|12 Aug 2022|
What do you think success is?
One of the highlights of my year has been reading pages from Charlie Mackesy’s 'The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse' to our K-6 students on assembly.
I was reminded of some of the themes of this book on a recent hike to Cathedral Rock with our Year 11 girls. The picture below depicts the girls on the pinnacle. These students all rose to the challenge, although some had to overcome self-doubts and fear. For me, not reaching the top was particularly disappointing as I set out determined to complete the climb. The experience led me to ask myself:
Did I succeed or did I fail?
Did I develop a greater understanding of self?
Did I judge myself as a leader?
In essence, of course, I wished I had listened less to my fears; that I could have embraced the wild, the scenery and celebrated the freedom of the adventure.
However, was I courageous? Experience has shown me that one’s achievements will be seriously limited without courage. The hard bit of leadership is judging yourself and this is something that is important for our present and future leaders to understand.
What do you think success is?
Imagine how we would be if we were less afraid.
On Monday, we welcome Mr Mark Gordon to the Music team. He will be actively involved with the Junior and Senior students. Mark is an extremely passionate musician with a diverse teaching background in schools and as a producer. His musical career began in 1975 and has been focused on percussion and vocals. He studied drumming at the famous Billy Hyde’s Drum Craft in Sydney. He completed a degree at Southern Cross University, majoring in drumming and music theory. Mark has toured Australia as a drummer with artists including Tod Hunter (of Dragon fame) and Ray van Derby (Blackfeather and Deni Hines). In the 1990’s, he opened a music school in the Northern Rivers and continued his musical education at UNE. Mark brings a conviction that playing and learning music should be fun.
I would like to remind our 15-19-year-old students of the importance of completing the Mission Australia Youth Survey 2022. The survey aims to identify the values and concerns of young people. It closes 31 August. Be sure to have your say!
Liz van Genderen
Last newsletter I started with the quote:
“The standard you walk past is the standard that you accept”.
I was able to speak to the students about this at Monday’s assembly in terms of, it is each one of us that bears the responsibility to set and maintain the standards of NEGS. Whether it be uniform, behaviour, commitment to academics and sport, or just being active in maintaining positive relationships, we all have a role to play.
This led to another important skill that needs to be nurtured and developed. That skill is the ability to be ‘comfortable in the uncomfortable’. It is never easy to be the one who pulls another up for actions that are not appropriate, especially if that person is a close friend. Human nature would dictate that to challenge someone that is not close to us, is far easier than those who are in our inner circle. However, those in our inner circle are those to whom we have the most influence.
So, my message is clear, make a choice, be courageous and embrace the concept that we all have a shared responsibility. Learn to be ‘comfortable in the uncomfortable’, stand up for the NEGS way and build a positive future for our school.
Acting Deputy Principal / Director of Sport and Activities
The school continues to forge ahead through our winter sport commitments, and after playing several mid-week catch-up games we will fall into a calmer routine.
IPSHA and IGSA Athletics are approaching fast as we prepare to join our cross-town neighbours, PLC, on the bus down the hill. First off will be the Senior School athletes competing on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 August, followed by the Junior School Athletes on Monday 29 August. An early thanks to staff that will assist in the organisation and supervision of this trip.
A big congratulations to our Captain of Equestrian, Charlotte Jacobson. Charlotte has been bestowed the honour of being named Co-Captain of the NSW Equestrian Interschools Team. This is a magnificent achievement and reward for her years of dedication to Equestrian pursuits whilst here at NEGS and beyond.
I spoke to the school at Monday’s Assembly with regards to participating, as a whole school event, in the 19 for Nineteen charity walk which takes place here in Armidale on 16 October (I have included the flyer). This will be a great opportunity for NEGS to champion a wonderful cause and support our local community, all while building a strong school spirit.
Director of Sport and Activties/ Acting Deputy Principal
This week our Co-Curricular activities recommenced. It is wonderful to see our students engaged in creative and critical thinking activities. Within the STEM afternoon, students are working with our codables and 3D printer. Advanced Creative Club are designing and making outdoor games for our playground and our Junior Creative Club are working with clay.
Beginning the school day with enough time to settle in and connect with friends is an important part of preparing for classroom learning. Studies have also revealed that regular physical exercise during the morning break improves some basic academic and cognitive functions. Exercise boosts your child's mood, increases blood flow to the brain, and improves focus. When this is done in the morning, you're setting your kids up for a full day of success. With this in mind, parents are reminded that playground supervision starts at 8.20am with morning fitness commencing at 8.45am.
The Armidale winter can feel long and very cold. The numerous layers to our uniform ensure that our students are well prepared for the outdoor elements. This term, we are continuing to focus on ensuring that all students wear the correct uniform with pride in themselves, and their role as a member of the NEGS community. Below is an outline of our winter uniform requirements. Please seek clarification from your child’s classroom teacher or our NEGS uniform shop if unsure of any uniform requirements.
PE and Sport Uniform:
In Week 5, the Junior School will be marking National Science Week, Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology. ‘Glass: More than meets the Eye’ is the school theme for 2022, which reflects the United Nations International Year of Glass. As part of this focus, each class will conduct hands-on science investigations in their weekly science lessons. Our Year 6 peer leaders will also be showcasing some interesting science experiments during lunchtime across the week to peak students’ interest in all things science and technology.
Our theme this year is ‘Dreaming with Eyes Open’ and as such, we will be holding a Pyjama Day to celebrate. Students are asked to wear warm, appropriate pyjamas with enclosed, soled shoes to ensure feet stay warm and dry throughout the day. The Book Week activities start early with a Scholastic Book Fair being held in the library. Students will have the opportunity to preview the Fair on Friday of Week 5, 19 August, with purchases being made online or at school (in cash) from Monday through to Friday (22-26 August). Please feel free to view the Fair with your child after school on Monday-Thursday from 3.30-4.30pm. Students may purchase from the Fair during Library lessons, before school (starting at 8.15am) or at lunch. The commission we receive from this Fair is used to buy new books for the NEGS Library.
The culmination of the festivities and pyjama party will occur on Tuesday 23 August. Students in the Junior School will participate in dreaming-themed activities in the library between recess and lunch.
What you need to do as a parent or caregiver:
Roald Dahl Day
NEGS Junior School will be participating in Roald Dahl Day on 13 September (Tuesday Week 9). We will be celebrating our favourite Roald Dahl characters, stories and moments, engaging in some exciting activities based on his well-loved books and poems. Students will be invited to come dressed as their favourite Roald Dahl character, and enjoy some fabulous activities that will see us dive into Roald Dahl’s world of creativity, humour and nonsense!
Your recent support of the Year 6 Pie Drive was greatly appreciated. These funds go towards a gift to the Junior School from our 2022 Year 6 student body. Throughout the remainder of this term and Term 4, our Year 6 students will run a small number of additional fundraising events to support this initiative.
Junior School Coordinator
Last term in Science, Year 5 focused on the growth and survival of living things, and how their adaptations over time suit their environment. They were introduced to the concepts of adaptation, evolution and genetic mutation, whilst exploring structural, behavioural and physiological adaptations of plants and animals. Students were then given the task to apply their knowledge of adaptation to design and build a shelter for a human to survive in/adapt to a specific environment. They worked so hard on this task and the results were amazing. Well done Year 5.
Year 5 Teacher
We have some exciting activities taking place in the NEGS Library this term to coincide with Book Week. The theme this year for Book Week is ‘Dreaming with eyes open’.
We have appropriately decorated the library with dreamcatchers, designed and made by our year 7 & 8 Tech classes last term. Book Week is part of the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) and celebrates children's literature and promotes reading for younger students. We have also acquired the books shortlisted by the CBCA this year to add to our library collection.
Our Junior School years have been enjoying viewing these books and completing accompanying activities during RFF. Last week, Junior School students read Winston and the Indoor Cat and then they went on to paint some cats of their own, as featured below. These pictures have since been hung in the library. We will have more information about our upcoming Scholastic Book Fair in the next few weeks. I look forward to working with our younger years this term and continuing to foster their learning and creativity.
Highlights in the coming weeks are a picnic at Wollomombi Falls followed by a bush walk, and a visit to the Tamworth Show. Permission notes will be sent out soon for the Tamworth Show. Please ensure these permissions are returned promptly as I will need to organise a coach to transfer the girls.
Last weekend, White House girls enjoyed preparing a grazing board, and eating the finished product. The girls all provided something to add to the feast. They have also baked cookies in recent times with the staff. Most girls participate in some kind of sporting activity on the weekends, whether it is riding or one of the many sports played here such as rugby, hockey and netball. Consider discussing with your daughter her signing up for a sport if she isn't already involved as a busy boarder is a happy boarder.
Kirkwood girls enjoyed a movie night last weekend.
Saumarez boarders are busy preparing for, and participating in exams. Some Year 12s are enjoying their free time having lunch downtown. Many are busy studying and enjoying being able to relax in Saumarez House in between exams.
Miss Walker has offered some of her spare time to assist boarders during Prep. This is greatly appreciated, particularly with the older girls having the pressure of exams upon them.
We seem to be avoiding COVID-19 and the colds and flus around at the moment. Overall, the health of the girls this term has been excellent. Hopefully, we will continue with this.
Head of Boarding
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