Junior School


Junior School

August 7, 2020

Remote Learning Update

I would like toexpress my thanks to our Ormiston parents for their continued support during remote learning in Term 3. As we have now moved to Stage 4 restrictions until the end of this term, nearly all our Foundation – Year 6 students will have been at home for the whole of their learning.

As a Junior School staff, we have been very grateful for the positive feedback that parents and students have been providing us this term. We understand that parents are finding remote learning very challenging at times, and I encourage families to speak with their child’s Class Teacher about ensuring a good balance between Seesaw tasks and family commitments at home.

Student/Staff Wellbeing Day

I would like to remind parents that this Friday 7 August is our Student/Staff Wellbeing Day.

Student Reports

Student reports will be available to parents on Friday 7 August. An email will be sent to Foundation – Year 6 families to let them know when reports will be released.

Learning Conversations

Parent/Teacher Learning Conversations will take place on Thursday 13 August. Parents are encouraged to log-in into Parent Lounge and secure a time.


Early Learning 3

A community of learners listen to each other and come together in teams to make sense of their mini world by using the adults around them to deepen their understanding of surrounding living and non-living things. Taking the views of capable children with their inquiring minds is a great way to position the collaboration of teachers and the wider community’s involvement to play a part that is mutually respectful in this process.

“This apple is plastic and it is not real! Someone bought it from the shop and put it here!”– Sophie

“This lemon is real, and it is going black!”– Chelsea

Eason was holding the apple from its stalk and said, “This is from the tree and I like the apple!”

“These are real, and they are dry now!” said Scarlett as she closely examined the mushrooms that are shrivelled up.

Immersed in close examination with magnifying glasses, these little learners are a delight to capture.

The children are constantly learning and sharing information as they collaborate with each other in a space where the environment has a purpose, linking to prior learning as well as what is current, engaging and challenging.

A balance between child-led and teacher-led spaces where spontaneous learning happens in an organic way is a joy, and that learning can spark in all of us as a community of learners.

Ramila Sadikeen
EL3 Class Teacher

Early Learning 4 Part-Time & Murrundindi

In EL4 part-time, we have been connecting our learning about sustainability with the Acknowledgement to Country that we sing in Early Learning. In a morning meeting, we thought about the words in the Acknowledgement to Country and what it says we should ‘care for’. The children decided that the different ways of ‘caring for country’ include caring for the land, water, sky, animals and people of all backgrounds. We brainstormed the different ways that we could ‘care for country’ and be ‘custodians of the land’.

On Tuesday, we had a Zoom meeting with Murrundindi and he helped the children understand how the Aboriginal people, as the traditional owners of Australia, care for the land. The children sang our ‘Acknowledgment of Country’ to Murrundindi and he sang a ‘Welcome to Country’ to the children in Woiwurrung language. Murrundindi spoke to the children about how the Aboriginal people call the land, Mother Earth and as such they treat the land with great respect. He listened to the children’s ideas for how they could help be ‘custodians of the land’ and spoke about the importance of putting our words into action.

100 Days of Foundation!

Our Foundation children celebrated 100 days of school on Wednesday. All children wore their 100th day tiara they had carefully decorated the previous day and they caught up on Zoom to celebrate.

Inspired by the letters people receive from the Queen for their 100th birthday, I prepared personalised letters for each girl to congratulate them on reaching 100 days of school.

Many of our daily activities were centred around the number 100. In true CGGS style, when asked what they would do if they had $100, many girls said they would give it to people who needed it. Living our motto of ‘Utilis in Ministerium’ from a young age! Congratulations to all our Foundation students on reaching this milestone! Even though we haven’t had 100 days together physically at school, they have made amazing progress and learned so much!

Year 2

This week we celebrated 100 days (roughly) of Year 2, with almost 50 of those days spent at home, doing online learning. As our spelling sound this week was ‘ar’ we decided to have a little party in our morning Zoom session. We continued to have party-themed activities throughout the day, which included drawing their own 100 days of Year 2, including adding sentences to describe the party. We also looked at some chance scenarios in our maths session and the students identified if they were certainor impossible. For example: You will see a crocodile at our party.

The students had such a fun day and enjoyed receiving their 100 days of Year 2 and 50 days of remote learning certificates!

Special thank you to Miss Kitsou for helping create the amazing certificates.

Ellie Zafarty & Mikaela Stanaway
Year 2 Class Teachers

Year 3

Our morning Zoom class meetings continue to be an important opportunity for students to share their experiences, talk about their feelings and connect with their classmates. This term, our BRAVE focus is ‘Positive Coping’ which is giving students the opportunity to explore a range of coping strategies to help them manage challenging emotions, such as feeling worried, nervous, frustrated or scared. Positive self-talk, labelling the feeling and breathing exercises are examples of skills that the Year 3 students have started to learn about. These types of strategies are particularly important at this time when regular routines and connections with friends, which often provide reassurance for students when they are feeling big emotions, are diminished.

Below are some reflections from the Year 3 students about positive coping skills:

“I use artwork to help me stop being scared. I draw the thing that I’m scared of and then add a cute or funny touch to it which makes me less scared or worried.”Shreya 3R

“I have been using one of the activities when I am sad or disappointed. I have used breathing exercises to calm me down.”Iris 3L

“I think it is important that we have a range of coping strategies because it helps our emotions calm down and helps our mind relax.”Lauren 3R

“When I feel frustrated I could jump on the trampoline. Another thing I could do is take some deep breaths.”Sienna 3L

“I would like to try doing yoga because I haven’t tried it before and it might help.” –Kathleen 3R

“I think it is important to have a wide range of ways to calm yourself down so that if one does not work you have other strategies.”– Ruth 3L

“I have used breathing exercises and it helped because it calmed me down and I felt relax. I also forgot about how disappointed I was.”– Amiya 3R

Helping students to learn a range of positive coping skills will allow them to develop and practise these skills and enable them to cope with future changes and challenges. We will continue to explore ways that students can access these strategies throughout the term.

Liz Ruffles and Rebecca Leondidis
Year 3 Class Teachers

Physical Education 

During these rapidly changing times, we have all had to show adaptability and our Ormiston students have risen to the challenge! Whilst remote learning cannot replicate the same energy and enthusiasm that our students bring to face-to-face Physical Education classes, they have been working hard to develop their skills in an online environment.

The focus for ELC and Foundation students has been on Fundamental Movement Skills such as throwing, catching, running, bouncing and striking. These are some of the most important skills for students to learn as they are the foundation to a variety of activities and sports.

The Year 1 and 2 students are completing a ‘Huff n Puff’ unit where they are completing a wide variety of cardiovascular fitness activities. Students are exploring how they feel after completing exercises such as skipping and aerobics. By thinking about how their body responds to exercise, students will understand that an increased heart rate and breathing rate is not only normal, but important for improved fitness and health and wellbeing.

Students in Years 3 and 4 are participating in a Dance unit where they are developing their movement skills and ability to perform choreography in time to music. They have enjoyed learning routines to Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Lion King’ as well as some party favourites like the Nutbush.

Our Year 5 and 6 students are also completing a movement unit; however, the focus is on aerobics. Year 5 students are learning a routine of eight basic movements and progressing to transitioning effectively from one movement to another. Having had an introduction to aerobics last year, our Year 6 students are working on learning a more advanced routine. Both year levels are being given plenty of practice time and students are submitting videos weekly so their teacher can provide them with feedback on areas to improve.

In addition to their Physical Education classes, students are completing a daily Fitness Bingo challenge which has a range of activity suggestions such as skipping, going for a walk with an adult, playing outside and meditation. With the increase in screen time for all of us, it is so important now more than ever for students to be active everyday whether it is structured activity or simply just playing. Families are encouraged to join in as well!

Dot Georgiou & Liana Kitsou
Physical Education Teachers



It is wonderful to see our students continuing to read, access and connect to books using the resources available through our library website. The StoryBox Library provides access to fantastic stories being read aloud for children, the eBook collection is being widely used, and many students have reserved books online or via emails to Mrs Spencer. We are always happy to collate titles to be collected so please remember to contact us if you have any requests.

For the ELC children who are learning on site, there was great excitement as we read and explored several new board books and picture books we have recently added to the collection. These books are fun, engaging and full of bright images and illustrations which appeal to our younger readers and the children loved selecting titles to take home to share with their families.

I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Junior School


Junior School

July 31, 2020

Foundation – Rockstar Readers!

Foundation are Rockstar Readers! We have been putting our knowledge of letters and sounds to very good use in lots of reading activities this term. The students are becoming so good at blending sounds to read words and the more they work on it the more their reading fluency is improving. They participate in a small group reading Zoom session each week with a teacher. This is a great way to catch up, share our love of reading, practise reading aloud and discuss books together. We have also begun the ‘60 Second Read’ activity where each student records their reading and uploads a video on Seesaw to share their progress. This is such a wonderful time in Foundation where the students’ hard work and new skills come together and their reading begins to take-off.

Selena Reedman
Foundation Teacher

Year 1 – Curious Minds

This term in Inquiry and STEAM, Year 1 are exploring how objects move and change and how materials can be used in different ways. The students have been curious and creative scientists where they have created their own hands on experiments at home to investigate how objects can sink and float and also, how everyday materials can be manipulated and changed in order to show how common materials can be used in a variety of ways. Students have also participated in additional “challenge by choice” STEAM mini projects to further develop their inquiring minds. They were very proud to share photos and videos of their work, where they made predications about possible outcomes, explained the steps involved in their projects and discussed their discoveries. It has been wonderful to see so many engaged minds and future TV documentary presenters.

See some of their experiments below.

Angela Columbine
Year 1 Class Teacher

Year 4

In Term 3 the students of Year 4 have continued displaying excellent online etiquette through their listening skills and turn taking.

Yesterday was International Friendship Day and for our morning meeting we discussed what makes a good friend. Kindness, trust, support, humour and respect were the main ideas that were shared. The students also discussed what they miss about their friends whilst engaged in remote learning. It is evident that the ability to laugh with each other, run around and create games, share stories and learn from each other are missed.

On the other hand, remote learning has some benefits, as the students noted what they enjoyed:

“What I am grateful for online learning is that most or all of us have a technology device for example: an iPad, a computer etc. Many people in different environments and places don’t even have the opportunity to use these lovely and helpful devices during this pandemic and lockdowns.”– Mo Lin

“I enjoy being able to see my mum while doing my work”– Tiffany

“I think remote learning gives me an opportunity to learn more about technology and help me adapt to independence. Remote learning gave me more time to bounce around on the trampoline and discover nature’s secrets. Lastly it help me spend more time with my family and have a great time together.”– Rita

“I think remote learning is fun in a sense that we take long breaks and can take our time with our work. I also enjoy getting to see my friends and teachers via zoom and having my teacher put on dance music every morning. I think remote learning is a very interesting experience!”– Asha

In the past week the students have also been conducting a science experiment with cress seeds. As part of our study of ecosystems, we have been learning about the necessary conditions required for something to grow that include biotic (seeds) and abiotic (water, temperature) things. The students have been exploring their hypothesis by introducing one variable – can you see what the variable is by looking at the two photos?

We are looking forward to sharing our learning together on Zoom as we continue to unpack scientific concepts through our reading, writing and inquiry programs.

Craig Goodwin & Jasvindar Gill
Year 4 Class Teachers

Year 5 Update

Term 3 remote learning for Year 5 has started with great energy and curiosity. Our morning Zoom meetings have involved students sharing their passions and interests with the class. Amongst many engaging presentations, we were fortunate enough to be given a drawing lesson by Aaliyah D’Rozario who taught the class how to draw a horse, as well as being amazed by Emily Foo’s gymnastic skills. We have also been fortunate to welcome two new students this term, Alexia and Claire, who have both made a great start despite the challenges of meeting their new classmates and teachers online.

Our Unit of Inquiry ‘How can informed choices create a sustainable world?’ has seen the students dive into the 2040 documentary movie and explore concepts such as climate change, biodiversity loss, sustainability, greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and carbon sequestration. Students are currently developing their knowledge on the art of debating and soon they will have an opportunity to work in teams, via Zoom, to prepare debates. Despite the challenges of remote learning and the huge impact lockdown has caused to everyone, we continue to see positivity, gratitude and a great sense of fun and achievement from all of our students.

Anjali de Quadros, Meagan Wilson & Fiorella Soci
Year 5 Class Teachers


Year 6 Update  

During this term Year 6 has recently commenced an in-depth book study on ‘The Arrival’ by Shaun Tan. It is a beautiful graphic novel filled with pictures and no words, requiring students to look closely and develop their questioning, predicting, summarising and inferring skills in the process. This book is closely tied to our Inquiry unit for this term exploring immigration. We aimed to connect as many activities to Chapter I of ‘The Arrival ‘ to provide continuity in our learning program and an opportunity for students to explore and reflect on these concepts and themes in various ways. In spelling, students learned immigration-related vocabulary, focusing on the meanings of these words while they continue to explore how to create creatures and cities related to scenes in ‘The Arrival’ in Art lessons with Mrs Gibson. Students also learned how to fold origami cranes as part of a mindfulness activity and carefully chose a maximum of 10 things to pack in their own suitcase if they had to leave for a different country, justifying the importance of each item.

Nancy Robottom & Katrina Cheong
Year 6 Class Teachers

Music is in the air at Ormiston!

In Music this week, ELC students learned about Brass instruments and how to play them. The students also enjoyed watching ‘Wa Wa Waltz’, an interactive music adventure series performed by Queensland ensemble ‘Best of Brass’.

The Foundation Music students commenced the term choosing a dance style in which they recorded themselves improvising a style of dance and also revised the song “Bounce” where they practised singing and notating it.

Program music is a story written with music. It enables the listener to explore music as guided by the composer. The Year 1 students commenced their encounter with program music with the story and music for “Peter and the Wolf”by Sergei Prokofiev.Whilst Year 2 Music students commenced their study of ‘Carnival of the Animals’by the famous French composer Camille Saint-Saens, in future weeks both classes will analyse why the composer chose certain instruments to represent the characters in the stories.

Year 3 Music students were introduced to Chrome Music Lab which is a website that makes learning music more accessible through fun, hands-on experiments. The students experimented with the ‘Songmaker’and ‘Rhythm’applications and are enjoying the opportunity to experiment with different sounds and rhythms.

In Years 4, 5 and 6, the students have enjoyed their introduction to Song-Maker in the chrome Music Lab. Composing ‘picture music’ as a Seesaw Activity was an opportunity for them to learn and use some of the creative tools available in this program. Song-Maker will be used to enhance their Kodaly based learning of music reading, writing, performing and creating.

We have selected some great repertoire for students to get to know this term, as they focus on the following music topics:

Year 4Music of the modern period such as Holst’s The Planets

Year 5Music of the classical period such as Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca

Year 6Music composed for the standard symphony orchestra including Beethoven’s 5thSymphony.

Here is an example of a Song-Maker ‘picture’ composition.

Click below to hear the composition.

Year 5 & 6 Concert Band

Year 5 Band students have learnt to safely assemble their instrument and have begun the process of making a good sound. They have engaged with the videos that their instrumental tutors have uploaded to Seesaw to learn and memorise their first notes.

Within the Year 6 Concert Band Program, students have been responding to weekly video posts from their instrumental tutor, focusing on different pieces of music from their Essential Elements Interactive Application.


The year level Choirs have continued to operate in an asynchronous format, with students working on warm-ups and songs with Ms Huggett’s video tutorials in Seesaw. They have enjoyed singing along with her videos and connecting with her through music. 

Year 2 Super Strings

In Super Strings, the students continue to work asynchronously via the Seesaw platform by watching weekly tutorials and demonstration videos. In response, the students are uploading videos of themselves playing the activities. Teachers are then able to make comments to help encourage each student to engage fully with their stringed instrument.

The recent introduction of left hand and ‘siren’ exercises to coordinate fingers means it will not be too long before the students are playing tunes on their instruments.


I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.


Yours sincerely,


Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Junior School


Junior School

July 24, 2020

New Student to Ormiston

On Monday 27 July, a new student will be joining Year 5DW class with Ms de Quadros and Mrs Wilson to begin her educational journey with Camberwell Girls Grammar School. Our new student is Claire Pham and I would like to encourage the students, particularly in Year 5DW, to make Claire feel very welcome to Ormiston as part of our remote learning program. We look forward to seeing Claire in person when we all come back to Junior School (on campus) in the near future.


Term 3 Co-Curricular Activities

I would like to remind students and parents that our co-curricular program is continuing during our remote learning program this term. We have several creative, wellbeing and active activities that have been advertised in our Junior School Weekly and last week’s CamNews. These activities can provide a good alternative to the remote learning activities your child participates in during the day. If you have any questions about our co-curricular activities, please email Vicki Ibbott at Junior School Reception on juniorcoordinator@cggs.vic.edu.au.


Early Learning 3  – Multiple ways of being

The second program of remote learning has given us time to revise and revisit our experiences with the children as we guide through this challenging chapter.

We have used this time to listen to the children explore their sense of wonder extending their thoughts outside our gates to the wider community and to rethink and make sense of our daily tasks which we sometimes take for granted.

One such task is our morning routine of reciting our acknowledgement to country statement which goes like this:

“Wurundjeri People

Custodians of the land

We respect and learn from you

The stories you tell.

Care for country, Love our land, plants, birds and animals,

People of all backgrounds

Hand in hand together we stand”

As part of our program, we like to build on each child’s current knowledge, ideas, culture and interests. To do this, it is important to link our learning and teaching to routines and learning experiences. Every morning we create and facilitate a safe space for sharing to build on strong identities to support the multiple ways of being…

> Looking at nature, wondering and noticing

> Considering how we can help each other and help the land

We have taken little walks in the big yard to feel and touch and take in the enormous trees that surround us here at Ormiston. The three bears have set up home to share their porridge with Goldilocks in the home corner.

The inter-play with light and colour is intriguing as the children make marks and venture into schematic drawings and paintings. What is fake and what is real? A classroom table with a variety of objects awaits to provoke the children.

More children are taking on board leadership as a path to learning and we see them gradually embrace stewardship and showing their many capabilities. I know I can always learn from the children and I look forward to building our bond of stewardship together as we embrace people of all backgrounds to stand together, hand in hand, to care for our country and love our land.

Ramila Sadikeen
Early Learning 3 Teacher

Early Learning 4 Full-Time

As curious learners, the Early Learning 4 (Full Time) children went for a walk in the Junior School with their binoculars. This provided them with an opportunity to wonder about the sky, trees, birds and flowers – all things from nature. As they walked throughout the Junior School, the children referred to a book that contained photographs of birds to help them to identify birds they saw in the garden. The children were interested in and observed the magpies as they moved the tanbark with their beaks so they could find worms. The children used the binoculars to observe the lorikeets as they sat on the branches of the trees and were fascinated to see how they spread their bright colourful wings to fly from tree to tree. The children were encouraged to close their eyes and ‘to be still’ and mindful as they listened to sounds from nature. When they returned to the classroom, the children shared their observations and thinking through dialogue and drawing with charcoal.

In Early Learning, we provide opportunities and cultivate interesting and creative environments and experiences, so the children can explore and wonder. Nurturing a child’s curiosity and their sense of awe and wonder about the natural world, is one of the most important ways we can support children to become lifelong learners.

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning 4 (Full Time) Teacher

Early Learning 4 Part-Time

The EL4 Part-Time children are learning about sustainability and the importance of recycling. This week we read a book by Neal Layton called ‘A Planet Full of Plastic’. The children in the classroom listened to the book and some of the children learning remotely watched and joined in the discussion via Zoom. The children learned about the origin of plastic and how it can be both useful and cause environmental problems. After reading the book, the children in the classroom looked for different objects in our classroom that are made of plastic. The children working at home were encouraged to take some photos of plastic objects in their home and post them on Seesaw. The children learned a new word – BIODEGRADE. We will be exploring biodegradability of a range of items in different environments such as soil and water.

Lilian Bishop
Early Learning 4 Part-Time Teacher

Year 2 Update!

Year 2’s have started off Term 3 with online learning determination and resilience.

Week 1 finished up with a ‘Fantastic Friday’ activity where all the girls in Year 2 joined in on a Zoom and played an exciting scavenger hunt game! Each round the students were asked to find something and bring it back to the camera to share with us all. All the girls had a wonderful end to their first week online.

Week 2 has been another wonderful week, where the girls have explored the spelling sound ‘oa’ and participated in multiple reading and writing activities. As our focus this term is on Narratives, the girls spent this week retelling some of their favourite stories and describing characters using adjectives. In Numeracy, the students began their learning about Australian coins and notes and through completing a KWL chart, the students investigated their wondering questions about Australian currency by unpacking videos and website fact sheets.

Below are some comments from the Year 2’s about what they are enjoying about remote learning:

> “My favourite thing about learning from home is that I get to stay with my pets all day and do my work without rushing. I also really like being able to eat whenever I want to and go on lots of little adventurous walks near my house. I really miss my friends though.” – Laila 

> “I have enjoyed the Zoom sessions and I have also enjoyed the maths, inquiry, writing and spelling activities because they were very fun.” – Claudia 

> “My favourite thing that I did this week was the dice addition because it was fun. I also loved the Carla Sandwich one because I loved that story and it was a fun activity” – Elaine 

> “I have really enjoyed remote learning this week. My favourite task has been reading a book called Carla’s Sandwich where the main character brings weird sandwiches to school every day. We then got the chance to design our own weird sandwich, I thought this was really fun. Mine had crazy fillings like ice cream and fish fingers. I am also really interested in learning more about money in maths and how the size in money doesn’t matter. I love coins because my grandfather always gives me special edition coins when he finds them.” – Molly

We are looking forward to another wonderful and exciting learning filled week next week.

Mikaela Stanaway & Ellie Zarfaty
Year 2 Class Teachers

Year 3 Update!

Year 3 have had a wonderful start to Term 3 remote learning. This week we’ve had fun catching up with each other during Zoom meetings. It’s been lovely hearing the students share what they did over the holidays – we have a very creative and curious group of Year 3s!

We have started exploring our Inquiry unit which focuses on Australia and its unique qualities. Thinking routines, such as ‘I see, I think, I wonder’, have given students the opportunity to share their prior knowledge and spark their curiosity. During this unit they will also learn about the states, territories and capital cities of Australia.

Reading and understanding calendars are an essential part of everyday life and our maths Zoom sessions have been lots of fun as students have been consolidating their understandings of this concept through interactive maths games. Students have shared different ways of remembering how many days are in each month. Popular strategies have been catchy songs and mnemonics, such as counting on the knuckles of one’s hand to remember the number of days in each month.

It has been great to see the Year 3 students settle quickly back into the routines of Remote Learning. Their Seesaw journals are already full of great examples of their learning and understandings. We are looking forward to a fun and productive term.

Rebecca Leondidis & Liz Ruffles
Year 3 Class Teachers


I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.


Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Junior School


Junior School

July 17, 2020

A big WELCOME to new Foundation – Year 6 students!

I would like to congratulate our new students who have settled in very well this week, and have all adapted commendably to our remote learning program. I know our Junior School administrative team and class teachers have made them feel welcome for the start of Term 3. I encourage our current students in the year levels below, to extend a warm Ormiston welcome to these students online. Our new students are:

Year 4
Zihan Li – Year 4G
Amy Qi – Year 4C

Year 5
Alexia Stuart-Adams – Year 5S

Year 6
Isabelle Santoso – Year 6R



Helping Foundation – Year 6 Students with Remote Learning

From observations made with our Term 2 remote learning program, we encourage parents to help their child in different ways. Here are some ideas: 

Brain Break
It is important for family members to take a break during a day of remote learning. Try to ensure everyone in the family has a proper breakfast and lunch and no students should be online all day or submitting schoolwork late in the afternoon or evening.

Create an Effective Workspace
Each day parents could help their child ensure they have everything they need before they begin their day of schoolwork. It is also helpful to have your child’s workspace in a part of your home that is readily accessible by parents.

Listen to Feedback
It is helpful for students to carefully read their teachers’ feedback to know what they did well and tips for working towards their next learning goal. Regular Zoom meetings are good to check-in with teachers and for students to ask questions about their learning.



Co-Curricular Activities for Remote Learning Program

Here are the co-curricular activities for Term 3:

Synchronous Zoom Sessions                                                   

Year 3 & 4 Book Club /Monday 3.30pm – 4.00pm

Year 5 & 6 Book Club /Monday 3.30pm – 4.00pm

Year 5 & 6 STEM Challenge /Wednesday 3.30pm – 4.00pm

Year 2 – 6 STEAM Ahead /Thursday 3.30pm – 4.00pm

Foundation – Year 6 Ormiston Active /Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 3.30pm -4.00pm


Asynchronous Video Sessions

Year 2 Art Club /Tuesday 3.30pm – 4.00pm

Year 2 – 6 Netball /Videos distributed every Monday on Seesaw

Please contact Vicki Ibbott juniorcoordinator@cggs.vic.edu.aufor further details.



Foundation – Year 6 Units of Inquiry

I would like to share with all families each year level’s Unit of Inquiry for Term 3:

Foundation –What’s it made of? and How can we be safe and healthy?

Year 1 –How does it move?

Year 2 –How can looking at the past help us to understand the present?

Year 3 –What natural and human characteristics make Australia unique?

Year 4 –How do ecosystems support life on Earth?

Year 5 –How can informed choices help to create a sustainable world?

Year 6 – How has migration impacted the lives of people in Australia today?



Year 6 – Online Sustainable Inventions Exhibition

As part of the Year 6 inquiry question: ‘How can we use energy in a sustainable way? The students applied their knowledge of energy sources and electrical circuits to create their own working model or plan of a sustainable system that could be used in their everyday lives. They had hoped to be able to share their outstanding ideas and working prototypes with you in person, however in these uncertain times, we have adapted and created an online exhibition for you to explore.

We invite you to view the Year 6 Sustainable Inventions on the following link and we would value your feedback on the student’s ideas and inventions. You can do this by adding a comment beneath the video posts.


We hope that you will enjoy viewing these incredible inventions and that you are inspired to use energy sustainably in your daily lives.

Katrina Cheong and Nancy Robottom
Year 6 Class Teachers



Thank You!

I would like to thank all Ormiston families and our Junior School staff for transitioning into remote learning in a very seamless manner this week. If any parents have questions about their child’s learning, I encourage them to contact their child’s class teacher.

I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.


Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Junior School


Junior School

June 26, 2020


As Head of Junior School, I must say that this Friday brings to an end one of the most demanding and confronting, yet rewarding terms of work that I have ever experienced since beginning my teaching career nearly 30 years ago.

My sincere thanks to all Ormiston families, students and staff members for working through, and taking on board a very challenging situation. Whilst I acknowledge that many families are still going through difficult times, we have come together as a close school community and we should be very proud of what we have achieved together.

Throughout Term 2, I strongly believe our staff and students consistently displayed the CGGS School Values of respect, commitment, integrity, hope and courage and I am confident that these values will continue to shine and develop further in our school community when we unite, for hopefully a more settled Term 3.


Early Learning 3 – Diverse ways of learning

Early Learning staff were thrilled to be reunited with the children once again and it appeared the feeling was mutual seeing the smiles on each of the children’s faces.  It was evident that all concerned were delighted to return to face-to-face learning after a somewhat sudden interruption to their learning environment due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

While classroom play and activities is essential to many aspects of learning for these children, as Educators we then had to quickly reposition our thoughts on how can learning take place off-site with a remote learning device. During this unprecedented time remote learning devices was considered an alternative option regardless of the learning dispositions of these three-year old children where each child still had the opportunity to engage and connect to learning but in a different format.

The uptake of remote learning was mainly reliant on parent partnership and the ability of the parents to take on the teacher’s role. When roles are not negotiated and the vision of teaching is daunting while attending to family needs, running a home with cooking and cleaning, it is indeed a discovery that was achieved with reciprocal relationships to set literacy and fun in learning into practice between the teacher in a school setting and the teacher in the home setting.

Families have had to face their own challenge during COVID19 albeit a time we never want to experience again but certain attributes did arise during this phase such as balance of trust, understanding and mutual respect acknowledging the different ways each family responded to online remote learning.

Through self-reflection I questioned myself – did I aspire to be a polished presenter online or did I continue to be my true self – authentic and relatable to children with familiar connections to prior experiences in EL3 pre lock down. I settled for relatable!

Relating to three-year old children online was an art when unprecedented times called for unprecedented pedagogy.  We have come out on the other end with many hooks to hang our countless learning hats.

These hooks for learning are the many possibilities for teaching. One of the common threads that emerged were the stories and activities that presented many assorted “Bears”.  From going on a Bear Hunt to singing Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear turn-around – our project on Teddy Bears visually emerged.

The Teddy Bears helped the children to transition back to onsite learning by deflecting their emotions onto the Bears. It gave the children an opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings to feel safe and secure.

Jayden’s mum said, “Purple Bear helps Jayden talk about emotions of Anger, sad and happy!”

Eason said, “My Bear’s name is Pan Pan!”

“My Bear is called Robin Hood!” said Azalea and many other children mustered their courage and confidence to talk about their Bears.

I appreciated and recognised families’ literacy practices can vary according to their cultural background.  I saw positives in the richness of their home language and appreciated parents who spoke in their language and did their best to connect to their children and promote the learning competently in their home language.

To this end as a teacher, I am mindful that there is no one way to teach literacies and learning will and can take many forms and shapes at the face of this unique time. I know for sure we need to keep our partnerships strong with our families and communities and can’t help but wonder where the Teddy Bear Project journey will take us.

Ramila Sadikeen
ELC 3 Class Teacher

The Early Learning children are learners with curious minds

The Early Learning children are curious about nature and they’re developing a respect for and love of things from nature. Recently, we engaged in some thinking where the children identified things in our environment that were living or not living and were encouraged to justify their thinking.

Qianqian:“Snails are living because they eat leaves.”

Clara: “Frogs are living because they live in water.”

Sage: “Slugs because they eat leaves.”

Kelly: “Ducks because they are in the water.”

Alex: “Worms and that’s because they live in the soil.”

Madelyn: “Birds are living because birds eat worms.”

Ting Xuan:“Butterflies because they have long tongues so they can taste the flowers.”

Calista and Alex demonstrated their ability to think flexibly and interdependently when they expressed their understandings about how some things were once living but are now not living.

Calista: “Logs are not living.”

Alex: “We need to put logs in the middle because it’s not living but one time it was living.”

Calista: “Dead leaves were once alive. Put that in the middle too.”

June: “Pots are not living because they stay still in the kitchen.”

Alex: “Rugs don’t live and that’s because they don’t move and they just stay on the ground.”

Chloe: “Chairs are not living because they don’t move.”

The children are currently applying this knowledge about what identifies something as living or not living to create a criteria for sorting things in our classroom and garden, into living and not living.

A recent event in the classroom, provided an authentic opportunity for the children to experience how something can be living and then not living. On arrival at school last week, I noticed that one of the fish in our tank had died. I removed the fish from the tank and wrapped it in some paper towel. The death of the fish provided further learning opportunities for the children. The children  made connections to the theory that Alex and Calista made about how some things can be living and then not living. We realised that yesterday the fish was living but today it is not living because it had died.

Alex: “It’s going to go all the way up to heaven.”

Rubyrose: “I thought it may stay for long, but it didn’t.”

We shared a story titled Lifetimes. The story explained life and death in a sensitive and caring way. It informed us about beginnings and endings and about living in between. There were illustrations of plants and animals and people depicting how there is always a beginning, then living and an ending.

Ms Angela: “I wonder what we will do with the fish that has died.”

Calista: “Maybe you could put it in a riverbank. There’s a riverbank near my house. It’s called the Yarra River.”

June: “We could just put it in a paper towel and bury it in the dirt.”

Alex: “We should bury it so it can go to heaven.”

Ms Angela: “Alex can you tell us about heaven.”

Alex: “It’s where other people live with God.”

Calista: “and Jesus”

Rubyrose: “We could put it in new refreshing water.”

Ting Xuan: “You could bury it in our garden.”

Alex: “All my fish have gone to heaven.”

Kelly: “You can use a paper and draw a house and put it in there and the fish would like it.”

The children decided to bury the fish in the garden. June found a place in the garden and Charlotte and Gia helped her to dig a hole for the fish. June placed the goldfish carefully into the hole. Alex and Gia put dirt into the hole and covered the paper towel.

During Chapel with Reverend Creed, we often give thanks to God for different things in our lives. I asked the children if they wanted to go to the Chapel and say thank you to God for our fish and all the things we have in our garden from nature. The children responded with enthusiasm and wanted to do this. We went to the Chapel and the children had an opportunity to create and share their own prayers to God.

“Dear God, Thank you for all the beautiful plants and animals.” – June

“Dear God, Thank you for making everything – the plants, road, people and water – and everything you make and do is wonderful.” – Rubyrose

“Dear God, I thank you for the nice beautiful flowers. Amen” – Calista

“Dear God, Thank you for all the pretty flowers and trees. Amen” – Sage

“Dear God, Thank you for the beautiful families and things from nature.” – Charlotte

Through these types of experiences, the children are learning about nature, what it means to be living or not living and life and death – beginnings, living and endings. Through their participation in these experiences, the children are developing life-long dispositions for learning, for example, how to:

> listen with understanding

> think flexibly

> think about thinking

> question and problem pose

> apply their past knowledge to new situations

> think and communicate with clarity

> gather data

> remain open to continuous learning

> collaborate

The children are currently expressing their reflections through drawing and dialogue.

Angela Follaccho
ELC 4 (Full Time) Teacher

Year 3 Scientists!

The Year 3 students have completed Semester One with flying colours. They brought energy and enthusiasm to all their learning experiences.

To further explore their understanding of angles, students created Rube Goldberg machines using a variety of materials such as dominoes, cardboard, MAB blocks and marbles. They used collaborative skills to design and develop a machine that incorporated at least two acute, two obtuse and two straight angles. Although not all designs were successful, the students demonstrated creativity and perseverance and a great knowledge of angles and their properties.

In our final STEAM session for the term, Ms Penny Dumsday organised an extremely fun experiment for us. Using a bottle or jar, vegetable oil, water, fizzing tablets (Alka Seltzer) and food dye we created bubbling lava lamps. Year 3 discovered that the Alka Seltzer reacts with the water to make bubbles of carbon dioxide. The water and oil do not mix and the oil does not change colour because the food colouring dissolves in the water. The bubbles attach themselves to the blobs of coloured water and brings them to the top of the container. The students loved participating in this experiment and had lots of interesting questions and observations.

Some of the Year 3 wonderings and observations were:

“I wonder who the first person was to discover these reactions?” – Georgia 3R

“The rising and falling reminded me of what we learnt about convection this term.” – Semaya 3R

“What chemical is in the fizzy tablet to make it have a reaction?” – Ruth 3L

It has been so wonderful to see the personal and academic growth Year 3 have made during this semester. The connections they have made to their learning and application in other contexts has been very impressive!

Rebecca Leondidis and Liz Ruffles
Year 3 Class Teachers

Year 5 Fun!

Year 5 have ended Term 2 with flying colours. The students have deepened their understanding of ‘What life was like in the colonial days of Australia?’. They completed a project about a specific person or cultural group that was significant in the 1850s. They were able to explore how this person or group lived, the food they ate, clothing they wore, how they were treated by the community, the challenges they faced and their successes. It has given the students a depth of understanding as to why migration was so high during those times in Australia as well as providing the students with great perspective as to how fortunate we are to live in 2020.

In Maths, the students have been highly engaged in their learning as we continued to explore Location and Transformation. The students created two-dimensional and three-dimensional maps of our classroom as well as growing their understanding of grid references, latitude and longitude, legend/key and compass directions through exploring maps of Neverland and Aladdin’s Kingdom and finding key landmarks and treasures through a range of directional clues.

Being together these past few weeks have brought connectedness to the classroom as well as allowed many friendships amongst the students to blossom.

Anjali de Quadros/Meagan Wilson & Fiorella Soci
Year 5 class Teachers

Library News

Reading and borrowing continued to thrive during our time away from school and it was fantastic to see so many students using the online borrowing system and eBook collections to access reading material. Since our return, Ormiston library has been filled with excited students, wonderful book conversations and shared stories.

ELC to Year 2 students were fortunate to be back at school in time to celebrate National Simultaneous Storytime on May 27thand we had such fun reading Whitney and Britney Chicken Divas and making our own microphones and tiara’s. This led into an enjoyable focus on author and illustrator Lucinda Gifford and a selection of her books.

Other highlights included:

> Year 3 students who focused on exploring a variety of indigenous stories, authors and illustrators.

> Year 4 students who used narrative non-fiction texts written by Mark Wilson to explore early settlement and convict life.

> Year 5 students completed a unit of work on colonial times and then delved into the book The Unlikely Friendship of Bennelong and Phillip by Michael Sedunary.

> Year 6 who complemented their Inquiry unit by investigating a number of titles with a sustainability focus and writing their own eco fable.Ormiston News, our library newsletter has also been very well received and has provided opportunities to share book news, interactive author and illustrator activities, book recommendations and book reviews with both students and staff.

Sally Spencer
Junior School Library Teacher

Music Magic at Ormiston

Ormiston campus may have been quiet at the start of Term 2 but this did not stop the music making taking place. The creativity of the girls at Ormiston lit up our screens as they shared their many talents including singing, dancing, instrumental performances, composing and home-made percussion just to name a few.

Since we have returned the music making once again fills our hearts and ears, as the music rooms are alive with the sound of music.

Focused on poetry and songs and finding a steady beat. We have been listening to Russian and Israeli lullabies and bouncing songs where the students played un-tuned and tuned percussion and rocked their babies in time to the music.

Foundation and Year 3:
Music classes continued to work on notation and rhythms of well-known songs.

Year 1:
Has been experimenting playing their songs with Glockenspiels.

Year 2:
Enjoyed composing and performing in groups their rhythms using body percussion.

Year 4:
Have recorded lovely solo recorder performances of pieces of music they have learnt as part of the class music program. Through investigating the lyrics of the song “Botany Bay” they have discovered the important role of folk songs as a means of passing on history. While learning to sing this song, they learnt interesting facts about Australian History in the times of early European settlement. Year 5 students answered a series of questions which related to the lyrics of “Waltzing Matilda”. It was very interesting to learn more about the life of people living in Australia in colonial times, while learning to sing this famous folk song. In composition studies students studied the elements of canon. Creating their own set of rhythms, they composed original canons and practised performing them with partners. Beautiful new melodies have emerged from Year 6 students who have created their own binary-form compositions. Their goal has been to perform their own compositions with accuracy and confidence. The new online Sight Singing School course has enabled all girls to work independently, developing their music-reading and aural skills.

Year 2 Super Strings:
Have been working via Seesaw from the beginning of Term 2, with a resumption of classroom string playing in week 7. It was fantastic to get together again and play “Jig”, “Sailing Home” and “Open String Czardas”.

Year 5 Concert Band:
The students were also entertained by Concert Band staff who presented instrument demonstrations prior to the students ranking their preferences – the students have now been allocated instruments to begin instruction next term.

Year 6 Concert Band:
Students explored student-led inquiry questions and will present their findings in the last class of term.

Junior School Choirs:
Have engaged in choral music in a very different way since returning to Ormiston. We have listened to various styles of music and allowed ourselves to be a critical audience – undertaking listening activities and music analysis tasks. A highlight has been the African choirs who have such joy and energy. Mrs Georgiev even taught us some dance steps that feature in many African choral pieces! 

Nichole Adams & Penny Byrne
Junior School Music Teachers

I would like to remind parents that Term 3 resumes on Wednesday 15 July and take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and restful school holiday break. I hope all Ormiston families can spend some quality time together and are able to re-charge their batteries and be ready for a fabulous Term 3 combined with CGGS School 100 Years Anniversary.


Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Junior School


Junior School

June 19, 2020

Another week has past by with all our Early Learning – Year 6 students back at Ormiston and students across all year levels have quickly settled back into a new routine. We are currently making arrangements to re-start specific curriculum initiatives and co-curricular activities in Term 3.

In this edition of CamNews it will give parents the opportunity to learn more about what is happening in our classrooms since returning from remote learning.


Early Learning 4 Part-Time – Fairies at Ormiston!

‘Children must be taught how to think, not what to think’ – Margaret Mead

Young children are naturally curious and their questions stem from their desire to know more about the world around them. Research has shown that children who are curious are more likely to retain information they have learnt in the classroom. In Early Learning we allow the interests and wonderings of the children in each class to guide the direction of the program. Since returning to Early Learning, the EL4 part-time group have a number of interests that we have started exploring further.

One of the group interests that we have been exploring, is the small doors that have begun appearing around the Junior School. In our first couple of weeks back at kindergarten, the children were excited to find two fairy doors in the Junior School playground.  The children have shared their theories about where the doors came from and how we can open the doors. The children have been learning how to use a thinking routine called ‘See, Think, Wonder’. The purpose of thinking routines is to encourage deeper thinking and to encourage students to understand how they think and learn.

The children looked at some photos taken of the fairy doors during a group meeting. By using the ‘See, Think, Wonder’ Routine, the EL4 children are learning to substantiate what they are thinking and wondering. Below are some examples of the children’s thinking:

“I see seashells. I think the shells are from the beach. I think someone made it, but no one knows. I wonder what is behind the door.” – Eshaal

“I see some horse, a bus and a dragon on top. I think it can open the door if they are all here – the real things. I wonder who made the door.” –Kimi

“I see a tree and grass and a butterfly. I think it belongs to fairies. I wonder who made it.” – Grace

Every time the children walk to the Junior School for a specialist class, they ask if they can go and visit the fairy doors. They excitedly test out some of their theories on how to open the doors and ask to look around the playground for more doors. On a recent trip to the Library, the children were surprised to find a new fairy door in the playground.

These magical doors have certainly captured the attention of the EL4 part-time children, and it will be exciting to see where this child-led interest leads our learning program.

Lilian Bishop
Early Learning 4 Part-Time Teacher

From the Foundation Classroom

The Foundation students were very excited to be back in the classroom together again. They have settled back in very well and have enjoyed catching up with their friends. They have been working through the basic sounds made by the individual letters of the alphabet and have been using this knowledge when reading and writing words. Their learning in Mathematics has seen them do lots of work with counting and discovering how two-digit numbers work.

The learning that is really exciting the Foundation students now is their Inquiry Unit that has enabled them to discover what it means to be a living thing and what living things need to survive. During this Unit the students were fortunate to benefit from the expertise of Ms Dumsday who has guided them through a variety of STEAM investigations, including an exploration of how plants take up water and a plant dissection. Read some student reflections below.


I love learning about living things! – Akira

I like koala’s best. The baby ones are joey’s. – Olivia L

I like when Ms Dumsday comes, she lets us break up the flowers. – Doris

All living things need water and the sun. – Sofia

We have to look after living things. – Olivia D


The students are all about living and learning in Foundation!

Selena Reedman
Foundation Class Teacher

Busy Bees in Year 2!

Since being back at school, the Year 2’s have been very busy working! Currently in Mathematics, we are exploring a variety of addition and subtraction strategies that can be used to solve equations and worded problems.

In our Inquiry Unit, we are learning about the essential natural resource – water. We have been unpacking the three main stages of the water cycle as well as discussing all the water saving strategies that we can implement at home and in our community. The students have been thoroughly enjoying participating in science investigations with Ms. Dumsday and applying this knowledge to their explanation writing on ‘The Water Cycle’.

In B.R.A.V.E, we shared the strategies we can use when a problem at school or at home arises and how we can approach it. The students have also been reflecting on how unusual Term 2 has been and the time they experienced during remote learning. It has been so wonderful to see the positive development they have all made during this time and how it could be applied in their future learning.

Ellie Zafarty & Mikaela Stanaway
Year 2 Class Teachers

Year 4 Museum Exhibition

There was much excitement and energy during lunchtime in the Great Space on Tuesday. It was a hive of activity and chatter as Year 4 students excitedly exhibited their learning about an area of interest from their Inquiry Unit, entitled ‘How does our perspective influence our ideas about Australia’s past?’

Students created interactive models and displays that showcased their learning about Australia’s past, including:

> Convict life in Australia

> Impact of settlement on the environment

> Impact of settlement on Aboriginal Australians

> Exploration of Australia by early settlers

> Important figures in early colonial Australia

The aim of the Unit was to encourage students to empathise with different people’s perspective of historical events, create open research questions, find a range of appropriate resources and use data charts to record their research notes. Students gained a better understanding of the skills needed to research different perspectives.

Students and teachers from all year levels came to the student curated historical museum. We learned so much from the Year 4 students. This unit planted the seed for students to gain an understanding of different historical perspectives and empathise with others.

Craig Goodwin & Jasvindar Gill
Year 4 Class Teachers

Year 6 Students or Inventors?

The Year 6’s have been inventors these past two weeks! Last Friday we experimented with creating different electrical circuits using batteries, wires, light bulbs, motors, buzzers and switches.

The students are currently exploring their own Inquiry question about how energy can be used in a more sustainable way. They are using a variety of materials like Lego, K’Nex, cardboard and electrical circuitry to construct a model of their sustainable inventions. Some of these include solar-powered ovens, fans powered by pedals, fans powered by water and lemon and potato circuits! We look forward to sharing these with you early next term.

Katrina Cheong & Nancy Robottom
Year 6 Class Teachers

Art Class is BACK!

It has been wonderful to have all the students back in the Art room for their Art classes. There was a very happy atmosphere in the room, with students exploring and using art materials, creating, sharing ideas, being encouraging to others and simply just working alongside their peers.

Students have been looking at different lines, drawing with oil pastels and then using water colour paints on top, demonstrating the idea of ‘resist’.

Students used oil pastels to draw fish, representing different emotions with their choice of colour and fish shape. They also finished painting their ceramic hearts and made heart shaped paper chains, requiring great fine motor skills.

Year 1
Students have continued focusing on eyes, drawing realistic eyes with pencil, painting large owl eyes and beginning a ‘God’s Eye’ weaving piece on a paper plate.

Year 2
Students finished their Paper Mache Banana Splits, which looks good enough to eat! They then explored the properties of charcoal and graphite, leading to the drawing and painting of beautiful ‘shell’ still life artworks.

Year 3
Students worked on blending water colour pencils, creating an imagined bird’s eye view of the canopy of coral. Then they looked at a real seahorse, drew a detailed picture, focusing upon its shape and texture.

Year 4
Students each finished painting a portrait of a significant woman from the School and Australia’s history, as well as a digital version, further developing their digital art skills.

Year 5
Students completed painting and adding further embellishment to their abstract bird’s eye view of the school grounds and then began looking at the Spanish artist Salvador Dali, creating unusual paintings of animals on stilts.

Year 6
Students finished constructing and painting their ‘steam punk’ creations.

There were weird and wonderful robots, animals, birds and insects. Lastly the students added a bronzy paint, called Rub and Buff, to make their artworks metallic looking.

Fiona Gibson
Art Teacher

Physical Education Classes

It has been such a joy having the students back and teaching them face-to-face again in the PE classes. Our Foundation-Year 2 students have been focusing on their fundamental skill development including throwing, catching, kicking and bouncing.  The Year 3–6 students have just begun an Athletics Unit. Each and every one of them have absolutely loved being back with their friends and it is so wonderful to see the big smiles on their faces as they all get to reunite and play fun games together once again.

Liana Kitsou
Physical Education Teacher


I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.


Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Junior School


Junior School

June 12, 2020

Junior School Assemblies continue on Zoom

Since returning to Ormiston, our weekly Junior School assemblies have continued via Zoom on a Wednesday morning. These assemblies have been shortened to fifteen minutes and the themes we have explored so far have been:

> The best of remote learning

> What makes a good friend?

It was very exciting to see our students take a growth mindset approach to remote learning and accomplish their personal best throughout this period of time. There is no doubt that there were many challenges that students, parents and staff faced and were able to overcome. When discussing these challenges with our students, the overall response was that they adapted and essentially enjoyed the remote learning experience.

Here are some student responses regarding the best parts of remote learning:

> Developing independence

> Using home as an advantage

> Re-watching videos to clarify learning

> Zoom morning meetings at 9.00am

> Zoom reading groups and working with others

> Planting seeds

> Funky Friday

> Having breaks

> Being creative

> Friday disco

> Casual clothes


Also, the students listed some important aspects of being a good friend. They were:

> Being kind

> Being thoughtful

> Being trustworthy

> Being respectful

> Being a good listener

We look forward to continue with these two conversations for the rest of the term.

Foundation – Year 6 School Counsellor Meetings

Since our students have returned to face-to-face learning over the last three weeks, each year level has had the opportunity to meet with our School Counsellors Paula Kolivas and Beth Sarlos. To enable a smooth transition from remote learning at home to normal classroom programs at school, Paula and Beth spoke to students about:

> If they were feeling mixed emotions about returning to school, after the COVID-19 restrictions, that this is normal and understandable

> Being both excited and nervous about being back onsite

> Being happy at seeing their friends and teachers, missing the nice things about being at home, and feeling anxious about the things that may be different at school

During the sessions, the School Counsellors encouraged each student to speak with an adult (parent, family member, teacher etc) if they continued to feel nervous, anxious or felt they were not coping with the transition back to school. The Counsellors also emphasised the importance of students actively looking after themselves and each other during this transition time back at school.


Murrundindi Visits Ormiston

As mentioned in our recent Junior School Weekly, our close school friend and ngurungaeta or ‘head man’ of the Wurundjeri people Murrundindi, welcomed our Year 3 – 6 students and staff back to Ormiston after eight weeks of remote learning at home. Murrundindi completed a Welcome to Country ceremony by playing his digeridoo to our school community.

Murrundindi spent most of the day at Junior School sharing his indigenous culture and knowledge with many different year levels. When Murrundindi arrived at Ormiston, the students loved listening to his unique experiences with the local Wurundjeri people. The importance of learning more about our aboriginal and Australian culture was clearly promoted throughout all classes.

Murrundindi covered the following Junior School topics during the day:          

Early Learning 3      
Bunjil the Eagle

Australian animals and creation stories

Year 1
Australian animals and their habitat

Year 2            
How community uses water?

Year 5
Colonial times in Australia

Year 3 – What a Week!

What a wonderful week it’s been in the Year 3 classrooms. We have spent time reflecting on our learning and the challenges during the remote learning program. Students expressed gratitude for the support of their parents and pride for personal achievements, such as learning new skills and stepping out of their comfort zone. They have particularly enjoyed a return to “hands-on” learning and the use of concrete materials to explore concepts such as division in Mathematics and changes in states of matter in Science.

We are immensely proud of the Year 3 students – the way they adapted so quickly to remote learning and the way they have transitioned back to school again. The final two weeks are sure to be full of more learning, laughter and fun.

Rebecca Leondidis and Liz Ruffles
Year 3 Class Teachers

Early Learning Centre – Cultural Competence

In Early Learning we believe it is not enough for the children to have an awareness of cultural differences and similarities – we want the children to be culturally competent. This means, we want them to understand, communicate with and effectively interact with people across cultures.

Cultural competence encompasses:

> being aware of one’s own world view

> developing positive attitudes towards cultural differences

> gaining knowledge of different cultural practices and world views

> developing skills for communication and interaction across cultures

Belonging Being Becoming pg. 16

In Early Learning, we want each child and family to feel valued and be recognised and respected for who they are; and to actively share aspects of their culture. In EL we provide rich and diverse resources to reflect children’s social worlds and provide opportunities for the children and families to share experiences and events that are important to them. These experiences also explore diversity and provide opportunities to develop an understanding about the connections between children and families; and the similarities and differences between members of our ELC and wider community.

At CGGS, we feel privileged to have a connection and relationship with Murrundindi, the Ngurungaeta of the Wurundjeri. Recently, the children and teachers gathered in the garden and Murrundindi, through his Welcome to Country, welcomed us onto the land of the Wurundjeri people. He also played the didgeridoo. Murrundindi is an integral part of our community and we have developed a respectful relationship with him. The children enthusiastically welcome him and are curious about his culture, values and beliefs. The children learn about these through his Wurundjeri stories, Woiwurrung language and music and dance. These experiences provide the children and teachers with an opportunity to gain further knowledge and understandings about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and in particular, the Wurundjeri Peoples – the First Peoples in the area in which CGGS is located.

Cultural competence is also about the everyday experiences and cultural practices of each family in our EL community. Some families have emailed stories or children have brought in photographs and short descriptions of celebrations or things they do at home or in their local community that are significant and important to them and their family. Teachers have received photographs of family celebrations such as birthdays, family gatherings that show those people who are significant in their child’s life and events that families participate in during the weekend.

We encourage families to continue to share aspects of their culture with our EL community as this provides an opportunity to share and discuss experiences that are significant in each child’s life and develops each child’s cultural competence. Please continue to keep us informed about the everyday experiences and cultural practices of your family outside of Early Learning through phone conversations, emails and photographs.

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning Team Leader & Teacher

Again, I want to express how wonderful it was to see all students back at Ormiston this week. I wish all our families a restful weekend.


Yours sincerely,


Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Junior School


Junior School

March 13, 2020

Foundation – Year 6 Learning Conversations

Thank you to those parents who took the time last week to come to school and speak with their child’s Class Teacher. I hope this was an excellent opportunity to share information about your child’s progress, interests and learning needs so far this year. Additionally, I hope this was a chance to foster a positive and respectful relationship between home and school. Also, I would like to remind parents that they are able to arrange meeting times with class teachers throughout the year via the Junior School Diary or email depending on your child’s Class Teacher. Before and after school are times when teachers are readily available.


Foundation – Year 6 Division Swim Carnival

Recently, the Boroondara Divisional Swimming Carnival was conducted at the Monash Aquatic and Recreation Pool Centre and as a Junior School, we had eight students perform. Congratulations to the following students:

Year 5 – Jasmine Li

Year 6 – Maddie Huynh

Year 6 – Angelique Quah

Year 6 – Anika Selvaratnam

Year 6 – Anneke Sinnappu

Year 6 – Maria Vais

Year 6 – Christina Weickhardt

Year 6 – Maddie Wood

Special congratulations must go to Jasmine Li of Year 5 who won her 50m backstroke race and qualified for the Eastern Regional Swimming Championships on Friday 13 March. At this event, there will be some of the best swimmers in the state competing against each other and we wish Jasmine all the best with her backstroke race.


International Women’s Day Assembly

On Wednesday we were lucky to welcome inspiring old grammarian, Dr Yvonne Mah, to speak at our Junior School Assembly to start our International Women’s Day celebrations. Yvonne spoke fondly to students about her love of learning at Camberwell Girls and the importance of her time here for developing her strong values, commitment to social justice and also her passion for STEM.  Yvonne has had an extensive career in different areas of STEM and is currently working in chemistry forBASF.

Dr Mah is a passionate advocate and supporter of women in STEM initiatives, and it was inspiring to hear how her work with producing different chemicals and working on innovations has had an impact on our day to day lives. The students were fascinated to learn that Yvonne has been involved with the production of chemicals that are used in hard hats, carpets and even clothing! We thank Yvonne for her encouragement to all of our students to harness the natural curiosity that is sparked by STEM challenges and experiments so they can work to help solve the problems of the future.

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School


Year 1 Wonder Walk

Last week as part of our Year 1 inquiry exploring how objects and places help to teach us about our past, students embarked on a short wonder walk around the local streets. The focus of the walk was to notice and reflect on the different types of buildings and architecture in our local streets and how and why houses may have changed over time. Students used the See-Think – Wonder thinking routine as they observed and recorded the features of houses from the 1800s, 1900s, 2000s, 2020s and even saw a house that has just started to be built. We looked carefully for changes to the sizes, shapes and uses of houses, and how different materials had been used for different purposes at different times. After our walk, students generated questions for further exploration.

Some things students are now wondering are:

> Why do some houses have flat roofs?

> What do the features of the houses look like inside the houses?

> Who has lived in these houses over the years?

> Why have some houses been changed over time?

> Why do people change houses?

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School


Early Learning Centre

At Camberwell Girls, we believe that in today’s contemporary, fast paced society, it is important for children to have an opportunity for relaxation or a time where they can ‘just be’ and learn techniques for relaxation.

In Early Learning, on a daily basis, the children have an opportunity to relax their body and mind and rest and rejuvenate. Relaxation can take a variety of forms:

> breathing exercises

> meditation

> listening to classical music

> participating in experiences conducive to relaxation

> resting or sleeping on a mattress in the afternoon

At different times throughout the day, aromatherapy, classical music or dimmed lighting is used to create an ambience conducive to relaxation.

The amount of relaxation or sleep that a child requires during the day is influenced by how active and energetic the child is throughout the day and the amount of sleep the child had during the previous night at home.

It is important that children have a sufficient amount of sleep each night to ensure healthy growth and development.A well-rested child arrives at school ready to concentrate, learn and actively engage and participate in play.

The Australian Government has worked with experts to develop guidelines to help parents create a healthy and safe bedtime routine for their child. It recommends that a child between 3-5 years of age requires 10-13 hours of good quality sleep (this total may include a sleep during the day) and consistent sleep and wake-up times.

At home, it is important that a consistent bedtime and wake up time is established and an overall calming bedtime routine is developed in the early years. A bedtime routine is considered to be the most important part of helping a child transition to bed and settle in bed ready to sleep.

A bedtime routine involves:

> doing the same things each night before bed

> avoiding loud or active play just before bedtime

> avoiding screen-based activities before bedtime – this includes watching television, playing computer games or using a tablet or other handheld devices

Paediatrician Marc Weissbluth believes that an early bedtime may have more benefits to a child than merely sleep duration. He advocates that whena child sleeps is probably as important or maybe more important than the length of time achild sleeps. This is because the sleep that happens earlier in the night tends to be deeper and more restorative than sleep that takes place later at night and in the early morning.

The Australian 24Hour Movement Guidelines (Department of Health) not only focuses on the importance of sleep but also the importance of a balance between physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep. The guidelines provides a picture of what a 24 hour period should look like for a child – this includes time for active play, time spent sitting and lying down and the ideal amount of sleep.

For children aged 3-5 years it suggests:

Physical activity: At least 180 minutes spent in a variety of physical activities, of which at least 60 minutes is energetic play, spread throughout the day; and more is considered to be better.

Sedentary behaviour: Children should not be restrained in a car seat or stroller for more than 1 hour at a time or sit for extended periods. Sedentary screen time should be no more than 1 hour and less is better. When a child is sedentary, the guidelines recommend the child should be engaging  in experiences with an adult such as reading, singing, puzzles and storytelling.

Sleep: 10 to 13 hours of good quality sleep, which may include a nap, with consistent sleep and wake‐up times.

As children are individuals and no one day will be the same, parents should use this as a guide to help shape their child’s daily activities to best support their healthy growth and development.

If you’re interested in reading about the link between sleep and learning then I recommend this brief but informative article. In the article, there are further links to explore related to sleep. http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/sleep_and_learning.html/context/754

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning Team Leader & Teacher

Junior School


Junior School

February 28, 2020

Twilight Picnic a huge success!

Our annual Twilight Picnic took place last Friday within our new and improved Junior School playground. It was wonderful to see so many parents and families present for this social event. Many Ormiston students and their brothers and sisters loved getting their face painted and having a balloon made by Michael the balloonologist.

An important part of this event is to build a warm and connected community across all year levels at Ormiston. I would like to thank Susannah Jepson and Jane Hoban from the Foundation Office, Justine Clancy and Vicki Ibbott from Junior School, Ormiston staff and the Parents and Friends Association for all their work in making the picnic such a successful event.

Foundation – Year 6 Meet the Teacher Evening

I would like to thank all families that attended our annual Foundation – Year 6 Meet the Teacher Evening last week. The Junior School Hall was full of parents at the beginning of the evening and I would like to thank our Ormiston class teachers for their presentations. It was lovely to talk with many different parents throughout the evening. Both sessions parents received information in regards to recent Junior School developments for 2020 and specific year level information from class teachers.

Our Junior School focuses this year will be:

> Communication
> Connected School Community
> Cyber-safety – Keeping safe online
> Learning Enrichment
> Foundation – Year 2 Reading Program

If any Ormiston families would like their child’s Class Teacher’s presentation from Meet the Teacher evening I would encourage to read the latest Junior School Weekly that was sent on Wednesday. The Foundation – Year 6 presentations are available to all families.


Year 6C School Leader’s Assembly

Congratulations to the Year 6C students for being awarded the following leadership positions for Semester One. Last week they did a wonderful job with their individual speeches and I look forward to working with each of these students this semester in their leadership position. The positions are as follows:

Art Leaders
Sharvi Bansal, Madison Hall and Rithanyaa Prakash

Assembly and Events Leaders
Usha Nadarajah and Penelope Petrakis

Digital Leaders
Rida Cao, Zara Cheung and Abbey Marcou

 House Leaders:

Lawrence House
Sophia Zeitoune

Schofield House
Victoria Mao

Taylor House
Sofia Giannicos

Singleton House
Maria Lin

Library Leaders
Emily Chen, Yasmin Taghdir and Sophie Tong

Music Leaders
Raina Gopal, Selina Guan and Emily Liou

School Captains
Alyce Law and Angelique Quah

Sustainability Leaders
Maddie Huynh and Lynn Lim

Year 1 – 6 Ormiston Student Council

Students from Year 1- 6 were awarded their Semester One Student Council badge at the Junior School Leader’s Assembly this week. As a School Community, we look forward to the contributions each student will make this semester, under the care and supervision of Mr Goodwin and Ms Cheong. Congratulations to the following students:

Year 1
Neesha Navaneetharaja

 Year 2S
Annabelle Teh

 Year 2Z
Molly Iervasi

Year 3R
Lauren Tang

Year 3L
Sophie-May Ronzani

Year 4C
Jessica Wong

Year 4G
Rita Wong

Year 5D/W
Jasmine Li

Year 5S
Chloe Lau 

Year 6R
Rivya Subramaniyan

School Captains
Alyce Law and Angelique Quah

Early Learning Centre – Screen Time

In Early Learning the iPad and Prowise are tools used by the children and teachers to support and extend learning.The iPad is used by the children and teachers to document learning through images and clips. This provides the teachers, children and their families with an opportunity to share learning for reflection, discussion and feedback both within the classroom and the child’s home. The children also use the iPad as a tool to research their wonderings. The children view clips and images on the iPad and during this process they develop a range of skills related to inquiry including problem solving, researching, critical thinking and investigating. The iPad is also used to connect globally with peers and family members.

According to the eSafety Commissioner, sometimes families may be challenged with the amount of conflicting advice and emerging research around screen time and young children. However, the right amount of screen time can depend on a range of factors like a child’s age and maturity, the kind of content they are consuming, their learning needs and the routine of the family. Sometimes parents may focus on how long their child is spending in front of the screen but the quality and nature of what a child is doing online and parent involvement are just as important. The eSafety Commissioner advocates for families to consider a child’s screen use in the context of their overall health and wellbeing, for example: Is online time getting in the way of their sleep and exercise? Is it impacting on their face-to-face connections with family and friends? The answers to these questions will guide families and help them create the right balance of online and other activities and experiences for their child.

A booklet for families, published by the eSafety Commissioner titled eSafety Early Years Online Safety for Under 5s, offers practical advice and strategies for parents in regard to children and devices. Copies of the booklet are available in your child’s classroom or click here if you want to read it online.

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning Team Leader


District Swimming Competition

On Monday 24February, we had eighteen representative students that went to Boroondara Sports Complex to compete at the District Swimming Carnival. Overall on the day our school came second out of the fifteen participating local schools. Of the eighteen students who competed, eight students qualified for the Division Swimming Carnival. The following students were selected to represent Ormiston and did an incredible job on the day. The students were:

Year 4
Eden Chia
Genevieve Khaw
Nellie Ruddle
Zara The
Jasmine Xie

Year 5
Chloe Lau
Jasmine Li
Annabelle Nemtsas
Allegra Reedman
Anthea Vais
Scarlett Sim

Year 6
Maddie Huynh
Angelique Quah
Anika Selvaratnam
Anneke Sinnappu
Mara Vais
Christina Weickhardt
Maddie Wood

Throughout the day many students performed personal best efforts in different events and as a result we achieved second place overall against fifteen other schools. We came in second position because we did not have boys participating as part of our team. We were easily the best performed school on the day. This was our best-ever finish at district level.

In addition, this year School Sport Victoria introduced a new category for girls’ schools only within the North Balwyn District. As a result, Camberwell Girls Grammar School competed against Fintona Girls’ School and at the conclusion of the competition, we successfully defeated Fintona Girls’ School on the day. We wish the following students the best of luck at the Division Swimming Competition next Tuesday 3 March:

Jasmine Li

Maddie Huynh

Angelique Quah

Anika Selvaratnam

Anneke Sinnappu

Maria Vais

Christina Weickhardt

Maddie Wood

Service Learning – Sophie Wong Year 4

It was wonderful to find out that one of our Ormiston students made the decision to help children who were affected by the devastating bushfires over the Christmas holiday break. As a school community, we are so proud of Sophie Wong in Year 4 as she was able to use her love of making slime to raise $150 for Save the Children Bushfire appeal. Sophie actively used our school motto ‘Utilis in Ministerium’, Useful in Service within her wider community and we hope Sophie can continue her outstanding efforts in helping others in the future.

I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Junior School


Junior School

February 14, 2020

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to all our Ormiston families and a very warm welcome to our new families joining us this year. The holiday stories that students have shared with me across many year levels reflect the diversity of our school community. It is wonderful to hear a child’s unique experiences and adventures over the holiday period. I sincerely hope all families had time together as a family and are ready for a very special Centenary year for CGGS. I was delighted to meet lots of families over the first two weeks and to see so many students with smiles on their faces on their first day of school.

I would like to officially welcome our new students to Ormiston:

Isabelle Gilliland, Aryana Perera, Olivia Ding & Katyayani Thathu

Year 2
Alice Hong

Year 4
Nellie Ruddle & Stefanie Nguyen

Year 5
Alexandra Bartnicki, Charlotte Lim, Nirvani Subedi, Poppy Tymmons, Gretel Blake, Yuxin Chen, Jessie Lu, Aathana Sivapalan & Ella Turnley

Year 6
Chloe Byers & Emily Chen


Centenary Commencement Ceremony

I was delighted to see so many Ormiston families attend our whole school Centenary Commencement Ceremony on Tuesday at Senior School. As Head of Junior School, I was very proud of our students from Foundation to Year 6 as their behaviour through the event was exemplary. I would like to congratulate the large group of students who ran and skipped up the school driveway to enact the first day of Camberwell Girls Grammar School at Torrington Street.

I would like to thank Kath Buckingham, Angela Columbine and Jasvindar Gill for organising this important part of the service. Also, I would like to thank Maddison O’Meara (Year 4) and Madeleine Law (Year 2) for being directly involved in the service. As a school, I look forward to seeing many students and families at our future centenary events this year.

Ormiston Staffing for 2020

Here is our Ormiston Team for 2020:                                               

Early Learning 3
Ramila Sadikeen & Effie Kitsiris

Early Learning 4 (Full Time)           
Angela Follacchio & Joanna Lee

Early Learning 4 (Part Time)          
Lilian Bishop

Learning Assistant Team Member
Neroli Bowyer-Smyth

Selena Reedman

Year 1
Angela Columbine

Foundation & Year 1 Literacy & Numeracy Support
Annabelle Vivarini

Foundation & Year 1 Inquiry Support
Emma Hinchliffe

Year 2
Mikaela Stanaway & Ellie Zarfaty

Year 3
Liz Ruffles & Rebecca Leondidis

Year 4
Jasvindar Gill & Craig Goodwin

Year 5
Anjali de Quadros/Meagan Wilson & Fiorella Soci

Year 6
Katrina Cheong & Nancy Robottom

Fiona Gibson

Scarlett Zhang, Peipei Liu & Lin Zhang

Melissa Drentin

Sally Spencer

Nichole Adams & Penny Byrne

F-6 Choir
Jessica Huggett

Sport & Physical Education
Liana Kitsou, Dot Georgiou & Nareen Robinson

Penny Dumsday

Learning Enrichment
Lisa White (Coordinator of Junior School Learning Enrichment), Paul Donohue, FionaGibson

Learning Enrichment & EAL
Michelle May


Ormiston’s New Outside Playground Area

On the first day of school for 2020, Junior School students walked through the Junior School Hall and saw a new outside playground area. After two weeks, the students have thoroughly enjoyed playing in the different areas, especially the new sandpit and crushed mulch area. A highlight has been the grass areas where students are able to sit down and eat their snack or lunch, read a book or even play a running game. The next step with the playground is to see what type of equipment and/or resources the students would like to use outside in the new areas. I would like to thank our Camberwell Girls Grammar School gardener Martin Conlon for his creativity, imagination, organisation and an ability to make a plan come to life! Over the school holidays, Martin was here at Ormiston each day and the Junior School greatly appreciates all of his efforts in making our playground so engaging and inspiring!

Chinese New Year Celebrations

During our first week of Term 1, our students had the opportunity to watch a Lion Dance to celebrate Chinese New Year, the year of the Rat. The dance was interactive and involved some of our students receiving fresh fruit and vegetables, which promoted good luck and fortune for all our students and staff this year. One person played the drum and the drum beat encouraged both lions to move quickly around our Junior School basketball court and move in and out of our students.

Early Learning

Children are born belonging to a culture that is influenced by the experiences, values and beliefs of families and communities. We believe that diversity contributes to the richness of our Early Learning community. Our curriculum and everyday practices reflect the values, practices and beliefs of families. We want each child and family to be valued and feel recognised and respected for who they are and to share aspects of their culture. In Early Learning we provide rich and diverse resources to reflect children’s social worlds and provide opportunities for the children and families to share experiences and events that are important to them. These experiences also explore diversity and provide opportunities to develop an understanding about connections between children and families; and similarities and differences between members of our Early Learning and wider community.

This week the Early Learning 4 (Full Time) children went to the Junior School playground and participated in Chinese New Year celebrations through the Lion Dance. As a form of reflection, the children used the languages of drawing and dialogue to reflect on this experience and to express their thinking. Whilst drawing the children recalled aspects of this experience with their memory. Of all the visual arts, drawing is the quickest and most direct way of making ideas visible. It is an incredibly powerful tool – a language – that enables children to explain things to themselves and to others. “Drawing provides an opportunity for children to make marks with an immediacy, directness and precision.” – Ursula Kolbe

The following are some of the reflections from the children that evolved with their drawings.

AlexandraThey didn’t use sticks to hold the dragon up. They put their head under the dragon. I wonder if those people under the dragon can see. I think there were buttons inside and they used their hands to press the buttons. It was fun and that’s because of the cymbals. I liked the music.

SageI saw them and they came closer and closer and one of the big girls patted the lion’s back. It was fun! It scared me a little bit because it went close to us when it gave something to Mr D.

Ting XuanI liked the people going under the dragon because it moved. They walked near us.

EvieThe yellow and red dragon fought together to get the apple. I liked the dragon going in front of us. The boys with the drums were banging them and making music.

ClaraThe dragon was blinking and the yellow dragon actually got the apple first.

AngelaI liked the yellow dragon. The red dragon passed the oranges to the yellow one. I looked up and saw the eyes blinking.

KellyI liked the two dragons. I saw the dragons and the dragon looked at Angela and me.

CalistaI liked the yellow dragon because it had a shiny horn on top of its head. I saw it gleaming in the sunlight.


Digital Learning in an Age of Uncertainty

 In 2013, David Price wrote in his book ‘OPEN: how we’ll work, live and learn in the future’ that we know only two things for certain. The first is that we should learn to embrace uncertainty, because this age of uncertainty could become permanent. The second is that if all the old certainties are gone, then we have to be open to radical shifts in how we work, live and learn (p. 21). Fast forward seven years and this uncertainty is as true today as it was then.

As we are all aware, the start of the school year has been impacted by the Coronavirus, with many students having a delayed start to the year and unable to attend school. This has presented us with opportunities to develop and trial new ways and modes of teaching and learning. Teachers and students have been working collaboratively to improve the educational and wellbeing outcomes for all students through the use of digital learning tools.

Research has shown that the differences between face-to- face and online learning spaces are significant enough that unique approaches are required for effective teaching online. As such, teachers have been able to harness technology to create engaging and meaningful activities that may not have been possible in a regular face-to-face class. This has included videoconferencing, collaborative documents through Office 365, screencasts and a range of other web-based platforms. The chosen digital tool should engage and excite, facilitate communication and discussion and provide students with greater opportunities for practice and feedback.

The core business of digital learning at CGGS is about educating students to be fully participating citizens in a digitally networked world and the unique start to the year has demonstrated how important this task is.

 Micah Wilkins
Head of Digital Learning and Innovation


I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend and look forward to seeing many parents next week at our Meet The Teacher Evening on Tuesday 18 February and Twilight Picnic on Friday 21 February. Please see the Junior School Weekly for specific details.


Yours sincerely,


Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School