Our Purpose 3
Find Me a Mountain 9
Timbertop: An Innovation in Education 11
The Most Rewarding Year 13
Timbertop’s Isolation 15
The Role of the Outdoors 15
The Digital Age 15
The Academic Focus 16
Diversity and Inclusivity 16
The Sound of White 17 Tomorrow 19
The Miracle Mile 21
From Eagles’ Peaks to Everest 23 Chapel at Timbertop 25
Risk Management at Timbertop 29
Positive Education 33
A Wild Wombat as a Friend 35
The Timbertop Marathon 37
Entry to Timbertop
The Academic Focus Overview
English 52 Mathematics 52 Science 54 History 55 Outdoor Education Studies 55 Positive Education 56 Agriculture and Land Management 56 Health and Physical Education 57 Languages 57 Geography 59 History Elective 60 Music 60
Visual Arts 61 Assessment, Reporting and Feedback 63 Academic Support 63 Catering for High Achievers 65
Outdoor Gear 69
Modified Pack Programme 69 Hiking in Term 1 70
Unit Hikes 73 Winter Expeditions 73 Back Country Ski Expeditions 73 Hiking in Term 4 74 Rogaining 74 Solos 74 05
Music 77 Reading Programme 77 Team Activities 77
The Darling Huts 78 School and Community Service 79 Hobbies 79
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award 80 Downhill Skiing 81
GGS Cup and Victorian Interschools Skiing Championships 83
Getting Fit 87
Running Shoes 87
Training Programme Pre-Term 1 88
Other Information 105
Hair, Make-up and Nail Polish 105
Mobile Telephones/Digital Cameras/ iPods/MP3 Players/External Memory Devices/E-book readers/ Smart Watches 105
Pocket Money 105
HARRASSMENT AND BULLYING
Managing Positive Relationships 91
School Rules 92
Behavioural Support 93
External Suspension 93
Removal from School 93
Students’ Statement of Commitment 93
Respect for oneself and others 93
Respect for the School 93
Arrival - Beginning of Year 97
Closing Ceremony and Final Day of Term 97
Travel - Beginning and End of Term 98
Luggage 98 Cards 98
Term Dates 99
Dinner for Timbertop Parents 100
Absence from School 100
Timbertop Health Centre 101
Health Care Providers 101
Team Communication 102 102 103
Infectious Illness and COVID-19 103
Term and Exeat Dates 104
Ambulance Transport 104 Contact 104
Birthday Cakes 107
Uniform and Books 107
Online Booklist Orders 107
The Uniform Shop at Corio 108
Uniform for Girls 108
Uniform for Boys 108
Contact the Shop 109
Girls Basic Clothing Needs 109 Footwear 110 Socks 110
Other Items 110
Boys Basic Clothing Needs 111 Footwear 112 Socks 112
Other Items 113
Marking of Clothing and Bedding 113
Name Tapes 114
Outdoor Activities Equipment 114
Outdoor Equipment Provided 116
Explanation of Various Items 117
Directions to Timbertop 118
The PHILOSOPHY that underpins the School’s provision of Exceptional Education is manifest in our Purpose, Focus, Spirit, Character and Beliefs
Intersecting the science of learning and the art of teaching to shape a better world
Making a positive difference
staff give of themselves with passion and enthusiasm
IN A COMMUNITY WHERE LEARNING & TEACHING
students and staff alike, share all challenges together
OUR STUDENTS LEARN
to develop a love of learning and to explore the world with curiosity and confidence
to embrace challengesphysical, mental and social
to develop their own physical health through the demands of running and hikingHEALTH & FITNESS
physical and mental health and wellbeing are managed proactively and with compassion
strong relationships are the foundation of our community and build trust, forgiveness and compassion
to build strong, positive, authentic relationships with all members of our community RELATIONSHIPS
genuine challenge, small groups and a sense of independence are fundamental to our outdoor programme
staff and students live the ethos of the Timbertop journey through immersion, commitment and collegiality SIMPLICITY
that with considered risk comes genuine reward. Judgement is fostered through experience
that simplicity is powerful and that time spent away from technology is valuable and healthy
that mistakes are not only acceptable but indeed essential for growth COURAGE
we admire courage, authenticity and care for each other
we are proud of our campus and the surrounding environment
to create and care for each other, fostering both community mindedness and individual effortCOMMUNITY LIVING
service to others and the community is honoured
to give of themselves without expecting anything in return SERVICE
WHICH WE BRING ABOUT BY
providing experiential learning in all parts of the programme, aiming to inspire interest and passion
offering a “steep and rugged pathway” in a supportive environment seeking adventure in the outdoors and developing strength of mind, body and character
providing opportunities on a daily basis for kindness, honesty and effort
leading our students into the natural world of mountains and bushland in pursuit of self-awareness, adventure and challenge
removing access to the complexities and distractions inherent in technology, social media, and the trappings of a luxurious life
allowing students to make their own decisions whilst providing safety nets to protect students from any lasting negative effects of their decision-making
sharing responsibilities in an egalitarian ethos and expecting a full commitment to every aspect of the daily life of the community
offering both formal and spontaneous opportunities to serve others
academic endeavour empowers our lives immeasurably and is the key to an engaged life, freedom of choice and community engagement.
“there is more in us than we know; perhaps if we can be made to see it, we will never again settle for anything less.”
running, hiking and unit life build resilience. They are a metaphor for the challenges of life.
healthy relationships are fundamental to the happiness of ourselves and others.
the pursuit of genuine adventure builds a powerful sense of identity that is deeply connected to the natural world.
happiness and well-being are ultimately founded on relationships with others, self-reliance and internal values rather than on external things.
we learn best in life by taking risks, making errors and moving onto new growth.
living as a group promotes generosity of heart, an ability to place others first, gratitude for the support of others and a loving spirit towards our fellow human beings.
giving of oneself is the foundation of a flourishing life and welcoming community.
LEARNING & TEACHING
HEALTH & FITNESSCHALLENGE RELATIONSHIPS WILDERNESS COURAGE
FIND ME A MOUNTAIN
One morning in June 1951, Hugh Montgomery was taking a mathematics class at Geelong Grammar School in Corio when he was summoned by the Headmaster, Dr (later Sir) James Darling. Leaving work for the boys to do in his absence, he gathered up his gown and walked through the red brick quadrangle to Dr Darling’s study, wondering why he was wanted. Darling looked up as he walked in.
“Montgomery,” he said. “I want you to buy me a mountain.” “Certainly,” replied Montgomery, unfazed. He sat down. “Where do you want the mountain, and why?”
Thus the educational phenomenon that is Timbertop was set in motion. Darling had been Headmaster at Geelong Grammar School for 21 years and had already transformed the School from a church school of 370 boys on the edge of Corio Bay to a more vital institution of more than 1,000 students spread across three sites.
However, Darling’s vision of a remote campus where students would spend a full school year living, working and studying in the bush was his most ambitious yet. Timbertop was established in 1953 and, more than 60 years later, the vision remains reality – a co-educational, full boarding campus of a little over 240 students located mid-way between the town of Mansfield and Mount Buller, nestled in a secluded valley in the rugged and beautiful foothills of the Great Dividing Range. There are 29 teachers and around 50 other staff, including assistants, maintenance, catering, office and medical staff. Timbertop offers comprehensive academic and outdoor education programmes that take full advantage of its surroundings.
It is the nature of this unique school to involve students in a very special and very active life. Timbertop differs from other schools in both philosophy and operation.
TIMBERTOP: AN INNOVATION IN EDUCATION
The philosophy with which Timbertop was created remains its driving force. Darling was convinced that “moral and intellectual courage comes only from experience”. He later wrote that his idea “was based upon the belief that education must be closely concerned with the development of self-confidence, and that this comes from the learning of competence in practical ways, and from the growth of self-reliance and independence”.
“The theory of Timbertop was this: that adolescent boys could better develop by themselves, out of the usual school machine. Placed in a different and less clement environment, they should undertake responsibility for themselves and be given the challenges of something like a man’s life under conditions that they had to conquer. But the first principle was essentially one of self-reliance and the challenge to live up to this responsibility.”
Of course, today Geelong Grammar School, and Timbertop as a part of it, is a co-educational school and times have changed significantly. The emphasis though, has not. Timbertop offers to students many new and unusual challenges; obstacles and hurdles that resemble those that they will come across throughout their lives. The principle behind this is a simple one and perhaps has its origins in the thinking of Kurt Hahn, who was behind the founding of Salem School in Germany, Gordonstoun in Scotland, the Outward Bound movement and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. Hahn believed that the skills and confidence to deal with unfamiliar territory could be developed. They are things that are learned. Exposure to challenges, in a secure environment, awakens in young people a belief in themselves which will stay with them through the hurdles ahead. The very process of being confronted by new physical and emotional challenges in a new environment is inherently exciting and immensely rewarding.
THE MOST REWARDING YEAR
For many students, Timbertop has been a challenging rite of passage to a rewarding adult life. Anna Scott, a former student, and later Head of M Unit, explains: “We had a girl from a wealthy family who had never got her hands dirty. She went into complete shock. The first six months were sheer hell for her. She tried to leave, railed and sobbed, but her parents wouldn’t budge. So she then decided to make the best of it and ended up feeling like she had really achieved something.
On the last day of the Six Day Hike in Term 4 she came running up with this great grin on her face saying, ‘I’ve made it, I’ve made it, I’ve done it! It’s just fantastic.’”
In early 2010, students were given a letter writing exercise on a solo camp. Consequently, the former Head of Timbertop, Roger Herbert, received the following letter from an anonymous student: ‘Dear Mr Herbert,
As much as a bunch of slovenly students whinge and complain, please know that we love Timbertop. I don’t know what the others’ reasons are but I love Timbertop because of what it has taught me, how it has taught me, and because of how much I still have to learn here.
There is a delightful paradox inherent in Timbertop’s nature; I love what it does but I don’t like the way it does it but if it was done any other way it wouldn’t do what I love.‘
Mount Timbertop has a quite distinctive shape. Its flattish summit, slightly sloping, is crowned with trees above a strip of open space; hence the name. Once past the small village of Merrijig, it stands out like a beacon to those who know it.
Timbertop operates in a very isolated environment. The campus is two to three hours drive from Melbourne, Victoria, set on over 325 hectares of bush and farming land. The nearest public road is over two kilometres from the main living and teaching areas. Cars and the general public cannot be seen and the noise of traffic is replaced by the noise of the bush. It is a quiet and very peaceful place. There is also a deliberate distancing from some elements of city life. There are newspapers for students, regular mail and movies shown from time to time but there is no television. There is also no regular access to a telephone or to email facilities. Students are not allowed to use mobile telephones. It is possible for students to contact parents by the school telephone if the need arises and parents are encouraged to keep in contact with their child’s Head of Unit by email and telephone but general contact is restricted to letters.
Students succeed and thrive in this environment. They grow emotionally and generally do so at a great rate. Parents on the other hand often find this a difficult period. Though it can be hard initially, adolescence is the time to do this growing and there is little doubt that the experiences gained at Timbertop are enormously beneficial for adolescents.
THE ROLE OF THE OUTDOORS
Timbertop has an extensive outdoors programme. The outdoors is a very important aspect of school life. It offers the opportunity to learn through extensive hiking, skiing, rogaining and camping, all of which can be done from our backyard. Through these activities students learn a great deal more than simply how to pitch a tent or how to ski with a pack on.
The experience in the outdoors programme is fundamental to the ideals of presenting new challenges, which will help young people to discover their potential. These activities fill our weekends with exciting, worthwhile and healthy challenges. In many ways the year at Timbertop is a journey year and our experiences in the outdoors are a literal foundation for this. In total the students camp for over 50 nights during their year. The most important activity in terms of time and in the minds of the students, is hiking.
THE DIGITAL AGE
Separation from television, telephones, social media and computer games creates a radical new silence which our students convert to reading and writing letters and to conversation. Computer literacy is essential in this digital age, however, technology cannot speak as powerfully as companionship. In keeping with the Timbertop ethos, electronic screen entertainment is not permitted.
THE ACADEMIC FOCUS
It is easy to focus on the elements that make Timbertop a different place. The isolation, living in Units and the outdoors programme stand out in the minds of students and anyone who has heard much about Timbertop. To do this alone though is to ignore the similarities to other schools that are so important. While the outdoors programme dominates over the ‘weekend’ and some other occasions, five days a week students are involved in classes with a timetable much like any other Year 9 programme. The only real difference is that we do not have our weekends on the same days as most people. For most of the year our weekends are Wednesday and Thursday. Saturday and Sunday are normal classroom days for us. The reason for this is that Saturday and Sunday are busy times with tourists and other visitors coming to the area. We like to have the bush to ourselves as much as possible and so change the order of the week to do so.
The subjects offered at Timbertop are much the same as Year 9 programmes at other schools. Our core subjects are English, Mathematics, Science, Health and Physical Education, Positive Education, Study of Religion and Spirituality, and History. In addition, students elect to do five semester length units from the following: French, Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin), Music, Geography, History, Visual Arts, Agriculture and Land Management. A large number of students learn a musical instrument each year and, depending on the musical make-up of the year group, Timbertop may have its own string and wind ensembles as well as a choir, all of which perform in public. The academic programme is a full one and very much a prime focus of the School. It is our responsibility to send students on to the Senior School at Corio thoroughly prepared for their Year 10 studies.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVITY
Geelong Grammar School values diversity and inclusivity. At Timbertop, we are committed to nurturing a learning and working environment that is positive and supportive for all members of our School community. Our comprehensive Codes of Conduct, Equal Opportunity and Respectful Workplace Behaviour Policy and Diversity and Gender Identity Policy reflect our vision of inclusivity and affirm our commitment to protecting all members of our community from discrimination based on their personal characteristics, including race, religion, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation, as enshrined in the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act. At our School, everyone has the right to feel safe, valued and accepted all of the time; free from discrimination, harassment, vilification, victimisation and bullying. Timbertop actively promotes an inclusive, respectful and connected School culture that celebrates diversity and values the participation of all members of our community.
THE SOUND OF WHITE
Australian singer/songwriter Missy Higgins was thrust into the limelight when she won Triple J’s Unearthed competition for unsigned artists in 2001 while midway through Year 12 at Geelong Grammar School. Missy actually wrote the winning song, All for Believing, for a school assignment a few years earlier when she was just 15 years old, fresh from Timbertop.
The song would open Missy’s debut album, The Sound of White, which dominated the 2005 Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) awards – it was nominated for seven awards and won five, including Album of the Year.
I’m all for believing, if you can reveal, the true colours within And say you will be there for me to hold When the faith grows old (I’m all for believing) And life turns cold (I’m all for believing) So if you’re cold I will stay, maybe fate will guide the way Just believe, Trust in me
Australian writer John Marsden was an English teacher at Timbertop when he developed his first book, So Much To Tell You, which won the 1987 Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year award.
His writing career reached its zenith with the Tomorrow series, a series of seven young adult novels about an invasion/ occupation of Australia by a foreign power – the first book of the series, Tomorrow, When The War Began, has alone sold around three million copies, has been translated into five languages and was made into a feature film in 2010.
The novels are related from the first person perspective of the main character, Ellie Linton, who is part of a small band of teenagers waging a guerilla war around their fictional home town of Wirrawee. Many of the books’ major themes – the rural/bush Australian setting, the group of resourceful and resilient teenagers, the isolation and lack of communication – echo the Timbertop experience.
Of course, Marsden is not the only author of note influenced by Timbertop. Two-time Booker Prize winner Peter Carey attended Timbertop in 1958, while travel writer AJ ‘Sandy’ Mackinnon is the current (on leave 2023) Timbertop Chaplain and was formerly Head of English at the campus.
THE MIRACLE MILE
John Landy was the second man in the world to break the mythical four-minute mile. His race with the man who beat him to the milestone, Roger Bannister, at the 1954 Empire Games in Vancouver was heard by more than 100 million people tuning into crystal set radios around the globe. Landy had graduated from Geelong Grammar School in 1948 and thus missed the Timbertop experience as a student. However, the famous Australian runner became a teacher at Timbertop in 1955, using the vigorous outdoor education programme and mountainous terrain as a training ground for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, where he took the Olympic Oath on behalf of all competitors and won a bronze medal in the 1,500 metres.
However, arguably his most famous moment occurred a few months earlier when Landy stopped to help fellow runner Ron Clarke during the 1956 Australian Championships — after helping Clarke to his feet Landy chased the rest of the field, making up a remarkable deficit to win his fourth Australian 1,500 metre title and etch his name into sporting folklore: a bronze sculpture celebrating the moment now stands outside Melbourne’s Olympic Park. An avid naturalist, Landy was appointed Governor of Victoria from 2001 to 2006.
“Timbertop gave me a great sense of what can be done in terms of education, getting people to see things in a different light.
Lots of schools have had one week, one month, one term... but Timbertop is dramatically different. It is immensely successful and yet nobody has been able to imitate it.”
FROM EAGLES’ PEAKS TO EVEREST
Tim Macartney-Snape grew up on a small farm near Benalla and attended Geelong Grammar School from 1969 to 1973. Beyond school, Macartney-Snape emerged as Australia’s premier climber. He reached the summit of Dunagiri on the Himalayas in 1978, climbed Annapurna in 1983, and was one of the first two Australians to reach the summit of Everest in 1984. He completed his second ascent of Everest in 1990, alone and without oxygen, beginning his journey in the Bay of Bengal and becoming the first person to climb the world’s highest mountain from ‘sea to summit’. His Timbertop year, 1971, was especially influential.
“Oh, if only there could be a time before we grew up when the unnaturally manic pace of life was briefly stalled! Only then might there be a chance for our natural clock to catch up, might the balance between reality and our instinctive expectations be righted, and the awkwardness of adolescence tempered.
And wouldn’t it be nice if this could be spent somewhere tucked away from the hurly-burly and the temptations of mass culture, in a natural place where one could feel the steady, unhurried pace of nature? A place where we learned qualities that otherwise have passed us by in modern life, and where we learned simple, timeless lessons. Where if we didn’t carry enough water on a long hike, then we went thirsty; if we didn’t collect wood we were cold; if we didn’t clean up after ourselves no-one would; if we didn’t work with our fellows as a team it wasn’t nearly as much fun – and where we learned, too, that selfishness dulled life’s joy. For me, Timbertop was such a place.”
CHAPEL AT TIMBERTOP
Chapel plays a pivotal role in the life of our Timbertop community. The Chapel itself is an iconic structure, a giant A-frame building of sturdy beams that support a magnificent window looking out over the hills and bushland of distant ranges, allowing the beauty and tranquillity of God’s creation to flood into our place of worship.
We meet in the Chapel on four occasions each week: one of these is for Singing Practice where the students and staff join in learning new hymns and songs of praise. Once a week, we also gather there for a Chapel Concert to listen to students performing musical pieces, songs and recitals – all are welcome, from nervous beginners to polished performers. The main purpose of the Chapel, however, is to provide an opportunity for worship, reflection and a connection with our spiritual selves and to this end, we hold two services a week. One of these is a shorter informal service consisting of a few hymns, a reading, an address by the Chaplain or guest speaker and some appropriate prayers. The other service, called Formal Chapel, is - as its name suggests - a more formal affair where students wear their uniforms and attend immediately following Formal Dinner… or Formal Breakfast in Term 3. On a number of occasions in the year, this service is a Holy Communion Service where all are invited to the communion rail to partake of the bread and wine or to receive a blessing from the minister.
Although we are an Anglican school, the Chapel welcomes people of all faiths and beliefs, including our large cohort of rational sceptics. Addresses, although often linked to a reading from Scripture, generally seek to explore issues that all can relate to: will-power, the subtleties of peer pressure, the nature of courage, the importance of kindness and compassion, the perils of gossip, the nature of honesty or forgiveness… and so on. Some particularly significant services in the year are our solemn Good Friday Tenebrae service and our joyful Easter Day celebration, both of which usually straddle our First Term holidays. We also join in the local Merrijig Anzac Day Dawn Service and provide some robust singing of the Australian and New Zealand National Anthems. Later in the year, we hold a Remembrance Day Service and finally a highlight of the year is our end-of-year Christmas Carol Service where the Timbertop Choir come into their own to lead the school in glorious Christmas music.
Once a year, just before the Third Term Exeat and the Parents’ Dinner, a Service of Confirmation and Holy Baptism is held in the Chapel. This is an opportunity for any students wishing to be baptised, or to confirm the vows made on their behalf when baptised as infants, to do so in the presence of their parents, their godparents and the Bishop of Wangaratta. Suitable instruction in the significance of this service and the tenets of the Christian church is provided in a number of sessions in the preceding weeks.
Apart from these religious services, the Chapel is often used as a gathering place for the students to hear important messages of a secular nature. For example, in Term 3, staff volunteer to give Identity talks in which they share with great courage and authenticity the experiences that have shaped their character and identity. The variety of these talks and the life lessons shared is a tribute to the staff who speak, often very movingly, about the challenges faced and overcome. Our students are very lucky to hear such inspiring and honest stories.
Traditionally, the call to Chapel is the ringing of the Chapel Bell 33 times – to signify the 33 years that Christ lived as a man upon Earth. Students and staff enter and leave in a respectful silence while music is played. The beautiful tapestry hassocks, created by a cohort of parents many years ago, are used as seat-cushions rather than kneelers. Each pew is provided with a number of hymn books and a Chapel Booklet that contains all relevant prayers, services, psalms and songs not found in the hymn book. Of especial significance is the Timbertop Hymn – Father, Hear the Prayer We Offer – which, in its prayer that we choose the steep and rugged pathway over the green pastures and still waters of ease, is particularly suited to the Timbertop ethos.
For many, even for those of no particular faith, Chapel becomes an important part of their Timbertop journey and provides a deeply lasting influence on the future lives of all who come here.
RISK MANAGEMENT AT TIMBERTOP
Parents who have chosen Timbertop for their children will have done so because of the special opportunities and challenges that a year in that unusual setting provides. Students are encouraged to show and develop independence beyond their years and to accomplish things that they never thought possible.
The safety record at Timbertop is excellent and great care is taken to minimise the risk of accident. Students are thoroughly prepared for the outdoors programme both in the classroom and by means of training exercises. Skilled and experienced staff supervise Unit expeditions (hiking and ski touring) and regular contact is maintained between the party in the field and Timbertop itself via an extensive radio, satellite and mobile telephone and group training networks.
The hiking programme builds from a base that assumes students have little knowledge of the outdoors. Staff hike and camp with students in the early part of the year as student skills and confidence are developed. As the year progresses the hikes become more challenging, culminating in extended hikes that take students into the high country in small groups. Under the guidance of the outdoors staff, outdoors sessional staff and trained teaching staff, these groups design their own courses and plan most aspects of their expeditions, including safety routes, checkpoints and campsites.
Though staff are hiking in the area and are involved in monitoring the progress of students, the hike groups are essentially independent; following their planned courses that move through a number of pre-arranged checkpoints each day. All staff involved in hiking undertake a Wilderness First Aid course and carry with them suitable First Aid Kits. Nursing staff are available for radio or telephone consultation when students are in the field.
There would be no value in the Timbertop programme if it were completely tame. The safety measures outlined above are intended to act as a safety net and not diminish the sense of adventure that students discover in the remote terrain where the outdoors programme is conducted. The School takes all proper care without removing the opportunity for personal growth and development that the Timbertop year so conspicuously provides.
Many of the day-to-day activities at Timbertop involve students using equipment and working in situations that they would not necessarily come across in their lives away from the campus. Examples include using axes and bow saws, working near farm machinery, swimming in the dam, travelling in four-wheel drive vehicles on bush tracks and working in the kitchen. In all of these situations, strict instructions regarding safety are given to students. A good deal of reliance is placed on students following these instructions and being aware of the safety implications in all that they do here.
We are able to deal with most medical issues on the campus. The Health Centre, complete with surgery and beds for twelve students, is staffed by a Registered Nurse. All prescription drugs are kept in the medical safe in the Health Centre and dispensed from there by medical staff. The School doctors and a physiotherapist visit the campus every week and a counsellor visits the campus weekly if required. At other times students may be taken to
Mansfield to visit the doctor or dentist or for specialist services. The district hospital and ambulance base at Mansfield are twenty minutes from Timbertop by vehicle.
A number of precautions are taken at Timbertop to reduce the possibility of serious fires. The School keeps in close touch with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and with the Country Fire Authority and all fire procedures are regularly reviewed in consultation with the authorities. Great care is taken to maintain firebreaks and to keep down grass and undergrowth that might contribute to a blaze. There are sixteen fire hydrants about the campus and plenty of water for emergency purposes in the dams.
We have a purpose built, mostly underground, safe haven in the centre of our campus. This facility has its own oxygen supply, auxiliary power generators, underground water tanks and manual fire shutters. This underground building is designed to house up to 320 people in case of emergency. It was designed and built to exceed all future safety standards. The majority of the time it can be used as a large picture theatre, whole school performing arts venue or be divided into three more manageable classrooms, which are used daily. Even though this facility is state-of-the-art and very robust in its construction we will always evacuate to a safer location, if it is reasonable to do so. The School possesses a large fleet of vehicles and has priority access to the local bus fleet, in the event of an emergency where evacuation is considered the appropriate response. Access to the main Mansfield-Mount Buller Road is also available via two alternative tracks, as well as by the school road itself.
In Term Two, Timbertop has a focus on Community Service. As part of this focus students stay with local Mansfield families and help them with tasks such as wood chopping/ stacking, sanding, gardening, fencing and cleaning to name a few. Students sleep in their tents and are supervised by a member of the host family. All families are interviewed by the Head and Deputy Head of Campus and all hosts, including anyone 18 years and over residing at the property, must have a current Working With Children’s Card. Groups also have a staff member visit during their stay.
Positive Education is concerned with developing in each individual the belief, resources and personal skills necessary to lead a more engaged and fulfilling life.
At Geelong Grammar School, a wholeschool approach has been established, integrating Positive Psychology into the educational experiences and curriculum taught to all of our students. From Early Learning to the final years of Senior School, students are exposed to these principles, which include resilience, study of signature character strengths, gratitude and mindfulness.
At Timbertop, students are involved in an explicit and implicit programme designed to introduce new and already established skills of Positive Education. Implemented by trained staff members, this programme reinforces the traditional elements of Timbertop and enhances the students’ knowledge whilst providing endless examples of resilience, gratitude, mindfulness and use of their character strengths. Students attend Positive Education classes and each term a Positive Education Focus Day is held. Coupled with this is a pastoral programme that draws on the interactions, experiences and progress students make as an individual, as a Unit and community throughout the year.
A WILD WOMBAT AS A FRIEND
When Peter ‘PJ’ Nicholson arrived at Timbertop in 1960 he soon became fascinated with the wombats that lived in burrows just a few hundred metres from his Unit. PJ would sneak out at night to visit the burrows, sitting quietly to allow the wombats to become comfortable with his presence, learning their noises and slowly befriending the notoriously shy marsupials. PJ made notes of his observations, recording the wombats’ diet, habitat and behaviour, and drew maps of the network of burrows. It was pioneering work that set a benchmark in our understanding of this nocturnal native animal – his research notes are still being used by scientists more than 50 years later.
“We came by train from Canberra and you’d gradually see the mountains all around. Then you arrive down a gravel road and you’re there. It’s a fantastic feeling of freedom compared to a school in the city.
The fascination with wombats – everyone asks me that question, ‘Why was it wombats?’ It’s a very hard one to answer, but I think probably wombats didn’t run away as fast as kangaroos and wallabies.
I thought wombats would have been studied, as one of our major marsupials, and everything was known about them.”
THE TIMBERTOP MARATHON
One of Sir James Darling’s influences in establishing Timbertop was a conversation with Phil Edmunds, Headmaster of a famous Anglican school in Kashmir. Edmunds, who had been a history teacher at Melbourne High School before going to India, visited Corio in 1950 when he said to Darling:
“Geelong Grammar is a good school, indeed a very good school, but there is nothing remarkable in it. Now in my school every boy, before he leaves,has swum two and half miles across the lake.” Darling appreciated the symbolism of the swim as a rite of passage for adolescents. Timbertop’s extensive running programme culminates at the end of each year with the 33-kilometre Timbertop Marathon, its own special rite of passage that students eagerly anticipate and remember with great pride.
Like any Marathon, it is not easy. Former student, Lisa Orlov, explained that the journey was a valuable life lesson that gave her:
“An ability to keep on plodding to the next tree no matter how awful I may be feeling and no matter how difficult life seems to be at that point in time.
Knowing that once that tree is reached you are a bit closer to the finishing line, whatever that finishing line may entail or be.”
ENTRY TO TIMBERTOP
For most students, there is no entrance examination to Year 9 at Geelong Grammar School. Students for whom there is a place are admitted, provided that they are considered likely to benefit from the School’s offering. Places are offered on the understanding that the student will continue their education at Geelong Grammar School through to Year 12 at the Corio Campus. Geelong Grammar School has always prided itself on taking students of all abilities and from a wide range of backgrounds.
As part of the admissions procedure, incoming students must provide reports from Years 7 and 8 and their NAPLAN results from their previous schools. They will also have an in-depth personal interview with the Admissions Manager or delegate. When offering students a place into Timbertop, the School undertakes a rigorous and balanced process that considers a range of criteria, including the suitability of the child to board, siblings currently attending the School, intention to continue through to Senior School, interests and activities of the child, family association with the School, date of application as well as the needs of the current Year 8 cohort. Health and safety factors are also considered with respect to the student’s ability to thrive in the extreme boarding environment of Timbertop and the social, physical and emotional demands that the programme brings.
Students whose first language is not English are required to sit an entrance examination testing their English and mathematical skills in order to assess how appropriate a Geelong Grammar School education at Year 9 level is for them. As a result of this test, students may be required to complete an ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students) course.
All students beginning at Geelong Grammar School at Year 9 will be tested shortly after arrival to help the School to make informed decisions about their academic needs. Parents of all students beginning at Geelong Grammar School are asked to complete a questionnaire that enables the School to understand more fully the educational and family background of students coming into its care. Thoughtful completion of the questionnaire assists the School greatly in providing an adequate programme for your child.
Scholarships for entry to Geelong Grammar School are offered each year. More information can be found on our website www.ggs.vic.edu.au. Families should attend a designated Timbertop Guided Tour Day.
Further details are available from the Admissions Office at Geelong Grammar School, Corio Campus, Tel: +61 3 5273 9307.
BOARDING AT TIMBERTOP
A Timbertop Unit is a second home for all students. Whilst a number of responsibilities and challenges come with communal living, all students can rely on security and care in their new bush home. Unit life is not simply incidental to the operation of the campus. Rather, the feelings of independence that result from living with and relying on others are central and Timbertop’s success. To this end, the boarding environment and structure is carefully considered to maximise a student’s sense of independence while maintaining their physical and emotional wellbeing. Put simply, a Unit is a unique environment of personal responsibility, thriving camaraderie and a space in which a young person can flourish.
There are sixteen Units at Timbertop to which students are allocated. Students live and work in their Unit, which creates a very close environment with up to fourteen/fifteen others. They sleep, eat, shower, do their homework, complete chores, socialise and interact in these Units. This ensures a deep understanding of each other. There is a great deal of independence offered to the Units and, as the year progresses, the responsibility levels are extended. The opportunity presents for a student to become highly self-sufficient and responsible for their life within the Unit. The students are responsible for the upkeep of the Units and this is shared between all on a rotating roster. The fabric of the Units themselves is rustic in appearance and minimalistic. Heating comes from a slow-combustion wood heater and a wood-fuelled boiler provides hot water. If wood is not collected and cut, there is no fire for warmth in the cold winter months. If the boiler is not lit, there are no hot showers. Although simple and often quickly learned, the lessons provided by this environment are rich and significant and are often lessons that cannot be replicated in an urban or suburban environment.
However, more meaningful is the functionality and culture of the Unit which is driven by its members. This is one of the biggest challenges faced. Living with a group of adolescents in a relatively confined living space can be confronting and asks much of each individual. It would be misleading to suggest that there is never conflict or tension in the Units and that life is always blissful. Units require guidance along the way to manage the social relationships and the way in which they operate. But therein lies the strength of the life lessons learnt and the growth that occurs. Helping students with Unit life is fundamental to Timbertop’s success. Great friendships are made, acceptance is learned and teamwork is practised. It would be rare to find a Timbertop student who is not proud of their Unit or to find ex-Timbertop students who do not readily identify with their Unit. The essence of the Timbertop experience begins in the Unit.
CHALLENGES FOR PARENTS
Many parents underestimate the unique pressures and anxieties that students confront at Timbertop, many of which their child will never have had to experience before. Some parents are surprised to learn, when they get letters from their child or hear from their Head of Unit, that their child is experiencing feelings or issues that they have never had before. It can be difficult for parents to understand these changes from afar, as they do not have the benefit of being able to observe the context in which they are taking place. It is a good idea to mentally prepare for the fact that the challenges of Timbertop can and do impact on all students in some way. It is a basic premise of the Timbertop programme that facing up to challenges, whether they be social, emotional, physical or academic is a potential source of great personal growth for our students, and we strive to ensure, that ultimately the outcomes of such challenges are positive. It is normal for parents to sometimes find it difficult to deal with their own emotions and feelings about the challenges that their child is experiencing. We recommend that parents be prepared for this as it is sometimes more challenging than expected.
PREVENTING AND MANAGING HOMESICKNESS
It is normal for students living in a completely new and challenging environment to miss their family and the normal support structures of home. As parents, it is important to consider and be prepared for the fact that your child is likely to experience some form of homesickness at some time during their Timbertop year. In addition, your child is more likely to experience homesickness if one or more of the following predisposing factors are present:
• They have spent little time away from home.
• They are insecure or unsure about the level of care that will be provided by Timbertop staff.
• Their first impression of Timbertop is negative and they have low expectations of what it will be like.
• They don’t want to go to Timbertop or have a negative attitude towards boarding.
• They feel they are being forced to board.
It is useful for parents to try to alleviate these predisposing factors well before the Timbertop year commences. Your efforts in preparing your child, and yourself, for this amazing growth experience will pay huge dividends. Some strategies for addressing these risk factors could include:
• Arrange for your child to spend nights away from home in the lead up to Timbertop.
• Have conversations with your child about their expectations of Timbertop to determine their attitude towards the programme. Actively promote the positive aspects of the programme while acknowledging and normalising the challenges.
• Arrange for your child to speak with or email past students of Timbertop who are positive about the programme.
• Arrange for your child to speak with or email a staff member from Timbertop so there will be a familiar adult around during the settling in period.
• Ensure that your child has attended a Timbertop tour day and try to make this an enjoyable experience. Encourage your child to talk to as many staff and students as possible on the day. If your child leaves with a negative impression then try to rectify this either by speaking with staff or highlighting the positive aspects of the campus and the programme.
• If it is not your child’s decision to attend Timbertop it is recommended that you discuss and explain clearly the reasons you would like them to attend the School and reassure them that it is a positive decision.
While addressing these risk factors can minimise predisposition, it is possible that your child will still experience some form of homesickness. In order to best manage this, and to support the process of settling in at Timbertop, it is important for parents to;
• Understand that your child may write to you when they are feeling their worst. Be prepared to read confronting letters which highlight, and in some cases exaggerate, the feelings of homesickness and the negative aspects of boarding at Timbertop. It is not uncommon for the ‘crisis’ to pass before the letter even arrives at home, however, you should contact your child’s Head of Unit if you have any concerns upon receiving a letter.
• Understand that experience suggests that the better you as parents cope with and normalise the natural anxiety associated with family separation, the more likely your child is to engage with and settle in to life at Timbertop. We sometimes have ‘homesick’ parents too and it is good to be careful of how you communicate your own feelings and anxieties. If you are anxious about homesickness it is likely that your child will become more anxious. A reassuring yet firm and practical approach to managing the issue is likely to lead to the best outcomes.
• Emphasise to your child the importance of being fully involved in all aspects of the programme. This will promote engagement and facilitate the development of supportive social connections with peers. Withdrawing from the community will only make them feel more homesick and isolated.
• Avoid making ‘deals’ with your child in times of difficulty. Having a mental escape route, such as ‘I’ll just make it to exeat’, can prevent your child from engaging fully in the programme and leave them in limbo just waiting to go home. This may hinder the settling in process and make them more determined to leave. It also may send the message to your child that you as a parent have little trust in them working through these challenging times by themselves.
• Write to your child regularly so that they are reminded they are an important and valued member of the family, however, do not try to ‘fix’ the homesickness with excessive numbers of letters and parcels. The more ‘normal’ your child’s experience of Timbertop is the better. Forging new relationships with peers is preferable to relying on letters from home in order to feel connected. It would be reasonable for a student to expect letters from their family once or twice a week.
• Understand that recurrence of the issue is quite common and that although periods after holidays and exeats can be particularly difficult, homesickness can occur at any time. Usually it can be overcome quickly if effective strategies are employed.
• Understand that poor grades and difficulty with work can be related to homesickness.
• Encourage your child to speak with their Head of Unit or another adult at Timbertop, particularly if the homesickness seems to be reaching an unmanageable level. Discussing the issue can help enormously and staff are experienced in dealing with this issue. It is difficult for you as a parent to solve the issue in letters.
• Understand that overcoming homesickness can boost a child’s self-esteem enormously. You will likely see an increase in your child’s confidence, social skills and independence. Remember, homesickness is part of normal development and isn’t a problem unless it becomes a preoccupation, or is a symptom of a broader or more complicated mental health issue.
PASTORAL CARE AND CONTACT WITH THE SCHOOL
There is a well-considered and thoughtful pastoral support structure in place at Timbertop. The Head of Unit is the person most directly involved with individual students and takes overall responsibility for the development of each student in their Unit. Parents are encouraged to telephone or email their child’s Head of Unit at any time in regard to their child’s progress. Other pastoral support for students with particular needs is available from the Head of Timbertop, the Campus Heads of Boarding and Wellbeing, the Chaplain, the School’s Senior Medical Officer and the School’s counsellor. It is our aim to encourage students to find an adult on campus with whom they will feel comfortable talking about any problems they might be experiencing. Heads of Units and parents are encouraged to communicate whenever necessary. Students and parents are encouraged to communicate through letter writing on a weekly basis (stamps can be supplied to students at Timbertop). Our campus newsletter The Bush Telegraph is sent via Hive to all parents. With a mixture of staff and student driven content and imagery, it gives a different slant on daily news to that which students provide in their letters to home.
The school telephone or facsimile machine is not available for students to use except, of course, in case of a particular problem that would be best served by a telephone call or a written message. The main school telephone number is t +61 3 5733 6777 and it is attended from 8.00am every day. All Head of Units can be reached on this number.
All Head of Units have telephone/voice mail facilities as well as email facilities and their details will be available at the beginning of the year.
HEALTH PROVIDER REPORT PROCESS
Timbertop is a challenging boarding environment that can create pressure and stress. Timbertop staff are skilled, experienced, and dedicate much time to supporting the wellbeing needs of students and we also offer counselling. However, sometimes students can require external psychological support. If your child is required to leave campus for wellbeing concerns, based on the advice of the School’s Senior Medical Officer, a Health Provider Report (HPR) process will be initiated. Your child will need to engage with an external Health Care Provider (HCP) off campus (a fully registered psychologist or GP who can provide counselling and appropriate therapy). Due to our context, telehealth appointments are not able to be facilitated. After their assessment (often 2-3 appointments), the external HCP will consult with the School’s SMO to ascertain your child’s suitability to return to campus. Unfortunately this is not always a quick process; however, our aim will always be to ensure we have the appropriate support structures in place so that we are confident your child can fully immerse themselves in and cope with all aspects of the rigorous Timbertop programme.
THE ACADEMIC FOCUS
The academic programme at Timbertop is the bedrock upon which challenge, success and resilience is built. Whilst the isolation of our community, life in Units and the outdoor programme stand out in the minds of anyone who has heard of Timbertop, the academic programme is where our students put their perseverance, creativity and courage to the test each day. Alongside the multifaceted physical and pastoral programmes, for four and a half days a week, students are involved in a full Year 9 academic programme with a timetable much like any other school.
At Timbertop, our driving ethos is to best prepare our students for the academic rigour of learning in Senior School at the Corio Campus whilst harnessing the opportunities that our unique context affords. Students are thoroughly supported in building their subject specific knowledge within the framework of embedding core skills of critical, analytical and creative thinking.
Students choose five semester units from the following. Some subjects must be studied for semester 1 and 2, some can be studied in either and some may be studied in both.
Must be studied in both semester (therefore 2 units):
• Chinese Continuers (Mandarin)
• French Continuers
• Japanese Continuers
• Academic Support Elective (see notes below)
Can be studied in one or both semesters:
• Music (Students must study a musical instrument and take private music lessons on campus)
• Geography: (semester 1) Bushfires and Biomes, (semester 2) Globalisation and Sustainability
Can be studied in one semester only (curriculum is repeated each semester)
• Health and Physical Education
• Agriculture and Land Management
• History (Powers in the 20th and 21st Centuries)
• Visual Art
When selecting subjects, it is critical to make a thoughtful choice as these selections dictate the timetable. Subject changes are very difficult after the timetable has been created and changes cannot be guaranteed.
The opportunities afforded to students in the English classroom at Timbertop are aimed to equip them with the language and forms to express their unique experiences and perspectives. Through a study of poetry, short stories, contemporary media, drama and a novel, students explore and reflect on their personal understanding of the world gained from interpreting various representations of life matters in texts. We place emphasis on creating a community of inquiry through literature examination and analysis, argumentative and persuasive writing, group discussion, oral presentation, and peer review. Literacy is at the heart of the English Curriculum and students are supported in building their grammar and spelling without the assistance of technology. This can provide an additional challenge for students used to using word processing technology.
The Mathematics course is based on the Year 9 Victorian Curriculum with the opportunity of added enrichment throughout the course of each topic. Throughout the year the students will consolidate and develop their numerical knowledge and work towards more complex applications in problem solving situations. Creative learning activities will be embedded throughout the course with the students given opportunities to work both individually and collaboratively.
The course covers the following topics:
• Calculate the areas of composite shapes
• Calculate the surface area and volume of cylinders and solve related problems
Pythagoras and Trigonometry
• Investigate Pythagoras’ Theorem and its application to solving simple problems involving right angled triangles
• Apply trigonometry to solve right-angles triangle problems
Indices and Scientific Notation
• Apply index laws to numerical expressions with integer indices
• Express numbers in scientific notation
Linear Equations and Relations
• Solve linear equations algebraically including pronumerals on both sides of equals sign and bracket
• Solving problems with linear equations and transpose formulae and literal equations
• Sketch linear graphs using the coordinates of two points
• Using pronumerals, simplifying algebraic expressions and fractions
• Expanding and factorising algebraic expressions
• Simplifying algebraic fractions –multiplication & division
• Applications of algebra
Introduction to quadratic equations and graphs
• Graph simple non-linear relations with and without the use of digital technologies and solve simple related equations
Probability & Statistics
• Identify everyday questions and issues involving at least one numerical and at least one categorical variable, and collect data directly and from secondary sources
• Compare data displays using mean, median and range to describe and interpret numerical data sets in terms of location (centre) and spread
• Calculate relative frequencies, and assign probabilities to outcomes and determine probabilities for events
All students are required to learn, practise and apply mathematical skills and techniques, utilise knowledge within a problem-solving context and to communicate mathematical method and process in a clear and effective format. Generally mathematical method makes up 40% of each test or assignment mark.
The course follows the Australian Science Curriculum that enhances the development of the three interrelated strands of scientific inquiry skills, science as a human endeavour, and science understanding. The course builds on the knowledge and skills gained in Year 8. The students are encouraged to work scientifically by using a range of methods to collect data, manipulate and present data in appropriate ways, draw conclusions and relate them to the aim of the investigation being undertaken. The course includes four main areas, which utilise an appropriate balance of theoretical and practical learning methods.
The year begins with an introduction to “Science at Timbertop” that involves studies of wood boilers and the related concepts of heat transfer and move on to explore sound and light energy. The Light and Optics unit aims to develop students’ understanding of properties of light, including reflection and refraction. The study of Chemistry at Timbertop builds on the students’ prior knowledge of the Periodic Table. It aims to strengthen students’ understanding of atomic structure and the relationships between element groups. This knowledge is applied, in particular, to an examination of nuclear chemistry and basic chemical reactions.
The students are introduced to the role of the nervous and endocrine systems in maintaining homeostasis and responding to stimuli. Further to this, the students learn about diseases and the role of the immune system in responding to disease. In ecology and biodiversity, the students learn about interdependence and the influence of living and non-living factors that create an environment. Students also study the flow of energy and matter in an ecosystem and the chemistry involved in photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Finally, the students consider the natural and human impacts that influence Australian ecosystems and conduct an investigation to evaluate the impact, and suggest solutions, for introduced species on the campus.
HISTORY (AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM) (Compulsory, either semester)
The Australian Curriculum History subject is concerned with the ‘Making of the Modern World’, focusing on the period between 1750 and 1918. This was an important stage in human history where Industrial Revolution in Britain, led to a rapid change in the way people lived, worked and thought. Nationalism and imperialism were the flavours of the day, leading to the expansion of European powers around the world, including Australia. These factors also contributed to the start of World War One, and students explore the significance of this conflict.
Students engage with these concepts by completing a range of critical and creative tasks, tests and formative work. They will also learn about the nature and significance of the war in the world and Australian History. Completing this will provide students with an appreciation of the impact of war generally, and its lasting legacy on the world. In addition to this, students explore the European settlement of Australia with a focus on analysing historical sources and the effects of the contact (intended and unintended) and conflict between European settlers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
OUTDOOR EDUCATION STUDIES (Compulsory, year long)
The Outdoor Programme commences with students camping out and learning the practical and theoretical skills that allow them to safely engage in the challenges presented throughout Term 1. This training culminates with a hike up Mt Timbertop. The remainder of the term involves students undertaking a series of increasingly difficult two-and-a-half-day hikes which take them through the rugged and remote Victorian High Country. These experiences provide opportunities for the students to engage positively with risk, connect them directly with the environment and develop their resilience, independence, and reliance upon each other. The final Three Day Hike presents the first opportunity for students to choose their level of challenge, so by the end of the term they have experienced what it means to survive, and even thrive, all while t the edges of their physical, emotional, and social limits. Term 1 concludes with an overnight solo experience which provides students with some time to reflect on their achievements and growth throughout the Term 1 Outdoor Programme.
In Term 2, students explore new terrain during a four-day Unit-based hike. This trip allows students to focus on the group dynamics of their Unit and provides opportunities for individuals to demonstrate leadership. A second opportunity for a solo experience is provided in Term 2, but with an increased period in which to reflect. A unit-based Rogaine competition, where units race to collect markers around campus and on top of Mt Timbertop, concludes semester 1 in the outdoors.
Semester 2 begins with students undertaking an overnight Winter Expedition on Mt Stirling, and each Unit sleeps in the GGS Hut. Over this period, they learn the basics of cross-country skiing while exploring a transformed Mt Stirling under a blanket of snow. The adventure then progresses to a four-day Unit-based backcountry expedition on the Bogong High Plains. Students camp on snow and spend their time exploring the Bogong High Plains on skis, digging snow shelters and kitchens, and being fully immersed in the winter alpine environment.
Term 4 enables students to capitalise on their experiences and resilience developed over the year. Students exercise a new level of choice and agency in the Outdoor Programme as they undertake a range of increasingly ambitious and challenging hikes. Punctuating these hikes are a range of trips which expose students to different ways of being in the natural world. Such opportunities include testing a group’s capacity to survive living life with minimal equipment, living for three days in a way informed by the traditional Taungurung people, and even a vintage 1960s style ‘free range’ Timbertop hike. The students then finish their year in the outdoors with a Four Day Hike, which for many involves exploring the distant peaks of Mt McDonald and The Razor-Viking. The year concludes with the Six Day Hike where students plan their own route and logistics to enable them to be entirely selfsufficient as they make one final journey through the Victorian High Country.
(Compulsory, year long)
Positive Education is embedded throughout the Timbertop Programme. The scope and sequence of the subject is built around the six pillars for living a flourishing life. These founding principles are: Positive Purpose, Positive Emotions, Positive Accomplishment, Positive Health, Positive Relationships, and Positive Meaning. Students discover their Signature Character Strengths which in turn increases their self-awareness. Students focus on topics such as Diversity, Sleep, Gratitude, Savouring, Active Constructive Responding and Teamwork. Students have many opportunities to practise the application of this knowledge in their daily lives at Timbertop. This is important preparation as they move to Senior School and life beyond.
This is not a formally assessed subject and there is no official report.
AGRICULTURE AND LAND MANAGEMENT (Either semesters)
The Timbertop campus is set on 325 hectares, approximately 200 hectares of which is farming land. It is well-suited to provide students with an exciting introduction to a diverse range of agricultural studies. Students develop their theoretical knowledge and practical skills by their involvement with the School’s Murray Grey beef cattle, prime lamb enterprise and other working aspects of the Timbertop farm.
Students are offered one semester to study these sub-systems. Semester 1 is offered during Summer and Autumn and semester 2 is offered during Winter and Spring, therefore, the fieldwork covered during a semester will vary, depending on the operations occurring during that season. In both semesters the students will study sustainable agriculture practices, basic economics, pasture and land management, animal production including animal husbandry, reproduction and digestion. The primary aim is to optimise the use of all resources, including natural assets, labour and energy without contributing to environmental degradation.
It is expected that over the year all students studying this elective, whatever their background, will be exposed to a range of practical skills, ethical decisions and problemsolving experiences in a unique environment. The subject places strong emphasis on practical learning and creative education with the students being given the opportunity to
work in the field on every possible occasion. These lessons will be of value to them in all of their present and future studies.
HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Health and Physical Education at Timbertop encompasses sport education, fitness testing and evaluation, running technique analysis, and basic human physiology focusing on the body’s response to exercise.
Over the course of the year students improve their co-ordination, fine and gross motor skills and their knowledge of game sense whilst participating in a broad range of activities.
To further develop their physical capabilities, a range of games and sports that enhance all areas of skill-based and health-related fitness components are incorporated. These activities include Waterpolo, Netball, Ultimate Frisbee, Touch Football and a range of modified games. Students also implement ways to improve the quality of their own and others’ performance through observation and video analysis.
The classroom-based health course is contextualised around the unique Timbertop programme. This begins by comparing the health and fitness elements of different physical activities and how each contribute to overall health and physical performance. Students analyse and evaluate the Timbertop physical programme and further develop their understanding about what is happening physiologically to their bodies as they increase their cardiovascular fitness, strength and endurance. They also analyse their own running technique using their knowledge of running anatomy and biomechanics.
In the second half of the semester students are given the opportunity to collaborate creatively by developing a game or modifying an existing sport which they then teach, coach and facilitate to their peers, whilst learning about specific game sense and sporting strategies and tactics.
The Chinese programme at Timbertop requires that students have had a minimum of 100 hours instruction in Mandarin Chinese throughout Year 7 and 8, in a school where a language other than Mandarin is the main language of instruction. They must be familiar with Pinyin, and must be able to recognise the 150 most commonly used Hanzi characters. Students with no prior knowledge of Chinese (Mandarin), unfortunately cannot be accommodated at Timbertop. Likewise, students with Chinese background or who are experienced users of the language are not suitable for this course, as it is designed for learners of Chinese as a foreign language. Those students who use Chinese as one of their main forms of communication, or have had more than one year in a school where Chinese is one of the main languages of instruction, cannot study Chinese in the Timbertop programme. They may pursue other avenues in Senior School that will cater for their advanced knowledge of the language.
At Timbertop, students who elect to study Mandarin Chinese will continue to develop all four macro skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. By the end of the year, students
will be able to comprehend short texts in Chinese related to the topics in the textbook. Students will be able to participate in simple conversations regarding everyday topics, and will be able to write more extended sentence patterns, structured paragraphs and small written pieces. Language learning will always be supported by social and cultural contexts.FRENCH (Both semesters)
The Timbertop French course is designed for students who have received at least two prior years of French instruction, thus equipping them with sound grammatical and vocabulary knowledge. It is a course in which students continue to develop the four macro skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing in order to gather information relevant to various situations in everyday life, both at Timbertop and generally. Major thematic topics include: The Timbertop programme and school life; the French-speaking world; holidays and leisure activities; as well as discussion of personal and physical attributes applying to themselves, family, and friends. Grammatically, the course instructs students in the use of pronouns, modal verbs, interrogation, negation, adjective placement and agreement, and different tenses including the present, near and simple future, perfect and imperfect past tense and the imperative. This is done by encouraging the students to consider English grammar in greater depth, and drawing parallels between the two languages.
Semester 1 focusses primarily on creating a solid foundational knowledge of all grammatical elements covered in year 9 as well as improving students’ French comprehension skills. Semester 2 focusses on putting this knowledge into practice and applying it to further develop and expand on communication skills.
Classroom activities are varied and consist of role plays, small group conversations, frequent verb/vocabulary tests and grammatical instruction, supplemented by games, drills and class discussions designed to encourage effective language acquisition. The course material is cumulative, and requires students to commit themselves to a consistent and efficient programme of study and revision.
By the end of the year, students are able to participate in everyday written and spoken French communication. The Timbertop course aims to foster an interest in the French language and to develop a level of proficiency therein that is appropriate for a smooth transition to senior-level French.
JAPANESE (Both semesters)
The Japanese programme at Timbertop requires that students have some prior knowledge of the language, in particular, both Hiragana and Katakana scripts. Students need to have received about 100 hours of tuition during Years 7 and 8 in order to attempt this course. Students who have no prior knowledge of Japanese, unfortunately, cannot be accommodated at Timbertop. During the Timbertop year, the four macro skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing are given equal attention in class activities and assessment. Learning about the culture of Japan is an integral part of each topic covered. Content areas include school life and time, locations and the Timbertop campus and seasons and events.
Grammatically, the course builds students’ understanding of the Japanese sentence structure and particle use. The past tense, negative tense and past negative tenses of verbs and adjectives are taught during the year. Students have the opportunity to practice new grammatical structures through classroom activities such as: a Q&A about the daily routines at Timbertop, touring their peers through the Timbertop campus, role plays, workbook exercises and classroom games.
Students have the opportunity to practise their conversation skills with the Japanese teacher in class and through a class speaking competition encouraging students to use new language structures. They develop these skills over the year to prepare for the end of Term 4 oral test. The students will begin to accelerate their study of Japanese Kanji script in preparation for further studies at Senior School.GEOGRAPHY (Either or both semesters)
Semester 1 focuses on the physical Geography of the local environment whilst encouraging individual inquiry and development of individual geographical skills. Students learn to understand how Bushfires start and the effect fire has on natural environments. The case study of Black Saturday is used a springboard for understanding the role that humans play in managing the land, as well as the impact that fire has on communities and individuals. Bushfires linked students to learning about the Australian Alpine region, as they proposed arguments for and against the importance of conservation of the endemic biodiversity. Their understanding of world Biomes and the vulnerability of the Alpine Biome informed this study, wherein they proposed changes to land use in the Alpine National Park, from various perspectives.
Geographies of interconnections focuses on investigating how people, through their choices and actions, are connected to places throughout the world in a wide variety of ways, and how these connections help to make and change places and their environments. Term 3 examines the various ways that corporations do, or do not, contribute to global social wellbeing and environmental sustainability. They track how popular products, such as bottled water, exemplify the positive and negative impacts of globalisation. This leads to a study on sustainability in the building industry as students explore how we can create homes that work with the environment, rather than against it. This cumulates in a creative design project for a sustainable building on campus.
HISTORY ELECTIVE: PEOPLE AND EVENTS OF THE 20TH AND 21ST CENTURIES (Either semesters)
Elective History at Timbertop focuses on the people and events that played a role in shaping the modern world. A focus is placed on the context of each period of time and the legacy which historical figures and events left behind. A study of the political compass and some of the major ideological ideas of the time, aids in understanding the views and opinions of important individuals from the 20th and 21st century. Following the investigation of a significant person in history, students turn their attention to some major events: the fateful sinking of the Titanic, the Great Depression, the Cold War and the September 11 terrorist attacks. Emphasis is placed on looking at an event from different angles, assessing the causes and effects of these events and exploring narratives from different points of view. This elective provides excellent contextual knowledge for VCE and IB History courses in Years 11 and 12 and supports the development of historical thinking skills that are applied in all senior classes.
MUSIC (Either or both semesters)
Students can choose the Music elective through the entire year or can elect either semester. It is recommended that more experienced musicians are better suited to choosing second semester as the course is progressive through the year. Beginner students are welcome to enrol and would preferably choose the first semester of the elective. Students must be enrolled in instrumental/vocal tuition to participate in music as an elective subject from the beginning of the year.
The Music Elective course contains practical units of composition and performance. Students are formed into groups to play or sing in a variety of styles in large or small ensembles, as well as developing a solo repertoire. Other areas covered include aural comprehension, theory, creative organisation and a broad overview of the history of music. Students are encouraged to consider this elective if they intend to take music as a subject in Senior School.
Private Instrumental/Vocal Tuition:
Tuition is available in most instruments. Instrumentalists and vocalists are encouraged to take Music Ensemble as well as having private lessons. Students have timetabled weekly lessons and supervised practice sessions. Unfortunately, due to the isolation of the campus, lessons on some instruments cannot be guaranteed. In the situation where only a minimal number of students enrol in an instrument, lessons in that instrument may also be unavailable. Students can enrol in multiple lessons. All enrolments are done via Hive.
No instruments can be provided at Timbertop. Hire can be arranged through the Corio campus. Instruments that are owned by the student should be covered by personal insurance and repair of instruments is also problematic, so replacement strings, reeds, etc relevant to your chosen instrument is useful. Hard cases are also recommended to protect instruments. Guitarists will also need to bring their own tuner and capo, as well as a lead if they are using school amplification. Amplifiers and any other electrical equipment cannot be brought into the school.
Students do not have to choose the music elective subject in order to have private tuition. However, students who take the elective must be enrolled in private tuition from the beginning of the year. There is a minimum practice requirement and students are encouraged to make use of other times when available.
We encourage students at every skill level to consider being a part of the music program. Students need to commit time and effort to learn an instrument but as we encourage them to follow their interests, many students begin lessons in this year. There are solo and ensemble performance opportunities for all instrumental or voice students both within and outside the school. Monday Concerts in the Chapel are a much-loved part of the Timbertop routine as are End of Term Concerts held throughout the year.
VISUAL ARTS (Either semesters)
Students explore a variety of media including drawing, stencil work and painting in both watercolours and acrylic. Through the study of artists and their works, students are taught the elements of Art and how to use technical terms to analyse and appreciate works of art. The rules of perspective are taught, as are the basic principles of colour, tone and hue. Several pieces are completed during the semester including landscapes, portraiture, still life and the design of a logo. In all these projects, the use of a Visual Diary is a vital component of the planning and exploratory process. Students are encouraged to assess their own completed art works and reflect upon the development stages involved.
ASSESSMENT, REPORTING AND FEEDBACK
AT THE START: At the heart of our approach to assessment, feedback and reporting at GGS is a belief that all students can continually improve and experience positive progress in their learning. We are keen to give our students every opportunity to experience growth and demonstrate their learning as they move through a continuum of experiences in a course of study. Complementing this, with the support of Head of Units, we challenge students to reflect on their learning and set targets and implement strategies that enable them to strive for their personal best. Reportable Assessment grades and feedback will be published through Continuous Reporting via Hive, alongside Learning Behaviour Statements each term. End of Semester reports will include Head of Unit written reports and a summary Statement of Results for each subject.
Regular contact with parents is maintained by telephone or email through the Head of Unit. Should a student be under-performing or not engaging in their learning, our staff will work with them and may be in contact with parents so as to determine a course of action to support or guide the student to better outcomes.
In Year 9, formative assessment occurs to give students feedback on how they are progressing through Units of Work in their subjects. This allows students and their teachers to check for understanding at regular intervals, revisit critical concepts and receive feedback on how to improve. In addition, Mastery Checkpoints are undertaken so that students receive written feedback on their progress and again how to improve or advance their knowledge and skills. Summative assessment is conducted at the end of significant periods of study to provide feedback to students on their achievement against the learning outcomes for that study period and result in a grade being awarded.
Academic support is designed to cater for all students, not just students with a diagnosed learning disability. It recognises the individual needs of the students at Timbertop. In order to cater for these needs, screening and diagnostic tests are conducted at the commencement of the school year. These tests assist in the identification of students who are either under-achieving academically or who have high intellectual potential and need to be challenged. The results are used in conjunction with teacher and parent recommendations.
Academic Support Programme (ASP) elective
The Academic Support Programme is a subject offered to a small number of students who are in need of extra assistance in an English language-based subjects and/or Mathematics. These students have been selected through diagnostic testing. This elective provides the necessary time for students to work on specific weaknesses identified by educational psychologists. In addition to this, instruction may be given in time management, involving the setting of short-term and long-term goals; organisation, incorporating the physical work environment; and study skills, involving strategies for effective study habits. This is run as an elective block across both semesters and students must have a diagnosed learning disability to be eligible.
Other Support Structures
Given the busy nature of the Timbertop programme, students will find that with the loss of weekends and the competing demands for their time, keeping up with their academic workload is challenging. Staff at Timbertop offer a range of extra-help sessions for support out of class times. These are voluntary for students; however, some students may be asked to attend to give them the support they need beyond the normal class time. There is no paid tutoring available at Timbertop, however, for all students the opportunity to get assistance is available, they often just need to ask. In addition, students who experience some difficulty accessing the curriculum may be provided Inclusive Learning Recommendations, which assists them and their teachers to best meet their individual needs. These plans are prepared by the school after discussion with key academic staff, parents and the student, all done on a case-by-case basis.
Catering for High Achievers
Timbertop recognises an inclusive definition of giftedness and encourages excellence in all of its forms of intellectual, academic and creative endeavour. There are a range of opportunities to develop musical and artistic talents in the co-curricular programmes. In pure academic pursuits, enrichment is provided to students who show capacity beyond the core offerings. For example, in Mathematics, students can self-select the level of challenge in every part of the course. Classes are not streamed and staff will work with any student to guide them in their studies to achieve their best. Where students have significant prior learning, contact should be made with the Academic office to discuss appropriate subject choices and enrichment opportunities.
The Outdoors Programme is one of the major emphases at Timbertop and an area that will undoubtedly stand out in the memories of our students. In total, the students camp away from their Units for up to 50 nights during their year with us and are involved in a range of activities. The most important activity, in terms of time and in the minds of the students, is hiking.
The hiking programme is challenging. The area in which the students spend most of their time is the Wonnangatta - Moroka Unit of the Alpine National Park. The terrain is mountainous and, being part of the alpine area, can be subject to snow and adverse weather conditions. As they become more experienced and able, students cover over twenty kilometres a day and may arrive at their campsite in darkness. The routes they take involve ascents and descents of between eight hundred and one thousand metres, sometimes all in one day.
The easiest way to ensure that students have the correct gear for this challenging programme is to purchase it through the Timbertop Hike Store (refer to Outdoor Activities Equipment on Page 106).
Students carry a full pack containing all the equipment they need to enjoy a comfortable experience in the alpine environment. They are provided with a list telling them what they must take on each hike and must be able to show that they have all necessary equipment when checked by staff. We are generally able to offer the best price for outdoors equipment and much of it is now designed and made specifically to suit the needs of the students at Timbertop. The very significant amount of time that is spent in the outdoors and the challenging nature of the programme makes it very important that everyone in the field is properly equipped at all times.
MODIFIED PACK PROGRAMME
In some cases, a physiotherapist or the Health Centre will suggest that a student should only carry part of their gear on hikes and that the rest be moved by vehicle between campsites. This suggestion will generally be made because the student is injured or is of light weight. This will only take place during Term 1, as due to restricted access we are unable to provide this service for Term 4 hiking. Wherever possible, the Outdoor Education Department will support these students by moving some of their non-essential safety gear to camp for them for the duration of their injury/while they are underweight. However, much of the Outdoor Education Programme is by its nature conducted in remote areas of the Victorian high country where there is no vehicle access and in these circumstances we are not able to support students in this way. In these instances, students will need to carry all of their own gear.
HIKING IN TERM 1
During Term 1, the whole school hikes over two and a half days each weekend. The hikes progress in difficulty throughout the term and culminate in a three-day hike that is selected by each hike group (around 5-8 students), from a choice of many routes.
The safety network that surrounds the students is significant, and includes the use of satellite and mobile telephones, portable radios, group tracking devices, four-wheel drive vehicles and staff who walk the same route as the students. There is always a Nurse on call. Logbooks are used to monitor the whereabouts of students at all times. The logbooks are situated in many places throughout the area where students walk. Students are required to sign logbooks at specified checkpoints detailing the group number, the date and time of departure from the checkpoint and any injuries or remarks. Staff and sessional instructors check logbooks to ensure all groups have passed through each point. The hike groups are instructed not to split their groups unless a medical problem arises and help is needed. Instructions on this procedure are given in Outdoor Education classes at the start of the year.
The hike groups are given hike notes prior to the hike which, when combined with their map and compass, give them all the details they need to arrive at their destination safely. The hike notes detail the route, where water is available, and campsites. The hike notes are written by the Outdoor Education staff. The hike notes are only part of the navigational aids the students have and students are encouraged not to rely on them alone. They are also taught how to use compasses and maps in the Outdoor Education classes. The aim is for the students to become independent in a bush setting. Each hike group formed must learn to work and co-operate together and take responsibility for its own welfare in the bush. As the term progresses the students become more confident and competent in their skills, and their fitness reaches a level where they feel confident in undertaking many of the steep mountains in the area. Outdoors staff, sessional outdoor instructors, and academic staff are present throughout the hike and at the campsites each night. Whilst walking, the staff roam through the groups and will often position themselves at points which may have the potential for some navigational or safety problems. Staff generally travel in pairs and are equipped with First Aid Kits and radios. They are spread through the student hike groups and act as a safety net. A staff member is always designated as ‘tail’. These staff members are the last to leave and the last to arrive at the campsite at night. The students are required to stay in front of the tail at all times. The tail ‘sweeps’ the hike, checking that all of the groups have passed through each checkpoint and accounting for each student. Upon reaching the campsite, the students are required to check in with the staff member on duty there. Staff members are on call for the night. The students have been taught about campsite procedures, and hygiene in the bush, in their classes and this is monitored on the hikes.
During Term 2, the hiking programme includes a four-day Unit Hike. On this hike students venture further from school, to higher mountains and well-known landmarks, such as the Crosscut Saw, and the weather can range from sunny days through to storms, blizzards and snow. The focus of each Unit Hike is the relationships between the members of the Unit – how the students treat each other as they live and work side by side. Staff members and students alike have the opportunity to become more aware of the group dynamic, and we strive to improve the functioning of each Unit. On these hikes, students often encounter difficult conditions which require them to work together to overcome problems. The isolation effect is greater on this hike than those of Term 1 as the Unit is away alone while the rest of the school is in classes. The students are accompanied by an Outdoor Education staff member or a sessional outdoor instructor and their Head of Unit. The staff team carries a comprehensive First Aid Kit, a radio, and satellite and mobile telephones. The Director of Outdoor Education monitors the progress of each hike, and medical and other support is provided by staff based at school.
Winter Expeditions are undertaken in Term 3. These involve each Unit cross-country skiing, or snow-shoeing or hiking up Mt Stirling for an overnight stay at Geelong Grammar School Hut. An Outdoor Education staff member and the Head of Unit accompany the students on this expedition, and carry comprehensive First Aid Kits, radios, and satellite and mobile telephones. They can contact the Ski Patrol at any time of the day or night if there is a problem. Ski Patrol is situated at Telephone Box Junction and its members are equipped with over-snow transport to deal with any serious injuries. Whenever the students leave the hut on Mt Stirling to explore the area or for snow play they are accompanied by Outdoor Education staff and other staff. The students travel up to the hut on the first day and then spend the afternoon exploring the summit area. On the second morning the students enjoy a Timbertop ‘cook up’ of bacon and eggs in front of the hut fireplace, then make their way back to Telephone Box Junction. Geelong Grammar School Hut is stocked well before winter with tools, safety equipment, food and wood to see us through the winter period.
BACK COUNTRY SKI EXPEDITIONS
Towards the end of Term 3 students get the opportunity to put their newly found cross-country skills to the test in the Bogong High Plains. This Unit-based trip allows students to camp in the snow for three nights and explore the surrounding terrain over four days. During this expedition students go for day-long ski trips, build snow caves and snow people, and learn the fine art of Telemark ski turns. This trip is one of the highlights of the Outdoor Programme. The cost of this trip is approximately $250 and will be charged to your school account.
HIKING IN TERM 4
During Term 4 the hiking recommences in earnest. A series of challenging weekend hikes are run, as well as the Mt Stirling Rogaine. The Four Day Hike, where hike groups choose from a number of options, provides a penultimate challenge for our students, and they are then in a position to plan their own Six Day Hike – the culmination of their year in the outdoors. For this trip students choose their own route, considering in their planning their favourite parts of the high country, water and campsite locations. As with all Timbertop hikes, qualified staff supervise students on every route undertaken, and the same safety network described earlier supports the programme in Term 4.
Students are exposed to the finer details and intricacies of Rogaining during Terms 1, 2 and 4. In Term 1, they participate in a very short Rogaine that involves navigating their way around the School campus area. At the end of Term 2, Units compete against each other in a day-long Rogaine, with teams heading out over the school property as far as Mt Timbertop. In Term 4, all students and staff participate in an all-day team competition on Mt Stirling. As with all the other Outdoor Education activities, staff, assistants and sessional staff are used in conjunction with vehicle support and radio communications to deal with any first aid or safety issues. Students also carry personal emergency gear and a First Aid Kit with them.
All students participate in several solo experiences during the year. The students spend a night by themselves in a designated campsite to experience time alone in the bush. This experience is designed to give students time for reflection and to consider their future aspirations. Outdoor Education staff, sessional staff and assistants are strategically placed amongst the campsites and complete regular safety checks on the students throughout the solo.
At Timbertop, music pervades all parts of community life. There are many opportunities for performing and students of all levels are encouraged to take part in Monday Chapel concerts. Rock and jazz bands, instrumental and vocal ensembles, duets and trios all form throughout the year in extra Music practice and also perform in these and other concerts.
Singing especially forms an integral aspect of the Timbertop experience. All students participate fully in Chapel singing and the Timbertop Choir meets every week for rehearsal. The choir performs regularly and is open to all members of the community, providing a wonderful opportunity for all to improve their singing in a supportive environment.
Well over half of the Timbertop cohort undertakes sessional music lessons which are 45 minutes in length and operate simultaneously with the academic periods. Students also practice at least twice a week in the Music School. We recommend that students do not undertake external music examinations in their Timbertop year. Please go to www.ggs.vic. edu.au/music-lessons for more information on instrumental/vocal tuition classes.
As an academic subject, the majority of the elective Music class time is spent learning the skills to be the best ensemble players possible (students should be at Grade 2 AMEB level or equivalent and be enrolled in private instrumental tuition from the beginning of the year) and preparing for public performances to the School or wider Mansfield community. The Music elective class also comprehensively covers theoretical foundations of music, explores composition and sound, history of music and individual performance repertoire.
Timbertop actively encourages young people to read for pleasure. To that end, it is an expectation that all students will always have a novel to read, either one of their own or one borrowed from the library. In such an active programme as the Timbertop one, it is important that particular time be set aside for reading. This comes at the end of each day. Generally students are in bed at 8.50pm and expected to read quietly until lights out at 9.20pm. It is our experience that the majority of students come to thoroughly enjoy this time; even those who would readily admit that they are more at home with a television in front of them rather than a book. Hopefully the habit will stay with them.
Two periods per student per week during Term 2 and Term 3 are devoted to an activities programme that plays a key role in integrating the academic and co-curricular spheres of the Timbertop experience. Students are placed in a variety of activities where they have the opportunity to learn new skills and to be of service to the Timbertop community. The programme includes working with cattle, sheep, on land care, forestry, permaculture, the vineyard, landscaping, property development and pioneer carpentry skills, blacksmithing, cooking, construction, photography, the Timbertop magazine and the campus newsletter, The Bush Telegraph.
Though the activities are very different in nature, they share the common purpose of adding a concrete, practical expression of the values espoused in the academic curriculum and the theme of ‘service’. Like so much of what happens at Timbertop, it is hoped that these experiences will sow the seeds for lifelong involvement in activities that are inherently valuable and through which so much can be learned. It is likely in many cases that these particular activities will not be followed through in later life. Those from the city or overseas may never return to an active involvement in rural pursuits and others may not have the opportunity again to work with others in developing technological solutions to everyday tasks. Whether or not this happens is not of great consequence as the primary aim is to have students experience the satisfaction of working with others to benefit their community and the world generally.
Students at Timbertop are fortunate to live in an environment that lends itself to their involvement. It is expected that everyone will participate and not simply be a spectator.
THE DARLING HUTS
The Darling Huts are located on campus and have been built to honour the pioneering spirit of those students and staff who built the Timbertop Campus. The Darling Huts project was initiated in 1990 and give students an opportunity to experience first-hand the construction of a mountain hut using original methods. Students are able to live a historical adventure and much is learned. The site has running water and a self-composting toilet, but no electricity.
A timber slab dining hut, an accommodation hut, a pizza oven and a mud brick toilet block have been completed since the project began. All work is done by students and completed under the supervision of maintenance, sessional and academic staff.
Students develop a relationship with the Darling Huts through repeated visits throughout the year. This often includes a couple of overnight stays in core class groups over the course of the year. The pizza oven is fired up and the students make their own pizzas. Camp ovens are also utilised to roast vegetables and Timbertop lamb in the coals from the campfire. Students enjoy sharing time together at the huts, with storytelling and singing popular activities around the campfire on a cold winter’s evening.
During their time at the Huts students engage with ‘Enviro Interps’ activities to build their place-based knowledge of the Timbertop area. Through an applied learning approach, students get hands on experience identifying local flora and fauna. Students recognise this as a worthwhile experience, acknowledging that developing their understanding of the natural environment around them further expands their connection to this land, and to their Timbertop year.
SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
During Term 2, students spend a number of weekends working in small groups to contribute something to the community they live in and benefit from. This takes place both on and off the campus. For at least two weekends, groups will be billeted on properties around the district and work with people from outside the School. Work may be with local organisations and farmers, the Mansfield Pre-School and local primary schools and the Mt Buller/Mt Stirling Resort Management Board.
On the School property students may work on erosion control programmes, tree planting or other environmental work. Whilst students generally enjoy the opportunity to mix with the local community and experience something new, it is the spirit of service which is most important.
Six afternoons in Term 3 are devoted to hobbies. Students select from a wide range of hobbies offered which have included active pursuits such as horse riding, Nordic skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, fly fishing and golf, as well as passive hobbies such as board games, baking, fine dining, international cooking, football, scarf knitting, and drama. Students select from a wide range of hobbies offered which have included active pursuits such as horse riding, pilates, basketball, snowboarding, fly fishing, netball, personal training, and telemark skiing; as well as passive ones, such as lego building, dumpling making, blacksmithing, health retreat, meat and fire, whip making, sports injury management, baking, drum making, book club, boardgames and candle making.
Learning a new skill is the key aim of this programme and students are expected to choose an activity they are not proficient in, as most hobbies are for beginners.
DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S AWARD
The internationally recognised and prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Award challenges young people to work towards personal achievement through a balanced programme of practical, physical and cultural activities. It encourages participants to serve others, acquire new skills and experience adventure. The scheme offers three awards – Bronze, Silver and Gold –and is very much in harmony with the philosophy and ethos of Timbertop.
All students are offered the opportunity to acquire their Bronze Award whilst at Timbertop. Students demonstrate commitment and determination to fulfil the requirements of the Service section throughout their ongoing service to the School and Community during the year, of the Physical Recreation section through the improvement of their running and general fitness, and of the Skills section during our ongoing reading or music programme. The Expedition section is covered comprehensively in our hiking programme.
Whilst participation in the Duke of Edinburgh Award is voluntary, it is our hope that all students will consider dedicating some of their time to undergoing this valuable opportunity and continue the commitment they make whilst at Timbertop in their later years of schooling.
If your child elects to undertake the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award at Timbertop there is an associated cost of approximately $130 which will be charged to your school account.
For six weeks in Term 3, the whole school visits Mt Buller on a weekday for a recreational day of alpine downhill skiing. This day represents a part of our weekend and is an important opportunity for students to leave the campus and take a well-earned break from routines. The purpose of downhill skiing at Timbertop is to allow students to learn new or develop existing skills whilst safely having fun with their peers. The day consists of a 90-minute lesson with the ski school with the remainder of time free for skiing. Timbertop also enters teams in downhill and Nordic events and snowboarding at the Victorian Interschools Skiing Championships.
Clothing requirements for ski days are the same as for hiking and no additional clothing is necessary. Students must wear their waterproof clothing and take goggles, mitts, balaclava and whistle with them. Skis, poles, helmets and boots are hired on the mountain.
The wearing of helmets is compulsory and they can be hired for the students or brought from home. Students are discouraged from bringing their own skis as storage in Units and transport to the mountain present some difficulties.
Students ski in small groups of similar ability. With the exception of the lesson period, the ski group will spend the day together. As is the case for many activities at Timbertop, a good deal of trust is put in students to follow the strict guidelines regarding safety, especially not splitting groups, reporting in for the compulsory lunch break and only skiing on runs designated to their ability level. At the start of the season students attend a safety briefing. Whilst Timbertop staff ski with the students, the safety network relied upon during our ski days is the Mt Buller Ski Patrol, which provides support on the mountain.
Students are not allowed to snowboard on these days.
Costs related to this activity will be charged to student accounts. These costs include season or day passes, lesson packages, resort entry, transfers, equipment rental and event space hire. Students can either utilise day lift passes or season lift passes. If students use day passes these will be purchased by the ski coordinator and charged to your account. If you would prefer a season pass (in the case that your child is doing a snow hobby and you are skiing over the holidays/exeat) you will need to complete this purchase yourself and advise your child’s Head of Unit and Ski Coordinator of this purchase. In most years Timbertop is offered a `local schools discount rate’ by Buller Holidays which reduces both the lift (day and season) and lesson price. More information regarding ski passes will be communicated via Hive closer to the ski season.
GGS CUP AND VICTORIAN INTERSCHOOLS SKIING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Each year a small number of Timbertop students may be eligible to participate in the GGS Cup and the Victorian Interschools Skiing Championships. Students may only participate in these events if:
• they have represented their school in skiing/boarding at state level previously and have achieved a high degree of success.
• they have their own equipment for competition skiing/boarding.
• they have a season pass for the year they are wishing to compete.
• they have consistently achieved an attitude and effort rating of at least 3 in each subject, as their participation in these events will necessitate missing academic classes and catching up on work that is missed.
Students who do not return to Timbertop after Term 3 exeat will be ineligible to compete.
By accepting a place in the Interschools team you agree to travel to and from Timbertop on each day of competition and not stay on the mountain. In addition, students will not be able to compete in either event if the competition dates clash with important parts of their Timbertop programme, particularly the Bogong and Mt Stirling Winter expeditions and the preparation for these expeditions. If students are unable to compete in the Victorian Interschools Skiing Competition due to clashes with the Timbertop programme, they are automatically ineligible to attend the GGS Cup.
The GGS Cup acts as a selection event for Victorian Interschools Championships and given that Timbertop students are combined with Year 10 GGS students in Level 2 at the Interschools event, the number of students selected to represent GGS from Timbertop is normally quite small.
Those wishing to participate in competition skiing/boarding during their Timbertop year should keep in mind that this is an extra-curricular sport. As a rule, the Timbertop programme cannot accommodate extra-curricular sporting activities and the vast majority of Timbertop students forego such activities for the duration of the year. Even if students have been accustomed to participating in the GGS Cup and Victorian Interschools regularly in previous years, there is no guarantee their involvement can be accommodated during their Timbertop year.
Timbertop students will not be involved in any training sessions provided for students at other campuses of GGS.
Timbertop students may not compete in the National Interschools Championships.
The physical programme has been designed to allow students to steadily improve their running ability, which supports their preparations for outdoors activities. It also challenges them and provides a regular opportunity to test their mental strength and stamina.
Since the foundation years of Timbertop, students have been expected to be involved in the Running Programme. Many students will attest to the satisfaction and pleasure they have derived as a result of the personal growth and success that this aspect of the Timbertop Programme provides.
The principal focus is for them to participate to their potential and to set goals for themselves for improvement in each run.
In essence, students will be involved in two to three runs per week throughout the whole year. In Terms 1 and 4, students will complete one set ‘Crossie’ and one ‘Long Run’ per week. The Crossie is a set distance and increases each term. The long run changes from week to week and ranges in distance. In Terms 2 and 3, students complete two Crossies and one Long Run per week as there is less hiking to keep them fit.
It is important that students learn to take good care of their feet whilst at Timbertop.
Students must start the year with a pair of good quality, durable running shoes suitable for rough, hilly and often muddy terrain. Research suggests that settling for a cheap alternative when buying running shoes increases the chance of injury. Street shoes, track and road runners and worn-out sports shoes are unsuitable and can lead to injury.
The best and easiest way to ensure that students have the right running shoes which are suitable for their foot type is to purchase from a specialist running shop. Students can also be fitted once they arrive at Timbertop and replacement shoes can be organised throughout the year.
A Podiatrist consultation is valuable, especially if there is a history of foot, ankle and leg problems from exercise. Orthotics may be required to correct certain conditions and require a period of adjustment.
TRAINING PROGRAMME PRE-TERM 1
Any training that can be done before coming to Timbertop is imperative. This will aid in the transition into the Timbertop Programme and helps prevent injury. Walking or running on hills will help significantly as there are few flat terrain runs at Timbertop. Prospective students should endeavour to be able to run approximately four kilometres at least two times per week before the start of the school year. If there has been little or no physical/ sport experience in the years preceding the Timbertop year, begin training with riding a bike, power walking or swimming. All of these activities will improve cardio-vascular (heart and lung) fitness and also minimise impact on knees and ankles. Riding, walking and swimming also help tone and strengthen muscles for running and hiking and therefore are good starting points in the preparation process. A basic wrist watch with a start-stop function for timing runs is strongly encouraged. Please note that the watch does not need GPS or heart rate function.
It is hoped that each student will, by the end of the year, achieve many personal goals in the Running Programme. Perseverance, endurance and a willingness to give of one’s best are all that is asked of each student. The running programme is not designed to be competitive - competition comes from within. Remarkable performances can be and often are achieved by everyone.
We recommend students be able to swim at least 25 metres without support before arriving at Timbertop.
HARASSMENT AND BULLYING
MANAGING POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS
The key to a good school, in fact any community, is the existence of good relationships. We have, over the years, developed a reputation for being a school that is caring, where a variety of personalities can grow and feel free to express themselves without fear of ridicule and without detriment to others.
The majority of our community interacts in a positive and thoughtful manner. However, like any school, we do experience problems and it is important we all recognise behaviour that involves harassment, victimisation or bullying of any form between individuals or between individual groups and individuals is socially unacceptable and will not be tolerated in any part of the school. All members of our school community (staff, students and parents) must share the responsibility for contributing to and ensuring an environment free of harassment, bullying and victimisation.
This means that it may sometimes be a responsible action to make a complaint on behalf of others.
It is important that, to reinforce positive relationships, we state unequivocally what unacceptable behaviour is. The behavioural policy is for all members of our community and is an attempt to create a better understanding of the issues involved and to further improve the situation.
Bullying is probably endemic in schools as it is in society and it can be the single most important problem raised by students. Bullying is an abuse of power that one person or group has over another. It comes in many forms - persistent teasing or name-calling, racial or sexual harassment, emotional abuse, extortion, ostracising of individuals by a group or outright physical abuse. A lot of work has been done in this area but we must be ever vigilant, as it can rear its ugly head at any time.
Harassment can be based on gender, race, religion, physical appearance or intellectual capacity. All forms of harassment are equally unacceptable, but we feel that especially in our environment of co-education and in an attempt to further promote positive relationships, it is important to go into some detail as to what constitutes sexual harassment.
Harassment of a sexual nature is prohibited under the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act and the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act. Anyone engaging in it is subject to disciplinary proceedings up to and including dismissal.
Not meaning to harass is no defence if there is an indication that it is unwelcome. What matters is what was actually said or done, not what might have been intended. Sexual harassment is any form of sexual attention or behaviour from another student, group of students or adult which is unwelcome to the person receiving it.
In order to foster a secure and productive environment the School has adopted the following rules:
School rules apply during term and while students are travelling to and from school.
1. Students may not harass, victimise or bully others.
2. Students must respect the property of others and the School.
3. Students may not go beyond School bounds without the permission of the Head of Timbertop.
4. Students may not smoke or vape or bring tobacco/vapes into the School.
5. Students may not bring alcohol into the School, nor have it in their possession, nor consume it.
6. Students may not use or possess illicit drugs.
7. Students may not break the limits of propriety or territory, in the matter of sexual behaviour.
8. Students may not visit Units or Unit surrounds other than their own.
Although rules are ‘black and white’, each incident is considered in relation to the individual involved and the surrounding circumstances. More specific rules concerning bounds and general behaviour will be clarified from time to time by the Head of Timbertop and Heads of Units. A copy of the School’s policy on drugs is available on the School’s website.
Alcohol can be a serious problem for young people in Australia because it is widely advertised, socially acceptable and readily available.
Geelong Grammar School’s policy on alcohol takes a single clear line which avoids confusion. Students may not drink alcohol at school in any circumstances or in any company. It is also worth noting in this context that school rules apply during Term time and while travelling to and from school. In certain circumstances, such as for the Parents Dinner and Confirmation Day, we welcome families at the School. However, alcohol must not be made available to any students on school occasions or at public occasions involving our School.
In order to impress on the School community the importance of satisfactory behaviour, the School will respond to what is not acceptable with appropriate consequences. This may take the form of early morning labour, detention, an early morning run with a staff member, an internal or external suspension or removal from the School.
External suspension provides notice that students have behaved in such a way as to put their places in the School in jeopardy. It gives a vigorous reminder to think again about just where their obligations and responsibilities lie. For this reason, any student who has been externally suspended is put on probation until the right of removal from the probation list has been earned. Any serious offence committed while on probation may lead to a student being asked to leave the School.
REMOVAL FROM THE SCHOOL
There are some things for which students may be removed from the School. Within this category falls any gross interference with others or their property; severe harassment, bullying or intimidation of others; involvement with illicit drugs or breaking the limits of propriety and territory in the matter of sexual behaviour.
STUDENTS’ STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT
The students of Geelong Grammar School believe that all members of the community should give individuals the freedom to grow and develop to their full potential. Freedom to develop is grounded in three kinds of respect: respect for oneself, respect for others and respect for the School. Respect is the key to a friendly and flourishing environment in which staff and students alike can live and work in such a way that full potential can be realised.
RESPECT FOR ONESELF
The development of one’s full potential requires an attitude of self-discipline. This is a mental and physical state enabling one to make the most of all opportunities available. Through self-discipline, one achieves a sense of self-respect.
RESPECT FOR OTHERS
In order to mature, develop and acquire a sense of self-worth, people need to be encouraged to strive. This demands respect and consideration for their beliefs, feelings, sexuality and property - especially important in a school with a range of cultural backgrounds.
RESPECT FOR THE SCHOOL
School property should be used and maintained so that all individuals benefit from it. Respect for the rules and decisions of the School are necessary for a healthy and enjoyable atmosphere where students can learn. Honesty and consideration towards the staff and school authority lead to respect for student opinion. A compatible working relationship allows each member of the school community to flourish.
ARRIVAL – BEGINNING OF YEAR
Tuesday 31 January is set aside for new students entering Geelong Grammar School at the Timbertop (Year 9) level.
Wednesday 1 February is set aside for those joining from our Corio Campus.
Parents should drive their children to Timbertop at the start of the year but please do not arrive prior to 9.30am.
Parents should note that there is no bus service to Timbertop on this day.
On both days for all parents and students, refreshments and lunch will be provided. There will also be a gathering where the Head of Timbertop, Ross Hopkins formally welcomes all to Timbertop, briefly discusses some important matters such as communication between home and school, safety issues and introduces some staff with whom parents might deal with over the course of the year. The gathering will conclude at approximately 3.00pm and parents will need to leave at this time so that the programme can commence.
CLOSING CEREMONY AND FINAL DAY OF TERM
To complete the amazing journey of growth and self-discovery that your child has been on at Timbertop we will hold a short ‘closing ceremony’ for the families and students who are collecting their children from campus on the final day of school, Friday 8 December. In doing so, we would like to acknowledge the effort students have put in, the completion of their journey and the trust you have had in us to lead your child on this adventure.
The ceremony will be held in the Amphitheatre, outside the Dining Hall.
Following the ceremony, we will invite students to find a place on campus to sit and read through their written Timbertop reflection with their parents. We anticipate that all families will be able to leave campus before 10:30 am.
We hope that this small acknowledgement of the year and the finality of the ceremony will facilitate some wonderful discussion and personal growth for your child and create a space for your family to come back together and share the pride and joy of an opportunity captured and a year lived well.
Buses will not run on the final day of term as it is our hope that families will be able to collect their children from Timbertop.
TRAVEL – BEGINNING AND END OF TERM
All travel arrangements need to be booked by parents by completing a Leave Request to be approved by the student’s Head of Unit, via Hive (REACH portal).
The following bus departure and approximate arrival times will remain constant for each term throughout the year. Parents should note that there is no bus service from Melbourne to Timbertop at the commencement of Term 1.
At the end of each term, buses depart Timbertop at approximately 7.45am and arrive at the following destinations:
• Toorak Campus bus terminus at 11.00am
• Melbourne Airport, Tullamarine (bus loading/unloading bays L and M at International Arrivals) at 11.00am
• Corio Campus bus terminus via Tallarook at 11.30am (ETA Tallarook 9.30am-9.45am front of Tallarook Hotel)
• Benalla Rail Station at 9.00am
If you are collecting your child from a bus drop-off point, please be there prior to the designated arrival time. If you are collecting your child from Timbertop, the boomgate will open at 8.00am (for safety purposes, please do not enter the gate prior to 8am due to large coaches exiting campus).
On return to school, buses depart as follows:
• Corio Campus bus terminus via Tallarook at 2.00pm (ETA Tallarook 3.45pm-4.00pm)
• Toorak Campus bus terminus at 2.00pm
• Melbourne Airport, Tullamarine (bus loading/unloading bays L and M at International Arrivals) at 3.00pm
• Additional tip - students will be picked up where they are dropped off, they can also look for the signage that says Groups & Charters)
• For students returning from interstate, please ensure flights land by 2.00pm due to prompt departure of the bus at 3.00pm
• Benalla Rail Station at 4.30pm
Student luggage travels with them on the buses.
It is recommended students are provided with a cash card to allow for any expenses during travel to and from campus for beginning, end of term and exeats. These will be kept with the students valuables during term time.
TERM DATES 2022
Term 1: All students new to Geelong Grammar School are asked to arrive at Timbertop from 9.30am–12.30pm on Tuesday 31 January. Students from Corio arrive on Wednesday 1 February, from 9.30am–12.30pm. Term ends Thursday 6 April from 8.00am.
Term 2: Students arrive on Wednesday 26 April between 4.00-6.00pm and term ends on Friday 23 June from 8.00am.
Term 3: Students arrive on Monday 17 July between 4.00-6.00pm and term ends on Friday 15 September from 8.00am.
Term 4: Students arrive on Monday 2 October between 4.00-6.00pm and term ends on Friday 8 December from 10.30am.
Please do not drop students off before 4.00pm when they are returning from exeat or term holidays.
Dates for exeats are as follows:
Term 1: From Friday 10 March (8.00am) to Monday 13 March (4.00pm-6.00pm).
Term 2: From Friday 26 May (8.00am) to Monday 29 May (4.00pm-6.00pm).
Term 3: From Saturday 19 August (10.00am) to Tuesday 22 August (4.00pm-6.00pm).
Term 4: From Saturday 4 November (8.00am) to Monday 6 November (4.00pm-6.00pm).
Bus arrival, departure and destinations times for exeats are the same as for the beginning and ends of term, except for Term 3 exeat departure, please see below:
Term 3 Exeat:
• Toorak via Melbourne Airport depart 9.30am. Arrive Melbourne Airport at 12.30pm and Toorak Campus bus terminus at 1.15pm.
• No buses will depart from Timbertop to Corio Campus and Benalla Train Station during this exeat.
REACH LEAVE REQUEST FOR STUDENT TRAVEL
– TIPS TO AVOID NON-APPROVAL/REJECTION PLEASE LOG:
• The correct date of departure and return (if your child will be returning outside of the allocated dates please add a detailed note and email the HoU);
• The correct time of departure and return. For example, Toorak bus return 2pm, Parent drop off between 4pm and 6pm and departure Corio 8am and so forth;
• A destination address in full; Home, Mt Buller and Melbourne for example will be required to be rejected. We appreciate parents taking this extra step so that we can
be assured the student is returning to the correct care and location of their parent/ homestay/guardian;
• Enter all flight details as necessary.
How to log a full Leave Request in REACH can be found via Hive.
DINNER FOR TIMBERTOP PARENTS – FRIDAY 18 AUGUST
It has become a tradition to hold a formal dinner for parents (or guardians) at which a short video of the first semester is shown and tales are told of all manner of adventures in the lives of our current cohort of students. The dinner will be a stand-up celebration held inside and outside our Timbertop Dining Hall. The evening will have a real Timbertop flavour with parents mingling with their child’s Head of Unit, the bell will be rung at appropriate times, musical items performed by students and some short speeches by GGS Principal, Rebecca Cody, and Head of Timbertop, Ross Hopkins. It is a fabulous night and we encourage you to come along and enjoy the fun.
Due to current COVID considerations, ticket purchases will be limited to two (except in the case of separated parents, where up to four tickets can be reserved) and booking is essential.
Please note this celebration is for parents or guardians only. Students, children and/or siblings are not able to attend. If you require babysitting for other children for the evening, you will need to make private arrangements off campus.
Timbertop students must stay on campus on the Friday evening of the dinner. Exeat will commence on Saturday 19 August at approximately 10am, following the parent/student Crossie. Students traveling on the bus will depart at 9.30am.
It is advisable to book your accommodation in the Mansfield region early to avoid disappointment. It is the School’s recommendation that exeat is not spent on Mt Buller. Travel up the mountain to return to accommodation has in the past been restricted owing to snowfall and slippery conditions. Most importantly though, in the past, students have not been able to get the rest they require if they ski and stay up late and often become ill when they recommence the programme. Exeat falls just before our four-day Bogong Highplains Winter Expedition and students need to be well rested before this snowcamping journey.
ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL
As many special Timbertop activities take place in the first or last two or three days of each term, it is expected that no student will be absent at the commencement of each term or will leave before the actual end of term dates listed or request extended exeats unless it is for essential medical appointments. It is vital that all students be in residence on the dates specified. Extended leave requests during term time are rejected as a matter of course. Compassionate leave is usually the only reason students return home outside of regular exeat and holiday times.
THE TIMBERTOP HEALTH CENTRE
Phone: +61 3 5733 6706
Phone: +61 3 5733 6783
Fax: +61 3 52344856
Address: 145 Grammar School Road, Merrijig, Vic, 3723, Australia.
Postal Address: Private Mail Bag, Mansfield, Victoria, 3722, Australia.
The Timbertop Health Centre is staffed by Registered Nurses responsible for clinical aspects of the physical and emotional wellbeing of the students.
The Nurses liaise directly with the Heads of Units to ensure the health and wellbeing of the students in their care and notify parents if their child has been admitted with illness or injury.
The Health Centre can host up to 12 students in segregated accommodation. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the maximum capacity at any one time has been reduced to 5 students requiring isolation while awaiting their COVID-19 results.
Hours of Operation: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during School term.
Staff: A Registered Nurse is on duty from 7am to 9pm daily. An Overnight First Aid Attendant is on duty each night from 9pm to 7am, with a Registered Nurse on call.
HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS
Professor Fergus Cameron: Geelong Grammar School’s Chief Medical Officer. Professor Cameron liaises with external health care providers for children with significant or ongoing health care needs. He does not treat students on site.
Central General Practice (CGP), Mansfield: CGP Doctors visit Timbertop twice a week to provide onsite medical care. Outside these visits, students may be seen at their clinic in Mansfield and will be accompanied by a staff member. If they travel by taxi, the fee for this transport will be charged to your account.
In a case where an injury or illness is significant, or out of normal working hours, a student may be assessed in urgent care. This is normally Mansfield District Hospital, or for more serious cases, Northeast Health in Wangaratta. A Timbertop staff member will accompany students to these appointments off campus.
If a student requires overnight admission to Hospital or an extended stay in an Urgent Care Centre, the parent, guardian, or emergency contact for the student will be expected to assume the responsibility for the care of the student from the Timbertop staff member as soon as is practicably possible.
Return to school process: There is a return to school process for any student leaving campus with a medical condition. You will be contacted by the Health Centre requesting a written Health Provider Report (HPR) from an external Health Care Provider (HCP), prior
to the student returning to school. This report needs to include a professional opinion that the student is ready to return to school and is considered safe to do so. This assessment should be made by a Health Professional, experienced in adolescent health with an understanding of boarding schools. The student’s parent or legal guardian will be asked for written consent to enable the Senior Medical Officer (SMO) to discuss this report with the HCP. The Health Centre staff will then liaise with the SMO and family to discuss the student’s return to campus.
Follow up appointments with the Timbertop GPs or Physiotherapist will be arranged as required. Due to our context, telehealth appointments are not able to be facilitated on campus. If the student needs a specialist follow up or review, they will need to attend this off campus.
Physiotherapy: A physiotherapist visits the Timbertop Health Centre each week to diagnose, triage, assess, advise, and formulate a rehabilitation plan for injured students. The physiotherapist has a clear understanding of the physical rigors of the Timbertop program and works closely with Timbertop staff to support injured students. Physiotherapy appointments are only rarely for the purposes of extended treatment or massage.
Dentist/Orthodontist: Orthodontic treatment is not available locally. It is suggested that any new or non-urgent orthodontic treatment be undertaken at the completion of the Timbertop year or during exeat/term holidays.
Urgent dental appointments in Mansfield can be arranged by parents, in consultation with the Health Centre staff. Students travel to these appointments by taxi and the cost of this will be charged to your account.
Whilst the health care team at Timbertop makes every attempt to respect privacy and preserve confidentiality, there is open discussion about students’ health care needs within the team and between our staff and outside health care providers. This communication is to support our duty of care and to ensure the best possible outcomes for students. If this policy causes you concern, please discuss this with us prior to any transfer of information.
Students are not permitted to hold medications in the unit. The Health Centre is able to provide most common over the counter medications such as paracetamol and ibuprofen for students as needed. Please inform the Health Centre staff if there are any specific medications you do not want your child to receive.
All prescribed student medications will be held securely at the Health Centre. Students must present to the Health Centre for their medication. A record of medications administered is maintained by Health Centre Staff.
Students on prescribed medications are required to bring with them an Australian prescription, as well as a doctor’s letter which clearly states:
• medical history;
• requirement for medication; and
• current dose, frequency, route, time.
Prescriptions yet to be filled will be held at the local pharmacy in Mansfield and dispensed as required. Any pharmacy items ordered for a student will be charged to end of term fees.
All medications submitted to the Health Centre must be in the original container with the student’s name, medication details and Doctor’s name.
Immunisations are strongly encouraged for all staff and students in accordance with the Australian Immunisation Guidelines. Proof of vaccinations is requested prior to student arrival at Timbertop for the following:
• Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Boostrix): within the last 5 years
• Measles, Mumps and Rubella: at least 2 vaccinations
• Hepatitis B
• Meningococcal C
• Varicella (chickenpox)
If the vaccinations have been given in Australia, you can obtain this information from the myGov Website.
We strongly encourage students to have an Influenza vaccination. This is offered via a clinic at Timbertop. To take up this offer please read and complete the consent form, when you receive it, and return it to the Health Centre at Timbertop.
Appropriate vaccination helps keep all students and staff fit and healthy and may prevent the spread of infection which would otherwise significantly disrupt the Timbertop programme.
INFECTIOUS ILLNESS AND COVID- 19 AWARENESS
Timbertop is a communal living environment and as such requires particular care in the prevention and management of infectious diseases. We have strict health and hygiene management procedures in place to mitigate the risk that COVID-19 and other illnesses represent.
The School must develop an Individual Action Plan (IAP) for every student and staff member which sets out matters to be considered in the event that a student or staff member tests positive to COVID-19. It is always the case that the School will contact the parents first should the need arise.
In the event that a student requires a COVID-19 test and needs to go off campus to isolate, it is vital that we are able to contact a Victorian guardian or emergency contact listed on the IAP. It is essential that the contact can drive to Timbertop immediately if required, and that they are not someone who would be deemed vulnerable.
This may present particular challenges for interstate and overseas families, but it is imperative that all students MUST have a Victorian contact. When you bring your child to Timbertop at the start of the year, you will have an opportunity to discuss any issues with the Nursing staff.
TERM AND EXEAT DATES
The School may choose to alter term or exeat dates so that the campus can respond to the challenges that COVID-19 restrictions and caseloads can present. These changes will take into consideration a huge array of factors and are not taken lightly. We request that parents are as flexible as possible in accommodating these changes.
Parents are strongly advised to purchase membership from the Victorian Ambulance Service for their child prior to coming to Timbertop and for the time that their child is residing at the Timbertop Campus. Please contact the Ambulance Service at www.ambulance.vic.gov.au to arrange this cover.
With regard to overseas students, OSHC pays for an ambulance to take a student to a hospital or medical centre for an accident or unforeseen illness that requires immediate medical attention, e.g. for a broken leg or a severe asthma attack. Benefits are not payable for the use of an ambulance for routine journeys, even if the use of an ambulance is offered for such a journey.
All families are strongly advised to list a Victorian Emergency Contact for their child who can collect them from campus or attend to them in hospital in the event of an emergency, suspension or protracted illness. The details of this emergency contact can be updated with your child’s Head of Unit on the first day of the School year.
OTHER INFORMATION JEWELLERY
Jewellery is not appropriate at Timbertop. School rules apply as for any other campus. Students may wear one small stud in the lower part of the ear lobe if ears are pierced. Necklaces, pendants, bracelets, bangles and the like are not appropriate in a bush environment and should not be brought to school. Exceptions are made for particular religious requirements. Please do not bring smart watches to Timbertop.
HAIR, MAKE-UP & NAIL POLISH
Timbertop applies fairly conservative standards in relation to hair colouring and haircuts. It is expected that students should arrive with their hair cut conservatively and neatly and its natural colour. Students with hair that is long enough to be tied up, will be required to have it tied up at all times. Students are not permitted to wear make-up, fake tan or nail polish at Timbertop, therefore, these items should not be brought to the campus.
MOBILE TELEPHONES/DIGITAL CAMERAS/IPODS/MP3 PLAYERS/EXTERNAL MEMORY DEVICES/E-BOOK READERS/SMART WATCHES
Students are not permitted to use a mobile telephone whilst they are at Timbertop. Phones should be handed to the Head of Unit at the commencement of each term for safekeeping and they will be returned for use on exeats and at the end of terms. E-book readers and external memory devices such as SD cards or HDDs are not permitted. Digital cameras, video cameras and smart watches with the ability to record, display images, or play videos are not permitted. The following are examples of brands of MP3 players that suit Timbertop’s requirements. However, you are at liberty to choose these or any other brand/ model as long as they do not have the ability to record, display images, video capture or playback capabilities. The MP3 Player must not have a colour screen.
• SanDisk 8GB Clip Jam - NOTE: The clip Jam model only. (Clip Sport or Go models are not approved as they have colour screens)
• Sony Walkman NWZ-B183F
There is a manufacturer’s guarantee on these machines. Geelong Grammar School does not recommend a specific manufacturer nor warrant their performance. Please ensure that the student’s name is engraved on the machine prior to the commencement of the Timbertop year. Note: These are MP3/Audio players. Do not try to upload MP4 or iTune-type files as this could corrupt the player. Corrupted players will then need to be sent home for repair.
Students are not permitted to have any money at Timbertop as there is no need for it. Money mailed to students (for example, by relatives on a birthday) will be placed in the Head of Unit locked valuables box until the end of term. It is the student’s responsibility to hand such money to their Head of Unit. The School will not take responsibility for money not handed in. For times where students require money, for example, Battle of the Bands or Athletics Day cash cards are encouraged for this use and will also be kept in the Head of Unit locked valuables box.
Snacks (or ‘tuck’) sustain the adolescent urge to eat but should not replace the Dining Hall meals. Students are given fresh milk and bread daily for consumption in their Units and fresh fruit is available at the Dining Hall at all times of the day. Students have limited space in their Unit pantry and all tuck must fit into this space or the pantry becomes cluttered and unmanageable. Students must learn to manage their tuck. Tuck can only be replenished at the beginning of each term and after each exeat. If you choose to order tuck from the supermarket it will be collected on the Friday after each term commences and the Friday after each exeat. Tuck box dimensions are 21cm x 32cm x 42cm. Any tuck that cannot fit into the tuck box will be held with the Head of Unit until exeat or end of term.
Tuck should not be posted to students throughout the year. Also, if your child leaves campus for any reason throughout a term other than at exeat, we ask that they do not return with any tuck. Doing so can create an avoidable and unhelpful sense of inequality within a Unit.
The following are healthy food suggestions for your child to snack on whilst at Timbertop. Healthy food choices for your child will allow students to gain the most from the programme. Whilst we cannot say that we are a ‘nut-free’ campus we strongly encourage students not to have nuts in their units, so please do not send any nuts/nut-based products to your child for tuck. Products that may contain traces of nuts are acceptable.
• Corn thins
• Carab Natual brand True Fruit fruit
• fruit of all
• Yoghurt coated fruit pieces
• Natural brand lollies
• Canned rice cream
• Cheese and biscuit snack kits
• Canned fish
• Salsa and chips
• Cheese wedges
• Canned beans
• spaghetti/ baked beans
• Apricot Delights
All of the above plus dehydrated soups and noodles.
Previously it has become evident that students who consume unhealthy food and drinks do not gain as much from the programme as they possibly could. Therefore, we ask that you do not supply your child with soft drinks, especially caffeine-based drinks such as Red Bull and V.
Contact numbers: Marks IGA Supermarket t +61 3 5775 2014 Food Works Supermarket t +61 3 5775 2255
01. Food is kept in plastic tuck boxes provided by the School in Unit pantries. Students are not to bring additional containers. There is simply no extra room.
02. Please do not send soft drinks or other liquids (such as shampoo) through the mail.
Students do not use locks at Timbertop. They are counter-productive to the development of honest behaviour and a sense of trust in Units.
All students will receive a birthday cake if their birthday falls in term time. There is no need for parents to order cakes.
Students are not to bring plug-in electrical appliances such as hair dryers, fans, hair straighteners and amplifiers to campus.
Students do not need to bring personal amplifiers for their musical instrument.
UNIFORM AND BOOKS
ONLINE BOOKLIST ORDERS - Booklists will be available online early November via our booklist supplier at www.campion.com.au. Please place orders before Friday 2nd December.
** For many subjects we provide textbooks on loan to students, for a loan fee. This will be charged to your child’s account. Should your child fail to take reasonable care of these books and they need to be replaced, this will also be charged to their school account. The booklist includes details of the books and resources required for each subject and an overview of all loan costs.
You will need this code to access the booklist Z6A7
Orders are delivered directly to Timbertop and distributed after students arrive. Students are required to purchase a stationery pack through the booklist. This pack includes items such as pens, pencils, envelopes, display books, binder books and other minor supplies. Supplies can be replenished during the year from the book room.
THE UNIFORM SHOP AT CORIO
Students will require a School uniform for formal occasions. Students who have attended Corio in Years 7 and 8 will have these pieces. Two sets are recommended.
Note: all items on the clothing list are required from the beginning of the year and will be required for each of the four Terms. This includes the winter kilt and shirt for girls and trousers for boys.
The Uniform Shop at Corio is the only outlet for School uniform. All new and good quality pre-loved uniforms are available at the GGS Shop. Uniform items are NOT available at Timbertop, so uniform should be purchased prior to arrival. The GGS Uniform Shop does not stock hike gear. The Timbertop Hike Store stock the specialist clothing and equipment required for the Outdoors Programme.
Other items available from the GGS Uniform Shop at the Corio Campus: Sleeping bag and tent, Explorer-type socks, thermal tops and bottoms, mesh wash bags, sleeping bag liner, Therm-a-rest sleep mat, School blanket/rug and name tapes.
UNIFORM FOR GIRLS:
• GGS summer dress (knee length) x2
• White calf length sock x2
• Black leather lace-up school shoes
• GGS blue shirts (long or short sleeve) x2
• GGS winter kilt (knee length) x1
• Black opaque tights x2
• GGS blue hair accessories
• Black opaque tights
• GGS grey shorts and GGS grey trousers (optional Winter uniform for girls)
In winter, a navy blue Timbertop Fleece jacket or navy blue woollen jumper is worn with this uniform and is issued at Timbertop
UNIFORM FOR BOYS:
• GGS blue shirts (long or short sleeve) x2
• GGS grey shorts x1
• GGS grey trousers (essential for Term 2) x1
• Black belt x1
• GGS grey and blue stripe knee high socks x2
• Black leather lace-up school shoes
In winter, a navy blue Timbertop Fleece jacket or navy blue woollen jumper is worn with this uniform and is issued at Timbertop.
CONTACT THE SHOP
Geelong Grammar School Uniform Shop 50 Biddlecombe Avenue Corio Victoria 3214 t +61 3 5273 9329 e email@example.com
GIRLS BASIC CLOTHING NEEDS
Parents and students should bear in mind that we apply very conservative dress standards and inappropriate clothing should not be brought to the campus. On the whole, Timbertop provides an opportunity for girls to wear out old clothes, but there are special needs as the list below explains. At present, we are using a distant commercial laundry. Clothes must, therefore, be durable enough to survive the rigours of mass laundry procedures. New items of clothing should be laundered at least once at home in hot water prior to their use at Timbertop. It is necessary to have a week’s supply. Students will require a School uniform for formal occasions. Students who have attended Corio in Years 7 and 8 will have some of these pieces.
Underwear: At least one week’s supply of underwear. Properly fitted sports bras are essential for the running programme.
Trousers: At least two pairs of long work pants which should be loose and comfortable.
Shirts: A supply of summer shirts or T-shirts with sleeves that cover shoulders and long enough so as not to expose the midriff, not low cut or scoop neck. Two collared shirts (any colour), for outside work and when hiking. At least one of these should be long sleeved and quick drying for hiking.
Shorts: Four or more pairs of loose, comfortable, long shorts needed for casual wear in hot weather. Casual shorts that are quick drying and fit well may also be used for hiking. All students will be fitted with one pair of GGS shorts during the gear issue in the first week of Timbertop. These shorts are also available at the GGS Corio Shop and can be used in Senior School.
Jumpers (informal): Students will need casual jumpers to keep warm. At least four; two woollen and two polar fleece. Extra will be needed in Winter. Cotton windcheaters are not very useful in cold weather at Timbertop and are totally unsuitable for hiking while one woollen jumper is required to be taken on every hike and when skiing. Girls should be aware that they should send woollen jumpers to the dry-cleaners, not the laundry, when the jumpers become dirty.
Tracksuit pants: Two/three pairs for daily use. One pair must be polar fleece and can be purchased from the Hike Store when gear issue takes place in Term 1.
Running shorts: Three pairs of running shorts. Bike shorts/Skins are found by many to be very helpful in preventing chafing on long runs and hikes. Please ensure these are an appropriate length.
Pyjamas: Two. A dressing gown and slippers could be useful.
Hiking boots: One pair (Refer to ‘Gear List’ section).
Work boots: One pair, necessary for when students work outside around the campus, e.g. Blundstone or Rossi elastic-sided work boots.
Casual shoes: Two pairs, for wearing to classes and inside the Unit, e.g. sports shoes. We strongly discourage Dunlop Volley style footwear due to the lack of ankle and arch support and inadequate tread.
Formal uniform shoes: One pair, black leather, lace-up school shoes.
Running shoes: One pair, good quality, durable running shoes suitable for rough, hilly and often muddy terrain. Research suggests that settling for a cheap alternative when buying running shoes increases the chance of injury. The best and easiest way to ensure that students have the right running shoes which are suitable for their foot type is to purchase them through the Timbertop Running Department after the start of the year. Shoes can be purchased at a very competitive price and we will ensure that they are fitted properly. Additionally if students need to replace shoes throughout the year we will know what shoe is appropriate for them and can organise the shoes for them.
Hiking: Lightweight woollen hiking sock. We will be supplying Cape to Cape Wilderness Wear at Timbertop.
Running: A week’s supply of sports socks (six pairs).
General wear: A week’s supply.
Swimsuit: One piece (not bikinis).
Sun hats: All students are required to have a lightweight sun hat with an all-round brim when in the outdoors.
Camera: Optional. Not digital or video.
Toiletries: Brush, toothbrush, nail scissors, soap, shampoo, deodorant, sun-screen (factor 15+), insect repellent. Note: Aerosols and pump packs must not be brought to Timbertop.
Sanitary Items: A good supply of sanitary pads and/or tampons. Replacements for most items are available from the School Shop or the Health Centre.
Towels: Three, non-white.
GGS rug (optional): Purchased through the Geelong Grammar School Uniform Shop at Corio Campus.
Bedding: Students may supply a doona and two doona covers (those with Velcro or metal clasps are preferable) or additional blankets (single or king single size is recommended). The School supplies sheets, pillows, mattress and mattress protector and blankets.
Extra name tapes: At least 30. Each student will also need an indelible laundry marking pen to name hiking equipment to which name tapes cannot be sewn.
Bedside alarm clock: Battery powered.
Watch (compulsory): For timing when running (not a smart watch). A basic wrist watch with a start-stop function for timing runs is compulsory. Please note that the watch does not need GPS or heart rate function.
Backpack: Small backpack for carrying books etc. between classrooms.
Letter writing material: Notepaper and envelopes (stamps can be provided at Timbertop).
Coathangers: Approximately ten coat hangers.
BOYS BASIC CLOTHING NEEDS
Parents and students should bear in mind that we apply very conservative dress standards and inappropriate clothing should not be brought to the campus. On the whole, Timbertop provides an opportunity for boys to wear out old clothes but there are special needs as the list below explains. At present, we are using a distant commercial laundry. Clothes must, therefore, be durable enough to survive the rigours of mass laundry procedures. New items of clothing should be laundered at least once at home in hot water prior to their use at Timbertop. It is necessary to have a week’s supply. Students will require a school uniform for formal occasions. Students who have attended Corio in Years 7 and 8 will have some of these pieces.
Underwear: At least one week’s supply of underwear.
Trousers: At least two pairs of long work pants which should be loose and comfortable.
Shirts: A supply of summer shirts or T-shirts, at least two per day due to runs. Two collared shirts (any colour), for outside work and when hiking. At least one of these should be long sleeved and quick drying for hiking.
Shorts: Four or more pairs of loose and comfortable shorts needed for casual wear in hot weather. Casual shorts that are quick drying and fit well may also be used for hiking. All students will be fitted with one pair of GGS shorts during the gear issue in the first week
of Timbertop. These shorts are also available at the GGS Corio Shop and can be used in Senior School.
Jumpers (informal): Students will need casual jumpers to keep warm. At least four; two woollen and two polar fleece. Extra will be needed in Winter. Cotton windcheaters are not very useful in cold weather at Timbertop and are totally unsuitable for hiking while one woollen jumper is required to be taken on every hike and when skiing. Boys should be aware that they should send woollen jumpers to the dry-cleaners, not the laundry, when the jumpers become dirty.
Tracksuit pants: Two/three pairs for daily use. One pair must be polar fleece and can be purchased from the Hike Store when gear issue takes place in Term 1.
Running shorts: Three pairs of running shorts. Bike shorts/Skins are found by many to be very helpful in preventing chafing on long runs and hikes.
Pyjamas: Two. A dressing gown and slippers could be useful.
Hiking boots: One pair (Refer to ‘Gear List’ section).
Work boots: One pair, necessary for when students work outside around the campus, e.g. Blundstone or Rossi elastic-sided work boots.
Casual shoes: One/two pairs, for wearing to classes and inside the Unit, e.g. sports shoes. We strongly discourage Dunlop Volley style footwear due to the lack of ankle and arch support and inadequate tread.
Formal uniform shoes: One pair, black, leather, lace-up school shoes.
Running shoes: One pair, good quality, durable running shoes suitable for rough, hilly and often muddy terrain. Research suggests that settling for a cheap alternative when buying running shoes increases the chance of injury. The best and easiest way to ensure that students have the right running shoes which are suitable for their foot type is to purchase them through the Timbertop Running Department at the start of the year. Shoes can be purchased at a very competitive price and we will ensure that they are fitted properly. Additionally if students need to replace shoes throughout the year we will know what shoe is appropriate for them and can organise the shoes for them.
Hiking: Lightweight woollen hiking sock. We will be supplying Cape to Cape Wilderness Wear at Timbertop.
Running: A week’s supply of sports socks (six pairs).
General wear: A week’s supply.
Swimsuit: One. Board shorts may be worn.
Sun hats: All students are required to have a lightweight sun hat with an all-round brim when hiking in the outdoors.
Camera: Optional. Not digital or video.
Toiletries: Brush or comb, toothbrush, nail scissors, soap, shampoo, sunscreen (factor 15+), insect repellent. Replacements for most items are available from the School shop. Note: Aerosols and pump packs must not be brought to Timbertop.
Towels: Three, non-white.
GGS rug (optional): Purchased through the Geelong Grammar School Shop at Corio Campus.
Bedding: Students may supply a doona and two doona covers (those with Velcro or metal clasps are preferable) or additional blankets (single or king single size is recommended). The School supplies sheets, pillows, mattress and mattress protector and blankets.
Extra name tapes: At least 30. Each student will also need an indelible laundry-marking pen to name hiking equipment to which name tapes cannot be sewn.
Bedside alarm clock: Battery powered.
Watch (compulsory): For timing when running (not a smart watch). A basic wrist watch with a start-stop function for timing runs is compulsory. Please note that the watch does not need GPS or heart rate function.
Backpack: Small backpack for carrying books etc. between classrooms.
Letter writing material: Notepaper and envelopes (stamps can be provided at Timbertop).
Coathangers: Approximately ten coathangers.
MARKING OF CLOTHING AND BEDDING
Please ensure that all clothing is marked with name tapes, showing first name and surname. Leave enough tape after the surname for the addition, using a permanent laundry marking pen, of Timbertop Unit letters. Information regarding a student’s Unit allocation is not available until the first day of Term 1. Name tapes on trousers and underwear should be placed at waist level in the middle of the back; on upper garments, on the collar opposite the back of the neck; on socks, vertically inside the top of each. Boots and shoes should also be named with permanent laundry marker pen.
All clothing and equipment should be name taped with sewn in woven name tapes where possible (marker pens are not sufficient on clothing). Name tapes may be ordered through the Uniform Shop or via Hive. Suggested quantity - 24 dozen minimum.
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES EQUIPMENT
All Timbertop outdoor equipment is issued to the students after arrival in Term 1 at the Timbertop Hike Store. All purchases made at Timbertop Hike Store are charged to your account.
The purchase of new outdoor equipment prior to arrival is not recommended or required. Any equipment not supplied by the Timbertop Hike Store may be deemed unsuitable, replaced at Timbertop and charged to your account.
Q: What do you need?
A: Every student requires a pre-determined, Timbertop-specific selection of specialist outdoor clothing and equipment.
Q: Should you pre-purchase any new equipment before arriving at Timbertop?
A: No. Much of the outdoor equipment commonly available is unsuitable for a year at Timbertop. Outdoor education staff will inspect all outdoor equipment not supplied by Timbertop. If this equipment is deemed unsuitable it will be replaced.
Q: Do you need name tags for outdoor equipment?
A: No, all clothing and equipment issued at Timbertop is named with a marker pen by staff and students. All personal clothing and equipment should be name taped prior to arrival at Timbertop
Q: Can you use second-hand equipment from previous Timbertop students?
A: Absolutely, the use of second-hand Timbertop outdoor equipment (provided it is in good condition) is highly recommended. The Timbertop Hike Store has a limited amount of secondhand items available for purchase. Please email Timbertop@ggs.vic.edu.au before 1 November 2021 to register your interest in purchasing second-hand gear. Please note that second-hand items are subject to availability and are limited in number. Registration of interest does not guarantee second-hand items can be supplied.
In 2021 Timbertop transitioned to a new tent called the ‘Whurley 2.5’ which is made by One Planet ($450). The old style of ‘Ridgeback’ tents sold prior to 2020 are no longer suitable for the program. Therefore, please do not send Ridgebacks to Timbertop.
Q: What if we already have outdoor equipment which is not from Timbertop?
A: Bring it along with you to Timbertop. Once on campus the Outdoor Staff will assess its suitability. Any items deemed unsuitable will be replaced with stock from the Timbertop Hike store.
Q: What if I require the use of this outdoor equipment prior to our arrival at Timbertop (for example during the Great Victorian Bike Ride)?
A: If you require Outdoor Equipment for use prior to Timbertop program the following items are for sale at the Corio Uniform Shop
• Timbertop Sleeping Bag
• Timbertop Tent
• Timbertop Thermals
• Timbertop Socks
A list of outdoor equipment supplied upon arrival at Timbertop follows. Again, please note, unless required for another purpose it is not recommended that you purchase any of this equipment prior to your arrival.
OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT PROVIDED AT TIMBERTOP
(Will be charged to your account) Please note prices are estimates only and are subject to change without notice.
Hiking boots: Merrell Moab 2 GTX $280
Rain jacket: One Planet waterproof $400 compulsory timbertop version
Overpants: One Planet Chameleon half zip $190 compulsory timbertop version
Pack: One Planet McMillan with rip-stop material and ergonomically placed water bottle pockets $500
Sleeping bag: Hooded Dacron (made by One Planet) for cold conditions: short $170, regular $180, large $200(rated to -5˚degrees C)
Tent: One Planet Whurley 2.50 $520 compulsory timbertop version
One Planet fleece jacket: Navy blue Timbertop design.*This can replace a navy blue jumper in the Timbertop uniform and will be available for purchase at the beginning of the year. $130. compulsory timbertop version
Wool jumper: Navy blue, pure wool $90 /Lightweight jumper
Woollen mitts: pre-shrunk $78
Balaclava: Wilderness Wear 100% wool $35
Sun hat: cotton, wide all-round brim $15
Hiking socks: Wilderness Wear (six pairs essential) $26 pair
Thermal top: Wilderness Wear striped or plain with high collar and zip neck $60
Thermal bottom: Wilderness Wear striped or plain $50
Compass: Suunto Type M3 Quality Finish $45
Whistle: with neck string $2.50
Water bottle: 1.5 litre Nalgene wide mouth (three required) $20 each
Mug: GSI Infinity $22
‘Spork’ (replacing knife, fork, spoon): $25
Head torch (essential): Tikka XP (recommended) $110
Rechargeable Head torch battery: Pezl Core $62
Sleeping mat: $130
Bowl: 14cm stainless steel $25
Trangia billy lifters: $15
One Planet stuff sack: for clothes, Nylon (two required) $15 each
Buller Howitt Alpine area map: laminated $40
One Planet hike notes case: clear plastic, strong $16
Food bag: $18
Pack liner: $5
One Planet fleece pants: $65
Gaiters: canvas, One Planet $95
Sleeping bag liner: Sea to Summit Thermolite Extreme $80 *Note that prices will be subject to change without notice due to fluctuating issues surrounding supply.
EXPLANATION OF VARIOUS ITEMS
1. Rain jacket: One Planet Timbertop version red waterproof rain jackets are very durable and ‘breathe’. The seams are tape sealed and the garment is fully waterproof and windproof. This item is compulsory.
2. Overpants: One Planet Chameleon overpants and, when combined with the Gortex rain jacket, they provide full waterproof/windproof protection. This item is compulsory.
3. Packs: One Planet ‘McMillan’ 80 litre capacity canvas rucksacks are available at Timbertop. They are extremely strong, fully adjustable and especially waterproof and have ergonomically located water bottle pockets. Hiking rucksacks, NOT specialised mountaineering rucksacks, must be obtained. Most external frame packs are not suitable. The pack must have a capacity of at least 75 litres.
4. Hiking boots: It is recommended that boots be purchased at Timbertop. If pre-purchase is necessary, please consult Outdoor Education staff at Timbertop by telephone on t +61 3 5733 6735.
5. Sleeping bags: Timbertop supplies a Dacron/Holofil bag with good all-round qualities. It is relatively cheap, is suitable for all conditions, compresses well and is easily maintained. (Down/ feather bags are warm but not particularly suitable in wet conditions).
6. Tents: The School has designed a special lightweight single pole tent which has one door, one vestibule, an enlarged floor area, polyester fly, heavy duty floor, alloy pole and YKK zips, which is perfect for Timbertop demands. This item is compulsory.
7. Compass: The Suunto M3 compass from Finland is rugged in construction and has luminous direction-finding points. These features are essential, as is a 10 cm base. The compass should be calibrated every two degrees NOT every five degrees. The Silva Type 3 or Type 4 are also suitable for use at Timbertop.
8. Head torch: A student’s torch will often be used at night around the campus as well as on hikes. Head torches are essential when camping.
9. Socks: The Timbertop Hike Store stocks thick woollen socks. The thickness of these socks aids in the prevention of blisters.
10. Woollen jumper: A pure wool/high percentage wool jumper is essential both for warmth (remains warm when wet, unlike poly cotton) and for protection in the event of a bushfire. Appropriate jumpers are not bulky, and can be readily and cheaply bought at Opportunity Shops etc. Woollen school jumpers are generally appropriate.
11. Thermal underwear: Long johns and tops are essential for very cold conditions. Wilderness Wear polyester undergarments are available at the Hike Store. The top has a high collar with a zip neck.
12. Cooking/eating utensils: Timbertop stocks a stainless steel bowl and strong billy lifters. One and a half litre capacity medical grade Nalgene drink bottles are also available as are cutlery sets.
13. Sun hats: All students are required to have a lightweight sun hat with an all-round brim when in the outdoors, both on and off the campus. Peaked caps are not suitable.
14. Wristwatch: They are mandatory. Parents should have their childs name engraved on it prior to them coming to Timbertop.
15. Other items: The Hike Store stocks a number of other items that students may purchase throughout the year. Some of these items are: boot laces, torch batteries, buckles, pocket knives, Cancer Council sunscreen, tent accessories, water bottle lids, thermal sleeping bag liners and original gear list replacements if lost or damaged.
A ‘wearing in’ period is built into the programme at the beginning of Term 1.
DIRECTIONS TO TIMBERTOP
There are several route options to take. They are set out below. Travelling time is approximately three hours for all options which includes time to stop for fuel, refreshments, etc. The distance is approximately 225 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD.
If travelling from the central or inner Melbourne area:
1. Take CityLink to Tullamarine Freeway.
2. Take the Western Ring Road exit (left lane).
3. Take the Hume Freeway exit (turn left).
4. Take the turn-off to Tallarook and follow signs to Yea.
5. From Yea follow signs to Mansfield.
6. From Mansfield High Street follow signs to Mt Buller.
7. When 18 km from Mansfield you will reach a small township called Merrijig.
8. From Merrijig proceed another 5 km along the road towards Mt Buller to a gravel drive marked Grammar School Road – No Through Road on the right with a vineyard on right slope (do not take the turnoff to Sheepyard Flat).
9. Turn right at this gravel drive and proceed to boom gate (approx. 1.5km).
If travelling from Melbourne Airport, Tullamarine:
1. Take the Tullamarine Freeway from the Airport as if travelling to Melbourne.
2. After approximately 4 km, take the Western Ring Road exit (turn left).
3. Proceed as from Point 3, Option 1.
If travelling from the southern or eastern suburbs of Melbourne:
1. Take Eastlink to Maroondah Highway.
2. Take the Melba Highway exit at Coldstream
3. Follow Melba Highway to Yea.
4. Proceed as from Point 5, Option 1.
If travelling from the western side of Melbourne including Geelong and Avalon:
1. Take the Western Ring Road exit as if travelling to Melbourne Airport.
2. Continue past Melbourne Airport exit and take Hume Freeway exit (turn left).
3. Proceed as from Point 4, Option 1.
ELC – Year 4
BOSTOCK HOUSE (Newtown, Geelong)
TOORAK CAMPUS (Toorak, Melbourne)
Years 5 – 6
TOORAK CAMPUS (Toorak, Melbourne)
MIDDLE SCHOOL (Corio, Geelong)
Years 7 – 8
MIDDLE SCHOOL (Corio, Geelong)
Our early years’ programmes provide the building blocks for a love of learning –establishing a strong foundation in numeracy and literacy, whilst nurturing curiosity and creativity. Our Early Learning Centres reflect the Reggio Emilia philosophy, whilst our Prep to Year 4 level curriculum is committed to the principles of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate (IB) as a candidate school.
• Fundamental skills development through play and formal learning
• Wide range of specialist subjects
• Emphasis on curiosity and creativity
Our Years 5-6 programme is focussed on the middle years between childhood and early adolescence. Our students learn through practical experience during these crucial growth years.
The understanding continues through the philosophy of the IB programme.
• Focus on experiential learning
• Explicit teaching of Positive Education
• Introduction of laptops and eLearning
Our Years 7-8 programme provides a more traditional secondary school structure, with a wider range of specialist subjects and teachers. Concepts are explored through a series of multi-domain units, fostering inquiry and critical thinking skills. An extensive sport and co-curricular activities programme encourages balance and personal development.
• Wider range of specialist subjects
• Extensive arts and sports activities
• Ideal preparation for Timbertop
Spanning four campuses, Geelong Grammar School offers a unique educational journey to meet the diverse needs of our students. We believe that learning is life’s greatest adventure and every single step matters.
TIMBERTOP (Victorian Alps) Year 10
SENIOR SCHOOL (Corio, Geelong)
Years 11 – 12
SENIOR SCHOOL (Corio, Geelong)
Timbertop provides a unique opportunity to experience a rigorous academic programme alongside a challenging outdoor education stream. Whilst hiking, skiing and running dominates weekends, for five days a week our students are engaged in a full Year 9 academic timetable free from the distractions of the modern world.
• Unique Campus environment
• Experiential learning through and with nature
• Building courage through inspiration and adversity
Year 10 focusses on consolidating academic skills and preparing our students for the final two years of their secondary education. It provides a wide range of elective subjects. It builds on the skills and knowledge acquired at Timbertop, further developing resilience and self-knowledge through explicit teaching of Positive Education.
• Consolidation of academic skills
• Wide range of elective subjects
• Explicit teaching of Positive Education
Our Years 11-12 programme provides the opportunities, environment and academic support to enable all of our students to flourish. It offers the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma for entry into tertiary study. The broad range of academic subjects is complemented by dynamic co-curricular and sporting programmes.
• Choice of VCE or IB
• Dynamic co-curricular activities
• World-class facilities