Opportunities Beyond the Classroom

Co-curricular education at Canberra Grammar School is an exciting learning opportunity for all students. We offer a rich array of activities intended to appeal to every mind, body and heart.  Students and staff engage in physical, cultural and intellectual pursuits together, building relationships, understanding and respect beyond the classroom borders.

Students discover their strengths and talents and learn about commitment and goal setting. The programme develops students’ character and connects them with our community forging an appreciation of service.

As an IB World School, our Co-curricular Education Programme is inspired by the Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) core component of the diploma programme. An emphasis on individual goal setting and reflection and a balanced selection of activities is encouraged. Many activities run as extension and enrichment opportunities, offering explicit links to the School’s academic curriculum.

Learn more about what co-curricular activities Canberra Grammar School offers but navigating through the options below:


Sport is integral to us here at Canberra Grammar School. Essential to the development of our students, both physically and mentally, sport is also a fantastic way to strengthen our overall sense of Community and School spirit. Students in Years 3 – 6 represent the School in season-based competitive sports including Cricket, Football, Rugby, Squash, Triathlon, Basketball, Tennis, Netball and Orienteering

Creative & Performing arts

The Performing arts promote valuable experiences of self-expression and creativity that are important to the development of young people. Our students participate in a range of choral and instrumental ensembles, dance genres and dramatic experiences. Performing Arts help students develop creative passions as well as promote language and communication skills. These skills are integral to communicating effectively and with confidence.


Students are provided with participation opportunities that build upon the School’s core outdoor education programme. Students, along with family members, participate in experiences that enable them to interact with the natural environment and assist in the development of sustainable patterns of living. They further enhance their values of care, respect and responsibility by their exploration and deepening understanding of natural environments. Participation in Adventure Club provides opportunities for personal growth, social interaction and the development of responsible environmental consciousness.


The Horizons element develops life-long skills and builds passions in a wide range of activities. Responsive to the interests of students and expertise of staff, students are encouraged to discover hidden talents and build skills for life in a wide range of options from chess, to debating, to self-defence.


Participation in sports allows students to grow in physical and personal confidence, forming friendships that last a lifetime.

Canberra Grammar School has one of the strongest sporting traditions of any school in Canberra. The extensive programme is designed to develop physical skills and wellbeing, as well as teamwork and sportsmanship.

The School is proud of its students’  sporting success but even more proud of their reputation for excellent sportsmanship both on and off the field.

The unrivaled breadth of the School’s summer and winter sports activities includes:

  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Cricket
  • Dragon Boating
  • Football (Soccer)
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Outdoor Pursuits
  • Rowing
  • Rugby
  • Sailing
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Swimming
  • Taekwondo
  • Tennis; and
  • Water Polo.

The School also recognises participation in:

  • Equestrian
  • Club Futsal
  • Club Swimming
  • Club Squash
  • Club AFL

School sport is also at the heart of the School community, drawing families into the life of the School as spectators, managers and in some cases as coaches. Coaching is undertaken by some teaching staff and a number of external coaches provide specialist expertise for elite skill development.

Art & Design

Canberra Grammar School offers a dynamic Visual Arts and Design curriculum, complemented by a co-curricular programme to allow students to extend their creative intelligence through a variety of mediums.

The Art and Design curriculum is constantly evolving to embrace new technologies and approaches that engage and stimulate our students’ imaginations.

The Canberra Grammar School Gallery proudly supports young and emerging artists in the Canberra community, with close links to the Australian National University’s School of Art and the Emerging Artists Support Scheme. The Gallery regularly exhibits established Indigenous and international artists, young graduate artists and the work of students from our own Junior and Senior schools.


Dance teaches young people to be focused, disciplined and to develop their individual creativity while fostering social interaction and cooperation. Dance provides students with an opportunity to use movement as a tool for self-expression and communication as they explore individual sensitivity and appreciation, and develop an awareness of those around them.

Dance Ensembles

Dance ensembles are created throughout the year to perform at various events/special occasions. Dance styles vary depending on the event and rehearsals will take place before and after school.

Musical Productions

At Canberra Grammar School, dance opportunities exist within the co-curricular programme. These opportunities are designed to celebrate the talents of our students and support those that love to dance by providing them with new opportunities. Students are challenged to learn new skills, develop self-confidence and strive for excellence, all while having fun in a safe and nurturing environment.  Co-curricular dance opportunities are offered to students in years 7-12.

Canberra Grammar School produces musicals regularly, with opportunities for students to be a part of the dance ensemble. Musical productions range from small scale productions to larger scale productions and are held in our own Performing Arts Centre or in larger theatre venues within the ACT.

Dance Festival

The Ausdance Youth Dance Festival is an annual event run by Ausdance ACT. The event is a non-competitive opportunity for High Schools and Colleges in the ACT and surrounds to perform at the Canberra Theatre. Each year the festival has an overall theme and schools are challenged to use the language of movement to produce a piece that interprets the theme. Canberra Grammar School participates each year, with auditions being held in Term 2.


Drama focuses on developing the key skills of confidence, collaboration and creativity. Drama allows students to explore and develop the  verbal and non-verbal expression of ideas. Drama allows young people to develop self-confidence by challenging them to make creative choices, take risks and trust in their ideas and abilities.

The very nature of theatre requires a collaborative approach, and at Canberra Grammar School students are provided with a range of options and experiences when nominating to become a member of a production. Roles exist for actors, directors, technical and backstage crew, musicians, singers and dancers.  Canberra Grammar School produces several plays and musicals throughout the year. Students always enjoy being  part of our vibrant productions held in our own Performing Arts Centre and in larger theatre spaces within the ACT.


A number of  productions are produced throughout the year and are held in our Performing Arts Centre. Plays range from Shakespeare to comedy and from tragedies to the obscure. Senior students have the opportunity to direct plays as part of their IB CAS project.  Our productions involve students working closely with each other across  all year groups, leading to the building of strong connections across the senior school. Auditions are open to students in years 7-12.

Musical Productions

Canberra Grammar School produces an annual musical, providing students with an enriching and unique opportunity to be a part of dynamic and high quality productions. We strive for excellence in our shows and are committed to fostering a supportive and collaborative environment that combines the talents of our actors, singers, dancers and musicians. Technical and backstage roles also exist within our shows. Auditions are open to students in years 7-12.


Music is a tremendously important part of Canberra Grammar School as we recognise that an appreciation of music is a source of enduring pleasure that will last a lifetime.

Music is integral to the School’s daily life, and instrumental, classroom and co-curricular Music weave together to provide opportunities at all levels of music education, from solo and ensemble performance to the study of music history, composition and musicology.

The philosophy behind music at Canberra Grammar School is to:

  • Instil a lasting love of music in all students
  • Encourage students to come to a better understanding of music through relevant and exciting musical experiences
  • Nurture the musician that is within every student through active involvement in music-making; and
  • Provide each student with a sense of personal achievement and develop self-discipline.

Canberra Grammar School offers a wide selection of choirs, orchestras and bands for students and many smaller ensembles for individual instrumental groups.

Choirs, Bands, Orchestras & Ensembles

CGS offers a wide selection of choirs, orchestras and bands for students, as well as many smaller ensembles for individual instrumental groups, including:

  • Canberra Grammar School Choir
  • Barrett, Middleton and Fischer Concert Bands
  • Armstrong and Fitzgerald Jazz Bands
  • Percussion Ensemble
  • String Orchestra
  • Cello Choir
  • Guitar Orchestra
  • Advanced Guitar Ensemble
  • Electric Guitar Ensembles; and
  • Instrument Specific Ensembles

Computing & Code Cadets

Canberra Grammar School offers a unique and practical computing and information technology programme as part of our academic and co-curricular offerings.

We strive to keep our offerings modern and relevant in the fast-moving world of technological change. We were the first school in Australia to teach iOS application development as part of our formal academic curriculum, the first school to adopt teaching the new Swift programming language, and the first school in the world to develop for Microsoft HoloLens. So, whether this be teaching the latest in mobile development, the latest web-standards, or working on open-source projects and contributing back to the community, we constantly update and keep our programmes on the cutting-edge of technology.

YEARS 7 & 8

Students have the opportunity to join the Code Cadets group, a co-curricular activity which teaches introductory Python programming.

YEARS 9 & 10

Students can choose Information and Software Technology as one of their elective subjects. The course teaches students to develop websites, web-based applications and iOS applications.

YEARS 11 & 12

The School offers Software Design and Development as part of the Higher School Certificate. This course teaches students the foundations of the software engineering process, particularly the different approaches that can be taken to develop software, how hardware and software are related, and interpersonal skills needed by developers to work in teams.

Beyond the curriculum, students participate in:

  • the Australian Informatics Competition
  • Sydney University’s Python Programming Challenge
  • UNSW ProgComp
  • Hackathon ACT; and
  • GovHack.

In 2012, the CGS team ‘Stack Underflow’ won the Best Student Project and Best Centenary of Canberra App, with the substantial cash prizes associated with these categories.

During 2012 and 2013, students studying IT had an opportunity to visit San Francisco for two weeks during January which included touring major companies in Silicon Valley such as Google, Apple, Cisco, and NetApp. Our students were also invited to present an all-day workshop at the Macworld | iWorld 2013 Conference on iOS Development for Beginners – the most popular workshop of the entire conference. To find out more visit or watch the trip video.

Each year since 2011, the Code Cadets have also had the opportunity to visit the world’s technological leaders such as Google, Facebook and Apple on a tech experience through San Francisco and Silicon Valley, an overseas excursion like no other and one unique to CGS.

Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education is an integral part of life at Canberra Grammar School, beginning in the Primary School and continuing through Senior School.

All camps and expeditions are designed to promote personal growth, social interaction and environmental awareness while complementing the traditional school experience.

At all times students are supported and guided in working together to meet both individual and group challenges, while gaining respect for the environment and understanding of the need for a sustainable future.

YEARS 3 & 4

Students are introduced to camp activities in a safe but challenging environment. Students are in cabins overnight and partake in a variety of activities during the day that develop team work and collaboration.

YEARS 5 & 6

The camp experience is extended to include overnight in tents and students preparing their own group meals. The level of challenge is increased with canoeing, abseiling and navigational challenges included in the programme. Students develop leadership and communication skills.

YEARS 7 & 8

Students attend a five-day camp where the focus is on friendships and unity. For students new to the School in the Senior years, this is an integral part of getting to know their peers and House communities.


Students are challenged with new skills and experiences such as caving and expedition hiking. The camp has a journey aspect where students have time to develop a sense of place and connection to the land around them. All groups are accompanied by experienced Outdoor Education staff.


Students participate in a rigorous expedition that is the pinnacle of the School’s Outdoor Education programme. The expedition includes an extensive range of activities that involve a high level of commitment and challenge. This is a journey based programme that builds on lessons learnt in Year 9. This is often undertaken in different modes of travel be that hike, mountain bike, or paddle.

Expeditions & Exchanges

As part of its commitment to developing students’ global perspective, the School runs a range of cultural, academic, sporting, community service and outdoor education tours every year both overseas and within Australia.

There are sporting tours in most school holidays, and in recent years groups of students have skied in Japan, undertaken community service projects in Thailand, represented Australia in academic tournaments in New Zealand, and attended prestigious international IT conferences in San Francisco.


The Languages Department organises regular international tours to enhance cultural understanding and linguistic development. The Department also facilitates longer-term placements for students wishing to further develop their language skills by studying in schools overseas.


Canberra Grammar School offers Year 10 students the opportunity to study in South Africa, England, Scotland, Canada or the United States. Students must apply for and are interviewed for placements in this extremely popular programme, which plays an enormously important role in helping them to develop an international understanding and a powerful sense of their role as ambassadors for the School and Australia.