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Gippsland Grammar celebrates early childhood education

EXPERIENCING the benefits of early childhood education as a parent is what inspired Wurruk’s Kristy How to pursue a career in the same field.

Mrs How volunteered as a parent helper when her children attended Gippsland Grammar’s Early Learning Centre (ELC) at the School’s St Anne’s Campus in Sale and it was then when the School’s ELC Director Lisa Burgess encouraged Mrs How to turn her obvious passion into a career. Mrs How enrolled in a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) at Curtin University of Technology and the rest, as they say, is history.

“After meeting the amazing staff (at the ELC) and seeing what they do, I knew I wanted to work in early childhood,” Mrs How said. “And what I’ve now discovered firsthand is that being an early childhood teacher is a chance to make a real difference in young lives and support future generations. Children remind you of the wonder and possibility in the world.”

Gippsland Grammar ELC teacher Kristy How reads a book to Transition students Riley, Lucy and Aryan.
Gippsland Grammar ELC teacher Kristy How reads a book to Transition students Riley, Lucy and Aryan.

Mrs How has now been teaching at Gippsland Grammar’s St Anne’s ELC for the past two years and is one of the leading teachers in the ELC’s four-year-old Transition program. She has continued to fuel her passion for further study in this field and she has almost completed her Master of Education (Advanced Teaching and Learning), also at Curtin University, which she has done with the help of the School’s ‘Staff Study Support’ program.

The program involves the School making a financial contribution to support staff members for a 12-month period of study and, since the program was launched in 2019, four Gippsland Grammar staff, including Mrs How, have benefited from the program.

“I have used this study support to further develop our practice at the ELC, including our STEM teaching program,” Mrs How said. “It was great to have this opportunity to be supported by the School.”

Wednesday September 7 is Early Childhood Educators’ Day, which recognises and celebrates the work of Australia’s educators in early learning services for their important contribution to the wellbeing and healthy development of the young children in their care. It’s a chance to say thank you to Australia’s early childhood educators on a very personal level by service operators, families and their children, as well as collectively at the state and national levels.

Gippsland Grammar celebrated the day at its two ELCs at its Bairnsdale and St Anne’s (Sale) campuses, which both offer three and four-year old kindergarten programs. The programs are tailored to meet the needs of young students and ensure their first schooling experience is positive and happy.

Bairnsdale ELC educators Sharon Smith, Sommer-Lea Collins and Maddy Cuttriss receive their special hampers on Early Childood Educators’ Day.
Bairnsdale ELC educators Sharon Smith, Sommer-Lea Collins and Maddy Cuttriss receive their special hampers on Early Childood Educators’ Day.

ELC Director Lisa Burgess said the first five years of a child’s life are a time when critical learning skills are being developed. These skills lay the foundation for later success and a high-quality early learning program is important to give children the tools they need to become independent, resilient, kind, respectful and adaptable members of our community.

“These early years are crucial years of intellectual, social, spiritual and physical growth,” Mrs Burgess said. “At the ELC the children are immersed in an environment which provides plenty of early literacy and numeracy experiences, a mix of adult and child-directed learning, as well as opportunities for open-ended interest-based exploration.”

Daily programs at Gippsland Grammar ELC integrate the arts, science, mathematics and language, the development of thinking skills, growth mindset precepts and education about sustainability. They are enriched by weekly specialist lessons in Music, Japanese and a Perceptual Motor Program (PMP). Children also attend the library each week to borrow books and each child in the Transition Program (four and five year olds) has their own special Year 5 ‘buddy’.

The St Anne’s ELC boasts beautiful purpose-built playrooms and nature-based play spaces with a strong focus on individual attention in a calm, focussed and intentional environment.

There are currently limited places available at the Bairnsdale and St Anne’s ELCs in 2023. For more information contact Gippsland Grammar’s Head of Admissions Jemma Horan on 5143 6388 or email


Gippsland Grammar background:

Gippsland Grammar is one of Australia’s leading co-educational Anglican schools, with a tradition of excellence in education extending almost 100 years. Located in the heart of Gippsland, the School has more than 1100 students across three campuses including St Anne’s junior campus and the Garnsey senior campus, both at Sale, and the Bairnsdale junior campus in East Gippsland. Enrolments at both junior campuses begin with a 3s and 4s kindergarten program at their respective Early Learning Centres (ELC) and Garnsey caters for students from Years 7-12. Gippsland Grammar is also the only boarding school east of Melbourne’s suburban fringe and is a home-away-from-home for students from far East Gippsland, South Gippsland, Victoria’s High Country and the Latrobe Valley as well as for a cohort of international students.

Gippsland Grammar’s 2021 VCE results:

Gippsland Grammar’s class of 2021 was among some of Victoria’s highest achieving Year 12 students. An amazing 21 per cent of the School’s Year 12 students achieved an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) above 90 and 38 per cent above 80, which places them in the top 10 percent, and 20 per cent, in the state respectively. Gippsland Grammar’s Dux for 2021 was Demi Edward with an ATAR of 99.2, two students achieved a perfect study score of 50 while 28 per cent of students achieved a study score above 40. Gippsland Grammar is also proud to acknowledge the 21 students from the 2021 cohort who made a successful transition into the workforce through an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Join our Community:

If you’d like to join our Gippsland Grammar Community please phone us on 56143 6388 or email to request a Prospecus, book a campus tour or simply inquire about a future enrolment. Or click here to read our Gippsland Grammar Information Book.

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