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From the Nurse

Term Two, Week Nine 2017: WA Meningococcal W Immunisation Programme

The 2017 WA meningococcal W immunisation programme will be offered at GSG by the local school health immunisation nurses.

These vaccinations will be offered free to all Years Ten, Eleven and Twelve students commencing in Term Three. Consent forms have been sent to GSG for distribution.

The Meningococcal W immunisation programme has been launched in response to a recent increase in meningococcal W infection. Some of the highest rates of meningococcal carriage and illness occur among 15-19 year olds. Once infected, this age group can transmit bacteria to people who are at an increased risk of infection, including young children. It is expected that providing the meningococcal W (Men W) vaccine to this group will reduce the spread of this potentially life-threatening infection within the WA community.

Parents/legal guardians are asked to complete and sign the consent forms given to you through the school and return them to the school. Please return the form whether you consent or do not consent to your child receiving the vaccination.

If you do not receive a vaccination consent form from your child, please ask at the school office for one. If you have any queries regarding the programme, please contact Ms Sally Moir, School Based Immunisation Coordinator on 9842 7526.

For more information, please

Vaccinations are also available through the community based Immunisation Clinic at Warden Avenue. Phone 9892 2499 for an appointment.


Term Two, Week One 2017: Year Eight School Immunisation Programme

Later this term, Year Eight students whose parents have given their consent will receive diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and the second of the HPV immunisations.  

On this day, please ensure that your child has a good, healthy breakfast and plenty of fluid to drink in order to reduce the risk of him/her fainting following immunisations.

Vaccinations, like any medication, may cause side effects, most of which are mild reactions. The injection site may become red and swollen. Treat this by applying a cool, damp cloth. Your child may experience some discomfort, such as fever, headache or tiredness.  For headache and discomfort, paracetamol may be given as directed on the manufacturer’s label.  If fever persists, consult your doctor. Seek medical advice if your child experiences a reaction that you are concerned about.

As it has been a number of months since completion of consent forms, parents have the opportunity to advise of any change to details on the consent form. Do not send notes to the school: please phone or email Sally Moir via the contact details below, so she can make the changes immediately on your child’s form. 

For further information please contact:     

Sally Moir | School Based Immunisation Programme
T: 9842 7526                           
E: [email protected]

Mrs Liz Cosh | School Nurse

Term Three, Week Ten 2016: Year Eight School Immunisation Programme

During Term Four, Year Eight students whose parents have given their consent will receive the third and final HPV immunisation.

On this day, please ensure that your child has a good, healthy breakfast and plenty of fluid to drink in order to reduce the risk of fainting following immunisation.

Vaccinations, like any medication, may cause side effects. Most of these are mild reactions. The injection site may become red and swollen. You can treat this by applying a cool damp cloth. Your child may experience some discomfort such as fever, headache or tiredness. For headache and discomfort, paracetamol may be given as directed on the manufacturer’s label. If fever persists, consult your doctor. Seek medical advice if your child experiences a reaction that you are concerned about.

As it has been a number of months since completion of consent forms we give parents the opportunity to inform us of any change to details on the consent form. Do not send notes to school. Please phone or email me via the contact details below so I can make the changes immediately on your child’s form.

T: 9842 7526
E: [email protected]

Mrs Sally Moir | School Based Immunisation Programme

Term Three, Week Nine 2016

At least once a Term I receive a parent enquiry regarding the school’s use of back packs and their contents.

Please findherean article which best outlines the correct use and fitting of a back pack and strategies to decrease the chance of back pain.

Term Three, Week Seven 2016

Scoliosis or spinal curvature is an important health problem for adolescent girls and 25 per thousand are at risk of developing a significant curve. Three girls per thousand require active treatment (spinal brace or surgery).

The Scoliosis Detection Brochure was emailed to all parents of female students in Year Seven and Nine who are the target groups. Unfortunately, in the early stages, the condition is most often asymptomatic, thus screening in the 11-13 year age group is a sound preventative health measure.

Please findherea brochure for download if you have not yet received it. Scoliosis Australia also provides comprehensive information on the detection and treatment of this condition.

If you have any further questions regarding this screening, do not hesitate to contact me on 9844 0319.

Term Three, Week Six 2016

Staff from the Spencer Park Dental Therapy centre visited the school on Thursday 25 August to conduct dental screening on Pre-Primary, Year Three, Year SIx and Year Nine students.

The purpose of screening is for the Dental Officer to determine which children are ready to be referred to an orthodontist. Screening does not take the place of a routine dental examination.

Appointments will be posted home for parents and children who require a consult with the Dental Officer. Children who are too young for a referral at this stage are placed on review and will be monitored.

Parents are reminded to contact the Dental Therapy Centre if they have changed address in the last few years as the school is unable to provide these details. Many appointments that we issue are returned due to incorrect addresses.

If you have any questions or concerns please call the Dental Therapy Centre on 9841 3967.

Term Three, Week Five 2016

I have found this term, the last two weeks in particular, that there has been an increasing number of students presenting early in the morning who are unwell with head cold symptoms needing to be sent home.

May I please remind all parents that to protect all students, families and staff from cross infection, please keep your child at home and give them the opportunity to rest if they are feeling unwell and/or requiring medication for feeling unwell prior to school. This both assists the child to recover from the illness more quickly and stops the chance of passing on the illness to others.

Encouraging and teaching good hand washing techniques and education regarding good general hygiene, especially for younger students, is a helpful way we can all work together to prevent the spread of infection within the classroom.

Many thanks for your assistance in making GSG a safer and happier environment for all.

Term Three, Week Three 2016: Whooping Cough

Over the last several weeks there have been confirmed cases of Whooping Cough in Albany.

Please findherean information sheet from the Health Department regarding the signs and symptoms and treatment of this communicable disease. Please be diligent in seeking a medical review if you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed and, if in doubt, keep your child home from school until reviewed.

Term Three, Week Two 2016: Impetigo

Last week GSG saw two diagnosed cases of school sores or Impetigo and we have had several queries from parents regarding this.

Impetigo is a common, bacterial infection of the skin caused by staphylococcal or streptococcal bacteria.

Symptoms include itchy pustules and scabs and transmission occurs from direct contact with the skin lesions.

The incubation period is usually 4-10 days and lesions remain infectious as long as there is discharge from the area.

Antibiotic cream and oral tablets/syrups are necessary to treat the lesions and the child will need to remain home until treatment has been ongoing for 24 hours.

Lesions on exposed skin surfaces should be covered with a waterproof dressing.

If your child has a lesion you are unsure of, please cover with a bandaid or dressing and seek medical review.

If you have any further questions relating to this, please do not hesitate to call me during school hours. 

Term Three, Week One 2016: Whooping Cough

Please take the time to read the WA Department of Health advice regarding Whooping Cough which can be foundhereandhere


Term Two, Week Eight 2016

All parents of children who commence Kindergarten are offered a four-year-old hearing and eye assessment and an opportunity to relay any developmental or speech concerns they may have by completing a School Entry Assessment Form.

They are then assessed by a Nurse from the Government Department of Health and referred as necessary to ancillary services such as the optometrist, speech and occupational therapist and audiologist. Commonly, this has already been attended by your Community Health Nurse or GP prior to school commencement.

If your child is in Kindergarten, Pre-Primary or Year One and has not as yet had this assessment attended to and you would like to receive further information how this may be arranged for you, please email me via[email protected]

Term Two, Week Seven 2016

This week’s article is in response to a parental request regarding information on Pertussis, more commonly known as Whooping Cough.

Please find the latest fact sheet issued by the Department of Healthherefor your interest. If you have any further queries regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact me on 9844 0319.

Term Two, Week Six 2016

GSG has met all criteria required to remain an Asthma Friendly school until 2018. For more information, please visithere

Term Two, Week Four 2016: GSG is a SunSmart School

A SunSmart School is a school that has registered with Cancer Council WA and has a comprehensive sun protection policy that is put into action during all outdoor school activities.

This policy must meet the criteria developed by Cancer Council WA.

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the major cause of skin cancer. Australia has some of the highest UV levels in the world, in fact, UV radiation is strong enough to cause sunburn in just 11 minutes on a fine January day.

This month, GSG was renewed as a SunSmart School until 2017, deemed to fulfill all the requirements stipulated by the Cancer Council to do so. In addition to our status as an Asthma Friendly School and the education staff and students receive regarding both of these, we are proud to know we are following national guidelines to deliver the best care to the Grammar community.

If you have any further queries regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact me on 9844 0319.

Term Two, Week Two 2016

With the onset of cooler Albany weather fast approaching, we are exposed to the infections that this time of the year brings.

The Nursing office is always asked about signs, symptoms, causes and prevention of Winter illnesses. It is, firstly, important to make sure that the right diagnosis is made. The information foundheremay assist with this.

Term Two, Week One 2016: Flu Vaccine

I have been contacted by several parents with queries regarding the influenza vaccination and its safety for administration to school aged children.

I have compiled the following information for you that I hope will be of interest and assistance with your queries.

Each year the Influenza Virus can change slightly, making the vaccine used in previous years ineffective, which is why it must be repeated each year.

The vaccine is usually effective within two weeks of administration.

The vaccine is only effective against the strains of the virus that match the vaccine. 

Vaccines work by preparing a child’s body to fight illness. Each immunisation contains either a deadened or weakened germ or part of it that causes the particular disease. The body practices fighting the disease by making antibodies that recognise specific parts of that germ. This permanent or longstanding response means that if someone is ever exposed to the actual disease, the antibodies are already in place and the body knows how to combat it and the person doesn’t become unwell. 

No vaccine is 100 per cent safe for everyone. People with allergies to eggs, for example, can’t take flu vaccines because egg products are involved in the manufacturing process.

Flu vaccines cause mild but common reactions. About one in three people get a sore arm from the shot, some with a little redness or swelling. Some 10 to 15 per cent of people feel tired or get a headache, and some may run a low temperature.

Immunisation at any time is the personal choice of each parent and should be decided on upon in consultation with their GP or local immunisation nurse. The Albany Immunisation Clinic may be contacted on 9842 7500 if you have any other concerns you would like to discuss or, alternatively, I am available on 9844 0319 during school hours.

Term One, Week Ten 2016: Glandular Fever

I received a query this week regarding Glandular Fever and whether school exclusion was required, so have included a small fact sheet regarding this for your interest.

May I also take this opportunity to wish all GSG families a safe and wonderful holiday together and I look forward to seeing you all again fit and healthy next term.

Please visithere

Term One, Week Nine 2016: Back Pain and Backpacks

After discussion with a concerned parent regarding the heaviness of backpacks students are carrying to school, I have prepared an article which outlines the safest way to use and position a back pack to prevent back injury.

Please visitherefor more information.

The GSG Uniform Shop also offers an alternative to the traditional back pack which is a suitcase-style bag on wheels, easy to manoeuvre for those students who are finding their backpacks too heavy, despite using the techniques outlined in my piece.

Term One, Week Six 2016: Preventing Sports Injuries 

Over the course of the term, I have seen many injuries sustained whilst playing sport.  

Although a lot of these are unavoidable, there are many that could have been prevented. We are fast approaching commencement of winter sport, with wet conditions making injuries even more likely.

The following information sheet gives good suggestions on how many of these may be prevented:

There are three essential steps that can help reduce your risk of injury.

  • Warming up;
  • Drinking up; and
  • Gearing up.

A warm-up session assists by preparing your mind and body for sport. It increases the heat, blood and oxygen supply to the working muscles. It also reduces the risk of tearing or straining the muscles by making them more supple.

Start your warm-up with 2-3 minutes of light activity such as jogging or brisk walking. A light sweat is a good indicator that your body is warm. You may need more warm up time in cooler weather and less in warmer weather.


Focus on the major muscle groups that you will be using in your sport and stretch them through their full range of movement. Stretch each muscle group 2-3 times. Hold each stretch for 10-20 seconds. Stretch gently and slowly. Never bounce. Stretch to the point of tension, never pain. Breathe slowly and easily while you are stretching. Don’t hold your breath. Your complete stretching session should last 15 – 20 minutes.

You can download a Warm Up brochure choosing ‘Resources/Links’.

Cooling down is also important. You should gradually slow down your activity level for 2-3 minutes with a slow jog or walk and follow this with 5-10 minutes of stretching, focusing on the main muscle groups that you’ve just used. Cooling down helps to prevent blood pooling in your limbs, which can lead to dizziness and fainting. It removes waste products from your muscles and can reduce muscle soreness and stiffness. It also improves your recovery, so you feel better more quickly and can compete at the same level in a shorter period of time.

Drinking up

You need to ensure you drink adequate fluids before, during and after sport to avoid dehydration, heat stress and poor performance. Even a small amount of dehydration can affect your performance, contribute to cramps, heat stress and heat stroke. Drink before you get thirsty. If you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated! Drink cool fluids as they are absorbed better than warm fluids. Take advantage of all breaks in the game to have a drink. Sweat is made up of water and only a tiny amount of salt. You do not need to take salt tablets when you sweat a lot as they can make dehydration worse.

How much do I need to drink?

  • Drink 500ml (2-3 glasses) ½-1 hour before your game or other physical activity.
  • Drink at least 200ml (1 glass) every 20 minutes during the game.
  • Drink 500ml to 1 litre (5-6 glasses) after a game. You continue to sweat and lose fluid for some time after being active.
  • If you are playing a lot of sport or you are regularly active in hot weather, you might like to check if you if you are getting enough fluid. You can do this by weighing yourself before and after your activity. A loss of 1kg is equivalent to one litre of fluid lost. If you have lost weight, make a mental note to increase your fluids before, during and after your next game.

Gear Up

Gearing up is all about using protective gear that’s designed to reduce injuries in specific sports. Your sporting club and/or coach may provide you with more detail about the exact gear needed for the sport you’re playing. Once you have the right protective gear correctly fitted, it’s really important to check it each time before you play and to keep your gear well-maintained. Faulty protective gear could put you at greater risk of injury. Remember, you need to wear your protective gear for training and for games.

For further information please see your coach or check out Sports Medicine Australia’s Smartplay program

Term One, Week Six 2016: The Importance of Breakfast

Recently I have had staff express concern to me about students who don’t eat breakfast, especially before exams.

You must have heard, at some time, the saying that, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Well, it's true! The origin of the word breakfast is to ‘break the fast’ from sleep by fuelling your body and brain after sleeping for 8-12 hours overnight.

Breakfast Kick-Starts Metabolism

Some think that skipping breakfast will help them lose weight. This is not true! Your body will go into starvation mode and hang on to every bit of fuel you put in. Skipping meals actually slows your metabolism. Eating breakfast starts the metabolic process and your body starts burning calories, so eating breakfast can help keep your weight in check. Not eating breakfast leads to extreme hunger and usually means you fill up on anything at hand, often snacking on high calorie foods or overeating at lunchtime.

Brain Power

Your brain will not work properly without food, nor will it work efficiently if the food is not the right sort of food. Try putting low ratio or poor fuel in a Ferrari and see how well it runs. Choosing breakfast foods that are rich in whole grains, fibre and protein and low in sugar, salt and fat can boost your attention span, concentration and memory, making your job of learning easier.

Making Breakfast Happen

It can be difficult to make a healthy breakfast when you’re rushing to get everybody moving, fed, dressed and out the door on time. Try these practical suggestions to ensure breakfast happens in your house.

  • Stock the kitchen with healthy breakfast options.
  • Prepare as much as you can the night before.
  • Get everyone up 10 minutes earlier.
  • Get the children involved: let them plan and prepare breakfast.
  • Have some grab-and-go alternatives (fresh fruit, individual boxes of cereal, yoghurt or smoothies, trail mix) on days when there is little or no time to eat.

If you just can’t stomach the thought of breakfast first thing in the morning, try packing something to eat a little later, such as on the way to school or between classes.

What Makes a Healthy Breakfast?

A balanced breakfast should include some carbohydrates, protein and fibre. Carbohydrates are a good source of immediate energy for your body and brain. Energy from protein tends to kick in when the carbohydrates are used up and fibre helps provide a feeling of fullness and therefore discourages overeating. Fibre, when combined with an adequate fluid intake, helps to move food through the digestive system, preventing constipation and lowering cholesterol. Good sources of these nutrients include:

  • carbohydrates: whole-grain cereals, brown rice, whole-grain breads and muffins, fruits, vegetables
  • protein: low-fat or non-fat dairy products, lean meats, eggs, nuts (including nut butters), seeds, and cooked dried beans
  • fibre: whole-grain breads, waffles and cereals; brown rice, bran and other grains; fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts

Healthy Breakfasts to Try:

  • whole-grain cereal topped with fruit and yogurt
  • whole-wheat pita stuffed with sliced hard-cooked eggs
  • peanut butter on a bagel with fresh fruit (banana or apple wedges) and low-fat milk
  • breakfast smoothie (milk, fruit, and teaspoon of bran, whirled in a blender)
  • vegetable omelette with a bran muffin and orange juice
  • bran muffin and yogurt with berries
  • hummus on whole-wheat toast and milk
  • cream cheese and fresh fruit, such as sliced strawberries, on a bread or a bagel
  • shredded cheese on a whole-wheat tortilla, folded in half and microwaved for 20 seconds and topped with salsa

Parents: don’t forget how important your good example is. Let your child see you making the time to enjoy breakfast every day. Even if you just wash down some wholegrain toast and a banana with a glass of juice or milk, you’re showing how important it is to face the day only after refuelling your brain and body with a healthy morning meal. Don’t skip breakfast! It really is the most important meal of the day. 

Term One, Week Four 2016: Impetigo

I recently received a parental enquiry regarding Impetigo or school sores.

I have attached an information sheet provided by the Department of Health which explains the causes, treatment and signs and symptoms for us all to be aware of. If you have any further concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me on 9844 0319.

Please visitherefor further information.

Term One, Week Three 2016: Sun Protection Policy

Please visit here for sun smart information for the whole family and here for the GSG Sun Protection Policy.

Term One, Week Two 2016: Nut Minimisation Policy

GSG has many students at risk of a severe, life threatening allergic reaction due to food, especially nuts. As a result we have a Nut Minimisation Policy. I have included this here to familiarise you with what is required by us all to ensure we keep these students safe. I have also included an Information Sheet for your interest explaining the severity of these allergies and treatment required. Thank you for your assistance with this. I encourage you to contact me on 9844 0319 if you have any concerns or questions.

Term One, Week One 2016: From the Nurse

There are two students in the School with confirmed cases of Chicken Pox and four students suspected of having Chicken Pox.

This is a common, acute, viral infection. Unfortunately the incubation period is from 7 – 21 days after exposure to the development of symptoms, thus a child may be infectious prior to them becoming unwell and a diagnosis of Chicken Pox made.

Transmission is by airborne particles and direct or indirect contact with fluid from the vesicles of an infected person. Thus now is a good time to remind all children of basic hygiene precautions of always washing hands before meals and after attending the bathroom and covering our mouths when coughing or sneezing.

Symptoms include fever, fatigue and a generalised rash characterised by small vesicles or blisters that rupture to form crusts. Students must stay home from school for at least five days after the rash appears until the vesicles have formed crusts. 

Immunisation for Chicken Pox is recommended by the Health Department for people 18 months of age or older who have not had Chicken Pox prior. This may prevent contracting the disease if given within five days of exposure.

If you have any further queries regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me on 9844 0319. For further information, please visit here

Mrs Jen Grace | School Nurse

Spencer Park Dental Therapy Centre

The Spencer Park Dental Therapy Centre provides free general dental treatment for enrolled school children from Pre-Primary through to Year Eleven or until they turn 17, whichever occurs first.

We will be issuing enrolment forms to new and Pre-Primary students shortly.

Parents of enrolled students are reminded to update contact details if you have moved in the last few years. All appointments are posted home and many of these are returned to us due to incorrect address. This means that your child misses out on their dental visit. To update contact details either phone the clinic on 98413967, call in and tell staff or send us an email to [email protected]

The clinic is currently running behind schedule due to staff shortages. If you think your child has not been seen in the last 18 months please contact us to make an appointment.

We hope to see you all soon.

Susanne and Kayleen


Role of Sickbay

The service provided by the school sickbay is as follows:

  • First Line Management of sickness or injury.
  • Administration of basic over the counter medications. If ongoing treatment is required, it is requested that these medications are supplied by the parent and sent to school with the child. (i.e.: cold and flu tablets/Nurofen). Children are requested to supply their own cough lozenges.
  • Simple dressings are provided for wounds sustained during school hours or activities. Dressings for wounds not sustained during school hours or activities can be attended by the school nurse upon supply of the required dressing materials by the parent.

It is requested that all hot packs, slings, bandages and crutches be returned to sickbay after use.



With the rapid growth of student numbers, it's an important time to outline the role of the School Nurse and Sickbay.

To ensure all students are kept safe, appropriate treatment and referral is given if they become injured or unwell during School hours.

I am responsible for attending to students and staff who become sick or injured during the school day and ensuring their appropriate treatment. My hours of work are from 7.30am to 4.30pm daily.

This may include:

  • providing first aid;
  • sending the student home;
  • administering over-the-counter medication as consented; or
  • referral to a doctor, the hospital or other ancillary services.

I visit Boarding Houses at 7.30am daily to assess those students who require medical assistance.

I keep a register of at-risk students who have medical conditions of concern, such as asthma or allergies, and their treatment plans.

I provide first aid treatment at school sport events.

I advise students, parents and staff on health matters and concerns.

I maintain a register of all accidents and injuries that occur at school and provide recommendations on injury prevention.

I assist a Health Nurse from Population Health with hearing and vision screening for all kindergarten students and can test students when there are parent or teacher concerns.

I ensure all first aid kits are adequately equipped, stocked and regularly checked. This includes kits for general daily use, kits for sporting teams and when students are on excursions and camps.

I am responsible for ensuring medical records are kept up to date, including immunisation records.

Certified Immunisation Providers employed by the government (Population Health) are responsible for providing school-based immunisation programmes. I assist with these programmes and care for the students during and after their immunisations.

I complete immunisation surveillance of all school entry-aged students, and should there be an outbreak of a notifiable disease, I would assist with contact tracing and infection control and prevention strategies.

I assist with some teaching on topics related to the health curriculum and first aid.

As a school, we participate in the Sun Smart and Asthma Friendly Schools programmes.

If you have any suggestions for Anchor articles, I am happy to research them.

I welcome all enquiries on 9844 0319 during my office hours, and am available for family meetings and appointments when requested, or I can be contacted via [email protected]