The secret to getting ahead is getting started

Welcome Back

It has been wonderful to welcome back all students and staff for Term 2. We had a very productive day of professional learning with staff from both Frensham and Gib Gate on Monday 19 April, followed by the return of Boarders on Monday evening and the commencement of classes on Tuesday 20 April. Schools feel incomplete without the spirited humans who really enliven them as places and as communities.

In our first Prayers to start the term, I shared some of my thoughts and reflections about fresh starts, as the beginning of a new term seems the perfect time to do so. We are all familiar with the feeling of a fresh start – the first day in a new school, a new class, the first day of term or even just a Monday morning. These have a way of decoupling or separating what’s happened in the past from what is to come next. Professor Katy Milkman, from the Wharton School, along with her research team, has explored this topic in great detail. She defines the “Fresh Start Effect” as the energy and determination we feel when we have the opportunity to be able to wipe the slate clean.  According to Milkman’s research, the same momentum that drives us when making new year’s resolutions in January can be harnessed to help us focus on the pursuit of goals at other times throughout the year.

The beginning of a new term is a brilliant time for us all to encourage each other and to take a determined approach ourselves toward our goals, for these “fresh start” moments tend to be when we have a natural inclination to put in the extra effort and set ourselves up well for the term ahead. After all, in the words of Mark Twain: the secret to getting ahead is getting started. I wish all students, staff and families a productive, creative and happy term ahead.

Welcome to Term 2 ~ Frensham and Gib Gate Staff 


Further to my note to parents last week, I remind all members of the Frensham Schools community of the need to monitor your health during the coming term. Visitors must not attend any School functions if unwell, or awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test, and students must not attend school if they are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms. The safety and wellbeing of our community remains our first priority.

We are looking forward to welcoming our community to more events back on campus this term. We are currently finalising plans, in light of the updated regulations, for the Frensham Schools Birthday Weekend in June, and will be communicating these details separately to our community early next week.

Frensham Pavilion

For the first time in over a year the Frensham Pavilion will be fully open for business on Saturday morning for Round 1 of the Term 2 IGSA Competition.

A special thanks must go to Mrs Edwina Savage (Year 10 Parent) who is handing over the reins to Mrs Alison Vilo and Mrs Edwina Carter (Year 9 Parents) for 2021.

Along with the Frensham Baristas (Year 12 students) the team of Alison, Edwina, Edward and Charlie will be preparing and serving the best coffee and bacon and egg sandwiches in the Southern Highlands!

ANZAC Day Service

Over a number of years, Frensham Schools has worked with the Mittagong RSL Sub-branch, to share in the planning and delivery of the best possible outcomes for the community for the Mittagong ANZAC Day Service. This year, COVID-19 restrictions have impacted on the delivery of the traditional services, there will be no Dawn Service, the morning Service will be a ticketed event and there will be no schools marching.

In support of the Mittagong RSL Sub-branch, Frensham’s involvement will include:

  • the ANZAC Message on behalf of the Youth of the Community, offered by Jessica Billett and Sophie Perkins (Year 12).
  • Wreath Bearers and representing Frensham Schools (P-12), Annabelle Ranken (Head Girl) and Taylah Stoney (Vice Head Girl) with Ms Kate Chauncy, Director of Teaching and Learning P-12.
  • Head of Music, Mr Michael Spencer will lead musical elements of the Service with student participation from singers Grace Amos, Elke Arnott, Lily Hunt, Madeleine Mulligan, Isabelle Promnitz, Georgia Shakeshaft (Year 12) and flautists Maya Basson (Year 11) and Aoibh Costello (Year 12).

All Frensham Boarders will be attending a Service at 10am on campus. All Day Boarders are welcome to join for this Service, in full School Uniform.

National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) 2021 Information for Parents and Carers

In May 2021 the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) will be completed by students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. NAPLAN has the support of all State and Territory Education Ministers and will assess the literacy and numeracy skills of students across Australian schools. NAPLAN and all associated testing events did not proceed for 2020 due to COVID-19.

NAPLAN is an annual assessment and tests the types of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. The tests cover skills in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy. The results of the tests will provide important information to schools about what each student can do and will be used to support teaching and learning programs. Parents will receive a report indicating their child’s level of achievement. Each student’s level of achievement will be reported against the national minimum standard.

Student background information (student name, gender, date of birth, language background and Aboriginality) will be collected as part of the National Assessment Program. This information is treated confidentially and held securely to ensure that every student’s right to privacy is maintained.

The NAPLAN tests will be conducted in Week 4 of Term 2 from 11-14 May 2021. Please note that all NAPLAN Tests conducted at Frensham and Gib Gate this year will be pen and paper. 

Where possible, schools are permitted to arrange for individual students who are absent at the time of testing to complete missed tests at another time during the relevant testing window.  Individual students are not permitted to sit the paper tests after Friday 14 May 2021.


  • Year 3: Language Conventions (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) - 45 minutes; Writing test - 40 minutes
  • Year 5: Language Conventions (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) - 45 minutes; Writing test - 40 minutes
  • Year 7: Language Conventions (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) - 45 minutes; Writing test - 40 minutes
  • Year 9: Language Conventions (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) - 45 minutes; Writing test - 40 minutes


  • Year 3: Reading test - 45 minutes
  • Year 5: Reading test - 50 minutes
  • Year 7: Reading test - 65 minutes
  • Year 9: Reading test - 65 minutes


  • Year 3: Numeracy test - 45 minutes
  • Year 5: Numeracy test - 50 minutes
  • Year 7: Numeracy test - 65 minutes
  • Year 9: Numeracy test - 65 minutes

The Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 Numeracy tests are conducted in one test session. The Years 7 and 9 numeracy tests have two sections. There is a short non-calculator section, in which students are required to demonstrate arithmetical calculation skills. For the remainder of the test, calculators are permitted, even if they are not necessary to answer the question. Students will use the calculator that they currently use at school.

In NAPLAN writing tests, students are provided with a ‘writing stimulus’ (sometimes called a ‘prompt’ – an idea or topic) and asked to write a response in a particular genre (narrative or persuasive writing).

Friday 14 May is the scheduled ‘catch-up’ day for students who missed a test or were absent on a test day. Students may be considered for exemption from the tests if they:

  • are newly arrived in Australia (less than one year before the test) and with a language background other than English, or
  • have significant intellectual disability and/or significant co-existing conditions which severely limit their capacity to participate in the tests.

All other students are expected to participate in the tests. Disability adjustments which reflect the student’s normal level of support in the classroom may be provided. Access to disability adjustments or exemption from the tests must be discussed with the Head and a parent or carer consent form must be signed.

Students may be withdrawn from NAPLAN by their parent or carer. This is a matter for consideration by parents in consultation with the Head. If you wish to withdraw your child from the tests, a parent or carer consent form must be signed.

Additional information about NAPLAN can be found at:

We stress that we do not believe in the value of excessive preparation for NAPLAN beyond teaching the NESA Curriculum and familiarising students with the NAPLAN process. Parents and carers are welcome to discuss any questions they may have with Ms Sally Robson or Ms Kate Chauncy at Gib Gate or with Mr Geoff Marsh, Ms Kate Chauncy or Ms Janene van Gogh at Frensham.

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

Boarding Information

Weekend Exeat Links

  • All Exeats are to be submitted online via the Schoolbox form and must be completed by 12.00pm the Thursday prior.
  • The School will be running South Coast (Kiama / Wollongong) and South West (Cootamundra / Harden / Yass) buses on Sunday 23 May.
  • All bus bookings, including Sydney buses, are made via the online Exeat form.

Weekend 2: Open Weekend Leave Exeat - T2 Week 2 (Friday 30 April - Monday 3 May)

Weekend 3: Open Weekend Leave Exeat - T2 Week 3 (Friday 7 May - Monday 10 May)

Weekend 4: Open Weekend Leave Exeat - T2 Week 4 (Friday 14 May - Monday 17 May)

Weekend 5: Open Weekend Leave/Exeat - T2 Week 5 (Friday 21 May - Monday 24 May) Sth West Bus & Sth Coast Bus

Weekend 6: Open Weekend Leave Exeat - T2 Week 6 (Friday 28 May - Monday 31 May)

Available on Schoolbox:

  • Weekend programme, posted each Wednesday
  • Weekend activity term overview
  • House Duty Room phone numbers

Acknowledgement to:

  • Senior musicians and their professional tutors: Frensham has been awarded by the Australian Music Examination Board (AMEB) NSW for the fifth year – a Certificate of Distinction for a Top 10 result in the Category of Most Outstanding Accredited School 2020. Congratulations to Ms Sabine Madden Coordinator of Music Tuition and Gifted and Talented Music students, and the entire Music Staff and Tuition Staff on this extraordinary achievement.
  • Equestrian competing successfully at recent national and regional events: Willa Mitchell (Year 12) – Wallaby Hill International – 2nd placed Junior CCI3* (Eventing); Kate Clifton (Year 9), Young Dressage Championships – 1st Prelim 1A; Elizabeth Taylor (Year 8) - Southern Cross Hack Championships - Champion Rider (U 15 years), Champion Large Show Hunter Galloway and Champion Owner/Rider Large Show Hunter Galloway; Hufglocken Grand Nationals – Champion Child’s Hack; Sydney Royal Easter Show – Champion Senior Girl Rider (U 17 years), Champion Child’s Galloway; Tia Thomas (Year 8) (Eventing).
  • Members of the Show Cattle Team, led by Ms Leonie Mutch, for their excellent results at the Royal Sydney Easter Show: Champion School in the Herdsman (Best Maintained Team) Competition which included their Easter Show Display focusing on Frensham Farming Families and the School’s Agriculture programme and Champion School Carcase.
  • Gib Gate U12 Water Polo team, winners of the Grand Final; Amelia Blackshaw for being awarded Best and Fairest Player and Olivia Cowley the Most Improved Player.
  • Gib Gate U12 Purple Basketball team, runners-up of the Grand Final.

da Vinci Decathlon Competition

Teams from Years 5 to 10 competed in the da Vinci Decathlon Competition at the end of Term 1. Gib Gate competed at The Illawarra Christian School, Wollongong on Monday 29 March and Frensham competed at The Illawarra Grammar School Wollongong on Tuesday 30 March and Wednesday 31 March. Both Gib Gate and Frensham teams were competing against over 15 other schools from across the Illawarra region. Ms Kate Chauncy (Frensham) and Mrs Lee Ann Marsh (Gib Gate) coordinated participation in the competition and the students are commended for the success achieved.

  • Year 5: Darcey Burrows, Lachlan Dormer, Mae Gilkeson, Gemma McInnes, Matilda Spong, Edward Vilo, Annabelle Whyte-Cleaver, Oliver Wilson - 3rd in Art & Poetry, Engineering and Creative Producers.
  • Year 6: Annika Basson, Amelia Blackshaw, Iman Byrne, Isla McVinish, Sofia Nesci, Anthony Neilson, Ruby Rodgers, Adele Trudeau - 2nd Creative Producers and Legacy, 3rd Art & Poetry.
  • Year 7: Anouk Davies, Mollie Fitzpatrick, Alexandra Frith, Alice Gilder, Indigo Ling, Jade Neilson, Cara Sims, Isabel Syme - 1st Art & Poetry; 2nd Cartography and 3rd English.
  • Year 8: Sophie Chen, Jade Cox, Sophie Goodisson, Sophie Hanrahan, Amelia Hartnell, Camilla Johnston, Georgina Lewis, Elizabeth Shadbolt - 2nd Mathematics.
  • Year 9: Adelaide Ayling, Poppy Carter, Alice Fergusson, Claudia Hampson, Sophie Simpson, Imogen Smith, Eva Telford, Sidney Wheeler – 2nd place overall in Year 9, 1st Legacy, 3rd English and Mathematics.
  • Year 10: Sarah-Joy Day, Sissy Fairrie, Heidi Jervis, Abigail Jorgensen, Summer Oxley, Freyjika Parker, Phoebe Rouse, Hilary Swan - 3rd Science.

Frensham Student Leadership (Term 2)

  • Hartfield: (Year 10) Sarah-Joy Day, Darcy Maple-Brown, Bridie Turner
  • Kennedy: (Year 10) Matilda Damiani, Saskia Hilkemeijer, Cintra Maldonado
  • Linden Turner: (Year 10) Hannah Bendror, Meg Jones, Millie Moar   
  • Linden Turner: (Year 11) Abigail Hicks, Mia Shakeshaft, Olivia Vertzayias
  • Bryant McCarthy: (Year 11) Anna Collins, Mia Greig, Polly Whitwell

Staffing update

We welcome to Boarding:

  • Mrs Marion Van Kooten to the role of Head of Hartfield House. Mrs Van Kooten has been working in our Boarding Programme since 2020 and is enthusiastic about leading Hartfield House and contributing her expertise to the Boarding leadership team.
  • Mrs Chelsea Carroll who will be joining us as a casual member of staff in Boarding, to provide during Ms Jeannette Gibson’s Long Service Leave, from Week 3 of the term.

We welcome back Mr Michael Spencer (Head of Music) and Mrs Trudi Spencer (Visual Arts) from Long Service Leave taken during Term 1.

Ms Sarah McGarry
Head of Frensham

Head of Frensham Schools