Gippsland Grammar news: Feb 25, 2022

Feb 25, 2022 | Bairnsdale News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

Welcome back to 2022 from Rory, Mia, Aden, and Charlotte

It is an honour to have been chosen as Gippsland Grammar’s 2022 School Captains and we are so excited to share leading the school over the coming year alongside our amazing team of Prefects and Year 12’s.

Undoubtedly, the last few years have been challenging for most of us; encountering many adversities we’d never imagine we would have to face. While we are certainly sure everyone is tired of hearing the same phrases ‘in these unprecedented times’ and having to evolve with our ‘new normal’, we have been offered the valuable appreciation for each other and what we have.

Above all, we have come to the appreciation of the notion that we don’t always know what the future holds. Reintroducing the rich culture of Gippsland Grammar, that some younger year levels haven’t yet been able to experience, is our main intention as we lead the School. Further, we are committed to looking for opportunities to connect (in person!) with not only the School Community but also with each other.  Irrespective of what happens throughout this year, we will be courageous in sustaining this. By courage, we mean demonstrating strength during the tough times this year may present and still demonstrating leadership.

Hence, as a team we thought it would be appropriate to have a motto: Courage, Connect and Culture.

Our fellow Year 12’s have a number of events and projects that we hope to implement this year. The above logo, which was created by the School’s Media Liaison Ms Baker, will accompany many of these projects, so be sure to keep an eye out for it! The Sustainability group led by Mia Mackintosh and Tess Johnson is already up and running and we also hope to see many other projects in action this term, including our Prefect led ‘Water Works’ event in a few weeks.

We have already started implementing the notion of ‘Connect’, after Mrs Harper invited us along with the Bairnsdale and St Anne’s Campus Captains to a meeting. It was a great experience to have all School leaders on one screen and meet each other for the first time. Mrs Harper has asked us to find ways to connect our campuses and to select significant days that the School will celebrate together. It was particularly nice to exchange the perspectives of which days these may occur with the other captains.

Still on the theme of ‘Connect’, yesterday, we had the opportunity to meet the Green Grubs for a lunch at Blackwood House. For those of you who don’t know, the Green Grubs are a group of St Anne’s Old Scholars who have maintained a strong connection with our School. This was an amazing and enjoyable experience to connect with the former students who helped build Gippsland Grammar into the School it is today. Connecting with these former students was very special as we got to hear stories about their time at St Anne’s and learn about what they did after leaving school.

Our other task is to look for ways that we can share the School’s values with our campuses. The first value we wanted to start with is Compassion. We see compassion every day at school; either in class, in the yard or on the bus but it’s easy to forget the impact that compassion can have on others and ourselves. The care teachers provide students, such as visiting students in the boarding house for extra assistance or during lunchtimes (which is also their own spare time) is very special to us as students. We all face overwhelming situations, whether that be with School as the term becomes busier, or with friends or family. We understand that it can be difficult in these moments to be kind to others and even ourselves but we hope that this message reminds you to take the time to do the things you love over the weekend so that next week we can bring the same compassion to yourself and others. 

Have a great weekend.

Rory, Mia, Aden and Charlotte
2022 School Captains

On Thursday almost 30 Green Grubs visited our Garnsey and St Anne’s campuses where they toured and enjoyed lunch at Blackwood House and explored the modern Kukun Kalak Years ¾ centre at St Anne’s. Many of the group were chauffeured on the School’s bus from Bairnsdale by Gippsland Grammar’s Archivist Tim Gibson and Development Officer Sarah Guinness (pictured) and the day prompted many connections not only among the former students of St Anne’s but also between the Old Scholars and our current School leaders. Pictured at the front of St Anne’s are Green Grubs Barbara Fulton (nee Ferres) and Margaret Mynard (nee Davis).

Early Learning Centre news by ELC Director Lisa Burgess
The fourth week of Term 1 is always a turning point at the ELC. The children are suddenly a great deal more settled and move through their daily routines with greater independence and confidence as they get to know and enjoy the company of their educators and the other children. Each day at the ELC is a very busy day for your child, so don’t be surprised if they are very tired at the moment. If you can manage a quieter routine when they are at home this will assist them in happily managing the time they are with us and ensure that they are getting the most out of their ELC experience.

This week in Bairnsdale Transition by Transition teacher Sharon Smith
The children were very excited to begin the specialist program with their Specialist teachers for 2022. They enjoyed Japanese with Bolton Sensei, where they learned how to say good morning and hello in Japanese. Bolton Sensei showed the children the correct way to bow and hold their hands to show respect and friendship to others. The Transition Group were delighted to welcome our new music teacher Mrs Schaefer to Gippsland Grammar. Mrs Schaefer invited the children to visit the music room to learn two new songs and investigate the many different instruments in the area. Our PMP teacher Mrs Froud used the outdoor space to introduce the children to the games of ‘STOP on the whistle’ and ‘Robot Repairer’ This was a wonderful start to our year.

This week in St Anne’s Transition by Transition teachers Kristy How and Danielle Carpenter 
The sunflower project is a tradition for our Black and White ‘Swans’ groups. Over the holidays, the children received a letter including some sunflower seeds to grow. We have begun consolidating this home experience with an inquiry into the features of a sunflower plant and its life cycle. We have many items to explore, including a sensory tub of sunflower seeds for pouring and big sunflowers growing in the garden. Children have brought in their project posters from home to show how their sunflower grew over the holidays. Some children had success, and some had disasters – such is nature! Some children have brought in a sunflower plant from home. This has allowed us to look closely at and investigate the features of a plant. The children then began to recreate their knowledge by creating their abstract pasting of a sunflower. The final product is a beautiful portfolio art piece capturing part of the children’s learning journey.

This week I enjoyed extending the ‘sunflower’ growth project with the Black and White Swans by conducting a simple scientific investigation. We began by sharing a story about the lifecycle of plants. Most children now know that plants need water and light to grow. Many didn’t know how the plant takes up water. With the use of celery and food dye, the children observed how the coloured water is drawn up the celery throughout the day, and they were very excited to see it change colour. We also placed the celery outside in the sun for the day to observe the effect of heat and no water and introduced the word ‘wilt’.

These simple activities and observations allow the children to observe change and cause and effect in their everyday world. On coming inside from a hot playtime, one child exclaimed, “I’m wilting”! Over the coming weeks, we will continue to extend this interest into seed growth and the role of sustainable water use for our environment. We will also be rolling out our ‘Smiles for Miles’ dental health program, which begins with the key message – water is the best drink for children.

Isla pasting her sunflower & Mrs Schafer is welcomed to Gippsland Grammar by Archie, Harvey, Alison and Hailey

Bairnsdale Campus news by Head of Campus Virginia Evans

Our playground has been a hive of activity this week with our students enjoying the many opportunities available. Cricket has been great activity for onlookers with a large group of students demonstrating their skills. The atmosphere has been inclusive with participation the main objective. Our Cubby Captains have continued their careful supervision of the items and have encouraged appropriate play. I feel that our students have responded and understood the need to look after our belongings.

Down ball is another popular activity outside which enables many students to participate. I have been impressed with the friendly interaction and particularly the inclusive attitude of our students. Using their initiative this week was a group of Year 4’s who asked for some chalk to draw their own four square on the basketball court as all others were occupied. That was problem solving at its best!

Our junior students are spilling out of the sandpit with creative play and wonderful designs! What a productive area it is and such a happy place for our students to play. Our Principal Mrs Leisa Harper can sometimes be seen digging and building alongside the children on her weekly visits to our campus. We are never too big for sandpits!

This year we have an exciting addition to our playground and campus through the work of the Green Team and our Year 6’s from 2021. A chook shed has been erected and currently houses three lovely hens which provide not only eggs but also a quiet place to sit and observe their movements. It is not uncommon to see students from all levels at any given time enjoying their antics. The introduction of chooks to our campus has provided a further means of developing the CLERR value ‘responsibility’ by caring for their needs.

And of course, the monkey bars and slides are always a drawcard to our little people as they attempt the first, the second, the third and the fourth bar in their endeavours to cross successfully. The beauty of our playground is that our students can interact comfortably in their chosen activity.

Next week we look forward to our Welcome and Leadership Fellowship and the Family Picnic which has been sorely missed the past few years. As a staff we are excited to welcome our Community back to our campus so please look for confirmation of details for these special events on VOS throughout the week.

There is nothing like a cold icy pole on a hot day and as you can see our students happily accepted a surprise for their great start to the school year and a ‘quick and quiet’, evacuation drill. 

Wishing you well for the weekend ahead.

Principal Harper spends some time in the sandpit with some junior students & The chooks have been a popular addition to the Bairnsdale Campus.

St Anne’s Campus news by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
On Thursday we welcomed some St Anne’s ‘old girls’ back to our campus as part of the Green Gubs Tour, which brought a great buzz to all involved. The highlight for many was listening intently to the rich stories the ladies shared; stories of friendship, connections, fun, and a little bit of mischief from schooling life at St Anne’s from the 1930s to 1960s. Affectionally known as Green Grubs, our guests were entertained by Tara and Lucy’s violin, an introductory speech by our outstanding Campus Captains and a virtual school tour by myself.

Student Leadership

Over the past few weeks it has been inspiring working with our St Anne’s Campus and House Captains, with a focus on their leadership skills. Our Gippsland Grammar CLERR values (Compassion, Leadership, Excellence, Responsibility and Respect) underpinned our discussions. As a group, we delved into the key behaviours all our students can demonstrate throughout 2022. They wish to create posters to put around the campus that communicate the key behaviours connected to each CLERR value.

Lucy and Vanessa display their ideas of key behaviours and how they align with our CLERR values.

Garnsey Campus news by Head of Campus Kate Ray

Welcome to the Resilience Project! You may have heard Hugh Van Cuylenburg from The Resilience Project speaking about his book ‘The Resilience Project – finding happiness through gratitude, empathy and mindfulness’ or follow ‘The Resilience Project’ on social media sites.

This year, we are excited to bring The Resilience Project into our School Community at the Garnsey Campus and we will be implementing the program across all year levels during mentor periods. Our staff have been learning about the project during staff meetings and PD sessions and our students will be introduced to The Resilience Project during Assembly on Monday.

The Resilience Project delivers emotionally engaging programs and provides evidence-based, practical strategies to support positive mental health and build resilience. Presentations will include research on how we can build mental health in our day to day lives and support the mental health of the children in our care.

Through this program, teachers and students will engage in weekly lessons and activities around the key principles of Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness (GEM) to build resilience.

Gratitude is defined as being thankful for what you’ve got.

Empathy is thinking about what others are feeling. It’s about being kind to others.

Mindfulness is bringing your attention to the present moment. It builds awareness of thoughts, emotions and surroundings, as well as a sense of calm.

There is a wealth of supporting academic research on the mental and physical benefits of these strategies.

The Resilience Project’s School Program has been evaluated by the University of Melbourne, with parents observing positive changes in how children handled home situations.

The evaluation also demonstrated the program had targeted benefits in building:

  • Children’s use of daily gratitude strategies and their sense of gratitude.
  • Confidence and self-esteem, especially in relation to their peer relationships.
  • Relationships at school and
  • Knowledge and ability to express emotions.
  • More supportive classroom environments.

We understand that as parents and carers, you have an essential role to play in building positive mental  health with your children. To support what we’re doing in the classroom, families will be given access to an online Parent and Carer Hub which will introduce you to The Resilience Project, build your own confidence around resilience, and give your ideas to help your children and their mental health throughout the year.

Information about how to access the Parent and Carer Hub will be shared soon. In the meantime, feel free to learn more about The Resilience Project by exploring the ideas, activities and resources which bring Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness (GEM) to life on

We look forward to sharing more about the work the students are doing through their mentor times in the weeks to come.

Year 9 Camp
On Tuesday many excited and nervous students embarked on a four-day bushwalk into Lake Tali Karng across the beautiful Wellington Plains. This part of Victoria is a hidden jewel nestled deep in the mountains of Gippsland and such an important element of our Year 9 program.

Catch up on last week’s newsletter here:


Gippsland Grammar background:
Gippsland Grammar is one of Australia’s leading co-educational Anglican schools, with a tradition of excellence in education extending almost 100 years. Located in the heart of Gippsland, the School has more than 1100 students across three campuses including St Anne’s junior campus and the Garnsey senior campus, both at Sale, and the Bairnsdale junior campus in East Gippsland. Enrolments at both junior campuses begin with a 3s and 4s kindergarten program at their respective Early Learning Centres (ELC) and Garnsey caters for students from Years 7-12. Gippsland Grammar is also the only boarding school east of Melbourne’s suburban fringe and is a home-away-from-home for students from far East Gippsland, South Gippsland, Victoria’s High Country and the Latrobe Valley as well as for a cohort of international students.

Join our Community:
If you’d like to join our Gippsland Grammar Community please phone us on 56143 6388 or email to request a Prospecus, book a campus tour or simply inquire about a future enrolment. Or click here to read our Gippsland Grammar Information Book.

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