Senior School

CamNews

Senior School

July 31, 2020

When I review the week on campus, despite the restrictions that we are all faced with daily, both at home and at school, the amount of dynamic thinking and reinventing that’s going on by both staff and students alike, is really inspiring.

The five VCE Theatre Studies students undertook their SAC performances via live streaming on Youtube, with many of us signing in from home to watch their amazing performances. On Tuesday afternoon all Year 7-12 students tuned in to watch the live performance streamed throughout our classrooms for those on site and made available to all our other community members remotely. Students in Years 7-10 are connecting with their Health and PE classes, an area of focus so important right now, via asynchronous tasks and are participating whole heartedly. We have virtual excursions happening to the NGV to discover indigenous art as well as students participating in House Music, Dance and Drama and Environment Week via every physically distanced format available. I think this week’s Camnews is a wonderful opportunity to congratulate ourselves on just how incredibly adaptable our students are and that they are not only surviving life in 2020, they are thriving.

Have a lovely weekend.

Warm regards,

Cathy Poyser 
Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School

 

Metamorphosis – VCE Production

Among most activities we take for granted, the Arts have been hit hard during this pandemic. Theatre is an art form that strives to capture ‘humanity’ in a vast array of forms and some of our tools include spatial relationships, physical interaction, facial expression and working on instinct. It has therefore been quite challenging to navigate producing a show that is about questioning your worth and value as a human in a world that seems to demand so much from us. Social distancing, sanitising, face masks and constant low level anxiety that, at any moment, your ability to complete the project might be taken away and so you may be expending all of this energy for almost nothing.

This week our Unit 3 / 4 Theatre Studies students finally had the opportunity to share their production work for Outcome 3.1 after having commenced work on this script during Headstart last year. They presented their design concepts and prepared for their rehearsal period at the end of Term 1 – and then we went into Remote Learning and the brakes were applied. Since returning to face-to-face classes they have fully invested in their learning process, setting huge challenges for themselves and diving into the necessary exploration required to bring their ideas to life.

In theatre, it is only through trial and error that we discover what does and doesn’t work. It is often a humbling experience because some of that learning is done publicly. The class of 2020 has shown remarkable resilience, perseverance, kindness and good humour throughout their investment in this project. Beyond learning about design, direction, performance, microphones, varnish, mixing bug goo and which hair product might be best to make your hair immobile, these girls have invested deeply into listening, being present and patient with the moment, themselves and each other. Whilst our audience was restricted this was an incredible community event with the wonderful support of our alumni students. These old grammarians operated lights, sound and cameras, with these and other past students and teachers participating in the online question forum and over 200 people supporting us through watching from their own homes.

The students were so thankful that they were able to perform their live streamed performances without their face masks (as seen in the above images). As this performance was a SAC (School Assessed Coursework) the 5 students in the play were allowed to not be wearing face protection. This exception was verified by Independent Schools Victoria and the DHHS “Restricted Activities Directions”.

We hope you enjoyed the show.

Keira Lyons
Head of Drama & Performing Arts

 

LinkedIn for Students

Students in Year 12 attended a zoom presentation on ‘LinkedIn for Students’ by Mrs Sue Ellson, an independent LinkedIn specialist. Sue gave an overview of the recognition by employers of social media sites such as LinkedIn as part of the overall recruitment process, citing research that indicated 90% of employers use LinkedIn as part of their selection process. She reminded students about their current digital footprint and asked them what it may say to their future employers. The presentation was followed by a workshop for the Year 12s where they had the opportunity to create their own profile. Ably guided by Sue, she led students through the setting up of their own excellent LinkedIn profile and explained the intricacies of privacy settings. She enlightened students about taking control of their own brand, making connections, building influence and knowing their industry as they move into tertiary study, and the world of work. Their LinkedIn profile will enable them to network and connect to school alumni to chat about potential career paths or source information about career opportunities, and also connect with users and groups in unique and strategic ways.

Sue gave an energetic, enthusiastic and thought provoking presentation to our students. She has an impressive array of presentations, podcasts and publications https://sueellson.com/services/

Trish Dolan and Andrew Burnell
Careers Counsellor and Year 12 Year Level Coordinator

 

Year 7 – 10 Health and PE Update

During this period of remote learning, students have been working on the following areas in their Health lessons:

Year 7 – Emotional Literacy

Year 8 – Conflict Resolution

Year 9 – Problem Solving and Perspectives

Year 10 – Leadership

The content is being delivered synchronously and has been tailored to meet the needs of the specific year levels with a number of engaging activities for the students to complete during each lesson.

The focus for students in their Physical Education classes is wellbeing. With over 40 mind, body and soul activities to choose from, students having been selecting an activity to complete during each lesson based on their needs at the time. With the increase in screen time, it has been wonderful to see so many students consciously stepping away from their screen and selecting active options such as bike riding, creative tasks such as drawing or social connection activities like writing a letter to a loved one. In addition, many family pets are benefiting as students are enjoying taking their dog for a walk during a PE lesson! Each student is sharing their experiences on a year level Padlet which helps motivate others and provide ideas. It is wonderful to see students engage in such a variety of activities that can be tailored to their wellbeing needs at this time.

Dot Georgiou
Head of Health and Physical Education

Year 8 Commerce by remote control!

Our Semester 2 Year 8 Commerce students are up and running with an introduction to ‘Markets, Magistrates and Money’ and have done a great job laying the foundations of their study of Commerce. Throughout these first two weeks of remote learning in Term 3 we have been exploring the markets that significantly influence the Australian economy and students have used the online resource “Trade at a Glance 2020”.  This is published by DFAT and helps students to learn about why markets such as iron ore, coal and wool as well our major export trading partners – China, Japan and the USA – are so often featured in the daily news. They have also had the opportunity to consider the impact of the current health pandemic on some of our major imports like tourism and international student numbers.

Additionally, our Year 8 students have undertaken a preliminary investigation into how Australians earn and spend their money and this has raised some great questions in relation to the equity of different working arrangements and the adequacy of the minimum wage.

It’s a fantastic time to be learning about these things. Alongside health, the economy is front and centre at the moment and it’s easy to tap into relevant examples of the ways in which we as consumers can and do influence what’s happening in our economy on a larger scale. So far, students have used the online course workbooks that we have created for them to record some of their findings and, shortly they will begin an investigation into one market in particular with the aim of creating an Infographic that outlines the value of this market from a range of different perspectives.

Commerce is such a dynamic space and we’re really looking forward to the remainder of this Semester with these students.

Ali Larkey and James Henderson
Commerce Department

Environment Week

This year, Environment Week focused on the theme of ‘waste’ both in our community and on a global scale. Unlike past years, this year Environment Week was run to accommodate for students in Years 7-10 who are continuing with remote learning in Term 3. We connected via virtual updates and shared fun facts about various kinds of waste in The Daily, as well as conducting some physically-distanced onsite involvement for VCE students.

It was wonderful to kick off Environment Week focussing on “fast fashion”, with our participation in the Salvation Army’s Off Your Back coat drive. As this initiative is continuing for the remainder of Term 3, students on-site may donate any warm and unwanted coats at the drop-off point outside the Senior School Staffroom. More information is available at https://offyourback.com.au/

Food-waste was our next focus, with a ‘Meat-Free Menu’ provided by Pinwheel on Wednesday highlighting the importance of sustainable practises around the production of meat. Students also entered into the ‘Meat Free MasterChef’ competition which was an amazing demonstration of all the delicious meals that can be made using vegetables, all created by talented CGGS chefs. Emily Zhang of Year 12 took out the title with her vegetable tart.

Another highlight of the week was holding the ‘Sustainable Eating Webinar’. Staff, students and special guest Emily Hui, educator and CERES collaborator, were brought together on Zoom to discuss why they chose to adopt a vegan, vegetarian, or even reducetarian diet! Reducetarians aim to reduce the meat in their diet, but give themselves the flexibility to eat meat when it is culturally or socially expected. It was interesting to hear about how making small sustainable changes to our habits can be effective, by eating locally, bulk shopping, or maintaining a meat-free diet. To finish the week, VCE students continued the tradition of ‘Cold Day’ at school, where heaters were switched off so we could put an emphasis on reducing our energy footprint, as well as enjoy a day in casual clothes. This year, the Cold Day fundraising proceeds are going to Solar Buddy, an organisation that provides solar lamps to communities experiencing energy poverty.

 

Sarah Stephen and Shoi Sengupta
Environment Captains

Year 8 Update

When we commenced our second round of remote learning, Mrs Dunwoody sent us off with the quote “life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain”. I can honestly say that the Year 8s have taken this wisdom to heart and they continue to meet this new challenge with kindness, patience and resilience. We had a busy start to Term 3 that saw a large number of students get involved in auditions and rehearsals for House Dance, Drama and Music competition. The involvement of the girls varies from small support roles to significant parts in the individual House productions. I would like to especially congratulate Tyra Dawson on her key role in the Schofield House Drama performance and Jess Terlikar on her selection for both House Drama and Music.

To remain connected and to boost a healthy competitive spirit between the Year 8 Forms, we are conducting weekly inter-form challenges. Last week, the students showed off their cooking skills in the Year 8 Meat-free Masterchef challenge, which saw 8D and 8B achieve a joint win and Bella Fary took out the Masterchef title and a $20 iTunes gift card. Bella’s winning dish was homemade spinach, white bean and cashew agnolotti with a rustic mushroom and quinoa bolognese. This week, the students are competing in a Kahoot Quiz to determine the Year 8 Disney Queen.

Additionally, our girls were fortunate to participate in a virtual excursion run by the NGV on Monday 27 July. Our guides, John Parkinson and Ingrid Wood, took us virtually through the Marking Time exhibition space for Indigenous Art. The session focused on discovering how Indigenous artists connect and adapt to their environment through diverse approaches to making art. The Year 8 English Team, led by Ms Georgia Biggs, organised this excursion with the aim to extend the students’ understanding of Indigenous culture to enhance their knowledge and interpretations of Sister Heart, a fictional story of a young Aboriginal girl that is taken from the north of Australia and sent to an institution in the distant south.

Sara Rowland’s reflection
I really enjoyed the NGV excursion. I found it so interesting how Aboriginal art differs from place to place. We learnt a lot about the influences of different places, stories and culture can have on the art. I was such a great experience and I learnt a lot. 

Helena Maunder’s reflection
Indigenous artists are the best storytellers. Their art, past and present, send beautiful messages and tell intriguing stories. I am so grateful that we got to experience them virtually. I loved seeing how different Indigenous styles of art are in various regions of Australia, as well as hearing from our tour guide the numerous ways Indigenous people create and sign their art.

Leisa Winkler
Year 8 Coordinator

House Music

It has been marvellous to see the CGGS House spirit reignited through the Performing Arts this term. Whilst rehearsals are being delivered in a very different manner, student engagement is high. The House Music Captains have worked with an open mind, adapted to new ways of delivering their original concepts and have continued to maintain strong connections with their fellow House members. They have actively taken the responsibility of re-designing their creative ideas and have swiftly customised the musical content for this much-loved House event. In term 4 last year, the House Music Captains chose Growth for their 2020 House Choir theme. Never has this personal mindset been more relevant than today. The House Performing Arts event on the last day of Term will certainly be a special production that we will all remember.

Kate Savige & Rohan Mack
Heads of Music