Senior School


Senior School

April 1, 2021

It is hard to believe Term 1 has concluded. In the Senior School we have filled the 9 weeks with so many learning experiences and opportunities for our students, parents and staff to connect again. The Learning Conversation days, held through Zoom, have ensured the programs that commenced in lockdown have been developed to a new level to include the Upskill … BY DESIGN opportunities at each year level. I extend my thanks to Ms Kate Manners, Head of Strategic Initiatives and Ms Kath Woolcock, Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing and all the staff who have assisted in the two days to date for their enthusiasm and planning. The students and staff throughout the Senior School have commented most positively on the learnings from these days.

Our House events have enabled us to re-build a sense of belonging and connection to the school. The compulsory Athletics Day in February, as an outdoor event, was our first in person House activity since the same event in 2020. This was followed by the House Dance Competition which is a voluntary event, however the numbers involved from each House showed just how much we all missed being together. The excitement on the night was palpable and whilst our audience was restricted to the students involved, some staff and the parents of the House Dance and Technical Captains, this event highlighted our community collegiality.

This term we have been able to share again with our parents through editions of CamNews the re-introduction of some incursions and excursions. Enlighten Education, Ceres, Luna Park, Healesville, as well as Days for Girls and visits from student alumnae in presentations arranged by our Careers and Service Learning departments.

Highlights of the term for me also include seeing the Year 9 students using the gaga pit in the Woodstock courtyard. Constructed precisely by our own Maintenance team, this was a gift of the Parents & Friends Association in 2019 and I have enjoyed hearing the laughter at recess and lunchtimes. Another highlight has been the return to GSV Sport from watching the students play softball during home games on our own front oval, to the number involved in events such as the GSV Triathalon. Within the past 5 years enthusiasm for this event has only increased. In 2017 nine students participated and last week we had 57 students, which is all the more impressive given they were required to be at Altona beach for 6:00am. Thank you so much to our parents for supporting your daughters in this experience.

The Year 7 students have settled into the Senior School magnificently. Their teachers have commented that they are developing good routines in the classroom and with Home Learning and they are certainly taking up the opportunities to be involved in the multitude of clubs, sports, music, drama and more.

And in the older year levels our School Captains and Leaders have all been exemplary in making sure their various portfolios have provided options for active participation. SRC, Reconciliation, SWAG (Student Wellbeing and Action Group), Mustard, Frisbee Friday, Book Club, School Production, Art Club and now House Music. Thank you to all the student leaders and the staff who assist these students in the organisation of these offerings and in particular Mr Shane Maycock, Deputy Head of Senior School – Co-curricular Programs.

Yesterday Rev Creed and Bella Bruce, our Faith and Worship Captain, led our annual Easter Service, from Barbara Sutton Hall. The guest speaker for the Service was Erin Juers, a Melbourne English teacher, mum and blogger. She spoke on the question, “How is Easter good news for us today?” Erin used the image of wearing a mask to speak about how we all put on “masks”, often to cover up our hurt or lack of confidence. She explored how Jesus is the one who loves us “just as we are”, and invites us to take off our masks, so that we might live in the freedom of God’s extravagant love.

Having immersed themselves completely this term, the students are in need of a good break and as I always do, I ask parents to please be mindful of this and for those students in Years 7 – 9 do not set holiday tasks, but rather provide the time for your daughter to undertake passion projects and recharge ready for Term 2.  Students in Year 10 may be doing some preparation for Term 2 which may include revision or the reading of a new text. For our Year 11 and 12 students, specific revision will have been set by VCE teachers, however we ask you to encourage your daughter to take a break from their studies as well to ensure that they are balancing all aspects of their wellbeing.

With my best wishes for a safe and relaxing holiday.

Warm regards,

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

2021 VCE Season of Excellence: Music

The aim of the Top Class concert series is to provide current VCE Music students with a valuable insight into what is required to present a musically engaging performance. The concerts encourage and inspire students during their own performance preparation, providing real-world benchmarks alongside realistic examples of best practice.

Our VCE Music students attended the Melbourne Recital Centre on Tuesday 30 March and enjoyed performances by students of VCE Music Investigation, VCE Music Performance and VCE VET Music Industry (Performance) from last year. Despite the events of 2020, these resilient student musicians delivered impressive performances, showcasing their hard work, passion for music and outstanding talents.

Kate Savige and Mathew Duniam
VCE Music Teachers

The concert we were fortunate enough to attend on Tuesday, was inspirational to say the least. To see VCE music students, just like ourselves, play at such an elite level was truly mind blowing and something that all of us looked upon with great adoration. Aside from being a huge motivator, it was amazing to witness the wide variety of instruments and pieces that were showcased to us.

Serena McGrath – Year 12

In the midst of Melbourne’s most prestigious arts precinct, we were able to witness first hand again, after a halted period of time, the simple yet thrilling experience of sitting in a performing arts hall as an audience member. Through a diverse range of instruments, from the traditional guzheng to a string quartet, all playing varied repertoire, we were able to observe high quality playing from past VCE Music students. Indeed, my favourite moment was feeling absorbed in the musical journey each of the artists communicated to the audience. This unforgettable experience has definitely sparked encouragement within us to emulate their achievements. We hope to encapsulate a range of interpretive skills, stylistic conventions and expressive qualities in our end of year performances.

Emily Wu – Year 11

I really enjoyed watching the performances and I found it to be a really valuable experience. I thought it was good to see how people expressed the music on stage and it made me think of the ways that I could express my pieces in a live performance context.

Lucy Van Der Arend – Year 11

The Top Class Concert was an amazing experience, especially for a student just starting VCE Music. I was able to appreciate the importance of musicians connecting on stage and keeping the audience captivated throughout the performance. This was especially evident when some of the musicians had periods of artistic silence in their pieces. The audience was still engrossed in the performance and connected to the expressive outcomes. I am grateful I had the opportunity to attend the concert.

Haripriya Pathmaraj – Year 10

Kate Savige and Rohan Mack
Directors of Music

Year 10 Alumnae/Careers Breakfast

On Tuesday 23 March the Year 10s attended their first Alumnae/Careers event. The theme for this event was ‘Broadening Your Horizons’.

Old grammarian Angelica Salaoutis (2019) spoke to our Year 10 students about her experiences at CGGS. Angelica was extensively involved in many school activities through her role as House Captain. She believes participation in these activities contributed to her own personal growth, and certainly grew her skills portfolio across leadership, organisational, communication and interpersonal skills. She advised students not to give up their sport/leisure activities. Time management and organisational skills are important to develop over the two year VCE program. Angelica highlighted how a healthy balance with academic work could be achieved and gave some great study tips.

Angelica is a terrific example of someone who worked as a volunteer netball coach continuously through her VCE program and achieved a high academic result. Her Duke of Edinburgh award also contributed to her successful Aspire application for Physiotherapy at La Trobe University.

Angelica was also joined by two current Year 12 students, Ella Barmby and Claire Robertson. They spoke warmly about their journey from Year 10 to now, advising students about subject selection (choose subjects you really enjoy); work experience (try before you buy!) and recommended involvement in a range of activities. Ella and Claire are great ambassadors for the school!

Angelica, Ella and Claire are fine examples of what our Year 10 students can aspire to achieve, if they take advantage of the wealth of opportunities presented here at CGGS. The skills/experiences they develop at school will help them in the transition from school to part-time employment, from school to university and from school to a career path.

Our students, both past and present, delivered the same message: make the most of the opportunities available to you here at CGGS.

Trish Dolan
Careers Counsellor


The second of our Upskill…BY DESIGN program was undertaken at all year levels on Wednesday 24 March in parallel to our Year 7 and 8 Learning Conversations. The Upskill…BY DESIGN is a series of bespoke learning experiences, curated and designed to align with our year level spotlights. As students move up through the year levels, the program is responsive to the growing independence, self-efficacy and self-regulation that comes with being older. Throughout 2021, the program will encompass the delivery of accredited and non-accredited short courses, co-curricular experiences and other pop-up learning opportunities for all year levels.

Upskill…BY DESIGN has been designed in accordance with our Teaching and Learning Architecture. The fundamental characteristics of our community, Connection, Growth, Grit and Sustainability, amplified within this framework, articulating how we make sense of the world with others and pursue ongoing improvement with passion, courage and perseverance and work sustainably, in service of self, others and the environment. The experiences of the Upskill…BY DESIGN work in service of these qualities, strengthening these characteristics and a suite of transferable skills, that tertiary institutions and employers are seeking direct articulation of by their applicants.

‘What if you came to school and there were no bins?’ This was the question facing our Year 7 students in their first Upskill…BY DESIGN session on March 24th. Students learned about the environmental, social and economic problems created by a ‘throw away’ culture. Using the 5Rs, students then began to rethink waste, and consider the opportunities that exist to ensure our precious resources are used most effectively. Environmental educator Bev Liang provided inspiration, demonstrating the circular systems we can learn from in nature, and innovative reuse and rethinking of materials in industries such as manufacturing and fashion. Students then were charged to research and identify the opportunities that exist at CGGS, and rethink and reduce our waste. Students made pledges for individual actions and identified their big dreams for sustainability at CGGS:

Bring reusable containers to reduce our waste. Sahana A

Bring my own cutlery Ky-An F

Clean my (single-use) containers so they don’t go to landfill.

Add a compost bin inside to reduce the amount of waste in our landfill bin. Hannah N

Bring a nude food lunch every day Serena H

Rethink our waste – Use a chip packet for planting seeds and fruit. – Raina G

Educate others about sustainable solutions to common problems Rithanyaa

At CGGS, we can reduce the amount of paper we use by doing things digitally. – Vanessa G

For our Year 8s, Upskill…BY DESIGN provided the second day for the completion of the Girls Invent with Beyond Design+ program with Dr Forwood. This provided Year 8 students with the opportunity to review feedback from their 2020 designs before building their final product. Once final prototypes have been created students evaluated and shared their solutions. Students were then asked to indicate their levels of interest in investigating the next stages in design, including taking a product to market. Year 8s also continued with a project started in their Wellbeing Curriculum. With a focus on character, the Year 8s identified their top five character strengths, and together worked to recognise how these show up now, how they have presented themselves before and how the five strengths operate together to make each of us unique.

It was a playful start to the Year 9 Upskill…BY DESIGN day with, Year 9 students taking part in a sequence of purposefully designed games. This session was informed by educational research that documents the contribution of ‘play’ to improved wellbeing and academic achievement. Games were specifically selected to align with the broader wellbeing and relational curriculum conducted during the CGGS Year 9 Wellbeing program. Led by Mrs Wood, Year 9 students then undertook the first of a two day program where they were apprenticed into using a Micro:bit, undertaking a design challenge to build a Micro:pet. Students learnt how to use a Micro:bit and MakeCode, importing a program and downloading this to their Micro:pet. They also consolidated their understanding of the design process, as they collaborated and developed a Micro:pet protype.

For our Year 10s, the Upskill…BY DESIGN program provided the first of several intensive sessions related to our Careers program for 2021 and led by Mrs Dolan. Year 10 is an important time, as students look to make decisions around their learning, subject choices and future pathways, post-VCE. Planned career development learning is therefore integral, enabling students to discover their strengths and talents, explore the world of work and their place in it, focus on their values and interests, use decision-making skills to plan their learning and career programs, decide on their best options and opportunities, and apply their skills and knowledge to their learning and career planning. These steps provide the skills and knowledge for lifelong career self-management. A deep understanding of education and training is required to inform students of their post Year 12 options, as a guide to VCE subject selection. On this day, our Year 10s explored types of higher education, university terminology, available courses, the University of Melbourne Model, university prospectus, the Open Day experience and other useful resources, all related to thinking about their futures.

The Upskill…BY DESIGN program saw our VCE students were engaged in a series of short course in First Aid, Responsible Service of Alcohol, Food Handling and Barista skills. These were undertaken online and onsite in partnership with RSA for Schools and it was great to have 41 students across Year 11 and 12 take up the opportunity to gain an accreditation, developing new knowledge and skills and amplifying their employability in the process. We were also pleased to offer an online Graphic Recording credential in partnership with Think In Colour. Listen-Think-Draw is 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. It was also great to offer our students the opportunity to attend the SingularityU Online Youth Summit, across March 23rd and 24th. The SingularityU Australia Summit brought together leading futurist minds from across the globe to gather in community to reveal and discuss the impacts of converging exponential technologies and how they’re being used to solve humanity’s greatest challenges. Sessions available to our students included topics on outer space, leadership, entrepreneurship, STEM and technology, with an emphasis on transferable skills such as critical thinking, networking, communication and adaptability.

Finally, the Upskill…BY DESIGN program recognises the intentional practising of wellbeing. The OECD 2030 Future of Education and Skills project identifies the Wellbeing of society as a shared destination for the individual and the collective. Wellbeing is characterised by a sense of resilience, purpose, engagement and optimism about the future and can be fostered in different ways. For this reason, Ms Woolcock’s curated activities 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 (

Planning for our next Upskill…BY DESIGN day on 4 May is already well under way and we’re looking forward to continuing to share the story of this program as it develops.

Kate Manners
Head of Strategic Initiatives

Healesville Excursion

On Wednesday 24 March, twelve Year 8 & 9 CGGS students travelled to Healesville Sanctuary to visit Coranderrk, Murrundindi’s country. This ‘on country experience’ was a significant way to learn about indigenous perspectives for the elective ‘Lake Mungo’. Listening to the stories of Murrundindi gave us a feeling from the deep past. To hear stories from and about country gave us a strong sense of belonging and pride. We could feel the attachment to country, so now we may respect the legacy.

Murrundindi shared knowledge about Coranderrk’s history, his ancestors, bush tucker, animals, seasons, tools, artifacts, rituals, stories, and more. The highlights of the day included foraging for wild strawberries, throwing and catching boomerangs, viewing Manna gum carvings, experiencing ceremony, and feeling the energy of the birthing tree.

Amelia Dudley (Year 9)

This week we went to a place called Coranderrk, it is right next to Healesville Sanctuary. Coranderrk is a place of spiritual significance for the Wurundjeri people. We went to a place called the birthing tree, this tree is 450-560 years old. But the best part of the tree is the energy of the tree, it feels safe and peaceful when you are in its presence. It feels as though it is talking to your raw self and raw emotions. It was a very emotional and touching process for all of us. We also got a chance to throw a few boomerangs and a lucky few even caught it. This experience has taught me give worth to every piece of land, as I could be worth the world to someone else.

Anna Clarkson
Mathematics and Geography Teacher

Cross-Curricular Connections: Learning German Through Art

Cross-curricular collaboration across subjects is a philosophy in education that avoids isolated learning but creates deeper learning experiences when relevant content areas are combined in more than one subject.  This type of learning was explored in the Year 9 German class, where students studied and learned about the highly successful Austrian Artist and Architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser and his particular style. Born in Vienna in 1928 he was no ordinary architect but was keenly aware of the impact of humans on the planet and ensured all his constructions were sustainable, ecologically built and reflective of the local culture. He had a very particular style, which allowed student to learn German words to describe the trademarks of his art, such as spirals, wavy lines, bright colours, elements of nature, spindle eyes, onion-like towers and human faces, as well as presentation skills and language phrases to describe a picture.

The German students explored Hundertwasser’s art through a series of You Tube clips and reading texts before embarking, with the help of the Art Department, on creating their own artwork, using typical elements of Hundertwasser’s art. In addition, they completed language worksheets to reinforce their understanding of the artist’s work.  After completing their final piece of art, the students used language vocabulary cards to write a script for their artwork picture, which they shared in a presentation.

As with Hundertwasser’s individuality, exploring new and different ways to learn allow students to find joy in learning across different subject areas, being art, culture and language.

Ingrid Beck
German Teacher

GSV Triathlon

Meeting before dawn, 57 girls assembled on the shores of Altona ready to jump into the ocean, ride their bike or run alongside the beach. With a record number of teams from CGGS this year, girls supported each other in a friendly but competitive event. Despite the weather conditions prior to the event and temperature of the water, the swimmers raced into the ocean at 7:00am, swimming a total of 300m. Back onto the shore, the swimmers handed over to the cyclists, prompting them to begin their 10km ride. After much anticipation and return of rain, the cyclists handed the timing chip over to the runners, and they were on their way. Running along the esplanade with a fantastic view of Altona beach, the 2km run was the quickest of them all, finishing the race with a bang!

Over the past three years, we have loved competing in the GSV triathlons. Not only did it give us an opportunity to bond with each other and other girls in younger year levels, but it also gave us confidence to compete in many other GSV events, including swimming, cross country and many more.

Sincere thanks to Ms Law, Mr Clark, and supervising parents for assisting on the day and a special thank you to all parents for waking up so early on a Sunday to get us to the beach by 6am.

Chelsea, Seanna and Emily (Year 12)

Service Learning

We were so pleased to have old grammarian, Sophie McLeod (2010) visit our Year 9 students as part of their Service Learning program. In Year 9 our focus for Service Learning is on local disadvantage and this term the students have been deepening their understanding of homelessness.

In 2011, after graduating, Sophie began volunteering for Vinnies Fitzroy Soup Van on a Friday night, distributing food to those in Melbourne.  She was also able to share her experience of her work as a Lawyer and the pro bono work she does assisting people at risk of homelessness.

We loved hearing about Sophie’s life since leaving CGGS and the way she has sought to continue to serve and use her skills and time to help others. Here are some reflections from students in Year 9.

It was really interesting to be put into the shoes of someone who is exposed to the serious issue of homelessness. Personally, I don’t know much about being homeless and the adaptability that people have to go through from their homes to the streets or, moving around constantly to friends’ places etc. But when Sophie McLeod came in, I gained insight into the idea of how people stereotype what it means to be homeless. I guess, growing up we have this sense and idea of what type of people are homeless but in reality, that is not the case. I have developed a deeper empathy and understanding to what being homeless really is and how we can help. Jessica T

Listening to Sophie McLeod speak to us about the incredible work she does with people experiencing homelessness was a really eye-opening experience. I loved hearing about how her work has changed around COVID-19 and I had never thought about how covid has and still is affecting people experiencing homelessness and we have all been inspired to think about how we can help in our own communities. Helena M

I found it so interesting and inspiring to listen to the speech given by Sophie McLeod. The insight she gave on the way COVID impact those who were ‘sleeping rough’ was something I had never thought about. It was also good to hear how we as students can help this very important cause.Sara R

Jennifer Gordon
Head of Service Learning

GSV Championship Swimming Carnival

Congratulations to the CGGS swimming team who participated in the Division 2 GSV swimming carnival on Tuesday 23 March. Despite the dismal weather conditions, everyone tackled the competition with a fierce, positive attitude and a great sense of team spirit. Right from the outset, the cheers and support from CGGS students could be heard from across the grandstand which pushed our swimmers to achieve tremendous results. These performances are also thanks to our Head Coach Peter Kitney who trains the swim team on Monday and Thursday mornings.

The afternoon resulted in the Juniors and Intermediates both placing 4th and the Seniors placing 8th. Overall, CGGS placed 6th against seven other schools in Division 2, which is an amazing result considering we have previously been competing in Division 3.

On top of this, 10 swimmers qualified across 8 individual events and 3 relays for the GSV Finals Evening on Tuesday 30 March. We also have a number of events in which our swimmers are emergencies, which is also a fabulous achievement! Congratulations again to all the girls who participated last Tuesday and good luck to our finalists!

Emily and Scarlett
CGGS Swimming Captains

GSV Championship Diving Carnival

Congratulations to the CGGS Diving Team for a successful performance at the GSV Division 2 Championship Carnival on Tuesday 23rd of March.

Everyone performed extremely well against a tough and close competition. Every girl has put in so much hard work at the early morning training sessions learning and mastering their three dives for the competition. It was great to see everyone’s hard work pay off as every diver at the competition.

On the day, the Junior team came 5th, which is an incredible effort considering it is the first season for many of the girls, and they were against some strong competition. The intermediate team came 2nd and the Senior team came equal 2nd, which were amazing results. We were also very excited to place 2nd overall in Division 2, which is the school’s best ever result at GSV Diving! Everyone should be very proud of how they dived regardless their individual result, as everyone put in so much effort at training and contributed to the team’s overall success.

A massive congratulations to two girls who have qualified for Diving Finals Evening. Summer Zhu from Year 7 qualified in the Junior division and Ella Robinson from Year 11 qualified in the Senior division. This is a testament to the girl’s dedication to the CGGS Diving Team and we wish them the best of luck for this competition.

A huge thank you to our coaches Jenny and Helen, Ms Law and Mrs Robinson for everything they have done to help the CGGS Diving Team!

Eloise Webster and Ella Robinson
CGGS Diving Captains

GSV Swimming and Diving Finals Evening

Well done to Angela Liu, Emily Price, Scarlett Giang, Anneka Sinnappu, Claire Fleming, Christina Weickhardt, Maddie Wood, Jasmine Rees, Elysia Wang and Sunny Sun who qualified for the Girls Sport Victoria Swimming Finals Evening last Tuesday. With a crowd of students cheering from the sidelines, the girls showcased their skills in the swimming pool at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

They were very competitive against the top swimmers from 24 GSV schools, recording some personal best results. Congratulations to Emily Price who won a silver medal in the 50m Breaststroke where she displayed admirable determination to come from behind and win the medal. Another congratulations to Angela Liu who swam a very strong race to also win the silver medal in the 50m backstroke event. The girls are to be commended on their hard work throughout the season and we look forward to their future success.

For the first time, CGGS had 2 students compete in the Diving Finals evening. While Ella Robinson is well experienced in competing in this event, we were very lucky to welcome Summer Zhu to the night competition. The girls performed their best 4 dives and were extremely competitive in a very talented pool of divers. We look forward to seeing Ella, Summer and our diving squad back in the diving pool in term 4 for our House Diving competition and we are also excited to welcome any new divers to the pool in Term 4.

Ella Robinson – Diving

Summer Zhu – Diving

Angela Liu
100m Freestyle
50m Freestyle
50m Backstroke

Emily Price
50m Breaststroke
50m Butterfly
50m Freestyle

Scarlett Giang – 50m Backstroke

Anneka Sinnappu – 50m Backstroke

Claire Fleming – 50m Butterfly

Medley Relay and Freestyle Relay
Christina Weickhardt
Anneka Sinnappu
Claire Fleming
Maddie Wood

Medley Relay
Jasmine Rees
Angela Liu
Elysia Wang
Sunny Sun

Lauren Law
Head of Sport