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16 October 2015
A reminder that the Canberra Girls Grammar School P&F Fete is occurring on 31 October from 10am to 3pm. The Fete Committee continues to put in a monumental effort in order to make this year’s fete a success but we need your help.

School Fete Update - We Need You

A reminder that the Canberra Girls Grammar School P&F Fete is occurring on 31 October from 10am to 3pm. The Fete Committee continues to put in a monumental effort in order to make this year’s fete a success but we need your help.

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Anne Coutts

From The Principal

In recent years we have seen much research into what makes a good teacher: education, content, knowledge and student test scores to name a few. It seems that little time has been devoted to research into the views of the students, those who sit in the classrooms every day. In their new book Kelly E. Middleton and Elizabeth Petitt have explored some of the qualities of a good teacher from the student’s point of view. The book is called Simply the Best; 29 Things Students Say the Best Teachers Do. Their research shows a strong correlation between positive student – teacher relationships and students success. They found that teachers who get to know their students as individuals and make it clear that they respect students and are there to help, encourage and support them see much better student outcomes.

These include:

  • Increased student learning and desire to achieve at high standards,
  • Increased student motivation, 
  • Increased sense of student self-efficacy,
  • Improved positive attitudes toward school and
  • Improved student social-emotional skills.

I am always encouraged by the parents who come to talk to me at Parent – Teacher Evenings. They often say ‘your teachers know my daughter so well’ or ‘she’s a different child since she joined you, she really enjoys learning’ or ‘she enjoys so many aspects of her time at school’. This, of course, is what we are aiming for.

There is no doubt that this personal connection to teachers, the relationship that is built in the classroom and outside the classroom, is fundamentally important to student’s progress and wellbeing. In my experience, this is even more pivotal to girls than boys. I remember leaving a school in England where I had spent a very happy eight years as Principal. There were many fond farewells but one student said ‘do you remember on your first day you told me off about my shoes?’ She had remembered that for eight years. Girls tend to mull over incidents, sometimes to overthink them, and we have to be careful to be consistent, transparent and fair to show them we are on their side and we want to help them.

Anne Coutts

Principal

Peter Milligan

From the Head of Senior School

Welcome back to Term Four and the reality of a very busy final term. In talking to the students I know that enormously exciting holiday activities occurred during the break as well as some very sad times for some of our families. Our thoughts and support are with families who experienced those difficult times in the holidays.

Before highlighting some upcoming special activities I must also acknowledge some end of Term Three events – notably the House Music and Sport final day. What an extraordinarily wonderful and special tradition! The energy, excitement, level of participation and great fun of the House music was amazing. Particular recognition must go to the student House leaders for the organisation of the music, routines and costumes. Our sailing club participated in the Inter- Dominion Championships held here in Canberra during the break with excellent results. Our French Tour to Vanuatu was also a great success – thank you to the Staff and students who participated in the trip.

In coming weeks the Fete, which will be held on October 31, is a major point of focus and a huge amount of effort by the P&F Fete Committee has already gone into organising the event. Further calls for assistance, with a House stall or some other activity, will be made in coming days – if you can help out that would be great. Our senior students have just over five weeks of school remaining. I would encourage parents of Year 11 and Year 12 particularly to read the article in the Weekly Update from Ms Tara Dunstall, Director of Studies, on the BSSS requirements with respect to student absences. It is important to finish well over the remaining few weeks. Our summer sporting program has begun, in some cases during the holidays, and provides a wonderful opportunity for the girls to participate, and in some cases lead, an activity in which they are passionate about. I wish our Debating teams every success in their finals this week. In coming days we will also be finalising the 2016 Senior Council of student leaders – a very important time.

During the holidays I saw poster for a Fine Arts exhibition of the work of John Lennon and Yoko Ono and it reminded me of the quote from the lyrics of John Lennon - "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." I hope that the busy time of Term Four doesn’t overshadow the many events that typically fly past us in Term Four. It is great to be back and I hope you have a really enjoyable Term.

Peter Milligan

Head of Senior School

Heather Ablett

From the Head of Junior School

A warm welcome back to school to everyone after our refreshing two-week break. Evident over the holidays and again this week has been a pleasant change of temperature, longer hours of daylight and potentially a chance to enjoy more outdoor experiences.

A reminder was given to students at Assembly that it is vital that they continue to engage with their learning in all their subjects and that this term is an opportunity to focus their energy in order to finish the year strongly. Much more will be achieved throughout the final weeks and we all need to make the most of every day during the final term.

In addition to the valuable learning in the various inquiry units, there are many special events in which to become involved. Included in Term 4, of course, are the Orientation and Transition programs for students moving to new parts of the School, most particularly for the Early Learning Centre, Prep and Year 3. Special orientation programs are planned for these students and many other students starting at CGGS in 2016 will be spending a day with us throughout the term.

As the term progresses we organise the range of final presentations that conclude our school year. These activities provide us with wonderful authentic opportunities to read, write, and speak and listen- the very focus of our literacy programs. Already preparations are underway and I wish everyone a fabulous term ahead!

 

Heather Ablett

Head of Junior School

Tara Dunstall

From the Director of Studies

"You've got this"

This is the message I gave to Year 12 students today at the beginning of their Careers lesson. With only 23 days of their secondary education remaining, though, there is plenty still happening in this last term and it will be their busiest. There is assessment to submit, final house meetings and chapel to prepare for, formals to attend, and tertiary applications to consider and arrange. It is at this time that attending classes may seem like less of a priority. Our policy and procedure for attendance at school is outlined in the Senior Student and Parent Handbook for 2015.

Absence from and Attendance at School

If a student is to be absent from school, a parent or guardian should contact School Reception on 6202 6430 before 8.30am and 6202 6400 after 8.30am to inform the School of the absence. Upon returning from an absence, please send a note to Reception, or send an email, or phone Reception to explain the absence. The email address for absences is SSReception@cggs.act.edu.au If the email is sent from a home address then a follow up note the next day is still required, however, if the email is sent from an identifiable work place no note is required.

Any request for an extended absence (more than one day) should be directed in writing to the Head of Senior School as far as possible in advance of the relevant dates. The form necessary for this is called “Application for Leave”…

If a student needs to leave the School during the day for an appointment, a note must be presented at Reception before the student leaves the School grounds. The student is required to sign out before leaving the School grounds and sign in on her return. Parents or carers who are picking up a student from school should present themselves to Reception when the student signs out.

Electronic rolls are marked each period by the teacher.

In relation to Year 11 and 12 students, the school must also hold them accountable to the attendance policies of the Board of Senior Secondary Studies. The BSSS requires that students attend and participate in all scheduled classes, contact time, and structured learning activities for the units in which they are enrolled. Any student whose attendance falls below 90% of the scheduled contact hours for a unit or who fails to participate in 90% of its required learning activities without both due cause and adequate documentary evidence will be deemed to have voided that unit. Documentary evidence must come in the form of a medical certificate, written explanation from the office of a professional with which a student has an appointment, or an Approved Leave form from the school.

All of our Year 11 and 12 students are familiar with BSSS policy, but perhaps do not fully appreciate its consequences. Without documentary evidence, missing a class for any reason will be considered an absence and count towards a Void grade. A V-grade can potentially break a Major, jeopardising a student receiving her Senior Secondary Certificate and impacting on her ATAR. The following are examples of absences which are not considered ‘due cause’:

  • Choosing to work on assessment instead of attending a lesson
  • Sleeping in, misreading a timetable, or otherwise forgetting a lesson
  • Driving instruction - Family holidays, or extended visits interstate or overseas, without school approval
  • Failure to provide documentation of an absence upon return to school 

Absences from scheduled classes during the school day must be accompanied by evidence of an appointment or a written explanation from a parent to substantiate the reason for the absence. While a telephone call or quick email is necessary to alert us to a student not being at school, it does not meet the BSSS requirements for an explained absence.

Our senior students are to be congratulated for making it to this point in their secondary studies. As we move towards the halfway mark for Year 11 and the final days for Year 12, however, it is vital that the girls not jeopardise their many months of hard work by failing to put in the necessary hours and effort as the year comes to a close.

We look forward to working with students in the final weeks of 2015 and in celebrating a successful school year.

 

Tara Dunstall

Director of Studies

As a part of the renewed offering the CGGS P&F has launched a tuition raffle offering two prizes. The first is $4,000 and the second is $2,000 and can be applied to an account at CGGS, or CGS or to the CGGS Scholarship Fund.

CGGS P&F Tuition Raffle now on Sale16 October

As a part of the renewed offering the CGGS P&F has launched a tuition raffle offering two prizes. The first is $4,000 and the second is $2,000 and can be applied to an account at CGGS, or CGS or to the CGGS Scholarship Fund.

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Ready steady bake!

Fete News16 October

Ready steady bake!

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Nominations for the CGGS Parents and Friends (P&F) Association Staff Awards are open and close on Thursday 29 October 2015.

P&F Association Staff Awards16 October

Nominations for the CGGS Parents and Friends (P&F) Association Staff Awards are open and close on Thursday 29 October 2015.

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Congratulations to Irene Zhong (Year 12), Georgina Chan (Year 11), Yi An Lai (Year 10), Donica Tran (Year 10), Margaret Kowalik (Year 12) and Helen Truong (Year 12) for their performance during the holidays for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation Spring High Tea at CIT Reid. This event was organised by Grammarian Lisa Robey (1997). Thanks also to Ms Hur for her help with this important event.

Music News16 October

Congratulations to Irene Zhong (Year 12), Georgina Chan (Year 11), Yi An Lai (Year 10), Donica Tran (Year 10), Margaret Kowalik (Year 12) and Helen Truong (Year 12) for their performance during the holidays for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation Spring High Tea at CIT Reid. This event was organised by Grammarian Lisa Robey (1997). Thanks also to Ms Hur for her help with this important event.

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The CGGS Senior School Library has been encouraging mindfulness and relaxation this week with a new interactive library display.

News from The Library16 October

The CGGS Senior School Library has been encouraging mindfulness and relaxation this week with a new interactive library display.

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On Tuesday 29 September a cocktail function was held for the Canberra Girls Grammar School community in Sydney and was held at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in Kirribilli.

CGGS IN Sydney7 October

On Tuesday 29 September a cocktail function was held for the Canberra Girls Grammar School community in Sydney and was held at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in Kirribilli.

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What a tremendous season we have had with our beautiful Year 4 Orange.

Student Achievements16 October

What a tremendous season we have had with our beautiful Year 4 Orange.

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