Learning Walk

Cambridge Global Perspectives – Learning Walk

Celebrating the end of our School Birthday on Friday 4 June with an afternoon Learning Walk through all classrooms P-6 was a perfect way to conclude a wonderful day. Grouped in Peer Support groups K-6, and visiting all classrooms and Preschool, students took responsibility (with the support of their classroom teacher) for introducing visitors to the learning display in their classroom. It was pleasing to see students confidently talking on behalf of their class, to their peer support buddies and parents, explaining the work on Cambridge Global Perspectives on display in the classroom. The real-world content of each area of investigation motivated and engaged students and the thinking and questions this generated, and that was shared with the audience, was clearly evident on the day and in the photographs below.

Ms Sally Robson, Head of Gib Gate

Cambridge Global Perspectives – Learning Walk

ICAS Academic Competitions at Frensham Schools Term 3 for Years 2-11

In 2021, we will be offering the opportunity for all students from Years 2-11 to enter the ICAS competitions.

International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) is designed to provide a measure of student achievement in an external assessment situation against other students who demonstrate a high level of ability in a variety of disciplines. It allows students an additional opportunity to apply their higher order thinking and problem-solving skills in English, Mathematics, Science, Writing and Digital Technologies and gain recognition for their efforts. For all tests, a high level of literacy is assumed, including highly developed comprehension skills in a ‘limited time’ situation, including in the Mathematics and Science papers.

The ICAS papers are not designed to test the NESA syllabus in any discipline and are set at ‘above level’ knowledge of discipline content and skills. Students will be presented with high-quality, expert-developed multiple-choice style questions, allowing them to apply their learning without the need for prior study or revision. For Writing they will be provided with an age-appropriate stimulus and will write either a narrative or persuasive style response. 

All ICAS Assessments are now online, a move that reflects a sector-wide transition to online assessments. This allows greater accessibility for students and faster delivery of results. The assessment programme, supervised by teachers, will be run at School at Gib Gate for Years 2-6 and at Frensham for Years 7-11.

Final reminder: Parents can enrol their son or daughter in any, or all of the disciplines we offer by completing the Google form before the cut-off date of Thursday 17 June.

Entry link: ICAS 2021 Competition Selection form

Parents can learn more about ICAS by visiting : https://www.icasassessments.com/products-icas

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

Enrichment and Activities

Music workshops and performance
Gib Gate students enjoyed a visit to Frensham recently. Initially, they were an audience for the Frensham Combined Ensemble who performed Pirates of the Caribbean. Students were excited to hear and see such a great range of instruments, particularly enjoying the bass clarinet, bassoon and French horn. A few students thought they might even take up the double bass.

Then the Gib Gate String players, including all Year 2 and Year 3 students who participate in Gib Gate’s Strings Programme as part of their Music lessons, played two of their pieces with the Frensham students. Gib Gate students enjoyed the opportunity to produce such a full sound with the group.

The Gib Gate Orchestra joined the Frensham musicians to play two of their best-loved pieces, Power Rock and Moody Blues. There were over 100 students performing together from Year 2 to Year 12! The Gib Gate Orchestra enjoyed playing with so many more musicians and the full range of instruments.

All student enjoyed the afternoon of music-making and listening!

Gib Gate at Frensham

Gib Gate Orchestra joined Frensham Combined Ensemble

Friends of Gib Gate (FOGG)
More than 30 parents went on a bus trip to see the Archibald Exhibition at NSW Art Gallery. At the Gallery, Ben Quilty, past Gib Gate parent and Archibald prize-winner, led the group on a tour. Gib Gate’s recent success in the Young Archie competition made this visit even more poignant. FOGG has an important friend-raising role at Gib Gate and operates the canteen at sports home games on Saturdays. FOGG supports the School in a variety of ways including Book Week, Musicals and Family functions.

Mrs Anne Graham, Gib Gate Coordinator (Administration)

Gib Gate’s Year 6 Science and Engineering team awarded 1st place at the recent Southern Highlands Science and Engineering Challenge


The end of Term 2 marks the halfway point of our winter sports competition. Students play at a variety of venues around the Southern Highlands each weekend, and it is encouraging to see so many Gib Gate students participating in sport. With many playing a sport for the first time and coming up against some very skilled competition, it is pleasing to note the development of players and teams over the term.

On Thursday 10 June, Zahra Nash and Valentina Hercus competed in the NSWCIS Cross Country. Competing at this level is a high achievement; Zahra placed 29th and Valentina 54th

Vacation Sport

  • Students will be competing in the Northern NSW Interschools Snowsports Championship in the last week of June.
  • There are various Equestrian competitions throughout the holiday.  

We wish all participating students an enjoyable and rewarding experience at each of these competitions.

Ms Nicky Fenaughty, Gib Gate PDHPE and Sport Teacher

Visual Arts

Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 have been working with recycled materials to make dream houses. The impetus for their art making was a story called The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater.

This is a book about individuality and being true to your creative expression. The main character, Mr Plumbean had his home painted/created in a way that made him feel at ease and happy. Inspired by the story some students constructed dream houses made to look like favourite animals, whilst other students focused on comfort, including movie screens, or swimming pools on their roofs.

Kindergarten used natural recycled materials sparked by images of eco houses. Year 1 and Year 2 focused on sustainability with, ‘Reduce, Recycle, Reuse’ evident in the materials they created with and the sustainability features they crafted, such as water tanks and solar panels.

Discussions around environmental concerns and accepting individuality in others were had, and we engaged in communal problem solving skills during construction stages.

Students in Years 3-6 have been focusing on abstraction through the lens of the Basic Elements of Design. Portraits from the Young Archie competition were looked at and personal art works were created through the use of abstraction. Jean Miro’s works were viewed and critiqued to begin our ‘Art Appreciation’ journey.

After abstract portraits were made we researched artist Alexander Calder. Students re-visited their portraits and abstracted their making further, by picking out the shapes and colours from their pieces to create a moving work - a mobile.

Once comfortable with abstraction, students shake away preconceived ideas of ‘good art’ being representational art. The final shift in process involves large scale shapes being painted to create a collaborative mobile. Here colour mixing and lessons on tone are absorbed.


If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it. Perhaps this is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, “The more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings.”
David Sobel

The Preschool problem-solving minds were on high alert whilst investigating bees during their Cambridge Global Perspectives work. Having learnt that bees collect nectar and cross-pollinate, which is essential for a positive future, the children suggested we make a house for the bees. Students researched bee and insect hotels on the computer and through books before making a wishlist of items required. The request for recycled materials to build the insect hotel was answered by families.

Much to our delight, bricks, sticks, besser bricks, boxes, logs, pallets and tins came into Preschool. We ventured into the paddock to create a hotel with some of our families. Over a few weeks we used various tools to help create the hotel. Under close supervison, the children took turns in making holes in a log with a drill. These holes will create little nests for various insects to reside in. Eventually the logs were placed on top of the pallets and secured in place.

We know insects like little warm places to live so we used leaves, grass and bark to create warm areas in the base of tins before adding sticks we snapped with our foot. We learnt that if you lean on a stick with a foot and pull with your hand the weight of your body helps a stick to break.  The delight in stick snapping was great! 

Being thoughtful and empathetic souls, the children gathered little sticks for the ants to use as ladders to climb up, berries were picked and little wildflowers as bedding and a cosy sleeping bag was created with a bit of found plastic. The children quickly took control of the area and extended amounts of time were spent here exploring, examining the hotel and pondering.

As we have been learning Japanese we wrote ‘Insect Hotel’ in English and then in Japanese 虫のホテル with a wood burner onto wood boards to create signs to hang above the hole. We have been learning about the Gundungurra culture so we added the Aboriginal flag onto wood boards.

The signs were then installed and the children admired their work with great satisfaction. Many children have taken family members to see the insect hotel before school. 

Ms Tinna Loker Gib Gate Preschool Coodinator