Head of Bairnsdale Campus | Gippsland Grammar


Head of Bairnsdale Campus

After a nice holiday break, we have returned to school where the lovely autumn weather continues to brighten our days. Our students have commenced the term happily and quickly settled back into their routines.


Term 2 sees an increased expectation on our students in regards to learning. The teacher/student relationship has developed and there is an awareness and increased understanding of personalised needs within the classroom. Referring to our community of support (COS) for our students, which includes parents, teachers, learning assistants and external professionals, we are reminded of the importance of working together. Our parent teacher interviews pre holidays provided that platform; however, I encourage consistent contact throughout the term.


It is with pleasure that we welcome Morgan Soulsby in Year 1 and Avin Mirabolfarthi in Year 3, along with their families, to our community. I have great confidence in our school community to make these families feel part of our unique ‘campus on the hill’.


Our staff workshop this week focused on our Big Write program that is implemented across the school. The consistency of language and the enrichment of students writing through this process was evident. The theory behind the program is “if you can’t say it you can’t write it’. This implies the importance of discussion and preparation in the process of writing. A great benefit to this process is the inclusion of parent engagement through the discussion phase, which we call ‘Hometalk’. I encourage all parents to take this opportunity to be involved in their children’s learning as the impact is most effective.

Hudson (Year 4) was pleased to report this exciting news, which I would like to share with you.


“In level F Spelling Mastery, Pippa, Grace, Georgia and I have done activities in the Gargantuan Book written by David Astle from the TV show Letters and Numbers on SBS.  We have written a letter to him and he responded! He even gave us his home address so we can send him our work and keep in touch with him.  We are all very excited about this happening in our school.”

We have had a tremendous response from the students to the introduction of Coding (through the Digital Technologies Curriculum) in Term 1. 


Prep through to Year 3 began with coding lessons using the activities on Code.org. These lessons provided a practical introduction to 'drag and drop' coding, while developing their computational thinking and problem solving skills. Last term Prep to Year 2 were introduced to Scratch Junior and Year 3's were introduced to Scratch 2.0. Using Scratch, they have been able to demonstrate their new skills by creating projects that move multiple characters around the screen using variable speed, directional changes and alternate background pictures. Many students are also experimenting with drawing and modifying their own characters. Years 4 to 6 have been introduced to a new computer language called HTML to create their own personal web pages. Some students are even beginning to learn another language (CSS). Year 5 and 6's have created a digital book review web page that includes images, headings and even hyperlinks.


E-learning facilitator Sharen Cameron has asked me to pass on the following information about this term’s activities.

During Term 2, we will be introducing the students to the binary number system and exploring how this is the basis of how computers work. To support this learning, we are looking for examples of obsolete or superseded technology. If anyone has any of the following items to lend to us for Term 2, please leave them at the office:

  • an old 'brick phone' (any of the earliest style mobile phones)
  • a manual rotary dial phone (where you needed to put your finger in a hole and move it around to dial the number - it makes me feel really old just trying to describe this old phone)
  • a manual typewriter
  • an early electric typewriter
  • an adding machine
  • or any other example of old/obsolete technology


Each Friday lunchtime during Term 1, we have a number of Year 3 to 6 students participating in CodeClub.  They have been eagerly building and programming the Lego We-Do and Ev3 robots or just 'Scratching' around.  This term, we aim also to build some Raspberry PI computers.  These can be used to write programs for the Ev3's or their own robots and used as development/programming PC's for HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python and more.  It is exciting to be able to offer these great experiences to the students.  To support this program, we are making another request for old technology.  If anyone has (or knows a business that may have) any old USB mice, keyboards and HDMI computer monitors or TV screens that we can use to build our Raspberry computers, again please leave them at the office.


We were very proud of our four boys that travelled to Melbourne to compete at the State Swimming championships. Kael Frith placed fourth in under 10 backstroke, a fine result; he then joined Joel Rawlings, Xander Borinsenko and Paul Ng in the under 10 freestyle relay where they placed sixth in a terrific combined effort. This was a great experience for our boys and we thank them and their parents for representing our campus with enthusiasm and sportsmanship.


Amidst the construction work at the BARC, our Year 5 and 6 students commenced their first swimming session for Term 2. I was pleased to see that all students participated well as this is an important part of the school Physical Education program in regards to health and safety.


School photo envelopes have been distributed to students in readiness for our photo day.


Today we took advantage of that beautiful autumn weather previously mentioned, as we came together at the Wy Yung oval for our campus cross-country event. We witnessed great determination, fine sportsmanship and most importantly a great sense of House spirit and support for each other. Cross Country running is not an easy feat and I can only admire the enthusiastic participation by all of our students and commend our leaders once again for their role in making the event a successful one. A very big thank you to Mrs Elisha Froud for her commitment to this event and to our parents who so willingly assist us and to those who cheered the children on. Well done to all!


On ANZAC day next Wednesday, we plan to march as a group to the Bairnsdale Cenotaph. If you would like to join us, please meet at the Coles supermarket entrance on Main Street at 10:35am ready for a 10:45am start. Students should wear their winter uniform and be well presented with neat hair and polished shoes.  We would love for as many people as possible to join us.


As we come to the end of week one and the cooler nights allow for good sleeping, I wish you all a restful and enjoyable weekend.


Virginia Evans