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28 October 2016
Following last week’s Year 12 Leavers’ Lunch, the Final Year 11 & 12 Chapel Service, held on Tuesday, 25 October, signified yet another step in the process of farewelling our Year 12 students.

As parents and staff looked on, the Senior, Intermediate and Junior Chapel choirs formed around the inside perimeter of the Chapel of the Annunciation to sing Geoff Bullock’s ‘The Power of Your Love’ for the processional.

FINAL YEAR 11 & 12 CHAPEL SERVICE

Following last week’s Year 12 Leavers’ Lunch, the Final Year 11 & 12 Chapel Service, held on Tuesday, 25 October, signified yet another step in the process of farewelling our Year 12 students. As parents and staff looked on, the Senior, Intermediate and Junior Chapel choirs formed around the inside perimeter of the Chapel of the Annunciation to sing Geoff Bullock’s ‘The Power of Your Love’ for the processional.

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Anne Coutts

FROM THE PRINCIPAL

‘Discernment is the ability to see things as they really are, not as you want them to be’. - Anon.


At one of my previous schools we offered groups of students the chance to volunteer to present a story or dramatic piece for Assembly. This had to have an ethical or moral message but they had free range in which topic they chose. One group of three girls stood up and told us about how the most innocuous things could be dangerous. They presented some research, with data to back it up, to show that the little stickers on apples are a choking hazard. Further, that these stickers were so dangerous for young children that there had been two reported deaths in South England. It was a persuasive presentation and we all (teachers included) marveled at the fact we hadn’t known of the lethal nature of the stickers on apples. One teacher turned to another and whispered “I’m glad I always take the stickers off for my three-year-old”. Right at the end, one of the students said, with a smile, “and the message we want you to take away this morning is not to believe everything you hear. Even if it’s backed up with plausible research. Always look deeper, check your facts and use discernment”!

We talked about this Assembly all through that day, both students and staff. What a great way to illustrate the need for discernment about information in our digital age.

It has never been easier for our students to access information, but what value has that information? How accurate is it? Does it come from a reliable source? Is there a way to analyse its validity? Answers to all these questions build the skills that students need in the real world.

Those of you that use Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms will know how quickly the ‘feed’ is tailored to your use of the media. You will be offered more and more information about issues that you regularly investigate. For our students this becomes a digital ‘echo’ that can mean they do not see the wide range of opinion or research that is available. For example, many students these days do not access a news feed regularly so they are not exposed to stories they have not specifically targeted. This can contribute to their lack of knowledge about political issues and world events generally.

One of our approaches in education today must be to teach our students discernment, academic curiosity and the ability to analyse the information they access.

Anne Coutts
Principal

Peter Milligan

FROM THE HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL

The Association of Heads of Independent Girls Schools (AHIGS) Festival of Speech 2016 held in Sydney last weekend was an outstanding event. The theme for the festival was drawn from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote, “Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.”

Hosted by Abbotsleigh, on behalf of AHIGS, the categories for competitors from the twenty schools involved were Public Speaking, Debating, Current Affairs, Religion and Ethics, Reading and Poetry.

Our Junior and Senior girls were placed fifth in their respective sections and we were sixth overall. Our Senior Debating team – Ari Hughes-Warrington (Year 11 Waverley), Ellen Thurlow (Year 10 Glebe), Stephanie Jones (Year 10 Deakin) and Rhea Laverock (Year 10 Robertson) placed first in their competition – a wonderful result. Gemma Hudson (Year 8 Robertson) placed fourth in Junior Public Speaking, Jaimie Noonan (Year 7 Waverley) third in Reading and our Senior Religion and Ethics team of Anita Pickard (Year 11 Glebe), Kate Pickard (Year 11 Glebe) and Adele Burke (Year 11 Deakin) placed fourth. Thank you to all the girls on the team not only for their efforts in the competition but also for their exemplary way they represented our School. Thank you to Mr Marman for organising the team and co-ordinating the Current affairs category, and thank you to Mrs Kwong and Ms Digans for supporting and supervising the team over the three days.

Three of our Houses participated in weekend activities – Waverley girls had a trip to Jamberoo on Sunday and Glebe and Kilburn combined on a surf trip. Thank you to the Heads of House and staff involved. These type of activities are the building blocks for connection to friends, their House and CGGS and are instrumental in building self-esteem and resilience. A number of music students generously gave their time last weekend to perform at St John’s fete.

Nicki Flannery (Year 12 Waverley) and Georgia Boric (Year 12 Deakin) are to be congratulated on making the U19 Young Matildas team going to China next month – a wonderful achievement.

The mix of excitement and sadness for our Year 12 students grows as we enter their final few weeks. On Tuesday we held the final Year 11 and Year 12 combined Chapel service. In Tuesday’s Assembly, we also included a special recognition to our Year 10 students. Given that the great majority of our students continue with us into Year 11 it is still important we believe to acknowledge such a milestone in their education and to wish those students leaving us our very best.

Another fantastic student achievement this week was Christine Drew (12W) winning the secondary school section of the Moran Photography Prize. Christine won $5,000 for herself and $5,000 for the CGGS Art Faculty! Well done.

Peter Milligan
Head of Senior School

Jo Mulligan

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

Gabriel Giving is an annual appeal made to each member of the Canberra Girls Grammar School community with the aim of providing funds for modest and achievable projects that will have immediate impact on students.

The Gabriel Foundation launched the inaugural Gabriel Giving Program on the School’s 90th anniversary to allow all members of the community who wish to support the School philanthropically the opportunity to do so. The Foundation wishes to expand and elevate the current giving program to one that reflects the generous spirit of CGGS friends, now and into the future. 

The measure of success is not how much is given, but more importantly how many chose to give and show support – your gift, no matter how large or small, will contribute in a practical way to the life of our students and the School.

You are invited to give via the Gabriel Giving material mailed to you, by the CGGS website (click HERE) or simply by contacting Jo Mulligan, Director of Development, on 02 6202 6423 or jo.mulligan@cggs.act.edu.au.

Jo Mulligan
Director of Development

David Blue

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF PROJECTS AND PLANNING

If our world was engineered by women...

This week I attended a conference on STEM education and igniting the passion in educators for improved delivery and skill outcomes.

One of the speakers was Felicity Furey (co-founder of “The Power of Engineering”), who opened her presentation with the challenging question: “What would our world look like if it was engineered by women?” She expanded this theme to talk about inherent bias in design decision-making in other contexts as well.  An interesting example she used was related to seat-belt design in cars, with the upshot that seat belts are forty-seven percent more likely to increase injury to women than men!

Other speakers addressed the issue of attracting girls into STEM subjects and careers. Out of some the ensuing discussions it was clear that the success of schools in attracting girls into mathematics, science and engineering was divided by school type. It was even suggested in a group discussion that the STEM subjects need to be “softened” to make them accessible to the girls. Schools such as Fintona in Melbourne and Brisbane Girls Grammar School shared the Canberra Girls Grammar School experience of strong participation from the students in STEM subjects, and the excitement and success they achieve.

My take on this is that there is a strong “gender reinforcement” at play.  Before coming to work at CGGS I taught at some highly academic and leading co-educational schools in Melbourne and Adelaide.  As a senior teacher at those schools and as part of the curriculum development teams, there was constant discussion around supporting the female students into the sciences, mathematics and ICT, but the numbers were always low in a similar way to that expressed by representatives from schools today. That gender reinforcement is not evident in the CGGS environment, leading to our girls feeling confident to tackle subjects in these fields in large numbers.

Across both the Junior School and Senior School campuses, there are new and innovative programs being put in place to support our students into these fields that will be so important for the future.  Not all of these are branded as “STEM”, but our students continue to gain the benefits from these learning experiences.

David Blue
Director of Projects and Planning

All the Prep students visited the Australian National Botanic Gardens as part of their new unit of inquiry focusing on what living things need.

BUDDING BOTANISTS IN PREP27 October

All the Prep students visited the Australian National Botanic Gardens as part of their new unit of inquiry focusing on what living things need.

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The Canberra Girls Grammar School Mock Trial Team was narrowly defeated by Radford College this week in the final of the ACT Mock Trial Competition. The two teams were given an intricate set of facts for a murder case. Our girls, acting as the defence, were able to successfully defend the murder charge. However, on competition points, the Radford College team were named competition winners.

MOCK TRIAL TEAM SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDS CHARGE27 October

The Canberra Girls Grammar School Mock Trial Team was narrowly defeated by Radford College this week in the final of the ACT Mock Trial Competition. The two teams were given an intricate set of facts for a murder case. Our girls, acting as the defence, were able to successfully defend the murder charge. However, on competition points, the Radford College team were named competition winners.

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During the school holidays, a group of six intrepid students and two very brave teachers undertook a hike in the Budawang Wilderness area of NSW. All of the students who participated in the hike are undertaking their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

DUKE OF EDINBURGH - GOING FOR GOLD27 October

During the school holidays, a group of six intrepid students and two very brave teachers undertook a hike in the Budawang Wilderness area of NSW. All of the students who participated in the hike are undertaking their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

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Music on the Lawn promises to be the perfect mix of music, food, venue and entertainment! For the first time, the terraced lawns outside the Administration Hub building will be used for an outdoors concert. It will be unique with musical sounds emanating from all four corners of the lawn affording the audience, not just a stereophonic sound, but a ‘quadrophonic’ experience.

MUSIC ON THE LAWN27 October

Music on the Lawn promises to be the perfect mix of music, food, venue and entertainment! For the first time, the terraced lawns outside the Administration Hub building will be used for an outdoors concert. It will be unique with musical sounds emanating from all four corners of the lawn affording the audience, not just a stereophonic sound, but a ‘quadrophonic’ experience.

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Shrewd Brass – a quintet comprising two trumpets, a French horn, a tuba and a trombone - presented a concert for our Year 7 students on Thursday, 20 October.

The concert was energetic, dynamic, informative, interactive and lots of fun. They played a variety of styles of music, displaying the versatility of brass instruments.

SHREWD BRASS CONCERT AND WORKSHOP27 October

Shrewd Brass – a quintet comprising two trumpets, a French horn, a tuba and a trombone - presented a concert for our Year 7 students on Thursday, 20 October. The concert was energetic, dynamic, informative, interactive and lots of fun. They played a variety of styles of music, displaying the versatility of brass instruments.

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The Association of Heads of Independent Girls Schools (AHIGS) Speech Festival is an all-girls public speaking competition that Canberra Girls Grammar School proudly competes in each year. This year we were very proud to win senior debating and place in many other sections of AHIGS.

SENIOR DEBATING TEAM WINS AT SPEECH FESTIVAL27 October

The Association of Heads of Independent Girls Schools (AHIGS) Speech Festival is an all-girls public speaking competition that Canberra Girls Grammar School proudly competes in each year. This year we were very proud to win senior debating and place in many other sections of AHIGS.

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As part of the Year 10 Art curriculum, one of the first tasks students are required to undertake is to produce a charcoal portrait. Students are shown many different drawing techniques as they research and study the conventions of portraiture and the tradition of portraiture in society and culture.

PORTRAIT EXHIBITION DRAWS A FAMILIAR FACE27 October

As part of the Year 10 Art curriculum, one of the first tasks students are required to undertake is to produce a charcoal portrait. Students are shown many different drawing techniques as they research and study the conventions of portraiture and the tradition of portraiture in society and culture.

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Do you want to see some amazing acting, dancing and modelling from both Canberra Girls Grammar School (and CGS) students? Are you keen for some food stalls?

Then the Senior Council Fash Pash 'NEVERLAND' is for you!

GET ENCHANTED AT FASH PASH – ‘NEVERLAND’21 October

Do you want to see some amazing acting, dancing and modelling from both Canberra Girls Grammar School (and CGS) students? Are you keen for some food stalls? Then the Senior Council Fash Pash 'NEVERLAND' is for you!

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Year 9 Japanese students visited the Embassy of Japan in Canberra on Thursday, 22 September where they listened to a talk on Japanese culture and explored some cultural items.

EMBASSY & RESTAURANT VISIT FOR JAPANESE STUDENTS27 October

Year 9 Japanese students visited the Embassy of Japan in Canberra on Thursday, 22 September where they listened to a talk on Japanese culture and explored some cultural items.

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Last week, the Senior Dance class travelled to Sydney to support their studies in the current semester course Dance Production. They were lucky enough to attend a performance of My Fair Lady at the iconic Sydney Opera House and be amazed by the colourful spectacle of Aladdin – The Musical.

SYDNEY TRIP INSPIRES DANCE STUDENTS27 October

Last week, the Senior Dance class travelled to Sydney to support their studies in the current semester course Dance Production. They were lucky enough to attend a performance of My Fair Lady at the iconic Sydney Opera House and be amazed by the colourful spectacle of Aladdin – The Musical.

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This year our Year 9 students were invited to choose from a selection of five very different camps.

A selection of girls went to Kangaroo Valley to canoe along the wide river amongst beautiful flora, and hike through both iconic native Australian and rainforest-like vegetation.

CANOEING IN KANGAROO VALLEY – YEAR 9 CAMP27 October

This year our Year 9 students were invited to choose from a selection of five very different camps. A selection of girls went to Kangaroo Valley to canoe along the wide river amongst beautiful flora, and hike through both iconic native Australian and rainforest-like vegetation.

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The recent Year 9 Surf Skills camp at Tathra Beach was lots of fun and packed with exciting activities.

Our group consisted of twenty-six students who participated in multiple surfing lessons, surf life-saving training, a bushwalk, ocean kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and a mini beach carnival.

YEAR 9 SURF SKILLS CAMP27 October

The recent Year 9 Surf Skills camp at Tathra Beach was lots of fun and packed with exciting activities. Our group consisted of twenty-six students who participated in multiple surfing lessons, surf life-saving training, a bushwalk, ocean kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and a mini beach carnival.

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Thirty-seven Waverley students, accompanied by Mrs Davidson, Ms Meibusch, Ms Noble and Mr Salman had a fabulous day at Jamberoo Action Park on Sunday, 23 October.

While we were able to ‘control the action’ we were not able to control the weather; it was a bit cold and even a bit wet at one point.

WAVERLEY EXCURSION TO JAMBEROO ACTION PARK27 October

Thirty-seven Waverley students, accompanied by Mrs Davidson, Ms Meibusch, Ms Noble and Mr Salman had a fabulous day at Jamberoo Action Park on Sunday, 23 October. While we were able to ‘control the action’ we were not able to control the weather; it was a bit cold and even a bit wet at one point.

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Last Sunday a group of students from Years 7–12 went on a trip to Broulee on the NSW South Coast.

The students were given an opportunity to learn how to surf or to improve their existing skills.

HOUSE SURF TRIP27 October

Last Sunday a group of students from Years 7–12 went on a trip to Broulee on the NSW South Coast. The students were given an opportunity to learn how to surf or to improve their existing skills.

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From 14-16 October, I attended the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) Playerlink in Wagga Wagga. It was an auditioned workshop run by the SSO with students from Year 5 to Year 12 from across NSW and ACT. There were mentors from the orchestra for the various instruments and sections.

SYDNEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PLAYERLINK27 October

From 14-16 October, I attended the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) Playerlink in Wagga Wagga. It was an auditioned workshop run by the SSO with students from Year 5 to Year 12 from across NSW and ACT. There were mentors from the orchestra for the various instruments and sections.

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Georgia Boric and Nickoletta Flannery (both in Year 12), have been named in the Young Matilda's squad travelling to China where they will compete in the under 19 Asian Football Confederation qualifiers.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS27 October

Georgia Boric and Nickoletta Flannery (both in Year 12), have been named in the Young Matilda's squad travelling to China where they will compete in the under 19 Asian Football Confederation qualifiers.

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The Grammarians’ Association hosted their annual Year 12 Leavers Lunch on Thursday, 20 October where 156 students, Grammarians and staff gathered in the Boarding House Courtyard to celebrate this special occasion.

GRAMMARIANS’ NEWS27 October

The Grammarians’ Association hosted their annual Year 12 Leavers Lunch on Thursday, 20 October where 156 students, Grammarians and staff gathered in the Boarding House Courtyard to celebrate this special occasion.

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