Welcome to the 2021 School Year
This year, I think more than any other in the past, the return to school has been so welcomed by all students and staff alike. Last Thursday we commenced with our Year 7, 11 and 12 students in special programs and some highlights of these are in articles later in this edition of CamNews. Then this Monday our remaining year levels 8, 9 and 10 commenced and the academic year started in earnest.
The sound of laughter and chatter in the corridors and at recess and lunchtime and the smiling faces observed in the classes has been heart-warming for all. And even though yesterday we were again required to wear face masks indoors, this has not dampened the spirits of all. We are a strong, resilient and kind community looking out for each other at all times.
This year, we have welcomed a number of students new to CGGS in Years 7 – 10 and also a few new staff. As always, we are delighted to embrace new students and their families and new staff to our community and we hope all feel a great sense of belonging to our school throughout their journey with us.
I take this opportunity to thank all our Year Level Coordinators: Ms Tuba Ozak – Year 7, Ms Paige Tan – Year 8, Ms Georgia Biggs – Year 9, Mr James Henderson – Year 10, Mr Andrew Burnell – Year 11 and Mrs Nareen Robinson and Mrs Karen Anderson in Nareen’s absence – Year 12, plus the Deputy Heads of Senior School, Ms Kath Woolcock – Student Wellbeing, Mrs Kim Hepworth – Teaching and Learning and Mr Shane Maycock – Co-curricular Programs for all their efforts to ensure a smooth start to the year for all our students.
Senior School Assembly
Each Tuesday we hold a Senior School Assembly and this week we were most fortunate to have Murrundindi, the ngurungaeta, head man of the Wurundjeri at our assembly for a Welcome to Country. Our entire school community knows and works closely with Murrundindi throughout the year and we always appreciate his commitment to our special events.
This year our School Captains Sophia Giagoudakis, Eloise Webster and Ashley Olsen, who have already become affectionately known as SEA from initials of their first names, have adopted their own motto for 2021, used to both motivate and connect the student body at Senior School, which they introduced at the first Senior School Assembly for 2021. I am pleased to share with you an excerpt of their presentation as this is yet another example of the young people under our care, having so much to teach us.
This year as your School Captains – SEA we have chosen to use the word SAIL to represent our termly themes of Support, Authenticity, Inclusion and Love. These all tie in together as a means to connect and heal with one another after the difficult year of 2020. We all know the individual struggles we coped with throughout last year and for each one of us, that struggle looked different. Many had others to turn to when times got tough, and we all had the opportunity to provide an ear to listen or that physically-distanced shoulder to cry on. In such a giving community as this, we all were able to lend a hand and empathise with each other, but may have been reluctant to recognise our own struggles and how they contributed to the strong and better people we are now, for having braved those hard times.
This year we embrace these struggles and pride ourselves on the way we have adapted and changed for the better so that we may smile – through the masks that continue to come and go – at ourselves for the people we have become.
As we SAIL towards a brighter future throughout 2021, we focus on understanding the presence of the strong support network around us, catching us when we fall and praising us in our achievements and individuality. We give ourselves the chance to be authentic, in a safe and encouraging environment with people who support us. Through our unique identities, we form bonds and appreciate what each other has to give, inclusively accepting one another for who we are now and who we wish to further become. Only through these actions are we able to find love in ourselves, our friends, our family, our teachers, our staff – in each and every one of us in our community and together brave the hardships of a stormy SEA through 2021.
We wish our School Captains and all the School and House Leaders smooth seas as they lead the Senior School this year.
Year 7 Welcome Service
On Wednesday afternoon we were able to welcome and acknowledge our Year 7 students and their families, the newest members of the Senior School community when families joined us onsite at the school at 4:30pm. Two of the Forms started with a Church Service in Barbara Sutton Hall with Rev Helen Creed, the others moved into the Senior School library to be introduced to the By Design Program with Dr Charlotte Forwood. These students then led their parents on a tour of the school, introducing them to the campus they will come to know intimately over the next 6 years. At 5:15pm the groups crossed over, before all participating in all activities.
At 6:00pm all families concluded their activities and we made the most of a glorious summer evening and shared a meal from Pinwheel and Co on the Senior School oval. This provided an opportunity for Tutor Teachers and the leadership team to meet many of our families in what was a very enjoyable evening.
Year 7 Transition Week
2021 is well and truly off to an amazing 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 their 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, challenging Team Building and Get to Know You activities (in which it was not only the students that were totally consumed by this, but the teachers also!) and Stress Management, Support Seeking and What to Expect in Year 7 sessions ran by our wonderful School Counsellors, Paula and Beth, that provided valuable information aimed at normalising help seeking behaviour.
The Year 7 students also listened to a presentation by Kath Woolcock about Wellbeing and the importance of our Year 7 theme Connected Community. Transition week also offered students an opportunity to meet many of their subject teachers while getting a taste of the subject by participating in many engaging and introductory lessons from Geography, English, Drama, Science, RE, Maths, Art, Digital Organisation and the Library. It was so great to see all of the new Year 7 students buzzing with enthusiasm and joy as they participated in many of their subject activities such as solving a Pitch Perfect crime by completing many Science experiments or using clay to create a pot. Finally, Transition week came to an end on Wednesday and we were fortunate with a perfect summer afternoon. After a Welcome Church Service, staff, students and families joined on the oval to chat with the students and their families over a wonderful dinner and dessert.
We congratulate and welcome our Year 7’s to CGGS. They completed their transition week with such poise, confidence and interest. On behalf of the Tutor Team and Subject Teachers, we are so grateful to be a part of their secondary school experience and look forward to getting to know each them better wish them all the very best in 2021.
Ms Tuba Ozak
Year 7 Coordinator
Year 7 Transition Activity – Murder in the Science Lab
On Tuesday the 2 February, the new Year 7 students transformed themselves into crime scene investigators and were put to task to help the Science department solve a horrendous crime.
Armed with a team of lovely assistants from Years 9 and 10, Year 7 students set about pulling apart four pieces of evidence. From analysing soil samples to trace the movements of the suspects, placing different mysterious powders into Bunsen Burners to determine their chemical composition, running chromatograms to interpret different pen inks and peering down microscopes to compare different fibres found at the crime scene; the girls got their teeth sunk into some serious Science.
After they had collected the evidence from their various samples, the girls went about drawing their own conclusions about who may have murdered Beca from the famous Barden Bellas (from the Pitch Perfect movies series) singing group. The girls finished the session by sharing their findings with the class as to their number one suspect.
The session highlighted the girls’ problem-solving abilities and allowed them to get a taste for what their Science journey over the next six years may look like. Congratulations to all the participants who managed to put the evidence together to solve the crime!
Year 7 Service Learning – Making Ripples for Change
“No one is too small to make a difference.” These stirring words spoken by Greta Thunberg were the focus for our Year 7 Service Learning Transition Week activity. At Camberwell Girls, we aim to be “useful in service” and at Year 7 we take on the role of stewards for the environment, aiming to serve our planet well. In 2021, our focus is on taking action and sharing our achievements, so as to create ripples of wider change.
Our first action of the year saw us heading outside to propagation stations. Students made pots from newspaper, and planted seeds of plant species indigenous to the Boroondara area. With care, these seeds will germinate and then be transferred to ceramic planters students made in Art earlier in the Transition Week. Once they are mature, these plants will thrive in local gardens and promote local biodiversity, with protective grasses for local fauna, and flowering plants to support our native pollinators. Inspired by the oral traditions of Indigenous Australians, students created poems and songs to help them remember the correct care for their plants. To create their “ripple”, Year 7s were encouraged to discuss this activity with their families.
This activity embodies our school value of hope. Together, we can and will take meaningful action that has a wider impact. It is this action which will see us as a community rise to meet the formidable environmental challenges we currently face. Greta Thunberg, with her solo school strike for climate motivating millions to action since 2018, exemplifies this approach and is a powerful inspiration for our students.”
Year 12 Retreat
The Year 12 girls were unable to attend their retreat offsite this year due to current COVID restrictions. However great fun was had by all over the 2 days that were held at school. This year the theme being explored by the Year 12 students is “Together We Can………” and this was the thread that wove its way through many of the activities run over the 2 days. The girls participated in sessions of yoga and meditation, a creative activity related to the theme, a session with Dr Forwood called “ Rewired” and some fun taskmaster challenges which involved working together in small groups to complete various tasks. Elevate Education, a group that specialises in study skills, ran sessions that gave the girls strategies and tips to stay motivated and how to approach and prepare for SACs and exams. Our own school counsellor gave the girls advice on stress management which complemented the information given by Elevate. The School Captains ran a fabulous activity that again explored the theme of teamwork. The first day ended with a beautiful Church service where the girls were able to light a candle and place it in “a river of light”. On a very rainy Friday morning 3 students who had just completed Year 12 in 2020, came to join in a Q and A session. The girls were given excellent advice on how to cope with this year and they were able to ask all the things they wanted to find out about completing Year 12. The retreat was a lovely way for the girls to start the final year of their time at CGGS.
Last Thursday and Friday, the Year 11s returned to school and undertook a special program designed to introduce them to the VCE and also Driver Education.
On Thursday the focus was very much on the VCE. In the morning, Year 11s undertook two sessions with Elevate Education – Study Sensei and Time Management, which were both very well received by the Year Group. This was followed by a VCE Information Session with presentations by Ms Dot Georgiou (VCE Coordinator), Ms Beth Sarlos (School Counsellor) and Mrs Kim Hepworth (Deputy Head of Senior School – Teaching and Learning). These sessions were designed to give all students an introduction to the VCE and how they can best navigate through the next two years. After lunch on Thursday, we welcomed back twenty of last year’s Year 12 cohort who facilitated a number of Q&A Sessions around subjects and the VCE in general.
On Friday, the focus switched to Driver Education with Fit2Drive providing an extended session with our Year 11s outlining many aspects of learning to drive as well as practical advice for the students once they have obtained their license. As always, this was a very informative and interactive session for the Year Group and I hope that all the students will benefit from the practical application of the information they learned. After a fairly demanding day and a half of activities, the Year 11s were able to relax a little in the afternoon by undertaking a series of One Minute Challenges designed to enhance collaboration as well as having a few laughs along the journey.
All in all, it was a really productive and enjoyable two days for the Year 11s and a perfect re-introduction back to School in readiness for the commencement of classes last Monday. I look forward to working closely with our Year 11’s throughout 2021.
Year 11 Coordinator
What a week it has already been! As we settle back into the routines of daily student and family life, CGGS students have been frantically auditioning, trialling and gaining knowledge of the possible co-curricular activities CGGS has to offer. As Week 1 draws to a close, House Dance Auditions for THEME, as well as signing up for the fun Group Dance. A reminder that sign up for these events close Monday 8 Feb.
GSV trials have begun this week for term 1 sports including Softball, Tennis and Indoor Cricket. Ms Law will continue to update students through team specific emails and live screen cast. Also on the horizon is House Athletics on March 2. Ms Law has sent out sign up details and House Period on February 12 will involve exploring these further.
Continuing on the theme of House activities, Thursday February 4 saw many year 11 and 12 students use period 5 to plan the first House Mentoring session which was held Friday. In small groups, these students will continue to develop activities to deliver to Year 7 – 10 students in year level house group.
Thursday also saw the Co-Curricular Expo being held at lunch time. Students were able to explore the different interest groups run at CGGS, asking student leaders and responsible staff about what each of the clubs involves. Next week, students will receive information detailing how to access a LIVE student calendar detailing when and where each of these activities will occur. If students do seek further information about co-curricular clubs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org whom will direct you to the student representatives.
Over the last week the library team have set up a Lunar New Year display to celebrate it on 12 February. It is a tradition predominantly observed in Asian countries including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Korea.
Lunar New Year begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends 15 days later on the first full moon. Dances and fireworks are prevalent throughout the holidays, culminating in the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated on the last day of the New Year celebrations. 2021 is the Year of the Ox, the second of the Zodiac animals. You can find out more about New Year festivals and the Zodiac via resources in the library and online!
As you can see, it’s certainly been a busy first week!
Wishing you all an enjoyable and restful weekend.
With best wishes,
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School