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Developing girls with grit at CGGS

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Canberra Girls Grammar School (CGGS) has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to educating strong, intelligent and ethically-minded young women.

In the Junior School, the four Signature Programs take this goal even further, providing a holistic and evidence-based approach to nurturing students. When Principal Anna Owen started at CGGS this year, she was particularly inspired by the program’s contemporary methods and focus.

“If I had to pick the one thing that has most impressed me at CGGS it would be our Junior School’s Signature Programs,” she explains. “They are bespoke educational programs designed to give girls everything they need to thrive. The two most evocative names are Year 5’s Girls with Grit and Year 6’s Girls Who Lead. I don’t think I need to say much more!”

From Year Three to Six, the Signature Programs have various focuses tailored to suit the students’ development. In Year Three, Girls TALK aims to develop the girls’ sense of belonging and wellbeing.

According to Dana Kerford, founder of friendship skills program URSTRONG, friendship issues are the number one cause of stress and anxiety among children. That’s why Girls Talk focuses on teaching students how to build and manage positive relationships, positive health and positive emotions.

smART Girls. Image supplied.

During the Girls TALK program students learn the importance of caring for themselves, their friends and their community, implementing the core CGGS values of kindness and empathy. The program also includes opportunities to help others locally, nationally and globally.

In Year Four, smART Girls is all about harnessing the power of creativity to build resilience, commitment, teamwork and confidence. The program promotes imaginative and critical thinking skills to improve each student’s wellbeing.

The students are able to learn from creative and artistic professionals, including the CGGS author in residence and actor in residence, to hone their creative identity.

“SmART Girls is all about communicating who you are and being happy and confident to be yourself,” says CGGS student Darcy.

As students being to prepare for their transition to secondary school in Year Five, the Girls with Grit program teaches valuable life lessons. The program includes four focus areas: Outdoor education and physical endeavour, happiness and wellness, learning how to learn, and sustainability and action.

Girls with Grit encourages students to embrace their strengths and challenges through physical activities, like boxing, hiking, team sports and battle games that build resilience. By experiencing a wide range of emotions in a safe and supportive environment, the girls can learn strategies to help them navigate adolescence.

Girls with Grit. Image supplied.

The Year Six Signature Program is all about leadership and entrepreneurship. Focusing on teamwork, problem-solving, confidence and public speaking, Girls Who Lead incorporates the membership of 12 designated committees and other leadership opportunities, including hosting special assemblies, fundraising and community events.

The program also seeks to nurture mentoring skills by working with younger students through the Buddy Reading and Peer Meditation programs. With these tools, CGGS students are well-equipped to grow into the female change-makers of the future.

For parents interested in learning more about life at CGGS from Preparatory to Year 6, the Head of Junior School, Mrs Angela Whitaker, warmly invites families to an information evening on Tuesday 28 May. Dinner for the whole family will be provided as you explore the unique offerings of the Junior School.

“This is an opportunity to learn more about our curriculum and the unique signature programs our school offers,” she says. “You will have the chance to meet with current Junior School students to discuss life on our Junior Campus and to explore interactive displays from the various faculties.”

the essentials  

What: CGGS Junior School Open Evening
Where: Canberra Girls Grammar School, Grey St, Deakin
When: Tuesday, 28 May, 5.30 pm – 7:30 pm
How much: Free

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