Back to on-campus learning

The sounds of togetherness

It was with joy and enthusiasm that staff welcomed students back onto Frensham and Gib Gate campuses and into Boarding Houses for the recommencement of face-to-face classes for all students on Monday 25 October. School campuses are vibrant, dynamic, energetic places, and they only feel ‘complete’ with the sounds of students learning and laughing together. We have spent time this week reflecting with gratitude, for the ‘silver linings’ of the time spent learning and working from home, but also recognising the aspects of campus life that have been missed acutely over these past months. We have been so fortunate to have been able to still engage over technology whilst learning on campus was not possible, but nothing replaces the energy and what almost everyone describes as the “buzz” when people are back together – and those micro-moments of connection and collegiality start to reappear.

We are thinking and talking a lot at the moment about transitions, back to on-campus learning, into high school (for our Year 6 students), into life beyond school (our Year 12 students) and beginning Preschool or Kindy (for our youngest students). We all experience transitions throughout our lives — big and small, planned and unplanned. Transitions may be centred around something exciting, such as starting a new job or an addition to your family. They can also be prompted by distressing situations, such as the serious illness or loss of a loved one or the onset or fallout of a pandemic. Transitions can involve exciting changes, distressing ones, or even just milestones. It is in these times that our strengths, our knowledge and our skills, the depth of support in our community and our inherent human ability to adapt really come to the fore. It is natural to feel fearful, or uncertain, or stuck, when the ‘big scary thing’ looms, but these life transitions are where we must choose to take the steps and go through the process of turning our fear and anxiety into renewal and growth. It takes time, and a team effort, to work through the necessary phases of transition to a new way of being – as our state and nation start to reopen and reawaken.

It is no coincidence that a remarkable number of people turn to creative pursuits whilst undergoing major life transitions – they learn to dance, crochet, cook, paint; write poems, handwritten cards and thank-you notes, start journaling, write songs, make ceramics and myriad other activities. And of course, we yearn to return to live music, theatre and dance, supporting our vital artists but also nurturing and nourishing our souls. We will be singing together before we know it (we hope)!

We are grateful that the necessary adjustments to help keep our community safe at this time are only temporary and sincerely thank all members of our community for keeping track of these as they change so regularly. We are working together to maximise the opportunities for our students to reconnect as they adjust back to life on campus, as both Mrs Robson and Mrs Fawbert outline in this newsletter. Our current focus is very much on supporting student wellbeing as an essential foundation of learning, and on providing timely feedback to parents about how students are managing this transition process.

We have also been planning ahead, anticipating what our end of year celebrations and orientation programmes will entail. These will be discussed with both Gib Gate and Frensham Advisory Committees this week, and then published to our community next week. 

The Ranier Uniform Shop and Clothing Pool: ordering uniform items

The Ranier Uniform Shop and the Clothing Pool are currently not open to visitors in person but orders are able to be made online for subsequent collection.

Ranier Uniform Shop: Parents can order uniforms online through the Ranier website: https://www.ranier.com.au/

Click and Collect orders will be distributed to students from Company Office and online delivery is also available.

Clothing Pool: Parents who wish to buy second-hand uniform items are asked to email clothingpool@frensham.nsw.edu.au listing the item/s and the relevant size/s. The manager of the Clothing Pool will be in touch regarding availability and collection.

Returning to Campus

Returning to Campus learning may be likened to the start of the academic year. Time is needed to reconnect with friends, before recommencing teaching and learning programmes. Establishing routines and connections with school staff is also important as this increases feelings of security and safety.

Year Coordinators and Form tutors have worked closely with students upon their return to campus, providing opportunities for students and staff to reconnect and re-establish their relationship. Connection Sessions were held on Monday, starting with time with Form Tutors and larger group activities scattered throughout the day focusing on engagement, laughter and of course, having FUN.

Connection Sessions

Years 7 and 8 students had fun creating a paper bag self-portrait. Working in groups and enjoying the company of friends, they happily chatted, reflecting on how they felt about being back at school. On the outside of the bag students drew and painted a caricature of themselves, emphasising notable features like hair colour and style. The inside of their paper bag was filled with written messages expressing their hopes and goals for the term ahead.

Year 9 girls participated in team building activities that include capture the Flag, getting-to-know-you Bingo and a range of team challenges. Year 10 students focused on working together and problem solving, using both verbal and non-verbal communication.

Year 11 created a Connection Tree – the tree was a place where all girls Years 7-12 girls hung a personalised leaf, on which they shared a positive message with the school community. The colourful tree stands outside the music rooms and provides words of kindness and thoughtfulness for all to enjoy through the course of our first few days back on campus.

Connection sessions will continue throughout the term in a variety of ways. Mental health and wellbeing will be supported through Year co-ordinator meetings, prefect peer support and mentoring sessions, and extended time given for student led activities. Explicit modelling and teaching of social and emotional learning skills will occur within the form programme, reminding girls of our school values and encouraging them to be part of the Frensham community once more.

Mrs Wendy Fawbert, Director of Character Education and Planning

FACULTY FOCUS

Languages

The Language classes have risen to the challenge of online working in Term 3, creating meaningful learning opportunities for all students. The interrelationship between correct pronunciation of letters, words and sounds, the ability to identify the beginning and end of sentences and the effect of all this on Listening skills has been a focus in all the French classrooms.

French

Visit a Year 7 class and you may see students rapping the French alphabet, while signing the letters, before undertaking some intensive vocabulary study on Quizlet and then a related Quiz on Schoolbox or sharing their knowledge of French foods on a group Padlet.

Students in Year 8 French have been learning how to describe people and their clothing and will record a video of themselves describing new friends, while the Year 9 French students are focusing on idiom, colloquialisms, and shopping in France.

The Year 10 French students started the term watching interviews on the streets of Paris where the locals were asked what they like to do on the weekend. They then collaborated on the Padlet platform to find similarities and differences with their own lives (there were more similarities).

The theme in the Year 12 2022 French class is the World of Work with a focus on building vocabulary and discerning grammatical differences through listening skills using the new listen function on the Kahoot! platform. In the new French Extension class we have started watching the prescribed film Intouchables.

We have spent quality time with the class of 2021 in focused workshops in French Continuers and Extension, working on authentic video and written texts, refining our skills in preparation for the HSC.

All French classes got cooking in the final week of Term 3 making crêpes and many families reaped the benefits. Here are a few images of our cooking classes:

Years 7-12 making crepes

Years 7-12 making crêpes

Latin

Year 8 Latin students have been continuing their study of both English and Latin grammar, including personal pronouns, adverbs the imperative form of the verb.

The girls enjoy coming up with and learning English derivatives for their Latin vocabulary, which not only helps them remember the meaning of the words when translating but also expands their English vocabulary, enhancing the quality of their academic writing across all subjects. Some derivatives from this Chapter include pugnacious from pugno (I fight), invincible from vinco (I conquer) and fidelity from fidus (faithful).

The cultural focus for this chapter is Olympian Gods and Goddesses which always sparks much interest. The students enjoyed noticing that many products today use gods and goddesses for brand names such as Vulcan (God of Fire) for fireplaces, Apollo (God of the Sun) for blinds and Mercury (Messenger God) for a Courier.

The Year 9 students have been consolidating their geographical knowledge of the Roman Empire by labelling a map with important countries, islands, towns and seas and translating the Story Cicero finds the tomb of Archimedes. Archimedes, 287BC - 212BC, was the most famous mathematician and inventor in Ancient Greece.

Through the historical theme, The Gauls Invade Rome, we read the story about the Goddess Juno's sacred geese. The geese were the heroes of this story, as hearing the Gauls climb the Capitol hill, they started to cackle and beat their wings, waking one of the Romans who grabbed his sword and gave the alarm. The students were happy to discover that despite a great shortage of food, the geese had not been killed and eaten!

In Latin this term, Year 10 girls are revising complex grammatical structures such as the ablative absolute and translating passages about Horatius saving Rome from the last king of the Etruscans, Tarquinius Superbus. They are completing regular revision quizzes on grammar and vocabulary from the final chapters in the workbook via Schoolbox. Last term they presented well-researched and colourful video on Roman civilisations. Here are some maps of a typical Roman town:

Map of Roman town

 

Year 12 2022 has begun to study the prescribed prose text: Cicero's In Catilinam. This text is part of a set of speeches to the Roman Senate given in 63 BC by Marcus Tullius Cicero, one of the year's consuls, accusing a senator, Lucius Sergius Catilina (Catiline), of leading a plot to overthrow the Roman Senate. The Year 12 Extension 2022 class has begun its study of the prescribed poems of Catullus. The set of poems explores themes of friendship, rivalry, betrayal, love and relationships.

Mrs Kerry Lennon, Director of Languages

Acknowledgements 

  • Girdle Award recipient, Emma Jancewicz (Academic Excellence – Visual Arts).
  • Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award recipients: Silver – Pia D’Rozario, Elizabeth Nesci (Year 10).

Staffing

We are pleased to welcome Ms Sally Edwards, Director of Student Life (Boarding), commencing January 2022. Ms Edwards currently holds the position of Dean of Studies (Years 10-12) and Broughton Forrest House staff member at The King’s School, Parramatta. Spending many years with her family on their property on the outskirts of Mudgee, Sally is excited about combining her love of the semi-rural lifestyle with the community and spirit of Frensham.

At the end of 2021 we farewell:

  • Ms Louise Davis, HSIE, her contribution has been across a wide range of areas during her chapters of work spanning more than 20 years at Frensham Schools.
  • Ms Sara Farmer, Visual Arts, a talented artist, maker and teacher, has been working with Frensham Schools since 2012. Ms Farmer’s extended involvement includes Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards expeditions and Jamieson Programme activities.  

Ms Sarah McGarry
Head of Frensham

Head of Frensham Schools