Gippsland Grammar news: Feb 12, 2021

Feb 12, 2021 | Bairnsdale News, Community News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

This week I have been fortunate to share in many ceremonies and activities that have heralded our 2021 leaders across our School Community. It is worthwhile to reflect on the many past students who have held leadership positions in our School’s rich history. These leadership positions are entwined with our history and as the School has grown, opportunities for students have also grown. 

I have challenged our new leaders to consider what type of leader they aspire to be.

Leadership has many faces and one that I encouraged our students to reflect on is authentic leadership, based on personal integrity and credibility.  Developing trusting relationships is the key as well as a commitment to ethical and moral values. Authentic leaders aim to nurture, inspire and empower others. In such a way of transforming the lives of those who they touch – bringing a sense of spirituality to leadership.

I challenged our new leaders to think about the legacy they will leave for future students. I asked them:

Are you looking for an approach like transactional leadership? This is defined as leadership that maintains the status quo. Things get done, perhaps in the same way that they did last year.

Or perhaps they’d like to think about transformational leadership, which is characterised as a type of leadership that requires goals for the group to be ‘above’ the self-interest. A vision is created and shared with the group. This type of leadership appeals to what is right or wrong for the group. Assumptions and attitudes are challenged and a commitment is created through a positive culture to achieve the bigger picture. To have a positive impact on the culture of the School and to create traditions that may well be in place in 100 years.

For me, these attributes are embodied by the following quote from the author Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines… sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream and discover.”

 Gippsland Grammar provides so many opportunities for our students to excel in whatever their chosen area, whether it’s an academic subject, in the sporting arena, performing on stage, interrelating with others, or growing spiritually.

Our vision continues to be embodied through the holistic development of our students through the academic, cultural, sporting and spiritual areas.

As the American poet/writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson said: ‘Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.’

Have a lovely weekend.
Leisa Harper

Gippsland Grammar’s 2021 Leadership team.

As our second full week comes to an end, it is pleasing to see most children beginning to settle into new routines and form new relationships with their peers and educators. Many thanks go to our families for your patience as we continue to sign-in the children from the front door each day. We know it takes extra time to do it this way and we appreciate your support with helping us make this process as safe as possible for the students. Just a gentle reminder that external gates need to be closed as you enter and leave the ELC as it only takes a moment for a little one to get through a gate and your child’s safety is our number one priority.

This week I have spent time at both junior campuses and have enjoyed seeing the rich learning that is already happening. Our teachers are beginning to load their ‘weekly reflections’ to the class VOS pages, which is where families will find lots of photos and information about the educational program each week. Reading these reflections will help you talk with your child about what they have been doing while at the ELC and provide you with ideas on developing and extending their interests and learning at home.

Bairnsdale ELC Reception educator Mrs Sommer-Lea Colllins writes:
‘Children entering the Early Learning Centre in Reception group are often separating from their families to begin formal education for the first time. While many are happy and excited, it is very common for some children to experience some hesitation or even anxiety. During our first week at the Bairnsdale campus, we have shared the story of ‘The Kissing Hand’ by Audrey Penn. This book tells the story of Chester the Raccoon who is starting school and does not want to go. To help ease Chester’s fears, his mother, Mrs Raccoon, shares a family secret called the kissing hand to provide him with some reassurance of her love.

Each child in the group has created their own ‘kissing hand’ using paint and a love heart to symbolise their kiss. They will become our locker tags and anytime a child feels nervous, we will tell them they can place their hand on the print and ‘feel the love rise through their arms all the way to their heart.’

What a beautiful way to help our smallest Gippsland Grammar students begin to feel happy, safe and secure in this unfamiliar environment.

Have a wonderful weekend; you may have some very tired children!

Have a wonderful week.

BAIRNSDALE NEWS, by Head of Campus Virgina Evans
Another week has quickly flown by, finishing with our House Swimming Carnival today. The content of our newsletter is usually reflective of the week that’s been and upcoming events we are looking forward to and this week’s newsletter is no exception as we report on today’s Swimming Carnival and the preparation for our Campus production in Term 2.

We were very disappointed to cancel our Family Picnic last Friday evening due to inclement weather. We had some disappointed little people who were anticipating a lovely night playing with their friends amongst family and staff at school after hours. Thank you for your understanding.

Our 2021 Musical Production will be ‘Charlotte’s Web’. Students in Years 3-6 have been given their information about the production, the audition process and the characters involved. Please discuss with your child as to whether they would like to audition for a main part in the production. There are very interesting characters like Wilbur the pig, Charlotte the spider and Fleur the little girl who so fiercely loves Wilbur her pet pig. Regardless of being chosen for a main part, all students from Foundation to Year 6 are involved; with classes being designated songs and various interactions throughout the performance. Auditions will take place next Wednesday; February 17. If your child would like to audition the form needs to be back on Monday February 15. Thank you.

We would have preferred the warmth of yesterday’s weather however today’s House Swimming Carnival was still a great success. The junior students particularly enjoyed the day as they missed out last year due to the small pool being under repair. The House Spirit was back in full voice and typically for this day there was celebration, supportive cheers and much pride in our students. I thank everyone for a terrific day, particularly Mrs Elisha Froud in her preparation. I look forward to hearing the final results and sharing them with you next week.

The Bairnsdale and St Anne’s campuses have begun reviewing and renewing our current approach to teaching reading, under the expertise and guidance of educational consultant Karen Starkiss. Karen’s work and research supports students of all ages and abilities to read with success. All teachers attended a professional development day last year and we warmly welcome Karen to our campus next Wednesday to work further with all staff. Our connection with Karen will be ongoing throughout the year, as she works with staff individually in addition to staff group workshops.

We celebrated our Welcome and Induction Fellowship with parents outside last week due to number restrictions. However, for the remainder of the term our Fellowships will be in the hall, which will unfortunately exclude parents due to the Covid-19 restrictions on seating capacity. We feel it is important to continue to come together as students and staff to celebrate learning, acknowledge our students’ successes and to continue developing confidence in our students in presenting. The class performance and award winners will be posted on the class page on VOS. Once again, we thank you for your understanding.

ST ANNE’S NEWS by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
I would like to congratulate our 2021 Campus Captains, who have started this year in such a positive fashion. Louis Lazzaro and Mia Goold were officially inducted into their roles at today’s Fellowship where we were joined by significant leaders from our wider Gippsland community including the Anglican Bishop of Gippsland the Right Reverend Dr Richard Treloar and the Nationals State Parliament member for South Gippsland Mr Danny O’Brien. Both Richard and Danny shared their thoughts on faith and leadership.

I have been fortunate to watch both Louis and Mia as they have grown into exceptional young people throughout their schooling and I have been impressed by how they have demonstrated how they lead with their actions, not just their words.

Throughout this year, our Campus Captains will represent our School at a range of events, take part in leadership training, and provide guidance for our St Anne’s students. I know Mia and Louis are going to thoroughly enjoy the challenge of their leadership role.

Perfect weather greeted yesterday’s annual St Anne’s Swimming Carnival and I particularly enjoyed seeing so many students demonstrate outstanding sportsmanship and respect for one another throughout the event. This included cheering on swimmers from different houses and being respectful and resilient when races do not go to plan.

I’d like to thank Mrs Simone Langshaw who organised and ran another fantastic whole campus sports event with help from our teachers. I’d also like to share a big thank you to our parent helpers, who enabled our Swimming Carnival to run so smoothly.

Students and teachers take the House competition seriously and it was Wellington Binks which won this year’s swimming carnival. Tisdall Hotham came second and Cranswick Dargo and Blundell Bogong came third and fourth respectively. Our Age Champions was closely contested again this year with the following students winning their age group:

U/12 Boys: Kody Said
U/12 Girls: Aliesha Turnbull
U/11 Boys: Cooper Beckman
U/11 Girls: Ellie Brown
U/10 Boys: Matthew Canfield
U/10 Girls: Adelaide Ripper
U/9 Boys: Levi Vardy
U/9 Girls: Sophie Arnup 

More than 300 parents were virtual attendees at this week’s parent information evening which was held via Zoom. And while we received lots of positive feedback about the accessibility and key information shared, we know that meeting face-to-face allows for greater connection. Which is why I am so looking forward to tonight’s Welcome Picnic, which will be a great example of how our Campus Community can still come together safely while also adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines.

All St Anne’s families are invited to gather on the grassed area near the Lorna Sparrow Hall from 5.30pm. Toilet access will be available and families are reminded to maintain social distance.

Being involved in education for more than 20 years, I have witnessed first-hand the integration of technology into everyday life. There are so many positives that technology brings us however I have also noticed the negative impact social network apps can have on young people. Recently, teachers have shared that we have students as young as seven years old who are on social media apps aimed at teenagers and older. Last year we ran a range of information sessions with renowned cyber safety expert Susan McLean and for anyone who would like to refresh their cyber safety knowledge, Susan McLean’s fact sheets can be found at this link: 

Enjoy the weekend.

GARNSEY NEWS by Acting Head of Campus Kate Ray
Once again, this week has been an incredibly full and rewarding week. On Monday, we were fortunate to welcome visitors to Garnsey Hall for our Leadership Induction Assembly. The Gippsland Grammar Board Chair Mr Mike Oram joined us onstage to assist in presenting the Prefects with their badges. A lovely tradition that is part of this occasion is inviting a Year 1 student to witness our Prefects signing the Prefect Pledge book. This year we welcomed third generation Gippsland Grammar student Harriette Lafferty onto the stage and Harriette also joined us for morning tea and photographs with the House leaders and Prefects afterwards.

Thankfully the weather was perfect for Tuesday’s House Swimming Carnival. House spirit was in full force with many banners, signs and costumes around the pool and House water volleyball was a hit in the Learner Pool with students enjoying the opportunity to cool off and earn points for their house.
Overall results were:
1st: Cranswick Dargo
2nd: Blundell Bogong
3rd: Tisdall Hotham
4th: Wellington Binks

The House Spirit Shield was also awarded to Cranswick Dargo for their efforts in supporting each other and cheering throughout the day.

It has been wonderful that several camps were able to proceed over the past few weeks. Our Year 11 Outdoor and Environmental Studies students travelled to Sandy Point for two nights where they participated in an intensive surfing program, run once again by Offshore Surf School. All students successfully stood up on their board and caught a wave in. And, on Wednesday our Year 12 cohort headed to Forest Edge for their annual camp, which was organised by VCE Coordinator Ms Judy Taylor and Head of Year 12 Mr Andrew Nicholas and well- supported by the Mentors, Mr Henderson, Reverend Blaskow, Mrs Harper and a number of guest speakers covering a large range of topics from study habits to mental health and first aid. The weather was superb and the staff and students were in high spirits to be in such a beautiful location and to have the opportunity to enjoy what for many may be their last School camp. Thank you to all the staff who were involved in the successful running of this camp. I am sure they will all look back on the experience fondly.

I would like to remind parents again of the traffic guidelines when collecting children from our Campus. We ask that you only travel in a counter-clockwise direction from the front of the school to along Dawson Street where you can collect your child before continuing along McGhee St to Raglan St. We have had reports from concerned community members about three-point turns occurring in the middle of McGhee St when parents have driven down McGhee St first. This is unsafe behaviour and we ask that families take these requests to follow the guidance seriously. The safety of our students is paramount.

To assist in easing the congestion while buses are collecting students at the end of the day, you may consider encouraging your child to do some study in the ISC after school and collecting them closer to 4pm when the buses have departed. Our ISC is open Monday and Wednesday afternoons until 5.30pm and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons until 5pm. 

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