Welcome to Frensham Schools 2022

Term 1 news and activities

We are so pleased to be back at school for 2022 after another unusual summer break. We hope that all families had some opportunity to rest and recharge and are feeling ready to face the year ahead. Students and staff have returned with enthusiasm and optimism for their work, and our campuses are humming with the energy and exuberance so characteristic of our community. As you will see from this newsletter, many aspects of school life are able to resume this term and we are very much looking forward to connecting with our community across the course of this year.

Our first opportunity to connect this is on our Year 7 Parent Weekend at the end of February. Our Open Day format will necessarily be adjusted, but Year 7 parents will still have the opportunity to meet senior staff, have interviews with their daughter’s teachers and to get to the know the campus a little better. We look forward to being able to gather with all families of new students from both Gib Gate and Frensham on Saturday 26 February, with a formal invitation to our Welcome function to be issued in the coming days.

We offer our most sincere congratulations to the Class of 2021, for their excellent results in the HSC and for their contribution to Frensham over their years at the school. Whilst there were opportunities they missed as a result of the global pandemic over their final two years at school, they demonstrated remarkable resilience and have developed a range of other beneficial skills as they move into their lives after school.

We warmly welcome new staff to Frensham Schools in 2022, and staff who are taking on new roles or additional responsibilities. These are listed later in today’s newsletter, as well as being contained in our Information Book and on Schoolbox.

Thank you to all families for your patience and understanding as we navigate updated COVID-19 guidelines and new requirements for school and families – like regular Rapid Antigen Tests. The positive and supportive way our community – staff, students and parents – have responded to these changing requirements is very encouraging indeed. We remind families of the information that is posted on our COVID-19 Information Page on Schoolbox. It can be easy to miss an email but Schoolbox will continue to be the central source for key school information – and if what you are seeking does not seem to be on Schoolbox, please let us know so that we can ensure our communication is timely and relevant for families and that information is readily available.

Activities and Absences

It has been an exciting and busy start to the year and we welcome all new parents and students. Many Co-curricular activities commenced on Monday of Week 2. We are ever-mindful of COVID-19 regulations and considerations and are endeavouring to ensure we conduct all activities safely.

We thank parents for your understanding that there may be some additional documentation required as part of our COVID-19 management plan. Camp information has been sent to parents and please note that the return of medical forms (with detailed information provided) are a priority.

Equipment lists for Outdoor Education Week are located on page 52 of the 2022 Frensham Information Book (located on Schoolbox A-Z Frensham) and information about the programme for each year group has been included in the email to parents and posted on Schoolbox News.

Absences from School
As noted on the staff list found on Schoolbox (A-Z of Frensham – Staff Contacts) and emailed to parents last week, if a student is absent from school due to medical/dental appointment (early advice would be appreciated), illness or injury, please forward an email to absence@frensham.nsw.edu.au The email should contain a note of explanation regarding the absence and an expected return time and/or date.

In accordance with our duty of care, if a student has an unexplained period of absence, a letter will be mailed to parents or guardians requesting written confirmation. Legislation requires that the School keep written documentation of all absences.  

All requests for Special Family Leave should be made in writing to the Head (frensham@frensham.nsw.edu.au), well in advance of the event, to allow consideration and a written response. Requests for Leave for Sport can be sent to jvangogh@frensham.nsw.edu.au

Ms Janene van Gogh, Deputy Head of Frensham (Acting, Term 1)


Frensham has come back to life after the holiday season, with the sound of singing and laughter echoing throughout the grounds. It has been wonderful to welcome the girls back to Term 1. This term, we see a number of new students joining us in Years 8-11 and celebrate the beginning of a new chapter with our class of 2027 having arrived on Monday 31 January. Despite some natural homesickness and the challenges involved in the transition into secondary school, a new school and into a boarding environment, overwhelmingly the girls have had a wonderful first week and weekend at Frensham. Year 7 students are getting to know their way around Frensham, even meeting Philip the Donkey on a leisurely walk around the grounds. We have been pleased to see our Day Boarders joining for a range of activities after school and on our Closed Weekend.

This weekend saw the girls excited to participate in the Friday night activities organised by the senior girls. Years 7 and 8 played Bingo, while Years 9 and 10 enjoyed a ‘Just Dance’ event. The School was a hive of activity and energy setting a positive tone for the weekend. The girls were kept busy with Sports trials on Saturday morning followed by a fun-filled programme including mindfulness, games, study, yoga, craft, Crack meetings and movies. A very special activity that many girls were involved in was ‘Kindness Rocks’. This involved girls painting and creating art on rocks that will be placed around the school for other girls to find, brightening their day. A beautiful opportunity to spread kindness throughout our community. 

Boarding activities


Despite COVID-19 still being a factor in the boarding environment we are thrilled to report that the girls are managing the situation with understanding and ease. Frensham Boarding is thankful to be embarking on another exciting term for our young women and we look forward to sharing the special Frensham spirit and culture of community between all students.

Ms Sally Edwards, Director of Student Life (Boarding)

ICAS Results 2021

Frensham students from Years 7 to 11 achieved excellent results for the 2021 ICAS Assessments. ICAS Assessments are online assessments, designed to recognise and reward academic excellence. The assessments are based on the curricula for the relevant year but students are asked to demonstrate a deeper, integrated, and thorough level of knowledge. ICAS assesses the higher order thinking and problem-solving skills needed for success in English, Mathematics, Science, Writing and Digital Technologies. Every year schools around the globe participate in ICAS which provides a robust international benchmark of student achievement.

Frensham students have been awarded certificates of Merit, Credit, Distinction and High Distinction. We congratulate all of them on the outstanding results.

Distinction Awards place students in the top 10% of the international cohort for 2021 and we highlight this achievement by:  Anouk Davies (English and Digital Technologies), Millicent Debelle Hancock (English) (Year 7); Sophie Goodisson (Writing), Sophie Hanrahan (Writing, Science and Mathematics), Georgina Lewis (Mathematics) (Year 8); Claudia Hampson (Writing), Cate Horsfall (English and Writing); Sophie Simpson (English, Science and  Mathematics); Imogen Smith (English); Sidney Wheeler (Mathematics and Writing) (Year 9); Hilary Swan (Mathematics) (Year 10) and Zoe Gallagher (English) (Year 11).

ICAS English

  • Year 7: Distinction: Millicent Debelle Hancock; Anouk Davies. Credit: York Doyle; Lucia Semple; Jade Neilson; Lexi Wimalaratne.
  • Year 8: Credit: Raphaela O’Neill’Siambis; Skye McLelland; Jade Cox.
  • Year 9: Distinction: Sophie Simpson; Cate Horsfall; Imogen Smith. Credit: Emily Crawford; Sidney Wheeler; Claudia Hampson; Amy Wimalaratne.
  • Year 10: Credit: Summer Oxley; Sophie Hassall; Sissy Fairrie; Augusta Muir; Hilary Swan.
  • Year 11: Distinction: Zoe Gallagher. Credit: Matilda Arnott.

ICAS Writing

  • Year 7: Credit: Holly Halloran; Alexandra Frith; Anouk Davies; Henrietta Hayman.
  • Year 8: Distinction: Sophie Hanrahan; Sophie Goodisson. Credit: Lara Bentley; Sophie Kennedy; Skye McLelland.
  • Year 9: Distinction: Claudia Hampson; Cate Horsfall; Sidney Wheeler. Credit: Lucinda Colgan; Sophie Simpson; Amy Wimalaratne.
  • Year 10: Credit: Augusta Muir; Hilary Swan; Bella Cay; Sissy Fairrie; Sophie Hassall.
  • Year 11: Credit: Maya Basson.

ICAS Science

  • Year 7: Credit: Anouk Davies, Isabel Syme, Lexi Wimalaratne; Merit: York Doyle.
  • Year 8: Distinction: Sophie Hanrahan; Credit: Camilla Johnston, Elizabeth Laverty.
  • Year 9: Distinction: Sophie Simpson; Credit: Adelaide Ayling, Poppy Carter, Alice Fergusson, Claudia Hampson, Cate Horsfall, Sidney Wheeler; Merit: Amy Wimalaratne.
  • Year 10: Credit: Lucy Arnott, Millie Moar, Summer Oxley, Hannah Perkins, Hilary Swan, Megan Syme; Merit: Sissy Fairrie.
  • Year 11: Credit: Zoe Gallagher.

ICAS Digital Technologies

  • Year 7: Distinction: Anouk Davies; Credit: York Doyle, Millicent Debelle Hancock, Jade Neilson and Scarlett Shadbolt.
  • Year 8: Credit: Sophie Hanrahan; Merit: Camilla Johnston, Georgina Lewis and Elizabeth Shadbolt.,
  • Year 9: Credit: Sophie Simpson, Amy Wimalaratne
  • Year 10: Credit: Sissy Fairrie

ICAS Mathematics

  • Year 7: Credit: Anouk Davies, York Doyle and Isabel Syme; Merit: Sophie Holland and Lexi Wimalaratne.
  • Year 8: Distinction: Georgina Lewis, Sophie Hanrahan; Credit: Sophie Goodisson, Amelia Hartnell, Zara McMurtrie; Merit: Jade Cox, Camilla Johnston, Skye McLelland, Bliss Ow-Yang.
  • Year 9: Distinction: Sophie Simpson and Sidney Wheeler; Merit: Poppy Carter and Amy Wimalaratne.
  • Year 10: Distinction: Hilary Swan; Credit: Lucy Arnott; Summer Oxley; Hannah Perkins and Megan Syme; Merit: Alexandra Corbett and Elizabeth Nesci.

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

Jamieson Programme

Frensham’s Jamieson Programme is built on the belief that exposure to challenges in a secure environment can awaken in young people a belief in themselves that will stay with them throughout their lives. 

With a focus on health and fitness, critical and ethical thinking, service and leadership, the Jamieson Programme helps girls in Years 7-10 gain confidence and courage to deal with the unfamiliar territory ahead. It also challenges students to consider the difference they can make, individually and as part of a group, when exploring real social, political and environmental issues.

There is a particular focus in Year 9 where every second Thursday, the programme begins at 1.45pm and extends into the evening. Thursday was our first extended Jamieson Programme day and girls were introduced to the Programme and provided with an overview of the different components. We started with some critical thinking skills that are required for the IGCSE Cambridge Global Perspectives course such as distinguishing between fact and opinion, including expert opinions, and identifying different types of bias. Students also received information about the fitness component from Mr Shane Green, who is developing individual fitness programmes for girls.  Every student in Year 9 will complete an exercise tracking document each week to view their progress. Ms Simone Lindsay also familiarised the group about the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, upcoming camps and the importance of giving back to the community. Most participated in Holting in the afternoon with some involved in the Sheep and Cattle teams. Many of the activities planned as part of Jamieson Programme conform to the spirit of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award so that, through participation in Jamieson activities, students may gain approval to complete Service and Skills components for the D of E programme.

We are looking forward to an exciting and immensely rewarding year ahead where girls learn to recognise the needs of others and respond with courage, generosity and integrity.

Mrs Merrilee Harris, Director of Jamieson Programme

Livestock Team Report

On Saturday 5 February, six members of the Cattle Team along with three steers travelled to the South Coast to compete at the Nowra Show. Although the weather was wet and humid and the steers have had minimal handling by the students, the Team performed very well. The results were as follows:

  • ECM Livestock Junior Steer Competition: 1st - Judith Hopkins leading ‘Rocky’ (Simmental), 2nd - Tia Thomas leading ‘Smiggle’ (Simmental), 3rd - Maggie Waldren leading ‘Ringo’ (Angus)
  • Middleweight Steers 340 - 440kg: 1st - ‘Smiggle’ (Simmental) led by Tia Thomas
  • Heavyweight Steers >440kg: 1st - ‘Rocky’ (Simmental) led by Judith Hopkins, 2nd - ‘Ringo’ (Angus) led by Maggie Waldren
  • Champion Steer: ‘Rocky’ (Simmental) led by Judith Hopkins
  • Reserve Champion Steer: ‘Smiggle’ (Simmental) led by Tia Thomas
  • Junior Paraders < 14 years: 1st - Tia Thomas leading ‘Smiggle’ (Simmental)
  • Senior Parader 17-25 years: 1st - Judith Hopkins leading ‘Rocky’ (Simmental)
  • Showmanship Award: Judith Hopkins

Members of the Cattle Team, Nowra Show

The next Show for the Cattle Team will be the Robertson Show on Saturday 12 March. The Sheep Team will compete at their first event of the year at the Crookwell Show on Saturday 12 February. In the meantime, more hours will be spent preparing the livestock for showing and ringcraft practice for the students.

Ms Leonie Mutch, Coordinator of the Livestock Team


It is a pleasure to be able to advertise the recommencement of all our Choirs and Ensembles with, in most instances, “live” rehearsals for the first time in over six months. Here are some notes, on each of the ensembles, for both students and parents.

Junior Choir - This choir is open to all Years 7 and 8, with no audition. This is an opportunity to be grasped, regardless of whether a student feels confident vocally. The choir rehearses once a week on Tuesdays, just before lunch (12.50pm-1.15pm). The choir has begun rehearsing, as we are aiming to perform in four weeks, with the Senior Choir, in the Year 7 Service.

Senior Choir - New students in Years 9-12 should consider auditioning to join this 90-voice choir (ask your Shadow to arrange this with Mr Spencer). Currently, due to our COVID plan, there are no combined Wednesday night rehearsals.  Rather, sectional rehearsals are held in the mornings, seated in cohorts and spaced between Library and Cooper Hall. 

  • 3rds – Monday 7.50-8.20am
  • 2nds – Tuesday 7.50-8.20am
  • 1sts – Wednesday 7.50-8.20am

Madrigals - New students in Years 9-12 might also consider auditioning for this selective chamber choir (ask your Shadow to arrange this with Mr Spencer). Currently, there are no Wednesday night rehearsals, just Friday mornings (7.50-8.20pm)

Kennedy Strings - Frensham is a relatively small school, and every one of instrumentalists are expected to use their gifts to enrich our ensembles. Any violinists, violists, cellists and double bass players, new to the school, should please make arrangements to attend the Kennedy Strings rehearsals in the Drama Theatre on Wednesday afternoons (3.50-5pm) or speak to Mrs Pinazza if they have any queries.

Concert Band - As above, all wind players and percussionists should come to meet Mr Spencer in the Glenn Music Centre on Wednesday afternoon, from where you will proceed to Clubbe Hall for the rehearsal with Mr Gillen and other instrumental tutors in support. Like Kennedy Strings, the Concert Band rehearses from 3.50-5pm.

Jazz Band - Members of the Concert Band may also be invited to join the selective Jazz Band. This ensemble follows Concert Band, rehearsing from 5-5.30pm on Wednesdays.

Kennedy Strings and soloists performing 'Take My Hand' at Final Prayers in December

Mr Michael Spencer, Head of Music

Sport – Term 1 Sport Activities

Welcome back, we are delighted to have Sport operating and to offer students opportunities to learn new skills, develop their fitness levels and have fun with their peers. 

Along with Frensham’s traditional IGSA Sport training there will be additional Sports Activities offered:

  • IGSA Swimming Squad Training - Monday-Friday 6:00-7:15am; Saturday 6:00-8:00am
    This programme is designed for experienced, skilled swimmers who are interested in competing in the IGSA Swimming Carnival. Secondly, for students who wish to develop their swimming skills for Water Polo. 
  • Swim Development Training - Tuesday and Thursday 6:00-7:15am 
    This programme is designed for students who are developing their swimming skills and swimming competency.  
  • IGSA Cross Country Training - Monday and Wednesday 6:05-7:10am
    This programme is suitable for students who wish to enhance their middle to long distance running skills and to become a member of the Frensham Cross Country team
  • Senior Fitness - Years 10-12 Wednesday 6:15-7:15am
    Senior students who are interested in developing their strength and conditioning, mobility and athletic capacity should join this programme. 
  • IGSA Gymnastics - Wednesday 4:00-5:15pm
    Is suited for students who wish to develop their Gymnastics skills and become a member of the Frensham Gymnastics team
  • IGSA Athletics – Senior Training: Tuesday 4:00-5:30pm; Year 7 and Junior Training: Thursday 4:00-5:30pm
    This is suitable for students that enjoy athletics and would like to develop their skills to become a member of the Frensham Athletics team

The student sign on sheets have been sent via email. If you have any questions please email sgreen@frensham.nsw.edu.au

Mr Shane Green, Head of Sport (2022)


Year 12 students have commenced the term with the focus and application required to be successful learners. Vacation work submitted will be assessed to provide teachers and students valuable checkpoints as to areas for review. Additionally, the Term 1 assessment calendar has been published to Schoolbox.

Year 11 students are enjoying the opportunity to begin their Preliminary HSC courses. These courses are three terms in length, at which point girls confirm their subject choices in preparation for Year 12. As part of their studies, Year 11 students will discuss approaches to study, including expected Prep targets and responsibilities, organisational skills and assessment procedures. Some minor changes are still being made with subject choices.

Students in Years 7-10 are settling into the routines of School life. In Years 10-12, students complete Prep in the Houses, while in Years 8 and 9, Prep is in designated classrooms with teacher supervision. Year 7 students are using the Library for Prep and are appreciating the designated reading time, off -screen, as part of their transition.

Any queries regarding your daughter’s academic programme or wellbeing as an initial contact, can be made to the Year Coordinator found on Schoolbox (A-Z of Frensham – Staff Contacts). They will direct your call further, if required.

Ms Janene van Gogh, Director of Studies


As another year commences, it is important to reflect and celebrate the success of our previous 2021 Year 12 students. We are excited to share a few highlights:

  • 62 out of 65 students applied for early entry in 2021
  • ALL were offered either a conditional (ie they had to achieve a minimum ATAR) or unconditional (no ATAR requirement) offer via early entry programs.
  • Some students had up to six different early entry offers and many knew about these offers prior to going into the HSC examinations.
  • ALL students seeking a tertiary offer received an offer and 77% of Frensham students were offered their 1st preference.

The Year 12 cohort of 2022 had their first “Tertiary Thursday” session. These weekly sessions are arranged to ensure students are aware of where they should be up to in the tertiary planning process and includes information on course updates, early entry deadlines, open days, webinars and the all-important Gap Year, for those wishing to take a year off in 2023. With the new extended Form time on a Thursday, I am looking forward to arranging Frensham Old Girls and industry experts to meet with the girls as guest speakers. Year 11 students will also be having regular Careers meetings so that they can establish tertiary goals and plans for the future.

All parents and students are encouraged to use the SchoolBox Careers page (Schoolbox) – it is a “one-stop shop” for all careers-related information and is designed to ensure that our girls are well prepared for their next steps post-School.

Mrs Merrilee Harris, Director of Jamieson Programme and Head of Careers

Acknowledgement to

  • Term 4, 2021 Girdle award recipients: Jemima Graham-Wansey (Outstanding Commitment to Sport), Maya Basson (Excellence in Music Performance).
  • Students sitting the 2021 ICAS Assessments at Frensham and Gib Gate: Frensham (Distinction) - Anouk Davies (English and Digital Technologies), Millicent Debelle Hancock (English) (Year 7); Sophie Goodisson (Writing), Sophie Hanrahan (Writing, Science and Mathematics), Georgina Lewis (Mathematics) (Year 8); Claudia Hampson (Writing), Cate Horsfall (English and Writing); Sophie Simpson (English, Science and  Mathematics); Imogen Smith (English); Sidney Wheeler (Mathematics and Writing) (Year 9); Hilary Swan (Mathematics) (Year 10) and Zoe Gallagher (English) (Year 11). Gib Gate (High Distinction) - Aliyah Mhanna (Digital Technologies) (Year 4); Amelie Gardiner (Writing and English) (Year 3); Iman Byrne (English) (Year 6). (Distinction) - Amelie Gardiner (Digital Technologies) (Year 3); Madeleine Hannah, Zahra Nash (Year 3), Madeline Conway, Aliyah Mhanna, Montana Molena (Year 4), Isla McVinish (Year 6) (Writing); Sofia Wilson, Lucia Braham (Year 3), Aliyah Mhanna, Emma Andrew, Mathilda Muir (Year 4) (English); Amelie Gardiner (Year 3), Elyssia Mason (Year 4), Annabelle Whyte-Cleaver (Year 5) Science.

Prefect Year Groups as appointed at Final Prayers, 2021

  • Year 7: Jemima Graham-Wansey, Charlotte Hindmarsh, Holly Horsfall
  • Year 8:  Emily Lenehan, Maggie Waldren, Matilda Walker
  • Year 9: Matilda Arnott, Anna Collins, Lucy Waddell
  • Year 10: Edwina Barton, Lulu Duck, Camilla Warner
  • Year 11: Harriette Firth, Stella Hanan
  • Year 12 and Head Girl: Phoebe Rowntree
  • Year 12 and Vice Head Girl: Phoebe Lyne

Year 12 House Leaders

  • Hartfield: Edwina Barton, Sophia Brooks, Mia Greig, Emily Lenehan, Jemima Melki, Coco Potgieter,
  • Kennedy: Isabella Archbold, Harriette Frith, Sienna Fuller, Georgia Klem, Paris Ow-Yang, Charlotte Senior
  • Linden Turner: Olivia Vertzayias, Matilda Walker
  • Bryant McCarthy: Charlotte Hindmarsh, Lily Seaton-Cooper, Lucy Waddell

Heads of Houses for Term 1

  • Hartfield – Year 10: Bella Bernecker, Scarlett Francis, Chloe Cowley
  • Linden Turner – Year 11: Jana Martin-Cooley, Olivia Huggins, Hannah Perkins; Year 10: Juliet Henry, Neve Daugherty
  • Bryant McCarthy – Year 11: Edie Staniforth, Julia Burge

Year Coordinators for 2022:

2022 Staffing update:

  • Ms Amanda Graham moves to a new role of Event Coordinator
  • Mr Shane Green, will be Head of Sport for 2022, while Miss Gray is on Maternity Leave
  • Mr Matthew Selby, promotional position of Director of Activities and joins the Frensham Executive
  • Ms Janene van Gogh has stepped into the role of Acting Deputy Head, Frensham for Term 1

This term, we have been pleased to welcome the following new staff members to Frensham Schools.

Gib Gate:

  • Mrs Melissa Bartlett, BEd (Early Childhood) (UWS) – Preschool
  • Miss Emily Wojcik, BEd (The Early Years) (UOW) – Preschool and Frensham Boarding House Staff
  • Welcome back to Kaitlyn Williamson


  • Mrs Deanna Benardos, M Teaching (Secondary) (UOW); B ICT (UOW) – Mathematics
  • Mr Andrew Cox, B Teaching (CSU), BA (CSU) – English and HSIE
  • Ms Sally Edwards, Dip Ed, BA (MacU) – Director of Student Life (Boarding)
  • Ms Neva Law, BA (La Trobe), Teaching (UOS) – Boarding House Staff
  • Ms Deborah Loughnan – Boarding House Staff
  • Mrs Catherine Luker, M Teaching (Primary) (UNE), BA (UNSW), Cert of Nursing (RN) (Royal North Shore) – Learning Support Teacher
  • Mr Andrew Lundy, Grad Dip Ed (Syd College Advanced Education), BA (Ed) (MacU) – HSIE
  • Dr Mark Morrow, PG Certificate Ed (Queen’s Uni, Belfast), PhD Chemistry, B Sci (Edinburgh) – Science
  • Mrs Bronwyn Tregenza, M Ed (CSU), Dip Ed, BA (MacU) – Boarding House Staff

Ms Sarah McGarry
Head of Frensham

Head of Frensham Schools