The upcoming Birthday Weekend

Outdoor Learning on the Gib Gate Land for Wildlife site, including planting native grasses

Term 2 Events

We are excitedly making arrangements for one of the most important events in the School calendar, the Birthday Weekend. This celebration, typically around the first weekend in June, involves our entire community – students, staff, and parents from Gib Gate, Frensham and Sturt, along with Frensham Old Girls. Whilst we are limited with visitor numbers at individual events, we have adjusted our programme to accommodate as many visitors as possible across the course of the weekend’s celebrations. The schedule for the weekend will be published on Schoolbox by the end of this week.

End of Term Arrangements

As previously advised in the Term 1 Newsletter, we will be giving all families at Gib Gate and Frensham the option for children to undertake remote learning at home, or to attend school on campus in our last week of this term, 15-17 June. Students will be expected students to complete set learning activities whether at home or on campus.

We ask all families to respond by clicking here, providing an indication of whether your child/ren will be undertaking remote learning or learning on campus. This will assist us greatly with our planning for this week.

Teaching and Learning

Reach Assessments - Term 2, 2021
In Teaching and Learning at Frensham and Gib Gate, as part of Frensham Schools Strategic Priorities 2018-2022, we are continuously seeking to improve and extend our assessment and benchmarking using a research based, robust set of tools to provide data across multiple subjects and years. This enables us to study individual, class and cohort levels of achievement and growth. This approach to data analysis ensures excellence in teaching practice and enhances creative pathways for learning that increase personalisation and flexibility for all students so they can achieve their personal best.

In 2019 we introduced the REACH assessment tool (previously UNSW Global) - a comprehensive set of assessments, for primary and secondary students in English, Mathematics, Science and Writing. The assessments are based on the Australian curriculum for students in Years 2 to 10 and are suitable for use across all ability levels. Items range from recall and routine application, through to more demanding questions. They were not available for implementation in 2020 but we are now able to utilise the REACH Assessment programme in Term 2 this year. They will be administered in comfortable timed conditions for the students in their classrooms by their class teachers. 

The data will provide us with an independent and objective benchmark of student progress to support our teachers’ professional judgement, class-based tasks and formal school-based assessment programmes, and inform future curriculum planning and programming.

In addition, we have always provided our students with the opportunity to challenge themselves using ICAS Competition papers and we will continue to use this tool in addition to REACH in Term 3 this year. ICAS is aimed at recognising academic excellence for high potential students, emphasising challenge and extension in tight timed conditions. The ICAS Competition online papers in 2021 may be undertaken by students who have a high level of success in REACH in Years 2-10 allowing them to apply their learning and challenge themselves at ‘competition level’ in each of the disciplines above. The ICAS Competitions require students to think beyond the classroom and provide us with data that acknowledges their performance achievement at the highest level.

Parents can find relevant information about both the REACH and ICAS assessments at:

Professional Learning at Frensham Schools Terms 2 and 3 2021

Professional Learning Goals 2021-2022: to meet the individual learning needs of all students by personalising programmes, experiences and outcomes; and to create a learning community, which is world class and embraces innovation, inspired by evidence-based research and external critique.

In pursuit of our staff Professional Learning Goals, on Monday 19 April all teachers P-12 commenced their professional learning through the UNSW Faculty of Education to obtain up-to-date qualifications in teaching our high potential and gifted  students in every classroom. UNSW lecturers Di Bond and Marie McGregor delivered a bespoke Certificate of Gifted Education programme on campus at Frensham, which was the first of three days of learning designed in consultation with Ms Kate Chauncy and Dr Ruth Phillips to suit teachers and students at Frensham Schools. For those teachers who hold postgraduate qualifications in gifted education already, and those who have previously completed this particular course through the UNSW, Dr Ruth Phillips designed an Advanced course in Gifted Education which she delivered simultaneously.

The course continues on Friday 18 June (end Term 2) and Monday 12 July (start Term 3) by which time all teachers at Frensham Schools will have achieved post graduate accreditation in this vital area of education and developed their skills, knowledge and understanding of contemporary research and best practice in engaging and supporting all our students to reach their potential.

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

Boarding and Travel Information

Long Weekend Travel – SSTS Travel bookings

  • Bookings for the June long weekend are due to House staff by Monday 10 May.
  • Please note that SSTS coach services have advised that late bookings are not able to be accommodated.
  • SSTS Coach/Train services give preference to students travelling home so travel with friends cannot be guaranteed – families are asked to have a second plan in place.

Term 2 Parent Weekends
Following updated COVID-19 guidelines for Schools, we are now able to accommodate all Frensham students and Year Group parents at the Year Weekend School Services.

  • Year 8 Weekend - Sunday 16 May (Service and Concert: 9.30am for 10.00am start, finish approximately 11.30am
    Student attendance at the Services and Concerts is compulsory, and girls are required to wear full winter school uniform including hats, blazers and stockings.
  • Year 12 and Birthday Weekend - Friday 4 June-Sunday 6 June – Full details for Years 7-12 regarding this weekend will be emailed to parents this week and, for reference, will be available on Schoolbox.

Weekend Exeats
All families are reminded that all Exeats are to be submitted online via the relevant Schoolbox form by 12.00pm the Thursday prior. On the Birthday Weekend, Exeat Leave and Day Leave is only to be taken with students’ own parents/carers.


The Term 2 IGSA Sport season is well underway. This term Frensham is represented by 12 Football and 14 Basketball teams in the IGSA competitions. There is a rousing atmosphere on the Games Field and at the Basketball Courts with girls cheering on their teams and friends and the Pavilion is open, serving bacon and egg sandwiches and coffee.

The 2021 Cross Country team, consisting of 44 girls across seven age groups, has been training hard and the girls are ready to race their best this Friday at the annual IGSA Cross Country Carnival, hosted by Frensham. All families are welcome to attend in support of the girls who are running.

Last Friday, we welcomed runners from Oxley College. This was an opportunity for students to fine tune their skills against quality opposition and we thank the students and staff from Oxley College for making this possible. We are looking forward to seeing our runners compete this Friday and wish them well.

Ms Erin Gray, Head of Sport

Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Silver Qualifying Expedition

The Royal National Park, Heathcote, 26-28 April
The three-day expedition, undertaken by Year 10 students, is based on a programme of developing navigational, teamwork, leadership, orienteering and camping skills. The following students were supported by Mr McMillan and Ms Farmer,  Scarlett Alldis, Monique Andersson, Lucy Arnott, Hannah Bendror, Ava Berkelouw, Julia Burge, Bella Cay, Matilda Chadwick, Alexandra Corbett, Matilda Damiani, Sarah-Joy Day, Evelyn Doan, Pia D'Rozario, Olivia Faulkner, Sophie Hassall, Saskia Hilkemeijer, Gracie Hindmarsh, Charlotte Hopperton, Olivia Huggins, Meg Jones, Phoebe Kingsley, Savannah Linde, Zoe Logan, James McBride, Emilie McMurtrie, Cintra Maldonado, Darcy Maple-Brown, Alice Mitchell, Augusta Muir, Eliza Mulligan, Elizabeth Nesci, Summer Oxley, Poppy Paradice, Freyjika Parker, Sarah Partland, Hannah Perkins, Phoebe Rouse, Jessica Savage, Annabelle Scott, Edie Staniforth, Inka Wilson.

Mr Shane Green, Coordinator Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

ANZAC Service Address

Delivered by Jessica Billett and Sophie Perkins Year 12 at the Mittagong ANZAC Day Ceremony 25 April 2021 on Behalf of the Youth of the Community.

When war broke out in 1914, Australia had been a federated nation for only 13 years, and its government was eager to establish a reputation among the nations of the world.

In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The ultimate objective was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany.

The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders.

What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight long months.

At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated from the Peninsula, with both sides having suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. More than 8,700 Australian soldiers had died in the campaign.

Gallipoli had a profound impact on Australians at home, and April 25 soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who died in the war.

Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the actions of Australian and New Zealand forces during the campaign left a powerful legacy.

What became known as the ‘Anzac Legend’ was to become an important part of the identity of both nations, shaping the ways in which they viewed both their past and their future.

In his poem ‘For the Fallen’, Laurence Binyon offers this reflection on the enduring legacy of our soldiers:

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
As the stars that shall be bright when they are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are stormy in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

As the youth of the community, we owe our ANZAC soldiers more than a debt of gratitude – we owe them our determination and courage to protect their legacy and continue to build the Australia they sought to protect.

Their resilience, courage and strength of spirit has ingrained itself into the Australian psyche. From the devastation of war arose moments of mateship, and from loss came the unity of a nation.

It was out of love for their country that they faced death, and although they may be gone, they will not be forgotten.  

2021 also marks a significant milestone for the Royal Australian Air Force, as it marks 100 years of service.

This is an important time to reflect on their enduring contribution to the security of Australia. From modest beginnings in 1921, the Air Force has grown into a potent, world class military entity which Australia relies upon in both conflict and peace.

We aspire to mirror those who served and who are currently serving, highlighting humanity’s most admirable attributes: service, selflessness and courage in the face of adversity. It is our responsibility to prolong the memory of those who served, and those who continue to serve today and into the future.

We are very honoured to be standing here today, representing the youth of the Southern Highlands, paying our respects to all men and women who have served and honouring your sacrifice to our country.

Lest We Forget.

Acknowledgment to:

  • Frensham students trialing for Open IGSA Teams, Georgia Shakeshaft (Year 12) and Mia Shakeshaft (Year 11) Basketball; Amelia Guilfoyle (Year 12) Hockey; Heidi Jervis (Year 10) Football.
  • Sarah-Joy Day and Bella Cay (Year 10) who represented Frensham at the recent Plain English Public Speaking Competition.
  • Frensham Schools Equestrians competing at national and regional events: Sophie Baldwin (Year 8) - Hawkesbury Show: 1st 1.05m Show Jumping; Victorian State Trials: 5th overall on two different mounts; Cassia Berry (Year 8) - Sugarloaf Cobbity Equestrian Australia: 2nd overall Pony Dressage; 1st Youth rider. Oxley Equestrian Day: Frensham and Gib Gate were well represented with numerous riders placing in all disciplines. Cassia Berry (Year 9): 1st Novice 2B Senior Dressage; Lilly Treweeke (Year 9) 1st 75cm Senior Show Jumping. The Gib Gate Team of Annika Basson, Olivia Cowley and Georgia Suttie (Year 6), competed at a high standard in dressage, show jumping and show riding, resulting in being placed 2nd Overall Primary School Division.
  • Gib Gate Cross Country Team for its success at the recent IPSHA Cross Country event held at The King’s School: Valentina Hercus and Zahra Nash (Year 3) qualified to represent IPSHA at the NSWCIS Cross Country Championships to be held later this term.
  • Year 6 students for their leadership in the Gib Gate Peer Support Programme (K-5).

Staffing update

Last week, we farewelled Miss Jane Crichton, who had been part of the Boarding Programme since 2019 and was most recently in Linden Turner House. We welcome back Mrs Jacky McCarroll, a well-known member of the Frensham staff, who will be working in Boarding this term.

Ms Sarah McGarry
Head of Frensham

Head of Frensham Schools