Junior School


Junior School

October 15, 2021

Welcome to Term 4

We are now well into Term 4 and looking forward to a productive term ahead.

As we discussed last term in CamNews, we reviewed our subject offerings within our remote learning program from our class and specialist teachers, and we made decisions in the best interests of our Junior School students.

Our specialist teachers are supporting student learning through continuing to provide specific tasks on Seesaw and through the use of Zoom meetings. These experiences will prepare students for a seamless transition back to face-to-face learning at Ormiston.

As a Junior School community, we look forward to all our students returning to face-to-face learning. This Monday will be a big day with our Foundation students returning to Ormiston, followed by Years 1 and 2 returning on Thursday and Friday.

The following week we see all our year levels from Early Learning 3 – Year 6 attend school at some stage during the week.

If any parents would like to ask questions about their child transitioning back to face-to-face learning, they are welcome to contact Paul Donohue Head of Junior School on donohuep@cggs.vic.edu.au.

Wishing all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Junior School Assembly

Our weekly Junior School Assembly is now taking place at 8.40am every Wednesday and parents are encouraged to watch our live assembly each week. I would like to thank the Assembly and Events Leaders Ella Turnley, Gretel Blake and Poppy Tymmons for all their work so far and I would also like to thank our School Captains Allegra Reedman and Elise Orme for helping with the Junior School prayer and for coming up with the assembly theme of Hope for this week.

I wanted to share our assembly prayer from last week with the school community. Here it is:

Dear God

Bless us as we start a new term with our friends at Ormiston while doing remote learning. Help us to settle into Term 4 and give us the courage, confidence and belief to always do our personal best.

Open our eyes to fresh challenges that a new term brings and remind us to look out for the positives in our lives and others around us, whether at home or online via Zoom with our class. Help us to support each other.

Look out for our school community of students, teachers, school staff and families and give them the strength to look forward to the time we are all back together as one community. Your help with this is so important to us all.

Finally, keep us happy and safe for the start of Term 4 and remind us to keep strong and resilient for when we are ready to be back at Ormiston, particularly our Year 6 students who are starting their final term of primary schooling. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as well as their teachers, Ms Cheong and Mrs Robottom.

In Jesus name,


Pyjama Day – Winter Warmth Appeal

Today our students finally got the opportunity to celebrate their contributions towards our annual Winter Warmth Appeal for Anglicare. Last term, students from Early Learning 3 – Year 6 donated food and clothes to the appeal, which assists those in need during the cold winter months.

I would like to especially thank our Early Learning families for their wonderful contributions. As our Foundation – Year 6 families were at home completing remote learning, our Early Learning 3 and 4 students donated a considerable amount of items for the appeal and Anglicare were very appreciative of having so much to hand for people in need.

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Character Strength Spotting

As we learn to cope with our everchanging world environment, one of the most important things we can do to support ourselves and our children is to focus on highlighting, developing and using our own personal character strengths. In recognition of this, as a school we are focussing on highlighting different character strengths during our weekly assemblies and through our teaching staff nominating students for character strengths digital badges when they spot students displaying the weekly character strength.

Our first character strength focus for the term was perseverance. In assembly we read a story and discussed that perseverance is when we work hard to achieve our goals and don’t give up. We were pleased to award 50 digital perseverance badges to students in our first two weeks of term. If your child was spotted displaying this strength and was nominated for a badge, a purple digital badge was added to their Seesaw portfolio and profile picture. All nominated students were then entered into a prize raffle and it was a pleasure to award Aurelia in Year 2 a raffle prize for her perseverance.

Over the next fortnight our character strength spotting focus will be HOPE. Our School Captains introduced our theme during assembly and explained that hope is not just about looking on the bright side, it is about focusing on good things to come in the future by taking actions to work towards them. Students have been asked to bring in their HOPE colouring on their first day back onsite to help to create a colourful whole school display.

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Special Music Achievement – Asha Bhattacharjee Year 5G

Asha Bhattacharjee of 5G sat her AMEB Grade 7 Piano Examination in May 2021 and received a High Distinction (A+). Asha also competed in the 2021 Booroondara Eisteffod in the Piano Solo 10 years and Under Category at the Hawthorn Arts Centre in May and performed Albeniz’s  “Tango”. Asha performed very well on the day and relished the opportunity to perform before an appreciative audience.

Junior School


Junior School

September 3, 2021

Final Stages of Term 3

With one week left of Term 3, there is still a lot happening at Ormiston. As I have said many times in 2020, and this year, our remote learning program continues to be of high quality. The challenge for us has been to ensure a sustainable approach to our teaching and learning program remotely, while at the same time, not to have our Foundation – Year 6 students on a computer screen each day for very long periods of time.

In Term 4, we will continue to review our subject offerings within our remote learning program from our class and specialist teachers and we will continue to make decisions in the best interests of our Junior School students.

Book Week

I would like to thank our Library Teacher, Sally Spencer for organising a range of activities for Book Week last week. Mrs Spencer has written an article in today’s CamNews that outlines the many ways we celebrated this important event.

Wellbeing Day

Not only was it Book Week last week, it was also a Wellbeing Day for staff and students at both Junior and Senior School. Students had the opportunity to engage in a variety of different activities throughout the day with the highlight being a magician who showed everyone many wonderful tricks, as well as, explaining how some of his magic tricks work.

Ormiston Art Show

Towards the end of Term 3 each year, I always look forward to our Ormiston Art Show. Once again this year, the school community is unable to visit the School and look at the art pieces in person. I would like to congratulate our Art Teacher, Mrs Gibson who has organised an online padlet that showcases the outstanding artwork of our students.

Mountfield Maestros

Our Junior School co-curricular activities have continued in a variety of forms during remote learning this term and next week we have over 50 students performing online for our annual Term 3 Mountfield Maestros Music event. I would like to wish the following students all the best and look forward to their individual performances online.

Foundation – Year 3

Ting Xuan Quek

Chloe Gu

Qianqian Wu

Joelle Whelan

Alexandra Law

Alice Lin

Sofia Rampa

Isabella-Rose Stepsys

Elsa Lu

Annabelle Zhang

Aurelia Poon

Aanya Chopra

Audrey Cheung

Ellie Li

Yui Yu

Emma Adel

Sabrina Zhao

Dora Zhu

Angelina Zhao

Annicle Li

Zoe Raspin

Isali Ranasingha

Angela Wu

Elfie Fan

Madeleine Law


Year 4 – 6

Isla Kang

Hanna Lindsay

Ailey Poon

Lauren Tang

Aaratrika Kadam

Ava Pao

Ellie Tsigounis

Iris Lu

Ruth Whelan

Amiya Rajakulendran

Georgia Papadopoulos

Alina Xu

Amelia Adel

Alisha lagana

Ann Brookes

Zihan Li

Nicole Zhang

Rudra Santhosh

Sophie Wong

Mo Lin Yu

Cosette Tsjin

Sarah Luo

Chloe Lau

Aathana Sivapalan

Jasmine Li


Wishing all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Book Week – 21 to 27 August 2021

Book Week is an annual celebration of Australian books, authors, illustrators, and the joy of reading. This year, even though we are learning and working from home, many wonderful book related activities and celebrations occurred within our school community.

Students and staff from several year levels participated in Zoom story sessions and dressed up as their favourite book character. There was also an array of fun and interactive book related activities provided for all students. A special Storytime and dress up activity for ELC students and staff was also a huge success.

Through Seesaw and in our assembly this week, the winning titles in the Early Childhood, Picture Book and New Illustrator categories have been shared with our students. The Junior School Library has also added all the winning books and shortlisted titles across all categories to our collection and we encourage all students to read and borrow these wonderful stories.

Please find the winners of the Early Childhood, Picture Book, New Illustrator, Non-Fiction, and Younger Readers prizes here, https://www.cbca.org.au/winners-2021

Sally Spencer
Library Teacher

National Science Week – 14 – 22 August 2021

The theme was Food: Different by Design, honouring the United Nations International Year of Fruits and Vegetables and the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.

During remote learning, Ormiston students (and their families) proved to be creative food designers – many students took part in the at-home activities on the Science Week Padlet, and shared their thoughts about eating insects and their photographs of ice-cream in a bag, boba tea and colourful ‘lava lamps’ – all made with common kitchen ingredients, a bit of science, and a bit of fun!

Thank you to everyone who took part – on behalf of the whole Science Department, it was fantastic to see our school community taking Science out of the lab and into the kitchen.

Penny Dumsday
STEAM Teacher

Ormiston Remote Learning Highlights and Olympic Spirit Awards

Over the past fortnight, I have continued to be blown away by our students’ contributions to the remote learning program. During Assembly, I highlighted the exceptional learning that has been occurring in each year level. The students in all year levels should be congratulated for their achievements throughout the term and in particular, the following areas this term:

Our Foundation students are now all confidently and fluently reading decodable texts independently.

Year 1
Our Year 1s developed their creativity, problem solving and persistence when exploring forces by creating their own Rube Goldberg Machines.

Year 2
Our Year 2s are now segmenting their spelling words into syllables and beginning to use spelling rules to add suffixes to words with increasing confidence.

Year 3
Our Year 3s are now experts in Australian Geography and have been teaching the community about our significant natural features and landmarks.

Year 4
Our Year 4s are budding biologists who have been developing their understanding of some of the complex ecosystems that exist around the world.

Year 5
Our Year 5s have been seeking out how to encourage sustainability and can confidently explain how we can support the environment through housing design.

Year 6
Our Year 6 students have been investigating the experiences of migrants and have developed informative monologues designed to help others to understand the phases of migration, and the complex range of push and pull factors that influenced different people’s decisions to move countries.

It was an absolute joy to share two of our Year 1 students, Olive and Estelle’s, Rube Goldberg Machines with the school community during Assembly.

Some of the key adjectives that classroom and specialist teachers used when nominating this fortnight’s award winners were: courageous, persistent, thorough, initiative, thoughtful, creativity, focussed, curious and committed.

Congratulations to the following students for being awarded an Ormiston Olympic Spirit Badge this week

Foundation – Qianqian, Lena, Alex, Joelle, Chloe, Ting Xuan

Year 1 – Elsa, Isabella-Rose, Estelle, Olive, Alice, Sofia, Aryana

Year 2 – Lucy, Emma A, Audrey, Annabelle, Aurelia, Aanya, Ellie

Year 3 – Isali, Dora, Angelina, Maddie, Zoe, Angela, Elfie, Annicle, Chloe, Angela W

Year 4 – Charvi, Kathleen

Year 5- Jasmine, Cathy, Grace, Christelle, Asha, Hannah, Tiffany, Minaaz

Year 6 – Poppy, Aekam, Emma, Charlotte L, Alex, Lexi S, Scarlett, Chanel, Lexi B, Charlotte C

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Interrelate Parent Information Session

On Tuesday evening, Years 4 – 6 parents were invited to attend an information session about our upcoming Health and Development program which will be delivered by Interrelate presenters alongside student’s classroom teachers in Term 4. Glenys, the presenter gave families an overview of the information that will be presented to students and the types of activities that students will participate in throughout their 3 workshops next term. The session gave parents the confidence to begin and sustain important conversations about health, development and sexuality.

Further details about this program will be communicated with families next week. Please contact me if you have any questions. hinchliffee@cggs.vic.edu.au

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Junior School


Junior School

August 20, 2021

Year 6C Student Leadership Positions for Semester 2

When our Foundation – Year 6 students return to Ormiston on Friday 3 September, our Year 6C students will be very keen to get started with their leadership positions for Semester Two.

As a school community, we would all like to congratulate the following students:

Art Leaders – Alex Kossaris & Sarah Luo

Assembly & Events Leaders – Gretel Blake, Poppy Tymmons & Ella Turnley

Digital Leaders – Sarah Lu & Maya Waide-Hee

House Leaders

Lawrence – Chanel Ghostine

Schofield – Charlotte Lim

Singleton – Scarlett Sim

Taylor – Alexia Stuart-Adams

Library Leaders – Jessie Lu & Claire Pham-Nguyen

Music Leader – Aathana Sivapalan

School Captains – Elise Orme & Allegra Reedman

Sustainability – Emma Liu & Vivienne Torre

Social Service Leaders – Hannah Lan & Ashanti Rajakulendran

Wellbeing Leaders – Aekam Gill & Nirvani Subedi

We look forward to presenting our official Semester Two Leadership Induction assembly for these Year 6C students. The plan is for this assembly to take place during the last week of Term 3, hopeful we are back onsite by then.

Remote Junior School Assembly

During remote learning, our weekly assembly has changed to a Wednesday at 12.30pm, just before lunchtime. The focus of this week’s assembly was Science Week, and I was able to share some wonderful science facts about the Earth and Space. I would like to thank Penny Dumsday, our Junior School STEAM Teacher for all her work in planning and preparing a wide range of optional Science activities for students to complete across all our Foundation – Year 6 year levels. These activities also included some optional Zoom meetings for students to be involved with some very engaging science experiments.

This week, Annabelle Teh of Year 3 read out the prayer for us. There is so much we can appreciate and look forward to in the future. Here is the prayer:

Dear God

We thank you for your help during remote learning and for giving us the strength and determination to through this challenging time away from School.

Thank you for giving us the confidence to always do our Personal Best and to appreciate the Science around us. We thank Mrs Dumsday for organising Science Week activities for us to complete at home, as we learn so much more about our beautiful planet.

Teach us to look forward to the good times in the future and to remind us to keep in  touch with our friends and family members who we cannot see in person at the moment.

We hope to return to School very soon.

In Jesus name,



I wish all our Ormiston families a safe and restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Remote Learning Highlights

Throughout remote learning our teachers have been encouraging students to continue to focus on taking their time and producing high quality work. It has made us really proud to see most students have really taken this on board and used the time learning from home to show their creativity in different ways. Some highlights of student’s remote learning have been:

Year 6 Writing
As part of their inquiry unit exploring immigration, Year 6 students have been completing a collaborative, in depth text study of The Arrival by Shaun Tan. This week, students have worked with focus during their Zoom meetings and independent learning time to produce highly descriptive letters that detail the experiences, perspectives and emotions of the protagonist pictured in the text. Students should be congratulated on the fabulous way they approached these lessons. They brainstormed figurative language together, listened and responded to individual feedback on their writing and continued to edit, revise and refine their writing, focusing specifically on the five senses, figurative language and purposeful and ambitious vocabulary throughout.

Year 2 Learning Adventures
To support the development of students curiosity and transferrable skills such as creativity and communication at home, our Year 2 students have been working on completing their own learning adventures. Students have been excited to spend time at home learning new skills including how to create stop motion animations, cook, perform magic tricks and even juggle.

Science Week
This week, we have been celebrating Science Week! Our fabulous Science Department, including our Junior School STEAM teacher, Ms Dumsday, put together a range of engaging online activities for our students to choose to explore to foster curiosity, experimentation and a love of Science. Students really enjoyed making ice-cream in a bag, creating their own compost and challenging their knowledge by completing the expert level Kahoot quizzes. I encourage you to view the Padlet of engaging Science activities that students have completed here.  https://cggs.padlet.org/dumsdayp1/ScienceWeek2021

Year 4-6 Music Performances
As part of their classroom music program, Year 4-6 students were given the opportunity to practise their instrumental performance presentation skills. Students were encouraged to share their instruments and special talent for music for the enjoyment of others. It was fantastic to see so many students take up this opportunity and share performances on the cello, recorder, violin, trumpet and piano.

Ormiston Olympic Spirit Award Winners

It has been incredible to see the sustained commitment and courage shown by our students during remote learning. Remote learning is requiring a real-life application of grit and growth-mindset for the whole school community and I am incredibly proud of all of our students for persevering through this challenge.

Each week I am lucky to read some fantastic nomination statements from both our classroom and specialist teachers about why they have chosen to nominate students for an award. Over the past fortnight it has made me smile reading that our students have been described as: committed, respectful, full of initiative, hardworking and displaying kindness, determination and generosity of spirit.

Congratulations to the following students for being awarded a digital badge over the past fortnight:

Foundation: Qianqian, Evia

Year 1: Sofia, Doris, Aurora, Aryana, Nicole, Evie, Cathy, Alice,

Year 2: Aanya, Audrey, Annabelle, Faye, Emma, Akira,

Year 3: Angelina, Elfie, Angela, Annicle, Amelia, Laila, Chloe, Ivy 

Year 4: Aratrika, Amelia, Amiya, Georgia, Sophie May, Ruth, Sienna, Ellie, Shreya, Selinna 

Year 5: Zihan, Maddison, Eden, Jessica, Celeste, Alisha, Karina, Mo Lin, Amy Q, Genevieve, Nina, Christine, Nicole, Sophie, Rudra, Stefanie, Nellie, Rita, Cathy, 

Year 6: Charlotte L,  Charlotte C, Sarah Luo, Hannah, Alex, Alexia, Chanel, Poppy, Emma, Gretel, Aaliyah, Natalie, Charlie, Natasha O, Natasha C, Ashanti, Allegra, Aekam, Alina, Angel, Sarah Lu, Preesha

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Junior School


Junior School

August 6, 2021

Junior School Assembly

It was a wonderful Junior School Assembly on Wednesday. It was the perfect opportunity to hand out Ormiston badges to our Term 3 Foundation – Year 6 new students who are:

> Foundation – Eva Afrasiabi

> Year 3L – Stephanie Marriott

> Year 3R – Angelina Zhau

> Year 4Z -Isla Kang

> Year 4G – Charvi Dhingra

> Year 5S – Karina Ng

> Year 6C – Hannah Lan

We also welcome three new students that are in our Early Learning 3 classroom with Angela Follacchio and Effie Kitsiris. These students are:

> Nora Choi

> Zane Afrasiabi

> Marvella Lau

This was the final assembly for our Year 6R students who are relinquishing their Semester One leadership role and handing them over to the Year 6C class. Yesterday I listened to the Year 6C speeches and was very impressed with the content and delivery. There was a strong emphasis on leadership skills and helping others, and as a school community, we look forward to working closely with them in Semester Two.

Our School Captain Natasha Cameron, read out a beautiful and inspiring prayer for assembly. I strongly encourage all families to read it, see below:

Dear God,

We have emerged from this lockdown, safe again, reassured that your light will guide us, with the strength to have courage in the face of uncertainty.

It is in these extraordinary times that we turn to our neighbours, to sustain, support and care for one another, sharing in the joy of our community being side by side once again.

We revel in the Olympic spirit, appreciating the skills of the participants from all over this Earth of different abilities, colours, faiths and ethnicities, entertaining us, but also reminding us that our community is global, complex and interconnected.

We pray for those who have suffered throughout this pandemic and pledge to continue to reach out to those in need and continue your legacy.

In the name of our Lord,


As today is our first day of remote learning, I encourage all families to work closely once again with their child’s class and specialist teachers. I wish all Ormiston families a safe weekend and look forward to seeing everyone online at 9.00am on Monday morning Zoom meeting.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

100 Days in Foundation

On Tuesday 27 July the Foundation students celebrated their 100th day of School. The day marks a special opportunity to reflect upon and celebrate the milestone of successfully completing 100 days of learning. The students participated in a range of activities to mark this wonderful achievement.

They worked mathematically to count to 100 in multiple ways, explored the story of Fancy Nancy’s 100th Day of School and considered all the things they had learnt and the wonderful progress they had made so far at School.

A highlight for all was a fabulous fancy dress day to celebrate their achievements.

Congratulations Foundation students!

Annabelle Vivarini
Foundation & Year 1 Literacy & Numeracy Teacher

Semester One Sustainability Squad

This semester’s Sustainability Squad have a done a great job taking care of the veggie garden by harvesting and replanting winter vegetables. Despite the challenges of lockdown, the students have continued to encourage sustainable living within the school community and facilitate great initiatives. One of our great initiatives included Nude Food Day where the winning class received a blueberry plant to look after. The squad was excellently led by Charlotte Russo, Chloris Ding and Yuxin Chen. The students’ passion for creating a more environmental school and appreciation for gardening has been inspiring. I look forward to working with our Semester Two Sustainability Squad class representatives and continue the important work that the team has completed so far this year. Here are the names of the students in the Semester One Sustainability Squad:

Year 1 – Aryana Perera

Year 2  – Claire Zhang

Year 3 – Laila Beiruti

Year 4G – Sienna Jack

Year 4Z – Claire Nguyen

Year 5G – Cathy Wang

Year 5S – Allison Stocker

Year 6C – Elise Orme

Ellie Zarfaty
Year 4 Class Teacher

Ormiston Reader’s Cup

During Term 3, the Junior School Library is running a book review challenge for all students in Foundation to Year 6.

To participate in the House Readers Cup, students are asked to read and review any book they borrow from our library throughout Term 3.  Students from Years 3 – 6 will enter their reviews directly in the Orbit website, while F- Year 2 students may complete handwritten reviews available in the library. Each review earns 1 House point for the students House and a personal point to their tally. At the end of the term, 2 students per house will be awarded a book prize and the winning house will receive the House Readers Cup.

We strongly encourage all students to join in this fun activity.

Sally Spencer
Junior School Library Teacher

Winter Warmth Appeal

The Student Council Representatives collaboratively worked as a team to design posters and create speeches to read to their class to officially launch our Annual Winter Warmth Appeal.

The appeal launched on Monday 2 August and supports Anglicare in their mission to assist those in need this winter. The appeal will run until Friday 20 August and we encourage families to continue to donate non-perishable food, nappies, toiletries and canned goods. Thank you for your generosity in these challenging times.

Craig Goodwin
Year 5 Class Teacher

GOING FOR GOLD – Ormiston Olympic Spirit Awards

Throughout the Olympics and Paralympics, classroom and specialist teachers are nominating students who exemplify Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect or our school values of integrity, commitment, respect, hope and courage in their onsite or remote learning.

All students who are nominated are awarded a digital medal, which is added as their Seesaw profile picture. Students names also then go in to a raffle to win a prize at Junior School Assembly.

It was amazing to see so many worthy nominees for our first round of awards this week and I offer a huge congratulations to last fortnight’s Ormiston Olympic Spirit Award digital badge winners.

Week 3 and 4 Digital Badge Winners

Foundation – Qianqian, Charlotte, Ting Xuan & Eva

Year 1- Alice, Kayla & Aurora

Year 2- Neesha, Olivia, Alessandra & Aadhya

Year 3- Alice X, Ivy, Stephanie, Annabelle, Lucinda, Matilda & Serena

Year 4- Isla

Year 5- Maddison, Minaaz, Kealey, Zihan & Ann

Year 6- Preesha, Samanatha, Yuxin, Lexi & Allegra

There was great excitement for our first raffle on Wednesday when our first group of prize winners were drawn. Congratulations to Preesha, Maddison and Ting Xuan. I can’t wait to add more digital badges to Seesaw over the next two weeks.

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Junior School


Junior School

July 23, 2021

Foundation – Year 6 Remote Learning & Onsite Supervision

For the third time this year, I have been very impressed with the way our Ormiston staff, students and school community have transitioned back to Remote Learning with confidence and determination to do their personal best despite not being onsite at Junior School.

It has been inspiring to see many members of the Ormiston community go above and beyond for others. I have seen and heard our community help others in need during this difficult time and many of our students continue to be there for others not only in their class, but in their year level. Our School values of Respect, Integrity, Commitment, Hope and Courage are evident in everything we do here at Ormiston, and I would encourage our community to continue to use these values during this lockdown period.

With over one week of Remote Learning completed, I would like to thank parents and extended family members for supporting our Remote Learning program. We have all got our fingers crossed that Foundation to Year 6 students will return to onsite learning next Wednesday 28 July.

During Remote Learning, we continue to have a group of students onsite to allow their parents to continue to work as essential workers within our community. Once again, an enormous Thank You to Lisa Williams our CGGS Swimming Coach for looking after this group of students during this difficult period. Lisa has been a wonderful support for this group for over the last 12-months and she has made a very positive impact on their learning.

As part of our continuous improvement plan at Ormiston, I encourage Foundation – Year 6 families to contact me via email, donohuep@cggs.vic.edu.au to provide feedback on the Remote Learning program. We are regularly making changes and any feedback is valuable for future planning.

Wishing all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Early Learning 3 Artists!

In Early Learning 3, we provide children with the time and opportunity to engage with different drawing tools and explore how these can be used to express their ideas, reflections and thinking. Drawing is one of the earliest forms of communication – a visual text that children develop. When children draw, they often talk and provide an explanation or narrative about their drawing. In the classroom, these words are documented by the child or the teacher through written language or audio recording. This is important because it creates a multimodal text: drawing, talking and writing – that is, visual, oral and aural. Whilst drawing provides opportunities for creativity and rich expression, talking and drawing together are powerful because the dialogue deepens the message and shows the increased complexity of the visual text – the drawing. As teachers, we value this dialogue because it demonstrates ‘thinking in action’ and provides opportunities for further understandings of the learner and the learning that is occurring. It also creates opportunities for the teacher to support and scaffold this learning, this means, the teacher can support and build on what the child knows and can do (Mackenzie, 2018).

Associate Professor Noella Mackenzie from Charles Sturt University believes that drawing promotes strong communication skills and young children learn to make sense of their world through drawing. Her research has explored the key relationships between drawing and talking, drawing and writing, and drawing, talking and writing.

If interested, you can listen to Professor Mackenzie talk about the importance of drawing in her conversation with Gareth Parker. The link is available here.

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning 3 Teacher

Early Learning 4 Full-Time – Strengthening their Sense of Identity

The children are strengthening their sense of identity as they move forward with a new term and prepare for their transition into Primary school.

“Identity is unique to each individual, and defines who people are, what shapes their interests and how they come to view the people and events around them (DET 2016, p. 18)”.

The sense of awareness of personal identity involves both self-expression and self-awareness. The children have worked on their personal identity and awareness of self, which can be summarised in the statement ‘I know who I am’.

It is rewarding to see the children’s sense of identity grow as they express themselves in the medium of Art. The children have used balls, hoops, music, puppets, paper mache, coloured blocks, drawing and painting to express their ideas.

The children have focused on expressing their ideas through creating three-dimensional models and structures. These tasks assist in the development of co-ordination, communication and collaboration. In the classroom, the children are surrounded with interesting three-dimensional objects, both large and small, to stimulate new ideas and develop their awareness of form and shape.

Ramila Sadikeen
Early Learning 4 Full-Time Teacher

Early Learning 4 Part-Time – Bucket Fillers

This term in Early Learning 4 Part-Time, we have been discussing ‘bucket filling’. Bucket filling refers to actions or words that show you care about someone. The ‘bucket’ represents your mental and emotional self. When your ‘bucket’ is full, you feel more confident, secure, patient and friendly. The metaphor of the ‘bucket’ is one that young children can easily relate to and understand. It easily explains to children how negatives actions and words can ‘dip’ from your ‘bucket’, but that positive actions and words have the opposite effect and will ‘fill’ it.

Azalea – “Bucket filling is when you care for someone when they are sad.”

Isabella – “If you say something mean, you are dipping their bucket. If you say, ‘I love you so much’, you are filling their bucket.”

Eugenie – “When someone says, ‘I don’t like you’, you are dipping bucket.”

Emilia – “When I play with Azalea and Aileen, it fills my bucket.”

Scarlett – “When mum says, ‘I love you,’ it fills my bucket.”

This term, the children are learning to notice when someone is filling their bucket. Each time they or the teacher observes bucket filling, we put a glass stone in our classroom bucket. At the end of each day, the children are encouraged to recall when someone filled their bucket. Then we count how many glass stones are in the bucket. Learning about ‘bucket filling’ relates to children’s sense of ‘identity’. Children will learn how to interact with others with care, empathy and respect. They will begin to empathise and express concern for others and reflect on their own actions and consider the consequences for others.

Lilian Bishop
Early Learning 4 Part-Time Teacher

Junior School


Junior School

June 25, 2021

Year 5 & 6 Chapel – Caring for our Planet

Our fortnightly Chapel sessions with our school Rev Helen Creed form a very important part of our unique CGGS student wellbeing program called BRAVE (Being Resilient and Valuing Everyone). Last Friday I had the pleasure of joining the Year 6C Chapel Service in our beautiful Chapel. Rev Creed spoke about a very inspiring Nobel Peace Prize winner from Kenya, Wangari Maathai. She was the first person from Africa to win this prestigious award for her work in environmental conservation, democracy, peace, and women’s rights.

Over many decades, Wangari Maathai protested against deforestation in Kenya and, in 1977, founded The Green Belt Movement. This movement focused on empowering women in Kenya to plant one billion trees not only across Kenya, but other surrounding countries. Wangari Maathai was a strong and determined women who saw a strong need to create a greener and cleaner planet for the benefit of all people around the world. There is no doubt that Wangari displayed our CGGS school values of respect, Integrity, Commitment, Hope and Courage. I would like to share a famous quote by Wangari;

‘Every person who has ever achieved anything has been knocked down many time… but all of them picked themselves up and kept going… and that is what I have always tried to do.’ – Wangari Maathai

If any families from our school community would like to find out more information about Wangari Maathai, please click on this link. Wangari Maathai Tribute Film – YouTube

Boroondara Division Cross Country Championships

This year, we had three Ormiston students participate in the Boroondara Division Cross Country Championships at Ruffey Lake Park at Doncaster. The Year 5 and 6 students were Olivia Yang, Maya Waide-Hee and Charlotte Lim. The three students participated in their respective 3km races and performed admirably, Maya finished 27th, Olivia finished 29th and Charlotte finished 31st in their category. The course was very challenging with plenty of hills and each of our three students were very competitive on the day. I would like to thank Emma Hinchliffe for accompanying our students to this event yesterday.

Year 4 History Exhibition

History came alive at Ormiston last Friday as the Year 4s presented their research projects to the school. A mini museum was created in the Great Space for students to share their learning about the different perspectives of the settlement of Australia. Their exhibits were very creative and included written information, a digital display and a diorama. We congratulate all the students for their high standards, as part of this project commenced during remote learning. It was wonderful to see how proud and confident the students were when presenting their learning.

Ellie Zarfaty & Jasvindar Gill
Year 4 Class Teachers

Year 3 & 4 Author Visit – Remy Lai

On Wednesday 23 June, the Years 3 and 4 students had a wonderful virtual visit from author and illustrator Remy Lai. Remy is the author of the popular chapter novels Pie in the Sky and Fly on the Wall which are incredibly well-liked and regularly borrowed books from our library collection. In this event, Remy introduced her new graphic novel, Pawcasso to the students which is a story based on her own dog who also made a guest appearance via Zoom much to delight of our students.  Remy shared the processes involved in creating her work – beginning with an initial idea, basic sketches, story planning, editing and then onto final coloured copy. She also drew her wonderful characters live for the students and provided great drawing tips and advice. At the conclusion of the session our students were thrilled to have an opportunity to ask Remy questions about her writing, story ideas and favourite pets.

Sally Spencer
Junior School Library Teacher

Start of Term 3

I would like to remind all Ormiston families of the following important dates:

School Holidays – Monday 28 June to Friday 9 July

Staff Days/Student Free Days – Monday 12 July & Tuesday 13 July

First Day of Term 3 – Wednesday 14 July (EL3-Y6 students return to school)

I would like to thank our Junior School staff for all their tireless work throughout Semester One during both face-to-face and remote learnings. It has been a demanding time for everyone, and we hope that Semester Two will provide many new and exciting opportunities for all our Ormiston students. I wish all our families a safe and relaxing holiday break with their family and friends.


Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Junior School


Junior School

June 11, 2021

Foundation – Year 6 Remote Learning & Onsite Supervision

Once again, I have been amazed at the smooth transition from face-to-face learning to remote learning by our Foundation – Year 6 students, class and specialist teachers. The continued use of our online learning platform Seesaw and the video conference tool of Zoom has worked extremely well and all stakeholders are very experienced with working with these new learning tools. After each remote learning period, as a Junior School we will take the opportunity to review our programs and improve them if needed for the future.

Additionally, I would like to thank our school community for having a growth mindset and doing their personal best throughout the circuit breaker lockdown. Many thanks to our students, parents, extended family members (this includes grandparents, uncles and aunties) for having-a-go at the remote learning at home. Also, a big Thank You to our Junior School teachers for implementing such a very creative, engaging and unique remote learning program for the fourth time!

Finally, during remote learning we still have a large group of students onsite to allow their parents to continue to work as essential workers within our community. An enormous Thank You to Lisa Williams our CGGS Swimming Coach for looking after this group of students over the last two weeks.

I encourage Foundation – Year 6 families to contact me via email on donohuep@cggs.vic.edu.au to give me some feedback in regard to the remote learning program your child participated in over the last two weeks.

It was wonderful to see so many smiling faces when our students came back to School this morning. There was lots of energy and catching-up to do with friends and the Junior School teachers could not wait to get back into their classrooms.

I wish all Ormiston families a safe long weekend. Do not forget it is a public holiday on Monday 14 June and the School will not be open. Early Learning 3 – Year 6 students are required to be back at School on Tuesday 15 June.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

School Captain Prayer

I would like to share Chloe Lau’s Junior School Assembly prayer from a few weeks ago during Diversity Week. Chloe was able to express her own thoughts about diversity so clearly in her prayer, and it reminded our school community to always respect and appreciate the differences in each other. Here is Chloe’s prayer:

Dear God,

People in our school all come from different places, but that’s okay. Each one of us has different ways of reacting to the same situation, but that’s ok.

May you give us the love to respect everyone, no matter how many differences we have. Help us to learn to listen to others who may have a different background to us.

May you help us learn to create a world where all types of people are welcome. May you gift us with peace and harmony amongst all people throughout the world.

In Jesus’ name


Early Learning 3 – Positive Education – Being a Bucket Filler                                                                                                    

Positive education is a science informed framework for schools to encourage and support their students to flourish. It is made up of the domains of positive relationships, positive emotions, positive health, positive engagement, positive accomplishment and positive purpose. These domains are integral to student wellbeing and flourishing – feeling good: positive emotions and engaging experiences and doing good: functioning effectively, being connected, overcoming challenges. Keyes and Annas, 2009

During this term, the Early Learning 3 children were introduced to some of the concepts and language from Positive Education, in particular, that everyone has an invisible bucket. Through ongoing stories, songs and discussions, the children are developing an understanding about how their invisible bucket holds all their good thoughts and feelings about themselves; and how they feel happy and at their best when their bucket is full and overflowing. The children are discovering that when they choose to fill a person’s bucket, they in turn fill their own bucket too.

Recently, the children viewed a clip about being a bucket filler and participated in singing the associated song, Fill Your Bucket. This song focused on all the things the children can do throughout the day to fill someone’s bucket. If interested, this is the link to the Fill Your Bucket song. We also discussed ways we can fill another person’s bucket, for example, when we do or say something kind, take turns, smile, listen, include others, help and share.

Throughout the day, intentional teaching is used to explicitly teach and reinforce and highlight when children are being bucket fillers and the impact their words and actions have on themselves and their peers. At the end of the day, the children have some reflection time to think about who and what filled their bucket during the day, and they are encouraged to share their thoughts with the group.

Through teaching these valuable life skills, we’re providing the children with the capacity to learn effectively and build a strong foundation on which they can engage with and relate positively to their peers.

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning 3 Teacher

Early Learning 4 Full-Time –Celebrating Diversity Week & STEAM Program

Diversity & Reconciliation Weeks
‘Values and attitudes, understandings of community and individual, and ways of communicating and behaving, all impact on children’s sense of belonging and acceptance. When children experience acknowledgement of and respect for diversity, their sense of identity becomes stronger.’ – Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework.

Diversity Week led to Reconciliation Week with discussion and meaningful interactions with community members and elders. The EL4 children are experiencing a holistic curriculum with discussion, stories, songs and expression of art. They have engaged in examining their own identity and belonging by continuing to explore their own community.

In celebration of Diversity Week, the children were invited to dress in rainbow colours. This activity opened up the conversation of individual physical differences, the children identified what is similar and different in their physical appearance and created links to their place of birth. The different countries, languages and cultures are a rich source of information for the children to learn about. While exploring the backgrounds of others, the EL4 children were able to acknowledge the unique space the Wurundjeri people have within our School community. Murrundindi visited both classes via Zoom and the children discussed ‘Sorry Day’ and learned more about reconciliation.

The EL4 children also explored other traditional cultural events such as an Indian wedding and a Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon festival. The children were given an insight into these significant cultural events, enabling an appreciation of cultural differences and a strengthening respect for diversity.

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths) Program
This term, the EL4 children have continued to work with Penny Dumsday our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths) Teacher. Mrs Dumsday assisted the children to learn more about our five senses and provided many different learning experiences. Additionally, Mrs Dumsday encouraged the children to ask questions, make connections with their prior knowledge and present ideas in relation to the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste.

As Ormiston is quieter than usual during remote learning for the Foundation – Year 6 students, the EL4 children have taken the time to enjoy the whole School yard with a purpose. Winter nature play has encouraged the children to look closely at the changes to the trees and to stay closely connected to nature which can be highly beneficial to student wellbeing.

Ramila Sadikeen
Early Learning 4 Full-Time Teacher

Early Learning 4 Part-Time – The Cycle of Nature

The cycle of nature continues on, regardless of what is happening in the news headlines or the stresses of the adult world. The children in Early Learning 4 Part-time have noticed and been curious about the seasonal changes that Autumn and Winter have brought. They share their observations and suggest theories about why particular things happen in nature.

We have practiced ‘mindfulness’ outside, using our senses to hear, feel and see the seasonal changes. Tuning into the sights and sounds of nature, draws children’s attention to the here and now and reduces stress and anxiety. Engaging all of their senses has encouraged the children to pay close attention to the small details.

The children have also used different art mediums to represent their Autumn and Winter observations. These have included drawing, sewing, collage and printmaking. Through visual art the children are learning to express their growing understandings about the world around them. Young children explore the arts with both a creative and scientific “eye”.  The artist in them seeks ways to express their ideas and the scientist wonders why things happen.

The children observed that some of the trees have started changing colour and are losing their leaves while others are not. They were introduced to the terms, deciduous trees and evergreen trees. They were encouraged to ‘wonder’ why some leaves change colour and fall from the deciduous trees.

Our STEAM Teacher, Penny Dumsday worked with the children to explore their wonderings about Autumn. Mrs Dumsday did a science experiment with the children to show them that leaves contain lots of different colours. They learnt that some trees draw the chlorophyll (which is the green pigment in leaves) back into the trunk to feed them over winter.

Every child learns differently – some prefer to observe, some listen, some engage actively, and others talk. With this in mind, it is important to provide multiple ways for children to engage in new learning. The three main ways that young children learn are auditory (listening), visually (pictures and images) and kinaesthetic (through doing). By engaging in a multi-faceted approach to learning, all children are able to understand and represent their learning.

Lilian Bishop
Early Learning 4 Part-Time Teacher

Year 4 – Exploring their Neighbourhood

Lockdown is always challenging but the Year 4 students still have lots to be thankful for. They have been exploring their neighbourhood on sensory walks to observe and appreciate nature. Leaves of different shapes and sizes have been collected resulting in the creation of gratitude trees.

Jasvindar Gill
Year 4 Class Teacher

Junior School


Junior School

May 28, 2021

House Athletics

Last week the Years 3-6 Athletics Carnival took place at Box Hill Athletics track. We were extremely fortunate with perfect weather conditions and it was wonderful to see many parents cheering on the sidelines. Thank you to Liana Kitsou for organising a very successful carnival. Every student completed a number of track and field events throughout the day, and so many students completed personal best performances and earn points for their House. The overall scores for the day were:

1st place: Singleton – 665 points

2nd place: Lawrence – 656 points

3rd place: Schofield – 609 points

4th place: Taylor – 594 points

Congratulations to Singleton for winning this year’s Athletics Carnival. Also, this year we introduced the spirit stick (the same as Senior School) to the House that best supports and encourages their participants throughout a school event. For the very first time, Lawrence was awarded the spirit stick as they gave so much incredible support to students in their house.

North Balwyn District Cross Country

Congratulations to the following students who participated in the North Balwyn District Cross Country event on Friday 21 May. Each of the students participated with plenty of enthusiasm and three students qualified for the next level. The students were Olivia Yang (Year 5), Charlotte Lim (Year 6) and Maya Waide-Hee (Year 6). This cross country event will now take place in the near future.

The students that participated were:

9/10 Year Old

Joyce Zhang

Sienna Jack

Eden Chia

Lauren Tang

Allison Stocker

Georgia Papadopoulos

Sophie-May Ronzani

Ava Pao

Amelia Adel

11 Year Old

Olivia Yang

Genevieve Khaw

Maya Waide-Hee

Charlotte Chong

Poppy Tymmons

Amy Qi

Mo Lin Yu

Jasmine Xie

Hannah Law

12 Year Old

Samantha Lovell

Chloe Lau

Aathana Sivapalan

Alexia Stuart-Adams

Emily Foo

Selena Chen

Angel Li

Emily Wong

Elise Orme

Natasha Cameron

As we enter day one of the seven-day circuit breaker lockdown, my thoughts are with the Ormiston community. I look forward to continuing to see our Early Learning families each day and excited for the return of all Foundation – Year 6 students, next Friday 4 June.


Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

World Vision – Junior School Project

On Monday 17 May, Student Council showed enthusiasm when leading a campaign during Diversity Week to raise awareness and knowledge of other people in our global community.

At our Junior School Assembly, our Social Service Leaders, Natalie Knowles and Kana Cao presented information about our World Vision sponsor child, Keatlaretsi Ayanda and her community. The students spoke about Keatlaretsi life as a 13-year-old girl in Zimbabwe and shared information about her chores at home, particularly in caring for the animals. The students enthusiastically raised their hands and shared stores about the animals they care for at home.

The Student Council Team ran a stall to raise money for Keatlaretsi and her community. After meeting and brainstorming possible fundraising ideas with Miss Hinchliffe and I, the students decided to sell rainbow ribbons. Student Council set up a stall at lunchtime and students were able to purchase a ribbon and wear it.

In combination with the gold coin donations and the sale of the rainbow ribbon, Junior School raised $597 to help Keatlaretsi and her community.

Student Council were led with enthusiasm, creativity and confidence throughout the planning and implementation process. A special congratulations to Natalie and Kana for their strong leadership.

Craig Goodwin
Year 5 Class Teacher

Dr Tom Nehmy – Pathways to a Healthy Mind Parent Seminar Summary

On Tuesday evening, many parents were lucky to hear expert parenting advice about how to parent in a way that supports children’s wellbeing from psychologist, Dr Tom Nehmy.

Dr Nehmy provided an insight into the importance of supporting our personal and our children’s wellbeing in all areas of the Wellbeing Wheel, to enhance optimal health. Please see image of the Wellbeing Wheel below or click on the button below for more information.

Dr Nehmy explained the following key research informed actions parents can take support the development of their children’s psychological skills, which were:

> Make parents’ own mental health and wellbeing a priority

> Avoid prioritising children’s short term emotional states over long-term growth and development

> In situations where students are having trouble with self-control, stop them and ask “The magic question” – What is the helpful thing to do now?” This helps children to see they have options on how to respond to situations

> Encourage courage over comfort

> Provide opportunities to share gratitude

> Model self-compassion and normalise the making of mistakes

> Never do something for a child that they can reasonably do for themselves

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Year 5 Sovereign Hill Excursion

On Monday 24 May, the Year 5 students travelled back in time to the colonial and gold rush days of Australia’s past through a visit to Sovereign Hill. We explored many aspects of daily life and the Aboriginal perspectives of the time during an education session with a teacher that we had to call Marme. We took a ride down 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 were exceptional in how they represented Camberwell Girls Grammar throughout the day. 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.

Some students have shared their thoughts on the excursion:

“Exploring the Wathurung people, we learnt about their artefacts, – which they prefer to call belongings, as it once belonged to an ancestor – habits, history and culture. We relished our experience in Sovereign Hill.”   – Eden Chia & Kealey Liew

“The sweets were delicious! Sovereign Hill was lots of fun and I learnt lots too!”  –  Jessica Wong

I enjoyed having an experience most students don’t get to have and learning about the cultural differences in the times of the gold rush. The lesson that I learnt about the First Nations changed my perspective about the colonial days and I have learned to acknowledge them as land owners and respect their traditions and differences.  – Rita Wong

“The trip to Ballarat showed us life in the 1800’s, giving us a chance to explore”  –  Hannah Law

“I learnt numerous things at Sovereign Hill. It taught me things like how aboriginal people lived, how the British people lived, and how Chinese immigrants lived. It taught me about different cultures present at Australia during the colonial times. I also learnt about the process of purifying gold. This experience helped me make connections and think deeper about the colonial times. Plus, it also taught me to manage my money!”   –  Amy Yang

“The excursion was enjoyable especially during the gold pour and the exploration time”. –  Mo Lin Yu

Fiorella Soci & Craig Goodwin
Year 5 Class Teachers

Nude Food

To promote sustainability, last week our Sustainability Squad ran the first of many Nude Food Day competitions for the year. On this day, all students were encouraged to only bring unpackaged foods to school. Students were excited by the challenge to be the most sustainable class for the day. In a close finish Year 1 won the blueberry bush prize, with 75% of their students bringing in only nude foods. In a twist on the competition this year, the next Nude Food Competition winner will win the blueberry bush off Year 1. Everyone is encouraged to continue to bring nude foods to school in place of packaged items, as a simple way for us all to look after our planet.

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Junior School



May 14, 2021

Kanga Tennis Coaching Clinics

The last two Fridays there has been a lot of racquet movement from all of our students practicing their forehands, backhands and volleys on the Junior School tennis court.  The Kanga Tennis coaches – Annette, Tim and Dustin have delivered high energy and skilled-based clinic sessions to all our students from Early Learning 4 to Year 6.  Kanga tennis Coaching have been working with our Ormiston students for over 5 years and their experienced coaches do a fantastic job.

Kanga Tennis Coaching provide lessons every Tuesday and Thursday morning for our students at these times:

8.00am – 8.40am / Year 3, 4, 5 & 6

8.40am – 9.10am / Foundation, Year 1 & 2

9.10am – 9.40am / Early Learning 3 & 4

If families are interested in taking up tennis lessons at Ormiston in Term 2, please contact our Junior School Reception via email on junioradmin@cggs.vic.edu.au.

I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Foundation Rabbits – Snowy, Fluffy, Rainbow and Cutie

For the past two weeks the Foundation students have been fortunate to have had four rabbits visit our classroom. The students quickly took to the rabbits and they became our much-loved pets for the time they were here. The students named the rabbits: Snowy, Fluffy, Rainbow and Cutie. They were responsible for filling the rabbits’ water bowls, ensuring they had fresh hay and even helping to clean their hutch from time to time. They also gave them an infinite supply of love, pats and cuddles. This was a great experience for the students to learn first-hand what living things need to survive and how people can help to care for other creatures.

“When the rabbits come out they can be a little bit scared. We need to be quiet to help them.” – Ting Xuan

“We have to be kind and gentle with them.” – Clara

“Carrots are a treat for rabbits, they don’t always eat carrots. Our rabbits eat hay and pellets.” – Angela

“Rabbits needs lots of care to make them happy.” – Bella

“You need to clean out their cage, even though it’s the worst job in the world.” – Joelle

“When we go in the circle to pat the rabbits we have to pat them with one hand.” – Eshaal

“If you scare them, they will hide.” – Theresa

“The rabbits are so soft and fluffy. I like to pat them.” – Chloe

“We got to teach the Year 1s about our rabbits.” – Rubyrose

“The rabbits are my favourite thing at school.” – Lena

Selena Reedman
Foundation Class Teacher

Year 1 – Healesville Sanctuary Excursion

Last week Year 1 took part in an excursion to Healesville Sanctuary as part of our Inquiry unit investigating the question “How do living things change, grow and survive?” Murrundindi (Head man of the Wurundjeri people) greeted us at the entrance and he spent the day showing us the Sanctuary and various exhibits. He showed the students some of the features of native flora in the area and explained how they were significant to the Wurundjeri people and animals. The students had a closer look at the kangaroo apple, lemon myrtle, manna gum, wild strawberries and various grasses used to weave baskets.

The Spirit of the Sky show gave the students the opportunity to view various birds of prey in flight and the koala, kangaroo, brolga, dingo and other exhibits allowed students to discuss some of each animal’s features, their habitats and some of their adaptions needed for them to survive. The teachers were impressed with the positivity and curiosity of the students, most of whom were experiencing their first excursion.

Angela Columbine
Year 1 Teacher

Year 5 PLAY Leadership Program

Last week the Year 5 students participated in the PLAY leadership training, run by Resilient Youth Australia. This full day workshop taught students how to facilitate safe and fun games for Ormiston students during recess and lunch.

The program is designed as a platform for students to have opportunities to support each other, practice positive values, take responsibility and develop their leadership abilities. It was an excellent opportunity for our Year 5 students to begin building their leadership skills before they take on their formal leadership role in Year 6.

Throughout the day, students learnt a variety of interactive PLAY games and how to introduce and facilitate the games effectively with other students without teacher guidance.

Some of the many games that students learnt and taught the Year 3 and 4 students were In and Out, Cat and Mouse, Domes and Dishes and Revolution.

Students relished the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and have fun together at the same time. Throughout the program, students learned the importance of giving clear instructions, working as team, listening to others and giving supportive feedback.

Asha from 5G commented, “I saw the world from a teacher’s point of view. One stand-out moment for me was when a student I was instructing was very shy to begin with, but over time she became more confident and engaged. I felt like I was achieving what I set out to do.”

We look forward to the Year 5 students consolidating their skills this term and then applying their skills to teach the PLAY games to the rest of the school community in Semester 2.

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Foundation – Year 6 English as an Additional Language (EAL) Information Session

On Wednesday, we hosted our very first parent information session for families whom English is their second language.  Our focus was to support families and to strengthen relationships between school and home, which ultimately leads to establishing true partnerships.

Together with Barbara Peng, our school interpreter and translator, we had parents discussing and asking questions regarding various topics. This included home learning, accessing reports on SEQTA and how to request interpreting services. Additionally, parents became familiar with their child’s learning and were able to converse in open discussions about the present curriculum. Our informal Q&A was led by parents and was an opportunity to meet and share. It was wonderful to see new and existing families having the opportunity to make reciprocated connections.

EAL parent information sessions in the future will be held in Term 2 and Term 4 each year and will range in topics relevant to current happenings. Thank you to those who attended, and I look forward to our next meeting in Term 4 later in the year.

Michelle May
Junior & Senior EAL Teacher

Book Clubs

Each week the Junior School Library offers two lunchtime Book Clubs for interested students in Years 3-6.

Wednesday sessions: all students from Years 3 & 4 are invited to attend Book Club with Mrs Spencer. These sessions are an opportunity for students to share stories and discuss recent reads and book recommendations with their peers in an enjoyable and relaxed environment. Students also participate in a variety of fun book related activities including Book Scavenger Hunts, designing an ideal bookshelf with all their favourite titles, and creating and colouring beautiful bookmarks.

Thursday sessions: Madison Kelly leads the Year 5 and 6 Book Club. Students in this group have enjoyed creating their own Zines on favourite topics and areas of interest. Zines are handmade photocopied books that students have made copies of to take home, as well as a copy for the school library collection. They have also been working hard to complete artwork and illustrations for the book they wrote together throughout the last year. It’s wonderful to see all the amazing and creative items that are produced from these sessons.

Sally Spencer
Junior School Library Teacher

Year 4 Prayer

Dear God

We thank you for giving each of us such incredible mothers and grandmothers.

They support us whenever we are in need, comfort us

when we are afraid and guide us on the right path encouraging us to be

the best versions of ourselves.  We bless those mothers who are

unwell, the mothers that are missing their loved ones, the mothers

who are courageously helping others and the mothers who are not

with us today.  We pray that every mother and grandmother has the

most special day this Sunday.


Written by Year 4Z & Helen Creed – School Chaplain

Junior School


Junior School

April 30, 2021

Digital Citizenship and Wellbeing

Throughout the year, many Ormiston parents have asked me about their child’s device usage both at home and at School. The two main questions arising are:

> How much time should my child spend on a device?

> What are they doing on their device?

Last term, we conducted a Digital Citizenship workshop with parents and the main message from the session was to encourage parents to closely supervise their child’s time while online. If parents are able to do this, they will be able to monitor the total amount of screen time, as well as the activities and content being viewed.

Below is a brief summary of the main points covered in our Term 1 workshop. If parents would like to ask further questions, I can be contacted via email, donohuep@cggs.vic.edu.au.

Minimise screen time each day

> Ensure that sedentary screen time is not a routine part of child-care for children younger than 5 years.

> Maintain daily ‘screen-free’ times, especially for family meals and book-sharing.

> Avoid screens for at least 1 hour before bedtime, given the potential for melatonin-suppressing effects which can negatively impact on sleep.

Reduce the risks associated with device use

> As parents, be present and engaged when screens are used and, whenever possible, co-view with children.

> As parents, be aware of content and prioritise educational, age-appropriate content.

> As parents, please monitor social media usage during each day. Take the time to read your child’s interactions with others.

Parents should model healthy device usage

> Parents are encouraged to select healthy alternatives to device use, such as reading, outdoor play and creative, hands-on activities

> Parents should turn off their own devices at home during family time

I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Early Learning 3 – Zoom with Rebecca from the Wurundjeri Council

As part of finding out about the Wurundjeri People, the custodians of the land on which our school is located, we engaged in an interactive Zoom session with Rebecca Axford from the Wurundjeri Council.

We found out that Bunjil is the creator spirit, and he created all things natural – the rivers, animals, mountains, flowers and rules for people to live. Rebecca read the story Welcome to Country by Wurundjeri elder, Aunty Joy Murphy. Through the words and illustrations in the story, the children discovered that the Wurundjeri people are part of the land and the land is part of them. They have looked after the land for many, many years and we need to continue to look after and take care of the land, and only take from the land what we can give back.

As curious learners, the children also viewed a possum skin and Rebecca explained how these were sewn together to make a large cloak. They were used to keep people warm and told the story, through symbols and pictures, of a person’s kin or family.

As communicators, the children engaged with a song in Woiwurrung language – the language of the Wurundjeri People. This was a highlight for the children, as they already knew the words to Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes in English and Rebecca taught them the words to the song in Woiwurrung. In Early Learning 3, we want to encourage an appreciation of linguistic diversity and the children are already exposed to diverse languages such as Greek, English, Chinese, Farsi and Cantonese. We believe it is also important to communicate in Woiwurrung and we are doing this in the classroom through songs and greetings.

In our learning environment, we also plan experiences and provide resources and provocations that broaden the children’s perspectives and encourage an appreciation of and respect for the Wurundjeri People and their ways of knowing and being.

We look forward to continuing our learning with Rebecca throughout the year.

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning 3 Teacher

Early Learning 4 Nature Play – Outdoor Classroom

Nature Play was an opportunity to immerse the children in nature. Nature play is similar to a camping experience, spending the whole day in the great outdoors and exploring all the possibilities of being with nature. It was a wonderful experience for all, providing many different opportunities of connecting with each other. it was exciting to view the yard as a dynamic and stimulating learning environment that provided a holistic sense of wellbeing.

The experience provided educators with the opportunity to feel the same sense of liberation and excitement that children feel every time they go outside for their daily outdoor play. As educators, we value the intrinsic components of wellbeing that uninterrupted play offers the children.

The children explored the trees, leaves, insects and bugs, using resources such as magnifying glasses and binoculars. When the children found bugs in the yard particularly interesting, many different questions were overheard, for example, “I wonder how snails slither?”

Upon returning to the Early Learning Centre, the children were busy reconnecting with each other, through creating their own mandalas with their findings. The Nature Play Day was a rich learning experience that opened many exciting possibilities surrounding how nature could be included more frequently within the children’s daily learning.

The day concluded with a feedback session with the children by introducing a thumbs-up/ thumbs down system. All children gave a resounding thumbs up for Nature Play Day.

Ramila Sadikeen & Lilian Bishop
Early Learning 4 Teachers

Year 6 Learning Expo

On Tuesday evening the Year 6 students were delighted to welcoming their families to view a learning exhibition that showcased their inquiry projects from Term 1.

The students explored the big question, ‘How can we use energy in a sustainable way?’ Students applied their knowledge of different energy sources and electrical circuits to plan and design a model that would either make more efficient use of energy or use more renewable energy sources to be more sustainable.

At the exhibition, students shared their design process, how their inventions worked and the challenges they encountered along the way. Many also had in-depth conversations about the ways we can create and use energy more sustainably in the future.

Here are a selection of inquiry questions the students explored:

Can desk lamp be powered by wastewater from a shower?

Is it possible to use a water wheel to power garden lights?

Can a device be powered using body heat?

Can a solar energy power a hairdryer?

Can a blender be powered by kinetic energy?

The students in Year 6 have approached their learning with resilience and a growth mindset. Throughout the design process they asked many questions, sort feedback from their teachers and peers and were creative and flexible with their thinking to overcome the challenges they encountered.

Here are some of their reflections about their learning:

I liked the opportunity to explain my learning and work verbally to people in real life. – Ashley 

The best part of the design projects was discovering what circuit worked and what circuits didn’t. The main problem for us was working out which wires were positive and which wires were negative. It was also a challenge to work out how to power two things with one solar panel. – Natasha C

I loved the feeling of the room with all the parents and families enjoying our projects that we had worked so hard on. There was a real buzz! – Lexi

I enjoyed the opportunity to work in a team. It meant that we were able to use both our brains to solve the problems we encountered. – Selena

I enjoyed the trial and error aspect of the project in which you fail and fail and fail… when you finally succeed you feel elated and a great sense of satisfaction. – Angel & Samantha

Thank you to the Year 6 families who engaged so actively in the evening’s presentations. It meant so much to the students to be able to showcase their learning journeys with you.

Nancy Robottom
Year 6 Teacher

Year 4 – 6 Cross Country

On Tuesday the 27 of April, our Years 4 – 6 students were finally able to participate in their first House Carnival since 2019! The students were so excited to bring that team spirit back, where they were able to cheer on their peers. They braved the drizzle during their races, and all did their personal best. Some students will qualify for the Balwyn North District Championships on Friday 14 May. Congratulations to Taylor who were our House winners for the day, on 410 points! They were closely followed by Lawrence on 405 points, Singleton on 385 points and Schofield on 305 points. Well done to everyone!

Liana Kitsou
Junior School PE Teacher

Year 2 Australian Rules Football & Year 4 Cricket Victoria Coaching Program

The Year 2 students are participating in a five week curriculum aligned program with AFL Victoria, whilst the Year 4 students are participating in a five week curriculum aligned program with Cricket Victoria. These clinics are designed to give the students an opportunity to experience a fun and exciting program, that is aimed to help students learn to play sport. Our AFL Coaches, Lachie & Jake, are all well-experienced in their fields and have been playing the game for many years, representing various clubs. Our Cricket Coach, Acacia, represented the Australian Indoor Cricket Team in 2019.

Liana Kitsou
Junior School PE Teacher