Gippsland Grammar news: Nov 26, 2021

Nov 26, 2021 | Bairnsdale News, Community News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

Last Friday, we celebrated the 2021 Graduating Class at our Valedictory. It was a lovely evening and we were thrilled to be able to have our students and their parents and guardians with us as we reflected on the students’ resilience and determination as well as celebrating their achievements. We are very proud of them all.

Earlier this week, we held our annual staff recognition presentation. It was lovely to have Board Director Mrs Helen Rose join our presentation on behalf of the Board. The Leadership Team has created recognition badges for the years of service for our staff and these were presented to eligible staff this week. We are very grateful to all staff for the assistance and care they provide.

Staff who achieved special milestones are:

 Five years: Jacinta Fleming, Bree Henderson, Andrew Hodges, Michael Howard, Megan Wills, John McParland, Rowie Gray, Ness Leatham, Mark Dolbel, Rachel Patton, Margaret Cotter, Nikolai Blaskow and Amanda Canfield.

 10 years: Fiona Carr, Katrina Chilcott, Jan Gilmour, Liz Hadden, Tracey Nicholas, Chris Ray, Danielle Sage, Tyler Smith, Kathy Bittner, Nick Kuch, Prue McNaughton, Karen Rankin and Sue Bryant.

 20 years: Peter Ries, Rosemary Iversen, Nicky Roberts, Tim Gibson and Geoff Stagg.

 30 years: Joy Reid

2022 uniform guidelines update

While there have been some minor changes to the uniform guidelines at Gippsland Grammar, the main updates are listed below. Please take the time to read through the entire document uploaded onto the Parents VOS page for further clarification. 

  • Gendered language removed from uniform guidelines: when changes were made to uniform options in 2019 the gendered options were removed from the guidelines but the language in the document didn’t reflect this. The updated guidelines have been brought in line with the changes we have made to the items of clothing.
  • This also applies to the guidelines around hair and jewellery. The guidelines state that: Students’ hair must be neatly styled, clear of the face and worn at or above the collar, or if longer, it should be tied back neatly.  Hair is expected to be modest in style (no shorter than a number 2 cut), natural in colour and it must be worn suitably tidy. If hair is dyed it is to be natural in colour.

  • Uniform guidelines also now state that on days where students have either their physical education practical class or Sport, they can come to school in their PE uniform. There is no need for them to change at School. While this change came about because of COVID-19 guidelines and access to change rooms, we acknowledge that the PE department at Garnsey have seen greater participation across the year levels now that students are not required to use communal change rooms. We also note that this provides the PE classes with more time in their lessons not having to factor in changing into and out of uniform.

COVID-19 restriction updates

With the changes in COVID restrictions, we have received notification of the latest requirements for students who are either confirmed COVID-19 positive or Primary Close Contacts.

Based on advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, some significant changes have been made to how cases of COVID-19 and contacts of cases are managed in schools.

If your child is a confirmed case:

  • They will now complete 10 days of isolation instead of 14.
  • Vaccinated household close contacts will complete seven days rather than 14 days of quarantine. This includes unvaccinated children under 12 years, if all members of their household over 12 years are vaccinated. Other unvaccinated household contacts will be required to complete 14 days of quarantine.

Schools will continue the process of identifying contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19 at schools; contacts will no longer be contacted by the Department of Health with quarantine requirements. If your child is identified as a contact the school will contact, you directly.

Contacts will be required to complete a standard (PCR) test at a testing site within 24 hours from when they are identified by the school as a contact.

If the PCR test returns a negative result, the student can immediately return to school, with evidence of the negative result provided to the school. This can be a forwarded copy of the Negative test result SMS you or your child receives.

In exceptional circumstances the Department of Health may determine that contacts in significant school outbreaks are still required to quarantine for seven days. In this scenario, students will be notified directly of any additional quarantine arrangements.

Face masks will now only be required by staff, visitors, and Grades 3 to 6 students in an indoor space within a primary school (or schools which have primary students such as P-12 school).

The wearing of masks remains recommended elsewhere where physically distancing cannot be maintained.

Wishing you a lovely weekend.

Warm regards,
Leisa Harper

Early Learning Centre news by ELC Director Lisa Burgess  
Last Friday, the ELC’s welcomed 115 new 2022 students and their families to an Orientation Session. It was thrilling for the ELC team members to be able to welcome new families into the centre. Their excitement was evident, and many parents commented to staff members that they are looking forward to a return to normal for their children and the opportunity for them to finally have more social experiences, after months of lockdowns and restricted movement.

The children were able to meet their 2022 teachers, explore the playspaces and begin to make new friends. It was also the first opportunity for families to meet and form connections with each other. This is important as, being part of an ELC to Year 12 school, friendships formed now can last for the next 13 years of your child’s education. Many lifelong friendships are formed whilst children are in kindergarten.

Following the Orientation Day, the families were invited to attend a Parent Information Zoom meeting on Monday night.  Principal Mrs Harper was introduced to the parents and formally welcomed them to Gippsland Grammar. I was also pleased to be able to present the teaching team at St Anne’s and Bairnsdale Campuses for 2022

Bairnsdale ELC
Transition teacher – Ms Sharon Smith

Transition co-educator – Miss Maddison Cuttriss

Reception teacher – Mrs Sommer – Lea Collins

Reception co-educator – Ms Jan Vercoe

Additional co-educator – Mrs Michelle McGrath

St Anne’s ELC
Transition teachers – Mrs Danielle Carpenter, Mrs Kristy How, Mrs Lisa Burgess

Transition co-educators – Mrs Jen Jeffrey, Mrs Karen Glenn

Reception teachers – Mrs Tammy Lopardi, Mrs Elise Edgar

Reception co-educators – Mrs Jenny Banwell, Mrs Katie Whitfield

Additional co-educators – Ms Colleen Battersby, Mrs Andrea McKenzie

ELC administrative assistant – Mrs Melissa Tatterson

I am very excited to be leading such an experienced and passionate group of early childhood educators in 2022.

Bairnsdale Campus news by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
The spirit of Christmas is evident throughout our campus as we work together in preparation for the season ahead. We are currently collecting pinecones to create a large Christmas tree, which will be placed in front of the Gippsland Grammar sign once completed and will be our campus’s contribution to the Bairnsdale Community Treasure Hunt. Earlier this week, one of our grandparents set up a nativity featuring Ccabbage Patch dolls, in the foyer of the hall. This is a tradition that she has shared over many years and this year she has kindly shared with us. Our students are taking great pleasure in the display and learning about the Christmas story. Chaplain Jackie is working with each class helping our students to understand the message that ‘giving’ is a wonderful gift we are all capable of.

Today our SRC students led Fellowship and the theme of ‘giving’ continued. They have worked with Mrs Hay-Smith and Pat from the Salvation Army, designing their own cards and encouraging our families to give to those in our community in need through the Christmas appeal. We have many generous families who have placed a present under the tree with a kind message attached; thank you to our families who have supported this appeal.

The picture below demonstrates the pure joy of giving. Harry from Foundation bounded in to place his gift under the tree.

Filming of our production, ‘Charlotte’s Web’ has been completed this week. Both Mr Brett Glover and Ms Lucy Leeming have been determined and adaptive in achieving this milestone. We are currently working on finding a way to view this together.

We celebrated Mrs Carr’s special birthday on Thursday which included a clever recording of interviews that her students had created for her special day. Please ask your children about it.

As much as we love celebrating Christmas and the idea of the gift of giving, children are asked not to bring candy canes or other sweet treats as Christmas gifts to each other. Christmas cards are a thoughtful gesture and always very much appreciated.

Wishing you well for the weekend ahead,

St Anne’s Campus news by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
It is important that we keep creating opportunities for our Community to come safely together to reconnect. This morning was a great example of this. We had our first full Fellowship in many months. We were able to come together to welcome our new students who will start in 2022 and to announce our 2022 Campus Captains.

Each new student is assigned a ‘buddy’ that will help them through today and be with them next year. Our buddies take their role seriously, making sure our new students have a positive experience, are supported and feel connected to Gippsland Grammar.

Before I announced our 2022 Campus Captains, I took the opportunity to acknowledge and thank our current Captains Mia and Louis. They both have been wonderful campus captains during a most challenging year. They have represented their peers in such a respectful way.

Our Campus Captains display the Gippsland Grammar CLERR values of Compassion, Leadership, Excellence, Responsibility and Respect. They will be role models for all other students in the school.  Mia and Louis have clearly done this. The process for selecting our Campus Captains is very much like a job interview. Students need to write an application. They are then interviewed by myself and Deputy Head of Campus Sheryn Ray. These interviews allow our students to talk about what they are passionate about and what they would like to bring to the role. I want to thank all students who applied. Congratulations to William Edgar and Lucy Dray, who will be our 2022 Campus Captains.

2022 Campus Captains William and Lucy

Next week we appoint our 2022 House Captains. This process is different to how we select our Campus Captains. Year 5 students will be making speeches on Wednesday in their house groups to students in Years 3 to Year 6. Students and staff will vote on who they think will be the best House Captain. I look forward to announcing our 2022 House Captains in our newsletter next week.

Orientation Day
The purpose of orientation day is to help our students, new and existing, transition and prepare for next year. Today was a day full of excitement as our students found out their teacher, classmates, and classroom for 2022. New and existing students spent most of the day with their 2022 class experiencing what learning will be like next year. A lot of thought and effort has gone into creating each class, with our teachers considering many factors when placing them. As in previous years, we utilised a computer program that allows us to accurately balance our classes. This involved taking into account; student friendships, gender, academic, and other criteria to create a well-balanced class list. I am excited about our teaching teams, along with our Specialists and support staff.

On Wednesday, a number of our students and staff enjoyed our last ‘Walk to School’ for the year. A lovely breakfast was supplied by our talented tuck shop lady Prue Cliff after their walk. Thanks Mrs Cliff! The children feasted on delicious egg and bacon muffins! Thank you to Mrs Langshaw for organising this fantastic event.

Evie, Violet and Tab enjoying breakfast after walking to school

Cookies for Chookies
On behalf of the Green Team, we would like to say ‘thank you’ to all students and families for supporting Thursday’s fundraising event. We are yet to do the final count of money, but it is estimated that we raised approx. $700 towards the chook pen and Indigenous Garden.  Thank you

As the cookies were so popular, we ran out, leaving some students wanting one (or another one). So, we will be running the cookie stall again on Tuesday November 30.  We will be making more cookies this time as they were so popular. Please come along and support this cause. 
Buy a cookie for our chookies.

Cookies will be $1 and for sale at recess time on Tuesday

Mason and Baylin were all smiles as they lined up to get their cookies

Important Dates
Please keep referring to our campus calendar on VOS. You can access this calendar either via the VOS app or the VOS website.

St Anne’s Christmas Concert: Monday 29 November

Citizen of the Term: Wednesday 8 December, 9:00 am

Year 6 Valedictory: Thursday 9 December, 10:30 am start

Last Day of Term 4: Thursday 9 December, 3:15 pm finish

Garnsey Campus news by Head of Campus Kate Ray
On Friday evening we farewelled our 2021 Year 12s with their Valedictory service and on Monday we welcomed all of our new students and current students to their first day of 2022. We welcome the nine new students and their families from Years 8-12 who are joining us as members of our Gippsland Grammar Community.

Our Valedictory service held in the Laurie Payne Sports Centre involved all our Year 12 students and family members together in the one place for the first time this year. Our students received acknowledgement for their achievements in what has been a challenging period in their schooling.

Irene and Principal Leisa Harper at the Year 12 Valedictory

Monday morning was the first day with our new daily timings.

Garnsey Campus will now have a 25-minute morning mentor session at the start of each day and then periods 1-6 will follow. These mentor sessions will enable us to hold Year level assemblies, chapel services, house meetings as well as personal development sessions and host guest speakers.

Another positive from this is that each day will have the same timings! No longer will we be asking ‘is it Assembly timings today?’ or ‘Is it SEISA timings’ each Thursday. Each day on our 10-day timetable will be the same.

It is important that families understand that these morning mentor sessions are compulsory and attendance rolls are marked. It is not an opportunity to have a sleep in or arrive later. Important content will be covered in these sessions, and we expect all students to attend.

During our Assembly on Monday morning, we also covered some updates that have occurred to our Uniform Guidelines; child safety and the role of our Student Protection officers as well as the process for student leadership roles in 2022.

On Thursday we were able to have our first in person House meetings since Term 2. It was the perfect opportunity for our Year 11 and 12 2022 students who are interested in a leadership role to introduce themselves to the other members of the house. This afternoon was also the first time we have had all students participating in Sport. And besides a little light rain, all students were able to be involved in a variety of sports – again this is something that we have missed in 2021 so it is great to see some of these things returning.

Performing Arts news by Director of Performing Arts Kevin Cameron
There is much more energy around the Music Centre this week as our 2022 classes were formed, goals planned, new connections made, and the annual cycle of music in this place begins again. The next chapter has commenced!

Junior House Music Eisteddfod
Following the success of the House Music Eisteddfod at Garnsey during Term 3, this opportunity was extended to our students at St Anne’s and Bairnsdale campuses. We received a very large number of entries across a diverse range of instruments and musical genres. The results were very close. I am pleased to announce that the winning house of the Junior House Music Eisteddfod at BOTH St Anne’s and Bairnsdale campuses is: CRANSWICK DARGO. Congratulations to all students in Cranswick Dargo, and to all participants in this year’s House Music Eisteddfod.

Restarting Garnsey Ensembles
The large ensembles recommenced at Garnsey this week, and clearly, we have many students at Gippsland Grammar who are glad to be back making music with their peers and ensemble directors face to face. As our ensembles reconfigure for 2022, we welcome expressions of interest from students wishing to be a part of our groups to be in touch with the Music Centre at

Music Tuition Program in 2022
Planning is underway for the Music Tuition Program in 2022 across our three campuses. About 300 students have individual or group music lessons each week with our very accomplished and enthusiastic team of instrumental music teachers. We are now accepting enrolments for 2022 via our online form:

Virtual Band Project
Many members of the Gippsland Grammar bands from across the school collaborated in the virtual world to continue making music during the recent COVID-19 lockdowns. We are proud to present – for the enjoyment of our Gippsland Grammar Community here and elsewhere – some music to brighten your day and lift your mood as we approach what we hope will be a glorious summer of warm weather, recreation, and reconnection with family and friends. Please enjoy our version of Happy!

Semester 2 Instrumental Reports
The instrumental reports for Semester 2 2021 will be published today on VOS.  Important and individualised information and feedback from of our expert instrumental teachers will be provided for every student.

Catch up on last week’s newsletter here:

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