Students are Looking on the Bright Side
I would be lying if I said that the latest lockdown came as a total shock. Feelings of disappointment and frustration were clearly felt by students, parents and teachers alike. However, the way in which everyone packed up after the Acting Premier’s announcement and headed home for a stint of remote teaching and learning was an indication that we were prepared.
Credit goes to the teachers who were able to organise and deliver remote lessons on a moment’s notice, and thanks to the students who have taken responsibility for their learning during this time.
The results of a survey that I sent students on the first day of remote learning indicated that many were able to look on the bright side, despite the challenges. The best things about being in lockdown were generally the ability to sleep in, have hot food for lunch, and wear comfortable clothing all day. I have included some insightful comments from the survey below.
Head of Senior School
Student Reflections on Lockdown 4.0
‘I get to spend more time with my parents and my pets.’ – Sarah S, Year 8
‘I don’t have to rush my work and I can slow it down to better understand the topic.’ – Calen G, Year 9
‘It feels much more relaxed, I can grab a quick snack between classes, I can have nice fresh air from the comfort of my own home and I can drink as much tea as I want.’ – Meenakshi R, Year 8
‘I like getting time to spend with my family. Normally we would only see each other for about two hours each day so it’s nice to see each other more.’ – Ruby V, Year 7
‘I can wear anything I want all the time (trackies!!), make food I want instead of being limited to whatever I brought to school, and I don’t have to spend two hours on public transport every day.’ – Frankie L, Year 12
‘I woke up late today and had literally no consequences because school is a whole five steps from my bed.’ – Jackson T, Year 11
‘We are still learning despite a pandemic going on; some children don’t have the resources for learning at home.’ – Cara G, Year 8
‘I prefer to study in a school environment as it gets me into that mindset to get work done.’ – Elorenzo S, Year 12
‘It’s scary asking a question over Google Meet.’ – Ruby G, Year 7
‘I would rather be at school. This is because I work better at school than I do at home and also I miss my friends.’ – Ari D, Year 7
‘Social distractions are reduced which makes it easier to complete work or any other assigned tasks. Having a fixed area for work is also an advantage.’ – Johan C, Year 12
Discovering What it Takes to Create a School Musical
Written by Spoorthy Bhat, Communications Captain
You enter a big, dark theatre. You take a seat. People are filling up the leftover seats. There is buzz and excitement which radiates from the foyer. You sit, faced with a stage that’s empty, dark and mysterious. You wait in anticipation for something to happen.
Then the lights turn on, the chattering of the outside world turns into silence and you watch the stage that was once lifeless spring into life. Pulled into a world of fantasy, drama and music, you can forget all your worries for a moment and dwell in the life story of another.
While Casey Grammar’s musical, High School Musical, is on hiatus due to current restrictions, staff and students look forward to presenting the show in the near future.
Spoorthy Bhat, Communications Captain, interviewed Mr Peake, one of the many individuals who dedicated their time and effort to make this musical into a reality, to explore the intricate details of how such a musical comes to be.
How does it all begin? What is the starting process?
The first process would be finding a production that everyone would agree upon, a year prior to its showcasing. This comes with its own struggles as it is important to find a show that everyone is passionate about; a show that will represent the school. After filtering through numerous scripts and selecting one, the team must get approval from the school and approval from the company that has given out the rights, to then finally announce it to the school.
As Casey Grammar School is full of talented individuals, the casting process is a very important stage to allow the various talents to shine as casting is the first step towards the right direction. The finalised cast gather together for a script read to feel the chemistry and unity of the group. The musical continues to be developed from there, embellished with unique visions and ideas.
How was High School Musical chosen?
High School Musical was an idea that was floated every year. Every year, students have tried to guess what the school production will be and High School Musical was on many students’ wish list. We received an enthusiastic response from students when we made the announcement, which meant we knew we made the right choice! Even though High School Musical seems to have a simple storyline, it is anything but simple to put together. However, once everything comes together, it is a rewarding experience.
How do you deal with any issues or problems that might come up?
It can be difficult and organisation is key. You have to have the mindset of pulling through and forging on. As they say, ‘The show must go on!’ One of the big issues is that we always feel like we never have enough time! But somehow it all comes together - of course only because of the dedicated work of the production team, cast, band and crew!
How does it feel being director for the first time?
It has definitely been very different. I’ve choreographed productions in the past and that gave me the opportunity to work with the whole cast more often, whereas being a director requires more focus on the main cast. Choreography requires a loud voice booming over an ensemble of around 80 students whereas directing requires a different approach – there are lots of little decisions to be made while juggling various other tasks. It has been a lot of work, however it is a very gratifying experience.
I’m very proud of everyone! The students have worked so hard to get where they are - singing, dancing, acting, playing instruments - they have all done an amazing job! It has been a rewarding, worthwhile experience.
Though we, as the audience, cannot yet experience the show, we can still appreciate the endeavour that over 90 students, the band and a team of teachers put in to make it a reality. We wait in hope for a time when we’ll be able to sit in the crowd and dive into the world of Casey Grammar’s High School Musical"
Spoorthy Bhat, Communications Captain
On Tuesday 25 May, selected students in the Casey Grammar Cross Country team headed off to Baxter Park for the SIS Cross Country Carnival. We managed to beat the rain and placed 2nd overall out of seven schools! We also won the U14 Girls age group pennant, the U16 Boys age group pennant and the U21 Girls age group pennant.
All the students performed at their absolute best and I am so proud of the way they represented Casey Grammar School.
The team had fantastic leadership from our Year 12s who competed. Mark Banks and Shayla Maydom placed 2nd overall in their age group and Shayla Maydom with Emily Potter, who placed 4th, won the U21 Girls age group pennant for the School.
A big thank you to Ms Rebecca Carrie and Mr Gavin Brown for helping with team management and with the support of students on the day.
Other medal winners are listed below. It was a truly great day out with the students!
- U13 Girls 1st Place - Shae Culpin
- U13 Boys 2nd Place - Kian McGrath
- U16 Girls 2nd Place - Ashlee Cullis
- U17 Boys 1st Place - Nick Lamattina
- U17 Boys 2nd Place - Jeffrey Wang
- U21 Girls 2nd Place - Shayla Maydom
- U21 Boys 2nd Place - Mark Banks
Head Of Sport/Health and Physical Education Teacher
A Message from Your Student Peer Support Captain, Mady Pucovski
As your Peer Support Captain for this year, I just wanted to send a message to you all during this fourth lockdown.
I know this lockdown may not be easy for you, but the student leadership team and I are all here to provide you with support and to let you know that we are ‘All in this Together.’
Media and social discussions about the virus might be making some people and their loved ones feel worried and anxious even if they are not sick. Remember that you can reach out to anyone in the student leadership team, or any of your teachers or Heads of House who can put you in touch with counselling and support.
I understand that being home is tough on everyone so now is the time to dig deep and be kind. Be kind to your little brother or older sister, help out around the house - set the table, do the dishes or keep your room clean.
Don't forget to try and go outside every day, whether that be going for a walk or run, kicking a ball or maybe even going for a bike ride.
We are very fortunate that we have technology where we can connect with one another, so please make sure that you are reaching out to your friends regularly, or check in on someone who may be doing it tough.
Stay safe and I am looking forward to seeing you all hopefully in a week’s time.
Mady Pucovski, Year 12, Peer Support Captain