|1 Dec 2023
Together with Madame Le Gall and Mademoiselle Julie Hodges, I am delighted to share our French immersion journey with you from New Caledonia.
Today, students from years 8 and 9 commenced their French lessons at CREPAC.
Later, we will explore Port Moselle, before students meet their homestay families. This will be a fantastic opportunity for the girls to engage with local families, foster cultural exchange and create lasting memories.
Our itinerary is packed with exciting activities, including The Tchou Tchou Train ride and the Amedee Island Day Trip. The students will be continuing with their French lessons throughout the week.
We are grateful to Madam Le Gall for organising this adventure.
This marks my final newsletter for the year. I want to thank you for your continuing support of all that is NEGS. From academic, sporting, equestrian and co-curricular, our students have thrived. To our dedicated staff, know that you make a difference. I am confident 2024 @ NEGS will continue to be a place of excellence.
I look forward to our final celebrations next week and connecting with our families. On Tuesday evening we are holding our Carol Service in the Chapel at 5pm, followed by a BBQ in the grounds. The Academic year will culminate on Wednesday with our 2023 Speech Day. Students are expected to be at school until the conclusion of Speech Day, and I look forward to this important celebration where we acknowledge Academic and School achievement.
Wishing you a wonderful festive season with family, friends and loved ones.
"Je vous souhaite une merveilleuse saison festive en compagnie de votre famille, de vos amis et de vos proches."
Ms Liz van Genderen
IMPORTANT PARENT SURVEY
Parents, I referred to this survey in my recent Strategic Plan update. I will send a separate email on Monday. However, I ask you, as parents to complete this survey, which will take 10 to 15 minutes. Your input, voice and feedback are so important in ensuring NEGS becomes the best version that NEGS can be.
Be your Best at NEGS!
I want to know what is working, what is not, and, importantly, where we need to focus and do better. My team and I are committed to our 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, so your feedback is very important. We want to ensure every student has the opportunities and support to achieve. We want to ensure we are working in partnership with our families.
We have partnered with National School Surveys. They conduct this survey independently, and all information is kept completely confidential. The survey is anonymous, and you will not be able to be identified. The survey consists of approximately 50 questions you must rate on a scale. You can also provide further comments at the end of this survey.
I will receive a summary of the results and comments. However, you can provide your name if you would like me to contact you and further discuss your feedback personally.
In advance, I thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback.
We have not given your personal information over to School Surveys. However, we will send numerous reminders to you, we want everyone in our community to participate.
Please visit www.schoolsurveys.com.au if you would like to know more about how the survey is administered.
Thank you! COMPLETE THE SURVEY
Our Deputy Principal, staff, and students have been very busy this week.
Empathy in Action: Service, Adventure, and Wellbeing Week has been in full swing. Our students have been involved in so many activities across our community, within the broader Armidale community, giving back, being involved and from the feedback, enjoying every moment!
We look forward to Mr Moore's report next week. In the meantime, enjoy a few photos and keep your eye on our Facebook page to keep up with their activities. Well done to all!
And SHHHHH...Don't tell our Alumni.
How divine are the Christmas cards below? Our junior school students have created beautiful Christmas cards and written beautiful, heartfelt messages from the junior school, randomly selecting 50 of our alumni across the years, who hopefully will be so surprised to receive a special Christmas message.
Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for this week’s academic assembly and nativity. This event presented an opportunity to celebrate the learning of all our Junior School, PreK to Year 6, with students receiving recognition for their achievements in the 2023 academic year and a chance to shine on stage.
As junior school staff, we are continually driven to embrace change and challenge ourselves to better meet the needs of our students. At the recent award evening, Mrs Ford summed up this approach;
“Education is certainly a career of change which can be both confronting and invigorating. I think it is easy to say that every educator remains in the profession because lying at the core of what we do, is a determination to do our very best for our students.
In the age of information, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of data, best practices and pedagogies that are available, and it is also easy to stick with what we know, within the comfort of, “that’s the way it has always been done”.
I have read many times: “When we know better, we do better”. And I have taken this mantra to heart. I have entered the proverbial rabbit warren, with the support and encouragement of our NEGS leadership team and my colleagues' patience and willingness. And together, we have embarked upon our journey of providing evidence-based educational programs of the highest quality, that allows each of our students to make measurable progress during the primary years.
Our Junior School Team has chosen to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. We continue to scrutinise our practices under microscopes. We confront opportunities for growth with kindness, both to ourselves and to each other. We recognise what needs to change, and we embark on a journey of learning, rehearsing, and practising. We question, we revisit, and we adapt. We celebrate our successes. We inspire each other, and most importantly, we laugh. Every day.”
We also announced our 2024 Primary Leadership Team. I would like to extend my congratulations to Charlotte Travers, who will take up the role of Junior School Captain, with Dylan Maguire and Imola Archer as our vice-captains.
It is also an important time to acknowledge our current student Leadership Team and Year Six cohort for 2023. Ava O’Hara and Abbie Kelly have embraced each and every opportunity presented this year as our outgoing Primary Captains.
In their words;
“This year has been nothing short of extraordinary, and we are deeply grateful for our role in leading the school.
Firstly, let us express our heartfelt gratitude to our outstanding teachers. They have provided a space where we feel safe, happy, and encouraged to explore our learning. Their support during the year and their willingness to embrace activities that push us out of our comfort zones have made our academic journey a remarkable one. Thank you, teachers, for being the guiding lights on our path, for going above and beyond, allowing us to thrive.
A special thanks also goes out to the maintenance staff. Our clean classrooms welcome us each morning. To the dedicated grounds team, thank you for ensuring that everything runs smoothly, from fixing the little hiccups to setting up the stage for our memorable events. The beautiful gardens that greet us each day spread smiles and remind us of the care and time invested in our school environment.
Thank you to the staff in Akaroa who are always warm and welcoming. Their friendly greetings, smiles, and willingness to assist with any questions contribute to the positive atmosphere within our school. Your kindness has not gone unnoticed, and we are grateful for the sense of community you foster.
As we reflect on the past year, I am reminded of the fantastic events that have shaped my journey as a student leader and a sixth-grader. The opportunities available have provided me with the chance to discover and use my voice. This newfound courage has empowered me to speak at events and in public, an invaluable skill that I will carry with me into the future.
One of the highlights of 2023 was undoubtedly the school camp—a time of bonding, facing challenges, and creating memories with friends. The support from both peers and teachers during moments of discomfort made this experience truly unforgettable. It is through such challenges that we grow, and I am thankful for the courage gained during those times.
Venturing beyond the school grounds has been a source of great joy. Collaborating with other schools and engaging with the community has broadened our horizons. Bus rides filled with laughter, especially with Ms. Van Genderen and fellow leaders, have added a unique charm to these experiences. I am particularly grateful for the deepening of my friendship with Abbie, as we navigated the responsibilities of leadership together.
My fondest memory of the year also undoubtedly revolves around the Great Aussie Bush Camp. This camp was so much fun, with many challenges, and fantastic memories that will stay with me forever. In addition to these moments, I have also enjoyed the privilege of embracing leadership opportunities. Working together as a team and taking an active role in running assemblies and chapels have been immensely rewarding.
As we bid farewell to 2023, let us carry forward the lessons learned, the friendships made, and the growth achieved. It has been a true honour to serve as your student leader, and I am excited for the continued journey we will embark on in the years to come. Thank you all for making this year extraordinary, and we wish you all a wonderful end of the year and a joyous Christmas.”
Listening to these words spoken by our leaders and staff fills me with immense pride. Enjoy the holidays, wishing you a Merry Christmas and we look forward to seeing you next year.
Mrs Heidi Dent
Junior School Coordinator/Year 6 Teacher
As part of the operationalisation of our Learning & Teaching Framework, this week NEGS hosted a Quality Teaching Academy Foundational Workshop for local teachers and NEGS staff.
The Quality Teaching Academy comes out of decades of research from the University of Newcastle and other institutions into best practice in the classroom. The Quality Teaching Model was developed for the NSW Department of Education and has been through a number of randomised control trials that speak to its efficacy. This venerable research base as to the effectiveness of the model was a critical feature of our decision to embed the Quality Teaching Model into the NEGS Learning & Teaching Framework.
The Model outlines three dimensions and a range of elements that all characterise effective teaching:
The workshop was a wonderful opportunity for teachers to learn more about the model, and for NEGS staff to engage in rich professional conversations about quality classroom practice.
As part of the Quality Teaching Model, NEGS will be implementing Professional Learning Communities in 2024 as a driving force for all of the various elements of our Learning & Teaching Framework. These communities of practice are a ‘place’ for teachers to study, share and observe classroom practice, to ensure that we continue to design learning experiences that engage and enrich the lives of our students.
I look forward to sharing more about this The Quality Teaching Model with our community, and to formally launching our Learning & Teaching Framework at the commencement of 2024.
Best wishes to all members of our community for a wonderful holiday break with friends and family, and a safe and relaxing Christmas and New Year.
Director of Teaching & Learning.
Mr Ryan Caldwell
Director of Teaching and Learning/English Teacher
Thank you for all your support and advocacy of NEGS this year.
Though the Academic Year is ending, we are still busy at work, talking to families considering NEGS and preparing for our new families joining our community in 2024. We are excited to welcome many new families into the NEGS community and to continue growing our enrolments.
Our parent referral scheme is in operation. Please get in touch if you know a family who might be interested in NEGS. Our parents are our best advocates, and through our Referral @ NEGS program, we want to build our community with like-minded families—our way of saying thanks. Please get in touch with me to refer a family or to find out more.
We are finalising the 2024 calendar, and we will share this with you before year-end so you can mark the significant 2024 NEGS events in your diary. It is shaping up to be another great year!
Thank you to the many parents who have volunteered and contributed to NEGS this year. All contributions, big and small, make a difference.
I want to acknowledge and sincerely thank the NEGS P and F Committee for their drive and efforts this year. We are grateful for your support, passion and commitment to our special community. Many successful events have been run this year, with funds raised to benefit our students, your children, and, most importantly, opportunities for our families to come together and connect.
We are also delighted that the same committee was voted in for 2024. Thank you for your generosity in taking these roles on again. There was a great buzz at the P and F meeting this week, and we look forward to planning our 2024 events.
Thank you also to the parents who have taken on the role of Class Liaison Parents this year. This is an important role within our community, connecting our families and being a point of contact. We greatly appreciate your contributions.
Also, thank you to all the parents who have helped at the numerous events, sporting activities, or who have attended in support. Thank you!
Please reach out if we would like to get involved in 2024.
Director of Enrolments and Marketing
Please read this week's Careers Newsletter HERE.
Ms Jessica Walker
Careers Advisor/Geography, Business Studies and Commerce Teacher
As we finish up sports for 2023, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of our students on their achievements across all sporting facets. Whether it was trying a sport for the first time or striving for personal goals in a particular sport, you should all be very proud. I have personally enjoyed standing along many sidelines, both wet and dry, watching and cheering on our students and seeing their smiles at the end, even if it was a loss. I wish our students all the very best next year in their sporting endeavours and encourage them to continue to strive for excellence in all that they do.
Lily Kennelly and Pollyanna McCarthy attended the Pacifika Youth Rugby Cup in Sydney from Friday, 24 to Sunday 26 November, competing against teams representing the Pacific Nations of Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Maori and Cook Islands. Lily proudly represented her Bundjalung Aboriginal ancestry by playing for Koori Rugby U16 Girls, and Pollyanna played for NSW Barbarian U18 Girls. Well done on your amazing achievements in rugby this year.
Over the course of our Adventure/Service/Activities days, the students in Years 5-9 will be participating in cricket clinics. These free sessions are offered by Cricket NSW through Growing Cricket for Girls funding and Henry Cupitt and coaches will be working with our students to develop their skills in this sport further.
Students from Kindergarten to Year 11 will also participate in another free basketball clinic by Basketball NSW. Cristi Juffermans will work with students in groups across Monday, 4 December, offering skill development and gameplay techniques.
Kindergarten to Year 6 has also been enjoying their swimming program over the past few weeks. These sessions offered students the opportunity to build water confidence and life-saving skills in line with the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education curriculum. Students learned how to enter the water safely, rules around water, how to rescue someone using equipment, and swimming skills to be safe in and around the water, all at age-appropriate levels. Years K-2 were assisted by Year 10 students who enjoyed helping our younger NEGS members to be safe while around water. So much fun was had by all playing games and learning new skills and they were undoubtedly exhausted at the end of each session.
We have had so many opportunities this year to complete and play many sports; it is through sport that we develop our character as an individual and team member.
“Sports teaches you character, it teaches you to play by the rules, it teaches you to know what it feels like to win and lose – it teaches you about life.” – Billie Jean King
Key Dates for Term 1, 2024
Hockey/Netball Clinic - 9/10 February
NEGS Swimming Carnival - Friday 16 February
IPSHA Swimming Carnival - Tuesday 5 March
IGSA Swimming Carnival - Friday 22 March
NEGS Cross Country Carnival - Wednesday 27 March
IPSHA Cross Country - Saturday 6 April
Ms Liane Nixon
Mrs Liane Nixon
Sport Coordinator and Junior School Teacher
The Equestrian Centre has been at full throttle all year. Not only have we had students travel all over the country representing their school, their state, their club and themselves in multiple disciplines, but the EC has also hosted many competitions, from the Junior Introductory Dressage Day to clinics, camps, show jumping training days to our final and major event of the year the Magic millions NEGS Horse Trials.
The Junior school students have been going strong, with our young riders growing in confidence and competence. It is an absolute delight to hear their happy little voices as they walk past my office on their way to riding lessons and then to hear their conversations on the way back, talking excitedly with their coach about what they had done in their lesson.
Seeing our senior students develop their skills over the year has been a pleasure. I am so proud when we travel with them to events where they demonstrate teamwork, sportsmanship and dedication. I regularly get comments on how lovely all the NEGS girls are. Especially when they have been volunteering. I even had a judge at ISHE comment that when she judges, she asks the organisers if she can have a NEGS girl pencil for her. Now that says something!
I want to thank the parents who have supported both NEGS and the girls in one way or another, from camping in the truck with girls at competitions to volunteering at working bees and competitions. Everyone has made an impact, and every little bit has made a difference, so Thank you!
I would also like to thank the NEGS marketing team for putting in crazy hours to help us pull together some pretty big events, including the 50-year reunion. The maintenance team for all of their efforts towards presenting our facilities and all they do to help us.
Thank you to Sienna and Liv for their huge effort organising the Christmas Party. It was a huge success, and the Junior School children loved it.
Have a great holiday, and I look forward to seeing you all again next year.
Year 11 Adrenaline Leadership Camp
The Adrenaline Camp was conducted at Attunga earlier this Term as a way to push the upcoming leaders of Year 12 to new heights. The camp was a fantastic way to place us in fun but challenging activities. Whether it was working to make a rescue raft, completing an outdoor escape room, ziplining over valleys or jumping off a platform, each girl pushed themselves to try these terrifying but brilliant activities. The camp taught us about what we could do and brought us together surrounded by the beautiful bushland surrounding the area.
Year 11 student and Deputy Prefect
After a 9-hour journey, we arrived at our beautiful destination- Attunga in the bushland on the outskirts of Bowral.
To say I’m proud of our young ladies is a complete understatement. They were brave, vulnerable, strong and fierce.
Individuals faced their own challenges to navigate the range of activities presented to them. As a group, they were as one, and teamwork and encouragement were a theme. Friendships were strengthened, and I know our girls will take lifelong memories with them. I enjoyed bonding with our young ladies and look forward to witnessing their time to shine in 2024.
Ms Julie Hodges
Ms Julie Hodges
Year 11 Year Advisor/CAPAD HoD/Design Teacher