Week 6, Term 3 2021


This week saw our Year 12 students begin the process of completing their Trial examinations online. There are a number of schools that have cancelled their HSC Trials so I am very proud of both staff and students for getting this process underway at such short notice. A fabulous job by all.

With the continuation of online learning, the majority of our communication with staff, students and families has been electronic, virtually or by phone. In fact, as a newly arrived staff member myself, I have yet to meet face-to-face with the vast majority of staff and students.

The Lakes App is our key conduit of information to our community. We have nearly 100% of parents/guardians from K-12 regularly accessing the App. If you are yet to login, please do. However, you must reset your Parent Lounge password before you can access the new App as it is integrated to our parent portal. For full instructions on how to access the app click here.

When we are able to undertake excursions and activities again, our permission process will be online via the App. I anticipate that this will streamline the process and be much simpler for staff and parents.

Our relationship and communication with our community, particularly parents, is key in ‘Building Better Futures’ for our students and is the key driver behind all of the decisions we make at Lakes.

This term, I have requested that our staff address parents and guardians formally when communicating in writing (including email). I understand for many of you that this is a change, but please don’t feel that this reflects any shift in our strong and respectful relationship with you and our community. It is important that everyone in our school treats each other with respect, and the use of appropriate salutations in our letters and emails to you is one small part of this. The regular communication we have with you can only enhance your child’s experience and connection at school. As always, I encourage you to contact the relevant staff member if you have any concerns regarding your child.  I recommend that, in the first instance, you send an email detailing your concerns or queries, which gives the staff member (who may be offsite) time to gather any relevant information and set aside time to speak with you.

Our staff are working extraordinarily hard to generate online lessons, virtual assessments and engaging online lessons, so please be mindful that it may take up to 48 hours to respond to your enquiry.

Mrs Deborah Clancy



There are no upcoming events at this stage.


Matt’s Mutterings

There’s a song by the band Split Enz called “6 months in a leaky boat” and it is starting to feel a bit of a NSW theme song.  It has fantastic lyrics describing a dangerous journey through difficult waters but with amazing beauty thrown into the journey as well.  This weekend marks the end of Week 6 of term and 8 weeks in lockdown.  For some it will feel like a never-ending boat ride across dangerous oceans and for others the isolation may bring calm waters from the frenetic pace of life.  For our Year 12’s as an example, they are tossed and turned by the waves of the trial HSC and uncertainty of the end of year in terms of celebrations and restrictions.  Wherever you fit on the spectrum of lockdown lunacy please know that we are praying for you.  If you do feel like you are drowning, please reach out to us for help or for any of the wonderful counselling services we have available across NSW by phone or on the internet. (Lifeline 131114; Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800)

In our senior school chapels we have been working our way through the fruits of the Spirit which you can read about in Paul’s letter to the Galatians, chapter 5.  Paul is writing to his friends to encourage them to be filled with God’s Spirit and they will know this by the relational fruit they produce.  So far we have explored love, joy, peace, patience and kindness with 4 more to look at in the coming weeks.  The fruit provide a person with positive influences on the people around them, but also, on their own personal mental and physical wellbeing.  When we live out these fruits we actually change the biochemistry in our bodies resulting in better health and wellbeing.  This 2000 year old text is backed up by science from this century which is really handy; it being Science Week!

A further by-product of living out these fruits of the Spirit effectively is evidenced in the increased harmony in relationships.  And boy, do we need that now when we are around the same people in our home hour after hour.  Or if you are still needed to work out in the community because of your job, these vital character traits will effectively bring harmony to so many fractured individuals suffering under the weight of grief because of Covid.  God really knows what is best for us and has given us the gift of his Spirit to help us live fruitful lives. I pray that you may sense God’s Spirit close to you and that you too may bear rich fruit in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and the other 4 that are yet to be revealed 😊.  They will certainly help us along in this wild boat ride we call 2021!

Bless ya!





Our Wildlife at Lakes Grammar have been spotted out and about and are missing all the students.

“Our youngest student yet hops into school”

“A focussed furry friend contemplating Vital character traits”. 

“Poor social distancing – let’s not be galahs”. 


I would like to express our gratitude to your student Montana.

Montana called by Morisset Ambulance Station on Friday 30th July, to deliver an amazing “Thank You” card she had made along with a box of treats

Our workload has increased & the Paramedics here are feeling fatigued. Her gesture of kindness lifted all our spirits.

JUST PRAY  by Callum Lightfoot

When you’re feeling down  

And you want to hide  

And your friends are far  

And you’re trapped inside  

Another day goes by  

Where you want to play

And you need to cry

Just breathe and pray

If the mountain’s steep

And the sky is grey

When you need to weep

Just breathe and pray

We are safe and warm

We just may discover

We are strong enough

Because we have each other

We can jump

We can play

We can run

We can zoom

We can call

And have fun

Growing food to eat

Dog walks every day

Smiles when school is complete

We can stop and pray

And around the bend

Comes the warmer weather

And then my friend

We can pray together



National Science Week! 

 I think we would all agree that as humans we have been interested in most aspects of science, whether it be experimenting with certain minerals or theories on physics – science can really grab our interest.   

However, science has never quite got the attention that it did until the start of 2020. With the outbreak of new, highly contagious virus, COVID-19 sent shockwaves around the world, and overnight the world’s focus turned to scientists. We all started asking, ‘How quickly can scientist create a vaccine against this?’ and, ‘How effective will this vaccine be?’ 

In preparation for writing this, I stopped and reflected on how the science community felt about a potentially deadly disease and their task in creating a safe and effective vaccine in record time.

Enter Katalin Kariko

Katalin had a humble upbringing in a communist led Hungary. She was fascinated by science since a young age and started her career at the age of 23. However, after many setbacks and a lack of resources she was sacked and after selling her car (along with most of her possessions) she moved to Philadelphia, USA.  

During the 1980s, whilst the majority of the scientific world was focused on DNA, Katlin stood out from the crowd. She ignored vast amounts of criticism and focused on something called RNA. This is the genetic code that gives cells the instructions to make proteins (something I did not know before writing this article).  

When the researchers at Pfizer-BioNTech needed help with their vaccine they referred to the RNA techniques developed by Katalin to create the world’s first safe and effective vaccine.  

There is so much to learn from Katalin’s story; the strength and bravery to leave your home and move to a new country. The creativity to think outside the box and focus on different elements of science and the perseverance to ignore the criticism to create one of the most famous and life-saving vaccines ever made.  

This week is Science Week, and today our junior school students immersed themselves in a vast array of experiments and activities. Students went from creating tornados, exploring surface tension to designing a chain reaction. So much joy and wonder was experienced by both students and staff.

But, underneath all those emotions, students displayed the same characteristics of perseverance, creativity and strength that Katalin Kariko demonstrated.  

Mr Daniel Wearne

Head of Junior School


Covid Premier’s Reading Challenge 2021

lockdown has meant that access to PRC Reading titles has become challenging, so the finish date for the PRC has been extended, as has the number of free choice books allowed. Reading logs now need to be to Mrs Tennant by 13th September.

  • If your child is having trouble accessing PRC titles they can now complete their challenge using Free Choice books. Just add the full book title and author name to the reading log.
  • For students In Kindergarten and Year 1: If your child is unable to complete their logs Mrs Tennant will automatically log the books that have been read to your child in school and validate their challenges.
  • For students in Years 2-6: If your child is still having trouble completing their reading logs by the end date, please email their incomplete logs to Mrs Tennant ( and she will complete them using books read in school.
  • A scan or clear photo of your reading logs can also be emailed to Mrs Tennant.
  • For students attending school, logs can also be placed in the PRC box on the desk in the junior school library

Mr Danny Summers

Junior School Teacher Librarian


The Year 3 and 4 Mathematics Extension group had a wonderful time working collaboratively to solve problems during the Mathematics Challenge. They have thoroughly enjoyed applying their mathematical skills to real world problems. The students have all performed very well.

Certificate of Credit:

Year 3:

  • Ryan M
  • Eve

Year 4:

  • Declan
  • Ashley
  • Aiden
  • Tahlia

Certificate of Proficiency:

Year 3:

  • Ethan
  • Marcus
  • Tess
  • Cheyanne
  • Winter

Year 4:

  • Jensen
  • Brianna


Mrs Amanda Holland

High Potential and Gifted Education Coordinator K-6




The longer we are apart, the harder it gets doesn’t it? Our students are certainly feeling this way now that we are past the half-way mark of term. Maintaining connection is the best way to help combat feelings of anxiety, stress and loneliness and to maintain good mental health in general.

Connection has been a big part of what we have been designing and building into every day for our students (and staff).

  • Wellbeing Sessions are being delivered each week. The last two weeks have seen us focus on Peace and then Patience. One of the activities completed for Peace was making cranes to allow us observe the International Day of Peace in September (or perhaps later in the year when we return to school). The instructions are on When we return to school we will be collecting all the cranes – so get folding! Have a look at the work one student did in making tiny cranes.

  • The SRC organised a number of activities and challenges for students. Students should keep their eye on their Year Group Teams for updates each week. Staff and students are being challenged to see how many steps they can get done in a week – keeping us connected and moving!

  • Chapels and assemblies. Rev’d Matt’s chapels are always interesting and thought provoking and very often lots of fun! We have also run assemblies where we can connect students with information and announce some awards to recognise their achievements.

As always, don’t hesitate to connect with us if you or your child is struggling with learning or wellbeing.

Stay well and safe,

Mrs Alison MacLarty

Senior School Co-ordinator of Student Wellbeing


Friday, 30 July the Secondary School celebrated National Green & Gold Day.

Here are the winners of our fun competitions


Name of winners


College Trivia

Rhys F, Max A, Tatiana PC, Clair W, Kyla G, Beau J, Giselle S

Lunchtime ice block when school returns for Cranmar students.

Class theme gallery screenshot


Lunchtime ice block when school returns

Individual Olympic theme photo competition

Beau J and Isabella B

$5 canteen voucher


As we approach our official middle of Term 3 I am delighted to report on the successes that our students have had in English lessons to date.

First and foremost, a huge congratulations to our Year 12 student cohort. They successfully completed their HSC Trial examinations online, liaising a new online exam platform with Zoom to have an authentic (albeit at-home) exam experience. As an English faculty, we are proud of the resilience and grit that our students have shown. We now look forward to supporting our Year 11 students to complete their own yearly examinations in Week 9 and officially move onto the Year 12 HSC course for 2022.

In Years 7-10 English classes, our students have readily embraced online learning with teachers helping them work towards their assessment task submissions for Week 8. Our focus for English students has been fine-tuning and reverting to basic skills, as we believe that this is the time to get it right. That being said, we are happily providing students with opportunities for fun and to demonstrate their writing flair:

Our 7-10 English Honours Program is up and running for our high-achieving students;

The Pens Against Poverty writing competition is offered to students in 8-9 A;

Students in 7-8 English classes have engaged in poetry writing, drama-script writing, designing their own picture book and even participating in a treasure hunt.

I would like to end my report by quoting student Levi Franke (Year 8) from a persuasive essay he submitted to his teacher on the topic of bullying. I include this quote because I think they are very wise words that apply to everyone and everything at this very special time of online learning:

Bullying, the great tyrant itself, can be destroyed with a simple flick and that flick is courage and love for each other.’

Indeed, it is the courage and love for each other that we celebrate here at Lakes Grammar and it is the continued support for our students that remains the focal point of our teaching efforts here in the English Faculty.

Mrs Serena Hart

Acting English Co-ordinator


Last term, selected students from Year 7-10 competed in the Australian History Competition. The competition is based on the Australian Curriculum for Stage 4 (Year 7 and 8) and Stage 5 (Year 9 and 10) and tests students on their historical understanding and skills. Our students achieved some outstanding results, with our school performing well above the state and national mean in Year 7, 9 and 10 and on par with the state and nation in Year 8.

Congratulations to the following students for their outstanding achievement:

High Distinction                 Distinction

Abigail B                              Josef A

Rhys F                                  Babu A

Alyssa D                              Cameron T

Luke O                                 Chloe C

Tex L                                     Kani L

Beau J

Although online learning comes with its challenges, teachers and students have been busily engaging in a range of different learning activities in History. Year 8 students were challenged to create a Viking Longboat using materials they could find at home. Some very creative submissions were received, including a longboat made from watermelon!

In the coming weeks Year 7 will commence their study of Ancient China and they will have the opportunity to participate in our very own ‘Lakes Grammar Master Chef’ by making their favourite Chinese dish. Stay tuned!

Currently, Years 7-10 students are working through their Term 3 assessment task in class. The tasks are designed to assess student understanding of key skills and course content studied this term:

Year 7 – Ancient Egyptian artefact analysis

Year 8 – Viking Weapon justification infographic

Year 9 – WW1 soldier empathy powerpoint presentation

Year 10 – Holocaust Survivor Commemorative Website

Our senior history students have been working extremely hard in their online lessons. They have continued to develop their knowledge and skills in order to prepare for their final assessment tasks. I wish all of our Year 12 history students the best of luck as they sit their trial examinations. I also encourage Year 11 to begin preparing for their end of term examinations by commencing their revision program.

Mrs Fiona Crawford

History Co-ordinator


The HSIE faculty would like to commend our students on their transition to online learning this term. We have been impressed with their diligence, engagement and resilience. Below is an overview and update on each year group:


Year 7 have been learning about landscapes and landforms globally and locally. 7L completed a virtual tour to the Grand Canyon in Week 3. Students have shared images of Landscapes and Landforms they have visited and practised the skill of Field Sketching with the option of drawing a place they have visited, would like to visit, or a view from home.

Year 8 have been learning about global interconnections, including the ways people are connected to places. This week they commence their assessment looking at ecofriendly tourism options, for when they can travel around Australia again.

Year 9 have been exploring food security and the biomes that produce our food and whether the world can produce enough food to feed the population. We will be moving into how humans alter environments to maximise food production in the next few weeks.

Year 10 have been investigating human wellbeing and development. This includes the studying of inequalities between countries with a case study on South Africa more recently regarding income, education rates and GDP.

Below are some examples of the activity’s students have completed during their home-based learning:  

Year 7 sharing the landscapes we have visited:

Field sketches

Biomes posters


Year 9 have been exploring work are currently working on an assessment task that requires them to develop a cover letter and resume for a job advertisement. Year 10 have been exploring the relationship between the economy and businesses with an analysis of impacts of globalisation and technology on businesses and the future of jobs.

A selection of student work samples is below, where students had to create a poster promoting one Indigenous tourist destination/experience as part of their learning about engaging in contemporary trade.

Ms Rachel Mackillop

Senior School teacher/HSIE Coordinator


Food: Different by Design

This week is National science week and we have been celebrating with some great activities including an in-class virtual escape room, a science skills challenge and a number of trivia challenges. Here at Lakes, while we love being in the laboratory  we do not need to be in one to enjoy science. Students have been immersing themselves in the weeklong food challenges creating some wonderful videos, culinary treats and vegetable gardens. Well done to all those who got out from behind the screen and enjoyed being creative either in the kitchen or out in the sunshine. We are enjoying seeing the ‘fruits’ of your labour.

There were also many community activities running throughout the week. Have a quick look online to find out what is still running and see if you can get involved.

We are over halfway through the term and the science staff would like to commend all students for their continued effort online. There has been awesome science happening with some real experimentation practised.  Our problem-solving skills have been given a workout with some very creative approaches to teaching and learning science.

Even though we are having fun celebrating science in as practical a manner as we can in the current on-line environment, we are definitely missing being physically in the classroom with all of our students.

Stay safe and keep on enjoying the world of science!

Mrs Jenny Charker

Science coordinator


We would like to thank all students and parents for their ongoing support and help with making this online process go as smoothly as it has. We have tried teaching dance to Year 10 online, which has been an interesting process. I would like thank Mr Beecroft and Mrs King for their dedication in helping the students develop their understanding of PDHPE.

Year 7 – Have been exploring transition and change as they grow older, examining the physical, social and emotional changes that occur during adolescence. They have practised interpersonal skills and identified and planned for preventative health practices to assist in protection against diseases.

Year 8 – Teaching adolescents about drug safety is crucial to develop strong and resilient minds to help lower the incidence of drug use, including hazardous drug use among teenagers. We have done this by increasing awareness of the short-term and long-term physical, financial, social, emotional and spiritual effects of tobacco, cannabis, prescription drugs, caffeine and alcohol. In addition to this, we have encouraged students to pursue practical activities that they enjoy while still trying to achieve assessable practical outcomes.

Year 9 – Students have learned what safe and respectful intimate relationships are like through studying case studies and researching support services. Their ability to work collaboratively when even online has meant they have developed some excellent resources for future reference. Students are now focusing on learning the influences on nutrition and how diet can affect physical performance. Having the Olympics on television provided the opportunity to analyse some athlete endorsed food advertisements and research the Japanese inspired meals provided to Olympians staying in the village.

Year 10 – Students have been learning about health issues affecting young people and their impact on wellbeing. They have been analysing stereotypes and norms and investigating risk taking behaviours common in young people. During practical lessons they have been dancing up a storm and learning about the elements of composition while improving their fitness through moving to music.

Year 9 PASS – This term students have been learning coaching skills. Online learning has meant students have had to overcome the barrier of not being able to coach each other face to face. Helpfully, this class has excellent technology skills as they have submitted some impressive YouTube movement skill tutorials and they have been providing constructive feedback to both themselves and their peers via video recordings.

Year 10 PASS – These students have been learning about the ways technology has impacted the world of sport and physical activity, and utilising a variety of technology strategies to help the improve their participation and performance.

Year 11 PDHPE – Year 11 have participated in a variety of physical activities and assessed their relevance to the target audience by looking at the following criteria - cost, accessibility, intensity, interest, outcomes of the activity. After participating in these activities, they examined several products and established criteria to determine if the product would be suitable and achieve the desired outcomes or if it was a gimmick.

Year 12 PDHPE have worked extremely hard on developing and evaluating existing strategies to prevent harm to athletes on the sporting field. We wish them all the best for their upcoming trials.

Mr Stuart Campbell

Senior School Teacher /PDHPE coordinator


Our creative students continue to thrive at home during online learning. It is heart-warming to see students continuing to produce artworks, play instruments, take photos and develop plays. Our enthusiastic Year 7 students have been working on their drawing skills in visual arts, practising the art of portraiture and refining their talents by learning how to draw faces in proportion. Our young musicians in Year 8 have been rehearsing with instruments at home during music lessons or being inventive with things around the house to make their own music. Our talented Year 9 Drama students are writing plays based on the theme of picture books, designing productions schedules from scratch, inventing amusing plots that have a moral to their stories. Our Year 10 photographers are making the most of online learning by using photoshop and other applications to create David Hockney style portraits, featuring digital layers of faces from different angles.

The 11 and 12 CAPA students are to be commended for their grit and tenacity as they continue to engage in essay writing, analysis and rehearsals via online meetings. Year 12 have been steadfast in their willingness to complete their final projects under extraordinary circumstances adapting so well to the news of date changes and alterations to their trial schedules. Please continue to look out for emails for confirmation of due dates and marking for Year 12 CAPA students. The teachers in the faculty have been working tirelessly to keep abreast of the alteration of assessments from NESA and will continue to work closely with families to keep you informed. Please contact the following Year 12 teachers with any concerns or questions.

Drama –

Music –

Visual Arts -


Creative Arts Spotlight

Music students are in the spotlight this week. Ms Amor’s talented music students in Years 7–9 have been busy creating music compositions and performing on instruments including some inventive homemade creations.  

Mrs Anne Hobden

Creative and Performing Arts coordinator


The Senior School SRC is focused on creating opportunities for students to connect, have some fun and participate in challenges each week. Students will find the latest SRC challenges and information posted to their respective year group teams. Below is an overview of the activities in Weeks 4 and 5.

Week 4 saw our lolly jar guessing competition launched with a lolly jar for each year group.

Kahoot Trivia - In Weeks 4 and 5 we have hosted live Trivia for Years 7-10 at the start of their sporting session. Students have joined in a Kahoot general trivia, a big thank you to Mr Willmott and Mr Beecroft for hosting these.

Our Winners in Week 5 were:

  • Year 7 -8: Josef, Abi and Lexi.
  • Years 9 -10: Harni, Joanna and Ruby

Minecraft build competition – Week 5 saw our Year 7-10 challenged with a building competition on the theme Temple and we had a number of entries with our students demonstrating their creativity and Minecraft skills.

The winner of this round was the team efforts of Year 10s Nate V, Lochiel S, Sharwil P and Cameron T with their underwater temple.

We have also, hosted some ‘artist’ style challenges which have included students creating their own masterpieces arounds the themes of our chapels and wellbeing sessions:

Ms Rachel Mackillop

Senior School Teacher


Most students find learning challenging at some point on their school journey, six weeks of online learning, the number of tasks, the difficulty of them, the pressure to complete them and even the challenges of accessing them can pose as problems, particularly for students with additional needs.

I want to reassure you that you are not alone, and many parents and students are also finding this unique situation overwhelming. As you well know, students and teachers alike are travelling through uncharted waters and teachers are working hard to adjust to both the technical and physical elements of online learning.

Over the past 6 weeks I have been delighted to collaborate with students and their parents to discover innovative ways to make learning accessible for all students. I have been so impressed by the resilience students have shown through online learning, particularly for those who have additional needs which makes learning even more challenging! Whilst the teachers are developing activities that the students can complete independently, we understand that some activities may require more guidance and scaffolding than others. As such, Mrs Thomson, Mrs William-Caller and Mrs Nicholls have been working diligently behind the scenes to deliver small group instruction to students who require more intensive support.

I have attached some useful website which I find helpful for teaching students with a range of learning differences:

  • Learning Tools that helps improve reading and writing skills, including gifted learners, students with learning differences or a combination of any of a broad range of unique learning abilities:

Please know that we are continually investigating innovative ways to make the activities and learning experiences accessible for every child.

Ms Kristy Gorham

Senior School Coordinator of Learning Support



HRIS Athletics and Gala Days

With the current lockdown in place, it has been decided that all HRIS Gala Days and the HRIS Athletics Carnival have now been postponed.

We will wait further updates from HRIS.


Mr James Cantor

K-6 Sports Coordinator


Weekly Term Sport

We have been completing online learning challenges each week. The last two weeks have seen students get creative exercising whilst trying to make some Strava artwork using GPS and helping keep our beautiful environment clean by plogging which is a mix of jogging and picking up rubbish. Well done to everyone involved and congratulations to our weekly prize winners. Week 5 Giselle S and Week 6 Charlotte D.


Upcoming Events

All upcoming sporting events have been postponed until Term 4.

Mr Darren Beecroft

Senior School Sports Coordinator