Junior School


Junior School

May 20, 2022

North Balwyn District Cross Country

Last Friday, 30 of our Year 4 – 6 students represented Camberwell Girls Grammar School at the annual local District Cross Country event organised by School Sport Victoria. Our students represented CGGS with pride and enthusiasm and many students completed a personal best effort on the day. The following five students qualified for the Division Cross Country Championships on Monday 30 May. The students included Cecelia Yang, Aneira Paul, Georgia Papadopoulos, Kathleen Lin and Olivia Yang.

Finally, I would like to thank two Ormiston parents who helped on the day. They were Fiona Stocker and Christina Jack. Both mothers helped with the recording of names at the cross country table and being a marshal out on the track.

Congratulations to the following students:

Under 10 Team

Cecelia Yang

Ava Pao

Ivy Xie

Annicle Li

Elfie Fan

Zoe McManemin

Victoria Zhou

Zoe Raspin

Sooki Tian

Under 11 Team

Aneira Paul

Georgia Papadopoulos

Kathleen Lin

Eden Chia

Sophie-May Ronzani

Alysa Zhang

Rachel Franco

Sienna Jack

Allison Stocker

Joyce Zhang

Under 12 Team

Olivia Yang

Amy Qi

Ann Brookes

Jasmine Xie

Minaaz Kaur

Asha Bhattacharjee

Cathy Wang

Nellie Ruddle

Stephanie Chiodo

Mo Lin Yu


Wishing all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Early Learning Centre – Quality Assessment and Rating

On Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 May, CGGS’s Early Learning Centre underwent the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority’s (ACECQA) Assessment and Rating Process. The National Quality Standard rating system relates to all early learning, kindergarten, and childcare centres in Australia. 

The ELC continues to strive towards exceeding the national benchmark for early childhood education and care services set by ACECQA and the Department of Education and Training in the seven quality areas of:

> Quality Area 1 – Educational Program and Practice

> Quality Area 2 – Children’s Health and Safety

> Quality Area 3 – Physical Environment

> Quality Areas 4 – Staffing Arrangements

> Quality Area 5 – Relationships with Children

> Quality Area 6 – Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities

> Quality Area 7 – Governance and Leadership.

We’re all familiar with the famous proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, though an old saying, it is a notion that is relevant in embracing and quantifying the concept of community and understanding the role of supporting children to learn and development in a safe, secure, supportive, and stimulating environment.

Congratulations to the Early Learning Teachers, Assistants and Community in undergoing this process and their continued dedication to exemplary teaching, learning and practice.

Esther Wong
Early Learning Coordinator

Foundation Rabbits

For the past two weeks the Foundation students have been very excited to have four rabbits stay with us in our classroom. The students loved the rabbits immediately and wished they could be our permanent pets!

They named the rabbits: Ginger, Jack, Coco and Rocky. The class was responsible for filing the rabbits’ water bowls, ensuring they had fresh hay and pellets to eat, and even helping to clean their hutch from time to time. They learnt that baby rabbits are called kittens. Male rabbits, like ours, are called bucks and female rabbits are called does. This wonderful experience helped the students to learn first-hand what living things need to survive and all about the responsibilities people take on as pet owners.

“We have four rabbits. They are mammals like us, they feed their babies milk”. (Olivia)

“Our rabbits had stopped drinking milk from their mum, so they were big enough to come to us”. (Charlene)

“We needed to be very quiet in the classroom, so we didn’t scare the rabbits”. (Evelyn P)

“I love the rabbits because they can jump so high and they are so cute”. (Evelyn K)

“Their fur is so soft. Coco’s was the softest”. (Diyana)

“People have to look after pet rabbits by giving them food and water”. (Eugenie)

Selena Reedman
Foundation Class Teacher

Year 5 Sovereign Hill Excursion

On Friday 6 May the Year 5 students travelled back in time to the colonial and gold rush days of Australia’s past. We explored many aspects of daily life on the gold fields. We focused on the First Nation’s perspectives during an education session. We had to call the teacher “mam”. We rode down into the Red Hill Mine and we watched a gold pour demonstration.

The students also had the opportunity to visit the Chinese camp, pan for gold, learn about candle making, go to the Post Office, walk through the Carver and Dalton Auction Rooms, go to the theatre, view the jewels at the jewellery shop and purchase lollies from the sweet shop.

The students should be extremely proud of themselves; they represented Camberwell Girls Grammar displaying our School values. Their inquisitive and thoughtful questions, their interest and enthusiasm is a credit to their willingness to experience and learn new things.

We had a wonderful day sharing many happy moments with our friends and teachers.

“Going to Sovereign Hill was a BLAST! Everyone was crazy over the shopping, especially buying candy. During the Red Hill mine tour everyone was grabbing one another in terror!” – Joyce, Iris & Claire

“We enjoyed the gold melting works because we learnt several facts, such as: the melting temperature for gold is 1064 degrees C! The sweets at the Sweet shop were mesmerising and scrumptious. The Red Hill mines were quite suspenseful and interesting, especially with the audio voices, the hologram and the dimly lit oil lamps.” – Sharika Piratheepan & Aanya Richharia

“Sovereign Hill is an amazing place to visit. The view is gorgeous.” – Alina Hou, Isla Kang & Alysa Zhang

“Sovereign Hill was a spectacular experience as we got to live in the ancient 1800s. The Red Hill mine was intriguing, especially with the holographic animation effects. To finish off the day we had an informative education session.” – Amiya, Sophie & Aaratrika

“We enjoyed the Red Hill mine and the gold pour demonstration. We also learnt a lot and went shopping for souvenirs.” – Kathleen & Shreya

“Sovereign Hill was great……the Red Hill mine was creepy and exciting and the sweets were extremely delicious.” – Lauren Tang, Amelia Adel & Rebecca Luo

“We liked how it was a museum that made it feel like we were in the 1800s. We thoroughly enjoyed the Red Hill mine tour, even though it was pitch dark, it was still pretty enjoyable! We also went to the Chinese Temple and saw the wonderful history of the Chinese miners. The village was old but historically interesting.” – Jennifer, Alina X & Kasey

“Sovereign Hill was an amazing experience and we are fortunate for this exciting opportunity.” – Georgia Papadopoulos, Hanna Lindsay & Charvi Dhingra

“The gold pour demonstration was very informative. We were surprised when the burning hot gold transferred heat so quickly in the water. It was an exhilarating experience.” – Aneira, Rachel & Ava

“The Red Hill mine was slightly disturbing but enjoyable at the same time.” – Ruth Whelan, Ailey Poon & Selinna Wang

“The massive sound effects at the Red Hill mine blew our brains! The tremendous experience put us in the shoes of the miners and diggers. The scrumptious lollies were delicious.” – Olivia, Sienna & Charlotte

Fiorella Soci
Year 5S Classroom Teacher

Esports at Ormiston

Esports, competitions using video game platforms, have become popular worldwide, so we were excited when the opportunity arose to give our students the opportunity to show off their esports talents this year. We will be entering a team for each year level in three separate Primary School FUSE Cup Esports Competitions, where students can compete as a team to show their Nintendo Switch skills, against students from other schools.

The competitions students will have the opportunity to try out for are:

Term 2- Year 4 Online Competition – Just Dance

Term 3 – Year 5/6 Competition – Mario Kart

Term 4 – Year 5/6 Competition – TBA

To support our students to test out their skills in esports, we set up a lunchtime E-sports cocurricular club where students have been practising their Just Dance moves and trying out for our first ever Junior School E-sports teams.

The Year 4 students have whole heartedly embraced the opportunity to develop their dance skills, have fun and support their peers. After a series of Just Dance Offs, six students have been selected in a squad and after next week’s final training session, four Year 4 students will be chosen to represent our school during the Online competition on Monday 30 May.

It has been fabulous to see the way our Year 4, 5 and 6 students have embraced our new Esports co-curricular program this year and Mr Wilkins, Mr Major and I can’t wait to share their experiences with the community throughout the year.

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Junior School


Junior School

May 6, 2022

Junior School Assembly

On Wednesday, the Junior School organised and celebrated their first face-to-face assembly in over 2 years! The Foundation – Year 6 students and staff gathered in the Junior School Hall to share this experience. Each week there will be an assembly theme, music items, speech and drama performances, important news to share and a visit from our Principal, Debbie Dunwoody, as well as the Head of Senior School/Deputy Principal Cathy Poyser throughout each term.

In the future, we will begin to invite parents to join us for this weekly event, as it is an important opportunity for us to reconnect as a school community.

Year 4 – 6 House Cross Country

This week, our Year 4 – 6 students were very excited to participate in our annual House cross country event at Shenley Reserve in Canterbury. All of the students were keen to run and be an important part of their team, cheering on their peers. Throughout the three races the sunshine was out and many students achieved their personal best. Ten students from each age group qualified for the Balwyn North District Championships next Friday 13 May. Congratulations to Singleton, who were our House winners for the day, on 79 points! They were closely followed by Lawrence on 59 points, Schofield on 49 points and Taylor on 30 points. Well done to all the students who participated on the day.

Wishing all our Ormiston families a wonderful weekend and a very Happy Mother’s Day to our wonderful Ormiston mothers.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Year 5 & 6 Author Visit

On Thursday 5 May, we were thrilled to welcome author Felice Arena back to CGGS to launch his new middle grade historical fiction novel, The Unstoppable Flying Flanagan. This is a beautiful story set in Melbourne during World War 2 and follows the experiences of 12-year-old Maggie Flanagan as she seeks to hold a charity football match for women.

Students and staff were captivated as Felice detailed his research, explained the background and history of the story and shared details about life in 1940’s Melbourne. These included samples of music, dance and vision of events that inspired him to write his novel about the women’s movement and the history of women in football.

Also joining Felice at the event were amazing authors and podcasters Emma Race and Nicole Hayes who shared their own stories about writing, spoke about their love of football, discussed obstacles they have had to overcome in their careers and celebrated how the game has changed to become accessible for women and girls who want to play.

A football clinic run by several AFLW players from Carlton, Hawthorn, Essendon, and the Western Bulldogs concluded a hugely successful and incredible morning.

Sally Spencer
Junior School Library Teacher

Year 6 Learning Expo – Sustainable Solutions 

Yesterday, the Year 6 students presented their Inquiry learning from Term 1 to their families, as well as students from Years 4 and 5. Some Inquiry questions students chose to explore were: 

“Can you use solar panels to power and charge a Fitbit?”

“Can you power an electric toothbrush using solar energy?”

“Can sound energy be converted into electrical energy to power a blender?”

“Is it possible to use movement from pedalling a bicycle to power a fan?”

“Can you power a light using hydroelectricity?”

In planning the design for their sustainable invention, students had to carefully consider materials that would meet their needs, as well as apply their energy transfer understanding to their model. Throughout this project, students learnt that creating a model is not a linear and straightforward process, and that many adaptations need to be made along the way.

We are very proud of the students’ hard work, their flexibility, creative thinking and presentation skills. It was also very special to have families back at school again! Thank you to all who visited, asked questions and gave feedback. We hope you learnt something new about some of the more sustainable energy sources available, and that you felt encouraged to make more sustainable energy choices in your own lives. 

Katrina Cheong & Jasvindar Gill
Year 6 Classroom Teachers

Primary State Swimming Championships – School Sport Victoria

Last Friday, Cecelia Yang, in Year 4D competed against the best swimmers in Victoria in the Under 10 age group for the 50-metre freestyle and 50-metre breaststroke events at the Primary State Swimming Championships. Cecelia rose to the occasion and demonstrated confidence and determination to win both of her events in School Sport Victoria record times. For her freestyle event, Cecelia clocked a record time of 32.14 and in breaststroke, Cecelia finished with another record time of 41.73. As a School, we are very proud of Cecelia’s achievements and we look forward to hearing her results in the National Swimming Championships.

Making Connections to Community: An Early Learning Family Event

Earlier this term, Early Learning (EL) welcomed families into the learning environment for the first time this year. EL families had opportunities to converse and observe their child engaging with friends, class peers, teachers, and wider CGGS community including our Principal, Mrs Debbie Dunwoody and Head of Junior School, Mr Paul Donohue, in a delicious family morning tea provided by Pinwheel Café, under the Autumnal morning sun.

A social gathering that not only welcomed families and children back to the ELC for another term of learning but supported children’s developing sense of ‘belonging and identity’. As the whole community has an essential role in setting foundations for positive attitudes, values and meaningful relationships needed for children to flourish and succeed.

Participation in the community nurtures children’s growth and development, enabling them to learn about themselves, build self-esteem, preserve through challenges, and build knowledge through a collaborative and cooperative context. It is these approaches that support children to feel secure and supported in their environment to facilitate engagement from surface to deep level learning within the classroom.

We look forward to more EL family events in the future.

Esther Wong
Early Learning Centre Coordinator

Junior School


Junior School

April 8, 2022

Twilight Picnic

Last Friday evening, many of our Ormiston families participated in our annual Twilight Picnic. The picnic was divided into two session, Early Learning 3 – Year 3 attended from 4.30-6.00pm, while the older classes, Year 4 – 6 joined in from 6.15-7.45pm. Pinwheel Café provided families with a delicious picnic meal and our wonderful talented fairy face painters and Balloonologist did not disappoint.

The Twilight Picnic is a highlight for parents and families, as it provides an important opportunity at the commencement of the school year to catch up with existing families and connect with new ones. I would like to thank the CGGS Foundation Office for helping to plan and organise this successful event.

Easter Service

Rev Helen Creed put together an inclusive and thought-provoking Easter Service for our Foundation – Year 6 students. Selected students from each year level were asked to hold up signs and read our different passages to encourage our students to think about what Easter means to them. A highlight of the service was the music by the Year 4 students, who played the recorder with Mrs Byrne, and the Year 6 Quintet with Mrs Adams, played two outstanding music pieces to support the service. I would like to thank Rev Creed for her tireless work, in organising our first Easter Service outside in the Junior School playground.

Year 3 – 6 Swim Squad

In the early hours of Wednesday and Friday mornings each week, a team of committed Junior School students participate in our Junior School Swim Squad Development Program. Delivered by qualified coaches, the program follows a structured pathway from a learn to swim level to a competitive level with a focus on tailored drills, skills and fitness. Many of our students have progressed in the school program to compete for CGGS at the School Sport Victoria and Girls Sport Victoria Competitions. Some students have then progressed to the CGGS Aquatic Club Program and gone on to compete at District, State, and even National levels of competition.                                                                                                                                    

At School District level of competition, our results speak wonders for our swimmer’s skill level. Over the past 6 years of competition CGGS has consistently placed 2nd or 3rd of the 15 competing schools, with 13 of the 15 schools having both male and female competitors. CGGS and our swimmers can be extremely proud of these results!                          
The Junior School currently has a list 33 students (Years 3-6) registered in this year’s program, which is an excellent result, however there is always room for more!                                                                                                                                                     
If you have a passion for swimming and can swim 25 metres with good technique, we would like to hear from you!

For further details please email Lisa Williams. williamsl@cggs.vic.edu.au

Wishing all our Ormiston families a wonderful school holiday period and I look forward to seeing all students back at Junior School on Wednesday 27 April.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Early Learning 3 Earth Science Inquiry: Patterns and Shapes in the Natural Environment

As explorers and inquirers, the Early Learning 3 children have been observing the patterns in nature, including the moving and rippling effects of water, the spiralling of a centipede and snail’s shell, and the concentric rings within trees.

What shapes can you see?

The children were invited to share their thoughts and ideas of what they saw. 

Anna: lines.

Abigail: It’s making shapes…ripples.

Eric: Circle, curling.

Victoria: There are lots of circles, baby circles and big circles together.

Jessica: Circle growing, it get bigger and bigger. 

In the classroom, the EL 3 children have been replicating their observations to create patterns seen in the outdoor environment, drawing inspiration from Bronwyn Bancroft’s book ‘The Shapes of Australia’.

As artists and creators, the children have been experimenting with clay, implementing their fine motor skills to pinch, roll and form the clay to create a spiral. The use of watercolour paints, oil pastels and manipulative pebbles and stones has inspired children to work individually and collaboratively to create concentric circles and repetitive patterns. The use of arts-based materials continues to support children in developing sensory awareness, coordination and, finger, wrist and palm strength associated with fine motor development.

Esther Wong & Ms Jacqui Laird  
Early Learning 3 Teachers 

Early Learning 4 Full Time Personalised inquiry in Early Learning 4 Full Time

“Passion, strong interest, curiosity, a desire to find out… these are the driving dispositions of personalised inquiry.” 

Kath Murdoch

The children are developing a sense of wonder and awe about rainbows. During the past few weeks, as creative designers, the children used paint, pastels, fine line pens and a variety of buttons to express their ideas and thinking about rainbows.

As mathematicians, the children focused on mathematical concepts related to shape, colour, number, and identified how buttons were similar and different. Some children sorted the buttons based on the attribute of colour. This provoked discussions about the various shades of individual colours, for example, red, light red, dark red, burgundy. Children also noticed that some buttons had two holes and others had four, and whilst most buttons were round, some were square or oval.

As reflective thinkers, the children were provided time and opportunity to meet in a small group, and as collaborators they reflected on their creative pieces of artworks. As curious learners, they shared their ideas about what they would like to personally investigate about rainbows.

These are their wonderings.

Let’s be curious learners. What does curious mean? Ms Angela 

What you think. Nora

You want to find out about something you don’t know. Jane

Yes, I’m wondering about your thinking, and what you want to find out about rainbows. Ms Angela 

I wonder why rainbows have so many colours in the lines. Jane

I wonder why rainbows have two clouds. One on the other side and one on the other side. Lyra

I wonder why rainbows have got so many, so many colours. Cecilia

I wonder how the sun and rain work together to make a rainbow. Laura

I wonder how a rainbow comes out after it rains. Victoria

I wonder if clouds also come out when a rainbow appears. Nora

I wonder why a rainbow has so many colours. Sarika

Mrs Dumsday, the Junior School Science Teacher, has provided some provocations that will support our inquiry about rainbows. 

As curious learners, the children will be investigating their wonderings through inquiry, research, scientific investigations, and other learning opportunities in the classroom.

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning 4 Full Time Teacher

Early Learning 4 Part Time A Study of Trees

Throughout the term, the EL4 Part Time children have engaged in the study of trees in the Junior School yard. They have accessed the natural outdoors to develop their motor skills and promote their imaginative and social play.

As research states “engagement with nature has been shown to improve psychological wellbeing and improve concentration and learning (Maller et al. 2006)”. The EL4 children certainly have enjoyed their outdoor pursuits and have grown in confidence as they use multiple ways of engagement to set their own goals, challenges and create their own fun and personalised learning inquiries.

Here are some examples of the unique learning opportunities that the children have embraced as they feel, touch, climb, count, collect, draw, observe, and paint their experiences with nature. The study of trees is provocative and will continue to delight the children into the second term.

Ramila Sadikeen
Early Learning 4 Part Time Teacher

Developing our Learning Muscles – A focus on transferrable skills

A focus for our teachers this term has been to ensure our students feel well connected and develop their learning assets (muscles) as well as their understandings while they are learning face-to-face at school again. To flourish in the face-to-face classroom and playground environment, students require strong learning muscles and personal and social skills. The long periods of remote learning over the past two years, reduced opportunities for our younger learners to practice the key skills such as collaboration, communication and problem solving.

To support our students to develop their learning muscles, teachers have been working hard to ensure that curriculum programs purposefully include opportunities for students to develop some of our By Design framework’s key transferrable skills of communication, initiative, problem solving, collaboration and teamwork.

Some examples of the rich hands-on collaborative learning experiences that have taken place this term are:

> Year 6 students have been working together to research and develop their own sustainable energy solutions. This has included many decisions and negotiations about what to create, and how to go about improving their designs and construction. We look forward to students sharing their design process with us next term at their expo.

> As a whole class the Year 2 students collaboratively constructed a town and then a city to culminate their inquiry into how communities have changed over time. They needed to negotiate and explain how their buildings and designs suited the part of the city they were located in.

> Our Fivedation buddy program has allowed our Year 5 students to form strong bonds with their Foundation buddies. Fivedation sessions occur regularly and support students to learn to communicate and problem solve effectively across year levels.

We have immense pride in how far the students have come with building their learning muscles this term and look forward to the rich learning experiences planned at Ormiston for the year ahead.

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Foundation – Year 2 Swim Carnival

On Wednesday our Foundation – Year 2 students put on a wonderful swimming exhibition at the CGGS Aquatic Centre at Senior School. Each student actively participated in four events on the day, including the strokes of freestyle, backstroke and two novelty races, and each student must be congratulated for doing their own personal best!

Our students were representing their CGGS Houses – Lawrence, Singleton, Taylor and Schofield, where house points were allocated throughout the carnival for their outstanding cheering and positive sportsmanship. 

Thank you to Lisa Williams our Swim School Coordinator who helped with the organisation of this carnival, and the CGGS aquatic coaching team who also helped in the pool during each swimming event, which enabled the event to run smoothly. Additionally, the Year 6 house leaders assisted on the day with organising the girls for their races and thank you to Olivia Yang, Nicole Zhang, Allison Stocker and Grace Chan for their excellent work.

Liana Kitsou
PE Teacher & Sport Coordinator

Ormiston Year 2 – 6 Netball Program

The commencement of the 2022 Winter Netball season has started strong at CGGS Netball, with 12 teams registered for 2022.

Our aim for this season, is to ensure that we are focusing on participation, fun and the acquisition of netball skills due to two years of disruption.

The coaches are working hard to provide a fun and interactive environment for training, where students can learn new netball skills, teamwork and decision making. This can then be implemented into our games on Saturday.

The Year 2 and 3 students, have had the opportunity to participate in Netball Skills sessions every Thursday from 3.15-4.15pm. These sessions Introduce students to the basics of netball and team sport. These sessions will continue for the remainder of the year and I encourage students to join.

For any further information on CGGS Netball please contact

Alexia McConnell
Netball Program Coordinator

Foundation – Year 6 Student Council 

This term, Student Council have set their mission to create a connected, supportive and vibrant Ormiston community. This was particularly important to our Social Services leaders, Amy and Zara, after two interrupted years, due to COVID.

The meetings, lead by Amy and Zara, provided opportunities for all of the Student Council representatives to explore ideas to connect our community. Once an idea was established, the students discussed who, what, when, where and how an activity could be implemented to achieve a positive outcome.

Amy and Zara have been working diligently behind the scenes to create activities, design posters and inform the different classrooms at Ormiston. They have regularly attended meetings and developed their leadership skills. 

In Term 2, we look forward to opportunities to show our commitment to the wider community through our World Vision sponsorship and the annual Winter Warmth Appeal.

Craig Goodwin
Year 5 Class Teacher & Student Council Coordinator

Endangered Animals Chalk Drawing – Art and Sustainability Leaders

On Thursday 31 March, the Art and Sustainability Leaders, Nina, Cathy and Jenny, ran a chalk drawing activity in the playground. Students were asked to draw an endangered animal. Students from many year levels took part and many chose to draw the Australian Bilby. They had a lot of fun drawing the small bilby and coloured the bilbies in bright colours. The concrete in the playground was transformed into a colourful artwork. Congratulations to the leaders for organising this activity. It was a great success.

Junior School


Junior School

March 25, 2022

Early Learning 4 – Year 6 – Mountfield Maestros

Yesterday afternoon beautiful music was once again playing in the Junior School Hall as part of our Mountfield Maestros Concert series. Students from all year levels once again had the opportunity to play their preferred musical instrument in front of a small friendly audience. After two very difficult years, both concerts highlighted the musical talent we have at Ormiston. It was clear that many students were ready to play ‘live’ at school and both concerts were quickly booked out with approximately 25 performers. It was also wonderful to have Ormiston families back at Junior School for school events and we look forward to parents and family members being a part of future events not only in Term 1, but for the rest of the year.

Wishing all our Ormiston families an enjoyable weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Murrundindi Visits Early Learning 3 & 4

This week Early Learning 3 (EL3) and Early Learning 4 (EL4) children had the privilege of participating in a Welcome to Country ceremony with Wurundjeri Elder, Murrundindi. This event welcomed teachers and children to the land of the traditional custodians, and an acknowledgment of thanks to the ancestors.

Children were active listeners and learners as Murrundindi elaborated on the meaning behind the ceremony of instilling safety and connection to country, in the hope that we too, like the first nations of this country can respectfully walk on the land as our own.

As an Early Learning community, the children engaged in dancing, singing, chanting, listening to creation stories about the Brolga bird, platypus and Bullen Bullen, the lyrebird, and were introduced to the Wurundjeri language of woi wurrung.

By embedding cultural learning at the ELC, the educators in collaboration with Murrundindi can impart the wonder of indigenous perspective, and support children to develop a sense of belonging and place, in addition to promoting cultural understanding of diversity present in their everyday lives. A big thank you to Murrundindi for sharing his knowledge with us and we look forward to future visits and inquiries into Aboriginal culture.

Esther Wong
Early Learning Coordinator

Year 3 BRAVE – Emotional Literacy

This term Year 3 have been exploring how understanding the wide range of emotions we experience can be helpful when we are navigating challenging social situations. Through collaborative learning activities, students have been learning how to build their social skills and further develop their empathy towards each other.

We started our BRAVE unit by discussing the different types of emotions students were familiar with and we had lots of fun miming these for each other.

After discussing how people, situations and events can influence our emotions, students considered how emotional responses can vary in depth and strength. They were encouraged to think of specific words to describe their feelings. For example, ‘frustrated’ instead of ‘angry’, or ‘disappointed’ instead of ‘sad’.

Once they had a solid understanding of emotional vocabulary, students were presented with a range of situations that could occur in the classroom, playground or at home. They shared which emotion they thought would be a likely response and it was interesting to hear the different feelings that students thought they would experience in response to the same scenario. Some students said they would feel proud for scoring the winning goal in a game, whilst others identified emotions such as embarrassed, happy, surprised and relieved. 

For the remainder of Term 1, we will continue to discuss the way students may feel in response to various social scenarios at school. They will be encouraged to think of how they might make classroom and playtime experiences more positive for themselves and others. By creating a shared understanding of the different emotions we can experience, and the wide range of factors that can influence these emotions, students will be better equipped to regulate their own responses and help support their peers in a variety of situations.

Liz Warren
Year 3 Class Teacher

Year 6 Scientific Minds

This term, students in Year 6 have been learning about energy, making electrical circuits, and investigating various sources of energy used to power our world. They have thoroughly enjoyed their weekly sessions in the Senior School Makerspace with Penny Dumsday. Some activities have included creating an electrical circuit to power a globe, investigating thermal energy by creating steam to power a pin wheel, and creating a model of a nuclear atom. This knowledge is now being applied to how to switch from non-renewable energy sources such as coal to more sustainable and renewable sources of energy such as solar or wind power. This week students have progressed to brainstorming ideas of how to power various household items in a sustainable way. We look forward to viewing their creations at the Year 6 Learning Expo in Term 2. 

Jasvindar Gill & Katrina Cheong
Year 6 Class Teachers

A Vibrant Junior School Library

It has been wonderful to welcome our Early Learning students into our reimagined picture book space and they have enjoyed participating in shared story time sessions and the opportunity to choose and take home a book to share with their families.

Our younger readers were thrilled when we received a donation of the hugely popular Magic Ballerina and Rainbow Magic books series which we have added to our collection. While our middle year and older readers have welcomed the addition of many new titles from their favourite authors and illustrators with graphic novels remaining incredibly popular.

Our Junior School Book Clubs are offered to students in Year 3- 6 each week during lunchtime and everyone is welcome to attend. Year 5 and 6 students meet on Tuesdays with Nina and have spent time on creative projects such as origami bookmarks and flip books. Year 3 and 4 meet on Wednesdays with Mrs Spencer and have focused on exploring characters in graphic novels with students designing and developing their own book character.

Students from Foundation to Year 6 have had the opportunity to consider and reflect on their favourite recent Australian book titles and have registered their nominations in the Young Australian Best Book Awards (YABBA). 

Sally Spencer
Junior School Library Teacher

Year 3 – 6 House Athletics Carnival

On Wednesday 23 March, our Year 3 – 6 students participated in the House Athletics Carnival at the Box Hill Athletics Track. It was a fantastic day, as the students competed for the House honour & glory! There was an exceptional number of track and field events that took place on the day.

The stands were roaring with enthusiasm, passion and cheering from each of the Houses. The students supported one another, with many helping each other get over the finish line. Our new House spirit award, was awarded to Schofield! This acknowledges the House who most demonstrates the School values of integrity, commitment, respect, hope and courage. Congratulations Schofield!

I am thrilled to share with you the official House results, congratulations to LAWRENCE who are our 2022 champions, finishing on top with an outstanding 451 points, closely followed by Schofield on 448 points, Singleton on 413 points and Taylor on 377 points.

It was a very close, and competitive day, and all of the students should be so proud of their efforts and achievements!

Our District team will be selected towards the end of next term.

Liana Kitsou
Junior School PE Teacher & Sport Coordinator

Junior School


Junior School

March 11, 2022

Foundation – Year 6 Learning Conversations

Last week, parents/guardians had the opportunity to make an appointment with their child’s classroom teacher, to discuss how their child has settled into a new year and what progress they have made so far in Term 1. As Head of Junior School, I would like to encourage parents/guardians to regularly contact their child’s class teacher if they have any questions about what is happening inside the classroom. At Ormiston, we strive to ensure communication between School and Home is open and clear at all times to improve the learning outcomes of our Junior School students.

Year 4 – 6 Online Health and Development Parent Information Session

This week parents in Years 4 – 6 had the opportunity to learn about our Health and Development program that will take place in Weeks 7, 8 and 9. The program is organised by Interrelate in conjunction with our classroom teachers and consists of three age-appropriate workshops for each year level. This parent information session was very successful in outlining the content of these sessions and I would like to thank the parents who attended and asked questions to gain a better understanding of what we deliver as part of our Health curriculum program.

Wishing all our Ormiston families a relaxing and enjoyable long weekend.


Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Learning in, about and with nature

“The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” – Lady Bird Johnson

For children, play is about process learning and there is no richer resource than the natural environment of the outdoors. It is within these spaces that children innately develop physical, cognitive, social, and emotional skills through their connection and appreciation of nature’s beauty and all living things. Over the last few weeks, the Early Learning children have been integrating the garden space into the classroom through the exploration of earth science and growth. As researchers, the children have been invited to explore the different types and structure of plants using their sense of sight, scent, sound, and texture to question, discover, problem solve, experiment, and explore – from the budding seeds planted in the kitchen garden to the adult trees located in Junior School.

Learning in, about and with nature places a pedagogical emphasis on shared inquiry learning through play and hands-on discovery. It facilitates children to build an awareness of the seasonal happenings, an understanding of human impact, sustainable practices, and stewardship towards our natural environment.

Esther Wong
Early Learning Coordinator

Early Learning 3

The Early Learning 3 children have extended their sunflower inquiry to the life cycle of plants. Using their fine motor skills and a pincer grasp, the children extracted seeds from the sunflower head. Together the children discussed and hypothesised what would happen next, taking into consideration the impact of water, sun, soil, earth, and weather on the seed’s growth. The children have been documenting their observations using a growth diary. Each day they are invited to express their wonderings and curiosities using writing and drawing.

Emmaya: Once the sunflowers die, we can plant them and make new ones.

Abigail: You can’t get the seeds until the sunflower is all dried.

Eric: Hundreds of seeds.  

Victoria: Lots of seeds from one sunflower. 

As an introduction to the kitchen garden, the children have been investigating different types of seeds, such as broad beans, carrots, radishes, pumpkins, and spinach, and hypothesising whether the size of a seed will impact the growth and size of the harvest. The children had opportunities to work together and get their hands dirty by planting a variety of seasonal vegetables and fruit. They look forward to caring for their plants as they watch the kitchen garden evolve.

Jacqui Laird & Esther Wong
Early Learning 3 Teachers

Early Learning 4 Part Time

The Early Learning 4 Part Time children have interacted with nature by closely examining the trees in the big yard. As a community of learners, children show an ongoing curiosity about their environment in which they strengthen their ways of understanding the world.

Enclosed are photos of children looking at the roots of the tree and using pencil sketches to document their observations. The children had fun climbing in and out of the tree roots. We hope to join the rest of our Early learning community to do some planting in our vegetable patch.

Ramila Sadikeen
Early Learning 4 Part Time Teacher

Early Learning 4 Full Time

Our community garden is a wonderful space that nourishes the wellbeing of the children and provides opportunities for the children to learn about how they can respect, care for and explore nature with wonderment and awe. 

As stated by David Sobel, ‘If we want children to flourish, we need to give them time to connect with nature and love the earth before we ask them to save it.’

As curious learners, the children were excited and eager to begin planting in our community garden. As self-managers and collaborators, the children stayed focused and on task as they worked towards their shared goal of planting flowers, silverbeet and lettuce seedlings, and strawberries in the raised garden beds and clay pots

During this process the children were engaged in problem solving, critical thinking and dialogue, as they thought about and discussed how they could remove the seedlings from their containers without damaging the roots, how much space the roots required for growth, how far apart the seedlings needed to be planted to ensure they had enough space, and the amount of soil that needed to be put into the clay pots before and during the planting of the strawberries. This learning also provoked dialogue related to mathematical concepts of measurement, position, and number.

The children made discoveries as they carefully observed the intricate root system of the seedlings, noticed the strawberries already growing on the strawberry plant, and compared the size and shape of the silverbeet and lettuce leaves.

As communicators, the children are confidently sharing their learning and reflections in the classroom, through drawing, dialogue, and photographs. 

Aran: I made a hole with my fingers, and I put the roots in the dirt and then I patted the dirt down. The silverbeet needs soil to grow and it needs water and the sun.

Darcy: I made a hole in the soil and then I put the roots in and then I flattened the dirt and watered the seedling.

Cecilia: I just needed to put some dirt in the pot and put strawberries in there and watered it. I saw a big strawberry.

Laura: First I dug a hole and then squeezed the plastic pot so the plant would come out, but it was too hard. I persisted, that means I tried my best and then it tipped out. I put the flower in the hole – just the roots in the soil and put soil around it.

As researchers, we look forward to spending time in our community garden each day, to make further observations and discoveries.

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning 4 Full Time Teacher

Year 2 – Unit of Inquiry

This term in Year 2 our Inquiry unit is ‘How can we look after ourselves?’. The students have been looking into the benefits of physical activity and hygiene, but they have had the most fun looking at the bones in our bodies! As a class we investigated the different names of our bones and why they each had a very important role to play in our bodies. They have really enjoyed learning new facts about our bones and our bodies, as well as becoming doctors by looking at X-rays. In our experiments with Mrs Dumsday the students were able to watch a dissection of a chicken wing. The students looked at the different bones inside the wing and were able to make their own cardboard arm. 

“I have enjoyed learning about the biggest bone, our femur. I have also enjoyed learning about different bones in my body” – Olivia D 

“I liked learning about the bones and looking at the chicken bones when we did our experiment with Mrs Dumsday. I liked making the cardboard arm to show how it moves” – Lily 

“I was finding it quite fun to learn about the bones. I think my favourite bone is my rib cage” – Evie 

“I have enjoyed learning the different names for all of them, then I get to teach them to my family, like the phalanges” – Akira 

Mikaela Stanaway
Year 2 Class Teacher

Year 4 – Unit of Inquiry

The students in Year 4 have launched into the new school year with enthusiasm and inquiring minds! With their thinking caps poised, Year 4 have begun exploring in Inquiry, ‘What makes a responsible digital citizen?’ During this time, students have begun to investigate online safety, features of a website, the history of the internet, data security and how to be respectful online. Next week, they will be taking part in a webinar run by the eSafety Commissioner called ‘Be an eSafe Kid: a better internet starts with you.’

Over the past month, the Year 4s have also refined their poetry skills. In particular, they have been focusing on figurative language including metaphors, similes, onomatopoeia, alliteration, repetition to make their writing more interesting. They were challenged to write a poem about the Ormiston Garden.


The Rebirth of a Flower by Elfie Fan

In the garden, the thin breeze blows on the tall trees

I can hear the cheerful birds chirping in delight

I put the tiny seeds in the soil and wait for it to grow

I can smell the fresh air blowing in the empty sky

When the rough night wind howls, the seeds stay safe underground

Helpful earthworms dig to make the soil breathe, and

Bees pollinate from flower to flower

Elegant trees are like tall statues standing quiet and still

When the soft soil is clear and healthy

And the peaceful raindrops fall to the endless ground

The seeds crawl pit pf the soil, first seeing the bright shining sun,

Silently, it grows


The Ormiston Garden by Annabelle Teh

As I stood out in the open garden

The wind whispered in my ear

The sound of excited, energetic children chattering sang in my ear

The smell of drab wooden pillars started rising through the air

A magnificent smell of flowers wafted through the air

The rose bush was a dagger because the thorns were sharp

Crystal clear water drizzled on the hazelnut coloured bench

The soft sand slid through my fingers like a slippery slide

The pavement was a hard as a rock

It was the most pleasurable time

The students have also enjoyed practicing their spelling words with chalk outside in the Ormiston playground.

Anjali de Quadros and Amelia Hart

Year 2 Super Strings

String playing at CGGS continues to grow from strength to strength and much of it starts right here in the Super Strings program.

Here at Ormiston, our Music programs use the Kodaly and Orff approach to music education, to develop an understanding of the basic concepts used to create music. This concept is continued into all our instrumental programs and at CGGS we are very fortunate to offer our students the opportunity to take part in our Year 2 Super String program.

The Super Strings program aims to develop technical, aural, music reading and ensemble skills through a practical experience by learning to play the Violin, Viola or Cello.

Each Thursday, the students are split into two groups and rehearse for one hour. Classes consist of a combination of tutorials and ensembles, as students begin to rehearse a range of exercises and repertoire within their instrument section and later as a large ensemble. Students with prior string experience are extended in their Super String experience and are offered more challenging music to play, developing further, their ensemble skills which is essential to chamber music.

So why learn stringed instruments?

In recent years, researchers in a variety of medical fields have examined the influence that music training has on cognitive functions and overall health.

Schools all over the country are placing new emphasis on teaching children the basic elements of music as part of the core subjects because of the measurable gains it generates and overall grade improvements. Learning a stringed instrument in particular increases and enhances cognitive activity by:

> establishing a positive learning state

> creating a desired atmosphere

> building a sense of anticipation

> changing brain wave states

> focussing concentration

> increasing attention

> improving memory

> facilitating a multisensory learning experience

> releasing tension

> enhancing imagination

To further enhance the students’ learning; online activities, music and videos are shared on Seesaw where students and their families have regular access at home. Students are also encouraged to keep a performance diary of their work which string staff regularly check and comment on.

It is only the start of the school year and our Super Strings are already making beautiful music.

Stay tuned for more great tunes from our Super Strings!

Nichole Adams
Music Teacher and Violin and Viola Tutor

Year 4 – 6 Boroondara Division Swimming

On Tuesday 1 March, the following team of 12 students went to Monash Aquatic and Recreation Centre to represent CGGS at the Boroondara Division Swimming Carnival. These students competed in a mixture of relays and individual events. All our relay teams qualified from District level which was a wonderful effort. The competition was challenging on the day and all students represented the School with confidence and determination. Here is the swimming squad:

Amy Qi

Olivia Yang

Jasmine Xie

Nellie Ruddle

Kealey Liew

Ruth Whelan

Sophie-May Ronzani

Ailey Poon

Estella Ouyang

Zoe McManemin

Cecelia Yang

Ivy Xie

Congratulations to Olivia Yang, Cecelia Yang, Ruth Whelan and Jasmine Xie who have qualified for the Medley Relay at the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Competition on Friday 25 March. Olivia Yang will also be representing CGGS for Freestyle & Butterfly, whilst Cecelia Yang will be representing CGGS in Freestyle & Breaststroke.We wish our students the best of luck as they progress on to the next stage.

Liana Kitsou
Junior School PE Teacher & Sport Coordinator

Year 5 Art

The Year 5 students first listened to and discussed a story about Bunjil the eagle, a significant animal in Indigenous culture. Then they sketched a large eagle, focusing on the body shapes, positioning and sizing. A palette knife was used to mix paint and then apply it to their eagle design. While painting they explored layering colours and then scratching into the paint, to scrape away colour. The students were encouraged to differentiate the body parts and the feathers with their choices of colours. When dry, the students used a variety of lines and patterns in the style of the Wurundjeri, using earthy colours, filling in space around Bunjil.

Fiona Gibson
Art Teacher

Junior School


Junior School

February 25, 2022

Ormiston Leadership Assembly – Wednesday 16 February 2022

A highlight of the last two weeks was the Ormiston Leadership Assembly that took place at Barbara Sutton Hall at Senior School. It was a pleasure to induct each of the Year 6C student leaders and the class Student Council representatives into their new position for Semester One. Our Principal, Debbie Dunwoody encouraged each of the leaders to use our School values of Respect, Integrity, Commitment, Hope and Courage when working with others, and to remember to focus on service learning and giving to others throughout their time as a leader. Congratulations to the following students:

Year 6C Leadership Positions
Art – Jenny Jin & Cathy Wang

Assembly & Events – Eleanor Robertson, Nellie Ruddle & Alisha Lagana

Library – Kealey Liew

Music – Zihan Li & Jasmine Xie

School Captains – Asha Bhattacharjee & Rita Wong

Social Service – Zara Teh & Amy Qi

Sustainability – Nina Gan

Lawrence – Allison Stocker

Taylor – Grace Chan

Singleton – Nicole Zhang

Schofield – Olivia Yang


Ormiston Student Council
Year 1 – Aileen Luo

Year 2 – Olivia Ding

Year 3 – Aurelia Poon

Year 4D – Chloe Zhang

Year 4H – Ivy Xie

Year 5G – Amiya Rajakulendran

Year 5S – Semaya Kaur

Year 6G – Eshani Nadarajan


Wishing all our Ormiston families an enjoyable weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Inquiring into Children’s Learning

Inquiry learning is about building learning capacity and nurturing learners as thinkers, self-managers, collaborators, communicators, and researchers. It’s about giving students the skills, the dispositions and the opportunities to investigate – to find out information, make meaning and take action based on what is discovered. – Kath Murdoch 2015

Teaching and learning at the ELC takes on a multifaceted pedagogical model, one of which is the socio-constructivist approach of ‘Inquiry based learning’. This approach to learning is where children are encouraged to build and connect new knowledge from their previous experiences; children are active contributors to the process of identifying a problem, questioning, and seeking resolution; they engage in social interactions to make meaning and gain further understanding and perspectives, whilst making connections to their identity, culture, and interests.

This approach emphasises on the ‘process of learning’, encouraging children to communicate, reflect and collaborate, whilst fostering their sense of wonder, curiosity, creativity, and imagination. ELC Teachers support children to voice their ideas through multimodal forms of communication and implement reflective thinking and metacognition skills to further their journey into research and inquiry.

The ELC children have begun both intentional and spontaneous inquires into learning. Here is a snapshot:

Early Learning 3

To share a sense of connection, belonging and identity for the EL 3 children as they begin their learning journey together, we have introduced an earth science inquiry about sunflowers. The journey of a sunflower is a metaphorical one and as we share the features of a sunflower, we share the similarities this shares in our journey as a community. The representation of a sunflower is explored in various ways, connecting with various STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematic) concepts as we extend on the children’s learning.

Jacqui Laird & Esther Wong
Early Learning 3 Teachers

Early Learning 4 Part Time

The EL4 Part-Time children connected with the Junior School to celebrate the Maths Fun Day, ‘Two-Two Tuesday’, as an extension of their exploration into ‘community’. It was important for the children to be active participants and build awareness of the wider School community. On Two-Two Tuesday the inquiry question was ‘What makes a pair?’  The children ventured into the yard with a bag in hand to collect their nature finds in their quest to seek the answer to this question.

Avi said “I found these leaves that look the same, and these leaves that look the same is a pair”.

Ramila Sadikeen
Early Learning 4 Part Time Teacher

Early Learning 4 Full Time

What does it take to create a vegetable garden in Early Learning?

During our gathering time, we read a non-fiction book titled, Roots. As researchers, the children discovered that plants are living things and they need air, water, and sunlight to grow. They have many parts – roots, a stem, leaves and flowers.

As part of tuning in, the children were provided with the time and opportunity, to read non-fiction books so they could gain information about planting and the process of growing vegetables in a garden. As confident and involved learners, the children engaged with the visual text and shared their discoveries.

Jane: I found out that a seed is in the soil, and it grows roots and a shoot and then it grows leaves and then it grows into a sunflower.

Nora: I know that we put the seed in first and then it grows and then it has roots. Then it grows a little bit and has a stem. The stem grows bigger, and the leaves come out. There’s a flower. Then it grows and grows and grows into a sunflower.

As communicators, the children used the languages of drawing, painting and dialogue to express their reflections, thinking and understandings about planting and the growth of seeds and flowers. 

Arya drew flowers with stems and petals.

Arya: The flowers were growing at night when it was raining and when I was sleeping. When they have sun in the morning and rain in the night they grow. Every day I planted seeds and then the flower grows up.

Nora painted flowers, a bush and a tree.

Nora: The plants need some water to grow. It became a plant when they planted a seed and they grew into flowers or bushes or trees.

As collaborative researchers, the children used dialogue to share their prior experiences of planting in their garden at home. As the children dialogued about their garden, we were able to gain insight into their understandings, prior gardening experiences and the types of fruits, vegetables, and plants they grow at home.

Lyra: I planted some roses. Mummy and daddy planted them. There are some red roses and pink.

Ms Angela: Have you planted anything else in your garden?

Lyra: We’re about to plant some fruits. Maybe we’re going to plant some pineapples and strawberries.

Michelle: I’ve got one garden. I’ve got some fruits. Lemon. I’ve got raspberries. I’ve got some tomatoes. I’ve got some 黄瓜.

Michelle stated the vegetable in Chinese and wasn’t sure how to say it in English.

Ms Angela: Michelle you could ask Jane because Jane speaks English and Chinese, and she may know how to say the word in English.

Michelle told Jane the word in Chinese.

Jane: cucumbers

Michelle: I’ve got two sunflowers. My mummy and daddy planted them.

Jane: I also planted the seeds and then the sunflower grew.

Michelle: I’ve got some strawberries.                     

The Prowise Touchscreen was used as a tool to visually share photographs and the names of a variety of vegetables that were available for the children to plant in the Early Learning Garden. This provided the children with exposure to multimodal text – the visual photograph and the written word.

As curious learners, the children were encouraged to think about what they wanted to plant in the garden and refer to the photographs and words that were projected on the screen. As communicators and emergent writers, the children were encouraged to share their thoughts and document their ideas on paper, about what they wanted to plant in the garden. This learning opportunity was about conceptual knowledge, that is, children learning the function of writing. Learning that writing has a purpose, and that print is meaningful as it communicates their ideas.

Lyra: I was thinking about how to spell tomato. I looked on the screen.

As environmentalists, we will be emailing Martin our gardener, and Michael the Head of Maintenance, our list of vegetables, so they can be purchased for us to plant.

Throughout this learning, the children developed their inquiry skills as they researched, investigated, made discoveries, and communicated and expressed their understandings and thinking through dialogue and drawings.

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning 4 Full Time Teacher

Year 1 – Unit of Inquiry

This term, the Year 1 students have been exploring the question “How do events, stories and objects from the past help us to understand our present?” The students

developed their understanding of how milestones are significant events in a person’s life. Students then identified milestones that have occurred in their own lives and made timelines, sequencing their events in order. 

The students also drew comparisons between objects from the past and present and considered how they have changed over time. They observed and discussed changes in the use of materials and design, safety features and how the object was powered. Some of the objects they viewed included: telephones, toys, snow skis, candle stick, cameras, kettles and sports clothing. They realised that although many objects are still used in our world today, there have been a number of changes and improvements in terms of ease of use and safety.

Some Year 1 students were keen to share their thoughts on objects from the past:

Angela – The iron from the olden days needed to be put in a hot place, like a fire. The iron was very heavy and hard to lift up.

Eshaal – I learnt that the candlestick holder and candle was unsafe, but the torch was safe because it didn’t have a flame.

Ting Xuan – The old skis didn’t have clips (bindings) and they were wooden. The bottom of them had a line and screws. The new skis were colourful and were made out of metal and plastic.

Anna – I liked the old egg cups because I liked the delicate stem and they were made of metal. The new were made of ceramic and had Mr. Strong and Mr. Bump on them.

Aileen – I liked the fluffy teddies that were new. The old teddy was hard to touch and made a noise because the air came out when I squeezed it.

Crystal – I liked toy cars because the plastic green one could move forward after you pulled it back. The old ones just needed to be pushed with your hand.

Angela Columbine
Year 1 Class Teacher

Year 5 – How would you get to Mars?

That was the open-ended question put to the Year 5 students this week by the Science teacher, Ms Dumsday, as part of their Inquiry: What is our Place in Space?

Many new and interesting words specific to the learning was explored, such as:

Orbit: The path of a celestial body or an artificial satellite as it revolves around another body.

Perihelion: The point nearest the sun in the orbit of a planet or other object.

Aphelion: The point on the orbit of an object that is farthest from the sun.

From a greater understanding of the terminology, the students could then think about and discuss with their learning partners – “If the trajectory was from Earth to Mars, the ellipse has its perihelion (closest point into the sun) at the orbit of Earth and its aphelion (furthest point from the sun) at the orbit of Mars.”

As the photographs show, the students made a working model to determine the trajectory needed to achieve the problem posed: How would you get to Mars?

All the students were engaged and exhibited positive discussion and problem-solving skills, perseverance with their mathematical calculations, listening to each other’s ideas, cooperation and persistence.

Fiorella Soci & Craig Goodwin
Year 5 Class Teachers

Two, Two Tuesday – Mathematics Day

On Tuesday, we celebrated all things 2 in recognition of the date, 22/2/2022. Students engaged in a range of Mathematics learning experiences exploring 2s. This included a search for 2s around the grounds, doubling games, counting in 2s and a two-minute challenges. Students were encouraged to demonstrate their flexible thinking strategies as they explored different ways to make the number 2, 22, 222 and 2.2. 

In addition, our wonderful House leaders provided recess and lunchtime fun with a two-metre bean bag challenge and two chalk creations.

Teachers used this special day to explore literacy activities too! Students wrote stories and poetry or learnt about the homophones to, too and two.  

Junior School was awash with colour as many students dressed up for the occasion in tutus and we were seeing double in many classes. We even had a visit from some very funny Bananas in Pyjamas! 

It was great to see all the students embracing this special day and having fun whilst exploring the wonderful world of maths.

Nancy Robottom
Numeracy Leader

Year 4 – 6 North Balwyn District Swimming Competition

Yesterday, Thursday 24 February, the following team of 14 students went to Boroondara Swimming Centre to represent CGGS at the District Swimming Carnival:

Amy Qi

Olivia Yang

Jasmine Xie

Nellie Ruddle

Kealey Liew

Sienna Jack

Ruth Whelan

Lauren Tang

Sophie-May Ronzani

Ailey Poon

Estella Ouyang

Zoe McManemin

Cecelia Yang

Ivy Xie

It was a day full of success and personal bests. CGGS were the winners in their division of ‘Small Girls Schools’, and third overall out of nine schools, including co-ed schools.

Congratulations and good luck to the following students who have qualified, and will be competing at the Boroondara Division Swimming Carnival next Tuesday 1 March, at the Monash Aquatic Centre:

Amy Qi

Olivia Yang

Jasmine Xie

Nellie Ruddle

Kealey Liew

Ruth Whelan

Sophie-May Ronzani

Ailey Poon

Estella Ouyang

Zoe McManemin

Cecelia Yang

Ivy Xie

Liana Kitsou
JS PE Teacher

Interrelate Cybersmart and Safe Parent Seminar

This week ,Years 4 to 6 parents were invited to attend an online parent seminar from Glenys Boyland from Interrelate, to learn about the impact of the internet and technologies on children and provide strategies for effective development of their digital citizenship skills. Glenys reminded families that teaching children about the internet is just like supporting them to get their driver’s licence, it requires a significant amount of modelling, supervision and open communication before they are ready to complete things completely independently. Children need to learn the skills to use the internet in a safe and effective way, but also feel supported to practice their skills with supportive feedback offered to children when unintended things happen and mistakes are made, rather than punishments.  

Important research findings were communicated that highlighted that there is often a gap between what children tell parents, and what really happens online and that many parents over-estimate what children tell them. The study explained that many children have a negative online experience at some point and that they have the skills to practically navigate negative online experiences and most often require adult support to deal with the emotions that arise from the experience. It found that one of the most important protective strategies parents can implement is to provide open communication and emotional support for children if they have a negative online experience.

You might like to read this report here:


Some key tips that Glenys gave parents to help support families to harness the positives of technology and reduce the impact of negative experiences are:

> Regular open communication about technology and experiences – importantly build empathy by asking children, “How might another person feel if…?”

> Parents role-modelling acceptable behaviour with technology

> Construct a family device use agreement to help set clear boundaries that everyone agrees to

> Supervise device use and use parental controls to set time and app limits

Some useful websites to help support you in these areas are:



If you registered to attend the seminar but were unable to attend on the evening, please contact me with your email address so that I can organise a recording to be sent to you.


Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Junior School


Junior School

February 11, 2022

New Students to Ormiston

As a school community, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to our new students and families that have started at Ormiston this year. At the start of Term 1, in Early Learning 3 we have 18 students starting across all three programs and in Early Learning 4, we have eight new students that are beginning their educational journey with us in both the Full-Time and Part-Time classes.

Our new students have settled in very well and I encourage them to continue to contribute as much as possible in their classroom each day. Here are the names of our Foundation – Year 6 students:


Madison Abou-Assi            

Diyana Amarasingha

Chloe Cao                            

Summer Chew

Chelsea Gu                          

Annie Hu

Eva Kalyanimath                 

Evelyn Kao

Isabella Lee                         

Olivia Li

Ruby Lim                              

Eugenie Lin

Evelyn Patel                         

Iris Qiao

Charlene Wang                   

Hailey Yong

Emilia Zhang

Year 1

Ginnie Hao Pandey            

Sia Kim

Yolanda Ma

Year 2

Mia Gao                                

Lily Kwong

Year 3

Aarza Bhatia                        

Kenolee Hatangala

Jaslene Ng                           

Cecilia Yang

Year 4

Ada Li                                    

Likka Jiang

Yiyi Loo                                 

Zoe McManemin

Sooki Tian                            

Angel Nguyen

Year 5

Rachel Franco                     

Emilia Cai     

Kasey Hao                           

Alina Hou

Aneira Paul                          

Rebecca Luo

Charlotte Thomson             

Sharika Piratheepan

Jennifer Wu                          

Aanya Richharia

Olivia Wu                              

Elsa Wei

Year 6

Jenny Jin                              

Stephanie Chiodo

Bella Beltrano


2022 Ormiston Staffing

I am excited to let the Ormiston school community know our Junior School staff for this year from Early Learning 3 to Year 6. Junior School staffing is as follows:

Head of Junior School – Paul Donohue

Deputy Head of Junior School – Emma Hinchliffe

Junior School Coordinator  – Justine Clancy / Vicki Ibbott

Junior School Reception – Vicki Ibbott / Catherine Daniels

Early Learning 3    
Class Teacher – Esther Wong (Early Learning Coordinator)
Class Teacher – Jacqui Laird
Class Assistant – Joanna Lee

Early Learning 4 Full-Time
Class Teacher – Angela Follacchio
Class Assistant – Effie Kitsiris

Early Learning 4 Part-Time
Class Teacher – Ramila Sadikeen
Class Assistant – Melinda Murphy

Class Teacher – Selena Reedman
Literacy/Numeracy – Annabelle Vivarini

Year 1
Class Teacher – Angela Columbine
Literacy/Numeracy – Annabelle Vivarini

Year 2
Class Teacher – Mikaela Stanaway
Literacy/Numeracy – Emma Hinchliffe & Nancy Robottom

Year 3
Class Teacher – Liz Warren
Literacy/Numeracy – Nancy Robottom

Year 4D
Class Teacher – Anjali de Quadros

Year 4H
Class Teacher – Amelia Hart

Year 5S
Class Teacher – Fiorella Soci

Year 5G
Class Teacher – Craig Goodwin

Year 6G
Class Teacher – Jasvindar Gill

Year 6C        
Class Teacher – Katrina Cheong



Learning Diversity – Lisa White

EAL – Michelle May & Melissa Donelly

Music – Nichole Adams & Penny Byrne

Library – Sally Spencer

Art – Fiona Gibson

Physical Education – Liana Kitsou

Choir – Jessica Huggett

Y5 & Y6 French – Rouba Iskandar

F – Y4 Chinese – Peipei Liu, Scarlett Zhang & Crystal Zhang

STEAM Teacher – Penny Dumsday

Chapel – Rev Helen Creed


Wishing all our Ormiston families an enjoyable weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Settling Back into School

It has been wonderful to see the children enjoying spending time back together with their friends and teachers at School. We are thrilled to have the students back on site and eager to learn.

While the beginning of the year, brings excitement and possibility for new learning and connections, it is important to acknowledge that the beginning of the year is a time of transition for all members of our school community.

Getting back into the routines of school, requires a lot of mental and physical energy, often resulting in children requiring more rest than usual. You can support your children at transition times by being mindful of not overcommitting to after school and weekend activities and ensuring children get enough rest and sleep. Rest and sleep are vital to enable students to process and consolidate all that they are learning during the school day. Due to the sudden changes in daily routines and interactions, transition times can bring a wave of emotions for children and adults alike. It is important that as adults we help to normalise how our feelings can change during transition times by naming emotions and feelings as they arise.

We recognise the importance of the transition time at the beginning of the year to support students to settle in and to set strong foundations for the year ahead.  All year levels participate in the Quality Beginnings programs during the first two weeks of school, where they spend time getting to know their peers, teachers and reacquaint themselves with the school environment. Classes collaboratively develop routines and expectations for the year to help cultivate supportive learning communities, where students feel respected and safe to take risks in their learning. The Quality Beginnings program encourages students to explore their personal strengths and values, develop strategies to support their own digital wellbeing and help them to make connections with their peers.

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

First Weeks of Foundation

We are so proud of the way our Foundation students have approached their first two weeks of school with courage and big smiles. They have been really encouraging and supportive of each other both in the classroom and the playground. They are learning to ask questions when they are unsure of things and have been engaging in creative play in the big Ormiston playground.

The Foundation students have already mastered the morning routines, unpacking their bags and organising their belongings independently, ensuring a smooth start to the day. Through careful practice and modelling students are learning to respect each other by showing the 5L’s (looking, listening, lips closed, hands in laps, legs crossed) when other children are speaking.

It has been wonderful to see the children have already begun identifying, reading and writing words beginning with ‘m’ and ‘s’ sounds and using different strategies to count collections of objects.

When I asked the Foundation students to reflect on their first weeks of school, they indicated that they all enjoyed playing with her friends, learning new things about numbers and the alphabet, and they are having fun working together and learning to share with others.

We can’t wait to see the contribution our capable Foundation children make to our School community this year.

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Early Learning 3 & 4 – Building A Sense of Place

Over the summer break, the ELC has undergone major refurbishment work to the outdoor and indoor learning environment. Teachers and CGGS staff have worked tirelessly to ensure the spaces are welcoming and brimming with opportunities for children to explore, create, experiment, imagine and construct independent and collaborative learning. The changes you might have noticed include new landscaping of the outdoor vegetation; installation of a vegetable garden, dry river creek bed, a bush walkway; a performing arts stage; green lawn construction space; installation of terrazzo linoleum flooring and repainting of the classrooms.

Loris Malaguzzi, an educational pedagogist known for the Reggio Emilia approach draws voice to the importance of the physical spaces and its prospective influence on how and what children learn. The teachers have created environments that are engaging, fosters a sense of belonging, builds child agency, supports children to feel ownership, respect, and inclusion towards their learning space and as an extension, towards each other.

Even though Term 1 has barely begun, EL3 and EL4 children have embraced their new learning spaces with a respectful and productive calm. Each classroom community is excited to design yet also implement individual and collective inquires to lay a foundation to developing shared ‘sense of place’.

A big thank you to Michael Lawrence, Martin Conlon and their team for their enormous effort over the school break. Although it may be a time for us to reflect and look back on what the year was for teachers and staff of 2021, the Grounds and Maintenance team worked tirelessly during this period to ensure exemplary educational spaces were instated, ready for this year’s cohort of children to thrive. We look forward to sharing our learning with you from our reinvigorated learning spaces.

Esther Wong
Early Learning Coordinator On behalf of the Early Learning Teachers

Early Learning 4 – Year 6 Art

After the first two weeks of a new year, Ormiston is full of colour and imagination. Positioned in different locations within the Junior School building, close observational drawings of fruit by Year 4 artists are on display. Love heart fingerprints by all artists from Early Learning 4 to Year 6 represent their love of Art and the opportunity to create beautiful pieces. In Year 5, Mystery Portraits of the word ‘Wominjeka’ are on display in the Junior School Hall which are very creative and full of colour. I look forward to sharing more creative student work with you throughout the year.

Fiona Gibson
Art Teacher

Junior School


Junior School

December 7, 2021

Year 6 Graduation Ceremony & Supper

As a School, the Year 6 Graduation Ceremony and Supper was earmarked as our first large parent community event for 2021 since the Twilight Picnic took place in Term 1 this year. Considerable planning and preparation took place and Friday night finally arrived with both Ormiston staff and Year 6 students and parents ready to re-engage face-to-face on campus.

The ceremony was a wonderful opportunity to highlight each of the Year 6 students throughout this important event. Congratulations to eight students who started their educational journey at Ormiston. They are Scarlett Sim, Allegra Reedman, Charlotte Chong, Natasha Cameron, Natasha Oakley, Anthea Vais, Jasmine Li and Vivienne Torre. These students have been at Camberwell Girls Grammar School for nearly all their lives, and we look forward to their contributions at Senior School in Year 7.

Additionally, I would also like to recognise the efforts of Elise Orme and Charlie Russo for their awards on Friday evening. Elise was awarded the Marjorie Shaw General Excellence award for her academic efforts this year and Charlie was awarded the Elizabeth Lockley Citizenship award for being an excellent role model for Year 6 students when helping and guiding others during remote and face-to-face learning.

The Year 6 community had a very enjoyable evening and a highlight of the supper was a surprise graduation dance from the Year 6 students. I would like to thank Susannah Jepson our CGGS Community Relationships Coordinator and her team for helping implement such a successful event.

Year 6 Graduation Luncheon

Another wonderful highlight for the Year 6 students in their final days at Ormiston is their special luncheon in the Junior School Hall that is organised by a small group of Year 6 parent volunteers and our Year 6 Class Teachers, Ms Cheong and Mrs Robottom. A special thank you for the CGGS Parents & Friends Association who kindly fund the catering on this day.

A special part of the luncheon was the motivational speech from one of our Ormiston alumni Bella Dunn. Bella spoke about her past experiences at Camberwell Girls Grammar School and also talked about what she was currently studying at University. Our Year 6 students asked Bella some very interesting questions and we wish her all the best for the future.

Once again, the luncheon was a great success and enjoyed by the Year 6 students being their special day especially towards the end of the luncheon where the students with their memento Graduation Bear have fun going around acquiring signatures from classmates and teachers.

Year 3 & 4 Camp

Last week, our Year 3 and 4 students travelled to Camp ADANAC in Yarra Junction to experience a range of educational outdoor activities. Both year groups had not been on a school camp before but each student had-a-go at the adventurous activities. Some of the activities included the flying fox, archery, trampolines, gaga ball, low ropes course, canoeing, raft building, bush walk and other outdoor pursuits. I would like to thank Shane Maycock from Senior School for all his hard work in organising such a wonderful experience for our students. At the end of the three days, the Year 3 students were already looking forward to next year’s camp.

Early Learning 3 & 4 & Year 2 Super Strings Performances (Movies)

The Early Learning parents from both EL3, EL4 Full-Time and EL4 Part-Time are encouraged to click on the links below and watch their child performing in their year groups Christmas Story. Both links are videos.

Furthermore, the Year 2 parents have the opportunity to watch their child perform three songs as part of their Super Strings Program, which is an important part of the Music Curriculum we teach at Junior School. I would like to thank Nichole Adams for all her hard work and determination to complete these events since we have returned to face-to-face learning.

Wishing all our Ormiston families an enjoyable festive holiday!

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Junior School


Junior School

November 26, 2021

Foundation – Year 6 Orientation Morning

Last Friday 22 November, our current Early Learning 4 – Year 5 students had the opportunity to spend time in next year’s class in preparation for the start of the 2022 academic year. This session lasted for 1.5 hours and each student had the chance to meet their new classroom teacher and class mates.

Usually during this event, our current Junior School students would meet the new external students that were joining Ormiston next year. However, due to COVID-19, the new students joining us at Junior School in 2022 will be visiting us  on-campus on Monday 6 December at 4.00-4.30pm. Currently, there are 28 new students joining us at Ormiston next year.

Foundation – Year 5 Swimming Program

For the last two weeks of Term 4, we have organised the Foundation – Year 5 students to be part of our school swimming program. Starting this week, the Foundation – Year 4 students have participated in three intensive stroke correction and water safety sessions at the Senior School Pool. The Year 5 students will participate in a similar Water Safety session on Monday 6 December which will be important in preparing them for their Summer holiday of water activities. I would like to thank Lisa Williams our Swim School Coordinator who has organised these important sessions.

Year 2 Extended Day

Our Year 2 students had a wonderful time participating in a range of teambuilding and educational outdoor activities on Friday 15 November. The Extended Day included poison ball, hoola-hoop competition and hip-hop dancing via Zoom. The students enjoyed a lovely dinner from Pinwheel followed by a movie together in the Junior School Hall. Each of the students enjoyed the opportunity to stay behind after school and were picked-up by their parents at 7.30pm. This annual event is an excellent opportunity to prepare the students for next year’s Year 3 and 4 camp. I would like to thank our Year 2 Class Teacher Mikaela Stanaway, for organising the fun activities this year.

Science Talent Search Achievement – Christine Moi Year 5

Congratulations to Christine Moi of Year 5 who was nominated for Primary Investigations section in the December 2021 BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards.

Christine’s project “What is the most efficient form of transport – to walk, cycle, scooter or e-scooter?” was awarded as a Semi Finalist.

The comment from the judges stated, ‘Your project was an outstanding contribution for which you should feel extremely proud.’

Christine will receive a certificate in the mail early next year.


Wishing all our Ormiston families an enjoyable weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Year 5 and 6 Camp – Grantville Lodge Westernport Bay

On 15 November Years 5 and 6 went to a beautiful camp called Grantville Lodge. There were lots of activities planned to keep us occupied during our two night visit from Monday to Wednesday. Ms Cheong, Mrs Robottom, Ms de Quadros, Ms Hinchliffe, Mr Donohue, Ms Soci, Mr Goodwin and Mrs White were all there to support us through times when we might have been upset about something or if we needed to talk to someone. 

Camp was a memorable experience for me. I conquered things I never imagined I would be able to do. I have a morbid fear of heights and managing the scary giant swing was a victory for me (even though I didn’t go to the top). The food was exquisite. I thank the people that cooked the wonderful food. I couldn’t help getting seconds because the food was so mouth – watering! Going to this camp inspired me to take risks and challenge myself in the future. 

Aathana Sivapalan, Year 6

The highlight of my camp was having free time in our cabins because honestly it was such great bonding for all of us and we all became so much closer after it by playing games and just being able to chat and connect with each other. Something else I enjoyed immensely was having Mrs White as our activity teacher because she was so much fun to work with. Overall, camp was a 10/10 experience.

Nirvani Subedi, Year 6

My camp highlight was doing all the rope activities ranging from high ropes to giant swing and flying fox. We learnt how to put on the harnesses and connecting our harnesses to the courses. We were challenged to try the rope activities so I did and I went on the trickiest high ropes course, and I went as high as the flying fox and giant swing could go. But really the whole camp was a highlight. 

Alexia Stuart-Adams, Year 6

STEM Games Challenge Semi-Finalists

Over the past two years I have had the pleasure to work with three teams of Year 5 and 6 students to support them to develop the skills necessary to enter the Australia wide STEM Video Games Challenge competition. Students were required to work together to plan and create a Video Game using Scratch, that explored the theme of Scale.

When designing their games, students also had to think carefully about all elements of game design including: graphics, coding, storyline, testing, the level of challenge in the game and of course its fun factor. To emphasise the design process, all teams had to complete and were also judged on their game design document detailing the process they went through to design their games. Designing a functioning game with no bugs is no easy feat and required teams to communicate and problem solve effectively and apply their character strengths of perseverance, bravery, creativity and hope.

Congratulations to Charlotte, Aathana, Preesha, Audrey and Zara for their exceptional work and being recognised as semi-finalists this year. Students were presented with their certificates in assembly this week.

We are so proud of the way these teams worked together over the past two years to create games of such quality through working together both face to face and online during remote learning.

We can’t wait to see them apply their skills to other coding and design challenges in the future.

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Junior School


Junior School

November 12, 2021

Face-to-Face Learning at Ormiston

Following the Mid-Term Break last week, we have had all our year levels back at Junior School full-time from Early Learning 3 to Year 6. It has been a pleasure to watch our students learning and connecting together in their classrooms and outside in the playground. From next week, we will begin to introduce our full program of co-curricular activities that will include all music ensembles and different sports.

Unfortunately, we are not able to use non-CGGS sport coaches at this time but we will endeavour to set up all sports by the end of the year.

Ormiston Spirit Awards

Our Junior School assembly this week involved handing out our annual Ormiston Spirit Awards. These prestigious awards are not about students being the best, but are presented to students for the following reasons:

  1. Display our CGGS School Values of Integrity, Commitment, Respect, Hope and Courage.
  2. Always doing their personal best in all aspects of their learning.
  3. Display a growth mindset when faced with challenges in their learning.

Congratulations to the following students:

Classroom Awards

Foundation – Qianqian Wu

Year 1 –  Doris Chen

Year 2 – Neesha Navaneetharaja

Year 3L – Matilda Collins

Year 3R – Chloe Zhang

Year 4Z – Selinna Wang

Year 4G – Alysa Zhang

Year 5G – Asha Bhattacharjee

Year 5S – Christine Moi

Year 6C – Poppy Tymmons

Year 6R – Natasha Cameron

Specialist Subject Awards

F-3 Art – Aadhya Talpe Guruge

Y4-Y6 Art – Emma Liu

F-3 PE – Sofia Rampa

Y4-Y6 PE – Aathana Sivapalan

F-3 Music – Laila Beiruti

Y4-Y6 Music – Jasmine Xie

F-3 Library – Audrey Cheung

Y4-Y6 Library – Nellie Ruddle

French – Samantha Lovell

Chinese Heritage – Annicle Li

Chinese Mainstream – Amelia Adel

Music Achievements

Annabelle The, Year 3
Congratulations to Annabelle Teh of Year 3, on successfully completing her AMEB Music Theory Grade 2 exam. This is a wonderful achievement by Annabelle.

Iris Lu,  Year 4
Congratulations to Iris Lu who won the Grand Prize – Victorian Children’s Division after competing in the 2021 Pearl River Kayserburg International Youth Piano Competition earlier in the year. This is an annual worldwide competition located in Singapore.

Wishing all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Inquiry in Early Learning 3

Inquiry learning is about building learning capacity and nurturing learners as thinkers, self-managers, collaborators, communicators and researchers. It’s about giving students the skills, the dispositions and the opportunities to investigate – to find out information, make meaning and take action based on what is discovered. – Kath Murdoch 2015

Embedding a culture of curiosity
Last term, we read the story The Wonder of Winsome by Kath Murdoch. It told the story of Winsome – a child full of curiosity, who asked questions on a daily basis. After we read the story, the children shared their thinking about what it means to be curious.

Tiffany: Curious means thinking.

Jackson: An idea – with thinking.

Heidi: Curious means everything about your questions.

Eli: thinking

Within the program, intentional teaching and provocations are used to develop the children’s curiosity and their sense of wonder and awe. The children are encouraged to develop and document their wonderings through I wonder statements and add these to our ‘Wonder Wall’ in the classroom.

During this term we researched Jackson’s wondering related to powerlines and electricity.

Jackson: I wonder why the electricity moves through the powerlines.

As a curious learner, Jackson noticed the powerlines and poles in the street. Photographs were taken of the powerlines that were outside our school. As researchers, Jackson and Aran intentionally looked at these photographs and noticed that powerlines have ‘wire’ cables and these are connected to each pole, and the cables go from one pole to the next pole and to each house in Oak street.

Ms Angela: I wonder what you notice in these photographs.

Jackson: These are very big poles.

Aran: Lots of lines on the pole.

Jackson: That’s for the electricity. The electricity is coming from the powerlines.

Aran: The electricity goes in the lights. It’s coming from the pole.

Jackson: I’ve got a wondering too. I wonder how it comes to the pole. I think it comes from the ground. It’s in the ground and then it comes up the pole. I know where it comes from.

Aran: It’s up in the sky and then the electricity goes into the poles.

Jackson: When there’s a storm, the electricity goes apart, and the lights will turn off. That’s what happened at our house. Then it came back in 3 months.

Ms Angela: I wonder why we need electricity?

Jackson: Otherwise, we’ll get bumped if it’s dark and we can’t see if the lights aren’t on.

As collaborators and researchers, Jackson and Aran used photographs and diagrams to investigate the source of electricity and how it’s produced in Victoria. The recent storms in Melbourne also provided an opportunity for further investigation and research. Through photographs from the local news, Jackson and Aran discovered how strong winds can break branches of trees and how these can fall and damage powerlines. This provided a provocation for further discussion about how damage to powerlines can stop electricity flowing into homes and when this happens, families cannot use many appliances.

As confident and involved learners and inquirers, Jackson, Aran, Travis and Zane used a battery, wire and light bulb to create their own electrical circuit. This provided an opportunity for them to make discoveries about what is required to turn on a light – energy (electricity) inside a battery and a wire path for the electricity to travel along. They also discovered that if it’s not a complete circuit, then the electricity stops moving through the wires and the bulb will not light up. They made connections between an incomplete circuit and damage to powerlines during a storm.

Jackson: I was clipping it to the battery. The battery was making the energy. The globe didn’t work because it wasn’t clipped on. I clipped it in and the globe lighted.

As a researcher and keen observer, Aran made an interesting observation and discovery. He observed, that when he touched the metal part of the battery holder with the peg from the wire, the bulb lit up. Aran put the metal peg on and then took it off and Zane, Jackson and Travis also noticed that the light bulb went on and off. It worked like a switch.

Zane: We had to let the electricity come through and go around and around and then the light bulb worked and it glowed.

Different materials such as a plastic lid and metal spoon were used to research and make discoveries about how energy moves through things made from metal, such as a spoon, but not through things made from plastic, such as a yoghurt lid.

As communicators, Jackson, Zane, Aran and Travis documented their observations of the electrical circuit through drawing and dialogue.

In our curriculum, we embed a culture of curiosity. Throughout this learning, the children developed their inquiry skills as they wondered, researched, investigated, made discoveries, and expressed their curiosity and thinking through dialogue, photographs and drawings.

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning 3 Teacher

Early Learning 4

The Early Learning 4 children have embraced being back in Early Learning with friends and teachers. A focus for our return to face-to-face learning has been re-establishing relationships and ensuring children feel safe and secure in their environment. Human connection is essential to wellbeing thus being onsite has helped recharge many of the children who may have lacked social interactions at home. There have been many opportunities for the Early Learning 4 children to engage in play, both indoors and outdoors. The benefits of play for children (and adults) include relieving stress, improving brain function, stimulating creativity, improving relationships and developing social skills.

We have continued to follow on the children’s interest in insects and min-beasts in our outdoor environment. The children eagerly find creatures in the Early Learning garden to show each other and the teachers. They are encouraged to observe closely and be respectful of living things by returning them to the garden afterwards. Both Early Learning 4 classes connected via a virtual excursion called  ‘What is a bug?’ with Museum Victoria. The children learnt how to identify the differences between insects and arachnids, they learnt the role bugs play in helping humans and the environment and they also learnt about what an entomologist is.

As we reach the end of the term, we have started preparing some of the children for their transition to school. We have been discussing what they might be wondering about school and what they have been doing during their transition sessions. We have focused on the exciting and positive experiences that the children will have, as well as addressing any concerns that they may have about starting Foundation. The Early Learning 4 children have shown tremendous resilience throughout this year, which will help them with the new and exciting changes next year.

Lilian Bishop
Early Learning 4 Teacher

Year 4 return to Face-to-Face Learning

The Year 4 students have made an excellent transition back to face-to-face learning. It has been wonderful to see the students reconnecting with each other. We have seamlessly transferred our Inquiry learning back on site. This week the students have been learning all about how the Earth is constantly moving and changing. Mrs Dumsday extended their learning by sharing rock samples and her own knowledge of Geology related to the rock cycle. They also learnt about the different fault lines running throughout the world and demonstrated their understanding by creating and explaining the different types of tectonic faults and boundaries using plasticine. We are all looking forward to the last few weeks together of 2021.

Ellie Zarfaty & Jasvindar Gill
Year 4 Class Teachers