Senior School


Senior School

August 14, 2020

Each Monday morning, at the start of the school day, the Senior School staff gather for a 15-minute briefing on the week ahead. For much of 2020 this briefing, which is not only a tradition but also a time of connectedness and sharing of information for all teaching and professional services staff, has been required to occur via zoom to ensure physical distancing. Now that the staff too are mostly working remotely, this is proving to be a very important ritual. This Monday, we captured photos of staff on two of the zoom pages and you can see all the smiling faces of staff at the beginning of Week 5.

The passage of time in 2020 has been so different in many respects. However, it would come as no surprise that this week we have commenced the leadership interviews for our School and House Captaincy positions for 2021. Adjusting once more to a new format, we have been so impressed by the professionalism of the Year 10 and 11 students who have presented their application information in a padlet format for students and staff to read and engage with. These interviews will continue throughout the remainder of this term, with the 2021 leadership group announcements planned for the second week of Term 4.

I take this opportunity to again note the incredible flexibility and agility of the 2020 student leadership group in creating a sense of connection while we are apart, for their passion and their resilience. This group of 2020 School and House leaders will certainly be remembered by us all. They have lived our values and motto with graciousness and been wonderful role models to all their peers.

Once again, it is my pleasure to share with our parent community the Senior School Assembly from this Tuesday. The announcement of our 18 “Inspiring Women of Camberwell” by Mrs Dunwoody is a highlight of the Centenary year. Again, we have so much to be proud of.

Rev Creed has created a lovely prayer calendar for the community, I encourage you to give it a read.

Fun Fridays

Continuing to embrace this term’s theme of originality, we introduced ‘Fun Fridays’ to the whole school to keep girls motivated and having fun during remote learning. This involves students and staff dressing up for their Zoom classes according to a particular theme, where they can finally get creative and experiment with their wardrobe that has been untouched for the past months! This week’s theme was ‘Beanie Bonanza’, so girls and teachers were rocking their colourful, bright and warm beanies to their classes.

Felicia Spiridonos, Loren Palma, Laurya Dang-Nguyen
School Captain & Vice Captains

CGGS Wellbeing

Last Friday, 7 August, our community celebrated another CGGS Wellbeing Day, in recognition of the hard work by all teachers, professional services staff and students over the past 5 weeks. The purpose of the day was to provide an opportunity for everyone to be mindful and purposeful in prioritising wellbeing and self-care, which is so important now more than ever.

Using the CGGS Wellbeing Website as a resource, our school community was provided with an extensive array of online, offline and for the first time, live activities to take part in. Highlights across the day included the Netflix Party, Bullet Journaling, making face masks for those in need and cooking!

Thank you to our School Captains (Felicia, Laurya & Loren), our School Wellbeing Captain (Yaya) and our Service Learning Captains (Emily & Annaliese) for their contributions and involvement in not only the Wellbeing Day but also the activities for the preceding CamberWELL week. I also extend my thanks to the PE/Health Department, in particular Lauren Law for her preparation and contributions in creating so much of the Wellbeing Day content.

I hope that everyone in our community feels better energised after the day, and you are encouraged to log onto the website at any time to use the resources available. We look forward to our next CGGS Wellbeing Day on Wednesday 26 August.

Kath Woolcock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Wellbeing

Mindfulness Artwork

With the focus of Physical Education classes this term being wellbeing, students have over 40 mind, body and soul activities to choose from each lesson.

As you might know, we have new 11 students who commenced at the beginning of Term 3 and have made a wonderful transition to CGGS in a very unusual time. One these new CGGS students, Emily Bai, has chosen to use her wellbeing time to focus on painting and has enjoyed this as her mindfulness activity. The artwork with the rock and sea wave is a copy of a piece by Australia artist Joseph Zbukvic while the artwork with the boat is a copy of Malcolm Beattie’s work. Emily has enjoyed changing the colours of her artwork to make the effect more vivid. It is fabulous to see Emily using her spare time to put down her computer screen and pick up her paint brush.

Wonderful work Emily, thank you for sharing.

Lauren Law
Head of Sport

A Window into History

An important part of the study of History is connecting students with eyewitnesses, experts and artefacts of the past. Ordinarily, we would do this through excursions and incursions that better connect our students with the past. At the end of each semester, our Year 10 History teachers usually take their students to visit the Jewish Holocaust Centre, where they speak with a survivor about how they experienced Nazi rule and how – through a combination of luck, the help of strangers, and quick thinking – they were able to evade murder as part of the ‘Final Solution to the Jewish Question’.

Unfortunately, the covid-19 pandemic has required us to rethink how we provide these opportunities. Like most museums in Melbourne, the Jewish Holocaust Centre has been closed since March. And while its staff continue working remotely, the survivors – who are all in their late 80s or 90s – are not very confident in videoconferencing on Zoom with our students! Despite this, the CGGS History teachers and JHC educators were able to find new ways to connect our Year 10 students with the tragic and important history of the Holocaust:

> The JHC’s education officer, Lisa Phillips, gave our students a guided virtual tour of the Jewish Holocaust Centre’s museum, discussing artefacts and artworks donated by Holocaust survivors and their families

> Our students viewed survivor testimony through the Ask a Survivor project and watching and discussing extended interviews through the Eyewitness Testimony project

> Our students wrote letters to 14 Holocaust survivors who work with the JHC, thanking them for their testimony and asking questions about their experiences; some received heartfelt responses. 93 year-old German survivor Saara Saaroni (who was recently interview by The Age) even invited several groups of students to ring her with any questions they had!

And so, as we continue our experiences of remote learning, the History teachers at CGGS will work to bring new learning experiences to all of our Senior School students as they study remotely:

> Our Year 7s have finished constructing virtual museum exhibits of artefacts about the First Australians.

> Our Year 8s will soon undertake a walking tour of the landmarks in Florence before visiting the Uffizi Gallery and writing up a creative response on how a visitor to 15th century might be overawed by this Renaissance city

> Our Year 11 History class will soon get the chance to question Dr. Gavin Daly from the University of Tasmania about debates over the causes of the Cold War.

> Our Year 12 History class have been using collaborative document-editing in Office 365 to construct shared revision notes and plan practice SAC responses together as they continue to prepare for their final SAC and the VCE History exam in November.

Ian Lyell
Head of History

Maths in Motion

Remote Learning has stimulated significant transformation in the Mathematics Department. It has seen a shift in pedagogy, a re-evaluating of course content and a change in the way students demonstrate learning and understanding.

A key part of this change has been utilising a modified flipped learning model through the department. Our teachers are building an extensive catalogue of pre-recorded and live lesson videos on ClickView (and SEQTA) for our students to access anytime from anywhere. Currently, there are over 500 lesson videos available with more being produced daily.

By creating these videos ourselves, we are ensuring that the content covered is relevant to our students in our context. We also ensure that the mathematical methods students are taught are those that we (their teachers) would use in the classroom. This is a massive advantage over using videos from online sources like Khan Academy. Not to mention that our students are hearing from their own teachers.

Another advantage of having these videos available for students is their capacity to aid learning and revision. Students are able to pause, rewind and fast forward. They are able to hear an explanation multiple times. This shifts the pace of the learning to be student dictated (rather than teacher). If a student was stuck thinking about a particular example in class, they might have missed what came next. Using videos, students are given autonomy for the pace at which they learn.

The Mathematics Department has many exciting things to look forward to for the rest of the year. In Year 7 our team is excited about utilising an online catalogue of Virtual Manipulatives

At Year 8, our students will explore the cross-overs between Mathematics and Art, where students will learn the basic principles of Tessellation to create artwork:

Our Year 9 Team will be equipping students with the tools to better understand the data that is presented to them in the media. Data literacy is a key skill in the age of Big Data analytics. Keep an eye out for a real-world data project!

At Year 10 and 11, students have been invited to apply for a spot in the CGGS Teams that will enter the University of Melbourne’s 2020 Maths Olympics Competition.

And finally, our Unit 3 and 4 Mathematics students and their teachers are productively revising and preparing revision resources for the end of year exam period. Our VCE Team is looking forward to supporting the girls through this final stretch. If your daughter needs any extra assistance with Mathematics, please encourage them to reach out to their teachers and arrange an online meeting. They will be delighted to help in any way.

Anthony Pasinati
Head of Mathematics 


Snapshots from the LOTE Team


Year 10 French students recently had fun using their new skills with the past tense by writing a biography of a family member. They first heard some juicy historical tales in French about Marie-Antoinette and the French Revolution, then interviewed a member of their family to arm them with appropriate information about their own past.

Students visited learning stations in a ‘choose your own adventure’ style set of instructions to guide them in structuring their writing. As a break from typing and computers, students relished the opportunity to produce hand-written stories to share with their classmates, who were thrilled to discover the diversity of the families in our school, and especially the love stories of parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Students were invited to reflect on their learning via the interactive class Yammer page. This comment conveys how students enjoyed using their French to convey authentic information about themselves:

From the LOTE Yammer page: ‘I learned that our class is very diverse, especially from our different backgrounds that everyone’s families come from. I enjoyed creating this task not only creatively and designing it, but also learning more about my mother as I was writing her biography’.

Year 12 Alliance Francaise Oral Competition

Last Friday, the Year 12 French students participated in an oral examination where they had a 9-minute conversation with a French examiner, individually over Zoom. The first half of the conversation involved general conversation on topics such as their French-speaking journey, talking about their family and life at school. The second half was more of a discussion about a sub-topic from the study design that they felt particularly drawn to; with immigration and the environment hot topics this year. They also had to provide a photo that acted as a springboard into the conversation. While nerve-wracking, the experience is excellent practice for the VCE Oral Examination later in the year and we are very proud of their efforts.

Jo Rittey
Head of LOTE


Raise the Roof!

The Year 11 HHD class is well into Unit 2, Area of Study 1 and the move to remote learning has not slowed them down. They have been learning about the different lifespan stages, the type of development that occurs, particularly as one transitions from youth to adulthood, and the characteristics of respectful relationships.

With the implementation of Stage 4 restrictions, the first assessment task for this Outcome had to be done online using Microsoft Forms. This did not phase the students as they were familiar with this platform and were still able to apply their knowledge. Needless to say, however, the class was very happy to have completed the task and enjoyed the opportunity to ‘raise the roof’ at the conclusion of the lesson!

Dot Georgiou
Head of Health and Physical Education