clarity and diction and to fully utilise facial expression (these last two points predominantly hindered by face masks and microphone sensitivity on Zoom).

Beyond the universal experience of Lockdowns, our Performing Artists have truly had to dig deep and find a kind of ‘Show Fitness’ of the imagination, rehearsing autonomously and without the usual feedback loop and spatial familiarity to assist with detailed refinement. Remarkably, our Theatre and Music Performance students demonstrated inspiring resolve in their preparations for their final performance exam. Whilst they worked with astute guidance from Keira Lyons [VCE Theatre] and Mat Duniam [VCE Music Performance] they ultimately found the tenacity to cultivate and upkeep a personal rehearsal routine which propelled seven of them to receive a prestigious invitation to audition for the VCAA Top Class performance season (a carefully curated showcase of exemplar performances from the exams for current students).

Amelia Lemanis [perfect study score], Simar Kaur and Shannon Yeung (Theatre Studies), along with  Emily Wu [perfect study score], Chloe Law and Angie D’Leong (Music Performance), and Natalie Hudono (Dance) all produced final responses in their practical work that the State deemed ‘exceptional’. The school is thrilled to congratulate Shannon Yeung, Chloe Law and Natalie Hudono on their successful auditions which now leads to performances later in March. 

Natalie Hudono is performing her VCE VET Ballet Solo on Wednesday 16 March at 10:00am at the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall in the Melbourne Recital Centre. Tickets can be purchased https://www.melbournerecital.com.au/events/2022/top-class-dance-2022/

Chloe Law is performing the Australian cello work ‘Each Precious Breath’ by Helen Mountfort on Monday 21st March at 10:00am at the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall in the Melbourne Recital Centre. Tickets can be purchased https://www.melbournerecital.com.au/events/2022/top-class-music-2022

Shannon Yeung will be performing her monologue ‘The Threepenny Opera – A BALLAD SINGER’ at 10:00am on Tuesday 29 March. Tickets are available via Arts Centre Melbourne: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au/whats-on/2022/theatre/top-class-drama-and-theatre-studies-2022

These performances are always extremely popular and we recommend booking soon, as the initial allocation of tickets is close to exhausted.

A full list of performers appearing across the Dance programs will be available next week via the Season of Excellence website – www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/seasonofexcellence.

Heartfelt admiration goes out to all of our performing artists producing work under such difficult circumstances.

Keira Lyons
Head of Drama & Performing Arts

Year 7 Transition Week

2022 is well and truly off to a wonderful start with our Year 7 students officially joining the CGGS community. To help ensure a smooth shift into secondary school, the Year 7s eagerly participated in Transition Week, a program designed to encourage the development of relationships and familiarity with a new environment.

While our students took part in a wide range of activities and sessions, I wanted to share some of the highlights of the week, including an “Amazing Race” style tour of the campus, coming up with their own form themes, decorating their year level and form spaces, learning House chants with the Year 12 House Captains and undertaking Service Learning sessions. Importantly, the Year 7 students also listened to sessions delivered by school counsellors regarding Respectful Relationships and What to Expect in Year 7.

Transition week also offered students an opportunity to meet many of their subject teachers while getting a taste of the subject through participation in many engaging and inspiring lessons from History, English, Drama, Science, Religious Education, Mathematics, Art, Digital Organisation and Library. It was so great to see all of the new Year 7 students buzzing with enthusiasm and joy as they learnt new skills and developed connections with their peers and teachers. Finally, Transition week came to an end with students having some time in the library and attending a beautiful Church service with Reverend Creed and a number of Year 7 students.

I am incredibly impressed with how our new CGGS cohort navigated their new environment, and how willing they were to learn in this week, and I am confident this will continue. They approached all aspects of transition week with such poise, interest, and confidence and they should be very proud of themselves. On behalf of the Tutor Team and Subject Teachers, we look forward to being a part of the 2022 cohort’s senior school journey and wish them the very best for their first year at Camberwell Girls Grammar School.

Tuba Ozak
Year 7 Coordinator

Year 11 Start of Year Program Highlights

We started the year with our Year 11 Commencement program and although it was a shortened format, the Form Teachers and I enjoyed spending time with the students hearing about their recent break and talking to them about the year ahead. Elevate Education presented tips and strategies for more effective study and work habits and presentations from our VCE coordinator, and our Head of Digital Learning and Innovation provided the important nuts and bolts of the VCE and our new learning management system. We finished the day with ‘Robbo’s Race’ which involved a series of problem solving and creative thinking challenges. The results were outstanding, and I congratulate the students on their engagement and commitment to the day.

During our Year Level assembly, we set our common goal and driving purpose as “Bounce Back better” which is all about resilience and returning to activities, successes, enthusiasm, and energy. Collectively, the Form teachers and I will endeavor to provide an environment which nurtures and encourages collaboration, inclusiveness and a strong belief that working together and sharing the journey will benefit all and will serve to ensure our Year 11 students are happy, productive, and successful in all aspects of their schooling. We have adopted the lovable and loyal Hobbes as our mascot (from Kalvin and Hobbes comic fame), which both supports the Year of the Tiger and the traits we wish our students to display this year – kind, playful, philosophical and funny!

I am looking forward to a wonderful year ahead filled with laughter and determination to make the most out of every day we spend together.

Nareen Robinson
Year 11 Coordinator

Year 12, 2022

Last Thursday week, the Year 12s returned to school and undertook a special program designed primarily to further inform them about the VCE and also to spend some time re-connecting with their Form Groups and their 2022 Form Teacher.

In the morning, the Year 12s initially undertook a VCE Information Session with presentations by Ms Dot Georgiou (VCE Coordinator), Mrs Paula Kolivas (School Counsellor) and Mr Micah Wilkins (Head of Digital Learning and Innovation) on the school’s new LMS, Firefly. These sessions were designed to give all students an introduction to the VCE and tips on how they can best navigate through the year ahead. Following this, they undertook two sessions with Elevate Education, “Ace Your Exams” and “Student Elevation”. Both of these sessions were very informative and it was fantastic to see the high levels of engagement by the Year 12s throughout the sessions.  After lunch on Thursday, the Year 12s met in their Form Groups. Each Year 12 student was asked to bring something of significance to them and to briefly present to other members of the Form Group, the significance of the object they had brought to School. The feedback from both the Year 12s and their Form Teachers was very positive about the activity.

After this, the Year 12 Commencement Service took place. Unfortunately, due to Covid Restrictions, the Year 12s were unable to all meet together in Barbara Sutton Hall for the Service and so it was livestreamed into Upper Woodstock for two of the four Form Groups. Despite this, it was a beautiful Service and a very appropriate way to commence the School Year. Wonderful reflections on the year ahead were presented by Year 12 students, Emily Wu and Sarah Sun.

Since then, the Year 12s have made an outstanding start to the School Year. As the picture below shows, they are using their Study Periods diligently and the initial feedback from the Year 12 teachers has been very positive.

All in all, the early signs are very positive that the Year 12s are going to have a very happy and productive final year at Camberwell Girls’ Grammar School.

Andrew Burnell
Year 12 Coordinator

CGGS Students Perform at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl

Charlotte Lindsay (French Horn) and Sasha Wee (Percussion) are members of one of Australia’s flagship youth orchestras, the Melbourne Youth Orchestra. This orchestra showcases our brightest musicians and supports them to gain performance experience through working with highly regarded conductors in professional contexts.

Last month, the MYO commenced their year of special projects, with a concert on Friday 28th January at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Even an epic thunderstorm did not prevent the concert from proceeding and certainly made for a more dramatic performance!

Charlotte: The first concert at the bowl may have been quite wet, but it was incredible. I have attended the MSO free concerts with my family since I was 4 or 5. Being able to perform at such an iconic venue was a dream and an experience that I’ll never forget. The concerts are such a highlight, as I get to play music I love with friends. I cannot wait to do it all over again at our next concert.

This month, the MYO has been invited to perform a ‘curtain raiser’ concert (6.00pm-6.45pm) before the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Concert at the Bowl on Saturday 12th February. These much-loved free concerts have been a Summer tradition in Melbourne, where family and friends are welcome to bring a picnic, sit under the stars and enjoy listening to world-class musicians perform celebrated repertoire.                         

Charlotte and Sasha have been involved in a number of intensive rehearsal sessions at the MSO rehearsal headquarters (Iwaki Auditorium), where they have been working with conductor and MYO Music Director Brett Kelly, in preparation for the Myer Music Bowl performances. The program of works for the Concert on 12th February includes Felix Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, Aram Khachaturian’s Masquerade Suite, Vortex by Harry Sdrauligand selections from the Pirates of the Caribbean film score.

Sasha: Participating in the Melbourne Youth Orchestra has been an absolute amazing experience, and I am incredibly lucky to play alongside some incredibly skilled musicians with a well-respected conductor. Although the weather conditions were not the finest at our first concert, I had the chance to perform in the Sidney Myer Music Bowl for the first time ever and will forever be grateful for this amazing opportunity. As a percussionist, playing alongside some extraordinarily experienced players has taught me so much more about percussion, and the fine details and techniques that are required to add to the magic of orchestral music. I am really looking forward to performing in the next Music Bowl concert.

If you would like to attend the next free MSO Concert at the Bowl on Saturday 12th February (and support our student musicians) information is available here: 2022 Sidney Myer Free Concerts

Kate Savige
Director of Music Curriculum

Safer Internet Day

On Tuesday 8 February, it was “Safer Internet Day”, a global initiative to raise awareness about online safety.  In a world where many teenagers are spending around 2 hours online a day and have more than four different social media platforms, online safety is one of the biggest challenges parents and school face at the moment.   While we are aware that the internet and online technology has many benefits and we would be lost without it the 2021 national research indicates that 44% of teens have reported a negative online experience, 30% had been contacted by someone they did not know, 20% have received inappropriate content and 16% were being deliberately excluded from events and social groups (eSafety Commissioner research 2021)

In light of this the following link and article may prompt some conversations around safer internet use with your children

https://theparentswebsite.com.au/play-it-fair-online-safer-internet-day-2022/

Beth Sarlos
School Counsellor

Paul Dillon Workshops 

CGGS has a long-standing relationship with Paul Dillon from the Drug and Alcohol Research and Training centre, where he has been working for over 25 years. Each year, we invite Paul to speak to our students in Years 10, 11 and 12, where he shares contemporary research and perspectives on supporting our young people to make healthy, safe and informed decisions regarding Drugs and Alcohol.

Paul’s strength is in his ability to carefully craft his message using humour, story-telling and real statistics to engage his audience. Throughout the three years, our students learn many life changing and life saving strategies including how to ensure personal safety, the safety of peers and most importantly, being aware of the dangers and risks. 

This year, Paul will also present to parents on March 7, as part of our Parent Education seminar series. Paul will speak on the topic of “Teens, alcohol and other drugs: What do parents in a post-COVID-19 world need to know??, and during this talk he will explore the changing nature of socialisation as a result of COVID-19, including the growing popularity of local park parties. Paul will also discuss the concerning rise in ‘vaping’, particularly as the law has struggled to keep up with its recent popularity with teenagers.

As parents and as teachers, it is important that we regularly engage in conversations with young people about the latest ‘fads’ and ‘trends’ in drug and alcohol use, including vaping and we encourage all parents of students in Year 10 – 12 to attend Paul’s talk on March 7. By having these conversations, discussing the risks and the data, and by keeping communication lines open, we are more likely to have a positive impact on their decision making.

If you would like more information on Paul’s presentations, you can access a range of resources at his website: http://darta.net.au/  and we look forward to sharing more information regarding Paul Dillon’s Parent Education seminar shortly.

Kath Woolcock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing

CGGS Student Sporting Achievements

Over the holidays there were many students who were active with different sporting activities and we are excited to share some of their achievements with the CGGS community. If your daughter is involved in any sporting achievements outside school, we would love to hear about them so please email our Head of Sport, Lauren Law lawl@cggs.vic.edu.au so we can celebrate these accomplishments.

Australian Open Ball Kids
Chloe Wong, Nathinee Evans, Angelique Quah, Bella Fary, Kiki Page and Sara Rowland were all selected as ball kids at the Australian Open this year. It takes several months of trials and training to become a ball kid and these students should be very proud of their commitment to the program. It was exciting to see some students on the TV and they were very excited to be up close with some of the top tennis players in the world. Students had to adapt to different working hours and some very late nights but they all loved the experience and made some strong friendships through the program. They were also fortunate to be ball kids or flag bearers at some of the finals and we were thrilled to see Kiki Page helping with the gripping Men’s final which turned out to be a very long but exciting match. We look forward to seeing these girls and other students on court as ball kids in the future.

Lauren Law
Head of Sport

Rep Cricket
Over the summer, I was fortunate enough to be selected to represent the Eastern Cricket Association in the Under 14 girls’ Victorian Metropolitan Cricket Union (VMCU) carnival. We played 6 matches in 7 days, competing against some of the best players from across Victoria. After losing the first two games, we went on to win the next four and into the semi-final; as our team learnt to work together and play to our strengths. We came into the grand final as the underdogs playing a team that had only lost once. However, we didn’t let the pressure get to us and played our best on the day, securing a win and becoming the Victorian Metropolitan champions for Under 14 girls. It was a rewarding experience, and I made some great friends along the way.

Lauren Soo
Year 9

Year 7 Biodiversity

The Year 7 Service Learning Transition Program involved 2 hours of learning activities focused on Biodiversity. Students took action to attract and increase the range of living organisms in our school environment by creating seeds bombs, striking lavender from cuttings, constructing water bowls, drilling holes in wood for solitary bees, and sowing sunflower seeds.

The second project undertaken was a Biodiversity Audit. This was the first time CGGS initiated stocktaking our natural and built features. The purpose was to investigate what already existed so we can take action to restore and conserve nature, create habitats, and encourage insects to our garden. This audit involved using digital technology (Padlet & Excel) to photograph different vegetation and tabulate data, drawing on hardcopy maps to locate the natural and built features, and tally and record these features in a hardcopy table.

Anna Clarkson
Head of Sustainability