Gippsland Grammar news: April 23, 2021

Apr 23, 2021 | Bairnsdale News, Community News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

I would like to welcome our families, new and returning to Term 2. I hope that you have all had a refreshing break and some special time to re-connect after a busy Term 1.

ANZAC day goes beyond the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915. It is the day on which we remember Australians who served and died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. The ANZAC spirit brings to life human qualities such as courage, mateship, sacrifice and this continues to be relevant for us and our national identity. I share the following prayer with you all on this special occasion.

A prayer of remembrance
Lord God, help us this day to remember the sacrifice of the first ANZACs, Australian and New Zealander, and the generations of men, women and children who have died in the cause of liberty and peace.
Help us to remember those who still bear the physical and mental scars and disabilities of their service.
Help us to remember the widows, girlfriends, parents and orphans and all those who waited in vain for the return of a loved one.
Help us to remember the mateship, agony, courage and compassion of war service, but save us from ever glorifying the horror and tragedy of war.
Lord God, help us to remember.

My congratulations to the SEISA Athletics team who represented themselves and their School well on Thursday. It was a cool and windy day, but the Grammar commitment and pride shone through brightly with a strong team of 120 athletes. Sincere thanks to Miss Jenny Dyke and her team of teachers Mr Chris Ray, Ms Elisha Froud, Mrs Kate O’Toole and Mr Dan Davies for the support of the team.

One of the delights of 2021 which I am enjoying is the opportunity to meet parents and the broader Gippsland community “in person”. The School will have a display at the East Gippsland Field Days today and Saturday. If you are in the neighbourhood please drop in and say hello or if you know of families who are interested in sending their children to Gippsland Grammar, please let them know about these events.
On Saturday May 1, I will also be at the Bairnsdale Open Day. It would be lovely to meet you and as always, I am looking forward to seeing the smiling faces of the Bairnsdale students. When I visited prior to the break, I found myself in the playground talking with students about how we could make an area of the playground even better. As the conversation drew to a close, I reflected on how the students were confident and capable with their responses as well as flexible and creative in their thinking. At Gippsland Grammar, we are blessed to have the students who have these traits.

Prefects Harry, Fergus, Ruby and Kate playing Jenga at the Gippsland Grammar site at the East Gippsland Field Days on Friday.

Our School Prefects invite everyone from the Gippsland Grammar Community to join them on Sunday May 30 at Raymond Island’s The Abbey for a Family Fun Day and tree planting working bee. Our School has had a longstanding collaborative partnership with The Abbey and as this partnership flourishes, we’d like to see the native vegetation on the site flourish too.
Students and staff and their families are invited to join Abbey Priest, Reverend Edie Ashley to pull some weeds, plant some trees and enjoy a sausage sizzle lunch. So please put Sunday May 30 from 9am-noon in your diaries and keep an eye on this newsletter for more details over the coming weeks.

Leisa Harper

The new term has begun smoothly, with all the children returning this week. They have enjoyed sharing their stories about family holidays and visits from the Easter bunny. Please remember to return your child’s rest time sheet now. Sun hats can still be worn but are not compulsory from April to September. The weather can change quickly from warm to cold at this time of the year, so please ensure that your child has their fleece jacket in their bag every day. The children will be learning the ‘tag to toe’ method of putting on their jackets over the colder months. It’s a really easy way to help them become independent. Please ensure your child’s jacket is clearly named, as it can be difficult for them to find their belongings if it isn’t visible or is still bearing the name of a previous owner.

This will be another busy term with many special events and activities designed by the teachers to enhance your child’s learning and development. This term, we are looking forward to welcoming parents and carers back into the centre as volunteers with the Transition classes. It is a marvellous opportunity to spend time with your child and experience our educational program and beautiful learning environments. Just a reminder that you must submit your Working with Children’s Check and complete the indirect volunteer registration as per the instructions sent home last term. The Transition classes at both campuses will also be having Parent/Teacher interviews next week. If you haven’t yet booked your time, please speak to your class teacher to arrange one. The interviews are another opportunity for us to share information about your child’s progress and achievements as we work together to ensure they are happy, connected and enthusiastic learners. They are also an essential step towards your child’s transition to school in 2022.

Our Reception families have not been forgotten as we will shortly commence the roll-out of our Gippsland Grammar ELC’ Need to Read’ program. This program is for our youngest students and is focused on developing key early literacy skills through purposeful reading. As parents and carers play an essential role in acquiring literacy, this event is not to be missed. Look out for an invitation to a ‘Need to Read Parent Information Session’ via Zoom on Wednesday May 12, from 7.30pm. I look forward to sharing this term with you all.

BAIRNSDALE NEWS, by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
We warmly welcomed four new students to our campus at assembly on Monday morning. Angelo in Banksia, Pippa in Melaleuca, Stephanie and Andrew into Grevillea. I commend and thank our students for the kindness they have demonstrated to their new peers.

Term 2 is a full calendar, that includes Anzac Day, Mother’s Day, Reconciliation week and our Production, ‘Charlotte’s Web’. Preparation for these events requires much planning, a committed staff and parent body, along with dedicated practice to ensure these events are successful. Mr Brett Glover and Miss Lucy Leeming have requested further rehearsal sessions after school for the main cast as the date is fast approaching. A note has been sent home for those students concerned. We will soon be seeking assistance with costumes, with a ‘working bee’ to be scheduled. If you would like to assist with the sewing or making of costumes, please contact Sarah Guinness.

Our return to school has seen a range of uniform combinations. I understand there may be some delays in purchasing items, however, I encourage the correct wearing of the winter school uniform by the end of next week in readiness for our school photos on Wednesday May 5.
In winter, ties are to be worn with the white long or short sleeved shirt. Boys and girls may wear long grey pants and girls also have the option to wear the tartan skirt.

Our Campus Captains Parker and Avin have the great privilege of speaking at the Bairnsdale dawn service on Sunday morning. They will not only be representing Gippsland Grammar but all their fellow primary school students across East Gippsland. Their speech includes the responsibility they hold to continue to honour the Anzacs and to pass the story on.

Today Blackwood presented a moving and most informative Anzac service. We gathered around our very special, ‘Lone Pine” and learned of its significance along with many other interesting facts. The highlight is always the playing of the Last Post and this year was no exception. Henry Knight played a beautiful rendition on the saxophone for us to enjoy. Henry managed to rehearse for this in between soccer trials and SEISA athletics. When asking our students to reflect on what they had learned at the end of the service, Quinn stated, “The Anzac biscuits gave comfort to the soldiers and made them feel safe” Reuben said “Lest we Forget comes from a Christian poem and it tells us that we must always remember this significant occasion. Andrew said that “Anzac Day is when we thank our soldiers for protecting our country”.

Each year the Anzac service allows our students to build on their understanding of our country’s history. I thank Mr Todd Cook for his commitment in preparing the event.

Next weekend we will be holding our campus Open Day from 9-11am on Saturday 1 May. Please encourage your colleagues, family and friends to come along if they are interested in learning more about a Gippsland Grammar education.
A reminder to keep your children home if they are unwell as we move towards the colder weather. We will continue to follow the procedures of sending students home if they present with flu like symptoms. I thank you for your cooperation. Enjoy your weekend.

ST ANNE’S NEWS by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
After two week’s holidays, it was great to welcome our students back for Term 2. We have started in such a positive fashion. At our Monday assembly, I spoke to our students about our CLERR focus on respect. As I have stated a few times now, for me, respect is our number one CLERR value. We must respect people regardless of their sex, beliefs, sexuality, religion, or race. We often talk about respect. However, it is necessary we ‘walk the walk’ and demonstrate respect. As staff, we spoke about the importance of demonstrating respect and explicitly teaching what respect looks and sounds like to our students. I look forward to acknowledging and celebrating our students as they grow in this area.

This morning our campus community came together to pay respect to our men and women who have died, returned, or are still serving in our armed forces. ANZAC day continues to be one of Australia’s most significant day on our calendar. It provides us with a chance to stop, pause and reflect. Each year, Mrs Amanda Canfield, our Defence School Mentor, supports our defence students to present a poignant service. This morning was no exception. Bishop Richard gave his blessing, our choir sung, and our defence students did a fantastic job. Amanda’s role at Gippsland Grammar is important, as she supports new and existing defence families. I would also like to acknowledge the families who attended today’s service. Having our families back on campus and building that feeling of community is so important. Thank you to defence students and Amanda for running today’s ANZAC service.


From top left: Students Hazel Barbetti, Dillon Meredith and Melia Beanland at today’s St Anne’s Anzac Day service.

On Thursday, our up-and-coming tennis stars represented Gippsland Grammar at the Regional Schools Tennis Competition. Louis Lazzaro, Mia Goold, Dylan Board, Milla Lazzaro, Judah Levchenko, and Lexie McNaughton matched it against some of the best tennis players in our region.  Mia Goold has won through to the State Tennis Competition. A big thank you to Nick Board for being our team manager for the day.

The Tuckshop is open for volunteers. With COVID-19 rules lifting and a feeling of normalcy coming back, we would love to hear from any parents/grandparents that would like to spend either an hour or a morning on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday in the school tuckshop. This would involve assisting with fresh food preparation, cooking and, of course, the most fun part seeing the smiles on the children’s faces when they see family members at the Tuckshop serving their lunches and snacks. Please contact Prue Cliff via email or message at or phone on 0428 489 355 to find out more information.

A reminder that our House Cross Country is happening on Monday, May 3, from 9am until approximately 1pm at the Catholic College Ovals. Like all of our sporting carnivals, the focus is on participation, endeavour and sportsmanship. More information to come.

Mother’s Day is such an important day. It provides a chance for everyone to acknowledge and to thank their mums for all they do for us. As COVID-19 restrictions ease and we want to provide safe opportunities for our community to connect, we are organising a Mother’s Day event. We are planning an afternoon tea and Fellowship on Friday 7 May. We will be sending out more information next week via VOS.

On Wednesday, June 9 and Thursday, June 10, we will have our school photos at St Anne’s. On Wednesday, our ensembles, choirs and other groups will have their photos. On the Thursday, we will have our individual, class and family photos. Students are asked to wear full winter uniform on both days. More information to come. Have a great weekend.

GARNSEY NEWS by Acting Head of Campus Kate Ray
In our first assembly this week, I spoke to the students about our main focus this term being on respect. This is something I encourage you to talk to your children about too. We will be revisiting this all term. Our Year 7 and Year 8 students also attended sessions this week that focused on how to be a supportive friend. These workshops help to give our students the tools they need to a trusted and supportive friend. I have included below part of my speech from Monday so that you as a family are also clear on the focus for this term.

“I would like to remind you that we have RESPECT as one of our School values – CLERR – Compassion, Leadership, Excellence, Responsibility, Respect. I remember Mrs Evans from our Bairnsdale campus saying that we could really just have one – respect. As this encompasses so much of what we want for ourselves and for our students.
Our diaries have a page titled ‘Relationships at our School are Respectful’. You will also find this in many classrooms. It states: 

I spent quite a bit of time in the holidays thinking about the message that I wanted to give you today around respect; I read articles from a range of different psychologists, academics, parenting websites and more about how to and how not to speak to young people about respect. I read about how to talk to students about issues around being respectful towards all members of our community regardless of race, appearance, disability, sexuality, or identity. I read about how to build respect within a School community – not just that you should demand it.

It’s hard and complex – It would be so easy for me to stand up here today and say, ‘do this’ ‘don’t do that’ ‘if you do this, then this will happen’, but the research shows that this isn’t as effective. 

Carol Ann Tomlinson, a world-renowned educator with a focus on students who are identified as gifted or highly able wrote in an article that ‘Respecting students means regarding them with special attention, honoring them, showing consideration toward them, being concerned about them, appreciating them, relating to them, admiring their strengths, and caring for them. Young people are dignified and strengthened by adult respect. The absence of such respect is corrosive.’  

While I agree that this is a very valid point, I also need to acknowledge that you could remove the word ‘student’ from this statement and replace it with ‘all people’ and it would still be as effective. It saddens me to know that there are individuals at our School who do not feel respected or safe. 

It is NOT OK to use words, actions, or other means to make someone in our School community feel unsafe or disrespected. We all have a responsibility here.  

I am going to be looking for examples of students demonstrating respect – towards each other, all staff, our school grounds and personal property; Teachers are going to speak to you when you have your hair out, your shirt untucked, too many pieces of jewellery on. We are going to speak to you when we hear you say something derogatory or disrespectful towards another person in our School. We are going to have the challenging conversations with you when we see behaviours that aren’t in line with our respectful relationships document. I can confidently say that there isn’t a single teacher on our staff who decided to go to university to become a teacher so they could spend their time ‘telling students off’ about their hair or their language or their uniform – we did it to work with young people and to help them to learn. Help us to be able to spend more time doing this by doing the right thing. 

Believe me, what I want most is to hear the positives. I want to see students looking around them at the end of recess and lunchtime and making a decision to pick up rubbish that someone else may have left. Keeping their hair tied back and their shirt tucked in and most importantly of all, speaking up when they witness or hear of an action that doesn’t reflect what we want to see at Gippsland Grammar.  We all have a responsibility to show respect for ourselves, our grounds and for each other.”

“The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.’  
Australian Chief of the Army, Lieutenant-General David Morrison 

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