Gippsland Grammar news: May 7, 2021

May 7, 2021 | Bairnsdale News, Community News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

I’m always impressed by the volume and breadth of activities that happen across each of our three campuses each week. And this week’s newsletter is a testament to this activity with our students taking part in a number of camps and excursions (including the annual Music Camp and the Year 9 Outdoor Ed bushwalking camp to Lake Tali Karng), cross-country, an author visit, pyjama yoga, online maths competitions, Japanese Children’s Day and – of course – Mother’s Day celebrations. Our Mother’s Day events were one of the many gatherings that were cancelled last year so I know the mothers and special friends in our School Community will treasure this morning’s and afternoon’s gatherings, as you can see by the huge smiles in the photos below.

The frantic pace of the co-curricular activities continues through the weekend with anticipation building for tonight’s Year 12 formal; likewise for tomorrow night’s Year 11 ball, with both events being held at our Garnsey Hall. And one upcoming event I’m certainly looking forward to is the family fun day at The Abbey which is being organised by our Prefects. Our School has had a longstanding collaborative partnership with The Abbey and as this partnership flourishes, we’d like to see the native vegetation on the site flourish too so Reverend Edie Ashley will lead us all in pulling out weeds, planting trees and enjoying a sausage sizzle lunch. Everyone in our School Community is welcome to join me at this event on Sunday May 30 from 9am-noon so please put it in your diaries.

More than 100 students from Year 5 to yar 12 attended Music Camp at Waratah Bay this week.

It has been a busy week at our ELCs as the children prepare for their Mother’s Day events (please note the two future dates below). At the St Anne’s ELC, we support the Cancer Council’s ‘Biggest Morning Tea’, so a gold coin donation from would be appreciated when St Anne’s families arrive at the breakfast or afternoon celebration. The money box will be on the sign-in desk in our foyer. Please remember to scan using the QR code or sign-in book at both campuses to follow Covid-19 regulations.

With the advent of the cooler weather, just a reminder that the children will need their fleecy jackets every day now. Physical and active play is encouraged in all weathers, so please don’t assume that we will stay inside if it is cold. Your child will also need a raincoat if it is very wet and they are going across into the school for specialist lessons as we have quite a walk.

Reception Sale by educator Kristy How: We have been exploring dramatic play with a pretend hospital in the room. Play connecting to children’s real-life experience allows them to explore and consolidate what they know. The children can share experiences such as going to the hospital to visit a new baby, being hurt, or seeing an ambulance go past. While playing the doctor’s role, the children showed empathy, comforting patients, listening to each other and working as a team. Ollie experienced care from his peers as he attended the pretend clinic for some bandaging!
Reception Bairnsdale by educator Sommer-Lea Collins: Since returning to the ELC after the holidays, children in the Reception group noticed changes in the weather and within our wonderful garden. This has sparked many questions and topics of inquiry, including exploring the change of season to Autumn. This week we enjoyed the story We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger and, with support and leadership from Year 3 (Melaleuca) students, we become leaf explorers around our Bairnsdale Campus.  The Reception children were able to explore the campus grounds to collect a variety of leaves in different colours and shapes while the Year 3 students were able to nurture and share their knowledge with their younger peers, showing patience and understanding and allowing the children to develop a sense of belonging and comfort within our School Community.
Transition Bairnsdale by educator Sharon Smith: The Transition group had a wonderful end of term when visiting the Clifton Waters Aged Care Village for a Hat Parade and a shared morning tea. The children and residents had a lovely time, comparing hats, sharing stories and playing egg and spoon races in the garden. The day was so successful that the Clifton Waters Choir have invited the children to join them in learning a new song to perform at an afternoon recital in coming weeks. 
Transition Sale by educators Lisa Burgess and Danielle Carpenter: This week the children went on a nature walk with their buddies around the grounds of our beautiful St Anne’s campus. It was a real sensory treat as they examined, collected, touched, smelt and even rolled in the leaves. We are learning to look closely at the natural world and ask lots of questions. Why do the leaves change colour? Why do some change and others don’t?  What happens next? As the children discuss and reflect on these questions, they learn to think deeply and form a deeper connection to the world around them. This is an essential first step in a sustainable education; children can’t begin to think about ways to be sustainable if they don’t know what they are saving and why! The Autumn walk is the first of several nature-based outings this term. Our class bear Morris has begun to visit the children at home, and they are being asked to take him on a nature walk while he is with each family, so this is something that you can explore as a family.

Today both Transition groups at Sale ELC hosted their mums and special friends for a much-anticipated Mother’s Day breakfast. The visitors enjoyed a sparkling mineral water, croissants and fruit toast. A long-stemmed rose was presented to each, along with a beautiful gift of hand-painted coffee mug. A very special day!
Upcoming Mother’s Day celebrations:
– Reception groups (Sale): Mother’s Day Afternoon Celebration on Monday May 10 and Tuesday May 11, 2.15-3pm in the ELC
– Reception group (Bairnsdale): Mother’s Day Afternoon Celebration on Tuesday May 11, 2.15-3pm in the ELC

Mother’s Day cuddles at our Sale ELC on Friday morning: Evie and Peta Crawford; Jocelyn and Jonty Aurisch and Nevada Marshall and mum Yanine.

All ELC families are invited to join us at the following two sessions to learn more about how to support your child’s transition to school in 2022. Sharing the collaborative expertise of our ELC and Foundation teachers, parents will receive helpful and practical suggestions to help make this big transition a happy and successful one.
– ‘Need to Read –  Language and Literacy’ (Sale and Bairnsdale) Parent Evening via Zoom on  Wednesday May 12 from 7pm.
– ‘Get Ready For School!’
(Sale and Bairnsdale) School Readiness Evenings for Transition groups on Thursday May 27 at your ELC from 6.30-7.30pm.

BAIRNSDALE NEWS, by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
We have many things to celebrate and be grateful for however this week my attention is drawn to our mothers, grandmothers and special friends who play such a pivotal role in the lives of our students. Today we had the great joy of being together as a campus to acknowledge and thank the significant women in our lives. Though we are still unable to share Fellowship together, we did enjoy a delicious breakfast served by our dads Luke Dooley, Angus McKay and Rowan Evans. Our students, led by Grevillea, combined to sing a catchy, happy Mother’s Day song Boom Chikka Boom to conclude our breakfast celebration.

As part of our celebration Alyssa Witham and Arlo Britten presented a humorous take on their ‘mean’ mothers, which I would like to share with you:

The Meanest Mother in the World
Sometimes my mum can be so mean – do you know what she did this morning before we got here? She made me brush my teeth even though I hadn’t really finished my breakfast!
Yeah that’s crazy – Well last night my mum made me wash my hair for today so I look presentable when speaking and I didn’t really feel like it and it wasn’t even dirty!
Well what ABOUT THIS – I was reading this great book last night and then mum came in and said, to turn the light out, you know you need your sleep – if you get your sleep you will be able to focus, blah blah blah.
Listen to this – this one is a real classic – you know how you have worked hard all day at school, writing, spelling, maths, THINKING and then you get home – argh relax and then Mum says, ‘ let’s get the homework and reading done – can you believe it!
I can believe it alright – I know that feeling – I get home and I have to do the Routine chores- work as a team says mum – put your lunch box on the bench, get out of your uniform, hang your blazer up, they just don’t realise how tired we are!
This one takes the cake – it’s time for dinner and you are starving because it’s been a big day – what’s for dinner I ask mum? Spaghetti Bolognese – beauty I think to myself. Then dinner comes and I spy something green in my spaghetti Bolognese – mum’s gone and put peas in it – ‘to make me big and strong’ she tells me when I complain.
Crikeys – no way – that’s not good – they have a way of sneaking things in like that! Just like I told mum not to come and watch me play my first soccer game and I saw her parked over further behind a tree – as if I couldn’t see her!
Sports can get really embarrassing with mothers – they think that by cheering you on and yelling out your name and telling you keep going when you have just started the 3km cross country run is encouraging – or remember when your mum was running along the side of the pool saying – you can do it … and nearly doing strokes for you – they can be very embarrassing.
Although my mum justifies it by telling me that it is because she just wants the best for us.

Mmmmmm – maybe it’s something to do with their maternal instinct – like my grandmother seems to have the same traits – probably even worse sometimes – she is so kind and yet so mean at the same time – look people in the eye when you talk to them, say people’s names , stand up nice and tall, listen to your mother…
I think you have got something there … maybe it is because they want the best for us, to be the best version of ourselves, to grow up to be a good person. Perhaps we need to be thankful for our mean mums.

It gave us all a good laugh and on that note I’d like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to our mums and special friends. 

Nicole and son Year 5 student Benjamin Reynolds (top left); Kellie Pownall and son Year 4 student Dylan Morton (top right); Virginia Knight with her children Year 6 student Henry, Year 3 student Edward and Foundation student Elizabeth (bottom left); Sommer-Lea Collins with her boys Transition student Benjamin and Year 3 student Alexander (bottom middle) and Brooke Soulsby with Year 6 studen Parker, Year 3 student Morgan and Foundation student Quinn.

Last term, 10 students from Years 5 and 6 participated in the Kangourou sans Frontières (KSF), an online maths competition run by the Australian Maths Trust. This competition started in 1991 when two French mathematics teachers were inspired by Australia’s Maths Challenge and decided to start a similar online competition in France. It is now one of the largest international mathematics competitions in the world, with more than 6 million participants annually. The competition was difficult, and the questions were challenging. The students involved were: Arlo Britten, Oscar Blake, Damon Veldhuizen, Avin Mirabolfathi, Mia Kantzides, Liam Richards, Evan Nguyen, Benjamin Reynolds, Lacey Scott, Indigo McKay and each student demonstrated resilience by persisting until the end and we are very proud of them for representing Gippsland Grammar.

What a fun day to introduce Acacia’s new word of the week: ‘bed’. On Monday the Foundation students wore their pj’s to school, brought their pillow and favourite teddy. They spent the day making a colourful quilt and teddy in bed biscuits, they did some yoga to a story called Bedtime Turtle and snuggled into their beds while the rain came down outside.

On Thursday, Year 4 Kurrajong ventured to Clifton Waters Village where their guest presenter Emily spoke to the residents and children about different ways to weave. The children had the opportunity to ask questions and experiment with Emily’s different weaving machines. The class appreciated the invitation to join the residents and to learn about weaving.
Caption: Layla Verde-Shepherd and Piper Jankowiak trying their hands at weaving.

Yesterday our School Prefects visited our campus as part of their ‘Prefect Roadshow’, which saw them visit each of our School’s two junior campuses as well as The Abbey at Raymond Island. While they were here the Prefects invited all Bairnsdale students, staff and their families to a Family Fun Day and Tree Planting Working Bee at Raymond Island’s The Abbey on Sunday May 30, from 9am-noon. Reverend Edie Ashley and The Abbey are well known to the Bairnsdale Campus students, with our campus taking a number of visits taking place each year, including our annual Easter Service. And this is a terrific opportunity for our families to experience this special place, and help to pull some weeds, plant some trees and enjoy a sausage sizzle lunch.

ST ANNE’S NEWS by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
This afternoon we celebrated the mothers and special friends in our School Community at an afternoon tea and Fellowship. Mother’s Day is such an important day as it provides us with an opportunity to acknowledge and to thank our mums for all they do for us. My own mother has played a huge part in my life; she would run me around to my sporting commitments, was firm and fair when needed and taught me how to treat people with respect. I regularly see mums in our School Community put their children’s needs in front of their own. As children, we do not always appreciate this however there does come a time when we fully understand the impact our mums and grandmothers have on us. I would like to wish all of our mothers, grandmothers and special friends a happy Mother’s Day for Sunday.

Our District Cross Country team braved the elements to compete in yesterday’s rain-affected event. Although the weather had a big impact, our runners demonstrated remarkable resilience and determination. We had 40 students compete, with the following students making it through to the next stage: Henri Duggan, Charlotte Greenwell, Cruz Duck, Max Shaw, Sophie Moy, Lacey Drew, Louis Lazzaro, Dylan Board, Maizy Duck and Alana Crawford. Thank you to Mrs Kate O’Toole and Mrs Linda Cooper-Lothian for supporting our runners.

From left to right: Eden White, Ava Pye and Cleo Angelopolous; and cross country medal winners (standing) Louis Lazzaro, Cruz Duck, Mia Goold, Sophie Moy, Erin Smith and (kneeling) Mikio Mannix, Sophie Arnup and Henri Duggan.

Next week, students in Years 3 and 5 will participate in NAPLAN testing. It is important that we acknowledge that NAPLAN provides us with a snapshot of our students’ academic understanding on that day and as a School, we will be ensuring our students are given the best opportunity to showcase their learning and that they have a positive experience. At home, please remind your child that NAPLAN is simply a test; it does not define them or take into account all their wonderful other skills.

If you drove past the front entrance of our campus on Wednesday, you may have spotted the two large Koi fish flags that were hanging from our flagpole. Our passionate Japanese teacher Mrs Jan Chalmer, along with our Japanese Captains Max Knibbs and Darcee Young, helped acknowledge Japan’s Children Day on that day (May 5). Children’s Day is a day when Japanese families celebrate the healthy growth and happiness of children. It is now a national holiday but it has always been a day of celebration in Japan since ancient times. Throughout Japan, Koi (carp) streamers are flown on flagpoles as Koi are considered a symbol of strength and persistence. Inside people’s homes, Samurai dolls and armour may be displayed. This is a carryover from a time when the celebration was for boys only. Students from ELC to Year 3 learned about Children’s Day and did related papercraft activities. We all loved seeing the huge Koi blowing in the wind from our flagpole, alongside long colourful streamers, which represent the river in which the carp swims.

Top: Japanese Captains Max Knibbs and Darcee Young raisea Koi fish flag for Japanese Children’s Day.
Bottom, from left to right: Year 2 student Rithun Shesan with his Japanese papercraft; and Year 1 students Ella Sands, Murphy Berton and Billie Panayiotou with their Japanese papercraft.

During Term 1, the Maths Enrichment students competed in three online competitions, which tested their mathematics knowledge as well as their computational thinking and problem-solving skills. We had some great results in all three competitions, and the following students/teams had the best scores from St Anne’s. We will be acknowledging these students at our Monday Assembly.
Kangourou Sans Frontieres:
Distinction: Felix Baxter, Christopher Reid, Max Williamson, Taj Grumley and Nahian Uddin
Computational and Algorithmic Thinking Competition:
Distinction: Ella Lamb, Oscar Callanan and Jon Del Mastro
BEBRAS Computational Thinking and Informatics Team Challenge:
High Distinction
Team 1: Felix Baxter, Nicholas Treloar and Emilio Yanez
Team 2: Yash Nayak, Matthew Canfield, Judah Levchenko and Kobi Stevens
Team 3: Anna Sellings, Cleo Angelopolous and Chloe Covino

Late last week, our Year 4 students enjoyed an author visit by Katie Howard (who also happens to be the teacher of Year 4 Freeman!). In between teaching at our School, Katie has written several books and the students very much enjoyed her presentation and learning about what’s involved in writing a book and getting it published. Katie even shared some of the original manuscripts and illustrations. The students were so inspired that they have been busy creating their own characters to appear in storylines in their writing in future weeks. We can’t wait to read their creations!

Year 4 students Ashton Carroll, Chad Osler, Hannah Mack, Sylvie Coleman chat to author Katie Howard.

In last week’s newsletter I wrote about Zayden Burton’s success at the Victorian School Sports State Swimming Championships. This was a great achievement which was celebrated in today’s edition of the Gippsland Times. If you missed it, you can read more about Zayden’s swimming career here:

Finally, a friendly reminder to families that we open our school gates at 8:30am each morning. We do not have teachers supervising before this time so to keep our students safe, it is important that students do not come onto the school grounds beforehand. Likewise, in the afternoon once school has finished, it is essential parents are supervising their children if they are playing in the school grounds.

GARNSEY NEWS by Acting Head of Campus Kate Ray
This week our students have experienced sunshine and rain … sometimes on the same day. This rain has meant that some programs haven’t been able to go ahead and others have had slight adjustments for the conditions. This was the case for our Year 9 group who have been on their bushwalk program to Lake Tali Karng in the Alpine National Park. The group’s first night was at the Licola Wilderness Village where they were able to participate in the planned program, with the only change being they stayed in cabins rather than under tarps or tents due to predicted rainfall. Our SEISA sports went ahead yesterday but our School Sport was cancelled due to the rain.

Yesterday our Head of Year 12 Mr Nicholas drove myself and our Prefects on a ‘Prefect Roadshow’ to visit our two junior campuses as well as visit The Abbey on Raymond Island to meet with Rev. Edie Ashley to begin planning our Family Fun Day and Working Bee which our Prefects will be coordinating (see Mrs Harper’s newsletter item above for more details). Our Prefects thoroughly enjoyed introducing themselves to the students and were treated like celebrities at our Bairnsdale campus with the junior students cheering and waving as they boarded the minibus!

Our Year 12 students will be involved in our Year 12 Formal this evening and Year 11 students, their Year 11 Ball tomorrow night. Thank you to all those who have helped to plan and prepare for our students to have this opportunity.

I’m also excited about Gippsland Grammar hosting the first ever Gippsland Tertiary and Careers Expo on May 17. This event is the brainchild of our Careers Advisor Justin Henderson and while it will be held at our Garnsey Campus, all students and their families from across East Gippsland, the Wellington Shire and the Latrobe Valley are welcome to attend. Read more about the event here:

Happy Mother’s Day for Sunday.

Performing Arts news by Director of Performing Arts Dr Kevin Cameron
Our musicians, singers, actors, and dancers have been busily working to place the finishing touches on a range of work we hope to share with our community over the coming weeks.

Last Friday, 70 members of the Gippsland Grammar Music Crew ventured to the beautiful Waratah Bay for our Concert Bands and Choir Music Camp, and another 38 dedicated musicians arrived last Sunday for the Jazz Bands and Strings Music Camp. The Music Camps present important opportunities to learn new music, refine familiar work, and build the capacity of our ensembles – but there is also an opportunity to consolidate our teams, to know better our peers, and to build relationships.  The theme of positive inclusion was a major focus for this year’s camps – after the silence of last year we need to remind ourselves that everyone is welcome within our Music Centre, our classes and our ensembles. Our large camp choir and combined groups showed that we are stronger together when we are united with a common purpose.  The camps included students from Year 5 through to Year 12 and it is hoped that many fond memories and enduring friendships were made.

From left to right: the Music Camp early risers at Waratah Bay; and the Year 12 students enjoying their last Gippsland Grammar Music Camp.

Along with the intensive rehearsals, our Year 12 musicians entertained us each evening with gems such as ‘Cross the Circle’ and the much anticipated Trivia Night – which was won for the first time by the Teachers’ table!  There were also sessions dedicated to personal wellbeing, with mindfulness and gentle exercise (in the form of a beach walk or jog) warmly embraced by many.

Our Music staff team created a very positive and productive framework for our music making, and our Year 12 musicians modelled a high standard or positive involvement and commitment.  Our arrangements flowed easily and smoothly thanks to the expert oversight of our Music Administrator, Ms Bryant.  Thank you to all student and staff who contributed to the success of our music camps this year.

Based on the famous novel by Louisa May Alcott, this adaptation of Little Women has been directed, designed and produced by the students for their Outcome 1 SAC. The students are so excited to actually be able to perform live after a year of missed opportunities (and Zoom performances) so it would be so wonderful if we had full audiences on both performance evenings.  The production runs on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 May in Garnsey Hall, commencing at 7.30pm.

Our Autumn Concert will be held on Friday May 21 in Garnsey Hall from 7pm. This concert will present the works rehearsed at Music Camp and will feature the combined talents of our choir and bands. Due to present COVID-19 restrictions, limited free tickets are available online from Monday May 10 via Trybookings:

Applications for 2022 Music Scholarships will close on Friday May 14 at 9am.  Please refer to the Gippsland Grammar website for further information and the application form.

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