The mid-term break and Melbourne Cup Public Holiday long weekend was much appreciated by all. Two VCE Examinations, Further Mathematics and Business Management took place on the Monday and I would like to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge Year 12 Coordinator, Karen Anderson and VCE Coordinator, Mark Corrie who have both been present at the beginning and end of each of the examinations to ensure our Year 12 students have been fully supported.
Last Friday a number of teaching and professional services staff, School and House leaders, many musicians and the current Year 7 and 8 students, were involved in the 2019 Year 7 (Class of 2024 ) Orientation Day. On this day we welcomed the 91 new students and their parents for an information session, followed by ‘getting to know you’ activities for the girls and a information session and morning tea for the parents. Thank you to the Parents and Friends Association for hosting the morning tea and to all the students and staff members who ensured the newest members of CGGS were embraced and welcomed into our community. We are looking forward to sharing the CGGS journey with these girls and their families. The aim is always that our new students feel optimistic about their futures at CGGS and if that is measured by smiling faces, I feel that the goal was achieved.
On Friday, the Senior School community also recognised the sacrifice of our many Service Men and Women who have served and continue to serve our Country in war and more recent conflicts, in an acknowledgement of Remembrance Day. 2018 being the Centenary of the Armistice, provided an even greater significance to the time spent in silence, remembering and honouring those who so bravely shaped our Nation.
On Wednesday of this week our Year 9 students were involved in a World of Work day as a lead into their Service Learning Week. This provided them with the accreditation of “Safe at Work”. Many thanks to Careers Counsellor, Trish Dolan for organising this highly successful day and lunch. The advice provided to the students was invaluable.
The Year 10 and 11 students commenced their own school based examinations on Thursday. We wish the students well with their preparations as the skills developed this year will be essential to their future VCE examinations.
We also acknowledged and showed our gratitude to the very many wonderful volunteers at CGGS at the annual Volunteer Thank You Breakfast on Thursday morning. Organised by Kate Daffy and the Foundation Office, this was an opportunity to thank everyone who supports our activities throughout the year. Without the generosity shown by our volunteers throughout the year we couldn’t manage so many of our additional opportunities for students, so it was a pleasure to acknowledge their support.
Today we have welcomed a number of students who will commence at CGGS in 2019 in Years 8 – 12. While not on the same scale as the Year 7 morning last week, this Orientation morning is equally important to welcoming new students and beginning connections with their fellow students and staff.
Next week our Year 9 students will be on their Service Learning City Excursion, Community Placements and complete the Service Learning Conference. We wish them all well for what has always been a most tangible and enlightening week. This week has seen many students return to school changed from their experiences and having lived our school motto; Utilis in Ministerium. On behalf of the students and our broader CGGS community, we are most grateful to Liss Campbell for all her organisation of this week. I look forward to being able to share some of the girls experiences in the next edition of CamNews.
On Wednesday 14 November CGGS continued its work as a lead school in the Victorian Government’s Respectful Relationship initiative, by hosting a Community of Practice event for eight of its partner schools. Attendees included MLC, Strathcona, Ruyton Girls School, Camberwell Grammar School, Scotch College, Balwyn Primary School, Camberwell South Primary School and Blackburn Primary School.
The session focused on CGGS working closely with staff at each of the schools to develop ideas for whole school projects and activities that cultivate an understanding and appreciation for respect, resilience, rights and responsibilities within and across all types of relationships. Together we collaborated on strategies to enhance and embed Respectful Relationships and gender equality across all facets of our school communities, by creating a whole school approach that links culture with programs, initiatives and curriculum innovation.
As a lead school, we were able to share our learnings and successes in the Respectful Relationship space, including the Respectful Relationship badge worn by students and staff at both Junior and Senior School. We also reflected on our involvement in the School Leaders for Gender Equality and Respect Student Voice Workshop which aimed to shift the dialogue to ensure cultural and generational change within the wider community. We also spoke about the momentum we have built in this space across both curriculum and wellbeing programs, including our tailored Year 9 Respectful Relationship Health Unit, that tackles gender stereotypes and challenges the ideas of power and control in relationships. Finally, we invited all of our partner schools to attend a Community of Practice Event at Junior School in May 2019, which will focus on using a design thinking model for students to reflect and learn from each other, as a means of auctioning and leveraging change within their own school communities.
Our role as a lead school over the past two years has seen strong professional relationships established with each of our 13 partner schools across Melbourne’s inner east and we look forward to continuing this work in 2019 and beyond. On behalf of the CGGS school community I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kath Woolcock, Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing, for leading and driving our community of practice. I’d also like to thank the following staff members who have assisted her throughout the two year project, Craig Goodwin, Katrina Cheong, Ren Pesenetti, Luke Lobello, Paula Kolivas and Beth Sarlos.
Australian Geography Competition
The awards and certificates for this year’s annual Australian Geography Competition were received and distributed in Term 4. The competition is open to all CGGS students from Year 7-10 and those studying VCE Geography. It is a challenging competition that assesses geographical knowledge and skills with an application to a broad range of topics and global events. Well done to everyone who participated.
We are proud to recognise the exceptional achievements of a number of students this year. Congratulations to the following:
Year 7 – Top 1% of students in Australia
Year 8 – Top 1% of students in Australia
Year 9 – Top 1% of students in Australia
Year 7 – High Distinctions
Year 8 – High Distinctions
Year 9 – High Distinctions
Catherine Ekins Daukes
Year 10 – High Distinctions
HANDS-ON LEARNING IN HISTORY
Year 10 visit the Jewish Holocaust Centre
As part of their study of Nazi Germany, our Year 10 girls have been studying how intolerance and fear can be exploited by extremist movements and how this can lead to persecution, discrimination and even genocide.
To deepen their understanding of this topic, the Year 10s visited the Jewish Holocaust Centre on Thursday 8 November. They spoke with Czech holocaust survivor Mordecai, who spoke frankly and honestly about his experience of suffering and survival in a Nazi work camp during the Holocaust. Mordecai credited his survival – where many family and friends did not – to the good fortune of being considered big enough to work when he was deported. Our students also undertook a guided tour of the centre’s museum and left messages of love, hope and remembrance in the centre’s visitor book. The visit to the centre affirmed for many of our girls how reflecting on the tragedies and injustices of the past can help create empathetic, active citizens who are committed to justice, democracy and human rights.
Year 9 visit the Shrine of Remembrance
On Friday, 11 November our Year 9 students visited the Shrine of Remembrance. The Shrine was originally constructed as a memorial for the 62,000 Australians who were killed in the ‘Great War’ of 1914-18 and whose bodies could not be brought to Australia for interment. It has since become a place for remembrance for all of those lost in conflicts since, a place of reflection on the meaning of service and sacrifice and a centre for education about Australia’s history. As part of the education program at the Shrine, our girls were given a guided tour of the Shrine, its gardens, its memorials and its museum. They handled artefacts used by Australian servicemen and women in past conflicts and they were given the chance to dress in the uniforms and kit used by Australians who served in World War I. The visit helped bring to life what our Year 9 girls have been studying this term in the classroom: the way war transformed Australian society and the debates about the Anzac spirit and its legacy.
Colour your Threads’ Celebration at CGGS
On November 2 we celebrated the National Positive Education Day for the first time at CGGS. In order to celebrate the ideas and initiatives promoted by positive psychology, students from Years 7 to 11 responded to prompts related to the key ideas promoted in Mental Fitness Training this year, gratefulness, growth mindset and goal setting.
All students received a colourful leaf on which they shared their personal insights on these ideas, which we then shared around a tree of gratefulness and optimism for the future, which can be admired in the library and soon in the cafe.
Within Mental Fitness Training, our key objectives are to teach students the skills they need to build resilience and improve their wellbeing. Positive psychologists argue that by using our hope, wisdom, creativity, future mindedness, courage, spirituality, responsibility and perseverance we are able to manage negative impulses more effectively. Especially in western societies with increased exposure to social media, consumerism and high expectations surrounding successes in life, skills like self-regulation and optimism are essential to enable happiness and life-satisfaction. Moreover, students’ ability to use their grit to overcome failures and to be optimistic about their future are proven positive predictors for academic success. As Angela Duckworth uncovered in her research, in order to achieve the challenging goals we would like to realise in our lives, we need ‘to be willing to fail, to be wrong, to start over again with lessons learnt.
In particular, as our Year 10 and Year 11 students are heading into exams, let us remember that that VCE, like life, is a marathon and not a sprint. Pace yourselves, work hard and learn from your mistakes.
Year 9 Mentoring Lunch
The final Year 9 mentoring event was held on Wednesday in Robinson Hall. The theme ‘Enterprise Skills and Work’ was designed to encourage our Year 9 students to reflect on the skills they have developed throughout the year – both in their curriculum work, and the exciting opportunities available to them through their co-curricular activities. They completed their safe@work program in the morning which is a compulsory requirement for their work experience placements for 2019. Some students are applying for Christmas holiday jobs while others are being really proactive and making applications for work experience 2019. As the Year 9 students embark on their Service Learning experience, they were all reminded of the need to document their enterprise skills in a résumé format. Interview tips were also previewed!
A big thank you to Cara Davey and the OGA, through Karen Bartram, who generously co-sponsor the delicious lunch served to the students. An enjoyable event!
Click below to see an example of an Enterprise skill learnt at school that can be applied to the work place.
Lego League Competition
As part of the Year 9 robotics elective this semester, we were given the opportunity to participate in a team competition called First Lego League. Our team consisted of seven girls from Year 9, Annaliese Cossenas, Eloise Holwill, Zara Price, Caitlin Sutton, Chloe Langley, Himalini Kathirgamanathan and Karen Ng. During the day we had to present a poster reflecting the team’s core values, research a project to do with this year’s theme (Into Orbit) and complete a robot game.
The core values poster talked about how we worked together as a team, especially in relation to discovery, innovation, impact and inclusion. We were required to write a paragraph on how we believed each core value to be important and how we demonstrated each during the lead up to the competition. In addition to this we were required to choose another core value our team thought was important. Our team chose respect as we felt that it was important that everyone was included and valued on the team.
For the competition we were also required to do a project. Our project was investigating an issue that arises from long haul space travel (a year or more). Our group chose to research how the menstruation cycle was managed in space. Upon research we found that the commonly used options were an oral contraceptive pill used to forgo menstruation or another type of hormonal contraceptive, as there would be a lot of non-recyclable rubbish because of period waste. Our group investigated the use of sea sponges or alternatively crocheting or knitting tampons. We also suggested that rubbish that could not be recycled be made into energy, which in turn could be used to run the spaceship.
A large aspect of the competition was the robot game. A mat with several challenges was set out on a table and each team was given two and half minutes to complete as many as they could. Challenges involved programming a robot to lift, move or place an object on the board, each completed challenge scored a certain number of points for your team. Each team was given three opportunities to be judged and the highest score overall would be counted towards the team’s score at the end of the day.
At the competition we won an award for having the most innovative solution for our research project (menstruation in space). Even though we did not make it through to the next round, it was an enjoyable experience for all. During the day we had to deal with different problems, for example our programming not working. We learnt to problem solve on the go while keeping calm and helping others to do the same. This competition was a very enjoyable experience and we look for forward to being able to help next year’s team by giving them tips that we learnt through our journey.
We’d like to thank Ms El Wood and Dr Charlotte Forwood for coordinating this amazing opportunity for us.
Women of CGGS Oaks Day Lunch
The Women of CGGS joined together to celebrate Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival at a CGGS Oaks Day Lunch, supported by The Ark Clothing Company.
Dressed in frocks and fascinators, guests enjoyed a delicious lunch, were entertained by a fabulous fashion parade with The Ark presenting their summer range and received a generous goodie bag filled with wonderful items.
The day also raised funds for the charity, Days for Girls with a Silent Auction offering several items up for bids.
A big thank you to Mrs Susannah Jepson in the Foundation Office for her organisation of what was a successful event.
Last Saturday the CGGS netball teams had a fantastic day! Ten out of our fourteen Senior School teams are in the top four. With only one round to go the CGGS teams are looking promising for the Spring Fling Finals.
Year 7 Silver had a close game against Koonung Firebirds. Silver drew to Koonung Firebirds 4-4 and are sitting in 2nd place on the ladder.
Year 7 Sapphires also had a close game last Saturday. Sapphires were more consistent, they played a terrific last quarter and defeated Ruyton Renegades 9-8.
Year 8 Gold went down to Koonung Furies. Gold had their chances but Koonung were too strong.
Year 8 Diamonds played a fantastic first half against MGGS Cyclones. MGGS came back but our CGGS team were too good, defeating MGGS Cyclones 12-11.
Year 8 Aquamarines played a fantastic game against MGGS Blizzards, defeating them 23-11.
Year 8 Amber went up against MA Hawks. The MA Hawks were undefeated but our CGGS girls played a more consistent game, defeating them 19-14. CGGS Amber are now sitting in 1st place on the ladder.
Year 9 Turquoise were unstoppable against MA Shooting Stars. CGGS had possession of the ball for majority of the game and defeated them by 20 goals.
The Year 9 Gems played a fantastic offensive game, defeating Genazzano 25-5 and are currently sitting in 1st place on the ladder.
Year 10 Tanzanites had a close game against MA Panthers, but the opposition were more consistent on the day.
Year 10 Emeralds went down to Genazzano Bully 16-23. Emeralds played well but Genazzano were too strong on the day.
Year 11 Crystals got off to a slow start against Genazzano Weston, but our CGGS team soon warmed up and ended up defeating Genazzano by 4 goals.
Year 11 Moonstones played well against Koonung Lasers. CGGS barely missed a goal, defeating Koonung Lasers 14-8.
Congratulations to all teams on their efforts last weekend.
I wish the CGGS community a restful weekend.
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School