A child’s resilience ‘is everyone’s business’

Beyond Blue’s Healthy Families states that building a child’s resilience ‘is everyone’s business’, and the old adage, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, is even more applicable in today’s society. Resilience is important for the development of children’s mental health, and families, the school and our community need to work together to ensure children develop the ability to cope with challenges they encounter in childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. Establishing boundaries at school and at home creates healthy environments for children where they are protected from harm whilst developing independent skills. At the parent session with Cyber Safety expert, Susan McLean, last week, we were again reminded of the importance of saying ‘No’. Please see a full report of the Parent Session, prepared by Mr Greg Hannah, which includes important recommendations and advice regarding setting boundaries around the use of technology.

Read Ms Gillick's article: Three Reasons to say No or Not Yet in the 2018 Newsletter Term 1 No 3 – click here and select 2018 archive.

Ms Sally Robson, Head of Gib Gate


Curriculum Highlights: What we are learning about, and from, History

The History K–6 Syllabus provides opportunities for students to learn about major concepts that will be explored in a sequential way from Kindergarten to Year 6, and continues through Years 7 to 10 in secondary school. History is a disciplined process of inquiry into the past that helps to explain how people, events and forces have shaped our world. It allows students to locate and understand themselves and others in the continuum of human experience up to the present day. History provides opportunities for students to explore human actions and achievements in a range of historical contexts. They become aware that history is all around us and that historical information may be drawn from the physical remains of the past as well as written, visual and oral sources of evidence.

History is much more than the simple presentation of facts and dates from the past. This KLA (Key Learning Area) provides the skills for students to answer the question ‘How do we know?’ An investigation of an historical issue through a range of sources can stimulate curiosity and develop problem-solving, research and critical thinking skills. It develops language specific to the discipline of History and provides opportunities to develop literacy skills. Students learn to critically analyse and interpret sources of evidence in order to construct reasoned explanations and a rational and informed argument based on evidence, drawn from the remains of the past. Students engage in research involving traditional methods and ICT (Information & Communications Technology), including evaluating web-based sources and using a range of technologies for historical research and communication.

In Term 1 the following units have begun:

Kindergarten begins its first History Unit, Personal and Family Histories, at the beginning of Term 2 which provides them with the opportunity to learn about their own history and that of their family. The inquiry includes stories from a range of cultures and other parts of the world. As participants in their own history, students build on their knowledge and understanding of how the past is different from the present and that some things change over time while others remain the same.

Past and Present Family Life provides the opportunity for Year 1 students to learn about similarities and differences in family life by comparing the present with the past. They then begin to explore the links and the changes that occur over time.

For Year 2, The Past in The Present unit mandates a study of a significant building or site in the local community and what it reveals about the past. Gib Gate will form the case study for Year 2 students and they will develop their own inquiry questions about how Gib Gate has changed over time and how it has remained the same. Students will develop their historical communication skills through sharing their findings with others in our community using a range of forms including digital technologies. A highlight of their inquiry was a visit from Mrs Ros Buick (Director of Events and Planning, Teacher of History and Frensham Studies at Frensham and past teacher and Head of Gib Gate) in Week 4. Mrs Buick told the children many stories from the past and explained the significance of a variety of ‘special places’ and historical artefacts found around Gib Gate.

Year 3 students are exploring how Celebrations and Commemorations contribute to personal and national identities in Australia and around the world, and how national celebrations and commemorations are underpinned by values and beliefs. They are developing their understanding about how significant individuals, groups and events have contributed to changes in the community over time.

Year 4 students have begun their unit entitled First Contacts. They will develop an understanding of the traditional Aboriginal way of life and seek to understand how it functioned and endured for 50,000 years prior to European settlement. Following this, students will identify the journeys and activities of early European explorers and the reasons that drove their search for the ‘Great Southern Continent’. Working as historians, they will be guided to conduct historical inquiries where they will pose questions and document research using both primary and secondary sources of information. Students will create and use timelines to sequence key historical events and compose detailed written responses. 

For Year 5, The Good Old Australian Colonial Days of the 19th Century? provides a study of colonial Australia in the 1800s. They are identifying factors which contributed towards groups of people moving to Australia and will collect and study data about significant events and people, political and economic developments, social structures and settlement patterns. This unit helps students to develop understandings of when, why and how the Australian colonies developed to make Australia the diverse country it is today.

Year 6 are studying Geography in Term 1, to integrate with their Science unit, before moving to History in Term 2. The Geography content learning involves the study of the people and places of the Lake Eyre Basin, and makes global connections and comparisons with this unique Australian location and the entire Mekong River system in Asia. The content learning moves to History in Term 2 and the inquiry, Australia as a Nation, which focuses on the development of Australia as a nation, particularly after 1901. Students explore the factors that led to Federation and experiences of democracy and citizenship over time. They develop their understanding of the significance of Australia’s British heritage, the Westminster system and other models that influenced the development of Australia’s system of government. In addition, they will learn about the way of life of people who migrated to Australia and their contributions to Australia’s economic and social development.

Inquiries into the units outlined above will deepen throughout Semester 1, incorporating specific investigations of historical issues to stimulate students' curiosity. Excursions and guest speakers are planned for each inquiry to support, enrich and deepen children’s skills, knowledge and understanding.

Ms Kate Chauncy Director of Teaching and Learning P-12 and Coordinator of Gifted and Talented Programmes

On Wednesday 27 February, Gib Gate parents and teachers were invited to attend a highly informative presentation delivered by Susan McLean, Australia’s foremost expert in cyber safety for young people. Well-grounded in casework and current research, McLean delivered facts and practical advice emphatically, beginning with a challenge to ‘be a parent and be strong – you’re not your child’s friend.’  While many primary school-aged children have high levels of technical savvy, they lack the life experience, maturity and sense of discernment that adults possess. This situation makes children vulnerable to predators. As parents, we mustn’t fall into the trap of believing that children who know their way around interactive games, or the myriad features of social media platforms, are also equipped to make wise decisions, particularly in the face of manipulation by a clever and calculating older person. We were reminded that in Australia, the minimum age for most social media services and apps is 13 years. Therefore, parents should not allow their primary school-aged children to have their own social media accounts.

Acknowledging that some parents choose to allow their children to have their own devices, particularly to enable communication with family members, McLean emphasised the importance of appropriate adult supervision and the need to establish rules about the amount of time children are allowed on their devices. Her top tips were:

  • Get devices out of bedrooms
  • Have a family online contract
  • Know your child’s passwords/passcodes
  • Talk early – talk often
  • Use filtering
  • Learn to say NO (even if other parents say yes)
  • Learn about the sites and apps that children use
  • Use all security settings
  • Only add people that your child knows (IRC - Internet Relay Chat)
  • Know where your child is online

When it comes to the most popular devices in the Australian market, parental controls are inbuilt and can be used to help keep children safe. On Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Family Sharing should be activated in your Apple account and your child’s device needs to have been set up using an ‘Apple ID for a Child’. This enables you to use your device to set restrictions on your child’s device such as:

  • Sharing GPS location with the parent
  • Setting downtime (disable the device at certain times of the day/night)
  • Setting time limits for individual apps e.g. games
  • Setting content and privacy restrictions e.g. disallow access to App Store purchases, disallow access to inappropriate websites and restrict location sharing with apps
  • View reports on the amount of time your child spends using apps or games

On Apple devices running iOS 12 or later, parental controls are located in Settings > Screen Time. An important tip is to create a unique Screen Time password so that you alone have control over these settings on your child’s device.

Mr Greg Hannah (Teacher, Academic Coaching and Personalised Learning)

Enrichment / Activities

Outdoor Education
The Years 5 and 6 Camp will be held from Wednesday 27 to Friday 29 March. Information is available on Schoolbox and students will be briefed at school. Parents are invited to an Information evening which will be led by OEG staff on Monday 11 March at 6.00pm. More information regarding the programme is available on the OEG website at https://www.oeg.edu.au or contact an OEG representative through the school. To Login: Username = Gib Gate Password = GibGateOutdoors. Please note that it is not necessary to complete the medical forms as OEG already have your child’s medical information.

Students in Years 3 and 4 had their Outdoor Adventure Days recently and enjoyed the Challenge by Choice of abseiling and mountain biking activities as well as making their own lunch on the day.

Kindergarten to Year 6 students participated in URStrong sessions last week at Gib Gate. This is an internationally-recognised, social and emotional wellbeing programme which explicitly teaches children how to develop healthy friendships and manage conflict in a positive way using specific friendship skills. Gib Gate students enjoyed participating in the sessions with Dana Kerford, the Programme’s founder.

Opera Australia
Opera Australia is visiting Gib Gate on Wednesday 20 March to present a performance of By the Light of the Moon. Based on the rhyme  The Owl and the Pussycat, this Opera has been specifically devised for Primary Schools and all Gib Gate students will attend the performance at School.

Mrs Anne Graham, Gib Gate Coordinator (Administration)


The Gib Gate swimming season culminated this week with the IPSHA Carnival that was held at Homebush on Tuesday. The Gib Gate swimmers also had a successful meet at the SHIPS Carnival held at Bowral Pool last Thursday, taking out many of the top places across the Carnival. Performances of note came from Oliver Linde (Year 6), York Doyle (Year 5) and Amelia Blackshaw (Year 4) who all dominated in their respective age groups.

The Senior Girls relay team took 2nd place in the 4x50m event

The NSW Interschools Equestrian event will be held over next week at the Horsley Park International Equestrian Centre and we wish the following Gib Gate riders every success: Sophie Baldwin (Year 6), Piper Berkelouw (Year 5), Annika Basson (Year 4).

Water Polo
Congratulations to the following students who have been selected in the Southern Highlands Water Polo U12 team to compete at the NSW Country Water Polo Championships in Orange in late March: Luca de Manincor (Year 7), Sophie Alexander, Tempe Arnott, Isabella Atra, Isabella Barber, Isabella Carpenter, Oliver Linde, Arabella Whitehead (Year 6). 

Mr Michael Standen (Coordinator PE and Sport Gib Gate)


Sport in Preschool
Our youngest Gib Gate students are fortunate to participate in an extensive sports programme. Students take part in sports lessons with Mr Standen, Little Kickers Soccer skills, Cricket, as well as everyday challenges in the Preschool. With Sport, there are calculated risks of which the children are made aware. They learn how to make decisions to keep themselves safe yet also challenge their bodies and minds. These skills help prepare students for challenges in the classroom and for life now and into the future.

With the support of Mr Standen, a number of students are ready to jump off a log in the School playground and somersault in the air. The thrill is evident and the students who are ready know they are supported in every way… so they embrace the challenge. Students all participate in relay races, ball throwing through hoops or a game of cricket, giving each activity their best effort.  

Little Kickers is a popular session each Thursday with their coach, Mr Vella, who makes the lessons fun while working on ball skills. This week, the students were invited to dinosaur land and they needed to use their ball skills to save the dinosaur eggs, get away from the dinosaur or hit the dinosaur with the super protector ball. The students were taught various skills including how to use their foot to control the ball, moving the ball forward using the side of their foot, and working on balance by placing a foot on the ball and then pushing forward to move it without kicking the ball.

The Preschool teachers are conscious that participating in a variety of sport programmes not only supports social development, it also improves health, promotes self-esteem, builds familiarity with sports and athletics, and is a lot of fun.

Mrs Tinna Loker, Preschool Coordinator