Out and About

Out and About

Winter Sport commenced at the start of Term 2 and it is delightful to witness the support of students’ families at Soccer and Hockey games across the district. 96% of Gib Gate K-6 students are playing Soccer and Hockey this season. Additionally, many students are also involved in Equestrian, Rugby, Athletics, Tennis, Cycling and Swimming. On Sunday 2 May, Gib Gate Equestrian students competed in the Oxley Equestrian Day at Bong Bong Equestrian Centre. The Gib Gate team, consisting of Annika Basson, Olivia Cowley and Georgia Suttie (Year 6), competed in Dressage, Show Jumping and Show Riding. All rode to a high standard, with personal achievements combining to gain the Gib Gate Equestrian Team 2nd place in the Primary School Division. We extend our congratulations to Annika, Olivia and Georgia for this outstanding achievement.

We are proud of all our Gib Gate students, some of whom have taken up a new sport and/or joined a team for the first time. Playing sport helps students develop resilience, fitness, cooperation, and collaboration skills, set personal goals, and develop a positive sense of wellbeing. Encouraging students to have a go, get involved and be active – and most importantly to have fun – is the goal of primary-level sport. Gib Gate actively promotes the Southern Highlands Sporting Associations’ and IPSHA’s codes of sporting conduct where players, teams, coaches and spectators are requested to practice courtesy and respect in an inclusive and encouraging manner, working together to instil a lifelong love of playing sport in our young students.

On Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 April, Years 5-6 participated in two full days of Outdoor Learning on the Gib Gate Land for Wildlife site. Year 6 Environment Monitors led the commencement of Day 1, talking to the students about the importance of the Land for Wildlife area in supporting the reintroduction of native flora and fauna. Paying our respects to and recognising the Indigenous Gundungurra people as the traditional owners of this land, students discussed the planting of the Bush Tucker Garden and establishment of formal signage recognising important aspects of Indigenous culture and heritage. Students pitched tent shelters around the Land for Wildlife site to establishing their ‘base camp’ outdoor classroom for the two days. Scientific inquiry became the focus as teams of students made quadrats to closely examine different areas of the site, identifying and quantifying different species of insects, fungi and plants. On the afternoon of Day 1, students were set the task of planning a scavenger hunt for Day 2. This immersed them in their environment, closely examining, and becoming more familiar with the wider area as they developed team clues.

Gib Gate Outdoor Learning on the Gib Gate Land for Wildlife site

The morning of Day 2 was spent constructing wooden micro bat boxes to provide much-needed safe nesting places for endangered micro bats species. Preschool and Kindergarten then joined their Years 5 and 6 Buddies for a nature walk and site inspection. Years 5-6 supported the younger children to become involved with site maintenance, planting natives grasses, raking mulch to form paths and weed and watering our growing native trees and plants. The grand finale of Day 2 was the well-planned scavenger hunt, with an unexpected level of complexity and hilarity added when some eagle-eyed Preschoolers managed to capture some clues from their hiding spots. Years 5-6 put their best negotiation skills to use, while Preschool enjoyed their new-found authority over their older peers.

We look forward to involving the whole school, including our parent community, in the ongoing development of the Gib Gate Land for Wildlife site. More information to come soon…

Ms Sally Robson, Head of Gib Gate

Reach Assessments - Term 2, 2021

In Teaching and Learning at Frensham and Gib Gate, as part of Frensham Schools Strategic Priorities 2018-2022, we are continuously seeking to improve and extend our assessment and benchmarking using a research based, robust set of tools to provide data across multiple subjects and years. This enables us to study individual, class and cohort levels of achievement and growth. This approach to data analysis ensures excellence in teaching practice and enhances creative pathways for learning that increase personalisation and flexibility for all students so they can achieve their personal best.

In 2019 we introduced the REACH assessment tool (previously UNSW Global) - a comprehensive set of assessments, for primary and secondary students in English, Mathematics, Science and Writing. The assessments are based on the Australian curriculum for students in Years 2 to 10 and are suitable for use across all ability levels. Items range from recall and routine application, through to more demanding questions. They were not available for implementation in 2020 but we are now able to utilise the REACH Assessment programme in Term 2 this year. They will be administered in comfortable timed conditions for the students in their classrooms by their class teachers. 

The data will provide us with an independent and objective benchmark of student progress to support our teachers’ professional judgement, class-based tasks and formal school-based assessment programmes, and inform future curriculum planning and programming.

In addition, we have always provided our students with the opportunity to challenge themselves using ICAS Competition papers and we will continue to use this tool in addition to REACH in Term 3 this year. ICAS is aimed at recognising academic excellence for high potential students, emphasising challenge and extension in tight timed conditions. The ICAS Competition online papers in 2021 may be undertaken by students who have a high level of success in REACH in Years 2-10 allowing them to apply their learning and challenge themselves at ‘competition level’ in each of the disciplines above. The ICAS Competitions require students to think beyond the classroom and provide us with data that acknowledges their performance achievement at the highest level.

For relevant information about REACH and ICAS assessments visit: https://www.icasassessments.com/about-us/

Professional Learning at Frensham Schools Terms 2 and 3 2021

Professional Learning Goals 2021-2022: to meet the individual learning needs of all students by personalising programmes, experiences and outcomes; and to create a learning community which is world class and embraces innovation, inspired by evidence-based research and external critique.

In order to ensure we are continuously working towards our Professional Learning Goals, on Monday 19 April all teachers P-12 commenced their professional learning through the UNSW Faculty of Education to obtain up-to-date qualifications in teaching our high potential and gifted  students in every classroom. UNSW lecturers Di Bond and Marie McGregor delivered a bespoke Certificate of Gifted Education programme on campus at Frensham, which was the first of three days of learning designed in consultation with Ms Kate Chauncy and Dr Ruth Phillips to suit teachers and students at Frensham Schools. For those teachers who hold post graduate qualifications in gifted education, and those who have previously completed this particular course through the UNSW, Dr Ruth Phillips designed and delivered an Advanced course in Gifted Education which she delivered simultaneously.

The course continues on Friday 18 June (end Term 2) and Monday 12 July (start Term 3) by which time all teachers at Frensham Schools will have achieved post graduate accreditation in this vital area of education and developed their skills, knowledge and understanding of contemporary research and best practices on how to engage and support all our students to reach their potential.

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

Enrichment and Activities

Gib Gate Peer Support Programme, Kindergarten – Year 6
The Peer Support Programme provides a fun and engaging environment for young people to address issues such as bullying, relationships, and self-image. Modules are designed to equip young people with skills to deal proactively with life experiences, develop a sense of self-worth and belonging, and to encourage taking responsibility for decisions and actions. All Gib Gate Year 6 students are trained in Peer Support Leadership and facilitate activities with small groups of K-5 students with a teacher supervising each group.

In 2021, Gib Gate Peer Support programme focuses on, Living Positively – Optimism. This module supports students to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to identify their individual strengths and maintain a positive outlook on life. Living Positively is based on the belief students can become more optimistic by monitoring their internal messages and living in harmony with their particular strengths. Living Positively seeks to provide opportunities for students to identify which areas of life represent personal strengths and how they can feel happier and more fulfilled by taking advantage of these strengths.

Parents can assist their children by encouraging them to tell themselves positive, encouraging messages and displaying a positive attitude themselves. Parents can also play a key role in assisting their children to identify and use their personal strengths such as curiosity, kindness and teamwork.

Gib Gate welcomed grandparents and special friends back on campus. Visitors joined children in their classrooms to share an activity before students performed together for their special audience. 

Mrs Anne Graham, Gib Gate Coordinator (Administration)


It has been an exciting start to Term 2 Sport for Gib Gate. The first week of term saw the Gib Gate Cross Country Team travel to The King’s School for the IPSHA Cross Country. The team had been training before school during Term 1 and are congratulated on their efforts. Zahra Nash and Valentina Hercus are commended for placing 3rd and 13th respectively and qualifying to represent IPSHA at the NSWCIS Cross Country Championship later this term.

Gib Gate Cross Country Team: 

  • 8/9 Years Girls: Madeleine Hannah, Valentina Hercus, Iliana Hercus, Zahra Nash and Violet Palise
  • 10 Years Girls: Gemma McInnes and Hannah Wright
  • 11 Years Girls: Darcey Burrows, Mae Gilkeson, Sophie McAndrew, Sofia Nesci and Matilda Spong
  • 12 Year Girls: Ana McInnes, Isla McVinish, Victoria Trotter and Adele Trudeau 
  • 8/9 Years Boys: Xavier Burrows, Zachariah Chalak and Alexander Moore,
  • 10 Years Boys: Aaron Gemell, Augustus Moore and John Shadbolt 
  • 11 Years Boys: Lachlan Dormer, Edward Vilo​​​ and Oliver Wilson

Gib Gate Cross Country Team at The King's School

Last weekend marked the official beginning of the winter sports season with many Gib Gate students playing Hockey and Soccer in the local competition. This is a particularly exciting time for our Kindergarten students and parents, as for many it is the start of their team sporting experience. For the older students, the opportunity to begin training for Athletics has begun in the mornings. The Tennis Development Programme has commenced in PE lessons and Jump Rope for Heart on Sports Day.

Ms Nicky Fenaughty, Gib Gate PDHPE and Sport Teacher


Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature.
~ Steve Maraboli

On Tuesday 27 April, Preschool joined Years 5 and 6 in the School Land for Wildlife programme and helped them plant some native grasses. We were eager to share our skills, carefully taking a plant from the tube by tapping the sides to loosen the soil and roots before carefully placing it in the hole we had dug. We watered in the plants after backfilling the soil. We helped remove weeds and rake the bark mulch as well. We learnt that signage will be placed around the bush tucker plants in the local Indigenous language of the Gundungurra people. The Preschool students already know a few words in Gundungurra and proudly shared their knowledge with the Years 5-6 students. 

By acknowledging the land we are on, learning about the native animals that share Gib Gate with us and working on a whole school project of preparing for the future, we are demonstrating to the children the importance of collaborative work and that even at ages 3-4, your ideas are not only worthy but helpful. We were fascinated to learn about the micro bats that visit Gib Gate and how homes had been built for them by the older students. We had many more questions about the bats and decided we would need to do some research when we got back to Preschool. 

In the afternoon we returned for a walk with Kindergarten in the forest and paddock space. We noticed Kindergarten remarking upon the wombat holes, the unicorn fairy tear drop trees and the magic forest. We also noted the gorgeous red and yellow leaves on the trees. Spectacular colours that Mother Nature made for us! We were so inspired we collected clipboards and crayons when we went back to Preschool and drew the autumn leaves that are on the tree in the Preschool playground. It is nice to work as a whole group at times – this helps us maintain focus and we are inspired by our peers’ work. We experimented with colours of pastels, chalks and crayons blending, rubbing, drawing and smudging.

Ms Tinna Loker Gib Gate Preschool Coodinator