Tara Community News
Junior School News
Senior School News
Term 1, Week 9, 2020
From the Principal
Year 12 Important Dates
Year 12 have begun their final term of classes and it promises to be busy and exciting for them, as we celebrate this important time in their lives.
Due to these uncertain times and restrictions currently in place for large gatherings, we have decided to move the Valedictory Assembly and Parent dinner as well as the Year 12 Formal until after the HSC exams. The hope is that restrictions may have eased by then so that the girls, parents, and staff can gather for these very significant events. One important change in tradition for this year is that classes will continue until the Thursday of the last week of term. There will be some school based events for the girls during this week to honour them before their exams. We are very keen to extend the learning opportunities and preparation for the final HSC Examinations for as long as possible. This year the date for the beginning of the HSC written papers has been changed by NESA to 20 October (Week 2 Term 4), three days later than is usual and staff will be available to respond to students and provide feedback on practice responses during the first week of the term.
Below is a list of events and dates as they currently stand. Invitations to these events, as well as additional information will be published closer to each event.
- Year 12 Pre-HSC Trial Examination Special Chapel Service, Friday 31 July 2020 12:22pm (Students only)
- Trial HSC Examination 3-17 August. Students have received the timetable and location for these exams
- Saturday 15 August (HSC Oral Language Examinations)
- Post-Trial HSC Examination Study Skills Session, Wednesday 2 September 2020–during Periods 5 and 6 (Permission Note via Edsmart)
- Staff/Student Concert – Tuesday 22 September 2020 (Students only)
- Tara Old Girls Breakfast – Tuesday 22 September 2020 (Students only)
- Boarders House Dinner - Tuesday 22 September 2020 (Boarding Students only)
- Staff/Student Lunch – Wednesday 23 September 2020 (Students only)
- Final Year 12 Student Assembly and Farewell Arch – Thursday 24 September 2020 (Students only)
- Year 12 Final School Day – Thursday 24 September 2020, 2:30 pm Finish
- Year 12 Study Weeks in preparation for the HSC Examinations – Friday 25 September 2020 until the commencement of the HSC Examinations Tuesday 20 October (for all Students)
- Valedictory Celebration and Dinner: Wednesday 11 November 2020, 6:30pm Pre-drinks for 7:00pm start – Waterview, Bicentennial Park
- Year 12 Formal: Monday 16 November 2020, Lauriston House Function Centre, 146 Marsden Road Dundas Valley
We are very much looking forward to sharing this time with our students and I sincerely hope that we will be able to share in the celebrations of who these wonderful young women have become as they finish Year 12 and undertake the HSC examinations.
Should you have any questions, please contact:
Mr Scott Baker, Head of Senior School: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs Stephanie Griffiths, Director of Student Wellbeing: email@example.com
Mrs Heather Liney, Year 12 Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Director of Student Wellbeing
Wellbeing News - Introducing ‘Managing Me'
Mrs Stephanie Griffiths - Director of Wellbeing
A New Resource
An additional focus of the Pastoral Care Programs throughout Term 3 in the Senior School is a new resource ‘Managing Me’. Accordingly, the Wellbeing Team at Tara is pleased to announce the availability of this new online contact for students from Years 7-10. By selecting the ‘Managing Me’ icon on CANVAS, students will have the opportunity to access information on a range of topics which could assist themselves or others who may be experiencing challenging personal or emotional issues.
Topics included in ‘Managing Me’ address the following general areas:
In seeking to cope with the inevitable ‘speed humps’ of adolescence, girls often turn to Google or their peers to explore a range of issues and in doing so may access what can sometimes be quite subjective, perhaps incorrect and, in some cases, even dangerous material. The ‘Managing Me’ resources have been selected by the Tara Wellbeing staff as helpful information from reputable sources such as Beyond Blue, Head Space, the Black Dog Institute as well as a number of Government agencies.
By selecting from the topics available, students will be able to access links to a wealth of resources providing useful ideas as to how they can develop strategies to help themselves and others when encountering challenges. The ‘Managing Me’ pages also provide details of contacts within and beyond the Tara community should girls seek further information from recognised practitioners.
As Term 3 progresses the Wellbeing Team look forward to sharing material from these pages with parents/guardians as they support the girls in their care. Particular thanks go to Mrs Megan Cotterill, Psychologist and Student Wellbeing Facilitator, for her professional contribution towards the development of this initiative.
Also: Keep in touch with SchoolTV
In conjunction with this new initiative parents/guardians are encouraged to continue accessing SchoolTV by selecting the Wellbeing@Tara icon found in Edumate. It is readily conceded that parents face a multitude of modern-day challenges in raising happy, well and resilient young people. Whilst there is a great deal of information available, this can sometimes be confusing and even overwhelming for parents looking for guidance. SchoolTV is an online resource that is designed to provide parents/guardians with credible and sound information together with realistic, practical and ongoing support strategies.
This month on SchoolTV - School Refusal
School refusal, sometimes called school avoidance or school phobia, is not uncommon. It is different to ‘wagging’ or truancy and is often related to worry or anxiety-related issues about going to school. School refusal may start gradually or happen suddenly. Although it is normal for a child to occasionally miss a day of school, parents should only be concerned if a child regularly complains about feeling sick or often asks to stay home due to minor physical complaints.
School refusal is a complex issue as there is rarely a single cause. It affects children of all ages across primary and secondary levels. It can often occur during times of transition at school. More recently, the Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the educational experience of all students, affecting some more than others. Dealing with a school refusal child can affect the whole family, adding pressure to an already challenging time. School refusal is not considered a formal psychiatric diagnosis. It’s a name given to an emotional and/or behavioural problem.
In this edition of SchoolTV, adult carers will learn how best to approach this issue and work towards a solution. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this month’s edition, and we always welcome your feedback.
If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.
Here is the link to this month's edition https://tara.nsw.schooltv.me/newsletter/school-refusal
Finally, as is always the case, all members of the Wellbeing Team made up of the Year Coordinators, School Psychologists, the Chaplain and the Director of Student Wellbeing, are always available to discuss matters pertaining to the welfare of the students at Tara.
Tara Community News
Tara Uniform Shop Update
To keep staff, parents and students safe, please be aware of the changes to entry of the Tara Uniform Shop.
Second Hand Uniforms Required
Our second hand uniform shop is starting to look a little bare! If there are any girls who have outgrown their uniform and would like to either sell them on consignment or donate them, please complete the form on our website or the forms are available in the uniform shop, we would very much appreciate it! Please ensure the uniforms are clean and have no marks or holes.
Recycling and giving back to our local community!
Our wonderful Tara Community has kindly donated 40 student desks to the Generous and Grateful Charity. Generous and Grateful help less fortunate communities rebuild their lives and their community with dignity. The goal is coordinated relief and ongoing support for people and communities as they recover and begin to rebuild their futures. Thank you to Scot Foley for coordinating the project and to Darren Shirley, for loading up the truck and delivering these items.
Junior School News
'In Search of Safety' - Year 6 Incursion
Matilda - Year 6
Australian Red Cross delivered an interactive and informative incursion for the Year 6 classes in Week 9 June Term 2 that taught students about refugees and people seeking asylum around the world and in Australia.
During the In Search of Safety program students had the chance to imagine what it would be like to flee their homes quickly through an engaging simulation, and to hear from children their age about their experiences of seeking safety. A great opportunity for the students to learn about human rights, and why people need protection.
Writing Workshop with Tim Harris
Mrs Wendy Abernethy - Dean of Learning ELC-6
Ex-Tara teacher and extraordinary children’s Author, Tim Harris writes stories filled with quirky scenarios, lovable characters, and plenty of imagination. His ‘humour with heart’ writing style has seen his books receive multiple awards, including two KOALA Honour Books (2017 and 2019) and a Children’s Book Council of Australia, ‘notable’ in 2018.
On Monday 27 July, Year 5 and 6 students enjoyed an active and though-provoking writing workshop with Mr Harris. The day began with a partner planning challenge where girls had to plan a story in 5 minutes within certain parameters: they had to include a fisherwoman, a cockroach, a desert and a $1M treasure. This challenge was taken on with enthusiasm! Later in the day, students were tasked with using the skills they had learnt to edit a paragraph from a short story and make it noticeably better. They experienced the magic of metaphor as Mr Harris read about ‘giants’ but was actually referring to mountains.
Many recommendations and tips for aspiring writers were shared during the workshop:
- The shorter style of stories we usually write at school are best set within a short time frame
- Writers can transform their work by substituting complex verbs for common verbs. This technique enhances and sharpens a text, changes how a character is described and adds depth to a character
- Paragraphs really matter! There are 4 reasons to begin a new paragraph- a new place/setting, a new point or topic, another person speaks, or the time has changed
- It is important to consider the name, strengths, weaknesses, habits and mission/purpose of your main characters
- Consider choosing a setting that can help create the mood of the story
- A good title is one that is simple, catchy and hints at the story
The Year 5 and 6 girls left feeling inspired and equipped to write with increased attention to detail.
July Tara Vacation Care
The Tara Vacation Care Team
What a busy Vacation we had these holidays!
The children enjoyed a range of activities from craft to science to picnic games.
Some of our craft activities included our lovely Christmas in July day where the children were invited to make foam snowmen and create their own Gingerbread men puzzles. On Magic Day the craft continued with a group of children working together to make TWO fairy gardens. These little gardens were made by re purposing our old fish tanks, wooden pegs and painted rocks found around the school grounds. We also had to make magic wands (of course!)
We couldn’t have a Vacation program without a Science day. The main experiment this holiday’s was ‘Fizzy Lemons’ (see image below). A messy activity but a bicarb and acidic reaction is always a hit with the children.
With our limited numbers Children enjoyed the chance to use the bike track EVERYDAY. Alongside our usual free play time the children enjoyed a range of activities centred on working with their peers. These included 3 legged races, obstacle courses, an Amazing Race, dodge ball and a Disney themed scavenger hunt.
We hope everyone enjoys Term 3 and we look forward to seeing you again next holidays!
The Thank You Project
Hake Service Learning in the Junior School
The Hake House Team
(Chelsea, Ruby, Rosa, Elisha, Anita and Amarlie)
‘The Thank You Project’ was a project run by the Hake House Team for our Hake Service Learning Day at the end of Term 2, to acknowledge the hard work individuals and groups of people have put in during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To inform the students, the girls in the Hake House Team made a PowerPoint to demonstrate what the project was all about. We encouraged them to participate by creating an example of a heartfelt thank you message. In our message, we made cards, drawings and quotes for our amazing Tara teachers who work tirelessly every day. We made a video with a backing track showing all of our creations to be presented to the teachers.
The Junior School girls created their own messages for various individuals and groups, including:
- doctors, paramedics and nurses, who work day and night attending to those needing care
- police, who support the community in all they do
- our politicians, who have been making some tough decisions for our country, such as closing state borders and setting restrictions to keep us safe
- employees working in supermarkets and shops, who provide us with our groceries and daily basic needs
- our lovely parents, who supported us when we did our school work at home
We expressed our thanks in many different ways. Kindergarten and ELC girls made beautiful artworks and shared these via a video message. Year 1 created stunning, uplifting rainbows which featured in their video of the ‘Thank You’ song. They added actions to enhance the song. Girls in Years 2-6 created beautiful cards or wrote encouraging letters.
As a result of their participation in this Service Learning Project, the Junior School girls have learnt to appreciate the caring and committed people around us who are making a difference for all Australians. We want to say, 'thank you' to all of the people who have helped to make the world a safer and happier place.
Senior School News
Year 11 Hospitality
Annelise - Year 11
Year 11 Hospitality has provided our class with many opportunities, beyond participating in normal class activities. These have helped to develop and enrich our knowledge on topics crucial to our understanding of working in a commercial environment.
On Wednesday 17 June, we were fortunate enough to hear from Lou Johnson, an experienced professional, currently working in our Tara cafeteria. We engaged in a whole class discussion on the prevention of Common Workplace Injuries. We received valuable tips about working in a safe kitchen environment. This knowledge will help us to make informed decisions in the Tara kitchens as well as aiding us in the undertaking of work placement positions and other employment opportunities within the Hospitality industry.
Year 9 History Elective - Stalin Mock Trial Debate
Olivia - Year 9 History Elective
‘Well, everyone lies. The difference between a hero and a villain is whether anyone believes them.’ Joe Abercrombie.
Although on a surface level one can identify an historical figure as heroic or villainous it is essential to understand the context before reaching a final conclusion. Through my study of ‘Heroes and Villains’ in the Year 9 History Elective Class of 2020, we undertook a complex analysis of how figures such as Ned Kelly and Joseph Stalin demonstrated these qualities.
The extensive research we participated in throughout online learning was primarily based on Ned Kelly. From this research I was able to identify that even though his ideas and purposes were heroic, his actions reflected nothing of the sort – ‘Actions speak louder than words’. We did further research into the topic of the Glenrowan shoot out, Jerilderie Bank Robbery and Stringy Bark Creek incident. We explored the perspective of Ned Kelly, as well as police officers of the time, whilst developing our inquiry skills along the way, one of the many IB learner profile attributes we grew in throughout this term.
Joseph Stalin, the murderer of 27 million people was another key figure of study. Our Stalin Mock Trial debate saw the class debating on both his villainous aspects and considering his more redeeming qualities. The statement for debate was ‘Whilst Stalin’s methods were harsh, he was the leader Russia required at the time’. The affirmative side took the role of Stalin’s lawyers, and the negative reflected the view of the Russian citizens. Although Stalin, in the end, was convicted as a villain, the argument pointed out by both teams was exceptionally strong, making the debate that much more interesting (even though you could hear us from across the other side of the school!) Overall, we effectively developed communication skills from this experience. The ability to communicate with an audience about a topic that can be considered one-sided was a challenge for those debating otherwise. The ability to communicate within the boundaries of our assessment task for this unit (a photo essay) allowed us to demonstrate our highly complex understanding of this topic.
This topic allowed for the growth of understanding and perspective in our class we had fun all together. Whether it was the tricky riddles Miss Brown set for us at the beginning of each online lesson, or discussing the impact of the Russian Revolution it was an extraordinary topic to explore.
Social Science Update
Mrs Elizabeth George - Head of Social Science
Within the past two years of taking IDS as an elective, students have learnt a range of topics including psychology, philosophy, discrimination and future problem solving. However, most importantly, students have been introduced to many new methods of thinking and analysis, which are extremely beneficial skills to be taking into final years of high school.
See below an article written by Angel in Year 10.
Angel - Year 10
At the start of Term 2, Year 10 had to complete an assessment task exploring a significant figure and their contributions to society, having to justify how and why they deserve to be termed an ‘Architect of Civilisation.’ It gave an opportunity for the class to investigate a person of their own interest, in my case – Albert Einstein, and to practice effective researching skills. Throughout this process, I have not only learnt a lot about Einstein himself, but have also been able to refine and strengthen my essay-writing ability. Whilst having to complete the task during online schooling was a challenge, our teachers were more than willing to assist us by providing regular feedback and clarification, to which I am extremely grateful for.
The thesis that I based my essay upon was ‘Albert Einstein’s theories in physics have not only revolutionised modern science but have generated a profound and lasting impact on society, thus, becoming an architect of civilisation.’ It first explored Einstein’s contribution to physics, where he developed his theories of Special and General Relativity, including his renowned formula, E=mc2. The essay then delved into his influence on society, his opposition towards racism and his pacifist attitudes, before finishing with his enduring global legacy and how others have been able to expand or take influence from his work. Here is a snippet of my essay:
The influence Einstein had on society extended further than his ground-breaking advancements to science, as he also contributed thoroughly to the realms of psychology, philosophy, and human rights. Through his established audience as a physicist, he made correspondence with Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist known for his development of psychoanalysis, in order to discuss the temperament of violence and war. Their communication and contemplation of intrinsic behaviour demonstrated Einstein’s intelligence beyond science, highlighting his natural curiosity and ambition as a pacifist in preventing violence. Despite Einstein being widely celebrated as a scientist, his involvement in the advocation against discrimination was highly overlooked. As illustrated in Figure 2, Einstein devoted his allegiance to the unification of human race, without any sign of patriotism towards his home country. He utilised his platform to convey his aversion to the militaristic attitudes and conscription policy in Germany, continuing to do so in America, where he assisted author Theodore Dreiser in challenging the unjust Scottsboro Boys trial, involving nine African-Americans falsely accused of rape. Few people are aware of Einstein taking on the role of an activist, where he judiciously opposed the mistreatment of others, further illustrating his honourability and positive influence on society.
Visual Art - The Memory Project
The Memory Project is a charitable non-profit organisation that invites art teachers and their students to create and donate portraits to youth around the world who have faced substantial challenges, such as violence, disasters, extreme poverty, neglect, and loss of parents.
The portraits are created to help the children feel valued and important, to know that many people care about their wellbeing, and to act as meaningful pieces of personal history in the future. For the art student this an opportunity to creatively practice kindness and global awareness.
Mrs Kamanga’s Year 10 visual art students received photos of children from a school in Afghanistan. They then created their artworks from these and inspired by the child’s choice of colour. The final portraits are then sent back to the Memory Project and whilst normally these are hand delivered to the children, there has been a delay on this due to the travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Memory Project hope to be able to deliver these at a later date. A video is then made of the delivery to share the experience with all the art students and teachers involved.
Find out more about this project here https://www.memoryproject.org/
MYP Personal Project 2020
Mrs Cassandra Winfield - Dean of Learning 7-10
On Thursday 23 July, Year 10 gathered to celebrate the launch of the 2020 Middle Years Program Personal Project Online Exhibition. The Personal Project marks a significant milestone in the journey of the IB learner, bringing together a range of skills and knowledge developed throughout the Middle Years Program. The exhibition is a celebration of the girls' learning and demonstrates the depth of skills and abilities used in completing the projects.
The project commenced in September 2019 and allowed girls to choose an area of interest to explore through extended inquiry. Girls worked independently by engaging in practical exploration through a cycle of inquiry, action and reflection. The Personal Project helped girls to increase their understanding of the world by exploring globally significant ideas and issues while also empowering them to develop their talents.
Examples of projects included:
- Building a pizza oven
- Researching and creating an essay regarding the role of women in the arts
- Beginning a sleepover party hire business
- Writing a guide book to forensic science for teenagers
- Developing a fashion magazine
- Designing an indoor sports facility
- Writing a car maintenance guide for teenage girls
- Shooting a photo diary of life in Cambodia
- Digitally drawing bookmarks inspired by literary genres
- An environmental awareness website aimed at engaging young Australians
- Many many more
At Tara, we are very proud of the supreme efforts of Year 10 and I commend them on how they planned, performed and presented their projects. Students who successfully completed the Personal Project report and submitted their video to the exhibition will be awarded and 'MYP Blue' in recognition of completing the four year MYP programme.
I would like to thank the Tara staff for mentoring Year 10 through the process and especially acknowledge Mrs Sinden and Mrs Wade-Ferrell who have been instrumental in supporting the entire Personal Project process.
NSW Junior Table Tennis Open Championships
On 26 July 2020 Ally (Year 7) attended the 2020 NSW Junior Table Tennis Open Championships at Sydney Olympic Park along with her sister Lily.
We are excited to report that Ally won GOLD in the U13 Girls Singles! Ally's sister Lily also won GOLD in the U11 Girls Singles. Ally and Lily will represent NSW U13 and U11 Girls teams to attend the 2020 Australian National Junior Table Tennis Championships later this year. We wish them all the best in their preparations for this event.
Girls are to refer to the Careers pages on Canvas for many links to current prospectuses from institutions, early entry programs and closing dates, scholarships etc.
Many events and Open Days are being held for students and parents, especially in August and September.
All girls in Years 10, 11 & 12 are encouraged to register and attend online Tertiary Education Open Days this term and next.
If the institutions of interest are not listed here, please refer to relevant websites for details.
Mrs Michelle Williams - Careers Coordinator
The information contained in the newsletter link below is intended as a guide only. Please confirm all details on relevant websites. Information provided by JobJump Pty Ltd which takes no responsibility for the accuracy of this information.
Careers Newsletter - 23 July 2020
Careers Newsletter - 29 July 2020
For more information please contact Mrs Michelle Williams via email.