da Vinci Decathlon Competition 2021

On Monday 29 March, Years 5 and 6 Teams represented Gib Gate at the regional level of the international da Vinci Decathlon competition held at The Illawarra Grammar School. 40 teams from schools in the Southern Highlands, Illawarra and South Coast competed throughout the day in each of nine disciplines, which included English, Art and Poetry, Ideation, Mathematics, Science, Code Breaking, Engineering, Cartography and Creative Producers. Mrs Marsh, Gib Gate da Vinci Decathlon Team Coordinator, noted that students were excited to work together, using their knowledge and creative thinking skills to solve challenging problems.

da Vinci Decathlon Teams

We offer congratulations to the Gib Gate Teams of Annika Basson, Amelia Blackshaw, Iman Byrne, Isla McVinish, Sofia Nesci, Anthony Neilson, Ruby Rodgers, Adele Trudeau (Year 6) and Darcey Burrows, Lachlan Dormer, Mae Gilkeson, Gemma McInnes, Matilda Spong, Edward Vilo, Annabelle Whyte-Cleaver, Oliver Wilson (Year 5) who worked hard during Term 1 to develop their problem-solving skills, their knowledge about the life, works and legacy of Leonardo da Vinci and their skills in collaboration and team work. The Gib Gate Years 5 and 6 Teams are commended on their outstanding performances: Year 6 – 2nd place Creative Producers, 2nd place Legacy, 3rd place Art and Poetry. Year 5 – 3rd place Creative Producers, 3rd place Engineering, 3rd place Art and Poetry.

Ms Sally Robson, Head of Gib Gate


National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) 2021 Information for Parents and Carers – Tuesday 11 May - Thursday 13 May

For detailed information regarding NAPLAN, please see the Head’s Message.


  • Year 3: Language Conventions (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) - 45 minutes; Writing test - 40 minutes
  • Year 5: Language Conventions (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) - 45 minutes; Writing test - 40 minutes


  • Year 3: Reading test - 45 minutes
  • Year 5: Reading test - 50 minutes


  • Year 3: Numeracy test - 45 minutes
  • Year 5: Numeracy test - 50 minutes

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

Enrichment and Activities

Grandparents’ Day
Gib Gate Preschool to Year 6 Grandparents’ Day is being held on Friday 30 April. Grandparents, or special friends, can join children in their classrooms at 9:30am to share an activity and morning tea.

Extra-Curricular Activities
Term 2 activities commenced on the first day of term. Students have enrolled in a full range of activities with several classes filled already. If your child is interested in starting an Extra-Curricular class, please contact Mrs Graham.

Interrelate Education Programme for Families for Years 3-6
Interrelate will be presenting family sessions on Monday 26 April in the Gib Gate Library. These are aimed for families with students from Years 3-6. The programmes presented are, ‘Where Did I Come From?’ at 6:00pm and, ‘Preparing for Puberty’, at 7:15pm. The programmes are informative and sensitive, child-focused and designed to encourage discussion. Questions are encouraged and appropriately answered. These programmes are a useful way to support you starting these important conversations with your child.

Mrs Anne Graham, Gib Gate Coordinator (Administration)


Summer Sports concluded at the end of Term 1 with several teams playing in the finals of their respective sports. Gib Gate U12 Water Polo team won their competition in a tightly fought Grand Final at the end of Term 1. Congratulations to Amelia Blackshaw, Iman Byrne, Olivia Cowley, Imogen Diver, Sienna Donat, Ana McInnes, Isla McVinish, Anthony Neilson, Sofia Nesci and Ruby Rodgers.

Amelia Blackshaw was awarded Best and Fairest Player and Olivia Cowley Most Improved Player, at the end of season presentation.

Gib Gate U12 Purple Basketball team is congratulated on progressing to the Grand Final of the competition and were runners-up.

Winter Sports
Hockey games commenced at the end of Term 1 and Soccer starts this week. We wish participants an enjoyable and successful season in their chosen sport. This winter, we have over 95% of students from Kindergarten to Year 6 involved in a team sport for Gib Gate.

Ms Nicky Fenaughty, Gib Gate PDHPE and Sport Teacher


In Term 1, the Preschoolers’ interest in stick insects continued from last year where several children talked about these curious creatures and asked if we could get one for a Preschool pet. In the summer vacation we purchased an insect house and filled it with leaves and some stick insect eggs. The children were excited to see the enclosure when they returned to Preschool at the start of the year and shared information about stick insects with our new Preschool friends. 

During Term 1, the hatching of our stick insects ignited our minds and many questions were raised. We brainstormed techniques to gain more understanding and visited the library, used Google, asked families and friends and asked the other Gib Gate year groups for their input. We were fascinated to discover how stick insects live, their size and how their habitats varied around the world.

After conducting a class vote, our stick insects were named Shelly, Rose, Sparkles, Diamond, Cutie and Love Heart. Over a few weeks we experimented with creating our own representations of stick insects using pipe cleaners, charcoal, plastacine and sticks, pens and clay. We were inspired through looking at Indigenious artwork of stick insects to create our own unique work.

Wanting to take the children’s thinking to a deeper level, they were invited to participate in stick insect thinking routines. Thinking routines are a series of questions that Gib Gate teachers P-6 use in small groups to guide students in the process of critical thinking. In small groups we took an insect out of its enclosure and looked at its body, noticing the toes and then its eyes watching us. 

It is encouraging to note the marked increase in sustainability initiatives within the early childhood profession on a local, national and global scale. Long-time advocate for early childhood education for sustainability, Sue Elliott, appeals for early childhood practitioners to incorporate children’s learning towards sustainable living as an ‘essential element of early childhood teaching’. With this environmental focus in mind, at the start of Term 2 we were keen to challenge the children further. We openly pondered if the enclosure the stick insects were housed in was ‘fair’ – was it enough room for an insect to live in? How much room should they have? How do the stick insects respond to each other, what would they do if we let them go?  Would they be in danger from birds or be happy to have more room to roam and explore in? The children decided we needed a larger enclosure for the stick insects to live in. Darby stated: They need more room. I got a new house and they should too! Where will our Preschoolers’ thinking take us next?

Ms Tinna Loker Gib Gate Preschool Coodinator