As the 2021 school year draws to a close, I want to share with you some exciting changes that will take place across the ELC, Junior and Senior Schools in 2022. Canberra Girls Grammar School prides itself on being an agile learning organisation, not only delivering a high-quality learning experience for children and young women, but continuously looking at ways of improving how we deliver the experience. During 2021, the ELC, Junior and Senior schools have again taken a critical look at our underlying assumptions and our daily practices.
Under the Strategic Design (2020-2025), CGGS will continue to evolve to ensure that we best meet the needs of our students and teachers, within the context of continuing to provide excellent learning opportunities in our classrooms, supported by high-quality pastoral programs and engaging co-curricular offerings.
Announcement of the Head and Deputy Head of the Junior School
Congratulations to Mr Peter McDonald who has been appointed to the role of Head of the Junior School, and Ms Prue Sheargold who has been appointed to the role of Deputy Head of the Junior School commencing January 2022. Both Peter and Prue bring a wealth of experience and will build on the foundational work of Mrs Angela Whitaker and Peter, in his former role, in driving the strategic direction of the Junior School and the implementation of the Strategic Design (2020–2025).
Awards and Recognition
Australian Educator Awards
We are extremely proud and honoured to announce that Canberra Girls Grammar has been recognised as a finalist for two Australian Educator Awards. Our Junior School has been recognised with an Excellence Award for Junior School of the Year – non-government, and our Strategic Design has been recognised with an Excellence Award for Best Strategic Design by The Educator Australia. Overall winners will be announced during a virtual event on 3 December. Canberra Girls Grammar School is the only independent ACT school named as a finalist.
The Implementation of the Middle Years Programme
In 2022 the School will be delighted to commence the implementation of the Middle Years Programme, and with that our preparation for authorisation as an International Baccalaureate Continuum School. With this, we are the first and most experienced independent International Baccalaureate school in the ACT, and one of only a handful in Australia to offer the PYP (Primary), MYP (Middle) and IBDP (Diploma) for students in Years 11 and 12. This offering provides a first class, uninterrupted, global-minded and locally acting school for your child.
Introducing the Evening Study Program and Year 13 Mentoring
As I have previously shared with you, these school holidays we will embark on a full refurbishment of the Senior School Library. And from the start of 2022, the Library will continue to offer extended hours to support students who wish to remain at school for individual or group study, tutoring and supervision. Students in the Senior School who stay to study after school will have the opportunity to purchase afternoon tea grab bags from the Canteen.
Trialling in Term 1, the Evening Study Program will allow day students in Years 10 to 12 to complete homework and assessment preparation within a supervised environment at the School. The program will be held in the Senior School Library from 5pm to 8pm each Monday and Wednesday evening, with dinner served from 6:30pm to 7pm in the Boarding House. Students will be supervised by an experienced CGGS staff member, who will be assisted by study supervisors. More detailed information about the program will be shared with relevant families next week.
Additionally, for those families who may seek support from time to time, our Flexible Boarding and Long Day offerings (with meals and prep included) can be tailored to suit individual needs.
Signature and Special Programs
Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Awards
Focusing on building each student’s individual learner profile as they move towards graduation and tertiary entrance, we will begin The Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award as part of the Year 9 camp and Signature Program curriculum. This initiative encourages a commitment to service, community involvement and physical challenge. Every Year 9 student will participate in an expedition-style camp and have the opportunity to be awarded the Bronze Award at the end of Year 9. This paves the foundation for every girl to pursue the silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh awards, which are highly respected and sought after in university applications, particularly for scholarships.
Parent Partnership Series
At CGGS, engaging with our community is important and we want to offer more opportunities for families to meet each other and get to know other parents in the School. We will continue to organise get-together events such as our popular coffee vans at camp mornings and we will launch our Parent Partnership Series. This series aims to provide access to contemporary experts in a range of child and young people fields to support parents through the adolescent years of parenting. This series of talks and workshops will allow parents to meet and mingle with one another as well as share the joys and challenges of modern parenting. The advertisement for this series will be available to allow you to save the date for each term’s event.
Sport Uniform Refinements
A recommendation that has come out of the Sports Review is the need for a more streamlined and user-friendly sport uniform. The draft pieces have been compiled and 2022 will see a period of consultation with the students and parents. A sneak peek of the basics and first draft is available HERE.
Refurbishments of Shared Learning and Gathering Spaces
The introduction of Chartwells Catering and Cleaning services and refurbished canteen spaces on both Junior and Senior campuses has kick-started a program of works to upgrade our physical resources across the school. We look forward to continuing renovations in the Boarding House, following the refurbishment of the Boarders Dining Room, with bathroom upgrades and some common space refurbishments across 2022. Pictures of Chartwells Catering can be viewed HERE.
The New Year will celebrate the opening of the refurbished Senior School Library and landscaping project, opening up the Library to the Quad and creating a seamless relationship between indoor and outdoor learning spaces on our Senior campus. The Junior School Library will also be refreshed during 2022, and the Junior School sports courts will be resurfaced. Concepts of the Senior School Library refurbishment can be found HERE.
The School will also undertake upgrades to the car park and landscaping of our Heritage corner (corner of Melbourne Avenue and Gawler Crescent), reflecting the significance and historic value of the School’s early buildings, and visually framing our Boarding House while supporting optimal traffic flow and upgrading of the Senior School oval.
CGGS Bus Fleet rollout: Canberra and regional
We are delighted to announce that stage 1 of the CGGS School Fleet rollout will commence in 2022, with a trial of two routes (Molonglo and Inner North), which can be viewed HERE. Transport Canberra is working with the School to finalise bus stops along the routes. To start with, Junior School students and their siblings will have priority and families will be able to nominate their preference of travelling a round trip, or either mornings or afternoons. Junior School families can expect to hear more about this opportunity over the coming weeks.
Bus routes servicing our boarding community are refined each year to support the current demographic need. We are currently exploring bus runs to Yass, Cooma and Braidwood as the most likely offerings later in 2022.
We are proud to expand our existing 100kw solar-powered capability with a further 100kw as we transition to a more sustainably focused school. We are committed to review our sustainable practices further in 2022, including a transition to LED as lights are replaced, a review of our organic waste and recycling practices, the establishment of worm farms and bee hives with Environment Club students, and installing water-efficient solutions as older systems require replacement.
Engagement and Communications
As families return to School in 2022, they will notice three exciting developments supporting our engagement and communication within our community. CGGS will have a new school website, a refreshed Agora portal and will enjoy a new CGGS school App. A preview of the new Agora portal can be viewed HERE.
These three updates have been designed to work in an integrated manner to streamline our communication processes and improve the user experience. We look forward to unveiling them at the start of Term 1.
More information about each of these announcements will be available to families in January. Our Heads of Junior School and Senior School will be happy to answer any questions you might have once more details are provided.
Mrs Anna Owen