Term 2 in Review



Lakes Grammar teachers really go the second mile in their determination to provide engaging learning activities for our students. Experiences beyond the classroom can add even greater depth to student learning and provide opportunities to expand our students’ horizons. This first issue of Lakes Learners outlines many of the ways our teachers have enriched the learning and lives of our students this year. In these pages you will read of a wide variety of fun, challenging and exciting learning experiences during this first half of the year. It is encouraging to read how students have shown leadership, learned new skills, persevered, pushed their limits, adapted to new situations, discovered new interests, expanded their reading, and so on.

I want to recognise the work of our administration staff also. These people provide the support that allows teachers to focus on their teaching roles. Office staff have a great deal of contact with students and I only ever hear positive comments about how they do these interactions. Other assistants and our maintenance and grounds staff keep the place running well and looking good.

Our school motto is “With heart, soul, mind and strength”. What you will read in Lakes Learners illustrates how we live this out day-to-day.

Mr Michael Hannah



Term 2 has been a time of continued learning and enjoyment in the Junior School with a number of key highlights. Lakes Grammar was well represented at the Doyalson-Wyee Anzac Day March and many students also participated in a range of community marches on the Central Coast and further afield, representing our school with pride, and most importantly commemorating the sacrifices that our fallen servicemen and women have made for our nation. We were also privileged to have Toukley RSL representatives join us for our Years 4 to 12 Anzac Day ceremony as the term commenced.

Jack Blackshaw, Blair Evans, Sebastian Araneta and Alex Voigt of Year 6 attended the Mathematics Challenge Camp hosted by Roseville College at Elanora Conference Centre. The camp proved to be a wonderful opportunity and enabled some of our gifted Mathematicians the opportunity to work together to enhance their knowledge, skills and confidence in this area.

Junior School students have enjoyed their weekly Gymnastics lessons with Sport in Schools, and the opportunity to explore the different ways the body can move and provides a foundation for skills associated with movement activities. Gymnastics provides students with opportunities to explore what their bodies can do, the space within which their bodies can move, the effort involved in the movement and the environment within which such movement takes place.

It was wonderful to see the children purchasing items for their mothers at the Mothers’ Day Stall and so many mothers at the school taking part in our annual Mother’s Day Breakfast with their children. This event is one of the highlights on our calendar and it is great to celebrate the special nature of motherhood in such a spirit. I would like to take this opportunity to recognise and thank the P and F for the great work that they do for Lakes Grammar and for the sterling job they did on organising and conducting these successful Mothers’ Day events once again this year.

Our School Athletics Carnival was held on a glorious warm autumn day and the students enjoyed the friendly competition and College rivalry, whilst our Cross Country team enjoyed great success at the HRIS Carnival, with many students progressing through to CIS and PSSA level.

Our co-curricular program has continued to flourish, with Years 5 and 6 students participating in a range of debates against Central Coast Grammar, Newcastle Grammar and Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College and many students attending HRIS Public Speaking. A number of our students are preparing to represent our school at Snowsports over the winter holidays and the Chess Club and Coding Clubs have continued to flourish. A number of Equestrian students have also represented our school at Scone, Cessnock and Singleton Horse Sports, achieving excellent results in their categories and events.

It is always a pleasure to walk around the school and listen to our students rehearsing and performing music, whether it be in our School Band, String Ensemble, Percussion and Guitar Ensembles, Choirs or in their peripatetic lessons.

It is exciting that over fifty of our Junior School students have taken up the opportunity to study the Trinity College London Speech and Drama training and qualifications or to participate in Drama Club next term.  The Trinity College program enables students to study drama and speech, narrative, prose and poetry, solo monologues, dialogues, mime and movement, vocal skills, choral speaking, interpreting and performing script, devising and Shakespeare. Lakes Grammar is the first school on the Central Coast to offer this opportunity which places us alongside a number of leading Independent schools across New South Wales.

We celebrated National Reconciliation Week and our 2017 Kindergarten students began their visits to the school. The Student Representative Council has continued to meet and bring about positive growth in the school through their student voice and our Year 6 cohort have undertaken Peer Support training in preparation for Term 3. The Library continues to be a source of excitement and inspiration with many students continuing to work through the Premier’s Reading Challenge and participating in National Simultaneous Storytime.

Mr William Wallace
Head of Junior School


The Junior debating team has been competing in the HICES debating competition. The team members are Alex Voigt, Kasey Young, Jackson Blackshaw and Ellie Rudder. They were ably assisted by Emma Florimo and Molly Blackshaw when one of the team members was unable to attend some debates. The team debated in four rounds on four different topics. These included that Australia should become a republic, that tourists need to visit regional and rural areas to experience the true Australia, that Halloween has no place in Australian society and that politicians should be paid more. The team was always well prepared and received fabulous feedback from the adjudicators praising how they spoke and their ideas. The team has one win and represented the school extremely well in each debate. We would like to thank Kiarna Elliot, Tegan Lynch and Jemma Young who helped out as chairperson and timekeeper. We were also lucky enough to have two amazing adjudicators from the Senior School, Mrs Nicholls and Mrs Williams-Caller. We are very grateful that you were kind enough to adjudicate for us. The team is hoping to enter some more debating competitions later in the year.

Ms Amanda Lutze
Debating Co-ordinator


Coding club has been awesome in the Junior School this term, with approximately 50 students each Tuesday coding with Scratch. We also have been able to give select Coding Club students in Years 5 and 6 the opportunity to compete in this year’s Regional and State Dance Robocup Competition. We will have 4 teams competing and we look forward to getting them to share their routines with the Junior School during Term 3. Ms Lutze and I were also able to take three of our Robocup students with us to Loreto Normanhurst for a workshop to prepare us for the competition. Dylan Inwood, Jessica Gardiner and Liam Lightfoot were excellent ambassadors and are looking forward to sharing their new knowledge with their Robocup teams next term.

Mrs Cynthia Jobe-Parker
Coding Club Co-ordinator


4S are representing Lakes Grammar this year in the Tuggerah Lakes Catchment Area Project. The students have done some incredible research into how waterways are being polluted and they have created a visual display to represent the damage done to our local waterways. A number of students have photographed their local stormwater drains and discussed how what we put down our drains affects the sea-life in Tuggerah Lakes.

4S have created posters to encourage their peers to think carefully about where they put their rubbish and to highlight the need for environmental awareness in our school and local community.

4S have become young inventors and designed a product or service that contributes to the care or clean-up of Tuggerah Lakes. This product design has led to a second visual display of what Tuggerah Lakes would be like if it were free of pollution. As you can well imagine, this display contains lovely clean waterways and healthy sea-life including pelicans, crabs and sea horses.

The creativity of these kids never ceases to amaze me! They have designed and recorded game shows, news reports and short skits to promote the care of our waterways. 4S even wrote to Mr Hannah expressing their concern for our school drains and the amount of rubbish flowing into our local catchment area. They are hoping to gain approval from council to install environmentally friendly drain covers to promote water flow but prevent the rubbish flow.

I am so proud of my environmental warriors and look forward to having a representative from council here to view all the wonderful work 4S has completed this term. Hopefully they are equally as impressed as me and 4S get the recognition they deserve at the completion of this project.

Ms Kristin Stone
4S Teacher


Yr 6 and OC were once again informed and entertained by Shane Blackman from WW1 Living History. The students were fascinated and excellently behaved during the talk learning about different communications and signals used during WW1. We look forward to his visit again next year.


On Wednesday, 25 May we participated in National Simultaneous Storytime 2016 with the book "I Got This Hat" by Jo and Kate Temple. Our K-4 students were entertained by a colourful reading of the book followed by activities including: find-a-words, apps, Storybox, make and draw your own hats, just to name a few!

We even rolled out our red carpet for each 3 VIPs in each class. Our students had a ball being totally immersed in the story and associated activities. Here are a few pics from the morning. We hope to do this wonderful event in 2017 as it helps promote what we do in our school library along with encouraging reading. Thank you so much, Mrs Nicholls, our SS Librarian, for bringing this book to life!


PRC 2016 notes are still coming in for registration (there are a lot of them). We now have over 194 registrations. 64 PRCs are now complete and students are now receiving an early finishers certificate (by Term 2 only). There are many PRC books being borrowed at present.  A fantastic effort and even better than last year. I encourage all students to take up this challenge to be committed to reading.

Don’t forget to record all books read using the log. Happy reading.

Mr Danny Summers
Junior School Teacher Librarian



This term the staff have been focusing on increasing students’ visible thinking in the classroom and hence their Higher Order Thinking Skills. Through using various Visible Thinking Routines in the classroom, staff are encouraging students to delve deep into their thinking to extrapolate how and why they are drawing conclusions they are making or seeing what they see. In our ever changing world and one where technology feeds our immediate needs, it is important that students take time to work systematically through how they reach conclusions. Not only does this improve students’ immediate learning but provides them with strategies for how to cope when they are presented with a problem which they may not know the immediate answer to. Each fortnight, starting Monday, 20 June, a nominated Faculty is presenting what routines or strategies they have been using in the classrooms to develop our students’ Higher Order Thinking skills. This Monday Creative and Performing Arts presented to the whole Secondary Staff, which was a very fruitful experience for all.


On Monday, 30 May all staff attended a presentation at school by world renowned psychologist Fiona Smith who specialises in Gifted Individuals. She presented to the whole staff about how Gifted students think and the sensitivities they may experience. It was very interesting to hear from Fiona how gifted individuals operate and how unique they are.


This term during assembly I have been speaking to students about becoming involved and being resourceful, a key capacity of Building Learning Power. A short video presented at assembly explained to students that through challenging their minds they will develop new brain connections. That essentially challenges help their ‘brains grow’. From here I spoke to students about what to do when life and/or learning gets hard. To think through a problem students should:

  • Ask Questions
  • Try and make links to other similar information they may know
  • Consider the question ‘What if..’
  • Try and be logical
  • Capitalise on the resources they are surrounded by

One way students can challenge themselves is to become involved in the many Cognito activities that are being offered throughout the Senior School. Students are to be congratulated for becoming involved in: Mock Trial; Model UN Assembly (MUNA); Da Vinci Decathlon; Bus Shelter Competition; HICES Debating; Art Studio Classes; Individual and Group Music classes; Maths Problem of the Week; English Honours Class; Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Competition; Write a Book in a Day; Write Now Competition; STEM Club and Crystal Growing competition. It is wonderful to see so many activities being offered by staff. Special congratulations to all the students who were involved in the Bus Shelter Competition, which saw them picked to be one of the final five in the final held in Penrith.  Unfortunately, the win went to someone else, but what an achievement by our students! Especially when they were competing against architects and university students.

Mrs Michelle Smith
Director of Teaching and Learning


The Visual Arts Department was very lucky to host a visit from The National Art School as part of the Careers Day. The school boasts a prestigious alumni and offers intensive courses in the fine arts. Our students were given a sneak peek into the world of the artist, taking part in an experimental drawing class. The Art School offers 1 unit courses to Year 11 students who are interested in extending their art experience. This may be of particular interest to students who are in the current Year 10 photography or art classes. Please see Mrs Hobden or Mrs Baker for information in relation to the courses.

Mrs Anne Hobden
Creative and Performing Arts Co-ordinator


Term 2 has been a busy term for the HSIE faculty, with students engaging in lessons and assessment tasks, extra-curricular activities and study days. We started the term welcoming a new staff member, Mrs Sherielyn Sacalle in Term 2. Mrs Sacalle is teaching 7-10 Geography, Commerce and Year 11 Business Studies. 

Students have also have been involved in a range of Cognito programs including Mock Trial (Year 11 Legal Studies) and MUNA (Yr 11).  Our Mock Trial teams have participated in trials against Green Point Christian School, St Edwards and Warners Bay High School. Unfortunately they are yet to secure a victory in the competition, however, they have received some very positive feedback regarding their roles and cases. Thank you to Mrs Mellare for her organisation of the HSIE Cognito program and to Mrs Matthews for her assistance with the Mock Trial Team.

Students studying Geography and Business Studies attended HSC Study days in Sydney in Week 7.  During the study days they heard revision lectures from HSC Markers from around the state, building and extending their understanding of the topics while gaining some valuable examination tips. Year 12 Legal Studies students will be attending the Legal Studies HSC Study Day on 16 July.

Planning for Term 3 is under way with field work excursions for some of the Geography courses, the Business Plan competition for Year 11 Business Studies and revision for Year 12 students.  Select students from Year 9 and 10 will also be attending the Future Leaders program at Wyong Council as a part of the Cognito program. 

I would like to thank all the students for their positive approach to learning in Semester 1 and look forward to seeing them return in Term 3 refreshed and engaged in their learning.

Ms Rachel Mackillop
HSIE Co-ordinator


It has been an exciting term in TAS as groups completed design tasks in the various courses across year groups. As can be seen by the accompanying photos the quality of work has been exceptionally high, with some very creative and well finished designs developed. Of particular note were the new units in Year 7, where Textiles was introduced (with the major project being a cushion designed and constructed by the students) and the ‘Upcycling’ unit in Year 11 Technology. The Year 11 students selected a discarded or found object, transforming it into a creative piece of furniture. The project culminated with an outdoor exhibition of the works over 2 days. This project enabled students to showcase their creativity and also further develop their workshop skills before commencing their Preliminary Major Project.  

Some examples of student works completed included:

I’m sure these photos give an indication of the kind of creativity and other skills students are learning in Technology subjects at Lakes and (I’m sure) are a far cry from what parents’ recall from their days in Woodwork, Metalwork, Home Economics, etc. at school.

Additionally, as part of the recently introduced ‘Cognito Programme’ a group of Design students in Year 9-11 entered a competition called Climate Adapted People Shelter (CAPS) run by the University of Technology Sydney and NSW State Government. The task was to re-design a bus shelter in a hot temperature zone in Western Sydney. The group worked extremely hard over Semester 1 to create an innovative design that is cooler in summer, incorporates smart technology for the users and fits into the local surroundings. The competition process also included attending a number of workshops and site visits collaborating with industry experts, local council employees and stakeholders in the competition. The group’s final design finished in the top 5 designs. Lakes Grammar was the only High School in the competition, all the other entries being from professional architects and design companies. Voting for the ‘People’s Choice Award’ is open until 30 June by liking or sharing via social media (Facebook etc) the COGNITO DESIGN video on the YouTube CAPS channel. Congratulations to the Cognito Design team on this fantastic achievement. Their final design model is shown below:

Mr Brant Maslen
Head of TAS


This term saw the Year 9 students involved in an English Enrichment Day at school where students worked in either teams or individually on one of the following areas: Write a Short Story in a Day (Supporting the Children’s Hospital); Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Competition or Create a Short Film in a Day. It was very exciting to see the students so engaged and productive on the day. Thank you Ms Newton, Ms Rocks and Mrs Nicholls for organising the day.


This term I have been meeting with a group of very talented and inspiring Year 7 students. I meet with the students once a fortnight to lose ourselves in the power of the written word. This term we have been busily writing mini sagas! The students have loved doing this but have found it a challenge when they could use no more than 50 words to build a story, one which has an audience asking more questions than the words used to create the story! I look forward to next term embarking on the ‘Transformed Fairytale’ with them.


The Year 9 and 10 Honours program is off and running, co-ordinated this year by Mrs Manners. This is the third year we have run this program, with this year seeing nearly 25 students across the two years electing to be part of the program. Over three terms, students have to submit three major pieces of work for marking. We hope to see many of the original 25 students finish in Term 4. For us, it really demonstrates our students’ love and passion for English, which is marvellous to see.


Our Year 9 and 10 Debating team has been busy competing across the district. So far, the students have won two and lost two debates. The students are given an unseen topic on the day and have an hour to prepare. The students have found it both challenging and rewarding and deserve to be congratulated on their achievements. A big thank you to Miss Roche for being their debating coach.


This year Mrs Manners and Ms Nicholls have started a wide reading competition. It is so encouraging to see that there are so many students enrolled and are reading so much. To date, since Term 1 we have three Year 9 students in the lead, having read 13-15 novels since Term 1! Please encourage your child to become involved; there will be great book voucher prizes to the top three readers at the end of the year.


It is always wonderful to see students enjoying reading and proud of what they read. This term, the Year 7 major project was students creating a showbag for their favourite book. During class time students presented their favourite book to the class and explained why they enjoyed the book. Students in each individual class especially enjoyed having time to explore each other’s showbags.


This term Year 8 have been engaged in learning about Tragic Heroes. Students have investigated the characteristics of a tragic hero through studying Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The challenge for them this term was to engage in creative thinking and design their own fictional tragic hero character and present this to the class. As an English teacher it is always exciting to see students being able to transfer their knowledge to a new context.


This term Year 9 have studied the text ‘The Happiest Refugee’ by Anh Do as part of the English syllabus is to consider and appreciate cultural expression in texts. Whilst studying the text, students explored the plight of refugees coming to Australia. For their major task this term, students researched an immigrants’ story through the Immigration Museum in Melbourne and wrote a creative beginning to a memoir, as the immigrant. It has been compelling to read the students’ interpretations and empathy towards the individuals researched, which was represented through their writings.


Teaching students how authors convey meaning is a challenging concept and especially teaching them how authors use language and context to form comedy. Year 10 have been lost in the forest of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Apart from learning to appreciate the power of Shakespeare to amuse, they have been learning about how context drives and can change meaning. Their assessment task this term saw them appropriate a scene from the play into a modern context. This has definitely created a setting for very interesting and hilarious reads for the staff! Such wonderful writing demonstrated by so many students.


For our seniors this term has been full of exams and challenging assessment tasks. Our Year 12 students are in the final push to the finish line, completing their last few modules of study. Extension Two English students are near to the point of submitting their final drafts, before their major submission in August. These holidays should be used as a time for study for Year 12. They have been provided with past examinations and essay questions to complete plus a booklet which gives them handy hints on how to study for English. I implore them to use these holidays to reread text and to cement a strong study timetable.

For Year 11 English students it has been a term of adjustment and reflection. After the Year 11 Half Yearly examination we asked students to engage with the feedback and to reflect on what they need to do to improve. These holidays should be used as a time to prepare summaries and to read texts as we head swiftly next term towards the Yearly Examinations for Year 11.

Please encourage your child to attend the English Study Sessions in the library every Week B Wednesday until 5:00pm.

Mrs Michelle Smith
English Co-ordinator


This term has seen a hive of activity across the History Faculty. Firstly, congratulations must be extended to the students of Year 12 History Extension, Lucy Barone, Olivia Brodbeck, Amelia Hamilton and Hannah Wright, who undertook the enormous task of completing their major project for this subject throughout the term. I have been privileged to read the essays produced by these students and I have been impressed by the standard and quality of their work. A special thank you goes to Miss Roche, who guided and supported these students throughout the entire process.

Students in Year 7 and 9 History have also taken on the role of historians throughout the term to investigate the past and present their findings in the form of a major project. For Year 7 this involved researching and presenting the findings of a History Mystery, which they did with commendable enthusiasm. Year 9 explored the migration of non-European groups to Australia and presented their findings in the form of an empathy speech. They too are to be congratulated on their efforts with this task. During this time, Year 8 and Year 10 have continued to refine their skills in analysing historical sources.

Next term will see the beginning of our preparation for the Night at the Museum. All students in Years 7 to10 will have a major project to complete, which will then be displayed in our museum in Week 8. We look forward to seeing the wonderful creativity that this event inspires in our students each year. More details about the Night at the Museum will be advertised closer to the time.

The students of Ancient History and History Extension attended a HSC Study Day in Sydney earlier this term where they were able to consolidate their understanding of the respective courses and gain valuable insights into how to approach their study and preparation for their exams. Again I thank Miss Roche for accompanying the students to this day. The students gained a lot from this experience and it was encouraging to hear so many students say that the day affirmed what they have already learned in the classroom.

This is a timely opportunity to remind HSC History students and parents about the need to be thoroughly prepared for the upcoming Trial HSC Examinations. A study guide detailing the exam format and useful study tips, as well as revision work, has been provided to all HSC History classes. I encourage all students to use the holiday break wisely and complete the revision work in preparation for the exams.

Lastly, thank you to all staff and students who have contributed to making learning in History a rewarding and positive experience throughout Term 2.

Mrs Fiona Crawford
History Co-ordinator


Term Two has once again proved to be a very busy and exciting term in Science. Year 7 have completed their first large Scientific Investigation Project as they explored some of the conditions affecting the growth of crystals. Following initial research into how crystals grow they chose various conditions involved in successful crystal growth to investigate and spent the next 6 weeks observing results and modifying procedures to optimise the growth of their crystals. Year 6 students were also involved in this crystal growing challenge and it was great to see each class come up to the Chemistry lab and learn how to safely manipulate scientific equipment to commence the crystal growing process. Their ongoing commitment to this investigation throughout the term was evident in the size and quality of some of the crystals grown.

It was crystal growing all round as the Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths (STEM) group also undertook this challenge every Tuesday and Thursday throughout term. This group extended their investigation to include the formation of geodes. The ‘best’ of the ‘Alum’ crystals grown across all groups have now been sent off to the Royal Australian Chemistry Institute for judging in their National competition. Good luck to those students whose crystals have been chosen.

Also as part of our COGNITO program students across Year 7 – 10 were offered the opportunity to sit the ICAS Science Competition. Well done to all for the commitment shown on the day. We look forward to positive results.

Students in Years 8 and 9 participated in an incursion presented by QUESTACON to look more closely at the properties of Matter and then later in the term Year 9 investigated a local ecosystem with a field trip to the Awabakal Conservation Area. Both of these events proved to be quite interesting and informative.

Year 8 also completed their Scientific Investigation Project into the factors affecting Plant Growth. There were some very interesting investigations into the effects of light, temperature and fertiliser on the growth of plants. The students are again to be congratulated for their perseverance throughout this long term investigation, constantly monitoring and recording the progress of their plants over many weeks.

As Year 12 complete all of the core modules of work in each course students in Biology, Chemistry and Physics participated in ‘Experiment Fest’ at Newcastle University. This experience is invaluable for all students in these courses as it offers them the opportunity to complete mandatory experimental experiences we do not have the equipment for at school while also exposing them to the world of university Science. Analysis of past HSC papers shows the experiments undertaken by students on this day can be directly related to approximately 20-25% of the examination questions. A very valuable day indeed.

Year 12 Chemistry students also visited Orica as part of their studies and the Biology and Senior Science classes took a first-hand look at a local ecosystem via a field trip to the Hunter Wetlands.

This term we have also seen the expansion of our small in-school ‘zoo’ with the addition of two frogs. It is amazing how much the students really enjoy being able to interact with our living animal family and we would like to particularly thank those students who spend their lunch times feeding and cleaning out the habitats for not only the frogs but also the axolotls and ‘fluffy’ our central dragon.

Term Three will commence with the opening of our new lab and our ‘Dry’ lab in D1 moving into the new building beside this additional lab. Hopefully the extra time students will now have in science laboratories will further stimulate their enquiring scientific minds and assist them explore the world around them through practical experiences.

It is also Science Week during Term Three and again we have several activities planned for this year.

Mrs Jenny Charker
Science Coordinator


On Monday, 6 June, Year 8 had a Chinese Day here at school. We participated in four different activities: calligraphy, traditional cooking, martial arts and dragon dancing. During the calligraphy lesson we were able to use proper calligraphy brushes to practise our strokes so we could fluently write our Chinese characters. We also made bookmarks and did origami. In the traditional Chinese cooking section we learnt how to make ‘mapo’ tofu which is tofu in a spicy sauce. We tasted the tofu before it was cooked and then with the spicy sauce once it was cooked. We also got to make dumplings. 

After lunch we went to the hall and watched a martial arts expert show us some moves. We were able to learn a fighting sequence and practise it as a group. We then got to watch a real dragon dance performance and have a go ourselves. We then had a dragon dance competition.

Overall the day was full of fun activities and good learning experiences.

Ainsleigh Crook and Trinity Robards


On Sunday, 29 May, Hannah Roth (Year 11) and Deanna Barnes (Year 9) travelled to Sydney to participate in the annual Chinese Bridge Competition where they had to recite a three-minute speech in Mandarin, expressing their Chinese dream and also perform a piece relating to the Chinese culture.

"It was good to get some first-hand experience with what the competition was like so I know what to expect next year."

It was Deanna's first year to participate in the competition. She performed a song “我的歌声里 as her cultural performance. Deanna admitted that she was nervous throughout the entire competition but found it was all worth it in the end and was happy not to have let her nerves get the best of her.

Austin Kozak was a guest speaker on the day because last year he won the competition. This was a great achievement for him and won him a trip to China.


On Monday, 30 May the Year 9 and Year 11 Chinese classes went on an excursion to the Chinese gardens. We got the experience to not only witness the beauty of the garden of friendship but also be a part of the Chinese culture. Our first stop after a long train ride to Sydney was actually Starbucks, which isn't a part of the Chinese culture, but the hot chocolates kept us warm while the harsh cold winds swept through the streets attempting to chill us to the bone. Next was the garden of friendship. We wandered through the beautiful scenery filled with dazzling flora, learning new things at each stop such as the personalities of the zodiac signs and what certain structures are built and used for. The gardens were very peaceful and eye opening. After that we made our way to the Marigold restaurant. There we were served many popular Chinese dishes including chicken feet, spring rolls, spicy calamari, special fried rice and much more. The food at the restaurant was quite different to the westernized food everyone was used to. We all found at least one thing we liked.

Finally we got the chance to have a walk around Chinatown. Whilst there we visited many different Chinese stores including a Chinese bookstore, a Chinese gift shop and a cream puff shop. This allowed us to dive in to the hot trends that surge through China. All in all this excursion was amazing and we all learnt a lot about the Chinese food and culture. It was a day that is hopefully to be repeated.

Mrs Sue Zhao
Chinese Teacher


It’s probably little known but each year around 20% of our Year 11 & 12 students complete vocational education courses as part of their HSC studies. These range from Certificate II in Equine Studies through to Flight Operations and Electrotechnology. Most students study either Hospitality, Metals and Engineering or Construction through the Lakes Trade Training Centre (TTC). Other students complete their studies via TAFE. The TTC is a co-operative between Lakes and five other local high schools. Each Monday and Wednesday at lunchtime the students get in their Trade uniforms (Chef outfit, High Vis, etc.) and head off on the school bus to complete their studies at the various training centre locations. It is a time of the week that I know these students really look forward to.

At present, all TTC students are completing two weeks of work placement and are off at businesses across the Central Coast this week (not at school) and in the first week of their holidays. This demonstrates the level of commitment these students have to their courses.

Recently I had the pleasure of seeing the Hospitality students in action when I was asked to act as part of the judging panel for their ‘Signature Dish’ Challenge. It was wonderful to watch our students working with students from a number of other schools in an industrial kitchen, producing commercial quality dishes. Below are some photos of our students making their signature dishes.

Mr Brant Maslen
Vocational Education Co-ordinator


On Friday ,17 June the school hosted the Central Coast Combined Grades Chess competition. This acts as the qualifier for the Finals of the Secondary Schools Teams Competition. Lakes had two teams competing – a junior team (Years 7 & 8) and an Intermediate team (Years 9 & 10).

Both teams represented the school well and were very competitive. The junior players surprised many of their much older opponents and achieved second place overall for the day! Our senior team ended up second in their division, a great result given half the team were first time competitors at this level. The junior team achieved equal first in their division, tying with Green Point Christian College. The team that goes through to the finals will now be determined by the competition convenor, based on a count back. We will find out the result of that in early Term Three. 

Mr Brant Maslen
Chess Co-ordinator


Term 2 was an exciting term for Year 10 and Careers. On Tuesday 24 May we held the Year 10 Careers Day, this included group interviews, resumé building, one-on-one interviews and the 2nd Annual Careers Expo. We were very lucky to have some great exhibitors including for the first time Macquarie University. Students from Years 10 to 12 had time to wander through the stands including Universities, Armed Forces, Le Cordon Bleu, Gap Year. We were also privileged to have the National Art School do a workshop in this time. To round the day off Paul Wade (ex-socceroo captain) gave a fantastic presentation on employability skills where he shared his experiences and challenges. Year 10 interviews continued and the final week of term had all of Year 10 go off to work experience. A very busy term.

Term 3 will be looking at University applications for Year 12.

Mrs Cathy James
Careers Adviser


During Term Two the SS Library has hosted a few school events, one being our Yr 9 English Enrichment Day, where students created a film, wrote poetry, or participated in Write a Book in a Day. See the report from our Director of Teaching and Learning for more information. Write a Book in a Day was a fundraising event for The Kids’ Cancer Project, where a team of Year 9 students, Deanna Barnes, Olivia Glanville, Gemma Jordan, Robbie MacDonald, Hayleigh Peachey and Alex Pullen, collaborated and worked with a set of parameters of given characters, setting and an issue on which to base their story. It was a mammoth effort to plan, brainstorm ideas, delegate chapters, write, edit, illustrate, refine, collate and assemble their book, all within the time constraint of one day, a book which they titled ‘Vision.’

The Central Coast Chess Competition was also held in the library last week. There were three visiting schools playing against our Lakes team. See the report by our Head of Chess for further details.

Our Year 12 students have been maximising their use of Senior Study and all available library resources towards their HSC efforts, and they are to be commended for their focus and diligence to date. Keep up your great work, we are here to continue to support you all the way through to your HSC exams, and beyond!

There have been some new books purchased recently, these are currently on display for loan. There will be more new books next term, both fiction and non-fiction.

There are a number of students signed up for the Premier’s Reading Challenge, and of these students, some have already completed the PRC. Well done to Anupama A. and William M. in Year 7, and Olivia C. and Ben T. in Year 9 who have finished already! If you have registered but not completed your online reading record, you need to do so by the end of August at the very latest, so that your reading record can be validated online.

Mrs Anne-Marie Nicholls
Secondary Teacher Librarian



One of the privileges of working at Lakes Grammar is being involved in those extra-curricular activities that students engage with.  For example, in Term 1 I loved being a part of the Athletics Club and wandering around with the Year 5 girls as they ran, jumped, put and threw whilst dodging thunderstorms and mosquitos.  It’s a great way to rub shoulders with many parents, staff and the 200 plus children who gather on a Wednesday afternoon.  I commend it to you for Term 4.

This term we have seen our lunchtime Cru groups grow in both size and depth.  We have a Girls Cru and Boys Cru in the Junior School with anywhere up to 70 of our Years 5 and 6 students involved in creatively exploring the Bible, life, games, craft and building strong and healthy relationships.  A huge thank you to the staff and volunteers who make these groups so amazing and who have the younger students excited about being old enough to go along when they get to Year 5.

In senior school we have a Boys Cru and Girls Cru for Years 7-9 students and a Senior Cru for those in Years 10-12.  Each week we reflect on the chapel topic and Bible reading and discuss how we can live out lives of purpose in this world.  The girls have been exploring what it means to colour this world with their lives whilst practising mindfulness.  These groups are much smaller than the Junior School groups but have seen steady growth in numbers as well as a deepening of conversations.  Once again these groups are made possible by staff and volunteers giving up a lunchtime to sow into the lives of the students. 

For both of our campuses these extra-curricular lunch time groups are investing into the very fabric of our school community.  Our students are learning strong and resilient values, leadership skills and what it takes to make wise choices in this world.  Each student’s faith walk is honoured and reflected against the life of Jesus in a way that encourages ongoing exploration of life, love and faith. I am really looking forward to next term’s Cru Groups continuing to grow and blossom. 

For those in Junior School, come and check out Sean W Smith at Lakes Anglican on Sunday, 3 July at 9:30am for some holiday spiritual encouragement.  For those in Senior School I am preaching this Sunday at Lakes Anglican at the 9:30am service.  You never know, I might get someone to dance during the sermon as well as Mr Hannah did last Sunday.  Make sure you ask him all about it.  Happy holidays everyone.

Bless Ya




Cybersmart Detectives is a teacher-led online resource aimed at Year 4 primary students. This interactive multimedia class activity is built around an animation that asks students to step into the shoes of a detective and explore what happens if someone reveals too much information online. The resource aims to reinforce messages about personal safety online. Parent Portal

Young people frequently turn to their parents and carers for support, and parents of teenagers are looking for practical advice. will offer new support for Australian parents and carers of children aged 12–18 years to help improve and maintain family resilience and the mental health of their children.  Available in May 2016, the service will provide parents and carers with fact sheets, stories and a peer community space to help them better understand what their child is going through and how they can support them.


In conjunction with the 2016 National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence, a new technology has been launched to help prevent online bullying. reword is the first technology of its kind in Australia. It works by identifying cruel or intimidating words in real time to prompt online users to reword their message or post.

Sesame Street

Sesame Street’s cast now includes a girl with autism. This is significant as, more often than not, undiagnosed girls suffer from depression, self-harm, eating disorders and relationship violence later in life.

Social Media Safety Guide

Interactive Schools provides safety tips for parents in relation to social media and online behaviour.


Mindfulness practice has great potential for students. Performance anxiety and examination stress make young people ideal participants for mindfulness practice. Evidence-based mindfulness practice can sharpen student focus, reduce stress and boost academic performance.

Mr Ralph Johns
Co-ordinator of Student Wellbeing