STUDENTS WERE excited to see new bike racks installed to the side of the Year Six building this week. While a small number of Junior School students ride to school, the new bike racks have provided an incentive for more to do so. Thank you, Your Move!
Great Southern Grammar's stories
On Friday 15 March 2019 against a beautiful sunset, the GSG boarding community held its annual Ride-a-Thon to raise money for the Asthma Foundation. Senior Boarding leaders organised a few surprises for the evening as students rode their hearts out to raise funds for this worthy cause, part of the boarder's recreational programme. Chalk powder, silly string and water changed it up a bit for the riders. Many residential boarders participated in what has become a regular fixture on the social and fundraising calendar for GSG Boarding.
WHEN THE email arrived announcing the April Perth-based Your Move forum, I initially considered making the 880km round-trip to Perth to attend. This would entail two days away from the office and my family if I drove to Perth to attend as Great Southern Grammar's Your Move Coordinator.
Your Move (formerly Travel Smart) has been part of Great Southern Grammar's DNA for at least six years and, as the school is between Parent Champions, I considered it important to attend, lest we slip behind in our active transport initiatives. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation to attend a satellite event, hosted by the City of Albany, which would enable remote attendance at the forum. Thank you!
We had hoped to have our new Parent Champion attend with us, but these arrangements are still pending. Nevertheless, remote attendance was a terrific opportunity to connect with an Albany school new to the programme and with Perth-based schools on the Your Move journey, and to listen to and learn about other school's YM initiatives and progress.
Our school is in a unique position, being 20kms out of Albany with few effective means of transporting students to school using active transport other than the school buses. Our road, Nanarup Road, has no footpaths or bike paths and is in an 80km zone outside of school drop-off/pick-up times. It caries heavy traffic, trucks and caravans throughout the day and is too dangerous for children to traverse. There is a short section of dual-use footpath available to students who live in a small subdivision about 1km from the school. They can walk and/or ride to school each day, however, this applies to only a small number of students. Beyond this path is a thin dirt track weaving through the bush for 2kms that brings you to the King River Bridge and back to Nanarup Road. A very small number of riders who live nearby come to school this way, however, the track is challenging and can be unsafe or impassable in wet weather. It is also subject to a range of different land uses and titles, from private land to Crown land, and has strong significance to the local Indigenous community. As a consequence, over 75% of our students catch public transport to school. Our efforts to encourage active transport to school are therefore restricted due to these structural issues that we have tried, fruitlessly, to navigate with local and state governments over the years. We remain committed, despite these challenges!
Thank you for the opportunity to attend the forum, remotely. It was the opportunity to re-set our thinking around our YM plans and the catalyst to make sure that we continue to work hard to get our parents re-engaged with active transport.
Every year, GSG surveys students to learn more about how they travel to and from school. This is part of our commitment to active transport, the main pillar of the Your Move programme of the Department of Transport, which aims to increase active transport to school.
We have just completed the first active transport survey of the school year, with great results! Our active transport modes have increased, while our reliance on the car decreased. Well done, GSG!
In 2019, 39 per cent travelled by car, 2 per cent by bike, 37 per cent by bus and 20 per cent walked.
By comparison, in 2018, 47 per cent travelled by car, 1 per cent by bike, 33 per cent by bus and 17 per cent walked.
The school is looking for an active parent to take on the role of Your Move Champion. The role of the Champion is to increase awareness among the parent and student body of active modes of transport to school, and to encourage them.
The Champion works with the Deputy Principal and Community Relations to organise Walk/Ride to School Days and other activities promoting active transport. This role requires very little time and the occasional (once per term) meeting within school hours. If you are an active person with a commitment to student wellbeing, please enquire about this role via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9844 0475.
YEAR EIGHT BOARDING students at GSG participated in a fundraising ride on Saturday 23 February.
The MSWA Albany Ride (https://www.mswaalbanyride.org.au/champion/2019-ride) is a unique community cycling event held to raise vital funds for people living with MS and other neurological conditions in the Great Southern region.
Most of the riders completed a 10km circuit, while others rode 40km.
Congratulations to the GSG students who put their effort behind this worthy cause while being active!
On the first weekend of school after the term break, we held the Third Annual Ride-A-Thon.
Each House participated, making eight different teams with a total of 50 riders. We rode around Boarding and the front of the school in an approximate one kilometre loop, with at least one rider per team cycling at all times from 5.00pm to 10.00pm. One cyclists rode for the entire time without stopping; Liam Griffiths completed an amazing 138 laps! Seven other cyclists completed over 100 laps each — an amazing effort by all. Well done!
We raised a total of $307.40 for the Asthma Foundation, $160.00 of which was raised by Jack Mason alone. Well done, Jack!
An event like this across all houses held outside at night requires all hands on deck. I thank the wonderful Catering staff for keeping the hungry riders well fed throughout the night; the Facilities department for the set up; Mrs Karen Orr for the fire pit to roast marshmallows; Mr Brett Tompkin for the music, keeping everyone in the groove all night; and all the staff who worked on the night, supervising. It was a great night enjoyed by all, raising funds and awareness for the Asthma Foundation.
Agriculture teacher, Mr Julian Gugenheim, led a highly successful tree planting exercise, with students, staff and volunteers planting a massive 5000 seedlings along Johnston Creek on Wednesday, 19 September 2018.
This was a fantastic opportunity for students from Junior, Middle and Senior school to participate in an active outdoors project that enhances the local environment and improves campus sustainability.
Congratulations and thank you to all who helped achieve this goal, including the GSG P&F and parents, Albany Plantations, Green Skills, Oyster Harbour Catchment Group and South Coast Natural Resource Management.Well done, everyone!
Many boarders choose to ride the coastal path when participating in Walk to School Days. While most students participating in this activity walk from the meeting point, Coraki Park, to school, boarding students ride from school to the meeting point, then back to school.
That’s double the dedication to staying active!
#proudtobeGSG #GSGBoarding #ReadytoLearn
Great Southern Grammar's recreation officer regularly takes boarders out on an after school ride. On weekends they participate in longer rides to various places including beaches, bike tracks and town.
Great Southern Grammar Boarders regularly participate in a Ride-a-Thon to raise money for the Asthma Foundation. Every boarder is involved in this event, which we are looking forward to planning for 2019.
Anchorage House boys love cycling during recreational time, but at a house where 26 boys live and keep their bikes, storage can be a problem! Currently, bikes are stored in the Rec shed, which means there isn't much room for hanging out undercover in there.
GSG is on the lookout for opportunities to ensure our boarders stay active, and have somewhere safe and practical to store their bikes.
Most days after school, the boys normally ride around our large campus, but on the weekend, we like to ride to Oyster Harbour and Middleton Beach. It's such good exercise and great fun at the same time.
Great Southern Grammar's Year Eleven Outdoor Education students are enjoying the freedom of mountain biking activities in our beautiful outdoors.
Above: Year Eleven student Jacob Ford enjoys some single trail riding.
Above: Tamika Arundel and Juliette McCreton-Storm practice their descent in the travel position.
Above: “It’s not all fun and games!” Olivia Millar performs some routine bike maintenance on one of the school’s mountain bikes.
Above: Lining up the bikes for a good scrub down after an afternoon’s muddy fun on the trails.
Above: How many Year Eleven boys does it take to wash a mountain bike? Four, apparently!
Once again, we had a good number of boarders participate in GSG's Winter Walk to School Day, braving the cold and rain. Afterwards, we were rewarded with muffins and Milo served by our wonderful Yalari scholars. Well done!
Wintry conditions did not deter walkers from enjoying an energising starting to their day.
Well done to all the students, staff and families who walked to school as part of the P&F supported Winter Warmers Walk to School Day in blustery, cold weather.
The benefit to your health far outweighed Winter’s onslaught! Thank you to GSG’s Your Move Champion, Mrs Nikki Poulish, for continuing to promote active transport to school, to the P&F for the Milo and muffins, and to the Yalari scholars for serving the walkers upon their arrival at school.
Keep an eye on the Anchor newsletter or follow @gsgrammar on Facebook or Twitter to stay up to date with our activities.
Make a great start to your day and boost your learning with light exercise in our beautiful local environment!
WHEN: 7.50am, Friday 10 August 2018. Shuttle bus service for boarding students, staff, school bags and parents who walk one way only.
WHERE: Bridge (Coraki) Park
TREAT: Milo & muffin in the Library after the walk, courtesy of the GSG P&F.
Here's a fun, short time-lapse view of GSG's Term Three Walk to School Day, showing our Walk to School Day Champion, Mrs Nikki Poulish, leading students around the foreshore and into the woodland at the start of the walk.
Once again, Great Southern Grammar jagged the weather for a wonderful wander to school on 11 August, walking along the waterfront, past the culturally significant Fish Traps and scenic Johnston Creek before arriving at GSG to start the school day.
While the morning was clear, it was still brisk, so we enjoyed the hot drinks and breakfast muffins offered on our arrival by the helpful GSG Yalari students.
We're already looking forward to our next walk... Stay tuned for details!
GSG’S WINTER WARMER WALK to School Day departs at 7.50am this Friday, 11 August!
Bring your raincoat, umbrella and gumboots and meet at Coraki park for a wonderful wander along the waterfront, past the culturally significant Fish Traps and scenic Johnston Creek, before arriving at GSG to start the school day.
To celebrate the completion of our winter walk we’ll finish with a Milo and muffin in the GSG Library, sponsored by the P&F and served by Yalari students. To share in the winter warmer refreshments, just show your 2017 Walk to School Day sticker.
WHEN: 7.40am for a 7.50am departure, Friday 11 August, 2017
WHERE: Coraki park (at the Lower King Bridge on Lower King Road)
WHY: Have a healthy and warm start to the day walking to school with friends and classmates
PLEASE NOTE: We are leaving a little earlier than usual (7.50am) to give us time to enjoy Milo and muffins before school. School bags can be left with the GSG shuttle bus (not the boarding bus) at Coraki park for delivery to the Junior School foyer. Parents are invited to take advantage of the shuttle bus service departing GSG at 8.45am to return to Coraki park.
Click through to see photos of our fantastic Walk to School Day on 26 May:
GSG's Boarding students turned up by the minibus load to participate in today's Walk to School Day.
The boarders made up part of a group of more than 50 students, families and staff members who took advantage of the break in grey conditions to see a sparkling Great Southern morning cast across the Kalgan River and Oyster Harbour.
The brisk temperature made for a comfortable 2.8km walk to school from Coraki park and excited students set a quick pace, arriving at school within about half an hour of setting off.
Children of all ages collected YourMove stickers at the end of the trail, handed out as they neared school buildings.
Thanks to all who participated, especially to GSG's YourMove Champion, Mrs Nikki Polish, and the families who encourage their children to start each day in an active way.
We're inviting GSG families to set the tone for an active day, walking to school with friends as part of the YourMove programme.
Meet at Coraki park at 7.50am to depart at 8.00am. Please bring: Your families, rain jackets, hats, sturdy shoes, water bottles and healthy snacks.
See you there for another energising walk to school along the foreshore and through the beautiful bush trail!
Great Southern Grammar is excited to announce the completion of our first ever whole school Hands Up Survey. To date, most Hands Up Surveys only included Junior and Middle Schools, (K-6) however, we are now successfully surveying the whole school K-12 to provide a much more accurate result, as follows. Thank you to all students, classroom and homeroom teachers for your support with the survey!
GSG families took the active option for our Term One Walk to School Day held as part of the Your Move programme.
We’re excitedly planning our next Walk/Ride to School Day on Friday 26 May. All school families will shortly be invited to walk or ride from Coraki park to Great Southern Grammar along a beautiful coastal trail. We were proud to see strong participation by active Junior School families in the Term One event, and are looking forward to an event bigger turn out for Term Two. Stay tuned for details! See below for photos of the fun had by mums, dads, children and staff at our last Walk to School Day. #proudtobeGSG
Our very, very first walk and RIDE to school event for Great Southern Grammar students was held in Bike Week. Despite the incomplete pathway, more confident cyclists were invited to tackle the mountain bike track while walkers enjoyed the leisurely stroll to school through the forest.
It was our best turn out yet with around 120 participants from kindergarten to year 12, parents, teachers and students. A spectacular sunny morning with the King River still and sparkling like an absolute mirror.
The cyclists headed off first after a safety talk and tackled the beach before entering the forest hill climb - real mountain bike country! The pack were contained between lead and tail riders and the tail rider carried a first aid kit which was not needed, but always good to have just in case...
The walkers headed off after the cyclists had cleared the sand with a lead and tail walker, again the tail walker had a first aid kit.
Once through the forest, we picked up a few extra walkers and cyclists at the Kalgan Fish Traps, an historic Noongar fishing site, and continued on the path and over the bridge to school.
Thanks to City of Albany TravelSmart Officer Carl Beck for supporting the event, conducting bike safety checks on all bikes prior to the ride and taking the lead on the ride with our champion state cyclist student Daniel.
Thanks also to our local federal member Rick Wilson for sending a representative from his office to join us on the walk. Great to see the support and example set by the leaders in our local community.
It was great to hand out those Your Move stickers to all participants so they could stand proudly amongst their peers at school and encourage those that couldn't make it to participate next time.
What does it mean to your school to transition from TravelSmart to Your Move?
At Great Southern Grammar we have embraced the change as an opportunity to re-inspire the school community with active transport messages. Our favourite part of the message change is the tagline: More Ways to Get There. It is a great reminder that the car is not the only transport option!
Our school has a huge catchment area with some day students travelling up to 75km to school. The bus is a great option for these students, while the families that live closer to the school campus can walk or ride to school, or even park nearby and walk or ride the last part of the journey.
Keep an eye out in the GSG school newsletter, The Anchor, for upcoming YourMove events.
A special thanks to the Your Move programme for supporting the Great Southern Grammar 'Your Move Champion' to attend the Your Move Unwrapped Forum in Perth.
Albany is a five hour trip from Perth CBD and take a three day travel committment to attend a full day workshop. But the flexibility of the Your Move team to allow us to use the teacher relief support funding for a flight meant we could attend and reap the benefits from the instruction, networking and inspirational speakers.
It was such a great opportunity for us to attend and learn more about the new program structure and provide input from a regional perspective. Thank you, thank you Great Southern Grammar and Your Move!
A special thanks to the Your Move program for supporting the Great Southern Grammar Your Move Champion, Mrs Nikki Poulish, to attend the Your Move Unwrapped Forum in Perth.
Albany is a five-hour trip from Perth CBD and takes a three-day commitment to attend a full-day workshop. Thanks to the flexibility of the Your Move team, GSG was partly funded for a flight, meaning we could attend and reap the benefits from the instruction, networking and inspirational speakers at the forum. It was such a great opportunity for us to attend and learn more about the new programme structure, and provide input from a regional perspective.
We're learning all about the new evolution of the TravelSmart program to Your Move. Key message for me so far is the tag, "more ways to get there". What a great message to pass on to our school community. Walk, bus, ride, or park and walk are all options available for the journeys to and from school.
WALK/RIDE to School Day is back!
On Friday 17 March, meet at Coraki Park and take the scenic route to GSG via the stunning waterfront vista of Oyster Harbour.
All families are welcome!
GSG's Bikefest 2016 saw 129 bikes and 17 scooters lining the grass as students from Years 1-6 joined in the cycle festivities.
This year we featured:
- safety messages - what protective gear to wear
- current safety messages - "share the road" and "be safe, be seen switch on"
- a series of videos on different cycling styles - the source of lots of 'ooohhs' and 'aaahhs'!
- bike maintenance workshop
- road skills lessons (hand signals)
- a variety of steering, braking and balance courses
- go-slow races (balance and control)
- a cross country tour for Year 6 students.
Special thanks to parents for bringing bikes to school on the day.
Also thanks to Mr Carl Beck (TravelSmart Officer, City of Albany) and Mr Phil Stan-Bishop (Impulse Cycles), Year 11 and Year 9 Outdoor Ed students who assisted on the day, and to staff and teachers for their support in running another successful event.
A productive meeting this morning planning our TravelSmart events for 2017. Great to get our dates set so far in advance!
Our planned dates are:
Friday 17 March 2017: GSG Ride/Walk to School Day
Friday 26 May 2017: GSG Walk Safely to School Day
Friday 11 August 2017: Winter Walk to School Day (hot choc and muffin in the Library on arrival)
GSG is also exploring the idea of some more regular, smaller scale walks or rides to school to support parents and students keep motivated with their own TravelSmart commitment.
Keep your eyes on the TravelSmart blog and in the school newsletter for updates on these exciting new ideas in 2017
For parents and friends of GSG who have been asking for better warning signage at the student crossing point at Lower King Bridge, please note that the City of Albany has erected bright yellow 'Children Crossing' signs on Nanarup Road in both directions to alert motorists.
A break in wintry weather meant GSG's Walk to School Day on 20 May saw students, parents and school community members enjoying a gloriously sunny path to GSG along a picturesque coastal trail.
Now with all those weekend forecasts of gale-force winds, GSG families were a little nervous hoping the nasty weather wouldn't arrive a day early... and lucky us, today was yet ANOTHER glorious walk to school event under a clear blue cloudless sky!
It was a great turn out to Walk Safely to School Day today, with both Middle and Senior School Leaders joining in and handing out the TravelSmart walk to school stickers to the Junior School students as we started the walk. Thanks to the boarders from Flinders Lodge cycling all the way to join us too!
This year we had special guests along on the forest walk with both Carl Beck - the TravelSmart Officer from the City of Albany and Deborah Clark from the office of Rick Wilson MP joining us.
And in the home stretch to school, we were serenaded by the wonderful Geoff Waldeck, GSG music teacher and local musician, strumming his guitar from a fence post on the side of the path. A great addition to the morning walk!
On arrival at school, students were welcomed with a cup of hot chocolate and fresh muffins provided by the library staff. We are truly blessed to have such great support for all our TravelSmart activities from staff, parents and students - our whole school community!
What a glorious day for our Walkathon!
Friday the thirteenth may be unlucky for some, but it was a lucky day for all students from kindergarten to year 12 at Great Southern Grammar when we held our major fundraiser for 2016 - the Walkathon.
The sun shone over the 3km course that snaked it way up the 'walk to school' path, through the school farm paddocks, behind the boarding houses, and along the perimeter boundary of the school property. This is the same distance as our walk to school events, and it was a pleasant surprise for many students to discover it was an easy and enjoyable walk.
Junior School tackled one lap, while Middle and Senior School students went for two laps. Parents and siblings joining in to enjoy the wonderful views.
All students took their walkathon cards around the course, calling in at four stations dotted around the boundary to have their cards stamped by parents and staff.
To finish up the day, Senior School students provided a host of activities for all students to enjoy and parents served food to bring the whole school community together in a festival feel.
A special thanks to all the volunteers who planned, cooked, served, coordinated, stamped cards, ran activities, counted money and held the hands of younger students - you have all helped to raise valuable funds and have brought our school community even closer together!
Read more about the day in the GSG walkathon newsletter article:
National Walk Safely to School Day 2016 is coming soon for Great Southern Grammar students, parents and staff.
This Friday, 20 May 2016, we will meet in Coraki Park at 7:45am for an 8:00am departure. Staff, student leaders, parents, siblings and students will trek the 3km track through the forest to school.
On arrival at school, join us in the library for a cup of tea or coffee and a muffin and peruse the Book Fair with students. Parents requiring a lift back to our start point to make their way to work can hop on the school shuttle bus, returning to Coraki Park at 8:45am and 9:15am.
A glorious sunny day is forecast, so pack your water bottle (and a raincoat just in case...) and I look forward to seeing you at our walk to school!
Walkathon - what a wonderful way to raise funds for our school AND promote healthy activity!
That is the winning combination that Great Southern Grammar students, parents and staff have decided to work together to run as our major fundraiser for 2016.
Planning commenced mid-term one to plot the 3km cross-country walking course, that includes a section of our walk to school path for those that have not yet had the opportunity to join our walk to school events.
We have met with executive staff to plan the day, called for parent volunteers to man the course, designed logos, printed sponsorship cards, and secured locally sourced healthy prizes - with the major prize a new bike.
And our healthy fundraiser is going towards a healthy focus project, as we are using the funds raised to put towards the development of the planned multi-purpose playing courts!
Great Southern Grammar's Travel Smart Champion was invited to participate the 'Vulnerable Road Users Stakeholders Forum' held in Albany on the 21 April 2016.
It was a great opportunity to talk to Road Safety Commissioner Kim Papalia, and share with other stakeholders in our region the issues close to our heart - safe walking and cycle access for students getting to school, getting to sport and sharing the road and paths around Albany and the Great Southern.
Another glorious TravelSmart event for Great Southern Grammar was our Walk to School on Ride to School Day, 4 March 2016!
It was great to have whole of school involvement with the wonderful group of Year 12 student leaders and a bus load of boarders all joining us for the walk to school.
Despite the severe weather alert forecast for the day from earlier in the week, the clouds cleared, the wind died and the sun came out as we walked the path along the beach, through the forest, along the edge of Oyster Harbour and past the school farm.
An exciting moment occurred when we were buzzed by a parent-owned drone which took some great aerial shots of our walkers.
Thanks to all staff, students, future students, and parents who took part. Walk to school days are such great school community events.
Well the GSG TravelSmart team have kicked off the year with a planning session to get our key events for the year. Don't forget to mark the dates for 2016 events in your diary.
- Hands-up TravelSmart Survey
- 04 Mar WALK on ride to school day - still awaiting the completion of the second phase of our dual use path to be able to ride safely to school
- 13 May Walkathon - incorporating our healthy active transport way of life with a fundraise
- 20 May National walk to school day
- 21 Sep BIKEFEST
Great Southern Grammar is a world-class school providing a quality, independent, liberal education to the young people of the Great Southern region of WA in a co-educational day and residential setting for K-12, incorporating the Christian faith and a maritime heritage.
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