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29 April 2016
On 26 April, the Junior and Senior Schools respectively held ANZAC Day ceremonies.  Ms Anne Coutts, Principal, addressed staff and students about the importance of this ceremony, to honour the service and sacrifice made by Australian servicemen and women who have died or suffered in all wars or other operations.

ANZAC DAY COMMEMORATIVE CEREMONIES

On 26 April, the Junior and Senior Schools respectively held ANZAC Day ceremonies. Ms Anne Coutts, Principal, addressed staff and students about the importance of this ceremony, to honour the service and sacrifice made by Australian servicemen and women who have died or suffered in all wars or other operations.

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Anne Coutts

FROM THE PRINCIPAL

During my career I have taught in a boys’ school and several co-ed schools as well as girls’ schools. I have been intrigued about the different ways students respond in those different classroom environments and I wrote a little about this in my recent opinion piece published in The Age and the Canberra Times.

So I was interested to read this article from teachers and researchers who have also noted the same reactions from students. I have permission to publish this here so that you can read it too.

Published by Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia
Issue 6/2016: April 13, 2016

Gender bias in co-ed classrooms stops girls challenging gender stereotypes Dr Mary Bousted, General Secretary of the United Kingdom’s Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), believes that inherent sexism prevents girls from speaking up in coeducational classes and that this affects their academic performance and subject choices. Speaking at the recent ATL annual conference in Liverpool, Bousted, a former teacher, said that there was enormous pressure on girls at co-educational schools “to be thin, to be attractive, to be compliant and to be quiet” and not to appear “brainy” and “clever”. Girls, she said, are subjected to sexist bullying and feel under pressure to “keep quiet and to listen to the boys talking”.

Drawing on her own teaching experience, Bousted said that she once recorded the English lessons she gave at her London comprehensive school, thinking that the boys and girls contributed equally to her classes. She told the Guardian that when she listened back to the recording, it was clear that “the boys were talking and the girls were listening”. Bousted argues that sexist bullying and name calling results in girls lacking the confidence to challenge gender stereotypes and take on “difficult” subjects such as the traditionally maledominated subjects of mathematics and physical sciences.

In response to Bousted’s comments, Natasha Devon MBE, the UK Department for Education’s mental health champion, wrote that in co-educational secondary schools “boys are far more likely to challenge the ideas I’m putting forward, whereas girls tend to wait until they are asked if they have any questions and then request further information, or for something to be repeated”. She continues:

I must confess that, until reading Dr Bousted’s piece, I’d never stopped to consider that there might be something wrong with this. I’d fallen into the trap of unconsciously pigeonholing girls as intuitively more empathetic and therefore better able to absorb the kinds of complicated emotional concepts we discuss in our classes. It didn’t occur to me that they might be itching to express an opinion but too constrained by what their peers might think of them to put their hands up. And that is chiefly, I have concluded, because I went to an all-girls school and so my own education was never tarnished by gender politics.

In other words, she says, “Mary Bousted is totally right”.

Mary Bousted’s and Natasha Devon’s comments are borne out by recent research. A 2015 report by the Institute of Physics (UK) found that co-educational schools need to do more to tackle sexist banter and attitudes that discourage girls from pursuing careers in science. The Opening Doors report found that many co-educational schools are "inadvertently reinforcing the notion that certain subjects were harder than others" and that girls "lack ability" and "innate talent" in certain subjects, and this is "particularly true for girls contemplating mathematics and the physical sciences". In addition, timetabling constraints in many co-educational schools reinforce gender stereotypes through offering subjects in blocks that send "a strong message about the types of courses that are taken by boys and girls".

In 2013 the Institute’s Closing Doors report examined existing gender imbalances in six A level subjects which result in girls being more likely to take English, biology and psychology, and boys being more likely to take mathematics, physics and economics. The report found that 81% of government co-educational schools were either “maintaining or exacerbating the already poor gender bias of progression into these subjects”. One of the main findings of the report, however, was that “single-sex schools are significantly better than co-educational schools at countering gender imbalances in progression to these six subjects”.

Finally, in research published this year, Victoria Cribb and Dr Ann Haase from Bristol University found that girls in co-educational schools have lower self-esteem and are more likely to internalise “the thin ideal portrayed by the media” than girls in single-sex schools.

They concluded that there is "preliminary support for the argument that the presence of the opposite sex may inflate appearance concerns and lower self-esteem" and that single-sex schools encourage “improved self-esteem, psychological and social wellbeing in adolescent girls”. Furthermore, they say, it is likely that in girls' schools, "peer friendship groups and support from parents and friends may not be diluted by the effects of mixed gender, for example pressure to appear a certain way in front of boys".

For references, link here to view PDF article.

Anne Coutts
Principal

Peter Milligan

FROM THE HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL

Welcome back to a new term – I hope the break involved some quality family time. Welcome also to new students and families to our CGGS community.

We began the term with a beautiful Anzac ceremony where the Anzac Address, in the Senior school, was delivered by Brigadier Georgeina Whelan – mother of Bayley (Year 12 Deakin) and Elizabeth (Year 8 Deakin). Brigadier Whelan referred to comments made over the past weekend with respect to the meaning of Anzac Day by Dr Brendan Nelson, former Minister of Defence and current Director of the Australian War Memorial. He observed that a life of value is one spent in service of another and that character and values, not power and money, are the true reflection of what gives meaning to one’s life. Brigadier Whelan’s own career and perspective on life reflects a deep sense of service and care for others.

Brigadier Whelan has extensive experience in the command and management of ADF garrison and combat health systems. Brigadier Whelan deployed to INTERFET in 1999 as the Operations Officer of the 1st Health Support Battalion and Operation Sumatra Assist in command of the ANZAC Field Hospital in 2005. Brigadier Whelan was directly involved in the early development of the Army and ADF approach to managing wounded, ill and injured personnel, she led the establishment of the Army Soldier Recovery Centres and the development of the Army Health Modernisation Plan over the period 2009-2011.  She recently completed her appointment as the Director General of Garrison Health Operations. During her tenure she embarked on a program of operational reform with the intent of standardising and enhancing health service delivery within a quality construct and initiated a national business improvement program with the aim of enabling national accreditation of ADF health facilities by 2018. More recently, Brigadier Whelan was appointed as the Director General, Select Strategic Issues Management, in the Office of the Chief of the Defence Force.

Brigadier Whelan was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) in 2004 for her work in developing the Army Health Continuum and was made a Member of the Order ofAustralia(AM) in 2006 for her command of the ANZAC Field Hospital on Operation Sumatra Assist.  She was named ACT Telstra Business Woman of the year in 2015. In her address Brigadier Whelan spoke of the place of Anzac day from an historical perspective and how it underpins Australian society and national psyche. We were also privileged to have present the ADF Catafalque Party; Ms Robynne Mitchell from the ACT Branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association; Mr Paul Stevens representing Legacy and Mr Peter Eveille the RSL. The Ode was read by a member of staff Mrs Diane Gilbert and the Last Post and Rouse played by Tara Melhuish (Year 11 Glebe). A special note of thanks to our Defence Transition Liaison Officer, Mrs Rebecca Loan, for the preparation of the ceremony.

Looking forward to a busy and rewarding term.

Peter Milligan
Head of Senior School

Angela Whitaker

FROM THE HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL

As I transition from life in Hong Kong to life in Canberra, journeys and change are very much on my mind. Of course change is inevitable - even if we sit still the world will change around us. I have made a physical journey in a short space of time but what of our broader life journey and the current and future pace of change. What will life be like for the child who started Prep in 2016, when s/he graduates in 2028/29? What will that child’s opportunities be and how do we best educate our children for a world we can barely imagine? How do we prepare them to operate in an increasingly globalised world with integrity and courage?

My years in education have led me to conclude that broad and deep learning experiences, nurturing and empowering relationships, and a strong values base will go a long way toward equipping our children to face whatever the future holds for them. Such a foundation will also assist them to make important contributions to better the lives of others and sustain our environment. As Nelson Mandela so aptly wrote: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

So while it is natural to feel a little anxious about a future we can’t predict, it is clear that challenges will be best addressed by those who have a strong sense of who they are and what they are passionate about, who have developed their unique talents and who can use their abilities to contribute to the world around them. Sir Ken Robinson – a speaker I never tire of listening to said “We create our lives symbiotically as we explore our talents in relation to the circumstances they help create for us.”

I am so pleased to find myself in a community of people many of whom, through their own experiences, can relate to my circumstances – establishing a life in a new city. I thank you for your kind inquiries, words of advice, and encouragement and I feel happy and thankful to be embarking on this compelling journey with you all.

Angela Whitaker
Head of Junior School

 

Mareeta Grundy Reid

FROM THE P&F PRESIDENT

“Emotional immunisation”. On Thursday 5 May, P&F presents the Heathy Minds Parent Seminar. We are very fortunate to have secured Dr Tom Nehmy for this event.

One of Australia’s most respected authorities in Adolescent psychological wellness, Dr Nehmy will present techniques on enhancing psychological resilience, the role of stress and self-compassion, and positive emotion as part of adolescence wellness. Dr Nehmy’s advice has been applauded as progressive and highly effective in equipping adolescents and their parents with a form of psychological immunisation. Tickets for this event are strictly limited, so please follow the link trybooking  to secure your tickets and avoid disappointment.

“Night Markets: Exotic and Different

On Friday 20 May from 5.30pm, the P&F will host CGGS’s first Night Markets. The air will be heavy with exotic food, live music and circus entertainment with stalls brimming with quality fare. The homemade jam and pickle squad have asked if parents can hand in their empty glass jars. Indeed, parents and students are invited to lend a hand and make their own jams, chutneys and pickles and drop them off at reception for sale at the upcoming Night Markets. The CGGS community is urged to attend this event in the senior school quad near B Block. It will be part of the Founders Day weekend celebrations with all proceeds going to school based initiatives.

Mareeta Grundy Reid
P&F President

I am one of eight students in my cohort of one-hundred-and-sixty-plus who have dropped maths for their final year of schooling at Canberra Girls Grammar School.

LAURA SHAKES UP THE STEM DEBATE29 April

I am one of eight students in my cohort of one-hundred-and-sixty-plus who have dropped maths for their final year of schooling at Canberra Girls Grammar School.

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Earlier this year we let you know about our goal to have the largest community team again at the Canberra Mother's Day Classic on Sunday 8 May.

WE NEED YOU! MOTHER’S DAY CLASSIC 201629 April

Earlier this year we let you know about our goal to have the largest community team again at the Canberra Mother's Day Classic on Sunday 8 May.

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SAVE THE DATE for the Canberra Girls Grammar School P&F Association’s first ever NIGHT MARKETS on Friday, 20 May from 5.30pm in the Senior School Quad.

CGGS P&F NIGHT MARKETS – AN EVENING FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY29 April

SAVE THE DATE for the Canberra Girls Grammar School P&F Association’s first ever NIGHT MARKETS on Friday, 20 May from 5.30pm in the Senior School Quad.

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Winter Basketball starts this week and we have over 100 girls in the senior school signed up to play. Games will run on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays as per usual, although game days have changed for the Division 1 and 2 teams. First round matches will be played this weekend and most teams have had their first training run by now.

BASKETBALL NEWS29 April

Winter Basketball starts this week and we have over 100 girls in the senior school signed up to play. Games will run on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays as per usual, although game days have changed for the Division 1 and 2 teams. First round matches will be played this weekend and most teams have had their first training run by now.

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One of the key organisations providing students ‘real life’ speaking opportunities is UN Youth, raising students’ understanding of world issues and the way in which the UN functions. This occurs through a number of avenues, one being the UN Youth Voice Competition.

UN YOUTH VOICE COMPETITION29 April

One of the key organisations providing students ‘real life’ speaking opportunities is UN Youth, raising students’ understanding of world issues and the way in which the UN functions. This occurs through a number of avenues, one being the UN Youth Voice Competition.

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In the last week of Term 1, CGGS competed at the ASC Swimming Carnival at the AIS. The girls swam well and we congratulate the following girls on making it to the ACT Swimming Carnival...

ASC SWIMMING CARNIVAL29 April

In the last week of Term 1, CGGS competed at the ASC Swimming Carnival at the AIS. The girls swam well and we congratulate the following girls on making it to the ACT Swimming Carnival...

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The next Family and Friends Service is on this Sunday at 5:30pm and will feature the Gabriel Quartet.

CHAPEL NEWS29 April

The next Family and Friends Service is on this Sunday at 5:30pm and will feature the Gabriel Quartet.

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During the April school holidays, Year 5 student, Charlotte Young took part in Canberra’s first Club Kidpreneur program (run by local education engagement company, eedi). As one of 14 participants, Charlotte learned what is was like to be part of a start-up company and raised over $190 for the RSPCA in the process!

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS29 April

During the April school holidays, Year 5 student, Charlotte Young took part in Canberra’s first Club Kidpreneur program (run by local education engagement company, eedi). As one of 14 participants, Charlotte learned what is was like to be part of a start-up company and raised over $190 for the RSPCA in the process!

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For those who were wondering about the origins of the large, bright landscape painting hanging in the annexe of the library, it turns out that it was painted by an old Grammarian, Jillian (Jill) Johnson (1979) for her Year 10 major work project.

GRAMMARIANS' NEWS29 April

For those who were wondering about the origins of the large, bright landscape painting hanging in the annexe of the library, it turns out that it was painted by an old Grammarian, Jillian (Jill) Johnson (1979) for her Year 10 major work project.

Read more