We are all ‘works in progress...’

...look what happened at Year 7 Prep (Monday night) ...thunder, heavy rain...then ‘can we please go out in the rain?’ (...such a short-lived experience...!)

We are all 'works in progress...'

  • ­‘Eureka moments are not lightning bolts from the blue, but tidal waves that erupt following deep immersion in an area of expertise.’
  • ‘Once the opportunity for (purposeful) practice is in place, the prospects of high achievement take off...’
  • ‘Federer’s motor programmes are so deeply ingrained that if you were to ask him how he is able to play an immaculately timed forehand, he wouldn’t be able to tell you… [He has] practised for so long that the movement has been encoded in implicit rather than explicit memory. This is what psychologists call expert-induced amnesia.’

End of Year Reports...measuring and reporting on endeavour, progress and achievement
This week I share the above quotes from a recent lecture by Matthew Syed (former UK Olympian and The Times journalist, author of Bounce - 2011) because they resonate with what we consider core – effective work habits developed and practised by students of all abilities – so that they can flourish.

At this time of year, midst final preparation of student Reports, there is intense review by teachers of individual student progress and achievement – in and beyond class - and we are keen that the ‘reporting’ opens rather than closes down conversation.

Our goal is to provide meaningful data and commentary, including constructive guidance about next steps for student focus and teacher direction. Key principles that guide Frensham Schools reporting include:

  • Reports are one part of our approach to communication about student progress, effort and involvement.
  • Discussion with parents and with students about student application, progress and involvement, is ongoing
  • ­Reports should highlight improvement in standards and approach and areas for essential change; they are not a vehicle for noting stored or past concerns.
  • Reports should not feel like the ‘end’; there should be a clear sense of the learning continuum; we are all ‘works in progress...’
  • Student reflection on their achievements and improvement is an essential element of the Report.
  • What we report and who is involved in reporting reflect what we care about as a School.

Implemented this year:

  • ­Continuous reporting for Years 11 and 12 – with results in assessed tasks and examinations published as soon as they had been advised to students (this was in addition to semester reports)
  • Digital access to reports – (Years Kindergarten to Year 12)
  • A project to upgrade our teacher access to data that informs student progress, achievement and contribution

In 2020:

  • ­Continuous reporting will be in place for all of Years 7-12 in addition to semester reports.
  • For Gib Gate, where reporting was transformed quite recently, we will review with parents the current content, format and access to information.

Reflecting on our shared goals when building student capacity, Dr Ruth Phillips recently shared her Quote for the Dayby Edward Hallowell, 2005:

‘I have learned first and foremost to look for interest, talents, strengths, shadows of strengths, or, the mere suggestion of a talent.
Knowing that a person builds a happy and successful life not on remediated weaknesses but on developed strengths,
I have learned to place those strengths at the top of what matters.’

* * *

Acknowledgement to:

  • The first group of students whose photographs were selected for exhibition in Cooper Hall from this week, as part of a new ‘annual’ Student Photography Exhibition: Charlotte Dulhunty, Pip Ireson, Sophie Lyne, Mairi Menzies, Gracie Phelan (Year 12); Ella Clark, Eliza Friend (Year 10); Scarlett Alldis (Year 8)
  • Sophie Mortlock (Year 7) for her recent scholarship awards: (i) The Local Sporting Champion Grant (Sport Australia) and (ii) Individual Athlete Programme selection (South East Sports Academy) - further sports development support;
  • Year 11 riders, Emily Baldwin (4th) and Sophie Hatch (10th) for their top ten placings in the Australian Jumping Championships - Junior Title;
  • Emily Webb (Year 10) and Zoe Gallagher (Year 9) for their selection to attend the UWOL Gifted and Talented programme in January 2020;
  • Sturt School for Wood Graduates on their completion of the fulltime course for 2019 and on their Exhibition of fine furniture - ‘Twelve’ - in Sturt Gallery, opened Saturday 23 November, as part of the Graduation Ceremony;
  • Retiring Chairs of our Parents Advisory Committees – Ms Jo Thomson (Frensham) and Mr David Griffin (Gib Gate) and retiring Secretary Mrs Nic Robertson (Frensham), for their leadership and support of the School. [We will publish the full information re retiring members, with details of the 2020 Committees, at the end of the term.]

End of Year - Farewells
The end of year raises all kinds of emotions – from the obvious excitement about the imminent break for vacation – to the sense of loss as we farewell senior students (Year 6 and Year 12). In the presence of parents and students next week, we will also offer our thanks to three staff retiring at the end of the year and one colleague who has been granted one year’s Leave:

  1. Mrs Susan Skehan RN, part-time nurse in the Health Centre
  2. Ms Jennie Mickle (Director of English and a member of the Studies team). Beyond English, Ms Mickle has been involved in particular in whole-school consideration of curriculum innovation, including review of the proposals for delivery of the Cambridge AS General English Paper and the Academic Writing Project
  3. Frensham Executive Staff Member: as noted in the last Newsletter, we also farewell after 41 years’ service to the School, Mrs Ros Buick (Director of Events and Planning)...(for whom we have some special moments planned...)
  4. Miss May Wong (Innovation in Mathematics and Overseas Partnerships) will be on Leave for all of 2020. Most recently Miss Wong led our hosting of delegations from China and Singapore and, in Mathematics, she has completed action research that also contributed to her completion of post-graduate studies: MEd (Assessment and Evaluation) with Excellence (UNSW).

End of Year Events

For Gib Gate and Frensham families and for all connected to Sturt, we hope that end-of-year event details are now with you, so that there is clarity around how we hope you will be involved in our major Services and Celebrations. Please let us know if you are not sure, or ask students to confirm details for you...assisting you to know ‘where to be, when’...

Gib Gate

  • Friday 29 November: 6.00pm-8.00pm Year 6 Dinner - For parents and students (Gib Gate Hall)
  • Monday 2 December: 5.30pm-7.00pm Years 5 and 6 Social (Gib Gate Hall)
  • Tuesday 3 December: 10.00am-11.00am Preschool Christmas Concert and Morning Tea (Preschool); 6.00pm-7.00pm Gib Gate Carols (Kindergarten - Year 6) (Clubbe Hall)
  • Wednesday 4 December: 10.00am-12.00pm Matinée Performance - Fiddler on the Roof, Clubbe Hall (Years 3 - 6)
  • Thursday 5 December: 10.00am-11.00am Preschool Christmas Concert and Morning Tea (Preschool)
  • Friday 6 December: 3.00pm Term 4 Ends


  • Friday 6 December: 7.30pm-10.00pm Fiddler on the Roof (Public Performance), purchase tickets at the door
  • Saturday 7 December: 11.00am-1.00pm Frensham Parents vs Daughters Games, Year Group Picnics (Games Field); 2.30pm Final Prayers (Doors Open 1.30pm); 7.30pm-10.00pm Fiddler on the Roof (School Performance), purchase tickets at the door
  • Sunday 8 December: 11.00am-12.00pm Carol Service (Doors Open 10.00am). Term 4 ends

Julie Gillick
Head of Frensham

Head of Frensham Schools