|30 Jul 2022|
Term 3 Week 2
We have had an incredible start to Term 3. I wish to extend a warm welcome to our new staff, students and families and hope that you are settling into our beautiful school and beginning to feel part of the NEGS family.
Leadership is an action not a position (Donald McGannon)
A central focus of Term 3 for our Year 11 students is preparing for Year 12 and leadership roles in 2023. On Sunday, 31 July, NEGS has invited Amanda Siviter, a human relationships consultant with extensive international experience, will be facilitating the NEGS 2022 Leadership Seminar. The day will commence with brunch, followed by a series of activities that aim to:
On Monday 1 August, the girls will attempt to climb Cathedral rock as a group. I look forward to walking alongside the students during their leadership journey.
This year we have the opportunity to participate in Mission Australia’s Youth Survey for 2022. The annual survey is designed to identify the values and concerns of 15-19-year old Australians. Mental health and wellbeing, housing, discrimination, and the impact of COVID 19 are the key focus areas for 2022.
Earlier this week, parents and students were emailed more detailed information, including a parent consent form. Please note the survey closes on 12 August 2022.
Thank you to our incredible P and F, who are once again working tirelessly and planning, to ensure our school community thrives. All parents and friends are welcome to join our meetings either face to face or via zoom. NEGS also appreciate the contributions made by our Junior and Senior Liaison Parent Groups.
As we continue to navigate COVID, we will keep you informed of any procedural updates.
Be sure to look after yourselves.
Until next time
Liz van Genderen
COVID UPDATE - From 1 August
Given the increased spread of COVID-19 and influenza infections in the community, from Monday 1 August, NEGS will adopt the following enhanced settings:
· all students in Years 7-12, staff, and visitors to NEGS will be encouraged to wear face masks when indoors.
· the need to maintain physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres will be reinforced.
Face masks can be removed when:
· eating or drinking,
· engaging in physical exercise,
· engaging in work, and
o the work is in an indoor area and no other person is in the area,
o when medical advice has indicated that wearing a mask is a risk to the person’s health
RAHT kits are available from Akaroa.
These measures will be initially adopted for the next 2 weeks. We hope these measures will minimize disruptions for our students and families, whilst we continue to monitor this current wave.
Maintenance work currently in progress - painting of Akaroa
'The standard you walk past is the standard you accept'
This quote was the cornerstone of a speech delivered by Chief of the Australian Army Lieutenant-General David Morrison when addressing the cultural flaws of the Australian army.
In past roles, and my current one as Acting Deputy Principal, I have looked at this quote as the yardstick by which to measure the health of an organisation. If the people involved are prepared to stand up for the expectations and values trying to be promoted, then they, in turn, value the organisation.
Often, the little things that go unchecked erode the culture of a school, be it in the way we speak to each other, the way we wear the uniform or simply the way we carry ourselves. As part of our wellbeing program, we focus on these things by having morning check-ins where students and their Tutors can interact and build positive relationships that will set each up for success as they enter the day. It is essential that each individual feels appreciated and valued, and it can be as simple as having someone greet you with a smile, ask how you are or take an interest in what you do to set you on that course for success.
I am looking forward to working with all members of the school community in continuing to grow a positive culture here at NEGS.
Acting Deputy Principal
I want to thank the community for the warm welcome I've experienced in recent weeks. I spoke at assembly recently about the power of a smile, and I must say that smiles are very much in abundance on campus, which is part of what has made the past few weeks so welcoming.
Term 3 is well underway, with the students engaging productively with their studies, particularly our Seniors, as they prepare for their Trial HSC exams. I spoke to the staff recently about the importance of academic rigour, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to outline the phrase 'academic rigour' and what we mean by it.
In essence, it simply means challenging oneself to do their best academically. It's not about unachievable standards or making work difficult, but rather having rigorous academic work to engage with that is stimulating and allows one to demonstrate the full extent of their skills and understanding. The HSC is, as we all know, a rigorous series of assessments, and here at NEGS, our goal is to reflect this rigour in our daily learning and formative assessment. But, as Florence Green said, 'whatsoever you do, do it heartily', and this is what academic rigour is all about.
I wish you all a pleasant weekend.
Director of Teaching and Learning
Only 2 weeks into term and we have had students in Sydney competing in the first round of our IGSA Hockey and Netball, a big team of riders at an equestrian event in Tamworth, 3 mid-week hockey and Netball games at NEGS, and this weekend we are hosting the NSW Masters Hockey titles in partnership with Hockey New England.
I thank all the students, staff and parents who contribute to organising, supporting, playing in and supervising these opportunities for our young athletes and our town.
As this was my first taste of an IGSA weekend, I was amazed at the girls' resilience to play up to 4 full games in under 24 hours. Add to that 16 hours on the bus, playing in driving rain and a hot-cold recovery session at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence, and it could be viewed as nothing less than successful. We are looking forward to organising a local round against PLC and hope we can make it an exciting event.
Normal winter competitions will roll on with some mid-week games needed to catch up on missed fixtures. We will also have students participating in IGSA athletics (18/19-08), IPSHA athletics (junior school 29-08), Round 2 of IGSA (1/2/3 – 09) and hopefully IGSA finals (15/16/17 – 09). With the IGSA commitments of both PLC and NEGS, it has been challenging to field our combined sides in the Friday night Rugby comp, but the players still have the opportunity to train weekly.
Our clubs and activities program continues this term with coding, music, choir and Dance, and our house challenge for term three is for each house to make a music video. Judging for this will happen later in the term.
Director of Sport and Activities
Year 7 and 8
Welcome back to our Year 7 and 8 families for the start of Semester 2. It was so good to see the girls after the recent holiday break, they had big smiles and are looking amazing in their uniforms. Last week I had the pleasure of attending IGSA in Sydney with the hockey and netball girls, which was a great opportunity to engage in a place other than the classroom.
This term, with the staffing changes, we welcome Mr Tony Jones to our team, Mr Jones is taking on the Tutor role [8B] previously held by Dr Polain. We have started the term with a change to the daily organisation. The day begins with ‘check-in’ time, a time for the girls to be able to set themselves for a positive start to the day. We aim to build stronger connections between Tutors and students, where the students feel the confidence to let the Tutor team know if they have issues or concerns. We are instigating individual one-to-one sessions with Tutors, where we can identify strengths and areas for improvement as part of our girls’ development.
Late last term, while planning, the Stage 4 Tutor team and I identified areas we would like to focus on over the coming semester. We feel there is a need for students to develop their problem-solving skills, resilience and teamwork, and we understand that this takes time. This term will see activities where students must work individually as well as part of a team to accomplish set tasks - to start to build the skill set identified by the team. Time at the end of the activities allows the students to reflect on what worked and why - how the groups achieved the best results.
Year 7 - Core values
Mr Moore has been working with several student groups across the school to identify values that are owned by the group and allow all students to thrive at NEGS. Today he worked with the Year 7 cohort to determine one core value that we want each Year 7 girl to exhibit - they [the students] collectively came up with the value of ‘kindness’. They also decided that they would not accept behaviour that ‘leaves people out'. We talked about what this might look like in the day school and places such as the dining hall.
A fun part of the activity was when Mr Moore used the analogy of:
‘Don’t sleep with the wolf to avoid being tomorrow night’s dinner’
This created an opportunity for discussion and was an excellent way for the girls to understand the concept. Tabitha came up with a brilliant motto of 'trust your sheep’, encapsulating the idea.
Often we talk to the girls about this in terms of the behaviour you walk past the behaviour you accept, both at school and in daily life - and the difficulties of calling out poor behaviour within a group.
I snapped some photos of the Year 7 cohort from the session today.
The girls identified kindness as an essential, non-negotiable attribute within the Year 7 cohort.
Year 7 - a couple of reminders from teachers
Students have a topic test at the end of each chapter. They are given out notification at the start of each chapter. These are uploaded in the classroom and are accessible for every topic now. As is the yearly assessment schedule.
Students are given, a week in advance, homework which also includes if the topic test is coming up. We complete a cheat sheet in class the lesson before the test. Students write the homework in their diaries a week in advance so this can also be used as reference. Chapter 6 topic test, if I have no disruptions, will be on Wednesday of Week 4, being 10 August.
Weaving Wonders Design Folio and associated activities due Week 1 Term 4, being 14 October.
Weaving Wonders Practical Product piece due Week 5 Term 4, being 11 November.
Week 6 - topic test
Week 10 - research assessment
Thank you to the parents that are notifying the school if their daughter is absent for illness or appointments. A reminder that if girls are absent, they need to catch up on missed work, which can usually be found on Google Classroom or by emailing their teacher.
Just a reminder that if you’d like to contact the school, please make your daughter’s Tutor the first point of contact. They can then forward your query onto the most appropriate person.
Have a great fortnight.
Stage 4 Advisor
Year groups 9 and 10
Welcome back to our Year 9 and 10 families for the start of Semester 2. It was great to see students back on school grounds with smiling faces. I want to welcome 3 new students to the Year 10 cohort: Tamsin Callaghan, Elizabeth Hutton, and Margot Poullain. This term, with staffing changes, we also welcome Mr Wayne Woods to our team as the 10A Tutor. In my new role as the Stage 5 advisor, I look forward to working with the cohort to create connections with each student and assist in all things Wellbeing at NEGS.
This semester, Stage 5 will be focusing on the following areas within the Wellbeing Program: physical wellbeing, goal orientation, grit, leadership, and teamwork.
To start the term, Year 9 have been reviewing their Semester 1 academic reports, identifying their strengths and areas of improvement for each subject. Next week, they will compile this data into creating SMART goals. One academic, and one extracurricular or behavioural focused. Students will review these at the end of the term. This will place the students in good stead for their academic progress.
Year 10 are working their way through a series of career activities leading into subject selection for Years 11 and 12. In week 4, a UNE representative will speak to the students about HSC subject selections and options. Then in week 5, Mr Ryan Caldwell (Director of Teaching and Learning) will also talk to students about subject selections and how the process works. Parents will also have access to a webinar about the subject selection process. Finally, a booklet will be emailed home outlining the different subjects and the process. This will lead into subject selection in Week 6. I encourage all students to speak to their teachers individually throughout this process, as they will be able to aid in the process and provide a detailed outline of what will be studied in each subject.
Finally, this semester sees the introduction of a new timetabled slot of the ‘Check In’. This session aims to set students up for success for the day. It also enables the Tutor to create valuable connections with their group being their ‘go to person’ within the day school. With this new process, we are encouraging your daughter's Tutor to be the first point of contact if required to connect with the school.
I look forward to an exciting Semester 2, leading my team of tutors and assisting Stage 5 in Wellbeing at NEGS.
Stage 5 Advisor
I want to welcome all returning families to the senior school at NEGS for semester 2, of the 2022 academic year.
This term is shaping up to be very busy with many planned activities and the conclusion of the Year 12 and 11 academic years. Further information will come out directly regarding the Year 11 leadership application process and its timeline in the coming days via the engage platform.
A significant event coming up is the NEGS Interschool Stockman's Challenge. Whether you have a horse or not, you are encouraged to get involved in this fantastic event.
Wellbeing is a continued focus for the senior girls, and the change in timetables facilitating extra time with the tutors will help the girls prepare for the HSC.
Stage 6 Advisor
Year 9B Science
Year 9B have been investigating a unit of work on materials in our environment. Last Wednesday they had their first practical lesson with Mr Gaukroger, which involved creating molecules out of clay.
The girls could identify a range of elements and compounds that exist and then construct a similar version out of coloured clay and matchsticks. The molecules they created looked great and gave them a better understanding of what common substances such as water, sugar and salt are made up of in terms of atoms.
Stage 4 Advisor/ Science Teacher
Science and Engineering Challenge
Year 5 and 6 had the wonderful opportunity on Tuesday 26 August to participate in the annual Science and Engineering Challenge Day.
This day is designed, through fun and practical hands-on activities, to engage and inspire students in the areas of science, technology and engineering. Students participated in a range of problem solving activities including designing and building projects to other tasks requiring logical solutions. It was great to see our students thrive in this environment, challenge themselves with each task that was presented.
Year 5 Teacher
A big Warm Welcome to our new Junior School Coach and Coordinator, Lynda Reider.
Lynda comes into the position with 25 years of experience as owner and operator of her riding school in Coffs Harbour, as well as developing grassroots equestrian skills through Pony Club and RDA. Lynda's passion is for creating a safe and inclusive space for children to reach their goals within the sport.
'I believe in offering our children as many experiences and opportunities as possible. This creates lifelong memories and is the stepping stone to sporting achievements.'
Lynda brings along her daughter Alana, who has started in Year 3 in Junior School.
Please make her feel welcome when you see her around the EC.
Dressage - Caitlin Croft
During the holidays, three NEGS students competed at NSW inter schools at SIEC.
Sienna Robinson placed 1st in the 1C and 3rd in the 1B, finishing 4th overall in the Preliminary.
Charlotte Jacobson placed 5th in the 3B and 3rd in the 3C, finishing 3rd overall in the Elementary.
Abbie Kelly placed 1st in the 1C and 2nd in the 1B and became Primary Preliminary Champion.
With such great results at State, Charlotte, Sienna, and Abbie have been chosen to represent NSW at the National Interschool Championships in September.
Next month will be the NEGS unofficial dressage competition on the 7th of August. There will also be a Car boot sale on the day for anyone looking to sell or purchase used tack and equipment.
Show Riding - Maddy Bell
As term 3 commences, our show riding girls are back and excited for the term ahead. Both junior and senior squads are underway this week, and the girls are continuing training and working towards upcoming shows and clinics in the term. This weekend a few of our senior girls will be travelling to Tamworth on Saturday for a Les Friend clinic. And then on Sunday a few of our girls are branching out into a different discipline of dressage and show jumping, by attending a combined training day put on by the New England District Jump Club. Thank you to the organisers of the Les Friend clinic and Combined Training day for putting together a great weekend for the girls.
Show Jumping - Annabelle Barnhill
The showjumping team is looking forward to many competitions including Bingara showjumping, Tamworth World Cup showjumping and the Gunnedah show. They are working very hard to get their horses competition fit and going as best as possible. Recently an old NEGS girl, Julia Hargreaves, competed in the 1* Grand Prix in the Netherlands, placing 8th. This is a great achievement for Julia and is such good inspiration for our team to keep working hard! Looking forward to a great term!
Term Three has started with a renewed energy and vigour. In both our classrooms and across the playground it is exciting to see our students interacting with each other, engaged and practising inclusivity in line with our Kindness Curriculum.
Adding to the buzz on the playground are our Kindergarten students, who are starting their day in Junior School in preparation for next year. Over the holidays, the school purchased a range of new equipment which is housed in easy to access trolleys to promote active, collaborative play. It has been wonderful to see students of all age groups engaging in vertical play. Ourr focus shifts to integrit this term, as we continue our journey through the Kindness Curriculum. Students will explore topics of honesty, integrity and perseverance. They will examine their own level of integrity across a variety of situations, both with peers and individually. They will also practice creating and accomplishing SMART goals.
Highlights already to our term include our recent Open Morning, and the interest from many prospective families, the commencement of Years Three - Six Gymnastic program for Sport and the Stage Three participation in the Science and Engineering Discovery day, with many more events to look forward to.
Thank you to our families who supported the Year Six Pie drive. Your support allows this year's Year Six student body to contribute to the Junior School and mark their legacy.
Junior School Coordinator
In a great start to the term for Junior School Music, students in the band program were lucky enough to participate in a workshop with very special guests, Hot Potato Band. Here are a few reflections on the experience by year 5 and 6 students.
‘I loved the whole Hot Potato Band's workshop. I found it very interesting and blew my mind with how much work they must have put into it. I even found my jaw dropped when they were so smooth within song changes and the singer was always great to listen to. I found them very inclusive and informative when explaining the instruments and understood how to engage the audience with activities, which made me realize that I could do so much more.'
‘I learnt how to stay on time with such a big band, and even if I messed up I could still admire others' skills. I also got to understand more about different wind instruments and how a band operates.'
Hannah Murray, Year 6
‘I really liked how inclusive they were and how fun they were. Jimmy was very fun to work within our group about sounds. He was very enthusiastic and very funny. I learnt how to play more notes thanks to the trumpeter, and how to play most of We Will Rock You. I also learnt how music is like a sandwich, and a sousaphone is like a tuba but the bell is facing forward and not up.'
Eilish Morgan, Year 6
‘Yesterday at the hot potato workshop, I really enjoyed listening to them play because they were really good. I learned lots of new notes on the clarinet and learned how to play We Will Rock You.'
Tilly Patterson, Year 6
‘The Hot Potato Band came to NEGS last Thursday. It was very scary and very funny at first. Also, all the stops they had were very weird. And I liked all the movements and the sound. The thing I learned was that music is like a sandwich.'
Maysoon Alkhathami, Year 5
Term 3 Events
Please save the date for the following. Invitations will be sent next week.
See the full calendar of events below:
We are currently confirming our 2023 enrolments, and beginning interviews for 2024. As parents and families, you are our best advocates, and we appreciate you sharing your experiences of NEGS. If you have a sibling commencing in 2024, please get in touch with the Enrolments Office, so that we may begin this process.
On 25 August, we are holding a Pre-K and Kindergarten Explorer Morning for prospective and current students. Please help us by sharing this within your networks. Our Early Years program and educators are phenomenal, providing the best start to our students learning journey.
On 3 August, we are hosting a Year 7 2023 ‘Let's Meet’ Afternoon Tea, for our Year 7 2023 girls. Please reach out to the Enrolments Office, if you would like further information.
Director of Marketing and Enrolments
The Parents and Friends extend a warm welcome back to all our NEGS families and a very warm welcome to our new families. This term, we welcome nine new families to the NEGS community. Please reach out to our parent community, we are here to welcome you and help your family in any way we can.
Thank you to the parents who attended our P and F meeting this week. We value your contributions. The Term 4 P and F meeting will be held on 19 October, at 6pm. The meeting will be held in the W H Lee Room, in Akaroa, for local parents and friends, and a Zoom link will be sent to parents closer to the date.
A very successful Junior School Parent Drinks was held at the end of the last term. Big thank you to the Welders Dog, for their generous gift of mulled wine. Also, thank you to all the parents who attended, it was lovely to catch up.
NEGS is hosting the NSW Women’s Masters Hockey Championships. So if you have some spare time, the NEGS BBQ would always love another set of hands.
SENIOR SCHOOL CLASS LIAISON PARENTS
Our Class liaison parents play an important role at NEGS and we are currently looking for parent volunteers for our Senior Years.
The role is not arduous. It is a great way to get to know other parents. You will be well supported by our Class liaison parent coordinator, Jo Watson, and the school. (the marketing and events team work closely with the parent group)
Your role is to help foster connections within your year group, support the activities of the Parents and Friends and assist in organising a social gathering.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are interested in taking on this role, or call Lyn O'Neill, Director of Marketing and Enrolments, to discuss further. +61 2 6774 8700
AUTUMN FAIR 2023
Following the success of our 2022 Fair, planning will begin for the 2023 NEGS Autumn Fair this term. Please think about how you can contribute to this event. We will be looking for volunteers to organise NEGS stalls, coordinate external stall holders, plan the logistics of the day, take responsibility for the raffle, coordinate sponsorships, and promote the event across the wider community. If you would like to discuss further or have ideas, please contact Lyn O'Neill, Director of Marketing and Enrolments, on email@example.com.
A planning meeting will be held later this term. Further information will be shared when the date is confirmed.