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2 - 6 February 2015
The Early Learning Centre was a hive of activity this week as children in Reception (3-year-old program) and Pre-Prep (4-year-old program) returned for the beginning of the School year.

ELC students' first day of school

The Early Learning Centre was a hive of activity this week as children in Reception (3-year-old program) and Pre-Prep (4-year-old program) returned for the beginning of the School year.

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From the Principal

Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

-Francis of Assisi

This has been a week of new beginnings for all our students. Many are new to the School; they are having to find their way around, make new friends and get to know new teachers. Even the students who are returning to us have a new beginning, a chance to build on past success, a chance to put aside past mistakes and a chance to make new goals for the future.

I was struck by the quote above from St Francis of Assisi because it encapsulates a pragmatic and sensible approach to new experiences. We encourage our new students to "start by doing what is necessary." We give them maps to find their way around, school buddies or peer mentors to help them find their feet and introductory lessons in all areas to set expectations for how we work. We aim for them to settle down, become comfortable in their new school and then they can begin to spread their wings.

An example of ‘starting with what is necessary’ is the intriguing story of how basketball was invented, you may already know this if you play.

James Naismith was a PE teacher at a college in the town of Springfield, Massachusetts. He struggled with a rowdy set of students who were fed up with being confined to indoor games during the harsh New England winters. Dr Luther Gulick (Head of Springfield YMCA PE program) suggested to Naismith that the solution was to create an indoor game that would provide "athletic distraction" for the class. The stipulations were:

  • The game must not take up too much room.
  • It must help keep its track athletes in shape.
  • It must be "fair to all players and not too rough."

Naismith was told he had 14 days to come up with this game.

Naismith started with what was necessary. He decided a big soft soccer-like ball was the safest. He saw that most physical contact in ball games occurred while running with the ball, he decided that passing was the safe option. Finally, to stop the game getting too rough, the goal should be un-guardable by placing it high above the player’s heads. He ruled that to score a goal, the players should throw a soft lobbing shot. He asked the building supervisor for two boxes for the goals but he was given two peach baskets instead. So basketball was born.

We warmly welcome all our new students and our new staff. We hope that they will quickly feel part of our CGGS community and be able to move from doing what is necessary to being engaged and involved in all that school life offers.

Anne Coutts

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From the Head of Senior School

My first few weeks as Head of Senior School have been wonderful! I have experienced a very warm and welcoming community.

I was privileged to attend the Year 12 Senior Council Leadership Camp held at Tallowa Dam in Morton National Park last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The group of Year 12 leaders were an extraordinarily impressive group of young women. They entered into the leadership activities, canoeing, camping and walking with maturity, enthusiasm and enormous good humour. The sharing of role models in their lives, their sense of the qualities needed to lead effectively and their love of CGGS was inspiring. Their sense of sharing in the food preparation, campsite duties and other activities demonstrated, to me, why they are going to be a really great leadership group. It was very special to listen to the significant place their families have in their lives and their strong sense of values. I am really looking forward to working with them this year.

Vanessa Ma, 2014 Dux, addressed the Senior Commencement Service last Tuesday not only with great humility but with some very practical advice to the student body regarding how to approach their studies. As Vanessa embarks on her medical studies at UNSW we wish her every success.

Peter Milligan
Head of Senior School

Head of Junior School

The start of a school year brings with it great excitement and anticipation about what lies ahead. With the long summer break behind us now it has been wonderful to see students, parents and staff in the School this week and it is with great pleasure that I welcome the School community to the 2015 school year. 

I would particularly like to extend a warm welcome to families of the 152 new students in the ELC and Junior School joining CGGS this year.  Our school is full to capacity and that is a great way to start a year! And so our school has returned to the bustling learning environment we know and love; with children and teachers resuming friendships in a buoyant learning environment filled with the sounds of students and staff laughing and chatting with optimism about the new academic year. This week everyone has enjoyed renewing acquaintances and sharing stories of holiday experiences.  I have been proud to note the manner in which new students are being included and cared for by continuing students. Whilst this time of transition can be a challenge for some students and parents, experience tells us that as friendships are formed and new routines become second nature, it does become easier! Students were introduced to some new staff members this week. We welcome them all and hope their association with the School is both happy and professionally rewarding. 

  • Mr Luke Ritchie (Director of Junior School – Years 3-6)
  • Mrs Annette Melia (Class Teacher of Pre-Prep M )
  • Miss Jaimi-lee Casey (Class Teacher of 1C)
  • Mrs Lisa Cockerill (Class Teacher of 1LC)
  • Mrs Jennifer Worthington (Class teacher of 2W)
  • Miss Tara Bourne (Class Teacher of 3B)
  • Miss Michelle Williams (Class teacher of 5W)
  • Mrs Meghan Scougall (Class teacher of 5S)
  • Mrs Isabel Winch (English as a Second Language or Dialect)

The year has begun in a lively and positive manner with staff returning officially last week for the range of meetings and planning that ensures a quality start for all the students. Our Quality Start Program aims to facilitate a successful start to the school year. Welcome Day on Monday was especially busy as the students arrived to greet their teachers and collect books and we thank all parents who attended Information Sessions when scheduled. Your attendance meant a really positive start to the School year with all parents well informed of what to expect in each of their children’s year levels. 

This week the Prep students and the Reception children attended for mornings only and this last aspect of their Transition Program concluded today (Friday). Over the vacation period, when one would think things would be very quiet in the School, some capital works were completed in the Junior School and we are very grateful to the building contractors, Construction Control, and our own maintenance team who ensured this was completed on time:

  • Bathrooms for boys and girls have been refurbished and are bright and fresh with new tiling and hardware
  • Ceilings have been replaced in four classrooms and some passageways
  • Room U17 has new carpet and has been painted
  • The service area of the ELC has been refurbished

In addition to the building and maintenance works, two very busy Vacation Care Programs operated in the Junior School and Early Learning Centre. We are grateful to the staff who planned the programs and provided the care required.  Finally, thank you all for the wonderful support we have received in this early phase of the school year. We appreciate the time parents and other family members have given to help make the transition to school, be it for the first time or just after the holidays, a smooth and positive experience and it has been a delight to meet and speak with many of you at the various events.

Heather Ablett
Head of Junior School

From the CGGS P&F President

As President of the CGGS P&F, it is my great pleasure to welcome back parents to the 2015 school year and to also extend an introductory welcome to new parents to the School community.

For new parents, welcome to the beginning of a fantastic journey, a journey that I am about to end and most importantly and rewardingly, a journey that will see your child transition from a girl to an educated young woman. I am confident you will enjoy the experience as much as our family has.

My time as President of the CGGS P&F is regrettably coming to an end. We have one more P&F meeting with the current Committee on Tuesday 10 February (7.30 pm in the School Board Room), followed by our Annual General Meeting on Monday 30 March, also in the School Board Room. May I take this opportunity to ask all parents to consider joining the P&F Committee and/or attending the AGM. My daughter graduated from CGGS at the end of last year so I will not be seeking re-election and a number of our Committee have also ended their involvement with the School for similar or related reasons. Before the AGM we will notify parents of the opportunity to nominate for Committee membership. I would ask you again to consider giving some time to the P&F as it cannot operate without you. We have had a great group of people involved in a wide range of activities and the P&F needs a core group of people to carry on with current and planned activities.
The P&F as it is known can be easily summed up as a caring partnership, who directly undertake to enhance and support the community within the whole school. We do this through harnessing the school’s various networks and allowing the adults associated with our wonderful girls and boys to get to know each other better and often make friends. Through the support of each member the P&F is able to enhance the community our children live within.

Next week I will be attending the Welcome Drinks at the Junior School and I hope to meet as many new parents as possible and to outline some P&F plans for the year ahead. I will also be joined by some members of the current committee.  We are sincerely looking forward to meeting you and joining in welcoming you to the School community.

For now, please place Tuesday 10 February and Monday 30 March in your dairies. Parents and friends are always most welcome at our meetings and or course are encouraged to attend the AGM. On the latter, it is in this forum that we present the proposed funding allocations for monies raised by the P&F during the past year (largely through the activities of the P&F Fete).

We have some great plans for P&F activity during 2015 and we sincerely hope you can be a part of them. We are here to serve, support, engage and listen, all in the name of the wider CGGS community. Please feel free to contact the P&F committee at any time if you have any ideas, concerns or suggestions on

On behalf of the P&F, we look forward to working for and with you.

David Rawlins
CGGS P&F President


Term 1

Monday 2 February to Fri 10 April

Term 2 Monday 27 April to Friday 26 June
Term 3  Monday 20 July to Friday 25 September
Term 4  Monday 12 October to Friday 4 December


For the fourth consecutive year, a CGGS student has achieved the top ATAR in the ACT.

Top ACT ATAR for Vanessa

For the fourth consecutive year, a CGGS student has achieved the top ATAR in the ACT.

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Canberra Girls Grammar School is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Peter Milligan as new Head of Senior School in 2015.

CGGS welcomes new Head of Senior School in 20156 February

Canberra Girls Grammar School is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Peter Milligan as new Head of Senior School in 2015.

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On the final day of school last year, 11 students from Years 9, 10 and 11 headed off to Germany.

German Excursion5 February

On the final day of school last year, 11 students from Years 9, 10 and 11 headed off to Germany.

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CGGS is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Luke Ritchie as new Director of Junior School (Years 3-6) in 2015.

CGGS welcomes new Director of Junior School (Years 3-6) 3 February

CGGS is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Luke Ritchie as new Director of Junior School (Years 3-6) in 2015.

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Music news this week.

Music News5 February

Music news this week.

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Congratulations to the following students.

Student Achievements this week of 6 February 5 February

Congratulations to the following students.

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Grammarians' news this week.

Grammarians' News6 February

Grammarians' news this week.

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2016 CGGS Scholarship Applications are now open.

2016 Scholarship Applications are now open18 November

2016 CGGS Scholarship Applications are now open.

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Careers News6 February

Year 12 students and their parents are invited to the 2015 ANU Tuckwell Scholarship Roadshow in the ACT

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Housekeeping: Bus/Bag Passes6 February

An important housekeeping message for parents and guardians.

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Head Lice in the Senior School5 February

The School has received notification of head lice in Year 8 which has been appropriately treated.

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Lions Youth of the Year Award6 February

The Lions Youth of the Year award program will be coming up soon and is a great opportunity for Senior School students to demonstrate their skills in academic attainment, leadership, citizenship and community involvement, personality, sportsmanship and public speaking.

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News from Action Buses6 February

News from Action Buses.

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10am-1pm, Many hands make light work so please come along and helps us clean up, trim, tidy and tweak the grounds and club house in preparation for the 2015 season of netball. For more information contact


To submit community notices or student achievements and photos for consideration in the Weekly Update, please email Monica Masters on by COB Wednesday.

To submit news on CGGS Grammarians for consideration in the Weekly Update, please email Laura Hannan on by COB Wednesday.