Gippsland Grammar news: Nov 13, 2020

Nov 13, 2020 | Community News

I would like to thank all our students and families who have generously donated to the School’s pantry appeal. This opportunity to assist our Community is one that I hope we can continue to grow across all year levels at Gippsland Grammar in 2021.

Always Was, Always Will Be – the School acknowledges this year’s NAIDOC theme where we recognise and celebrate the First Nations people who have occupied and cared for this continent for more than 65,000 years. This year’s theme acknowledges the hundreds of Nations and cultures that have covered this continent for thousands of years.

Be yourself
You may recall when I shared in a past newsletter (which you can read here) that Kermit the Frog was a significant part of my childhood. I would encourage our students to reflect on the following:

According to official biographies, Kermit was born in a swamp in Georgia. He had thousands of relatives and his largest problem was being recognized as an individual.
Some time ago, Daren Hardy wrote, “You cannot simply study the wisdom of others. You have to think through the ideas yourself and tap your own inner wisdom. Too often we are consumed by some epic hunt for the Holy Grail. We’re looking for someone else’s secret, answer, formula or big idea in order to get where we want to go.”

Kermit headed to the big city with a guitar and a big dream. Through perseverance he overcame many obstacles and made his mark. I want to remind our students that you can do the same and it begins when you stop trying to be someone you’re not. Be your own frog, as Kermit would say.

Wine fundraiser
For those interested in supporting our Foundation by buying a Grammar’s ‘Gippsland Dozen’, there are only 10 days left for you to get your orders in. We have already been so thrilled with the support this fundraiser has received for both our School and for the four local wineries who have faced their own challenges over the past 12 months.
Read more about the fundraiser here:
And order your own ‘Gippsland Dozen’ here:

Two student-free days next week
Finally, I remind you that Monday November 16 and Friday November 20 are both student-free days as our staff will be finalising their assessment and reporting for our students as well as preparing for rollover. My sincere thanks to all our staff for their continued efforts.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Leisa Harper


As the end of the year creeps up on us we are preparing for Christmas. I always feel very privileged to be a kindergarten teacher at this time of the year, as being able to experience the joy and wonder of Christmas with very small children is the greatest seasonal gift of all, and even the mention of this word creates excitement, anticipation and delight among our children. Over the coming weeks, ELC families should prepare yourselves for lots of glitter to come home on your child’s uniform as we make fabulous decorations for your tree and home. I know that the children at both campuses will be busily preparing special gifts for you, made with much love and affection.

During this week both campuses have had Zoom Parent Information Sessions with our 2021 families. It has been lovely to begin to get to know our new Gippsland Grammar families and welcome back many existing ones. It was also an opportunity to introduce the new members of our teaching team for next year.

This week in Bairnsdale Campus Transition by teacher Sharon Smith
We were very excited to welcome the Principal Mrs Harper and Librarian Mrs Sutherland to the ELC on Thursday as they presented the children with their Premier’s Reading Challenge Certificates of Participation. During Terms 2 and 3, the children have been reading a book each week from the Premier’s Challenge List and recording their responses to the story. Both Mrs Harper and Mrs Sutherland were amazed by the children’s booklets and their ability to identify and draw their favourite part of each story.

Finally, as Principal Harper has also outlined above, the ELCs will be closed on Monday 16 November and Friday 20 November as they are student-free days across our whole School.

BAIRNSDALE NEWS, by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
Acknowledging and celebrating significant events continues to challenge our thinking as a result of COVID-19. While cases in Victoria are currently under control and restrictions are slowly lifting, we still have many guidelines to adhere to when considering gatherings. For our students this is difficult to comprehend as we move towards our end of year celebrations. As a staff we are working hard to ensure our students are able to enjoy these events.

Early Years
Our Early Years students commenced the week with an excursion to the All Abilities Playground. Playing together, enjoying hot chips and generally having fun was evident in the students’ written recount of the day. The socialising aspect was a focus as we continue to support our students’ wellbeing and sense of belonging during what has been an interrupted year.

Remembrance Day
Observing the significance of November 11, we respectfully gathered on the hill around the rock garden on Wednesday to remember all those who have and continue to protect our country. Campus Captains Joshua and Sorrel informed us of the meaning behind the day and the significance why we wear poppies. I shared the story, Lest we Forget and Paul concluded our service with an inspiring rendition of The Last Post. It was a respectful and moving gathering, one to be proud of!

On Wednesday we welcomed Deputy Head of Garnsey Campus Kate Ray and next year’s Head of Year 7 Glen Dihood to meet our Year 6 students and support them in their transition to our School’s senior campus. There was certainly a nervous excitement among the students and many questions were asked. Unfortunately, this year transition across all schools has been compromised however, we are reaching out where possible. Students attending Nagle College next year will enjoy a day there next week.

We are looking forward to welcoming our 2021 Foundation students over the next two Tuesdays in groups of 10. Many of them are confident within the School grounds as they currently attend the ELC. I’m sure they will assist the students who are coming from outside the campus settle in quickly. Mrs Libby Crowe is looking forward to sharing the mornings together.

Acacia Fellowship
Our Acacia students were extremely excited as they presented their first Fellowship via Zoom. Thanks to Zoom they are now familiar and confident with being in front of the camera and they not only made us smile they have made us very proud of their achievements in a year that has been like no other. Our Acacia students have thrived under the guidance and care of Mrs Libby Crowe in partnership with their families.

COVID-19 Online Health Declaration Form
To help streamline students returning to School after having COVID-19 like symptoms, we have created an online form for parents to fill in when their child is ready to return to School. Parents can access this form via our COVID-19 tab on the parent section of VOS. We are asking families to fill in this online form before their child returns to School. School families can access the COVID-19 information page on VOS.

Next week
As Principal Harper has also outlined above, that next week both Monday November 16 and Friday November 20 are student-free days as staff attend to reports on Monday and come together for a Professional Learning Day on Friday. Our teachers will join St. Anne’s via Zoom to listen to presenter Mrs Karen Starkiss on the explicit teaching of reading.

ST ANNE’S NEWS by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
Mary Poppins
‘Practically perfect in every way’ is a quote from Mary Poppins and it sums up our Mary Poppins soiree yesterday afternoon. Our cast has been practising on and off for the past year and they have been incredibly resilient, dealing with many obvious challenges. Seeing our cast perform the songs from Mary Poppins, as well as performing some lines and dancing, was fantastic. Our Mary Poppins director Mrs Katie Germaine organised the event with significant assistance from a range of people. Having the soiree outside, as well as being recorded, will make this soiree extra special. I am hopeful we will be able to share the footage from the soiree with our Community soon. Stay tuned!

Remembrance Day
At 11am on Wednesday we honoured Remembrance Day with an exceptional pre-recorded service. Our DSTA connection Amanda Canfield collaborated with our Defence students to piece together another meaningful and memorable service. Our Defence families are such an essential part of our School Community and having these students being a part of such a service is important to us. Thank you to Year 6 student Lily Canfield for putting the video together. School families can watch the service on VOS.

Ocean of Emotions – Bradman Fellowship
Each morning I visit classrooms and I’ve noticed Bradman students are often discussing and learning about their feelings. Therefore, when I heard their Fellowship this week was titled ‘Ocean of Emotions,’ it did not surprise me. Teaching our students about identifying our emotions and working with them is crucial, and teacher Louise Sullivan does this regularly with her Bradman students. This week’s Fellowship was full of in-depth information and advice on strategies on how to work with your emotions. School families can watch this week’s Fellowship on VOS.

COVID-19 Online Health Declaration Form
To help streamline students returning to School after having COVID-19 like symptoms, we have created an online form for parents to fill in when their child is ready to return to School. Parents can access this form via our ‘COVID-19 tab’ on the parent section of VOS. We are asking families to fill in this online form before their child returns to School.

GARNSEY NEWS by Head of Campus Jan Henry
Year 9 enjoy spectacular high country adventure
With great excitement, many of the Year 9 students headed out on a bushwalking adventure this week walking from The Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing through the Alpine National Park in the Falls Creek and Mt Hotham area.

Our School’s Outdoor Education Program is an integral part of each and every student’s educational experience, none more so than for our Year 9s who would normally experience three programs in a year. Essentially sequential in nature, the program from Year 7 – Year 9 aims to establish foundational skills and experiences and is aimed at specific curriculum outcomes defined by the year level and has strong cross-curricular links to several other subject areas. Students are provided with the opportunity to explore their capacity for leadership, resiliency, teamwork, communication, community membership and much more through participating in the program.

This term’s Year 9 bushwalk featured a challenging walk, spectacular views of mountain ridges from 2000m above sea level, a walk through snow gum woodland and snow grass plains and camping near historic mountain huts which provided some refuge when rain threatened on Wednesday night. Activities included in the Year 9 program include minimal Impact camping and bushwalking. Head of Outdoor Education Dave Arnup said that “while, at times, students may have found conditions tough, they will undoubtedly look back on their time as rewarding and full of lifetime memories.”  Our Year 9 students have headed home today full of stories from their week in the high country and knowing that they can overcome challenges. Congratulations to them all.

Cathedral Pantry Appeal
Congratulations to the students in 9 Reynolds, supported by their Mentor Michelle Reynolds, for their collection of items for the Cathedral Pantry. Operating from a building adjacent to the Cathedral, the pantry provides goods to those who come seeking support. The contributions of students from across all year levels is an important project undertaken each year to restock the pantry and support those in our local community who are in need of such support. It’s also a tangible way in which we can work in partnership with the Anglican Diocese. A fine effort from all involved.

Remembrance Day
It was very moving to have the Defence Force students from across both senior and junior campuses present a Remembrance Day Chapel service this week. All students, with the exception of those in examinations at the time, stood with respect as the Last Post, silence and Reveille was played. Lest We Forget.

Young Scholars success
It is a pleasure to announce that Year 10 students Sierra Cook and Poppy Wharfe have been awarded a prestigious Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars’ award by the University of Melbourne.

COVID-19 Online Health Declaration Form
To help streamline students returning to School after having COVID-19 like symptoms, we have created an online form for parents to fill in when their child is ready to return to School. Parents can access this form via our COVID-19 tab on the parent section of VOS. We are asking families to fill in this online form before their child returns to School.

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