Senior School

CamNews

Senior School

March 5, 2021

The recent Australian Open Grand Slam Tennis Tournament provided two of our keen Tennis playing Senior School students, Kiki Page, Year 9 and Annabel Da Mina, Year 10 with the wonderful opportunity to participate as 2021 BallKids. Hopefully you have already seen the social media posts highlighting these two students and their experience at the AO 2021. Please read their own accounts of their fortnight at the AO later in this edition of CamNews.

It has been a big fortnight in Sport for CGGS and we have also been delighted with the performances of our Swimming and Diving teams that have both qualified for the Division 2 Championships on Tuesday 23 March.

On Tuesday we held our first in person whole Senior School event for 2021 – House Athletics. Notably in 2020 this was the only Senior School event that took place in person, as the COVID-19 limitations soon took hold and our events continued online. House Athletics is always one of my favourite days and this year was exceptional with all our students and their teachers keen to reconnect with colour, energy and of course great track and field achievements. Please read the full report later in this CamNews edition.

On behalf of all the students I would like to thank Ms Lauren Law, Head of Sport and our Physical Education Department for their exceptional organisation of this wonderful community building event.

Yesterday the first of our Upskill … BY DESIGN days for 2021 and the VCE Learning Conversations proved to be a huge success with the students commenting enthusiastically on the programs offered in the morning, the wellbeing sessions and their much loved co-curricular activities all being made possible on the one day. On behalf of the students, I would like to thank all the teachers for their contributions to support and conduct each activity and Ms Kate Manners, Head of Strategic Pathways and Ms Kath Woolcock, Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing for their organisation of this new initiative.

Have a lovely long weekend.

Warm Regards,

Cathy Poyser

International Women’s Day 2021

With International Women’s Day being recognised on Monday 8 March, our School Mentor Leaders led an activity with all Year 7 – 10 students during House Mentoring today to challenge and call gender stereotypes and biases, and to celebrate women’s achievements globally. In their mentor groups, students spent time exploring and discussing how our collective strength and commitment to challenging these behaviours can help create a future of equality for women and one where we are able to live free from stereotypes, stigma and violence, moving towards a future that is more sustainable, peaceful and provides opportunities for all.

This year, through the call to action #ChooseToChallenge, women are being asked to show their solidarity by choosing to challenge and call out aspects of society, culture and language that is unhelpful for women and in doing so, working to forge a more gender equal world.

As part of this, each student was given the opportunity to commit to a call to action by writing a statement on a house coloured paper hand which has be displayed around the school as a reminder of our collective strength and commitment to each other.

Examples of statements written by students include:

> I choose to call people out on comments that perpetuate gender stereotypes

> I choose to support women of all cultures and backgrounds

> I choose to be mindful of my own language

> I choose to speak up for my rights and the rights of all people

Next week, we will continue our celebrations and recognition of International Women’s Day through our Year 10 Service Learning incursion with Days For Girls on Tuesday, our Senior School Assembly and the International Women’s Day Breakfast on Wednesday 10th March.

Kath Woolcock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing

Enlighten Education 

Year 10 students participated in an Enlighten Education incursion on Wednesday, an event that was postponed multiple times in 2020 for these students, due to COVID-19. Founded by Dannielle Miller, Enlighten Education is a leading provider of personal development workshops run specifically for teenage girls. The students participated in a series of workshops led by the effervescent and energetic Danni, which were carefully chosen by the wellbeing team to respond to trends, challenges and opportunities facing adolescents and this particular cohorts of students.

This year, with the recent media coverage around consent and women’s rights, we felt it was essential to look at personal safety and role of personal voice in consent, including setting boundaries, managing conflict and feeling empowered. We also selected workshops that help to promote positive body image, gratitude and provide strategies for managing stress. Each of the sessions the Year 10s took part in have been outlined below:

Forever Friends 

Research tells us that friends are more important to teenagers than their parents or teachers. How do we make friends? Who should we make friends with? How should friendships be maintained? How do we decide if a friendship is helping or harming us? This workshop addresses these issues and equips the girls with the necessary skills to make safe, important decisions about their friendships.

Stop I Don’t Like It 

Every girl is concerned about her personal safety. Setting personal boundaries, safe partying, handling inappropriate text messages, managing conflict and using the internet safely – these skills are all vital. This workshop focuses on what’s right and what’s not right and how to tell the difference.

Gratitude

Instilling gratitude in our children is about so much more than politeness. Gratitude is linked to greater happiness, a more positive outlook on life, stronger social bonds and support networks, and higher achievement. This one hour seminar shows how fostering gratitude in our children helps them develop the skills they need for fulfilling and successful futures – in their studies, personal lives and careers.

Chill Out 

Relaxation, visualisation techniques, massage and more.

Learning how to manage stress effectively is essential for our modern lives.

Relying on crutches like alcohol, drugs, cigarettes or other unhealthy behaviours is destructive and wasteful. In this workshop we encourage girls to seek balance in their lives and teach them some skills to achieve it. We also teach skills to help them cope with exam and assessment pressure to help enhance performance. These strategies are fun, affordable, and will fit into any girl’s hectic lifestyle.

Love the Skin You’re In 

This is a core unit that will provide a context for all the day’s activities.

Negative stereotyping, sexism, media images, the fixation on being thin, these are all issues today’s girls are facing. In this workshop we encourage girls to critically evaluate the messages that bombard them every day and develop strategies that help them respond intelligently and objectively.

Kath Woolcock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing

Upskill… BY DESIGN

On Thursday 4 March we were excited to launch our Upskill …BY DESIGN program to all year levels. Taking place on each of our Learning Conversation Days throughout the year, Upskill …BY DESIGN will provide an opportunity for students to engage in intentionally designed learning programs linked to our year level spotlights. The program is scaffolded in a way that recognises the growing independence, self-efficacy and self-regulation of students as they move from Year 7 to Year 12, and the need to apprentice younger students into these behaviours and routines.

Experiences were designed for each year level to intentionally scaffold new skills and strengthen the capabilities and characteristics that are integral to the CGGS community, under the strands of Connection, Growth, Grit and Sustainability.

Working onsite, Dr Forwood introduced Year 7 students to concepts related to the Science of Learning, including the hand-brain and the role of memory in learning. Students were then focused on the theme of connection, exploring the ways in which people and spaces are connected within and beyond CGGS. Using design principles, they explored these  connections creating a narrative that reflects the CGGS community using Adobe Spark and their iPads. Finally, the Year 7s took part in a science themed learning experience exploring, Oobleck, a substance which is paradoxically both a solid and liquid at the same time. For this activity, students enjoyed the outdoors environment, which provided opportunities for them to strengthen their interpersonal connections.

Also attending onsite, Year 8, students were introduced to the 2021 Science Talent Search by Head of Science, Ms Wood, an annual, science based competition open to all primary and secondary students in Victoria. The theme for this year is Food: Different by Design. The Year 8s were then immersed in Beyond Design+, a program led by Dr Forwood and in partnership with Girls Invent, that takes students through the next stages of the design journey, building on the work that students undertook in Year 7, in 2020.

Working from home, Year 9 students undertook a short course on Graphic Recording. In recognition that visuals are an excellent way to engage, understand, remember, connect and inspire others, the Listen-Think-Draw program is s a three module, online course for sketchnoters, budding graphic recorders, facilitators, teachers, consultants and anyone interested in leveraging the power of visual thinking and communication for themselves and others. Students who completed this online course successfully will have the opportunity to be credentialed in Graphic Recording, which is presented in partnership with Think in Colour.

Wellness warriors and nutritionists Bree and Alicia from WIRL (Wellness In Real Life), led three live online sessions with the Year 10s, each focusing on approaching nutrition in a holistic and enjoyable way. They explored ideas related to how the media portrays ‘nutrition’, challenging media portrayals of foods as good vs. bad and finally informing how great nutrition can be achieved through enhancing food colour, activity and mindfulness.  This program built on the learning that is currently being undertaken in Year 10 Health in these areas with WIRL providing a great networking connection for students to have in this area.

As students get older, their ability to self-regulate their learning and themselves grows and this is reflected in the design of the VCE Upskill … BY DESIGN program, where we enabled students’ greater autonomy over both their time and learning for the day. We were excited to share with our VCE cohort the upcoming opportunity for onsite and online short courses in RSA, Food Handline, Barista Skills and First Aid in partnership with RSA In Schools. Additionally, on Thursday, students also had the opportunity to attend the real time virtual VCE Top Talks showcase, a curation of some of the exceptional oral presentations from 2020 VCE Extended Investigations course.

Finally, the Upskill …BY DESIGN program recognises the intentional practising of wellbeing. Wellbeing is characterised by a sense of resilience, purpose, engagement and optimism about the future and can be fostered in different ways. The curated activities that were open to the entire CGGS community were designed to revive, refocus, recalibrate and reconnect across the three domains of wellbeing: Mind, Body and Soul. In addition to the program provided as part of the CGGS Wellbeing website https://reflectreviverepeat.weebly.com/, those students who are involved in House Dance, had the opportunity to attend a House Dance Community lunch and an extended workshop in preparation for the performance in a few weeks’ time. Students involved in GSV Sport were also given additional time for training, and together, we see these co-curricular activities as fundamental components of establishing connections, a sense of belonging and a life-long positive wellbeing practice.

We’re excited to continue to develop the Upskill …BY DESIGN program throughout the year and share with you the opportunities and experiences that are facilitated.

Kate Manners
Head of Strategic Initiatives

CGGS Students at the Australian Open

Over the span of three weeks, I was lucky enough to be one of the 380 ballkids working at Melbourne Park Precinct during the Melbourne Summer Series and Australian Open. I have been playing tennis for my local club for quite a few years now and each year have looked forward to going to the Australian Open to watch some of the top players in the world.

The ballkids have always been an essential part of the tournament and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get involved. This year, because of the delay from Covid, AO was postponed a month and took place in February.  Usually there is a 9-10 month lead up with trials and training, whereas this year, it was all squeezed into one month, minimising the amount of training we could undertake.

During the event, I worked almost every single day and had around 3-6 matches per shift. All of the AO tournament staff were really welcoming and made sure everyone was doing their best at all times. Being on court with the players gave me a different view on how they prepare themselves and just how they play everything out during a match. I also learnt a lot more about what goes on behind the scenes and how much organisation and preparation is put into these events to make them run smoothly.

One of my highlights from the first week, was when I got to ballkid for the ATP World Cup in John Cain Arena, with some of the best players from Italy and France. There were some incredible matches and it was my first time inside that particular arena.

With the absence of majority of the crowds, I noticed so many more things that happened in the environment than you usually would. You could hear each and every footstep and every word of support from the player’s teammates and crew. You could also hear every time a player was talking to themselves under their breath, pushing themselves harder after every point.

Overall, it was an amazing experience that I would definitely wish to experience again.

Kiki Page
Year 9

This year I was very lucky to be a part of the Australian Open for a second year, having been selected in both 2020 and 2021). I feel truly blessed with the friendships I have made and the lifetime experiences throughout these last 2 years. I got involved with ballkids originally through my brother as he was assisting at the Sydney International and I thought it looked extremely fun. I am also very passionate about Tennis so that made me even more excited for this opportunity. I was lucky enough to work on matches in both Rod Laver as well as Margaret and John Cane Arenas with high profiled professional tennis players such as Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal. The atmosphere was absolutely unreal with adrenalin pumping and the crowd cheering!!

This year was definitely more challenging than last year due to Covid 19, we were always having to exercise particular care about our surroundings,  to keep both ourselves and the people around us safe. There are many benefits of being a ballkid besides being up close to all the action. You learn leadership, communication skills and confidence. This is a fantastic way to get introduced to the ‘working environment’ as they treat you as adults, with rules and deadlines. There is not only the Australian Open but many other tournaments around Australia, not only being a ballkid but also lines men and women, court services or even behind the scenese too. There is a bit of a selection process as you have to be between the ages of 12-15, so sadly this was the last year I can apply tp participate – unless the Australian Open call me back for another role!

You can get involved through this website https://ballkids.tennis.com.au/Register.aspx all that is required is for you to register and for you to attend the trial to get in. I highly recommend this opportunity as I loved every second on an off court!

Annabel DaMina
Year 10

House Athletics

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the House Athletics Carnival last Tuesday 2nd March. It was a sea of colour at Bill Stewart Athletics track with all girls from years 7 to 12 excited to showcase their skills in a range of track and field events and novelty events. The atmosphere was electric as students cheered on their friends and we were so excited to be back together, celebrating a house event. Well done to Lawrence who finished the day as champions of House Athletics and who also won the House Spirit Stick for their support and cheering throughout the day.

House Athletics Results

1st – Lawrence

2nd – Schofield

3rd – Taylor

4th – Singleton

There were some outstanding performances both on the track and in the field and we look forward to hearing the announcement of the Year Level Champion Awards at assembly on Tuesday 16th March.

Thank you to all the staff and students who assisted throughout the day to ensure the program ran smoothly, particularly the House Sport Captains who have put in an enormous effort to make sure all races were filled and to the School Sport Captain, Cathy Gu and School House Captain, Chloe Langley for their assistance throughout the event.

Lauren Law 
Head of Sport

Preliminary GSV Swimming and Diving Carnivals

Congratulations to the girls who competed in the GSV Preliminary Swimming Carnival last Friday at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. Under the guidance of our Head Coach Peter Kitney, there were some excellent results and many personal best performances.

We were very excited to have such a large swimming squad this year and the dedication from all our students whether it was through swimming, helping with timing or cheering on the team really contributed to the success throughout the day. Training will continue on Monday and Thursday mornings in preparation for the Championship Carnival on Tuesday 23 March. The results from the swimming carnival are below.

On the same day the Dive Team also competed against 7 other GSV schools at MSAC. After weeks of early morning training sessions the girls had the opportunity to showcased their diving skills, performing three dives each. Everyone performed extremely well against a very tough competition. We were very excited to finish  3rd overall, which has placed us in good stead for the Championship Carnival.

Thank you to our Head coach Jenny Donnet for preparing our girls so well for this competition. The results from the diving carnival are below.

Our swimming and diving teams should be very proud of their performance as they both qualified for the Division 2 Championship Carnival. We wish the girls the best of luck in their training and preparation for the Championship Carnival on Tuesday 23 March.

Lauren Law
Head of Sport