Gippsland Grammar news: April 1, 2021

Apr 1, 2021 | Bairnsdale News, Community News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

As Term 1 comes to an end, let us all reflect on the wonderful effort put in over the past 10 weeks that has generated so many highlights for us all. Academic, sporting, musical, cultural, and spiritual opportunities have all returned, not to mention the social opportunities that being together enable.

This week has seen numerous Easter celebrations across all three campuses from the ELC Hat Parades, visits to The Abbey on Raymond Island, Chapel Services and a few sightings of a few bunnies leaving Easter eggs behind. I even donned an apron to join my colleague Christine Callaghan cook some sausages for lunch at Thursday’s Garnsey Athletics carnival. All these events have been special for us as a Community and we have enjoyed the joyous opportunity of being together.

Of course, the highlight of our week has been the success of our rowers who performed admirably in challenging weather at the National titles in Tasmania to produce some of Grammar’s best-ever performances. Well done to all involved, especially our Director of Rowing Mr Nick Bartlett. Last night’s Rowing Dinner was a fabulous occasion to celebrate all that was achieved this season and at the dinner I paid tribute to the Gippsland Grammar Rowing 2020 Community, who were not able to celebrate their season. 

We are committed to working together as a Community to ensure that everyone on Campus is well. While we managed the snap lockdown earlier this term, we want to reinforce our commitment to planning and preparing for any interruptions to our @School program. As this week has shown, lockdowns can occur at any time and we must all remain vigilant on the golden rules and be prepared.

Finally, by now you should have received an email with a link to our inaugural digital edition of Veritas. This exciting change to our tri-annual School magazine means we now have greater flexibility to share with you more news, more photos and more memories and I hope you enjoy reading this edition as much as we enjoy sharing our School news with you all. Read the edition via this link:

I am extremely grateful for the staff, students and parents who make Gippsland Grammar the community that it is. I thank you all for making Term 1 a fantastic experience. Please take time to rest and enjoy special time with your families over the Easter break.

We wish you a season of Christ’s peace, joy, and blessings. May the miracle of Easter inspire your year ahead.

Leisa Harper

The children have been celebrating Easter’s arrival in many ways, including making lots of rabbits, easter egg collages, Easter baskets, and hats. The St Anne’s Transition students invited their families and Year 5 buddies to a special Easter Hat Parade and afternoon tea on the final day of term. And Bairnsdale’s Transition group shared their hat parade with the elderly residents of the nearby Clifton Waters retirement village.

It has been a busy term for the children, their families and staff members, I hope everyone enjoys some rest time over the Easter break with their love ones and the Easter bunny finds all the children.

We are looking forward to welcoming you all back in Term 2 from Monday April 19.

BAIRNSDALE NEWS, by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
Joining together at the Abbey on Raymond Island to celebrate our Easter service is an event we look forward to each year, particularly as this event wasn’t able to take place last year. Together as a community we have prepared for a day that is to be a lovely way to finish our term. Meandering along the boardwalk to The Abbey, listening to the Easter story along the way, playing games led by the Year 6’s, singing together and sharing a lunch of fish and chips all contribute to a very happy day for all. 

On our final day of term, I share with you a chat I had with our Campus Captain Avin Mirabolfathi:

What has the atmosphere/spirit been like back at school 2021? Well, at the start of the year, everyone seemed excited and enthused about finally being back at School. This feeling of enthusiasm and excitement has carried over the entirety of Term 1. Looking back, I find myself reviewing Term 1 as a whirlwind of laughter, determination and enthusiasm. So, all in all a fantastic start to 2021!

How do you think everyone has settled in – particularly our Foundation students? I feel that everyone has settled in wonderfully, I think there is a great deal of kindness, in the fact that I see our Foundation students settling in fabulously with the help of their friends and Year 6 buddies. I have also noticed that everyone seems to be helping each other and lending a hand during recess and class, always stopping if there’s a friend in need.

Highlight so far? I personally feel that one of the major highlights of our year so far has been the fact the week-long lockdown went successfully and did indeed only last a week, (what a relief!). Although in recent events, we have had our cross country, and I found the day highly enjoyable. Thanks to Mrs Froud for setting the wonderful day up. One of my favourite event’s so far has been the musical showcase, where we showcased our musical program and performed, I had a lot of fun.

Funniest moment? Personally, I think that the funniest moment so far has been when we tested our cyclone and flood proof houses (pictured below), many survived, many perished but all tumbled at the hands of Godzilla (Ms Leeming)!

What is like to be in Year 6? Well, at the start of the year I found myself slightly intimidated by the coming year, but soon found there is nothing to fear, Year 6 has been challenging and fun, I enjoy getting to help with events and getting to help organise future ones. I have had a wonderful start to Year 6!

Challenges of Captaincy? I feel that one of the main things that is a bit of a challenge in my position, is those on-the-spot moments, where you are asked to think of a thank-you and say it in a minute, and my first time handing out the awards I forgot to say the best part of the awards – the applause!

I hope you have enjoyed reading Avin’s responses as much as I did. I wish all of our families a very happy Easter holiday enjoying the Autumn weather!

ST ANNE’S NEWS by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
On the final day of Term 1, I share with you a chat I had with our Campus Captains Louis Lazzaro and Mia Goold:

Louis Lazzaro: It has been an awesome atmosphere being back at school for 2021! One of the things that have lifted everyone’s spirits is seeing each other in person again, having a joke and a laugh, playing down ball and footy at lunchtimes, and being able to talk to your teacher’s face to face if you need help. It has also been great to be able to play instruments together in our ensembles.

We are proud of our Foundation students for doing their best to settle in after the COVID lockdown. As their Year 6 buddies, we have been helping to comfort them through the transition to ‘big school’. For the rest of us, at the start of the term, we were so excited to see each other again and not have to see the Zoom logo anymore!

I think the funniest moment for me was when Will Doube ate the hottest chilli in the world (the Carolina Reaper) at the Victoria Market whilst at the Melbourne Year 6 Camp. He was very brave to try it – and it was hilarious. He said his mouth kind of went numb!

Having the confidence to go up on stage and speak in front of the whole school is an exciting challenge for me, and it gets easier each time. Another challenge is staying organised and making sure I have left enough time for my homework, sport, music and campus captain responsibilities.

Our highlights for Term 1 have been mainly about getting back into our sport, our excursions, and our music. I think everyone has really appreciated what they missed out on last year – especially the camps and excursions. We loved taking part in the swimming carnivals, our soiree and tennis tournament. Year 5 loved their trip to Melbourne Zoo, and we Year 6’s were very excited to go on camp to Melbourne. The Foundation to Year 4 students have also been able to go on an excursion to the Abbey on Raymond Island – they were very excited to go on the ferry and see some koalas.

For me, Year 6 is my ninth and final year at St Anne’s, so I am making the most of it before we head off to high school next year. It has been a busy start to the year, but it is good to be back into it!

Mia Goold:
Term 1 has been a great start to the year. It was wonderful to see friends and teachers after a long break. Spirits are high, and we are positive about this year in 2021.  It’s nice to know that this year is going to start off without much problem with COVID-19 and that the worry level has gone down. But overall, I hope we can start next term the same way.

Everyone has settled in very well with this year’s classrooms and school all together. Our Foundation students started off a bit nervous, but later during the term, I have seen them having fun with friends, interacting with others, and they look like they enjoy school. This is the same for all of us as we started off differently to others, but we all seem to enjoy what we’re doing right now.

The highlights so far for me and many others are our excursions. Earlier this term, we year 6’s went on a trip to Melbourne and did many exciting things. On Wednesday, 31 March, Foundation to year 4 will be going to Raymond Island as an Easter excursion. School trips are a definite highlight for other students and me, and we hope we have many more ahead of us this year.

A funny moment for me was during a recent lunchtime. I was just peacefully eating my lunch and talking to some friends until a bunch of younger kids came along. I went to say hi, but then they grabbed me and took me to the year 3/ 4 creek. There is a little corner there, and they just put me in there and said, “You’re in jail.” My friends were laughing at me sitting in the corner all confused, until the little kids did the same to them! Fortunately for us, they left the entry unguarded so we could easily escape. All lunch, they kept chasing us around and putting us in “jail.” We were all laughing and running away from them, but it all came to an end when the bell went.

The challenges to be a Campus Captain for me are the responsibilities. You really need to make sure you’re doing the right thing at lunch and recess breaks, and a lot of the time, you need to think twice about what you’re going to do and think, “how will it affect the school and me.” It also means how much time and effort you’re going to put in. Sometimes you will have to miss the time of recess and lunch, or sometimes you may have extra work to do at school, but you don’t mind doing the extra things, you will try to stay on task and put a lot of effort into it.

To be in Year 6 means much more that it seems. It means that you are one of many students to be a role model for the next year sixes and for the younger ones. Taking full responsibility is something hard to do. You need to make sure you are being respectful to others, being responsible in class and the school yard and it means to stand up for inappropriate behaviour. Even some students don’t have leadership roles, but they don’t make a huge fuss about it, and that is what a good year 6 is. But it’s our last year of primary school, and we need to enjoy it.

GARNSEY NEWS by Acting Head of Campus Kate Ray
Writing this newsletter article, I was contemplating the term seemed to go very quickly but when I considered the first day of Year 7s being Garnsey students it does seem like a long time ago.

Our Year 7 students have taken their Secondary schooling in their stride and have mastered things like 10-day timetables, combination locks (which I am still not able to master), SEISA timings and that strange phenomenon when we run a Day 8 classes on a Day 9!

Our Year 12s have also embraced their last first term at Gippsland Grammar. They have all learned a little more about each other from the time they spent on Year 12 camp early in the term, they have experienced the ‘rite of passage’ that is sitting on the backstage during Assembly – the space reserved for Year 12 students only! And they have spent their lunchtimes queueing for the sandwich maker and the microwave – something they had not experienced since the Year 9 Kitchen!

I asked our newest and our oldest Garnsey students for a brief reflection on their first and their last first term and I have included a selection of these below.

I wish you all a lovely Easter break where you have a chance to spend time with loved ones and ready yourselves for all that Term 2 brings.

Student reflections from Term 1
Something I was a bit nervous about but now I’m not was making friends and meeting lots of new people because I have met lots of people and I was nervous about the size of the school, but I know my way around. I have really enjoyed French and Japanese as I never had the chance to try these until year 7. Year 7 has been amazing because I had lots of fun boarding at Blackwood House and learning new things such as how to light a Bunsen burner! Libby

Something that I was nervous about but now I am not was not having any friends and not fitting in. Jess

This is my highlight for my first term of Year 7. For my first term French was something l was excited to experience for the first time. Morgan

At the beginning of my last school year, I was nervous about all the ‘last’ experiences that we were going to have, but throughout this term we have made so many lifelong memories and we have forgotten about the ‘last time’ and focused on living in the present. One of the best things about Year Twelve is getting to work closely with your teachers to improve and gain feedback. Being apart of ‘Matilda’ the Musical has also enabled me to get to know some of the younger students better and helping them through their high school journey. Hannah

A group of us have reflections on our first term to share with you. We were thinking Year 12 was going to be constantly stressful from the start – we have actually found it to be pretty manageable and quite enjoyable so far. It has been really good to grow closer with our peers this year, through the use of the common room etc. Jack, Mimi, Harriette, Alizah



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