Gippsland Grammar news: June 18, 2021

Jun 18, 2021 | Bairnsdale News, Community News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

One could never have anticipated that this term would end as it has with regional flooding. For those families who have endured loss of power and flooding and are now faced with the clean-up, we send our best wishes to you all.

Though we have restrictions still in place after a lockdown, we have much to be grateful for as the term comes to a close. Our students have been able to engage in many activities and opportunities across all areas of School life, which we as a Community have also been able to celebrate. As I walk through the playgrounds, our students enjoy the time with friends, and I feel that they have come to realise the importance of connection.

I am pleased with how our senior students are leading the School well. I encourage you to support their efforts with the upcoming Family Fun Day where we will come together to enrich the environment at The Abbey. It has been rescheduled to July 25 from 10.30am to 1.30pm

I am also excited about another Prefect initiative that they will lead a Student Advocacy group next term. Our Prefects will look into a range of topics where they hope to have information sessions and guest speakers on a range of topics. I look forward to their leadership of this new initiative. I sense that there is a great deal of mutual support for one other and that is what makes a healthy community. They are keen for us to celebrate our differences and look at how we can come together in a community of acceptance.

The School is waiting for the next update on the COVID-19 guidelines from the Victorian Government. We do not know when they are expected but once this information is reviewed, we will have a clearer understanding of any changes that may impact us in Term 3. It is my intention to communicate the current guidelines with you all via email, no later than July 10.

Last week you would have received an email from me launching our 2021 Giving Appeal and I encourage you to consider making a financial contribution towards the completion of our new multi-million dollar Visual Arts & Technology Centre at Garnsey. And in a timely reminder, all donations made before June 30 will be deductible for the 2020/21 financial year. Please refer back to my email for more information or visit our website to make a donation:

And earlier today you would have received an email today with a link to our latest digital edition of Veritas. We are thrilled that this new online format allows the flexibility to share with you more news, more photos and more memories and I hope you enjoy reading this edition as much as we enjoy sharing our School happenings with you all.
Click here to read: Veritas: Issue Two, 2021.

I hope students and staff have an enjoyable break with their families and return re-energised to undertake the second half of the year. Please enjoy the break with your children.

Warm regards,
Leisa Harper

Early Learning Centre news by ELC Director Lisa Burgess
Wunman Ninje!
The children in Transition have been learning this Gunaikurnai greeting as a part of our studies focussing on Indigenous perspectives. With support from local Koorie education support staff and representatives from the Keeping Place, our teachers have, over several years, been developing their understanding about how to embed Aboriginal perspectives deeply into our everyday programs in a way that is deeply respectful of cultural protocols.
The children have also enjoyed learning more about this country we all share and have enjoyed exploring indigenous stories, art, and music.

During Reconciliation Week, the Cygnets Reception Group looked at pictures of the local wetlands and talked about how we can support reconciliation by caring for this special Gunaikurnai land. We made tissue paper paintings using the colours children identified in the pictures. This experience was rich with moments of reflection about how we connect to our environment. We have displayed this work to show that we value Aboriginal ways of learning, making links to the land and our community.

By St Anne’s Reception teacher Kristy How:
In Transition at St Anne’s Campus, both groups acknowledged Reconciliation Week by sharing a story about the first contact called ‘Sorry, Sorry’. The children showed great depth of understanding. As always, we were amazed by the empathy and thoughtfulness that they can articulate at such a young age. We will continue to explore the book’s central theme, which is that we all need to ‘share, care and be fair’.
The children have enjoyed learning more about the Gunaikurnai creation story of Borun and Tuk. Using a variety of materials and techniques, they are creating beautiful artwork to represent the story. We are hopeful that when our visit to the Knob Reserve is rescheduled, they can enjoy seeing the new pictorial representation of this story near the playground at Stratford Apex park. You might like to plan to trip to look at it during the holidays. We are sure that the children will be able to tell you the whole story!

By St Anne’s Transition teachers Lisa Burgess and Danielle Carpenter:
At the Bairnsdale campus Transition students have been learning about our prehistoric past.
Recently the children enjoyed a visit from representatives from the Melbourne Museum, who presented a dinosaur and fossils program. The children were encouraged to touch and feel the exhibits, to ask questions, and put forward their ideas about the prehistoric world. From this visit the children were able to express their own knowledge and interests through their artwork, conversations, dramatic play, multimedia, music and movement. They were able to demonstrate their growing understanding by using materials and activities that provoke further investigation and group learning. Working in the sandpit, the children discovered some bones and decided to make their own museum with different exhibits. They set up the area using materials that they found in the ELC, they used magnifying glasses to see the details and then drew what they observed. Their work was displayed around the room to show the progression of their ideas and understanding.

During the past few weeks the children have been using non-fiction books to research the different names of the dinosaurs and their characteristics. They are using words such as extinct, herbivore, and carnivore to explain their discoveries. The scientific inquiry, early literacy and math opportunities have naturally fallen into place around the dinosaur investigation.

By Bairnsdale Transition teacher Sharon Smith:
What a term of rich and diverse learning the children have enjoyed at our ELC’s. I hope that all of our families enjoy some well-earned rest and recreation during the school holidays and we look forward to welcoming you all back on Tuesday July 13.

ELC student William (above left) constructs a dinosaur using a variety of recycled materials while fellow ELC student Ethan (above right) uses the light box to draw an annomite exhibit.

Bairnsdale Campus news by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
As staff, we often ask for more time with our students in the classroom which allows for a calm and settled week, as our campus is usually a hive of activity with many co-curricular activities. This year, many of those activities have been cancelled or postponed due to government guidelines but rather than dwell on the disappointment, we have been grateful for the opportunity to slow down and enjoy quality time together here at school. When looking for the positives, we only have to turn to the example of our students who are happy just being together.

Being grateful was the focus of our SRC Fellowship this morning. Mia Kantzides showed insight and maturity in her introduction, saying “Gratitude is when we have the quality of being thankful; being ready to show appreciation for and return kindness to someone. If we can offer gratitude to one person, then that might just be what makes their whole day.” She went on to say, “Being grateful can give us inner peace and strength, it takes our focus from the negative aspects of our lives to the positives.” Whether we get this peace through God and all that he gives us to be grateful for or through simply thinking about your day and the good things in your day, we still end with the same outcome of being grateful.

Encouraged by our SRC leaders, each class was asked to list five reasons they should feel grateful. We shared these as a group and reflected on how fortunate we are to live in East Gippsland and attend a school such as Gippsland Grammar.

Enjoy the insightfulness of our students and all they are grateful for:

  • Our kind and caring School Community
  • Being together
  • Family and friends
  • Our teachers
  • Living in regional Victoria
  • Our health
  • Freedom to make choices
  • A magnificent education
  • Our Year 6 legacy project (we are designing and building a chook house)
  • Being able to accomplish our goals
  • To be able to visit the Shrine (even though it’s a virtual tour instead of our planned excursion)
  • Our cubbies and playground

As a staff, we came together for dinner to farewell and thank our groundsman Mr Warrick Brown for his commitment to Gippsland Grammar and his collegiality for the past 12 years. We wish Warrick success as he takes on the challenge of a new career direction.

School reports will be accessible this evening via VOS for you to share and engage in your child’s progress. I encourage you to also view the Reportable Assessment Comments under the grades tab to further understand your child’s learning.

It is time for you to enjoy the slower pace of the holidays, whether at home or away. I look forward to greeting you all on your safe return to school.

St Anne’s Campus news by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
Rain, hail or shine; our School Community continues to work together, ensuring the safety and learning of our students continues.

At this time last week, there were warnings and floods throughout Gippsland. As a campus, we were impacted; we had teachers and students who needed to be at home, and therefore we could not run our standard school programs onsite. Thankfully our teachers were able to organise learning tasks to be available for students to access from home within short notice and we still had some teachers onsite for those families who needed their children to go to school.

Until further notice from the Victorian Government, we still have COVID-19 restrictions outlining what must happen at schools. This includes parents not being able to come onto the school grounds. Like so many in our Community, I am looking forward to when we have some normality in our School days. I will be communicating with our campus Community in the last week of the holidays regarding any changes to these restrictions.

This morning we acknowledged our Citizens of the Term. It is always a difficult decision for our classroom teachers on who they will select. Where appropriate, our teachers are collecting our students’ voice on who they think the Citizen of the Term should be. This award celebrates our students who consistently follow and demonstrate our school values; Compassion, Leadership, Excellence, Responsibility and Respect. At times, it is also for students who have worked extra hard to improve how they demonstrate a particular CLERR value.

This term’s citizens are:
Bass: Misha Patel
Mawson: Fynn Hutty
Bradman: to be announced at the start of Term 3
McCubbin: Xavier Lukjanov
Chisholm: to be announced at the start of Term 3
Barton: Cassie Beckman
Flynn: Darcey Langshaw
Tasman: Ava Pye
Freeman: to be announced at the start of Term 3
Kingsford-Smith: to be announced at the start of Term 3
Cuthbert: Sebastian Buchanan
Hollows: Cooper Beckman
Goolagong: Isabel Covino
Mackellar: Darcee Young

From this afternoon, your child’s Semester One report will be available via VOS. The report includes a personal development comment, indicates current work habits and has a scaled score for each curriculum area. These scores are derived from your child’s learning throughout the semester, along with both formative and summative assessments. For further evidence supporting the score, please refer to your child’s grades on VOS, where you will find relevant feedback through a reportable assessment comment. 

Across the school year, student reporting is presented to our parent body in the following ways:

  • Term 1 and Term 4 parent-teacher interviews
  • Continuous Reporting on VOS throughout each term
  • Relevant feedback through a three-tiered approach; what was the learning, what has the student achieved and where to next
  • Mid-year and end of year written report
  • Student Support Group meetings for Pathways students

You may have noticed some of the crucial initiatives our Green Team have put in place at our campus. Our Green Team, guided by Mrs Ellen Condron, is made up of students from across all year levels. These leaders play an important role at St Anne’s and aim to make our campus more sustainable. You may have seen the little black and green buckets we use to collect our food scraps to compost. Or the thriving vegetables growing near our Year 1 and 2 buildings. One of our Green Team leaders, Year 5 student Sophie Moy has written a thought-provoking poem titled ‘Pollution’.

Pollution, by Sophie Moy
The beach is a pretty place with lots and lots of sand,
It has big blue waves and stingrays, and the fish and chips are grand.
There’s hermit crabs and cone shells that wash up on the shore,
There’s seaweed and coral, and a rotten apple core.
There’s things in the ocean too, like dolphins and whales,
Sharks, turtles and slimy sea snails.
But there’s also wrappers, plastic and bottles of skin lotion,
These are some of the things that pollute our pretty ocean.
There’s netting and bags and packets of chips,
There’s poison and waste and oil from big ships.
Every day, without a care, we go to the shops,
We buy a bunch of rubbish and fuel at petrol stops.
There’s such a thing as bicycles, there is such thing as cotton,
But we go in cars and use plastic, all the animals, forgotten.
It’s crazy, it’s madness, it’s completely insane,
But do you know what; we do it anyway.
Think of all the fish, who gobble up our waste,
Thinking it’s an octopus with a very strange taste.
So next time you wrap something in a heap of tin foil,
Think of our beautiful oceans, of which you’re going to spoil.

A reminder to keep checking our VOS calendar for our latest events.
Friday June 18:            School Reports – available after 5 pm via VOS from Friday 18 May
Tuesday July 13           First day of Term 3
Friday July 23:             P&F Trivia Night save the date, more information to come

We would like to congratulate Year 6 Goolagong student Vida Yanez (pictured below) on her recent musical achievements at the Sale Eisteddfod where Vida was awarded the following:

  • 1st place – Junior Championship Instrumental Solo
  • Most Outstanding Young Instrumentalist award
  • 2nd place – Grade 3/4 syllabu


Garnsey Campus news by Head of Campus Kate Ray
As I reflect on another term as Acting Head of Garnsey Campus, I am proud of the work our students and our staff have achieved.

With another lockdown, cancelled events, flooding and COVID-19 responses, it has certainly had its challenges. But I am also able to reflect on some wonderful memory-making occasions that our students have been able to participate in. A highlight was the Year 12 Formal and the Year 11 Ball; our students were given clear guidelines for participation and respectful behaviour and they went well above our expectations. They were appreciative and made the most of the experience they were offered.

I had the pleasure of travelling to Raymond Island with our team of Prefects and we had the most wonderful day visiting all of our campuses on the way and discussing ways that they can support Rev. Edie and her vision for The Abbey. While the plans were put on hold, I am pleased to say that we have set a date for this to be rescheduled – Sunday July 25 from 10.30am-1.30pm which we hope will be appealing to families with the later start to your Sunday morning.

This week our Year 10 and 11 students have demonstrated resilience and perseverance as they have sat their practice exams. I have enjoyed greeting the students as they entered tehri study sessions and also observing the many different ways they are able to work together to support each other in their study. Their focus and commitment is to be commended.

Whatever your holiday plans, I wish you all a safe and restful break.

Gippsland Grammar Head of Rowing Nick Bartlett and rowing coach Harry Roach mop the rowing sheds after last weekend’s flooding at the Sale Canal.

Performing Arts news by Director of Performing Arts Kevin Cameron
The restrictions related to COVID-19 continue to impact our work in the Performing Arts. Fortunately we were able to enjoy a very successful Autumn Concert during Term 2 but other concerts, productions and rehearsals were regretfully set aside.

Congratulations to all members of the concert bands, chamber orchestra, jazz bands and Garnsey choirs for a most successful and enjoyable Autumn Concert. This event was a showcase of repertoire that has been rehearsed during this semester and further polished at the Music Camps and was enjoyed by a live audience  – restricted by COVID-19 safety requirements – and an even larger ‘virtual’ audience of Gippsland Grammar Community members from across Victoria. The concert was hosted by our Music Captains Emily Jackson and Enola Jefferis and I would like to thank them for their thoughtful commentary through the evening. I would also like to acknowledge my Music staff colleagues who have worked to create the frameworks for our students to experience the important aspects of contribution and collaboration in an ensemble context and the capacity to share the outcomes with our Community.

The Senior School Soiree was presented as a twilight concert by students in the Year 10 and VCE Unit 1 classes and other Garnsey students working within the Instrumental Tuition Program. It was a very nice occasion and represented some major improvements and successes for many of the students involved.  Thank you particularly to those staff colleagues who were able to attend to support the students, our wonderful accompanists Ms Lockhart and Ms Richards, and Music Administrator Ms Bryant for all of the programs and logistics – so beautifully accomplished, as always.

A number of important performance opportunities and events, scheduled to occur in the final weeks of this term, have been postponed. These included the Middle Years Soiree, the Term 2 St Anne’s Soiree, the VCE Music Soiree, a visit by a delegation of musicians from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Bairnsdale Campus production of Charlotte’s Web. Please watch for announcements regarding developments around these concerts and events.

Our Semester 1 Band Classes in Years 7 and 8 are about to conclude and it is very pleasing to know that a number of students from these classes will be continuing to explore the instruments they picked up as beginning students at the start of this year. The Music Centre is currently accepting new enrolments in the Music Tuition Program for Semester 2. Students interested in taking lessons on any of the wide range of instruments offered should discuss with their families and complete the online form that may be accessed here:

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