Junior School



Junior School

Foundation – Year 2 Grandparents and Special Friends Day
It was a pleasure to see so many grandparents and special friends visiting Ormiston this week to work with students from Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2. This special event takes place each year and is a wonderful opportunity for us as a school community to say ‘Thank You’ to extended family members and friends for the contribution they make to their granddaughter or special friend’s education here at Camberwell Girls Grammar School. All participants spent time in classrooms, in our playground, have morning tea and listened to some student responses in regards to the activities they completed throughout the morning. It was a wonderful morning and I look forward to seeing and talking to many grandparents and special friends around Ormiston for the remainder of the year.

Foundation – Year 6 Learning Conversations
Last week, Ormiston parents had the opportunity to discuss their child’s start to the year and progress with their child’s class teacher. These sessions are very valuable as they continue to provide a strong home link with the School and encourages parents to seek out feedback in terms of their child’s academic, emotional, social and physical development, and their strengths and weaknesses. I would like to remind parents that they are able to arrange a meeting time with their child’s class teacher and/or specialist teachers at any stage throughout the year to gain a better understanding of their child’s learning.


Foundation – Year 6 Child Safe Standards
The Child Safe Standards are compulsory minimum standards for all organisations that provide services to children in Victoria including schools. The aim of the Standards is to ensure organisations are well prepared to protect children from abuse and neglect. In response to these standards, every year our school counsellors Beth Sarlos and Paula Kolivas work with our students, and this week, both counsellors spoke with numerous Junior School year levels in regards to encouraging and empowering students to remain safe and secure while at School. Later in the year, the counsellors will once again talk to our students about Child Safe Standards to ensure two sessions take place each year.


Division Swimming
Congratulations to our Years 5 & 6 students that qualified for the Division Swimming Championships this year. As mentioned in our previous CamNews, we had nine students qualify and here are the results:

Year 5
4th in U11 50m Backstroke – Suri Chen
4th in U11 50m Butterfly – Mia Chapman
8th in U11 200m Freestyle Relay – Elysia Wang, Ayla Chetty, Suri Chen, Mia Chapman

Year 6
5th in U12/13 50m Backstroke – Matilda Chan
5th in U12/13 50m Butterfly – Matilda Chan
8th in U12/13 50m Breaststroke – Sofia Sanfilippo
7th in U12/13 50m Butterfly – Sofia Sanfilippo
2nd in U12/13 50m Breaststroke – Emily Price
3rd in U12/13 50m Freestyle – Emily Price
9th in U12/13 50m Freestyle – Isabella Wood
4th in U12/13 200m Freestyle Relay – Isabella Wood, Sofia Sanfilippo, Matilda Chan, Emily Price
4th in U12/13 Medley Relay – Ava Lillehagen, Matilda Chan, Sofia Sanfilippo, Emily Price

These were our best ever results at Division level and congratulations must go to Emily Price for qualifying for the Eastern Regional Championships. This is a superb effort by Emily and we wish her all the best for her race. We hope she does a personal best performance.


Early Learning 3 – Year 6 Close The Gap Day
A sea of red, yellow and black clothes were spotted at Junior School on Thursday as the students marked National Close the Gap Day. The Close the Gap campaign pledges support and action to achieve health and wellbeing equality for all Aboriginal and Torres Islander People. Money raised will be donated to one of Camberwell Girls Grammar School’s key Service Learning partners, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. This national book industry charity aims to reduce the disadvantage experienced by some children in remote Indigenous communities across Australia, by lifting literacy levels and instilling a lifelong love of learning.

Want to learn more about Close the Gap Day? Watch this short Behind the News clip about how students at Marrara Christian College in Darwin decided to share their message of hope on National Close the Gap Day in 2014.


A big thank you to our Junior School Social Service Learning leaders, Yilia and Emily, and Student Council representatives for their support with organising this week’s fundraising event. ~ Michelle Kalus, Year 4 Class Teacher

Year 3 Creative Writing with Author Davina Bell
Last week, Year 3 took part in two creative writing workshops with the charming and inspiring author Davina Bell. Davina shared her knowledge of narrative writing and explained to the students where she draws her inspiration from when writing. The girls then offered their ideas or “sparks” and realised that ideas come from imagination, inspiration and observation.

The students created a class narrative about Peanut, the cello playing mouse and worked with Davina on character development, creating the setting and the complication (problem), building the story mountain (suspense) and writing a resolution (ending). The girls added “sticky details” to hook the reader and discussed whether the ending would be happy, bittersweet, sad or contain the ultimate surprise!

Year 3 loved having these engaging writing sessions with Davina and we look forward to her returning to read the girls’ own creations in the coming weeks. ~ Angela Columbine and Rebecca Leondidis, Year 3 Class Teachers

Year 6 Make a Bear
For two days this week the Year 6 students have been making their bears.

Earlier this term, as we learnt about making a difference in the lives of others, the students have been designing, researching, seeking feedback, reviewing and modifying their initial designs.

The MakerSpace at Senior School has allowed the students to make their bears with care and precision. Their craftsmanship has required attention to detail, accuracy and the ability to apply higher-order thinking as students are challenged to evaluate their own ideas and apply their understandings.

Interviewing the students throughout the two days this week, they connected their learning to the two concepts mentioned by our Principal, Debbie Dunwoody, at Assembly on Wednesday 28 February. Courage and curiosity were key concepts the students reflected upon in their progress as a learner.

Suri talked about the challenge of hand sewing. Having the courage to hand sew rather than use a machine was a personal goal for Suri and this resulted in feeling great joy in achieving a personal best.

Sofia mentioned that she had to call upon her curiosity when her bear had holes in it and she didn’t know how to fix it. Sofia decided to ask her mum, who taught her a different approach for sewing that has worked wonders.

Mia discussed the need to show courage by developing her own ideas, thinking outside the box and trusting herself so that she could make the best decisions for the moment. Mia also showed courage by asking dad how to do an overlock stitch. Dad learnt to sew because when we came from South Africa he had to learn to sew his own clothes.

Clarissa demonstrated courage and curiosity when she asked Laura, a classmate, how to make a large knot. Laura taught her patiently and now Clarissa is proud of herself for having the courage to ask. Clarissa explained that she showed curiosity by asking questions and using digital literacy to learn about sewing a narwhal.

Chloe explained to me that she was curious about the process of making the beak on her bear. She mentioned that she found the courage to ask Suat Ping – Heidi’s mother – about sewing the beak on her penguin.

Xixi informed me that she was curious about toymakers and how they produce toys. Do machines produce the toys we buy? She made connections to the wider world around her and now wants to explore her questions further.

Hayley eagerly shared her learning about sewing. Isabel’s grandmother taught Hayley a stitch that she could use and Hayley was glad that she had the courage to ask for support because Isabel’s grandmother was so helpful.

On behalf of Nancy Robottom and I, we would like to say a sincere thank you to our incredible Year 6 parents and grandparents who have been able to lend their support and expertise.

This experience has taught all of us that it is important to be curious and to have the courage to ask, and learn from, others. ~ Craig Goodwin and Nancy Robottom,  Year 6 Class Teachers

Early Learning Relaxation
At Camberwell Girls, we believe that in today’s contemporary, fast paced society, it is important for children to have an opportunity for relaxation or a time where they can ‘just be’ and learn techniques for relaxation.

In Early Learning, on a daily basis, the children have an opportunity to relax their body and mind and rest and rejuvenate. Relaxation can take a variety of forms:

  • – Breathing exercises
  • – Tai Chi
  • – Meditation
  • – Listening to classical music
  • – Participating in experiences conducive to relaxation
  • – Resting or sleeping on a mattress in the afternoon

At different times throughout the day, aromatherapy, classical music or dimmed lighting is used to create an ambience conducive to relaxation.

The amount of relaxation or sleep that a child requires during the day is influenced by how active and energetic the child is throughout the day and the amount of sleep the child had during the previous night at home.

It is important that children have a sufficient amount of sleep each night to ensure healthy growth and development. A well-rested child arrives at school ready to concentrate, learn and actively engage and participate in play.

The Australian Government has worked with experts to develop guidelines to help parents create a healthy and safe bedtime routine for their child. It recommends that a child between 3-5 years of age requires 10-13 hours of good quality sleep (this total may include a sleep during the day) and consistent sleep and wake-up times.

At home, it is important that a consistent bedtime and wake up time is established and an overall calming bedtime routine is developed in the early years. A bedtime routine is considered to be the most important part of helping a child transition to bed and settle in bed ready to sleep.

A bedtime routine involves:

  • – Doing the same things each night before bed
  • – Avoiding loud or active play just before bedtime
  • – Avoiding screen-based activities before bedtime – this includes watching television, playing computer games or using a tablet or other handheld devices

Paediatrician Marc Weissbluth believes that an early bedtime may have more benefits to a child than merely sleep duration. He advocates that when a child sleeps is probably as important or maybe more important than the length of time a child sleeps. This is because the sleep that happens earlier in the night tends to be deeper and more restorative than sleep that takes place later at night and in the early morning.

The Australian 24Hour Movement Guidelines (Department of Health) not only focuses on the importance of sleep but also the importance of a balance between physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep. The guidelines provides a picture of what a 24 hour period should look like for a child – this includes time for active play, time spent sitting and lying down and the ideal amount of sleep.

For children aged 3-5 years it suggests:

Physical activity: At least 180 minutes spent in a variety of physical activities, of which at least 60 minutes is energetic play, spread throughout the day; and more is considered to be better.

Sedentary behaviour: Children should not be restrained in a car seat or stroller for more than 1 hour at a time or sit for extended periods. Sedentary screen time should be no more than 1 hour and less is better. When a child is sedentary, the guidelines recommend the child should be engaging in experiences with an adult such as reading, singing, puzzles and storytelling.

Sleep: 10 to 13 hours of good quality sleep, which may include a nap, with consistent sleep and wake‐up times.

As children are individuals and no one day will be the same, parents should use this as a guide to help shape their child’s daily activities to best support their healthy growth and development.

If you’re interested in reading about the link between sleep and learning, then I recommend this brief but informative article. In the article, there are further links to explore related to sleep http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/sleep_and_learning.html/context/754 ~ Angela Follacchio, Early Learning Team Leader

I would like to wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend and I look forward to seeing everyone bright and early on Monday morning.


Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School