This week has been one of the most memorable in my teaching career. We were finally able to welcome all our Senior School students back onsite after the long period of remote learning and the sound of their chatter and laughter has filled the classrooms and corridors. The students and staff embraced the Black Lives Matter pledge at lunch time both yesterday and again today and as with all our academic classes many of our co-curricular activities began again in face to face mode this week.
This morning I had the great privilege of joining the Early Learning 3 students to read the well-known story “Big Smelly Bear” by Britta Techentrup and then share my own very real Brown Bear story. It was heart-warming to see the way the children listened intently while I told the story of our own daughter owning and loving a bear called Brown Bear who experienced quite the adventure in a London taxi when she was about 3 years old. Having taken our daughter to hospital on the night before flying home, Brown Bear was left in a taxi. Thankfully the very kind taxi driver realised Brown Bear had enjoyed a night exploring London with him and he returned Brown Bear the following morning, just before we left for the airport and what was going to be a very long flight home.
With the students’ return this week, in Form and Tutor groups students in all year levels have explored the idea of Hope & Gratitude through a range of activities. These themes were purposefully chosen as research indicates that hope significantly and positively correlates with psychological wellbeing and coping in the face of adversity. Moreover, finding things to be grateful for can lead to greater wellbeing and happiness and it is an essential tool in being able to shift the focus from the challenges we have been experiencing.
Students in Year 12 completed an activity focussed on how we can generate hope and happiness in our School and the Global Community, while Year 7 students reflected on Silver Linings of the COVID-19 situation.
Wall of Hands
As part of the school’s support for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement we created 9 ways for our school community to become an ally. This is aimed at showing the CGGS community that whilst protesting is important, there are more long-term ways we can improve and educate ourselves the issue both in Australian society and more broadly.
> Call out
To aid the CGGS community in their journey to reconciliation and their learning of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) movement, we organised a ‘Wall Of Hands’. This initiative involves CGGS to place their hands on the wall for a gold coin donation and make a personal pledge. The donation is to raise money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, which helps improve educational outcomes for Indigenous people. This small gesture will help the CGGS community commit and hold them accountable to 3 of the 9 ways in becoming an ally, including act, pledge and support.
Thank you to everyone who got involved and begun their journey to becoming a good ally to BIPOC!
Kaiwyn McCartney and Ruby Dawe
Scoliosis Awareness Month
June is Scoliosis Awareness month and Zara Mammone, Year 11, is a strong advocate for this cause.
Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine and occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. Most cases are mild with few symptoms, however, can quickly worsen during growth and may require immediate treatment. Severe scoliosis can be painful and disabling. Often, no treatment is necessary, but in some cases a brace or surgery is required.
Zara herself was diagnosed at the age of 13. For 2 years she has worn a back brace, and now undertakes regular physio and Schroth treatment – an exercise program specific for scoliosis.
June is a month to focus on this debilitating condition and encourages our community to be aware of how easy it can be to self-diagnose. There is no need for a gold donation, but an investment of 20 seconds is all that’s needed to diagnose Scoliosis and get someone the treatment they need before the condition requires surgery.
Zara has created a short video with a clear visual on how to diagnose a concern and we encourage you to view it by clicking the photo below. If you would like more information Zara curates an instagram account @braceisthenewblack which focuses on her condition and treatment. Additional information is available at https://www.scoliosis-australia.org/
Drones are useful in service
At CGGS, the ‘Geography Drone’ took its inaugural flight across, above and around the school oval. After some initial small technical issues, the maiden voyage took place in perfectly clear and still conditions (though very cold!). Eight Year 9 students took it in turns to launch the drone, test out its flying capabilities, and even use it to take photos. We discussed how drones have been used in Geography, from tracking and counting endangered species and assessing bushfire recovery, to collecting population census data and delivering medical supplies in rural communities.
In the midst of a global pandemic, drones have been used to solve all sorts of issues. In China drones have been equipped with speakers and used to broadcast messages encouraging people to wear masks. In Spain they have deployed agriculture spray drones to carry out tasks like spraying disinfectant in potentially affected areas. In Singapore drones have been used to deliver medical supplies and transport samples from hospitals to laboratories. During the peak of the epidemic in China, authorities were carrying out large-scale remote temperature measurement in most apartment complexes through the use drones. Victoria Police have confirmed they used drones to patrol beaches for violations of social distancing rules.
In order to tackle and solve some of the unprecedented global challenges raised by Climate Change and Covid-19 (among others), we need critical and creative thinkers, collaborators and problem solvers. We need designers and innovators. Through learning to use digital technology, such as drones, we are equipping CGGS students with the knowledge and skills to be the innovative and creative problem solvers that the world so desperately needs.
Click below to view a short video of the drone flying.
Unit 1 Psychology and Grade 1 – Putting Theory into Practice
Last Friday, 5 June, our Year 11 Psychology students had a play date with the lovely and vibrant Grade 1 students at Ormiston. The Year 11 students were required to design and make an appropriate aged toy, applying their knowledge of Piaget’s cognitive developmental stages. As can be seen, the Grade 1 students were highly engaged with the toys that were specially designed for them and we are glad to say that the toys gained their tick of approval!
It was truly special seeing students with such a large age gap interacting and learning through play.
We look forward to developing more authentic learning experiences with the Ormiston students.
A huge thank you to Mrs Angela Columbine who happily volunteered her class to spend the afternoon with our Year 11 students.
Ms Tuba Ozak and Mrs Karin Lemanis
Have a restful weekend.
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School