Gippsland Grammar news: October 15, 2021

Oct 15, 2021 | Bairnsdale News, Community News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

It has been wonderful to see more of our students return to our campuses this week. Each time I have asked our students if they are happy to be back their answer is almost out before I finish the question. ‘Oh, yes! It’s great to be back.’ We have been thrilled to see them all.

I would like to take this opportunity thank the Gippsland Grammar artists who were part of our online art show Art Online, which closed last Friday. The artwork that was displayed on our website was spectacular and, like me, many people were drawn to buy some of the beautiful pieces. Art Online featured 145 artworks with 28 sales equalling more than $12,000, which included about $5000 for our new Visual Arts & Technology Centre via the commissions the artists generously donated to the School. I would like to offer special thanks to staff members Ms Nadine Lineham and Mrs Sarah Guinness for the organisation and development of the online art show portal which was completed to provide this opportunity and I am very grateful to them both.

Many of you will recall last year’s wine fundraiser and I am pleased to announce this fundraiser has returned for another year. We are proud to once again partner with the four local wineries which each have a connection to our School, including Blue Gables, Tambo Wines, Glenmaggie Wines and Lightfoot & Sons. I encourage you to support this fundraiser, which is organised by our Foundation and it is also perfectly timed for Christmas (as well as for wine for yourself!). The proceeds of this fundraiser will contribute to the Foundation’s donation to the VATC building. You can read more about the fundraiser and buy some wine via this link:

A highlight of this week for me was to host last night’s online ‘Community Connections’ reunion, which was organised to particularly support those cohorts who have missed out on their much-anticipated decade reunions both last year and now also this year. While it has been disappointing not to have in-person reunions over the 2020-2021 years it was lovely to be joined by more than 40 Old Scholars from 1960s through to the 2000’s via Zoom. It was a delight to see where our Old Scholars were viewing the reunion from, which included many from Victoria and NSW but also from Southern California and London, not to mention folks from our beautiful Gippsland region.  

I would like to thank our Archivist Mr Tim Gibson for compiling the questions and our music teacher Mr Brett Glover who was our fantastic quizmaster. Here’s a sample of one of the questions (the answer is at the end of the newsletter):

Q: In which town did the School once have a primary campus, which operated for only a few years?   

I believe that an appeal into the winner has been launched (which was yours truly!) but I would like to reassure Mr Glover and the other Old Scholars that I did not know what the questions were going to be.  As I shared with everyone during the event, Gippsland Grammar has an amazing history and I am proud to be part of this great Community.

I would like to share my special thanks to a few people for their involvement with this event: Old Scholars President Mrs Fiona Mills, who outlined the activities of the Old Scholars (which I thoroughly recommend keeping in touch with as there have been some activities planned for early 2022). And to Sarah Guinness and Zoe Curtis for the wonderful reimagining that took place for our Old Scholars, and Ms Jemma Horan and Ms Kate Ray for their technological assistance.

As our Year 12’s students move closer to their final few days at School, I was reflecting on the lovely sentiments from of the Old Scholars who shared how they are grateful for the education they received from the School. We are very proud of our Old Scholars, and I look forward to a time where I can connect with everyone in person.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Warm regards,
Leisa Harper

Early Learning Centre news by ELC Director Lisa Burgess  
News from Transition Groups St Anne’s Campus, by Lisa Burgess and Danielle CarpenterThe children in St Anne’s Transition have been learning about road safety. At both ELC’s we use a program called ‘Starting Out Safely’ designed by VicRoads specifically for pre-schoolers. The Transition teachers from both campuses have attended special training with Vic Roads, to help them deliver traffic safety education according to current research and practice.

The key message from this program is: Hold Hands/Stop/Look/Listen/Think. The program’s mascot is a fun character named Thingletoodle, who delights the children as it doesn’t know how to cross the road safely. The ELC children then must show him how it’s done.

Over this fortnight, the St Anne’s Transition classes have been fortunate in receiving a road safety incursion via Zoom. They were excited to ‘see’ Thingletoodle on the large screen and participated excitedly in the show’s songs, dances, and safety messages. We have been extending their learning back in the classroom by singing the program’s songs and practising ‘looking and listening’. Other key messages covered in this program include safe places to play, wearing seat belts and where to sit in the car (i.e., not the front seat), and wearing helmets on bikes, scooters, and skateboards.

Families can help with this learning by reading any information sent home and practising with your child. Insist on holding hands any time they are near traffic and allow them to practice stopping, looking, and listening with you. After so long in lockdowns, now is an excellent time to refocus on these skills with your child, as opportunities to practice in busy traffic may not have been as available over this past year. Taking a regular family walk around the neighbourhood is a fun way to practice and provides an opportunity to look at safety on the footpath and near driveways, as well as helping your child begin to identify common traffic signs and the use of pedestrian crossings. Current research shows that children don’t have the maturation physically or cognitively to be safely alone near traffic until about age 10, so it’s time to start practising together now.

News from Transition Group Bairnsdale Campus, by Sharon Smith
The Bairnsdale Campus has a very strong sustainability program that incorporates many different areas of our daily routines and program. As the children enjoy working in the garden, planting, weeding and, when the produce grows, harvesting. They are conscientious recyclers and are committed to waste-free healthy lunches. They diligently observe the environmental seasonal changes as they occur around them and how this changes their daily lives. The children understand that their actions make a difference and what we do as a community affects the other living things in our world. To explore this further the children have been harvesting ‘worm tea’ to use in the ELC garden and to establish a produce stall for the families.

Dates in celebration of Children’s Week October 23 to 31
Bairnsdale Reception Group on Tuesday October 26: Teddy bears picnic. Bring a soft toy and enjoy lots of games, songs, and bear craft.
St Anne’s Reception Groups on Wednesday October 27 or Thursday October 28: Teddy bears Picnics Bring a teddy or soft toy, casual dress.
St Anne’s Transition Groups on Friday October 29: We will be celebrating ‘Morris’ the class bears birthday with a Teddy bears Picnic. Bring a teddy or soft toy, casual dress.

Transition White Swans enjoy a big screen road safety zoom presentation; and St Anne’s Transition have been learning about traffic safety. Back: Leo, Bryn and Mia; front: Dheeran and Evie.

Bairnsdale Campus news by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
The line in the carpark is increasing as more of our students return to school and I was more than happy to stand in the rain and wave to welcome our Year 5 and 6 families back. Earlier in the week, the Year 3 and 4’s also walked through the gate with a lovely enthusiasm, demonstrating an obvious delight to be back on site. Our staff had planned interactive and socially-engaging activities to begin the day, acknowledging the need for our students to simply be together. Having our senior students back on campus allows us to spend precious time with them as they move towards transitioning to secondary school.

In returning to school, we need to reinforce our routines, our rules and our expectations. My thinking regarding the final term of 2021 is to ensure it is a happy and productive one for all after a challenging time.

For a smooth final term, I ask for your support in the following areas:

  • Students from 3-6 to have a mask available to them daily
  • All students to have their school hat to adhere to our SunSmart policy
  • For all mobiles and devices to be handed in to reception as they walk in the gate
  • Students to bring their musical instruments for lessons
  • Our CLERR values to be in action

Our CLERR values were very much in action on Thursday afternoon when the thunderstorm hit harshly at the bus interchange. Beau Newman was an excellent role model and assistant to Mrs Hay-Smith calming the younger students along with Liam Richards who demonstrated both compassion and responsibility in looking after his little brother. These are the moments that we cherish as teachers.

Today I travelled to Garnsey with Mrs Sarah Guinness to join with the Year 12 students who attended the Bairnsdale campus. We shared morning tea with them and reminisced as to the special memories of their time at our campus. Each student received a gift bag (pictured below) with items that reflect their time at school with a special gift from our ELC students where it all began. Most importantly we wished them well in their future endeavours and acknowledged their connection to Gippsland Grammar is ongoing.

Once again thank you for your partnership in educating our students, your children.

St Anne’s Campus news by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
This week we welcomed back our Year 3 to Year 6 students back onsite. though we have a staggered approach, it has been uplifting to see everyone’s smiling faces back in their classroom and playground. I have included important information regarding the wearing of masks and returning onsite.

Return to School  
With the State Government recently clarifying the guidelines for students and masks, please be reminded of the following information. Face masks are required for students in Year 3 to Year 6, only when indoors on school premises, unless an exception applies. Students in Foundation to Year 2 are encouraged to wear masks. Students in Year 3 to Year 6 must wear face masks indoors unless an exception applies. Exceptions are for students with a physical or mental disability are they not required to wear a face mask where their disability means it would not be suitable. Students should bring their own masks from home.

Due to the staggered return to School, we have had to make some modifications. Below is important information for Week 3:

  • Students are to wear their summer uniform, including their blazer
  • Students may wear their sports uniform on days they have Physical Education
  • We have paused our Tuesday Swimming program until we receive more precise guidelines from the State Government
  • All Year 3 and 4 students are onsite on Tuesday and Wednesday but have Learn@Home on Monday, Thursday, and Friday
  • All Year 5 and 6 students have Learn@Home on Monday to Wednesday and return onsite for Thursday and Friday
  • All students who are back at School may enter any gate; however, this does not include Learn@Home@School Students
  • Please be mindful that the roads around our campus are busy, and we need everyone to be vigilant about road safety
  • Learn@Home@School students must enter and exit via the Raymond St entrance as we need to keep a separate register for these students

If you have any questions regarding mask-wearing or our return to School plans, please contact the School.

Camps and Other Events
Unfortunately our Year 6 camp has had to be cancelled for this year. We are looking at other ways to bring our School Camp experiences to our students. We are also looking at creative and safe ways we can still have important events during this term. Please keep an eye out on VOS and my weekly newsletter to find out what is coming up.

Year 12 Students
On Tuesday this week, we celebrated our finishing Year 12 students who began their education journey at our St Anne’s campus and, for some, at our St Anne’s ELC. Normally I would be welcoming these students back at St Anne’s for a special Fellowship but this year a group of teachers met these students during their lunch break at the Garnsey Campus. Mrs Julie Jago created a video of our Year 12’s time in ELC and St Anne’s, which generated plenty of smiles and laughs! Each student was presented with a ‘goodies’ box full of yummy treats. We were also able to pass on each student’s individual letter they wrote to themselves in Year 6. These letters contain wonderful memories, questions and funny comments. Chaplain Jackie rounded off our celebration with a reflection and prayer. Though our celebration looked different this year, the respect, connection, friendship, and memories are just as strong. Please click here to watch our trip down memory lane for our Year 12 students via VOS.

Have a great weekend.

Year 6 students Xanthe and Aliesha wearing their masks.

Garnsey Campus news by Head of Campus Kate Ray
When we look back on our final year of secondary schooling and, for some, formal education, we all have our own recollections of that time and of the highlights and low points of the year. Each person will have different high and low points. A high point for me was the friendships I had and the support from my teachers; that common bond that we all had challenges of our own, things that were disappointments, but we lifted each other up and we all made it through.

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to sit in on a very special occasion, an event that shows how fortunate our students are to be part of a Community that students can be a part of from three-year-old kindergarten to Year 12. This special calendar event is the visit to the junior campus that some of our Year 12s attended. While we were unable to do that this year, instead the junior campuses came to us. Today we had the Bairnsdale staff joining our Year 12 students who attended the Bairnsdale Campus to share memories and wish them well as they move into the next phase of their lives. And on Tuesday our St Anne’s Year 12s were met by Mr Van Berkel, Mrs Ray, Mrs Grubb, Chaplain Jackie and Year 6 teachers Mrs Jago and Miss McNaughton. The staff talked about their memories of the group – from coaching them in Junior interschool football, to adventures on camps. Mrs Jago had an extra special memory to share as she had not only taught many of the students in Year 6, but she had also been their Prep teacher! They watched the video from their Year 6 camp, their Year 6 Valedictory video and shared the letters they had written to their Year 12 selves when they were in Year 6. Watching the students open these letters and comment on their handwriting, the colours they used, the messages they wrote was so special and it shows that we really are a Community who values our students and wants to be there when they celebrate their highs but also be their supports when they experience their lows.

We are so fortunate to get to spend so much time with our students from their first years of education to their Year 12 valedictory and to see them grow and develop into the young people they become. I wish I could have captured these moments to share with you all as they certainly are some of the high points for me this week. And I look forward to many more.

Mrs Jago, Chaplain Jackie, and Year 12 students celebrating their journey at Gippsland Grammar; and handwritten letters written in Year 6.

Performing Arts news by Director of Performing Arts Kevin Cameron
In the Arts this week we have welcomed some of our students back to campus, reconnected with each other, replenished reeds, oiled valves, tightened a few strings, and made some music. We are looking forward to completing the staggered return soon, having our ensembles return to rehearsal (Week 5, pending COVID-19 restrictions being favourable) and working on some exciting projects as we approach the end of 2021.

VCE Recitals and Presentations
Our Year 12 students in Drama and Music have already commenced the practical recitals and presentations for their VCE courses – good luck to all! 

House Music Eisteddfod – for Bairnsdale and St Anne’s
Today I am pleased to launch the House Music Eisteddfod for our students at Bairnsdale and St Anne’s. This provides an opportunity for our junior campus students to present repertoire in performance for feedback – especially important in a year when performance opportunities have been very limited.  The Eisteddfod is open to all students – those learning at school as part of the Music Tuition Program or those learning with private teachers elsewhere in the community. At the conclusion of the Eisteddfod, we look forward to creating a ‘highlights’ virtual soiree for the enjoyment of our wider community. Further information about the House Music Eisteddfod is available on VOS here.

Virtual Music Projects for Term 4
Many people in the Gippsland Grammar community enjoyed to Rainbow project so beautifully produced by our Garnsey choristers – if you have not seen this, please view at this link:

During Week 1 the Music Centre unveiled plans for two virtual music projects for this term, and we look forward to receiving recordings from our choristers and concert band musicians from all three campus sites. We are particularly excited to have Bairnsdale and St Anne’s students join with our Garnsey senior students to produce some very special music to mark the end of 2021. Further information about these projects, what the music will be, and how to participate, record, and upload videos is available via VOS.

On Wednesday afternoon next week there will be some short Zoom sessions to discuss the music for these projects, observe rehearsal points, and answer questions around recording and submission of videos to VOS. The sessions will be October 20 at 5pm/Band Project and on October 20 at 5.30pm/Choir Project.

The answer to Principal Harper’s trivia question is: Traralgon

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.

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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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