Junior School


Junior School

February 25, 2022

Ormiston Leadership Assembly – Wednesday 16 February 2022

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

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

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

Library – Kealey Liew

Music – Zihan Li & Jasmine Xie

School Captains – Asha Bhattacharjee & Rita Wong

Social Service – Zara Teh & Amy Qi

Sustainability – Nina Gan

Lawrence – Allison Stocker

Taylor – Grace Chan

Singleton – Nicole Zhang

Schofield – Olivia Yang


Ormiston Student Council
Year 1 – Aileen Luo

Year 2 – Olivia Ding

Year 3 – Aurelia Poon

Year 4D – Chloe Zhang

Year 4H – Ivy Xie

Year 5G – Amiya Rajakulendran

Year 5S – Semaya Kaur

Year 6G – Eshani Nadarajan


Wishing all our Ormiston families an enjoyable weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Inquiring into Children’s Learning

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

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

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

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

Early Learning 3

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

Jacqui Laird & Esther Wong
Early Learning 3 Teachers

Early Learning 4 Part Time

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

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

Ramila Sadikeen
Early Learning 4 Part Time Teacher

Early Learning 4 Full Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arya drew flowers with stems and petals.

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

Nora painted flowers, a bush and a tree.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michelle told Jane the word in Chinese.

Jane: cucumbers

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

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

Michelle: I’ve got some strawberries.                     

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

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

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

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

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

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning 4 Full Time Teacher

Year 1 – Unit of Inquiry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Angela Columbine
Year 1 Class Teacher

Year 5 – How would you get to Mars?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fiorella Soci & Craig Goodwin
Year 5 Class Teachers

Two, Two Tuesday – Mathematics Day

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

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

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

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

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

Nancy Robottom
Numeracy Leader

Year 4 – 6 North Balwyn District Swimming Competition

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

Amy Qi

Olivia Yang

Jasmine Xie

Nellie Ruddle

Kealey Liew

Sienna Jack

Ruth Whelan

Lauren Tang

Sophie-May Ronzani

Ailey Poon

Estella Ouyang

Zoe McManemin

Cecelia Yang

Ivy Xie

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

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

Amy Qi

Olivia Yang

Jasmine Xie

Nellie Ruddle

Kealey Liew

Ruth Whelan

Sophie-May Ronzani

Ailey Poon

Estella Ouyang

Zoe McManemin

Cecelia Yang

Ivy Xie

Liana Kitsou
JS PE Teacher

Interrelate Cybersmart and Safe Parent Seminar

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

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

You might like to read this report here:


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

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

> Parents role-modelling acceptable behaviour with technology

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

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

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



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


Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School