Junior School


Junior School

Ormiston Spirit Awards
For the second time this year, School Principal, Debbie Dunwoody and I had the pleasure of handing out our Ormiston Spirit Awards at Assembly. This is our top award which is given to students from Foundation to Year 6 who have consistently demonstrated our School Values of Respect, Integrity, Commitment, Hope and Courage throughout their school life and, who use a Growth Mindset within their class learning and co-curricular activities. Congratulations to the following recipients:

Foundation / Alina Xu & Jade Wang
Year 1 / Rita Wong & Michelle Zhang
Year 2 / Chloe Lau & Chanel Ghostine
Year 3 / Imogen Tjia & Sofia Giannicos
Year 4 / Maya Goonewardene & Aliyana Rajakulendran
Year 5 / Amelia Graham & Eva Papadopoulos
Year 6 / Alexandra Strong & Barsa Sarma
Physical Education / Scarlett Giang
Music / Elysia Wang
Art / Anneke Bray
Library / Victoria Qiu


Foundation to Year 6 Junior School Disco
Last Friday, many students attended our annual Junior Disco held in the Anne Feehan Building at Senior School. The first session involved students from Foundation – Year 3 and the second session encouraged students from Years 4 – 6 to get together to dance and sing. The evening was once again very popular and well attended by students across all year levels and this type of event helps to build a connected community. I would like to thank Susannah Jepson from the Foundation Office for all her planning and preparation in making the disco a very successful event. Also, many Junior School Parent Representatives gave up their time set up and work at the event.

SMART Spelling
On Thursday a large group of parents joined our In-Conversation session to learn more about the SMART approach to spelling. Below is a summary of what we discussed. You can also find a link to the presentation slides here.

What is it? This year at Ormiston we have been using a new approach to the teaching of spelling called the SMART Spelling Approach, developed by Michelle Hutchinson. The approach recognises and includes the four key components of spelling: phonological (sound) skills, orthographic (writing skills), morphemic skills (affixes and meaning) and etymological (word origin) skills. Like THRASS, this approach has a strong focus on developing awareness of the 44 phonemes (sounds) of the English language and the graphemes (spelling choices/letters) used to represent each sound. Where our new approach differs is that we are now able to be more specific about building student ability to remember spelling patterns by only teaching one pattern each week and explicitly teaching vocabulary and memory strategies.

How is it used? Each week, the Years 1 – 6 students are taught to comprehend, spell and apply words that contain one new sound and letter spelling pattern based on the teacher’s determination of the needs of the class and individuals. Approximately 80% of the words students learn each week are from the spelling pattern and the other 20% of words are personal words commonly misspelled by each child. One day each week students participate in an explicit session where they learn about all weekly words using the following sequence:

S- Say rain
M –Meaning Water that falls from the sky from the clouds.
A – Analyse r-ai-n (sounded out in chunks)

rain has 3 phonemes (sounds)

rain has two graphs (single letter spelling choices) – r and n

rain has one digraph (two letter spelling choice) – ai

R – Remember What is the trickiest part to remember about the word rain? Teacher helps the students to come up with strategies to help remember it.
T- Teach Rain is spelt r –ai –n

Students practice spelling the word in chunks using


On the other days, students all participate in short and sharp spelling focussed learning tasks each day.

What are the key components?

  • Exploring 10-15 words from the same spelling pattern each week
  • Finding the meanings of the words and applying them in their writing
  • Regular short and focussed practice of words in class using all of their senses
  • Making and finding speech sounds and spelling pattern relationships
  • Memory strategies
  • Repetition of all spelling sounds over a two-year cycle
  • Gradual increase in difficulty and expectation in each year level.
  • Exploration of suffixes and prefixes
  • Simple dictation to help students apply spelling to writing
  • 4 General Spelling Rules and 7 Plural Rules (found in the presentation) are introduced systematically
Spelling Rule Introduction Levels
General rule expectations Plural rule expectations
Prep White spelling rule
Year 1 Yellow spelling rule Rule 1
Year 2 Blue spelling rule Rule 2
Year 3 Pink spelling rule Rules 3, 4 and 5
Years 4-6 All rules Rules 6 and 7


How can you help your children at home?

  • Encourage them to write often and to “have a go” at difficult words by using the spelling rules and patterns she knows as a guide.  Praise their efforts in spelling common, new and challenging words
  • Point out which parts of the word your child is spelling correctly
  • Ask your children about the words and spelling patterns they are learning each week.
  • Play word games with your children such as racing to find spelling patterns in words when reading, boggle, scrabble

Emma Hinchliffe, Deputy Head of Junior School Teaching and Learning / Year 4 Class Teacher

Early Learning Chinese Classes

In the Early Years, children find out things and learn best through play. The Chinese program in Early Learning is designed to engage children in a wide range of learning experiences including language games, stories, nursery rhymes, songs, poems and role play. Recently, the children have been learning numbers from one to ten in Chinese. They have been singing a number song named yi, er, san, si, wu, playing a group game called How many people are there behind me? and board games matching numbers.

While learning fruit and vegetables in Mandarin, children used their imagination and engaged in a shopping experience where they purchased fruit and vegetables; and made their own fruit salad. ~ Danxue Liu Early Learning 3 Class Assistant and Early Learning Chinese Teacher

Early Learning 3 and the Ormiston Art Show

This term, in preparation for the Ormiston Art Show, we discussed what happens at an art show and what things we see when we visit an art gallery. Alessandra shared her knowledge about galleries as she attended the National Gallery of Victoria and viewed pieces of work by the artist Vincent Van Gogh.

“You just look at pictures of ladies and animals like a horse and a sheep and a cow. You can see pictures of persons and flowers.” ~ Alessandra

On a daily basis, the Early Learning children have access to a wide range of visual and creative art materials through which they can make meaning and express their creativity, imagination and thinking. This year at the Ormiston Art Show, the Early Learning children will share work that demonstrates their ability to express their thinking through clay, painting, drawing and pasting.

One of the pieces that the children have worked on is a representational drawing of a person. During this learning the children used mirrors to notice and observe their facial features. Their observations provoked comments about the similarities and differences between their lips, nose, skin, eyes and hair when compared to other members of their learning community. After this initial exploration, the children were provided with an opportunity to represent their observations through the language of drawing. The children used a black marker so they could work with intention and focus on line and form as they drew their facial features. It is interesting to see their growth over time, in regards to the detail of facial features, when compared to their representations of people at the end of Term 1.

The children are very excited and are looking forward to sharing their thinking and learning with you at the Ormiston Art Show.
~ Angela Follacchio Early Learning Team Leader/Early Learning 3 Class Teacher

Early Learning 4 Disco!
On Friday the Early Learning 4 classes came together to have their own disco!

During the week the children worked together to think about and create the things they would need to make the disco work!

We discussed how we would need tickets to get into the disco and also money to pay for them! The children decided that $5 would be a good price and set to work making these things.

The puppet show window was introduced and the children used this to create their own ticket booth. They made signs for the shop front and practiced how they would sell and pay.

On the day everyone was invited to wear something sparkly to the disco. We lined up with our money and paid Isabelle at the ticket booth and then gave Erica our ticket at the door to get in. Our Favourite song was “I like to move it!” from the movie Madagascar. We also did the chicken dance and sung our hearts out to the little mermaid! ~ Mrs Melissa Field and Mrs Lilian Bishop Early Learning 4 Class Teachers

Early Learning 4 – ‘I Wonder….’
In Lillian Bishop’s part-time EL4 room, I saw a beautiful book to which I was immediately drawn. The title of the book is ‘I wonder…..’. I asked to borrow it so I could share it with the children in full-time EL4. I read the title of the book and asked the children to wonder what it might be about as I turned the pages showing them only the pictures without reading the words. The children sat in mesmerised silence as each page revealed its beautiful pictures. I then invited the children to close their eyes and ponder what they wonder or are curious about. When they were ready, they could open their eyes and share their wonderings. As I wrote their words on a big piece of paper, the children were excited to see them form a spiral. They watched me turn my body to accommodate this way of writing, and we spoke about challenging ourselves to do things differently – this is how we “grow new pathways in our brain”. The following day, after giving them the time and space to sit with their own curiosity, I read the words in the book and the children were treated to the wonderings of the book’s character.

Children are born with a sense of wonder and an affinity for nature. They are naturally curious and interested, with a great imagination and a special ability to see beauty and good all around them.

Between the ages of three and six children show a great deal of curiosity, ask a lot of questions and are able to describe and share their thinking with other children and adults who join in their wonderings.

Children who are supported in their curiosity, given the time and opportunity to wonder and to make their own discoveries, are likely to experience a deep learning as a result of it being satisfying and meaningful. When they are able to share their discoveries and have others delight in these too, children feel capable and competent. This in turn allows them to approach new challenges with enthusiasm.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing”. (Albert Einstein)
~ Effie Kitsiris, Early Learning 4 Class Assistant

Early Learning 3 to Year 6 – Pick-Up of Students
I would like to remind parents that when they organise another adult to pick up their child from school at the end of the day, they remember to contact their child’s class teacher or Vicki Ibbott at the Junior School Reception to let us know of the change. As a School, we have a duty of care to ensure that each Early Learning 3 – Year 6 child is safe and secure. A duty of care also exists when a child is released into the care of another person.

Within Early Learning, please note the only people we can allow your child to go home with at the end of the day, are those people that are listed in your child’s confidential enrolment form. If a person arrives to collect your child (family friend, neighbour, another parent from your child’s class) and they’re not on the list, then legally we cannot allow your child to leave with that person.

Consequently, this means that if you (parents/guardians) are not collecting your child from the classroom in the afternoon, you legally must ensure that you’ve completed the following three things:

  1. You’ve written the name of person that you’ve authorised to collect your child on the list in your child’s confidential enrolment form
  2. You’ve informed the teacher in your child’s class that someone different is collecting your child
  3. You’ve written the name of the person that is collecting your child next to your signature in the attendance book

~ Angela Follacchio Early Learning Team Leader / Early learning 3 Class Teacher

Years 5 & 6 Strength and Conditioning
As part of the Athletics Club opportunities, there are Strength and Conditioning classes offered to all Years 5 & 6 students at Ormiston. The classes are held in the Gymnasium at Senior School on a Monday morning from 7.00-8.00am.

The Strength and Conditioning discipline provides development in the areas of:

– speed
– agility
– endurance
– strength
– stability
– injury prevention

The sessions are conducted by qualified sports coaches and involve circuit, group and/or individual activities.

“I do the strength and conditioning classes on Monday morning because my family and I believe that it is important to keep fit and healthy. Strength and conditioning may also help you with other sports that you like to do because it is important that you have enough strength to keep going, to improve and to build on from what you can already do. Strength and conditioning is held in the Senior School Gym on Monday mornings at 7:00am finishing at 8:00am. In strength and conditioning, we start with warm up and some drills. After that, sometimes we do a circuit with different things or we practice running at the oval and the track and techniques that will help us with all the sports that we do. At the end we do a cool down. After the session, we walk back to Junior School and change for the rest of the day.” ~ Kiki Page

Please contact Mrs O’Callaghan on ocallaghank@cggs.vic.edu.au if you would like to join in the sessions on a Monday morning. ~ Kerry O’Callaghan Early Learning 3 – Year 2 Physical Education Teacher


Camp Australia (After School Care) Fundraising Activity
After school next Wednesday 30 August, Camp Australia and our After School care students will present a fund raising event in the Junior School Hall after school from 3.15pm. Camp Australia will sell some products and have face painting as an activity. A gold coin donation will be required to get involved with this event. All money raised will go to The Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation.


I wish all Ormiston families a restful weekend.


Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Recent Articles


This week Mrs Dunwoody shares some exciting news about our Early Learning Centre.

Senior School

It has been a busy fortnight at Senior School with Year 7 Camp, lots of sporting success and the Winter Sleep Out.

Junior School

Our Year 5 & 6 students had some new classmates join them last week and our ELC students had a visit from Martin, our CGGS Gardener.


You only have one more week to get your Early Bird Tickets to the event of the century!