Collaborative Learning

Learning to work and play with others positively 

The power of working and learning collaboratively is greatly valued at Gib Gate, and the expertise of the entire staff across classroom, specialist, sport and co-curricular activities in creating opportunities for students to learn from and with others is a strength of the School. Scaffolding learning experiences expertly, staff enable students to contribute their thinking or demonstrate their skill whilst learning from the thinking and skills of others.

Collaborative learning is extremely powerful in developing the ability of individuals through collective experience, and learning to work and play with others positively, and is a vital skill students practise every day. Making mistakes is very much part of this experience and re-framing disappointments and setbacks as opportunities to learn is important in developing resilience and grit.

Celebrating the Gib Gate Festival of Sport last week, followed by participation in community sport on Saturday, along with the avid watching of the Olympic events over the weekend by the students and staff, gave us the ideal opportunity at this week’s Monday assembly to talk about how athletes across all sports have learnt how to manage disappointments and set-backs, re-framing these experiences positively to enable them to achieve their goals.

Ms Sally Robson, Head of Gib Gate

Enrichment and Activities: Performance Opportunities


Throughout the year there are many occasions for performance opportunities for individuals and groups at Gib Gate including Performance Assemblies, Grandparents’ Day, Soirée, Cultural Performances and Concerts. All students from Preschool to Year 6 participate in the annual Musical Production. Alongside these opportunities, students have chances to perform in a more informal setting, for example for their class in Music, for Preschool, tutor’s lunchtime recitals, examination preparation performances.

The Soirée is an evening recital for students from Years 5 and 6 to perform solos or in small groups. Unfortunately, the scheduled Soirée for Term 3 has been postponed until we can have an audience on campus. 

Year 6 students have commenced preparing for the P-6 Musical, The Aristocats. Every student in Year 6 has a speaking role and they are working on their acting and stage craft skills. All the other classes will commence learning their songs and dances in the coming weeks.

Preschool Music lessons have been adjusted to include more listening and responding as we cannot sing indoors with the current restrictions for schools. Preschool enjoyed responding to the glockenspiel and cello in recent lessons.

Mrs Anne Graham, Gib Gate Coordinator (Administration)

The Young Archies Online

On Saturday 31 July, it was exciting to see the work of Gib Gate finalists Mia Vasales (Kindergarten) and Oliver Whitfield (Year 5), shown through a live-stream broadcast from the NSW Art Gallery. All Gib Gate entrants’ artworks have been returned along with a certificate for their submissions, these will be presented to students this week.

The NSW Gallery's guest judge artist, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, who chose the finalists this year, is the perfect choice for Gib Gate’s Visual Arts programme.

At Gib Gate, we encourage students to tap into their 'own' expression rather than what they feel society perceives to be a 'good' drawing or artwork. To be courageous when not only making their own and collaborative works, but also to view works from many vantage points and not purely for perceived aesthetics. Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, a Sri Lankan-born Australian, is a contemporary artist who explores global histories and the languages of figurative representation. We will be viewing his work this term as students continue their Art Appreciation studies.

Ms Jacqui Bolt, Visual Arts Teacher 


Gib Gate Athletics Carnival

Last week was an exciting time for Gib Gate Sport with Years 2-6 taking part in the Festival of Sport Athletics Carnival on Thursday and Friday. All students participated in a range of athletic events. The programme for Thursday included the 100-metre, discus and long jump. It was pleasing to see many students discovering new talents and recording personal bests. Friday provided further opportunity for the students to showcase their athletic skills with shot put, high jump, relays and the 200-metre sprint. Kindergarten and Year 1 were dressed in green and gold to support the senior students during the sprints. It was wonderful to see many students dressed in their house colours and cheering on their peers.

Ms Nicky Fenaughty, Gib Gate PDHPE and Sport Teacher


Flowers are the music of the ground. From earth’s lips spoken without sound.
Edwin Curran

The Preschoolers have been observing the changes in our environment as flowers and trees are blooming. The bright petals and buds have captured our attention in the outdoor learning spaces. Keenly, students noted and investigated the insects that are on or near the petals. Recalling their knowledge of insects, they predicted what the ladybeetles, bees and ants were doing. 

A sprig of wattle was used as a stimulus on the art table. The wattle was examined in detail with magnifying glasses and it was decided to draw pictures of the wattle flowers. We then talked about the shapes the flower heads were made of and the children then created their own masterpieces using simple black outlines. Students worked hard, discussing their observations with each other.

Technology is a great ‘tool’ to share more information with the children and we used the laptop to delve deeper into botanical images of wattles that are common to the Southern Highlands. When children are fully involved and immersed in a topic their questions and ponderings become more involved thus their minds work harder. Looking at the botanical drawings of wattle inspired the children to think about how they might start to represent wattle in a combined art work.

A collabarative wattle work was set up on a table with materials aimed at igniting creativity. The children were introduced to the materials and new techniques were suggested. They were shown how to use oil pastles of yellows, greens and blues and to feel the pressure of these on the page. They smudged and rubbed the pastles creating varied markings with watttle images in the forefront of their mind. Watercolours were used and the children were invited to tickle their brush in the water feeling the bristles on the paper. As they worked they discussed techniques and provided feedback for each other. We are proud of the care and support they shared with each other and how they motivated and encouraged work. The children remained focused adding petals, stems and leaves with fine small hand movements. 

Once the children had worked on the collaborative paper they were invited to create their own artwork. Giving them the opportunity to use some of the new skills in their own way, using trial and error with the freedom required to create unique work. It was interesting to see varied techniques used or how some repeated what they had created on the collaborative piece. 

Through inspiring creativity we are reminded that ‘stencil’ work doesn’t have a place at Gib Gate Preschool. The opportunity to create and be creative is nourished so that the children rise beyond set lines and limited expectations. We are pleased to promote free expression knowing it will take the children’s imaginations and creativity to greater places. 

Ms Tinna Loker, Gib Gate Preschool Coodinator