|24 Mar 2023|
NEGS NEWS - TERM 1 WEEK 8
In the past fortnight I have had the pleasure of:
Key findings of the Hands Up for Gender Equality study:
In the last newsletter you read about some aspects of recent research by The University of Queensland - Hands Up for Gender Equality: A Major Study into Confidence and Career Intentions of Adolescent Girls and Boys. The report on the findings of this research also had some interesting key findings and recommendations for parents and schools.
The study found that:
Liz van Genderen
Armidale Festival Parade information
Dear All Families and Students,
Saturday 1 April is the Armidale Autumn Festival and parade. This is an important event for our town and as a school community NEGS is participating. We hope to have as many NEGS students participate as part of the NEGS float.
Please find details below for the day:
Day and Junior School students are to meet in Central Park, NEGS will be allocated an area to meet. Please be there by 11.30am.
Boarding students are to meet at the turning circle at 11.00am.
All students will be dismissed from the corner of Faulkner Park and Civic Park. Please make arrangements with your daughter or son for collection. Students will need to have names marked off the roll.
Boarding students will have time after the parade to have lunch and enjoy the entertainment provided at the festival. Boarding students are to meet at Central Park at 3pm, at the Rotunda. There will be Boarding Staff Members supervising Boarding students.
Who do I inform of my attendance (DAY students)- parents and/or students are to let their Year Advisor know Tuesday 28 March if they are attending. On the day, NEGS staff will be present with class rolls, so students must ensure their name is marked as being present. All students who participate are eligible for 2 hours of community service.
For Junior School students, please indicate on the form here.
NEGS students will be also be running a Stall in Civic Park providing face painting and NEGS students will be performing on the stage at 3.40pm.
We look forward to enjoying this day together.
Continuing on with the theme of Excellence, I thought that I would share what the Stage 5 Agriculture students have been up to.
Last week, we invited Mr Sam Ditchfield in to speak with the class about the beef supply chain and selling systems. Sam is the National Strategic Sourcing Manager - Beef for Greenstock. Greenstock supplies much of the meat for Woolworths Australia. It was interesting to hear Sam’s story and listen to how cattle are scored, rated, and sourced for one of our largest grocery chains. He spoke to the girls about opportunities available for girls in the meat industry, and how much of an impact those already in the industry are having. He also mentioned the world-leading research and development that is coming out of the University of New England and how it influences his field. Following this, we were guests at the local sale yards for Sale Day. One of the girls was even given the chance to bid on a pen of steers for one of the buyers (who watched her very closely!!).
As of writing this, I have just returned from a day trip with the Stage 5 girls and our Year 12 Agriculture students after visiting the University of New England’s Tulimba feedlot. We were shown through the operation which is largely a research facility but also has commercial concerns. Currently, they are running trials on weight gain efficiency of Southern Breeds and volume of Methane and Carbon Dioxide production. After this, we visited the farming operation at 'Merilba', where the girls got to experience Ultrasound Pregnancy testing on cows and were given an expert lesson on sheep classing.
What a fantastic set of opportunities for our students to observe excellence and experience others that have chosen excellence. We are extremely lucky, here at NEGS, to have access to these people, places, and organisations and have them share their stories and workplaces with us.
On Friday, I look forward to watching the school compete in our Cross Country event. It will be fun, it will be challenging, it will excellent.
Deputy Principal / Director of Sports and Activities
At the school’s recent Open Day, I prepared some remarks that I’d like to reiterate here. They centre around 3 ideas in the academic space: progress, pathways, and people.
I’ve spoken about academic rigour in the past, and I’d like to take another moment to look at what that means here at NEGS. The answer is quite simply progress. It’s not about As, Bs, or Cs, or 99.95 ATARs, but rather about each individual making progress in relation to a rigorous set of goals, to improve their skills and understanding across both the cognitive and affective domains, and also in terms of wellbeing. We want our students to graduate as confident, competent young people with a sense of vision and the drive to achieve it.
But of course, this vision will differ for each individual, which brings me to the next point, pathways. We’re an Anglican school and as such, we embrace a holistic approach to education. We develop each individual across the academic domain, in the sports and co-curricular activities that enrich us, and of course in terms of wellbeing and a spiritual understanding of our place in the world. What this means for teaching and learning is that we know our students, we help them find a spark and ignite it, and we help our students to pursue a pathway that will lead to a rich and fulfilling life. There are many pathways. It might be Olivia, class of 2022, studying Medicine in Sydney. Or it might be Eliza, class of 2022, taking a gap year to Jillaroo in Canadian cattle country. The point is that we all have different passions and varying visions for our future, and our job here at NEGS is to help each individual realise theirs. As the school hymn makes clear:
'Give of our best! So when the gates swing wide, and through the larger world our way we choose, of life’s high enterprise, which we described, never can we the vision wholly lose.'
And this brings me to the third highlight: people. Whilst learning and the conditions that foster it is well understood in the Learning Sciences literature, how this applies to each individual has much nuance. This is a school where each student is known. There is a constant meta-conversation going on in the halls, staffrooms, and corridors about each individual and how they are progressing. It’s a very collegial space, and we are privileged by our size to ensure that we can put measures in place to support each individual to find their vision and make progress down their pathway to a bright future.
Director of Teaching and Learning
It has been a wonderful time in our boarding houses this term.
As it continues to be busy in the lead up to the end of term one, we feel blessed to have quality meals provided in the dining hall to keep the girls powered. Our year 12 Boarder Captains create a different interest each week following dinner on Friday nights.
Week 7 was Crazy sock night, we encouraged your daughters to mix, laugh and dress up.
Week 8 Saturday downtown leave was swapped for a Tamworth shopping trip. By far the most popular day out. The bus trip down provided giggles, loud music and important information gathering like which shop to visit, what end of the street to start and very important, was at which food eatery to get lunch?
This weekend we have ‘The Yoga Way’ visiting on Sunday to provide a relaxing yoga session.
Girls are encouraged to make the most of the Hour Without Power and join in the fun.
In the next week packing up one's own belongings starts. We are unable to keep items in cupboards and have limited space to store. This term the girls can keep one bag with Doona and a pillow in the house and school books in the school lockers. If your daughter doesn't have a school locker lock, she may need to consider obtaining one to store books and school items at school.
Head of Boarding
‘Connecting Home and School Makes Us A Great Community Of Learners’
By now you would have received an invitation to join your child’s teacher for a parent-teacher interview next week. If your child is nearing the end of their primary education, you will have attended many of these. For those of you who are supporting your kindergarten child through their first year of school, this will be your first. What can you expect?
Parents are invited to these interviews twice a year, which are 10-minute conversations between you and your child's teacher.
Parent-teacher interviews are a great opportunity to:
Research shows that students benefit from a strong connection and shared responsibility for their learning between home and school life. These interviews provide a time to meet 1:1 and get to know your child’s teachers. They also assist in building a relationship with the school, strengthening our community.
Teachers, parents and carers learn from one another. These discussions allow for all parties to be better informed about a students' strengths, needs and behaviours.
Establish Future Direction
Making plans with the classroom teacher about how you can support your child is imperative for their overall success. Discussing strategies to enhance students' learning allows for valuable conversations and understanding of a child's strengths and areas for focus.
Discuss Barriers and Opportunities For Learning
Identifying and discussing issues that may be interfering with a student's learning and growth is also key to creating an overall picture. This will help teachers and parents to better support children within the classroom context.
Effective parent-teacher interviews strengthen the connection between home and school and help to promote positive outcomes for your child and their level of success. As a staff, we look forward to meeting with you in the upcoming week.
‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.’
Junior School Coordinator
The Equestrian Centre has been absolutely buzzing recently, with so many opportunities to head out and compete. A massive congratulations to the girls who have been dedicated to these early starts and continuation of amazing sportsmanship and care for their teammates and horses, even while away from home! Especially new students who have taken everything into their stride, it truly has created a lively environment at the EC. This term has already allowed us to achieve so much. I cannot wait to see the results of the next few weeks!
This term, NEGS girls are looking forward to getting a kickstart with eventing! We recently had a Sam Lyle Eventing clinic, which was thoroughly enjoyed by our girls as everyone learned lots! Matt Ryan came to NEGS to do a clinic which many girls participated in! We also have 5 girls heading up to Toowoomba in QLD to compete in eventing on the 18th and 19th of March, good luck girls you’ll be amazing! And finally, after that we will have some of our eventers heading to Tamworth! I would like to acknowledge all the girls putting in a lot of effort with their horses and especially the year 12 girls balancing both their heavy workload with their eventing commitments! Go NEGS eventing team! And best of luck to those heading off to Wingham can't wait to hear all about it!
This term's training began in week 2 with a group of 7 girls attending. Rosie Ross and Hallie Tompson travelled to Gully for the NWP coaching clinic last weekend where NEGS coach Ella Elks was coaching.
This past couple of weeks, all the girls have been anxiously waiting for competition season to ramp up into full gear! During the first couple of weeks of term, we have welcomed our new campdraft coach, Maree Balmain. She is a fantastic coach and we look forward to working with her in the future and seeing how we can improve our skill set.
Show Jumping -
These first few weeks into the new year have been a busy one for our showjumping team. In Week 3, the NEGS Community Club Showjumping Day was held, with a wide range of riders competing in heights from 45cm to 1.05, setting out a great beginning for our competition season. More recently the 24th - 26th of February hosted a group of 7 negs girls attending AELEC in Tamworth to compete in the 2023 Peel River Produce Show Jumping Championships. Emily O'Rourke, Olivia King, Darcie Loosemore, Ruby Holgate, Katie Moffit, Annie Sinclair, and Ruby Agnew would definitely not have made it through this weekend without the help of our trusted groom, Megan Gerigk, many parent supporters and coach, Annyka Overton. All in varying heights over the weekend, each competitor came out with outstanding results, both personally and professionally, to which I am very proud of. Ruby Holgate, Katie Moffit, and Olivia King all placed top 10 in their classes, which is a tremendous achievement. Darcie Loosemore, Emily O'Rourke, Ruby Agnew, and Annyka Overton smashed their classes with awesome results as well, where they competed with up to 60 people! We even managed to get featured on their Facebook page. What a great way to start off our year, bring on the rest of 2023!
The NEGS show team has had a busy few weeks to kick off the term between squads, clinics, and competitions. We were fortunate enough to have Les Friend attend NEGS for a weekend of lessons where we all gained a wealth of knowledge and made some exciting improvements in our riding. Thanks to our awesome team of show parents and Justine, we ventured off to Uralla and Guyra shows, where we enjoyed some exciting results. Allie Palmer brought home the grand champion senior girl rider and Sienna Robinson Reserve at the Uralla show. Harriet won her open pony, Bea won her open thoroughbred class, Emily won her open hunter galloway, and Sienna and Dom Baker were champion and reserve show hunter hacks. Saskia, Eva, and Kenzie also each placed in their respective classes. Guyra show was just as much of a success with all our NEGS girls in the placings. Eden Lochhead reserve champion lady rider, Sienna Robinson champion senior girl rider, and Sienna and Eden Champion and Reserve open hunter hack. Back to back with Guyra show, a group of our senior show girls ventured down to Canberra for our first royal of the year. With plenty of competition, we each came home with some pleasing results; Sienna Robinson was 4th in her open girl rider 15-18, Allie Palmer 4th in the child's show hunter hack, Dom Baker 5th, and Eden Lochhead 6th. It was an awesome week with a fabulous team and we all send our sincerest thanks to Justine for all the time and hard work she puts into each of us and our horses.
Starting Primary School can be daunting so our Year 5 and Pre-Kindergarten students have buddied up!
This allows NEGS' littlest students to be paired up with an older Junior School student, so they can learn all about NEGS and have an older friend to help them.
Year 5 Teacher
Music is flourishing amongst the junior school this term, with our musical groups working hard every week. We have three separate choirs going strong, and as the term is coming to an end, all of their songs are becoming more familiar and confident. All of our beautiful choirs are working towards performances at the Armidale Eisteddfod next term, where we hope to give our beautiful school a great representation. Both Saumarez Strings and the strings classes are also working hard, showing great improvement in the difficult art of bow holding and string crossing! It has been fantastic to see the enthusiastic interest from so many students, especially in the younger age groups.
Our individual student lessons are also taking place each week in the music block, with a range of instruments being learnt; including voice, cello, violin, piano and guitar. Parents are reminded that NEGS is highly supportive of students developing their musical abilities, and that there are tutors available for all instruments if your child is interested in learning an instrument at school.
Happy Music Making!!
This week, most of our summer sports finished off their season. It was always great to see the students out participating in a sport, learning new skills, and developing teamwork. Indoor Hockey potentially has a final still to play next week, all other sports are now finished.
Winter sports are now almost finalised and students and parents will begin receiving or have received already, information on registration. Training sessions and team lists will be provided soon once trial games have been completed. Please keep an eye on your emails for notifications regarding the sport your child has signed up for.
Many students put forward a nomination to try out for the IGSA Touch Football, Hockey, and Netball teams. We wish all students the very best with these trials. There are also many representative opportunities for our students with community groups and we wish those students who are participating a successful trial. We look forward to hearing and sharing your results.
NEGS also commenced a water polo team a few weeks ago in the UNE Water Polo competition. This group of girls demonstrate grit each week, as they enter the water with very little knowledge of the game and play against some strong competitors from the university. Each week, they grow in their confidence and skills and their smiles truly show how much they are enjoying the challenge. Thank you to a couple of our parents for driving this opportunity.
On Friday 17 March, I was privileged to travel to the IGSA Swimming Carnival with the following students:
These students competed at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre against 29 other independent girls' schools. This is a tough competition, with many of the competitors swimming many times per week for many hours. Our NEGS girls represented our school proudly and gained many personal bests in their events. In such tough competition, these students strived to do the best they could and were rewarded for their efforts. Congratulations to these students.
It was a successful annual Cross Country Carnival with all students competing in some capacity, competition events or the fun run. All students were supportive of each other during the run and helped each other across the finish line. It is always a pleasure to see our students strive for excellence across many facets of their schooling, sporting being one of them. Congratulations to the following age champions.
Winning House - Dumolo
Upcoming sporting events:
Tuesday 28 March - IGSA Hockey Trial Games 4:30pm and 5:30pm
Thursday - Potential Indoor Hockey finals
Sports and Activities Coordinator
Science and Engineering Challenge 2023
Two weeks ago, a small group of Year 10 students headed into town to participate in the University of Newcastle’s Science and Engineering Challenge.
Students were competing against other schools with fun and engaging hands-on activities where they had to complete a project brief. Activities included designing an earthquake proof tower, building a bridge, providing electricity to a city or creating a prototype for a prosthetic hand that could pick up a number of straws. All of the activities were challenging and provided an opportunity for the students to ‘think outside the square’ to solve a ‘problem’ and work as a team to achieve an outcome.
We are excited about some of the upcoming events that I would like to bring to your attention.
To involve as many boarding parents as possible, we have decided to hold the next P and F meeting slightly earlier at 4.30pm on Tuesday, 4 April. So we hope parents coming to Armidale for the 'Pinot and Picasso' evening might come along a little earlier for the P and F. Though you will still be able to join the meeting via Zoom.
Have you bought your ticket yet for 'Pinot and Picasso'?
We are holding a 'paint and sip' evening on Tuesday, 4 April, a chance for our parent community to catch up socially whilst trying something new. The ticket price includes 2 hours of tuition, grazing boards, a glass of wine on arrival, and great NEGS company. I want to extend a big thank you to Cape Bernier Winery, a Year 7 NEGS family who have generously donated the wine for the evening.
The end of Term 3 will be busy with some key events. So, make sure you have marked it in your diary.
50th Anniversary Celebrations for the Equestrian Centre will be held on Friday, 15 September.
On Thursday 21 September, a very special Concert in the Arena is planned. The talented Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley, along with their band and some special guests, are set to perform for our community, in the NEGS grounds. Tickets will go on sale soon.
On Friday 10 November, we will also be holding our Twilight NEGS Fair. At this stage, we are in early planning and organisation for this event, but excited to have the Twilight Fair be a big success.
NEGS P and F President
Next week on Thursday, 30 March, NEGS will be holding a whole-school Easter Chapel.
Parents and members of the NEGS Community are welcome to attend this special Chapel Service.
Year 5/6 Parents Information Night - High School
All Year 5 and Year 6 Parents are invited to a 'Transitioning to High School' Evening.
The purpose of the evening is to provide some insights, into what to expect when your child takes this important next step and how you as parents can best support your child.
Though the evening will focus to a degree on NEGS Senior School, the information will be general in nature and just as relevant to parents of our year 5 and 6 boys. Plus provide you with the opportunity to ask questions.
The meeting will be held Monday 3 April at 6pm, in the W.H. Lee Room, however, you can jointhe meeting via Zoom and it will also be recorded.