Gippsland Grammar news: Oct 16, 2020

Oct 16, 2020 | Community News

Dear families,

What a wonderful week we have had across all three of our campuses! It has been a delight to see all our students and staff return to School and we have all relished in the students’ return as the school grounds have come alive again with conversations, laughter and joy.

I was talking with some students yesterday who shared with me how tired they are and how much they were looking forward to the weekend. I think this is an important reflection to make as we have all transitioned from a predominantly “sitting/deskbound” home environment to being back at school. It takes energy to physically and mentally re-adjust so I hope all our students can rest and relax as much as possible over the weekend.

Here’s a little of what I shared with the students as they returned on Monday.
I love cartoons and have many happy memories watching them on a Saturday morning with my brother. I shared a Roadrunner cartoon and explained to the students who weren’t familiar with it that it was a series in which every episode Wile E. Coyote tried to catch or outwit the Roadrunner. In each episode, the cunning, insidious and constantly hungry Coyote repeatedly attempts to catch and subsequently eat the Roadrunner but is never successful.

Instead of his animal instincts, the Coyote uses absurdly complex contraptions to try to catch his prey, which comically backfire with the Coyote often getting injured in slapstick fashion. Wile E. Coyote, grim in his determination never quite managed to catch his prey. The Roadrunner was always more agile and faster, and seemingly not just one step ahead but miles ahead of the Coyote!

So, what lessons can we learn from the characters in the cartoon?

Coyotes are earnest; Roadrunners are passionate: both great character traits, but passion, wanting something enthusiastically from the heart, will always keep you on track to your goal.

Coyotes are resilient; Roadrunners are resourceful: resilience, the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Resourcefulness, the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties. Resilience and resourcefulness working together? Imagine what that could achieve!

Coyotes look over their shoulders; Roadrunners look ahead: it is important to acknowledge and reflect on the past, to learn from your mistakes – to look over your shoulder. The real power is using this knowledge to plan how you can succeed in your goal, how you can look ahead.

Coyotes follow a plan; Roadrunners are experimental: poor ol’ Wile E, doggedly following his plan time and time again, with the same result. The Roadrunner is uncatchable because he adapts, he experiments, he pivots – always to outwit the Coyote, always with success.

Coyotes are grim; Roadrunners are jubilant: Wile E’s character is grim – surly and forbidding. Seemingly not able to adapt what he is doing to bring the joy of success into his life. Roadrunner’s character exudes happiness and triumph – week after week shows how his perseverance pays off in outwitting that Wile E. Coyote.

I want all of us to aim to be more Roadrunner during Term 4!
Beep, beep! And remember to rest and relax over the weekend.

Warm regards,

Leisa Harper

Spring has finally arrived and the children at both campuses have been participating in many activities and explorations related to the changing of the seasons in the natural world.

Bairnsdale Reception educator Mrs Annette Dilks shared this report of their week:
‘In the Reception group we are continuing to extend our learning journey by learning about Spring. The children are becoming Spring detectives as they notice and discuss the changes in their environment. They have enjoyed planting strawberries in our vertical garden, tomatoes in the vegie patch and are experimenting with cress seeds too. We are using play to investigate, project and explore new ideas and become socially responsible for our environment.
Educators are sharing stories, songs and rhymes about Spring and the children have particularly enjoyed reading A Tiny Seed by Eric Carle and It Starts With A Seed by Laura Knowles. These books have amazing illustrations, and their text helped us understand the lifecycle of plants, bulbs and seeds.
The Reception group were also very excited to receive some silkworms from Louis’ garden. He did a fabulous job of explaining how to care for them, and we did some research into their lifecycles too. It has been an excellent opportunity for children to explore relationships with other living things.’

Next week we will be having Book Week celebrations at both ELCs. This year’s theme is ‘Curious Creatures and Wild Minds’, and we are looking forward to seeing a variety of fabulous imaginative costumes on our dress up days. There will be a number of special events and activities planned for the children to support the ‘reading is fun and for life’ message. Please remember to send along your child’s favourite picture book to share with their class on this day.
Curious Creatures and Wild Minds Dress Up Days:
Tuesday 20 October – Reception Bairnsdale
Wednesday 21 October – Reception St Anne’s / Transition St Anne’s
Thursday 22 October – Reception St Anne’s / Transition St Anne’s / Transition Bairnsdale

Please note that ELC photo money is due back next week. We will be closed on Friday October 23 for the AFL Grand Final public holiday.


Bairnsdale Reception students Floss (above left) and Lilly (above right) in the garden at the Bairnsdale ELC.

BAIRNSDALE NEWS, by Head of Campus Virginia Evans

Today is Celebration Day as we celebrate our campus’s 15th birthday and at Fellowship we acknowledged the first turning of the sod as our beautiful campus began to take shape. Fifteen years on, our campus is unique in both its location and Community spirit. Along with celebrating our 15 years of growth we welcomed back our Year 12 students who enjoyed their primary years at Bairnsdale.

We welcomed; William Mwagiru, Sophie Sewell, Jacinta Wyld, James Lancaster, Lachlan Rose, Grady Blake and Jamie Jones.

Many students have experienced their learning in this wonderful environment and as part of our celebration we took our Year 12’s on a trip down memory lane. Commencing at the ELC the students collected a bag decorated by the children and then made their way through the classrooms collecting special things. We hope today will remain a time to remember and always connect them to the Bairnsdale campus.

On behalf of the Bairnsdale campus we wish you well for your exams and we hope that you always feel part of this community.

Head of Bairnsdale Campus Virginia Evans and Principal Leisa Harper with the Year 12 students who began their schooling at Bairnsdale (above left)
and Mrs Evans lighting a candle with one of the Year 12 students (above right). 

Golden Brush
For our current students our celebrations included a new House competition, ‘The Golden Brush’. Together as a House the students contributed on a canvas that depicts the theme, ‘Spring, Growth and Celebration’. It is about collaboration, teamwork, encouragement and spirit and of course creativity. Many thanks to Ms Liz McConchie for her work in organising such a terrific event. 

Book Week: Curious Creatures, Wild Minds There will be Book Week ‘Mystery Book Readers’ and competitions throughout this week, in addition to the following: 

Monday October 19: Photo Day School photographer Lisa Baker will be taking individual head shots only, for Claresco. We are currently unable to have our usual photographer John Ansell and his team onsite due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Tuesday October 20: Book Character Dress-Up Day All students are encouraged to come dressed up as a book character and have a copy of the book with them on the day. They must be able to talk about their chosen character. If your child dresses as a character in light clothing, please pack suitable warm clothing to wear for the rest of the day. Unfortunately other family members are not able to stay for the parade this year.
Wednesday 21 October: A live production of the CBCA shortlisted book Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall has been cleverly adapted for an interactive filmed performance. All students from Foundation to Year 6 will enjoy this virtual incursion throughout the day.
Friday 23 October: Public Holiday – no school today

I leave you with some beautiful words, given to the Year 12 students by one of their former teachers, Mrs Joy Hay-Smith:

Be good to yourself
Be yourself – truthfully
Accept yourself  – gratefully
Value yourself – completely
Treat yourself – generously
Balance yourself – harmoniously
Bless yourself – abundantly
Love yourself – wholeheartedly
Empower yourself – confidently
Give yourself – enthusiastically
Empress yourself – radiantly

ST ANNE’S NEWS by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
This morning we welcomed our Year 12 students who attended all their primary years or some of their time at St Anne’s Campus. Though this morning’s Fellowship looked different from how we normally celebrate our leaving Year 12 Fellowship – the respect, connection, friendship, and memories are just as strong.

Our Fellowship included a wonderful photo slideshow from their time at ELC and the Junior School. We also organised a ‘Congratulations’ cookie and individualised food packs for each student to help make the day special. The Year 12 students also had the opportunity to read a letter they wrote to themselves back in Year 6. This lead to many laughs! Thank you to Caroline Martin and Oscar Wilkins for playing our processional and recessional.

The Campus has many fond memories of our current Year 12’s during their time at St Anne’s. A small group of students started in our ELC with Mrs Lisa Burgess and Mrs Jenny Gaskill. Our Year 12 and Year 6 students have been buddies since they were both in Year 5 and the ELC. These buddies still have a strong connection and friendship.

I reminded our Year 12 students that they will always have a strong connection to Gippsland Grammar, in particularly at St Anne’s. I believe they have been developing the knowledge and skills that have helped them through this challenging year from an early age. In the ELC, Mrs Gaskill and Mrs Burgess began teaching them about being independent and creative. At the Junior School, students have had the opportunity to shine and find their passion in the arts, sport, languages or academically. At Garnsey, they have had the opportunity to develop their strong moral compass, flourish and develop as a person.

I finished my speech by sharing some advice – this advice came from experience and a wish I have that our Year 12 students flourish as people. My advice was:

  • Your Year 12 ATAR score will not define you and neither will this year.
  • Being a person who is respectful to themselves and others is far more important than a number.
  • If you do well and achieve the score you need, or the trade you are after, fantastic. If you do not, do not worry. There are plenty of other avenues to get to where you want to get to.
  • Some of the most intelligent, successful and happiest people I know, took some time to achieve their best.

Celebration Cookie – a lovely gift to remind the Year 12’s of their primary years at St Anne’s.

Supporting Student Learning
As students return to school, we have already put some measures in place to support student learning. We will be redirecting some of our teachers to support students in classrooms. Focusing on the key learning areas of Reading, Writing and Mathematics, we will be providing extra teacher support for each year level. Mrs Sheryn Ray and I will be focusing on Reading and Writing from Foundation to Year 6. Mr Evan Lamb will assist with Mathematics in classrooms from Foundation to Year 6. We have also identified some students that would benefit from social and emotional support. This support will include 1:1 and small group focus.

Mary Poppins Performance – Cancelled
We have had to make the difficult decision to cancel our Mary Poppins performance for this year. This is due to the latest COVID-19 information for Schools, which was recently updated. We have met with the cast and discussed the cancellation with them. We also acknowledge that this is disappointing for the students involved, and we did not make this decision lightly. I would like to thank the cast and families for their contribution to the Musical, particularly Mrs Katie Germaine.

A reminder to all families that all students should be wearing their Summer uniform from Monday October 19. Students may wear their white school shirt tucked into their shorts, or the new stripped green shirt not tucked into their shorts. Our female students can wear either the Summer dress or the new stripped green shirt and shorts. All students need to be wearing a School hat for sun protection. I also advise students to wear insect repellent due to the abundance of rain and warming weather – the mosquitos are going to be out in force!

Important Key Dates
22 October: Footy Colours Day – students come dressed in their favourite team colours
30 October: Bookweek Fellowship – students dressing up
3 November: Melbourne Cup Public Holiday
5 November: 2021 Foundation Information Session via Zoom
6 November: Barton Fellowship
16 November: Report Writing Day (student free)
20 November: Teacher Professional Development Day (student free)
4 December: 2021 Orientation Day

GARNSEY NEWS by Head of Campus Jan Henry
My favourite place to be at lunchtimes this week has been to stand and watch our students on the ovals. Masses of students, mostly juniors, have flocked to both ovals to play a variety of sports, to sit and chat and laugh, and like me to just wander around and enjoy being back with a great community of people. 

House Drama Festival
When we began plans for the House Drama Festival, we envisaged a series of plays performed on the stage; however, when restrictions did not allow this, the students and Ms Kyriakou imagined a different way to stage the plays. They became films on zoom and throughout remote learning in Term 3, students practised and transformed their plays into films which we were thrilled to share on Thursday afternoon this week. Each House was given an iconic painting and their play/film used this as their prompt. It was a wonderful afternoon and I commend all involved for their effort and entertainment.
While all students involved performed well, there were awards given in a variety of categories and I congratulate these students.

Best Original Script: Ashton Hicks (CD)
Best Directions: Kate Finlay (WB)
Best Lead Male Actor: Sam Dunnett (CD)
Best Lead Female Actor: Tilly Gunther (CD)
Best Supporting Male Actor: Connor Rogalsky (WB)
Best Supporting Female Actor: Emma Murphy and Ellen O’Brien (BB)
Best Cameo Performance: Cooper Barr (TH)
Best Editing: Dempsey Doyle (TH)
Best Production: Dempsey Doyle (TH)
Rising Star Award: Abi Jessop (BB)
Overall House Drama winner: TISDALL HOTHAM

The Winning House captains with the winning Drama captain.

Year 12 visit to junior campuses
Our Year 12 students who attended St Anne’s and Bairnsdale campuses in their primary years spent some time at the campus this morning reminiscing about their time. There were lots of photos of their time at the campus, even some of cute three year olds at the ELC. While much has not been possible as we finalise our plans for the end of Year 12, events such as this morning’s do help make the final days of Year 12 special. Thanks to all the junior campuses for welcoming the Years 12s.

A reminder that students must wear masks unless a medical certificate is provided to me. Students should have a spare mask in their bag in case it breaks or is lost. A number of the disposable masks have not made it through a full day and hence a spare is required. Students may wear a tight fitting snood or gaiter instead of a mask, but I must stress it is required to be tight fitting so that it cannot fall down.

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