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News > General News > NEGS News Term 1, Week 8

NEGS News Term 1, Week 8

22 Mar 2024
Written by Tianna Kelly
General News

On Wednesday, 27 March, all families are invited to join us for our whole school Cross Country to be held on the Junior School oval.

A BBQ for families to gather and celebrate the students and catch up before Easter will be held afterwards. Junior School students are encouraged to bring their bikes to school on the day. At the conclusion of the cross country, they will have the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon of cycling on our school's bike track. 

The Cross Country commences at 1.15pm.

I would like to remind you that school will break for Easter on Wednesday, 27 March.

Thursday, 28 March, will be a travel day for our boarders, allowing them to return home and spend the holiday period with their families.

For our teaching staff, Thursday will be a dedicated day for professional development activities. 

I wish to highlight our ongoing commitment to professional development for our staff. We recognize the importance of continuous learning and growth. By staying abreast of the latest teaching methodologies and educational practices, our teachers are better equipped to support the academic and personal development of our students.

Classes will resume on Wednesday, 3 April, with boarders returning on Tuesday, 2 April, from 3pm.

This week I would like to share with you a snapshot of Harvard University’s world’s longest study (86 years) on happiness…

Topic: What really makes us happy?

Issue 2/2024 March 8

  • The ongoing complexity and challenges facing the world globally mean many people are seeking answers to happiness
  • Teachers, parents, families, and caregivers of girls may find themselves battling falsely idealised social media imagery, bullying, stress and unrealistic demands from society. 
  • Findings show that “[c]lose relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives”
  • Why is this so important for adolescent girls and the young women they are becoming? The study found that young people “tally the lowest life-satisfaction scores among all age groups of those 18 and older”
  • The downward trend in young people’s happiness began during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is continuing 
  • Although happiness was linked to positive physical health, the research consistently showed that satisfaction in relationships was “the best predictor of a happy and healthy life” 
  • Positive relationships help regulate stress, which in turn provides numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. 
  • Everybody needs at least one solid relationship, someone whom they feel they can count on in times of need
  • The earlier we develop these positive, healthy relationships, the more time we have to see the benefit of this on our happiness.
  • It can even be as simple as having a casual conversation or participating in an event or activity that interests you “and do it alongside other people” 
  • “nobody is happy all the time”, and this does not mean “we’re doing something wrong”. The research talks about life’s challenges, obstacles, and ups and downs. Relationships form a “safety net” of support that can help us during “those hard times that all of us have in our lives” 

‘Girls will face challenges, obstacles and sadness. But developing positive, healthy relationships as part of a holistic, healthy approach to wellbeing, can give girls the best chance possible for healthy, long lasting happiness. This happiness can then be used as part of girls’ and young women’s holistic wellbeing and resilience to combat the epidemic of loneliness and isolation that seemingly continues to grow in society’. 

2-ebrief-08-03-2024-What-makes-us-happy.pdf (

I would like to congratulate our newly appointed SRC representatives for 2024:

Year 11

  • Lucy Coelho
  • Regan Simpson
  • Zahlie Cabot

Year 10

  • Hannah McIntyre
  • Dominique Baker

Year 9

  • Pippa Robinson
  • Anna Benson

Year 8

  • Hannah Murray 
  • Mackenzie Ellem

Year 7

  • Clancy-Rose Bates
  • Ashlyn Jackson

Junior School

  • Charlotte Travers
  • Imola Archer
  • Dylan Maguire

As always, thank you for your continued support and involvement in our school community. We look forward to seeing you at the Whole School Cross Country event and wish you a safe and enjoyable Easter break.

Ms Liz van Genderen


As we quickly march towards Easter and then the end of the term, I would like to encourage all of our students to find some time to relax and recharge, to choose kindness and be aware of the little things that often are missed when we are tired. Things like manners and paying attention in class, being prepared and giving friends the benefit of the doubt if they frustrate you.

Attendance continues to be a focus of the school and as we investigate the effects of absences, several interesting facts appear. This table was shared with me by a parent that received it from another school and shows the cumulative effect of regular time away from the classroom (not referenced). The total number of school days for NEGS students this year are as follows Year 12-138 days (3 terms), Year 7-11- 176 days. For a Yr 7-11 student, that means missing just 20 days will place them in the “at risk zone”. With several of our students participating in a rigorous co-curricular program, it highlights the need to be organised in planning with teachers, ways in which to minimise this risk and stay up to date with classroom work and assessment completion. 

Winter sport choices are in and we are in the process of creating teams and finalising numbers. We hope to have information out to students and families soon.

Last week a number of our Rugby players headed to Crescent Head to play with Bishop Druitt College in a North Coast Gala Day. Our girls were joined by players from Armidale Secondary College, O’Connor Catholic College, The Waldorf School and TAS. Both teams, U14 and U18, were very successful with the U14s winning the day and the U18s going through undefeated. NSW Rugby Mental Health Project Officer and Level 3 coach, Joey Dedassel, continues to attend school on Wednesday afternoons to guide our players and other young ladies from the Armidale community wishing to play.

NEGS had 7 swimmers compete at the IGSA Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday 22nd March, and at the time of writing, all are very excited to be representing the school at SOPAC in what will be a busy time around the Olympic precinct, as the Sydney Royal Easter Show commences on the same day. 

NEGS will have several students competing at the show in riding and judging events.

Our annual cross country event is being held on Wednesday 27th March (last day before the Easter break) and we invite our community to attend. The students will attend normal classes periods 1-3 and then have an early lunch (12:05) before walking the course and starting the competitive races by 1:15.

Enjoy the Easter Break

Mr Jamie Moore

Deputy Principal/Director of Sport and Activities

Dear NEGS families,

It is timely that I provide an update on the NEGS Learning and Teaching Framework, given the extensive work the school is undertaking to embed the framework in our daily practices.

The Learning and Teaching Framework has learning at its core. This reflects our purpose as a school – we are a community where people come to learn. But what we learn is more than just the curriculum. 

At NEGS, we learn to be empathetic, fulfilled people that embrace possibilities to contribute and thrive in a complex and changing world. We learn to be people who value integrity, responsibility, excellence and teamwork. Yes, we learn the knowledge and skills of the core disciplines of a broad, liberal arts education, but we also learn to be our best @ NEGS.

Over the coming weeks and months in my newsletter articles, I will be unpacking each layer of the Learning and Teaching Framework, elaborating in detail what the focus is and how it translates into actual practice here at NEGS.

To begin this process, I’d like to discuss what learning actually is. To do this, I’d like to provide some context.

In last fortnight’s article, I spoke about study skills, and used terms like encoding, search and transfer. These are terms that are central to what’s known as the Learning Sciences. A brief history.

Early studies of learning from the 19th Century centered on memory, and this evolved into operant conditioning and a focus on behaviour. You may have heard of Pavlov’s dog, for example. This type of stimulus-response framework explained some aspects of how people learn to do things, but it was limited in its focus on exterior stimuli, and thus as the 20th Century played out, interest turned to more internal, or cognitive considerations of learning, and some aspects of learning as a social practice. From the 60s onwards, this trend accelerated, and by the time we get to the 70s and 80s, a more firm transition into cognitive approaches, rather than behavioural approaches, occurred. 

In essence, an information processing metaphor replaced the stimulus-response framework that had dominated for the best part of a century. 

Further development occurred in the 80s and 90s as the social considerations of learning were better understood. Apprenticeship became a metaphor for the way people learn in natural settings. The notion that people learn by observing others, first articulated in social cognitive theory, was expanded. Nonetheless, learning was still understood as something that an individual does. Individuals may participate and learn in groups, but it is the individual person that learns.

This shifted in the 90s and 2000s as theories of distributed or situational learning arose. Learning can be considered to be distributed among individuals or environments. For example, a student may use a calculator (the external or material dimension) to help learn how to solve a three digit multiplication problem (the cognitive dimension) and work with another student to understand the proper procedures to follow (the social dimension).

As the 21st Century dawned and research into the brain was turbocharged by new technologies, such as MRI brain scanning, our understanding of learning evolved further. We had moved from behavioural to cognitive to sociocultural approaches, but we also came to understand that knowledge is constructed. Ideas, concepts, procedures, skills - these things are not ‘transmitted’ to novice learners by experts, but rather the novice is guided to construct the knowledge in their own mind. This is the principle that underpinned last fortnight’s newsletter article on study skills: learners need to be active and purposeful in order to construct knowledge and improve skills. This construction process is referred to as encoding.

So, with some context now, this brings us to the question of what learning actually is. The technical definition is changes in human cognitive processes involved with the encoding and the capacity to manipulate and engage with symbolic representations, formalisms, and socio-cultural practices that emerge from interactions with a variety of complex systems an individual may experience over time that lead to enhanced performance in intellectual, physical, and affective realms of life (Jacobsen et al, 2016).

This is of course hopelessly technical and thus not particularly useful. 

A more workable definition is simply a change to long-term memory that endures. In essence, we learn to do or think something that we couldn’t do or think previously, and we are able to apply this new knowledge, skill or way of thinking in new contexts in a sustained way over time. Learning to be kind to others is learning just as much as understanding food chains or how to write a grammatically accurate sentence.

So, here at NEGS, we prioritise all types of learning, including situated or sociocultural perspectives, and this will lead me to discussions of the Values and Competency rings and of our Learning and Teaching Framework in future newsletter articles. 

Mrs Dent, our Junior School Coordinator, touches on the Deep Learning competencies in her newsletter article as something of an introduction to the notion of learning beyond the curriculum for our NEGS families.


Michael J. Jacobson, Manu Kapur & Peter Reimann (2016). Conceptualizing Debates in Learning and Educational Research: Toward a Complex Systems Conceptual Framework of Learning, Educational Psychologist, 51:2, 210-218.

Mr Ryan Caldwell

Director of Teaching and Learning/English Teacher

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”— Dr. Seuss

As teachers, it's so important for us to embrace new learning experiences, just as we encourage our students to open their minds to learning. By being open to new approaches, knowledge and skills, we not only model a commitment to lifelong learning, but also enhance our ability to effectively guide and inspire our students.

This week, I wanted to highlight our dedication to professional development and our ongoing commitment to enhancing our skills as a staff, as well as the exciting work being done to foster a culture of growth and innovation within our school.

NEGS' Deep Learning Journey

At NEGS, we have commenced a transformative journey, making a deliberate shift towards designing learning experiences deeply embedded in Michael Fullan's renowned Deep Learning framework. This strategic move is not only a commitment to academic excellence, but also a reflection of our dedication to developing empathic, fulfilled young leaders with a strong sense of purpose.

Understanding the Deep Learning Framework

Michael Fullan's Deep Learning framework is a comprehensive approach that prioritises the development of competencies beyond traditional academic knowledge. It revolves around the idea that education should equip students with the skills and dispositions needed for success in the 21st century. The framework identifies six global competencies: character, citizenship, collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. These competencies are crucial for academic achievement and personal growth, preparing students for a rapidly evolving world.

NEGS' Commitment to Purposeful Education

Our school purpose is grounded in our belief in developing empathic, fulfilled young people who excel academically and embody a profound sense of purpose. We acknowledge the importance of cultivating well-rounded individuals who can navigate complexities, and this aligns seamlessly with Fullan's framework, making it a natural fit for our school.

Benefits for NEGS Students

Holistic Development: By embracing the Deep Learning framework, we ensure that students receive an education that goes beyond textbooks. Designing learning experiences that embed competencies such as character, citizenship, collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking nurtures individuals ready to face challenges.

Empathy and Fulfilment: The emphasis on character development within the framework aligns perfectly with NEGS' mission to nurture empathic and fulfilled individuals. Students will not only acquire knowledge, but also develop a deep understanding of themselves and others, fostering a sense of global responsibility.

Ownership and Purpose: We believe in students taking ownership of their learning journey, and Fullan's framework reinforces this principle. The highlighted competencies encourage students to discover their purpose, promoting a sense of direction and determination that will support them in and beyond the classroom.

Embracing Opportunities: The Deep Learning framework places a strong emphasis on creativity and critical thinking, preparing our students with the skills to navigate uncertainties and contribute meaningfully to society.

Preparation for the Future: Our commitment to the Deep Learning framework ensures that students are not just academically proficient, but also equipped with the skills and mindset needed for the future. This forward-thinking approach aligns seamlessly with our vision of preparing students for a continually evolving world.

In essence, the NEGS' journey into the Deep Learning framework is evidence of our dedication to offering an education that transcends the norm. By aligning with Michael Fullan's framework, our students will not only excel academically but also embody the values of excellence, responsibility, integrity and teamwork driven by purpose. As NEGS students embrace this learning experience, they are not just gaining knowledge; they are becoming empowered leaders ready to respond to dynamic situations.

Recently, our core team participated in their fourth Professional Learning session with our dedicated AIS consultant, Chris Morris. Through these sessions, our team gains valuable insights and strategies to effectively implement the Deep Learning framework within our educational practices. This expertise and guidance is instrumental in shaping our approach and ensuring alignment with best practices. 

Through each session, our team becomes increasingly prepared to guide NEGS towards a future where purposeful education and holistic student development take precedence.

Mrs Heidi Dent

Junior School CoOrdinator/Year 6 Teacher

Entries are now open for the Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prizes.

This year’s theme is Energy. Students are  encouraged to be creative and demonstrate their passion for their chosen topic. There are some fabulous prizes on offer.

Click here to find out more or begin your entry.

Ms Belinda Stone

Science Teacher

On Monday, March 10, our French class found our way to the French Patisserie (using French directions!) on Rusden street where we met Madame Moffitt. We have been highly anticipating this trip and were very excited to eat some yummy French food. We tasted and recommend; La Gourmande, La Suzette, La Shomette, La Complete, and La Jardiniere and of course the ‘grands chocolats chauds’. 

We practised valuable language skills (for our trip to New Caledonia!) Here are a few quick tips to order at Cafe Patisserie and wow the waiter: 

How to order in French: 

Je voudrais une (crepe or galette of your choice) et une boisson (drink of your choice) s'il vous plaît.

Learning a language is all about being immersed in the tastes of another culture and French food is simply delicieux! Try it for yourself, or better still, start learning French and look (and taste!) the world in a whole new way. Bon appetit! 



Madame Tlaskal

English and French Teacher

et Madame Moffitt avec Chelsea, Chilli et Dominique

Embarking on a recent excursion to Sydney was an immersion into creativity, innovation, and the boundless possibilities of Visual Arts, Textiles and Design.

For the Textiles component of the trip, Ms. Hodges and I were guided through a whirlwind of inspiration. The first stop was the Whitehouse Institute of Design, a beacon of excellence in higher education for design and creative industries. Here, we witnessed the nurturing of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship firsthand. 

Next, we ventured to Tessuti Fabrics, which began as a humble endeavour in 1992 and has since blossomed into a haven for quality and creativity in textile design. From locally sourced designer ends to curated collections from Europe, Tessuti Fabrics showcased the power of vision and dedication in the world of textiles. The Texstyle Exhibition was a breathtaking showcase of intricate embroideries and avant-garde installations. It illuminated the limitless possibilities of textile artistry, celebrating talent, creativity, and dedication through the finest works from the HSC Textiles and Design program. We attended a hands-on workshop at Signature Prints, screen printing our own creation onto wallpaper. Close by was Sublitech, a company that creates digital printed fabrics. We were able to see the process of printing the fabrics and then being laser cut out to make swimwear. It was an immersive experience being able to see the process first hand.

On the Visual Arts side, Miss Sorby and I traversed through a myriad of exhibitions across Sydney. From the Museum of Contemporary Art to the Art Gallery of NSW, we delved into the 24th Sydney Biennale festival, exploring works that reflected on current human crises. Some pieces were confronting, others immersive, but all provoked thought and dialogue. At the State Library of NSW, I found solace in the classic art collection, while Miss Sorby marvelled at the contemporary galleries, in particular, at a piece made entirely of glass beads – a mouldy lemon. A unique fascination also arose with a robot cat waiter, prompting Miss Sorby to question the era in which we live in.

Throughout the excursion, we engaged in seminars, self-guided tours, and hands-on workshops, enriching our understanding and appreciation of our subjects. These experiences inspired us to pursue our own creative endeavors, fueling the development of our major works.

We sincerely thank the school, especially Ms. Hodges and Miss Sorby, for organizing and supporting this transformative excursion. To future students, we wholeheartedly recommend this experience. So, when selecting your subjects in your senior years, remember the endless possibilities awaiting in Visual Arts and Textiles!

Beccy Reid and Abby Hart (Year 12)


The 2025 Indigenous Youth Leadership Scholarship is NOW OPEN!

The Smith Family, who offer the Indigenous Youth Leadership Program (IYLP), partners with NEGS Armidale in offering more opportunities to young Indigenous Australians, with a focus on Indigenous youth from communities in very remote areas of the country or regional communities. It supports scholarships for Indigenous students to attend NEGS.

Below is important information:
Deadline of Submission: 31st May 2024
Send application by post: 

Leanne Smith, IYLP Manager, PO Box 3041, Rundle Mall, SA, 5000
Send application by email:

Families can find out more on our website via this link or directly through The Smith Family website.

We are more than happy to chat with you about these scholarships and look forward to hearing from you! 

Mrs Katlyn Wilkinson

Enrolments Officer



Last Wednesday evening, a very productive P and F meeting was held. Thank you to the parents who joined via Zoom. Attending the P and F meeting is a valuable way to hear what is happening in the school. Our Principal, Liz van Genderen always gives a comprehensive report and insight whilst providing us the opportunity to contribute our ideas.

Minutes will be circulated, however we are thrilled to have discussed the Teacher Wish List and through the generosity of our parent body have committed some of the P and F funds that were raised in 2023 to projects that will benefit all NEGS students.

Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday 8 May at 6.00pm.

Though I do look forward to catching up on Wednesday at the cross country and warmly invite all families to enjoy a BBQ provided by the P and F following the cross country. The BBQ will be held down in the Junior School. I hope you can join us.

Next term we look forward to running the P and F Canteen at the Athletics Carnival. (Friday 24 May) We will be asking for donations of baked goods to be sold. We are able to freeze baked good prior to the event, so if it is easier for boarding families to drop off baked items at the start of Term 2 then please do so.

We will also be supporting the Father Daughter Dinner on Thursday 23 May,  if you have an item that you could donate for either the raffle or auction that is held on the evening please get in touch with either myself on email or Lyn O'Neill, at NEGS. We look forward to your support.

Ms Fiona Macarthur

P and F President


Thank you to the P and F!

We would like to thank the P and F for their generous commitment to purchasing new resources for our students. At the recent meeting, the P and F committed to the purchase of the following:

  • New squat racks for the gym
  • New portable speaker for the Junior School
  • Two new interlocking sewing machines for CAPAD students
  • Whiteboard tables
  • Construction of learning pods in the Junior School playground

A couple of items are still pending and under consideration. Thank you!


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