Gippsland Grammar news: 26 Feb, 2021

Feb 26, 2021 | Bairnsdale News, Community News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

When studying psychology at university, one of my lecturers communicated how they felt it was essential for people to reflect on the words ‘acceptance’, ‘care’ and ‘growth’. Sometimes the ‘accepting’ can be at the individual level but it can also mean accepting of others. The lecturer went on to say that acceptance opens the door for self-care or the care of others in such a way to enable growth.

It can be easy to expect everyone to be the same as one’s self and with that comes judgement. For example, if you always like to be on time and that is a strength of yours, then it can be easy to judge those who aren’t on time. We all see things differently. Sometimes we can project our strengths onto other people, forgetting that we have weaknesses in other areas.

It is important to look for people’s strengths and the gifts they have been given. The Bible says in Romans 15:7 “Accept one another, just as Christ accepted you”.  We can all appreciate that God made us differently, so we can do different kinds of things in different ways so that everything can be done in a variety of ways across the world. It is often said that it would be quite boring if we all were the same.

My hope is that through ‘acceptance’, ‘care’ and ‘growth’ we can all discover and celebrate who we are and care for one another.  As the American writer, feminist, and civil rights activist Audre Lorde quoted, “it is not our differences that divide us. It is our ability to recognise accept and celebrate those differences”.

Wishing all our families a wonderful weekend.

Warm regards,
Leisa Harper

The glorious weather during the past week helped provide many opportunities for the students to be outdoors in our beautiful nature-based play spaces. Young children are very sensory learners so our educational programs offer frequent opportunities for play and exploration with sand, play-doh and of course water. As I have moved between the campuses, I have seen lots of water play with boats, buckets and containers. The children have been exploring the properties of water by measuring and pouring, watering vegetables and discussing how we use water. With a strong commitment to sustainable practices, our conversations always include the need for reducing our water usage and using what we have sparingly. Young children love to play with water, and their innate curiosity and play can teach them many valuable lifelong learnings about their world.

In Term 1, the children begin to participate in ‘Smiles for Miles’ dental health program. The first topic of the year is ‘Drink Well’. The best drink for children being of course, water. This week in the Transition classes at Sale, children have been using a dehydrator to explore what happens to fruit when the moisture is removed. The lesson being, of course, that we all need water to survive. They have also been exploring how much sugar is in other drinks and were shocked to see how much sugar is in cordial and soft drinks when we measured it out. We will continue to explore this in more detail in the weeks to come.

All our teachers have completed training in the ‘Smiles for Miles’ program, which covers the key messages: Drink Well (water and milk are the only drinks children need), Eat Well (low sugar food), Play Well (exercise regularly) and Brush Well.

Look out for information for families on VOS or on the website

I want to thank all our families for supporting our healthy eating and drinking policies as we help make our children strong and healthy in their bodies and minds.

BAIRNSDALE NEWS, by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
In my role as Head of Campus I have so many opportunities to share in the many wonderful learning experiences across the campus. This week has been no exception.

Hearing the excitement of our Year 6 students after their first trip to The Abbey for their research project with Mr Todd Cook and Reverend Edie Ashley, I was reminded of the beautiful environment we learn in. Our therapy dog Wilson provided a further sense of gratitude as he happily accepted cuddles and pats from our junior students. He is the quiet achiever in the wellbeing realm.

On Wednesday, I was able to take some time out of the office to support and cheer on our swimmers at the District Carnival. My one-hour visit turned into two hours as I joined in the cheering along with our students and it was terrific to feel and hear the Gippsland Grammar spirit. I commend all our swimmers for their efforts, but particularly mention those students who waited patiently and somewhat nervously for their big moment in the pool as a member of the relay teams. Their endeavour was a fine example of school spirit and sportsmanship. There were many individual and team successes and our entire team will progress to the Division Carnival next Wednesday. Congratulations to all.

Gippsland Grammar’s Bairnsdale district swim team competed at the District Swim Carnival on Wednesday.

After leaving the pool I then travelled onto Maffra to see Charlee Latham in action on her horse at the All Schools Gymkhana. Charlee represented Gippsland Grammar with the usual beaming smile on her face and along with her team was awarded first prize. We wish Charlee all the best for her upcoming events including the Rising Star in South Australia.

Our school production, ‘Charlotte’s Web’ will provide a further platform to showcase our commitment to the arts as well as being another wonderful opportunity for all students. Last week auditions were held and there has been a buzz in the air this week as our music lessons begin to bring the show alive. Many of the senior students have begun learning their lines, practising independently at lunchtime together. We congratulate all the following students for their casting in the following roles:


Charlee Latham


Olive Linley

Martha Arable

Chelsea Trewin

Avery Arable

Ari Rozite

Edith Zuckerman

Taylor Dennett

Fern Arable

Holly Callaghan


Mia Kantzides

Homer Zuckerman

Rafael Rodriguez

John Arable

Henry Knight


Avin Mirabolfathi


Niko Ni


Bill Prior


Heidi McInnes/Beau Newman/Tessa Newstead


Indigo McKay and Charlotte Snow


Grace Smith


Alex Magree


Piper Jankowiak, Maddie Evans


Edward Knight


Blake Maxwell, Omar Ali, Adanna Otuonye


Asher Smith


Juliette Khoo


Theodore Ding

Uncle (a pig)

Tayte Cooper

Baby spiders

Mia Stephenson/James Snow/Juliette Khoo


Leo Kantzides

Mother and daughter

Elisabeth Klingner and Jaymee Richardson

Announcer at Fair/Barker

Arlo Britten

Potato Farmer

Reuben McInnes

The Green Team have run a ‘pick and pay’ session each lunchtime where our students get the opportunity to pick delicious apples or pears from our trees. It has been most successful with the members of the Green Team happy with their funds and the students very happy with their fruit as the picture below demonstrates. There are still loads of fruit on the trees and students are once again invited to bring a bag and a gold coin next week.

Melaleuca presented Fellowship today with a focus on chemical science and the unit Melting Moments. Incorporating icy poles and chocolate into the experiments made it very interesting. My theory is don’t leave chocolate around too long or it may melt!

We warmly welcome Chaplain Jackie to our campus each Thursday and Friday as she brings that element of joy and fun, even during lunchtimes. Cup stacking is a popular activity!

Wishing you all a weekend of time with family and friends.

ST ANNE’S NEWS by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
We have had another engaging week for our students, full of fantastic opportunities for them to shine. GRIN (Getting Ready In Numeracy), our Maths support program, English and Maths enrichment groups, along with our Japanese language introductory sessions for our new students, all provide an example of what we offer our students. At Gippsland Grammar, we pride ourselves on offering unique opportunities for students to shine and grow and the above are great examples of this.

Next week we have the Sale and District Swimming Carnival, with a strong team of swimmers representing Gippsland Grammar. We also have our Year 6 students heading to Melbourne for the City camp and on Thursday our Year 5 students heading to the Melbourne Zoo excursion.

This morning we acknowledged and celebrated our Year 6 and whole campus leadership roles. Our Student Representative Council (SRC) and Green Team are leadership groups that make significant and meaningful change at our St Anne’s Campus. Our Year 6 leadership roles provide an important step in the leadership journey of our students.

Our Principal Mrs Leisa Harper, the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, Reverend Susanna Pain, along with our current school student leaders, and past St Anne’s students were all present with us. Our School Vice-Captain Fergus, Prefect Taryn and Prefect Ben came from our Garnsey campus and spoke to our Community about their own leadership journeys.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank our Year 6 students who applied for leadership roles, but missed out. Leadership comes in different shapes and sizes and I have made a commitment to these students that we will have learning opportunities for them throughout this year. This may include speaking to leadership experts, Q&A sessions, and more.
Campus Captains: Louis Lazzaro and Mia Goold

House Captains
Cranswick Dargo:
Harry Stephenson and Alana Crawford
Tisdall Hotham:     
Daniel Neilan and Maizy Duck
Wellington Binks:  Luca Keppitipola and Aliesha Turnbull
Blundell Bogong:  
Oscar Wilkins and Xavier Plant

Music Captains:     Vida Yanez and Jadyn Gomez

Art Monitors:
Olivia Clyne
Isobel Clyne
Imogen Carpenter
Zayden Burton

Sports Captains:
Lexie McNaughton
Heath Leeson
Kody Said                             

Library Monitors:
Sophie Hooper
Caleb Osler
Isabel Covino
Sydney Grewer
Zara Missen

Service Captains:
Arna Mesaric
Zara Stasinowsky
Shaven Rajapakse
Harper McMillan-Gross
Shevan Fernando
Lola Van Berkel
Ava Schuback

Japanese Captains:
Darcee Young
Max Knibbs

Green Team

Year 2 Alana Jansen Van Rensburg and Mikey Coleman
Year 3 Sophie Arnup and Sam Millington
Year 4 Otto Humphris, Erin Smith, Felix Baxter and Adelaide Ripper
Year 5 Will Edgar, Sophie Moy, Leila Grattan and Oscar Callahan
Year 6 Thomas Pope, Isabel Covino and Will Doube
Year 1 Bradman Diesel Hams
Year 1 McCubbin Jemka Bektas
Year 2 Barton Mila Harper
Year 2 Chisolm Marley Spoljaric
Year 3 Flynn Charlie Strachan
Year 3 Tasman Jessica Brewer
Year 4 Kingsford-Smith Nina Davine
Year 4 Freeman Stella Arnup
Year 5 Hollows Noah Kewish
Year 5 Cuthbert Dillon Meredith
Year 6 Goolagong Kody Said and Heath Leeson
Year 6 Mackellar Oak Czosnek and Alex Andrew

We are striving to build connections with our School Community. Unfortunately we had to cancel our Welcome Picnic earlier this term due to the Stage 4 restrictions so instead we have planned an Easter Picnic on Friday March 26, from 5.30pm until 7m, and we hope families come with a ‘touch of Easter.’ The key information is below:
What: St Anne’s Easter Picnic
When: Friday 26 March 5.30-7pm
Bring: dinner, drinks, picnic blanket and insect repellent/sunscreen
Where: St Anne’s, grassed area near our Lorna Sparrow Hall
How: Easter egg hunt and music. BYO food and drinks

PARENT TEACHER INTERVIEWS: Tuesday 9 March and Thursday 11 March (via Zoom)
Our parent-teacher interviews will provide both families and teachers with the opportunity to formally meet to discuss their child’s academic, social and emotional growth. Each 10-minute appointment will allow our teachers to share relevant information and collaborate with families to map out a successful school year for each student.

Families will receive an email with instructions early next week with instructions on how to book their interviews. This year, our parent-teacher interviews will be held via Zoom on Tuesday March 9 and Thursday March 11 from 3.50pm on each day. Our classroom teachers will be available on both afternoons, while our Specialist teachers will be available on Tuesday March 9.

We would like to invite any interested parents to come to our first Parents & Friends (P&F) meeting for this year. Our P&F help to organise events and initiatives to promote connection and community. It is a wonderful opportunity to become involved in your child’s/children’s school and meet some of the other St Anne’s parents. Below is the information for our upcoming meeting.
Who: Parents of St Anne’s
When: Wednesday March 10 at 3.30pm
Where: St Anne’s Meeting Room (enter via the front office)
Note: Please wear a mask and sign in with the QR code at the foyer

We had an enthusiastic group of students who participated in the Interschool Gymkhana this week. Foundation student Lachy Black  (pictured below), Year 2 student Archie Gault and Foundation student Jack Gilbert each represented Gippsland Grammar with enthusiasm. It is fantastic to see such young people representing our School while following their passion and excelling. Congratulations to Lachy, Archie and Jack.

GARNSEY NEWS by Acting Head of Campus Kate Ray
It is hard to believe that we are already halfway through our first term! This term has already seen many great opportunities for our students and this week was no different. It was a momentous occasion on Monday morning when we were able to hold our first whole school ‘in person’ assembly since the start of last year! And it wasn’t until we were all preparing to enter Garnsey Hall that Mrs Harper reminded us it was actually her first EVER Garnsey Assembly with all our students. We look forward to getting back into the routine of Monday morning assemblies and enjoying the opportunity each week for us to all be together to celebrate each other’s success and acknowledge important occasions.

Mr Nicholas, Mr Hunter and Miss Klopper took our Year 12 Outdoor and Environmental Studies students on their Sea Kayaking camp for two nights earlier this week. The staff and students all enjoyed the opportunity to sea kayak around our beautiful Gippsland Lakes, this field work assists the students with their learning for SACs and other assessments during the year.

I had the pleasure of joining Mrs Harper, our Head of Boarding Mr Llewellyn, our boarding house staff and students for a special Lunar New Year dinner on Tuesday evening. This had been postponed due to our recent ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown so it was wonderful to be able to have the event this week.

This was also a significant event for our International Students who assisted us with our pronunciation of saying ‘Happy New Year’ in Mandarin. I am sure we will all be much better next year!

We have had an increase in the number of students taking up the opportunity to Board as the term has progressed. There is a great mix of students from all year levels and, most recently, we have seen an increase in the number of Year 11 and 12 students who have enrolled for a few permanent week nights, to break up their bus travel or to simply take advantage of the tutoring program that Mr Llewellyn has set up for our Senior boarders this year. Students can access tutoring in a range of subjects on particular nights, which assists them to focus and prioritise their study. It may also have something to do with the delicious meals the students are served each night. Lunar New Year was no exception – we had a tasting menu of eight different options, as well as Asian greens, rice and spring rolls. The CaterCare team also prepared a delicious dessert of sticky coconut rice with fresh mango. The tables were all decorated beautifully for banquet-style eating with details like chocolate coins and lanterns to add to the effect.

We have received a brief report from our SEISA teams as they were travelling home from the SEISA Swimming, Table Tennis and Badminton competition at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre at the time of writing this newsletter (we will publish the full results as a VOS news item early next week). Our Badminton team coached by Mr Davies won first place overall with both our Intermediate and Senior teams winning their sections, and the same for Table Tennis. Mr Ray coached his teams to First place overall with both Intermediate and Senior teams also winning. Miss Dyke had a swimming squad of just under 60 members from Bairnsdale, St Anne’s and Garnsey campuses. This is a great transition opportunity for our Junior students to see what being involved at a SEISA level means. Our swimming team were also successful, finishing second overall. There were a number of Age Champions from Gippsland Grammar too. Thank you to all the other staff from Senior School who travelled with the teams to support the students during the day.

Our School Musical team held their first rehearsal for ‘Matilda the Musical’ on Thursday afternoon. We are thrilled to be able to present this musical in July to our School Community under the direction of Ms Kyriakou, our Teacher in Charge of Drama. Many more updates to come I am sure!

As part of our procedures at the end of the day, we have made the decision to dismiss our students from their Period 6 classes at 3.15pm rather than have them wait around their lockers to pack their bags until the previous finish time of 3.23pm. This has no impact on learning time or bus times but enables students to make their way to their lockers or their buses in plenty of time. It also allows our teachers to finish packing up their classrooms at the end of the day before heading back to their offices.

Next week our first group of Year 8s head out on their Outdoor Education camp and I look forward to reporting on this at the end of next week.

Enjoy your weekend.

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