Garnsey Campus newsletter: April 24, 2020

Apr 24, 2020 | Garnsey News

Wellbeing refers to the positive feelings we have when we are connected, resilient and able to flourish as individuals and a School community. More than ever, we are challenged during this social isolation stage of the COVD-19 pandemic to find ways to connect with others. Currently, such connection beyond one’s household is on a screen and that presents some challenges for us all. If we understand connectedness as being the extent to which people feel personally accepted, respected, included, and supported by others, then virtual connections can certainly contribute to our wellbeing.

Developing such connection is the key rationale behind our Co-Curriculum@Home program which was launched at the Garnsey campus this week. Our amazing staff were excited to provide an online experience for students to engage in areas of interest and to connect with others from a variety of year levels. This week’s activities included:

  • ANZAC day wreath making with Mrs Bullers: this one-off activity this week was very crafty as participants made an ANZAC remembrance wreath.
  • Backyard Bootcamp with Nick Bartlett: participants Zoomed into this fun and energetic bootcamp from a space at home to complete a 45-minute circuit session.
  • A Gippsland Grammar chess tournament organised by Mr Flanagan took place and participants pitted their chess skills, whether a beginner or advanced, against other students and staff. This tournament was hosted online at
  • The da Vinci Decathlon with Mrs O’Reilly saw Year 7 and 8 students working in teams on thinking skills, problem solving and creativity across 10 areas: engineering, mathematics and chess, code breaking, art and poetry, science, English, ideation, creative producers, cartography and legacy.
  • Horses for Courses with Mrs Kennedy requires a horse and each week one member of this activity will introduce their horse/pony and set goals for the coming week. Mrs Kennedy enjoyed the opportunity to introduce her horse this week.
  • House Choirs with House Music Captains did not start this week as Music Captains were preparing the songs and activities which they will deliver to anyone in their House who enjoys connecting through singing in coming weeks.
  • Having Fun with Photoshop with Mrs Fleming gave students and staff a chance to learn together to build their Photoshop skills.
  • Poetry Club with Mrs Reid facilitated students exploring the poet within and sharing their work with others.
  • Beyond Belief with Nikolai was a daring but fun activity group for thinking through philosophic issues; this week they explored the question of whether or not an atheist could be spiritual.
  • Cups with Chaplain Jackie was stacks of fun as students laughed through many attempts to work on hand/eye co-ordination and improve their reaction time.
  • Backyard camping with Mr Arnup was a chance to prepare for and take up the challenge of camping in one’s backyard, down the paddock or even in the students’ loungeroom in coming weeks.

Year 7 student Abi Jessop and her horse Jazz
taking part in this week’s co-curricular lesson during Learn@Home.

Students and staff who participated enjoyed the activities and were able to have the important opportunity to connect with others in a fun-filled way. As I ‘Zoom bombed‘ a few of the activities I heard plenty of students sharing and laughter, which is one of the things I have missed during this period of Learn@Home.

Activities will change a little from week to week so students may discover other opportunities to develop connections and wellbeing next week, such as cooking and yoga.

I ask our families to encourage their children to get involved and build connections through our Co-Curriculum@Home program which will operate throughout our time of remote learning. This can also be done outside of School hours by extended family games of Scattergories or Banagrams on Zoom and in the many creative ways available to them online at this time.

With changes to public gatherings, it has been interesting to hear the connection that so many Australians have with ANZAC Day and the interesting and moving ways in which people plan to pay tribute to those who have served in our Defence Forces in times of war.
This connection was evident in one of our co-curricular activities this week. The wreath making activity was really successful as students made an egg carton wreath to hang on their front gate on ANZAC Day. Additionally, they chatted about why we have ANZAC Day, why poppies and rosemary are used, the different colours of poppies and their meanings and the personal stories that connected the participants to the ANZAC legend.  
Gippsland Grammar encourages all students and families to mark ANZAC Day this year by gathering at their front gate or even in the loungeroom at home at 6am tomorrow morning. Consider lighting a candle and playing The Last Post. Our School will play The Last Post over our PA system, so many in northern end of Sale will hear this as the sun rises.

Lest We Forget

Kind regards,

Jan Henry
Head of Garnsey Campus

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