Senior School


Senior School

November 1, 2019

Last week we enjoyed all the formal celebrations with the Class of 2019 and their parents. On the Monday 21 October the students enjoyed a breakfast with their Form teachers and Year Level Coordinator, Mrs Nareen Robinson. At this time they were presented with their time capsule letters written to themselves in Year 7 and a letter of encouragement and pride written by their parents in the past few weeks. This was followed by the Leavers Service, where each student makes a short speech about her time at CGGS and is presented with a Bible, her Testimonial and her Old Grammarians Association Badge. This is a particularly moving service and the gratitude shown by the students towards both their parents and teachers alike, reflects the strong values shared by our school community. That night we had the pleasure of joining together again at the MCG for the Valedictory Dinner. On behalf of all the families I take this opportunity to thank the Parents and Friends Association who most generously fund the cost of the student tickets to this most memorable night.

On 23 October many of us were entertained by four of The Outer Sanctum Podcast members at a “Shaping the Future” event, coordinated by our Foundation Office. Although a fellow Hawthorn supporter, I was pleased to hear that they are diversifying and about to include a further four podcasters representing other AFL and AFLW teams.

Our 2020 School and House leaders were inducted at a special service on Thursday and many were quick to begin in their roles as House Swimming and Diving took place the following day. Thank you to Head of Sport, Lauren Law, for her organisation of this day. This was a fabulous day, with the traditional Year 11 jump into the pool ending with the singing of “The Blessing Song” and “Shine Jesus Shine”. This year our enterprising Year 10 students asked a number of staff if they would volunteer to be pushed into the pool in order to raise money for our annual Zonta Birthing Kits. I am pleased to announce the students raised over $1000 in total, with nearly $600 of this being collected at the pool. Those staff who made the big splash were only too pleased to help raise the money for the kits. Each kit costs $3 and CGGS have been involved in this Service Learning cause for approximately 25 years.

This week has been somewhat quieter in Senior School with the Year 9 and 10 students on various camps. The beautiful weather has certainly ensured the activities have been enjoyed by all and we thank all the teachers who have accompanied the students on these camps. As a teacher, attending camp is always a highlight, as you discover new strengths and are able to witness the students achieving and overcoming challenges.

On Wednesday the Year 12 students completed the first of their written VCE examinations, English and EAL. Having completed this 3 hour examination, many of our students have since sat more of their examinations and on behalf of the school community, I wish the Class of 2019 well with this final stage of their VCE.


Digital Wellbeing

As we start the month of November, we can look forward to the warmer weather and beautiful blue skies that are a part of this time of the year. It may be that your family’s routines change with evening meals enjoyed outside or perhaps you choose to make the most of the increased daylight hours by heading to the local park. Of course, there are many ways to enjoy the offerings of this time of the year, which is why it might be timely to consider how your family members are managing their screen time. states that screen time and screen use are a “normal part of life for most children and teenagers” (2019) and yet screen time is the number one concern for Australian parents (eSafetyCommissioner, 2019). Our recent CGGS Digital Wellbeing survey results correlate with these broader findings, with screen time being rated as the top concern for our students and families.

Much has been published about screen time recommendations, which is indicative of international recognition of the importance of this issue for children, teenagers and adults. The eSafetyCommissioner website at a wealth of strategies for having positive online experiences as part of a balanced lifestyle. In particular, a downloadable resource with 7 screen time tips is available. Whilst it provides the following recommendations for parents of children, these also apply for parents of teenagers:

> Be involved

> Work with your child / teenager to set boundaries for screen use

> Be clear about the consequences for not switching off

> Set device free zones and times at home

> Ask your child / teenager to explain their screen use

> Use tech tools to help manage access (e.g. Screen Timefor iPhone/iPad)

> Lead by example

Visit the eSafetyCommisionerwebsite for further details on each of the above strategies. The guidelines provided by complement these strategies as they focus on balancing screen time with other activities and the use of quality digital media.

The next Digital Wellbeing article will explore the potential benefits from establishing a Family Media Agreement.


eSafetyCommissioner. (2019). Main webpage. Retrieved from

eSafetyCommissioner. (2019). Time online. Retrieved from

eSafetyCommissioner. (2019). eSafetyParents. Retrieved from (2019). Screen time: checklist for healthy use. Retrieved from

Cathy Poyser and Felicity Carroll


Year 11 Women in Finance

CGGS was delighted to host two engaging young women to speak about ‘Women in Finance’. Katie Brand, an Ernst & Young intern, who won the Oceania EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year Competition. Katie is really passionate about opportunities to inform students about the diverse career paths available within corporate finance (even if they are not studying any business subjects!). She shared her experience of working in the industry and talked about the EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year competition.

Emily Chai, EY Consultant in Valuation, Modelling & Economics, spoke about her transition from secondary school to tertiary to the workplace, and the exciting opportunities she has had on this journey. She reminded students to take advantage of every opportunity in first year university – joining clubs and societies, finding out about ‘Study Abroad’ prospects and researching options for cadetships and vacation intern work as early as possible.

They incorporated a high level case study demonstrating the strategy/consulting side of Corporate Finance and the students asked interesting and relevant questions.

It was very clear that both young women love what they do!

Trish Dolan
Career Counsellor 


House Swimming

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the House Swimming Carnival on Friday 25 October. Inside the stadium at Carey Sports Complex, the competition was extremely close as students cheered on their friends and participated in a range of aquatic events. Well done to Taylor who finished the day as champions of House Swimming and Schofield who won House Diving. There were some outstanding performances in the pool and the Year Level Champion Awards will be announced in assembly next week.

House Swimming Results
1st – Taylor
2nd – Singleton
3rd – Schofield
4th – Lawrence

This year we had a record number of girls involved in the House Diving Carnival. The girls have been dedicated to their morning training sessions where they have been working hard to perfect their dives and entries. Thank you to Nareen Robinson who has helped to organise this event. The results for House Diving are as follows:

House Diving Results
1st – Schofield
2nd – Taylor
3rd – Singleton
4th – Lawrence

School Sport Captain, Michaela Robinson and School House Captain, Rochelle Scheid showed great leadership and we thank them for their assistance throughout the day. Also, 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 Friends of Sport for organising a fantastic BBQ lunch.

Alliance Française Berthe Mouchette Poetry

Every year, CGGS participates in the Alliance Française Berthe Mouchette Poetry competition where students memorise a French poem and then present it to a judge who comes to the school from the Alliance Française. This year, we joined 115 other schools, and were amongst the 15,895 participants competing in this 125th year of Berthe Mouchette.

The French Department are very proud of all our students. It is no mean feat to learn a poem in another language and then deliver it to a French-speaking stranger, so well done to all those who took part.

True to French educational tradition where every assessment is marked out of 20, the students are awarded a mark out of 20 based on fluency, pronunciation, expression and intonation. To be a finalist, students must achieve a lofty 20 mark and this year, a remarkable 33 students from Years 5 to 10 made it into the finals and had to recite their poem again, competing against 1541 finalists from other schools in Victoria.

Year 7
Madeline McDonald
Kiki Page
Isabella Wood

Year 8
Lily Dore
Sasha Feldman
Madeleine Giagoudakis
Annie Liu
Ananaya Mittal
Salome Obeyesekere
Ella Summers
Monique Thorp
Ella Watson
Siena Yap 

Year 9
Teagan Diep
Charlotte Lindsay
Bethany Orme
Eloise Rhodes
Ella Smith
Lucy Van Der Arend

Year 10
Sophia Giagoudakis
Eloise Webster

These girls will all receive their certificate in an assembly later in the term.

A special congratulations to Monique Desai in Year 6 for placing second overall in the competition. She will receive her award at the Alliance Francaise Prizegiving in November. Special mention must also go to Sammi Chua, also in Year 6, for winning an award for her illustration of the poem.

The Year 12 part of the competition is an 8 minute conversation with an assessor: 4 minutes general conversation and 4 minutes on the detailed study we do in Term 3, Immigration in France. Zoe Giagoudakis completed the Giagoudakis finalist trifecta (both Maddy and Sophia were also finalists) by getting through to the Year 12 finals.

Félicitations à tout le monde!

Developing Evidentiary Reasoning through Art

On Thursday, a group of Year 8 students participated in an evidentiary reasoning activity with Scotch College, at the NGV – International. The session was run by Dr Charlotte Forwood for the Boroondara Gifted Network. It introduced the students to Visual Thinking Strategies,which is implemented by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, where Dr Forwood trained in 2018 through an Independent Schools Victoria Festival of Arts Learning Scholarship. The students engaged with different artworks to develop evidentiary reasoning skills – using observations to provide evidence for ideas and opinions. The discussions were imaginative, diverse and delved deeply into a range of artworks. It was a wonderful opportunity for the girls to engage with Art from a different perspective and to develop their creative and critical thinking skills with other students from within the network.

Charlotte Forwood


Ballarat Long Course Swim Meet

On 19 and 20 October, 14 students and their families travelled to Ballarat to compete with CGGS Aquatic at the very highly acclaimed Ballarat Longcourse Swim Meet.

The girls performed extremely well, achieving 80% personal best times with our very own Emily Price (Year 7) being awarded the 13 yrs girls champion.

Furthermore, special congratulations goes to Christina Weikhardt (Year 5)  who qualified to compete at the 2019 Victorian Sprint Championships in the girls 11yrs / under 50 freestyle.

As you can see, swimming at CGGS continues to grow both in popularity and success at both our Junior and Senior School levels.

I wish the whole CGGS community a restful long weekend and I will see you all on Wednesday 6 November.


Cathy Poyser 
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School