The beauty of the changing seasons

Autumn Reflection

As this week we mark the exact middle of Term 2, and the weather starts to properly cool, we have been reflecting with gratitude on the opportunities we have enjoyed with our community this term. Grandparents and Mother’s Day celebrations at Gib Gate, our recent Year 8 Parent Weekend at Frensham, Saturday Sport almost back to pre-COVID arrangements, and our next exhibition opening next weekend at Sturt. We are so fortunate to be able to gather as a community for our upcoming Birthday and Year 12 Weekend in June and are very much looking forward to celebrating this major event in the School’s calendar with students, staff and families. Please do check Schoolbox for the arrangements for this weekend.

I spoke with both Gib Gate and Frensham students earlier in the term about some of the symbolism of Autumn, reflecting on the beauty of the changing seasons and that, like most things in life, how we experience the change of season and weather, is down to our personal perspective. I encouraged students and staff to purposely choose a positive perspective as we transition into a new season. Some of you might be dreading the onset of cooler months and some of you will be looking forward to them, getting rugged up and feeling that cold air on your face, the comfort of a warm fire. The season change is inevitable; instead of dreading or lamenting the change in weather, let us embrace the change in season and remind ourselves that change can actually bring new beauty for us to see. The Autumn trees have shown us over the past months how beautiful changes can be, and all around us the trees are the living example of letting things go, in preparedness for new growth.

As we approach the end of this beautiful season in the highlands, the words of the American writer and poet Angie Weiland-Crosby seem entirely fitting – “Autumn whispered to the wind: I fall; but always rise again.”

Boarding and Travel Information

Long Weekend Travel and End of Term 2, Start of Term 3 Travel bookings have now closed

Please note that late bookings may not be able to be accommodated by the State Rail Authority.

SSTS (School Student Transport Scheme) Preference is given to places for boarding students travelling home.

Information regarding luggage restrictions for booked transport

  1. Stored Luggage - no more than two items for stowage in luggage bins on coach services. Not to exceed 60cm (height) x 70cm (length) and 50 cm wide (ie: length, depth and width not exceeding total of 180cm) and 20kg in weight.
  2. Hand Luggage - the total weight of hand luggage is not to exceed 5kg and must be able to be stored under the seat. Hand luggage that does not fit under the seat must be stored in the luggage compartment beneath the coach.

Parent reminder: Friday night dinner leave is with students’ own parents/carers. All parents/carers are asked to sign students out of the house and back into the house when going on Day Leave or Overnight Leave.

Frensham Faculty Focus


Are humans born mathematicians?

Do children think and work mathematically on their own or is this a learned behaviour? 

One of the reasons this question is always on our minds is because it links closely to an idea that many people hold, which is that some people are born with mathematical ability while others are not. It is fairly common for people to think of mathematics as a special talent that only some people possess, but does it have any basis in reality? 

When we ask, ‘Are humans born mathematicians?’, what we are really asking is: ‘Are humans born to seek out and try to understand the patterns around us?’ Stating the question this way makes things clear: the answer is emphatically yes.

A pair of odd numbers always add to an even number. The exterior angle of any polygon, no matter how big or small or irregular, always add up to a full revolution. The rows of Pascal’s Triangle always add up to a power of two.

….This is why it’s impossible to put a fence around what mathematicians are interested in: they are interested in any kind of pattern, and patterns exist everywhere. (Excerpts from Woo’s Wonderful World of Maths)

This term, many of our students have been putting into practice their skills in recognising patterns: from the Year 7s, who have completed their first unit on Algebraic Techniques, to the Year 10s who completed another unit on Algebraic Techniques. Years 11 and 12 continue to challenge themselves applying Algebraic Techniques across a number of topics from Non-Linear Relationships to Calculus. All of this learning is based on recognising patterns. 

Some of our students have started the Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians (MCYA). Open to all students in Years 7-10, it is a competition run by the Australian Mathematics Trust (AMT) over four consecutive weeks with students working individually and or in pairs on a set of six problems. It is a competition that requires dedication and persistence, but the questions are based on mathematics which should be known at that level and separate solutions must be submitted by each student. Students have allocated class time to work on the problems, with some guidance allowed from the teacher and from any resources other than human ones - textbooks, encyclopaedias, calculators and computers. The supervising teachers will check on each student’s progress on a regular basis and offer clarification where needed. We hope the MCYA Challenge is an enjoyable and valuable learning experience for your daughter. 

Students participated in NAPLAN Tests for Years 7 and 9 in Week 4. The Mathematics REACH tests were completed by Years 8 and 10 in Week 4 and are scheduled for Years 7 and 9 later this term. Results for these tests will be sent to the school and made available to parents.

A few more thoughts and ideas for your consideration:

  • Many students ask how long they should spend studying mathematics each week. The answer is: as long as they need to. Every student is different, and some students will need to study more than others. However, even the best student will not do well without studying for a few hours each week (musicians practice for many hours).
  • Do you work best with silence or noise? It is better if you can study with as few distractions as you can manage. Studying is different to doing your Prep because you are trying to remember facts and procedures. Some students study better at a library and all students should complete their Prep in a silent environment, to increase their concentration, accuracy, and retention.
  • Students have different learning preferences. Visual learners (who learn by seeing), could write their notes on colourful cards, a poster or in a notebook. Draw a mind map (snapshot) and use diagrams or pictures to help jog your memory.  Audio learners (who learn by listening), record notes and play them back. Study with another person and discuss your work together. Set rules and formulae to music or make a poem.  For the physical learner (who learns by doing), do lots of exercises (questions) or teach the work to someone else.

Encourage your daughter to take advantage of the many opportunities to learn and improve in mathematics and to seek help from her teacher and/or attend the ‘drop-in’ coaching sessions with a faculty teacher on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons, or have private/small group coaching, by arrangement, on Wednesday or Thursday during the day or evening. Please do not hesitate to contact your daughter’s teacher by phone/email or contact me directly with any concerns about their learning and/or progress. 

Year 11 Mathematics Standard created their own globes in order to locate major cities on the Earth according to their latitude and longitude. This lesson was part of a series of lessons exploring time zones and time differences between places on the Earth that are due to the Earth’s rotation on its axis.

Ms Joanne Allison, Head of Mathematics



Students of French have made an enthusiastic start to the year, with eager greetings of “Bonjour! Comment ça va?” resounding through the hallways of the North West building. While dancing and singing l’alphabet français, Year 7 students have been immersed in French culture through film and song, following the adventures of Belle and Sébastien, a story set in 1943 about a young shepherd boy and his dog, and Miraculous, a modern series about a young French girl with super powers.

All junior classes have presented colourful and well-researched demonstrations of their cultural knowledge of France and the French-speaking world. Year 7 classes focused on le Monde Francophone sharing their findings of exotic and far-flung territories such as Le Maroc, la Polynésie française, la Nouvelle Calédonie et la Belgique. Year 8 students designed a three-day itinerary for Paris where they took le métro, le RER ou le bus to visit iconic destinations such as la Tour Eiffel, le Musée d’Orsay et le Louvre. Year 9 students explored reginal housing styles and accommodation such la longère normane et la bastide provençale. Each group tested the attentiveness of its classmates with a quiz, often taking the form of an energetic and competitive Kahoot! to finish off their presentation.

Year 10 students started a new text this year called Ça y est! The colourful, magazine-style format gives the students an insight into the life of young French adults as they go to school and out with friends and plan their future after le bac.

Senior students are challenging their communication abilities with bi-weekly speaking classes as we seek to add sophistication to our mastery of the language in spoken and written form. On the first Closed Weekend in Term 1 the girls in the French Extension class met for several hours to workshop the Prescribed Themes for the HSC and to discuss the Prescribed film - Intouchables. The second Closed Weekend of Term 1 saw the Years 11 and 12 French students head off campus to immerse themselves in a slice of France here in the Southern Highlands. The girls relished the opportunity to savour la cuisine française at the Café la Palette at Mount Ashby Estate, where they were served by native French staff, and were delighted to use their language skills in an authentic linguistic setting.

Next week, from 20-27 May, all French students will compete in the ImmerseMe Games 2021, a virtual, online language immersion competition for students around the world.

French lunch Café la Palette at Mount Ashby Estate – from left to right Mme Allman, Year 11 students: Emily Lenehan, Eliza Hewson, Olivia Laverty. Year 12 students Jemima Storch, Taylah Stoney, Olivia Turner, Lara Tait, Ella Clark, Emilie Hassall, Mme Lennon.


Year 8 students have commenced their study of Latin this term, learning about the language, its origins and the European languages that have evolved from it. With over 70 percent of English words having their origins in Latin, learning this ancient language means that girls are constantly acquiring new and more sophisticated vocabulary as well as gaining an insight into the own English grammar. The history and writings of the Romans are interesting in themselves and still important to us. Our civilisation has evolved from Roman culture and we can see their influence in many places such as Literature, the Law, and the Sciences.

The start of Term 2 within the Years 9 and 10 Latin classrooms evoked a sense of familiarity, through rediscovering grammatical concepts and linguistic structures encountered last term, alongside the excitement of learning new language and discovering different aspects of Roman civilisation and culture. The addition of the online text Suburani, offers greater depth of research, more opportunities for reading authentic Latin and amazing visual representations of the ancient world.

Both Years 11 and 12 Latin classes have started new texts this term. Year 12 has started the prose text, Cicero’s In Catilinam, a speech prosecuting the senator Catiline who was leading a plot to overthrow the Roman Senate. Year 11 is studying Marcus Tullius Cicero – Vita extraordinaria, which contains extracts from some of his well-known speeches as well as letters to his family. It is amazing to think that these letters, written over 2000 years ago, are still accessible to us and enable us to read about family and political matters which concerned Cicero at the time.

The National Latin Examinations

The Languages Department at Frensham has been associated with the prestigious National Latin Examinations for over 20 years. Organised by the American Classical League, Latin students in Years 9-12 along with students from 50 states in the USA, plus 20 other countries as diverse as Jordan, the Solomon Islands, the United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe sat the paper in early March.

Year 9 - Introduction to Latin Exam - Magna Cum Laude Certificate: Juliet Henry; Silver Maxima Cum Laude Certificate: Emily Crawford, Luca de Manincor, Lucy Molineux; Gold Summa Cum Laude Certificate: Poppy Carter, Lucinda Colgan, Phoebe Gilder, Claudia Hampson, Zara Maple-Brown, Miliana Thompson.

Year 10 - Latin I Exam - Gold Summa Cum Laude Certificate: Bella Cay, Pia D’Rozario, Hannah Perkins, Edie Staniforth.

Year 11 - Latin II Exam - Silver Maxima Cum Laude Certificate: Lucy Booth; Gold Summa Cum Laude Certificate: Matilda Arnott, Zoe Gallagher, Phoebe Rowntree.

Year 12 - Latin III Exam - Gold Summa Cum Laude Certificate: Emilie Hassall, Madeleine Mulligan.

Of the Year 9 cohort, four perfect Examination scores were achieved by Poppy Carter, Lucinda Colgan, Phoebe Gilder, Claudia Hampson.

Mrs Kerry Lennon, Director of Languages

Character Education and Pastoral Care

On Thursday 6 May, Brainstorm Productions presented their student wellbeing performance Cyberia to Years 9 and 10. Cyberia was a live theatre experience that addressed mental health, (cyber)bullying, impulse control and the responsible use of technology.

Cyberia was presented as part of our student wellbeing curriculum and developed by education and mental health professionals. Real student experiences were woven together to create a compelling narrative and theatrical experience. The performance posed questions about how we treat ourselves and others, both online and offline, and encourages resilience and positive relationships.

On Tuesday 4 May, Year 12 participated in the Elevate Education - Ace Your Exams seminar. This seminar aligned with our Character Education Goals and covered the following areas:

  • Highest value exam preparation tasks
  • Fixing mistakes to ensure constant improvement
  • Time allocation during exam preparation
  • Techniques for managing stress and time pressure in exams.

The seminar was designed to achieve behavioural change amongst students. It isn’t enough that students simply understand what they need to do to prepare for exams, the challenge is getting students to use and apply the skills they learn. The Ace Your Exams seminar provided practical tips on exam technique and preparation and all students found it highly engaging and insightful.

Elevate will be presenting seminars in Term 3 to Year 11 and Year 10.

Mrs Wendy Fawbert, Director of Character Education and Planning

NSW State da Vinci Decathlon Competition 2021 – Thursday 13 May 2021

The Year 11 da Vinci Decathlon Team 2021, Ankitha Avvari, Maya Basson, Sophia Brooks, Yusra Chalak, Zoe Gallagher, Sarah Hunter, Charlotte Senior, Emily Senior and Mia Shakeshaft, competed in the recent NSW State Finals of this international competition in the ‘virtual environment’. They were competing against 170 other schools from across the State. ‘Locked in’ a classroom at Frensham for the day with a ZOOM camera trained on them at every minute, each challenge was delivered electronically and then uploaded either in text format or video file within five minutes of each deadline.

We congratulate the team on its outstanding achievements in every discipline which included: English, Mathematics, Science, Engineering, Code-Breaking, Art & Poetry, Ideation, Creative Producers, Cartography and ‘Legacy’ (of da Vinci’s life and times).

Ms Kate Chauncy, Director of Teaching & Learning P-12, Coordinator of Gifted and Talented Programmes.

IGSA Cross Country – Friday 14 May

A total of 869 runners from 23 different schools took part in the annual IGSA Cross Country hosted by Frensham. The Frensham team consisted of 45 students who competed in their respective seven age groups. Over half of the Frensham runners finished in the top half of their age group. Frensham finished 9th overall - a terrific team effort. With thanks to coach, Eligh Morris for training the team and the Grounds Staff for preparing the course.

Placing in the top 30 in their races were: 11-12 Years, Milly Debelle-Hancock (Year 7); 13 Years, Tia Thomas (Year 8); 15 Years, Phoebe Gilder (Year 9); 16 Years, Bella Cay (Year 10), Julia Burge (Year 10); 17 Years, Lucy Gale (Year 11); 18 Years, Harriet Collins (Year 12), Annabelle Ranken (Year 12), Sophie Rodwell (Year 12), Amy Thompson (Year 12), India Hicks (Year 12).

Harriet Collins, Annabelle Ranken and Sophie Rodwell received a Silver Medal for finishing 2nd in the 18 Years team event.

The following girls have qualified to compete in the Combined Independent Schools (CIS) Cross Country Championships, Eastern Creek, on Thursday 10 June: Tia Thomas (Year 8), Lucy Gale (Year 11), Harriet Collins (Year 12), Annabelle Ranken (Year 12), Sophie Rodwell (Year 12), Amy Thompson (Year 12).

L-R: Tia Thomas, Lucy Gale, Amy Thompson, Annabelle Ranken, Harriet Collins, Sophie Rodwell

Ms Erin Gray, Head of Sport

Acknowledgement to:

  • Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award recipients – Gold: Jessica Billet, Sarah Brown, Ella Clark (Year 12); Silver: Yusra Chalak, Lillian McCarten, Phoebe Rowntree, Camilla Warner (Year 11); Bronze: Charlotte Hindmarsh (Year 11), Scarlett Alldis, Lucy Arnott, Hannah Bendror, Julia Burge, Bella Cay, Matilda Chadwick, Alexandra Corbett, Pia D'Rozario, Sophie Hassall, Olivia Huggins, Augusta Muir, Eliza Mulligan, Freyjika Parker, Edie Staniforth, (Year 10)
  • Frensham Cross Country team members for their achievements at the recent IGSA Cross Country Carnival and to NSW Combined Independent Schools (CIS) Cross Country qualifiers – Tia Thomas (Year 8), Lucy Gale (Year 11), Harriet Collins (Year 12), Annabelle Ranken (Year 12), Sophie Rodwell (Year 12), Amy Thompson (Year 12).
  • AMEB Musicianship recipients with High Distinction: Summer Oxley and Hilary Swan (Year 10) Grade 2, Sophie Chen (Year 8) Grade 1.
  • Lucy Pernice (Year 11), for her selection to Snow Australia’s Emerging Talent Programme 2021 and for gaining a scholarship for this year’s full-time training programme at Perisher Winter Sports Club for Best Role Model in every discipline ski and snowboard, male and female. 
  • International Latin Examinations award recipients: Year 9 - Introduction to Latin Exam: Magna Cum Laude Certificate: Juliet Henry; Silver Maxima Cum Laude Certificate: Emily Crawford, Luca de Manincor, Lucy Molineux; Gold Summa Cum Laude Certificate: Poppy Carter, Lucinda Colgan, Phoebe Gilder, Claudia Hampson, Zara Maple-Brown, Miliana Thompson; Year 10 - Latin I Exam - Gold Summa Cum Laude Certificate: Bella Cay, Pia D’Rozario, Hannah Perkins, Edie Staniforth; Year 11 - Latin II Exam - Silver Maxima Cum Laude Certificate: Lucy Booth; Gold Summa Cum Laude Certificate: Matilda Arnott, Zoe Gallagher, Phoebe Rowntree. Year 12 - Latin III Exam - Gold Summa Cum Laude Certificate: Emilie Hassall, Madeleine Mulligan; Perfect scores: Poppy Carter, Lucinda Colgan, Phoebe Gilder, Claudia Hampson
  • Year 11 da Vinci Decathlon Team 2021, Ankitha Avvari, Maya Basson, Sophia Brooks, Yusra Chalak, Zoe Gallagher, Sarah Hunter, Charlotte Senior, Emily Senior and Mia Shakeshaft, for its achievements at the recent State Competition.
  • Gib Gate parents for their support at recent Hockey matches held at Welby Hockey Turf.

Lucy Pernice

Ms Sarah McGarry
Head of Frensham

Head of Frensham Schools