21 Jul 2020

From the Principal

Gratitude and Appreciation

In times of stress, anxiety, or concern, it is the nature of humans to protect ourselves and our families, to ‘put up the shutters’ and understandably focus on ourselves from a care and safety perspective.

The current environment dominated by COVID-19 has impacted many, particularly economically and has expressed itself as an increase in savings in some family bank accounts where possible, decreasing credit card debt and a risk averse approach to matters financial. This has been the case across the world, and as we all know people whose circumstances have been affected financially, makes good sense in terms of personal risk management.

The above means that the selfless actions by so many in our community in giving to others at this time is even more amazing. Across our broader community the spirit of philanthropy has shown a level of generosity that speaks loudly and clearly of our community’s commitment to its values and to each other.

Over 15% of our families returned part or all of the Term 2 fee rebate, contributing to the Tintern Grammar Bursary account. These gifts enabled the School to support those families in dire circumstances and eased the pressure on the Schools operating budget, which would have otherwise contributed all the family support.

Similarly, the support that families, staff, Board members and Alumni have offered the Annual Giving has been astonishing. The vast majority of gifts have been towards the Tintern Grammar Bursary, or Scholarship Endowment funds. Both these are entirely about other people, not buildings, gardens, or even solar power, they are about people. Amazingly, during one of the most difficult times in recent human history, the greatest generosity ever has been shown in Annual Giving, both in number of donors, and in dollars donated, and those families and students who will benefit, both now and in the future, thank you.

I must say I find it difficult to adequately express my own gratitude to everyone who has contributed to both these. I offer my deepest thanks, both for their support of what we stand for as a community, and on behalf of those families they have helped. It has been heart-warming to hear and read the thanks of those families we have all been able to support and I am not afraid to say that during some of the difficult times over the last three or four months, they have been a source of comfort and buoyancy for me.

Whether we consider these actions in terms of our Compass Values, or our commitment to each other as a community, or simply as wonderful examples of Factis non Verbis (Deeds not Words), they show how caring and how strong our sense of community is.

Thank you,



Curriculum Matters

July Curriculum Matters

Welcome back to Semester Two after a most unusual Semester One! I sincerely hope everyone in our community, especially our students, found some much-needed time to rest and re-energise during their holiday break. I know the staff certainly appreciated the break after what was a term of much challenge for us all on so many levels.

Secondary Semester Reports were distributed early in the holidays through the school portal and these gave our students the opportunity to reflect on the feedback received from teachers and to gain insights to help them rise to the challenges of their upcoming coursework and end-of-year assessments.

During the coming week, Pastoral Mentors in the secondary school will be leading students through a self-reflection process. Students will set goals based on their Semester One reporting feedback and will acknowledge what they have done well, alongside the areas of their work which still need improvement. These self-reflections provide the students with a focus as to the way forward with their learning and also serve to provide teachers with some insights into students’ own understandings of their learning. These are powerful tools for encouraging a growth mindset within our student body. 

Our staff undertook a similar process on the final staff day of Term Two, where they reflected on their own achievements during Semester One. Never have we had such an intense period of Professional Learning as the one we experienced at the end of Term One, when we were all thrown into the deep end of the technology pool and had to very quickly acquire skills and learn how to ‘swim’ (aka teach online!).

On our staff day, our teachers reflected on elements of our teaching and school practice which changed during remote learning and pondered ways of working online which they have found improved their teaching and assessment practices. We all learned new ways of providing online feedback to students, many of which we are planning to retain and further develop.

Staff were asked to share what attributes of students surprised them during remote learning (most were pleasant surprises) and what elements of their own responses and feelings towards the situation satisfied them. One of the most oft-repeated responses was an expression of pride and surprise in their own resilience in coping with the challenges we faced and the wonderful sense of collegiality as staff rallied around to support each other and our students. Some staff had stronger technology skills than others at the outset of this experience and willingly shared and coached colleagues to ensure that everyone was able to move forward at their own pace, whilst utilizing their recently acquired skills to ensure the best learning outcomes for our students. 

The ability of our students and staff to participate and, for the most part, thrive in these recent unexpected learning cycles so openly, positively and collaboratively is a marker which sets up our school to continue to develop a culture of learning which encourages growth, tolerance and greater understandings in all of our classroom experiences, both onsite and online.

Subject Selection Showcase, 23 July (online)

Parents are reminded that the Subject Showcase Evening for Years 9 and 10 will take place this Thursday 23 July. This will be an online Teams event this year. Details of the event will be sent to parents via email today.

Normally, Year 9 students and families are invited to attend a special information session at school. This presentation is available behind the Subject Showcase tile. Families should view this prior to the start of the interactive sessions which start at 5.00pm on Thursday.

For Year 10s, there are four Maths and four English subjects available and the overview videos on the portal should be viewed prior to Thursday to provide guidance with subject selection in those areas. All individual senior subjects on offer next year are outlined behind their respective tiles and subject teachers will be available to answer specific subject-related questions at the Showcase on Thursday evening. We invite you and your child to attend and hear specific details about the various VCE and VET subjects on offer in Senior College.

As in previous years, subject selection will be made on-line. This year, that process will commence on Saturday 25 July and will close at 6pm on Sunday 2 August. All students attended online interactive Subject Selection Assemblies last week, where they were given instructions on how to follow this process.

Students will receive a personal message via their Tintern email account on the evening of 24 July with a link to the on-line subject selection portal.

Course Guides and Handbooks are available behind the ELC – Year 12 Handbooks tile.

The Showcase Evening mentioned above will assist students to select the most suitable pathway and subject choices for 2021. Individual teachers and our Careers Consultants are available to assist with this process throughout the evening. Please read the instructions in your invitation email carefully, so you know how to access staff on the night.               

Parents are reminded that it is not possible to meet all student preferences during the subject allocation process, due to the constraints of timetabling and blocking based on an overview of all students’ choices.

Student-Parent-Teacher Conferences

Please stay tuned for further information about our upcoming Student-Parent-Teacher Conferences which will, of necessity, need to take place in an online platform this term. We have almost finalised plans for these and look forward to meeting with both students and parents to discuss your child’s progress.



Sport Matters

National Junior Racing Series 

With COVID-19 restrictions in place community sport has been in hiatus however, cycling has moved to the virtual world. Year 11 Student Mitchell McGovern has continued to train and race in the National Junior Racing Series on the RGT platform.  Mitchell raced in the JM19 age group on the Buninyong Course for Round 4, which is used for the National Championships each year. He rode away from the field on the final climb and won by over a minute on the rest of the field.  This follows up his second place by 5sec in Round 2 on the iconic Paterberg Course in Belgium.

Whilst it is not the same as racing out on the open road, the virtual racing has provided a great opportunity to race with other cyclists around Australia and keep them motivated while restrictions are in place. 

Click here to read the National Junior Racing Series – Round 2 Recap. 

Click here to read the National Junior Racing Series – Round 4 Recap. 


Friends of Equestrian – School Holiday Clinics

During the Term 2 holidays the Equestrian Team were fortunate enough to be able to attend two clinics with some exceptional coaches. The first clinic was held on Friday 26 June. It was a pure dressage clinic, held by an Australian German based rider, Caroline Wagner. Caroline competes in Grand Prix Dressage around the world. Tintern Equestrian Team were very lucky to be able to have such an experienced rider guide us. We had a very good turnout with multiple riders from all different levels coming and riding with us.

The second clinic was held on Wednesday 1 July at Pony Club Victoria State Equestrian Centre. This clinic was held by Murray Lampard, an elite level Eventer who competes at 5*. Murray has competed in both Australia and Europe for Eventing. We started the day with group dressage lessons, which every one felt was a very beneficial follow up from our dressage clinic earlier that week. In the afternoon, we had group cross country lessons which were so much fun because most riders had not been able to go on cross county recently from the rainy weather. The riders who didn’t feel up to riding on cross country yet were given the opportunity to ride in a poles lesson.

Overall, both clinics were a huge success which I’m sure every rider learnt something from.

Thank you also to Caroline and Pete Wagner for gifting the riders a voucher for 15% goods at Wagner Saddlery.

Ella Trevorrow
Equestrian Captain 2020



Free Community Coaching Webinar – Basketball Victoria

To register contact rob.coulter@basketballvictoria.com.au 


Music Matters

Alumna, Penelope Thwaites, releases new CD

One of our internationally esteemed alumna and an inaugural inductee into our Avenue of Excellence, Penelope Thwaites AM, has just released a recording of premiere performances of some of her finest choral and vocal compositions; one of these being our own School Psalm No. 121, which she wrote for the school in 1964. The press release from SOMM Recordings describes some of the outstanding features of the recording and a glowing review appeared in the April edition of Classical Music April 2020.

Ms Penelope Thwaites was a student at Tintern from 1953-1960, School Pianist from 1958 to 1960 and a member of the Madrigal Group in 1958 and 1959. After leaving Tintern, in recognition of Miss Constance Wood’s completion of 25 years of service as Headmistress and in her honour, Ms Thwaites composed the music for a setting of Psalm 121: ‘I will lift mine eyes unto the hills’. This was first performed at the Annual Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in October 1964 and remains the Tintern Grammar Psalm to this day.

Ms Thwaites has performed and broadcast in over 25 countries on five continents. She has appeared as soloist with leading orchestras in Britain, Australia, Europe and America. She is a committed protagonist for Australian composers, often including Australian repertoire in her programs. She was appointed to the Order of Australia (AM) in 2001 for services to Australian music.

 If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this Ms Thwaites’ album, it can be ordered as a CD to be delivered from the UK or as a downloadable compilation (7 choices of format) through https://somm-recordings.com/recording/penelope-thwaites-from-five-continents/


IB Music Recital

The Tintern Music Department has managed to find alternate ways to host events and provide opportunities for students during the COVID-19 periods of isolation. During online learning, assemblies were pre-recorded and could be accessed via links. Concerts, such as the Annual Piano Concerts, were able to take place remotely, where the audience viewed recordings of performances. So, despite the circumstances, we found a way forward, safely and responsibly. The same applied to the IB Recital this year, which was held on 17 June, albeit a bit differently.

Every year, the IB Recital showcases the prepared works of the Year 12s in the IB Music class, and their performances are sent to the IBO for assessment. The IB Recital is also an opportunity to introduce the Year 11s of the IB Class, who each perform one solo piece. The concert had always taken place in the evening in front of an audience of teachers, parents and friends. Obviously, the audience and timing were different this year.

A live concert took place at 1:30pm on Wednesday 17 June. Instead of a few hundred people viewing the concert live, only around 20 people viewed the concert – this time consisting of teachers with spare periods, and invited classmates of the performers, all socially distanced, of course.

The concert consisted of solo performances by each Year 12 student – Ashleigh Dowling, Zoë Forbes and Clarisse Liew. Each prepared approximately 20 minutes of solo pieces and ensemble works. The students’ programs were diverse, ranging from many musical periods and styles, from Baroque to Jazz; each performance was a considerable feat in its own right, and each demonstrated impressive technical skills and musicality.

There were so many people involved in making the concert possible. The IB Music class would like to extend a vote of thanks to all of the teachers and students who came to view the concert, and those involved in the set-up, such as the amazing IT Department which helped with the recording and streaming of the concert. The members of the IB Music class also extend their thanks to the performers involved in ensemble pieces, as well as the dedicated and skilful music teachers at Tintern and beyond. Finally, we would like to say a special thank you to Ms Bortolussi, our class teacher. Without her tireless efforts in improving each student and refining each performance, all with patience and finesse, the IB Recital would not have been possible.

Joshua Choong, Year 11 IB Music student

School Pianist 2020


Senior Piano Concert

By the time the Annual Piano Concert for senior students occurred, most students had already experienced a few weeks away from school, undertaking online learning via Microsoft Teams. Due to everything which had been going on – social distancing, banning of public gatherings and self-isolation – many concerts and events had to be cancelled. However, thanks to the perseverance of music students and teachers, as well as the brilliant Tintern IT Department, it was possible to get the first ever Virtual Tintern Piano Concert up and running.

After a Junior Piano Concert at 5.00pm, the evening continued with a Senior Piano Concert at 7.00pm. In order to perform during the evening, each student recorded their piece at home, and drop boxed it onto the school portal. Students from years 7-12 submitted their recordings, with a variety of genres of piano pieces whose origins ranged across hundreds of years. Some of the pieces included more contemporary works such as Mission Impossible, Jurassic Park, I Dreamed a Dream and Mad World. Others included pieces written by the greats: Debussy, Oscar Peterson, Beethoven and Bach. Each piece was played amazingly so, despite the less-than-ideal virtual meeting, the audience were able to appreciate the work and passion of each performer.

The virtual concert was not without its difficulties, however. During one of the performances, a blackout occurred at the home of our Head of Keyboard, Ms McKenzie, whilst she was hosting and running the concert! Nevertheless, through the versatility of the music teachers, as well as help from the IT Staff, we were able to overcome this hurdle, and still experience an enjoyable concert.

For the concert finale, the two current School Pianists, Sarah and Josh each contributed excellent performances. Josh played a jazzy arrangement of a song by the Beatles that left the audience charmed. As the concert’s final piece, the 1st movement of Bach’s Partita in C minor was played skilfully by Sarah. Then, in keeping with current hygiene regulations, a ‘Coronavirus Etude’ was played, where the keys were gracefully wiped down with a sanitary tissue. Thus, concluded the Annual Piano Concert – held a little differently this year; the high standard of music that was played once again reflecting the resilience, versatility and perseverance of music students and staff alike.

Joshua Choong and Sarah Chen

School Pianists 2020


Music Camp and Annual Concert

 Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to run our much-loved Annual Music Camp this year. At this stage, our Annual Concert, due to be held on 7 August, also has been postponed until further notice.




Community Matters

Welcome to Term 3, 2020

Welcome to Term 3. The Community Relations team hope you were able to enjoy time with family and friends before the lockdown commenced. Term 3 this year will be different to any before, with the cancellation of many events both at Tintern and within the wider community. We hope to offer some virtual community events; please watch the newsletter and Facebook for further information. 

Our Community groups are still hard at work, planning for the future, and ways to support our Community. If you would like to get involved with any of our community groups please contact Di Lacey in the Community Relations Office on 9845 7877 or communityrelations@tintern.vic.edu.au

Here is a look back at some of the events from Term 3, 2019:

Friends of Equestrian – School Holiday Clinics

During the Term 2 holidays the Equestrian Team were fortunate enough to be able to attend two clinics with some exceptional coaches. The first clinic was held on Friday 26 June. It was a pure dressage clinic, held by an Australian German based rider, Caroline Wagner. Caroline competes in Grand Prix Dressage around the world. Tintern Equestrian Team were very lucky to be able to have such an experienced rider guide us. We had a very good turnout with multiple riders from all different levels coming and riding with us.

The second clinic was held on Wednesday 1 July at Pony Club Victoria State Equestrian Centre. This clinic was held by Murray Lampard, an elite level Eventer who competes at 5*. Murray has competed in both Australia and Europe for Eventing. We started the day with group dressage lessons, which every one felt was a very beneficial follow up from our dressage clinic earlier that week. In the afternoon, we had group cross country lessons which were so much fun because most riders had not been able to go on cross county recently from the rainy weather. The riders who didn’t feel up to riding on cross country yet were given the opportunity to ride in a poles lesson.

Overall, both clinics were a huge success which I’m sure every rider learnt something from.

Thank you also to Caroline and Pete Wagner for gifting the riders a voucher for 15% goods at Wagner Saddlery.

Ella Trevorrow
Equestrian Captain 2020

Select here to visit the FOE Portal Page.

Presentation Ball Cancellation for 2020

It is with great disappointment that we inform you the 2020 Presentation Ball will now be cancelled as we do not foresee the restrictions opening up sufficiently to run this event. It is our primary responsibility to make choices which keep our students, staff and families safe.

Social distancing rules and new enforced restrictions make it impossible to proceed with the dancing instructions scheduled to start on 23 July. In addition, the 4m2 rule only permits 140 visitors in the Grand Hall of the Ivanhoe Centre, hence allowing only 1 guest per participant, which we know is not a suitable ratio and defeats the purpose of ‘Presenting’ to your friends and families.

We can also not be certain if the permitted guest numbers will be suitable in time for the Ball. As you know from our previous lockdown the guest number allowance moved slowly once the restrictions were lifted. Numbers started with 20, 50 and then moved to 100 and we are assuming, this will again be the case once these restrictions lift. 

We have looked at the possibility of delaying the date, however, we do note that approximately two thirds of the participants are completing a Unit 3/4 subject and now the exams have been pushed out there is no suitable date to suit.

You will have the opportunity to participate in 2021 with your 2021 Year 11 cohort, or, if the numbers support, we will offer a second back to back night for the 2021 Year 12 group. Communication will be circulated early 2021 to gauge your interest.

 All monies paid were refunded on Monday 13 July. 

We understand this is not ideal, as you have already experienced a year of disappointments and cancellations.

Please know this decision was not made lightly and with the health and safety of all those involved paramount. 

Please do not hesitate to contact Di Lacey in the Community Relations office if you have any further queries.

Tintern Grammar Community Business Listing

To further support our strong community and fellowship, Tintern Grammar has established a Community Business Directory. You can view the current listings here,  we invite you to support these local businesses.

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 here

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 11 August President: Haidee Wallace Zoom: Click here to join meeting Password: TPG
  • Friends of Music (FOM) – Next Meeting: Wednesday 19 August President: Debra Fryer Zoom:  Click here to join Meeting   Password: FOM
  • Friends of Young Farmers (FOYF) – Next Meeting: Monday 27 July 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 9 October, pending restrictions, offsite- Book Here
    • This event may be postponed depending on Government regulations.

Community Group Fundraising

Entertainment Books

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!




Senior College

From the Head of Senior College

There has been plenty happening in the Senior College as students have returned refreshed following the three week break. Students have begun new units and subjects and are appreciative of the opportunity to learn on-site despite the current Stage 3 restrictions. Last week I was fortunate to view our Year 12 Drama, Theatre Studies and IB Theatre students perform their ensemble ‘Conflict and Harmony’ which was a wonderful, thought provoking performance; I congratulate the students on their performance and Min Quirillo for her work to support her students in putting this piece together.

From Thursday this week we will see face masks/coverings become compulsory for students to wear at school (as it is for the whole community when they leave their house). I have sent a communication to students this afternoon that outlines further information regarding this. On Thursday 23 and 30 and Friday 24 and 31 Year 10 students will be learning remotely as per Mr Fry’s email last week. I look forward to receiving feedback from students, parents and staff about this arrangement.

Subject Selections for 2020

Year 10 and Year 11 students are currently making decisions about what subjects they will be studying next year and on Thursday 23 July we welcome students and parent to our online ‘Subject Showcase Evening’ to further assist this decision making process. Our Director of Studies, Alison Bezaire has emailed parents about this evening with details on how to join us. All students have received training and advice on making their online selections which closes on Sunday 2 August  so that our school timetabler can commence the intricate process of developing the 2020 secondary timetable.

School Uniform

A reminder to students and parents/guardians that students are required to wear full school Winter Uniform at this time of the year. With the only exception being Wednesday’s when complete correct sports uniform can be worn. The School Blazer must be worn to and from school with full school Winter Uniform. Full Winter Uniform is required to be worn until September 1 when either full Summer Uniform OR full Winter Uniform can be worn – but not a mixture of the two.



Middle School News

Well this wasn’t what we were thinking!

We were expecting to see everyone’s faces back on site smiling, learning in the classrooms, playing in the playground, etc. Remote learning was something that we thought was hopefully a thing of the past, something we dealt with earlier in the year – and dealt with really well by the way. Who would’ve thought that we would have to push “repeat” on this all over again. The plus this time around is that we are very familiar with how it works, we have tweaked the way we do things from a school’s perspective and with the commitment of both students and staff I am confident that we will once again succeed in this challenging environment.

Despite being at home for their learning there has still been plenty of things happening virtually and/or behind the scenes for our students. On Wednesday last week our girls and boys had an assembly hosted by our Director of Curriculum outlining the subject selection process for next year. For our Year 7 & 8 students, this was focussing on which electives they were keen to study next year after listening to a number of staff talk about their particular subjects on offer. In Year 8 & 9 students select one elective subject per semester from a wide variety of options. These choices are highly guided by interest of the students and range from performing arts, visual arts, cooking, IT, commerce, physical education, plus more. For our current Year 9s the assembly introduced them to our suite of Year 10 electives as well as the idea of beginning a VCE/VET Unit 1/2 subject in Year 10. Students have the ability to complete two subjects per semester and were also introduced to each subject on offer by different staff. The process of subject selection will begin on Saturday 25 July and will close on Sunday 2 August. More details will come soon regarding the next steps.

With EISM Sport and organised activities not currently running, our sports department have a number of different opportunities for our students to get involved in. These have been advertised on the Student Bulletin and I would encourage those who are interested to check them out. The first is a basketball top design competition in conjunction with Basketball Victoria, AND1 and Spalding, whilst the second is a basketball coaching course session on Wednesday 22 July run via Zoom. Students are encouraged to follow the links to these opportunities if they are interested.

During our first remote learning experience earlier in the year we provided lots of information to our students around looking after themselves and looking out for each other. Tintern’s pastoral care program and the dedication of our staff will ensure we continue to monitor and support our students through the second round of remote learning. From a parent’s perspective there are a few key things that you can do to help your child/children:

  • Talk to them openly about it and listen to them. Engage in appropriate discussion with them about the virus, the impact on community, the risks, the necessary precautions, etc. Ask them what they know or think about it – you may find the opportunity to allay any fears or misconceptions they may have.
  • Manage your own anxiety. Children will pick up on your anxiety and levels of stress, as much as they will from your positive energy. Utilise your own support network of friends, families, the school, etc. and be sure you’re feeling calm when talking to your children about it.
  • Reassure them. They will be worried about their safety and that of their loved ones. Reassure them that most children who get the virus show mild symptoms. Reassure them that the current stay at home restrictions are designed to help prevent the spread, particularly to older and more vulnerable adults.
  • Reinforce good hygiene habits. Continue to reinforce the habits of washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water regularly such as after playing outside, before eating, after sneezing or coughing, after going to the toilet etc.
  • Maintain routines. This is important for all teenagers and adults alike. Do your best to maintain consistency in sleep patterns, meals, family rituals, etc. You may need to create some new ones whilst in remote learning, so be creative and have fun!
  • Screen time concerns. Understand that screen time will increase to some degree for all children. It is how they will be doing their learning, it is also how they will be connecting with their friends. Allow them the opportunities to do this, just make sure it is at appropriate times and that screens are turned off well before sleep time.
  • Share positive stories. Children can be motivated by stories of acts of kindness. Always look for stories to show them about compassion, generosity, kindness, etc. This could be current health care workers, scientists, etc.

There a many great websites available with lots of information. A few that I think have some pretty valuable information are:

At a time when the mental health of all Australians, and indeed everyone around the world, is paramount, we are continually looking for ways to best support and guide our students and their families. For this reason, on Wednesday 29 July we are excited to be having the third of our GEM Days for this year. GEM is the acronym we use from our Resilience Project work that centres around Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness, whilst also encompassing many other areas of personal growth in our students such as emotional literacy, organisation and personal development. Our GEM days allow opportunities for our students to take a sideways step from their regular timetabled classes in order to focus on other important areas of their lives that will help support them during this period of remote learning. These days are extremely important for our student in order to ensure they are equipped to approach remote learning in a positive and optimistic manner. The Year Level Co-ordinators and Pastoral Mentors will be providing students with more specific information closer to the date.

As tough as these times could potentially seem to some, there is so much growth that all of us, especially our students, will get out of this experience. In the meantime, maintain your connections with them, maintain your communication with them, and if anything, enjoy the extra time you have with your children. There will inevitably come a time when they will once again be able to go out, to visit friends, etc. and you will miss the times you had with them at home.



Junior School News

Girls’ Junior School Update

This term we have all managed to get back into the swing of remote learning and are working hard to connect with all students to ensure they are feeling both supported and comfortable.

Many thanks to the parents for your support this term, from coming in to collect your daughter’s items, to helping them with learning tasks and of course taking on the role of IT support at the same time! We understand that this is challenging and we greatly appreciate your assistance.

During these times, it is important that just as we are focusing on our girls well-being, parents too need to take time to check in with each other and look after themselves as well. Below is an app I have recently discovered which might be a good support for adults looking to promote greater well-being in their life.

Andrew Fuller Webinar – helping young people through anxiety, sadness and trauma. 

Andrew Fuller is a clinical psychologist, family therapist, author, speaker and creator of Learning Strengths ™. Andrew works with many schools and communities in Australia and internationally, specialising in the wellbeing of young people and their families.

This webinar is being held on Tuesday 4 August, 2020 at 7pm.

Topics covered will include:
– How to manage a bad day
– Understanding how parents can help kids who worry
– How to manage stress and exams
– What to do when they are sad and when to be concerned if it is something more
– Understanding trauma and how to overcome it,
– Using your Learning Strengths for success

Register here


This term there will also be a weekly challenge for girls on the portal page as a way of building community connection. Please encourage your daughter to join in!




Boys and Movement 

At our Staff meeting on Thursday afternoon we discussed our boys’ online learning in the context of what we know about boys;

  • Boys much prefer to learn by experience, through kinaesthetic experience; they tap pencils and throw, practice handstands, wriggle on chairs….I once heard someone say, “Watch how boys put rubbish in the bin…they throw it, dunk it, rebound it…”
  • Boys are wired to move. Insisting that boys sit still during school work can actually increase the amount of time it takes to complete the work and decrease the amount of learning that occurs.
  • According to author Michael Gurian, males process more blood flow through the cerebellum, the ‘doing’ part of the brain, than females do. This biological difference may explain why boys and men are much more likely than girls and women to attach learning to movement. For boys, learning and motion go together; a boy is more likely to remember something if that information is linked to a specific movement.
  • Moving helps boys’ brains stay alert
  • Male brains drop into rest states more often than female brains. In fact, the typical wiggling and squirming you see in many classrooms (or whenever boys are asked to sit still and pay attention for a period of time) is actually boys’ attempt at keeping their brains alert and engaged.
  • Boys’ motor skills mature sooner than their language skills
  • The part of the brain that controls language matures, on average, 6 years later in boys than it does in girls. Meanwhile, boys’ gross motor skills mature before their fine motor skills. So when it comes to reading and writing, boys may benefit from learning, exploring and building literacy skills through more hands-on, physical activities.

Boys are highly capable learners and instead of suppressing their desire to move, we need to encourage them to move as needed while learning. 

This is why we have our daily, timetabled Energy Plus sessions, Brain Food sesisons and accept and promote movement between classes and during lessons in our ‘normal’ world.

So….Online Learning can provide challenges for boys, especially during Assemblies, or the introduction to tasks, or pastoral sessions where the connection for our boys with each other, and staff, is critical…for as Stephen Biddulph says, “Boys Learn Teachers, Girls Learn Subjects.”

And it can be challenging. I have lost count of how many times I have said to my youngest boy during ‘Isolation’, “Can you stop throwing the ball/cushions/your hat (insert any object) inside?” only to then hear my mum’s voice echoing the same request to me when I was inside as a schoolboy.

So…we as a staff are very conscious of the balance between sitting listening to a screen, and needing to move. During our first days of term, more guidance and instruction was needed than usual, but we are aware of the need to ask the boys to go and get a drink, go for a walk, or move, during a session, just as we ask that parents be aware that the boys might need to lie on the floor, wriggle, stand, walk around or bounce a ball, while listening or doing.



ELC News

Understanding Role-Play

As we move through the year children develop closer bonds and their play evolves. We see children participate in many different role-play games where they pretend to be many things from babies, cats, to police to doctors and of course their current favourite ninjas. Role-play games provide opportunities for children to process their feelings in a safe environment. Children see the real world and use role-play as a way of processing knowledge from the “real world”. How do I care for a cat? What does it mean to be a mum? or What happens when I go to the Doctors?

However, not all role play games are nurturing, some test boundaries, some express feelings such as sadness, fear or anger. These types of playful behaviours can sometimes create a degree of discomfort for adults and children, due to misunderstanding the differences between this type of play and real expression of feelings.

When we hear or see this type of play, as educators we analyse the play. We look at how the children are feeling as well as responding, if this play is safe for them and those around them. The next step would be to decide if the game needs adult intervention or if the children are able to manage the game successfully. Our last step in this process is to support the children analyse and understand what they are saying or hearing and how does it make them feel?

Role-play is a huge part of our curriculum and child development. It is filled with big emotions. When we nurture and support these big emotions we are helping the children understand how to regulate their behaviours, becoming more independent and resilient.

Based on Piaget’s Theory of Play, it is believed that role-play permits children to fit the reality of the world into their own interests and knowledge. He noted that one of the purest forms of symbolic thought available to young children is role-play and that it contributes strongly to the intellectual development of children.

This is part of normal childhood development and role-play should be encouraged as it assists children to learn about their emotions, roles of adults in society and their place in the world.

Anita Mathews & Claire Trappitt

Early Childhood Teachers




Our new Persian Sheep

We have been kindly offered the use of a flock of Persian sheep who browse similarly to goats. The sheep are currently involved in a trial weed control program near the bush car park,  which we will be running over the coming weeks.   We are hoping this will be a more environmentally friendly option for weed control both in this area of bushland as well as the bushland between Senior College and the Farm.

We recently conducted a  small trial  section of bushland behind the Maintenance Workshop with some goats with very good results and are hoping for the same results from the Persian Sheep.


Fiona Lake (YG 1979)

Fiona Lake (YG 1979) has been awarded the 2020 Star Prize for this incredible image. Fiona took this award-winning photograph during the celebrations of the 95th anniversary of the last service by the Cobb & Co coach between Surat and Yuleba in Queensland.
To view Fiona’s photography and to read about her journey as a Photographer visit the link below.

Cahill Stevens YG 2012

Having some failures along the way is considered fairly normal for a Pilot in training. As a Pilot you are always learning; you learn from your mistakes and keep working to achieve your goal. A skill that is important in both the workplace and school.

I had the opportunity to return to Tintern in 2015 during my final year of my degree speaking with the Year 10 and 11 students about Aviation. I focused on how piloting could be rewarding a career path, particularly for girls. We had identified there is a shortfall of women in this field, and this initiative was a part of a ‘Promoting Women in Aviation’ study we were presenting to Schools in Eastern Melbourne and Swinburne University.

 Initially my career as a Pilot started as a courier driver with TasFast, the freight arm of Vortex Air. It was a chance phone call to a friend that led to this opportunity. My job was to collect freight from around Melbourne, deliver to Tullamarine or Moorabbin for distribution locally and globally. This gave me a great insight into logistics and, after 18 months, the company ‘gave me a shot’ on some training flights where I was accepted to fly for Vortex.

I began single pilot flights at night over the Bass Strait taking freight to mainland Tasmania and King Island. Starting as a single pilot in a small twin engine aircraft over Bass Strait at night is daunting to say the least! You face adverse weather and flying conditions, possibly not experienced in other flying roles. Six months later I was upgraded to a passenger pilot, flying Golfers to some of the best courses in Australia, as well as fire fighter transport throughout Victoria during our fire season. Within 12 months I was given the opportunity to fly the Beech 1900 as a First Officer, and within 6 months of that I was upgraded to Captain.

The aviation industry is a very tight knit community. Networking is best done by maintaining good relationships, positive Airman-ship and talking with people you’ve met along the way. People you train with, instructors who trained you or colleagues are always on different pathways and therefore hold valuable information that you may not have.

I find the best skill is the ability to be flexible. You may not always have opportunities to do things your way which can be challenging, but if you can master flexibility, you’ll really be able to manage challenging environments. I’ve had a few challenges in my short time flying; storms, emergencies and failures, through to sick passengers. These all add to the experience bank and make me better prepared for the future. My goal is to one day be a Captain with Qantas and I believe my current role is really setting me up for a great future in this field.


Bianca Jackson (Comfort, YG 2007)

Since becoming qualified as a psychologist I have worked in lots of interesting roles, such as consulting on medical wards at a major teaching hospital, and working in an overseas prison with clients facing the death penalty, however, working during COVID-19 has been an equally interesting and new experience.  

I am grateful that I have had job security during this time, and have been able to work from the safety of my own home. Thankfully, as a response to the pandemic, Medicare introduced new funding for all Australians to access health services remotely (“Telehealth”). Previously, only people living in certain regional or remote areas could access Telehealth services.

It has been an interesting shift to working remotely, as initially it felt awkward and both my clients and I noted the difference. Over time, however, it has started to become normal and I have been pleased to see how my clients have adapted to the new method of interaction. Some of my clients even now prefer videoconferencing to face-to-face sessions! For some it has allowed them more time back in their day from travelling to appointments, opened up more times for attending sessions, or allowed people to feel more comfortable in their own familiar space when discussing sensitive topics.

Whilst many of my clients have experienced difficulties due to COVID-19, some have reported several unexpected positives such as improved relationships, an improved sense of connectedness, better work/life balance, and increased and more flexible access to services. As restrictions begin to ease, I hope we can reflect on our experiences of this pandemic, learning from the hardships, and maintain some of the positives. Personally, I hope to see more flexible work arrangements for all, an increase in the availability of health services via Telehealth, and more deliberate and meaningful connections with friends and family.

If you are struggling with your mental health, please reach out for support. You can speak to your GP or contact Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636, or Lifeline on 13 11 14.


Eliza Harvey (YG 2017)

Congratulations to Alumna Eliza Harvey (YG 2017) for being nominated as an Eventing Top Ten Finalist as part of the Equestrian Victoria Young Ambassador of the Year program.
The award is aimed at recognising athletes who demonstrate outstanding sportsmanship, performance, contribution to sport and leadership qualities in their chosen discipline.
Since graduating from Tintern, Eliza has since moved to the UK to study at the Hartpury University in the UK, studying Equestrian Sports Science (BSc).

Scotty James (YG 2013)

Scotty James (YG 2013) has taken home the overall title Crystal Globe for all Freestyle snowboarding disciplines – covering Park & Pipe, Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air, an incredible achievement. Congratulations Scotty.