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27 May 2016
Over the weekend of 20–23 May Canberra Girls Grammar School celebrated its 90th Anniversary and Founders’ Day.

The celebrations were kicked off on Friday night with the P&F Association’s first ever Night Markets, and what a success it was!

CANBERRA GIRLS GRAMMAR SCHOOL CELEBRATES 90 YEARS

Over the weekend of 20–23 May Canberra Girls Grammar School celebrated its 90th Anniversary and Founders’ Day. The celebrations were kicked off on Friday night with the P&F Association’s first ever Night Markets, and what a success it was!

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Anne Coutts

FROM THE PRINCIPAL

We had a wonderful Founder’s weekend to celebrate the schools 90th birthday. Starting with the Night Markets on Friday night, the whole weekend was filled with friends, conversation, good food and plenty of memories.

We rugged up for the Night Markets and enjoyed a wide range of food, wine and stalls selling a variety of goods from pearls to gourmet treats. There were activities for younger children, entertainment from our school musicians and several kilometers of fairy lights. I do thank the P & F for all their work in making this evening so enjoyable.

On Saturday it was Reunion Day with six scheduled Heritage Walks. I so enjoyed meeting alumni of all ages and hearing their reminiscences about Girls Grammar. They enjoyed renewing friendships with each other. And, of course, there was more food.

On Saturday evening we hosted an Alumni Cocktail Party at the National Gallery. Everyone looked festive and beautiful, many literally glittering in their frocks.

On Sunday we had a Founder’s Day Service in the School Chapel followed by another chance to take our Heritage Walk.

On Monday our students attended, with visiting alumni, a Founder’s Assembly on both our Junior and Senior campuses. Our speaker was Bethany Lee, who graduated in 2007 and after taking degrees in Aerospace Engineering, is now a design engineer for Hawker Pacific.

Our last hurrah was a Grammarians' lunch where I awarded badges to those alumni who graduated 50 and 60 years ago. What a wonderful length of time to keep in contact with, and support our school.

I’d like to thank all the members of our school team who worked hard to make this weekend such a success and the P & F and Grammarians Association who work tirelessly and closely with us.

Anne Coutts
Principal

Peter Milligan

FROM THE HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL

Congratulations to the P&F on the highly successful Night Markets held at school last Friday. Their hard work was rewarded with a real sense of a school community where a large crowd enjoyed each other’s company as well as inviting the wider community to participate.

The celebration of events marking the CGGS 90th Anniversary over the weekend also had a great community feel. The Alumni activities on Saturday including the Heritage Walks, the Chapel Service on Sunday and the Founder’s Day Assembly on Monday were very well attended. One of the real highlights was having the Grammarians with us at the assembly and then the special luncheon for them which followed. At the luncheon those Grammarians, who left CGGS fifty years and seventy years ago, received a commemorative badge. Amazing.

At the end of the Assembly on Monday the 2016 CGGS Innovativation Awards were launched. Junior school and Senior school students and staff were invited to submit an innovation project that “makes the school a better place in which to learn and work.” The process and criteria related to the projects are detailed on the school website. Tony Wagner’s book Creating Innovators refers to the “new skills all students now need for careers, continuous learning, and citizenship in an increasingly flat world.” He nominates his Seven Survival Skills as:

  1. Critical thinking and problem solving
  2. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
  3. Agility and adaptability
  4. Initiative and entrepreneurship
  5. Accessing and analysing information
  6. Effective oral and written communication
  7. Curiosity and imagination

Wagner’s clarifies the above with regard to qualities such as “perseverance, taking calculated risks, willingness to experiment, able to tolerate failure and capacity for design thinking.” Our Senior and Junior Innovation spaces, launched this year, continue to evolve and are vibrant places of creative and critical thinking. We are looking forward to the innovative projects that I know will come from the 2016 Innovativation Awards.

A big congratulations to the students and staff involved in the Eisteddfod last weekend. Five entries and five gold medals says enough in one sense – more importantly the beauty of the music produced by our students was showcased at the Founder’s Day assembly by the flute and violin ensembles – extraordinary!

On a very practical level – the interim black puffer jacket currently worn to and from school over the blazer – may be worn at recess and lunch given the predicted temperatures next week and the arrival, perhaps, of our winter weather patterns. Another point in relation to winter uniform is the expectation regarding the skirt - the hem line is below the knee. Our trial of providing breakfast options in the school canteen from 7.30am to 8.30am is underway – a solid response but not overwhelming. We will monitor the numbers and report back to the SRC on their initiative.

Best wishes

Peter Milligan
Head of Senior School

Angela Whitaker

FROM THE HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL

On Monday I had the pleasure of participating in both the Junior School’s Founders’ Day Assembly and the Senior School’s Founders’ Day Commemoration where the guest speaker and alumna Bethany Lee, and our Principal Anne Coutts spoke about an intrepid group of Anglican Nuns who ventured from England to Australia and eventually to our Bush Capital to found what is now Canberra Girls Grammar School.

I imagine these formidable women would have faced and overcome many challenges to begin a school in Canberra in 1926. A family arriving around the same time described how they ‘…left the train at Yass railway junction and jolted in a T-model Ford for four and a half hours along a dusty, potholed track bordered by stunted gum-trees before braving the flooded ford at Ginninderra Creek….’ Just getting to Canberra was an ordeal! The success of our school today is a testament to the Sister’s perseverance and resilience, their grit.

I have spoken about grit at a Junior School Assembly as I believe it is an important quality for our students to develop and one they will have cause to use throughout their lives. Grit, research is now telling us, is a better predictor of success than IQ. Since the assembly I have had a number of students come and tell me how they have shown grit and have had a parent email me with links to resources to help develop grit.

Angela Lee Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania is perhaps the leading authority on grit and its importance to our success and has developed a ‘Grit Scale’. One of her first studies was undertaken at West Point Military Academy where she administered a grit questionnaire to cadets who had already gone through a rigorous admissions process to gain entry. Typically 1 in 20 West Point cadets drop out during the summer of training before their first academic year. At the end of the summer the cadets who had scored high on Duckworth’s questionnaire were, her research showed, more likely to still be enrolled than their classmates who scored poorly. The work of Angela Lee Duckworth marries nicely with that of Carol Dweck who writes on Growth Mindset and while I haven’t shared Growth Mindset with our students yet, I intend to do so in the near future.

Warm regards,

Angela Whitaker
Head of Junior School

Once again, the CGGS Junior School Staff hosted their annual Cancer Council Biggest Morning Tea.

The event is a chance for the CGGS Staff to get together and raise money for a great cause. ‘1 in 2 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85’.

JUNIOR SCHOOL’S BIGGEST MORNING TEA27 May

Once again, the CGGS Junior School Staff hosted their annual Cancer Council Biggest Morning Tea. The event is a chance for the CGGS Staff to get together and raise money for a great cause. ‘1 in 2 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85’.

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The Orchestras and Bands had a fantastic time at the National Eisteddfod on Saturday 21 May. It was wonderful to be able to perform at such a professional venue, to a significant audient and present the music the ensembles have been working so hard on.

GOLD, GOLD, GOLD, GOLD, GOLD AT THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL EISTEDDFOD27 May

The Orchestras and Bands had a fantastic time at the National Eisteddfod on Saturday 21 May. It was wonderful to be able to perform at such a professional venue, to a significant audient and present the music the ensembles have been working so hard on.

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Coming up quickly on Tuesday 31 May at 6pm is the Concerto and Orchestral Concert. This concert will showcase the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and String Orchestra and the two of the winners of the Concerto Competition; Aleisha Ricketts on flute and Donica Tran on piano.

INVITATION TO THE CONCERTO AND ORCHESTRAL CONCERT27 May

Coming up quickly on Tuesday 31 May at 6pm is the Concerto and Orchestral Concert. This concert will showcase the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and String Orchestra and the two of the winners of the Concerto Competition; Aleisha Ricketts on flute and Donica Tran on piano.

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What a wonderful time was had at the Night Markets! The Jazz Band contributed so much to the entertainment and atmosphere of the evening. They did well to present so many charts in such a musical and professional manner.

JAZZ BAND PERFORMS AT THE NIGHT MARKETS27 May

What a wonderful time was had at the Night Markets! The Jazz Band contributed so much to the entertainment and atmosphere of the evening. They did well to present so many charts in such a musical and professional manner.

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Two teams of talented mathematicians from Years 11 and 12 took on the best from around the region in a day of challenge and teamwork. Thirty teams from as far afield as Sydney and the Snowy Mountains took on the mathematics and each other.

TOP MATHEMATICIANS ATTEND ANU MATHS DAY27 May

Two teams of talented mathematicians from Years 11 and 12 took on the best from around the region in a day of challenge and teamwork. Thirty teams from as far afield as Sydney and the Snowy Mountains took on the mathematics and each other.

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Senior School students have House Chapel every second week first thing in the morning and the Junior School have it once a term. Gilmore's House Chapel is next Friday the theme this year is based on their mascot. So for Gilmore it will be kangaroos and pay it forward. For Mackellar, earlier in the year, it was wombats and perseverance.

CHAPEL NEWS27 May

Senior School students have House Chapel every second week first thing in the morning and the Junior School have it once a term. Gilmore's House Chapel is next Friday the theme this year is based on their mascot. So for Gilmore it will be kangaroos and pay it forward. For Mackellar, earlier in the year, it was wombats and perseverance.

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Congratulations to Tara Melhuish (Year 11) who will be competing at the Junior world orienteering championships for the Australian team in Scuol, Switzerland.

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Congratulations to Tara Melhuish (Year 11) who will be competing at the Junior world orienteering championships for the Australian team in Scuol, Switzerland.

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Earlier this month, Sarah Whittaker (1991), completed the IRONMAN Australia race in Port Macquarie.

As a mother-of-three, Sarah made the decision five years to dedicate her training regime to prepare for the long-distance triathlon race which consists of a 3.8km swim followed by a 180km cycle and finished with a 42km (the run itself is the length of a standard marathon).

GRAMMARIANS' NEWS27 May

Earlier this month, Sarah Whittaker (1991), completed the IRONMAN Australia race in Port Macquarie. As a mother-of-three, Sarah made the decision five years to dedicate her training regime to prepare for the long-distance triathlon race which consists of a 3.8km swim followed by a 180km cycle and finished with a 42km (the run itself is the length of a standard marathon).

Read more