This week we had the pleasure of welcoming back the Year 8 and 9 students for their two days onsite and we are all very keen to see all our Senior School students back fulltime as of Wednesday 3 November. With the staggered return of our Year 7s, 10s and 11s from Friday 22 October and then the 8s and 9s on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 October, Pinwheel & Co provided students with a rainbow of cupcakes for recess, welcoming them back to campus. Year Level Coordinators, Form Tutors and indeed most of the teachers on campus were part of the welcome at the gates, in the central courtyard and on the oval. All the students and staff at school each day have until today spent their recess and lunchtimes outside enjoying the social time. It has been an absolute pleasure to hear the animated chatter of both the students and staff. Schools really do need students!
For those who have not yet had the opportunity to watch the House Drama Short Film Festival, I included the link below and encourage you to take the time to view these spectacular achievements created, directed and produced entirely in the remote setting. Many congratulations to all student leaders, both Drama and Technical Captains and staff involved in ensuring this event came to life.
Drama Captains – Nancy Huang and Maya Jones
Technical Captains – Anastasia Konstantinou and Jessica Leung
Drama Captains – Isabel D’Souza and Katrina Xu
Technical Captains – Jane Pekin and Kelly Ta
Drama Captains – Daleney Ing and Priyanshi Shah
Technical Captains – Chloe Chan & Chloe Lindsay
Drama Captains – Mia Fary and Tina Ma
Technical Captains – Natasha May and Lucy Van der Arend
Also, this week our VCE students have commenced their end of year VCAA examinations and it has been a privilege to speak to them both on their way into, and after the examinations.
On Wednesday evening, Murrundindi conducted an ‘Evening under the Stars’ including a Welcome to Country, followed by Dreamtime Stories, and a Question and Answer session. A few staff also lit fires in pits in their backyards and students joined Murrundindi for this wonderful evening.
The Year 10 and 11 recipients of awards and prizes from the Years 10 – 12 Presentation Evening and the new student School and House leaders for 2022 received their awards via a CGGS equivalent of ‘Click and Collect’ on Thursday.
We are so proud of the achievements of all our students, particularly when viewed through the lens of the past two years. With the progressive easing of restrictions across the state, I look forward to enjoying the remainder of this term with our students on campus, re-connecting with their friendship groups, returning to sport and music, and the buzz of activity returning to Senior School.
Have a fabulous long weekend.
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School
Duke of Edinburgh Awards
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an internationally recognised award with participants from over 130 countries. Over 8 million young people have participated worldwide. The award is open to anyone ages 14-24 in 3 different levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold. The program creates opportunities for young people to develop skills, get physically active, give service and experience adventure. The aim is to build valuable skills that will equip young people for life and work by committing to achieve goals over an extended period of time and reflecting upon the tasks used to achieve these goals. In coming CamNews releases, we would like to share with the CGGS community the achievements of past participants and how they have reflected upon their completion of the GOLD AWARD.
For further information regarding the Duke of Edinburgh Award, please contact Mr. Shane Maycock, Deputy Head of Senior School at email@example.com
Was there anyone important to you in your DOE journey?
My mum supported me so much throughout my DOE journey and she really encouraged me to continue completing all three levels of the award. I’m so glad I had her by my side, motivating me to take on any leadership or volunteer opportunities that came my way.
How would you improve your experience if you did it again?
If I had more flexibility and time to improve my experience, I would have loved to complete my service learning hours by volunteering at a broader range of organisations and charities.
What would you tell someone just starting or thinking about starting DOE?
I would definitely recommend anyone to start the DOE award and aim to complete it up to the gold level. It has been such a rewarding experience for me, with countless learning opportunities through community activities, sports, and projects.
Interview by Isabella Wood and Bella Fary
Chinese Reading Awards
Rithanyaa Prakash (Year 7) participated in the CLTAV 2021 Reading Awards for non-background students of Chinese in Years 7, 8 and 9 among 80 enthusiastic participants. In this competition, finalists were required to read a short, unseen passage written both in Pinyin and in characters. The related topic for Year 7 students was “My Family.” Rithanyaa showcased her accurate pronunciation and excellent fluency in reading the passage. She has been awarded a certificate for her outstanding performance in Chinese Reading. Rithanyaa found the experience meaningful and rewarding. Congratulations Rithanyaa!
Virtual Education Outdoors Activities Week
In light of government restrictions, once again the scheduled Year Level Education Outdoors Camps could not run in 2021. With the ever-changing landscape the decision was made to move a week of Virtual Live and Asynchronous activities to the week of 18 to 24 October, enabling students to connect with some of the learning outcomes normally delivered on camps to the Virtual realm. Activities ranged from meal planning to cooking cultural foods, physical challenges to mindfulness, knot tying to shelter building, Virtual Escape rooms for problem solving to building your own Virtual Island Camp using ‘gather.town’ online. Students engaged in these many different activities accessing ideas through the Virtual Education Outdoors Activities Website and then submitting evidence once tasks were completed. Over 900 submissions were received, with many more participating in daily live sessions. One highlight was the ability to reconnect with students on Friday 24 October, with Year 7 & 10 students on site and able to participate in Team Building, problem solving and critical thinking challenges.
We hope everyone enjoyed the variety of activities and engaged with them with their families. As we look to the future with restrictions easing, details for our 2022 domestic based camps, such as the Mungo World Heritage Park tours and Marine Research Tours that have been consolidated over the past few months, will be published prior to the end of the year.
Deputy Head of Senior School – Co-curricular Programs
Virtual Camp Islands
If you were stranded on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean, how would you create an ‘ultimate camping experience’ so you not only survive but thrive? This was the question that students tried to answer as part of the CGGS ‘Virtual Camp’ week.
Using an interactive platform called ‘gather.town,’ individuals or groups of students, were given access to an empty island upon which they needed to design and create their virtual camp.
At first, the students explored the expanse of the space (by using an avatar of themselves), imagining what it could look like with a little creativity and ingenuity. Then, using objects found strewn about, students turned their dreams into reality (well, virtual reality!)
From tents to firepits, vegetable gardens to activities, students displayed a range of important transferrable skills (problem solving, organisation, creativity, and leadership among others). Importantly, students also had a lot of fun!
Head of Digital Learning and Innovation
A night under the stars with Murrundindi
On Wednesday 27 October, a number of students and staff joined Murrundindi around the Virtual Campfire for a night of questions and stories. Our 2022 Reconciliation Captains, Jacqueline de Mamiel and Pelagia Papadopolous, joined Ms Georgia Biggs in relaying CGGS Student questions after a traditional Welcome to Country and some digeridoo playing. Students found out why Murrundindi is known as the Ngurungaeta (Head Man) of the Wurundjeri people, the significance of stories, and about the special connection he and CGGS is developing with the communities of the Willandra Lakes Region and Lake Mungo, where Australia’s oldest dated human remains have been found. We were so pleased that Murrundindi could help us reconnect through the creation story of the platypus and look forward to once again seeing each other in person soon.
Deputy Head of Senior School – Co-curricular Programs
Creating opportunities for reconnection
As we welcomed our community back to on site learning over the last two weeks, we have been very purposeful in designing and providing opportunities for our students to readjust, recalibrate and reconnect. Within form and tutor time, students have focused very intentionally on strengthening relationships, teambuilding and collaboration through structured games and challenges, as well as allowing time for conversation and genuine connection between peers. Additionally, working with the school counsellors, each year level explored the range of emotions experienced in returning to school and discussed strategies to manage the fatigue and cognitive load that can come with such a significant change in routine.
In addition to the Period 5 program, there have been a range of activities available for students to participate in each lunchtime that have encouraged physical activity and play including staff v. student volleyball matches, badminton, ultimate frisbee and Finska. These opportunities will continue to be provided for students throughout Term 4 and will be complimented by House Round Robins and Year Level Challenge afternoons towards the end of the year.
After much success last year, we are excited to offer House Netball and Soccer tournaments to our Year 7-9 students. These friendly competitions will run during class time on Monday 15 November and students will be able to choose which sport they would like to compete in. This will be a great opportunity for everyone to show teamwork and spirit while staying physically active. As for all House events, the Spirit Stick will be awarded to the team that displays the most support, enthusiasm and teamwork throughout the day and we will also award an overall champion to the House who wins the most games across all three year levels!
Kath Woolcock, Lauren Law and Shane Maycock
Wellbeing Team and Sport Department
Yale University – Science of Well-Being
Over Terms 2 and 3, a group of Year 12 students have met fortnightly and undertaken a Yale University course titled The Science of Well-Being. Many topics of what we believe will make us happy were investigated, and cognitive scientist and Professor of Psychology, Dr. Santos showed research about our misconceptions in these areas. The course then delved into strategies and easy life choices we can make, all supported by scientific research, which have shown to be effective in increasing overall happiness and wellbeing. Lastly, the students learnt techniques about how to implement these strategies into their day to day lives.
If you are interested in exploring this yourself, and would like to view the course material, please go to https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being.
House Drama Short Film Festival 2021
In a remarkable demonstration of leadership, this year’s House Drama Captains switched vision and approach with only days before their event began, turning remarkably detailed theatrical scripts into short films. Not only did this require the script to be adjusted for the performance medium, but that they run all of their rehearsals via Zoom alongside problem solving things such as costumes, props, cohesive sets, lighting, green screens, musical montages and eclectic technology! Every, single participant is to be commended on their contributions to the festival – after such a draining and uncertain term, to find the energy and drive to complete such a detailed task was truly awe inspiring.
A massive thank you goes out to Sally Oliver for working so closely with the Captains on the development of their concepts and scripts and also to industry professional, Emily Tomlins for such intricate feedback and adjudication.
And the awards go to….
Best Script (new category): Lawrence House (Maya Jones and Nancy Huang)
Most Cohesive Ensemble: Singleton (Daleney Ing and Priyanshi Shah)
Best Performance in a Supporting Role: Teresa Guo (Lawrence)
Best Performance in a Leading Role: Tyra Dawson (Schofield)
Best Technical Assistance: Schofield (Jane Pekin and Kelly Ta)
Best Production and winners of House Drama 2021: Schofield (Isabel D’Souza and Katrina Xu)
Head of Drama & Performing Arts