Head of Bairnsdale Campus | Gippsland Grammar


Head of Bairnsdale Campus

Last week in my newsletter I wrote of the positive impact our senior school prefects had on our students here at Bairnsdale with the strong messages they delivered at Fellowship. At our Monday morning assembly, without any warning, I asked Jadah Frith to share his thoughts on the Fellowship. Without prompting, Jadah said that it was great how everyone got up and danced and how it is important to have respectful relationships in our school to achieve a happy learning environment. This comment is great evidence of the impact our prefects do have on our students. We certainly appreciated their time with us here at the Bairnsdale campus in what is a very busy time for them.


School for most students finishes at 3:15pm, however, for some of our students, they continue on to our After School Care program under the watchful eye of Mrs Margaret Cotter and Mrs Michelle McGrath. Both Margaret and Michelle work hard to ensure our boys and girls have enjoyable activities to keep them busy. They focus on the individual interests of the children, which was evident in Leo Kantzides response at 5.30pm as he was reluctantly leaving, stating that he loves After School Care. We are grateful and thankful for the role that Margaret and Michelle play in the After School Care program.


Wednesday saw the last day of FIE training for myself, Fiona Carr, Joy Hay-Smith, Penny Rankin and Fiona Sutherland as we travelled to Sale to work with Kate Arnup, a master instructor of FIE. It is a fascinating and complex area of study that centres on developing cognitive functions through a series of instruments in which the students learn to think and respond effectively. The next step is to work together and support Terese Hunter currently our sole FIE teacher at the Bairnsdale Campus, who has set a wonderful standard of implementing FIE across the school.


We once again welcomed Sophie and Luke from Melbourne University who have been guiding us in the implementation of SOLO Taxonomy. This time they were looking at the overall impact and effectiveness of SOLO across the campus. They were highly impressed with our campus and the obvious commitment of our teachers and importantly the students’ engagement and understanding of SOLO across all curriculum areas.


Our Year 5 and 6 students travelled to the Werribee Zoo on Thursday, to further their understanding of their Term 3 Integrated Studies unit on Biological Science. Sam Ditchburn said “today our class went to the zoo and it was really good going in the safari bus to see all the animals. When my group went to see the gorillas we all got a fright, even Mrs Carr jumped, when a huge gorilla ran at the glass window and kicked it with his foot.” Georgie Heath reported "On Thursday we all got on a bus and visited Werribee Zoo. It was an awesome experience with amazing animals that had outstanding adaptations. My favourite was the lions, especially when they sprawled together.” Mrs Carr and Mrs Rankin were very proud of the behaviour of the students and would like to sincerely thank Sally Cameron, Toni Booth and Pip Smith who gave their time to accompany them for the day.


The Prep class planted trees last Friday, which was the National Tree Planting Day for Schools. A combination of Callistemon and native Ash trees were planted around the Lone Pine near the oval, and we look forward to the day that they provide shade to play under, habitat for the birds and a beautiful backdrop for the children as they play. 


Our specialist Music program has been interrupted over the past fortnight as Mrs Serena Jefferis has been unwell. We wish her well as she recovers and hope to see her back at school before too long. In the meantime, the Banksia children have been practicing their Fellowship song with the help of Mrs Lynn Biggs and the Bairnsdale Singers have been supported in their preparation for their Commemoration Day performance by Garnsey Campus music staff Mrs Jenny Candy and Mr Matthew Goss. They travelled to the Garnsey campus today for a rehearsal and I look forward to Monday’s performance. I commend all the students involved in Bairnsdale Singers and would particularly like to thank Georgia Steel and Pippa Young who have supported the Singers in preparation for this performance.


The Banksia class presented an excellent Fellowship this morning, explaining to us their understanding of time, and singing for us the months of the year, accompanied by a Macarena style dance performance. Well done Banksia, we were very impressed with your understanding of this topic, time.


On that note, I wish you a happy time together this weekend.
Virginia Evans