19 May 2020

From the Principal

This week we have a special guest introduction from Allison Prandolini, Head of Girls’ Junior School….


In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the protagonist Frodo Baggins, referring to the trials and tribulations that explored through the book, complains to the great wizard Gandalf, “I wish it need not have happened in my time.” “So, do I,” Gandalf replies, “and do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

I have thought of this quote often over the past few months as we have been plunged into a world that none of us ever really expected, nor did we totally understand the implications of what we were to experience. But as someone who likes to see life in an optimistic view, I have frequently stopped to see the benefits of this additional time.

Psychologist, researcher and professor Lea Waters AM, refers to this as benefit gaining. COVID-19 has challenged us at times to be able to stop and see the benefits, but when we do, it can definitely make a difference to our experience. As a mum, I have perhaps selfishly enjoyed having my two teenage sons at home at lot more than usual, family table tennis competitions, jigsaws, walks and shared cooking experiences just some of the highlights that we don’t usually have the time to undertake between school, sport and other co-curricular pursuits.

In the Girls’ Junior School, we have recently undertaken ‘Gratitude Week”, a week where the girls have stopped and thought about who they are grateful for at the moment, and what a difference their work has made to our lives. Our girls have been inspiring, from Preps creating handmade paper flowers which they have delivered to doctors and nurses, to other girls undertaking footpath drawings and letters to our politicians. These girls have used their extra time, to exemplify our Tintern motto, Factis Non Verbis, along with the Tintern Compass to guide them to be grateful and make a difference to the lives of others. What an impressive use of their time!

As our world starts to return to some semblance of what it was before, I wonder what will change? Will we return to the busyness of family life, or have we seen the benefits of slowing down and reconnecting with others? Perhaps it is time to think about this with your family. What benefits have you seen and what will you continue in the future? What opportunities are there where you too can make a difference to the lives of others?

Whilst we may not have desired to live through such a challenging time, just like Gandalf we can look for the opportunities that have been placed before us and celebrate the benefits we have gained.



Curriculum Matters

Remote Learning and End-of-Semester Reporting

Parents are reminded that Junior and Secondary School Semester Reports will be published to families online via our Tintern Grammar Portal after the end of term. The lead up to end-of-semester reporting this year has been like no other in living memory. Term 2 usually sees our staff going through the process of gathering data through a variety of formative and summative evaluation processes. Whilst this process has not changed, staff have had to rethink the structures and modalities through which they have administered these assessments and gathered the data.

As we have navigated our way through the end of Term 1 and the first half of Term 2, many staff have undertaken more professional development in a two-month period than they would have in 2 years. We are fortunate to have dedicated and committed staff at Tintern who have overcome many challenges to ensure that they could continue to teach in their usual highly professional manner in remote learning mode to the very best of their ability to ensure that your children could continue to grow and make progress in their learning. Our community is eternally grateful for the untiring support of our amazing IT Team, who have worked around the clock to ensure that the systems at the school have withstood all of the extra loads placed upon them and the staff and students have had outstanding tech support ‘on call’ for weeks on end.

We are very aware that our students and families have had to deal with their own challenges along the way also. Yes, our ‘classrooms’ have looked very different and there have been difficulties and anxieties to overcome (on both sides of the screen) and possibly periods of despondency and disconnectedness, but we take heart in knowing that this is not forever. I hope your children have still felt a sense of belonging to our community during this term and have known that we believed in them and their ability to overcome these challenges and continue their learning journey at Tintern. In the coming days, we will all return to school. Being apart has brought home in a significant manner the added value the interpersonal connections a school brings to the lives of our students and staff. Schools do provide an important service in imparting knowledge and guiding the acquisition of skills, but this period has highlighted the social and collaborative elements of learning which so importantly develop confidence and resilience and prepare out students for life beyond Tintern.

Reports, necessarily, will reflect the circumstances which have come about this term and will provide a snapshot of where your children currently are placed in their learning journey as assessed by our teachers under changed assessment conditions. Instructions for accessing end-of-semester reports via the school portal will be emailed to families in the last week of term. The school will be undertaking a review of our semester reporting format and content in the near future, with the changed curriculum and assessment landscape this term at the forefront of our review process.



Music Matters

Piano Concert in the comfort of their own home

Whilst there have been a few school music events postponed and cancelled over the past few weeks, we are delighted that our pianists will have the opportunity to shine this evening at the Inaugural (and possibly/hopefully last) Online Tintern Piano Concerts! There will be a Junior Concert and a Senior Concert presented by invitation to staff, students and families of our young musicians through a secure Teams environment. Our Head of Keyboard, Ms Heather McKenzie, has been working alongside our team of piano teachers and our IT/AV support staff to bring this special event to fruition. Piano lessons have continued on a weekly basis (as have all of our instrumental lessons). We look forward to being able to share our ‘live’ music with you all again in the not-too-distant future.

Senior Music Ensembles for the rest of Term 2

Many ensembles have been rehearsing online these past few weeks, and I know both the Music staff and students are keen to see each other again ‘live’ next week. Please note that not all ensembles will resume immediately. The decision has been made not to resume choral rehearsals for the first 2 weeks, with a review of that decision by 5 June. Most instrumental ensembles will resume and Ensemble Directors will be communicating rehearsal plans directly with ensemble members. Bulletin notices also will keep students and parents updated on rehearsal plans.

Thank you for your ongoing support of your young musicians and the endeavours of our Music staff to continue their music education.




Art Matters

The annual Year 7 – 11 exhibition is currently on display in the Visual Art & Design space. The works on display showcase student artworks made over the past year and for the first time ever the exhibition can now be viewed on our online portal for all to enjoy, so make sure you check it out.

Annual Exhibition 




Community Matters

National Volunteer Week

This week is National Volunteer Week and to celebrate we wanted to thank all of our valuable volunteers within the Tintern community.
Our volunteers assist within many areas of Tintern Grammar, from our School Board, assembly speakers, community groups, Fair volunteers, annual event volunteers, fundraiser groups, current students, alumni, current parents, past parents and staff. Our strong sense of community is what truly sets Tintern Grammar apart and we are grateful for your support.

National Volunteer Week

This week is National Volunteer Week and to celebrate we wanted to thank all of our valuable volunteers within the Tintern community. Our volunteers assist within many areas of Tintern Grammar, from our School Board, assembly speakers, community groups, Fair volunteers, annual event volunteers, fundraiser groups, current students, alumni, current parents, past parents and staff. Our strong sense of community is what truly sets Tintern Grammar apart and we are grateful for your support.

Posted by Tintern Grammar on Tuesday, 19 May 2020


Tintern Parent Group – 2020 AGM

Don’t forget the TPG AGM is to be held tonight online. To join the meeting login here on from 7.15pm, remember that this includes video and audio:

To enter the meeting via audio only, call 03 7018 2005 and enter Meeting ID: 892 176 621.

All parents are welcome to attend and be a part of the Tintern Parent Group. We look forward to seeing you online at the AGM.

Please click here to download the Agenda and the Nomination form.  

Tintern Old Girls Association (TOGA) AGM

Thank you to all those who attended the Tintern Old Girls Association AGM on Thursday 30 April, including three new members.

We are very appreciative of the time and expertise the volunteers of TOGA give to support our Community, many of whom have been members for many years. Their dedication and commitment to the many Alumni events has been greatly appreciated.

A special thank you to Carol Robertson (Hogan, YG 1980), who has been re-elected as President for the 12th year. Carol is a regular contributor at all of our Reunions and we are grateful to have her support for another year.

A thank you to Jenny Brown (YG 1981) who is celebrating her 14th year of dedicating her time and skill to manage the portfolios for the Nancy Lancaster Fund, Life Members Fund and the General TOGA account, and is continuing on the Committee.

Congratulations also to Life Governor Lynne Franke (Bernadou YG 1958) who is celebrating her 30th Year on the TOGA Committee.

From Left: Carol Robertson, Jenny Brown and Lynne Franke


Tintern Grammar Community Business Listing

To further support our strong community and fellowship, Tintern Grammar is establishing a Community Business Register.

We understand that the constantly changing situation with Covid-19 has impacted businesses across our community, therefore if you are currently reshaping your business model to accommodate the changing landscape or simply wanting to share new business offers, you can now join our business register by filling out our online form –https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LLS3K25

We look forward to supporting your business.

Working With Children Check

Tintern Grammar requires all volunteers to have a current Working With Children Check (WWCC). Our volunteers are a vital part of our Community, whether a member of one of sour Community groups, or assisting at an event If you are intending to volunteer at Tintern in the future:

If you have a current WWCC

If you don’t have a current WWCC

  • Applying as a Volunteer is free and easy. You can register online here.
  • Please ensure you register as a volunteer of Tintern Grammar, and include any other organizations at which you volunteer.
  • When completed, send the confirmation through to us at communityrelations@tintern.vic.edu.au by Tuesday 26 May 2020.


Online Parent Group Catch Ups

With the current Social Distancing requirements it has been almost impossible for our parents to catch up. Some of our Parent Representatives have been organizing online meet ups via Zoom, House Party, Whats App or any number of other social apps. Look out for communications regarding any year level catch ups for your class.

Although this looks very different to the dinners, morning teas and mini golf sessions that many were planning at the beginning of the year, it is equally important that as parents and guardians you stay connected with each other, as well as your children stay connected with their school and friends.

Please remember if you hear of any distress, concerns or questions within your year level, please do not hesitate to let your immediate class room teacher/pastoral mentor know or feel welcome to reach out directly to your Head of School. If you are not sure, you are always welcome to call or email me as well (dlacey@tintern.vic.edu.au or 9845 7893). I am working both from home and in the office so any messages left on my phone will be received, so please feel free to leave me a message if you do prefer to phone in.

We still have a number of junior school year groups along with the Year 12 cohort, who do not have ‘official’ parent reps. If you have a son or daughter these years please let me know if you, or someone you know could help out, or you may know of someone already doing the role.













As they saying goes “We are all in this together” so please do not hesitate to reach out if you need.


Community Committee Dates 

Please note that due to Tintern moving to online teaching in response to the Covid19 virus, all Community Group Meetings will be held online.

Further information will be provided.

  • Tintern Parent Group (TPG) –Next meeting: Tuesday 19 May 2020  President: Haidee Wallace Zoom: Click here to join meeting Password: TPG
  • Friends of Music (FOM) – Next Meeting: Monday 10 June 2020  President: Debra Fryer Zoom:  Click here to join Meeting   Password: FOM
  • Friends of Young Farmers (FOYF) – Next Meeting: Monday 15 June 2020  President: Michael Biggs Zoom:  Click here to join Meeting   Password: FOYF
  • Friends of Equestrian (FOE) – Next Meetings: TBC 

Upcoming Reunions:

  • YG 2015 5 Year Reunion – Postponed to Friday 28 August, pending restrictions, offsite
    • This event may be postponed depending on Government regulations.

Community Group Fundraising

Entertainment Books – Now Valid for 12 Months

We are thrilled to announce that Entertainment is going 100% digital. New Entertainment Memberships that we know and love, will only be available via our App from next season onward. Excitingly this means that you Membership is valid for 12 months from the date of activation

With many new offers and all the old favourites the value of this book is incredible!

You can purchase a membership now, for yourself, friend or family member, and activate at any time over the next 6 months (extended from 60 days). You then have 12 months to take full advantage of the many wonderful offers!

You can purchase Woolworths Wish e-vouchers for a 5% discount. Whether purchasing to do your weekly groceries, shopping at Big W, or stocking up on Essentials at BWS, Cellarmasters or Dan Murphy’s, or even getting petrol at Woolworths Caltex, the savings can add up:

Please click here to order your Entertainment book from Tintern Grammar. Instantly purchase and access a digital membership which can then be used on two separate devices.

Please contact Community Relations on 9845 7877 for further information.

All proceeds raised go towards the fundraising for the TPG!





Sport Matters

House Run Challenge Update

Our Senior students have now made it to the finish line in Perth, running across Australia via STRAVA in just two weeks, a wonderful effort.

But the journey isn’t over just yet….view the video below to see what is next for our student runners.


Senior College News

The Resilience Project

This term Tintern hosted an online information evening for Middle School and Senior College families with Hugh van Cuylenberg from The Resilience Project.

We were pleased to have over 150 parents attend the online event where Hugh provided a number of simple strategies for parents and students to implement gratitude, empathy and mindfulness – the core principles of The Resilience Project. Hugh also discussed the importance of practising and implementing key strategies as a family to build resilience and drive sustainable change.

If you missed this session or would like further information, you can now access The Resilience Project at home here 

Parent & Guardian Information 

Welcome parents & carers. We hope these resources will help you to continue to support the positive mental health of your child/children.

TRP @ Home has been designed to provide families with easy to implement learning activities and digital content linked to the The Resilience Projects key principles; Gratitude, Empathy, Mindfulness & Emotional Literacy (See below for further details on the principles).  These principles are simple to implement and are supported by research that shows practising them everyday will help you feel happier and more resilient. 

TRP recommends that you demonstrate the GEM principles at home as often as you can, if you practice these principles as part of your daily routine they will become a habit, making them a habit will improve your happiness and resilience. We also think it is a great way to facilitate positive conversations as your family shares a meal either in the morning, afternoon or evening. 

To help you talk about emotions and feelings please download and print the emotions sheet. You will use these in some activities and they can be a useful tool to assist young people talk about how they are feeling.

Emotions Sheet
The Resilience Project principles: 
Gratitude – Paying attention to the things that we have right now, and not worrying about what we don’t have. We practise this by noticing the positives that exist around us. 

Empathy – Putting ourselves in the shoes of others to feel and see what they do. We practice this through being kind and compassionate towards other people.

Mindfulness – Our ability to be calm and present at any given moment. We practice this through slowing down and concentrating on one thing at a time. This could be our breathing, completing a colouring sheet or noticing the noises we can hear. 

Emotional Literacy – Our ability to label our emotions as we experience them. Labelling our emotions helps us to manage our emotions (soften negative emotions and find positive emotions). We practice this by labelling our emotions as we experience different parts of our day.



Girls’ Middle School News

Remote learning has certainly brought  some trials with it; however, it has also required ingenuity, creativity and resourcefulness of both students and staff.

On Monday 11 May we had our next GEM day (Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness). Being online added an extra element of challenge but also provided some new opportunities as well. In this time of isolation our ability to connect with each other is critical to helping to maintain positive mental health. The activities throughout the day were a mixture of restful mindfulness, consideration for others and taking time to check in on how we and others are going. We provided much needed space for our girls to talk with each other and their mentor staff in a more relaxed setting than formal classes. Each year level shared their highs and lows of this time of isolation, which was beautifully showcased by our Year 9 girls who created a tourism video for their backyard holiday.  These humorous videos highlighted the importance of helping our students to find joy in this challenging time.

Our Year 7 girls focused on the ‘Something for me, something for you’ approach. They  completed a mindfulness task to improve their mental health, and then an activity that was a positive for someone else such as helping around the home, phoning someone who could be lonely or writing a letter of appreciation. Click here to read two of our Year 7 student reflections of the day.

In Year 8 students had a day revolving around the Compass value of Compassion. It included viewing some good news stories that have come out of the COVID-19 crisis, and capturing in a photo what compassion looks like in our current world.  This was then cemented into an activity with baking for our family or neighbours and writing a letter of thanks and gratitude to someone in our lives or the community.

In Year 9 GEM we had a yoga session, an interactive presentation from Elephant Ed and then students designed and baked amazing cupcakes which were judged in the categories of artistic, creative, delicious and inventive. They were then encouraged to distribute these cupcakes to their family and neighbours (whilst observing social distancing rules) to share some positivity with our community.

In order to lift our spirits, we decided to declare Wednesday 15 May 15 as ‘Heroes Day’ and students were asked to dress up as their favourite superhero. Students could either choose a traditional hero such as Wonder Woman, or a more ‘real-life’ hero such as an essential front line worker. Our MS leaders gave an inspiring speech about our real-life heroes that are serving us so faithfully at the moment, in particular honouring the sacrifice made by so many at the front line in terms of their own safety. It was so lovely to see so many of our girls and staff dressing up for the day. Our MS leaders also ran a live online assembly with the entire Girls’ Middle School which is no small feat. They are doing a wonderful job of encouraging and leading our girls to make the most of every opportunity during this time.

This coming week our Year 8 girls are having an online ‘incursion’ with Louise Merrington who wrote the gothic novel ‘Greythorne’ which is the Year 8 text for English. The girls will have a chance to hear Louise’s literary journey as well as ask questions about how to have a career as an author. In our Year 9 Health classes students will be having an online session called ‘Meet Your Neighbour’ with the company ‘Intersection’ as part of their study of homelessness in Australia. In the online session students will have the opportunity to hear first hand the struggles that a person who has been homeless faces and what we as a community can do to help.

We are all looking forward to our students returning to school and to a sense of normalcy for our young people. We have been helping our students to prepare both physically and mentally for this change, and expect there to be a time of transition when we return.  School will feel different whilst we continue to implement steps to help maintain social distancing and increase hygiene rules in order to keep us as safe as possible; however, the important thing to remember is that the key essence of school will remain the same. A place of learning and connection where kids have the space and opportunity to develop and grow.



Boys’ Middle School News

It is with a sense of excitement that I sit down to write this edition of Aspectus following the announcement of our plan to return to school in the coming weeks. Despite the enormous growth and development our boys have been through whilst adapting to the online learning environment, it is still comforting to know that in the not too distant future, we’ll be back at school and teaching and learning face-to-face with our students.

Throughout the last two weeks of school our boys have been kept busy, not just by their academic pursuits, but also by other key activities such as our GEM Day 2 and House Strava competition. Our GEM Days (Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness) are interspersed throughout the year to support our pastoral program and provide our students with an opportunity to strengthen their understanding of themselves, their mental and physical health, and their overall well-being.

GEM Day 2 provided the perfect opportunity of our boys to enjoy a mental health and well-being day during this time of remote learning by taking them out of their regular classes and engaging in a variety of different activities. Our Year 7 boys created gratitude walls at home with some students using chalk to illustrate their driveway, others using the more traditional means of paper and coloured pencils. Our Year 8s created time capsules to remember their experiences during COVID-19, wrote gratitude letters to our emergency services, exercised, and completed a variety of “home tasks” off a Challenge Matrix which included things such as learning how to fold clothes, make a coffee for mum/dad, tie a Windsor knot, plus lots more. Our Year 9 boys participated in an exercise session in the morning before rotating through a sex education session from an external provider and participating in the Great Biscuit Bake-Off. The sex education session was conducted over Zoom and provided a wonderful platform for our boys to engage in the conversation actively and safely, allowing a wonderful stream of questioning to be brought forward for clarification and discussion. The degree of anonymity that the meeting platform provided gave our boys the confidence to be asking questions that they “really” wanted answered. The Great Biscuit Bake-Off was the other challenge and this saw our boys competing Master Chef style against each other to bake and present the best-looking biscuits. There were many wonderful biscuit design and presentations from tools, to animals, to The Three Bears. However, in the end it was Daniel Feng who took out the overall prize with his biscuits beautifully encased by a sugar/toffee style birds nest.

Our House leaders continue to push our House Strava Challenge which has our boys and girls competing to see which House can accumulate the highest number of kilometres of walking, running and cycling during the month of May. Alongside this, our challenge as a whole school is to see if we can combine the kilometres to collectively make our way across to Perth – a total of 3420km. This has proved easier than we thought with this challenge being met before half-way, so subsequently we are now endeavouring to return to Melbourne before May 31. A huge thank you to all boys and girls who are involved.

On Wednesday 13 May we held a Heroes Day at school where we were asking our students to dress up in costume reflecting what or who they believe to be a hero to them. The tag line of “not all superheroes wear capes” was designed to encourage our students to recognise that as much as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc are traditionally seen “superheroes”, the current situation of COVID-19 has provided the opportunity for us to recognise the amazing work our current medical practitioners are doing on the frontline, as well as our emergency services, plus many others. It was wonderful to see on the screen so many firefighters, nurses, doctors and even parents – there were a number of boys who dressed up as their dad or described their mum as their hero.

With our return to school now imminent it is crucial that our boys understand and follow the guidelines that will be in place upon their return. Guidelines around hygiene, physical distancing (where possible), sport and physical activity, plus more will be in place, aimed at helping to keep both our students and staff as safe as we can when at school. I look forward to welcoming our boys back on site on Monday 25 May.



Year 7 Girls’ GEM Day

Year 7 GEM Day by Grace Boromeo

On Monday, the school had one of their once a term GEM Day, but it was a bit different. Normally, the students spend the day participating in several wellbeing activities instead of their regular classes, but this term GEM Day was held completely online! GEM Day is held once a term at Tintern, and it focuses on mental health and student wellbeing. GEM stands for Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness, and these days help teach us strategies on how to live more positively.

The Year 7 Girls took part in three fantastic sessions with their Pastoral Mentors and Year Level Co-ordinator. In Period 1, both classes did some meditation and mindfulness with Mrs Watkins. The teachers provided a wonderful range of videos and websites that were perfect for some mindfulness time.

After recess, we split into our pastoral classes and rotated through two activities. In Period 2, 7B did an activity with Mrs Jury called “Something for me, something for you.” We were encouraged to do something nice for someone else, and to give ourselves a treat as well. For “Something for me” lots of people painted their nails, did art and crafts, or did some exercise. For “Something for you”, students baked some treats, made a card, or called their friends to check in. This was my personal favourite session of the day!

In Period 3, 7B had a pastoral session with Ms Infanti. We all spent some time sharing our “Something for me, something for you” pictures with each other. Then we talked a bit about how we were finding isolation and Ms Infanti helped us see some of the positives of lockdown. We all found that we have a newfound appreciation of things that we used to often take for granted. 7A did the same activities with Mrs D’Souza.

After lunch, both classes had another quick check-in with our Pastoral Mentors. We then had Period 4 free to complete some other activities or homework. Everyone found GEM day really fun and beneficial. Especially with all of the stress and worry of isolation, it was great to slow down for a bit and take some time to be grateful for what we have.

The Year 7 Girls would just like to say thank you to Mrs Watkins, Ms Infanti, Mrs D’Souza and Mrs Jury for making GEM Day so amazing! We can’t wait to thank you in person.


Year 7 Gem Day by Matilda Bailye

GEM day was on Monday 11 of May. In case you didn’t know what GEM Day was it’s a day where you do lots of different activities relating to Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness. As we are all at home and doing school online due to Covid-19, GEM Day was a bit different. This is a little view of what 7B and 7A did on GEM Day.

On Monday we didn’t have to get up as early as the classes started at 9:00am. Once everyone had joined the online call, the teachers went through how the day was going to run. Our first activity was to either do a yoga/mindfulness activity or if you had a bit more energy, a small workout. I chose to do a workout as I had some energy in me.

After recess 7A and 7B went into their own class groups. What we did was an activity where you made/did something for yourself and for someone else. So as an example, what you could do for yourself was paint your nails, go for a bike ride, wash your dog or do your hair. And to do something for someone else you could do the vacuuming, bake them something or even tidy a cupboard. What I did was I went for a bike ride down to our local supermarket and got some supplies to bake something for my family. I made some choc chip cookies with white and milk choc chips.

In period 3 as a class we all talked about what we did, and then we talked about gratitude, empathy and mindfulness. Then we had our lunch break.

After lunch was period 4 where we had the time to organise our desk, tidy your room or do your homework. It was a time to get yourself organised. What I did in that time was I finished my homework and then tided up my bedroom.

And that’s what the Year 7s did for GEM Day. I really liked GEM Day as it was something a bit different from the normal day of online school. It was the best day whilst doing online school.



Junior School News

Gratitude Week

This week the Girls’ Junior School have celebrated a week of gratitude for those superheros in our community.  A few highlights include the girls making paper flowers and dropping them off to community workers, footpath drawings, cards for postal workers and plans for future messages of thanks to our cleaners for when we return to school. After studying the Banksy piece of art, we discussed who the modern superheroes were and girls were invited to come dressed up as a superhero who inspires them!




Bedtime Stories with Mr Kenny

This Term our Junior School students took part in online bedtime stories hosted by Mr Kenny, as he read a book every week to the students before bed and had a special guest say goodnight, watch the video below as you may recognise a few familiar faces.



ELC News

Inquiry Based Learning – Rainbow Curiosities

It is not about the answer, but the process…

Over the last two weeks we have delved into an inquiry learning experience based on the children’s interest around rainbows. An inquiry-based teaching approach allows children to ask factual and exploratory questions created from personal interests. The teacher will support children to theorise, hypothesise, and wonder as well as provide opportunities for children to become more confident and autonomous problem solvers and thinkers.   


The Beginning

As we observed the children in their everyday learning we noticed a common interest and curiosity about the rainbows that appeared in our classroom through the windows. With the children, we started researching about how rainbows are formed and investigating what they already know.

By questioning the children, we found out their rainbow knowledge base.

“Rain and sun make a rainbow,” said Jessie.

However, this is not the case for the rainbows in our room, so I have been challenging the children’s thinking.

“How can there be a rainbow when there is no rain outside?”

This was the beginning of the rainbow investigation and without giving them the answer to the question, I wanted them to research and come up with their own theories as to how and why we had rainbows in our classroom.


Our First Small Group Project Work

The children researched how a rainbow is formed, then with perfect timing a rainbow appeared just above us. Before we are able to deepen our understanding of rainbows, we needed to find out what we already knew and use this as our basis. We used the coloured disks on the light table to make our own rainbows. The children focused on ordering the colours, using a rainbow as their guide. The children reflected upon past experiences, commenting how they learned rainbows were in fact circular and if you mix colours at the painting easel you can make new colours (primary and secondary colours).  

Having had discussions about rainbows with the children, we then had the opportunity to not only listen to their thoughts and curiosities, but provide the children with ways to unpack their ideas, challenge their thinking, create new theories and brainstorm potential learning pathways.


Extending Their Learning

Below are some of the questions and the children’s answers to our inquiry learning sessions.

How is a rainbow formed?

Xavier, “It has glass and water and then the sun comes through the glass and makes a rainbow.”

Zac, “When there is sun and rain. The rain comes down and hits the tree leaves and then they fall off the glass and make a rainbow.”

Abigail, “Rainbows come out when the sun and rain come out.”

How do rainbows get their colours?

Harriet, “They get their colours from the sky.”

Jessie, “They get their colour from the rain colour and the sky colour, then the rest of the colours from the flowers.”

Max, “People get a bucket and catch the rainbow and that’s how we make all the colours.”

Through this inquiry approach and building on the answers above, we will supply the children with a range of experiences to support their learning. Over the next few weeks we are interested to see whether their knowledge about rainbow deepens or changes.



Alex Zaccaria (YG 2006)

Congratulations to Alumnus Alex Zaccaria (YG 2006) on reaching the milestone of five million users on his online platform Linktree, Alex recently spoke to our students at the Founder’s Service earlier this year.

Co-founded by Alex, his brother Anthony and friend Nick Humphreys, Linktree allows users to add a link in their social media bio to direct friends and fans to multiple pages. Linktree counts the likes of Alicia Keys, Selena Gomez, Gary Vee, Elizabeth Warren and even Greenpeace as clients.