Junior School


Junior School

February 14, 2020

Welcome Back!

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

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

Isabelle Gilliland, Aryana Perera, Olivia Ding & Katyayani Thathu

Year 2
Alice Hong

Year 4
Nellie Ruddle & Stefanie Nguyen

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

Year 6
Chloe Byers & Emily Chen


Centenary Commencement Ceremony

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

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

Ormiston Staffing for 2020

Here is our Ormiston Team for 2020:                                               

Early Learning 3
Ramila Sadikeen & Effie Kitsiris

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

Early Learning 4 (Part Time)          
Lilian Bishop

Learning Assistant Team Member
Neroli Bowyer-Smyth

Selena Reedman

Year 1
Angela Columbine

Foundation & Year 1 Literacy & Numeracy Support
Annabelle Vivarini

Foundation & Year 1 Inquiry Support
Emma Hinchliffe

Year 2
Mikaela Stanaway & Ellie Zarfaty

Year 3
Liz Ruffles & Rebecca Leondidis

Year 4
Jasvindar Gill & Craig Goodwin

Year 5
Anjali de Quadros/Meagan Wilson & Fiorella Soci

Year 6
Katrina Cheong & Nancy Robottom

Fiona Gibson

Scarlett Zhang, Peipei Liu & Lin Zhang

Melissa Drentin

Sally Spencer

Nichole Adams & Penny Byrne

F-6 Choir
Jessica Huggett

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

Penny Dumsday

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

Learning Enrichment & EAL
Michelle May


Ormiston’s New Outside Playground Area

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

Chinese New Year Celebrations

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

Early Learning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Digital Learning in an Age of Uncertainty

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

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

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

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

 Micah Wilkins
Head of Digital Learning and Innovation


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


Yours sincerely,


Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School