In our classrooms

This week marks the end of our first term. Congratulations to everyone for a fantastic start of the year. Can you believe we are already 25% through the school year?

End of Term One

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a safe and happy school holidays. Thank you to all of our staff that have helped to contribute to a smooth transition to the start of this school year.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Meg Hutchins who has started in our front office. Sally is going away on long service leave commencing Term Two and Meg will be filling her role whilst she is away. We hope you enjoy your time away Sal and if you haven't had a chance to meet Meg, stop by the front office to say hello.

In our classrooms

As a culmination of our learning of The Gingerbread Man book, 1SH made gingerbread men! We measured out all the ingredients and followed the recipe. At the end of the day, we decorated them! A delicious way to end the term.

And here are some pictures of our Grade 3 students measuring the length and building of Lego islands for rules and laws and later presenting their Lego island rules and laws to our community of students and teachers.

STEM Design Learning Bridge Challenge

In grades three and four, students have been constructing a bridge with a 30cm span that is predominantly made of paper. We experimented with the strength of different shapes such as cylinders and triangular and rectangular prisms. There was an option of using 4 corks, 8 icy pole sticks, foil, scrap paper and I only allowed 2 pieces of A4 card. Also lots of tape!!

The aim was for the bridge to hold and balance a tin of beans…. however, the constructions were so good they held a lot more weight. Afterwards we deconstructed our bridges so we could reuse the materials.

In grades five and six, the bridge had to have a 50cm span. We investigated truss and cable bridges to assist our designs. Students first discussed and drew their ideas. Then we began to construct, and they could use icypole sticks, corks, card, hot glue, tape, foil and bring some materials from home.

Once again, the aim was to show balance and strength and hold 1 -2 cans of beans. They held a lot more!

Below are also some pictures of our prep students exploring magnets.

This Week in Art

During Harmony Week every class in the Art room created a decorative hand using pen and ink on colour diffusing paper. Students were inspired by Mehndi, a popular form of body art in South Asia, and the intricate patterns seen on hands, painted with henna.

Each hand represents the individual who created it and became a feather on a beautiful bird of peace. This bird represents our wonderful diverse community at GIPS, filled with many talented individuals. The whole school artwork is now on display in the lab. Pop in and check out the talented artists at GIPS!

Looking for something to do in the school holidays? The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is open to the public showing the Triennial and artwork that has inspired the students this term. This exhibition is free and open to all until April 7, check out the link for more information

Recently in Physical Education

It has been a wonderful start to our sporting calendar this year!

Over the last month, Prep-Grade 2 students have been revisiting some of the core Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) through games such as Pacman, Poison Ball and Rob the Nest. During these lessons, students have been discussing what makes a good winner and good loser, and how we can help to support others through these situations.

Grade 3-6 students have also been revisiting some of the core Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) through games such as Pacman, Crossover and Endzones. These games emphasise teamwork and the implementation of strategies. It has been great to see the students willingly assist and work together to ensure all members of the team are valued and included in each game.

Grade 3-6 Swimming

On Monday 19th February, a range of GIPS students participated at the District Swimming Carnival. To progress through to the next stage, students had to place in the top two in their individual event. Eleven GIPS students successfully qualified for the Divisional event on Friday 1st March.

Congratulations to all students involved who progressed through to either Divisional or Regional Carnivals. It was great to see the strong display of sportsmanship, respect and encouragement these students displayed to other competing schools and each other on both days.

Upcoming Events

Monday 6th May – Grade 3-6 Cross Country

Tuesday 14th May – District Cross Country

Monday 27th May – Divisional Cross Country

Wednesday 5th June – Grade 3/4 Hooptime

Friday 14th June – Grade 5/6 Hooptime

Endangered Animals Expo in Grade Four

Our students are hard at work creating their endangered animal habitat dioramas in preparation for the Endangered Animal Expo!

Student Focus Group: Voice and Agency

This year, one of our school improvement strategies is to incorporate more student focus groups in order to design, lead and provide feedback on our teaching and learning programs. Here Mrs McDermott is meeting with the School Action Leadership Team (SALT) Promotions student group to discuss the upcoming French Day in Term Two.

In our community

It's been a busy fortnight at GIPS! Read on to find out more about events we celebrated as well as big events coming up.

Harmony Week

Harmony Week is a celebration that recognises our diversity.

We have had a wonderful time celebrating Harmony Week both in the classrooms and as a whole school. Read more about the art installation that all children contributed to in our article "In our classrooms". We also celebrated Harmony Week with a whole school parade where many children displayed costumes representing their heritages bringing together diversity from many different backgrounds.


We had so much fun celebrating house spirit at GIPS on Tuesday. We differentiated our walk-a-thon laps, so for instance our 5/6 students walked around our property whereas our preps walked around the prep building. All of this hard work has been to help us revitalise a part of our playground that needs a lot of help: the courtyard near the 5/6 building.

Evacuation Drill

This week we practiced an evacuation drill. The Department of Education mandates that we do evacuation drills once per term. This is to help keep us safe in case of emergency. We did a great job evacuating quickly, quietly and safely. You may wish to discuss with your child the importance of evacuation drills.

An Evening with Michael Carr-Gregg

We are excited to share that Michael Carr-Gregg is coming to GIPS to do a parenting workshop "Raising Happy and Resilient Children in 2024" next term. Sponsored by our GIPS School Council, this workshop will be open to our entire community, including families from other schools.

We will soon be offering an early-bird rate to GIPS families only. Stay tuned for more information.

GIPS Open Day and Information Evening

We have two upcoming open day events for prospective parents. Please pass this information along to your friends who may want to enrol at GIPS.

GIPS Open Day
2025 Prep Open Day
GIPS Information Evening
Information Evening

GIPS Story Time

Story time is back at GIPS! We are offering story time sessions for pre-school aged children. All families are welcome, and we ask that parents stay with their children. For more information on our story time events, please see the flyer below. Please book on our website under the page "story time".

Story Time

Camberwell High School Tour

The principal of Camberwell High School warmly invites GIPS families to a tour May 9th, 9 am - 10 am. Jill Laughlin and I have arranged for this tour to be just for GIPS families. We hope you take up this opportunity.

If you would like to attend the tour, please RSVP to Jill's EA If the day isn’t suitable but you are interested in a tour at another time, you can also let Vanessa Chopra know so they can arrange a time that suits you.

Expressions of interest for basketball classes at GIPS

Coming up

See below for upcoming events. Look out for Compass newsfeeds soon with more information.

28 March

Last day of Term One

29 March- 14 April

School Holidays

17 April

School Photos

23 April

French Day

25-26 April

No school (for ANZAC Day and Curriculum Day)

1 May

Annual Report Presentation to the Community 6:30 pm

3 May

Make and Bake Fundraiser

10 May

Mother's Day Lunch Fundraiser

26 May

Working Bee 10 am- 1 pm

Tours now open

Led by our Principal, Maddie Witter, we hold school tours showing our classrooms in action. Please feel free to bring your children with you. Registration details can be found below or on our website.

Tours are now open for any prospective families. To book a tour, please visit this page. We hope to see you soon.

Autism awareness month

April is Autism Acceptance Month (AAM) and a great opportunity to celebrate our autistic students, learn more about how we can support and include them, and help foster understanding and acceptance of autism among all students. AAM is an offshoot of the United Nations’ sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on Tuesday 2 April 2024. The day will begin a month of global events to celebrate autistic people.

Our school is committed to understanding, including and celebrating our autistic students and values the contribution they and their families make to our school.

To celebrate AAM, we would like to share some resources that support autistic students and their families.

The Department of Education has worked with organisations for autistic people and lead researchers in autism to develop new resources for schools to help us better understand, support and celebrate the strengths of autistic students. I hope you find them useful and insightful.

More support for autistic students

The department has established the Diverse Learners Hub to help meet the needs of diverse learners, including autistic students. It is key initiative of Disability Inclusion and flagship of the Autism Education Strategy.

The hub provides evidence-based advice, information and resources on best-practice inclusive teaching for autistic students.

From our outside providers

Below please find upcoming information from some of the outside providers at GIPS

What's happening

From our school council

Read below for more information on GIPS' School Council.

The School Council is comprised of 8 parent representatives, 2 community members, and 5 DET personnel. The Council meets monthly with the overarching functions being to:

  • Ensure efficient governance.
  • Ensure that decisions are made in the best interest of the students.
  • Augment the educational experience for the students.

We have four subcommittees: Buildings & Grounds, Finance, Community Relations and Fundraising. Each subcommittee meets monthly and prioritises one or two activities that will add value to the student experience at GIPS.

Each sub-committee’s immediate priorities and achievements in Terms 1 and 2 are:

Community relations- – Priorities: survey of GIPS parents regarding engagement with communication material via Compass, newsletter, emails; Achievements: Evening on the Green

Buildings and GroundsPriorities: supporting building and grounds improvements; Achievements: working bee 3 March

Fundraising- Priorities: raising money to better the educational experience for children at GIPS; Achievements: Jellis Craig Sponsorship of $1500 for Evening on the Green

Finance- Priorities: Supporting the governance of the school's finances; Achievements: Hiring third-party providers

Upcoming events we need your help with:

Next term the school will host an evening with Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, one of Australia's highest profile psychologists, specialist in corporate mental health, families, parenting, children, adolescents and the use of technology for mental health. This will be open to all GIPS families as well as families from other schools in the area.

Tickets will be available for purchase and will include complimentary nibbles.

Please contact the School Council if you:

  • Have experience with organising community events.
  • Can source or donate [food/wine/tea]
  • Can help organise sponsorship for this event
  • Can offer a total of 3 hours of your time to create promotional materials in digital and print form.

Thank you,

GIPS School Council

Issue 4, 2024 From Maddie's Desk - 28 Mar 2024

From our outside providers

Below please find upcoming information from some of the outside providers at GIPS

What's happening