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12 August 2016
On Thursday, 4 August, the Safe Schools Committee hosted the annual Father Daughter Son Breakfast in the Senior School Hall. Over 450 fathers, male guardians and students attended, taking time out from a busy day to share breakfast and make connections with other families.

FATHER, DAUGHTER & SON BREAKFAST RECAP

On Thursday, 4 August, the Safe Schools Committee hosted the annual Father Daughter Son Breakfast in the Senior School Hall. Over 450 fathers, male guardians and students attended, taking time out from a busy day to share breakfast and make connections with other families.

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Anne Coutts

FROM THE PRINCIPAL

For the first time since we began this online Weekly Update, I have not written to you for the past three weeks. This is because I have been on Sabbatical leave in England, spending my time doing some research, visiting schools and educational trusts and reading articles. I have been following four threads of enquiry – digital strategies for schools, innovation, how schools use libraries in a digital age and performance review of staff. I had a busy but rewarding time and am presently writing a report for the School Board.

It was great to return home to Canberra and to resume at school this week. I am grateful to Peter Milligan for being Acting Principal in my absence and Jeanette Widmer for taking the acting role of Head of Senior School.

It was interesting to be in England in these post “Brexit” times. There is no doubt that the ‘exit’ vote has many implications, some that are not yet fully known or explored. My teaching colleagues talked about curriculum changes that had happened since I left England five and a half years ago and also expressed concern at the economic environment they were working in. We are fortunate in Australia to have a very different environment where we can provide the resources our children need to learn.

On the wider subject of environment, another change from the England I left five and a half years ago were the signs in underground trains entitled ‘clean air’. They explained that London is one of the most polluted cities in the world and lobbied for action to be taken to reduce pollution for their children’s sake. How pleasant it is to be back in the clean, crisp air of a Canberra winter!

Anne Coutts
Principal

Peter Milligan

FROM THE HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL

The observation that all good teaching is about community building, about it being life enlarging for students was evident when Sophia Lee (PK7) Year 8 was an invited guest (Harpist) at the Peter Blackshaw Midwinter Awards Night a couple of weeks ago. Sophia played the harp for about an hour in the reception area and, in turn, showcased our wonderful music program here at CGGS and our talented students!

On Monday this week the Year 8 team of Gemma Hudson, Anjali Kumar, Rachael Lu and Fatima Ahmed scored a convincing, unanimous win over Orana to clinch the ACTDU Junior Open shield. Gemma Hudson was named best speaker of the competition with 4 other CGGS students receiving top 10 places. A really great effort – well done. Our good wishes also go to our seniors who are in the ACTDU Advanced Open Grand Final to be contested between CGGS 1 (Breanna Lee, Laura Johnston, Amelia McGrath and Courtney Henson) and CGGS 2 (Alice Warrington, Stephanie Jones and Ellen Thurlow).

Our CGGS P&F Carnival Afternoon & Film Night is to be held on Saturday Oct 22. Could I invite you bring along to the ‘Shed’ – behind the Boarding House – any toys, clothes, shoes or books that are no longer needed at home. The evening will be the opportunity to explore a mix of stalls including food and general items before the film which will screened on the oval. Details of the evening and an invitation to assist with a stall will be forwarded by the P&F in coming weeks.

We have another big week coming up with the Winter Ball this Saturday, Choral Concert on Sunday, the Athletics carnival, students at the Long Tan Ceremony and our Gabriel Singers off to Perth for the Sisters of the Church Music Festival gathering of Anglican Girls Schools. Busy but both exciting and rewarding.

Best wishes

Peter Milligan
Head of Senior School

Angela Whitaker

FROM THE HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL

Although inquiry based learning has been around for some time and is the pedagogy of choice in the IBPYP I still get asked what it looks like in the classroom and how parents can help their child at home.

Put simply, inquiry pedagogy is any teaching practice that encourages quality thinking and engages students in active learning. This may look different for children at different developmental stages and it should be remembered that students of any age, but particularly young children, may inquire and therefore learn effectively through play.

Inquiry based learning opportunities (including thoughtfully designed play) typically require students to engage in the following: formulating questions; constructing hypothesises; debating; making choices; testing theories; making connections (to prior knowledge and the real world); researching; collecting data; drawing conclusions; presenting their findings to an audience; and reflecting on their learning. Students regularly engage in these activities collaboratively building the skills and attitudes necessary to operate as effective team members.

The dispositions acquired through an inquiry based program assist students to manage change, problem solve, and take responsibility for their learning. Inquiry based learning is also highly motivating for students contributing to the development of a love of learning that will, we hope, last for life.

In a school like CGGS that values inquiry as a vehicle for learning it is necessary to look carefully and see where inquiry pedagogy may be successfully applied. It is not necessary or appropriate to use an inquiry approach for everything.

At home parents may best help their child to develop the skills and dispositions necessary to be a successful learner through modelling and encouraging good questioning techniques. I shared the following with our Junior School teachers recently and would recommend it as a guide for parents who wish to improve their child’s questioning and critical thinking skills. With the Olympics on at the moment I am sure that our children will have lots of questions around the events and the athletes and this may be the springboard for a rich inquiry.

Shaping your own inquiries this week. Fertile questions are…

Open:

There are several different or competing answers

Undermining:

Makes learners question their basic assumptions

Rich:

Only answered with careful and lengthy research and are usually able to be broken into sub-questions

Connected:

Relevant to the learners

Charged:

Have an ethical dimension

Practical:

Able to be researched given available time and resources

Harper and Lefstein (2000) Communities of Thinking

Warm Regards,

Angela Whitaker
Head of Junior School

On Monday, 1 August, two teams of Year 12 Chemistry students went to the Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University to compete against teams from schools around the ACT in the Titration Stakes.

2016 ROYAL AUSTRALIAN CHEMICAL INSTITUTE TITRATION STAKES12 August

On Monday, 1 August, two teams of Year 12 Chemistry students went to the Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University to compete against teams from schools around the ACT in the Titration Stakes.

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Our Junior School students have had another successful Championships, with a number being invited to participate in the Nationals based upon their results at this event. Congratulations to all of our students who participated to the best of their ability, showing wonderful determination, grit and sportsmanship.

2016 SUBARU ACT/ SOUTHERN NSW INTERSCHOOLS SNOWSPORTS CHAMPIONSHIPS12 August

Our Junior School students have had another successful Championships, with a number being invited to participate in the Nationals based upon their results at this event. Congratulations to all of our students who participated to the best of their ability, showing wonderful determination, grit and sportsmanship.

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On Monday, 8 August, Year 11 Business students took a two day trip to Dubbo, NSW. We spent the first few hours exploring the town and the old Dubbo Gaol before attending a presentation about the marketing strategies used in Dubbo at the visitors information centre.

YEAR 11 BUSINESS DUBBO EXCURSION12 August

On Monday, 8 August, Year 11 Business students took a two day trip to Dubbo, NSW. We spent the first few hours exploring the town and the old Dubbo Gaol before attending a presentation about the marketing strategies used in Dubbo at the visitors information centre.

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Our traditional Staff vs Senior Council vs Sports Captains athletics relay was held on Tuesday at lunchtime to launch the 2016 Athletics Carnival – which will be held in Week 5 on Tuesday, 16 August.

TRADITION CONTINUES ON THE ATHLETICS FIELD12 August

Our traditional Staff vs Senior Council vs Sports Captains athletics relay was held on Tuesday at lunchtime to launch the 2016 Athletics Carnival – which will be held in Week 5 on Tuesday, 16 August.

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As part of the ACT Government’s commemorative activities during the Centenary of World War I (2014-2018), all ACT students in Years 9 and 10 are invited to enter the ACT Chief Minister’s ANZAC Spirit Prize 2017 competition. Students who competed in previous competitions are eligible to re-apply unless they were previous winners.

ACT CHIEF MINISTER’S ANZAC SPIRIT PRIZE 201712 August

As part of the ACT Government’s commemorative activities during the Centenary of World War I (2014-2018), all ACT students in Years 9 and 10 are invited to enter the ACT Chief Minister’s ANZAC Spirit Prize 2017 competition. Students who competed in previous competitions are eligible to re-apply unless they were previous winners.

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Harpist Sophia Lee (Year 8) showcased her talent (and the wonderful music program at CGGS) as an invited guest at the Peter Blackshaw Midwinter Awards Night on Saturday, 30 July where she entertained guests during the pre-dinner segment of the evening at Hotel Realm.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS12 August

Harpist Sophia Lee (Year 8) showcased her talent (and the wonderful music program at CGGS) as an invited guest at the Peter Blackshaw Midwinter Awards Night on Saturday, 30 July where she entertained guests during the pre-dinner segment of the evening at Hotel Realm.

Read more
On Friday August 5, Year 9 Commerce students took part in an enterprising women forum. Four young women from the CGGS community, Gemma Butler (2012); Bonnie Johnson; Kate Hanns and Erica Stephens (2001), told us their story since leaving school. They gave very interesting and information speeches, which will assist us in our upcoming assessment task.

GRAMMARIANS’ NEWS12 August

On Friday August 5, Year 9 Commerce students took part in an enterprising women forum. Four young women from the CGGS community, Gemma Butler (2012); Bonnie Johnson; Kate Hanns and Erica Stephens (2001), told us their story since leaving school. They gave very interesting and information speeches, which will assist us in our upcoming assessment task.

Read more