A day in the life of Grimwade House

Every day is a busy day at Grimwade House, Melbourne Grammar School’s co-educational campus for students in Prep – Year 6. Join us for an unstaged and authentic ‘behind the scenes’ look on a typical day.

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An early start

“I like to get as much administrative work done as I can before the children arrive. It means I have more time to engage with them and with staff members throughout the day.” Royce Helm, Head of Grimwade House


Under Cuming Tower

It’s another early morning arrival for Aaron and his father.

“I come to Swim Squad training twice a week. We get up at 6am on those days. It’s a bit hard but I don’t mind because exercise and staying fit is really important to me. Plus I feel at peace and forget about any troubles I might have when I’m swimming.” Aaron, Year 5


Clearing the way for the day ahead

“Clearing our pathways and play areas each morning is very important. We love having so many trees and shrubs on our campus but leaves can be slippery under young feet.” Tom, Groundskeeper

In addition to this, our Grounds staff also mow the lawns, prepare the oval for sport and play, create new garden beds and maintain existing ones, and work with teaching staff to develop outdoor places which enhance learning.


(Almost) late for rehearsal

Quick, the Elgar Symphonic Band (Years 5 & 6) rehearsal is beginning!

Rehearsals for the Intermezzo Chorale (Year 3 & 4 Choir) and the Vivaldi Ensemble (selected) are also underway at this time.


Shooting for the stars

“I’ve been playing basketball since Prep. Since Term 2, I’ve been training three times a week and we made it into the semi-finals this season. I like defending the most. I’m pretty quick.

Plus my little brother and I sometimes play against my dad in the backyard – we usually win!” Giselle, Year 3


I’ve never missed a day.

Niki has been our crossing supervisor for more than seven years and she is proud of her unbroken attendance record.

“It is a very busy crossing. I like to make sure the children are safe.” Niki


Creating a new world

Lee-Anne d’Paul prepares for her first Art class of the day in which Prep students will glaze the ceramic pinch pots they have created for the Tooth Fairy.


What does your mother say?

Mother Daughter Breakfasts have been held at Grimwade House this year across all year levels from Year 2.

During the Year 2 Breakfast, when asked what their mother says to them most often, you might expect responses like: “I love you” or “Give me a hug”. But Ivy had something different to share. She reported that what she hears from her mother most often is “Clean your teeth”.

(We can report that her mother does, in fact, tell Ivy she loves her regularly as well.)


Investigating and exploring in Prep

Home Room has finished and lessons have begun.

Prep students are considering possible names for their new Class dolls, drawing on traditional First Nations options.


Luna practices her handwriting

The classroom is silent except for some peaceful music playing in the background – a perfect setting for Year 1 students to hone their handwriting skills.


In the plant room

Between setting up for events, building props for productions, supervising building contractors and responding to life’s little plumbing | carpentry | electrical emergencies, every day is different for our Grimwade House’s Maintenance Manager.

However, there is an additional duty on days when the pool is in use.

“Well before the first swimmers arrive, we test the water quality to make sure it is safe for everyone. We then test again at precise four hourly intervals throughout the day.” Rob Gossip


Innovation in action

“In this Science lesson, Mrs Masters challenged us to get some things out of a bucket using just the materials she provided. It was a problem solving task.

My group did end up getting a few things out. I think we did well because we encouraged each other, and all of our ideas were included.

We do a lot of problem solving in maths classes as well. I love it!” Niara, Year 5


The incident of the stray ball

“My friend hit me in the head with a ball during a game in PE. It was an accident and it was a soft ball but it hurt just the same.

The nurse said I should sit in the Health Centre until I don’t need the ice-pack anymore.” Lachlan, Year 4


And in breaking news…

“We’re writing news article recounts about Little Red Riding Hood today. It’s like we are news reporters and we are writing a story for a newspaper.

It’s really fun. I like thinking about things in different ways.

My favourite bit of the story is when the wolf dresses up in the grandmother’s clothing. It’s really funny.” Chloe, Year 3


Giggles and goggles

Year 2 students head into the change rooms after their weekly swimming lesson.

Swimming occurs all year round at Grimwade House so it is lucky the pool is warm and inviting!


King (or Queen) for the day

“Recess is the best time to play downball because it is a short period of time so, if you become King [by reaching the top left square], you have a better chance of staying King until the end of the game.

There are Year 4s from each class here. If people want to play with us, then they’re welcome to join in no matter what.” Sooryun, Year 4


I love to read

“My friend and I like to read during recess. It feels very peaceful and it is a break from the busyness of the classroom. Sherlock Holmes is my favourite right now.

But sometimes I play soccer on the oval instead.” Ethan, Year 4


Take a bow Year 2!

Our students take their first steps towards mastery of a stringed instrument in Year 2.

It can be a bit tricky when you are starting out, but it helps that there are three adult instructors in the room.


A shared experience

Immersed in their novel study (this time the book is ‘Holes’), Year 6C work together to build their literary skills. During this ‘shared experience’ lesson, the focus is on improving vocabulary, comprehension, inferencing and more.

There are two education professionals in many of our numeracy and literacy lessons across Grimwade House.

“Support is always close by in the classroom. Whether it is the Class Teacher, a Learning Assistant, a parent helper or a peer, there’s always someone available..” Jo Clancy, Year 6 teacher


Mastering maths through Martinetti

Tom Finney’s Year 5 class are starting their maths lesson with a quick round of the Martinetti Dice Game today. It is a fun way of building mental arithmetic and logic skills.


It’s not fair!

In this Year 3 Chapel lesson, Rev’d Helen read the Bible story about Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers then posed the question: “Have you ever felt that something’s not fair?”

“I try to make our discussions relevant to the children’s own world as much as possible. This helps them understand how God might be working in their own lives.

I also try to include a ethical or moral aspect in our discussions, as this gives those with a different faith or no faith identity at all something they can still latch onto.” Rev’d Helen Dwyer


Time for Tuckies pick-up

Madeleine and Austin are collecting Prep C’s lunch orders from Tuckies today. It’s a big responsibility for two of our youngest students, but learning about service to others begins on day one at Grimwade House.


Drumming up some talent

While we encourage all of our students to ‘make their own kind of music’ in life, it’s great when the Year 5 and 6 Percussion Ensemble members stick to the same beat during their lunchtime rehearsal.

The Chamber Wind Ensemble is also rehearsing elsewhere.


They’re all my favourites

So, the glorious conversation with Harper in Year 2 went something like this:
Do you like lunchtime?
Yes, because it’s much longer than recess. I like to play games with my friends.

Is it the best thing to do each day?
Yes. [Pause]
Although I also like writing. Cold writing is really good. You look at a picture and write about what you think would be happening in real life.

So are writing and lunchtime your two favourite things to do at school?
Yes. [Pause]
Although I also like maths. Multiplying can be hard sometimes but I still like it.

That’s very interesting. It sounds like you have quite a few things you like about school – lunchtime, writing, maths. Is there anything else you’d want to include?
[Pause] Well, I pretty much like everything we do.

So that’s lunchtime, writing, maths and everything else?
Yes, they’re all my favourites.


For or against?

Our Year 6 debaters get some final guidance and instruction before they begin their exchange of ideas.

Today’s topic? ‘Homework should be banned in primary schools.’

Needless to say, the against team won!


In the Junior Library

Having a story read to you must be one of life’s great pleasures.

However, for our Year 1 students – who are still fledgling readers – hearing the cadence and language of stories helps them become more proficient readers as well.


Making movies

“We are making movies about cybersafety in Digitech classes this term.. We’ve practised using the green screen and filming. We’re editing and using apps to put it together now. I really enjoy it and I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone creates.” Chloe, Year 5


Diving into conservation

Our ‘Students Observing Sustainability’ incursion presenter is talking to Seb who is fresh from an ocean dive where he spent some time cleaning it up. (You can tell he has been diving by his flippers and goggles.)

The presenter will shortly speak with some of the animals who live in an aquatic environment who are lined up next to Seb, and ask how they feel about having their home cleaned.


An (almost) empty classroom

It’s period 8 and Kelly MacKenzie’s Year 4 class has gone to the gym for their Health and Physical Education lesson.

“I have limited opportunities to have an empty classroom during the day, but when such moments arise, it provides an ideal window for me to make progress on my marking and lesson planning.” Kelly MacKenzie


There she is!

Prep teacher Amelia Busby helps Harrison locate his mother in the sea of picker-uppers (is that the technical term?) waiting outside Harleston.

Prep students can only leave when a teacher has seen they are with their adult picker-upper.


Waiting for Taekwondo

Unlike Godot, Taekwondo does arrive. The lesson will be underway in just a few minutes.

Taekwondo is just one of the many after school activities offered at Grimwade House.


It’s about to begin

Just a few notes to check everyone is ready for today’s Instrumental Concert.

We’ll hear from students playing the bassoon, clarinet, flute, French horn, oboe, saxophone, and trumpet this time around.

Overall seven Instrumental Concerts have been, or will be, held this month.


Hitting a high note

It’s been a long day, but these talented members of the Elevarsi Vocal Group will be at school until at least 4.45pm preparing for the upcoming Senior Musician’s Concert.


Collaboration is an essential part of what we do

Teachers regularly come together to share ideas about improving teaching practice.

In this after-school workshop, the focus was on how to best use explicit instruction to guide student writing practices.


And the sun sets…

Harleston, home to our youngest students, is all tucked in for the night.

See you all tomorrow for another wonderful adventure.

These photographs were all taken on Thursday 17 August 2023, except for the third and last shots. In each case, the photographs were not staged. We hoped to capture an authentic picture of Grimwade House.