Senior School News
Term 1, Week 9, 2020
From the Principal
Happy 125th Birthday Tara
Tara is 125 years old this year and she is now a very gracious lady. The world has changed a great deal in 125 years. In 1897, when it is first known that we began as a school led by Miss Joan Waugh, Australia did not actually exist. We were still known as New South Wales and we did not form a Federation of States and become Australia until 1901.
Queen Victoria was the Queen.
The first imported car did not arrive until 1900 and there was roughly one horse for every two people in Australia.
We did not have electric streetlights in Sydney until after 1904 and radio until 1905.
It was a very different world.
Tara has had several homes over the years but has always been in Parramatta. We moved to this site in 1958 for the Senior School and in 1970 for the Junior School. This site was a hospital for children recovering from Rheumatic Fever. Prior to that, it was a farm and Masons Drive was a dirt track for the farmer could get his produce up to Pennant Hills Road. In the years before 1970, the Junior School was in a building in Parramatta called Ellangowan, which is still standing. Some of the other properties have also been preserved such as Roseneath, a house opposite the Parramatta Stadium that was bought and restored by OLMC a few years ago. One of our other homes for a few years was All Saints Church on Victoria Road.
Over the years since we have been at Masons Drive, we have bought more land, built new buildings, added new levels and refurbished others. The area that was the hospital ward is now the main staff common room and we have tried to retain some elements of the original building in its design today.
We are now a school on 32 acres. One of the largest girls’ schools in terms of space in Sydney and the envy of many.
As the 10th leader of this School, I stand on the shoulders of those who have come before me, and I am so proud of the School we have become since we opened as a School with morning classes from the front room of Miss Waugh’s family home that was known as Tara in 1897.
We are a School that has always had a Christian foundation and this has never changed. We have a history of which we can be rightly proud. Many young women have benefited from an education at Tara. We might be a School with a significant history and while we celebrate a milestone of 125 years today, we should never sit back and be satisfied. One of the reasons we are an important and well regarded School is because we are always focusing on the future., thinking about the world into which you are moving and making sure you are well equipped, not just in learning, but also as young women who will thrive beyond the Tara gates.
There are many people who contribute to our story, students, all the staff in their varying roles, Tara families, the School Council, and Tara alumni and staff who have worked here in the past. It is a long and successful story and I consider it a great privilege to be part of it and I hope you do too.
Happy Birthday Tara.
Can you help?
Disability provisions provide students with practical support to access, ie read and respond to, the Higher School Certificate (HSC) exams. In providing disability provisions for the HSC exams, NESA complies with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (DDA) and the Disability Standards for Education 2005, issued under the DDA.
Disability provisions are one way that NESA ensures there are reasonable adjustments available to students with disability so that they can access and participate in the HSC on the same basis as students without disability.
At Tara, we are developing a pool of helpers who can read and/or scribe for our students during the HSC. If you have a current Working with Children Check and are available to support our wonderful students from Wednesday October 12 to Friday November 4, please contact Mrs Alex Pottie, Head of Diverse Learning, at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Training will be provided and you will need to sign a confidentiality document.
If you have any questions about the provisions process, please contact Mrs Alex Pottie on the above email or on (02) 8838 2607.
Junior School News
Junior School Talkfest Finals 2022
Miss Gambrill - Team Leader 3-6 and Talkfest Coordinator
Talkfest, Tara Junior School’s Festival of Public Speaking, is an annual event in which students are provided with the opportunity to develop and improve their public speaking skills in a range of daily contexts.
Throughout the year, students from Year 2 to Year 6 participate in explicit classroom experiences where they learn how to compose spoken texts for a specific purpose. They also learn how to effectively present their speeches to an intended audience.
Talkfest enables girls from Year 2 to Year 6 to:
- Develop confidence, fluency and the ability to respond spontaneously
- Learn to order their thoughts in a logical manner
- Develop lateral thinking and imagination
- Learn how to maintain the interest of the audience
- Learn practical communication skills and the use of voice
Talkfest Rounds 1 and 2 took place in Terms 1 and 2, respectively, at a time when they authentically linked with each grade's English program. From these two rounds, the semifinalists were chosen to present a rehearsed and impromptu (3-6 Years) speech in front of their year group.
On Wednesday 17 August, the Talkfest finals were held in the Tara Chapel. Four finalists from each grade showed great courage as they confidently presented their chosen speech in front of a live audience. Students in Years 3-6 were presented with the additional challenge of delivering an impromptu speech. All our finalists should be very pleased with their efforts.
Congratulations to the Talkfest Finalists for 2022!
- Year 2 - Paru S, Sarah S, Neve K and Charlotte M
- Year 3 - Angela F, Ava H, Gabriella M, Hanishka J and Ravan Liu
- Year 4 - Cynthia F, Sophia J, Sophia L and Emma V
- Year 5 - Zara F, Tiasha J, Ellyce F-D and Jasmine H
- Year 6 - Caitlin J, Abbey B, Shenaya S and Ruby O
Congratulations to our Talkfest Winners for 2022.
- Year 2 – Neve K
- Year 3 - Hanishka J
- Year 4 - Sophia J
- Year 5 – Jasmine H
- Year 6 – Ruby O
Kindergarten and Year 1 girls were also involved in the festival. They enjoyed public speaking experiences across the year that provided opportunities to prepare them for the future when they too will participate in Talkfest. During the Years 2-3 finals, Kindergarten and Year 1 presented their skills to the audience. Kindergarten shared a poem and song about ducklings and Year 1 shared a video on the traditional story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears with the theme, 'just right'. Thank you, Kindergarten and Year 1, for contributing on the day.
Congratulations to all students involved in the Talkfest process. The teachers look forward to supporting you as you continue to improve your public speaking skills across the rest of the year.
Earlier this term, Junior School held Book Week! This year's theme was 'Dreaming with eyes open' and brought together the Junior School with different activities held each day.
On Monday, the Walker House Service Learning Event was held. This was the Indigenous Literacy Foundation’s Great Book Swap. This was a great opportunity for the girls to bring in gold coin for a preloved book. All proceeds went to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation who use the funds to provide Indigenous Australian children with access to books and literacy programmes.
The literature festival held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday saw class teachers and specialists adopt a book and share it with different classes on each of the days. They shared the story and a vast variety of different activities that included colouring, craft, creating music, telling a story in two languages, art projects, games and virtual tours. Teachers shared CBCA shortlisted picture books, non-fiction titles and a variety of First Nations literature titles.
To finish the week, Junior School had a Book Week Assembly where all the girls wore their pyjamas for the day! The girls also added something to their outfit to represent their favourite book character.
A big thank you to all the student helpers and library monitors who came in and help run the library’s lunchtime activities and the daily character hunt competition. Book Week was successful because of your service.
Year 2 Visit to Sydney Zoo
On Thursday 1 September, students in Year 2 visited Sydney Zoo as the culmination of our Unit of Inquiry on Living Things and a provocation for our new Unit of Inquiry.
Girls used their senses to explore a variety of animals in the zoo and partake in a workshop where they learnt about Aboriginal culture.
- How to write Aboriginal symbols (Alyssa)
- That pandas spend most of their time in trees to avoid their predators (Nataliya)
- That male emus sit on their eggs for 55 days (Eve)
- The red panda is very nimble (Celine)
Senior School News
Years 7 and 8 Music Concert
Leading the SRC
Sienna - Head Girl, Evelyn - Deputy Head Girl
Leading the SRC as Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl (2021-2022) has been an amazing experience, and we have both learnt so much from both leading, and contributing to a variety of initiatives. It has been an absolute pleasure working with a new group of girls, and we are very proud of each group for planning and organizing at least two initiatives throughout the course of the year.
Starting from our first initiative, with Anti-Bullying Day and Multi-Cultural Day by Year 11 SRC, then going on to the Greatest Morning Tea by Year 8, and the Easter Drive by Year 10, the first half of the year was filled with some amazing initiatives. The rest of the school really engaged with these activities and brought back the community spirit, just in time for our next initiatives, Wellbeing Week by Year 10 SRC, the Book Drive and Jeans and Jersey Day by Year 9 SRC, and RUOK Day by Year 7.
Some highlights for each grade were:
Year 11 SRC organised Tara’s first ever Harmony Day in Term 1, celebrating the wide cultural diversity that makes up our Tara community! The event was a massive success, with amazing performances from a variety of different cultural backgrounds.
Year 10 SRC organised the Easter Drive, which collected sanitary products for women in need, and was an immense success, as over 500 products were donated to the Parramatta Women’s Shelter. We thank the girls for all the contributions they made.
Year 9 SRC stood out with their Book Drive, which saw over 250 books that were boxed up and delivered to Lismore Library, as a part of their rebuilding initiatives. Congratulations girls.
Year 8 SRC ran Tara’s Greatest Morning Tea which took place on the 3 June, Term 2. With much of the school community participating in fundraising for the Cancer Council, by bringing in an assortment of delicious foods for recess, and gold coin donations, many of the girls enjoyed immensely.
We are also incredibly proud of our Year 7 SRC for hosting their first ever initiative, RUOK day, which brought the Tara community together to discuss the importance of engaging in conversations about mental health. By putting on a concert with performances from the Matilda cast and Kate H and Kate A from Year 12, organising food stalls and an RUOK merchandise stand, the girls learned essential skills of teamwork, communication and planning.
The whole SRC also contributed to planning our well-loved Together Thursdays, with Year 7 organizing a tree mural, a handball tournament, slapper mats, and some exciting Just Dance.
We also want to thank the Year 12 mentors for overseeing and helping the girls organise these initiatives.
We are extremely grateful for all the positive experiences we have had with SRC, and wish the best of luck to Faith and Nikhita who will be leading the SRC next year.
We are most definitely leaving Tara in capable hands.
R U OK Day
Jessica S - Debating Prefect, Tia S - Head Boarder, Amani S - Drama Prefect
On Wednesday 7 September, Year 7 SRC held ‘RUOK’ Day to gather the Tara community, encourage everyone to stay connected, and bring a greater awareness to Mental Health.
RUOK? is a charity that focuses on encouraging people to invest more time into their personal relationships and building informal support networks. To celebrate this day, the girls organised an 'RUOK?' stall where they sold homemade cupcakes, 'RUOK?' badges, and spiders. Additionally, the girls hosted an 'RUOK?' Day concert, where we had musical performances from Lara (Year 9) and Ella (Year 9), Kate (Year 12) and Kate (Year 12), and the 2022 Tara & Kings School’s Cast of Matilda. Following this, the Year 7 SRC Girls asked our Head Girls for 2022 and 2023 what 'RUOK?' Day means to them and how to ask “RUOK?”
Congratulations to the Year 7 SRC for organising and hosting this amazing event for such a significant cause. Thank you to everyone involved in allowing this event to come to life.
Tara Ambassador Team
Emily - Liaison Prefect
The Tara Ambassador Team assists with helping prospective students with learning about the opportunities Tara provides through the many tours and events we attend. The team of over 25 girls were elected after an extensive interview and application process and the position is only available to SRC members. We have attended many ‘Meet the Principal’ tours alongside events such as the ‘Tara Fireworks Evening’.
The girls work as a real-life example of a Tara student to families and help to explain the daily life and opportunities of students. Ambassadors take groups of several families and can answer a range of questions. Starting on tours, we initially meet parents before listening to Mrs Middlebrook’s address. Then parents are separated into groups of 10-20 and taken on a tour of the School, guided by a few Ambassadors. Parents are encouraged to ask questions and learn about Tara’s many opportunities. As Liaison Prefect it’s been an amazing opportunity to watch the Ambassadors grow and become more confident on tours. All the girls have stepped up as leaders and have flourished.
Year 10 Drama Performance for Junior School
The sound of children’s laughter filled the Tara Theatre last Thursday afternoon as Year 10 Drama students presented their Children’s Theatre performances to Year 1 and 2 students from the Junior School. The students devised their performances from shortlisted books in the Early Childhood category from the 2022 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year. The performances were very highly engaging and had plenty of audience interaction, completely appropriate to and befitting this style of theatre. Having an authentic assessment opportunity for our students made the learning real and purposeful. We are grateful to Year 1 and 2 students and their teachers for being a wonderful and enthusiastic audience and providing such a rich and valuable experience for our Drama students. Here's what some of the performers had to say:
We were lucky enough to finally be able to perform in front of the Junior School students as an ending to our "Children’s Theatre" topic. The children were amazing, they participated when asked and we all had so much fun. - Natalie
In our children’s theatre unit we learnt about specific conventions of children’s theatre and what is the best way to entertain kids. We incorporated songs, scenery and audience interaction into our performance to create the most exciting and engaging performance for the kids! This was a great experience and so much fun getting to perform for our young Tara women. - Elizabeth
I had the amazing opportunity to perform my assessment piece to Year 1 and 2 Junior School girls. We have been studying the topic of Children's Theatre since last year, and being able to perform for children was an incredible experience I will never forget! It was so much fun to perform our piece to young children, and for them to be able to engage with us as we performed. It was also so much fun to see the other groups’ performances, and cheer them on! I hope that watching our performances have inspired the girls to take part in Drama in the years to come! - Annabelle
For our unit, Children’s Theatre, my group reworked the CBCA-winning book ‘Jetty Jumping’ by Andrea Rowe into an exciting and engaging performance for Year 1 and 2. We had 5 weeks to re-write the story into a script, rehearse, memorise, and design our set and costumes. My favourite thing about this unit was how much we as performers benefitted from having a live audience. I found seeing how the audience interacted with us as performers add to the energy of our piece and I hope that Year 1 and 2 enjoyed watching our assessment as much as I had performing it for them. - Kate
Year 10 Pizza Fundraiser for Parramatta Women's Shelter
Annabelle, Tess, Marisa, Arya - Year 10
This year, as a year group, we wanted to support the outstanding work of the Parramatta Women’s Shelter. To raise funds for the shelter, we held a pizza day across Years 9 and 10 where students selected a pizza with money raised to go towards the shelter.
Many students participated and generously offered more money than was required. This generosity has meant our two cohorts have been able to raise a sum of $800 for the crisis accommodation and outreach support programs for women and children at the Parramatta Women's Shelter. We thank everyone for their contributions. We were pleased to hand this over to the Parramatta Women's Shelter in our Year meeting.
2022 NSW Australian of the Year School Forum
Palasha, Isabella, Kirit, Abbey - Year 10
We received the fantastic opportunity to go to the 2022 NSW Australian of the Year School Forum where we met five winning individuals who shared their stories and the impact that lead to the improvement of society allowing them to win the award of Australian of the year.
Nathan Parker showed us nothing was impossible to achieve when he became a pilot and fulfilled his dream even when he had lost an arm. Professor Veena Sahajwalla recycles wasted materials and creates tiles which is an innovative idea reducing waste in land fills. We also met Rosemary Kariuki and Alba Kadous, two brilliant women who both help the oppressed, and finally, Corey Tutt, the founder of Deadly Science, which provides STEM resources to remote schools in Australia.
Through their words, we learnt many important things. Hearing them speak provided us with knowledge and experience that a textbook couldn’t, as their words inspired us. We learnt some lessons, like when you see it, go after it, or find the love in helping others and that while hard work is important, it is also imperative to look after your mind and body. These insightful words showed us the key to success and becoming Australian of the Year is about passion, helping others and loving what you do.
They have all overcome problems and decided to help solve the issues that they have faced, which is a prevalent correlation between all of them. Through this forum, we gained words of wisdom and inspiration to start working towards our own goals and dreams, and that hard work leads to success. Overall, this gave us a unique opportunity to learn, and motivated us to help others.
Rhythmic Gymnastics News
Congratulations to Lucinda (Year 8) on her wonderful performances at the Ascham Friendly Event for Levels 3-4 Rhythmic Gymnastics on Sunday 28 August.
Lucinda (Level 4): 6th Hoop, 5th Ribbon, Bronze Banding
The coaching team is very proud of Lucinda’s achievements!