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

Junior School


Junior School

April 1, 2021

As we approach the end of Term 1, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all our Ormiston families for their continued support this year. I hope families are able to spend some quality time with family and friends throughout the Easter holiday break and I encourage our students to rest during this time to ensure they are ready for a very exciting and dynamic Term 2.

Welcome Back Event

The much anticipated annual Welcome Back Event finally came about last Friday. In previous years a similar event known as the Junior School Twilight Picnic was held during Term 1 and this has now been merged into the Welcome Back Event where families come along and take the opportunity to meet other families in a relaxed atmosphere.

With social distancing in mind, this year we divided our Junior School year levels into two sessions with the Early Learning 3 – Year 3 students from 5.00pm – 6.30pm and the Year 4 – 6 students from 7.00pm – 8.30pm. This strategy allowed for additional outdoor space for families to spread out across the campus. Also, it was great to see new families to Ormiston meet other families in their child’s year level.

I would like to thank Susannah Jepson and her Foundation Team for organising the event. Depending on the circumstances at the start of Term 2, we look forward to seeing more parents at Junior School throughout the year.

Foundation – Year 6 Easter Service at St Mark’s Church

It was a wonderful opportunity for the Foundation – Year 6 students to walk down to St Mark’s Church today to experience our annual Junior School Easter Service. As always, the Reverend Helen Creed took the special service and many students from different year levels took an active role in this important event. There were lots of songs and prayers and the story of Palm Sunday when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the Maundy Thursday Story and the story of Easter Sunday were explained to the Junior School. Our Principal, Mrs Dunwoody read out the Easter Greeting and our School Captains finished off the Service by saying the Lord’s prayer.

Foundation – Year 2 Swim Carnival

On Wednesday our Foundation – Year 2 students put on a swimming exhibition at the CGGS Aquatic Centre at Senior School. Each student actively participated in three events on the day and two of those events included the strokes of freestyle and backstroke. The overall standard of swimming during the morning was of a very high standard and each student must be congratulated for doing their own personal best.

Our students were representing their CGGS House – Lawrence, Singleton, Taylor and Schofield where house points were allocated throughout the carnival. Thank you to our Junior School Physical Education Teacher, Miss Liana Kitsou for organising the carnival and Ms Kitsou received a lot of support from Lisa Williams our Swim School Coordinator. Ms Williams’ team helped in the pool during each swimming event, and this enabled the event to run smoothly. Additionally, the Year 6 house leaders assisted on the day with the recording of results and thank you to Samantha Lovell, Selena Chen, Alexandra Bartnicki and Angel Li for their excellent work.

I wish everyone a happy and safe Easter and look forward to seeing everyone back at Ormiston for our first day of Term 2 on Tuesday 20 April 2021. 

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Early Learning 4 Full-Time

EL4 full time children are connected to the wider world. Our journey to connect to the wider world began with our class examining their own identity. The children were encouraged to look at themselves and describe what they look like. We used a variety of mediums to help the children feel safe and confident to express their thoughts and ideas.

Connecting to grandparents and parents was the most effective way to affirm the children’s identity and connect to the wider world as well. We had grandparents share aspects of their cultural roots along with Mums share their stories of childhood connections to India and to a kindergarten in China. Many similarities and differences were identified as we connected to our own lives.

Children grew in confidence to express themselves as they used puppets and a variety of new resources purchased to explore their environment. Their contribution to enrich their own play is embedded in their ability to sustain reciprocal relationships that are respectful, caring and fun.

What is beautiful about this journey of identity is the children’s capacity to embrace the richness of diversity and celebrate their own unique sense of self. It has been a very rewarding term where the children’s growth and development is intrinsic to their own sense identity.

Ramila Sadikeen
Early Learning 4 Full-Time Teacher

Year 1 Incursion

Last Tuesday, Mrs Sargood from the National Trust transformed the Year 1 classroom and gave the students a taste of what school and life was like over 150 years ago. The students dressed as children from the past and took part in lessons using a dip pen and ink, listened to stories of what life was like in the 1800s and learnt about rules and expectations, as well as the consequences given to children who were disobedient at school! The students viewed photographs and images of Queen Victoria, Rippon Lea historic estate and Sargood family who built and lived in Rippon Lea in 1868. This engaging incursion gave the students the opportunity to further develop and apply their knowledge of our Inquiry unit, where they are investigating the question: “How do events, stories and objects from the past help us to understand our present?”

The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and were keen to share some of their thoughts:

Isabella-Rose – I loved writing with ink.

Sofia – I enjoyed acting like a kid from over 100 years ago.

Olive – I loved it when Mrs. Sargood told us teachers would write silly names on the slate when they are being mean to kids. It was part of their punishment.

Evie – I found ink writing challenging, it was hard dip the pen in the ink and sometimes I had too much.

Nicole- I like the bell she used at the start of the lesson.

Olivia D. – I liked it when she showed us the black and white photos of her children.

Stephanie – Mrs. Sargood was very strict. She had 35 servants in her house.

Cathy – I liked the work Mrs. Sargood gave us.

Aryana – I enjoyed when Mrs. Sargood showed us pictures of her home in Rippon Lea and Queen Victoria.

Isabelle – I enjoyed going up the front and pretending to do the washing. 

Angela Columbine
Year 1 Class Teacher

Year 4-6 Digital Wellbeing & Technologies Parent Webinar

On Tuesday evening, a group of Year 4-6 parents joined our Head of Digital Learning – Micah Wilkins and I on Zoom to discuss the importance digital technologies and digital wellbeing within the home and school environments.

We revisited the Junior School Digital Wellbeing Guidelines (see image) and discussed how these could be implemented at home.

Parents also shared their own tips and experiences about using technologies with their children at home and we shared some examples of the ways in which our students are developing their digital literacy, citizenship skills and wellbeing at CGGS in both the Junior and Senior Schools. We hope to offer some on site opportunities for parents to have a go at using some of our technologies including our Spheros later in the year.

There was a strong interest from parents in the current screen time recommendations for children. There are currently no formal set time limits on this due to the proliferation of screens in our day to day lives these days, it is the quality and nature of the screen time that is most important. We encourage you to use the following recommendations from the Canadian Paediatric Society (2017) as a guide to develop good screen time habits at home.

Minimise screen time:
> Screen time for children younger than 2  years is not recommended.
> For children 2 to 5 years, limit routine or regular screen time to less than 1 hour per 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 screen time:
> Be present and engaged when screens are used and, whenever possible, co-view with children.
> Be aware of content and prioritise educational, age-appropriate and interactive programming.
> Use parenting strategies that teach self-regulation, calming and limit-setting.
> Conduct a self-assessment of current screen habits and develop a family media plan for when, how and where screens may (and may not) be used.
> Help children recognise and question advertising messages, stereotyping and other problematic content.
> Be reassured that there is no evidence to support introducing technology at an early age.

Adults should model healthy screen use:
> Choose healthy alternatives, such as reading, outdoor play and creative, hands-on activities.
> Turn off adult’s own devices at home during family time.
> Turn off screens when not in use and avoid background TV

This term in Year 4, we learnt all about Digital Citizenship and how to stay safe online. The students identified strategies for keeping themselves safe online such as: using age guidelines, keeping personal information private and how to deal with cyberbullying. This unit brought up many interesting class discussions around online etiquette and the responsibilities we have as digital citizens.

As a summative task, the students were placed into groups and took on the role as teacher by teaching the Year 3s about a specific topic related to digital citizenship. As a group, they planned, prepared resources and taught a mini-lesson for the students.

Here are some thoughts of what the Year 4s have learnt this term about Digital Citizenship:

“This term I learnt not to put your personal details online or you could get hacked”Kathleen

“Something that I learnt this term is that even if a website looks trustworthy, it may not be” – Ruth

“I learnt how to stay safe online by asking a parent if that website is safe to go on”Joyce

“I have learnt never to click on pop-ups that seem untrustworthy” – Ailey

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Year 4 – 6 Netball

The CGGS Junior School Netball Program commenced this term with many enthusiastic students wanting to partake in this team sport.

Year 2/3 Program – Thursday afternoon

The response to the program has been overwhelming currently with 43 registered players. The program is aimed at introducing the students to the game of netball teaching them the basic preparation skills in order to progress onto games.

Year 4 Opals – Friday afternoon

The Year 4 team participate on a Friday afternoon at the Boroondara Netball Association and currently have 9 registered players. So far, this team is undefeated although being a non- competitive competition, it is wonderful to see the smiles on their faces and most importantly having a lot of fun.

Year 5/6 Teams – Saturday

The Year 5/6 teams compete on Saturday mornings at the Boroondara Netball Association. We have entered one Year 5 team and two Year 6 teams. It has been a great start, although weather conditions were not favourable and commend the players for performing superbly in the rain and still managing to enjoy themselves.

We are still seeking additional players for the Year 6 teams so if your child is interested in joining any of the teams next term, please contact Kim Bailey at baileyk@cggs.vic.edu.au.

Kim Bailey
Netball Coordinator

Junior School


Junior School

March 19, 2021

Eastern Metropolitan Regional Swim Championships

Congratulations to the Ormiston students that participated at the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Swim Championships at Boroondara Sports Complex last week.  They all are to be commended in their outstanding achievement individually and as a team.

Cecilia Yang

Genevieve Khaw

Jasmine Xie

Anthea Vais

Olivia Yang

Chloe Lau

Jasmine Li


Listed below are the results from each swim event:

Open Medley Relay – Third Place
Cecilia Yang, Chloe Lau, Jasmine Li and Olivia Yang

Freestyle Relay – Third Place
Genevieve Khaw, Anthea Vais, Olivia Yang and Jasmine Xie

50 Metre Breaststroke – Second Place
Cecilia Yang

50 Metre Backstroke – Second Place
Olivia Yang

50 Metre Freestyle – Second Place
Olivia Yang


Only the first-placed swimmer or relay team in each race can move to the next level of competition which is the School Sport Victoria State Swim Championships. These students were recognised for their achievements at this week’s Junior School Assembly and we look forward to more personal best efforts in swimming in the future.

The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDA)

On Friday 19 March, Australian schools stand united in their communities to join the national conversation to help address bullying. The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDA) is Australia’s key bullying prevention initiative, connecting schools and communities to find workable solutions to bullying and violence, and where schools are called to imagine a world free from bullying.

Across the School, students were involved in a different activity that raised awareness about bullying and demonstrated our students’ commitment to taking a stand against all forms of bullying.

The Junior School classes explored the importance of standing up to bullying and different age appropriate ways of taking action against bullying. Our Year 6 students also participated in the ‘Being an Upstander’ webinar run by the Office of the e-Safety commissioner to learn how to be upstanders themselves and recognise the harm that can be caused by cyberbullying.

To demonstrate CGGS’s commitment, the Junior School Student Council created posters and took photos to provide a platform to show our collective support and take action together in recognition that bullying prevention is everyone’s responsibility.

Foundation – Year 6 Child Safe Standards Workshops

Every year, our School Counsellors Beth Sarlos and Paula Kolivas present information to our Foundation – Year 6 students about the topic of Child Safe Standards. The slideshow promotes the safety of children and encourages them to ‘have a say’, especially on issues that are important to them or about decisions that affect their lives.

The presentation empowers each student at Ormiston to take charge of their own body and that everyone has the right to be safe and be protected from abuse. Both Counsellors discuss that no one should behave in a way that makes you feel unsafe or afraid, including anyone in your family, anyone at school or anywhere else in the community. Our students are strongly encouraged to tell a teacher or any adult if they feel unsafe.

Finally, our Junior School students learn that child safe standards is everyone’s responsibility. Adults at school must listen and respond to concerns of students, and if any staff member or student suspects abuse of any student or young person, they have a responsibility to report it, even if they are not sure.

I would like to thank Beth Sarlos and Paula Kolivas for their work in this very important area over many years at Junior School.

Early Learning 4 Part-Time – Working in the ELC Garden

The EL4 Part-time children love being outdoors in our playground and in nature. Exposure to nature has been shown to reduce stress and increase attention spans. When children are in nature, all of their senses are activated. They see, hear, touch and even taste. During a morning meeting this week, the children used their senses to explore some different plants with different scents. They observed, touched and smelt lavender and a variety of potted herbs.

The EL4 Part-time children worked with Martin Conlon, our Head Gardner at CGGS, to plant the different scented plants.  As they worked side by side, Martin shared his knowledge about plants and gardening. The children were highly engaged and actively listened to Martin. They demonstrated dispositions for learning such as curiosity, confidence and enthusiasm by asking Martin a range of questions. He showed the children how to turn the soil, they added compost to the soil and learnt how to loosen the roots of the pot plants before planting them. After Martin had left, the children used their new skills and knowledge to plant the remaining herbs in a garden bed.

We are fortunate at CGGS to be part of a wider school community, who have additional knowledge and skills to share with the children. Our Early Learning community will continue to work with Martin on improving and taking care of our outdoor learning environment.

‘Experiences of relationships and participation in communities contribute to children’s belonging, being and becoming.’ – Early Years Learning Framework

Lilian Bishop
Early Learning 4 Part-Time Teacher

Year 4

This term we explored about Digital Citizenship and how to stay safe online. The students identified strategies for keeping themselves safe online such as using age guidelines, keeping personal information private and how to deal with cyberbullying. This unit raised many interesting class discussions about online etiquette and the responsibilities we have as digital citizens.

As a summative task, the students were placed into groups and took on the role as teacher by teaching the Year 3 students about a specific topic related to digital citizenship. As a collective group, they planned, prepared resources followed by teaching a mini-lesson for the students.

Here are some comments from the Year 4 students of what they have learnt this term about Digital Citizenship:

“This term I learnt not to put your personal details online or you could get hacked” – Kathleen

“Something that I learnt this term is that even if a website looks trustworthy, it may not be” – Ruth

“I learnt how to stay safe online by asking a parent if that website is safe to go on” – Joyce

“I have learnt never to click on pop-ups that seem untrustworthy” – Ailey

Ellie Zarfaty & Jasvindar Gill
Year 4 Class Teachers

Year 5 Excursion – How do you organise a space excursion?

You Plan It!

On Monday 15 March, the Year 5 students went on an excursion to the Victorian Space Science Education Centre (VSSEC) as part of their inquiry exploration focus: What is our place in space?

The students participated in two hands on programs called “Expedition to the M.A.R.S. Base” and “Size of Your Sol” programs and were engaged from the moment they walked into the complex.

The Expedition to Mars workshop involved students being part of Mission control where they observed the astronauts, working at the Mars Australian Research Station. The students used interactive software to monitor systems and the experiments being conducted by their peers. They had to use their ability to think calmly during a crisis of intergalactic proportions.

The Size of Your Sol workshop gave students a realistic feel for the relative size of the sun compared to the planets and also, in relation to their orbit. The students had to work co-operatively in small groups and use their measurement skills to find the diameter of each respective planet compared to the sun.

It was a truly memorable experience for students and staff. The posing of questions and the conversations amongst themselves, as well as with the staff at VSSEC, were exceptional.

What a great day!

Fiorella Soci & Craig Goodwin
Year 5 Class Teachers


It has been an incredibly exciting term in the Junior School Library as we have introduced a new library management system called Orbit. This engaging and colourful web-based system which can also be accessed from home, allows students to search and reserve selected books and resources, manage and track their borrowing and provides access to safe and age-appropriate online research resources such as World Book Online. Another very popular feature has been the integration of a large eBook and audio book collection which can be accessed both through the website and the Sora App.

Students from Years 3 – 6 have had the opportunity to investigate and explore Orbit throughout their library sessions and it has been wonderful to watch them quickly utilising all of the features and functions to support their reading and research.

We have also been fortunate to receive many visits from our library dog – Ivy this term. Ivy puts a smile on everyone’s faces and students across all year levels enjoy the opportunity to spend time quietly sitting and reading with her.

Sally Spencer
Library Teacher

Mountfield Maestros

As we welcome a new musical year at Ormiston, we celebrate the opportunity of once again coming together and breathing new life into the rooms and halls of Ormiston.

Last year we experienced our first Mountfield Maestros via video conference which proved to be not only a success but a charming variation to the art of performance.

With the uncertainty of these recent times, Mountfield Maestros once again took place via video conference and it was wonderful to see so many enthusiastic participants and hear musically engaging performances. The students celebrated the opportunity to share and showcase their performances to very appreciative audiences at both the Early Learning 4 – Year 3 session with Mrs Adams and the Year 4 – Year 6 session with Mrs Byrne. The diverse range of presentations illuminated the many and varied talents of our Ormiston musicians across all year levels.  Overall, 43 students participated in this popular school event.

We congratulate our students on the courage and confidence they displayed in presenting their selected pieces. Thank you to our Music leaders for helping with the event and to our music staff for enabling their students to build individual performance skills and encouraging them to explore ways to communicate their musical presentations.

Nichole Adams
Music Teacher & Violin & Viola Tutor

Physical Education

Throughout Term 1, Year 3 – 6 students have been undertaking an Athletics Unit in their Physical Education classes. The benefits of this are twofold with movement skills forming the basis of all activities and team sports which students will be involved in at CGGS this year.  The students are also being prepared for more discipline specific track and field events for the upcoming House Carnival.

Through a variety of warm-up games, activities and skill progressions, students have been developing greater agility, balance, speed and acceleration. The fundamental motor skills of jumping, leaping, skipping and hopping are also being covered. Students have particularly enjoyed the acceleration games and the mini hurdles which we look forward to seeing these developed new skills on display at the upcoming House Carnival.

Our specialist Athletics coaches from “Aussie Aths” have assisted our teaching staff in Years 5 & 6, bringing with them the current National U20 100m women’s champion. Hana has recently qualified to compete at the Junior World Championships to be held in July and is pictured here with some our students. Learning and being present which an elite athlete is certainly an inspirational treat!

Congratulations to all students on their willingness to be so involved and committed to their learning in each of the sessions and we encourage you to continually practice your skills throughout the year.

Nareen Robinson, Dot Georgiou, Kath Woolcock & Liana Kitsou
Physical Education Teachers

Junior School


Junior School

March 5, 2021

Semester One Student Leadership Assembly

The opportunity to recognise our Year 6R school leaders and our new Student Council was very rewarding at our Semester One Leaders Assembly. The school community listened to our Principal Debbie Dunwoody speak about leadership and how she feels leaders should empower people around them by helping and supporting others through being a positive role model and giving everyone the opportunity to have-a-go. Mrs Dunwoody reminded our students that being a leader is not always an easy job, but it can be very rewarding.

Congratulations to the following Year 6R students:

Art: Melody Hu & Jasmine Li

Assembly & Events: Preesha Navaneetharaja & Anthea Vais

Technology/Digital: Natasha Oakley, Audrey Rees & Cosette Tsjin

Lawrence House:  Selena Chen

Schofield House:  Lexi Bartnicki

Singleton House:  Angel Li

Taylor House:  Samantha Lovell

Library:  Charlotte Chong, Aaliyah D’Rozario & Ashley Wang

Music: Emily Foo & Alina Johnson

School Captains:  Natasha Cameron & Chloe Lau

Sustainability:  Yuxin Chen, Chloris Ding & Charlie Russo

Social Service:  Elsa Cao & Natalie Knowles

Additionally, a number of Year 1 to Year 6 students were elected by their peers to represent them at our Semester One Student Council meetings this year. Congratulations to the following students:

Year 1: Akira Rajakulendran

Year 2: Alessandra Ronzani

Year 3L: Matilda Collins

Year 3R: Cynthia Li

Year 4G: Joyce Zhang

Year 4Z: Hanna Lindsay

Year 5G: Minaaz Kaur

Year 5S: Nicole Zhang

We wish these students all the best for Semester One and look forward to their contributions in the many weeks to come.

Swim Carnivals

It has been a very busy time for our swimmers at Ormiston. Over the last two weeks, they have competed in two Swim Carnivals and once again, our results have been outstanding.

North Balwyn District Swim Carnival

On Monday 25th March, 16 CGGS students went to Boroondara Sports Complex to compete at the North Balwyn District Swimming Carnival. Throughout the day, many students performed personal best efforts in different events and as a result, we achieved third place overall against sixteen other schools. We came in third position without boys. We were easily the best performed school. This is the third year in a row that Ormiston has come in third place. Also, for the second year, Camberwell Girls won the trophy for the best performed Girls’ School. This trophy is currently located at Junior School Reception. Twelve swimmers qualified for the next stage at the Booroondara Division Swim Carnival.

Year 3 & 4
Joyce Zhang
Sienna Jack
Cecilia Yang
Ruth Whelan
Ailey Poon
Lauren Tang

Year 5
Olivia Yang
Jasmine Xie
Genevieve Khaw

Year 6
Scarlett Sim
Chanel Ghostine
Charlotte Lim

Jasmine Li
Emily Wong
Chloe Lau
Anthea Vais

Boroondara Divisional Swim Carnival

This week, the Boroondara Divisional Swimming Carnival was conducted at the Monash Aquatic and Recreation Pool Centre with some outstanding results for our 12 swimmers. At this competition, Camberwell Girls had their best-ever results. Congratulations to Cecilia Yang of Year 3, Olivia Yang of Year 5 and Jasmine Li in Year 6. These three students individually qualified for the next stage in their respective events. Also, Anthea Vais, Jasmine Xie, Genevieve Khaw and Olivia Yang qualified for their swimming relay. These 7 students will compete at the Eastern Metropolitan Primary Swimming Championships. Congratulations to these students who competed at the Boroondara Division level.

Year 3 & 4
Joyce Zhang
Cecilia Yang
Ruth Whelan
Ailey Poon

Year 5
Olivia Yang
Jasmine Xie
Genevieve Khaw

Year 6
Charlotte Lim
Jasmine Li
Emily Wong
Chloe Lau
Anthea Vais

I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Fivedation Program

One of the very special things about CGGS is the nurturing environment that enables all of the girls to feel known by staff and students across the Junior School. ‘Fivedation’ plays a big part in helping our students form relationships with others at school.

The ‘Fivedation’ program, Year Five and Foundation buddies, is a highlight for both the Foundation students and the Year 5s alike. There is definitely an excited buzz in the air on days when they will be getting together. So far, the students have met their new buddy/ies and have been participating in some sessions designed to help them get to know each other. They will continue to meet regularly throughout the year, enabling lovely cross-year level friendships to develop. All of the buddies get such a lot out of this initiative and it is lovely to see the program beginning again with another new year.

Selena Reedman
Foundation Class Teacher

Year 1 – Unit of Inquiry

This term 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 milestones and how they are significant events in a person’s life. Students then identified milestones that have occurred in their lives and made timelines, sequencing their events in order.

Murrundindi visited the class and shared his experiences, explaining that knowledge can be passed from generation to generation through the sharing of stories and dance. He explained about traditional cooking techniques and showed the students photos of homes and clothing from the past.

The students also compared objects from the past and present, and considered how they have changed over time. Some of the objects they viewed included: telephones, books, toys, snow skis, torch and candle stick, kettles and sports clothing. Students observed and discussed changes in the use of materials and design, safety features and how the object was powered. 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.

Angela Columbine
Year 1 Class Teacher

Year 2 – Literacy Learning

This term in Year 2 we have been reading the book ‘Flat Stanley’. The girls loved the adventures that Stanley experienced throughout the story. This led us down the fascinating track of letter writing. We investigated as a class and found the Australia Post Pen Pal Club.

Through this Pen Pal Club, we were paired with another primary school in Australia to send and receive letters. We were lucky enough to be partnered with Chapman Primary School in the ACT.

This week the students began to construct their pen pal letters. Our students were very excited to start writing and learning about their new friends. Pen pal letter writing is a fun, creative and rewarding way for our students to practice literacy and communication. The students will be learning a range of skills including how to structure a letter and address an envelope. By doing so, students will create very special and meaningful letters using interesting language and questions. We are excited to see the Year 2 students build connections with students from a different school, learn about what their life is like and make friendships through the art of letter writing.

“I’m very excited to write a letter to my pen pal” – Annabelle

“I’m looking forward to seeing what my pen pal did on the holidays. I also want to know what her favourite colour is and her favourite subject” – Yui

“I’m excited to meet a new friend and send him letters” – Faye

Mikaela Stanaway
Year 2 Class Teacher

Year 3 – STEAM (Living and Non-Living)

Year 3 students have begun to investigate the key features of living and non-living things through a series of hands-on sessions with Ms Penny Dumsday. We started our exploration in one of the Senior School laboratories by drawing, labelling and classifying a variety of living and non-living specimens. Students have also chosen to plant cuttings and seeds in soil or place them in cups of water. They have made predictions about the changes they think will occur over the coming weeks.

“I predict that when the beans grow, they will grow from the tip of the seed.” – Ivy 3R

“I predict that the seeds will grow into a small eucalyptus tree.” – Maddie 3L

“I predict that the plant will continue to grow more and more roots.” – Rava 3R

“I predict that after watering the seeds they will start to grow.” – Amellia 3L

“I predict that the bean seeds will grow into beans.” – Angela W 3R

“I predict the beans will grow beautiful leaves or a flower.” – Sabrina 3L

“I predict that the Devil’s Ivy will turn brown.” – Khusshnaaz 3R

Rebecca Leondidis & Liz Ruffles
Year 3 Class Teachers

Student Leadership Assembly Prayer

I wanted to finish off today’s Junior School CamNews with sharing Year 6C Class Teacher Katrina Cheong’s prayer that she wrote and read out to the school community at last week’s Semester One Student Leadership Assembly. This prayer clearly reflects our School Values here at Camberwell Girls Grammar School with a strong focus on participation. I hope everyone enjoys reading it.

Dear God,

We thank you today for the many opportunities that we have available at our school to develop our skillset. From Art Club to Sports clubs, Book Club and Chess Club, Music ensembles, Speech & Drama, Coding Club, Sustainability Squad and Student Council – there really is something for everyone. We are very grateful for these opportunities and for all the people who are essential to making these programs run so smoothly throughout the year.

As we commence in these positions of leadership and the responsibilities that accompany them, help us to uphold ourselves with integrity. This means to live out the values we say we stand for. Please give us courage to be strong role models not just in our words, but through our actions – especially when no one is watching and when it might be difficult to do in front of our peers. Encourage us to think creatively and support us when the situation calls for us to be flexible. Help us to know it’s OK to make mistakes along the way and encourage us to learn from these and try again. Please support us to do our personal best and to know that it is when we work together as a team, that we grow in strength and in what we are able to achieve.

In Jesus’ name we pray,


Katrina Cheong
Year 6C Class Teacher

Junior School


Junior School

February 19, 2021

THANK YOU!  Foundation – Year 6 Remote Learning Program

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our students, staff and Ormiston families for transitioning so well from face-to-face learning, to remote learning at home. Three days of remote learning was undertaken and class and specialist teachers continued with daily literacy, numeracy, wellbeing and physical education activities while having opportunities to complete tasks in all specialist subjects. The Ormiston staff had only a very short time (1 day) to put their 3-day program together and I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Emma Hinchliffe, our Deputy Head of Junior School for all her work in preparing the teachers and utilising our online learning platform Seesaw.

Last year I commented that our remote learning program, onsite supervision and face-to-face learning highlighted the importance of school/home connections. The relationships we all build within our school community continue to be the foundation in all that we do at Ormiston, and consequently, this focus will continue throughout this year.


Early Learning 3 – Cultural Differences

In Early Learning 3 we believe it is not enough for the children to have an awareness of cultural differences and similarities – we want the children to be culturally competent. This means, we want them to understand, communicate with and effectively interact with people across cultures.

Cultural competence encompasses:

> being aware of one’s own world view

> developing positive attitudes towards cultural differences

> gaining knowledge of different cultural practices and world views

> developing skills for communication and interaction across cultures

Belonging Being Becoming pg. 16

We want each child and family to feel valued and be recognised and respected for who they are and to actively share aspects of their culture. In Early Learning 3, we provide diverse resources to reflect children’s social worlds and provide opportunities for the children and families to share experiences and events that are important to them. These experiences also explore diversity and provide opportunities to develop an understanding about the connections between children and families and the similarities and differences between members of our class and the wider community.

Cultural competence is also about the everyday experiences and cultural practices of each family in our EL community. The Early Learning 3 children recently participated in an experience that explored aspects of cultural competence.

During Chinese New Year the children reflected on their family celebrations and shared these with their friends through dialogue and photographs. Families were encouraged to email photographs that depicted how they celebrated this important time, and these were viewed on the Prowise. These photographs and also picture story books were used as provocations for discussions that focused on different aspects of Chinese New Year, for example, red envelopes, food choices and gatherings with family and friends.

We will continue to encourage families to share aspects of their culture with our class as this provides an opportunity to share and discuss experiences that are significant in each child’s life and develops each child’s cultural competence.

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning 3 Teacher

Early Learning 4 Full-Time – A Community of Learners

EL4 children are a community of learners that have started the new term with enthusiasm and a growing capacity of curiosity, as they build on their prior experiences. The children work on their identity and belonging in an ongoing way as they start the day with the Acknowledgement of Country and delegate leadership roles to ensure they are empowering each other to take turns at being a good role model. As a community, we also acknowledge the diverse backgrounds we all come from by greeting each other in many different languages.

Chinese New Year celebrations and the visit from Murrundindi were highlights for the EL4 community. The children were able to talk about respect of the land and the significance of the acknowledgement of country. Murrundindi gave a meaningful explanation about the land around us and how the Wurundjeri people are the custodians of that land. Also, the children learned that paying respect to the Wurundjeri people is an important way to care for our country.

The EL4 children engaged in discussion with Murrundindi about what things would be nice to have in our yard.  He gave the children some lovely ideas about including some native animals and plants. We look forward to our upgraded yard with these ideas soon.

The exploration of the big school yard continues for the children as they find interesting things about trees, places to play, rest and eat. Getting an opportunity to interact with older students from Ormiston was a wonderful thrill for the children as they strengthen their connections with the wider community.

Ramila Sadikeen
Early Learning 4 Class Teacher

Early Learning 4 Part-Time

An important part of our program in Early Learning is developing a sense of belonging and community. Chinese New Year is a special celebration for many of our families in Early Learning and the CGGS community. Children develop a strong sense of identity when their heritage and culture is acknowledged and when they are able to share aspects of their culture with other children and educators.

In the lead up to Chinese New Year, both EL4 classes have been discussing Chinese New Year and what their families do to celebrate. On Friday, the two EL 4 groups celebrated by dressing in traditional clothing or by wearing something red. There was a lot of excitement in the centre as the children entered the classroom dressed in their special clothing. They were proud to show their friends their special clothing.

The children paraded through the playground playing percussion instruments and Miss Joanna taught them a traditional Chinese New Year song. Both groups gathered together for a shared morning tea. The opportunity to share aspects of culture with friends and teachers gave the children a sense of pride and developed a link between home and preschool. As the year progresses, we will continue to acknowledge special events and celebrations that are important to families in our EL community.

Lilian Bishop
Early Learning 4 Part-Time Teacher

Wild-Flower Wall 

At the start of the year, Mrs Gibson likes to involve all the students in a mystery artwork. Each class was given one colour of acrylic paint and they were challenged to mix as many different tints of this colour as they could, by adding white paint. They used a palette knife or paint brush to mix and apply the paint on a paper plate and at the same time, paint two A4 or A3 sized papers, with different sections of tints.

The classes were given the following colour to start their mixing.

Foundation = red

Year 1 = yellow

Year 2 = blue

Year 3 = orange

Year 4 = green

Year 5 = purple

Year 6 = choice from all the 6 colours.

In the second week the students were challenged to use last week’s painted pieces of paper and paper plate, to create a collaged wild-flower. They cut the papers into different shaped petals and used the paper plate as the centre of the flower.  Students were also able to use coloured markers, small paper shapes and other small collage materials. Lastly, stems and leaves were added and then the flowers were pinned onto the large curved wall on the Art room.

Fiona Gibson
Art Teacher

Year 5/6 Code Club

Last week we were excited to run our first Year 5/6 Telstra Code Club for the year.

We had our highest ever number of code club participants, with 32 students signing up to learn how to code with Bob Norton-Baker from Telstra and myself. To begin the year, we are focussing on learning how to read and write python code through completing some Code Club Australia challenges, starting with Moon Hack. From our first session, students have already learned the importance of the syntax of Python and the difference that moving, adding or deleting spaces can make to how well their code works to produce a program. Bob and I look forward to supporting these students to develop their coding skills throughout this semester.

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School


Cecilia Yang Year 3 – Sporting Achievement

During the recent school holidays, Cecelia Yang of Year 3R competed in the Metropolitan East Long Course Preparation Meet held at Melbourne Sports Aquatic Centre on 23 January 2021. Cecilia placed 1st in the 50 metre freestyle and 100 metre freestyle and came 3rd in backstroke. This is a wonderful effort by Cecilia and we wish her the very best of luck in future swimming competitions. Go Cecilia!

I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.


Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School