Collaboration and Creativity

Collaboration and Creativity

Toy Shops - extra curricular activity

The ability to work with others, to appreciate different perspectives and be empathetic are vital skills for the future, according to biomedical engineer, inventor and futurist, Dr Jordan Nguyen. Add to this the ability to think divergently and creatively, and we are equipping the students of today with the ability to work into a future we cannot predict.

Skilled educators create learning communities in schools, where individuals are valued for their unique abilities and challenged to contribute in a collaborative setting, learning how to listen to and value the ideas of others.

Experiencing a sense of flow, the feeling of being totally immersed without regard for the passing of time, allows students to think and act creatively, giving them the space to explore divergent thinking and to push their own boundaries.

Examples of these concepts in action have been in abundance across Gib Gate in recent weeks; daily in classrooms as students fully engage in collaborative learning tasks, and across all specialist subject areas, extra-curricular classes and sporting commitments. Student Learning Highlights clearly articulate how students feel about their learning, including how much they value opportunities to stretch their thinking, work on areas of interest and enjoy the broad and rich experiences on offer.

Ms Sally Robson, Head of Gib Gate


Art Gallery of NSW 'Young Archie competition 2021' (from top, left-right) – Finalists: Mia Vasales (age 5) 'My mum' and Oliver Whitfield (age 10) 'My nan'. Honourable Mention: Darcey Burrows (age 10) 'My grandfather', James Macpherson (age 8) 'Self-portrait' , Heston Ryan (age 7) 'Barclay', Matilda Spong (age 10) 'My brother'.

KIDS’ LIT Australia Competition 2021

The Kids’ Lit Quiz is an annual literature quiz for students aged 10 to 13 in Years 6, 7 and 8. Quizzes are held in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and the USA.

We congratulate Year 6 Kids’ Lit Team – Adeline Ahern, Olivia Cowley, Ruby Rodgers and Adele Trudeau – who represented Frensham Schools – Gib Gate at the Regional Finals in an online (virtual) event on Friday 22 May.

The students travelled to Frensham where they worked collaboratively to answer 100 questions using ZOOM and Socrative online software in 10 categories across the day. With 35 teams competing across NSW in this heat the competition was fierce! With a perfect score of 10 in the final round of ‘All Australian’, the team gained a total point score of 62 - only 3 points behind the Frensham Year 8 team.

Students enjoyed the full day of competition after having trained weekly in the Library with Mrs Lee Ann Marsh throughout Term 2.

A team of eight Year 5 and Year 6 students are now in training to represent Gib Gate in the annual Tournament of Minds Competition 2021. Amelia Blackshaw, Ana McInnes, Isla McVinish, Sofia Nesci (Year 6), Matilda Spong, Edward Vilo and Annabelle Whyte-Cleaver (Year 5) will compete in the Regional Final to be held on Sunday 29 August (Week 7 Term 3) at the University of Wollongong. They are meeting weekly with Mrs Marsh to develop the skills required to solve demanding, open-ended challenges across a number of disciplines. At the commencement of Week 1 Term 3 they will be given access to the selected ‘Long Term Challenge’ and will work collaboratively for six weeks, without assistance from teachers, parents or peers. They are encouraged to explore possibilities and experiment with ideas as they endeavour to produce their best possible solution. They must develop a creative and original way to communicate this solution to others, working within predefined parameters such as limited materials, complex challenge criteria and the deadline of Tournament Day.

Students present the product of their ideas - their challenge solution - to a panel of judges and an audience on Tournament Day. They have ten minutes in which to present and must do so within a 3 metre by 3 metre performance area. The teams must also participate in an unseen Spontaneous Challenge on Tournament Day. This challenge requires rapid interchange of ideas, the ability to think creatively and well-developed group cooperation skills. Judges for both the Long Term and the Spontaneous Challenges are professionals chosen from all areas of education, the arts and industry.

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

Enrichment and Activities

Outdoor Education: Years 5 and 6 Camp
Years 5 and 6 students and teachers went to OEG’s Camp Wombaroo for a three day, two night camp last week.


Taking students out into nature forms an important part of Gib Gate academic curriculum. Some of the most rewarding and illuminating experiences in life are those that take us out of our comfort zone. Throughout the Gib Gate Outdoor Education programme, students are immersed in an environment that promotes physical health, overall wellbeing and full engagement. Away from the classroom, education in the outdoors is designed to open up the wonder of the natural world to students. Through adventure and exploration, they learn to rise to physical and emotional challenges, and are supported to develop personally and as part of a collaborative community. Nothing prepares students for the real world like real life experience.

Students experienced a broad range of challenging, hands-on experiences including bush walking, camp cooking, abseiling, high rope, archery, canoeing, archery, and camp craft. They developed their social and self-management skills, built teamwork, and further developed their friendships, all the while having fun and embedding memories for a lifetime.

Year 5 and Year 6 at Camp Wombaroo (click image to go to a short video)

Life Education
Life Education New South Wales is a community-based, independent organisation at the front line of positive and preventative childhood health education. Empowering young people to make informed decisions about their health and safety is at the heart of the programme, which is delivered by visiting educators and for the younger students, the popular Life Education mascot, Healthy Harold.

All Gib Gate students, Preschool to Year 6, participated in Life Education sessions last week.

  • Kindergarten and Year 1: Harold’s Friendships – focused on how to build friendships and care for others; feelings and emotions; safe and unsafe situations and early warning signs; safe places and people to turn to for help.
  • Year 2: Safety Rules – helped children to problem solve and focused on recognising safe and unsafe environments; how to care for others; behaviours that maintain friendships; places and people who they can go to for help.
  • Year 3 and 4: Cyberwise – focused on cybersafety, cyber ethics and building positive relationships with friends online and offline. Students explored a range of issues such as password security, risks of sharing personal information, how to communicate respectfully both online and offline as well as: responsible and respectful behaviour when using communication technology; skills for building positive relationships with friends; keeping personal information safe online; strategies to deal with bullying and cyberbullying; exploring the role of bystanders.
  • Year 5: On the Case – explored what is in a cigarette; the effects of smoking; history and laws; myths and facts surrounding smoking; influences and pressures; strategies to reduce harm.
  • Year 6: Think Twice - Students explored concepts such as the effect that alcohol has on body systems, laws relating to its sale and reasons why people choose not to consume alcohol. This module focuses on myths and facts surrounding the use of alcohol; strategies for responding to pressure to drink; physical, social & legal consequences of alcohol use; strategies to reduce harmful effects of alcohol on self and others.

Mrs Anne Graham, Gib Gate Coordinator (Administration)


The last couple of weeks have been exciting time for Gib Gate Soccer, with many teams competing in Gala Days. These days involve several different activities and games throughout the morning. All students are congratulated on their efforts.

Gib Gate hockey players have been developing their skills throughout the season and the improvements have been fantastic to watch.

This week sees the end of the tennis programme. It has been encouraging to see students engage in the sport and develop their skills each week with Coach Michael. As this has become an annual programme it has been pleasing to see the skills begin to develop in Kindergarten and progress so well through the Year groups.

This week, Valentina Hercus and Zahra Nash (Year 3) and will be competing in the NSWCIS Cross Country. The girls have been following a training programme and we wish them all the best for this event.

Ms Nicky Fenaughty, Gib Gate PDHPE and Sport Teacher


Don’t just tell them about their world. Show them.
Penny Whitehouse

There was lots of excitement as Preschool boarded a bus for an excursion to Sturt Gallery, taking clipboards, morning tea and a sense of keen interest with us. On our bus ride the children looked out the windows, pointing out familiar places on the way and talked about how they could not wait to get to our excursion venue. Many children had never been on a bus before. The first stop on our agenda was to have a warm hot chocolate before our adventure began.

We visited Sturt Gallery to learn about the Biogenesis exhibition and to listen to artist Libby Hobbs who created some of the pieces that are in the exhibition. The works were intricate and detailed, made with elaborate needlework, coloured wool, dipped clay and lots of other artistic techniques. The preschoolers were focused and engaged throughout the gallery visit and had many questions to ask the gallery curator. The children were also given time to observe the art pieces and draw them on their clipboards. They looked at the pieces carefully and took their time to draw them with detail and accuracy. This work would act as a reminder and tool for a future project.

After a bushwalk hoping to see platypus at Frensham’s Lower Holt the children explored the grounds, looking at tracks made by tractors, hearing animal noises and looking at insects and plants.

Back at Gib Gate, the children were asked about their favourite part of the excursion and showed their thinking on paper.   Sharing our thoughts and observations as a group sparked our imaginations further, with several children deciding they too would like to make dolls like the ones we had seen at Sturt. We are keen to instil in the students that they are capable of all tasks and so the prospect of creating their own person provided a wonderful challenge. A plethora of materials were gathered. Photos of Libby Hobbs sculptures were used as stimulus and these were on hand to remind us of what we had seen and inspire us. Quick as a flash, minds were ignited, and the children got to work creating their own masterpieces. Plasticine was used to create the head which gave little fingers a good workout as we poked, pulled, rolled, and pummelled it into faces. Recycled boxes were collaged with textured bits of fabric and wallpaper to make the clothes. As the children worked they were inspired by each other’s sculptures and happily borrowed and shared ideas. 

Ms Tinna Loker Gib Gate Preschool Coodinator