Welcome to 2019 and I take this opportunity to thank you all for supporting your daughters in a smooth transition back into the school year. A warm welcome also to all new families to CGGS. We look forward to sharing the journey with you and your daughter during her time in Senior School.
It was a delight to have all year levels return to school on Monday and it was wonderful to see all students settle so quickly back into school, including both the academic and co-curricular programs.
Year 7 Transition and Badge Ceremony
Last Thursday the Class of 2024, our new Year 7s and their parents joined us for the Senior School Badge Ceremony in Barbara Sutton Hall. This ceremony has become a tradition and holds great significance for us as a school community. This marks the beginning of what we hope will be a happy and enriching journey over the next 6 years at CGGS.
The Year 7s participated in a full week of transitional activities aimed to build confidence and a sense of belonging through forming connections. Throughout the transition week program the students gained much independence ahead of starting their full academic program.
Jenine Caruso, Year Level Coordinator, worked with Nareen Robinson, Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing (Activities and Initiatives) and all the Year 7 Form Tutors and Heads of Department in order to conduct a wonderful program of transition activities.
Another highlight was the Welcome Church Service conducted by Rev Helen Creed, our School Chaplain on Monday evening, followed by a dinner with families in the Fig Tree Café, Courtyard and Robinson Hall. The Tutor teachers enjoyed meeting all the families in this relaxed setting.
Year 11 Fit2Drive
For our Year 11 students, the start of the year was an extension of last year’s Headstart Program, giving them an introduction to their VCE subjects and setting the foundations for expectations during this busy year. On Friday they attended a Fit 2 Drive session through VicRoads and Ambulance Victoria. With most of our Year 11 students beginning their journey towards obtaining licences, it is an important session about remaining safe on our roads now and into the future.
Year 12 Retreat
The Year 12 students also began their 2019 school year last Thursday. After a day of classes where they attended one session per Unit 3/4 class, Friday saw them all head to their retreat at St Hilda’s College, at Melbourne University. Here they participated in sessions including study skills with our Director of Learning Design and Development, Dr Charlotte Forwood; Yoga which was facilitated by the Old Grammarians Association; Team challenges and creativity exercises. In the evening the School Chaplain, Rev Helen Creed, conducted a Commencement Service on the theme ‘Being Community’ with students Emma Dunlop, Hannah Moran, Alexia Vanin and Year 12 Coordinator Nareen Robinson, sharing their thoughts on this theme. Past students from the 2018 Year 12 cohort, Amy Peng, Jordyn Beggs, Cindy Huynh and Yanny Wang came back as part of a Q&A session run by our School Careers Counsellor, Mrs Trish Dolan. This provided the students with tips and advice on how to balance their lives. BATYR Australia spoke to the students on the Promotion of Mental Health for Young Adults on the Saturday morning before the School Captains, Nikki Chen, Ellie Zhou and Stephanie Lysikatos held a session on their theme and ideas of collaboration for the year ahead. We then had the pleasure of greeting the parents at a welcome to Year 12 lunch and brief information session.
Chinese New Year
Throughout this week we have celebrated the Lunar New Year with our Chinese Department and International Captains, Cherry Lin and Tracy Chen providing many lunch time activities for the girls to enjoy. Activities like Chinese paper cutting and folding, calligraphy, painting and Chinese knotting. Next Tuesday 12 February the Jow Ga Kuen Dragon and Lion Dance Association will perform on the Senior School oval at 1.10pm if parents are interested in attending. 2019 is the Year of the Pig the twelfth of the Chinese Zodiac animals.In Chinese mythology, the Pig represents good fortune, bravery, compassion and generosity. It is often said that people born in the Year of the Pig are fun-loving, happy, trusting and brave.
yLead Australian Student Leadership Conference Camp
From Sunday 20 to Tuesday 22 January, our three School Captains Nikki Chen, Ellie Zhou and Stephanie Lysikatos attended the yLead Australian Student Leadership Conference at University College. For those three days our Captains developed not only their leadership skills including public speaking and teamwork, but also made lifelong friendships and connections with like-minded individuals from all around Victoria and Tasmania.
The highlight of the conference were the two inspirational guest speakers – Ben Pettingill and Hunter Johnson. The girls found Ben’s talk truly inspiring. A young man who lost his vision at 16, but has overcome these challenges and completed amazing achievements including becoming the first person to complete the Spartan Race untethered and completing the Kokoda Trail. Despite his loss of vision, Ben has not let this disempower him and is now spreading his message to others, that everyone is equally capable of achieving their aspirations. The second speaker was Hunter Johnson who runs a nonprofit organisation, ‘The Man Cave’. Hunter aims to break down gender stereotypes, in particular toxic masculinity. He shared insightful stories from speaking with other schools, where he was able to transform young men’s perspectives and allow them to have an open conversation about letting their true colours shine through. From Hunter’s address the girls took away the idea that they are able to fail fast and learn faster and to think big and start small.
The girls would like to acknowledge their mentors – Kano (Nikki), Leigh (Steph) and Mikaylah (Ellie), Angie, Bel and Amy for being so welcoming, inspiring and understanding.
From their three days spent at ASLC, our Captains feel they have grown as leaders and are feeling very inspired for the year ahead as the 2019 School Captains.
The start of a prosperous future!
On Monday afternoon, our Year 7 students came together as a year level for their first Financial Literacy class. Students set up a ‘Smart Money’ folder that they will keep for the duration of their time at CGGS as they build their understanding of how to manage their money throughout Years 7 – 10. It was great to see students thinking about and discussing what research tells us in relation to how teenagers earn and spend money as well as creating their first “budget”. We look forward to seeing all these students graduate in 6 years’ time as financially empowered young women.
Year 7 Bees Wax Wraps – Towards Zero Waste
This year will see CGGS introduce a Service Learning component, Year 7: Environmental Stewardship, with a focus on reducing waste.
During the Year 7 Transition Week Program the students heard from a guest speaker and made beeswax wraps. This is part of our efforts to reduce waste in lunches and continuing on with the nude food policies of many of their Primary Schools.
Last Friday during the Art session the students decorated a fabric square, inspired by patterns, with special fabric markers which was then ‘fixed’ with heat.
On Monday Zero-waste advocate Erin Rhoads spoke to the students about ways that individuals can reduce waste in their lives. Erin is behind popular eco-living website The Rogue Ginger, and author of ‘Waste Not: Make a big difference by throwing away less. Erin was a consultant to ABC’s War on Waste, and was founder of groups Zero Waste Victoria and Plastic Bag Free Victoria. You may be aware of her work through her appearances on The Project, The Age, BBC World, ABC Radio, amongst others.
On Tuesday students finished their beeswax wraps by visiting the Food Science classroom and using the ovens to melt wax onto their fabric squares. The students had a discussion in their Forms about waste and how we can all reduce it. We look forward to seeing lunches with these beeswax wraps during the year.
A big thank you to all the staff involved and especially to Maggie Wighton, Sustainability Coordinator, for her facilitation of the activity.
CGGS Student wins Australian U16 Junior Chess Competition
Over the summer holidays, I participated in the Australian Junior Chess Championships held at Trinity Grammar School.
This year I was to compete in the U16 Girls Division, however due to the lack of girls competing in my division, we ended up combining with the U18 Girls, meaning that anyone who was under the age of 16 and 18 was eligible for both titles.
Over the course of five days, we all had to play a total of nine games each, with every game lasting two to three hours. At the end of the competition, I came an overall second place in the U18 and U16 Girls division combined, but won the Australian U16 National Girl’s title with a final result of 6.5/9.
The competition was very intense, but nonetheless, an interesting experience.
Emily Lin, Year 9
Once again, a very warm welcome back to everyone in the CGGS community. I hope you have a restful weekend.
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School