2015: Newsletter - Firbank Grammar School

Friday, 6 March 2015
During this busy week, I have had many opportunities to meet with members of our School as
we celebrate the diversity of our three campuses.
I thank the parents of both Junior Schools for their warm support of the Cocktail Evenings where
parents and staff mingled to learn more about each other in a relaxed and informal manner. It
was an ideal opportunity, away from the parent/teacher interview format, to meet other parents
and staff.
During the term, we have also welcomed new parents to a series of breakfast meetings which
provided opportunities for each family to learn more about the school and our staff in a personal,
informal setting.
Of particular note, on Thursday, we hosted past staff and students of our School at the re-launch
of the Pen-y-bryn Society. This supports and honours the work of those who have chosen to
include Firbank as part of their estate planning for the future. I am very grateful for their ongoing
encouragement and passion for the education of students at Firbank. They have chosen to leave
a legacy for others to enjoy well into the future.
Year of
However, each day, in every interaction, all members of our School community create legacies
for others.
Our students inspire others to achieve, parents give valuable support to staff and fellow parents
and, our staff plan learning activities, across the curriculum, which allow each student to
succeed. Legacies change lives for the better and while the concept of a legacy elicits noble
thoughts, we can all contribute to the community through simple gestures of acknowledgment
and acceptance. We are unique in our diversity and can learn to value differences as
opportunities to broaden our own horizons.
As we celebrate International Womens’ Day today, we are reminded of our opportunity to leave a
legacy for each of the girls in our school. Our young women do hold the future in their hands and
we have a responsibility to believe in their inherent ability to shape a world where women matter
and women will have the courage to make a difference. We need to reassure them that their
legacy is one which commences now, in every classroom and every interaction. Together we can
make a path for them to travel which allows them to celebrate the joy of womanhood.
I wish all members of our School community a restful break as we commence an extended
Heather Norton
Friday, 6 March 2015
From the Head of Campus
This week our Year 6 Environment Committee began their leadership programs with the first
four girls going swimming with the dolphins in the bay. The girls are taking part in the “I see,
I care” Dolphin Institute conservation program and will have four days of experiences related
to the protection of the bay. The other four girls on the committee will be visiting Philip Island
Penguin Sanctuary next week. They will also be taking part in a number of experiences related
to conservation of the penguins. These experiences are led by Mrs Kerrie Maddern. We thank
her for the extra effort she puts into this program.
Last week, our girls joined students from Sandringham House in a sailing regatta run on Albert
Park Lake. The event was shorter than expected due to bad weather. We look forward to better
weather when we compete again in November.
Year of
On Monday, the next building project began at Turner House. We will be adding a new
Early Learning Centre classroom running adjacent to the stairwell at Inner Crescent. We will
unfortunately be losing the Willow tree in this area, but will be planting replacement trees. I have
had some lovely discussions with our older girls who have expressed their unhappiness about
the tree going. The girls have shared memories of the tree and how important it was to them in
the ELC and it has been wonderful to hear such heart-warming stories! The tree is actually not
very healthy and was found to have a limited life in any case. We do look forward to some new
landscaping around the new room.
On Tuesday night Dr Stan Rodski introduced the concept of the Neuro-lab to our families. We
plan to investigate the impact a neuro coaching program has on the girls, their brain reaction
time and overall learning. Dr Stan will be working with students and teachers over the next few
I look forward to having breakfast with the Year 6 students and parents on Friday as we host
our International Women’s Day Breakfast. I am sure the girls are also looking forward to this
event, well supported by Senior School girls and one of the first events where the Year 6 girls
accompany the older students.
As we enjoy an extra day of rest this weekend, we look forward to an exciting end of term and
lead up to the Easter holidays.
Michelle Phillips
Monday 9 March Labour Day Holiday
Tuesday 10 March
8:00 – 8:45 Chess Club
Yrs 6 & 4 Swimming Lesson 5:
9:00-9:45 = 6JK, 9:45-10:30 = 6C, 10:30-11:15 = 6EK
11:15-12:00 = 4S, 12:00-12:45 = 4M
3:30 – 4:30
After School Sport (Years 4 & 6)
Wednesday 11 March
Run Club
9:00 – 10:30 Prep/1/2/3 Grandparents & Special Friends Visit
(9:00 - 10:00 Classroom Visit 10:00-10:30 Morning Tea)
10:00–11:30 Years 4/5/6 Grandparents & Special Friends Visit
(10:00-11:00 Classroom Visit 11:00-11:30 Morning Tea)
Jazz Combo
Thursday 12 March
Coastal Ambassadors Excursion for 4 x Enviro Yr 6 students @ Phillip Island
(Brooke, Georgie Bean, Georgia & Jessica Jones)
Yrs 5 & 3 Swimming Lesson 5:
9:00-9:45 = 5N, 9:45-10:30 = 5C, 10:30-11:15 = 5V
11:15-12:00 = 3M, 12:45-1:30 = 3W
Aerobics Practice (to make up for Monday’s r’sal ) @ PE Room
3:30 – 4:30 After School Sport (Year 5)
Year 3 JIP Strings Parent/Student Evening @ CCA
Friday 13 March
Ride 2 School Day
8:00 - 3:30
National Young Leaders Day @ Melbourne Convention Centre
(Attending: Brooke Clayton, School & House Captains)
8:00 – 8:45 TH Choir Rehearsal @ Music Room
2:45 – 3:15
ASSEMBLY hosted by 2C
Greetings from the Lemon Myrtle ELC 4S Group!
We have embraced our Primary Years Program Transdisciplinary Theme of “Who We Are”. The
central idea is as follows: “We are learning about who we are and what we can do every day.”
We are inquiring into who we are, how we are growing and changing and how we can learn. As
a group, the children have been making lots of new friends and have had fun sharing their “All
About Me” posters with their peers. They have been proud to share their information with their
There have been lots of opportunities for the children to get to know each other better through
the many indoor and outdoor experiences in our ELC and in our Junior School. We even walked
to the Senior School where we happened to meet Mrs. Norton, who is the head of our school. It
was so much fun when she invited us into her office. We are beginning to understand that our
ELC and our wider Firbank environment is part of who we are.
We are very excited about learning even more about ourselves. We have drawn self – portraits
and are also going to compare our baby photos with our today photos. We have a height chart
in our classroom and it will be fun to see if we grow much more by the end of our school year!
We are proud of our families too and are excited to learn where everyone comes from in our
We are very excited about how our own ELC is growing and changing. A new building is being
built right next to our classroom and it is going to be fun to watch! We have had so much fun
playing in the Junior School playground for the last few days. You can see in our photos how
happy we are. Changing to a different playground for a little while has been fun!
A very special ‘thank you’ must go to Pauline, Ella’s grandma. She shared so much interesting
information with us about Pen-y-bryn, which is where our Turner House is standing today. Thank
you also to Judy for sharing her lovely Chinese New Year photos with us too. We also look
forward to Anna and Penny celebrating Greek Easter with us! Please share with us what is dear
to you culturally, because we would love to have you with us!!!!
Please feel free to come and see what we do in and out of our Lemon Myrtle room!
The Lemon Myrtle Group
Year 5
On Thursday, 26 February Year 5 had an amazing excursion to the NGV, Ian Potter Centre and
spent time considering the artistic merit of graffiti as exhibited on Hosier Lane.
In the last few weeks, Turner House students and teachers have been celebrating Chinese
New Year. The Year 6s had a very special Chinese dance workshop as part of the celebration.
A Chinese dance specialist, Sabrina Chou, taught the Year 6s a variety of Chinese traditional
dances. The Chinese Committee also hosted a Chinese Assembly and a special morning tea for
Chinese teachers.
Chinese New Year is a festival that is celebrated among Chinese people all over the world. Every
year, the date of Chinese New Year changes according to the lunar calendar, so does the zodiac
animal. Chinese New Year of 2015 arrived on 19 February, which is the Year of Sheep.
On the 20th of February, Chinese New Year was celebrated at Turner House in Assembly.
There was laughter, joy and a cheerful festival atmosphere . A group of Year 6 girls performed a
fantastic Chinese Kung Fu dance that they learnt in the Chinese dance workshop. The Chinese
Committee was also passionate about the celebration and wore red to show the tradition of
Chinese culture.
Chinese Captain, Catina Chen and Chinese Committee members Emma Townsend, Jade
Williams and Lauren Holmes
Physical Education
District Swimming Carnival
Congratulations to all the girls who swam at the District Carnival last Friday, held at Oakleigh
Recreation Centre. The competition was tough, yet the girls all put in excellent efforts. There
were a number of brilliant individual efforts, led by Ollie Bream and Amelia Jones. All the relay
teams displayed strong performances and the majority placed 1, 2 or 3. Overall, Firbank came
3rd out of the 8 schools competing. The top 3 schools were within only 24 points of each other.
There was also great support from parents and girls were vocal in their support for each other as
Thank you to Jason Cooper and Nick Findeisen (Swim School coaches) who prepared the girls
in the lead-up.
Congratulations to the following girls who have been selected for Divisions (17th March):
Amelia Jones (breast stroke) & Ollie Bream (butterfly & breast stroke)
4 x 50m Open - Pippa Nicol / Amelia Jones / Ollie Bream / Stella Oldfield
4 x 50m 11 & under - Stella Oldfield / Annabelle Paynter / Grace Whitehouse / Pippa Nicol
4 x 50m 12 & under - Amelia Jones / Lauren Kulesza / Mimi Bartels / Ollie Bream
Congratulations to the girls for making it through to the next round at the district trials.
Year 1 & 2 Art Club happens every Friday lunchtime in the Art room.
The girls can come and enjoy a variety of creative experiences in a relaxed environment.
Last week we looked at the art of Zentangle and had a go ourselves......it was very calming!!!
Emily Ramsden
P-2 Art Teacher
Victorian Junior School Sailing Carnival
On Monday, 23 February at Albert Park Sailing Club, eight students from Sandy House and
Turner House combined to represent Firbank for the first time in Yachting Victioria’s Junior
School Sailing Carnival. The team members were, Lily Farrugia, Katie Keyes-Tilly, Harriet Pollitt,
William Pollitt, Georgia Ross, Scarlet Walch, and Natalie Coman. We sailed in a boat called an
Optimist. They are small boats, about the size of a bathtub. We learnt about the race sequence
and how to sail in a team and how to use a protest flag. We sailed a few races but then the storm
came in with lightning and thunder, and we weren’t allowed to sail. We didn’t sail enough races
to be ranked, but I think we did really well. We are already looking forward to the next regatta!
Natalie Coman
Year 6, Sandy House
The next PATH meeting will be held at 2.30p.m. on Wednesday 18 March in the Meeting Room
in the SMAART Centre. All parents are welcome to join the Committee at any PATH meetings.
Grab a coffee from the staff room and please come along.
Hear from some of the kids who have attended [email protected] programs about why they like [email protected]
holiday programs and keep returning to do them over and over again. Read the flyer attached
to find out why Annabelle enjoys making new friends and trying out roles where she gets to be a
little “bad”, much unlike herself in her real life. Hudson tells us he enjoys working on his soccer
skills with coaches that take a real personal interest in him as a person. Oscar enjoys making
friends with older boys and learning how to create apps.
So why not consider a [email protected] program for your child. It keeps them moving and thinking,
socialising and developing, avoids arguments with siblings and generally makes for happy
Find the course that suits your child’s special interests in the flyer attached or see the website