Gib Gate Term 1 Highlights

The easing of COVID-19 restrictions for schools over Term 1 has gradually enabled us to reconnect in person over the past few weeks. While many may fondly recall weekly 2020 Gib Gate ‘Zoom into Rooms’ - and I don’t think anyone will ever forget the fabulous P-6 Grandparents’ Day Zoom! - it has been such a relief and pleasure to have our community back on campus with us, albeit still 1.5m apart. 

Letting all P-6 parents and carers know that they were finally able to walk into the campus to drop off and collect their children felt quite surreal, and I think all of us - children, families and teachers - are only just getting used to this important routine.

In support of this, and in recognition of this precious primary school daily ritual, in Term 2 we will be hosting a series of Monday Morning Mingles for P-6 parents and carers in the Gib Gate Library. Hosted by myself, and with a variety of Gib Gate staff taking turns to join us, I hope all families will feel welcome to come along.

Younger siblings and Preschoolers, who may not attend Preschool on Mondays, are welcome, and we will have some of our Year 6 monitors on hand to play with them and read stories. Families can enjoy refreshments and a catch-up after spending time taking their children to the teacher on playground duty or to their classroom.

Monday Morning Mingles will run from 8:30am-9:00am with our first session scheduled for the first Monday of Term 2, Monday 26 April then Monday 17 May and Monday 7 June. This will be a great time to meet new families, to connect across grade levels and to simply catch up. I also encourage everyone to see the time as an opportunity to ask me questions about education and related school matters.

Ms Sally Robson, Head of Gib Gate

Gib Gate Year 6 Monitors Assembly

Gib Gate Year 6 Monitors Assembly

The Importance of Reading…Time…

From children’s author Katherine Patterson:  It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations—something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.

At Gib Gate a major goal is to develop in children a love of literature in all its forms and to continually encourage them to be lifelong readers. We do this through carefully considering the types of texts we choose to read with the students from Preschool to Year 6 ensuring that, by the end of their time with us, they have enjoyed a plethora of books we believe they should not leave childhood without having read. In each classroom, every day and in each weekly literature session in our library students learn to express themselves and respond to a variety of texts through discussion and formal and informal written response.

Parents, carers, grandparents, brothers, sisters – all family members – play a significant and vitally important role in shaping our children into being lifelong readers. Through modelling a love of reading as a worthwhile and enjoyable activity and by ensuring time is spent reading daily, families have the opportunity to be the best reading teachers in the world. Family involvement is key to a child learning to read, to use language and to enrich children’s lives through learning to love reading.

Reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for building the skills and knowledge necessary for children to successfully learn to read when they begin school and to continue reading as they progress through their years in primary and secondary school. Children who are good readers are usually successful learners. By setting time aside each day to turn off the television, phones and electronic devices and to read aloud to children, we share the words and pictures, the ideas and viewpoints, the rhythms and rhymes, the pain and comfort, and the hopes and fears and big issues of life that we encounter together in the pages of a book. Literacy is more important than ever it was, in this world of text and email, a world of written information. We need to read and write, we need global citizens who can read comfortably, comprehend what they are reading, understand nuance, and make themselves understood.

Albert Einstein was asked once how we could make our children intelligent. His reply was both simple and wise. If you want your children to be intelligent, he said, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

We look forward to sharing the quality literature – the books - your child will listen to, share together and read daily in the classroom and as part of their homework programme throughout 2021. Our classrooms and our highly specialised children’s Library are treasure troves of books to enjoy!

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

Enrichment and Activities

Music

Students have engaged positively in their Music lessons this term with many new and returning students learning music at Gib Gate each week. We currently have 70 lessons per week in our Music Centre. Places are available in all instruments if your child is interested in starting at any time during the year. Please contact Mrs Graham agraham@gibgate.nsw.edu.au

All K-6 students are enjoying singing together again each week in Junior Singing and Senior Choir, and the 20-piece Gib Gate Orchestra delight in rehearsing each Friday.

Music Viva Incursion – TaikOz performance

Students from Preschool to Year 6 participated in a webinar performance by Musica Viva in Schools, Taikoz recently. Taikoz is an Australian, Sydney-based performance group that specialises in the art of taiko – the Japanese drums. Taikoz introduced students to the instruments and music and also gave historical and cultural background, including the place of taiko in a contemporary, Australian context. The programme was drawn from Taikoz’s large repertoire, which includes traditional Japanese music and drumming styles, compositions written by contemporary Japanese composers, as well as original works by members of the ensemble. It was exciting to have an ensemble of this calibre performing for Gib Gate.

Frensham Kennedy Strings Performance and Workshop

Students from the Frensham Kennedy Strings Ensemble visited Gib Gate this week to perform for Gib Gate Years 2 and 3 string players. Gib Gate students joined Frensham students to play in a workshop as a culminating activity for the Term 1 Year 2 and Year 3 Strings programme.

Outdoor Education

Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 are participating in a Bike Education Day in the last week of term with students participating in some intensive bike skills and safety activities at school.

Years 3 and 4 participated in Outdoor Adventure Days earlier in the term and enjoyed working with OEG in their Challenge by Choice activities of abseiling and mountain biking as well as making their own lunch on the day.

The Years 5 and 6 Camp are participating in their Leadership/Land for Wildlife Outdoor Education days in Week 10. They are looking forward to their Camp Wombaroo experience in Term 2.

Hokuriku Gakuin Elementary School

Gib Gate students continued their Zoom communication sessions with our sister school, Hokuriku Gakuin in Kanazawa, Japan. Mrs Gemell had been preparing the students to say hello and introduce themselves in Japanese. Years 2, 3 and 4 have all had sessions of communicating with our sister school recently and other classes will be scheduled next term.

Extra-curricular

Extra-curricular enrolment forms are published on SchoolBox. Please return enrolment forms before the end of term to ensure your child’s place in Term 2 activities.

Mrs Anne Graham, Gib Gate Coordinator (Administration)

Sport

Gib Gate sport has had a great start to the year. We have had teams competing in the local Basketball and Water Polo competitions each week. A special mention must go to the Under 12s Water Polo team who have developed well throughout the season. With many of the players new to the sport, the students have trained hard and jumped at many opportunities to learn and develop. As a result, the team is currently sitting at the top of the table and will compete in the finals in the coming weeks. In Basketball, U12 Boys Black team and U12 Girls Purple team have both progressed to the Semi-Finals, with the U12 Girls Purple team playing in the Grand Final in the two weeks.

We are looking forward to the winter sports season with more than 90% of Gib Gate students registered to play for a Gib Gate team.

In addition to extra-curricular sport, Term 1 has hosted numerous school carnivals. The Years 3-6 Swimming Carnival, the first one for the year, was a great success. Students had the opportunity to develop their swimming skills as part of school sport during Term 4 last year and the beginning of Term 1. In addition to this, students could participate in extra-curricular race training at The Centenary Pool. This saw many students improve their times and confidence in the water, with all students present on the day participating in multiple events and showcasing their hard work.

The following students were invited to continue training and compete at the IPSHA Swimming Carnival in Sydney on 2 March: Amelia Blackshaw, Sienna Donat, Anthony Neilson, Sofia Nesci, Ruby Rodgers, Gemma McInnes, John Shadbolt, Matilda Spong, Edward Vilo, Oliver Wilson, Madeleine Hannah, Valentina Hercus, Zahra Nash and Sofia Wilson. The students all performed well, many achieving personal best times. Congratulations to following student who placed in their heats: Edward Vilo 1st in the 11yrs 50m Freestyle, Anthony Neilson 3rd in the 11yrs 50m Freestyle and Ruby Rodgers 3rd in the 12yrs 50m Backstroke. 

In Week 7, the K-Year 2 Fun Swimming Carnival took place at The Centenary Pool. After participating in swimming lessons each week on sports day, many students took part in a number of events. The energy level was high, and enthusiasm and confidence in the water to be admired. We are thankful to the AquaBliss staff for their assistance in the water on the day and for the opportunity to have parents “rejoin” us at school sporting events.

In Week 8, after much anticipation and training the planned K-6 Cross Country at Frensham was cancelled, due to the wet weather. However, students had plenty of opportunities to take part in training and practice races during sports lessons and morning training sessions. As such, the following students were selected to represent Gib Gate at the IPSHA Cross Country: 12/13Yrs Girls: Ana McInnes, Isla McVinish, Victoria Trotter, Adele Trudeau, 11Yrs Girls: Darcey Burrows, Mae Gilkeson, Sophie McAndrew, Sofia Nesci, Matilda Spong, 10Yrs Girls: Gemma McInnes, Hannah Wright, 8/9Yrs Girls: Madeleine Hannah, Illiana Hercus, Valentina Hercus, Zahra Nash, Violet Palise, 11Yrs Boys: Lachlan Dormer, Aaron Gemell, Edward Vilo, Oliver Wilson, 10Yrs Boys: Augustus Moore, John Shadbolt, 8/9 Yrs Boys: Xavier Burrows, Alexander Moore and Zachariah Chalak.

Ms Nicky Fenaughty, Gib Gate PDHPE and Sport Teacher

Preschool

Individually, we are one drop.
Together, we are an ocean.

Tyunosuke Satoro

We are keen to encourage and support Gib Gate Preschool children to be mindful in their interactions with each other. We read The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister to initiate dialogue around kind words and interactions. We liked how Rainbow Fish shared his scales with the other fish and how he discovered he was happier after sharing.  Discussions around our own appearance and the appearance of others evolved after reading the book, and we encouraged the children to develop a respectful admiration for our own uniqueness and that of others. The interest in Rainbow Fish continued as we decided to make our own unique fish. The children were encouraged to think about the characteristics of a fish and then to add in their own variety of style. Carefully we cut around the fish and added them to a shared ‘ocean space’ in Preschool. 

Preschool rainbow fish

As preschool students reflected on the sewing machine experience enjoyed in 2020, they asked if we could do some more sewing as it was fun. We love that our children are able to make suggestions that can guide our programme.

After some deliberation it was decided we would embark on making a collective Rainbow Fish. Each child selected fabric to measure and pin before we got to use the machine. It was interesting to note how many children talked about sewing with their gran or even that their sister has a machine and sews for them.

Carefully a ruler was used to measure the 6cm square fabric. The children cut on the lines before we used pins to hold the fabric in place. One child said that the pins looked like giant freckles. A few children were at first concerned about using the pins but we talked about how to use them safely and managed this well.

We talked about the different parts of the machine from the pedal, bobbin, needle etc. We learnt how electricity powers the machine. We believe children are infinitely capable and if shown how to use the machine carefully with our support they learn a new skill as well as having fun! 

We lined up the fabric on the machine and the children directed the fabric under the ‘foot’ of the machine using the pedal to activate it. The children examined their fabric square carefully noticing how the thread could be seen on either side of the fabric. Once each child had made their square, they added their name to our list so we knew who had completed the task. Encouraging children to have meaning for writing motivates and inspires them.  Once all the squares were complete, they were pinned together and then sewn to make a patchwork fish. Team work is an essential part of being a community.

Ms Tinna Loker Gib Gate Preschool Coodinator