Outdoor Education and Senior Studies Week

Birthday Island by Lulu Duck

What a week it has been! We thank all families for their support and understanding as we have experienced extraordinary weather in the Southern Highlands, impacting our community widely and reminding us all of the unstoppable forces of nature.

Right: Birthday Island (photo: Lulu Duck, Year 12)

Outdoor Education and Senior Studies Week

Our thanks go to all staff and students involved in last week’s programme. Despite some challenging weather conditions, and some necessary amendments, all year levels completed successful programmes with a visible impact on year group cohesion and confidence upon their return to classes on Friday. These programmes are designed carefully to provide age-appropriate, developmental activities which help students to develop vital skills of teamwork, independence, creative problem-solving and resilience – all aspects of our Character Education framework. It has been extremely rewarding to see students meet these challenges with optimism and confidence and to reflect on their experience so positively.

Outdoor Education and Senior Studies activities

Research: Why choose a Boarding School?

Independent Schools Australia have engaged AEC to undertake an assessment of the socio-economic benefits of Boarding Schools to the state/territory and national economies. This information will be used in advocating for Boarding Schools to decision-makers and funders. In support of this assessment, Independent Schools Australia in collaboration with AISNSW, invite parent and carer input regarding the main reasons parents and caregivers opt to send children to Boarding School, the alternative educational outcomes/ experiences for these children were they not to attend Boarding School, and the benefits these children receive from attending Boarding School.

The survey will take less than five (5) minutes to complete. Your participation in this study is completely voluntary and all responses will be held confidentially with no way to identify respondents. Frensham does not receive any results of the survey and you may opt out at any time by exiting the survey. However, it is very important for the voices of Boarding School families to be included. The survey will be available for participation until Friday, 18 March 2022 – please click here to complete.

East Coast Flooding

As much of Australia’s East Coast has been affected by flooding events, it has been heartening to see that even despite the tragedy and disaster being experienced in some areas, the kindness of strangers and the generosity of humans towards each other in times of emergency, helping to provide hope and optimism even on very challenging days. We remain confident and hopeful that this same spirit will emerge again, as it has in communities affected by these floods and other disasters across our country. We have seen extraordinary examples of everyday leadership from people in our communities who may not considered traditional or formal leaders – but in times of crisis, we all lead in our own way. Examples include those citizens who used their own resources to rescue neighbours stranded on their properties, assisted them to move stock, housed people unable to stay in their own homes, contributed to cleanup efforts and generally extended a hand of compassion and support.

It can be difficult in situations such as this to feel as though we can make a practical impact from a distance. The coastal communities of NSW are home to over 100 regional Independent schools and tens of thousands of students, who are part of our wider Independent schools community. Many have experienced damage to their homes and have lost school equipment such as laptops, books and uniforms.

You can directly support affected students now by clicking on this link to donate to the Australian Independent Schools Fund’s (AISF) Flood Relief Appeal.

The AISF was established in 2017 by the Association of Independent Schools of NSW to provide tax deductable financial donations directly to disadvantaged students, including those needing emergency relief due to natural disasters such as bushfires, floods and storms. In 2020, the AISF distributed more than $600,000 directly within days to 176 families who had suffered catastrophe in the summer bushfires. A further $263,700 went directly to 76 families impacted by storms and floods the same year. This funding was delivered to affected families within days and their gratitude was overwhelming.

All donations over $2 are tax deductible and a receipt will be generated and emailed to you automatically. The AISF has no administrative costs; every dollar donated will go directly to supporting flood-affected students and will be distributed to families within days.

Gib Gate K-2 Swimming Carnival
We have postponed this exciting event in the Frensham Schools Calendar to Thursday 17 March, to allow as many students as possible to participate.

Frensham Creativity
It was with significant relief that we saw the clouds clear late on Wednesday afternoon, with blue skies appearing briefly to allow some much-anticipated sunshine through. Katerina Peniazeva (Year 8) was inspired to write this optimistic Haiku (Japanese poetic form) which we share with her permission.

Frensham hopeful mornings
A sunny clear day
Hymns are beautifully sung
The iris gives hope


Boarding at Frensham has been utilising the Schoolbox platform with success over the past few terms and it is with great delight that we launch the new and improved Boarding at Frensham Schoolbox pages for parent and student use. Schoolbox is the place where all boarding information is found and where your questions should be answered through the vast array of information and documents that are available for reference. New and exciting editions to the pages will be posted over the coming weeks.

The overall Boarding Page has been restructured to also include the addition of House pages that contain contact details for the Houses, information about the Houses, the staff who work within the Houses, Daily and Weekly Routines, Jobs Rosters and phone times. In addition to these House Pages, you will find links to Boarding FAQs, Exeat and Leave forms, Bus Sign Up Forms, Friday Night Activities and Weekend Programmes. You will also find important contacts for members of the Boarding Team and Blog Posts that showcase our weekend activities. It is hoped that this will allow for further transparency of the Boarding Programme, allowing accessibility to be streamlined and provide a place where all of your boarding needs can be met in one location.

I would also like to take this opportunity to provide a friendly reminder that in order for all leave requests to be managed and approved, Exeats must be completed by midday on Wednesday each open weekend. Our team appreciates your support in meeting this deadline each weekend. 

You are encouraged to familiarise yourself with our Boarding and House pages on Schoolbox as all information will be provided there. Many of these updates will be available from Week 6. 

Boarding Status Change Requests
A reminder to all families, as previously communicated this week, of the request to please complete the following simple questionnaire, accessible by clicking here. Even if you have already submitted a direct request to change Boarding status we would appreciate you providing this information again to assist us in ensuring that we have captured all Boarding requests for Term 2. Please complete this information no later than Friday 11 March 2022.

Please note that approval of a change in Boarding status is subject to availability and that all places are offered in accordance with the School’s enrolment process.

Ms Sally Edwards, Director of Student Life (Boarding)

National Art School HSC Intensive Studio Practice courses for 2022

Information regarding National Art School HSC Intensive Studio Practice courses for 2022 is available online on the National Art School’s website (link below), and has been communicated to students studying Visual Arts in Year 11. The courses provide opportunities for students to develop skills in specific media in a stimulating creative environment. For several years, students have been offered and accepted places in these highly sought-after courses.  

Mrs Spencer and I can assist students in preparing applications, which will include examples of work (which will be uploaded to the NAS). Application Forms, signed by the student, parents/guardians, Mr Alldis/Mrs Spencer, together with specific examples of a student's artmaking practice, are to be submitted online by the deadline of Friday 8 April (Week 10 / Term 1). Offers of places will be made by the NAS to students in Term 2, usually by about Week 4.

To be eligible for entry applicants must:

  • be in Year 11,
  • be nominated by their Visual Arts teacher, and
  • be achieving at a high level in their Visual Arts studies.

During the NAS HSC Intensive Studio Practice the student will:

  • work within a specialised discipline using a broad range of media and art making processes
  • refine their ability to interpret and evaluate their own and others’ artworks
  • engage in sustained critical reflection and evaluation
  • gain practical skills in preparing for, mounting and curating an exhibition

Course Overview

The NAS HSC Intensive Studio Practice is designed to enhance and extend students’ technical, conceptual and intellectual skills under the direction of experienced, practising artists, through intensive practical study in one of the following disciplines: black and white photography, ceramics, digital photography, life drawing*, painting, printmaking and sculpture*.

*In keeping with post-school degree course practice, drawing and sculpture classes will include undraped life models.

Course Modules and Dates (you must be available to complete both modules)

  • Module 1: Tuesday 12 – Friday 15 July 2022
  • Module 2: Monday 26 – Friday 30 September 2022

The NAS HSC Intensive Studio Practice will still appear on the student’s HSC certificate as a one Unit course but will not contribute to the student’s ATAR count. NAS will issue each student with a “Statement of Results” which will include a mark out of 50.

The fee for courses in 2022 is $400. Students requiring boarding accommodation are asked to pay an additional $400 ($800 total).

Note about Boarding: Boarding is strictly limited and will be offered only to regional students who have no other accommodation alternatives. Boarding students will be offered share accommodation at a nearby hotel and will be supervised at all times by two teachers. Students living within the Sydney Metropolitan and Blue Mountains area, the Central Coast and Wollongong will not be offered boarding facilities and will need to commute.  

For more detailed information, follow the link to the HSC Intensive Studio Practice Brochure and Application Forms. HSC Intensive Studio Practice: https://nas.edu.au/hsc-intensive-studio-practice

Mr Phil Alldis, Head Visual Arts and Design & Technology


After only four weeks of life at Frensham, Year 7 students displayed creativity and cohesion in the Year 7 Concert held as part of their Parent Year Weekend in Clubbe Hall. For their dramatic performances, both classes adapted a well-known picture book for the stage. Under the direction of Mrs Sally Hannah, 7G performed Liliana Stafford’s book, Amelia Ellicott’s Garden and 7P performed the much-loved children’s book, Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole. Year 7 enjoyed performing for their family members and staff. To celebrate Year 7’s success, both groups performed their work during Friday Prayers for the rest of the school community. The students were so proud of what they had achieved in such a short period of time. They had fun and demonstrated a strong ability to work as an ensemble while showcasing their acting skills. They entered the stage confidently and exited the stage with large smiles on their faces in response to the rapturous applause they received from the audience.

Year 7 Drama presentation


The Birthday Play for 2022 is Clue (High School Edition), adapted from the Screenplay by Jonathan Lynn. Based on the popular board game and adapted from the cult classic film, Clue is the comedy whodunit that will keep you guessing (and laughing) to the end. The comedy mystery features a range of eccentric characters. Directed by Mrs Sally Hannah, auditions started this week with Years 11 and 12 students in preparation for rehearsals, commencing in Week 7.

Mrs Sally Hannah, Head of Drama

Livestock Team Report

While the wet weather caused the cancellation of the Braidwood Show, the Sheep Team were able to attend the Goulburn Show on Saturday 5 March. Although a very humid day, the weather stayed dry up until our departure.

The results from the Sheep Competition:

Novice Poll Dorset Ewe Lamb: 1st – Tag 880 led by Goldie Munro, 2nd – tag 987 led by Sophie Hanrahan; Poll Dorset Ewe Lamb: 3rd – tag 969 led by Maggie Maynard, 4th – tag 786 led by Jemima Melki. Pair Poll Dorset Ewe Lambs: 1st – tags 863 + 867 led by Leilani Palise and Lucia Semple, 2nd – tags 696 + 873 led by Lucy Booth and Elyse Caristo. Poll Dorset ewe, 1 year and under 2 years: 3rd – Purple tag 17 led by Lucy Arnott. Meat Breeds Sheep Young Judges Competition: Under 15 years: 4th – Leilani Palise, 5th – Maggie Maynard. Over 15 years: 3rd - Ella van Egmond, 4th – Lucy Arnott. Sheep Handlers Competition: Under 15 years: 1st - Charlotte Cooper, 2nd – Goldie Munro, 3rd – Sophie Hanrahan, 5th – Maggie Maynard. Over 15 years: 3rd – Ella van Egmond.

In between the Beef Young Judges Competition and the Sheep Handlers Competition, a Senior Frensham Team and a Junior Frensham Team, of four students each, competed in the Young Farmers Challenge. The event was a timed with entrants completing a range of farm related tasks such as drenching sheep, moving hay bales, riding a motorbike through an obstacle course, milking a cow and constructing a length of fence. The girls performed very well against many other teams; the results were as follows – 2nd Frensham Junior Team – Lucia Semple, Amelia Riddle, Sophie Hanrahan and Lucy Arnott; 3rd – Frensham Senior Team – Elyse Caristo, Ella van Egmond, Jemima Melki and Lucy Arnott (with Lucy competing in both Teams).

Goulburn Show, March: The Sheep Team (top); Junior and Senior Young Farmers Challenge teams.

The next event for the Sheep Team will be the Camden Show on Friday 1 April.

Unfortunately, the wet weather in the Highlands has caused the cancellation of the Robertson Show for the Cattle Team and for the students entered in the Grain and Fruit & Vegetable Young Judges Competitions, next weekend.

Ms Leonie Mutch, Coordinator of the Livestock Team

Sport – Southern Highlands High School Swimming Event

Frensham hosted the annual SHHS Swimming event Friday 25 February. Local community schools included Oxley College, Chevalier College and Southern Highlands Christian School.

Congratulations to all the students involved in the event. Students are now preparing for the IGSA Swimming carnival, Friday 25 March.

  • Breaststroke – 50m: 12 years: 1st Sophia Nesci; 13 years: 1st Amber Thomas; 14 years: 1st Tia Thomas; 15 years: 3rd Sophie Hanrahan; 17 years: 1st Lucy Arnott; 18 years: 2nd Phoebe Clifton.
  • Backstroke – 50m: 13 years: 2nd Sienna Donat; 12 years: 1st Sophia Nesci; 16 years: 1st Sarah-Joy Day; 17 years: 1st Millie Moar; 18 years: 2nd Rosie Schmidt.
  • Butterfly (50m): 13 years: 1st Amber Thomas; 14 years: 1st Tia Thomas; 17 years: 2nd Millie Moar; 18 years: 1st Rosie Schmidt, 2nd Phoebe Clifton.
  • Freestyle – 50m: 14 years: 1st Claudia Maple Brown, 2nd Tia Thomas; 17 years: 1st Lucy Arnott; 18 years: 2nd Jemima Graham-Wansey. (100m): 12 years: 2nd Sophia Nesci; 14 years: 1st Tia Thomas; 15 years: 3rd Sophie Hanrahan; 16 years: Sarah-Joy Day.

Mr Shane Green, Head of Sport (2022)

Acknowledgement to

  • Show Sheep team for competing at Goulburn Show.
  • Frensham Swimming Team members for their successes at the Southern Highlands High School Swimming Event.

Ms Sarah McGarry
Head of Frensham

Head of Frensham Schools