This evening a small student audience should have been able to watch the efforts of our keen drama students in Years 10 – 12 who have been rehearsing diligently in face masks for the past term for “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” our 2021, Senior School Production.
Sadly, the snap lockdown last night and the current Victorian Government School Operations guidelines mean that the Senior School production cannot be performed in front of an audience, nor may the cast perform without the wearing of masks. Yesterday Ms Keira Lyons, Head of Drama and Performing Arts, and her team of Ms Sally Oliver and Mrs Claire Colthup, the Production Director and I met again with the cast of the Senior School Production to discuss the likelihood of the production being performed with face masks after the lockdown ends. It is still our hope that we find a way of preserving, honouring and sharing this production with our community. I take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge all our ‘Caucasian Chalk Circle’ performers and their mentor teachers for their resilience.
This week we have celebrated CamberWELL Week, one of the special weeks in our Senior School calendar each year. This year the School Wellbeing Captain, Annaliese Cossenas and our Student Representative Council Chairs, Chelsea Ellingworth and Catherine Hu, have worked alongside Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing, Ms Kath Woolcock to ensure each day of the week has provided our community with an activity and motivational message.
Students and staff enjoyed participating in ‘Motivation Monday,’ ‘Thoughtful Tuesday,’ ‘Wellbeing Wednesday,’ ‘Thursday Treats’ and ‘Feel Good Friday.’ Last night an email was shared with the entire Senior School community, by our Captains suggesting we all “wear a piece of clothing that makes you feel especially good”! On Tuesday in our assembly, the Captains interviewed a panel of staff and students including Priyanshi Shah Year 11, Romy Mead Year 9, Mr Micah Wilkins, Ms Shipsides and Mr Pasinati on questions such as how they include wellbeing in their daily practice. Ms Shipsides made mention of the Science of Wellbeing course that she is guiding a number of our Year 12 students through this year and how this free on-line course has assisted the group. On behalf of the Senior School, I thank the team for providing us all with these up-lifting opportunities. Please read the article written by these Captains later in this edition of CamNews.
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School
Great Success at German Poetry Competition
Sasha Feldmann (Year 10), recently competed in the Goethe Poetry Recital Competition, held by the University of Melbourne. The competition is open to native and non-native speakers from Year 10 to 12 and students must study, learn, and recite a poem by German writers such as Bertolt Brecht, Wilhelm Busch, Heinrich Heine and Sarah Kirsch.
Sasha decided to recite the poem “König David” (Kind David), written in 1797 by Heine. The challenging poem consists of 5 stanzas, 20 lines in total. Sasha won a very worthy second place in the competition, demonstrating a very high standard of German skills. She is congratulated by the CGGS community for her great effort.
While we do not have an English translation available to share, we are pleased to share the poem in its original form for those in our community who may themselves be able to speak German.
UN Model Conference for German
On 15 July, three VCE students, Charlotte Kutey, and ourselves, Olivia Jones and Amy Du, participated in the U.N. Model Conference for German. Alongside other VCE German students, we discussed the U.N. Sustainable Development Goal No. 14 – ‘Life below water’ via Zoom. In this report, we shared our experience of the day and how this opportunity has benefitted their language learning.
The event was not only an opportunity for us to collaborate and discuss global issues with other German students, but it was also an event run almost entirely in German. As such, we spent the day speaking, debating, and discussing contemporary global issues in German, and were fortunate enough to do so alongside other schools.
Prior to the day, we spent weeks researching Russia’s policies and attitudes concerning ocean protection, marine ecosystems, the blue economy, food security, indigenous fishing practices, and overfishing. Using our research, we drafted a position statement, amendments, and strategy, for the upcoming event. Familiarising ourselves with the vocabulary and jargon related to diplomacy, climate change, and UN procedures was challenging, but set good foundations for the upcoming model conference.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we participated in the conference over Zoom. Our task was to propose amendments to the Draft Resolution in accordance with Russian climate and ocean policies and persuade other countries to support our proposals. Actively listening, speaking, and responding in German for the duration of the U.N. Model Conference was a strenuous, but immersive experience. As Russia, we represented a powerful and controversial state, and were subject to many interrogations that necessitated improvisation on our part. It was nerve-racking to discuss a complex topic in a second language, especially with clarity and diplomacy at the forefront of our minds.
The experience was ultimately incredibly rewarding, and we would encourage other students to seek out similar U.N. style events – regardless of the language they’re in!
Olivia Jones and Amy Du
Year 11 and Year 12
CamberWELL Week Edition: Year 9 Lockdown Padlet
Year 9 students were inspired by the Year 7 initiative featured in the previous edition of CamNews and decided to collate a bank of ideas to motivate them during the recent Lockdown. Using Padlet as a shared space to communicate, students and staff from each Form group were encouraged to add recommendations and describe the ways they’ve passed the time.
See below for some examples of the wonderful staff and student entries:
Creating daily rituals
Ritual is so important for human society, for centuries we have incorporated rituals into many aspects of our communal life. Something that I have noticed over the past year is that we haven’t been able to come together maybe as often and celebrate important rituals. So why not create little ones for yourself? I love hand grinding my coffee and drinking it from this mug I made myself – because as someone once told me; eating and drinking from handmade plates is such a special experience. I always try to find some time to read out-loud to my plants. I know it’s silly, but I think they love it!
Sometimes having a goal can make getting outdoors a little easier. Our family designed a scavenger hunt for our bike ride… and included an ice cream for the end!!
30 Day Drawing Challenge & ‘This Foreign Place’ Drawing Challenge
If you love drawing and have art block, give yourself a challenge by using a prompt each day to create a masterpiece! if you search up “30-day drawing challenge” there are many to choose from! My personal favourite right now is the 30-day drawing challenge: Marvel edition! 🙂
Draw a room in your house as if you’re visiting it for the first time as a foreigner- title it “This Foreign Place” and include annotations!
Year 9 Coordinator
Senior School Production – The Caucasian Chalk Circle
We thank all students who have been involved in the rehearsals and preparing for our upcoming performance. The perseverance, attitude, and diligence of students adapting to the ever changing landscape of what their performance may look like, should be commended. Please see a list below of all students involved.
We look forward to being able to share more of the hard work of these students in a future edition.
CGGS’s CamberWELL Week is a highlight for students and staff, as we come together to acknowledge, learn, embrace and engage in a range of activities and initiatives designed to enhance and promote individual and community wellbeing. There are many wonderful students and staff that contributed to our CamberWELL Week, we would like to thank our School Wellbeing Captain Annaliese Cossenas, and our Student Representative Council Chairs, Chelsea Ellingworth and Catherine Hu.
Please see a reflection below from these students.
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing
CamberWELL Week – A reflection
This week, our Senior School was so excited to celebrate our annual CamberWELL Week, a collaborative event coordinated by the Student Wellbeing Team and SRC. The purpose of the week was to not only promote an overall awareness of the wide-ranging aspects of wellbeing, including social, physical, emotional and community facets, but also to inspire our community to explore and discover what wellbeing means to them personally. We have, now more than ever, come to recognise the vital importance of these skills and activities to maintain our wellbeing in these unique circumstances.
Each day had a specific focus: Motivation Monday, Thoughtful Tuesday, Wellbeing Wednesday, Together Thursday and Feel-Good Friday. As part of this too, the Senior School Library provided all students who borrowed a book across the week with an inspirational bookmark to promote the joy of reading.
The week started off with a bang! Year 11 and 12 students participated in a competitive (yet friendly) match of Volleyball against their teachers to get their hearts pumping and ready for the rest of the week. Additionally, students viewed a motivational TED Talk that discussed the mentality around what drives us, as well as some humorous but useful advice about how to overcome procrastination.
Then came Thoughtful Tuesday, when students were privileged to hear from a very special guest speaker from Headspace, Kano. He shared his story and wisdom, as well as some short but reflective activities related to gratitude and self-introspection.
During the special Wellbeing themed assembly, a panel of Teachers and Students shared their own perspectives and experiences of managing their wellbeing and how this has changed over time. Key ideas emerged around self-care, gratitude, perspective and the important role that nature plays in bringing a sense of purpose and balance. A very special thank you to Mr Wilkins, Mrs Shipsides, Mr Pasinati, Priyanshi Shah (Year 11) and Romy Mead (Year 9) for their valuable insights.
Wellbeing Wednesday provided students with a range of effective activities to unwind and de-stress, including a colour- by- numbers, podcast and a mindfulness program.
Thursday Together inspired our students to do some random acts of kindness by providing them with some things that they can do for their friends, teachers and other members of the CGGS community. Examples included paying it forward at Pinwheel, sharing a highlight of class with the teacher and letting someone know you are grateful for them. As part of this, the Year 9 Little Library was launched, an initiative designed to provide a dedicated wellbeing space in Lower Woodstock. The space is a pop-up library which includes books linked to wellbeing that cater specifically to the Year 9 students.
On Friday, the plans shifted slightly as we entered lockdown. our staff and students were surprised with some inspiring and adorable motivational sticky notes. On Thursday afternoon, while staff and students were heading home, the CamberWELL week student team were busy leaving little notes of inspiration on all student lockers and staff pigeon holes. While this was originally part of the plans for ‘Feel Good Friday’, it will be a lovely welcome back when we our community returns to school later next week. Remote Feel Good Friday also encouraged staff and students to wear something to class that brings them joy, such as some fun earrings, a favourite hoody, a scarf or something bright and colourful! During Period 5 students were provided with some activities to do that focussed on their own wellbeing, and it was a very fitting way to end a successful and busy week.
Catherine Hu, Chelsea Ellingworth and Annaliese Cossenas
Year 12 Students