ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
The community of Canberra Grammar School acknowledges the Ngunnawal People as the traditional custodians of the country on which it is our privilege to gather, learn and work. We affirm our obligation to honour the knowledge and heritage of countless generations, and we extend respect to elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Peoples.
INTRODUCTION PROUD OF OUR PAST FOCUSED ON OUR FUTURE
Our School was founded to be a leading centre of learning for the capital of Australia. Over the past nine decades, it has grown and flourished with our city, and it occupies a proud place in the heart of our community.
In recent years, the School’s evolution has been rapid and significant. Our previous strategic plan saw the introduction of new curriculum models in both the Primary and the Senior Schools, the establishment of an explicitly international educational orientation, and the introduction of new technology and approaches to learning and teaching.
The past decade also saw the regeneration of the CGS Foundation, the inauguration of our flourishing CGS Indigenous Scholarships Programme, and the implementation of an ambitious campus development plan for the renewal of our facilities for learning, boarding, sports and the creative and performing arts.
The School’s recent transition to full co-education has also energised its cultural transformation and its growth to become one of the largest and most dynamic schools in Canberra: a thriving and progressive community of students, staff, families and alumni, proud of our heritage and excited by our future.
As we look ahead, we aspire to build on that legacy, to embrace the challenges of our time with courage and knowledge. We aim to stand proudly amongst the leading schools of our nation and our region; to strive for excellence in all that we do and for distinction in who we are.
We know that the generations to come will face particular challenges from climate change and technological advancement, and from social and geopolitical shifts that will alter the nature of education itself. It is our duty to respond to that by continually renewing our purpose and our priorities for learning and teaching, pastoral care, co-curricular activity, community engagement and School operations.
This next strategic plan will guide our aspirations and decisions as we continue the development of our School and as we strive to give our children the opportunities and inspiration that they deserve; to prepare them as curious, creative, confident and compassionate young citizens, ready for the world.Garrick Stephen Byron Head of School Chair of the Board
IT IS A PLEASURE TO PRESENT THESE STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS TO GUIDE THE DEVELOPMENT OF CANBERRA GRAMMAR SCHOOL IN THE YEARS TOWARDS ITS CENTENARY IN 2029.
CANBERRA GRAMMAR SCHOOL IS A CO-EDUCATIONAL INDEPENDENT ANGLICAN DAY AND BOARDING SCHOOL OFFERING OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC EDUCATION, CO-CURRICULAR OPPORTUNITIES AND PASTORAL CARE TO STUDENTS FROM PRE-SCHOOL TO YEAR 12.
Originally founded in Cooma as Manaro Grammar School in 1908, the School was re-established as Canberra Grammar School on its current site in 1929, with a mission to educate the children of Australia’s capital city and the regions surrounding the seat of national leadership.
Set in Ngunnawal country, the School is blessed with a magnificent 20 hectare campus in the inner south of Canberra, along with a small early childhood campus in north Canberra and a Rowing Centre on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin. The campus includes outstanding heritage and modern facilities for learning, boarding, sport and the creative and performing arts.
The School became co-educational from Pre-School to Year 2 in 1975 and then in all year groups from 2018. It now educates over 900 Primary School students and nearly 1300 Senior School students from more than 40 nations. Students are taught and supported by around 500 highly qualified and dedicated teaching, operational, casual, coaching and specialist staff.
As from the School’s earliest days, boarding is central to our community with 120 students living in modern accommodation on campus, primarily from rural areas surrounding Canberra, from overseas, and from Canberra-based families serving on diplomatic and defence postings.
Funded by the generosity of parents, staff and alumni, the CGS Foundation supports an ambitious campus development plan and a broad array of Indigenous, academic, arts and merit-based scholarships and access bursaries.
Although governed and administered independently, the School has enduring links with the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, and our values are founded in Christian scriptures and traditions.
The School is non-selective, and it welcomes students, families and staff of all faiths and ethnicities, backgrounds and capabilities to live, learn and work in a community guided by our values, vision and mission to educate curious, creative, confident and compassionate citizens of the world.
WHILE OUR CENTENARY PLAN IS LARGE AND AMBITIOUS, OUR CONFIDENCE IN ITS DELIVERY IS REFLECTED IN THE RECORD OF OUR EVOLUTION UNDER THE SCHOOL’S PREVIOUS STRATEGIC PLAN, ‘STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS TOWARDS 2020’.
In addition to the task of providing day-to-day learning, pastoral care and co-curricular opportunity to a large and diverse community, the School has transformed its educational offering over the past decade, implementing the new Australian Curriculum, the Early Years Learning Framework, the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, alongside the School’s traditional NSW Higher School Certificate programme.
At the same time, the School established an explicitly globally oriented educational agenda with a focus on Australia’s place in Asia, expanding our range of international partner schools, exchange programmes and opportunities for overseas language, cultural, service and sporting experiences. In addition, we created the CGS Professional Appreciation Cycle, the CGS Professional Allowance and the unique CGS Staff Professional Excellence Fund to provide peer-reviewed opportunities for study, research and learning. The School also established the CGS Learning Framework to underpin teaching and curriculum development and to guide priorities for the on-going professional growth of staff.
In 2016, the School began transitioning to full co-education in the Primary School, followed a year later by the Senior School, with boys and girls learning together in every year group from Pre-School to Year 12 by 2018. The School also grew by more than 30% to become the largest school in Canberra and one of the largest in Australia, with nearly 2200 students and more than 500 full- and part-time staff. Co-educational transition also saw the redesign of the School’s academic and sporting uniforms and its visual livery, re-establishing the signature colours of gold and sky blue based on elements of the School’s earliest colours.
Growth and co-education also fuelled the restructuring of CGS Active Education, including the employment of professional coaching directors across most larger sports, the inauguration of the athlete development programme, and the substantial re-envisioning of the School’s Outdoor Education programme prior to the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Co-education also catalysed the relaunch of CGS Music and the expansion of CGS Drama and Dance, placing the creative and performing arts at the heart of School life.
The redevelopment of the School’s boarding provision and accommodation returned the residential community to its place as the beating heart of our School, with our boarding community growing to 120 boys and girls living onsite by 2020. Pastoral care for boarders and day students was also augmented by the creation of three new Houses in the Senior School followed by two new Houses in Primary School, along with substantial expansion of our students support, counselling and specialist educational services.
In addition to the development of boarding facilities, the School’s ambitious Campus Development Plan in the decade towards 2020 saw the renovation of the Mathematics, English and History Departments, redevelopment of the Art Design and Technology building, extensive renovations to the heritage listed East Wing of the Quadrangle and to the former Headmaster’s Residence, along with construction of the new Mathematics and Administration Buildings.
Work in the Primary School included construction of the Primary Library and adjoining classrooms, the expansion and renovation of the Early Learning Centre, the renovation of Northside, the wholesale redevelopment Southside (K-2), the creation of specialist music tuition rooms, the expansion of change rooms and amenities, and the substantial refurbishment of much of the Junior School. Safety and access to the campus were also facilitated by the full redevelopment of the School’s Alexander Street and Monaro Crescent frontages, driveways and carparks.
The decade to 2020 also saw the restoration of the School’s ovals and grounds, the installation of state-ofthe-art tennis and netball courts and the construction of a superb new Rowing Centre on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, all designed to ensure that the School’s increasingly professionalised approach to coaching in its wide array of sports is matched with quality facilities and experiences.
Less obvious, but no less important, was the campus-wide installation of broadband and wi-fi to support the dramatic expansion of IT-based learning and the introduction of light mobile personal devices in the decade to 2020. The same period also saw the in-house creation of CGS Dashboard and CGS Connect, the School’s extensive on-line learning management, data tracking, community engagement and administrative portals. In addition to their impact on learning, all were crucial to sustaining educational continuity in the School’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-22.
Re-established in 2014, along with re-invigoration of the School’s Alumni and community engagement initiatives, the CGS Foundation has grown to underpin the School’s campus development while funding an array of scholarships for academic, musical and leadership potential that is unrivalled in Canberra. The CGS Foundation also enabled the creation in 2019 of the CGS Indigenous Scholarships Programme, designed to see the School play its part as a leading centre of learning in the national capital for the education of Indigenous and nonIndigenous students who will create an Australian future together based in justice and opportunity.
The CGS Foundation was also the recipient of an extraordinary $8 million dollar gift from former student, Mr Terry Snow AM, for the creation of the Snow Centre for Education in the Asian Century, a landmark learning facility that opened in 2015. That was followed in 2019, the year of the School’s 90th Anniversary, by Mr Snow’s endowment of $20 million, the largest gift to a school in Australian history, making possible the construction of a magnificent new Music Department and Library, and the Snow Concert Hall at the entrance to the School’s heritage Quadrangle. Opening in 2022, this will significantly enhance our extensive music programme and our existing excellence in the creative and performing arts.
Now, as we look to our centenary—a diverse, dynamic and thriving educational community—we aim to build on the progress achieved under our last strategic plan, and we reaffirm our core commitment to be always a centre of excellence in learning for our students, staff and community; a great school in the heart of our nation’s capital; a leading school for Australia.
OUR PURPOSE IS TO EMBODY THE PRINCIPLES OF OUR FAITH AND OUR FOUNDATION, TO FULFIL OUR COMMITMENT TO OUR PEOPLE AND OUR PLACE, AND TO RESPOND TO THE IMPERATIVES OF OUR TIME.
We are guided in all that we do by:
OUR FAITH: as an Anglican School, we embrace people of all faiths and backgrounds who seek to live, learn and work in a community guided by Christian scripture and traditions, by compassion for all, and by relationship to God and creation. We seek to nurture a culture of reverence, prayer, service, grace and love.
OUR FOUNDATION: as a school founded in the holistic tradition of independent education, we maintain a broad and deep commitment to pastoral care, co-curricular experience and academic endeavour. We nurture each person as an individual and we celebrate the whole human being: spiritual, intellectual, social, cultural and physical.
OUR PEOPLE: as a school, our prime responsibility is to the young; to their learning and to their growth in safety, health and happiness. As a community, we value the experience and dedication of our staff and the contribution of our families and alumni. We celebrate our diversity of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, talent, ability and background.
OUR PLACE: as a school established to serve the young capital of an ancient country, our role is to educate the generations who will shape Australia’s future in the knowledge of its past, present and global context. We honour our obligation to the deep heritage of Ngunnawal country, and to the beauty and sustenance of our environment.
OUR TIME: as a school proud of its history, yet focused on the future, we know that our children will live, learn and lead in an era of great global challenges, including climate change, technological revolution and the vast social and geopolitical shifts reshaping our world. Their education must reflect that and equip them to flourish in the era that they will shape.
OUR MISSION & VALUES
OUR MISSION IS TO EDUCATE STUDENTS WHO EMBODY THE QUALITIES THAT WE VALUE. IT IS TO EDUCATE CURIOUS, CREATIVE, CONFIDENT AND COMPASSIONATE CITIZENS, READY FOR THE WORLD.
We are guided in all that we do by our aspiration to be:
CURIOUS: curiosity is the fuel and the goal of our learning, teaching and curriculum. Our educational aim is not simply to instil knowledge and test memory, but to inspire inquiry, to develop the skills of research and independent learning, to engender respect for the power of science and the arts as ways of knowing; to create a thirst for ever-greater understanding.
CREATIVE: creativity is expressed in the enjoyment of our music, drama, dance and art, it is inherent to science and mathematics, and it is manifested throughout our rich co-curricular life from sport to coding. It also stems from an attitude that sees potential in challenge, that embraces ideas and that applies imagination, skill and technology to innovation and the solution of complex problems.
CONFIDENT: confidence comes from the stretch, experience and joy of active and outdoor education, from sport and performance, and from finding voice in leadership and fulfilment in service. It avoids both arrogance and complacency. It entails courage, self-awareness, teamwork and the motivation to give in leadership through service.
COMPASSIONATE: compassion is the heart and soul of our Anglican life, the core value of our Christian foundation, and the goal of our pastoral care. It entails integrity, empathy, care and respect for all, and it is embodied in the relationships that we nurture both among and between students and staff. It is the purpose of our mentoring, the guide to our conduct, and the reason for our service.
CITIZENS OF THE WORLD: the embrace of active citizenship is the proof of our readiness for the world; that our motivation is good stewardship of our community and environment. It is the expectation that we see ourselves in local and global contexts, and that we play our part, both personally and professionally, using the power of our education and the quality of our character to shape a just, sustainable and prosperous future for all.
BY ITS CENTENARY IN 2029, CANBERRA GRAMMAR SCHOOL INTENDS TO BE ONE OF THE MOST OUTSTANDING CENTRES OF LEARNING IN AUSTRALIA: EXCELLENT IN ALL THAT WE DO, AND DISTINCTIVE IN WHO WE ARE.
The School will be:
A CENTRE OF EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE: Canberra Grammar School aims to be one of the most dynamic centres of educational excellence in Australia. We will provide a distinctive P – 12 CGS Curriculum continuum that is vertically and horizontally coherent, flexible, inclusive and enriched to meet individual needs and interests. It will build disciplinary knowledge and skills, actively develop individual learning capacity, and explicitly prepare students to be curious, creative, confident and compassionate citizens of the world.
AN INCLUSIVE AND CARING CULTURE: Guided by its Anglican values and working with students and in close partnership with families, Canberra Grammar School aims to know, respect and nurture all students as complex human beings, embracing diversity, supporting individual needs, and building confidence and capacity. We will seek to inspire and celebrate the efforts of all in realising their intellectual, spiritual, cultural, social and physical potential.
A PLACE OF CHALLENGE AND OPPORTUNITY: Canberra Grammar School aims to offer unparalleled diversity, quality, enjoyment and fulfilment in the range of its co-curricular opportunities. We will encourage and support both broad participation and the achievement of excellence, and we will be distinguished for the outstanding spirit and vitality of our creative and performing arts, sports and outdoor education.
A GLOBALLY-ORIENTED INNOVATOR: Canberra Grammar School aims to be distinguished locally, nationally and internationally for its defining commitment to globally oriented education and educational initiative. We will embrace technological innovation, and we will play our part as a leading school in Australia’s capital for the advancement of Indigenous education and for the promotion of global perspectives.
A FULFILLING AND REWARDING WORKPLACE: Canberra Grammar School aims to be distinguished locally and nationally as a leader in professional development, as a rewarding employer and as a stimulating and fulfilling collegial community. We are committed to high-quality professional learning, to the care and wellbeing of colleagues, and to significant investment in the professional growth of our teaching and operational teams.
A COMMITTED AND CONNECTED COMMUNITY: Canberra Grammar School aims to be an outward-looking, actively engaged learning community that works closely with its families, is proud of its alumni and is grateful to all. Embracing the diversity, expertise and commitment of our community, we will enrich the experiences of our students and staff, and give to the life of our city and to the future of Australian education.
A THRIVING AND SUSTAINABLE ENTERPRISE: Canberra Grammar School aims to operate as an efficient, well-governed, financially and environmentally sustainable organisation. We will manage our operations to maximise educational opportunities for students and professional opportunities for staff, while investing in the continuous improvement of our outstanding modern and heritage campus facilities.
OUR STRATEGIC PLAN IN OVERVIEW
Our strategy is underpinned by our Purpose, Vision, Values and Mission.
The commitments outlined in our Strategic Plan are important in making us the School that we aspire to be by our centenary in 2029.
A CENTRE OF EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE
Canberra Grammar School aims to be one of the most dynamic centres of educational excellence in Australia. We will provide a distinctive P–12 CGS Curriculum continuum that is vertically and horizontally coherent, flexible, inclusive and enriched. It will build disciplinary knowledge and skills, develop learning capacity, and prepare students to be curious, creative, confident and compassionate citizens of the world.
» develop a distinctive P–12 CGS Curriculum continuum and timetable structure to nurture the CGS 5Cs
» ensure that our primary curriculum is a leading exemplar of the IBPYP
» develop a distinctive middle curriculum that explicitly develops approaches to learning
» offer a distinctive upper curriculum building on existing strength and the CGS 5Cs
» investigate options for the creation of a CGS Professional and Vocational Curriculum
» establish a shared language for the discourse of learning across the School
» ensure that all learning, teaching and assessment is personalised and inclusive
» implement an explicit curriculum for the development of core meta-learning skills
» provide a programme of enriched and extended learning within and beyond the classroom
» embed the principles and tools of formative learning and improvement across the School
AN INCLUSIVE & CARING CULTURE
Guided by its Anglican values and working with students and in close partnership with families, Canberra Grammar School aims to know, respect and nurture all students as complex human beings, embracing diversity, supporting individual needs, and building confidence and capacity. We will seek to inspire and celebrate the efforts of all in realising their intellectual, spiritual, cultural, social and physical potential.
» enhance the prime responsibility of Primary teachers and Senior tutors for student care
» nurture a culture of inclusion backed by focused support for specific needs
» integrate and enhance our specialist, health, counselling and inclusive learning services
» further develop CGS Boarding as a warm, inclusive and homely community
» further develop CGS Care as a warm and accessible service for students and families
CGS STUDENT DEVELOPMENT
» develop a distinctive P – 12 CGS Personal Development curriculum to nurture the CGS 5Cs
» nurture the spiritual and ethical growth of all students guided by our Anglican ethos
» establish a programme for the development of student agency and service leadership
» devise a CGS Citizenship Portfolio to record and reflect on personal growth and tertiary aspirations
» create a programme of family engagement and education to support student development
A PLACE OF CHALLENGE & OPPORTUNITY
Canberra Grammar School aims to offer unparalleled diversity, quality, enjoyment and fulfilment in the range of its co-curricular opportunities. We will encourage and support both broad participation and the achievement of excellence, and we will be distinguished for the outstanding spirit and vitality of our creative and performing arts, sports and outdoor education.
CGS CREATIVE & PERFORMING ARTS
» make CGS a centre of excellence in Canberra and the region for music education
» make CGS a centre of excellence in Canberra and the region for drama, dance and film
» make CGS a centre of excellence in Canberra and the region for art and design
» co-ordinate a rich annual programme of artistic performances, exhibitions and festivals
» make the School’s arts facilities and programmes part of the Canberra community
CGS ACTIVE EDUCATION
» develop a distinctive P – 12 CGS Outdoor Education curriculum to nurture the CGS 5Cs
» develop a distinctive P – 12 CGS Sport curriculum for the development of skills and attitudes
» extend our existing programmes for the support and development of talented athletes
» develop a sustainable approach to active education staffing and coaching development
» enhance our active education outreach, community engagement and enrichment
A GLOBALLYORIENTED INNOVATOR
Canberra Grammar School aims to be distinguished locally, nationally and internationally for its defining commitment to globally oriented education and educational initiative. We will embrace technological innovation, and we will play our part as a leading school in Australia’s capital for the advancement of Indigenous education and for the promotion of global perspectives.
CGS READY FOR THE WORLD
» embed and extend our Reconciliation Action Plan for CGS Indigenous Education
» enhance our distinctive range of global educational opportunities and partnerships
» establish a distinctive educational enrichment programme for Global Citizenship
» establish an intensive language programme for international students
» develop CGS Plus as a rich and diverse programme for out of hours educational enrichment
» extend our excellence in coding and IT innovation to include broader STEM opportunities
» evolve our approach to education technology focusing on digital citizenship and IT-based learning skills
» further develop CGS Connect for information, communication, learning and assessment
» further develop CGS Dashboard for student data tracking, analysis and reporting
» enhance and continually upgrade our IT infrastructure for availability, resilience, efficiency and security
A FULFILLING & REWARDING WORKPLACE
Canberra Grammar School aims to be distinguished locally and nationally as a leader in professional development, as a rewarding employer and as a stimulating and fulfilling collegial community. We are committed to high-quality professional learning, to the care and wellbeing of colleagues, and to significant investment in the professional growth of our teaching and operational teams.
CGS PROFESSIONAL GROWTH
» strengthen our approaches to HR to be defined by quality support and conditions
» further develop a distinctive CGS Professional Growth Cycle to build the capacity of all staff
» extend systems and resources for the professional development and accreditation of staff
» invest in professional growth, quality conditions, accreditation and opportunities of staff
» establish the CGS Institute for professional learning and outreach
» establish a shared set of CGS teaching standards and expectations across the School
» define and encourage teaching in the holistic tradition within and beyond the classroom
» enhance structures to prioritise teaching and the recognition of advanced teaching
» institute an active programme of observation, collaboration and peer coaching
» partner with universities to play an active role in teacher education in the ACT and beyond
A COMMITTED & CONNECTED COMMUNITY
Canberra Grammar School aims to be distinguished as an outwardlooking, actively engaged learning community that is warmly responsive to its families, proud of its alumni and grateful to all. Embracing the diversity, expertise and commitment of our community, we will enrich the experiences of our students and staff, and give to the life of our city and the future of Australian education.
» refresh the School’s message, image, media and communications profile
» refine our admissions engagement and information and our procedures for enrolment
» engage with our community associations to support a vibrant array of events and initiatives
» engage our alumni in more opportunities for social and professional connection
» enliven the CGS Business Directory as a platform for sharing expertise and opportunities
» launch the CGS Centenary Project to celebrate the School’s past, present and future
» develop a philanthropic campaign to grow our Indigenous Scholarship Programme
» develop a philanthropic campaign to support our equity and hardships bursaries
» develop a philanthropic campaign to sustain our merit and talent scholarships
» develop a philanthropic campaign to underpin our Campus Development Plan
A THRIVING & SUSTAINABLE ENTERPRISE
Canberra Grammar School aims to operate as an efficient, well-governed, financially and environmentally sustainable organisation. We will manage our operations to maximise educational opportunities for students and professional opportunities for staff, while investing in the continuous improvement of our outstanding modern and heritage campus facilities.
CGS CAMPUS DEVELOPMENT
» implement the next stages of the School’s long-term Campus Development Plan
» develop a plan to meet ambitious targets for environmental sustainability
» build improvements for security, access and mobility into our Campus Development Plan
» ensure that our campus facilities and services benefit the School and broader community
» consider opportunities for development of additional campus facilities
CGS BUSINESS OPERATIONS
» ensure long-term financial security, sustainability and capacity to invest in development
» cultivate opportunities to grow revenue through additional services and programmes
» refine operational procedures for greater efficiency and workload management
» enhance risk, compliance and policy frameworks for greater clarity and efficiency
» ensure that governance reflects diversity and guards the School’s independence and security