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30 October 2015
Our biggest Community event, the CGGS Fete, is almost upon us. Come along this Saturday from 10am – 3pm and get behind our school community. I hope to see you there.

FINAL P&F FETE UPDATE

Our biggest Community event, the CGGS Fete, is almost upon us. Come along this Saturday from 10am – 3pm and get behind our school community. I hope to see you there.

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Anne Coutts

From the Principal

Thank you all for your many emails saying how pleased you are that Girls Grammar is remaining a school for girls. You have encouraged us by commending our school community, our culture and our partnership with parents. I will respond to each email personally, but it will take some time, so please bear with me.

The response from our students has been heart-warming. Both girls and parents have said to me that the Senior School Assembly on Tuesday was a great affirmation of the girls pride in their school and their joy in being together. Certainly their beaming faces and clapping and cheering will remain as one of the most moving points in my career.

Let me take this opportunity to address a couple of pieces of misinformation that are circulating at the moment.

Firstly, there is plenty of research about the positive benefits of girls being educated in an all-girls school, especially during adolescence. I attach a link below for you, to start reading about this – more to come!

https://www.agsa.org.au/page/About/Why_a_Girls_School/

Secondly, I do not believe that girls and boys need to be educated together simply because men and women work together in the work place. Education should equip and prepare students for their future, not mimic society. Our daughters face a world where many believe that gender issues are a thing of the past and the glass ceiling has been shattered. As many women will tell you, this is not the case and we need to encourage and equip our girls during their formative years.

There is a great deal of research on how boys and girls learn differently. You might like to start by reading JoAnn Deak's book “Girls Will Be Girls”. JoAnn is an American psychologist who specializes in brain development and has done extensive work on gender differences in thinking and learning. You may also like to read the following article.

http://www.risk-within-reason.com/2011/12/06/girls-thrive-deak/

I know that the news from CGS have put some parents from our Junior School in a difficult situation and having to make a quick decision about their sons or daughters future. At Girls Grammar we have an open door policy. Please feel you can come and talk to me (principal@cggs.act.edu.au), Heather Ablett (heather.ablett@cggs.act.edu.au) or Peter Milligan (peter.milligan@cggs.act.edu.au) if you want to.

Anne Coutts
Principal

Belinda Moss

From the chair of the board

This week, Canberra Grammar School made the decision to walk away from their 87 year history as an all-boys school to offer co-education. To echo the sentiment of our Principal, Anne Coutts, it is an interesting decision and one that has come as a surprise to our community as well as their own.

I believe there are three things that underpin a good school - strong, ethical and consistent leadership; values and a culture that the whole community understands and embraces; and a student centred approached. I am proud that Canberra Girls Grammar School (CGGS) exemplifies all three.

Be assured that it is business as usual at our School. As we move towards the end of the year, we continue to focus on providing the academic, co-curricular and pastoral care programs that maximise our students’ engagement and learning. You will be aware that we have produced the top student in Year 12 in the ACT for the past four years, an achievement the Board and the community are proud of and one we are all working towards achieving again.

The School Board comprises intelligent, forward thinking women and men who have our students’ progress and well-being front and centre. Our students, parents and staff are not in the School; they are the School.

Focusing on sound, consistent governance, the Board continues to pursue improvements to our facilities and resources every year. For example, the state of the art Science Building on our Senior School campus underpins our commitment to STEM subjects. We are delighted that the uptake and success achieved by our students in these areas continue to counter the national trend of female participation in these subjects. This year we purchased two blocks of land at Yarralumla Bay. The Board is planning how best to maximise the site to cater for not only aquatic sports, but also teaching and learning more broadly.

With support of the Board and the exemplary leadership of Anne, her management team and staff, the School, as always, will take a measured and consultative approach to any decision needed for its future. Every voice in our community is valued. Please do contact me (boardchair@cggs.act.edu.au) or Anne (principal@cggs.act.edu.au) at any time. No concern is too big or small.

I look forward to seeing you at the fete this weekend.

Belinda Moss
Chair of the School Board, Canberra Girls Grammar School

Peter Milligan

From the head of senior school

The news this week of Canberra Grammar School deciding to embark on a co-educational path re-affirmed for me why our school is such an extraordinary community. In terms of the suggestion that research does not support the value of the single sex education model I would draw your attention to the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia website - https://www.agsa.org.au/ which has links to wide ranging aggregated research on the strength of the education of girls in single-sex girls’ schools. I don’t need to detail the research when I experience the amazingly diverse academic, pastoral, co-curricular, community and social justice involvement of our students each and every day.

At the full school Assembly this week Grace Jakeman, Year 11 Deakin, spoke about disability awareness as a prelude to Disability Awareness Week and International Day for People with Disability later in the term. With permission from Grace I would like to share her story.

‘Hey girls! My name is Grace and for those of you who don’t know me all that well, I’m hearing impaired! For those of you who have a disability or difficulty, I want to be your voice; I want to be the person in the crowd that you can talk to at any time. I was born hearing however after having an operation at 20 months old, this changed. I was put onto IV antibiotics for 4 days and this damaged the hairs in my cochlear.

It wasn’t until I was three and a half years old that I was diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss in both ears, for which I wear two hearing aids. I taught myself to lip read so I could understand what was being said although my language development was severely delayed. After years of intensive speech therapy I became able to speak clearly and concisely.

I have been doing some work with a company called Hear For You and they are a program that helps hearing impaired teenagers to figure out life in the hearing world as well as have a mentor to look up to. Since completing the program, I have been asked by them to do speeches for the younger generation of parents with their hearing impaired children so that I can show them that being hearing impaired does not make me any different to a child that can hear.

We are so lucky that at this school we have amazing departments of teachers who are willing to adapt to different disabilities and learning difficulties, as well as the Academic Engagement Faculty. I am not the only disabled student at this school and I don’t just mean hearing impaired. Look around you, approximately one in six students in this school experience some form of disability or learning difficulty.

The reason why I am standing up here today is not only because I want to share my story with you or the work I have done. It is because I want to raise awareness for all the disabilities and learning difficulties that are around us. I want for us to be able to say these disabilities and difficulties loud and proud because honestly, they do not mean that you are unable to do things in your life, they make you special and we are all special.

Having this special something should not make us weird, or different or even a target for bullies in this world. It should be that one thing that makes you unique and important.

I don’t know about you but when I think of the word disability I think that it immediately means that there is something wrong with me or that I’m not able to do what other people can do. A disability is not necessarily a negative thing but it helps one to unlock hidden potential.

When I think of my hearing aids, I wonder, why is it that they are so weird and unusual? They are just devices that help me hear in the same way that glasses help people see. These so called disabilities and difficulties help to make us the people we are today, the struggles we face in life whether they are big or small help to make us stronger.

I want you all to be proud of that thing about you that is unusual, that you might not have told anyone about because you are embarrassed. We should all be supportive of each other and help one another when we have trouble doing something that others find easy, after all, we all have our strengths and our weaknesses. Become aware of not only your disability or difficulty, but also the people around you, you might find out things you never knew. Girls, be proud!'

Congratulations also the students who supported the 40 Hour famine appeal and raised over $1000. Well done also to the following students who participated in the inaugural ACT Schools Fencing competition held on OCT 18. Petra Showell placed 1st in Women’s Foil; Alice Warrington 2nd in Women’s foil and 4th in Mixed Sabre; Zoe Blackmore who placed 5th in Women’s Foil and Sarah Jeacocke who placed 6th in Women’s Foil. As I stated earlier – working with our community is an extraordinary opportunity – long may it stay that way!

Peter Milligan
Head of Senior School

Heather Ablett

From the head of junior school

Children’s Week Awards

Jasmine Bagnall from 5S was the recipient of the prestigious Commissioner’s Award at the Annual ACT Children’s Week Awards this week. This recognised Jasmine’ care, compassion and dedicated service towards making a difference to the lives of children living in Foster Care. Jasmine initiated a project, commencing in 2014, which she called “CREATE Your Moves”. It is a simultaneous dance party to be held at CGGS and other ACT schools on 20 November in order to raise awareness and funds for the CREATE Foundation and young people in foster care. Jasmine was inspired by other students involved in fundraising initiatives, and we have many with such a strong social conscience at our school.

Jasmine demonstrated that she was able to have a vision and actually see it through! Starting with her research, she developed a marketing plan, pitched the idea to the CREATE Foundation and then met with Alasdair Roy, the Human Rights Commissioner for Children and Young People. Following that she presented her ideas to the SRC and was even invited to the Legislative Assembly to speak at the 2015 Youth Coalition Event.

We are extremely proud of Jasmine and are all looking forward to the Simultaneous Dance Party next month.

House Public Speaking

Public speaking is a skill that students are exposed to from a very early age at CGGS. It is a skill that is highly valued. In today’s landscape our students are inundated with a flood of communication technology. With the propensity of television media, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and all other forms of electronic communication, there is a never-ending connection to what is happening everywhere in the world. Teachers in our school ensure that such mediums are incorporated into their classrooms where appropriate, alongside the traditional methods that have been so successful. That being said, we believe very strongly that regular opportunities to practise public speaking, both informally and in prepared more formal scenarios, and also learning from older role models is extremely important for the development of confident and articulate students, able to express their point of view with clarity.

And so it was with pleasure that the culmination of the House Public Speaking Competition took place this week. Congratulations to all students who participated in the lead up rounds. After winning their way through their own House competition, eight finalists in two divisions delivered well-rehearsed, convincing and engaging poetry recitations around a theme of “Journeys”. It was a closely contested event and the adjudication was very difficult, as it always is when one gets to the “pointy end” of such a competition.

Congratulations to Audrey Kuan (4M Mackellar) who won the junior section for Years 3 and 4 and Brooke Corkhill (6R Gilmore) who won the senior section for Years 5 and 6. The winning House was Gilmore and the two Gilmore representatives, Brooke Corkhill and Abbey Davis accepted the House Public Speaking Cup for 2015.

Heather Ablett
Head of Junior School

Jeanette Widmer

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF PASTORAL CARE

I always enjoy the robust discussions at the Safe School's Committee meeting and the show of care and support our students have for each other.

Amongst the many topics discussed this week was the increased activity on social media between the schools following the news that Canberra Grammar School are to introduce girls.

Our pastoral care programme is an important part of CGGS and we take the wellbeing of all our students very seriously.

If your daughter has received a message that has in anyway upset her, be assured we are here to help and direct her to Student Services (ssstudentservices@cggs.act.edu.au / 02 6202 6474)

Jeanette Widmer
Director of Pastoral Care

Fete

FETE NEWS & MAP

FETE NEWS

P&F Silent Auction

The P&F silent auction has gone on-line with the galabids platform with over 40 items ready for you to bid on. Gala bids is simple to use to register just text cggsfete and your name to 0428 520 199 and follow the prompt’s. Galabids is simple and easy to use. Registration is open now and you will be able check out all the items in the lead up to the silent auction going live at 10am on fete day.

FETE MAP

Link here to access a copy of the Fete map.

Last Sunday, Miriam Huber (year 11) presented a concert of chamber music in the CGGS Chapel as part of her IB CAS project.

Music News 30 October

Last Sunday, Miriam Huber (year 11) presented a concert of chamber music in the CGGS Chapel as part of her IB CAS project.

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Taking on a Net-Set-Go team was a new challenge for me as a netball coach, but one which I enjoyed.

Winter Netball News30 October

Taking on a Net-Set-Go team was a new challenge for me as a netball coach, but one which I enjoyed.

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The Student Representative Council (SRC) traditionally holds two major fundraisers during the school year, and for our final fundraiser we decided to support a new invention titled the ‘Drinkable Book’, which works on promoting water purification across the globe.

SRC Christmas 30 October

The Student Representative Council (SRC) traditionally holds two major fundraisers during the school year, and for our final fundraiser we decided to support a new invention titled the ‘Drinkable Book’, which works on promoting water purification across the globe.

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On Monday 26 October, the annual Junior School House Speaking Competition was held.

Junior School House Speaking Competition30 October

On Monday 26 October, the annual Junior School House Speaking Competition was held.

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Monday 19th of October was the annual Glebe House Dinner, where parents, tutors and students came together for an evening of entertainment and fun.

Glebe House Dinner30 October

Monday 19th of October was the annual Glebe House Dinner, where parents, tutors and students came together for an evening of entertainment and fun.

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Year 4 have been learning Aussie Rules in PE. For one lesson a week we have been fortunate enough to have Jeff Roberts from Eastlake Football Club coach the class.

Year 4 Aussie Rules30 October

Year 4 have been learning Aussie Rules in PE. For one lesson a week we have been fortunate enough to have Jeff Roberts from Eastlake Football Club coach the class.

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On Thursday 22 October, the Year 10 German class travelled to Sydney.

Year 10 German Excursion to Sydney30 October

On Thursday 22 October, the Year 10 German class travelled to Sydney.

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Hidden treasures were found at the National Library last Friday 23 October.

Latin excursion to the National Library30 October

Hidden treasures were found at the National Library last Friday 23 October.

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On the 21 and 22 October, the Senior Dance class travelled to Sydney to support their studies in the current semester course Theatrical Dance Styles.

Senior Dance Trip to Sydney30 October

On the 21 and 22 October, the Senior Dance class travelled to Sydney to support their studies in the current semester course Theatrical Dance Styles.

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Grammarian Joanna Richards (2010) has been named a finalist for the Telstra Young Business Woman Award and the Telstra Start Up Business Award.

GRAMMARIANS’ NEWS30 October

Grammarian Joanna Richards (2010) has been named a finalist for the Telstra Young Business Woman Award and the Telstra Start Up Business Award.

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Congratulations to Jasmine Bagnall from year 5M on being awarded a CYPC 2015 Children’s Week Award!

Children’s Week Award for Jasmine30 October

Congratulations to Jasmine Bagnall from year 5M on being awarded a CYPC 2015 Children’s Week Award!

Read more

Other Announcements