Friday, 6 March 2020

Important Dates

Monday 9 March                                     Labor Day Public Holiday    

Thursday 12 March                                 P-12 Harmony Culture Clothing Day 

Thursday 12 March                                Year 10-12 PTS Conferences  

Sunday 15 - Thursday 19 March          Year 6 Canberra Camp

Wednesday 18 - Friday 20 March        Year 5 Camp

Friday 20 March                                      Senior School Athletics Carnival 

From the Principal

Our new Continuous On-line Reporting process began in Senior School this week with the publication of the first piece of formative feedback on SEQTA. All Senior School parents should have received a letter earlier this week which explains the new reporting system. Our recent parent information nights also provided a rationale and important details about our new reporting system. If you missed the information night, you can hear what Mr Townsend (Head of Teaching and Learning) had to say by clicking on the link below;

Reports Update Video Link Videos/2020-Reports-Update.mp4

 At the information night, parents also heard about the Senior School Wellbeing Program from Mr Shepard (Head of Student Wellbeing). If you would like to hear his talk, please click on the link below;

Wellbeing Video Link Videos/2020 Well-being Growth.mp4

Over the Labor Day long weekend, our maintenance team will be busy moving School Reception. From next Tuesday, School Reception will be located on the ground floor of the new Junior School building. Reception and school administration staff will remain in this location for the rest of 2020 while the new administration building is completed.

As part of our commitment to a holistic education, we have seen a variety of curricula and co-curricular programs begin this term. The Year 12 Physics class enjoyed their study of physics at Luna Park, while our Science enrichment students learned more about STEM when they spent some time in labs at the Casey Tech School. The cast and crew of the Queensland production tour are busy rehearsing and preparing for their tour and the new Casey Grammar Dance group are enjoying their rehearsals in preparation for their competitions later in the year. Our Senior School debaters had their first debate this week as part of the Debating Association of Victoria (DAV) competition and our Grade 5 and 6 students are busy preparing themselves for their camps in a weeks time. I am aware that there is some anxiety regarding the Grade 6 tour to Canberra. I want to reassure all parents that we have been vigilant in our risk management for this excursion and are monitoring travel advice on a daily basis. We are working closely with our tour operator and, at this stage, we are confident it is safe to travel to Canberra. If travel warnings in Australia should change over the coming week, we will heed the advice and postpone our trip. It is worth noting that today's advice regarding travel is as follows;

With the situation regarding the coronavirus is continuing to evolve, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has issued updated advice that overseas school excursions should cease, except to New Zealand and Canada.

Last week our Year 8 students enjoyed their four days camping in The Otways. The camp program is designed to facilitate important lessons in leadership, teamwork, problem solving and resilience. The camps also promote an appreciation of the outdoors and outdoor activities, sustainability, indigenous culture and social bonding. They are an integral part of the educational package offered by the school.

A reminder that all students in Senior School should be wearing their school blazer as their outer garment as they travel to and from school. Students are permitted to remove their blazer once they in the school grounds although they are required to wear their blazer to school assembly. Hair that is shoulder length or longer should be tied back at all times. Shirts should be tucked in at all times.

Chewing gum has been a problem in school over recent weeks and I would like to remind everyone that chewing gum is not permitted at school under any circumstances.

On 26 February 2020 I sent a letter to all families. To ensure everyone is kept fully informed, here is an extract from that letter;

Dear Parent & Guardians,

I am writing to update you on a matter I informed you about, in my letter of 19 February, regarding a claim made against one of our staff members, who was alleged to have struck a student.

As you will recall, we immediately reported this allegation to the Commission for Children and Young People. We also engaged an external investigator to conduct an independent and thorough examination of the claim, which was strongly denied by the staff member.

That investigation has now been completed, and has found the claim was unsubstantiated.  As a result, the staff member will be returning to work.

Once again, I want to reassure you that our approach to this matter has been based on our commitment to protect the welfare and safety of all of our students.

I am confident that we have acted in accord with our legal obligations and codes of conduct, recognising the rights of all involved – including the staff member.

I am sure you will understand that there are limits to what I can say publicly about this matter, in order to protect the privacy and confidentiality of all involved.

 Mrs Fiona Williams

Acting Principal 


From the Head of Junior School

All our Junior School students celebrated Shrove Tuesday on Tuesday 25 February by enjoying pancakes while raising much needed funds for the Bushfire Appeal. I’m proud to announce that we raised $520. Thanks to every student and teacher who contributed and special mention to Averia Mangano who generously donated $20 of her own pocket money. Mrs Monique Riviere-Pendle once again championed the cause and worked tirelessly to ensure the occasion was a success.

Our first Junior School Award Assembly was held last Thursday and it was a privilege to present certificates to approximately one hundred of our Year 1-6 students. Each award recipient should be very proud of their accomplishments. I’d also like to acknowledge and congratulate those students who were honoured with our Principal’s Award. One student from each year level is recognised for upholding our school values and treating others the way they like to be treated. Well done to:-

Year 1   Sascha Lee

Year 2   Kimi Dun             

Year 3   Vrinda Sharma

Year 4   Skyla De Silva

Year 5   Lucas Trainor     

Year 6   Stella Kinna Tillbrook 

Last week we were indeed fortunate to present a Maths parent session to our P-2 parents. Mrs Sue Fine, our Maths consultant, presented the session and it was wonderful to welcome more than 40 parents to the event. I’m sure our parents all gained a greater understanding of how we teach Maths in our Early Years at CGS. Thanks to Mrs Fine for her great presentation, Mrs Sandra Torcasio for organising this event and our many parents for making the effort to attend. Families and schools that work together have a greater impact on student achievement.

Mr Mal Dunkley, Mrs Charlotte Bouman and a wonderful parent of the school, Mrs Kate Hancox, recently worked with our students to produce many entries for the Berwick Show. These all involved produce from our garden. Incredibly, almost every one of our exhibits won ribbons and we are very proud of all our students. Sincere thanks to Mrs Hancox for her expertise and many hours of assistance and our wonderful gardening group of dedicated parents.

Last Thursday evening our Heads of House, Mrs Bronwyn Kyne, Miss Laura Dascoli, Miss Bridgette Reale and Miss Sarah Nolan and our Head of Upper Primary, Mr Shane Bell, organised a Twilight House Sports event. Despite the cool, windy weather, our students and families enjoyed an evening of fun races and House Spirit. Thanks to our ever reliable PFC, led by Mrs Nicole van Brakel, who provided a sausage sizzle and icy poles for our families.

It was with great regret that we made the difficult decision last Friday to postpone our annual Junior School Athletics Carnival. Despite our students’ obvious disappointment, we felt that the correct decision was made as it rained steadily from 7:00am until at least 10:30am that day. The day was quite cool too and the track was already very wet underfoot when Mr Jeff Batey and Mrs Belinda Roffey visited Casey Fields at 8:00am. I’m pleased to say that we have secured the venue and will now run a Year 3-6 Athletics Carnival at Casey Fields on Friday 1 May. Our Year 1&2 Athletics event will now be held onsite on the CGS oval on Tuesday 24 March. Here’s to wonderful weather, much fun and some fabulous athletics.

Congratulations to the nineteen students who qualified to be members of our Junior School Swimming team. Earlier this week they proudly represented CGS at the District Swimming competition. Much enjoyment was had by all and everyone performed well. Mr Batey and Mr Newham were impressed by not only our students’ swimming prowess but also by their behaviour and team spirit.

Yesterday our House assemblies commenced with Booth House putting on an incredible show for our Junior School. Our audience was entertained by all the characters in the spectacular story representing someone ‘green’. The assembly focused on ‘Believing in ourselves and being happy with who we are’.  The stage was filled with wonderful green costumes and some very talented dancers and actors. Bravo Miss Nolan and your band of merry green Booth students!

Mrs Melissa Roberton

Head of Junior School

Introducing our 2020 Junior School Leaders

Berwick Show Brilliance!

Our wonderful garden students from Prep, Years 5 and 6 had some overwhelming success with their entries in the Berwick Show on the weekend of the 22/23 Feb. All three Prep classes came away with ribbons; a first, two seconds and also a Best in Show rosette for their vegetable model. Our 5/6 garden elective group achieved six first and six second places, one Third place and a Best in Show rosette for their amazing and unusual gourds that were sown, grown, and harvested all by students. Both groups were awarded with a small cash prize that will be used to purchase seeds for future crops. Come and see our awards on display in the library, as well as photos of our show entries. 

Well done Casey Greenthumbs!

Kate Hancox

Garden Volunteer

Junior School Parent Information Session - Mathematics

The Leaning Centre was filled with many interested parents last Thursday afternoon, all keen to find out more about how Mathematics is taught in the Early Years at CGS.  Our presenter Sue Fine, a long term consultant in Mathematics for the Junior School, provided parents with useful tips and a sound understanding of how their child is being taught Mathematics.

We were given very encouraging feedback from parents following this session.  One such parent wrote:  'After the wonderful and insightful maths session by Sue last week, we took her advice and ordered this game (Triominos). Jayda was mostly adding up the individual tiles, whilst Flynn was adding the main score, so it was easily adaptable for both my children. Definitely a good family maths game. Thank you so much for organising the presentation last week, l really found it useful. Many Thanks Simone.'

As a Junior School we look forward to running more parent information sessions and sharing the way teaching and learning transpires at CGS.

Mrs Sandra Torcasio

Junior School Head of Curriculum


Prep C thoroughly enjoyed learning about Bee Bots with Mrs Torcasio today.  After the lesson, the children shared their ideas and thinking:

‘I wondered if it could jump.’ – Daniel Cherukara

‘I thought it would transform to move.’ – Lachlan Field

‘I found out what a robot was.’ – Shanaya Senevirathne

‘I learned forward, forward, backward, backward.’ – Beenu Fernando

‘I learnt how to control it.’ – Elliot Harrison

‘I wish it could read stories.’ – Ekamveer Singh

‘I wish it could fly.’ – Aaron Hettiarachchige

Make and Bake

As a part of Year 5 & 6 electives we have been busy making and baking. The children have enjoyed the different experiences of reading recipes, measuring ingredients and making some delicious food to eat. So far we have made chocolate coconut balls, two ingredient dough scrolls and sausage rolls. We will also be incorporating ingredients grown in the school garden into our cooking.

Mrs Amy Mepstead

Year 6 Teacher

'I love being in the cooking elective because we learn how to make some delicious food. I have been able to share some of the mouth-watering recipes at home with my family.' - Rheya Lokesh, 6N

'I love being able to cook yummy food to eat.' - Duke O'Callaghan, 6M

District Swimming Competition

Well done to our selected Year 3-6 students who competed at the District Swimming competition on Monday 2 March. A team of 22 swimmers ventured to Oasis Aquatic Centre in Dandenong to compete against other schools in our district in individual and relay events. The students performed extremely well against challenging competition and should be very proud of their efforts.

Casey Grammar finished in 4th position. Thank-you to Mr Greg Newham and our Year 9 Sport Coaching students who assisted in running the competition, and to all the parents and friends who came along to support the competitors.

Mr Jeff Batey

Head of Junior School P.E. and Sport

Leaver Legends Update

It has been a great start to the year – getting to know one another.  Our Leaver House Captains Taylah and Shamita shared some fun facts about themselves and we have come up with some Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) ideas for our Fight for MND fundraiser in Term 2 (keep earning those gold coin donations!). We have also been learning how to work as a team as we constructed some amazing structures using Green Hat planks.  

The Big Chop

Myself, along with many of the Junior School staff, had the pleasure of witnessing Aaliyah Thomas have her hair cut for charity on Saturday. Her beautiful hair will now go to the Variety Victoria for their ‘Hair With Heart’ programme, to be made into a wig. Thank you to Mr Greg Newham, Mrs Leanne Evans, Mrs Virginia Duell, Ms Jessica Burns, Miss Natalie Burns and Mrs Vanessa Morwood for coming down to show their support. It was a wonderful day and we are truly inspired by Aaliyah’s generosity and compassion!

Miss Bridgette Reale

Head of Trist House Junior School 


From the Head of Student Wellbeing

The School is a constant buzz of activity. Classes in numerous disciplines all day, and extra activities like; Dance team training, Robotics and Programming excursions, Fundraising sausage sizzles, Outdoor Education field trips, SIS Sport and Parent Teacher Student Conferences. Sometimes there can be so much going on, it’s a challenge for every young person amongst it to find their way – to find what it is that makes them tick. The long weekend may give a moment to pause and think – perhaps re-set some learning goals – and just consider their progress up to this point of the year. An interesting way to think sometimes is to think about thinking itself – and try to work out what it is that makes you tick! Metacognition is having awareness and understanding of one’s own thought process, and it’s a very useful skill.

I recently read, to my 4 year old son, the book All the ways to be Smart by Davina Bell. It’s a beautiful book that celebrates all the various strengths young people have. The book won the 2019 Australian Book Industry Children’s Picture Book of the Year. It includes phrases like;

Smart is not just ticks and crosses, smart is building boats from boxes. Painting patterns, wheeling wagons, being mermaids, riding dragons …’

Similarly, but very differently, I also recently read an article titled Understanding emotion is nearly as important as IQ for students’ academic success by McCann, Minbashian and Double. (2020)

They stated that ‘Some define emotional intelligence as the ability to perceive, use, understand and manage your own and other people’s emotions. This is called “ability emotional intelligence.’ Furthermore, they provided evidence that while IQ can explain about 15% of the difference in student grades, emotional intelligence (EI) can explain about 12%. These are quite close percentages, and while much is often made of IQ, an implied inherit academic ability, not much is usually made of the importance of EI.

They went on to explain the two most important emotional skills for academic success were, understanding emotions and managing emotions. Students who understand emotions and can then regulate their own emotions and well placed to manage stress and maintain good social relationships, and are therefore likely to succeed academically. These articles show that there are significant benefits for students if they, supported by their teacher and their parents, continue to focus on developing emotional skills not only for their general wellbeing, but also their academic success.

If you would like to read the whole article it can be found here:

More information about the children’s book All the ways to be Smart can be found here:

While we all remain extremely busy, it is important to make time to pay attention to our thinking and our emotions, and continue to develop our emotional skills. As adults, it helps us to be better communicators and role models. For the children and students, it provides a wonderful foundation for understanding themselves, their own ‘smarts’, what makes them tick, and enables them to better relate to others and the world around them.

Mr Peter Shepard

Head of Student Wellbeing

Senior School Swimming Carnival

On Wednesday 19 February the Senior School travelled to Nobel Park Aquatic Centre to take part in the annual Casey Grammar House Swimming Carnival. The weather was not in our favour to begin with, but students and staff braved the elements and wore their House colours with pride. I am incredibly proud of all students who attended on the day, supporting their Houses and fellow competitors, even in inclement weather. Well done to all of the students who took the plunge and participated in individual and team events. A big congratulations to Reid House who took home the House Cup for Swimming, and a very special mention to Trist who came second, and did a fantastic job with participation.

Congratulations to all of the Age Group Champions, Runners Up and Record Breakers who were presented with their medals and certificates at assembly and are also listed below. 

CGS 2020 Age Group Champions

U13 Boys Champion – Nick Schweden

U13 Boys Runner Up – Jaspa Adam

U13 Girls Champion – Julia Stipkovic

U13 Girls Runner Up – Ella Brown

U14 Boys Champion – Zain Wasif

U14 Boys Runner Up – Mitchell Tumino

U14 Girls Champion – Delaney Allen

U14 Girls Runner Up – Molly Thomson

U15 Boys Champion – Riley Sumanada

U15 Boys Runner Up – Jeffrey Wang

U15 Girls Champion – Jessica Sampson

U15 Girls Runner Up – Kasey Paternoster

U16 Boys Champion – Paul Butov

U16 Boys Runner Up – Campbell-Ingram Davis

U16 Girls Champion – Juna Gemmell

U16 Girls Runner Up – Zahra Akkari

U17 Boys Champion – Conor Finlayson

U17 Boys Runner Up – Jamie Wise

U17 Girls Champion – Ellen Streat

U17 Girls Runner Up – Tanysha Hogan

U21 Boys Champion – Rohan Pahwa

U21 Boys Runner Up – Nicholas Edwards

U21 Girls Champion – Maneesha Casey

U21 Girls Runner Up – Tanishka Munjal

CGS Record Breakers

U13 Girls 50m Freestyle Final – Julia Stipkovic

U13 Girls 50m Breaststroke – Julia Stipkovic

U13 Girls 50m Butterfly – Julia Stipkovic

U13 Girls Backstroke – Ella Brown

U14 Boys 50m Freestyle Final – Zain Wasif

U14 Boys 50m Breaststroke – Zain Wasif

U14 Boys 50m Backstroke – Zain Wasif

U14 Boys 50m Butterfly – Zain Wasif

U21 Boys Butterfly – Seth Gunawardane

U13 Girls Freestyle Relay – Julia Stipkovic, Isabel Williams, Fiona Ma, Ella Brown

U16 Boys Freestyle Relay – Thomas Pirie, Thomas McKearney, Riley Sampson, Paul Butov

U17 Boys Freestyle Relay – Connor Hancock, Jamie Wise (swam 3 legs)

U21 Boys Freestyle Relay – Max Murphy, Seth Gunawardane, Manvir Dhoot, Nathan Basnet

U21 Girls Medley Relay – Madison Legg, Jessica Sampson, Juna Gemmell, Jaime Wight

U21 Boys Medley Relay – Jamie Wise, Nathan Basnet, Nick Edwards, Seth Gunawardane

Interview with Lilli Blommestein

Perfect Study Score

Each year, Year 11 students are given the opportunity to complete their first Unit 3/4 VCE course which will form part of their ATAR at the end of their VCE education. As you can imagine, this new experience can be very tense and stressful for students, as everything they have done in the past two years has led up to this moment: the pressure is on.

With this in mind, last year a Year 11 student at Casey Grammar, Lilli Blommestein, accomplished something truly remarkable - a perfect study score of 50.

To put this into perspective, this puts Lilli among the top 0.1% of students in the state who also completed Outdoor and Environmental Studies. The experience of achieving a perfect study score cannot be described by someone who has not achieved a perfect study score (such as myself), and that is why I took the opportunity to talk to Lilli herself, about her Outdoor Ed journey.

At the start of Year 10, students are given the choice of choosing their first VCE subject from the following: Psychology, Outdoor Ed, Business Management or Informatics. I was curious about if there was any particular reason Lilli decided to pick Outdoor Ed. 'I have always been an ‘outdoorsy’ type of person. I love adventure. I love exploring and challenging myself to new activities. I feel a real connection to nature.' Lilli decided to choose Outdoor Ed based on her passion and love for the outdoors, which I feel contributed greatly to her success.

'I loved absolutely everything about Outdoor Ed. I enjoyed the nights spent around a campfire with my classmates. We swam with dolphins and seals, went surfing and mountain bike riding; I even enjoyed the academic side of the subject.' Along with her love for the outdoors, Lilli also explained her level of work ethic she maintained over the two years. 'For each new topic, I went home and created a summary using both Mr Brown’s PowerPoints and the textbook. About two months before the exam, I started creating a revision booklet of all of the summary notes I made throughout the year. On top of that, I completed about twelve practice exams under strict test conditions.'

Her effort and consistency throughout the years did not go to waste, when the result day finally arrived, Lilli's hard work and dedication had paid off. 'I remember the anxiety of waiting for that email. When it finally came and I opened it, I was shocked that I had actually done it! I couldn’t wait to tell my friends the incredible news.'

I’d like to congratulate Lilli on this incredible achievement, and I’d also like to thank her for inspiring my peers and I, along with the members of the community to strive for our goals.  

Rohan Pahwa

Communications Captain

Skills in the Classroom Assist Animals in Need

Over the past couple of weeks, a group of Year 8 girls have been making liners to help animals such as Sugar Gliders, Koalas and Wallabies that have been affected by the recent bushfires around Australia. I spoke to Alyssa and Ruby from 8C and Cherydan and Alice from 8A to ask them a few questions about the liners they have been making. All four girls said that they have enjoyed making the liners as it goes to a good cause and they are extremely proud that they can help the animals in their recovery from the bushfire disaster. When I spoke to the girls, they had only been making them for a short time but had accomplished quite a lot of work between the four of them making around 10 small, 30 medium and around 6 large pouches in just over a week at school and finishing them at home if needed. The girls are donating the liners to WIRES Wildlife Rescue which is a Not for Profit Organization. They are assisting with helping all of the native fauna affected in the recent bushfire crisis.

The Year 10 PDT class has also been making boxes for effected animals from the recent bushfires. The boxes are being made to provide homes for animals such as Pygmy Possums, Sugar Gliders and Microbats. The 17mm plywood to make the boxes has been generously donated by Big River Timbers in Dandenong as they were enthusiastic to support Casey Grammar in building the boxes for a good cause. 24 nesting boxes ranging in different sizes, like the pouches, are being made in class with all students contributing in a joint effort. All of the nesting boxes are being donated to WIRES along with the pouches in a few weeks.

May the Arts Be with You

Erin Mitchell

Arts Captain

Performance Tour Fundraiser

On Tuesday 3 March the Performance Tour ensemble held a fundraiser to raise money for their upcoming tour to Queensland. The lunch session featured a Sausage Sizzle, Zooper Dooper drive and live music from the school’s resident rock band The Exports. It was an entertaining lunch which brought together both Senior and Junior School students. The funds raised will help cover our travel expenses and enable us to perform our original show to a multitude of schools on tour.

Thank you to all the staff and students who assisted on the day and came down to support.  

Miss Natalie Burns

Head of Drama

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.

SIS Big Night

The SIS Big Night is a showcase of music performance and dance talent across SIS member schools.  Casey Grammar will be proudly performing as part of the event.  If you’d like to come along and support our Performing Arts students, follow the link below for information about tickets:

Mr Stuart Collidge

Head of Music

From the Head of Careers

Value alignment in your career: ‘a reason for being’

It is not often, if ever that CGS students would be actively encouraged to bring their mobile phone to class; however, things were different during this weeks VCE Meeting.

On Thursday 5 March, our Year 11 & 12 students attended a workshop delivered by Tyson Day, which focused on finding value alignment in your career. Mobile phones (usually a source of distraction in the classroom), were a useful learning tool that enhanced our students learning and resulted in a fun and interactive workshop.

Tyson Day is a Career Strategist who believes that ‘everyone should have the opportunity to design a career that has meaning and aligns with their values’. Tyson runs workshops for students, professional athletes and executives in all aspects of career transition and development. As our Year 11 and Year 12 students move towards the final stages on their secondary school careers, it is increasingly important that we support them to make informed career decisions; that find alignment between their career and core values.

The workshop introduced students to the concept of ‘IKIGAI’, which is a Japanese word that translates to ‘a reason for being’. Tyson encouraged our students to identify something that they love, something the world needs, something they are good at and something that pays well. By focusing on this alignment, he contended that we were more likely to achieve a sense of happiness and fulfilment in our lives.

The session similarly explored the concept of being thankful. Our Year 11 and 12 students were asked to send a text message to tell someone that they were grateful for their education journey. It was lovely to see our students sending heartfelt text messages to their parents/guardians and peers, and we will continue to encourage our students to demonstrate the quality of being thankful throughout their CGS journey.

Feedback from Tyson was great; he was very complimentary of our students. He was appreciative of the level of engagement our students demonstrated and wished them well in their future endeavours. It was a fun session and we look forward to further exploring these important concepts throughout the year.

Year 12 2020 career counselling appointments

Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to meet with most Year 12 students for a one on one 15-minute appointment. The purpose of these discussions is to gain an understanding of the career pathways that they have identified for 2021 and beyond.

If your child has not yet seen me, I encourage them to book in a time before the end of Term 2. I have placed sign-up sheets on the window of the Career office (Room V9).

Head of Careers and Student Pathways (availability)

As always, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

My workdays are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday however, I am best contacted via email:

Mrs Sarah Blythman

Head of Careers and Student Pathways 

From the Chaplain

Pancakes, pancakes everywhere!

Shrove Tuesday was once again marked by the cooking of hundreds of pancakes at Casey Grammar School. The Junior School acknowledged the final day before Lent by coming together to raise money for the School Aid Bushfire Appeal by enjoying pancakes. It was wonderful to see people putting in above the suggested gold coin donation, and one student in Year 3, Averia Mangano even donated her pocket money and proceeds from a Lemonade Stall towards the appeal. I was really moved to see such generosity and thoughtfulness by her. Particular thanks to the Prep – Year 2 teachers who cooked with their classes as well as the Year 6 students who assisted in the distribution for Year 3-6. Together we were able to raise the incredible amount of over $520 which was fantastic and will be distributed through School Aid.

The invitation of Lent

Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent begins, the Christian tradition of sacrificing in some way in the 40 days prior to Easter. It is an annual time of reflection, and an opportunity to deliberately give of ourselves. This can be through fasting from a specific food or it may be through looking for opportunities to be consciously generous and kind to those around you.

In the words of Sister Joan Chittister, ‘Lent is about becoming, doing and changing whatever it is that is blocking the fullness of life in us right now’. What a powerful reminder about the capacity we have to be able to invite God to change in us that which is preventing growth and positive change in our lives and relationships.

Every blessing to you and your families in the week ahead. Here is a challenge from this week’s 40 Acts of Kindness project in keeping with our Lent theme.

Give up some time to back a cake or biscuits for someone who is going through a difficult time so they know you are thinking of them. 

Upcoming event: Harmony Week

We are excited to have our third annual Harmony Week celebration in Week 7. On Thursday we will be having our whole school cultural clothing day. Students will bring a gold coin, which will be used for our fundraising efforts throughout the week. In the Junior School, this will be adding to our Bushfire funds and in the Senior School, our fundraising will support the work of providing equal opportunities for all globally. A letter has been distributed to all students regarding the shared lunch (Junior School), lunch delivery options (Senior School) and the Friday lunchtime performance (Senior School). Both assemblies will also have a Harmony Week theme. 

Mrs Monique Riviere-Pendle


From the School Psychologist

How do I approach my ‘hostile’ child?

Last blog I discussed the difference between anger and hostility in children and teens. Anger is usually situationally based whereas hostility is a pervading attitude. Parents can usually help their angry child through empathic listening and shared problem-solving. Helping a hostile child or teen is a little trickier.

Often parents are afraid to ask their hostile child or teen to do anything because it just provokes an angry outburst. It seems that it is better just to leave the kid alone than it is to deal with the anger. This is often the purpose of teen hostility- to keep parents away. Avoiding dealing with the inappropriate behaviour tends to encourage MORE inappropriate behaviour.

There’s a word we use in therapy called ambivalence. Ambivalence is the concept of having conflicting feelings, and it’s common for kids in adolescence to have ambivalence toward their parents. Their ambivalence is that they love you but, at the same time, they ‘hate’ you when you apply consequences to their inappropriate behaviour.

You’re going to see a lot of ambivalence from your child. Sometimes parents just have to ride that ambivalence out and accept it as normal, although unhealthy, during adolescence. Kids love their parents, even when they’re acting hostile. So we need to confront the hostility even if it provokes an angry outburst in the short-run. (Confrontation does NOT equate with aggression.)

Hostile and defiant kids are willing to break things, call you filthy names, and even run away to avoid taking responsibility for their behaviour. Parents need to focus on those things over which they have control. It helps to leave alone minor issues and issues that can’t be controlled.

Here are some suggestions to deal with hostile children:

1.       Use 'If …then” statements with clear and appropriate consequences. If you do/don’t do this, then this is the consequence.

2.       Protect the rest of the family from the hostile teen.

3.       Make rules specific and clear to teens and avoid changing them as you go along.

4.       When things are calm, or your teen wants something from you, help them with coping with their anger and hostility.

5.       Seek professional assistance. For example, Relationships Australia provides very good mediation services.

6.       Be businesslike and calm when dealing with hostility. Refuse to engage when you or they are angry.

If you think you have to accept this type of hostile, defiant, or angry attitude to be loved by your child, that’s called co-dependency. In a co-dependent relationship, you have to fulfil a certain role to be loved. ‘My child will love me if I give in to them.’

Parents should try to maintain their dignity and self–respect. Remember, as I said before, kids want to love the people they respect. And they’ll find things to love about you when they respect you. But they won’t respect you if you give in to and accept their hostile behaviour.

Mr Alan Clarke

School Psychologist

PFC News

The PFC would like to thank all of the wonderful volunteers that helped with the BBQs for the Junior School Twilight and Junior School Athletics Carnivals. It is great to have so many people coming together so that the children could enjoy a special sausage sizzle lunch.

On Thursday 12 March the PFC will be holding a Second Hand Uniform sale in the foyer of the PAC. Opening times 8.15am to 9.15am & 2.30pm to 4pm.

A sausage sizzle will also be held at the Senior School Athletics Carnival on Friday 20 March. Students and parents will be able to purchase sausages and cold drinks on the day.

Nicole van Brakel

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.