Gippsland Grammar newsletter: Aug 28, 2020
I would like to thank our staff and parents for their support for today’s annual Compliance Day. This day is essential for the safety of our students and to ensure staff are up to date with legislative changes and familiar with all areas of Child Safety, Privacy and Human Resources. Gippsland Grammar is committed to high standards and consistent learning in these areas is an ongoing process. Of course, like everything else we have had to reimagine the way we achieve this during Learn@Home 2.0 and I thank you again for supporting today’s student-free day which allows this to happen.
As we pivot in our changing world, the School has been working towards enhancing our capacity to broadcast more efficiently with live performances and videos. Concequently we have recently launched our own YouTube channel, which we invite you to subscribe to via this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA8q7xiOi_TjW5m8ZZSgqrQ
Once our You Tube channel has 100 subscribers, we have the capacity to customise the URL so it’s specific to our School, which is why I thank you for supporting us in this. If you have a Gmail email account, that is the easiest way for you to subscribe and, once you have, I look forward to sharing many videos and live performances with you, which will be more important than ever in these times of social distancing. Our School is fortunate to have staff with excellent skills in this area and I would like to thank our Audio Visual/IT Assistant Mr Anthony King and our Head of Performing Arts Mr Matthew Goss for the work that they have been doing in this space.
Finally, I must say that after living here for a few months now, I am enjoying watching the changing landscape of the Gippsland region. While I own considerably more jumpers now, I am looking forward to Spring!
Have a wonderful weekend.
EARLY LEARNING CENTRES NEWS by Director Lisa Burgess
Both our Sale and Bairnsdale ELCs are closed today to allow the ELC team members time to update some first-aid and essential child safety training. Our educators are also currently completing excellent online Professional Development through Museum Victoria relating to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in Early Childhood. We look forward to translating these learnings to our classrooms throughout the remainder of the year.
Research points to the fact that children’s perceptions about the fields of science, engineering and mathematics can be formed early in life. Children are naturally curious and the open-ended and explorative nature of our ELC programs provide plentiful opportunities for our children to invent, tinker, design and create.
Last week we celebrated Science Week and this was an ideal opportunity for us to get up to date with the latest research in this area and learn some exciting new activities for our classrooms.
Over the past few weeks, the St Anne’s ELC families have been collecting food items to support Anglicare. Our target was 200 items; however, due to the generosity of our families, we now have many more. Our ELC mantra is ‘share, care and be fair.’ The collection of this food has provided opportunities for families and educators to talk to the children about how fortunate they are compared to other members of our Community.
We will be collecting donations until the end of next week.
ELC students (l-r) Mason, Baylin and Lillian collect and sort donations for Anglicare.
BAIRNSDALE NEWS, by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
A huge thank you to Nicole Van den Ham and Nielsen’s Nursery & Co for the plant donation (pictured). These plants will be used in our Campus vegie garden and students in Blackwood will plant them as a part of their Junior Rotary Community Award.
Bairnsdale Campus had two extra ‘kids’ at School this week – they were very cute!
ST ANNE’S NEWS by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
Connecting with Our Community: Even before this current pandemic saw us move into Learn@Home, our Campus had been implementing initiatives to encourage us all to form close connections within our School Community. And utilising our Gippsland Grammar Parent Engagement Model to guide what we do has allowed for more meaningful and engaging connections. Our Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) information sessions last year are a great example of this. And this year live-streaming (such as Zoom) has allowed more families to benefit from these type of information sessions. In the coming weeks, we will be inviting parents and students to an informative cybersafety information sessions with Australia’s foremost expert in the field. We feel with our students now spending more time than ever before online, that families need key information and strategies to help their children be safe, respectful and responsible online.
Parent/teacher interviews: Thank you to our teachers and the families who took the opportunity to meet to discuss their child’s academic, social and emotional growth. Using Zoom meant we were able to do this while staying safe. Zoom allowed for a more focused discussion on how each individual student is handling the year and how learning has looked a lot different – I have only received positive feedback from both teachers and parents.
It is always at the forefront of our minds that students are dealing with a range of complex issues this year, such as understanding the implications of COVID-19, the bushfires, not physically being on-site at School and missing some important events in their lives, such as birthday celebrations. With this in mind, during the interviews our teachers also took the opportunity to gain some insight into how we may continue to refine Learn@Home 2.0.
GARNSEY NEWS by Head of Campus Jan Henry
FlexiLearn Support: It was wonderful to see so many students Zooming in to FlexiLearn Support this week. FlexiLearn Support is a service provided each afternoon to any student who needs a little extra help, some motivation, or just support to help get started on set learning tasks and on Wednesday afternoon there were seven breakout rooms with staff supporting students in each.
If your child is looking for this support, please have them log onto the Zoom link below and one of our staff members will greet them and establish what will work best for them that afternoon and assign them to a room and supportive staff member. This link can also be found on Mentor Group pages in VOS.
Many teachers of senior classes make a regular afternoon catch up time for their classes. I encourage students to connect with their teachers during FlexiLearn, if learning assistance is required. An email request to a teacher for this support is usually all that is needed to arrange a suitable time for tutoring assistance.
Isolation Self-Improvement in Year 9: Each Thursday in Period 5 and 6, all Year 9 students have been completing an activity of their choice, which is aimed at empowering them to self-improve during Covid-19 isolation. Students have selected activities such as: touch-typing, painting, learning an instrument, writing a novel, gardening, knitting, starting a podcast and facemask making, amongst many others. Each week students are asked to set a specific goal for their improvement activity and to take a photo of their progress. I congratulate the Year 9 staff on this initiative and look forward to seeing the photo reflections at the end of the term.
Compliance Day 2020: Today is our annual Compliance Day and staff will be working on updating their training in Child Safety, Privacy and Human Resource obligations such as equal opportunity, anti-discrimination and harassment. Some staff will also undertake first-aid training. It is critical that all staff are fully trained in all these areas. Students will enjoy a student-free day to support this training taking place.
I hope that all students enjoy a well-earned long weekend. The promise of spring will be evident in our weather but I offer a gentle reminder to stay safe, follow all government restrictions to keep our Community safe. We all have a part to play in ensuring we are able to return to School Campus learning as soon as possible.
Take care everyone.
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