Junior School



Junior School

Year 5 and 6 Camp – PGL Campapse Downs Kyneton

Last week I had the pleasure of travelling to Kyneton with the Years 5 and 6 students and staff for their annual camp. Both year groups thoroughly enjoyed their education delivered through outdoor activities over the four days and were challenged by being introduced to some new experiences. This year was the first time both year groups went on camp together and the programs that were organised were brilliant.

The Year 5 Education Outdoors program consisted of activities such as initiatives, raft building, flying fox, orienteering, aeroball, archery, team challenges, climbing, challenge course and bushcraft. Additionally, Murrundindi visited the Year 5 students on Wednesday and completed a cultural walk with them. While walking around the large campsite, Murrundindi outlined different fauna and flora in the environment and during this time, students and staff saw a family of kangaroos which was a real highlight. Also, within the Year 5 program, the students were involved in the re-plantation of the Little Coliban River at the back of the campsite. Each student was able to plant a variety of native Australian plants to prevent erosion taking place along the river bank in the future.

The Year 6 Education Outdoors program included activities such as open canoeing, abseiling, aeroball, bushcraft, bush walk, low ropes course, possum glider, raft building, leap of faith and giant swing. The highlight for the Year 6 students was camping out for one night in a tent with their group members. Part of this task involved each student preparing their dinner and breakfast using a billy and a small gas flame. The students cooked chicken pasta for dinner and porridge for breakfast in the morning. This was a very valuable experience for the Year 6 students which will prepare them for Senior School camps in the coming years.

I would like to thank Shane Maycock, the Deputy Head of Senior School (Co-curricular Programs) for all his planning and preparation for the camp. A different approach to the Years 5 and 6 activities was a great success and the Year 5 students are already looking forward to the Year 6 program next year. I would also like to thank and acknowledge the other CGGS staff who attended camp, Nareen Robinson, Lisa White, Anjali de Quadros, Liz Ruffles, Craig Goodwin and Nancy Robottom. A special mention must go to Nareen, Nancy and Craig for camping outside overnight with their Year 6 groups during very cold and wet conditions.

Year 5 Camp – Student Reflection

“This year’s camp was amazing! The food at camp was spectacular and we had lots of fun with the activities, even though some people got a bit wet in raft-building. There were a lot of different activities that we had never done before and it was a lot of fun trying them out. The most fun activities to us were rock climbing and the flying fox. We liked rock climbing because the wall had different sides and some were very challenging for us, and other members of our groups. We also liked the flying fox because there were four lines so we could race each other. We were also privileged to have an educational session with Murrundindi, the leader of the Wurrunjuri tribe. He showed us the native plants and we even found some of the sacred fungus of the Wurrunjuri group, known as ‘Bread Fungus’. At mealtimes we had the chance to sit with different people and learn more about each other. Despite the cold and wet weather we all had a tremendous time and we all look forward to going back to Campaspe Downs next year!”

Elysia Wang (5D) & Ellie Cowell (5R)
Year 5 Students

Year 6 Camp – Student Reflection

“The Year 6 Camp was an experience that all of us will never forget. It taught us to face our fears, to show courage and support each other. It was also another opportunity to experience the landscape beyond the city.

We all developed trust with one another and learnt about adapting to weather changes. We also learnt about the science and mathematics behind layering clothes – you need a lot of warm clothes and thermals!

On this camp we were honored to have Mr Goodwin, Mrs Robottom, Mr Maycock and Mrs Robinson leading the Year 6 groups. We were split into three day groups and four cabin groups. There were The Jellyfish, The Ibises, The Flying Foxes and The Echidnas.

We were all challenged in many different ways from going to the top of the Giant Swing, Possum Glider or tapping the giant ball metres away from the wet, slippery, wooden ledge for the Leap Of Faith. Some other challenges faced by some students were dealing with bugs they weren’t exactly comfortable with. The story of Clarissa and the tent tarp will be one Mr Goodwin remembers for a long time! We all stepped out of our comfort zones in many different ways. We have built friendships that will last forever and memories that will last even longer.”

Anneke Bray & Nancy Ma
Year 6 Students

Year 6 Week at Senior School 

Our week at Senior School started on Tuesday 19 June. We were delighted by our new surroundings, big open learning environments and exciting activities that Senior School offers. Some of us started early on Tuesday morning at Senior School Concert Band. It was a great experience where we got to see some of the older students play and get a taste for music in Year 7.

One of the amazing activities organised for us was a brain teasing breakout session run by Dr Forwood. This involved solving problems and using the clues to unlock the safes, boxes and containers. Year 6 were also involved in a Chinese language class that challenged some students saying some difficult words.

On Wednesday, students were invited to participate in Russel Strings early in the morning and a violin and viola masterclass for students who learn these instruments. “The masterclass was very inspirational, particularly seeing older girls play, and I learnt a lot from it,” were some of the comments from participants. We also had the privilege of going to a food studies activities where we baked pizza on English muffins. To finish the day we worked with Mrs Rogers to begin creating a green screen video.

On Thursday, we followed up our Chinese language experience with a great introduction to German, a great path to Senior School languages! We also had the wonderful author Anna Ciddor visit us in the spacious Senior School Library and she talked to us about her journey as an author and an illustrator, which was very intriguing. We toured Senior School Library and borrowed books with the assistance of the Library staff. The Year 6 students had an extremely fun drama session where we got to use our acting skills and wear hilarious costumes. We finished our day off with a mind blowing science lesson involving magic sand, beakers, spheres and water!

This week has been an incredible week of new experiences, lessons and amazing glimpses of our future Year 7 life. We are all looking forward to Senior School next year and this was highlighted at our showcase to parents on Friday where we shared our weeks’ adventures!

Sienna Lonetti & Georgia Langley
Year 6 Students

Building Community – Year 1 Art Parent Helpers

The Year 1 students have been working on creating a ‘Super Learning Girl’ Doll. First they planned their design and chose fabrics for the arms and legs. Some parent helpers and Mrs Dunwoody also came into two lessons to help the students use the sewing machine to attach the arms and legs to the body. They also helped with the hair and other small details. The parent helpers were most valuable and the students were very proud of their finished doll. Next week they will paint a portrait of their doll. Connie Liu (mother of Laura), Tracy Cheng (mother of Jade), Mavis Tse (mother of Alyssa), Yalda Adel (mother of Amelia), Su Zhang (mother of Joyce) and Ruby Yang (mother of Ellie), as well as Mrs Debbie Dunwoody.

Fiona Gibson
Junior School Art Teacher

What Does it Take to Create a Vegetable Garden

At the end of Term 1, the Early Learning 4 children went to Bunnings after school with their teachers and parents and participated in a Workshop and chose a selection of vegetables and flowers to plant in the EL garden to support their inquiry, What Does it Take to Create a Vegetable Garden?

Throughout Term 2, the children:

  • discovered key requirements for plants to grow such as sunlight, water and passionate gardeners
  • noticed and documented the changes to the growth, size and appearance of the vegetables
  • developed their independence and sense of responsibility as they watered the plants and pulled out the weeds
  • cultivated their curiosity as they discovered caterpillars and observed how they move, camouflage themselves on leaves and ate through lettuce and cabbage leaves
  • researched the importance of worms for the garden – based on their wonderings
  • used different languages to express findings, thinking and wonderings, for example, drawing, painting, clay, movement and dialogue

“They need water or otherwise the plant might die. The sunlight might get a bit hot and it might make the plants die. But, if it’s raining it’s a bit better because the rain can water the plants.”Claerwen

Last week the children noticed the leaves of the lettuce getting bigger, the broccoli getting taller and the leaves of the carrots getting stronger. The lavender had also grown more flowers and there were snow peas.

The lettuce and bok choy were ready to harvest and there were many enthusiastic gardeners who helped to cut or pull the lettuce leaves from the base. Whilst cutting the lettuce leaves, the children noticed some carrots appearing from the soil. They slowly pulled the carrots and realised they were ready to eat too.

“I was picking the lettuce and then I got an idea to pick some carrots. I saw a bit of the orange part at the top.” – Sanjana

“I was picking carrots. I just pulled the carrots and the carrots get out. I pulled the lettuce out from the bottom.” – Remilia

“I was picking the lettuce and pulling the carrots out.” – Neesha

“I wanted to pick some lettuce but I didn’t know that we were going to harvest them today. I picked some lettuce and I picked some carrots. I pulled some lettuce too. I didn’t know that the carrots were small and curvy. I thought that all of the lettuce was big.” – Emma

“I couldn’t wait to pick the carrot and lettuce. I picked some lettuce and I didn’t know that the carrots were going to be that small.” – Claerwen

The children helped to wash the lettuce and carrots and these were placed in a bowl with tongs for the children to serve themselves at lunchtime. It was positive to see many children prepared to have a taste of the lettuce and carrots. The children used words such as delicious, crunchy and tasty to describe the lettuce and carrots. Whilst the children tasted the lettuce and carrots, we reflected on all of the learning and work they did to produce them and how patient they were with waiting for them to grow. We reflected on how they were involved in the whole process of growing the vegetables – preparing the garden bed, purchasing and planting seedlings, watering and taking care of the seedlings and plants then finally harvesting and eating.

Throughout the week the children continued to harvest the lettuce. I suggested the children could take some lettuce home to share with their families. Each child put some lettuce into a paper bag to share with their family at home. I asked parents to share their family experience of eating the lettuce through photographs and dialogue. It was wonderful to receive emails with photographs and comments from families about how their child prepared the lettuce and what food accompanied it. We are currently using these photographs in our classroom as provocations for further learning.

“Thank you for sharing your lettuce. Lachlan, his brother Liam and his dad enjoyed a bite each of the lettuce yesterday evening. It was peppery, crunchy and delicious! Well done class.” – Darren (parent of Lachlan)

“We loved it. So delicious.” – Laxmi (parent of Neesha)

“I washed it myself and tore it into smaller pieces. I used a colander to wash it. Then I put it in this bowl (a plastic bowl). I put it on the dining table. It tastes really delicious.” – Aurelia

“Thank you very much for the lettuce. Aurelia helped me grate some courgettes and we also ate rainbow baby carrots. Aurelia saved some lettuce in a separate bowl for her daddy who works until late today. Theo (her brother) refuses to touch the lettuce.” – Penelope (parent of Aurelia)

“Sanjana was so happy to share some lettuce with us. Thank you for your inspiration for the children to grow their own vegetables.” – Sreevani (parent of Sanjana)

“Thanks for the lettuce from school. We made salad with it tonight. Ellie helped with the salad making and ate it all. We love this activity as it gives children motivation to eat green and healthy vegetables.” – Natalie (parent of Ellie)

The experiences associated with this current inquiry are authentic and purposeful and provide opportunities for the children to inquire into things that matter to them. The inquiry also provides an opportunity for all members of our EL4 community to participate – this includes teachers, children, families and the wider community.

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning 4 (Full Time) Teacher

Author Visit – Sally Rippin

What a treat for the students in Years 1-3 to meet author Sally Rippin at the Senior School Library last Wednesday. Sally is the much-loved author of the popular Billie B. Brown and Hey Jack books. Sally shared some insights into writing and explained that stories come from when you mesh your imagination and your experience together with good characters and a problem.

In her new series, Sally has used lots of imagination to create a magical world for her two new characters. Sally shared some of the research about different types of monsters and witches that helped her create the Polly and Buster books. Polly is a witch who has trouble doing spells and Buster is a Feelings monster. They are best friends, but have to keep their friendship a secret because they live in a world where witches and monsters can’t be friends. Friendship and empathy are important themes in this series.

The highlight of Sally’s visit was when she read some of her new book Polly and Buster and the Magic Stones to us. It is always a privilege to hear an author read the words they have carefully crafted to write their story.

Kim Yeomans
Junior School Teacher Librarian

Year 5 & 6 Violin/Viola Master Class with Professor Helfried Fister

On Wednesday 20 June, a group of fifteen Years 5 and 6 students had the incredible opportunity to attend a Master Class with world-renowned Austrian Violin & Viola teacher, Professor Helfried Fister at CGGS. Students heard some of their Senior School peers perform for Professor Fister and listened attentively to the advanced instruction he discussed with each student. He shared his techniques and suggested exercises relating to musical phrasing, bowing, shifting and vibrato for the benefit of all violinists and violists. The Year 6 students also had the opportunity to attend the Senior School Russell Strings rehearsal before school – conducted by Professor Fister. It was clear that students really enjoyed this and were inspired by their experiences. This was a unique and valuable opportunity for our CGGS string players and we hope to further extend the School’s relationship with Professor Fister in a future international Music Tour.

“I learnt that if you are playing vibrato in a legato piece then continue playing vibrato when you change notes.”Claudia, Year 5

“It was an enjoyable experience that taught me new techniques on vibrato and shifting.” – Isabella, Year 6

“I learnt that shifting is a difficult skill and most people have to work hard at it.”Deana, Year 5

“At the master class I learnt a lot of amazing things from Professor Helfried Fister. I learnt how to make my sound louder and what a shift is.”Mia, Year 5

“I learnt that when playing larghetto in a piece and there is a rest, to keep doing the vibrato throughout the rest.”Sofia, Year 6

Rohan Mack & Kate Savige
Directors of Music

Ormiston Netball

Netball at Ormiston is still very popular, the CGGS teams are learning new skills and are improving each week.

The Year 4 Jets had a very close game against Genazzano Geitz last Friday afternoon. Genazzano just got over the line in the end defeating the Jets.

The Year 4 Opals played Ruyton Robots. Ruyton got off to a great start then Opals started playing well in the second half but it wasn’t enough to beat Ruyton.

The Years 5 and 6 netball teams had byes last Saturday, but both teams have been training hard. The Year 5 Topaz are seventh on the ladder and  the Year 6 Quartz are fourth.

Lexie Joyce
CGGS Netball Coach / Year 4 Student Teacher

Student Achievements – Personal Best

Cross Country

I would like to congratulate Anika Selvaratnam of Year 4 on qualifying for the State Primary Girls/Boys Cross Country Championships at Bundoora on Thursday 19 July. Anika came in tenth place at the Eastern Metropolitan Region Under 9/10 2km race which is an outstanding performance. We wish Anika all the best for her next upcoming event. Anika will be competing against the best runners from across the state of Victoria.


Isabel Sootoh of Year 5 has achieved a Grade 7 in her AMEB practical examination for the violin. This is an outstanding achievement for Isabel. We look forward to Isabel performing in front of our school community during assemblies and larger school events.


Congratulations to Sabrina Bignold of Year 5 for being one of the leading performers within the 10 to 12 Age Group at the recent Australian Ballet School Scholarship Awards. This event is Australia’s most prestigious ballet competition and as one of the youngest performers in her age group, Sabrina received an award at the end of the competition and was up against nearly seventy competitors. In the near future, Sabrina will be travelling overseas to receive specialised coaching to develop her ballet performance.

I wish all Ormiston families a restful weekend ready for our final week of Term 2.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School