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23 - 27 March 2015
Canberra Girls Grammar School celebrated Harmony Day on Friday 20 March. The day offered an opportunity for students and staff to come together to share aspects of their culture, faith and language and celebrate the benefits that multiculturalism brings to our school.

Harmony Day at CGGS: Everyone Belongs

Canberra Girls Grammar School celebrated Harmony Day on Friday 20 March. The day offered an opportunity for students and staff to come together to share aspects of their culture, faith and language and celebrate the benefits that multiculturalism brings to our school.

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From the Principal

There has been a number of articles in the press about NAPLAN recently.

It isn’t surprising that trying to measure the progress of Australian children as a whole, the achievements of States and Territories, individual schools and individual students is fraught with difficulty. People and communities are complex and simple tools designed to take a snapshot measurement have serious limitations.

If I was in charge of a factory making washing machines instead of a school, it would be a straightforward process to measure my factory’s productivity. You would count the number of washing machines made per year and compare that to previous years. You would count days lost to equipment failure, sick leave and industrial action. You would impose quality assessment standards; how often a machine broke down within the period of guarantee, how many machines did not pass quality assessment on the production line. You get the picture.

In a school, it’s not so straightforward. Students do not perform in the same way every day, or even every term. They are sick or well, sad or happy, discouraged or encouraged, are challenged or succeed. They are influenced, both positively and negatively by those around them. As we all know, adolescents in particular can flip very quickly from being mature and resilient to being in need of our support and care.

As teachers we know that measuring a student’s progress is important. It is helpful both to the student and the teacher to see how the student is travelling but the key word here is travelling. As teachers we understand the individual challenges each student faces, both inside and outside the School environment. We understand the different learning styles each student prefers. We know how to encourage them to reach further and aim higher. We can show our students how they progress over time.

Having said all of that, I do believe that schools are accountable to students and their parents and the wider community for their work. We do need some form of measurement to enable us to reflect that accountability. At CGGS we are proud of our students’ success but never complacent. Our teaching staff actively seek professional learning and we put aside significant funds to underpin that. We take pride in supporting students both within the classroom and ‘out of hours’. We don’t rely on snapshot measurements but on knowing our students as individuals.

In my first year at CGGS, one member of staff said to me (rather bitterly), “You just want constant improvement.” I replied, “Yes, exactly that.”

Anne Coutts
Principal

From the Head of Senior School

A number of students have asked about a response to the needs of the people affected by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, particularly as we have that connection through our language program visits.

We have a language trip planned for later this year that will be reviewed upon advice from the relevant government groups as well as our own assessment processes.

Rev'd Harris spoke at this week's Assembly about Vanuatu and the desperate situation so many of the residents find themselves in at the moment.  He explained how, at next week's Easter Service there will be an opportunity to donate a gold coin and to join in prayer in remembering those suffering from the devastating cyclone. There have also been quite a number of very generous acts of kindness and fundraisers held around the School this year already. Some of these acts of kindness have been very public while for other acts of kindness the students responsible have asked for anonymity.

A central theme here, I believe, is the strong awareness in the CGGS school community around the needs of others, a very worthy and important aspect of an Anglican School such as ours. In Spanish, the verb optar, implies making a significant decision according to one's deepest values and priorities. The use of this verb implies more than a simple choice between alternatives; will I do this or that. For us, the use of the term should refer to a fundamental way we respond to situations such as Vanuatu, our response to their needs or any similar situation where those who can look after those who can't. The students who have come up and asked about what we can do for Vanuatu have expressed that sense of others. Likewise for those who have organised, participated in or given in various ways to the charity events held this term—there aren't donors and receivers—we all give and we all receive. As a school we are better for the experience of this type of relationship or way of responding—when the strong will always assist those who are struggling.

Congratulations also to Cherie Teng, Rosie Selth and Emma Findlay on their 3rd place in the Senior Division of the recently held Linguistics Olympiad. Anita Pickard, Kate Pickard, Adele Burke and Olivia Lindsey came first in the Junior Division and now progress to the Nationals. Well done!

Peter Milligan
Head of Senior School

From the Director of Teaching and Learning

Over the past year, there has been increasing press about the importance of STEM subjects in the School curriculum, both in Australia and overseas.

STEM which incorporates an interdisciplinary curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, focussing on practical application of these subjects. CGGS, with its strong focus on these core areas, is ideally situated to embrace this innovate curriculum.

STEM subject skills are essential in many jobs and offer pathways to diverse occupations. Such as aircraft engineers, nurses, biologists, and even motor mechanics. Industries needing STEM skills include clean technology, food science, health and digital technology.

Interest has also grown within the teaching staff, with a visit to a 'Fab Lab' at Lauriston Girls' School by the Head of Science, Mr Richard Kent initiating meetings with other interested members of staff across the Senior School and giving a presentation of the workings and application of the 'Fab-Lab' to our curriculum.

A 'Fab Lab' is a low-cost digital workshop, which incorporates the STEM subjects, equipped with laser-cutters, routers, 3D scanners, 3D milling machines and programming tools, which gives students a hands on way of exploring new STEM subjects and techniques. For example, one 'Fab-Lab' in the USA has been used to make da Vinci machine replicas in Year 7 history class, mechanical boxes to tell a story in Year 8 art class and monuments for female figures in a Year 8 history class, just to name a few!

Jane O'Brien
Director of Teaching and Learning

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FROM THE P&F PRESIDENT

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Canberra Girls Grammar School Parents and Friends Association (CGGS P&F) is on Monday 30 March.

Monday 30 March 2015
7pm Welcome Drinks
7.30pm AGM commences
CGGS Senior School Board Room (Administration Building)

The CGGS P&F is an inclusive group focused on building community across the whole school, from ELC to Year 12 and supporting the goals of the CGGS Board and their leadership. The CGGS P&F does not play a role in the governance of the School.

As parents and carers of students at CGGS you are very welcome to attend as members to the AGM.

The P&F Committee for 2015 will be elected at the AGM. If you would like to join the Committee, please complete the attached nomination form and email it to the CGGS P&F Public Officer, Bob Clark at pandf@cggs.act.edu.au

For more information about what being a member of the Committee entails or any other issue, please feel free to contact Bob directly at bob@7point.net.au he will be happy to respond.

As parents and carers of students at CGGS you are very welcome to attend as members to the AGM. 

We look forward to seeing you on Monday.

The CGGS P&F Committee

NEWS

Students in Year 5 recently enjoyed an amazing three-day camp at Cooba Sport and Education Centre.

Year 5's camp Cooba adventure

Students in Year 5 recently enjoyed an amazing three-day camp at Cooba Sport and Education Centre.

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Now in its fourth year, Access All Areas is an expo for all our music ensembles, to showcase the whole program in one afternoon.

Access All Areas 20155 March

Now in its fourth year, Access All Areas is an expo for all our music ensembles, to showcase the whole program in one afternoon.

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Year 11 student Kristin Chait continues her work as ACT's Juvenile Arthritis Ambassador.

Kristin spreads the word about Juvenile Arthritis24 March

Year 11 student Kristin Chait continues her work as ACT's Juvenile Arthritis Ambassador.

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On Thursday 12 March Mikaela Gavin (2014) was presented with her Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for Grammarian Mikaela Gavin (2014)25 March

On Thursday 12 March Mikaela Gavin (2014) was presented with her Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

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Friday night 40 Glebe students from Year 7 to Year 12 spent the night sleeping over in the School gymnasium.

Glebe's sleepover25 March

Friday night 40 Glebe students from Year 7 to Year 12 spent the night sleeping over in the School gymnasium.

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Congratulations to the following students.

Student Achievements this week of 27 March24 March

Congratulations to the following students.

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When you purchase a burger at Grill'd, please place your token in the jar marked CGGS Antipodeans Trip.

Grill'd Manuka assists the 2015 Morocco Antipodeans Trip19 March

When you purchase a burger at Grill'd, please place your token in the jar marked CGGS Antipodeans Trip.

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Grammarians' News this week.

Grammarians' News25 March

Grammarians' News this week.

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OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Soccer clinics for the April holidays26 March

Information about holiday soccer clinics.

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News from ACTION buses25 March

Changes to Bus Services on Monday 27 April 2015.

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School Shop News19 March

The change over into winter uniform commences at the beginning of Term 2.

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News from APFACTS24 March

News from APFACTS this week.

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WINTER NETBALL FUN

Two Junior School students new to netball, on opposing teams and giving it their all yet still having lots of fun together. PHOTO: Lydia Rice (Year 2) and Alice Hincksman (Year 1). CREDIT: Wendy Rice

 

CGGS AT THE NATIONAL ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS

1st VIII on way back after qualifying for the A Final in the WU19 8+.

 

COMMUNITY NOTICES

WODEN BROWNIES

The Woden Brownie Unit has spaces open for girls interested in participating in Girl Guides. Girls attending range in age from 6 till 10. We meet on a Monday at the Garran Scout Hall, Kitchener St, Garran (next to oval) from 5.30pm till 7pm during term time. What will the girls get? She will enjoy a weekly meeting during the school term with girls in her age group. Meetings combine games, outdoor activities, craft, cooking, environment awareness and more, including camping, all tailored to her age and experience. There’s also the chance to meet other girls at local, state and national events, help people in her community and train in boating and other outdoor skills. Contact Toni Gwynn-Jones, Girls Guides ACT & South East NSW Region on 0412 880 894 or wodendistrictgirlguides@gmail.com. Link here for more information.

SATURDAY 28 MARCH, PCYC FAMILY FUN NIGHT

5-7pm, PCYC Erindale, Erindale Shops. The event is to get local families together as a meet and greet as well as for them to get to know the local police and program on offer at the PCYC. It is an all ages event and will be free entry and food. Link here for more information.

TUESDAY 14-FRIDAY 17 APRIL, CHILDREN'S THEATRE CAMP

9am-3pm, Drama Centre, Canberra Girls Grammar School, Senior Campus. Open to students from 7 to 12 years from all schools. Link here for more information.

SUBMISSIONS

To submit community notices or student achievements and photos for consideration in the Weekly Update, please email Monica Masters on newsletter@cggs.act.edu.au by COB Wednesday.

To submit news on CGGS Grammarians for consideration in the Weekly Update, please email Laura Hannan on grammarians@cggs.act.edu.au by COB Wednesday