Gippsland Grammar newsletter: Oct 9, 2020

Oct 9, 2020 | Community News

Dear families,

Welcome back for the final term of the 2020 academic year. I hope the two-week holiday period was a time for rest and relaxation for you and your family.

It was a delight to see some of our students arrive back to School this week. Wednesday saw our students arrive for the GAT and the excitement was evident as students connected with their friends before the exam. I can’t speak for the students but I know I had a few restless moments the night before … I was so excited to see them all but also wanting the best for each and every one. As I said to our students prior to the exam, as a Community we are so proud of each of them.

Thursday morning saw the sun come out in time for our St Anne’s and Bairnsdale students to arrive back on Campus too. I know that every teacher was excited to have their students in their classrooms and as I drove past the playground at recess it was fabulous to see the students playing games together. It is a strong reminder of the joy and privilege we enjoy being part of these young people’s lives.

I would also like to pay tribute to our cleaning and maintenance staff. They have completed a significant amount of work over the past two weeks as well as the increased demands that the year has presented us. My sincere thanks to each of them.

As Term 4 starts, we are working on opportunities for all our students. We are conscious that the students will need to re-establish friendships and access support where it is required. The Pulse data has already provided us with some key directions and our goals are to ensure that the students continue to develop in their studies, build on their personal and social capabilities and are physically active.

I have asked some of our staff to write a small piece on areas that they have knowledge or passion in, and today I am excited to launch this initiative which we have called Beyond the Classroom: Staff Tips and Tricks. Beyond the Classroom will be published on VOS and today we hear from our School’s Speech Pathologist and Pathways teacher Michelle Sands. I hope you find these articles interesting and helpful.

Finally, the Gippsland Anglican would like to provide students and community members the opportunity to ask a faith question they would like answered. Send your question to the editor@gippsanglican.org.au or phone 0407 614 661 and the publication will publish an answer from a member of the clergy. (Your details won’t be shared or published.) Click here to read the October edition of The Gippsland Anglican: https://www.gippsanglican.org.au/assets/00TGA/2020/TGA_October_20FINAL.pdf

We know this term provides all of us the opportunity to finish the year well and support each other to be the very best we can be. Enjoy the weekend ahead.

Warm regards,
Leisa Harper
Principal

More than 150 students sat the GAT on Wednesday.

EARLY LEARNING CENTRES NEWS by Director Lisa Burgess
The ELC children returned to school on Monday well-rested and ready for the final term. It was lovely to hear that so many families had been away camping, picnicking and caravanning and enjoying the beauties of regional Victoria. The children had many stories to share with us.

This week on both campuses the children have brought home their official school photographs, which were taken in Term 3 by Foon’s Photographic. I’m sure you’ll agree Foo’s has done an excellent job and we are sure you will enjoy them (they also make lovely Christmas gifts!).

The ELC has a strong program of education in sustainability and sustainable practices are modelled to the children daily. Both centres practice the ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ message and have enjoyed nearly 100 per cent rubbish-free lunches for many years. All food scraps go to compost or the worm farm to feed our vegetable gardens. Water is used sparingly; we try to avoid the purchase of non-sustainable craft materials and we just love to recycle junk materials into works of art.

This week the children at the Sale campus enjoyed lessons in how to maintain the worm farm and learned what bins to use for particular recycling items. This program is offered through Wellington Shire and the children learn a great deal about what can and can’t be recycled. I am sure that they will bring this knowledge home to share with you all. The Reception group children are our worm farm team, and they enjoyed learning more about how to care for their wriggly friends – always a great favourite with three year olds!

In the Sale Transition the children have begun to learn more about simple coding using Bee Bot robots. While the robots not only look very cute, they also allow the children to begin to learn how to make simple codes or instructions to move them in a variety of directions. This also supports the children’s mathematical learning as they begin to measure, count and develop spatial concepts.

We are looking forward to sharing another busy and wonderful term with our children and families.

Pippa Langshaw (above left) with her Bee Bot rebot and Mitch Black (above right) caring for his wriggly friends.

The week began quietly, patiently awaiting the return of all students to be back with us on campus. Thursday came and the quiet soon turned to noisy excitement with cheery hellos, squeals of delight and genuine smiles that told of the joy to be back together. We have a lot to be grateful for and, once again, I thank all in our Community for their continued support of our students.

BAIRNSDALE NEWS, by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
Back to School Bingo

As a fun way to provide some assistance to help our students prepare for a return to School, Mrs Sarah Guinness designed and mailed to each student a ‘Back to School Bingo’ pack. Along with some fun activities, other Bingo tasks included getting the summer uniform ready, polishing up the school shoes, getting a haircut and finding their school hat in anticipation for our final term of 2020. Many of our students have joined in the fun, presenting well on our first day back and receiving a prize as a result.

Therapy Dog

Once again, our therapy dog Wilson was on deck to welcome the children back on Thursday, grinning (as golden retrievers do!) and lapping up the pats and cuddles. I have no doubt his presence assisted many of our students return to School by reassuring and distracting any nervous little people. We thank Mrs Crowe for sharing Wilson with our Community.

As a staff we are working hard to make Term 4 a productive and happy time for our students while also being mindful of the COVID-19 restrictions. Many of our events will look different, however, already we are reimagining House events, excursions, and our end of the year Valedictory and Christmas services.

We wanted our students back, they have now returned and together as a Community we will make the best of our opportunities.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend.

ST ANNE’S NEWS by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
Welcome Back

The playground was again full of laughs, positivity and friends reconnecting as our students returned to School on Thursday. Like most in the Community, our teachers and staff have been anticipating the return to face-to-face teaching. As a School, we know the focus needs to be on; reconnecting and socialisation, and then academic.

A reminder to all families to use our House Gates for entry and exits each day. These gates will be unlocked at 8.30am and 3.15pm. We appreciate your patience and understanding with this process.

We have already put some measures in place to help support our students returning to School. This includes extra teachers coming into classrooms to focus on the key learning areas of reading, writing and mathematics. We have a team focusing on student wellbeing, particularly with those who struggled during Learn@Home.

This morning we welcomed Violet Fischer (Year 6) to our School Community. Violet’s family has relocated from overseas. Violet has already connected with some students, and I know that Violet and her family will quickly become an integral part of our School Community.
In addition, we have Mrs Kelly Braden joining us next Monday as the Executive Assistant at St Anne’s. Kelly has a wealth of EA experience in private sector and education and many of you will know Kelly as a parent of Ayla, Jay, Ethan and Will. I know Kelly will have a positive impact at Gippsland Grammar.

Fellowship – Flynn
This morning’s Fellowship celebrated the fact that we all have diverse and unique talents. Our Flynn students, along with their teachers Mrs Simone Langshaw and Mrs Liz Foat, demonstrated that everyone has a talent they can be proud of. We witnessed motor cross, cooking, the Arts and sporting prowess, to name a few. If you have access to VOS, please watch the pre-recorded Fellowship. Keep an eye out for our Gap Assistants, Miss Chloe and Mr Ben, who perform an inspiring duet! Please click here to view the Flynn Fellowship.

Continuous Reporting
Continuous Reporting allows Gippsland Grammar to provide timely and effective feedback to students about their learning, which will proactively influence their learning and create greater opportunities for growth and improvement. Research has shown that this type of feedback has a significant impact on student learning. Gippsland Grammar’s two junior campuses have begun moving to Continuous Reporting this year, which will offer students and families detailed and real-time electronic feedback via VOS in addition to the student academic reports that will continue to be given at the end of each Semester.

This more contemporary reporting system represents an exciting change for our School as it means that instead of students and families receiving printed reports twice a year, formal feedback will now be given via VOS as soon as the relevant assessment has been made.
During Learn@Home, and throughout Term 4, parents and students will notice specific feedback via VOS. The beginning of 2021 will signify when we fully transition to Continuous Reporting.


GARNSEY NEWS by Head of Campus Jan Henry

The prospect of welcoming all our students and staff back to the campus next week fills me with joy. Our Year 12s and many Year 11s were present this week for the GAT and other essential assessments and it was great to see them.

The GAT
The General Achievement Test, known as the GAT, is a test of general knowledge and skills in written communication, mathematics, science and technology, humanities, arts and social sciences. All students enrolled in one or more VCE or scored VCE VET Unit 3 and 4 sequences must sit the GAT each year. It is important to note that GAT results do not count directly towards a student’s VCE results, but the exam is to help check that school-based and external assessments have been accurately assessed, and the restuls contribute to statistical moderation of school-based assessment and help calculate Derived Examination Scores.

Our students conducted themselves well in this three-hour test held on Wednesday. Normally held in June each year, this year’s GAT was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and for this reason it does hold a little more significance in helping to ascertain the impact of the remote schooling for each student.

For many students, the highlight of the GAT was simply the chance to be present at School with friends and I was impressed by the way they supported each other and the wonderful chatter that took place before and after the test. We can all be very proud of the way our senior students have approached their studies in challenging circumstances this year and I look forward to their continued application and determination.

Megan Fitzsimon
Congratulations to Year 12 student Megan Fitzsimon who was selected by the Melbourne Football Club in the AFLW draft this week. Megan is described as “an explosive midfielder and forward, who’s at her best around goals”. Megan has worked with determination and focus to achieve her goal to be drafted and I congratulate her on this achievement.

School Photographs
Following State Government health advice for schools and COVID-19 restrictions, Victorian schools are no longer permitted to arrange School photos in Term 4 which is why our Gippsland Grammar official School photographs that were scheduled for next week (after being postponed twice already this year) are unable to be taken. John Ansell Photography will arrange refunds for those who have already paid.
Fortunately, we will be able to use the wonderful photos taken by our in-house School photographer Lisa Baker as well as photos taken by staff throughout the year, in this year’s Claresco, which will shine a light on what has really been a history-making year for us all.

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