Adaptability, agility and patience

The delivery of this edition of the Frensham Schools Newsletter was hampered last week by a prolonged internet outage, and we thank all staff, students and families for their patience for the delay. Whilst not ideal for anyone, this experience prompted us here on campus to work differently, to adapt to the situation in which we suddenly found ourselves in on Wednesday morning, and to exercise those agility muscles in determining ‘workarounds’ to keep our teaching and learning happening as smoothly as possible.

Welcome back Year 12!


Over the past month in particular these muscles have had quite a workout for the team at Frensham Schools, and our community, as return dates for schools and statewide restrictions have changed at a rapid rate. It was wonderful to welcome back our Year 12 students to face-to-face teaching this morning, with a celebratory “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” at morning tea to reconnect with each other after last term’s absence. Year 12 will be continuing with their workshop programme with their teachers over the coming weeks before their Stu-Vac study period prior to the commencement of the HSC. Kindy and Year 1 joined their Preschool peers.

Welcome back Kindergarten & Year 1


We are also looking forward to welcoming back students in remaining year levels to face-to-face learning on Monday 25 October. Our campus arrangements will necessarily be a little different for students and staff, but after such a prolonged absence it will be wonderful to be back in person – physically distanced but socially reconnected. Our focus upon students’ return will be on supporting them in the adjustment they will be making – emerging from dining rooms and bedrooms and the online learning realm and returning to life on campus. There will be a range of emotions your children are feeling about this transition process, and each young person copes with change and transitions in a different way. We encourage families to talk openly with your child about their strengths, interests and challenges, and to contact the school to discuss any additional supports your child may require in this process.

Tiny Habits Parent Seminar

Frensham Parent Seminar, Tiny Habits – Developing the habits for independent learning and beyond

We were pleased to welcome many parents to our recent parent seminar, delivered by our Academic in Residence, Dr Ruth Phillips. For those who were unable to join us or those who would like to review the topic discussed, we have included a link to a recording of the meeting: Frensham Tiny Habits - Developing the habits for independent learning and beyond

Access Passcode: Frensham-2021

2022 Term Dates

For planning, please note that 2022 Term Dates below and these can also be found on the website via the link: 2022 Term Dates

Term 1 – Gib Gate & Frensham*
Monday 31 January - Thursday 7 April, 3.00pm

Term 2 – Gib Gate & Frensham*
Wednesday 27 April - Thursday 23 June, 3.00pm
Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend – Departure: Thursday 9 June, 3.00pm – all students

Term 3 – Gib Gate & Frensham*
Monday 18 July - Thursday 22 September, 3.00pm

Term 4 – Gib Gate & Frensham*
Gib Gate: Tuesday 11 October - Friday 9 December
Frensham: Tuesday 11 October - Sunday 11 December 12.00pm (after 11.00am Carol Service)

*Boarders always return evening before classes start

2022 Parents Weekend 

Confirmed dates for attendance of all students Years 7-12

Term 1
Year 7: Saturday 26 - Sunday 27 February; Frensham Open Day – Saturday 26 February
Year 10: Saturday 19 March - Sunday 20 March

Term 2
Year 8: Saturday 14 May - Sunday 15 May
Year 12: Saturday 4 June - Sunday 5 June
Frensham Schools Birthday: Friday 3 June
Frensham’s 109th Birthday: Sunday 5 June

Term 3
Year 11:
Saturday 6 August - Sunday 7 August
[Saturday 6 August: Year 10 planning for Senior Studies (with parents on Saturday)]
Year 9: Saturday 27 August - Sunday 28 August 

Reminder: all of Years 7-12 attend Open Day and attend all Parent Weekend Services

Message from Berrima Buslines regarding updating Student Details for Bus Pass Applications
Please note: Transport NSW has updated it site for School Bus Pass Applications and Updates. The portal will be open from mid-October for 2022. Changes to student address details can now be made via this link:

Parents are asked to update details during Term 4, in preparation for the start of Term 1, 2022.



Shelfies – Girls sharing their love of books and reading

In Term 3, we asked students to upload a “shelfie” to their School Box English page. This is a picture of themselves with a book they love in front of a bookshelf. They were asked to write an accompanying explanation as to why they enjoyed that book so much. 

Some student samples include:

  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is my favourite book because it is a beautiful love story that explores many themes like love, fatal flaws, war and harsh truths. It reflects me as a reader because concepts like the ones above are my favourites to discuss. I'm a Greek mythology nerd and the two main protagonists have very in-depth personalities which is what I read books for.
  • David Attenborough’s Adventures of A Young Naturalist, I like this book because it recounts incredible stories from David Attenborough’s many years studying wildlife and the natural world. It reflects my interest in the environment and my enjoyment of personal recounts and autobiographies. I enjoyed the phrase “we need to move beyond guilt and blame, and get on with the practical tasks at hand”.
  • The Places We Swim by Caroline Clements and Dillon Seitchik-Reardon. I love this book because I am a lover of all things beachy, this book shows the reader some of Australia's greatest swimming spots. It gives me something to look forward to after lockdown and the images are photographed so well. I love sitting on my front balcony and reading over the descriptions again and again, making up a little road trip in my head.
  • I like the Percy Jackson series, by Rick Riordan, because it is filled with action and adventure and sarcasm with mystery and light-hearted romance. It has characters with actual depth and morals. It brings in Greek mythology while making it entertaining. This series has an excellent story and is not rushed in the slightest! 
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is about two young lovers who are able to make illusions. Their fate is to duel each other to death because of a 'game' that their caretakers have organised. I like this book because I can relate to Marco's personality. Also, I enjoy historical fiction; especially since this is set in late 19th Century London. I also heavily admire Erin Morgenstern's writing style and the effective use of third person. 

AHIGS Festival of Speech 

The Festival of Speech (then known as the Independent Girls Schools Speaking Competition) was first held in NSW in 1996. The inaugural Festival, spanning Friday evening and all-day Saturday, was hosted by Kincoppal, Rose Bay, and attended by 15 schools. Frensham was one of the earliest participants.

Today the Festival continues to be hosted annually by an AHIGS members’ school. Some 27 schools now participate, and students have the opportunity to perform in the areas of drama, debating, poetry, prose readings, current affairs and religious and ethical questions. The Festival is open to girls from Years 7 to 11 and offers an important focal point for skill development, personal expression, teamwork and friendship.

Continuing Frensham’s involvement in the competition, the English and Drama Faculties have been preparing the girls for the 2021 Virtual Competition which was hosted by Pymble Ladies College on the 15 and 16 October. Heidi Jervis is congratulated on her achievement of progressing to the top 10 finals for Senior Public Speaking.

This year’s participants: 


  • Senior Poetry: Sarah-Joy Day (Year 10). Coach: Ms Shannon
  • Senior Public Speaking: Heidi Jervis (Year 10). Coach: Mrs Metua
  • Religious and Ethical Questions: Yusra Chalak, Eliza Hewson (Year 11), Evelyn Doan (Year 10). Coach: Mrs Dalleywater
  • Debating: Bella Cay, Clara McDonald, Bea McDonald, Rosie Mahony (reserve) (Year 10). Coach: Ms Scotting


  • Junior Public Speaking: Elizabeth Laverty (Year 8). Coach: Ms Arnold
  • Junior Reading: Alice Fergusson (Year 9). Coach: Ms McGuinness
  • Junior Poetry: Katherine Clifton (Year 9). Coach: Ms Shannon

Ms Lee McGuinness, Head of English


Year 7 Science classes are continuing their study of the Life topic. From a study of classification systems and scientific names to cells and the organisation of multicellular organisms, students are introduced to the basics of the study of Biology. Their assessment task this term involves researching an Australian native animal and creating a poster using Canva or cardboard.

Year 8 students have just started the Living Sustainably unit and are discovering the different ways we currently produce energy and renewable resource technologies being developed, such as biofuels. They are going to apply this knowledge in a task where Grand Designs meets Greta Thunberg by creating their own sustainable house with architectural and design features that satisfy a sustainable development goal of their choosing. 

Year 9 students have started studying Communication, a topic about waves, the electromagnetic spectrum, light and sound. So far, they have modelled the two different types of waves and can calculate the speed of a wave using the wave equation. They will move on to investigating how scientists utilise the properties of the waves of the electromagnetic spectrum to development new technologies, which change the way we are able to communicate information. These technologies including satellites, mobile phones and the internet have had a major impact on our daily lives.

Year 10 classes are nearing the end of their final module. Each class has rotated through a Biology, Chemistry and Physics unit to help them make better informed decisions about their subject choices in Years 11 and 12. The Chemistry class has been focusing on the products of common chemical reactions. By studying these chemical reactions and the compounds formed, scientists can provide practical applications in rust prevention, combustion, precipitation, and decomposition reactions.

Year 12 2021 classes have been participating in seminars to revise different aspects of their HSC courses. Our Biologists have had a presentation on Gel Electrophoresis and its applications by Jeannette Tran from STEM Reactor. Dr Jeanette Hurst, academic and specialist Chemistry tutor, delivered a lecture to Year 12 Chemistry students on the analysis of organic compounds using the techniques of Mass Spectroscopy, Infra-Red Spectroscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. A key component of the HSC course.

Mrs Alison Andrew, Head of Science


The recording of AMEB video repertoire examinations continue with recorded accompaniment parts at student homes, in conjunction with detailed guidance from their tutors. Some students recorded their examinations in the vacation, these were reviewed and submitted. Accompaniment tracks have been sourced and recorded for this to occur. 

25 further AMEB practical examinations have now been enrolled, which will allow students to record until the end of October, when the 2021 examining year finishes. Frensham has flute, horn, piano, saxophone and violin entries. Nine AMEB practical, and 7 Musicianship examinations have already been submitted this year, and at least seven Musicianship examinations are still to be completed. 

Resilience and determination have been demonstrated by tutors and students alike to reach this point, along with a notable amount of practice!

Mr Michael Spencer, Head of Music

Careers: important information for Year 12, 2021 and Year 12, 2022  

Year 12, 2021 students are commended for their hard work in applying for Early Entry courses. Almost all of the 2021 cohort have either applied directly to institutions’ early entry programmes or they have nominated for UAC’s Schools Recommendation Scheme, where offers will be made mid-November. Some students have already received offers and more will be following in the coming months.

It seems that Universities are being very generous due to the challenge of Covid with some notable last minute early entry schemes, for example:

UOW Alternative Entry students can:

  • Apply for 1 UOW undergraduate course
  • Be assessed on Year 11 academic results (not ATAR) and your unique skills and experiences
  • Secure an offer to UOW before HSC exams commence in November** (**Applications close 24 October)
  • They are hosting a dedicated UOW Alternative Entry webinar on 12 October at 6:00 pm. 

Western Sydney University

  • Western’s HSC True Reward Early Offer Program provides students an early offer based on their HSC results instead of a scaled ATAR
  • Students can apply by 11.59pm 28 November for the next True Reward based on Year 11 results with offers released on 9 December
  • Find out more: Western Sydney Future Pathways  

Year 12 students are now in the process of exploring various scholarship opportunities. Students are encouraged to research these via each University’s website but some to note include:

  • UOW Vice-Chancellor’s Elite Academic Scholarship
  • Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme
  • University of Newcastle LGBTQIA+ Shaping Futures Scholarship
  • UNSW Mike Cannon-Brookes Endowed Scholarship
  • Macquarie Vinva Scholar Award (Macquarie University)
  • Melbourne Chancellors Scholarship
  • University of Sunshine Coast June Canavan Regional Scholarship
  • James Cook University Cullinane Law Scholarship
  • James Cook University Elite Athlete Scholarship

For the new Year 12, 2022 cohort

UNSW GIE FEAS Program: Launching in 2022 for high school girls in Years 11 and 12, the GIE FEAS (the Faculty of Engineering Admissions Scheme) Program is a new alternate pathway to UNSW Engineering that recognises students’ engagement with the UNSW Girls in Engineering Club and passion for engineering. For more information visit: UNSW GIE FEAS Programme (engineering)

Acknowledgement to: 

  • Interschool Snowsports Honour Roll 2021 – award recipients Elke Arnott (Vice Captain of Snowsports), India Hicks, Georgia Hill, Sophia Pernice (Captain of Snowsports), Emily Shorthouse (Vice Captain of Snowsports) in recognition for their long term Interschool Snowsports participation and acknowledgement that they finished their schooling without the opportunity to compete in the 2021 Interschools Snowsport Championships.
  • Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award recipients: Gold: Millicent Bolger (2020), Natasha Long, Ivy McGufficke (Year 12); Silver: Sarah Glanville (Year 12), Matilda Walker (Year 11); Bronze: Chloe Kennedy-Green (Year 10).
  • We particularly congratulate Gold recipients from Year 12 2021 Natasha and Ivy, for the commitment required to complete all four elements, and the sustained effort and time investment required to receive this level of recognition.
  • Frensham’s debating team for its participation in the AHIGS Festival of Speech, with Heidi Jervis (Year 10) progressing to the top 10 finals.
  • Girdle Award recipient, Sarah Brown – Academic Excellence (Design and Technology).


Ms Sarah McGarry
Head of Frensham

Head of Frensham Schools