Head of Bairnsdale Campus | Gippsland Grammar


Head of Bairnsdale Campus

I begin this newsletter with heartfelt thanks to the students, teachers and parents who made our Twilight School such a success. The response to the night was overwhelming with parents, teachers and students all engaged in learning.  From all accounts the night linked many parents with their children’s learning and allowed the students to proudly demonstrate what happens in our classrooms. The BBQ run by our hard working Parents and Friends provided a great conclusion to the night and the ‘community spirit’ was once again on show here at our Bairnsdale Campus. Please look at the school Facebook page to see the results of such a terrific night.

Eleven Year 5 and 6 students visited the Bairnsdale Bridge clubrooms for an interschool tournament on Monday morning. A number of the students returned with a medal following a morning of excellent competition. Mrs Patricia Brown, who co-ordinates the weekly Bridge sessions at our campus, commented that the students were focussed and disciplined on the day, and that although they felt nervous, they concentrated and played well. I commend the students for their efforts.

Earlier in the year, Lochlan Borisenko qualified to play in the State Golf tournament, which took place in Melbourne this week. I was pleased to receive a message from another parent at the event regarding Lochlan’s Eagle. Great effort Lochlan! Lochlan provided the following report of the day:

“It all started on a very hot morning. On Wednesday this week, Dad and I arrived at the Kooringal golf course with my friend from St Mary’s, Noah Patterson. We signed in and then headed to the putting green where we warmed up. Around 15 minutes later, we were called by the presenter who asked us to get into our groups and told us all the rules for the day. Then we set off for the first hole, which was the 8th for us. After a couple of holes I was doing quite well, then on the 13th hole I topped my drive from 20 meters using my iron, the ball went high into the air, hitting the flag and falling into the hole in a par four which meant I got an Eagle. I had lots of fun that day coming 70th out of 80 participants. Next time it would be fun if I made it through to the next level.”

Thank you to Ms Alison Fraser and the Grevillea class who are showing great compassion to people in need in the wider community. Thanks also to Jorja Robertson and Grace Ng who have provided the following report of their work as part of this project.

“During the last couple of weeks, Grevillea has been working on making Dignity Bags. The organisation, “Share the Dignity”, encourages people in our community to pack a bag of essentials for women affected by domestic violence. This year, our class decided to take part.

First, we researched different items and their prices to give us an idea of how much money we would need. Together, as a class, we compared different products and their cost and chose ones that would suit our budget. After we added the prices up, we donated some of our own money, and then chose the two shopping centres we were going to visit on our excursion.

Then, we travelled to Chemist Warehouse, our first stop. There, we bought different products for the women’s health, such as sunscreen, lip balm, tissues and a comb. Next, we caught the bus to our next destination, Kmart. There we bought the rest of the items that we needed. Soon we were finished shopping and returned to school.

Eventually we all came back to the classroom to talk about what we bought and how to figure out the GST on the receipt. We packed the Dignity Bags and took a photo! Mrs Caithness picked them up on Wednesday so they could be distributed before Christmas.  We hope the people who receive them know that someone cares about them.”

It was my pleasure to present the House Shield to Tisdall Hotham at Fellowship this morning. I commend all the students on their sportsmanship throughout the year and particularly acknowledge the House spirit shown. 

The students of Melaleuca led Fellowship this morning, with the theme of ‘safety during the holidays’. They cleverly identified dangers and hazards that we might come across during the summer holidays and, through skits and some excellent props, explained to us how to stay safe. They addressed issues such as stranger danger, water safety, staying safe in the bush, first aid, bike safely and road safety. The class clearly enjoyed singing ‘Summer Holiday’ as much as the audience enjoyed listening.

Included in the Australian Curriculum is the element of decision making, an important skill for students to acquire. Reasoning and justifying a decision and thinking of the consequences are all part of the process. In recent weeks, much discussion has been had in regards to next year’s classroom structure. As a staff, and in consultation with the Executive, we can confirm the following for 2018:






Mrs Libby Crowe

Year 1/2


Mrs Joy Hay-Smith

Year 1/2


Ms Charlotte Cheadle

Year 3/4


Ms Annie Crowe

Year 3/4


Ms Terese Hunter (Serena Jefferis on Wednesdays)

Year 5


Mrs Fiona Carr (Wednesday replacement to be confirmed)

Year 6


Mrs Penny Rankin


We are pleased with the many benefits this structure will offer, including:

  • Small class sizes enhance explicit, targeted teaching
  • Composites encourage increased social interaction between students and new friendships
  • The structure promotes ‘collaborative expertise’ in staff planning
  • It allows for team teaching where appropriate
  • It allows for growth in our school

Further details:

  • Ms Terese Hunter will remain our Pathways teacher, having Wednesday out of the classroom for this role. Mrs Serena Jefferis will teach in Kurrajong on Wednesdays.
  • Mrs Fiona Carr as Lead Teacher will have Wednesday out of the classroom.  I will announce the Grevillea teacher for Wednesdays soon. 
  • Ms Terese Hunter and Mrs Fiona Carr will liaise combining Curriculum, Data analysis and Pathways on Wednesdays. Their role will be to work with students, teachers, learning assistants and parents addressing both individual and classroom needs.
  • Mrs Virginia Evans will work with the Juniors in Literacy Intervention and take Year 6 for CRE.
  • Ms Terese Hunter will continue FIE with Year 3 when Year 4 go to Training Band.
  • Ms Charlotte Cheadle will work with Year 1 when Year 2 go to Strings.
  • Both Japanese and Music will be run in class levels P-6.
  • Both Year 3/4 classes will have Physical Education together, with the assistance of our Gap year student.

We as a staff are very excited about the year ahead and firmly believe in this structure. The students will be informed as to their class next Friday on Transition Day. As always, I am open to discussion for clarification or concerns.

Mrs Fiona Carr and I have been thoroughly impressed with both the applications and interviews this week for Campus Captain. The majority of the class applied for Campus Captain; regardless of the outcome, this indicates a strong leadership group for next year. To the parents of these applicants: be very proud of them and their endeavours, as they have all presented confidently and with an obvious passion for Gippsland Grammar. One answer to, “What happens if you don’t get the position?” was, “Well, we are all worthy of it!” The next stage in the process is to feed back to the staff our current thoughts and further discuss the final decision.

Bairnsdale has been inundated with bike riders, being a two-night stop for the Great Victorian Bike Ride. With the weather predicted for the weekend, we were pleased to host the Peninsula Grammar team for a short time before they were bused home to Mount Eliza.

Please take care on the weekend with the predicted rain event.

Kind regards,

Virginia Evans