Term 1 in Review



I am very proud of how our school community has adapted to such a huge change in how we operate. Everyone has stepped up to the challenge, some have even embraced it as an opportunity to grow and learn. However, I know that there are some who are finding it difficult. We are aware that many of our families have been hit very hard financially; that parents are finding it very tricky to work from home themselves as well as help their children with their school work; that some students find it difficult to remain focused, or to do most of their learning through a computer. Yet, our surveys of students and parents have indicated that most are positive and have appreciated how our staff have communicated and developed online lessons from a standing start less than three weeks ago.

At the time of writing we still don’t know what lies on the other side of the holidays. I believe we will be asked by the NSW Government to continue in the current mode of operation. We will certainly let you know as soon as we know.

It can be hard to trust that God is still in control when things are so out of control. Christians hold on to our belief that the God who created and sustains the universe loves his creation, including each of us, and will bring his plans for new creation to fulfilment in his own time. Bishop Peter has shared with us a prayer from an Anglican diocese in the UK that may be helpful in bringing peace to troubled minds:

Ever present God,
be with us in our isolation,
be close to us in our distancing,
be healing in our sickness,
be joy in our sadness,
be light in our darkness,
be wisdom in our confusion,
be all that is familiar when all is unfamiliar,
that when the doors reopen
we may with the zeal of Pentecost
inhabit our communities
and speak of your goodness
to an emerging world, for Jesus’ sake. Amen

As we enter Easter, with churches closed, it will be an Easter like no other we have experienced. But many churches will provide online services and resources for us to celebrate the love of God demonstrated in the death and resurrection of Jesus. I pray you may experience the joy of knowing God’s peace through Jesus, even in the midst of this turbulent time.

Term 2 commences Tuesday, 28 April and will continue with our online learning platform.


Michael Hannah




After a very positive and smooth start to 2020, we are all working our way into uncharted territory where what we understood as normal has changed significantly! 

We began the year with the joy of welcoming both familiar and new students and families - especially the new group of Kindergarten children and their families who joined us. Our Year 6 students were quick to meet their Kindergarten buddies as they settled in - and of course Kindergarten had been keenly awaiting the opportunity to play with their Year 6! Our P & F were amazing with the ‘Tea and Tissues’ initiative which really helped us connect with our new Kindergarten families – I hope you felt a really warm welcome to your time at Lakes Grammar!

The P & F Welcome BBQ and the P & F Disco at the beginning of the term both proved again to be wonderful occasions for us to get together as a school community at the beginning of the year. We are thankful for our committed and active P & F and for the way they both promote our school community and fundraise to continue to improve our resources for the students.

The Swimming Carnival was again an excellent event where the children embraced the opportunity to compete for their College. It was a highlight of the day to see the College spirit and so many students trying their best and participating in the different races. We have a number of very talented swimmers in the Junior School and this was reflected in the number of students who went on to represent the school at HRIS and CIS levels. Well done to Hannah Ruzicka and Aaliyah Currie who were selected to represent Lakes Grammar at the CIS Carnival recently before it was postponed.

Pride in Excellence Morning Tea

Congratulations to all of the students who were nominated by their teachers to attend this term’s Pride in Excellence Morning Tea with Mr Hannah, Mr Johns, Pete and myself. It is great to see you all being involved so enthusiastically with your learning, friendships and the co-curricular activities on offer. Congratulations to the following students who have been recognised this term – in lieu of a face-to-face morning tea, we’ve prepared some great packs of treats for the children instead:

Jared Allen, Zahlia Nielsen, Blake Cromack, Chloe Quinn, Zeah Chadha, Thomas Webb, Bridey Jones, Henry Cliff, Nate Brownlaw, Sadie Ponchard, Kavya Dhaka, Louis Smith, Jorja Beasley, Jack Murdoch, August Keys, Ella O’Donnell, Karina Jangir, Max Spiteri, Kobi Keys, Ayanna Tapera, Chloe Chambers, Lachlan Collins, Jack Asquith, Amy Williamson, Noah Taylor, Mia Santwyk, Andrew Matri, Onadi Wijekoon, Hiya Bhatt, Marlon Buckland, Ayva Belgre, Abhishek Babu, Chanel Thun, Steel Wilkinson, Fatima Khan, Isaac Lancett, Leah Wood, Brody Lewis, Cohan Voisey and Claire Hennessy.

Thank You

Whilst there are a number of changes to us all at the moment, one constant which remains normal are our core beliefs in ourselves and each other. This is a time where we can turn to what is important - family, friends, community and faith.  

Our school is a really important part of this fabric, and we will continue to support our students to be the best they can and to work in partnership with all of our families as the key educators working together positively in a child’s life. 

We have seen heartwarming acts of support and compassion within our school community in this difficult time – it is refreshing in talking with students, families and teachers alike, that the conversation has always been on what everyone can do for others rather than thinking about themselves. A huge thank you to our whole community for striving to live our Lakes Grammar motto ‘with heart, soul, mind and strength’ well.

My thanks go to each and every one of our amazing staff team for their efforts this term. At a time where education was literally transformed overnight by some of the announcements and requirements around coronavirus, our teachers have achieved phenomenal things with having online learning up and running for the students quickly and in working tirelessly and passionately to continue to refine what we offer on these platforms. We are blessed with wonderful students who enjoy their learning whether at school or at home, and an incredibly supportive parent community whom we’re blessed to partner with. I wish you the best for the upcoming holidays and look forward to welcoming you back in Term 2.

Congratulations to Montana McGarrity who recently conducted a fundraiser for the Australian Koala Foundation at school. The AKF recently contacted Montana to thank her for her efforts as she raised $656.35 which was the biggest fundraiser they had seen from an individual. Thank you to all of our Junior School students and families for your support of the fundraiser, we love the way in which we are passionate about making a difference to the world as a community as a part of what we do. The fundraiser will also be featured in their monthly newsletter.

Will Wallace

Head of Junior School



Thank you to parents and students for your help and support over the last week and a half – you have made the difficult transition to online learning so much easier.

Some important points to note:

1. Teachers have tried to contact every parent regarding your child’s progress and whether or not they are having difficulties with the content or with technology. If you are still experiencing difficulties with technology we would encourage you to contact the school, where we can direct you to someone who is able to assist.

2. Students should be following their timetable. Work is currently being left on OneNote in the morning, where students are able to access the work and complete during the lesson or throughout the day. However, at the commencement of next term we will be moving to provide greater structure in the day and will be designating times for video lessons, where teachers can provide more immediate feedback. We’ve also heard that the large amount of screen time is difficult for students. To assist, we will change from 53 minutes lessons to 45 minutes, which will be much more practical in your home. Additional information regarding this will be provided at the start of next term.

3. We have been concerned that a small number of students do not seem to be engaged online. Please remember that while students are at home due to COVID-19, they are also expected to engage in school, and they need to complete the activities that have been provided. If your child is sick, please let the office know so that we can pass this on to teachers.

4. The key message for all families using Teams is to ensure that they use the apps for Teams and OneNote. If possible, do not use the class notebook within Teams, as your experience will be slow. The OneNote app will store previous information as you go, and will download and upload in the background. It is a much more efficient way of doing things.

5. Parents should also be aware that Office 365 is free to all Lakes Grammar students! To download these apps, students should navigate to and click on the webmail/office 365 link. You will then open a page that has the following content:

To download office applications, simply click on “Install Office“ in the top right hand corner of the page.

6. Over the holiday break will be devising new assessment and reporting procedures and I expect we will be able to provide more information at the start of next term.

At Easter, we remember the death and resurrection of Jesus – who was sent with God’s unfathomable love so that we can be brought back into a relationship with God himself. I hope that you can celebrate Easter keeping this in mind, and that God’s love will especially surround you and your family over the Easter break.

I also wish your families a restful holiday at home! It’s difficult! But I hope that you will remain healthy and free of this virus, and I do look forward to the time when we can all meet again without these restrictions.



Ian Samways

Deputy Principal



So a lot happens in two or so weeks when you’re living the “iso-lifestyle” with your family. In Week 10 of term I was rostered on an at home team, and so all 5 of us were attempting to work alongside each other.  I’m not sure what your house was like, but we had a few teething problems.  I’ve got to say, I think our dog Archie has been the most confused with the current setup and has been acting out in ways that we haven’t seen for a while.  All in all, we have all had to give a little to try and make it the best we can. I’m fairly certain from what I’ve been hearing through the grape vine that many of you have had similar experiences of adjustment.

With Easter celebrations being different this year it very much becomes an occasion for the immediate family.  How can we as a family re-imagine this sacred holiday in a way that has renewed meaning?  Where is it in our lives that we need God’s resurrection power?  For each of us we have the opportunity to reflect possibly at a deeper level.  We don’t have to stress about heading up the M1 with a million other long weekend travellers.  We don’t have the stress of camping in miserable weather, another great Easter tradition.  We don’t have to worry about entertaining extended family across 4 days and 3 nights. 

Quite simply we have the opportunity to gather as our own immediate family and connect with the Easter story.  This is a great chance to reflect together on what is central and most important in our lives.  Where has God been at work, where is Christ speaking to us, where is the Holy Spirit nudging us towards?  My prayer for us all this Easter is that we might be able to reconnect as families and sense God’s real desire for us to be in relationship with him.  It is the reason the first Easter happened.  It was God’s way of saying, “Do you see how much I love you?” 

The end of this term has seen Pete and I, like the other staff, attempting to connect with our fantastic students in online platforms.  You may have seen us on See-Saw, Youtube, MS Teams, Zoom, Facebook and in the Senior School our brand new blog.  Chapels have been a real challenge, but are also an opportunity for the wider community to connect with us.  Maybe you have sat with your child through one of our online chapels.  You are certainly most welcome to do so.  We hope that through all of this that we come out the other end as a stronger community than ever.  Know that Pete, myself and our staff are praying for you all and wish you a happy and holy Easter.

Bless ya,





Office Hours in the School Holidays

Office at the Junior School will be open 9am to 12pm during the first week of school holidays and closed the second week.

2019 Yearbook collections

We are excited to announce that the 2019 Yearbook is now available. It is a wonderful snapshot of all the amazing things that take place on a day-to-day basis here at school and we thought there is no better time for our students to enjoy reflecting on this than right now.

We are therefore inviting families who are interested to call into school next week from Tuesday, 14 April to Friday, 17 April between 9:00 am – 12:00pm to do a drive-by pick up. Each family will receive a copy of the Yearbook which is being sent home to the eldest sibling.  

We will have a collection point set up in the Junior School bus bay. This will ensure a contact-free collection. If your eldest child is in Junior School you will simply need to confirm what class they are in. If your eldest child is in Senior School you will just need to confirm your surname.

We hope you enjoy the 2019 Yearbook. For those who are not able to get into school next week we will keep your copy ready for collection once school resumes.

‘What do you miss most about school?’

We know many of our students are missing school right now. We would love to compile a video with clips of what our students are missing the most. If you would like to be involved, simply send a 15 second video clip to Please include your child’s first name and class/tutor group. We would like to invite students K – 12 to be involved in this video and we look forward to seeing what our students have to say. We will share the video on Facebook.


One of the key features of our school calendar has been our tradition of strong participation in the ANZAC Day March held by the Doyalson RSL Sub-Branch and in other ANZAC Day commemorations across the state.

ANZAC Day is a significant day for all Australians and whilst commemorations have been cancelled across Australia and overseas, our students and families are encouraged to continue to mark this important national commemorative date. A televised national service from the Australian War Memorial will be made available by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The NSW RSL also offers guidance as to how the day can be commemorated.

  1. Record yourself reciting the ode or sharing a message of support for veterans.Respond “Going” to our ANZAC Day 2020 Facebook event. Then use the hashtag #ANZACSpirit and share how you’ll be commemorating privately, as well as who you’ll be remembering this ANZAC Day.

  1. Light up the dawn. At 6.00 am on ANZAC Day, go to the end of your driveway or stand on your balcony and listen to a brief commemorative service. Together – even while apart – we’ll remember those who served and sacrificed. You can sign the pledge to light up the dawn at

  1. Tune into live services and virtual commemorative services. The ABC will be broadcasting a 5.30am service from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. There will also be a 10.00 am service from the Anzac Memorial in Sydney that will be broadcast and streamed live.

  1. Reach out to a mate who might be alone. Many people are alone during this time of isolation. It’s an opportunity to invoke the ANZAC value of mateship and check to see how a mate is doing.

  1. Donate to the ANZAC Appeal online at Donations support Australian veterans and their families in need. Donations in New South Wales support services provided by RSL DefenceCare and Veteran Sport Australia.


If you’ve driven past the school lately you will have noticed a lot of heavy machinery around. Yeramba estates are developing 52 lots opposite the school on Albert Warner Drive. As part of this they are required by Council to upgrade and connect into the school’s sewer line. They will be on our school property digging along the easement on the eastern side of our link road from the roundabout at the Junior School up to the maintenance shed and then boring under the link road. All access to the carparks at the Senior School beyond the tear drop will be blocked off for security reasons. This work is intended to be completed by the end of the holidays.


We are excited to announce a new initiative which is aimed at supporting businesses within our school community during this very difficult time.

A FREE listing in the school’s new Business Directory, which is available via our mobile app (Skoolbag), is now available to all members of our school community. This initiative has been driven by the P&F Committee. The mobile app Business Directory will provide a great opportunity for our school community to locate businesses and services provided by Lakes Grammar families and support these businesses where possible.

If you would like your business featured in our Business Directory please send an email to and provide the following details:

- Business Name


- Logo (optional) – jpeg file no larger than 1MB

- Business Category

- Business Address

- Business Phone Number

- Business Email

- Business Website

- Brief description

- Call to action URL if different to website

To access the Business Directory, simply open the Lakes Grammar mobile app (Skoolbag), click on the Lakes Grammar logo in the top blue navigation bar and scroll down to Business Directory.

We are excited to be offering our school community this new service and we encourage you to take advantage of the free listing that is being offered.



What an interesting term it has shaped up to be! Our students have been involved in some wellbeing activities at school and some at home. Prefects were organising to run a College games session, so we will hold this over until we meet again. Our MHAP team organised for the Senior School to observe Harmony Day. This was the result which has made our office hallway look so colourful. A reflection of ideas about what Harmony day means to our students.                    

The most exciting thing to happen in wellbeing this year is our new blog. Put together by Matt, Amanda, Mr Samways and myself, our blog features a wide variety of material to engage with for both our student and parent community. We are very proud of our blog and feel it is a great way for our community to be together whilst we are apart. You can see the blog at .

Now is a very important time to get involved in this initiative to help hold and build upon our sense of belonging to this community at Lakes Grammar. You will find useful articles, thoughts, competitions, fun activities, links to ideas for things to do and look up, and games. The gratitude wall is worth a look, recipes for delicious and nutritious goodies and useful information during this time. Some students have already had their ideas incorporated and we encourage you to speak with one of us if you have a great idea you would like to see on the blog! At the moment there is a daily puzzle challenge, a weekly challenge (we’re up to Week 2) and a huge Art Competition. This competition will go right up until we all return to school. So, get creative and feel free to post either sneak previews or just the final version of your creations. You could do multiple art works which could range from photography, painting, drawing, video, mosaic, paper craft, collage, video game editing….you are only limited by your imagination.

Late in the year, we will be holding an exhibition in the hall which will display all your work. I am hoping many of you will get involved – I am even planning to participate in this one. Something fun for you to work on during this time! I am looking forward to seeing what we have done together, while we were apart.

So, jump on the blog, stay connected and see how we can thrive, not just survive!

Alison Maclarty

Senior School Co-ordinator of Student Wellbeing

Wellbeing from our School Psychologists

As we enter the holidays, it is amazing to note how much our world has changed over the last few weeks. Although our Easter and holiday break might look very different to what we had planned or hoped for, we would hope that our students and their families could find time to enjoy this period of rest and recovery. Physical distancing measures may cause added stress and discomfort for some families and some may find it beneficial to speak to someone over the holidays. There are lots of great services available including:

Kids Helpline:                                                               eHeadspace:
Free Helpline and Online Chat 24/7                             Free Helpline and Online Chat                              
Phone: 1800 55 1800                                                   Phone: 1800 650 890

Headspace:                                                                  Mental Health Line:
In person counselling                                                  Phone: 1800 011 511
Lake Haven: 02 4394 9100

Keeping in mind current restrictions, we have also developed a list of activities that might be helpful to keep students’ minds and bodies busy. You can find these, along with a more detailed list of Wellbeing Services on the Lakes Wellbeing Blog -

We wish you all a safe and happy holiday.

Amanda Wishart and Stacey Taggart

School Psychologists