Gippsland Grammar news: Feb 11, 2022

Feb 11, 2022 | Bairnsdale News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

As the second week of term comes to a close, I hope all our students are enjoying their classes and connecting with our new students. Thank you to our families who are following the health guidelines and performing the twice weekly RATs. You should have received your second supply of RAT tests yesterday or today. Please contact the School if you have any questions.

I visited our St Anne’s Foundation classes late this week and it was like watching a busy beehive with our industrious students busy learning some wonderful lessons. I did have to remind myself that it was only Week 2 while I watched them learning about exclamation points, question marks, full stops and capital letters. The students even played a game outside to reinforce their learning about punctuation. They are off to a fabulous start!

This week I also watched a game of handball at our Bairnsdale Campus, which looked a little different. Our Year 6 students impressed me with a very detailed explanation as to how the game worked. They had altered the game to ensure that more people could play at the one-time, which included careful planning of the space. It is so refreshing to see their creativity being used to care for their peers as well as being great role-models for the younger students.

At the Garnsey Assembly I used the opening of the Winter Olympics as my inspiration. I shared the story of Michael (Eddie) Edwards, the British Ski jumper whose story was told in the 2016 movie, Eddie the Eagle. Michael, or should I say Eddie, was a young man who had a dream to go to the Olympics and with great determination and resilience – not to mention controversy – he achieved his goal. The message for our students is to set your goals and focus on them; don’t let anything or anyone deter you.  This grit, this determination and focus is a skill we all need across all aspects of our lives. I also reminded them to stay positive as negativity can overwhelm us and hamper our ability to act and achieve. Lastly, I asked them to be up for a challenge and to not to be afraid to try something and push yourself. Eddie is a strong and positive role model for never giving up. In summary, I reinforced the need for our students to set their goals, stay positive and be up for the challenge.

Finally, I’d like to thank all the families who have already responded to yesterday’s email about our Photo Permissions. This change will simplify the process for families giving approval for how our School can recognise student news and achievements in public ways. If you haven’t done so yet, please refer back to the email and nominate your preference for each child by Thursday February 24. If you have any questions about this process you can email or phone IT Support on 5143 6364 during business hours.

As the weekend arrives, please take time to rest and relax.

Warm regards,
Leisa Harper


Early Learning Centre news by ELC Director Lisa Burgess
It has been a busy week at our Early Learning Centres as the children continue to settle into their new learning environments. The beautiful weather has provided us with many opportunities for the children to enjoy our natural play spaces and engage with sensory play experiences with sand, water and in the garden. They are getting to know their educators and we can already see them connecting with each other for shared peer play.

This week in St Anne’s Transition (White Swans) by Transition Teacher Kristy How
The White Swans have enjoyed a sunny and joyful start to their Transition year. It was heart-warming to see the smiles as we welcomed them for their very first day. We are focusing on creating a strong sense of belonging for each child. On the first day we invited parents to settle children in by helping them place their things away inside. This gave families the opportunity to see the classroom and where their child will be each day. Standing health orders still require us to limit non-staff adults from coming into the centre unless essential so we thank you for your patience as we sign them in at the front door.  We have begun establishing routines and rituals like our morning song, and we have displayed the children’s photos and artwork in their learning space. We want the children to feel that the ELC is ‘their place’.

This week we have chosen activities and stories that encourage children to reflect on who they are. When drawing portraits and making collage faces, each child was given an opportunity to speak with teachers about what makes them unique. We got to know more about each other as we talked about the summer holidays, including the sunflower projects that are beginning to come in and produce a variety of unique experiences to share. The beach and camping are prominent topics from our holidays, which have led to many beach stories and play opportunities. We counted shells, played with kinetic sand, built sandcastles and made sea pictures. The ELC is such a fun place to be!

This week in St Anne’s Transition (Black Swans) by Transition Teacher Danielle Carpenter
The Black Swans Transition Group have spent the first weeks of the new school year getting to know each other. We have sung songs to share our names including Bumble Bee, Bumble Bee, using a bee puppet as well as a pom-pom wand to encourage the children to say their name to the group. The children have been getting to know the teachers and we spent time chatting about our families.

To create a sense of IDENTITY we have taken individual photos of the children on their first day and asked them to draw a self-portrait. Before they drew these, we read ‘What I Like About Me’ a book that explores our similarities and differences and we had a close look at our beautiful faces. These self-portraits will be placed into each child’s learning portfolio and will become a wonderful keepsake of their first day in the Transition program. We will continue to develop and build strong connections with not only our students but also their families as we go on this year’s learning adventure together.

 Covid- 19 Rapid Antigen Tests for pre-schoolers
On Tuesday the Victorian Government announced that it will now be providing rapid antigen test kits for children in childcare and kindergarten. Using these tests will not be mandatory, but highly encouraged to help ensure that our Community is being kept as safe as possible. You will be advised when these tests arrive and provided with information on how to use them.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Betty painting a picture of herself on her first day of Transition.

Bairnsdale Campus news by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
We have continued the settling back to school process with a lovely sense of calm and connectedness. I hear laughter in the playground and I see new friendships forming and I feel an appreciation of being here together. I am very proud of our Year 6 leaders who are making their presence felt in a helpful and positive manner. I am hearing suggestions and solutions to make our campus an inclusive place to be.

We welcomed Miss Carly Dent as our Learning Assistant officially this week and as our After School Care assistant. Carly will be working with the senior classes and of course our students from ELC to Year 6 who attend the after-school program.

Carpark and pick up at the end of the day
Thank you to our parents who have worked with us at the end of the day with the carpark and the pickup process. I am also grateful to all our teachers who willingly assist in this process, it is allowing our students to be leave the school safely. 

A reminder that swimming is on Monday. Our students participated enthusiastically last week happy to be back in the pool.

Our therapy dog Wilson turned three today and of course there was doggy birthday cake and lots of celebration. While I believe Wilson thought it was just another day at school, our students got into the birthday fun to mark this special day. Wilson continues to provide assistance at the right time with many of our students.

A reminder to please use the COVID email if you need to report a positive case within your family:

Wishing you well for the weekend ahead.

St Anne’s Campus news by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel 
According to our VOS statistics, we had more than 250 families attend this year’s Parent Information Evening, which was held via Zoom. The purpose of the evening was to provide an opportunity for families to hear from their child’s teacher about curriculum, relevant information about routines and expectations, as well as some suggestions on how to support their child during the coming school year. We also had our Specialist teachers create pre-recorded videos explaining the specifics of their subject.

When I am in the playground each morning speaking to parents and students as they arrive for the day, there is a constant theme coming through; families are looking forward to when restrictions ease, and we can get back to connecting as a Community. I am also looking forward to when parents can come to Fellowship, help in classrooms and much more.

Foundation to Year 2 Swimming Carnival
The laughter and smiles from our Foundation to Year 2 students during our modified swimming carnival were a reminder of how important events like this are. Thanks to careful planning and adherence to COVID-19 guidelines, we were able to run this event in a safe way. Our younger students participated in boogie board and novelty relays and parents were able to join us and cheer on the students. Thank you to our staff who braved the cooler water, hopped in the pool to keep our students safe, and Simone Langshaw for organising the day.

Years 3-6 Swimming Carnival (Monday February 14)
Just like our Foundation to Year 2 swimming carnival, we are looking forward to our Year 3 to Year 6 swimming carnival this coming Monday (February 14). A lot of planning has gone into the carnival to make sure our students are safe and enjoy the excitement. Simone Langshaw has communicated to our Community all the essential information via VOS. Below is some of that important information to inform those who have not read this information yet:
– The House Swimming Carnival for Year 3 to Year 6 will be held at the Aqua Energy Swimming Complex on Monday February 14.
– It is a requirement that all students attend the day and participate.
– The day will begin at 9am and finish after the results are finalised at approximately 2.45 pm. 
– Please ensure that your child comes to school on this day prepared to swim.
– Students are well looked after and are encouraged to have a go; we are very aware that some children are anxious, be assured they will be well supported.

All students will travel to and from the pool in their year-level cohorts according to our COVID safe policy. All students must bring their hats and sunscreen, as well as a packed lunch and plenty to drink. Kiosk facilities will not be available to students. Students are to wear sports uniforms with their House coloured polo shirt on the day with their black school bather’s underneath. Rash shirts may be worn but are not compulsory.

Isolation Learning Grids
If students are isolating at home, they will be able to access our ‘Isolation Learning Grids’ via our VOS class pages. When creating these grids, teachers took into account parents may be too unwell to help and that not all families have access to multiple electronic devices. Therefore, the majority of the activities are for independent work and do not rely on technology. Our Specialist teachers have also included learning activities on each grid. Students can access these grids by clicking on this image that can be found on their class VOS page.

COVID-19 Information
We have put measures in place to keep our Community as safe as possible. Our key objective is to keep our School open and operating and the measures we have put in place are in line with the State Government rules and guidelines. At School, we are keeping doors open and using fans to create airflow, heading outside when possible, making sure the rules of wearing a mask are being followed, routine cleaning and regular sanitising. Can families please remember the following?

  • If a family member tests positive or is isolating due to COVID-19, please email the school via
  • Students in Years 3 to Year 6 must wear a mask unless parents have contacted the School with their exemption information. This can be emailed to
  • Students in Foundation to Year 2 are encouraged to wear a mask.
  • If a student comes to school with COVID-19 like symptoms, we will call parents and carers to come and collect their child from the front office.

Have a great weekend,

St Anne’s Sports Co-ordinator Simone Langshaw was thrilled to be able to offer a fun-filled morning for our Foundation to Year 2 students.  

Garsney Campus news by Head of Campus Kate Ray
This week we had the opportunity to welcome Rev. Dr Tim Gaden to our campus with our first Garnsey assembly for the year. While it was disappointing not to be able to do this together in Garnsey Hall, being on Zoom was the next best thing.

This year during our ‘Garnsey Assembly Period’ or GAP period we are trialling a blend of Chapel and Assembly on a Monday similar to the weekly Fellowship our junior students have experienced.

It was wonderful to hear from two of our senior students who are passionate about re-establishing the Sustainability Group at our Garnsey Campus. They invited staff and students to join them for a meeting to not only gauge interest but to also explore possible ideas for the members of this group. Mia and Tess did a great job of sharing their enthusiasm and we had more than 20 students and staff turn up for their first meeting at lunchtime on Tuesday.

Last year the students worked with Mr Ripon one of our regular CRTs and Outdoor Ed leaders who is a passionate conservationist and secretary of the local Landcare program and were also supported by Mr Ries to formulate a plan for the Sustainability Group relaunch. They are setting a great example to other students of how to raise awareness for an issue and make student voice be heard in our School.

I look forward to providing further updates of their progress over the next few months.

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