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12 February 2016
On Monday 8 February the Junior School Induction Ceremony took place.

Like the Commencement Service held in the Senior School last week, this occasion recognised girls who have been voted into leadership positions because their teachers and peers believe them to have those qualities of heart and mind which will enable them to service and lead the School in the coming year.

JUNIOR SCHOOL INDUCTS LEADERS

On Monday 8 February the Junior School Induction Ceremony took place. Like the Commencement Service held in the Senior School last week, this occasion recognised girls who have been voted into leadership positions because their teachers and peers believe them to have those qualities of heart and mind which will enable them to service and lead the School in the coming year.

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Anne Coutts

FROM THE PRINCIPAL

I read the following short piece this week. Sometimes, someone expresses, very cogently, an approach that you agree with. It’s always good to get that ‘aha’ moment. I make no apologies for including this extract below, exactly as I read it, with acknowledgements.

GOOD ADVICE

During our lives, people say things to us that we always remember. Sometimes we are given advice that helps to shape our lives. This is what one person remembers a teacher saying, many years ago and I want to pass on the gift to you.

I can’t even remember his name. He was a student at our school. I was nine years old. The gift he gave me was a sentence – significant only to me. He would not have remembered saying it an hour later.

I’ve never been at all good with my hands and a pottery lesson was spent making coil pots. I could see how it was done; everyone around me seemed to me doing all right, but mine was strangely collapsing. I gave up. Everyone else had made a jar; I had somehow made a flattish sort of thing with centimetre high sides. A plate, possibly.

We had to go and present it to our student teacher for advice or approval. I stood in the queue with a friend, chatting.

Mine’s awful,” I said casually. “It’s really bad.

I was only speaking to my friend, but the student teacher at the front of the room had heard.

“Well, then,” he said, “go back and do it again if it’s no good.”

He was perfectly serious. I extracted myself from the queue, went back to the workbench, and tried again. Of course it was still awful – I could never have made a pot.

The sentence was a gift of insight, however, and I learned something that people can take years to discover.

There is no point in criticising what you make or what you do. When people say, “Oh, what I’ve done is awful,” what they are really saying is, “I want you to tell me it is okay. I want you to tell me it doesn’t matter I didn’t try hard enough to do a good job.

In fact, I think apologising in advance means that often we start off not making much of an effort so we can shrug it off and people will say it doesn’t matter.

When my students now give me work saying, “It’s terrible, I’m so sorry,” I think, “Yes, it is. And you made it like that.

What we all should do instead is do the best we can and present it with a smile.

The very first thing that I say to my students is: “The rule is this: you must not apologise for your work.” It changes them. Until then they think it is all right to come and say, “This isn’t very good,” – because what they have written is not very good, because they didn’t start by making enough effort, because they never even tried to make it good.

I’m grateful for that gift from the student teacher. It certainly didn’t stop me from failing. It didn’t ensure that what I made would always be perfect. But someone who said, “Don’t apologise; make something that you don’t need to apologise for,” changed my life.

So that’s my advice to you for this new year, full of opportunities for us all.

Don’t say, “Sorry it’s no good”. Make it your personal rule always to do work you can hand in with a smile, knowing you have done your best.

Acknowledgement: adapted from an article by the British writer Philip Hensher, Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University,UK.

Anne Coutts
Principal

Peter Milligan

FROM THE HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL

On Tuesday morning our Year 7 students gathered with their parents for an early morning departure to Tathra for their camp. Amid the very excited chatter, Rev Harris and his team had prepared pancakes to mark Shrove Tuesday. The pancakes disappeared at a very rapid rate which was good to see.

One of my immediate thoughts however was that we are forty days away from Easter and there is so much to happen throughout that period on the academic, pastoral and co-curricular front. While Shakespeare is quoted as saying ‘The readiness is all,’ and we are organised and aware of key events this term, there are always the unexpected moments that will occur for all of us. Some of these moments we are ready for - others are far more challenging. Please remember that in either circumstance we are here to offer whatever support we can provide.

Fantastic results on the weekend for CGGS Rowing! Our team shared the overall points score with Loreto Kirribilli for Saturday’s regatta with 28 out of 33 CGGS crews appearing on the podium. On Sunday CGGS was awarded AHIGS and IGSSA champion rowing school titles. CGGS won the handicap points score as well. A demanding rowing programme over the next few weeks will include the NSW Championships this week end at the International Rowing Centre in Penrith; ACT Head of the Lake on Feb 20; ACT Championships on 27 February and the NSW Girls Head of the River in Sydney on 5 March. Congratulations to all our rowers, Mr Dafydd Gwynn-Jones and the rowing community.

This week our Year 11 students have a Retreat which includes academic and pastoral presentations designed to give them in-depth insights into the Year 11 and Year 12 journey they are undertaking. Next week our Year 8 students will be down in Jindabyne for their camp. We wish both groups well.

Best wishes

Peter Milligan
Head of Senior School 

Tara Dunstall

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF STUDIES

Welcome back to the new school year. In what has been a busy start to the year with school camps, retreats and many adjustments to being back at school, it is hard to believe that we are already heading into Week 3!

Year 11 Orientation

On Wednesday, 10 February I ran a session for all Year 11 students welcoming them to College life and outlining some of the things they can expect over the next two years of their education. I spent the session introducing the policies and procedures applicable to Senior Students in the school and information on the ACT Senior Secondary System. Sarah Trotter, the IB Coordinator, ran a separate session for the Year 11 IB students.

For further information on what was covered during the session, and much more, please refer to the Student and Parent Handbook 2016 on Canvas (link here) Of particular note is the section on absences; a few students (and subsequently parents) asked for clarification on the process of explaining absences if a student needed to leave school during the day.

In short, it is school policy that all students be present at school between 8:45am and 3:20pm. This includes during study periods for Year 11 and 12 students. If a student does need to leave school for any reason, parents must sign them out when they leave, and in when they return. In the case of a Year 11 and 12 student, unless appropriate documentation is provided explaining the absence, the absence is considered an unexplained absence. Parents may phone the school and follow up with an email if their daughter is absent BUT after five unexplained absences, a medical or other acceptable documentation must be provided for any further absences.

Please refer to my article in the Weekly Update in October 2015 for a more detailed explanation.

Senior Study Periods

During study periods, Senior students will have many places around the school campus in which to undertake quite study. A supervised Study Room in the Science House Hub room, the Library which will be open to only Senior Students during common study periods, the new innovation space which will be opened up to Seniors during certain study periods and we are looking into offering other support by way of guest speakers and study assistance during common study periods. Our aim is for students to use the study periods effectively during the school day and for them to have more time outside of school hours to engage in family time, co-curricular activities and casual work.

If a student is reported as having left the school grounds during a study period without signing out, they will receive a Saturday detention.

Queensland Cognitive Skills Test – Year 12 Tertiary BSSS Students

Wednesday, 17 February at 1:00pm

Next Wednesday, Year 12 Tertiary BSSS students will sit the Queensland Cognitive Skills Test as a trial for the ACT Scaling Test (AST) coming up in September. Students will be given an early lunch before entering the Hall at 1pm. The test runs for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Students undertake another trial AST in June.

Tara Dunstall
Director of Studies

Mareeta Grundy Reid

FROM THE P&F PRESIDENT

Each year the Parents and Friends Association invites eligible individuals from the school community to make application for P&F funding.

Those eligible are members of school staff, and P&F Association members (all parents/guardians of an enrolled student are members of the P&F).

In addition, any student may approach an eligible individual with suggested projects and request an application on their behalf.

Broadly, P&F funds can be applied to any project, item or activity which is deemed to be supplementary to core student items/activities provided by the school, and which is of a demonstrable benefit to a significant number of students at the school.

In addition, projects must be consistent with the broad teaching and learning objectives of the school. Please refer to the link here for the Funding Application form and the Fund Allocation Principles document.

I encourage you to consider making an application for P&F funding to further enhance the wonderful learning opportunities for students at CGGS.

Tickets for the P&F Twilight Family Picnic are selling quickly so please book your seats at www.trybooking.com/179929 to avoid disappointment.

Two seating options are available. On the 100m long picnic table (adults), or the picnic rug/chair area (adults and/or children). BYO picnic and drinks, or purchase a picnic basket through the link.

This is a free event supported by the P&F with a live dance band and hundreds of magical fairy lights welcoming nightfall. Come and be a part of the wonder of this CGGS community event.

P&F Twilight Family Picnic
Friday, 26 February at 6.00pm
Senior School Oval

Mareeta Grundy Reid
P&F President

103 CGGS rowers headed off to the Sydney International Regatta Centre last Friday for two days of fierce competition. This was the first real opportunity to see how we are going compared to the competition. On Saturday, we competed against 13 girls’ schools in the Kings/PLC Regatta.

ROWERS OFF TO A WINNING START12 February

103 CGGS rowers headed off to the Sydney International Regatta Centre last Friday for two days of fierce competition. This was the first real opportunity to see how we are going compared to the competition. On Saturday, we competed against 13 girls’ schools in the Kings/PLC Regatta.

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CGGS has a long and proud tradition of offering scholarships to girls on the basis of academic achievement and financial need.

We are delighted to announce the addition of a fourth scholarship commencing in 2017.

CGGS SCHOLARSHIPS CLOSING SOON12 February

CGGS has a long and proud tradition of offering scholarships to girls on the basis of academic achievement and financial need. We are delighted to announce the addition of a fourth scholarship commencing in 2017.

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There have been a number of successful events this week to welcome new families and staff to the Junior School. Ms Angela Whittaker hosted an afternoon tea to introduce herself to the parent community, following on from a similar evening event last week. Ms Whittaker very much enjoyed engaging in conversation, finding out more about the school and its strong community.

JUNIOR SCHOOL WELCOME EVENTS12 February

There have been a number of successful events this week to welcome new families and staff to the Junior School. Ms Angela Whittaker hosted an afternoon tea to introduce herself to the parent community, following on from a similar evening event last week. Ms Whittaker very much enjoyed engaging in conversation, finding out more about the school and its strong community.

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The Music Department has made a busy start to the year with most ensembles now up and running. Guitar Ensemble rehearsal times are currently being finalised with Mr Couch and rehearsals will begin next week. He will be in touch with the students with details.

MUSIC NEWS11 February

The Music Department has made a busy start to the year with most ensembles now up and running. Guitar Ensemble rehearsal times are currently being finalised with Mr Couch and rehearsals will begin next week. He will be in touch with the students with details.

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It’s that time of year again…CGGS winter netball season 2016 is set to start!

WINTER NETBALL SEASON TRIALS11 February

It’s that time of year again…CGGS winter netball season 2016 is set to start!

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Students from our partner school, the Pascal Gymnasium in Münster, are visiting again from 15-22 March 2016.

SEEKING HOST FAMILIES FOR GERMAN STUDENTS12 February

Students from our partner school, the Pascal Gymnasium in Münster, are visiting again from 15-22 March 2016.

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In early January, Zoe Bott attended the National Computer Science School (NCSS), a ten day summer school for students going into years 11 and 12. At the end of the camp, Zoe was voted by her peers as the student most worthy of receiving $1000 cash for CGGS to be spent on the Grok Learning NCSS Challenge, a program designed for both students and teachers to learn and develop their software programming skills.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS12 February

In early January, Zoe Bott attended the National Computer Science School (NCSS), a ten day summer school for students going into years 11 and 12. At the end of the camp, Zoe was voted by her peers as the student most worthy of receiving $1000 cash for CGGS to be spent on the Grok Learning NCSS Challenge, a program designed for both students and teachers to learn and develop their software programming skills.

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Lent. The chapel committee organised a pancake breakfast for the year seven students before they went on camp on Shrove Tuesday. Ash Wednesday has come and gone - what are you giving up for Lent?

CHAPEL NEWS11 February

Lent. The chapel committee organised a pancake breakfast for the year seven students before they went on camp on Shrove Tuesday. Ash Wednesday has come and gone - what are you giving up for Lent?

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To celebrate the 90th Anniversary of Canberra Girls Grammar school all reunions for 2016 will be held throughout the day on Saturday 21 May 2016.

GRAMMARIANS' NEWS12 February

To celebrate the 90th Anniversary of Canberra Girls Grammar school all reunions for 2016 will be held throughout the day on Saturday 21 May 2016.

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