|13 Feb 2023|
Term 1 Week 2
Last Friday a Pre-K student awarded me a ‘Great Effort’ sticker. The student had received her sticker as a reward for saying goodbye to her Mum and embracing the day. This was a timely reminder to pause and reflect on the significance of not only starting school (for the first time), but also beginning a new school year.
I am proud to say we have had an excellent start to 2023.
To ensure we continue to provide a safe environment for our students, staff and families all students in Years 7-12 have been asked to read and signed the following documents.
Acceptable use of Technology -
Behaviour management -
These documents coincide with students' social and emotional learning in terms of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.
I congratulate the whole NEGS community for such a great start to 2023. I look forward to all that 2023 will bring to our community.
Liz van Genderen
On Monday, 6 February, Senior School held a Special Assembly; to present the Olivia Rogers Memorial Prize for Courage under Fire - Demonstrating Grace through Adversity, presented by Peta Rogers, Olivia's mum, and to address NEGS Founders Day.
Below is Head Prefect Vanessa Baker's speech.
Many of you may not realise that tomorrow's date, 7 February, is actually a rather important date for NEGS, because it is the 128th anniversary of the date our school was founded. Tomorrow is Florence Green Day, a day to celebrate how fortunate we are to be able to have an education in this beautiful school and reflect upon everything that makes NEGS what it is. To celebrate, during recess, we will be having cake on the library lawns, so make sure you drop by for a piece.
Miss Florence Green was a kind, thoughtful, religiously devoted Head Mistress who desired to see that girls of all ages and backgrounds had the opportunity for an education and she fought to see that every student from the very first, to us all today, were able to achieve their goals and make the best of the opportunities they have. She often referenced a proverb, 'thoughts make actions, actions make habits, habits make character, character makes destiny' and since her role, we have had a plethora of girls who have gone on to embody the NEGS values in their journey to their destiny, from Olympians, to authors, to successful businesswomen.
In 1989, Caroline Sandilands, a student at the time, passed away and during her remembrance, Miss Green made note of Caroline’s contributions to the school. 'Character! The habits of thoroughness, of earnest work, of humility and enthusiasm, the lessons of method, of self-control, of responsibility to others.' And today, it seems appropriate to remember not only what we all should embody, but in particular what Olivia Rogers, a forever member of our Year 12 2023 cohort, also demonstrated everyday. As well as the ones I have already mentioned, here are a few more, as described by our year group. 'She was bubbly, genuine, kind-hearted, charismatic, hilarious, brave, determined, compassionate, honest, accepting, and so much more. Liv cannot be summed up in just a few words, but neither can anyone else.'
Miss Florence Green loved her school and her girls and it is because of her beliefs and values that we are all here today. So I invite you to consider two questions as we move forward in the year, questions that Miss Green asked her girls at the start of each term. The girls were able to use these questions to consider the legacy they wanted to leave behind and whilst I know some of you have just started, every step you take is a part of the path you leave behind. So take some time to think about these, 'Are we growing in grace and humility as we grow in years? Are we making any real progress along our journey?'
Ami Frost is the first recipient of the inaugural Olivia Rogers Memorial Prize, pictured below with Grace Rogers (Olivia's sister), Peta Rogers (Olivia's Mum), and NEGS Principal, Ms Liz van Genderen.
Week 2, Done and Dusted
The students have settled back into their routines nicely and the day-to-day operation of the school seems to be rolling along smoothly. My office has been a hive of activity as students are dropping in to see Mrs Nixon, to make sure their sport choices are sorted, and I am loving the level of politeness and positive attitude that they are displaying. Energy promotes energy and there is plenty of that about.
Congratulations to Sofia Havas and Heidi Zwiers for making the NSW and NSW Blue U15 Hockey sides, respectively. Both sides will contest the Nationals in Darwin.
I have had the privilege of sitting in on a few sessions of the Yr 11 leadership activities this past week. I would have to say that the energy has been present there as well, from charging around town on a scavenger hunt to going through obstacle courses blindfolded and busily making dinner for the year group. It has given each student the chance to lead their peers.
We will continue to encourage students to wear the uniform with pride.
There have been quite a few instances of not wearing belts or forgetting to replace multiple piercings with clears. Students are required to wear their blazers to Chapel and Assembly and, if the weather dictates, will be allowed to be removed once seated. I have also been visiting the bus stop of an afternoon and it is great to see our students with their blazers and hats on as they get on the bus.
I was reminded this week that no matter how old or experienced we are there are times when errors in judgement and mistakes are made. It is important that we do not let our mistakes define us but recognise the learning opportunity, that they offer. As we have celebrated Florence Green this week, we were reminded that NEGS is a place where our students can feel safe to make mistakes, test their boundaries and be confident that they will have an opportunity to learn from them.
Deputy Principal/Director of Sport and Activities
It was wonderful to see many of our Junior School families at the Welcome Back BBQ last week, followed by the Tea, Tears, and Tissues arrival for Junior parents and their children on the first day of Term One. Starting the school year is often filled with conflicting emotions for students and parents. The joy of returning to learning and our friends; seeing familiar faces and meeting new friends mixed with re-establishing morning routines and the tiredness of ‘getting back into it’ all contributes to the emotional rollercoaster.
It is important to start the year with a very clear vision for our school, students, and their learning journey. Recently, the staff have engaged in a number of workshops with the AIS, focused upon Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), with research showing ‘that SEL not only improves achievement, but it also increases prosocial behaviours such as kindness, sharing, and empathy, improves student attitudes toward school, and reduces mental health impacts.’ (Durlak et al., 2011).
Focusing on our core values, expectations and school culture is what sets our students up for success. Our values are the foundation of our school. These will be unpacked with our students over the coming weeks and through the year.
Our NEGS values
Integrity ⎮ Excellence ⎮Responsibility
‘Living into our values means that we do more than profess our values, we practice them. We walk our talk — we are clear about what we believe and hold important, and we take care that our intentions, words, thoughts, and behaviours align with those beliefs.’ Brene Brown
Meet and Greet Evening
Monday 13 February
We are offering the opportunity to meet in our Junior School to introduce the year to you all. Each family will have the chance to meet with their classroom teachers to gain oversight of the classroom structures and routines. The evening provides the opportunity to exchange information for the benefit of all; as such, it is an important occasion. Refreshments will be served on arrival in the playground, followed by a welcome from the principal before moving into individual classrooms.
Please stay in touch with your teachers and let us know how the year is unfolding for your child. Email is commonly the most efficient method of communication. However, we kindly ask for your understanding, as teachers cannot reply to emails while they are in class. During these times, their primary concern is teaching and learning. We ask you to send urgent messages through the NEGS School reception at email@example.com or on 6774 8700
Pre-K - Ms Rebecca Moore - firstname.lastname@example.org
Early Stage One Kindergarten - Mrs Catherine McCann - email@example.com
Stage One - Mrs Kate Moloney - firstname.lastname@example.org
Stage Two - Mrs Deanna Ford - email@example.com
Stage Three - Year 5 - Ms Lauren Czinner - firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 6 Mrs Heidi Dent - email@example.com
Mrs Victoria Packer (Tuesday) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Junior School Coordinator
Our Junior School Coordinator’s comments on starting the school year with a clear vision are most pertinent. In the academic space in 2023, we look to build upon our strengths in nurturing students towards lofty goals, supporting them to pursue such pathways, and developing our community and school as a learning community.
Our goal is to position NEGS as Australia’s leading regional school and learning community, by developing cultures of thinking within the Anglican ethos of holistic education.
There are many things to learn, and we should always strive to do so. Just today, I was taught by some students about the naming conventions of registered horses, which helped me understand why the irregular names we see at Melbourne Cup come to pass. This is a good example of a learning community - we all have something to offer: students, parents, and staff. We are better together.
In addition to the work the pastoral care team is undertaking in the well-being space, the school has commenced a range of stakeholder consultations and professional development practices geared towards our community’s development of a Teaching and Learning Framework - one that suits the unique context and opportunities afforded at NEGS.
Over the coming Semester, our learning community will be unpacking a full range of Learning Sciences research, considering how such evidence-based practice is already characterised in our culture and practices, and how we can build upon the strengths of our team and community to ensure that NEGS is a regional learning community of choice.
I look forward to sharing our journey with you as the year unfolds.
Director of Teaching and Learning
Hello, Boarding families,
It has been a lovely start to term 1, 2023.
Last weekend we had our closed weekend activities.
It commenced with Saturday's bus trip to Coffs Harbour Jetty. The weather was perfect, with sunshine and rolling waves. The older years enjoyed jumping off the jetty and swimming with the turtles.
Then we all headed into the mall for a shop before heading home.
On Sunday morning we enjoyed quiet time, then Yoga, Polaroid Transfers and Emulsion lifts into the afternoon.
Kiara Polmann, Year 5 and Zahile Cabot, Year 10 recount.
" Our first weekend back we got to experience a fun weekend in Coffs. We were able to do jetty jumping and some of us were even lucky enough to go swimming with a couple of sea turtles, After our exciting time at the beach we went shopping and got some delicious lunch"
Zahile Cabot, Year 10.
Both out-of-school sport and Friday NEGS sport has commenced this week. The girls have settled well and are very busy already.
Prep has commenced for all year groups. We encourage it by practising skills, working on projects and learning time management. Our House mothers are helping your daughters get organised and making it a positive experience.
Nearly everyone misses something about home when you're away. Some girls might feel more severely homesick than others. It is said to be completely normal and that our girls have a healthy attachment to loved ones. It may take a while to settle.
Encourage your daughters to be active, find a new favourite space, keep in touch with friends and family back home, and try writing down feelings in a gratitude journal.
As your daughters begin making friendships and reconnecting with old ones, clinical psychologist Kristna Morgan recommends to parents that if your child wants to make more friends, you may need to teach them some basic skills:
The boarding staff are incredibly proud of all the girls and excited about the week ahead.
Head of Boarding
We look forward to seeing you all at the Swimming Carnival on Tuesday, 14 February. Please see the Swimming Carnival Progam attached to the email.
Please see below the list of co-curricular activities on offer in Term 1.
Term 1 sporting activities:
Tuesday (Seniors) and Wednesday (Juniors) afternoons at PLC.
Tuesday mornings 7-8am. Ag plot courts.
Friday mornings 7-8am. Held at UNE.
Friday afternoons. Held at Rologas Fields.
Thursday afternoons. Held at The DEN, PLC or TAS.
Monday, Wednesday afternoons. Held in our MPC.
Saturday mornings, held at UNE.
We will have several clubs starting in week 3:
Director of Sport and Activities/Deputy Principal
Important Upcoming Events
Junior School Meet and Greet
The Junior School Meet and Greet provides an opportunity for parents and teachers to connect and build a relationship to foster and support the child's growth, education and development.
We hope to see at least one representative of each family attend.
On Monday 13 February, we are holding our first Academic Assembly of 2023, to recognise and celebrate the Academic achievements of Semester 2, 2022. Parents whose daughter is receiving an award have been informed, but all parents are warmly invited to attend both the Assembly and the Afternoon Tea following.
Please RSVP here for catering purposes.
On Tuesday, 14 February, we are holding the annual Swimming Carnival.
All parents are welcome to join us at the local Armidale pool, as this is always a fantastic day of fun and laughter.
Year 12 students will be holding a Valentine's Day themed Bake Sale.
We welcome parents to support Year 12 in any way possible, be it by purchasing a sweet treat, leaving a small donation, or dropping off a tray of baked goods.
We have a number of new teachers that we wish to introduce the NEGS Community to.
Mrs Kate Moloney
Hello, my name is Kate Moloney, and I am extremely excited to join the NEGS community. When I am not teaching, you can find me taking my Golden Retriever George for a walk, camping or spending time with family and friends. I love sports, especially Netball and Tennis. I look forward to meeting all students and families. I join the NEGS team as the Year 1 and 2 Teacher.
Mr Jake Rayner
Hello NEGS, my name is Jake Rayner, and I am ecstatic about joining the NEGS community as a teacher. I completed my Bachelor of Education at Southern Cross University Lismore. I look forward to encouraging and supporting the students of NEGS, throughout their High School years. I look forward to engaging with the students through classroom activities and a wide range of co-curricular activities available. I have a personal interest in a wide range of sporting activities, such as Rugby Union and Soccer. I have joined the NEGS team as a Science Teacher.
Mrs Sarah Adeney
Hello, I’m Sarah Adeney. I have been teaching Armidale students across the vocal and string departments for the past 3 years, and I am delighted to be expanding my focus towards a classroom focus this year at NEGS Junior School.
I have studied across a wide range of areas, and will be bringing a fresh approach to the choral, strings, and classroom music programs. I believe that music should be fun, accessible, and relatable for all, and am looking forward to getting to know the Junior School students from Pre-K and upwards. As a musician, I am well established within the Armidale region as a classical singer and have many years of experience performing, playing in orchestras, and sharing the love of music. I am looking forward to working with everyone this year.
Mrs Donna Cervantes
Hello NEGS community, I am Donna Cervantes. I trained at Otago Uni/TAFE in Art Outdoor Education (P.E.) plus Art and took on further study at the National Outdoor Centre UK. I then worked in Outdoor Centres in the UK for 2 seasons, plus teaching skiing in Austria.
I have taught art in Queensland, Westen Australia, and the UK, in all levels, and after doing my Outdoor Recreation Management qualifications at TAFE Australia, I worked in Nambucca Heads New South Wales, and in Western Australia, as well taught as art in Thailand (in the city of Koh Samoi). I have run a business; my house as a Holiday House in Maleny, plus a cottage in Queensland, and have a Probiotics business at the markets. I am an Artist in Sculpture, textiles, painting, and woodwork. I now look forward to teaching at NEGS as I love working in the art space and giving back to the community.
NEGS Founder's Day
On Tuesday, 7 February, we celebrated Founder's Day. We are grateful for her vision, passion, belief in education, and dedication in the founding of our school.
I am excited to be the President of the NEGS P and F for 2023. It has been my family’s privilege to be part of the NEGS community for the last 4 years. My daughter, Abbie, is in Year 6 and my son Austin is in Year 4. I’d like to extend a warm welcome to all our new families who have joined us this year. We are fortunate at NEGS to have many diverse families from around our country. Being a part of the P and F activities has been a rewarding experience, giving me the opportunity to meet many wonderful people in our NEGS community.
We held our first P and F meeting this week, it was wonderful to have so many parents both in the room and on Zoom, and particularly lovely to welcome so many new parents. It was a very productive meeting, and we are excited about the plans we are putting in place for 2023. There will be plenty of opportunities for us to get together, socialise and enjoy being part of this special community with our children. So, stay tuned and watch the space in our next newsletter.
I look forward to meeting you over the coming weeks and welcoming you to NEGS.
Dr Fiona Macarthur
NEGS P and F President
Please click the button below to access the NEGS Careers Newsletter, Term 1 Week 2