05 May 2020

From the Principal

The signs of emergence and it feels a little like spring!

As I write this, we have experienced the joy of only 8 or less positive COVID-19 cases in the whole of Australia through the last 5 days and 20 cases or less each day for the last 10 days across the country – a truly remarkable turn around, well done to all of us in Australia! Like the green buds of spring, these are signs of hope for a warmer, more welcoming (and more normal) time not too far ahead, in schools particularly. This article will be published in 7 days, by which time things may have again shifted, possibly in unanticipated ways as they have so many times already, but I suspect not. I suspect we can be optimistic and have some building confidence in what the weeks ahead will bring us, with good reason.

As a scientist, I confess I have been something of a ‘data mining nerd’ during these last two months, as perhaps some of you have been too. There has been an enormously diverse mixture of opinion from specialists, authorities, journalists and keyboard warriors alike, but I always default to following the data, the evidence and the proof.  

Then there is always the question, “to whom should we listen?”, or “whose position can we trust?” in this matter. The Federal Chief Medical Officer (Brendan Murphy) and the State Chief Health Officer (Brett Sutton) are fed the most up to date, highest quality information and data from across Australia and overseas. Their views and positions are informed by research scientists and academics in world-renowned centres of research and learning and both know their credibility is tested by every decision or pronouncement they make.

There will always be those who feel the need to denounce a government’s (or any body’s) position, policies or actions for one reason or another. We live in a democracy where free speech is celebrated in such areas. But in the care and wellbeing of our population, our educators and most of all our children, we need to listen to the acknowledged experts, those who know and have the evidence for their position or policy.

I give you the commitment that to properly serve the safety and wellbeing of our whole Tintern community, the Board and I will be taking very careful note of the views, policies and advice of these experts in informing our decision-making.

I look forward to seeing you, I now hope, sooner rather than later.

factis non verbis


Community Matters

Happy Mother’s Day from the TPG

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful Mothers, Aunts, Grandmothers and Guardians who love, nurture and care for the incredible children in their lives.

The Tintern Parents Group hope you have a wonderful day, and remain safe and well during these strange times.

Tintern Parent Group – 2020 AGM

The next meeting for the Tintern Parent Group is to be held on Tuesday 19 May 2020 @ 7.30pm online using Zoom, password is TPG.

To join the meeting login here on the 19 May 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 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.

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: Wednesday 13 May  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
  • Friends of Equestrian (FOE) – Next Meetings: TBC 

Upcoming Community Dates:

  • Cathedral Service – Sunday 17 May 2020 – Cancelled
  • Alumni Career Event – Thursday 21 May 2020 – Cancelled

Upcoming Reunions:

  • YG 2015 5 Year Reunion – Friday 17 July 2020, 7.30pm, offsite – Book Here
    • 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!

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!


Music Matters

Music Ensembles filling the air waves!

Our bands, choirs and orchestras are back in action, albeit in a different format from the ‘usual’ … but nothing is really ‘usual’ any more, is it!?

The Middle School and Senior Choirs are getting together four mornings out of 5 each week to work on a couple of projects to create “virtual” digital performances. Stay tuned for those productions, coming to a FaceBook page or website near you very soon!


Jazz Band, Wind Symphony, Concert Band, Intermediate Jazz Band and Training Band have overcome the challenges of remote learning to see weekly rehearsals resume. These rehearsals are a chance for the students to say hello, have a play together, albeit with their mute buttons on, and to be given some guidance with their parts for ensemble. The students in attendance are arriving at 7:45 with enthusiasm and dedication to keep going with what they can at this time. It is lovely to see and hear all the students, and continue to feel a sense of community in our music department. However, we do look forward to the day when the halls are again buzzing with students at 7:30 in the morning.

Lisa Clarke

Head of Music – Instrumental Performance


Sport Matters


Calling all Middle School and Senior College students.

We have a brand new House activity for you during May, so strap on your shoes and join your House Run Club! 🏃

To join all you need to do is download the free Strava app and then follow the instructions that have been sent to your student email address.

There are two ways in which you can participate.

IT IS 3283 KM TO City Beach, in Perth. We are totalling the distance of all participants and we want to collectively reach Perth before the end of May.

By running each day and logging it on Strava you could win points for your House and be in the running for a prize.

This activity is a great way to stay fit during this time of online learning while also supporting your House.




Art Matters

Congratulations to alumni Jasmin Amiet (YG 2019) and Vishnu Pillay (YG 2019) whose VCE Art and IB Art works are exhibited as part of the Pure Talent Art Exhibition. This is a great achievement and acknowledgment of their hard work and dedication to their Art folios. Well done, Jasmin and Vishnu. 

Pure Talent 2020 is a collaboration between Maroondah City Council’s Youth Services and Wyreena Community Arts Centre.

Pure Talent Online has adapted from the original Pure Talent Exhibition. Pure Talent Online showcases a collection of diverse artworks from eleven creative young people from six Maroondah Secondary Schools who completed their VCE/Art studies in 2019. The artworks in this online exhibition include painting, drawing, sculpture, technology, design and mixed media. These artworks highlight the creative talents and abilities of young people to engage and inspire their community.

You can learn more about Jasmin and Vishnu’s works through the following links:





Community Business Register

To further support our strong community and fellowship, Tintern Grammar has established 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.

We look forward to supporting your business.



Senior College News

On Friday our House captains, led by Stella Burke and Margaret Pywell, invited our Secondary students to join together as we collectively run to Perth via the free STRAVA App, while also taking part in a House Competition.

By 4 May our Senior students had already crossed the SA border, a wonderful achievement. 

The Captain and Vice Captain of Hale School, in Perth, have sent us a motivational video, please see below a link to the video of encouragement to the senior students of Tintern:




Girls’ Middle School News

One of the most profound things that this hard time of Covid-19 has shown us, is that we are all capable of more than we thought possible.

Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. – Joshua J. Marine

Our girls have shown a remarkable level of positivity during this time.  They demonstrated considerable resourcefulness and adaptability in how they have approached  different challenges that they have encountered.

In our academic classes our staff are using a wide range of different programs and apps to enrich the learning possible online. For example, in our maths classes, staff are creating step by step videos to demonstrate the right process to complete a maths equation. These videos support the face-to- face class delivery, by enabling students to be able to go back and view each step and pause when needed. Staff are using online quizzes and other assessment tools to provide students with timely feedback so that they can be confident of their understanding of each topic. Our science staff have filmed experiments (often in their own kitchens) in order to provide a visual example of the chemical process.  For our practical subjects such as agriculture, art, music, cooking and dance our staff are being highly creative in working out ways to still provide meaningful learning for our students. Our students are also rapidly developing their own knowledge in using Technology to provide evidence of their learning. Students have been emailed this week with a survey of how they have found online learning, and provide valuable feedback to the school. If you have any suggestions or feedback please feel free to let us know.

Ensuring good mental and physical health is one of key objectives whilst students are at home. The significance that these two things play in a students’ capacity to learn cannot be underestimated.

The Middle School girls have been given some great opportunities to engage in House activities to help keep everyone’s spirits high. This week they have participated in a Middle School house trivia game over the Kahoot program. We have also launched our ‘Tintern’s Got Online Talent competition’. To help improve our level of exercise we have launched a House ‘running/walking’ competition using the Strava app, to track the number of kilometres we have travelled walking around our local areas. Each kilometre walked adds points for their House and the ambitious goal is to collectively ‘walk’ to Perth, WA!

Another exciting initiative is the Online Buddy reading program. Students in Year 9 and above have volunteered to read online to a prep buddy three times a week. We have been blown away by the success of this program as shown through the praise received from both parents and students about how much they are all enjoying this activity and how valuable it has been. This is one initiative that we are keen to be able to hold onto once we all return to school.

In our pastoral program we look for ways to support others, whether this is through writing a letter for a loved one, creating a thank you card, or in doing a simple act of kindness for a family member to help carry the load in the home. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, students have been encouraged to find practical acts of kindness to demonstrate their gratitude or to express their feelings in a letter. Whilst we are disappointed not to be able to have our annual ten-pin bowling mother/daughter night this year, we are hopeful that this lovely tradition can return for 2021.

Last week our Middle School leaders created a wonderful motivational video for our students, which focused on the key message of ‘Make your bed’. This simple message highlighted that something as small as making your bed each morning can significant impact how you feel about facing each day. A small step of achievement can put you into a better frame of mind and help you to feel in more control of things within your grasp. This video has been posted on each of the year level portal pages, if you would like to take a look.

Here are some little suggestions of some fun ways that families can try to help us to thrive not just survive this time.

  • Take a short burst of exercise to ‘wake up’ your brain. Make a time to all meet in the lounge room for a really quick ‘brain pump’ session, or race each other around the block.
  • Trying to learn a dance step can be a quick way to boost morale. Try these short clips (4 mins) with perhaps a classic “U Can’t Touch This” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtbJC3t_CVQ or for something more modern try “Uptown funk’ on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WvL5qWLOZ4
  • Be mindful of the level of exposure to media coverage in your house. Instead seek out things you can do together as a family to create some positive memories. Card games, board games, perhaps ask your daughter to teach you the latest dance craze, or even be brave enough to make a family Tik-Tok.
  • Be fully present. Wherever you are, train yourself to focus. Choose to become calmer, take a moment to stop and notice where you are and who you are with. Put up some motivational thoughts around your house to remind each other.


Remember that we are all in this together, and that we will get through this time.  Please feel free to contact the school if there is anything we can do to help.



Boys’ Middle School News

With the first two weeks of Term 2 now completed, we have been able to gauge the commitment and involvement of our boys via the online learning, and we are very proud to say that they have demonstrated a fantastic approach to their learning. The feedback from teachers has been overwhelmingly positive in terms of our boys’ application and approach to their learning. There are some obvious challenges due to the distance education style, however, with constant communication between staff members, students and families, these challenges have been successfully overcome. I would like to pass on a sincere thank you to all parents and caregivers for your ongoing support and encouragement to your children, the success that we are seeing is a direct result of this support.

One thing that I have noticed both personally in myself and that of my own children, whilst also witnessing this among our boys at school, is that online learning is quite tiring for both students and staff. There was a great article circulated throughout the week [https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200421-why-zoom-video-chats-are-so-exhausting?] that highlighted the reasons behind why your child may be feeling or looking exhausted by the end of each day, whilst highlighting the importance of having our boys move to plenty of off-screen time whilst doing their school work. As the first two weeks have evolved, so too has the approach of staff to how they structure their weekly learning plans and their individual lesson structures. Many staff have recognised the benefits of providing both synchronous and asynchronous opportunities, endeavouring to find an appropriate balance of both that suits the age and stage of each of their classes. It is something that will continue to evolve as Term 2 continues, and it is also providing staff with ideas around future curriculum delivery once we are all back on campus.

Elevate Education are an external organisation that we utilise across many year levels in our Secondary School to help provide our students with lessons on study skills, examination preparation, plus lots more. On Tuesday of last week Elevate provided a webinar session for our parents looking into how parents can assist their children throughout this period of home learning. Some of the key takeaways from the presentation were ensuring consistency in routine; getting out of bed, getting dressed, having breakfast, checking emails, etc. Routine that follows similarly to their regular routine when attending school. Ensuring their space is appropriate for learning; good light, good air flow, good for their posture and provides opportunities for quiet time when needed. They highlighted the importance of getting regular breaks from the screen and using recess and lunch as times to go outside, move around and have a break from the screen.

Our pastoral program over the first two weeks has focussed on “checking in” with our boys. Our staff have run a number of full class lessons as well as a number of small group catch-ups where it is an opportunity for our staff to just chat with each boy to see how they’re going with their at home learning, how things are with them and their family, and checking if there is anything that we can do to help them at this time. Our Resilience Project work continues through this pastoral program and I would like to highlight a day coming up on 11 May – our GEM Day 2. This will be a day where students in the Middle School (boys and girls) will have no scheduled academic classes, however, will be involved in a variety of pastoral sessions focussing on gratitude, empathy and mindfulness (GEM) as well as physical activity, personal growth and development, plus more. Respective Year Level Co-ordinators and Pastoral Mentors will be providing our boys with their itineraries for the day.

Throughout this term a large number of our co-curricular programs have continued to run using our online system. The Green Team, the Social Justice Group, GSA, morning fitness, MAV Debating and ensembles are examples of the many activities that continue to run and provide our students with the opportunity to further develop their skills in areas of interest as well as providing cross-age socialising opportunities. One such program that has been very successful is the Tintern Grammar Buddy Reading Program where students from the secondary program are “buddied” up with Prep to Grade 2 students from the Junior School and spend 15 minutes an evening, up to three evenings a week, listening to the Prep – Grade 2 student read. It has provided many of our boys with a wonderful experience of mentoring a younger boy, and also provided our Prep to 2s with a fantastic connection in the Secondary School. It will be great to see the “buddies” get together face-to-face once we return to school.

It has been mentioned many times around the importance of remaining physically active during this time of social isolation and home learning. Our Sport Department and Physical Education Department have provided a large number of physical activity suggestions and recommendations, as well as looking to provide physical challenges along the way. They have combined with our House system at school to introduce the Strava Challenge. This has seen students register for Strava (set appropriate privacy levels), join their House team and then record their runs/walks to go toward the total for their House. We will be having individual winners as well as an overall House winner – a way for our boys and girls to stay fit in preparation for our House Cross Country when we return.

It has been great to be able to “drop in” to a number of pastoral sessions and classes over the last two weeks and have the opportunity to interact with our boys. We miss having them on campus and really look forward to the day we are all back on site, however, in the meantime it is important that we continue to support each other and to communicate to help ensure that our online learning continues to be successful.


Junior School News


It has often been said, but is worth reinforcing, that during what is a challenging time, there have been so many positive activities that have sprung from acts of kindness and consideration for others. Our community has rallied together in many ways, offering support and encouragement for one another.

Sallyanne Hartnell, mother of Eva (Year 12) and Elliott (Year 9), suggested an online Buddy/Mentor Reading program that would not only further support the development of reading in our youngest learners, but provide connection between many of our students.

During the school holidays, volunteers were sought from our Year 9-12s (potential Mentors) and our Prep-Year 2s (potential Buddies). Even though it was a time of holiday, a trickle of enthusiasm soon became a steady flow. Initially, thirty ‘pairs’ were arranged. There were certainly a number of initial challenges; The Mentors had to make contact with parents to introduce themselves and arrange an initial ‘introduction’ to and with their buddy; students don’t have access to arrange meetings with one another and our youngest learners often need support to access and use their IT programs, therefore initial meeting times needed to be arranged with the assistance of our wonderful IT team; the sharing of books could prove challenging online.

To the absolute credit of our Mentors, and the families of our Buddies, all of these challenges were met with perseverance and a ‘can do’ approach. Within a week, nearly all Mentors and Buddies were reading online three times a week, and not just sharing books, but sharing the fun and excitement of establishing new friendships.

As we head into Week 3 of term two, there are now more than 50 pairs of Reading Mentors and Buddies, who independently organise to share reading three times a week.’

One of pour Prep mums sent the following feedback:

“I have a little Preppy and every night at dinner we share around the table what the best part of our day was. Our daughter, first day back at online school with her teacher and friends which she loves to bits, her response was “reading with Darcee”. …..

I give my most heartfelt thanks to the mentors and Buddies, and their families, who have displayed such positivity and kindness to initiate and continue with their Buddy Reading program. At a later stage, we will publicly acknowledge and thank all of those involved in such a meaningful program.



Matilda Jackson Smith, 5A , shares her Huff ‘n’ Puff session that she completes each morning. 


ELC News

This year Mother’s Day Celebrations has taken on a different feel. We have been unable to come together in person to celebrate these special people in our lives. This has not stopped the work and learning centred around Mothers and their role in our lives.

The children have shared different stories about Mums. We have drawn pictures of our mums and talked about what makes them so special.

The children have created a special gift and card to share on Sunday with their mothers. The TPG (Tintern Parent Group) also provided small gifts for the traditional Mother’s Day stall. We set up the ELC foyer and the children have enjoyed “shopping” and choosing special treasured items for mum.

The staff have been very busy collating small videos created by the children for their Mothers. These will be sent out later this week.

We have also been hard at work learning three special songs to share with our mums. We know that the mums will not be able to gather to watch the concert but we hope they enjoy the video uploaded onto the portal.

The concerts were performed over different times so all the children in the ELC could participate. I hope you enjoy watching the performance. 

The ELC children want to thank and celebrate the special women in their lives.





Dani Venn (YG 2003)

Congratulations to alumna Dani Venn (YG 2003) on a stellar season of MasterChef Australia. While Dani’s third Masterchef journey has now come to an end, her performance was magnificent and certainly one to remember, well done Dani.