With over 30 nationalities represented in our student body, we have young people from across the world come together for a united purpose: to learn, to improve their own situation, and to ultimately go forward into the world and improve the situation of others through their work.
Improving the situation of others is not always accompanied by a badge or title. Every day on our campus, we witness students making changes, pushing determinedly to improve situations for themselves and others, and setting an example for those who follow them. Our girls step forward into challenge and discomfort as they learn, grow and explore. Each one with her own set of values and strengths, where from class to class a different leader emerges. Some are unassuming, leading from within the group and encouraging confidence in others. Some are exuberant and vivacious, leading from the front and making their peers feel excited and involved. Then there are many more who walk amongst their cohorts without realising the impact they have on those around them. All of these students set an example through the way they learn, the way they treat others and their commitment to personal growth and development.
Leadership is not without its challenges and we know that none of us is perfect. As I say in informal conversations with students, they are students and they are learning. This is why they are at school. To learn, we must think differently, be uncomfortable, take risks, and put our trust in others, but we must also understand that things will not always go to plan. Things will go wrong or fail, and it is not in the failing where we must dwell but in the recovery, reflection and growth that comes from this. As Maya Angelou wrote: “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out if it”.
As the new term starts, I encourage every student to reflect on her own role in the school community. To draw on her passions and hopes, and look for small ways to make a positive difference in the life of others. At CGGS, we are interested in helping our girls grow and find ways of being their best selves. Our Signature Programs, co-curricular programs, pastoral care program and camps continue to develop leadership skills and a commitment to service in all of our students. Every day, we endeavour to help our girls find a strong voice, whether it roars now or grows slowly and roars later in life.
Ms Julie Jorritsma
Deputy Principal (Head of Senior School)