Friday, 27 March 2020

Important Dates

Tuesday 14 April                                     Staff Professional Development Day (no student attendance)  

Wednesday 15 April                               First Day Term 2

From the Principal

It is hard to believe how much has changed for our school since the last newsletter. In the wake of COVID-19 we have seen school activities shrink, postponed or cancelled completely. We have had to implement changes with very short notice and this week, we suddenly found ourselves with children on school holidays with only a day’s notice. As a school, we have discovered how difficult it is to maintain a sense of community at a time when the community cannot physically come together. Fortunately, we have the technology and resources to virtually bring our teachers and students together and so the Remote Learning Program was born. I am pleased to report that the test sessions for remote learning we have held this week have been very successful and I am very confident that the school will be able to continue to provide quality education to our students should we be required to teach remotely. Of course, the success of the Remote Learning Program relies on the important learning partnership which has always existed between home and school. We appreciate many parents will be anxious about taking on the additional responsibility of supervising and supporting their children in their home classroom. Fortunately there is a growing number of parent resources and websites dedicated to advising and supporting parents should we move to remote learning. I highly recommend Independent Schools Victoria (ISV) website to you. Here is the link to their parent portal;

For all parents, but particularly for parents of younger children, I commend this article from the ISV parent portal to you;

I would like to acknowledge the extraordinary work completed by the teaching staff over the past few weeks in creating the Remote Learning Program. I am inspired by the dedication they have demonstrated in making sure the student’s learning will continue uninterrupted should we move to remote learning. Your children are in very safe and competent hands.

I wish all CGS families a very safe and happy school holidays. It will be a very different type of Easter holiday this year but I hope it will be one which will bring families even closer together. 

Mrs Fiona Williams

Acting Principal 


From the Head of Junior School

We recently celebrated Harmony Week at CGS which culminated in a wonderful Cultural Dress Day that involved all our Junior School students dressing up in their national costumes or wearing orange, the colour of harmony. On that day we also enjoyed our first class assembly for the year. It was hosted by our fabulous 2G students who shared the importance of Harmony Day with our audience through song, artwork and personal reflections. Well done to Mrs Kate Grech and her students on a fantastic and colourful assembly!

Sadly, it was necessary to cut our first term of 2020 short and commence our holidays early. This important decision was made to help combat the spread of COVID-19 as our top priority as a school always has been, and always will be, the health, safety and wellbeing of our students. I’d like to sincerely thank our parents for their understanding and our teachers who have continued to work diligently and conscientiously to prepare for next term and the possibility that we need to activate our Remote Learning Program. Rest assured, your students are certainly going to continue to be in good hands if this becomes a reality.

The School has been very quiet over the past few days and I simply can’t wait to have it once again filled with the faces of your beautiful children as soon as is possible and may it be soon. Presently, we will look forward to welcoming our school community back to CGS on Wednesday 15 April. We will be in touch with you via email and with instructions if we need to activate our Remote Learning Program. Until then, please look after our cherished students and yourselves and keep your families safe and well.

With sincere thanks for your continued support during this unprecedented time.  

Mrs Melissa Roberton

Head of Junior School

2G Harmony Day Assembly

On Thursday 12 March, 2G hosted the Junior School Assembly, below are some student reflections from the special Harmony Day inspired event.

'Today was our Harmony Day assembly. I felt nervous but when I got on the stage then I felt awesome.' - Paramveer Bal

'Today we had our class assembly. At the start I was scared but when we did the song I was happy and I wanted to dance.' - Adele Aziret

'I was wearing an Indian dress and it had sparkles on it. After the assembly we had a parade, it was fun.'  - Takdeer Kaur

'We started with a song called Hello to all the children of the world. We were on the side of the stage and my mum and dad came to watch.' - Ranuk Rathnayake


With the school holidays upon us, it is a great time to explore eBooks!

Students from Year 3-12 are able to log in to Sora from any device. There is an app available in both Google Play and the App Store and can also be accessed via a web browser. Students use their personal computer username and password: 1234567 to gain access to online books. Happy reading! 

Ms Jess Burns

Head of Library


From the Head Senior School

As Term 1 draws to a close, the Senior School staff would like to wish all students and their families a safe and restful break. It has been a busy end to the term for both students and teachers and certainly an unchartered one as we prepare for a possible move to our Remote Learning Program.

I would like to congratulate all students on their participation and cooperation as we introduced the remote learning procedures. What a privileged is it to be working with this school community. 

Last week Mr Craig Townsend spoke to each year level independently and explained the way the Remote Learning Program will run should we move to this learning platform. It will be business as usual as each student follows their daily timetable, completing the work loaded into SEQTA and interacting with their class and teachers across the working week. There are multiple check-ins and support for students and families built in to this program. Please contact us if you have any questions about this process, particularly as it unfolds next term should we move to remote learning.  

VCAA have released their directives for VCE should we be teaching remotely and Casey Grammar teachers are including them in their preparation and delivery of the VCE curriculum. When I spoke to the students on Monday, I was keen to point out that we are asking the students not to worry about the curriculum and how SACs and SATs will be done, please let your teachers solve that one. We are taking the VCAA directive of a flexible and yet authentic approach and have strategies in place which will enable students to work confidently through the curriculum and be well placed when we return to on-campus teaching.

Student wellbeing is our number one priority and we have structures in place to support this. These will unfold as the term rolls out, particularly through the student’s Wellbeing class. As a student, your role is to be proactive in, not only your studies, but also in contacting the relevant staff member should you need help or have questions to ask. 

We will be in contact as updates unfold but for now and over the next two weeks, enjoy the break. We look forward to seeing you return to your studies well rested and ready for Term 2, an 11 week term with plenty of learning to achieve.  

Ms Cathy Marchmont

Acting Head of Senior School/VCE Coordinator

Term 1 SIS Success

The final ladders and Pennant Winners for Term 1 SIS Sport have been announced and Casey Grammar two winning teams this term.

A big congratulations to the Intermediate Girls Volleyball Team and the Senior Boys Soccer team who have won their competitions. Thank you to Mr Brad Schreuder (Volleyball) and Mr Ryan Subban (Soccer) who coached these teams to the win, these staff members have been an invaluable part of the SIS team this term help is very much appreciated. 

Congratulations again to the following students

Mrs Fern Schreuder

Head of Sport

Senior Boys Soccer Team

Tyler Van Bree

Mark Banks

Chris Banks

Liam Best

Johan Carreon

Abhi Phogat

Joel DeSilva

Conor Finlayson

Jordan Grima

Connor Morgan

Santi Narvaez-Rosso

Serkan Arslan

Vish Vijayan

Alex Quach

Intermediate Girls Volleyball Team

Bianca Orzoi

Jordyn Townsend

Laura Bell

Tenaya Welton

Imogen Stocking

Izzie Langevin

Ash Chhean

Olivia Berry

Madeline Komodromos

Co-curricular Music Programs

Exciting Music Opportunity

I am pleased to announce that we will be once again starting up our Training Concert Band and Training String Orchestra ensembles at Casey Grammar ready to commence next term.  These ensembles are perfect for students in Years 3-8 to be able to learn a brass, woodwind, percussion, or orchestral string instrument in a fun ensemble setting.  The ensembles are intended to take young musicians from no experience through to their first few performances and will provide valuable support to young musicians learning a new instrument.  To be eligible, students need to be enrolled on their instrument in Instrumental Music Lessons and to commit to weekly rehearsals.  As a member of an ensemble, they will be eligible for discounted lesson fees and instrument rental at no cost.  This is an amazing opportunity to get involved in social music making, make new friends, learn an instrument, share in amazing performances.  To get involved, please contact Mr Collidge directly with an expression of interest.

Instrumental Music Lessons at Casey Grammar School

Instrumental Music Lessons for 2020 are now well under way, but we have vacancies across all of our studios for new enrolments and are actively look for young musicians to join our program.  If you are interested in lessons for your child, please send through an enrolment form (available from the Music Dept, the Front Office, and on the school website) and we can get them underway. 

Ensemble Music Program at Casey Grammar School

The Ensemble Music Program is an excellent opportunity for music students to grow and share their musical experiences, develop new friendships, and to perform some great music.  The Program is open to all Casey Grammar School students, not just those studying instrumental music in our program.  Ensemble opportunities exist across all instruments at a range of experience levels.

NEW FOR 2020: Students that commit to joining the Ensemble Music Program will be eligible to free instrument hire and a discount toward their Instrumental Music Lessons fee.  Some conditions apply.

If you are interested in your child joining any of our co-curricular music programs, please contact Stuart Collidge on 5991 0723, or for more details.

Mr Stuart Collidge

Head of Music

From the Head of Careers

Supporting your child with career planning

The most valuable thing as a parent/guardian you can do to help your child with career planning, is keep informed, listen, don’t judge, be open to ideas and encourage them to explore all their options. The ‘world of work’ is ever evolving and it is important that we support our children to develop the skills necessary to manage their own career development throughout their lives.

According to a report developed by the Foundation for Young (New Work Order series), ‘traditional, linear career trajectories are rapidly becoming an antiquated notion’.

So - what does this mean for your child?

It is estimated that the average 15-year-old today is likely to have 17 different jobs over five careers in their lifetime. With this in mind, it is increasingly important that we access relevant and up to date information about labour market trends, labour market information and tertiary and training options.

As we approach Term 1 school holidays, I would encourage you to take the time to talk with your child about their career plans. To inform your discussions, I recommend that you review the below resources:

Foundation for Young - New Work Order research series (A report series that explores how changes to the world of work will have significant implications on the labour market for young Australians).

Job Outlook (Explore different careers, job prospects, wages and skills). 

Myfuture (Information on different careers, Education and Training options).

Over the next few weeks, I will continue to share tips and useful resources to help parents/guardians support their child with their career planning. Please remember, if you do have any questions – I am available to meet with you and/or your child. My contact details are listed below.

Defence Force GAP Year – Applications now open

An ADF Gap Year is a unique opportunity to experience life in the Navy, Army or Air Force, without needing to make a long-term commitment. The skills obtained through the ADF Gap Year program will provide students with valuable work and life experience that are completely transferable. It will enable your child to develop confidence for their next endeavour.


Who can apply? Current Year 12 Students (for the 2021 program).

You will need to be an Australian citizen aged between 18 and 24 on completion of military training (dates vary by job). You will also need to have completed Year 12 (subject passes required vary by role) and have passed Year 10 English and Maths. Refer to individual job pages for more information.

Applications are now open. For more information, please visit: Defence Jobs – GAP Year

Mrs Sarah Blythman

Head of Careers and Student Pathways


Phone: 5991 0766

From the Chaplain

One in the Spirit

Harmony Week is one of the best celebrations I think we have of our motto, One in the Spirit. It’s wonderful that each year we have students who are willing to prepare acts that share their culture with others. One of the highlights for me is watching the performance in the Senior School. Whilst this year, that was via a video for me, it didn’t stop the feeling of pride I felt as I watched the final performances after seeing the rehearsals on Tuesday. A large crowd was treated to six acts ranging from a Year 11 student cooking wantons, Spoorthy Bhat on her saxophone, Ijaz Koya singing whilst playing guitar, Meenakshi Ragesh and Jugal Anish dancing, The Exports consisting of Joel Rasmussen , Phoenix Brousse De Laborde and Charlie Hermans joined by special guest Luke Holland (alumni 2019) playing an Australian punk rock classic, and a group of Year 12s led by Krishna Kunnummal who concluded the event with a Bollywood mash-up. This was the first time that we’ve had a group performance like this. Full credit to Nathan Basnet, Seth Gunawardane, Mahek Joshi, Chloe Juglall, Jash Kahlon, Mercedees Lynch, Param Mehta, Tanishka Munjal, Max Murphy, Rohan Pahwa, Diya Patel and Krishna for the many hours they spent practicing and perfecting their moves. It was a fantastic example of our school leaders, including both our School Captains modeling what it is to step outside their comfort zone. For most of these students, it requires them to overcome their fears of performing in front of a large crowd – and in doing so, they make the whole week better for everyone. Their willingness to challenge themselves and take a risk is something I am really grateful for.

Bushfire appeal

Our initial hope was to donate our Shrove Tuesday bushfire money to School Aid, but unfortunately their appeal has concluded and so the $520 has been donated to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal instead.

The rapid pace of change

Like me, probably many of you have watched the unfolding global events with a sense that it is all slightly surreal – drastic changes and circumstances that at the beginning of the year seemed unimaginable are now our daily life. The effects of this situation will no doubt continue to be felt for a long time. My thoughts and prayers are with those in our community who are already feeling the impact of coronavirus in their workplaces, families and businesses. These are challenging times for many and we trust that we will continue to be a supportive community for one another.

This is the prayer from last week’s staff briefing.

Dear Lord,

So much about the future at the moment seems uncertain as things continue to change rapidly and we are faced with wide ranging possibilities of what the coming weeks and months may hold. Amidst this, many decisions have to be made and we pray, above all, for wisdom in this. We ask for wisdom for those who lead our federal and state governments as they made choices that will impact many. We commit to you those on our staff, and those in our school community who are already feeling the impact of the evolving situation in their businesses and in their employment. We pray that they might be able to find ways through the challenges they face. We commit to you those who care for the sick, and the many healthcare professionals who are dealing with this crisis daily. We bring these prayers to you through Jesus Christ. Amen

God’s presence, guidance and wisdom be with each of you this week. 

Mrs Monique Riviere-Pendle


From the School Psychologist

Quarantine: Managing Children’s Mental Health

While a decision about school closure has not been made, many families will experience quarantine due to exposure to the Covid-19 virus.

There are several ways to support your children’s’ (and your own) mental health during periods of self-isolation or quarantine.

1.       Remind children that this is a temporary period of isolation to slow the spread of the virus. Emphasise that this is a good thing to help everyone be healthy. Remember that their (and your) effort is helping others in the community avoid contracting the virus. Discuss this with your kids. (See below)

2.       Keep children active and stimulated.  Inactivity and sedentary activities (especially gaming and internet use, watching TV, etc.) can lead to diminished mood. This applies to parents as well.  You have an obligation to set a good example.

3.       Maintain good sleep routine with regular bedtimes (including teens) and waking times. Children should not be allowed to sleep in or stay up unusually late.

4.       Maintain proper nutrition with regular, healthy meals.

5.       Regular exercise. This may be as simple as a 30-minute family walk around the block or around a park, or it may be shooting hoops, trampoline time, using a treadmill etc. It would be great for all the family to do this together. The first couple of times may be a challenge to get children involved. Schedule this at a regular time each day. Children will quickly get used to the routine.

6.       Provide exposure to sunshine every day, for at least 40 minutes to promote the creation of Vitamin D.  Depleted Vitamin D has been associated with low mood.

7.       Have a routine and structure for children’s days. For Junior School children, details of programs were sent home in the Principal’s letter dated 17 March.  Divide children’s’ days into say, five one hour sessions. Include one session of ‘free’ school-type activities, such as drawing or craft for younger children, and inquiry learning projects for older primary aged students. Children complete different activities in each hour according to guidelines provided by teachers. Young children will need constant supervision. With older children keep general monitoring and at the end of each session, correct and remediate learning. Have rest breaks in between sessions as if they were playtime, lunch etc.

For Senior School children they can keep to their usual school timetable based on SEQTA sessions provided by teachers. Supervise, encourage and make sure teens are constantly submitting work, consulting with teachers, and that they are productive during the day.

For VCE students, this is an opportunity for them to get ahead of many other children in the state who may not be continuing school work.

8.       Keep a lid on gaming, internet use and social media. As usual, I suggest that these be used in a family area, not in a shut-up bedroom.  Parents should supervise these activities, especially social media. That being so, connection with family, friends, neighbours, teachers, and work is essential.

9.       Restricting teens may be challenging.  Explain that there is a good reason for the restricted physical access to friends- it is for their health as well as yours. Teens may not appreciate that they too are at risk of infection- they are not invincible. Teens can be risk-takers, and they often have unrealistic perceptions about friends. ‘So and so is my friend … they won’t be sick!’

10.   Set an example yourself. For those working from home, try to maintain a healthy balance by allocating specific work hours, taking regular breaks and, if possible, establishing a dedicated workspace. Make family activities a priority.

11.   If concerned about children’s wellbeing, or if there is a critical incident in the family or with friends, contact a professional. Many therapists, including myself, are providing tele- and video counselling. There is remote access to doctors. I am contactable through SEQTA and my work mobile number is 0438 098 535. We can arrange face-to-face video counselling or conversations.

Conversations with children and young people

Families and caregivers of children and young people should discuss the news of the virus with those in their care in an open and honest way. Try to relate the facts without causing alarm, and in a way that is appropriate for their age and temperament. It is important to listen to any questions they may have, to let them know that they are safe and that it’s normal to feel concerned. If the media or the news is getting too much for them, encourage them to limit their exposure. This video has some useful tips for talking to young people about scary stuff in the news.

Any concerns? Contact me immediately.

Mr Alan Clarke

School Psychologist

Uniform Shop

Term 2 marks the transition from summer to winter uniform. 

The School Uniform Shop will be closed during the school holidays if you require any uniform items, the Dandy School Shop located at 8/169 Cheltenham Road, Dandenong is currently open the following hours:

Monday – Friday 9.00am-5.30pm and Saturday 9.30am-2.00pm

Their contact phone number is 9792 3187; it is advisable to call before visiting to ensure they are still open.

TeamKids School Holiday Program

These school holidays, TeamKids will be delivering a mix of excursions, incursions and in-house days that promise to keep the kids happy, engaged and having fun.

Download the Autumn Holiday Program to see the what is happening on the days you would like to attend.