Gippsland Grammar news: Feb 19, 2021

Feb 19, 2021 | Bairnsdale News, Community News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

From a young age, we are told how important it is to “get a good education”. Naturally, I agree, but I also believe that schooling is only one type of learning. There are many other opportunities in life that enable people to further their knowledge and develop new skills. 

We learn every day – it is unavoidable, and it happens all the time. Lifelong learning is about creating a positive attitude towards learning both for personal and professional development. Lifelong learning is a deliberate and voluntary action. It is also about understanding the world around us and looking for better opportunities to improve ourselves and our quality of life. Lifelong learning is something that improves our self-esteem and makes us less averse to risk and more adaptable to change.

There are many examples of lifelong learning in our Community. I would like to share and acknowledge two staff members for their commitment to lifelong learning and for their desire to make their communities even stronger by sharing their learning.

Congratulations to Acting Head of Garnsey Campus, Ms Kate Ray who has been selected for the ISV (Independent Schools Victoria) Teacher Fellowship program for 2021. Leaders across Victorian ISV schools applied for the few positions available and we are excited Ms Ray was chosen to lead a Teacher Inquiry Group. Ms Ray’s area of interest is an action research project for ‘best practice for students who have been identified as gifted or twice exceptional’. This will not only benefit Gippsland Grammar, but her work will be used to promote and facilitate improvement in schools throughout Victoria.

Please join with me in congratulating Ms Kate Ray on her appointment as an ISV Teacher Fellow.

I would also like to congratulate Rev Nikolai Blaskow for his contributions to Religion and Philosophy. Rev Blaskow has written an editorial in the journal Dialogue Australasia Network (DAN) Issue 44, November 2020 titled “Myth and Mystery”. Humanitarian, Rev Tim Costello AO has also published a piece in the journal “Ethics for a Changing World”. Rev Blaskow has had his doctoral abstract accepted to feature at a World Conference (sponsored by the World Science Committee) on ‘Nietzsche’ in Rome in September 2021.

Congratulations to both of you for your passion and contributions for the work you engage in.

A quote from Mary Catherine Bateson (An American writer and cultural anthropologist)
“We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn”.

Have a lovely weekend.
Leisa Harper

I am not sure who was most relieved, staff members or parents, when it was announced last Friday, that early childhood centres would again remain open during the latest lockdown. I want to acknowledge the ELC team’s efforts as they quickly managed to organise their own children and families schedules to ensure we could remain fully staffed. Everyone was very focused on not disrupting our youngest students’ routines as they are only just beginning to settle in for the year.

Although we are now back to wearing masks at drop off and pick up time. We have decided to plan a variety of ways in which we can begin to build relationships between families and ELC staff members. We recognise that it is difficult to get to know each other when the drop off and pick up times are so brief from behind masks. Building trusting relationships between children, staff members and their families underpins the teaching and learning that happens whilst your child is in our care. We encourage families to feel free to make contact to chat with your child’s teachers by phone, email or via VOS. You will find all the relevant contact details in the front of the ELC handbook. One factor parents are commenting on is that they miss the opportunity to come and spend time with their child at the ELC.

For this reason, we have decided to run a ‘Stay and Play’ evening for each of the groups. It will be a relaxed evening allowing you to spend time with your child, meet other families and get to know the ELC staff members. These will be run in a COVID safe manner according to the restrictions in place at this time.

Please pop the following dates in your diary, there will be a follow-up invitation coming soon.

Stay and Play ELC Evenings
Sale Campus Transition Black Swans Monday, March 1, 6-7pm

  • Transition White Swans Tuesday, March 2, 6-7pm
  • Reception Cygnets (Mon/Wed) Wednesday, March 3, 5-6pm
  • Reception Cygnets (Tues/Thurs) Thursday, March 4, 5-6pm

 Bairnsdale Campus

  • Transition Thursday, March 18, 5-6 pm
  • Reception Tuesday, March 23, 5-6 pm

I know the children will be very excited to show you around their ‘special place’ and we are looking forward to seeing you all there.

On Friday the children in Transition Sale created a special Valentine’s Day gift for their families. Pict
ured from left to right are: 
Nevada Marshall, Sylvie Warren and Mia Wheeler.

BAIRNSDALE NEWS, by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
Once again, showing their adaptability, our students returned to school happy, ready to continue where we left off last Friday. During the duration of the government “Circuit Break” our staff also continued preparing and planning for focused learning, organising campus events, and developing further their understanding of SMART Spelling through professional development.

The students and staff enjoyed a well house spirited day last Friday, with all students participating in our house swimming carnival. The winning house was Wellington Binks. It was an absolute thrill for Mrs Joy Hay-Smith and the senior students in Wellington Binks as it has been a long time since they have received a winning trophy.

As the Year 6 leader from Wellington Binks, Riley Whelan said, ‘this is the first time I can remember us winning anything -, it’s very exciting!’ Adding his thoughts, Raf Rodriguez, said, ‘I was looking at the cup and noticed that we hadn’t won the swimming ever and now we have!’

Congratulations to all our students for their terrific participation and I acknowledge our Age Champions on the day below. We would also like to congratulate Archer Whelan who was recognised by local East Gippsland Waterdragons head coach and offered a swimming scholarship and invitation to try out with the club. 

Age Group Champions




Rhys Rodriguez                          

Ayla Buckley


Archer Whelan                          

Piper Jankowiak


Benjamin Reynolds           

Tessa Newstead


Kael Frith                                   

Grace Smith 

Auditions for our musical production Charlotte’s Web were in full force on Thursday with a huge number of students nervously excited awaiting their turn. Mr Brett Glover, Mrs Sarah Guinness and Ms Lucy Leeming were greatly encouraged by the willingness of students to audition and the talent of the students coming through. I am very proud of our students who are demonstrating confidence in themselves, applying a growth mindset and showcasing their love of the Arts.

The students who auditioned will share their casting news with their families this afternoon and will begin rehearsals next week. In the coming weeks we will be requesting assistance from families with costumes and props. Please consider if you can contribute in any way. Most importantly, please mark your calendar for the week beginning June 7 as performance week.

After this unusual week I wish you all an enjoyable weekend and I hope that you are able to take advantage of the fine weather ahead. 

Next week:
Tuesday February 23: Year 6 to Raymond Island
Wednesday February 24: District Swimming Carnival
                                            No school for Foundation students today
Thursday February 25: SEISA Swimming Carnival
Friday February 26: Year 3-6 Swimming Carnival

ST ANNE’S NEWS by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
A huge thank you to our students, families, and teachers as we yo-yoed from some form of normality, to snap lockdown, then back to School. Our Principal, Mrs Leisa Harper, outlined key information about our return via email to our School Community. Having our students return smoothly on Thursday and today is an indication of their resilience.

Unfortunately, we postponed our Welcome Family Picnic. This key event is essential for families to build connections with one another, and with our staff. I am looking at when we can hold this event shortly, as well as other initiatives to develop stronger connections within our School Community.

As we return to School, it is important that we all adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. If your child has COVID-19 symptoms, they need to stay at home until symptom-free. If your child comes to school with a COVID-19 symptom, parents will be contacted to collect their child as soon as possible. 

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills or sweats
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of sense of smell

If your child has been absent from school due to COVID-19 symptoms, parents and carers must complete our ‘Student Health Declaration’ form located on VOS. Please click here to access this form.

In my newsletter last week, I shared news about our Campus Captain Induction Fellowship. Louis Lazzaro and Mia Goold were joined by their families and other special guests as we celebrated this special occasion. This week we can share some photos from the event.

We were unable to share some of our House Swimming Carnival last week due to our preparations for the snap lockdown. Again, thank you to Mrs Simone Langshaw for planning our carnival as well as our parent helpers who supported on the day.

Due to the lockdown, we postponed our School Leadership Fellowship today until next Friday. At this Fellowship, we will acknowledge our Green Team, Student Representative Council, along with our Year 6 leadership positions. I look forward to sharing news about this Fellowship with you all next week.

Enjoy getting out and about this weekend.

GARNSEY NEWS by Acting Head of Campus Kate Ray
It was wonderful to see our students arriving onsite on Thursday morning, even after only three days offsite. A school without students is a very different, and somewhat strange place and this short break from Garnsey Campus reminded me of this.

Our students have certainly displayed their resilience and flexibility over the past few days. It was positive to hear some of our senior students talking about how they had set up study groups to connect with each other during the lockdown. This is something I hope they will continue with even when we are onsite. The benefits of studying and revising together strengthens all our students understanding.

Our Year 8 students also spent some time focussing on their study skills this week. They attended two online sessions with the Elevate Education program on Thursday. We have used Elevate for several years now in Years 8,10,11 and 12. Students find the presenters engaging and relevant as they are often university students who are able to relate their information to real life, current experience. The Year 8 modules were ‘Study Skills Kick Start’ and ‘Junior Time Management’. The learning that was covered will be reinforced in upcoming Year 8 Personal Development and Extended Mentor sessions. Parents may have also taken the opportunity to attend the parent information session last night. One of the other advantages of our students participating in the Elevate sessions are the free online sessions they also provide for parents. There is another parent session titled ‘Time Management – how to end the battle over homework deadlines, study schedules and prioritisation’. If you are interested in attending this session or others, please refer to the VOS version of this week’s newsletter.

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