Head’s Message: Annual Appeal 2021 – Join with Us!

Join with Us in supporting the Bursary Fund

Following our communication with all families about Foundation’s Annual Appeal, I encourage you to ‘Join with Us’ in supporting the Bursary Fund. A Bursary provides up to 50% fee remission on tuition and/or boarding fees for the recipient to attend Frensham Schools, and gifts are fully tax deductible. Bursary support creates the opportunity for families to join the Frensham Schools community and to benefit from a Frensham education, when they would not have the financial means to do so otherwise. This support helps to preserve and enhance the characteristic diversity of our unique community and contributes strongly to the essence of a Frensham education. If you are in a position to assist, donations can be made online by clicking here. As always, we appreciate your consideration and for your support of our future students and families of Frensham Schools

Join with Us

Jamieson Week and End of Year Events

The full sequence of events for Jamieson Week has been published for parents and students on Schoolbox this afternoon, along with detailed dress and equipment requirements for the week’s activities. Please note the changes to the programme for the final day of term, Friday 10 December. When we announced our end of term event plans earlier this month we were anticipating eased restrictions in schools as NSW opened up. It now seems that this easing will not occur prior to mid December, requiring further adjustments to our plans. As a result of the continued limitations around visitors on campus, the planned Picnic on the Games Field will no longer be able to proceed.

We are able to welcome guests to Clubbe Hall for Final Prayers, given the format of the event, but the capacity limitations in Clubbe Hall mean further adjustments to the arrangements, with 1 guest per student able to be accommodated at each service. We recognise that this is not ideal for many families, but we have taken this decision with serious consideration of our health and safety obligations to our students, staff and families and in adherence to COVID-safe event requirements. We ask all families to read this information on Schoolbox carefully and to please contact feedback@frensham.nsw.edu.au should you have any queries whatsoever.

Staff and students are busily preparing for these events in their amended format, for which we are very grateful. We are also greatly looking forward to returning to the School’s ‘usual’ end of year sequence in 2022!

Boarding

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will involve the patient in the proper use of food, fresh air and exercise." - Thomas Edison

Sport plays an important part in the life of the Frensham boarders. Afternoon team training sessions, independent fitness routines, weekend programme pool activities, visits to The Holt, are just some of the many ways the girls incorporate exercise, fitness and fresh air into a balanced school programme.

The IGSA Sporting Competition is another important component of the school programme and it has been pleasing to watch girls participate and enjoy so enthusiastically the return of Saturday Sport - and to see the Games Field and courts busy again.

While the girls have been settling back into the routines of Boarding life and activities, the Boarding staff have also continued to learn and to develop skills to enrich their practice. Staff members from each of the four Boarding Houses have joined the ranks of current Boarding staff who have already completed The Certificate Course in Student Residential Care. The course focuses on outlining and explaining best practice in meeting the intellectual, social, emotional, physical, moral and spiritual needs of boarders. Course components were organised around Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which identifies Physical needs, Security and Safety, Sense of Belonging, Self-esteem and Self Realisation as key considerations in meeting the needs of boarders. The Course affirmed that at Frensham we are consistently working to ensure that each girl's individual needs are met and they are supported to flourish.

FACULTY FOCUS

HSIE

Searching for Truth in a Post-Truth World
How do you know what to believe? How do you know who to trust? More specifically, in a world where the internet allows for the easy publication and dissemination of content, how do you know that what you are reading is suitable to build your understanding of the world?

For many of us, we have underdeveloped strategies of information evaluation. In their 2016 paper Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning, Wineberg, McGrew, Beakston and Ortega of the Stanford Graduate School of Education were shocked to find how many students failed to effectively evaluate the credibility of information provided to them. Middle school, high school and college students in 12 states were asked to evaluate the information presented in tweets, comments and articles. More than 7,800 student responses were collected. The paper reports that most school students cannot tell native advertising from articles, accepted without verification the veracity of photographic evidence, could not tell the difference between a real and fake news source on Facebook, could not detect bias in activist social media accounts and failed to identify the difference between a mainstream and fringe source.

"Many assume that because young people are fluent in social media, they are equally savvy about what they find there," the researchers wrote. "Our work shows the opposite."

As an HSIE Department at Frensham, our goal is to develop students who are orientated towards truth, as it is an essential characteristic of becoming positive change-makers. Taking in polluted information, like taking in polluted air, poisons our sense of citizenship and dulls our contributions to making a better world. We are working towards developing in our students better strategies for evaluating information and guarding themselves against lies and deception.

One key strategy that we are building into our programmes is developing the habit of ‘lateral reading’. Professional fact-checkers, when given the same information as the students in the above paper, scored a perfect evaluation of the information. Rather than reviewing the information on the site, they immediately opened new tabs on their browsers and investigated the source of the original information. Key strategies for developing skills in lateral reading include:

  1. Open lots of tabs in your browser
  2. Get off the site you are on
  3. Do a deliberate Google search for the source or information you are evaluating
  4. Read what trusted and reliable sources are saying about the claim. Try to find four or five other sources that discuss your source. (If you can’t find that many, that’s a sign your source might not be good)

In each HSIE class, our students are challenged to not only find new information but to evaluate it, pull it apart, challenge its findings and make connections. We believe it is a skill that will serve all our students well in every walk of life.

On Thursday 11 November the School paused to remember those who died serving their country in war and reflect on their sacrifice. The school was led in this service by our Year 12 2022 Modern History students Gabrielle Butcher, Phoebe Clifton, Isolde Cochet, Lulu Duck, Eliza Hewson, Olivia Laverty, Rosemary Schmidt and Polly Whitwell. This year marks the 103rd anniversary of the end of World War 1, as well as the centenary of the establishment of the Royal Australian Air Force. The service also reflected on Australia’s involvement in the War in Afghanistan, which came to a close this year, as a moment to consider what a soldier’s sacrifice looks like when objectives have not been met. We ended with the following prayer, written by the author John Marsden and read by Olivia Laverty,

May the road be free for the journey,
May it lead where it promised it would,

May the stars that give ancient bearings
Be seen, still be understood.
May every aircraft fly safely,
May every traveller be found,
May sailors in crossing the ocean
Not hear the cries of the drowned.

May gardens be wild like jungles,
May nature never be tamed,
May dangers create of us heroes,
May fears always have names.
May the mountains stand to remind us
Of what it means to be young,
May we be outlived by our daughters,
May we be outlived by our sons.

May the bombs rust away in the bunkers,
And the doomsday clock be rewound,
May the solitary scientists, working,
Remember the holes in the ground.
May the knife remain in the holder,
May the bullet stay in the gun,
May those who live in the shadows
Be seen by those in the sun.

This year marks the first year that the school has undertaken the Cambridge IGCSE History and Geography courses. All Year 10 students have selected one of these courses and have been working all year towards a range of examinations that were to be sat in October this year. However, due to COVID-19 regulations, these examinations could not be held. Therefore, grades have been established through an assessment process outlined by Cambridge using tasks completed throughout the year. Students will still receive their grades early next year.

Mr Nathan Bessant, Head of HSIE

Music

It has been wonderful to see and hear the musical outcomes from the slight relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions this term.  While our choirs and wind bands are still unable to rehearse together, the Kennedy Strings have rejoiced at being able to play again – and their rich sound seems to reflect that. With Mrs Pinazza conducting, the Kennedy Strings are practising hymn accompaniments for Final Prayers as well as a musical item composed especially for the occasion.

This composition features selected instrumental and vocal soloists from all year groups who must, by necessity, perform from isolation. They are being filmed in order to be projected onto the screen in an allegory of our Term 3 lockdown experience. The multi-media piece is designed to move from this depiction of isolation to actual live performance as we all look with optimism to 2022.

Morning Prayers on ZOOM has presented similar challenges, with Mr Spencer playing the hymn accompaniment in the hallway of the Glenn Music Centre for two senior singers to sing, from separate rooms, using headphones and microphones. Despite these challenges, the outcomes have often been quite beautiful. Morning Prayers has also featured filmed excerpts from the AMEB Exam performances that Ms Madden has been processing and submitting for our many candidates.

It is sad to note that, for the first time in many years, the school is unable to present a Carol Service this year. The School will still get to enjoy our “Dress-Up” Carols in the outdoors but we will all have to wait another year to hear the next Carols offering from the much-loved Fathers’ Choir.

Mr Michael Spencer, Head of Music

Middle School Ethics Olympiad Competition

Middle School Ethics Olympiad Teams

Last Friday, 19 November, Frensham entered, for the first time, two teams in the Middle School Ethics Olympiad Competition. We congratulate team members Poppy Carter, Alice Fergusson and Claudia Hampson (Year 9), Sophie Chen, Lauren Fox, Sophie Hanrahan, Camilla Johnston, Skye McLelland and Sophia Windsor (Year 8) who were selected to represent the School after submitting a carefully composed written application and attending training sessions every Friday afternoon since our return to face-to-face teaching earlier this term. Both teams were awarded Honourable Mentions by a panel of Australian and International judges. During the day the students were involved in a series of heats where they were scored according to set criteria which rewarded, clear, concise, respectful discourse around challenging ethical cases. The Ethics Olympiad provided them with a unique and rewarding experience as they engaged with other students from 25 NSW Independent, Catholic and State High Schools in a format that developed important skills in communication, sustained reasoning and critical thinking through civil, collaborative discourse – valuable life-long learning skills!

Clubbe Hall: Live Production and Services Certificate III Course

Sarah Hunter and Lara Kyriazis, Heads of Tech Training – Clubbe Hall, write:

With the technical upgrade of Clubbe Hall, Frensham has been able to formalise the technical training of students and provide them with an opportunity to attain a formal qualification through TAFE NSW.

The Live Production and Services Certificate III Course, taught by industry professional Leah Crockett, aims to teach the skills and techniques needed to run productions. Leah Crockett is an Arts, Theatre and Audio-Visual professional that has worked in the arts and events industry for over 16 years. She holds a Bachelor of Media Communications (Theatre Arts), Certificate IV in Training & Assessment as well as a Diploma of Event Management.

Throughout this year, students in Years 8 to 12 have been developing an understanding of the technical aspects associated with the theatre industry. The units of work studied include workplace health and safety practices, working effectively backstage and developing audio knowledge.

During training sessions in Clubbe Hall, students have learnt the theory part of the course while simultaneously developing the practical skills associated with services and productions. The students have developed technical skills for mock shows and practised emergency and evacuation drills to understand how to manage an audience in various situations. The skills taught are preparing students to be part of a technical team for real-world productions.

Students have developed an understanding of their rights in the industry and knowledge of workplace safety. They discuss the roles and responsibilities of the Technical crew and exciting opportunities for work experience and careers for the future.

Last term, students met Stage Manager, Marianne on Zoom who talked to them about her role as a Stage Manager for the show, Come From Away, who discussed the difference between school and professional productions. Most importantly, she encouraged students to understand the importance of collaboration when working with others in the production.

Live production training

Mrs Sally Hannah, Head of Drama

Sport

Bowral Under 16s Girls Rugby Sevens Team, is made up of various local schools including Frensham team members Lucy Arnott, Charlotte Hopperton, Olivia Huggins, Darcy Maple-Brown, Jessica Savage, Edie Staniforth, Olivia Waugh (Year 10), Matilda Graham, Lydia Martin (Year 9).

The newly formed Under 16’s Bowral Girls Rugby 7s Team, played its first game in the Sydney Junior Rugby Union (SJRU) Gala Day at Centennial Park. Most of the team members are new to rugby with backgrounds in Touch, AFL and athletics. The girls have been training since June at the Frensham Games Field. Training the team have been current parents Scott Staniforth of Wallaby fame and Peter Walters, and Brendan Fannin. The girls have been quick in learning technical skills and safe tackling practices.

Up against the most experienced players from Randwick, the girls’ first game saw them go down seven tries to nil.  In their second match they finished strong and had a good win against Eastwood, winning three tries to one. The girls maintained the ball and saw some great team tries.

Of their play on the weekend Mr Staniforth said “the girls did amazingly well and can be very proud of their efforts. Having to play in the opens* and coming up against a very strong rep team the girls dug in and never gave up.”

The girls took a determined attitude towards Eastwood and had a very positive win. The girls had a great day and enjoyed, what was for most of them, their first competitive rugby games. The Rugby 7s Gala days are running for next three weekends with the girls excited about learning and improving their games.

*Played in the Opens category as competition combined the 16s-18s age groups

Mr Shane Green, Acting Head of Sport

Acknowledgement to

  • Lucy Pernice (Year 11) for her selection to attend the National Youth Science Forum, January 2022. A forum that is open to Year 11 students from around Australia who have a passion for Science. The selection process included a written application and interview.
  • Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award recipients: Silver – Monique Andersson, Matilda Chadwick, Alexandra Corbett, Sarah-Joy Day, Savannah Linde, Phoebe Rouse (Year 10); Bronze – Matilda Damiani, Hilary Swan (Year 10).
  • Big Science Competition participants: High Distinction: Adelaide Ayling, Sophie Simpson, Sidney Wheeler (Year 9); Bella Cay, Sarah-Joy Day, Heidi Jervis (Year 10). Distinction: Penelope Hampson, Cara Sims, (Year 7); Georgie Lewis, Georgina McBride (Year 8); Poppy Carter, Alice Fergusson (Year 9); Summer Oxley (Year 10). Credit: York Doyle, Maggie Maynard, Scarlett Shadbolt, (Year 7); Imogen Smith (Year 9); Lucy Arnott, Abigail Jorgensen, Rose Mahony (Year 10).
  • Frensham’s entrants in the Middle School Ethics Olympiad Competition for their success in this competition: Poppy Carter, Alice Fergusson and Claudia Hampson (Year 9), Sophie Chen, Lauren Fox, Sophie Hanrahan, Camilla Johnston, Skye McLelland and Sophia Windsor (Year 8).
  • Cara Sims (Year 7) for her selection to the Macarthur Rams U14s Premier League Soccer team.

Staffing update
We are pleased to welcome Dr Mark Morrow to the Science Faculty, commencing January 2022. Dr Morrow was recently at St Paul’s International College, Moss Vale.

At the end of 2021 we farewell
We congratulate Olivia Scotting on her appointment to the position of Assistant Head of Science at St Francis Catholic College at Edmondson Park, part of Catholic Education, Diocese of Wollongong. We thank Ms Scotting for her contribution to Frensham Schools across multiple areas, including as Science Teacher, Year Coordinator and a passionate proponent of our Debating and Public Speaking programme, over the past 4 years.

Ms Sarah McGarry
Head of Frensham

Head of Frensham Schools