The arrival of Term 4 always signifies commencement and celebration of important milestones in education – from completing secondary education for our Year 12 students through to the orientation and transition programs for new and continuing students later in the term.
Many of our Year 12 students spent time at school during the holidays participating in the Enhancement Program as well as the Trial Exams. They are well prepared for the examinations ahead of them and I thank all teachers for their support and care of our Year 12 students over many years. An education at Camberwell Girls is more than just an academic education. It is an education for life, where we hope that they will continue to highly value learning opportunities and make meaningful contributions to communities to enhance the lives of others.
During the next few weeks we will celebrate the achievements of our students, both academic and co-curricular, and we will have the opportunity to enjoy some key highlights from the 2016 school year at the Years 10-12 Presentation Evening, Leavers’ Service and Valedictory Dinner. The Year 12 Assembly is also a time to share the students’ reflections with fun, imagination and enthusiasm and we look forward to their performances.
Our Year 12 students have been wonderful participants in school life and leaders this year. Our Captains, led by our School Captains, Karen Zhang, Tiarnie Ellingworth and Cindy Jiang have led with grace, integrity and enthusiasm by embracing opportunities to celebrate the people and the opportunities at Camberwell Girls. I thank them for their leadership, hard work and commitment this year. It has been a real privilege to work closely with them.
During the Term 3 holidays staff and students were involved in a couple of exciting new initiatives which you will read further about in the Junior School and Senior School news. Our first holiday program for Junior School students, Code Camp engaged over 60 participants! We are currently developing further school holiday programs to roll out in 2017.
In addition, our first group of students and staff travelled to Cambodia to work with The Green Gecko Project, supported by the Asia Pacific Youth Foundation. Our ongoing relationship with these organisations will enable us to support the education of children in Siem Reap. I would particuarly like to acknowledge the staff who have worked tirelessly on the organisation of this trip as well as extensive fundraising over the last 18 months: Shane Maycock, Melissa Campbell, Brett Stout and Kim Waters. They worked hard to ensure a successful learning opportunity for the girls.
I was also extremely fortunate to travel to the United Kingdom and Spain during the holidays to participate in a conference conducted by the Strategic Alliance of Global Educators (SAGE) and to visit partnership schools to develop a more extensive exchange program at Camberwell Girls.
Founded in 2012, by one of our sister schools, Nanyang Girls High School in Singapore, SAGE unites forward-looking and innovative schools from around the world with the aim of bringing educators together to form professional networks that allow wider and deeper sharing of pedagogical ideas, resources and best practices. Every two years, a SAGE partner school hosts a conference of school leaders to share and exchange educational resources and expertise on an international platform.
Camberwell Girls has now been invited into SAGE and we join 15 other leading schools:
> RDFZ Xishan School, Beijing, China
> The Affiliated High School of Peking University, Beijing, China
> Menlo School, California, USA
> The Perse School, Cambridge, United Kingdom
> Scotch College, Melbourne, Australia
> High School Affiliated to Fudan University, Shanghai, China
> Shanghai No. 3 Girls High School, Shanghai, China
> Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore
> School of Science and Technology, Singapore
> Nanyang Girls’ High School, Singapore
> Avenues: The World School, New York, USA
> Oulinkykin Yhtuskaulu, Helsinki, Finland
> Nanshan High School, New Taipei City, Taiwan
> Oregard Gymnasium, Copenhagen, Denmark
> Pathways School, Delhi, India
The theme of the SAGE conference held at The Perse School in Cambridge was ‘Transforming Education: global perspectives and partnerships’. Each school presented on the development of programs in the areas of bilingualism and biculturalism, 21st century classrooms (including 1-to-1 computing programs) and experiential learning programs. Some groups of students who had conducted research about learning languages with students from SAGE schools in different countries presented their research, as did teachers who were working collaboratively on projects about pedagogy.
A wider group of UK educators were invited to the second half of the SAGE Conference and I was invited to join two other Principals on a panel to share with the audience our views about the challenges facing 21st century schools and their leaders to a wider audience.
In addition to the conference I was also very fortunate to visit a number of schools in Spain that form part of The Cooperative Gredos San Diego (GSD). GSD was founded in 1985 as a small school in Madrid and has now expanded to eight schools with approximately 16,000 students in total offering extensive curricular and co-curricular programs including social sevice, sporting and camps programs. Over 2,000 students also participate in exchanges world wide each year and I am delighted that in 2017 Camberwell Girls and GSD will be offering cultural exchanges to secondary students.
Excellence in the development of our educational practices is enhanced through our ability to collaborate and we are now very fortunate to have increased opportunities to collaborate globally with other leading schools.
With best wishes,