August 7, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I have been thinking a lot about members of our community this week as it has been such a significant one in the history of Victoria. The Stage 4 Restrictions are so important for dealing with this contagious virus and they are requiring us to approach so many aspects of our daily lives in a different way. It is a key time where we all have to focus on our wellbeing and ability to manage these different pressures.

With so much to process and do, I have found myself feeling quite tired by the end of each day and have been giving greater priority to ensuring that I try to include things in my day that enhance my resilience. Sometimes I need to focus on smaller steps when addressing a challenge so that it doesn’t become overwhelming, or ensuring time for doing the things that will bring joy into my day (especially since our students are working remotely).

My close network of family and friends provide support, encouragement and understanding at these times as does my faith and belief that we begin each day with new hope.

We all create our own toolkit to develop resilience, starting from when we are young.  One of our School Counsellors, Beth Sarlos, and Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing, Kath Woolcock, have written an article titled ‘Developing Resilience’ to share ideas about how young people develop resilience and how our pastoral care program at CGGS supports this development. I encourage you to have a read of it. Click the button below to access it.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody

Senior School


Senior School

August 7, 2020

Week 4 is nearly over and what a week it has been. Flexibility and agility have become the two most used words throughout 2020 and both the students and staff have heard me referring to them often. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to throw curve balls at us all. Together with our amazing students, their parents and the staff, we have once again successfully moved back to full remote learning for all year levels.

As staff, we are in the same boat as students, we’re connecting with each other via zoom for meetings, supporting each other as colleagues, the same way that students are supporting one another.

This week, I am really pleased to share an article from our School Captain Felicia Spiridonos and Vice Captains Loren Palma and Laurya Dang-Nguyen. What a year this has been for them and all our School and House Captains, indeed all the girls in leadership roles. They have all found new and innovative means by which to keep the positivity levels high for all students connecting with the co-curricular programs.

There is a very meaningful and emotional tradition of counting down to the final bell, yes we actually ring the bell, on the last day of Term 4 for our Year 12’s, and on Tuesday our Year 12 cohort decided this was an important way for them to move back into remote learning. The Year 11 students and staff on site watched on as the Year 12’s sang together, ahead of the countdown to 3.25pm. We all felt deeply for these students as they stood as one, still finding the positivity to make a beautiful moment out of something so challenging. We are so proud of all our students, but this Year 12 cohort have really had to pull together and continue to do so. Thankfully, a highlight for them was the arrival of their Year 12 special quarter zip jumper. The students were able to spread out on the oval wearing their new jumper for a photo opportunity at recess on Tuesday. I feel sure they are all wearing their jumper in their remote classes now and this is an essential part of their bonding and connection to each other as a Year Level.

Our Wellbeing Day tomorrow offers another opportunity for students, families and staff, to connect via the opportunities programmed for the day  I am going to try and join for a number of the activities, but will definitely clear my own schedule to join for the Netflix party arranged by our School Captains.

School Assemblies on a Tuesday provide a wonderful opportunity for us all to remain connected and we have all adjusted well to the new format. While we remain in our remote learning format, I would like to share with you links to the assemblies, so that you too can be a part of what is normally only available to students and staff.

Take good care, stay safe and well.

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School


A Message from FL2

No one could have prepared for what this year would bring and teach us. Being relatively small in size, our year level has always had a special bond with each other and this makes it even more difficult to be apart. Although we cannot physically be together, we have stayed connected on social media with our own Year 12 Instagram page as we regularly share laughs, flashback photos, and celebrate some milestone birthdays. Social media has played a significant role in allowing us to continually check in on our classmates’ mental health and offer support to each other amongst the extra stress of uncertainty. As we progress through this second lockdown, the Year 12s will continue to connect in creative ways such as the ‘Netflix Party’ we hosted in Term 2, which recreated the annual Year 12 PJ night in our own homes.

As School Captains, our @wearecggs page on Instagram has been imperative for highlighting key term events and spreading positivity. Each week, we commit to sharing our ‘2 Cents’ on Tuesdays with a topical, inspiring quote. We conclude the week with ‘Virtual Shout-Outs’ by staff and students from contributions on a collaborative Padlet. Since music can really boost our mood, our ‘QuaranTUNES’ playlist on Spotify provides uplifting beats and our Netflix Starter Pack creation has plenty of movie and TV-show recommendations. Last week, we had our first Fun Friday, ‘PJs and Puzzles’, which promised much fun at lunchtime with music and boardgames in the comfort of our PJs! We also feel so grateful for our teachers and their work behind the scenes as they have kept us on track and guided us through all the ups and downs. Specifically, the Year 12s thanked their VCE teachers with a ‘collage card’ including a picture of each girl making a heart to express our collective gratitude.

Tuesday was emotionally difficult for us though, as it marked the last day of Term 3 (and winter uniform!) for us physically being together as a year level, laughing in the Common Room and having casual conversations in the hallways with our teachers. Our initial emotions of anxiety and disappointment, following the announcement of a second lockdown, were soon trumped as our year level heard a ‘final bell’ on Tuesday afternoon. This is a tradition that usually occurs in Term 4 to celebrate the senior girls’ last moments as high school students, but for us, its significance was ever so empowering and needed during this time to acknowledge the last we’d see of each other in person for just over two months. Singing to ‘We’re all in this together’ from High School Musical before hearing the bell at 3.25pm symbolised our year level uniting and our pledge to support each other throughout this experience. The Class of 2020 is resilient and optimistic, and with the support from our dedicated teachers, we feel confident and ready to complete our final SACs. We will miss each other, but with challenges, there’s always a silver lining; an opportunity for personal growth and we are certain that in 9 weeks, our year level will return stronger than ever.


Felicia Spiridonos, Loren Palma, Laurya Dang-Nguyen
School Captain & Vice Captains

Year 7’s – the year so far

At the beginning of this year, I shared a reflection as part of the Year 7 Badge Ceremony which was composed of snippets from each student’s transition survey, highlighting something unique about them. I have shared that again at the end of this piece to highlight what an eclectic bunch our current group of Year 7 students are.

In that speech, I explained that embracing this diversity is what makes us an effective community of learners. The term ‘Ubuntu’ was introduced to the Year 7s, which means ‘I am, because we are’. Now that students have spent more time in remote learning than on-campus learning, this statement is truer than ever. The individual only thrives when the community does.

The focus at Year 7 has as such been upon cultivating a connected community, despite our physical distance. Students have been able to participate in activities devised by the House and School Captains under the theme of #TogetherApart. The Year 7s have demonstrated their characteristic enthusiasm when it comes to co-curricular endeavours, taking up many of the opportunities that were reimagined to take place remotely, including House Cross Country, Drama Club, House Debating, House Public Speaking and the continually evolving components of House Dance, Drama and Music that are currently rehearsing. Our musicians have remained connected with the CGGS Music family, and the girls have been completing the sport and wellbeing challenges that are set each week.

The Wellbeing Days were a highlight for the Year 7s in the first period of remote learning. Another of these is happening today, and I feel sure the students are enjoying the offerings, including mindfulness and movement, strength and conditioning, and a Netflix Party this afternoon, organised and hosted by our School Captains.

As a Wellbeing Team, we continue to adapt and evolve our programs to meet the dynamic needs of our circumstances, and central to this, is continued commitment to supporting and prioritising the health and wellbeing of our students, staff and families. Students have given us positive feedback about the inclusion of a ‘rest and revive’ break between each timetabled, synchronous class, and continue to remain engaged with, and optimistic about, their learning.

The ‘Week Ahead’ newsletter that is communicated to students each Friday provides a range of activities, notices and strategies to help keep students connected to school and each other. Students are invited to participate in weekly inter-form challenges aligned with what is happening at school. For example, this week’s challenges were focused on a steps goal and reaching out to friends and loved ones, aligned with CamberWELL Week. Students are also asked to contribute a response to the ‘Morning Post’ on Yammer each day, and each week, the form with the greatest number of responses gets a chance to ‘spin the wheel’ for a prize during Year Level Assemblies.

In this week’s Year Level Assembly, Mr Wilkins and Ms Woolcock shared some tips and ideas around digital wellbeing, followed by a “Dance Monkey” dance party that siblings were encouraged to join the Zoom for.

With the necessity for students to spend more time than ever on their devices, strategies for managing, minimising and optimising screen time are important for students’ overall wellbeing. On Monday 3rdAugust, all year 7s participated in a webinar incursion with Project Rockit. Focused on concepts of leadership, respect and empathy, Project Rockit facilitators use relatable and realistic scenarios to develop digital wellbeing and equip students with a toolkit for managing online interactions.

Some students’ responses to the workshop prompts are included below:

What traits come to mind when you think of a leader?

“Being ready to include everyone and everyone’s ideas! also being prepared to help the other people through support” – Sabrina (7T)

“Whenever I stand up for something I don’t agree with, I always feel a bit nervous and scared, because I never really know what the person’s reaction is going to be, but the feeling afterwards when other people feel inspired by my decision, I feel so amazing, like I could go through stone walls, like I could fly!” – Sarah (7W)


A different question – how can you tell that you’ve spent a bit too much time on your phone/laptop etc?

“I know when I have spent too much time on my devices when my eyes feel sore. When that happens, I shut my devices off and have a break.” – Rachel (7W)

This term, we also launched a Year 7 Project called BEATS and BEEPS and BEETS and BEEPS. Each form group is responding to a project brief under the mentorship of one of our specialist subject teachers, Mr Duniam, Ms Wood, Ms Law and Ms Clarkson. The form groups are working on projects involving music and soundtrack composition, robotics, agility training and gardening at home. They will have the opportunity to share their learning and what they have produced in the Year 7 ‘HIVE’ upon their return. As their work on this project progresses online, they will also have a chance to ‘cross-pollinate’ with students from other form groups. This has been a great opportunity to infuse some excitement into the remote learning environment and give students a chance to actively explore and inquire.

Please take some time to enjoy the intricate fabric that is our Year 7 group.

Nirvana Watkins
Year 7 Coordinator

Religious Education Department in Lockdown

The RE Department taught Year 10 Texts and Traditions classes asynchronously during lockdown in Term 2 (that is with no scheduled class times). In Term 3 this has moved to one Zoom meeting per fortnight, with other class times in the cycle remaining asynchronous.

This required some adjustments to our normal program. In particular the third area of studies, concerning artistic representations of and responses to the biblical texts, was brought forward and took the form of four mini-assignments, on biblical influence on the visual arts, on poetry, on short-story writing, and on music. Students were given options under each of these headings, and were required to respond to a prompt either discursively in writing, or in a creative response, but with written commentary. Students reported that they enjoyed the opportunity to think creatively, and produced some very impressive responses to the prompts. Aspects of the tradition were highlighted in new ways that the teachers themselves had often not imagined or anticipated. This, of course, is exactly the purpose of the final component of the Texts and Traditions Unit 1 course of study (under normal circumstances).

By completing this part of the course early, we hoped to move back to area of studies two when we came out of lockdown. Area of studies two consists of the major exegetical study of a significant and extended religious text, in our case, St Mark’s Gospel. That was the plan – but plans have once again been set aside. The problem the RE department staff had to face when we met at the start of Term 3 was: how do we teach a text as complex and nuanced as Mark’s Gospel in distance mode? This problem forced us to think creatively and come up with an indirect approach, once again in a series of small assignments. Year 10 students have been asked to think about spiritual leadership, and then to assess the figure of Jesus as a spiritual leader. They will then go on to revisit the exegetical tools they studied in Term 1, with some additional refinement of these tools, and later this term, they will begin to apply them to the text of Mark.

I have included some lovely pieces of work from my students below. Enjoy.

Duncan Reid
Head of Religious Education

Remote Art

Historically our early artists depicted images as flat. Figures were often given importance through size or placement, which often left the work looking slightly distorted. While there is some evidence the Greeks and Romans understood perspective, their knowledge was lost until the Renaissance where artists truly embraced the rules of linear perspective and the happy marriage between math and art was truly realised.

As our first unit of work back in Remote Learning, we introduced our Year 7 Art students to one-point perspective. This type of drawing requires a horizon line, a singular line used to separate the earth and sky, a vanishing point where all lines recede, parallel and converging lines. So not only do our students need to learn the new rules, there is also a lot of new terminology for them to understand and apply.

The girls have responded so well to this task and are starting to apply this new learning to their own individualised artworks – we can’t wait to see the results!  Good job artists!

Rachael Miller
Head of Art

Junior School


Junior School

August 7, 2020

Remote Learning Update

I would like toexpress my thanks to our Ormiston parents for their continued support during remote learning in Term 3. As we have now moved to Stage 4 restrictions until the end of this term, nearly all our Foundation – Year 6 students will have been at home for the whole of their learning.

As a Junior School staff, we have been very grateful for the positive feedback that parents and students have been providing us this term. We understand that parents are finding remote learning very challenging at times, and I encourage families to speak with their child’s Class Teacher about ensuring a good balance between Seesaw tasks and family commitments at home.

Student/Staff Wellbeing Day

I would like to remind parents that this Friday 7 August is our Student/Staff Wellbeing Day.

Student Reports

Student reports will be available to parents on Friday 7 August. An email will be sent to Foundation – Year 6 families to let them know when reports will be released.

Learning Conversations

Parent/Teacher Learning Conversations will take place on Thursday 13 August. Parents are encouraged to log-in into Parent Lounge and secure a time.


Early Learning 3

A community of learners listen to each other and come together in teams to make sense of their mini world by using the adults around them to deepen their understanding of surrounding living and non-living things. Taking the views of capable children with their inquiring minds is a great way to position the collaboration of teachers and the wider community’s involvement to play a part that is mutually respectful in this process.

“This apple is plastic and it is not real! Someone bought it from the shop and put it here!”– Sophie

“This lemon is real, and it is going black!”– Chelsea

Eason was holding the apple from its stalk and said, “This is from the tree and I like the apple!”

“These are real, and they are dry now!” said Scarlett as she closely examined the mushrooms that are shrivelled up.

Immersed in close examination with magnifying glasses, these little learners are a delight to capture.

The children are constantly learning and sharing information as they collaborate with each other in a space where the environment has a purpose, linking to prior learning as well as what is current, engaging and challenging.

A balance between child-led and teacher-led spaces where spontaneous learning happens in an organic way is a joy, and that learning can spark in all of us as a community of learners.

Ramila Sadikeen
EL3 Class Teacher

Early Learning 4 Part-Time & Murrundindi

In EL4 part-time, we have been connecting our learning about sustainability with the Acknowledgement to Country that we sing in Early Learning. In a morning meeting, we thought about the words in the Acknowledgement to Country and what it says we should ‘care for’. The children decided that the different ways of ‘caring for country’ include caring for the land, water, sky, animals and people of all backgrounds. We brainstormed the different ways that we could ‘care for country’ and be ‘custodians of the land’.

On Tuesday, we had a Zoom meeting with Murrundindi and he helped the children understand how the Aboriginal people, as the traditional owners of Australia, care for the land. The children sang our ‘Acknowledgment of Country’ to Murrundindi and he sang a ‘Welcome to Country’ to the children in Woiwurrung language. Murrundindi spoke to the children about how the Aboriginal people call the land, Mother Earth and as such they treat the land with great respect. He listened to the children’s ideas for how they could help be ‘custodians of the land’ and spoke about the importance of putting our words into action.

100 Days of Foundation!

Our Foundation children celebrated 100 days of school on Wednesday. All children wore their 100th day tiara they had carefully decorated the previous day and they caught up on Zoom to celebrate.

Inspired by the letters people receive from the Queen for their 100th birthday, I prepared personalised letters for each girl to congratulate them on reaching 100 days of school.

Many of our daily activities were centred around the number 100. In true CGGS style, when asked what they would do if they had $100, many girls said they would give it to people who needed it. Living our motto of ‘Utilis in Ministerium’ from a young age! Congratulations to all our Foundation students on reaching this milestone! Even though we haven’t had 100 days together physically at school, they have made amazing progress and learned so much!

Year 2

This week we celebrated 100 days (roughly) of Year 2, with almost 50 of those days spent at home, doing online learning. As our spelling sound this week was ‘ar’ we decided to have a little party in our morning Zoom session. We continued to have party-themed activities throughout the day, which included drawing their own 100 days of Year 2, including adding sentences to describe the party. We also looked at some chance scenarios in our maths session and the students identified if they were certainor impossible. For example: You will see a crocodile at our party.

The students had such a fun day and enjoyed receiving their 100 days of Year 2 and 50 days of remote learning certificates!

Special thank you to Miss Kitsou for helping create the amazing certificates.

Ellie Zafarty & Mikaela Stanaway
Year 2 Class Teachers

Year 3

Our morning Zoom class meetings continue to be an important opportunity for students to share their experiences, talk about their feelings and connect with their classmates. This term, our BRAVE focus is ‘Positive Coping’ which is giving students the opportunity to explore a range of coping strategies to help them manage challenging emotions, such as feeling worried, nervous, frustrated or scared. Positive self-talk, labelling the feeling and breathing exercises are examples of skills that the Year 3 students have started to learn about. These types of strategies are particularly important at this time when regular routines and connections with friends, which often provide reassurance for students when they are feeling big emotions, are diminished.

Below are some reflections from the Year 3 students about positive coping skills:

“I use artwork to help me stop being scared. I draw the thing that I’m scared of and then add a cute or funny touch to it which makes me less scared or worried.”Shreya 3R

“I have been using one of the activities when I am sad or disappointed. I have used breathing exercises to calm me down.”Iris 3L

“I think it is important that we have a range of coping strategies because it helps our emotions calm down and helps our mind relax.”Lauren 3R

“When I feel frustrated I could jump on the trampoline. Another thing I could do is take some deep breaths.”Sienna 3L

“I would like to try doing yoga because I haven’t tried it before and it might help.” –Kathleen 3R

“I think it is important to have a wide range of ways to calm yourself down so that if one does not work you have other strategies.”– Ruth 3L

“I have used breathing exercises and it helped because it calmed me down and I felt relax. I also forgot about how disappointed I was.”– Amiya 3R

Helping students to learn a range of positive coping skills will allow them to develop and practise these skills and enable them to cope with future changes and challenges. We will continue to explore ways that students can access these strategies throughout the term.

Liz Ruffles and Rebecca Leondidis
Year 3 Class Teachers

Physical Education 

During these rapidly changing times, we have all had to show adaptability and our Ormiston students have risen to the challenge! Whilst remote learning cannot replicate the same energy and enthusiasm that our students bring to face-to-face Physical Education classes, they have been working hard to develop their skills in an online environment.

The focus for ELC and Foundation students has been on Fundamental Movement Skills such as throwing, catching, running, bouncing and striking. These are some of the most important skills for students to learn as they are the foundation to a variety of activities and sports.

The Year 1 and 2 students are completing a ‘Huff n Puff’ unit where they are completing a wide variety of cardiovascular fitness activities. Students are exploring how they feel after completing exercises such as skipping and aerobics. By thinking about how their body responds to exercise, students will understand that an increased heart rate and breathing rate is not only normal, but important for improved fitness and health and wellbeing.

Students in Years 3 and 4 are participating in a Dance unit where they are developing their movement skills and ability to perform choreography in time to music. They have enjoyed learning routines to Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Lion King’ as well as some party favourites like the Nutbush.

Our Year 5 and 6 students are also completing a movement unit; however, the focus is on aerobics. Year 5 students are learning a routine of eight basic movements and progressing to transitioning effectively from one movement to another. Having had an introduction to aerobics last year, our Year 6 students are working on learning a more advanced routine. Both year levels are being given plenty of practice time and students are submitting videos weekly so their teacher can provide them with feedback on areas to improve.

In addition to their Physical Education classes, students are completing a daily Fitness Bingo challenge which has a range of activity suggestions such as skipping, going for a walk with an adult, playing outside and meditation. With the increase in screen time for all of us, it is so important now more than ever for students to be active everyday whether it is structured activity or simply just playing. Families are encouraged to join in as well!

Dot Georgiou & Liana Kitsou
Physical Education Teachers



It is wonderful to see our students continuing to read, access and connect to books using the resources available through our library website. The StoryBox Library provides access to fantastic stories being read aloud for children, the eBook collection is being widely used, and many students have reserved books online or via emails to Mrs Spencer. We are always happy to collate titles to be collected so please remember to contact us if you have any requests.

For the ELC children who are learning on site, there was great excitement as we read and explored several new board books and picture books we have recently added to the collection. These books are fun, engaging and full of bright images and illustrations which appeal to our younger readers and the children loved selecting titles to take home to share with their families.

I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Connected Community


Connected Community

August 7, 2020

Stay connected with your Year Level Reps

Your Year Level Reps are working together to keep the community connected by running Virtual Catch Ups and coordinating online chat groups.

It is wonderful to see our Year Level Reps being creative with activities for their families.

Last week the Year 4 families caught up for a light hearted catch up that included a trivia quiz about ice creams, while a group of Year 6 mums had a mid-week catch up.

This week, the Year 1 families can join in a game of online Bingo and Year 3 Reps will be hosting a Mother & Daughter catch up with a “Guess that Baby” competition.

Please support your Reps and keep in touch with other CGGS families by participating in their virtual catch ups and online chats.

The PFA continues to be very grateful for the 40+ Year Level Reps who volunteer their time to care for our wonderful school community… reach out and show them your support.

Don’t forget to also follow us on Facebook!

For more information about the Parents and Friends Association or Year Level Reps please contact:                       

Susannah Jepson
Community Relationships Coordinator


Centenary Merchandise – Father’s Day

Father’s Day is fast approaching, spoil Dad with a unique gift of CGGS laser engraved cufflinks, or a beautiful Pierre Cardin engraved pen or stemless wine glasses. These premium items have been custom made for the CGGS community to help commemorate 100 years of educating young women.

See the whole range here:

Please note: Items can be purchased at any time via the Centenary website and will be made available for collection from Senior School Reception. Postage can be arranged for a range of items, however some items such as the Golf Umbrella and Wine Glasses are unable to be posted.




July 31, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This week I was honoured to be invited as a panellist at the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL Vic) ‘Future Possibilities Forum’, with educational thought leader, Adriano di Prato, Director of Digital Learning, Lauren Sayer and Principal, Nathan Chisholm.

We all spoke on different aspects of future possibilities around education as we progress out of the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by a Q&A session as a webinar. I was invited to speak about the most valuable resource that we have in schools – our staff.  My topic was to talk about future possibilities from a lens of school leadership that empowers and operates from a deep position of trust and permission, tapping into the talent from within. I would like to share with you some of my insights.

As an educator, I have always believed that we are educating young people for their future. Through a lens of the development of the whole person, teachers must have a deep understanding of subject disciplines and ways of teaching (pedagogies), key principles of pastoral care and wellbeing, and an understanding of the landscape ahead.  For example, as we educate our Foundation students today, we also think about the world in which they will be graduating from school in the 2030s.

As an educational leader, I believe that it is my responsibility to ensure that our staff (both teachers and professional services staff) have every opportunity for growth and development too, by allowing them to imagine, design, co-create and lead innovation in education. When I interview new staff, one of the questions that I ask them is “what do you need to be the best that you can be professionally?”  Their answers are usually around things that they value such as:

> Being part of a supportive team

> Feeling safe to contribute ideas and try new things

> Having someone to go to for help

> Working in an environment where they feel trusted

The importance of collegiality, support, kindness, permission, courage and trust also resonates very strongly with me. I would also add enjoyment – enjoying working with others and bringing joy into the workplace.

COVID-19 tipped everything upside down, and it did it really fast. It tested us to see if we really did ‘walk the talk’, highlighted our strengths and exposed our weaknesses. At CGGS our response showed our strength, agility and ability to innovate. Not everything has been perfect (it never is), but we have been intentional and responsive in the design and delivery of our programs and work. The key factors in our success have undoubtedly been our staff and the culture of our school.

At CGGS the staff are well practised at working in teams – where they demonstrate respect for their colleagues, understand the importance of relevance and rigour in education, and are given permission to have courage to innovate by their Principal. This is greatly enhanced by a culture that is based on valuing the individual, inclusion, integrity and continuous improvement. Our big ideas don’t come from one person or just the leadership team (including me), but from diverse groups of staff who practise co-designing solutions.

As Principal, I believe it is important to role model expectations and ways of working. I believe very strongly in

> the importance of knowing and respecting each individual

> valuing collaborative work

> seeking honest and reliable feedback and sharing it to improve practice

> being purposeful in all that we design and implement, not allowing a fear of making mistakes to deter us from improving educational outcomes

> laughing with colleagues, getting to know them and showing them that I care for them and their professional development

If I do this with my staff, then it is highly likely that they will care for and nurture their students in such a way too.

It is a very challenging time for us all now. The concerns about health, work and education are more deeply felt than a few months ago. I hope that you all feel the support of the CGGS community and know that we are here to help where we can.

Even with these challenges we have a number of teams who, in addition to their daily work, are looking at the new initiatives we should retain beyond this remote mode, that improve practice. This is by exploring how we can design new possibilities, that continue to honour rigourous learning and wellbeing, citizenship and service, and ensure relevance in changing times.

In again borrowing the words of Vivien Greene, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”, we seek to strive for better education. Our world continues to change and by accepting and understanding this change we learn to dance differently, and in doing so, we focus more clearly on preparing our students for their future.

As I mentioned in last week’s editorial, we will continue to offer you the opportunity to give feedback on either learning at school or remote learning during these restrictions. Please click onto the button below to enter your feedback.

To end, I am excited to let you know that CGGS has joined a new social media platform, we are now on Instagram. We are thrilled to be able to show you an inside look on life at CGGS through this interactive platform. Please feel free to follow us on Instagram, our username is @camberwellgirls


With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody

Senior School


Senior School

July 31, 2020

When I review the week on campus, despite the restrictions that we are all faced with daily, both at home and at school, the amount of dynamic thinking and reinventing that’s going on by both staff and students alike, is really inspiring.

The five VCE Theatre Studies students undertook their SAC performances via live streaming on Youtube, with many of us signing in from home to watch their amazing performances. On Tuesday afternoon all Year 7-12 students tuned in to watch the live performance streamed throughout our classrooms for those on site and made available to all our other community members remotely. Students in Years 7-10 are connecting with their Health and PE classes, an area of focus so important right now, via asynchronous tasks and are participating whole heartedly. We have virtual excursions happening to the NGV to discover indigenous art as well as students participating in House Music, Dance and Drama and Environment Week via every physically distanced format available. I think this week’s Camnews is a wonderful opportunity to congratulate ourselves on just how incredibly adaptable our students are and that they are not only surviving life in 2020, they are thriving.

Have a lovely weekend.

Warm regards,

Cathy Poyser 
Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School


Metamorphosis – VCE Production

Among most activities we take for granted, the Arts have been hit hard during this pandemic. Theatre is an art form that strives to capture ‘humanity’ in a vast array of forms and some of our tools include spatial relationships, physical interaction, facial expression and working on instinct. It has therefore been quite challenging to navigate producing a show that is about questioning your worth and value as a human in a world that seems to demand so much from us. Social distancing, sanitising, face masks and constant low level anxiety that, at any moment, your ability to complete the project might be taken away and so you may be expending all of this energy for almost nothing.

This week our Unit 3 / 4 Theatre Studies students finally had the opportunity to share their production work for Outcome 3.1 after having commenced work on this script during Headstart last year. They presented their design concepts and prepared for their rehearsal period at the end of Term 1 – and then we went into Remote Learning and the brakes were applied. Since returning to face-to-face classes they have fully invested in their learning process, setting huge challenges for themselves and diving into the necessary exploration required to bring their ideas to life.

In theatre, it is only through trial and error that we discover what does and doesn’t work. It is often a humbling experience because some of that learning is done publicly. The class of 2020 has shown remarkable resilience, perseverance, kindness and good humour throughout their investment in this project. Beyond learning about design, direction, performance, microphones, varnish, mixing bug goo and which hair product might be best to make your hair immobile, these girls have invested deeply into listening, being present and patient with the moment, themselves and each other. Whilst our audience was restricted this was an incredible community event with the wonderful support of our alumni students. These old grammarians operated lights, sound and cameras, with these and other past students and teachers participating in the online question forum and over 200 people supporting us through watching from their own homes.

The students were so thankful that they were able to perform their live streamed performances without their face masks (as seen in the above images). As this performance was a SAC (School Assessed Coursework) the 5 students in the play were allowed to not be wearing face protection. This exception was verified by Independent Schools Victoria and the DHHS “Restricted Activities Directions”.

We hope you enjoyed the show.

Keira Lyons
Head of Drama & Performing Arts


LinkedIn for Students

Students in Year 12 attended a zoom presentation on ‘LinkedIn for Students’ by Mrs Sue Ellson, an independent LinkedIn specialist. Sue gave an overview of the recognition by employers of social media sites such as LinkedIn as part of the overall recruitment process, citing research that indicated 90% of employers use LinkedIn as part of their selection process. She reminded students about their current digital footprint and asked them what it may say to their future employers. The presentation was followed by a workshop for the Year 12s where they had the opportunity to create their own profile. Ably guided by Sue, she led students through the setting up of their own excellent LinkedIn profile and explained the intricacies of privacy settings. She enlightened students about taking control of their own brand, making connections, building influence and knowing their industry as they move into tertiary study, and the world of work. Their LinkedIn profile will enable them to network and connect to school alumni to chat about potential career paths or source information about career opportunities, and also connect with users and groups in unique and strategic ways.

Sue gave an energetic, enthusiastic and thought provoking presentation to our students. She has an impressive array of presentations, podcasts and publications

Trish Dolan and Andrew Burnell
Careers Counsellor and Year 12 Year Level Coordinator


Year 7 – 10 Health and PE Update

During this period of remote learning, students have been working on the following areas in their Health lessons:

Year 7 – Emotional Literacy

Year 8 – Conflict Resolution

Year 9 – Problem Solving and Perspectives

Year 10 – Leadership

The content is being delivered synchronously and has been tailored to meet the needs of the specific year levels with a number of engaging activities for the students to complete during each lesson.

The focus for students in their Physical Education classes is wellbeing. With over 40 mind, body and soul activities to choose from, students having been selecting an activity to complete during each lesson based on their needs at the time. With the increase in screen time, it has been wonderful to see so many students consciously stepping away from their screen and selecting active options such as bike riding, creative tasks such as drawing or social connection activities like writing a letter to a loved one. In addition, many family pets are benefiting as students are enjoying taking their dog for a walk during a PE lesson! Each student is sharing their experiences on a year level Padlet which helps motivate others and provide ideas. It is wonderful to see students engage in such a variety of activities that can be tailored to their wellbeing needs at this time.

Dot Georgiou
Head of Health and Physical Education

Year 8 Commerce by remote control!

Our Semester 2 Year 8 Commerce students are up and running with an introduction to ‘Markets, Magistrates and Money’ and have done a great job laying the foundations of their study of Commerce. Throughout these first two weeks of remote learning in Term 3 we have been exploring the markets that significantly influence the Australian economy and students have used the online resource “Trade at a Glance 2020”.  This is published by DFAT and helps students to learn about why markets such as iron ore, coal and wool as well our major export trading partners – China, Japan and the USA – are so often featured in the daily news. They have also had the opportunity to consider the impact of the current health pandemic on some of our major imports like tourism and international student numbers.

Additionally, our Year 8 students have undertaken a preliminary investigation into how Australians earn and spend their money and this has raised some great questions in relation to the equity of different working arrangements and the adequacy of the minimum wage.

It’s a fantastic time to be learning about these things. Alongside health, the economy is front and centre at the moment and it’s easy to tap into relevant examples of the ways in which we as consumers can and do influence what’s happening in our economy on a larger scale. So far, students have used the online course workbooks that we have created for them to record some of their findings and, shortly they will begin an investigation into one market in particular with the aim of creating an Infographic that outlines the value of this market from a range of different perspectives.

Commerce is such a dynamic space and we’re really looking forward to the remainder of this Semester with these students.

Ali Larkey and James Henderson
Commerce Department

Environment Week

This year, Environment Week focused on the theme of ‘waste’ both in our community and on a global scale. Unlike past years, this year Environment Week was run to accommodate for students in Years 7-10 who are continuing with remote learning in Term 3. We connected via virtual updates and shared fun facts about various kinds of waste in The Daily, as well as conducting some physically-distanced onsite involvement for VCE students.

It was wonderful to kick off Environment Week focussing on “fast fashion”, with our participation in the Salvation Army’s Off Your Back coat drive. As this initiative is continuing for the remainder of Term 3, students on-site may donate any warm and unwanted coats at the drop-off point outside the Senior School Staffroom. More information is available at

Food-waste was our next focus, with a ‘Meat-Free Menu’ provided by Pinwheel on Wednesday highlighting the importance of sustainable practises around the production of meat. Students also entered into the ‘Meat Free MasterChef’ competition which was an amazing demonstration of all the delicious meals that can be made using vegetables, all created by talented CGGS chefs. Emily Zhang of Year 12 took out the title with her vegetable tart.

Another highlight of the week was holding the ‘Sustainable Eating Webinar’. Staff, students and special guest Emily Hui, educator and CERES collaborator, were brought together on Zoom to discuss why they chose to adopt a vegan, vegetarian, or even reducetarian diet! Reducetarians aim to reduce the meat in their diet, but give themselves the flexibility to eat meat when it is culturally or socially expected. It was interesting to hear about how making small sustainable changes to our habits can be effective, by eating locally, bulk shopping, or maintaining a meat-free diet. To finish the week, VCE students continued the tradition of ‘Cold Day’ at school, where heaters were switched off so we could put an emphasis on reducing our energy footprint, as well as enjoy a day in casual clothes. This year, the Cold Day fundraising proceeds are going to Solar Buddy, an organisation that provides solar lamps to communities experiencing energy poverty.


Sarah Stephen and Shoi Sengupta
Environment Captains

Year 8 Update

When we commenced our second round of remote learning, Mrs Dunwoody sent us off with the quote “life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain”. I can honestly say that the Year 8s have taken this wisdom to heart and they continue to meet this new challenge with kindness, patience and resilience. We had a busy start to Term 3 that saw a large number of students get involved in auditions and rehearsals for House Dance, Drama and Music competition. The involvement of the girls varies from small support roles to significant parts in the individual House productions. I would like to especially congratulate Tyra Dawson on her key role in the Schofield House Drama performance and Jess Terlikar on her selection for both House Drama and Music.

To remain connected and to boost a healthy competitive spirit between the Year 8 Forms, we are conducting weekly inter-form challenges. Last week, the students showed off their cooking skills in the Year 8 Meat-free Masterchef challenge, which saw 8D and 8B achieve a joint win and Bella Fary took out the Masterchef title and a $20 iTunes gift card. Bella’s winning dish was homemade spinach, white bean and cashew agnolotti with a rustic mushroom and quinoa bolognese. This week, the students are competing in a Kahoot Quiz to determine the Year 8 Disney Queen.

Additionally, our girls were fortunate to participate in a virtual excursion run by the NGV on Monday 27 July. Our guides, John Parkinson and Ingrid Wood, took us virtually through the Marking Time exhibition space for Indigenous Art. The session focused on discovering how Indigenous artists connect and adapt to their environment through diverse approaches to making art. The Year 8 English Team, led by Ms Georgia Biggs, organised this excursion with the aim to extend the students’ understanding of Indigenous culture to enhance their knowledge and interpretations of Sister Heart, a fictional story of a young Aboriginal girl that is taken from the north of Australia and sent to an institution in the distant south.

Sara Rowland’s reflection
I really enjoyed the NGV excursion. I found it so interesting how Aboriginal art differs from place to place. We learnt a lot about the influences of different places, stories and culture can have on the art. I was such a great experience and I learnt a lot. 

Helena Maunder’s reflection
Indigenous artists are the best storytellers. Their art, past and present, send beautiful messages and tell intriguing stories. I am so grateful that we got to experience them virtually. I loved seeing how different Indigenous styles of art are in various regions of Australia, as well as hearing from our tour guide the numerous ways Indigenous people create and sign their art.

Leisa Winkler
Year 8 Coordinator

House Music

It has been marvellous to see the CGGS House spirit reignited through the Performing Arts this term. Whilst rehearsals are being delivered in a very different manner, student engagement is high. The House Music Captains have worked with an open mind, adapted to new ways of delivering their original concepts and have continued to maintain strong connections with their fellow House members. They have actively taken the responsibility of re-designing their creative ideas and have swiftly customised the musical content for this much-loved House event. In term 4 last year, the House Music Captains chose Growth for their 2020 House Choir theme. Never has this personal mindset been more relevant than today. The House Performing Arts event on the last day of Term will certainly be a special production that we will all remember.

Kate Savige & Rohan Mack
Heads of Music

Junior School


Junior School

July 31, 2020

Foundation – Rockstar Readers!

Foundation are Rockstar Readers! We have been putting our knowledge of letters and sounds to very good use in lots of reading activities this term. The students are becoming so good at blending sounds to read words and the more they work on it the more their reading fluency is improving. They participate in a small group reading Zoom session each week with a teacher. This is a great way to catch up, share our love of reading, practise reading aloud and discuss books together. We have also begun the ‘60 Second Read’ activity where each student records their reading and uploads a video on Seesaw to share their progress. This is such a wonderful time in Foundation where the students’ hard work and new skills come together and their reading begins to take-off.

Selena Reedman
Foundation Teacher

Year 1 – Curious Minds

This term in Inquiry and STEAM, Year 1 are exploring how objects move and change and how materials can be used in different ways. The students have been curious and creative scientists where they have created their own hands on experiments at home to investigate how objects can sink and float and also, how everyday materials can be manipulated and changed in order to show how common materials can be used in a variety of ways. Students have also participated in additional “challenge by choice” STEAM mini projects to further develop their inquiring minds. They were very proud to share photos and videos of their work, where they made predications about possible outcomes, explained the steps involved in their projects and discussed their discoveries. It has been wonderful to see so many engaged minds and future TV documentary presenters.

See some of their experiments below.

Angela Columbine
Year 1 Class Teacher

Year 4

In Term 3 the students of Year 4 have continued displaying excellent online etiquette through their listening skills and turn taking.

Yesterday was International Friendship Day and for our morning meeting we discussed what makes a good friend. Kindness, trust, support, humour and respect were the main ideas that were shared. The students also discussed what they miss about their friends whilst engaged in remote learning. It is evident that the ability to laugh with each other, run around and create games, share stories and learn from each other are missed.

On the other hand, remote learning has some benefits, as the students noted what they enjoyed:

“What I am grateful for online learning is that most or all of us have a technology device for example: an iPad, a computer etc. Many people in different environments and places don’t even have the opportunity to use these lovely and helpful devices during this pandemic and lockdowns.”– Mo Lin

“I enjoy being able to see my mum while doing my work”– Tiffany

“I think remote learning gives me an opportunity to learn more about technology and help me adapt to independence. Remote learning gave me more time to bounce around on the trampoline and discover nature’s secrets. Lastly it help me spend more time with my family and have a great time together.”– Rita

“I think remote learning is fun in a sense that we take long breaks and can take our time with our work. I also enjoy getting to see my friends and teachers via zoom and having my teacher put on dance music every morning. I think remote learning is a very interesting experience!”– Asha

In the past week the students have also been conducting a science experiment with cress seeds. As part of our study of ecosystems, we have been learning about the necessary conditions required for something to grow that include biotic (seeds) and abiotic (water, temperature) things. The students have been exploring their hypothesis by introducing one variable – can you see what the variable is by looking at the two photos?

We are looking forward to sharing our learning together on Zoom as we continue to unpack scientific concepts through our reading, writing and inquiry programs.

Craig Goodwin & Jasvindar Gill
Year 4 Class Teachers

Year 5 Update

Term 3 remote learning for Year 5 has started with great energy and curiosity. Our morning Zoom meetings have involved students sharing their passions and interests with the class. Amongst many engaging presentations, we were fortunate enough to be given a drawing lesson by Aaliyah D’Rozario who taught the class how to draw a horse, as well as being amazed by Emily Foo’s gymnastic skills. We have also been fortunate to welcome two new students this term, Alexia and Claire, who have both made a great start despite the challenges of meeting their new classmates and teachers online.

Our Unit of Inquiry ‘How can informed choices create a sustainable world?’ has seen the students dive into the 2040 documentary movie and explore concepts such as climate change, biodiversity loss, sustainability, greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and carbon sequestration. Students are currently developing their knowledge on the art of debating and soon they will have an opportunity to work in teams, via Zoom, to prepare debates. Despite the challenges of remote learning and the huge impact lockdown has caused to everyone, we continue to see positivity, gratitude and a great sense of fun and achievement from all of our students.

Anjali de Quadros, Meagan Wilson & Fiorella Soci
Year 5 Class Teachers


Year 6 Update  

During this term Year 6 has recently commenced an in-depth book study on ‘The Arrival’ by Shaun Tan. It is a beautiful graphic novel filled with pictures and no words, requiring students to look closely and develop their questioning, predicting, summarising and inferring skills in the process. This book is closely tied to our Inquiry unit for this term exploring immigration. We aimed to connect as many activities to Chapter I of ‘The Arrival ‘ to provide continuity in our learning program and an opportunity for students to explore and reflect on these concepts and themes in various ways. In spelling, students learned immigration-related vocabulary, focusing on the meanings of these words while they continue to explore how to create creatures and cities related to scenes in ‘The Arrival’ in Art lessons with Mrs Gibson. Students also learned how to fold origami cranes as part of a mindfulness activity and carefully chose a maximum of 10 things to pack in their own suitcase if they had to leave for a different country, justifying the importance of each item.

Nancy Robottom & Katrina Cheong
Year 6 Class Teachers

Music is in the air at Ormiston!

In Music this week, ELC students learned about Brass instruments and how to play them. The students also enjoyed watching ‘Wa Wa Waltz’, an interactive music adventure series performed by Queensland ensemble ‘Best of Brass’.

The Foundation Music students commenced the term choosing a dance style in which they recorded themselves improvising a style of dance and also revised the song “Bounce” where they practised singing and notating it.

Program music is a story written with music. It enables the listener to explore music as guided by the composer. The Year 1 students commenced their encounter with program music with the story and music for “Peter and the Wolf”by Sergei Prokofiev.Whilst Year 2 Music students commenced their study of ‘Carnival of the Animals’by the famous French composer Camille Saint-Saens, in future weeks both classes will analyse why the composer chose certain instruments to represent the characters in the stories.

Year 3 Music students were introduced to Chrome Music Lab which is a website that makes learning music more accessible through fun, hands-on experiments. The students experimented with the ‘Songmaker’and ‘Rhythm’applications and are enjoying the opportunity to experiment with different sounds and rhythms.

In Years 4, 5 and 6, the students have enjoyed their introduction to Song-Maker in the chrome Music Lab. Composing ‘picture music’ as a Seesaw Activity was an opportunity for them to learn and use some of the creative tools available in this program. Song-Maker will be used to enhance their Kodaly based learning of music reading, writing, performing and creating.

We have selected some great repertoire for students to get to know this term, as they focus on the following music topics:

Year 4Music of the modern period such as Holst’s The Planets

Year 5Music of the classical period such as Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca

Year 6Music composed for the standard symphony orchestra including Beethoven’s 5thSymphony.

Here is an example of a Song-Maker ‘picture’ composition.

Click below to hear the composition.

Year 5 & 6 Concert Band

Year 5 Band students have learnt to safely assemble their instrument and have begun the process of making a good sound. They have engaged with the videos that their instrumental tutors have uploaded to Seesaw to learn and memorise their first notes.

Within the Year 6 Concert Band Program, students have been responding to weekly video posts from their instrumental tutor, focusing on different pieces of music from their Essential Elements Interactive Application.


The year level Choirs have continued to operate in an asynchronous format, with students working on warm-ups and songs with Ms Huggett’s video tutorials in Seesaw. They have enjoyed singing along with her videos and connecting with her through music. 

Year 2 Super Strings

In Super Strings, the students continue to work asynchronously via the Seesaw platform by watching weekly tutorials and demonstration videos. In response, the students are uploading videos of themselves playing the activities. Teachers are then able to make comments to help encourage each student to engage fully with their stringed instrument.

The recent introduction of left hand and ‘siren’ exercises to coordinate fingers means it will not be too long before the students are playing tunes on their instruments.


I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.


Yours sincerely,


Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Connected Community


Connected Community

July 31, 2020

PFA – Connecting the CGGS Community

The CGGS Parents and Friends Association (PFA) exists to support the school, its staff and the Principal as they work to develop the CGGS girls into ‘the women of tomorrow’.

They do this in two ways:

> Friend Raising via running social events for parents and families

> Fund Raising to purchase items and offer programs that will help make the girls’ experience at CGGS special and unique.

Being involved in the PFA is a great way to meet parents from all year groups and be connected to the CGGS community.

Parents are invited to volunteer to assist the PFA at these events, by serving sausages at a BQQ, offering pre-show refreshments at House Dance, Drama and Music events, helping at the Summer Spectacular Fair and setting up and decorating venues for events.

Unfortunately, we are unable to run any friend raising events at the moment however, your wonderful Year Level Reps (a sub group of the PFA) are doing an amazing job connecting with you all during this time of social isolation.

We are so grateful for the support these Reps are showing our families and for welcoming all new families to CGGS. It can be a little daunting for students and families starting at a new school, and the current times make it even more challenging.

Your Year Level Reps are working together to keep the community connected by running Virtual Catch Ups and coordinating online chat groups.

Please support your Reps and keep in touch with other CGGS families by participating in these virtual catch ups and online chats.

The PFA thanks the 40+ Year Level Reps who volunteer their time to care for   our wonderful school community…reach out and show them your support.

These photos are of wonderful CGGS volunteers who are current or past Year Level Reps.

For more information about the Parents and Friends Association , please contact:                       

Susannah Jepson                                                     
Community Relationships Coordinator


CGGS welcomes back old grammarian Jules Allen (1992)

It was wonderful to welcome old grammarian Jules Allen (1992) back once again to hear her speak (virtually via Zoom) to our current parents about “How to Live Positively in an Anxious World’.

Jules is an award-winning Australian youth advocate, motivational and inspirational speaker. As a Social Scientist, Jules has professional experience in child protection, youth support, school counselling, consulting and private practice.

Last Tuesday evening, Jules offered advice to parents on how they can encourage and support resilience in their children during times of stress and anxiety. She also provided some tools that parents can use to help and support their children during these times, especially right now during the pandemic.

The CGGS community thanks Jules for her insight and wisdom and we look forward to seeing her again soon.

Centenary Merchandise – Father’s Day

Father’s Day is fast approaching, spoil Dad with a unique gift of CGGS laser engraved cufflinks, or a beautiful Pierre Cardin engraved pen or stemless wine glasses. These premium items have been custom made for the CGGS community to help commemorate 100 years of educating young women.

See the whole range here:

Please note: Items can be purchased at any time via the Centenary website and will be made available for collection from Senior School Reception. Postage can be arranged for a range of items, however some items such as the Golf Umbrella and Wine Glasses are unable to be posted.




July 24, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As another school week concludes, we have seen many examples of how our students and staff have settled quickly into their new learning environments, whether it be at school or at home.

During both times of remote learning, we have valued the opportunity to build our connections. These have been through curricular, co-curricular and wellbeing programs, alongside the many student-led weeks and activities that have included online forums, house events and the further development of Junior School Chapels and the Senior School Chaplain’s assemblies.

It is quite common to hear people talking about how they are going to look after their wellbeing better in this period of ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions. We are very conscious of how we can continue to help our students take care of themselves in these times of uncertainty. To address this:

> A greater number of wellbeing activities are being presented in the Health and Physical Education program utilising a combination of both synchronous and asynchronous components in Senior School.

> Blocks of ‘Rest and Revive’ times have been included between classes to ensure there is more time for moving, stretching, hydrating and refuelling.

> Tutor and Form time has been redesigned to allow for students to meet with their Form/Tutor teacher in small group mentor meetings. This provides opportunities for students to share challenges and highlights of remote learning and seek support if needed.

> In Junior School, the weekly learning program has been designed to take in to account cognitive load, with tasks that require a lower cognitive load purposefully assigned to the afternoons and the end of the week. All F-2 literacy and numeracy Zoom meetings have been scheduled to take place in the mornings to help students and families to build routines.

> In Years 5 and 6 we have begun using Zoom breakout rooms to allow for more opportunities for student connection and small group discussions.

> Our class teachers are continuing to run daily Zoom class meetings and teach our BRAVE wellbeing curriculum. This term’s focus for all year levels is on exploring and developing coping strategies.

> We offer Ormiston Active, a co-curricular movement program, 3 times per week to offer students an extra opportunity in the day to move their bodies.

To help encourage times off devices during the day, a number of fun challenges, year level challenges and social events have been developed to engage students.

In connecting with families, our Online Learning Conversations last term were very successful and we have further enhanced this model to offer Year 7 and 8 interviews this week, whilst preparing for our Online Junior School Learning Conversations in a couple of weeks time.

Last term, we were very grateful when the Parents and Friends Association sponsored the ‘Creating Connection When Physically Disconnected’ online course by Enlighten Education and Dannielle Miller. A number of parents completed the course and it has now been extended until Sunday 9 August for your convenience. You can register by clicking on the button below.

Feeling connected and feeling well are important factors in a young person’s development. This is particularly prevalent now as we live under restrictions and need to practice hygiene and health protocols every day. I was delighted when the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia (AGSA) published ‘How we created connection while students were physically disconnected’, written by our Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing, Ms Kath Woolcock.

By clicking on the button below you will be able to view Kath’s article as published on the AGSA site recently.

Finally, throughout this period of remote and onsite learning (ELC, Years 11 and 12), I will continue to periodically send you a questionnaire so we can continue to look at your feedback in a timely manner to improve our practice. The first of these questionnaires will be in next week’s CamNews.

Our children will learn more effectively if their wellbeing needs are met, so this must be a focus whilst we are all continually adapting to new scenarios in our daily lives.

If you have any concerns or questions at any time, please don’t hesitate to contact your daughter’s teacher or coordinator.


With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody

Senior School


Senior School

July 24, 2020

Just over 100 years ago, the Spanish Flu pandemic arrived in Australia. The disease affected millions of people worldwide and when it reached Australia in 1919, sadly many deaths were also recorded here. As a nation, we lost fewer citizens, but it was still a major tragedy, felt by millions of Australians. During this time, well-known author and illustrator May Gibbs, creator of the Gumnut Babies stories loved by generations and drew the image that I have included below.

As CGGS celebrates its 100thAnniversary, there is a similarity as we are all required to once again wear face masks to protect ourselves from the COVID-19 pandemic.

During these weeks and months when we are all feeling concerned about the world, I find it reassuring to look back to CGGS’s own beginnings, and to know that this too shall pass, and we will come out the other side and move forward as a resilient and more strongly connected community.

Yesterday I received a very thoughtful and welcomed gift from 2019 Year 12 student Katie Lutze, who is currently assisting in the Senior School in a Staff Support role. Katie’s mum Gillian had created a CGGS summer uniform face mask from a repurposed uniform of Katie’s. This prompted us to search out some previous style summer uniforms for more reusable masks to be made and shared. The Makerspace currently sees our keen seamstresses utilising any spare time between classes creating face masks to be used by our community.  Yesterday Head of Art, Ms Miller was manning the sewing machines and Mrs Tooke was the pattern maker.

In last week’s CamNews we included an article by Mrs Devenish in the Senior School library, sharing that we are now posting books to our students so that they can continue escaping into the world of words during this time of isolation. Mrs Devenish shared an email received from Jacqueline in Year 10, after she received her parcel.


Hi Mrs Devenish, 

The package of books you sent arrived in the mail yesterday which was very exciting! I love getting packages in the mail and I was super thrilled to see you included the other book I put in the request box.

Thank you so much for that! I really appreciate your posting them to me so that I can read during the lockdown. It’s great to be able to stay connected to the library even in remote learning.  

Hope you and Ivy are doing well. 


CGGS Teaching and Learning Update

Things are well and truly underway with our CGGS Senior School Remote Learning Model. VCE students are on site and Years 7-10 students are learning from home, meaning that we have a hybrid design in operation.

Senior School staff are working across two delivery modes and we know that many families also have a daughter on site and a daughter at home. Consequently, we know that the combination of students learning from home and parents working from home brings with it, additional challenges.

Keeping up to date with all the terminology that has emerged during this time is another unexpected by-product of these changing times. To help with this, we developed a CGGS Remote Learning Glossary, published in the Senior School Weekly on Tuesday this week, of some of the words that are becoming embedded into our day to day language. We’ll regularly update this vocabulary list and you can access it through SEQTA engage. If you require an explanation of any terminology we are using or you have a suggestion for an addition to this glossary, please let us know.

On site, we’re enjoying the opportunity to find new ways to use the large spaces that we have around the school to ensure physical distancing and continue our learning in different ways. We have been able to retain many of the strategies that our VCE students enjoyed whilst learning remotely, including utilising collaborative online spaces and the adoption of a flipped learning approach when interacting with content in some classes.

We are also continuing to look at the events that we used to conduct on site and reimagining them in an online space.

Our calendared 2021 VCE Subject Information Night and Year 8-10 Subject Information Night were both delivered remotely. This has enabled us to start the important process of subject selection for these students and it also means that planning for the following year can continue uninterrupted, as it would under normal circumstances.

This week, we also held our second round of online Learning Conversations, this time for our Years 7 and 8 families. We appreciate the feedback that families shared with us about the convenience and reassurance of being able to stay at home at this time, whilst still enabling these meetings to take place.

We have an additional two Learning Conversations scheduled later this term, for our Years 9 – 10 and Years 11 – 12 families. By the end of the year, we expect that an impressive 3,500 online Learning Conversations will have taken place across Senior School.

Finally, over the coming weeks, I am really looking forward to sharing the teaching and learning that is happening on site and remotely here at CGGS. Our community is doing amazing things and I am delighted and privileged to be able to share this with you.


Ms Kate Manners
Deputy Head of Senior School – Teaching and Learning

Co-Curricular Participation Continues!

As Term 3 is now well underway for all year levels, whether on site or remotely, students are once again engaging in the wide range of co-curricular opportunities being offered in both an asynchronous and synchronous mode. House activities have commenced by building on the success of the House Reader Cup in Term 2, with students now busy using their drawing or design skills creating House themed bookmarks. The chance to win some great book prizes from the library has ensured early entries being posted to the Yammer pages. Entries into the House Bookmark challenge close at 8.00am Monday 3 August.

See some entires below.

House Music, Drama and Dance auditions and rehearsals have been taking place both onsite for the Year 11 and 12 students, and in the virtual world for the students in Years 7– 10. The Captains have been collaborating on site and using video conferencing to prepare for their performances. With the amazing support of staff, and collaboration of House student leaders, students continue to prepare within an ever-changing landscape for a show like no other in 2020, on the last day of Term 3.

Co-Curricular clubs continue to utilise the resources and technology they successfully initiated in Term 2 and so for students with particular interests, these are great spaces to further develop passions and ideas. The Environmental group has been running activities all week for Environmental Week and Drama Club is back ‘Zooming’ most creatively.

Mr Shane Maycock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Co-curricular Programs


Donating My Hair…

On the Saturday evening after our last day of Term 2, I cut my hair. Not a trim – a proper cut. It wasn’t one of those iso-spontaneous haircuts either, but rather a calculated, long-awaited chop. For years, donating my hair had been on my bucket list but I had never had the courage to do it. I was proud of my dark, straight hair and my “iconic” ponytail, as my friends pointed out, so cutting it all off wasn’t an easy task.

I was, however, inspired by multiple friends in my past who had donated hair, and by the countless stories I had heard of cancer patients receiving wigs. The joy they could barely express, the relief in their eyes, the silent gratitude… these are, to name a few, the ultimate gifts one can give another. My hair will grow back – of that I am sure of. But for cancer and alopecia patients? Who knows what their futures hold?

I donated my hair to Sustainable Salons, which provides more than half of the hair needed in wigs for cancer and alopecia patients. This Australian program repurposes up to 95% of salons’ waste, such as creating wigs from hair or fashionable sunglasses from old shampoo bottles. It doesn’t just stop there though. Sustainable Salons has also removed over 125,000 kg of metals from landfill and provided over 100,000 meals to homeless people through recycling. One donation goes a long way, even in the midst of the pandemic. I am so glad I cut my hair. I am comforted by the fact that one day, someone will smile because of it, and that, in turn, makes me smile.

Jennifer Fan (Year 12)

Year 11 Update

Year 11 students were introduced this week to their Wellbeing Curriculum for Term 3 which is primarily focused on the development of ‘Leadership skills’, recognising that all students, regardless of formal titles, are leaders of our School and community.

This is of course purposeful in its timing as our more senior students begin to prepare for the leadership process for 2021 with a Leadership Briefing Webinar on Thursday 30th July. During our Period 5 program, we will examine the following four broad aspects of leadership through discussions and a series of hands on activities.

> Examining Leadership Qualities

> Daring to Disagree

> Leadership Identity

> Developing a leadership philosophy

Understanding there are a number of qualities that underpin the foundation of good leadership and whilst these may be more naturally present in the personality of a leader, they are also fluid and situational and can present in different ways. Students will explore the need of valuing different opinions and the need for diversity in teams in order to generate creativity and momentum. The notion that strength lies in diversity and in challenging the status quo will give students an understanding of the complexities of leadership and that daring to disagree is linked to bringing and developing their own set of strengths. Through exploring values, actions, priorities, theories and behaviours, students will be encouraged to develop their own leadership philosophy and ways they intend to embed this in their role as a Senior School Community leader.

I continue to be amazed at the resilience shown by all Year 11 students during this year and the ingenuity being shown in those that have current leadership roles, to adapt to the ever-changing environment and parameters they are given. They are being equipped with a vital set of skills that will pay dividends for years to come. I am very much looking forward to working with them in the months to come as we journey together through this challenge and whatever others are in front of us.

Nareen Robinson
Year 11 Coordinator

Year 12 Update

The Year 12’s are to be congratulated on the manner with which they have started Term 3. They have yet again made a seamless start to a new school term and have returned with a genuine sense of resolve to continue to overcome the various obstacles that have been placed in front of them whilst they are completing their final year of schooling at Camberwell Girls.

They have been particularly diligent in their adherence to a range of new school protocols this term, designed to looked after their well-being and health. Whilst some found the temperature testing and the re-organisation of student desks in some classrooms to ensure physical distancing initially daunting, they have quickly adapted to this new paradigm and all Year 12’s now feel very settled and supported in the school environment.

As part of the school’s Wellbeing Program, they are about to embark on a series of lectures on the three important elements of Exercise, Nutrition and Sleep. These three components are considered to be essential in ensuring that students work optimally on their academic studies whilst retaining a strong level of well-being and mental health. I look forward to reporting on this program in the ensuring weeks.

Finally, it is my pleasure to share a random selection of feedback from the Year 12’s obtained during this week about what they like most about being back at school this term.

> “Seeing all of my friends again” was a sentiment shared by all students I spoke with

> “Seeing my teachers again and having face to face learning”

> “Structure and routines of School”

> “While we miss our younger peers, the quietness on campus with only two year groups present”

> “Having the Common Room to study and socialise in”

> “Being able to come late/leave early when we have study periods”

> “A special thanks to Mrs Dunwoody and Mrs Poyser for looking after us all, so well during Covid-19”

Andrew Burnell
Year 12 Coordinator