Junior School


Junior School

In-Conversation Parent Workshop 1 – Growth Mindset

Last Friday, Craig Goodwin, Deputy Head of Junior School worked closely with a group of eleven parents and explored the concept of the growth mindset here at Ormiston. Craig completed two activities with the group and discussed what areas of the growth mindset we have covered at our weekly Junior School assemblies.

The big messages from the session was to remind parents that making mistakes is an important part of the learning process and to remember to promote a positive attitude with their daughters when faced with challenges in their learning both at home and at school.

Our next In-Conversation Parent Workshop will take place on Friday 13 May at 8.45am – 9.45am and Craig will be building on the understandings of the growth mindset from the first workshop. We welcome parents to come along and learn more about this new mindset and how we are using it at Ormiston to improve student learning. Parents will receive a list of growth mindset strategies to use at home with their daughters.

This term, our third In-Conversation Parent Workshop has been changed to Tuesday 31 May. More information will be coming out shortly to confirm this new date.


Ormiston’s Full S.T.EA.M Ahead Program

This term we have introduced an exciting program to the Junior School which aims to combine a range of skills from across STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) disciplines. The Full S.T.E.A.M Ahead program will provide learning experiences that encourage students to respond creatively to design challenges whilst developing skills in collaboration and critical thinking.

It has been wonderful to see the students responding positively to design challenges by generating, recording and evaluating their ideas in a number of ways. The girls are managing projects independently and collaboratively, posing and responding to questions, making observations and engaging in discussions.

The Year 1 students have been learning about the science of movement in relation to puppets. They are exploring how technologies use forces to create movement and have transferred this knowledge to generate and develop their own design ideas. The girls have explored the properties and characteristics of a range of different materials in preparation of making their own movable puppet. We have seen the girls evaluating and modifying their design throughout the process and enthusiastically participating in each stage of the project.

The Full S.T.E.A.M Ahead challenge for the Year 2s is to construct a parachute that will carry a plasticine person safely to the ground. The students quickly became absorbed in building their first parachutes. Before testing their initial creations, we heard some interesting predictions and reasoning about how well the parachutes would work, as well as changes to the construction or materials which might improve performance. Each student has faced some challenges in the design, construction or testing of her parachute but has persisted and used mistakes as the stepping stones to success.

After getting inspiration from greenhouse designs in Antarctica and elsewhere, the Year 4 students created an original design for a greenhouse. The construction process has brought many challenges and it has been instructive to see the way students have been able to select and test materials, modify their designs, and come up with new concepts and solutions for building their greenhouses. We have overheard a lot of positive language indicative of the growth mindset and observed some fantastic collaborative work. We are looking forward to testing the greenhouses to see how effective they are at helping plants to grow in colder weather.

Looking ahead the Year 3 to 6 students will participate in a range of robotics courses where they will develop basic programming and coding skills to program a robot for a specific purpose. These experiences will allow the girls to develop confidence as critical users of technologies.

Penny Dumsday & Annabelle Vivarini
Junior School S.T.E.A.M Educators

Junior School Assembly – Theme: Bravery

These past two weeks the Ormiston community have been exploring a Growth Mindset and the need for bravery. Why bravery? As teachers, we are encouraging the children to develop, and test, their ideas. Innovation and design have been key components to this process. However, we are exploring the notion that it is good to reflect on our mistakes and to use that information so that we can adjust our thinking.

How many times have you heard the saying ‘Learn from your mistakes?’ This is the opportunity to explore that concept! That is where effort, combined with the bravery to acknowledge and learn from our mistakes, creates a truly effective Growth Mindset. Learning is an ongoing journey that is enriched by our willingness to test out our ideas and embrace challenges.

Craig Goodwin
Deputy Head of Junior School (Student Wellbeing)


Early Learning 3 Class – Harvesting the Apples

After waiting and watching very patiently, the children in Early Learning 3 and 4 were able to harvest the apples from our apple tree! Mrs Effie Kitsiris and the children in EL3 wondered how we were going to get them down. They problem solved together and figured out that the climbing frames were not going to be high enough. Mrs Effie had to climb into the pot to reach the high ones!

“The big one is up very high and the small one is down low”, said Ethan.

We then sat together and talked about how food grows. Mrs Melissa asked the children the question, “What else grows on trees”?

“I think bananas grow on trees… and cherries,” said Nellie.

“Where do we get other fruit from?” asked Miss Melissa.

“The supermarket man gets the fruit,” said Molly.

“The man grows it….the garden man,” added Erica.

“How does it get to the shops?” asked Miss Melissa.

“The truck gets it,” responded Laila.

“The yoghurt!…It walks!” said Mischa.

“A Mum takes it to the shops,” added Tiah.

“Fruit is all around the shop,” said Claerwen.

Melissa Field
EL3 Teacher


Year 1 Excursion – Chesterfield Farm

As a part of our inquiry unit, Where Does it Come From and Where Does it Go?, Year 1 went on our first excursion for the year to Chesterfield Farm. We explored and discovered many amazing things on the farm and loved feeding the animals in the paddocks. We cuddled the baby animals in the nursery, watched Bridget the sheep-dog at work and and we even got to milk Tina the cow.

“I learnt how you should tuck the rabbit’s head under your arm and hold it so that it feels safe.” Natasha O
“I learnt how to milk a cow and what a calf looks like.” Scarlett
“I learnt that you can’t drink milk before it’s pasteurised.” Lotje

We also learnt that alpacas help to protect sheep at night by scaring away foxes, and that using machinery has made shearing sheep a lot easier. We had a wonderful day and look forward to making many more discoveries throughout the term

Miranda Jackson & Michelle Kalus
Year 1 Teachers


Year 4 – 6 House Cross Country


This was the mindset that all Years 4 – 6 Ormiston students took with them into the 2016 House Cross Country at Shenley Reserve on Thursday 14 April. The girls took to the running challenge with enthusiasm and determination. Results were extremely close with Taylor winning, Singleton and Lawrence equal second and Schofield fourth.

Congratulations to our year level winners:

Year 4   Emily Price

Year 5   Evie Williams

Year 6   Susannah Lutze

Next on the Cross Country agenda is the age and time-based District Cross Country Carnival on 13 May and the GSV Carnival on 27 May, where Years 5 and 6 girls are part of the CGGS Cross Country team. 

Kerry O’Callaghan
Junior School PE Teacher


Year 3 – 6 – Ashburton United Soccer Club Clinic

Late in Term 1 during PE, girls in Years 3 – 6 were involved in a soccer program, facilitated by coaches from Ashburton United Soccer Club. The aim was to introduce our girls to the fastest growing sport for females in Australia by engaging them in fun, skill based sessions where they learnt to dribble, pass and control the ball. Their development over the four weeks was amazing and all girls enjoyed levels of success as a result of their commitment and enthusiasm for their own learning. Well done to all involved.

Nareen Robinson
Junior School PE Teacher


Year 1 Drama Club

Junior School has introduced a Drama Club to their co-curricular programming this year, led by Cara Whitehouse. Following on from the hugely successful Year 2/3 Drama Club in Term 1, during Term 2, a group of fourteen Year 1 students will develop a performance of Dr Seuss poetry for an assembly. The classes specifically develop children’s unique creative expression, confidence in public speaking and performance, vocal support (projection) and team work.

Being able to present one’s ideas with confidence, whether in the classroom, with peers or eventually in the workforce, is a hugely important skill to develop and Drama Club gives students an opportunity to practice this skill early in life, in a safe environment. The curriculum includes a range of drama games, reading with expression, memorisation and developing characters from scratch.

Cara Whitehouse
Speech & Drama Teacher


Morning Routines

I would like to encourage parents to promote independence with their daughter by encouraging them to come into school each morning by themselves, and for them to learn to get ready for the school day. Classroom teachers are available from 8.25am – 8.40am each morning to help and support students complete their daily routines before classes start at 8.40am. It is very important for teachers to have this time to work directly with students to ensure a smooth start to the day. As parents, if you would like to speak with your daughter’s classroom teacher, please arrange a convenient time with them so you are able to speak for a longer period of time about your daughter’s progress at school.

I would like to wish everyone a lovely 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!