We have reached the end of what will be a term we will all remember. We do have a little more clarity about what Term 4 will look like for our students, particularly for our Year 12 students and their HSC examinations.
Unless we come out of lockdown early, the current plan for a staggered return to school in Term 4 will be as follows:
From 25 October- Kindergarten and Year 1 (week 4)
From 1 November- Years 2, 6 and 11 (week 5)
From 7 November – Years 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10 (week 6)
Year 12 students will have access to the school campus and their teachers from 25 October (week 4). The school will continue to be open only for children of essential workers for the first 3 weeks of Term 4 as we have been during Term 3. As full cohorts of students begin to return from 25th October, any staff members who are on site will also need to be fully vaccinated. Senior school students will need to wear masks, and junior school students are strongly encouraged to wear masks while attending school. We are also in the process of assessing ventilation and air quality requirements for the school.
If covid cases on the Central Coast increase significantly, we will be directed by NSW Health to resume online learning until case numbers drop. You will receive further details early next term regarding drop-off and pick-up arrangements from Mr Wearne (junior school) and Mrs Smith (senior school), and I will send out further information prior to the commencement of Term 4.
Our Year 12 graduation was held virtually today (Friday 17th September). Our staff were resplendent in their academic gowns, students looked immaculate at home in their school uniforms and proud parents and families watched a magnificent group of students celebrate the end of their schooling. With messages from Bishop Peter, Bishop Charlie, school captains and key staff it was a moving event for all of us.
The highlight for many was the ‘mysterious’ gift that had been secretly (or discreetly) delivered to parents to be opened during the graduation service. This group of students deserve our praise for enduring a very challenging two years of study.
Thank you - from members of our school community
We have received some lovely gestures and comments from members of our school community – either by chocolate, sweets and savoury treats being delivered throughout the term or an email sent through. Thank you to all our families – your thoughtfulness has been greatly appreciated. See below a comment from one of our families.
I would like to say a huge thank you to you and all your staff during this challenging time. Our family is so appreciative of everything you have done and are doing during this lockdown. Having a child in primary school and also one in high school I'm so impressed with the cohesion of both sections of Lakes Grammar. The support that we feel coming through the emails, assemblies, reading of stories by Mr Wearne, Chapel, Student Care Packages, school work feedback and zoom classes is just superb. I cannot imagine all the hard work you and all your staff are doing behind the scenes, but I'm sure it's big. Our family is so appreciative of all your hard work that you have done and are doing for our children, and we are so blessed to be part of the Lakes Grammar School community. Thank you so much to you and all your wonderful staff members for working so tirelessly for our children, especially as you all have your own families and challenges to tend to during this time as well.
I dearly hope that our students, families, and staff enjoy some rest and recreation over the next two weeks. While it does not look likely that we will be travelling far, the advent of warmer weather and longer days should hopefully allow us to take time to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings, the love of our families and an opportunity to refresh and reenergize, ready for what we hope is a more ‘normal’ Term 4.
Enjoy what I hope is a restful break, and I do hope to see you all in Term 4.
JUNIOR SCHOOL REVIEW
HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL
Don’t stay in BED
Well, that was a different term to what we were all expecting! Although it may not have been what we anticipated, it was full of authentic learning experiences and a lot of fun.
As you will recall during the winter holidays we were informed that we were going into lockdown. We clung to the hope that it would only be four days, however, it did not take long for us all to soon realise that it was going to last much longer.
A number of people have commented how tricky it must be to start a new position in a school during this lockdown period. I have to agree it’s not been ideal, but it makes the thought of meeting more of the school community more exciting and something to not take for granted. With all of us under extra strain I have been able to gain a greater insight into the heart of the school and see how warm and welcoming the Lakes Grammar community is. For that I praise God!
Unlike the 2020 lockdown which consisted of 5 weeks of online learning, this lockdown has doubled that. Online learning and working from home is hard for anyone; however, I believe it is even harder for our young, active and relational students.
Ash Barty, the world number one tennis player and her mindset coach, Ben Crowe, were recently interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald. As well as coaching Australia’s number one tennis player, Crowe also coaches many leading CEOs and athletes. His leading piece of advice to his clients is, “... we can stay in BED which is an acronym for blame, excuses, denial, or we can say ‘it’s my decisions, not the conditions that determine how I’m going to get through this.”
We thought online learning would last for four days, instead it has continued for weeks on end. Our students had every reason to want to stay in BED and blame others, find excuses or deny what has been challenging them and their families.
Instead, our students jumped right in and embraced the term of learning before them. They have attended their classes daily zoom meetings, uploaded work sample after work sample onto seesaw. Students ran mini olympics in their backyards, science experiments in their kitchens, and travelled around the world from their living rooms for our ‘Around the World’ day. They never stayed in BED, even though they could have justified it. Every day they took control of their environment and mindset. Congratulations to all our students, you can be so proud of yourselves.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing parent community for all of your support and generosity during this time. I would also like to thank our dedicated teaching staff who have gone the extra mile all term despite the extra demands on them.
Although I am yet to see the Junior School running ‘as normal,’ one of my great highlights from my first term here has been witnessing the generous, selfless and caring community that is Lakes Grammar.
Head of Junior School
The Premier’s Reading Challenge for 2021 has now finished.
We had 173 students completed which is a wonderful achievement considering the current restrictions and online learning taking place (our record is 136 completed).
Thank you to all students and parents who supported the challenge this year. Certificates should arrive (and will be presented by end of the year)
We will be sending out any overdue notices in Week 5 of Term 4 (when schools re-open).
Junior School Teacher Librarian
During Term 3 students in K-6 have started their Illuminate projects through Zoom meetings and Seesaw check in points and have been creating an online learning journal showing the development of their project at home. This year we have a theme of ‘Change and Challenges: Flourishing in a changing and challenging world’. The students’ topics reflect this theme and have shown that our students are all flourishing through this changing and challenging time. Each student has developed a research question on a topic that they are passionate about and have begun to formulate their answers.
The students have come up with some amazing topics and will present their findings in creative and imaginative ways first through an online platform that will be shared with the school community and hopefully face to face once we return to school in week 7.
Here are some examples of the types of research questions that the students have come up with and the planning that they are recording in their research journal.
Charlotte C – Kindergarten
What are the affects to the earth if the North and South Pole melt? (see photo Charlotte research)
Brooklan J – Kindergarten
What footprint did the dinosaur leave on the world?
Miguel M – Year 1
How can we stop the spread of the Coronavirus?
Isla L – Year 1
How can architecture help with bushfire recovery?
Sienna D – Year 2
How has communication changed?
Samantha M – Year 4
What is the most efficient way to grow crops in the heat and dry conditions of the changing climate?
Guilia B – Year 5
Why is DNA so important?
Tobias T – Year 5
Are electric cars a better alternative to fossil fuel cars? (See photo content areas)
Miranda Feller – Year 6
Can we have a vegetable garden without pesticides?
High Potential and Gifted Education Coordinator K-6
SENIOR SCHOOL REVIEW
HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL
Year 12 Graduation
Today we formally farewelled our year 12 2021 students via spectacular live graduation ceremony. The decision to hold the graduation was easy as we felt we needed to honour our Year 12 students who have been outstanding members of our school community. The delivery of the ‘secret’ graduation boxes on Thursday afternoon by our staff made the graduation ceremony extra special. These boxes were packed with ‘goodies’ to commemorate the students’ end of schooling.
Next term, Year 12 will return to online revision classes until the HSC examinations begin. We wish them all the best as they prepare for these examinations. The NSW government also encourages all Year 12 students to get vaccinated whilst they wait for the HSC examinations to begin. At the end of the HSC examinations, we hope to hold some celebratory events with our Year 12 students, however, this will be based on NSW Health advice.
We are sad to see them leave, and we will miss their smiling faces on zoom and around the school. However, we take solace in the knowledge that they are well prepared to take on the big wide world from being a student at Lakes Grammar.
Term 4 Years 7-11
With the news that we initially return next term to online learning, we have decided not to hold yearly examinations for Years 7-10. Revised assessment schedules have been emailed to parents and students. Most of the tasks will occur in school and students will have time to prepare for these during class time. If you have any questions regarding assessment tasks, please feel free to contact the class teacher or subject coordinator.
Return to school dates (subject to NSW Health advice)
5 October – Year 7-11 return to online learning
25 October – Year 12 (2021) allowed access to senior school site
1 November – Year 11 return to school
8 November – Years 7-10 return to school
At the beginning of Term 4, we will send more detailed information regarding our return to school plan and our covid-safe practices to assist in keeping our community safe and well. We will also send out a survey early next term to gauge how students plan to travel to and from school. Please complete this survey as this information will assist us in planning for safe pick-ups and drop offs of our students. Please be reassured we are doing everything we can to keep our community safe.
As the end of the term draws to an end, I would like to thank our school community for your support throughout the term. It has been a very challenging term, and I am sure we could not have achieved so much without the strong partnership between you and our staff.
We hope everyone has a restful and relaxing break and we pray everyone stays safe during this time.
Acting Deputy and Head of Senior School
“Love, belonging and connection are the universal sources of true wellbeing”
Over the course of this most unusual term, connection is what we have strived and yearned for. Both staff and students alike have reached out to each other in so many ways and for so many reasons. Teachers have reached out daily to connect their students with their learning and to check in with them on a personal level. Year advisors have connected with students and families to identify needs for assistance. Staff have connected with each other in planning, restructuring and reimagining a place of learning and have checked to see how ‘okay’ each other really are. I believe this term has been a term of finding new ways to connect and build that sense of belonging we know is so important for our wellbeing. All of this has been done with love – love for our students, our passion for teaching and learning and showing our love of God in our daily interactions. Let me show you how our students and staff have connected this term during our wellbeing sessions.
Week 1 – Fruits of the Spirit – Strength
‘My top strength is judgement so my intentional act for next week is to really consider my breakfast options looking at the pros and cons since we can’t really do much else.’
‘My top strength is honesty. So, my intentional action is going to be telling my family members I love them and spend some time with them this weekend - including online with my extended family.’
Week 2 – Love – Love Your Neighbour Photo challenge – we will make these into cards to give to nursing home residents when we get back to school.
Week 6 – Kindness – Messages for Year 12 from some younger students
You’ve got this.
Be strong and diligent
You guys are cool
You're almost there, don’t stop now
You're heavily appreciated
Be faithful :)
You can achieve any goal you put your mind to
Keep going! You're almost there!
You are all amazing
Keep pushing through
Keep your head up
Week 7 – Goodness – a doing good activity:
Donations for purchasing books for Westmead Children’s Hospital School
Week 8 – Faithfulness
Week 9 – Gentleness - Choose a person to connect with. Make them something or write them a letter. Send it to them.
This could be someone you wish to reconnect with, someone you haven’t always treated as well as you could have, or it could be someone you think needs a bit of a lift.
Week 10 – Self-Control
Students and staff have been tasked with creating a visual tool to help them work out their goals or dreams. Then to choose one and make a plan to work towards it. Something to look forward to – making plans helps us through tough times!
Thank you to all who came to visit us on our care pack pickup day. A special thanks to Neteale in Year 11 who made and donated 30 felt hearts as part of the 1000 Heart Project. These hearts were donated to students across all year groups who, it was decided, could do with a little extra love.
Also, thank you to the students and teachers whose photos from the Love Your Neighbour activity were used for the postcards in your packs: Year 7 – Eddie S, Year 8 – Sophie L, Year 9 – Suzannah A, Year 10 – Patrick M, Year 11 – Ben M and Miss Mackillop, Mrs Hobden and Mrs Hutley.
We say goodbye and thank you to our outgoing school captains, vice captains and prefects this week and we thank them for their service to our school. While they didn’t manage to do all the things they would have liked, they have certainly added to the life of the school and will be missed.
We welcome our new captains and prefects into their roles at the start of next term. I look forward to working alongside these students as they bring their own ideas and energy to their roles.
I am pleased to announce the new student leadership team commencing Term 4.
Captains: Neteale Bayley-Hobden and Blair Evans
Vice-Captains for 2022: Kasey Young and Jackson Blackshaw
Prefects for 2022: Alex Voigt, Amani Abo-El-Halak, Ashley Pernecker, Benjamin McKay, Charlotte Peach, Dearne Peachey, Emma MacDonald, Gemma Lloyd, Jemima Senior, Juliet Ridgewell, Lara Chapman, MacKenzie Astorga, Sarah Riedel
I pray that all our students and their families have a safe school break. Although we will come back to school in similar conditions, we also come back with fresh hope as we look forward to seeing each other again. Do some things this holidays which bring you joy – a bushwalk, a picnic, creating art, listening to music, read a book….anything which helps you to look forward to something.
If you or any member of your family is having particular difficulties, please remember these services are available and people to help you through:
Thank you to all the students in Years 7-10 and the teachers who got involved so enthusiastically in the wellbeing scavenger Hunt last Friday.
It created a well-deserved break from online lessons and gave some well needed laughs for the students and staff.
The missions ranged from cooking, creating artworks, completing household chores, clever pets to recreating the moon landing and impersonations of teachers. Each video or photo entry scored points towards the Tutor group’s total score.
Congratulations to Year 10 Cranmer for winning the competition with 19900 points.
Hopefully we can share some of the clever video entries with the students when we return to school next term.
Senior School Teacher
On Monday, 6 September, all 15 Year 12 visual arts students submitted their visual arts major works under strict covid conditions.
The students were in good spirits as they signed off on 2 years of dedicated study despite the unprecedented circumstances.
With strength and determination, the students have overcome the challenges of lockdown to complete fantastic and innovative bodies of work that range from painting, drawing and sculpture to graphic design, photography, and digital media.
A virtual exhibition will be accessible online at some point in Term 4.
Congratulations Year 12. We are beyond proud of you and all that you have achieved.
Senior School Teacher
The HSIE faculty have been impressed by our students’ efforts and diligence during this term of home-based learning. During week 8 we had a few offline days where our students embraced their creativity and embarked on some challenges issued by staff.
Our Year 7 and 8 students were task with creating landscapes or exploring their own biophysical environments. Some used Lego to build a landscape while others used natural elements to create a collage or field sketches.
Year 10 Commerce Update by Chloe C
A few weeks ago, our teachers had organised two ‘offline’ days to break up the monotony of online school and to engage the students in a more inquisitive manner. As a part of this event, Mrs Hutley arranged three options for our Year 10 commerce class to choose from that linked to the commerce course and allowed students to engage their creativity. The options we were given consisted of; creating a new jingle or theme song for a product of our choice involving as many people as achievable; designing or expanding upon an existing product or service to add new features or functionality; and adapting or creating a board game in theme with the topics we have studied across the previous two years in class.
The variety of finished projects the people in our class created was quite astonishing, and often humorous. Students who opted for the product design developed goods such as: a motorised esky, an automatic dog poo scooper and a transparent toaster. Others who decided to design a board game made; a Covid travel Monopoly, a game in which your vaccination status determines your ability to play the game; a card game which tests your ability to pick out fake lawsuits from real ones; and a board game which simulates the experience of formulating and running a business. These activities allowed us to apply the knowledge we have acquired from our time in commerce in a far more engaging manner than usual bookwork.
Where has this term gone!
While we were living it there were times when Term 3 seemed to stretch on forever but now it seems to have passed in a blink - a very busy blink!
There were a lot of really great activities undertaken, challenging some to venture away from the computer screen and even get dirty.
Year 7 put their understanding of the world around them together in dioramas. The detail in some of these was truly amazing and showed the depth of understanding students have of the interconnected nature of our world. You are all to be commended for your creativity and learning.
Year 8 spent the term investigating various factors influencing the growth of plants. They started by planting seeds sent to them at the end of last term. They have then been monitoring the germination and growth of these plants throughout the whole term. Well done to all for your perseverance.
Year 9 investigated how we power our lives and their understanding of the intricacies of electrical systems was highlighted by the production of greeting cards that lit up! Compliments on your interesting and well-thought out designs.
Year 10 spent the term conducting their own individual scientific investigation. The diversity of investigation topics was encouraging, particularly given these students could not for the most part, leave home to gather equipment and resources. Congratulations to all Year 10 for your amazing effort and diligence in designing and conducting these major projects.
Year 11 finished their final modules in biology, chemistry and physics under circumstances that made mandatory practical work extremely difficult. It was really interesting to see some of the innovative methods students and staff used to complete these activities.
Year 12 were put on Trial! And they performed extremely well. All students showed great tenacity and strength as well as flexibility in getting their trial examinations done. Everyone involved in these exams is to be congratulated as we all mastered new skills (mainly in the use of technology) in order to make these exams happen. Well done to everyone on your results. Most students showed growth in their learning which is an encouraging sign for the final HSC examinations.
In the middle of all of this we also celebrated science week. This year’s theme revolved around food and we saw plenty of students enjoying various aspects of food including, growing it, cooking it and best of all eating it! Thank you to everyone who took part in the celebrations.
Knowing we will still be learning on-line for the start of next term the science staff are organising more activities to help spend some time away from screens and ‘doing’ science. We are looking forward to when we can all physically return to the school grounds and hope you all have opportunity during the break to rest, relax and recuperate ready for another unusual and interesting term.
Two years ago, I attended The Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) National Disability Summit. The opening speaker was a wheelchair bound man named Dylan Alcott. At the time I was familiar with his voice as a host on the Triple J radio station but was unaware that he was a paraplegic and advocate for people with disability. During his speech to leaders in education, he spoke of a tumour he was born with which wrapped around his spine. The tumour was surgically removed when he was a newborn, however he was consequently left paralysed from the waist down – “never to take a step” he said. He went on to explain that as a child he and his brother used to fight over the TV remote and argued upon what they wanted to watch, so much so, that his brother would take the remote with him went he went to the bathroom and upon walking past the refrigerator would pop it on top and out of reach from young Dylan. As educators, we gasped at the inequality and injustice imposed on Dylan, but he reassured us that what his brother did for him was remarkable and a favour. You see, for the first time, his brother did not treat him as disabled nor pitied him, he treated him as his brother – and challenged him to build resilience.
Dylan went on to modestly explain his sporting achievements and the success of his Ability Fest concerts, a universally accessible music festival, featuring pathways for wheelchairs, quiet areas for people with sensory disabilities, and Auslan (Australian Sign Language) interpreters. He further offered advice to young people with disability. "The biggest thing is that for every 1 thing you can’t do, there are 10,000 others you can. For every 1 idiot to give you a hard time, there are 10,000 others worth your time."
Last month Dylan Alcott went on to win a Gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics.
This week, I decided to include Dylan’s inspirational story and the message that he shared with me in this week’s final newsletter for a term that we have entirely endured through lockdown. I know that there have been a few ‘Paralympians’ striving through online learning despite their learning differences or disability, and I am extremely proud of their resilience, dedication and determination this term!
Senior School Co-ordinator Learning Support
WABIAD – On Wednesday this week for our 5th year running Lakes Grammar Senior School students participated in WABIAD. For their second consecutive year, Anu, Pahal, Georgia and Tahlia M from Year 9, and for their 4th consecutive year, Chloe, Raphael, Kani and Brooke from Year 10 all Wrote A Book In A Day! This year these literary legends took on an added challenge by collaborating remotely as they worked online together to create their books. Their dedication and enthusiasm lasted the whole 9-hour day as they outlined and planned, wrote and illustrated, edited and refined their writing. They should be very proud of their efforts to produce these two entertaining stories, ‘Space Station Spectacle,’ and ‘Finn Crabbens and the Tale of the Terrifying Teapot.’ Digital copies of these two books will be distributed to children in hospitals around Australia as part of The Kids’ Cancer Project.
NAPLAN RESULTS 2021
The school has received the 2021 student NAPLAN results and they are very pleasing for Years 3,5,7 and 9. Although the students experienced disruption to their learning in 2020, our average student NAPLAN scores across several domains is significantly higher than schools which are considered statistically similar and the state. In many cases the NAPALN results are the highest average the school has achieved to date.
Notable achievements for each year group include
The Year 3 average student score is the highest the school has achieved in numeracy
Average student numeracy NAPLAN score is significantly higher than the state average
51% of our students achieved above the state average in numeracy
7% of our students achieved a Band 8 or above in numeracy. Statistically similar schools received 1.1% in Band 8 and above in comparison.
The Year 5 student average score is the highest the school has achieved in writing, reading, spelling and numeracy
Average student reading NAPLAN score is significantly higher than the state and statistically similar schools
82% of our students received at or above expected growth in writing compared to 60% in the state and statistically similar schools
63% of our student achieved above the state average in reading.
The Year 7 student average score is the highest the school has received in grammar and punctuation, numeracy, reading and writing
71% of our students achieved above the state average in writing
Our average student writing score is significantly higher than the state average and statistically similar schools.
The Year 9 student average score is the highest the school has received in grammar and punctuation, numeracy, reading and writing.
Our average student reading score is significantly higher than the state average and statistically similar schools
Our average student reading score is significantly higher than the state average in writing
80% of our students received at or above expected growth in reading compared to 57% of the state
70% of our students achieved at or above expected growth in writing compared to 58% of the state
79% of our students achieved above the state average in writing
67% of our students achieved above the state average in Numeracy
These are incredibly pleasing results for our students and are a reflection of the hard work of both students and staff.
ADMIN OFFICE HOURS
During the school holidays, the office will be closed.
When the office is closed or unattended phone messages will still be checked periodically and an administration staff member will return your call so please leave a message.
CREATIVE KIDS VOUCHER
Term 3 of 2021 has been the most difficult school term to navigate as a school chaplain in the 17 years I have been in this position. It has been harder than when I first started out in Perth as an assistant chaplain 3 days a week where I also had a 20 hour a week job in a parish and was training as an Anglican minister. 70-80 hour work weeks were not unusual and we also had 2 kids aged 3 and under. It has been harder than when I was working 3 days a week for our local parish and 3 days a week for our growing school, again with small children. Those days seemed relentless, but this term has been next level.
Now this is not a complaint session, but I want to actually name something that I believe many in our community are feeling whether they can name this for themselves or not. It is grief. The weight of grief in our community has built and built across the term and we can’t run away from it. Both Chaplain Pete and I have daughters in Year 12 and the losses that our Year 12’s have endured across the term mixed with the uncertainty around the HSC has been like no other year. Rites of passage have been missed and students are living in a dislocated community. At the other end of the spectrum our kindy students have missed an entire term of classroom interactions where their academic and social skills could have been honed. Camps and interschool sports have been cancelled and many of those Term 3 experiences have slipped away. Our staff have been stretched creatively to deliver lessons in imaginative ways that leave me in awe.
One of our roles as chaplains is to support our staff and one way is in our daily staff devotions. Obviously, Chaplain Pete and I have not been able to meet with our staff each morning as we work through Matthew’s Gospel. Instead, we have sent out each morning either a 5-minute video (Chaplain Pete) or a short email (me) to grab a theme from the Bible passage that hopefully can encourage our hard working staff. Chaplain Pete sent a video to all of our Junior School students on SeeSaw each day to encourage them. There has been lovely feedback to these 80 videos. I have greatly appreciated how staff have sent responded to some of the random facts that have littered our devotions.
Chapels have also been radically different in the online world. Chaplain Pete has been working through the questions people asked Jesus whilst our seniors have been learning about the fruit of the Spirit. A few Kahoot quizzes have been thrown into the mix which are pretty tricky to run when you have a 20-25 second delay when using MS Teams Live for chapel. Kahoots have also been a part of our Christian Studies lessons for Year 7 this term as we learnt about the Bible. For both Chaplain Pete and I, we are really missing the interaction of the classroom for our Christian Studies lessons.
Chaplain Pete has been a regular attendee on site at school this term offering support to all those students and staff who had to be there. With only a few students each day in the senior school I have only made a few trips to the campus, but one such day was when we handed out the wellbeing packs. I could not stop smiling that day as I spoke with hundreds of students and parents. Chaplain Pete and I have been praying for you all and are excited that we might all be back together at some stage next term.
May each of you find rest and restoration across the school holidays. May you and your family be able to get outside and create some happy memories. May you be able to name some of the grief that you might have experienced across the term and ask our gracious God for the peace we all need at this difficult time. Both Chaplain Pete and I will be praying for you all and hopefully fit in some holiday reading, bush walks, kayaking and family BBQ’s. See you in Term 4!
JUNIOR SCHOOL SPORT
Unfortunately, snowsports 2021 was cancelled due to covid. Lexi R and Callum M have missed the opportunity to compete. We hope and pray this great event will proceed in 2022.
HRIS Athletics and CIS
CIS has officially cancelled all Term 4 sporting events. At this stage, it is assumed that HRIS athletics will be cancelled as well but we are just awaiting confirmation.