|10 Mar 2023|
NEGS News - Term 1 Week 6
We have had a busy 2 weeks which has included:
Today as part of my speech for Open Day I outlined the uniqueness of NEGS with our coeducational Junior School and the benefits our younger students gain learning with both genders in their critical formative years. As we celebrated International Women's Day I thought it appropriate to focus on the benefits of our senior girls attending girls’ schools.
A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Why girls’ schools succeed at producing women who lead, drew attention to the record number of female MPs elected to the new Federal Parliament in 2022. It noted that 5 of the 8 newly elected independent MPs were graduates of girls’ schools. As only 2 percent of Australian schools are girls’ schools, there appears to be something inherent to the girls’ school environment that better prepares women to reach high-level leadership positions.
Loren Bridge, the author of the article, drew on a recent research study Hands up for Gender Equality conducted by The University of Queensland Business School, in cooperation with the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia.
She suggests that girls’ schools remove some of the obstacles that can limit opportunities for women. They intentionally teach their students how to overcome social and cultural gender biases. They identify and challenge gender stereotypes and encourage girls to realise that their gender neither defines them nor limits their pathways.
Women’s lack of confidence is often used to explain the male domination of senior leadership roles in Australia. The UQ research found that confidence levels for girls in single-sex schools match that of boys, while girls in the general population consistently demonstrate lower confidence levels than boys. Girls are not born less confident or assertive than boys, but many are taught to believe this. Girls’ schools provide environments in which girls can develop and maintain their innate confidence and grow a healthy self-belief.
Girls’ schools provide greater opportunities for leadership, as all positions are filled by female students. Bridge also highlights the ‘power of mentoring and role modelling provided by past students’ and that, ‘the predominantly female leadership of girls’ schools, provides girls with leadership development opportunities beyond those available in co-ed schools. With no requirement to cater to boys, girls’ schools balance the inequality in broader society through purposeful, targeted education.’
‘Girls in co-ed schools tend to be more self-conscious and less confident; they are less likely to speak up in class, ask questions or take on a leadership role. They are also more likely to have a negative body image and considerably more likely to experience sexual harassment or bullying. In contrast, girls in girls-only environments participate more freely in discussions, are more competitive and take more healthy risks with their learning — skills that are advantageous for life success.’
This UQ study provided some interesting key findings and some recommendations for parents and schools. I will summarise these in future newsletters.
Liz van Genderen
Last newsletter I wrote about excellence being a choice.
When I visited the Armidale show to look at our riders and Livestock team, I was encouraged to see our students representing themselves and the school proudly and with enthusiasm. They had all worked hard to be ready for that weekend, and some, like the Livestock team, were at the very start of their preparation. Over the weekend, there were some great results, but not all were champions, and not all were placegetters……. does that mean that they were not choosing to be excellent?
The graphic below looks at the differences between perfection and excellence, and nowhere does it mention that to be excellent, you have to be the winner.
Thank you to all that competed under the NEGS banner, and congratulations for 'Choosing Excellence'.
Deputy Principal / Director of Sports and Activities
Promoting Investigation and Curiosity for Life long Learning
We frequently find a permission slip (or Google form) or notification of forthcoming activities, such as incursions and excursions, from your child's teacher waiting for us when we check our emails. So what is their educational value?
Yes, students love venturing outside of the classroom, and while excursions require a great deal of preparation and work from our teachers, the benefits are numerous and something that students will remember for a very long time.
When adding these into our term calendar, it is important to consider the ‘Why?’
These activities provide another dimension to class-based learning and help to reinforce what has been taught in the classroom. Students are excited, engaged and energised. Excursions help students retain the information they have learnt, applying their skills in new and varied situations.
They create an opportunity to understand and see new things in a less structured environment, with a differentiated approach to cater for varied learning styles - student learning can be hands-on or interest-driven, allowing for interactions with an expert in their field.
Exposure to new experiences; taking their learning outside of their comfort zone, moving beyond the classroom, students are presented with the opportunity to observe first-hand, real-world examples linked to their in-class investigations.
Social skills - These experiences require students to spend time in small groups, collaboratively observing, chatting and discovering new information.
Recently, our Stage Three and Stage One students attended community-based activities to extend their knowledge. Year 5 and 6 students participated in the UNE Science Day. This Science and Engineering Challenge is a day-long competition, designed to provide our students with a positive science and engineering experience, whilst competing against other local schools in a fun and interactive environment.
This week our Stage One class ventured to Thalgarrah Education Centre to study Features of Places. Directly linked to the Geography syllabus, students considered how the dam and Gara River at Thalgarrah are used and cared for.
As a whole school, Pre-K to Year 6 has also enjoyed a visit from Healthy Harold and the Life Education van. This empowering program promotes students' physical, social and emotional health and well-being. Here, our students covered important issues in an integrated way.
In Week Nine, Kindergarten to Year 6 students will participate in an incursion about being Safe on Social. A parent session will be held at 6pm.
In Week Six of next term, Years 3 - 6 students will visit the Great Aussie Bush Camp, leaving Wednesday and returning Friday.
Finally, I would like to congratulate all of the students who have participated in events outside of school with the many competitions, shows and carnivals taking place.
Junior School Coordinator
As we hurdle over the mid-term hump, we find boarding houses start to resemble track events. With the sprint, middle distance, hurdles and the steeplechase.
Our EC girls have been exceptionally busy with eventing weekends and Cattle Club commitments. Congratulations to all.
Master Chef cooking classes with house mothers versus girls. Oreo cheesecake, sushi and pig on a blanket.
On Saturday afternoon, the Armidale show provided a lovely experience with horses, fairy floss and carnival rides that kept everyone smiling.
Head of Boarding
Sport and Co-curricular has continued to be very busy as we approach the end of Term 1. Winter sporting teams are currently being organised and registration information will be available in the coming weeks.
It is important that all students continue to be dedicated to their activities by turning up each week. If they are unable to attend any of their activities, it is imperative that they notify their managing teacher or Mrs Nixon to receive approval for their absence. As sport is compulsory for our senior students, detentions will now be served on a Wednesday afternoon for any student who does not seek prior approval. Many teams have had to play short due to students lack of commitment.
It is wonderful to hear that many of our students are striving to reach their full potential in their chosen sport and are participating in many representative trials over the weekend and next week. Good luck to all students who are participating and we hope that you are successful in your trials.
The IGSA Swimming team will be competing in Sydney on Friday 17 March at SOPAC. We wish this team all the best in their events and look forward to sharing their results next newsletter.
Congratulations to Adelaide Scanlon-Dawson for her efforts at the IPSHA Swimming Carnival held at SOPCA on 1 March. She swam a great time in the 50m Backstroke and managed to break her personal best in her 50m Freestyle event. After all the hard training, seeing our students achieve their goals is wonderful.
NEGS had the wonderful opportunity of hosting a women’s AFL Come and Try clinic on Friday, 10 March. Alice Mitchell, an AFLW player from Sydney Swans, along with Khobi Devine, AFL Development Lead for Northern NSW, visited to inspire our NEGS students and girls from the community in the sport of AFL and how women especially can become involved and successful in this great game.
Director of Sport and Activities
Sport and Activities Coordinator
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.
NEGS P and F President
On behalf of NEGS Teachers:
We want to thank P and F for their continued support. At the end of last year, as with tradition, the P and F asked the teaching staff to submit their wishlist to enhance curriculum delivery and NEGS students' engagement.
Thank you! The following items were approved and will be bought for use in 2023.
P and F Meeting
Tuesday 4 April, NEGS P and F will be holding their final meeting for Term 1, from 4.30pm in the WH Lee Room, or via Zoom. All parents are welcome to attend.