The Respectful Relationships program currently being undertaken at Gardenvale Primary School, is about embedding a culture of respect and equality across our entire community, from our classrooms to staffrooms, sporting fields, fetes and social events. The Respectful Relationships program supports schools to promote and model respect, positive attitudes and behaviours and teaches our students how to build healthy relationships, resilience and confidence.


On Tuesday June 14, a whole school, multi-age event took place on both campuses as part of our annual Herrrby Week celebrations and Respectful Relationships Program. Herrrby, our school values mascot, is an acronym for Honesty, Empathy, Resilience, Respect, Responsibilty and Being Yourself.  Throughout the week, a variety of activities were planned, including a fun whole school homework task, a staff verses student netball match, a whole school in-house performance and a 'Dance Off"under the COLA to name a few.


Working in mixed aged groups, our students were asked to create and decorate a Gardenvale student character, to be displayed around the school, who depicted their own personal strengths.


During Visual Arts sessions, students also decorated a pebble with their name and face, as well as writing one of their strengths on it. Over 630 pebbles were used to create a "Strength Garden" on the Junior School Campus. 


At 10am this morning, Tuesday 26th April, a whole school commemorative Anzac Day ceremony was held under the COLA on the Senior Campus. In the school’s Centenary year, our neighbour, Jim, an army veteran who also turned 100 earlier this year, was our special guest of honour.

The Flanders poppy has long been a part of Remembrance Day, the ritual that marks the Armistice of 11 November 1918, but it is also being used as part of Anzac Day observances. During the First World War, red poppies were among the first plants to spring up in the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium. In soldiers' folklore, the vivid red of the poppy came from the blood of their comrades soaking the ground. The sight of poppies on the battlefield at Ypres in 1915 moved Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae to write the famous poem “In Flanders fields”.

Today during the ceremony, every child in the school held a paper Flanders poppy in memory of all the lives lost in wars, past and present, while our Year 6 students recited part of the poem, “In Flanders Fields” by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.

Hopefully it was a very memorable day for Jim and it gave our school the opportunity to reflect and be thankful for the quality of life that we have today.


Tuesday June 15 was the start of HERRRBY WEEK celebrations at Gardenvale Primary School. Throughout the week, the school focused on the HERRRBY values of Honesty, Empathy, Resilience, Respect, Responsibilty and Being Yourself.  A variety of activities were planned, including a fun whole school homework task, a staff verses student netball match where the whole school came to the Senior Campus to cheer on the players, a buddies art activity which addressed the current theme of "Supporting Each Other" and  a “Dance Off” event organised by the Music specialist teacher and Music Captains where HERRRBY arrived and joined in all the fun in the Junior School hall. He even blew out the candles on his special HERRRBY cake!

Year 5 and Year Prep students also entertained everyone with some beautiful songs, including the HERRRBY song.  


Each day the following classroom activities were undertaken:-

  • Discussions such as treating everyone how you would like to be treated, being true to yourself, ways that you can support your friends,what we can all do to make ourselves more resilient.

  • Circle time activies such as sharing why you think it is important to be honest and what does empathy look like.

  • A family homework task of making a poster representing "How you survived lockdown".

  • A focuss on each HERRRBY value over the four days.


Throughout Term 1 and Term 2, Year Prep - Year 6 students commenced creating their annual Mother's Day cards and gifts during their weekly Visual Arts sessions. Every year, each year level makes a different card and gift, using a wide variety of skills and techniques and they are gift wrapped and taken home in time for the Sunday celebrations.

This year, the following gifts were created:-

Year 6: Drawn student faces in glass picture frames with collaged background

Year 5: Hand stitched felt cats with lavender potpourri

Year 4: Collaged love hearts on canvas with stand included

Year 3: Folded owl tea towel with a chocolate egg

Year 2: Collaged flowers in a flower pot on canvas with stand included

Year 1: Black eco shopping bag with flower artwork inserted in pocket

Year P: Collaged picture frame with child’s photo inserted

The cards and gifts are part of a Parents’ Association annual fundraiser and this year all monies are going towards the construction and refurbishment of a new art room on the Senior School campus.


0n Wednesday, April 28, at 9.15am and in fabulous sunshine, Year Prep - Year 6 students made their way to Landcox Park for our annual Walkathon  fundraiser. Students were asked to collect sponsors who nominated to pay an amount for every lap walked. Junior School students were encouraged to walk at least 8 laps of a marked course with their teachers, while the Senior School students tackled at least 10 laps around the lake. Parents manned stations around the courses and stamped a score card each time a student completed a lap. Herrrby, our values mascot, danced, cheered and high-fived all the students as they past by. Even a friendly T-Rex ambled into the park and helped Herrrby encourage our students.  

This year the fundraiser hopes to support the relocation and refurbishment of a new Visual Arts Centre on the Senior School Campus. Congratulations to all the students who walked further than their designated laps and thank you so much to the brilliant parents who lined the course, cheering on our students!


On Friday, April 23, students from Year 1 - Year 6 met on the Senior Campus to participate in our annual ANZAC Day ceremony. Students from the singing group, "The Jets", sang "The Last Anzac" and we were thrilled to have our neighbour, Jim Stanley Arkell, who will turn 100 years old next year, come to the commemoration ceremony wearing his service medals. He recited "The Ode" in front of the whole school and then after a rendition of the Last Post, there was one minute's silence.

Jim served in the army from 1939 - 1948 and was a member of the 2nd 23rd Battalion of the 9th division.  He was part of the Cavalry Machine Gun Regiment and was first based in Western Australia, protecting our borders and then was later sent to Papua New Guinea.


It was such an amazing opportunity for our students to witness first-hand, an individual who could share his experience and exemplify the true meaning of the word "hero"; someone who made a difference and contributed to making life in Australia what it is today. Jim received an enlarged photograph of himself in uniform as a gift from the school. 


After nearly 12 months of not being able to meet and celebrate events as a whole school due to COVID 19, on April 15, Gardenvale Primary School conducted our annual “Big Blue Bush Bash” dance event on the Senior School campus, under the COLA. The whole school got together to raise money for "Beyond Blue", an initiative to help people battling mental illness. It was so brilliant to see every year level, donned in country and western clothing, participate in various square dances that they had learned and then practised during weekly Performing Arts classes.

The event also brought about a greater awareness about Autism, accepting our diversity and being mindful that not only do we all learn and think in different ways, but that we should celebrate these differences.

Students, parents and teachers thoroughly enjoyed the event and it was so wonderful to experience a form of normality and closeness which everyone had really missed over the past year.


To bring some happiness in these very uncertain times, the students, families and teachers at Gardenvale Primary School were encouraged to create a spoon character that would be placed in our front garden on the Senior School Campus for all to see.  By September 9, we had 321 divine spoons peeking out along the fence line, protected from the elements by our Gardenvale Primary School marquis.


It wasn't long before our spoon numbers grew to over 450, with many adults from the neighbourhood leaving their spoons in the "village" as well! The tremendous joy that this initiative has brought to our community and beyond has been phenomenal and it has shown that together, we can make a huge difference to those around us. Congratulations to everyone who participated and gave their all to making this whole school event absolutely amazing. Onward and Upward as always! Brilliant effort!


In 2020, Gardenvale Primary School’s Year 5 and Year 6 students embarked on the bi-annual school musical called "SUCH IS LIFE", written by Julie Pitts, Grant Puglia, and Tom Pitts. Before rehearsals began however, everything was interrupted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. With schools going into total lockdown, a full scale live performance became impossible and therefore, a decision was made to convert the "SUCH IS LIFE" into a feature film. Students began rehearsing via zoom calls, learning their lines and practising songs and dances at home showing such incredible ingenuity, engagement and resilience. 

When all Victorian schools returned in Term 4, filming began using various locations around the school, with social distancing maintained via the use of green screen technology. The result was beyond all expectations, with all the students performing at such a high level in the creation of a wonderful film! 

To view the entire "SUCH IS LIFE" film, please click on the "Specialist Programs" tab on the home page and then on the "Performing Arts" tab. Sit back and enjoy this fabulous film, showcasing our very talented students.


Throughout remote learning in Victoria last year, students at GPS were challenged to participate in daily learning programs using their devices to connect with school and home. Visual Arts was particularly challenging, as not all students had access to a plethora of art materials, so the entire program had to be focussed on some excellent art websites for all ages, as well as using materials that could be found around the home or purchased from local supermarkets / newsagents. ​

Assorted papers, card, coloured markers, pencils, rulers, paper scraps, tape, paints, wool, fabrics and a collection of recyclable materials, formed the basis of the art lessons and students were offered a collection of over 150 lessons to choose from using the ART- Online link on the school’s Visual Arts website. (Click on the "Specialist Programs" tab on the Home page to find the Visual Arts ART-Online link).


Every week, students were able to choose age appropriate instruction notes and videos, showing how to complete each specific art activity, as well as seeing a comprehensive materials list. Students were then asked to post their finished art product on Class Dojo, (Prep – Year 2), and Google Classroom, Year 3 – Year 6), to be shared and assessed.


The art teacher hand delivered over 180 art material prizes to each winning student’s household in recognition of their outstanding effort. Some of the remote learning artwork pieces shown above are currently on display in the Senior School Campus office foyer and they demonstrate the resisilence, resourcefulness and engagement of our amazing students in what certainly was a difficult time for all.