Senior School


Senior School

June 26, 2020

As the most extraordinary term of my own 33 year teaching career draws to an end, I would like to take the opportunity to sincerely thank all the students, their parents and all our CGGS staff for the incredible display of community that we have witnessed. CGGS is a school with huge heart and where a sense of belonging and connectedness is central to all we undertake with our students. Last week we held our first ever Year 6 into 7 virtual online Information Night and a live streamed virtual Open Morning and this week our first ever virtual VCE Information Night and the list goes on with online firsts in this term. Each of these events has reflected the agility and flexibility of our entire community to adapt.

In 3 separate videos created by Mr Mat Duniam for our Year 6 into 7 Information Night, a number of our youngest Senior School students, the Year 7 cohort, spoke about their experiences and their transition into their new school. As you watch and listen to one of the videos linked below “Moments”, please note these young students had only spent 8 weeks onsite, before moving into remote learning mode and being asked to record their feelings. Their maturity, confidence, passion and gratitude shows just how quickly they have become connected to and are feeling a true sense of belonging to CGGS.

I’m sure like me, at this time in history, you are all proud to say you are members of the CGGS community.

We look forward to seeing your daughters back at school on Wednesday 15 July, when we will welcome 11 new families to the Senior School.

Best wishes to all our Senior School families for a restful, safe and healthy holiday.

Kind Regards,

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

2020 CGGS Career Story: My Future by Design

“Growing up is not finite. You will not reach a point where you become something and that’s the end”. With these words of advice from Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, the 2020 CGGS Career Story: My Future by Design conference commenced for all Year 10 students.

As we continue to explore the positives of the uncertain times we have found ourselves in over recent months, the conference was intentionally designed to be delivered both synchronously and asynchronously. The variety of activities the students were involved in and panels they heard from helped them to begin cultivating their Career Story with the understanding that the conference was about much more than simply ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’.

Our students were free to explore ideas about what they want to experience in life, what they want to contribute to the world, what are some of their hopes, dreams, goals and ambitions and how they would like to spend their workdays.

Students were fortunate to hear from staff, current students and Old Grammarians about their pathways, opportunities that have altered their direction and the networks they are beginning to develop. The Year 10s enjoyed hearing about how staff “dived into the unknown” (Ren Pennesi) as well as the variety of jobs some of our teachers have held. Staff were honest in their accounts of the skills they learned in their roles before becoming a teacher and how they still apply these skills today. Our students enjoyed hearing from one of our current Year 11 students, Seanna Henricus, as well as Nikki Chen and Eloise Schilling from the Class of 2019. They provided insight into how they have started building their network including their parents, coaches, teachers and contacts they have made through their involvement in programs such as Work Experience. The Year 10 students then began to ponder about who their ‘Board of Directors’ are and how these important people help them to make decisions.

Building on from the World of Work conference in Year 9, our students continued to understand and apply the eight transferable skills which are crucial for success regardless of what their future pathway may hold. With Generation Z expected to have 18 jobs spanning six career areas, these skills – communication, initiative, leadership, teamwork and collaboration, planning and organisation, problem solving, creativity and critical thinking – are essential for long-term job success. At CGGS, students are given a plethora of opportunities to develop these skills and build their confidence in applying them.

As our Year 10 students prepare to make their VCE subject selections, it is important for them to remember the insights they have gained during the conference and to continue designing their future, their Career Story.

Dot Georgiou
Acting Careers Counsellor

VCE Curriculum Evening

On Monday 22 June we began the process of transitioning Year 10 students into VCE for 2021, starting with the delivery of our 2021 VCE Information Evening.

Usually, this process has been undertaken on site but as there is nothing ‘usual’ about life currently, we made the switch to a remote and online mode of delivery.

As part of this, Heads of Department with their teams, curated a VCE Subject Information Padlet, containing a detailed overview of their subject offerings at VCE, including videos, information summary sheets, past testimonials from students and other supportive information.

Administrative information related to the VCE was also recorded and presented by Mr Mark Corrie, our VCE Coordinator, alongside our 2021 VCE Curriculum Guide.

Further to this, as summarised above on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 of June, the Year 10s undertook a 2020 CGGS Career Story: My Future by Design, which occurred both onsite and also remotely.

Opportunities for students to explore career pathways, transferable skills, hear stories of career journeys and consider themselves and their own learning within this space, were created by Dot Georgiou, Summer Howarth and a generous team of supportive staff.

We are thrilled to be able to support our students in person and virtually and look forward to continuing these journeys in the coming years.

Kate Manners
Deputy Head of Senior School – Teaching and Learning

UN Youth Voice Competition

During June, the following Years 7 – 9 students competed in the UN Youth Voice Competition: Sienna Catalogna, Claire Kim, Ruby Tu, Suwedha Ranjith, Sara Rowland, Salwa Saiba, Madeleine Giagoudakis and Samantha Fan. This competition is more than your average public speaking competition. It consists of two parts – the Pitch and Question Time. In the Pitch, students propose solutions to a given world problem. During Question Time, students answer two questions from the judging panel to defend the feasibility of their solution. The topics for 2020 ranged from considering how Australian cities can adapt to be more sustainable to ensuring the rights of refugees are guaranteed.  This year’s competition was run online, so the experience was a slightly different one to usual, however, each of our girls rose to the challenge. Congratulations to Ruby Tu (Year 7) and Samantha Fan (Year 8) who have advanced to the State Finals which will be held in the first week of the holidays. We wish them all the best for the next stage of the UN Youth Voice Competition!

Dr Charlotte Forwood
Director of Learning Design and Development


The Eucalyptus Tree: Fairy Tale across Cultures

The VCE German class studied the topic of cultural heritage through the lens of German fairy tales. They followed the historical footsteps of the Grimm brothers and read and explored fairy tales from their childhood.  In a creative writing task, the students wrote fairy tales with a modern twist. Via the button below, please read the beautiful tale written by Charlotte Kutey and Annaliese Cossenas, in which they created an inspirational story, drawing from the recent bush fires within an Australian setting. Below is their German version of the fairy tale, followed by an English translation.

The Book Ends

Our Senior book club, The Book Ends, have been reunited with a fresh wave of energy. We have seen so many new faces join the group and in light of the incredibly successful House Reader’s Cup, the reinvigoration in our girls’ passion for reading has been a thrill. With over 20 girls frequenting the club now on a weekly basis, it has been a pleasure to reconnect and share what stories are lighting us up.

The House Readers Cup count is now over 600 books read and reviewed and we are still counting! In addition to the Cup we are also recognising our 5 top CGGS readers of the competition – they will be presented with books of their choice at the end of the term.

Our book club welcomes girls from every year level and our Literature Captains Year 11 students, Ella Barmby and Renee Fong plan activities and chats about book genres and favourite authors and series. We are currently organising 3 genres, fantasy, suspense and romance titles for the girls to select and read the same book to discuss in Term 3.

Book club meets every Wednesday lunchtime in Term 3 in the Hub, Library.

2020 Softball Success!

The summer sport season in Term 1 was one like no other. Deep into the competition, with finals on the horizon, GSV were forced to terminate all weekly sport and the hope of a sixth consecutive finals appearance from a CGGS Softball team disappeared with it. When the season ended, CGGS were number 1 – top of the ladder.

With 5 comfortable wins and one very narrow loss (1 run), the team were playing their best softball in readiness for the finals. Training had become a stage to display both exquisite fielding skills and some power hitting. Using the pitching machine more regularly to hone their batting stance and hitting technique proved to be another powerful weapon in our games. These girls are the total package! Their understanding of the game is extraordinary which enables them to make quick decisions and enact many double plays defensively. They also display quick and effective base running and are able to score runs against every team they play.

They have been a joy to coach, and we feel very privileged to have had Emma Peak and Ella Robinson (Year 10) as our pitching and catching duo for 4 years now, throughout both their Junior and Intermediate years. They have brought a wealth of knowledge and experience and have helped guide their teams to great success. Emma also holds the team record for home runs in a season! We thank them for their commitment, and we hope they will continue to play softball in the senior team next year.

Many of the Year 9 girls in the team are members of the reigning Junior GSV Premiers team and again showed their expertise in both the field and with the bat. A shout out to Isabella Georges on 1stbase and Madeleine Giagoudakis’s tireless effort and movement in Right field was again a formidable partnership. Isabella Tremewen as our alternative pitcher proved to be solid and dependable every single game and has continued to improve her pitching technique. Newcomers Sasha Feldmann and Amy Dingle were incredible with the bat and are quickly learning the nuances of the game. Ella Summers and Lille Osborne once again proved that commitment to training makes an incredible difference to the outcome of a game and finally, Jessica Lim’s power throw from Short Stop to 1st base is always a magnificent sight.

Congratulation’s to the Intermediate Softball team for being crowned the GSV Zone Champions for 2020.

Nareen Robinson and Liza Stevens – Head Coaches
Debbie Dunwoody – No 1 Fan and Unofficial Team Manager