Gippsland Grammar news: October 29, 2021

Oct 29, 2021 | Bairnsdale News, Community News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Ms Kate Ray to the position of Director of Strategic Operations and Innovation.

Ms Ray was asked to be Acting Head of Garnsey at the end of last year for a 12-month position. Over this time I have been very grateful for the care that she has provided to students, staff and families both this year and the years before that as Deputy Head of Garnsey/Head of Pathways.

Over the past 20 years Ms Ray has worked at all three campuses of Gippsland Grammar and this extensive knowledge of our School will assist her greatly in this new role. Ms Ray is keen to start in her new role however she has agreed to remain in the Acting Head of Garnsey Campus position until the position can be filled, which we are hoping will be from Term 1 next year. The Head of Garnsey position recruitment has already begun and I look forward to updating you as it progresses. For now, please join with me in congratulating Ms Ray on this next stage in her Gippsland Grammar journey.

Earlier this week, I shared with our Garnsey students that I had recently heard Australian singer and songwriter Karen Jacobsen speak about recalculating your life and goals. I wasn’t sure if the students would know who Karen Jacobsen is but I expect they know her voice as Karen is better known as the Australian voice of SIRi (the voice on your phone or car’s GPS). She even goes by the title of ‘GPS girl’.

Aside from an interesting back story, Karen makes some good points about life lessons. She offers some advice for our own roadmaps for our future and I think these pointers can also be useful as we review our goal and plans for the rest of the year. She suggests that in the first instance, you must notice if you are off-course which you can do by asking what are my learning, achievement and involvement goals for this semester or year and how am I going?

Am I achieving the results I wanted to? Am I doing the amount of homes study I need to? Am I paying attention in class and asking the teacher questions? 

Jacobsen advises that we must be willing to change direction if we see we’re not on track. This is the recalculating part of the journey.

She then suggests that we clarify our destination or, in other words, our goals. This is to make sure they are still the right ones for us.

Finally she says we now need to embrace the steering wheel and accelerate; knowing that we are in the driver’s seat of our life and can take control of our achievement and participation in class and school activities.

I encourage you to consider whether Jacobsen – the ‘GPS girl’ – has some insights and advice for you.

My best wishes for a lovely weekend,
Warm regards,
Leisa Harper

Ms Kate Ray is Gippsland Grammar’s Director of Strategic Operations and Innovation.

Grammar’s ‘Gippsland Dozen’
Our Community’s enthusiasm for our Foundation’s wine fundraiser has continued this week and we remind you that there are only a few weeks left to place your order for either a half dozen or dozen mixed box of curated boxes of Gippsland wine. This fundraiser is not only ideal to boost your own cellar but also as Christmas gift, as our Foundation ‘wine team’ can arrange for the wine to be delivered directly to the recipient, with a gift certificate note. Please place your orders via this link:

Early Learning Centre news by ELC Director Lisa Burgess  
This week we have celebrated Children’s Week across both the St Anne’s and Bairnsdale ELC’s. Children’s Week is a national celebration that recognises the talents, skills, achievements, and rights of children and the theme for Children’s Week 2020-21 is that ‘children have the right to choose their friends and safely connect with others’, which is drawn from Article 15 of the United Nations Convention on the Child’s Rights.

This theme is very appropriate at a time when many children and their families have been disconnected from others through the necessary COVID-19 restrictions. Many of the usual social ‘rites of passage’ for young children to meet and play – such as playgroup, library story-time, playgrounds and birthday parties – have been put on hold during this period. For children who are only four years old, this now amounts to half of their lives.

Reflecting on how many events and birthday parties have been cancelled for the children, the ELC team decided to celebrate Children’s Week this year with elements of a traditional children’s party. Each class has done this differently, including dressing in party clothes or dress-ups, playing party games, having a teddy bear’s picnic and enjoying party foods and special craft activities.

Both Reception groups have enjoyed teddy bears picnics this week. Bairnsdale’s Transition Children’s Week celebration was combined with the delayed Book Week dress-up day, which allowed the children to use the costumes their families had prepared earlier in the year. Sale’s Transition groups combined to celebrate Morris the bear’s birthday with a teddy bear’s picnic. Morris is a famous personality at the St Anne’s campus; many junior and senior school students have fond memories of caring for him and taking him on holiday while at the ELC. The children were encouraged to plan the party for Morris and decided to cook a birthday cake, make fairy bread, craft birthday cards, and play games such as musical chairs and pass the parcel.

It has been a magical week for us all. The ELC’s will be closed on Monday November 1 (student free day) and Tuesday November 2 (Cup Day).

Please enjoy your long weekend safely.

Alison, Madeleine and Harvey enjoy a tea party with their teddy bears; and Mia and Nevada enjoy making a cake for Morris the class bear’s birthday.

Bairnsdale Campus news by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
Throughout the week, we have responded to the wonderful activities suggested by the East Gippsland Children’s Week planning group, which included activities and ideas that celebrate children, childhood and our community. This year Children’s Week theme is based on the United Nations Convention on the rights of the Child, Article 15, which states: ‘Children have the right to choose their own friends and safely connect together.’

Our junior students took part in an animal hunt where they had to find ten animals from a children’s book hidden at a nearby playground. Many students also enjoyed the beautifully illustrated book ‘Respect’ written by Aunty Fay Muir and Sue Lawson, which conveys a truth about life. It talks about family that show us the way and how we need to listen, learn and share.

As a staff we are looking for opportunities for our Year 6 students to demonstrate their leadership over the coming weeks and today they ran our first Fellowship for some time. Afterwards, these senior students organised games and activities to connect us all in a fun and engaging way. I commend them for their enthusiasm and their awareness of the need for us to enjoy coming together as a campus. They also are continuing the Year 6 legacy of planting trees and developing the area by the river for our students to enjoy well into the future.

This week we have received further guidelines for school operations for the remainder of the term. Considering this information and keeping in mind what is realistically possible, we have decided to film an abridged version of our campus musical Charlotte’s Web. It is our hope to include all students, where possible and we look forward to sharing this with you.

Next week we will begin to prepare for Christmas and think about how we will support others at this special time. As global citizens each class will contribute items such as a small toy, hygiene items, school supplies, and fun gifts to box up for a child in a developing country, via Operation Christmas Child. Our SRC students will be promoting the Salvation Army ‘giving tree’ that supports local families in need. We will be providing further information about these programs in the coming weeks.

A reminder that Monday is a Student Free Day and Tuesday is Melbourne Cup Day. Enjoy the lovely long weekend.

Foundation students visited the Wy Yung playground on Wednesday to hunt for 10 different Australian animals from 10 different Australian children’s books as part of Children’s week; amd ELC Reception students enjoy playing with their toys in a parachute as part of the Children’s Week celebrations.

St Anne’s Campus news by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
Our first full week with all students and staff back onsite has been wonderful. Our classrooms and playground have been full of smiling faces, positive energy and enthusiasm from all.

Educational & Developmental Psychologist Dr Julie Hollitt recently wrote a paper on students returning to school after remote learning. She included some key points for both educators and families to take into account as students return to school. Below is a summary of Dr Hollitt’s key points:

1. Our students who have been learning during remote learning will have some level of fatigue.
2. Students will have a honeymoon period as they return to school. However, after this has subsided, and the re-emergence of fatigue amongst learners will return.
3. Both educators and learners need to priorities their time as students return to school. This includes re-establishing friendships and focusing on emotional growth and academic outcomes. 
4. Allow students time to re-establish their physical and emotional connection to the school. This includes spending time exploring the school, the classroom, the playground, the library, stories, music, dance, drawing and art. Physically, students are no longer in the home but now back in the classroom, at assembly, in the tuckshop line, at the bubblers, and eating lunch with their classroom peers.  Students re-learning the expectations of behaviour in specific contexts at school will take time. The school community need to focus their attention on positive behaviour reinforcement with students.
5. Being able to mirror back the emotion students are demonstrating via brief words is more critical effective in increasing student attachment and engagement than attempts to correct the behaviour or the verbal expression.  For example, “You seem to be frustrated trying to finish your homework” is more effective than “No, you cannot go outside until you have finished your homework.”
6. Students have continued to learn throughout lockdown. It is important to find out what students have learnt during this time and to evaluate what their next steps are.
7. There could be a significant difference between the learner who left at the beginning of lockdown to the one who has returned. Students could be returning to school with entirely different needs in social-emotional learning, engagement, attachment and capacity to participate. 
8. Strengthening our relationships between school and home is essential. The teacher-student relationship is the backbone to supporting students with their learning.

Brandman Fellowship
This morning’s Fellowship carried an essential message for everyone. Bradman shared that our School Community is vital in supporting each another. We are guided by our CLERR values, which help drive our positive behaviours towards others. They also shared the importance of laughter, singing and dancing. Our pre-recorded Fellowship is full of beautiful photos and video clips of our Community smiling, laughing, singing and dancing. School families can watch this Fellowship on VOS.

State Government School Guidelines
Schools across Victoria have recently received the updated State Governments School guidelines regarding COVID-19. We follow these guidelines closely to keep our Community safe. Throughout the next few weeks, the school will continue to communicate the changes and modifications we can make. I can confirm the following from Monday 1 November:

  • Parents and carers can come onto our Campus to drop off and pick up their children. However, parents cannot enter classrooms for drop-offs and pick-ups. We are asking everyone who comes onto our Campus groups to sanitise their hands as they enter.
  • If parents, carers or visitors need to enter a building, they must check-in via QR code.
  • We can begin extra-curricular activities, such as swimming, excursions, incursions and camps. We will communicate the who, what, how and when via VOS in the coming weeks.

Please remember that students are not back at school next week until Wednesday 3 November. I hope everyone enjoys the long weekend and stays safe.

Ocki, Ziggy, Jayla and Luka with Mr Van Berkel.

Garnsey Campus news by Head of Campus Kate Ray
Our students are amazing. This week I wanted to highlight some amazing achievements or acts of courage that our students have had in recent weeks and I would like to start by acknowledging our Year 12 students who began their written exams this week and will be focussed on these exams until the final examination on November 17. We hope they continue to have clear focus and restful sleep to assist them in their coming exams.

I have received numerous emails over the weekend from parents of some of our junior students who wanted to acknowledge their appreciation and awe at two of our senior students who played a major part in reassuring and caring for the younger students in a bus incident that occurred last Friday. These two students Ari and Josh stepped in and showed true leadership and courage in the way that they managed themselves and the students on the bus as well as checking in on the bus driver. I am incredibly proud of the way Ari and Josh acted. I know that members of our School Community are looking for further ways to acknowledge their actions.

While our Year 9 students may have missed out on some of the special opportunities of Year 9, this hasn’t stopped them from finding ways to contribute and leave their mark on the Year 9 area for year levels to come. The planning of an Indigenous Foods Garden began in May when the students put together a proposal to Mr Smith about their plans.

Please see below the thoughts of Mrs Reynolds and one of the team as well as images of the wonderful work they have achieved:

Through our studies of Gunai Kurnai history and sustainable foods in History and Environmental Studies, a group of students planned, raised money and planted three new Indigenous Foods garden beds in Year 9. They look fantastic!
It is hoped that Food Technology classes may be able to use these foods in their cooking.
The main students driving this project were Madi Nicholas, Nicholas Missen, Henry Storer, Ben Canfield, Finn Carpenter and Sage Walters.

Special thanks to the Year 9 Council for raising the $300 for the plants that were organised through Woolenook Nursey in Maffra.
This is an example of student voice in action. Well done team! These gardens will be enjoyed by Year 9 students for years to come.
Mrs Reynolds

The Year 9 gardens were an excellent opportunity for us to get involved in what our school looks like and have the opportunity to learn about and show our appreciation for the indigenous species. Planting them felt like an achievement in helping the school toward the right direction for the future by incorporating more of our Indigenous history into our school. A huge thank you to Mrs Reynolds for helping us in this journey. Thank you to, Madi Nicholas, Sage Walters, Finn Carpenter, Henry Storer and the rest of the Year 9s that helped us planting on the day.
Nicholas Missen

Year 11 student Billy Osborne recently broke three Australian National Records on a C2 Indoor Rower. All three records are in the under-17 category and include the four-minute record, the one-minute record and the 500-metre record.
Director of Rowing Nick Bartlett said the entire Rowing team was thrilled at the news.
“This is a terrific set of achievements and sit alongside Billy’s under-15 record for 1000 metres,” Mr Bartlett said. “And it sets Billy up for a fantastic year.”

Please enjoy your long weekend with our student-free day on Monday and Melbourne Cup on Tuesday. We look forward to seeing you back rested and rejuvenated on Wednesday.

Catch up on last week’s newsletter here:

Year 9 students and teachers worked together to plant an Indigenous Foods Garden in the Year 9 precinct. This project was student-driven and was a way for this year’s cohort to leave their mark on the area for years to come; and Billy Osborne recently broke three Australian National Records on a C2 Indoor Rower.


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.

Join our Community:
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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