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29 July 2016
On Thursday of Week One, the Intermediate and Senior Concert Bands travelled to Sydney for a three-day band tour.

The tour began with our final rehearsals in preparation for the performances on the following days. On Friday we had the pleasure of visiting Thomas Hassall Anglican College, where both bands not only had the opportunity to perform by themselves but also combined with the Thomas Hassall’s concert bands.

BANDS' TOUR EARNS GOLD IN SYDNEY

On Thursday of Week One, the Intermediate and Senior Concert Bands travelled to Sydney for a three-day band tour. The tour began with our final rehearsals in preparation for the performances on the following days. On Friday we had the pleasure of visiting Thomas Hassall Anglican College, where both bands not only had the opportunity to perform by themselves but also combined with the Thomas Hassall’s concert bands.

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Peter Milligan

FROM THE ACTING PRINCIPAL

During the week a Year Nine student came up to talk about her ideas regarding the ILP project she was considering.

The two ideas she presented related to a proposed glass engraving of either CGGS from an aerial perspective or a three pane work depicting the history of the school crest – Gabriel, the Church of England Girls’ Grammar School Crest and our current crest. The three crest concept appealed very much and I asked why that particular choice of subject? Her reply was considered and it was about the story and the 90th celebrations that had really appealed to her. Rosalind Arnold in Empathetic Intelligence: Teaching, Learning, Relating observed ‘In telling our stories, we feel an affinity with our past and in hearing stories of others we can feel an affinity with them. Storylines connect individuals across time and space. They can inspire the young and affirm the old, providing imagined role models for all kind of endeavours, while reminding us that experience endures beyond our own mortality.’ The decision as to which project is obviously one this particular student will make, but I appreciated the gesture of being asked. She did cheekily ask me if I thought the school might purchase it to offset costs if it was of a good quality, given the 90th celebrations? It was good to see the entrepreneurial side is alive and well!

Congratulations to our Concert Band students, Ms Natalie Guile and the Music faculty staff, on their success at the NSW Band Festival last weekend. Two categories entered and two gold awards - very well done. This Friday afternoon our Gabriel Singers are performing at the Charles Bean Legacy Conference being held at ADFA while on Saturday evening the Llewellyn Choir and Gabriel Singers ‘Ikon of Light’ performance will be in the CGGS Chapel at 6.00pm. It would be wonderful if you could attend the Chapel performance. Our good wishes also go the Glebe and Kilburn Houses as they embark on their combined House ski trip this weekend.

Peter Milligan
Acting Principal

Jeanette Widmer

FROM THE ACTING HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL

It is interesting and enjoyable interviewing prospective students with their parents who have enrolled their daughters to join the CGGS community in 2017. The question often asked is- do girls’ schools really make a difference?

It is important for parents to understand that our environment is purposeful and designed to get the best out of girls as they develop. Girls do learn differently from boys and the latest brain research is supporting a difference in brain development. I thought it might be useful to share with you some important benefits that your daughters are gaining by attending and engaging in school life here at Girls Grammar. This list has been compiled by the Alliance of Girls’ Schools, which does active research into girls’ education.

Girls' schools are 'can do' environments:

  • All the leadership roles are filled by girls;
  • In girls' schools, girls see strong female role models, and understand that they too can achieve successful outcomes from their own efforts;
  • All activities are open to girls - they participate, influence and lead for genuine achievement;
  • In an all-girl classroom, girls take on all the roles in the group, providing an atmosphere where students take the risks necessary;
  • Girls thrive and excel in collaborative teams;
  • Teachers can match their teaching to the way girls learn and develop their courses to suit girls' needs;
  • Girls can work through the challenges of adolescence without fear of embarrassment or harassment; 
  • Girls can develop their relationships in a supportive environment;
  • There is no obstacle preventing girls from exploring a career in any area;
  • Girls' achievements are celebrated;
  • Girl centred learning leaves no doubt as to who receives the teacher's full attention, or who will be taking maths, science, and technology classes;
  • There is a greater sense of connectedness – listening, helping and accepting others' points of view; and
  • Girls in girls' schools achieve significantly stronger academic results than any other group in Australia.

Professor Alison Booth, Public Policy Fellow at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, recently wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald, that ‘the evidence is gathering’ that girls benefit ‘significantly’ in all female classes. A recent study undertaken at Essex University shows that girls assigned to single sex classes are not only more likely to pass their courses, but also to obtain higher scores, even after they are no longer taking single sex classes.

A separate study shows that girls in patriarchal societies become less competitive than boys around the age of puberty, but this gender gap in competitiveness ‘never materialises in a matrilineal society’. A variety of studies now suggest that single sex environments influence girls to be more competitive and less risk averse than girls in coed environments, having important implications for single sex schools and public policy alike. If interested, you can read more in this research document from the Alliance of Girls' Schools.

On another note- In the interests of student safety and road safety -parents please be advised NOT to park in bus zones. This applies at all times, including collection and drop off for excursions and camps.

Jeanette Widmer
Acting Head of Senior School

Angela Whitaker

FROM THE HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL

A colleague recently shared the following quote and confided that she had a ‘light bulb’ moment when she grasped the great divide between talking about WHAT students learn and HOW they learn it, and what learning IS.

I had always expected my students to learn. I provided them with strategies to learn. However, I had not taught them what it meant to learn. I had been relying on an assumption that learning was what happened at school, and since we all knew that, there was no need to learn about learning itself. The Writing on the Classroom Wall, p.8.

So, do we need to teach students (and ourselves) about learning itself?

I believe we do, and fortunately there is an extensive body of research into learning and the brain we can reference to guide us, and programs we can adopt to map the way.

I am most familiar with the work of Professor Guy Claxton and his team who pioneered the programme “Building Learning Power” (BLP). Claxton talks about us building our learning muscles like we build our physical muscles. “Just as fitness is a basic springboard for all kinds of more specific physical skills, so learning power is a general-purpose launch-pad for all kinds of more specific learning activities – both in school and out.”

Programs that teach us how to learn typically provide a curriculum framework and give scope for educators to make their own developmentally appropriate resources. It is wonderful to see that even the youngest students are able to take control of their learning and talk about their learning, developing the dispositions of good learners in a fun way. I have had the experience of wandering through Prep classes and having the children speak to me about how they are being Polly Perseverance, Diana No Distractions or Norman Noticer. Teachers would use the language, for example, to remind children to persevere when challenged, manage the distractions that are ever present in a classroom, and pay close attention to details in their reading, writing or mathematics.

Norman Noticer and Diana No Distractions

The broad benefits of understanding learning for all student is that it:

  • provides students with a coherent picture of what it takes to be a good learner, thereby empowering them
  • grows a student’s learning character and habits
  • develops the appetite and ability to learn in different ways
  • transforms the culture of the classroom and the climate of the school
  • shifts responsibility for learning to learn from the teacher to the learner
  • engages teachers and students creatively as researchers in learning
  • gives schools the opportunity to track students’ learning power
  • provides the whole school community with a language to discuss learning

I look forward to leading discussions around learning how to learn and sharing brain based research with students and staff in the Junior School, and I will keep the JS community informed of our progress and thinking in this very interesting area.

Warm regards

Angela Whitaker
Head of Junior School

David Blue

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF PROJECTS AND PLANNING

ON-LINE SUBJECT SELECTIONS FOR STUDENTS ENTERING YEAR 11 IN 2017

Current Year 10 students will be asked to submit a “first round” of subject selections for 2017 next week.  The students have attended the Information Evening and had personal meetings with Mrs Coutts and Dr Dietrich (Careers Advisor). Also, on Tuesday (2 August), the Year 10 students will attend an information session about the process and there is another information session for parents on Tuesday evening, focusing on the two types of course available (ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies or International Baccalaureate).

These initial selections will be used to compile the best possible subject arrangement to maximize the number of students who are able to get all of their first choice preferences.  Students will then be asked to submit a second round of preferences based on this arrangement.

The students will receive an email on Tuesday afternoon containing a link to the on-line subject selection site. Students will be asked to complete their selections by Friday afternoon (5 August). The system allows several submissions if required and automatically accepts the final version.

Assistance with subject selections is available through subject teachers, Heads of Faculty, the Careers Advisor and the Director of Studies (Mrs Dunstall).  If anyone is experiencing difficulty with the selection program, there is a link for help in the original email, or students can come to the Student Area.

(Students in other year levels will be making their selections later in the term).

David Blue
Director of Projects and Planning

The Year 6 students spent their first week of Term 3 engaging and exploring their new inquiry topic about how “needs and wants drive innovation.”

To this end they have attended a Questacon Maker Space workshop where they built prototypes for an alternative form of wind energy as well as participating with their parents in an evening information workshop about Exhibition and all it entails.

YEAR 6 EXPLORE WHAT DRIVES INNOVATION29 July

The Year 6 students spent their first week of Term 3 engaging and exploring their new inquiry topic about how “needs and wants drive innovation.” To this end they have attended a Questacon Maker Space workshop where they built prototypes for an alternative form of wind energy as well as participating with their parents in an evening information workshop about Exhibition and all it entails.

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Last Friday, 22 July, all Year 7 students took part in an all-day STEM incursion in the Senior School Hall. Our mission was to create a robotic device to assist with a life or death surgery simulation. We had to ensure our device could be operated from a distance of 1.1 metres, could move horizontally and vertically and could conduct the surgery in one minute or less.

YEAR 7 STEM INCURSION29 July

Last Friday, 22 July, all Year 7 students took part in an all-day STEM incursion in the Senior School Hall. Our mission was to create a robotic device to assist with a life or death surgery simulation. We had to ensure our device could be operated from a distance of 1.1 metres, could move horizontally and vertically and could conduct the surgery in one minute or less.

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University application systems will open next week and there will be a great deal of information available to students.

The Careers Xpo is taking place on Wednesday, 3 August from 9.30am to 5.00pm and Thursday, 4 August from 9.30am to 2.00pm at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC).

CAREERS UPDATE29 July

University application systems will open next week and there will be a great deal of information available to students. The Careers Xpo is taking place on Wednesday, 3 August from 9.30am to 5.00pm and Thursday, 4 August from 9.30am to 2.00pm at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC).

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Last term Canberra Girls Grammar School played host to the ACT Plain English Speaking Award (PESA), a competition with which CGGS has a long history.

PESA is a competition with a significant pedigree which promotes articulate communication aimed at persuading an audience through the use of sophisticated but plain English. The competition passes through three stages; state, national and international.

COURTNEY PROGRESSES TO NATIONALS FOR PUBLIC SPEAKING29 July

Last term Canberra Girls Grammar School played host to the ACT Plain English Speaking Award (PESA), a competition with which CGGS has a long history. PESA is a competition with a significant pedigree which promotes articulate communication aimed at persuading an audience through the use of sophisticated but plain English. The competition passes through three stages; state, national and international.

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The Innovation Club has launched its project – the Food Computer, a device which helps maximise the production of food to support growth of the population.

INNOVATION CLUB PROJECT LAUNCH!29 July

The Innovation Club has launched its project – the Food Computer, a device which helps maximise the production of food to support growth of the population.

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The Indigenous Focus Group (IFG) began NAIDOC celebrations with an installation of the Sea of Hands. This symbolic artwork was the beginning of a week of activities focusing on the vibrant continuing cultures of Australia’s First Peoples.

During the Senior School Assembly on Tuesday, 19 July, staff and students were addressed by Flight Lieutenant Melinda Mitchell.

CGGS CELEBRATES NAIDOC WEEK29 July

The Indigenous Focus Group (IFG) began NAIDOC celebrations with an installation of the Sea of Hands. This symbolic artwork was the beginning of a week of activities focusing on the vibrant continuing cultures of Australia’s First Peoples. During the Senior School Assembly on Tuesday, 19 July, staff and students were addressed by Flight Lieutenant Melinda Mitchell.

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Don’t forget to purchase your tickets for The Safe School Committee’s Annual Father and Daughter/Son Breakfast.

THE SAFE SCHOOL COMMITTEE FATHER AND DAUGHTER/SON BREAKFAST29 July

Don’t forget to purchase your tickets for The Safe School Committee’s Annual Father and Daughter/Son Breakfast.

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Time is running out to book your tickets for the CGGS Parents & Friends Masquerade Birthday Ball!

Not a fundraiser, this exciting event is purely a party for CGGS parents and their guests.

P&F ASSOCIATION MASQUERADE BIRTHDAY BALL29 July

Time is running out to book your tickets for the CGGS Parents & Friends Masquerade Birthday Ball! Not a fundraiser, this exciting event is purely a party for CGGS parents and their guests.

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As required, each year Canberra Girls Grammar School deliver data to the Commonwealth Government relating to the number of students attending our school who have - or are considered to have - a disability as part of the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disabilities (NCCD).

NATIONALLY CONSISTENT COLLECTION OF DATA ON SCHOOL STUDENTS WITH DISABILITY (NCCD) 201629 July

As required, each year Canberra Girls Grammar School deliver data to the Commonwealth Government relating to the number of students attending our school who have - or are considered to have - a disability as part of the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disabilities (NCCD).

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Plenty of sporting achievements this week - students from both the Junior and Senior Schools have been defying the cold weather and keeping active!

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS29 July

Plenty of sporting achievements this week - students from both the Junior and Senior Schools have been defying the cold weather and keeping active!

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On Tuesday, 5 July a dinner for the Canberra Girls Grammar School community in the United Kingdom was held at OXO Tower Restaurant in London.

The event was attended by Grammarians from 1972 through to 2012, past parents, future parents, well as a current Year 12 Student, Rebecca Francis.

GRAMMARIANS’ NEWS29 July

On Tuesday, 5 July a dinner for the Canberra Girls Grammar School community in the United Kingdom was held at OXO Tower Restaurant in London. The event was attended by Grammarians from 1972 through to 2012, past parents, future parents, well as a current Year 12 Student, Rebecca Francis.

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