Senior School


Senior School

May 28, 2021

Celebrating Diversity Week has become a strong tradition at CGGS and it commenced on Monday 17 May with the outlining of a full program of student-led initiatives. Students and staff wore rainbow socks and wrote messages in chalk in the quadrangle. Tuesday’s Senior School Assembly heard from Ms Kath Woolcock – Deputy Head of Senior School, Student Wellbeing – on what Diversity Week means to her. Her speech is included here for parents to read.

The International Concert on Friday at lunchtime was a wonderful event, with 11 individual and group performances of cultural singing and dancing from students in Year 7 to Year 12. Please see a full summary of the week below. Many thanks and congratulations to our student leaders, Annaliese Cossenas – School Wellbeing Captain, Esther Chen and Carol Wei – International Captains, Cathy Gu – School Sports Captain and Harkee Judge

Year 7 and 10 immunisations were delivered on Friday of last week in BSH, administered by the nurses from the City of Boroondara. Students from both year levels were very mature in their response to these important vaccinations.

Wednesday was National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week commenced yesterday, with activities planned by the Reconciliation Captains Caitlin Sutton and Jacqueline de Mamiel, working with Reconciliation Coordinator Ms Georgia Biggs. We look forward to sharing the ways in which this important week was recognised in the next CamNews.

The announcement from the Acting Premier yesterday morning of a 7-day lockdown has necessitated the postponement of our House Music event that was scheduled for this evening. I feel sure all our CGGS community agree that having a live event with students singing without masks is our aim. In order to honour the of many hours of dedicated rehearsal from all the students involved and in particular the excellent leadership of the House Music Captains, we are postponing the event until the final week of Term 2 at this stage and we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 restrictions and be flexible with our planning.

During Weeks 8 and 9 – Monday 7 June to Friday 18 June – House Music rehearsals will be put on hold as the students in Year 10 and 11 undertake their Semester One examinations.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the following students and staff for their efforts to date:

Lawrence – Teagan Diep & Teresa Guo

Schofield – Sarah Hui & Janice Wong

Singleton – Nicole Chang & Chloe Law

Taylor – Megan Kuo & Kelly Liang


And also the House Technical Captains,

Lawrence – Anastasia Konstantinou & Jessica Leung

Schofield – Jane Pekin & Kelly Ta

Singleton – Chloe Chan & Charlotte Lindsay

Taylor – Natasha Mak & Lucy Van de Arend

The staff of both the Music and Drama Departments have also provided enormous support to the students and we thank them for the skills they have helped to develop in both our House leaders and the students of their Houses. The House teachers, Daniel Loff (Lawrence) Asia Kosowski (Schofield), Tom Clark (Singleton) and Christa Cook (Taylor) and Shane Maycock, Deputy Head of Senior School – Co-curricular Programs, have also provided great support and hours of supervision of rehearsals.

Have a lovely weekend.

Warm regards,

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School

Diversity Week

CGGS’s Celebrating Diversity Week is a highlight for students and staff, as we come together to acknowledge, learn, support and embrace the vast and wonderfully diverse community not only present within our school, but also within the wider community. As highlighted in the lead up to our celebrations, and again during the week, as an Anglican school we appreciate that every person is made in the image of God and we are committed to acknowledging and learning about our differences in terms of culture, race, religion, sexuality, gender and ability to ensure we are able to create a safe and inclusive communities for all.

To begin our week, we encouraged an understanding and appreciation of sexual and gender diversity by acknowledging the LGBTQIA+ community. Students and staff wore rainbow socks and, at lunchtime, our community came together to collaborate on an art project designed to show solidarity and an individual commitment to supporting everyone, no matter how they identify or who they love.

Tuesday focussed on educating our community about the history and significance of CGGS’ Celebrating Diversity Week. At the Senior School Assembly I, together with Annaliese Conessas (School Wellbeing Captain), Esther Chen and Carol Wei (International Culture Captains), shared personal reflections and I thank these students for their moving and personal stories. As part of this assembly, Zara Price announced the new CGGS Pride group, which was met with great support from the student body, with the first meeting being held the following week, on Monday 24 May.

Wednesday’s activities centred around ‘Religious Diversity’, where our Faith and Worship Captain Harkee Judge shared her reflections with the school community, including developing a series of educational posters that provided information on different faiths around the world. These were displayed across the school and sparked interest and discussion amongst students and staff.

On Thursday, Cathy Gu, School Sport Captain, hosted a student goalball exhibition match to celebrate ‘Diverse Ability Day’. Goalball is a professional sport designed specifically for athletes with visual impairments. The game consists of rolling a ball containing a bell into the opponent’s goal while the opposing players try to block the ball with their bodies. To ensure the game is fair for all competitors regardless of the degree of visual impairment, all players wear ‘blackout’ masks. We thank all students who contributed to this very exciting match!

To celebrate ‘Cultural Diversity Day’, International Captains Esther Chen and Carol Wei organised an International Day concert. The program included 11 acts where CGGS students proudly performed cultural songs and dances, showcasing a range of instruments and traditional clothes from all across the world. We thank and congratulate all students for their performances, in what was a very moving and memorable exhibition of not only the cultural diversity that exists within our community but also the extreme talent of our students.

There are many wonderful students and staff that contributed to our Celebrating Diversity Week and we are so grateful to the entire school community for supporting the initiative.

Kath Woolcock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing

In-Conversation with Alumni Caitlin Kuo

CGGS student Megan Kuo is a member of the 11 English Language cohort. Her sister, 2020 alumni Caitlin Kuo, is studying Speech Pathology at Australian Catholic University. After observing many similarities in the content of Caitlin’s studies and the EL course, Caitlin joined the class for an intimate in conversation event hosted by English Language teacher Ms Biggs. The result was a fascinating conversation on the interdisciplinary nature of linguistics; psychology; biology and philosophy. Students asked thoughtful questions pertaining to their current Area of Study: Child Language Acquisition and Caitlin provided insightful commentary on her chosen career path, affirming the relevance of the students’ learning in a real-world context. Caitlin exclaimed that the English Language course closely mirrors the subject she is enrolled in, and this is a highly useful subject for those wanting to pursue a career in the allied health field. Similarities include a close study of the vocal tract of a child and adult, the phonological development of a child as well as the theories to explain child language acquisition (the nature vs nurture debate).

Reflecting on the event, many Year 11s commented on the useful advice and wisdom Caitlin was able to offer her former peers. Something that was particularly noteworthy, as observed by Year 11 student Nancy Huang, was that the event did not set out to be about careers advice, however many questions naturally arose about Caitlin’s experiences at university arose. This resulted in subsequent conversations about the positives as well as challenges of transitioning to university – a very different educational setting to a school. CGGS is so grateful to Caitlin for generously sharing her experiences and we look forward to more opportunities to connect in the future.

Georgia Biggs
English Teacher

GSV Preliminary Cross Country

Well done to all the students who participated in the participated in the GSV Preliminary Cross Country Carnival on Tuesday 18 May at Yarra Bend Park. In perfect weather conditions, it was great to see everyone display enthusiasm and positivity as they cheered on their peers throughout the race.

A credit to their fitness and training, the team put in a fantastic effort and everyone should be very proud of their performance on the day. Ribbons were awarded to the top 10 places and we were very excited to have our Year 7, student Anika Selvaratnam finish 10th in the Junior Race, with a time of 12.39 for 3km. We would also like to congratulate Bella Fary who ran a fabulous race and won convincingly in the Intermediate section with a time of 14.56 For 4km. Bella finished the day receiving her ribbon in a presentation by GSV and we are very proud of her performance. This result contributed to the overall intermediate score and, as a result, the team finished 3rd which is a great effort.

None of this success would have been possible without our dedicated coach Jo Bowden, who prepared our girls so well for this competition. Congratulations to all the girls who consistently attended training and we look forward to seeing you race again at the Championship Carnival when it’s held.

Intermediate Victorian College Basketball Championships

On Thursday 20 May, our Intermediate Basketball team competed in the Victorian College Basketball Championship at Nunawading Basketball Stadium. Our team’s performance was impressive against some strong sides from other schools around Victoria and we were very excited to qualify for the finals. Throughout the day, our team played 5 games, as well as watching other schools play, and practising on spare courts. The team we played in the finals was a fierce competitor and CGGS worked hard, showing great determination and teamwork. While we didn’t win the game, we were very proud to finish as the Runners Up in the competition and walked out with our heads held high. Thank you to old grammarian Emma Pearce (2016) for coaching our team and to Mr Maycock for his support on the day. We enjoyed a great day of basketball, and our team is looking forward to the next tournament in 2022!

Tara Rastogi and Issy Tremewen
Year 10

Big Weather

This Tuesday, the Year 8 cohort participated in a virtual excursion with the National Gallery of Victoria. This was a unique private session highlighting various artworks from the Big Weather exhibition, a collection revealing intimate and sophisticated understanding of Country, weather systems and ecologies that exists within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural knowledge. This exhibition featured diverse works representing the four Big Weather events: Thunder and Lightning, Country, Fire, Destruction and Regeneration and Wind from the NGV Indigenous Collection.

A couple of the Learning Objectives included describing how knowledge of the climate and landscape is represented through the art of diverse Indigenous communities and discussing the spiritual, economic, cultural and aesthetic value of land and water for people through Indigenous art.

Participation in this virtual excursion was a privilege and enabled the Year 8 students to gain a better understanding of our Indigenous communities as we celebrate Reconciliation Week.

Chris Anton
English Teacher

Year 11 Psychology Students – Putting theory into practice

Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development in children is used widely in school systems throughout the world today and in the development of curricula for children. His theory deals with the nature of knowledge itself and how humans gradually come to acquire, construct, and use it.

Year 11 Psychology students have just completed their studies on Piaget and were given the task of designing and then making a toy that would be suitable for children in the Pre-Operational Stage, ages 2 to 7 years and their emerging abilities.

The Maker Space was ideal for this task and our students produced toys that focused on Piaget’s key areas for this stage, these being – centration, egocentrism, pretend play, animism, seriation and conservation.

Our students visited Year 1 Ormiston students to have a play date with these toys.

A huge thank you to Mrs Columbine for allowing our study of Piaget’s theory to be put into practice.

Mrs Karin Lemanis & Ms Tuba Ozak
Psychology Teachers

Port of Melbourne

Over 7,000 shipping containers a day go through the Port of Melbourne and on the 20 May, CGGS Year 9 Geography classes also stopped in. Students experienced firsthand the scale of Australia’s largest container port, which handles one third of the country’s container trade and achieves a total trade value of $110 billion. A guided bus tour took students to see some of the highly efficient port operations. They were lucky enough to see containers being loaded onto a ship by a crane and marvel at the sheer volume of goods being moved; it only take two minutes to precisely load a container. Some students even used a ‘ship tracker’ app to determine the origins, destinations and cargo on the ships they passed. This fieldtrip built on classroom learning by allowing them to gain a sense of just how interconnected Melbourne is through trade at local, national and international scales.

For the remainder of the semester, students will continue to analyse Melbourne’s place in a globalised, exploring the injustices and opportunities presented by trade. They will also study examples of multinational companies, such as Apple and Nike, and consider their social, economic and environmental impacts (both positive and negative). Students will reflect on their place in the world and their role in these contexts and design a ‘shoe’ that represents and supports a cause that they believe in.

We hope that they will be inspired by the potential of the solutions and that it will continue to help them find their place as a globally responsible citizen.

Karoline Walter
Head of Geography

Images taken by Jennifer Sui.

Year 7 fieldwork – Glen Iris Wetlands

The Year 7 visit to Glen Iris Wetlands was the final fieldtrip for the term. The Geography Department and the students certainly have felt very excited and grateful to have been able to venture out and learn by seeing things in the ‘real world’. Fieldwork is an integral part of any Geography curriculum and, in this case, it allowed the students to learn more about the urban water cycle and the functions of wetlands. They are also continuing to gain a sense for how our everyday actions can help to protect the environment. For example, they have now seen the enormous size of some of the pipes that enter our waterways with often highly polluted stormwater and are recognising that ensuing our litter goes into rubbish bins means that it doesn’t end up in our oceans.

The focus on the day was a rotation through a series of four very hands-on learning activities, each designed to collect a different type of primary data. These included identifying water bugs and testing the pH and turbidity of the water to determine the health of the waterway, they completed field sketches to record their observations, they observed and learned about the water sensitive urban design features in the area and finally went on a nature walk to observe and record the biodiversity at the wetlands. The CGGS Drone also took flight to capture real-time footage of the state of the wetland.

All-in-all, it was a great success and an opportunity for students to be out in the field doing fantastic Geography! The Year 7s are now learning about another important part of the urban water cycle, the treatment of our sewage through a virtual tour of the Western Treatment Plant. Soon, they will write stories or cartoons to demonstrate their learning about the natural and urban water cycles.

Karoline Walter
Head of Geography