Senior School


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Senior School

This past fortnight at CGGS has provided every year level at Senior School with their own set of opportunities to challenge themselves and undertake unique experiences.

Our Year 7 students spent last week on camp with the Outdoor Education Group (OEG) at Camp Jungai, near Eildon. This was for many of our students, their first experience of camping in a tent, and while the weather conditions for the week were not ideal, each of the students and staff made the absolute most of each of their experiences. I was thrilled to be able to spend two days with the Year 7 students during this camp and wish to thank Mrs Jenine Caruso, the Year 7 Coordinator and Mr Shane Maycock, Deputy Head of Senior School – Co-curricular Programs along with each of the staff who attended this camp for their support of our students. It was most definitely a wonderful week for all.

The Year 8 students spent their week journeying in canoes, hiking and camping on the banks of the Murray River. While the days were cold, the skies were clear and the students were able to enjoy days without rain. These students and staff also thoroughly enjoyed their experiences throughout the week and again we thank Mrs Kim Hepworth, the Year 8 Coordinator and Mr Shane Maycock, along with all the staff who participated in this camp for their efforts to ensure each student had a memorable time. In speaking to both the students and staff this past week, all have noted that they grew in resilience and felt proud of their achievements.

Our Year Level Coordinators Jenine Caruso (Year 7) and Kim Hepworth (Year 8) have shared more about their year level’s camps later in this edition.

Last week the Year 6 students spent the week in Senior School as part of our Transition to Senior School program for our own Junior School students. Many of the teachers in Senior School offered wonderful taster experiences of the day in the life of a Year 7 student. I take this opportunity to thank the Senior School teachers for the lessons they prepared to welcome our Year 6 students and all the students who embraced this week with enthusiasm. Experiences included Science sessions with Ms Bonnington and Mrs Pappas, Geography with Ms Walter, a Lego challenge with Ms Kinnane, History with Mrs Wighton, Sport with Ms Georgiou, Drama with Ms Lyons and an extended Food Studies session with Mrs Goad. On the Friday afternoon we invited parents and special friends to come into the Year 7 level of the Anne Feehan Building to see the Adobe Spark Presentations the students had prepared to show-case their week. The girls then took their guests on a tour of the Senior School. It was definitely a week they all enjoyed.

Meanwhile our Year 10s were immersing themselves in Work Experience. On behalf of all the students in Year 10, I would like to thank Mrs Dolan, our Careers Counsellor, who ensures each of our students have meaningful experiences.

The Year 9s settled back into their regular classes after 3 special days the week before and the Year 11 students completed their examinations, while the Year 12s commenced their Unit 4 studies.

This week our School Captains, Nikki Chen, Ellie Zhou and Stephanie Lysikatos led a particularly entertaining Captains Assembly. This edition of The NES show enabled each of the Captains responsible for the various portfolios to conduct a light-hearted segment that all students and staff appreciated.

Finally, our 2020 VCE Information Night following on from the VCE Preparation Day for Year 10s provided the students and parents of current Year 10 and 11s with all the understanding they require to make informed decisions about their future studies. I thank Ms Kate Manners, Deputy Head of Senior School – Teaching and Learning, Mr Mark Corrie, VCE Coordinator and Mrs Trish Dolan, Careers Counsellor along with all the Heads of Department who provided great insight into their subject offerings for our students in 2020. Our students were keen to hear that we have two new offerings at Year 11 Units 1/2, being Psychology and English Language. We also acknowledge and thank the Old Grammarian’s Association for their support of the Year 10 Mentoring Lunch on Wednesday. Mrs Karen Bartram and Mrs Trish Dolan worked closely together to ensure our Year 10 students hear advice from great role models and leaders, Year 11 Tilly Dunn and Year 12 Ellie Zhou.

It has been a wonderful fortnight in Senior School at CGGS and I thank all our students for their involvement in all we offer them and also to the staff for providing these offerings.


Digital Wellbeing: Ages, Stages and Statistics

There has been a lot of Australian and International media coverage about the changing role of technology within today’s society. This series of articles will explore these changes and their potential impact on our digital wellbeing throughout different life stages. Importantly, we recognise the interrelationship between emerging technologies and our behaviours as technology users.

This week we begin by examining usage trends and guidelines for the youngest members of our CGGS community, pre-school children. The ubiquitous nature of technology means its use by young children has been normalised. You may be surprised by the results of a 2017 poll that shows 36% of Australian pre-schoolers have their ownmobile touch screen device (Rhodes, 2017). We will be able to see how this statistic compares with that of our own community when we undertake upcoming CGGS surveys.

It is widely recommended that children younger than two years be discouraged from using devices other than for video chat, for example using Facetime to connect with family members overseas (Raising Children, 2019).Whilst there is limited research on technology use for pre-schoolers, there is consensus that they may benefit from:

> using the device with their parents, thereby encouraging social interactions

> creating and interacting with content rather than the sedentary consumption of content such as videos

Dr Kristy Goodwin advocates that parents become pilots of the digital plane at this early stage and during later stages of technology use (2017). Piloting strategies and a discussion of screen-time guidelines will be presented in future articles as we explore ways to balance and promote quality technology usage for different ages and life stages.

Guidelines provided within this series have been drawn from a range of authoritative sources, including those listed below:

> Office of the eSafety Commissioner, an Australian government resource

> The Australian Communication and Media authority, Australian government resource

> Raising Children, an Australian resource supported by the Australian government Department of Social Services

> Common Sense Media, an American leading non-profit organisation

> Family Insights Knowledge Centre, an Australian company in partnership with the research body, Telethon Kids Institute

> ThinkUKnow, an Australian website provided by the Australian Federal Police and assorted partnerships


> (2019). Screentime: babies and toddlers. Retrieved from

> Goodwin, K. (2016). Raising your child in a digital world. Finch: Lane Cove.

> Rhodes, A. (2017). Screen time and kids: What’s happening in our homes. Detailed report. Melbourne (VIC): The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.

Cathy Poyser (Deputy Principal & Head of Senior School) & Felicity Carroll (Digital Literacy Coordinator) 


House Music 2019

The 2019 House Music performance evening was enjoyed by a capacity audience in the Barbara Sutton Hall. The House Music Captains had worked tirelessly to prepare and rehearse their selected repertoire, and all were rewarded with high quality performances in each category. This year’s theme of ‘Empowerment’ was successfully communicated by the House Music Captains and enthusiastically presented by all members of the House choirs. The adjudicator, old grammarian Juliana Kay, was very impressed with the high standard of performances and commended all students for their ability to deliver such entertaining selections.

We congratulate all involved, with particular acknowledgement of the School Music Captains, Technical Captains, House Captains and Technical Crew. Many thanks also to Shane Maycock, the House Teachers, additional teachers who supported rehearsals, Jane Scott, Cathy Georgiev, Stephanie Leslie, Mat Duniam, Keira Lyons, Sally Oliver, Kim Perkins, Stefi Allinson and Mark Corrie.

It has been a privilege to work with Kathy Han, Felicia Sprirdonos, Lucia Chen, Jennifer Le, Jennifer Fan, Shirly Chen and Caitlin Kuo. Their creative vision and passion for the craft of music performance was illuminated throughout the rehearsal process and we congratulate them on delivering such a wonderful evening of music. They fulfilled their leadership roles with kindness, creativity, resilience, persistence and good humour. They also established stronger connections across all year levels and generated many personal highlights which will form lifelong memories.

Category Winners

Choice (Heidi Lewis Memorial Trophy): Schofield

Overall Winners (Darbyshire Family Cup): Lawrence

Kate Savige & Rohan Mack
Directors of Music

Another A MUS A Recipient! 

We are thrilled to share that Year 8 student, Sarah Park, has succeeded in accomplishing her A Mus A Diploma for Violin this week, a remarkable achievement. Sarah will receive her diploma certificate at a ceremony later in the year. To achieve the Associate in Music Diploma (A Mus A), Sarah has studied and achieved Preliminary through Grade 8 in her AMEB examinations, achieving a very high standard in all her results. For most students this means application to their instrument, hours of practice and musical studies for many years, including passing Grade 5 Music Theory examinations. Congratulations, Sarah, on your outstanding success in your music studies!

2019 Monash University Accounting Week Case Study Competition

Two teams from CGGS have made it through to the finals of the 2019 Monash University Accounting Week Case Competition. Dorothy Zhang, Jessica Lu and Tracey Chen make up one team and Madeleine Georges, Jessalyn Tan and Irene Xian make up the other.

The Accounting Week Case Study Competition is designed for students studying VCE Units 1 – 4 Accounting or International Baccalaureate Business and Management, in Victoria. For the first part of the competition, students were required to develop a 3-year business plan including financial modelling. Having been short-listed as finalists, the teams are now required to prepare a 2 page synopsis of their findings and recommendations as well as make a ten-minute presentation (in which they all need to participate equally) to a judging panel made up of University Staff from the Faculty of Accounting and Business. This will take place on July 31.

While I was available as a mentor to the students throughout this process, they worked entirely independently to produce their entries and should be congratulated on getting to this point as it’s no mean feat to produce this standard of work on top of the usual Year 12 load.

A prize of $1,000 and a trophy/plaque will be awarded to the winning school. A further $200 visa prepaid gift card, certificate and trophy will be awarded to each member of the winning team. We wish our teams all the best and look forward to hearing more about their experience next Term.

Ali Larkey
Head of Commerce


Girls Invent Showcase 2019

The months of May and June have been extremely busy for the CGGS Girls Invent program and our Year 7 students. Our Girls Invent program has been run tirelessly by our Year 7 Science teaching team; Dr Sue Mason, Ms Liza Stevens, Ms Penny Dumsday and Ms Kirsten Shipsides. The aim of this program is for students to work through the design thinking process, work creatively, and enable them to ‘invent’ a solution to a problem.

In the first stage of this process, the girls used Science classes to brainstorm problems, areas of need, or opportunities in either their local or global communities. The girls refined their lists to just one area and jumped into the ideation process. Science classes were buzzing with creativity, with many students coming up with creative solutions to social and environmental issues. Once they had depleted their well of ideas, they chose their ‘favourite’ one and began the prototyping process.

On Tuesday 4 June, the girls had 4 hours to prepare their prototypes and display boards for the Enterprise Fair to showcase their learning. We were lucky to be joined by Dr Mark Glazebrook, founder of the Girls Invent program, who provided valuable feedback to the girls during the day about how best to improve upon their inventions. From 2.00pm, the Year 7 level of the Anne Feehan Building was transformed into an Enterprise Fair where students were able to display their hard work to the school community. Each student group had a carefully prepared display to showcase their prototype and collect feedback from their peers, the staff and their families in attendance. The girls spoke so passionately about their inventions and ideas.

This passion has continued towards the end of the term. Approximately 15 groups of students have expressed interest in taking their inventions to the next stage – the Girls Invent Pitch Off. Students met with Dr Glazebrook on Wednesday to discuss what would be involved in a Pitch (similar to what you might see on the TV show Shark Tank) and how they can take their brilliant ideas and develop them into a successful business.

A huge thank you to all the staff and students involved in making this year’s CGGS Girls Invent program a continued success. Watch this space for more news about how our Year 7s progress towards the Girls Invent Pitch Off against other schools at the end of the year.

Anthony Pasinati
Acting Head of Science


Year 10 Work Experience

Work Experience week gives all Year 10 students the opportunity to work in a profession in which they are interested. This valuable undertaking enables students to experience a typical working week, and a chance to explore different career options.

Mrs Dolan, the Careers Counsellor, introduced students to the concept of work experience in October 2018, when students were in Year 9. While June 2019 seemed a long way away, students were encouraged to seek placements early, as some areas, particularly hospital/medical clinics and legal firms, are highly sought after.  Students had some great experiences across these industries and a wide range of other industries, including veterinary practices, retail, accounting firms, advertising, design, marketing, dental practices, local government, physiotherapy clinics, global ICT firms, child care & primary education, hospitality, architectural & building construction firms.

Employers’ evaluations were overwhelmingly positive with many commenting on the terrific work ethic of the students, their maturity, courtesy, willingness to ask questions and the effort they made to fit into busy, and unfamiliar workplaces. The students thoroughly enjoyed their placements! Two firms were so impressed with our work experience students that they have sought to strengthen ties with the school through innovative pathway programs. This is another endeavour in the “#myfuture”careers program which will help students with decision making for their future.

Here are some testimonials that employers wrote about our recent work experience students:

Showed great enthusiasm during her time with our organization. She demonstrated an ability to take instructions on board and applied herself to tasks required. A joy to work with!

An absolute delight to work with. Completed some really valuable research while working with me. Came to work every day with a positive attitude and was extremely helpful.

A pleasure to have in the office and a valuable team member during her time. She was punctual, well presented and dedicated to her work. We really appreciated her contribution.

On Wednesday 26 June, as part of the VCE Information Day, students had the opportunity to reflect on what they have gained from this experience, add some new skills to their résume and update their digital portfolio. The work experience week is designed to be exciting and informative, with experienced people offering insights into a number of different professions.

Congratulations to our Year 10 students on a wonderful week!

Trish Dolan
Careers Counsellor

Year 10 2020 VCE Subject Selection

As a Year 10 student, choosing the VCE study program can seem a bit overwhelming. At CGGS there is an extensive schedule of events designed to build the students’ career knowledge and develop their career decision making skills, to ensure students make a seamless transition to the VCE.

Such events have included the very successful Careers Expo, work experience week, career education classes, ‘MyCareerMatch’ interest assessment, mentoring events, the VCE Information day and individual career interviews with Mrs Dolan, Careers Counsellor. The Year 10 mentoring lunch on Wednesday 26 June, on the theme of ‘Making Decisions’, allowed students to hear from Ellie Zhou (Year 12) and Tilly Dunn (Year 11). They spoke eloquently about their VCE experiences to date and how they made their subject choices. They gave the Year 10 students a clear understanding of the demands of the VCE program, but also emphasized the need to balance academic work with co-curricular activities and ‘down time’.

All of these experiences culminated in the all-important VCE Information evening when students and parents had the opportunity to talk to teachers about subject selection. They were also provided with an information pack full of material from tertiary institutions, VTAC and various government publications.

Over the next few weeks students will consult with teachers, parents and current VCE students to select their subjects for their VCE program, giving themselves the best opportunity to be happy with their choices. Subject selection applications are due in on Wednesday 24 July 2019.

Trish Dolan
Careers Counsellor

Think global, act local – Model UN Conference in German 2019

Learning German in new and innovative ways on topics of global interest, this has been the initiative for four VCE German students who recently took part in the UN Model Conference in German. Dubbed, “an opportunity of a lifetime”, by Ms Beck, the German teacher, the students were determined to make the best of the day. The Model UN Conference is a creative simulation of the UN General Assembly in which students represent member states of the UN. In teams of four, students try to negotiate a new UN Resolution, this year focusing on the vision “Think global, act local” in regard to sustainable cities and communities. The Model UN Conference is an opportunity for students to learn about the UN system, discuss global issues and practice their diplomacy skills in a fun, dynamic environment, while developing key negotiation and public speaking skills – all in German.

This year, the CGGS German students, consisting of Tilly Kutey, Shivani Gupta, Jennifer Fan and Yaya Feng, represented the country of Japan. In preparation, before the day, they had to read substantial delegates packs and research topics such as climate change, population growth, rapid urbanisation and food and water insecurity. Then they had to write a 3-minute-long position statement in German, as well as suggested changes to resolutions.

On the day, Year 12 student Tilly Kutey, read out the position statement for the country they represented in German, in front of about a hundred other students and teachers. The team then had to comment or answer questions, in German, when asked. The students put an amazing effort and time into the preparation and were very engaged on the day. Initially somewhat hesitant, but with their courage (and confidence growing), they put their flag up numerous times to answer questions and to engage in a friendly debate – and eventually proposing an amendment to the resolution, seeking the support of fellow country Russia!

The following remark from the girls, proves that learning in a challenging environment can be an engaging and positive experience, “It was truly memorable, as it is so rare to be immersed in an environment where we had to speak German.”

Herzlichen Glückwunsch an die vier Teilnehmerinnen!

Year 8 Medieval Day

This term, our Year 8 students have been studying the history of medieval Europe. Last Wednesday, they had the chance to participate in some hands-on learning in a day filled with medieval activities. Students practiced archery and learnt about its usefulness for hunting, defending herds from predators, and in warfare.

Using medieval weapons and armour, students constructed a timeline of how social structures and systems of protection changed between the fall of the Roman Empire, and the rise of modern armies using gunpowder weapons. Each class discussed how a village might put criminals on trial, and voted on punishments such as locking their classmates in the stocks (or worse).

Finally, at the end of the day, all of Year 8 gathered in the gym to discuss the training and equipment of a knight. It’s difficult to understand how an entire social system was developed around equipping a warrior nobility for battle, until students see just how difficult it was to injure a well-trained and well-equipped knights. Many of our Year 8 girls leaped at the opportunity to attack two fully-armoured medieval knights (with blunted weapons) and discovered just how difficult it was to even land a blow, let alone get past the knight’s shield and weapon! The day’s activities helped bring to life a millennium of history which students had previously only imagined in the classroom, and helped improve their understanding of how technology, beliefs and practices bring about change in society.

Year 7 Camp

Year 7 Education Outdoors Camp this year took us to Camp Jungai, a picturesque campsite a two- hour bus ride form CGGS. We all had a wonderful five days away and each Year 7 has a marvellous story to tell. The object of the camp was for the Year 7 students to spend time together to help support their growing friendships and to challenge themselves with the activities that were made available to them over the course of the week.

For many of the students the highlight was the high rope course. Three different obstacle courses, suspended 15 metres in the air, allowed students to quite literally reach new heights. Students cheered each other on, and many felt that exhilaration of stepping well outside their comfort zone and achieving success.

The camp out was another highlight. Despite the cold (and rain!) we all enjoyed the beauty of the starlit sky and the songs around the campfire certainly added to our memories of camp. The walk back through the beautiful bush landscape was also a memorable moment for many of the students. The informative talk from Indigenous Elder Aunty Aurora allowed us to better appreciate the significance of the land we were visiting.

Canoeing, raft building, a skit night (starting with a conga line), a game of ‘The Beast’ trivia and wonderful food filled the week away. The happy chatter and giggling in the cabins after lights-out confirmed the teachers view that this group of Year 7’s are wonderful. We all really enjoyed Year 7 Camp, 2019.

Year 8 Camp

In the early hours of 17 June, shrouded in darkness and cold, the CGGS Year 8 cohort and a band of fearless tutors and teaching staff embarked on an adventure of a lifetime – a Murray River canoeing and hiking expedition which was the 2019 Year 8 camp.

As the coaches pulled away from Norway Reserve, the silhouettes of waving, rugged-up parents and loved ones disappeared in the distance. The excited chatter of the girls on the buses, slowly gave way to snores and deep breathing as those, unaccustomed to such early starts to the day, fought desperately to sneak in some additional hours of sleep before their outdoor adventure began.

After a quick toilet break along the way, and after three and half hours of travelling, we finally arrived at our drop off points within Yarrawonga Regional Park along the Murray River. Different groups were dropped off at Forges Gate, Bruce’s Gate, Nevins Gate and Bourke’s Bridge respectively where they met their Outdoor Activity Group leaders and started the daunting task of packing their backpacks with all the essentials for the week. The systematic and no-nonsense approach to this task was done with military precision and before long, all groups were ready to begin. Some groups hiked directly to the banks of the Murray ready to embark on the canoeing component of their trip. Other groups hiked into the bush for their short walk to their campsite for the night.

Over the course of the next four days of glorious sunshine the Year 8 girls really came into their own. From preparing their own meals, sourcing firewood for campfires at night, carrying all their cooking, sleeping and travelling equipment on their backs the Year 8 girls were really pushed physically. But in typical CGGS fashion they rose to the occasion. When the hiking and canoeing challenged many, it was the wonderful to see the care and encouragement the girls gave one another. The cheerful way they always helped each other out, supported one another, light-heartedly laughed at each other’s mishaps along the way, buoyed us all and made our week away in the bush so pleasurable. So whilst our packs were heavy and the early mornings and evening were bitterly cold, the Year 8 CGGS girls proved that with a positive attitude and openness to working together as a team, anything is possible.

Saturday Netball

The CGGS Saturday Netball teams are half way through the Winter Competition. Year 7 Pearl competition is very close, with CGGS, MGGS, Ruyton and MLC all sitting on equal points on the ladder, CGGS will meet the top team in Round 11. Year 7 Quartz are a new team, they have come across tough opposition but have had a great win early in the Season.

Year 8 Silver are currently 4thon the ladder and are working hard to remain in the top 4. Year 8 Jade have demonstrated a high level of netball, coming across tough opposition but Jade are always up for a challenge, Year 8 Jade are also sitting in 4thplace on the ladder.

Year 9 Diamonds and Gold both had fantastic wins last Saturday, Gold defeated Fintona Femmes and Diamonds defeated Strathcona Sunset. Year 9 Aquamarines were unstoppable last Saturday against Koonung Phoenix with an 11 goal win, the CGGS team are sitting in equal 3rdposition on the ladder. Year 9 Amber had a tough game against Strathcona Sharks, the opposition moved the ball quickly and Amber took a while to adjust.

Year 10 Gems and Turquoise have had great wins throughout the first half of the season, both teams will have to work hard in the final rounds to qualify for finals.

Year 11 Tanzanites are currently sitting on equal points with Strathcona Skittles on the ladder, the CGGS team will have to work hard and be more consistent to secure a position in the finals later in Term 3. Year 11 Emeralds had a fantastic win last Saturday against MA Tigers, Emeralds demonstrated great defensive pressure across the court and the shooters were able to convert the turnovers into goals.

Year 12 Moonstones were strong in Round 10, defeating Strathcona Shooting Stars 22-6 and have secured 3rdplace on the ladder. Year 12 Crystals played a consistent game last Saturday, with a 9 goal win over MA Lightning and are currently sitting in 2ndplace on the ladder, closely behind 1stplace by percentage.

Congratulations to all Saturday Netball teams on their efforts throughout the first half of the Season, best of luck goes to all heading into the finals rounds.

Lexie Joyce
CGGS Netball Coordinator


Please look out for my end of Term letter and also the next Senior School Weekly which will both be published in the holidays in the lead up to Term 3.

All my best wishes for a safe and relaxing holiday.


Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School