Tara Community News
Junior School News
Term 1, Week 9, 2020
From the Chaplain
Mrs Michelle Kay-Browning, Chaplain
Mid-way through this term, as part of our Tara staff devotions, I shared two contrasting words that had become markers in my life since the commencement of this upheaval of a year; 2020, the most tumultuous year I can ever remember. The two words I shared with our staff, were ‘fear' and 'foundation’.
With the background context of Australia’s continual drought, horrendous fires and ensuing devastation, and both personal and significant community tragedy and grief, those words had been constant and paramount in my thinking since January. For me, they came together as a regular guiding question:
Am I responding out of fear?
Or am I responding from my foundation?
Just a few short weeks after sharing these words at our staff gathering, a global pandemic was announced.
The world had completely changed.
My marker words, however, and the significant polar-opposite positions they held, had not. Perhaps as guideposts, they were actually even more significant now. It certainly felt that way.
As anxiety rose, panic buying took hold, and consistent unsettling updates of Covid-19 played incessantly. People needed stability, leadership, direction, and above all, peace.
Were people responding out of fear, or out of foundation?
The answer was obvious. The fear itself was infectious—ironically. It actually seemed counter cultural to respond in another way, and demonstrated strength, determination and considerable inner resolve.
I have been reminded of many formational and significant verses throughout this year, particularly in the shifting sands from mid-March.
I share with you just two examples from Jesus:
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Matthew 7: 24–27
Everyone in life who has ever built a house has some understanding of the importance of foundation. Sometimes it can take many months to prepare the solid foundation for something that will support great heights. Without it, structures (and people!) crack and crumble.
This Easter, more than ever before, I am reliant upon the firmest foundation of all, THE solid rock, Jesus Christ. He is described in Scripture, both Old and New testament, as a Cornerstone.
- something of great importance on which everything else depends:
- the strongest part, where other parts are joined.
- the foundational piece
One of our Chapel songs also has this title. Its words are so apt at this time.
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust is Jesus' name
When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil
Christ alone, Cornerstone, Weak made strong in the Saviour's loveThrough the storm, He is Lord, Lord of all*
- Has absolute strength, power and might. He is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords (Rev 19:16, 1 Tim 6:15, Acts 10:36)
- Is of profound importance; the integral piece upon which everything depends (Col 1:17)
- Is THE foundation. (1 Cor 3:11).
- Set the foundations of the earth. (Ps 104:5, Job 38:4–7, Gen 1:1, John 1:1–3)
We can trust a foundation like that.
Our Tara community, this Easter, especially In these times of global unrest and uncertainty, my prayer for you is that you might know as your foundation, the depths and breadth of love that is found in Christ Jesus.
Nothing can separate us from the love of God
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8: 35–39
I, too, am convinced.
My friends, this Easter, I remind you that Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday and forever. He loves you. Seek Him.
Take heart. He has overcome the world.
*Written by: Edward Mote | Eric Liljero | Jonas Myrin | Reuben Morgan | William Batchelder Bradbury
© 2011 Hillsong Music Publishing Australia
Service for others: Hearts and minds in action
Mrs Crawford and Mrs Liney
In the last edition of Tara news, a project was underway, led by our Year 11 and 12 Year Coordinators, Mrs Heather Liney and Mrs Kath Crawford, Prisca L and Isabella G from Year 12, and involving Mrs Wendy McDermott, the Tara Dads Club, members of Tara Staff, and all of Year 11 and 12. Here is a letter written to our Year 11s and 12s regarding the wonderful things they achieved by their recent joint ‘Hearts and minds in action’ initiative.
A huge thank you to Prisca and Isabella for organising and planning the “Dad and Daughter Easter Boxes”.
In this, we need to acknowledge the whole Tara community effort. It was wonderful to see Mrs McDermott support us and the Tara Dad’s Club. What outstanding Dad’s these are!
Their contribution was key to our capacity to be able to complete the service activity in such unusual times. Alongside the generous donations from staff, plus the many donations from your families and each of you have made significant contributions.
Year 11 Waugh, were the winners for the Mentor challenge and can look forward to a pizza lunch with their mentors when we return to school. Well done, Girls!
- 72 'Dad and Daughter Easter Boxes' put together with care and consideration by members of the Tara community. Thank you very much for everyone’s generosity and kindness.
Last weekend the boxes were distributed to the communities surrounding Bombala, Adaminaby, Nimmitabel, Berridale (see map). All the boxes were very well received, and feedback has been exceptionally positive. Well done girls!
Mrs Kay-Browning wrote the below message for the cards from the Tara community.
To our dear friends in the country,
A small token of our heart to let you know you are loved, valued, and not forgotten.
As part of our ‘hearts and minds in action’ we offer you this tiny
expression of practical blessing.
We hope and pray it is an encouragement to you at this time in your life.
Please know that you are not alone, and that we appreciate and value you.
With our love and prayers for you and your family this Easter.
We know morale is low at the moment for people everywhere and this is more so for people who are physically remote on the land in NSW and hopefully these 'Dad and Daughter Easter Boxes' will lift the spirits for some families.
Many thanks again, proof of why Tara is a great place to be!
From the Deputy Principal | Head of Junior School
Parenting in Uncertain Times
Ms Ruth Adams - Deputy Principal, Head of Junior School
We have all found ourselves amongst a public health concern that refuses to remain static. It is constantly developing each day, and we respond accordingly. The uncertainty of the situation itself, and the accompanying developing governmental policies, necessitates an agile and flexible, and therefore, evolving, response in order to meet each new development. The School’s own distance learning offering since Week 9 has been reflective of that: with tweaks, adjustments and accommodations taken along the way to account for the daily changing nature of the situation.
A positive to take away in this situation is the opportunity to hit the reset button; to take stock; and prioritise what is most important to us all. One priority we can all agree upon is our dedicated orientation to our families. In situations of stress, our children look to us as the example of how to feel and how to cope. They will emulate our behaviour, and they follow our emotional cues. Regardless of a global pandemic, we know children need their carers to provide safety and calm.
We want things to be the way they should normally be: for our children to be taught by teachers and play with their friends at school, for our families and churches to meet and fellowship in person, and for our workplaces to be secure and safe. We wish for what has been taken away, frustrated by knowing this is an unprecedented event, with an unknown timeline and impact.
The concern we have for our loved ones is absolute and with the future uncertain, feelings of confusion or loss of control can emerge regarding how we may best deliver that care and safety as parents. Yet there are ways to remain in control of the immediate situation around us. These ways have a trickle-down effect to our children. Children crave security. This often comes in the form of routine and predictability. My children used to start the day asking what was for dinner! It was important for them to feel secure in what was coming. Our children look to for this secure foundation they can trust, and in a time that can be frightening and abnormal, this can be challenging. Below are three measures we can take to maintain that level of control and support our children’s healthy social and emotional development.
1. We can limit and diversify the exposure of news and information our children absorb
The nature of news media runs on the public’s need for information. However, particularly in times of due stress, click-bait and sensational journalism can exploit such opportunities and feed public hysteria. The 24-hour news cycle exacerbates this. I am sure like me, you have struggled with news bulletins which only contain COVID-19 statistics of gloom and doom. Children can struggle to differentiate between real and perceived threats, and the more they view news content, the more intense that threat appears for them and the more they may develop unhelpful anxiety and stress.
I have enjoyed a few Instagram profiles over the last few weeks which tell good news amongst the daily updates of infection rates and economic downturn:
@goodnews_movement, @tanksgoodnews and @johnkrasinki who delivers a lighthearted #SGN some good news channel
They remind me of the importance of providing our children with a broad perspective in times of trouble, including a famous quote by television personality and Presbyterian minister, Mr Rogers:
When I was a child and would see scary things in the news, my mother would day to me “Look for the helpers, You will always find people who are helping”.
By finding a healthy balance of information from quality sources, we can maintain our abilities to make informed decisions based on expert advice. Access to quality sources of information can be found below here:
- World Health Organization – coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
- Australian Government coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert
- smartraveller.gov.au – travel information for Australian citizens
We must remember broadcast media is tailored for adults not children. If we can try to limit our children’s exposure to broadcast media, we may assist in avoiding their exposure to information or imagery that they are otherwise incapable of comprehending effectively.
By staying informed through reputable outlets, when our children inevitably ask those pressing questions about what is happening, our role and responsibility as parents and grandparents is to filter what and how much information we want them to know in an honest and measured way. Below are links to two videos about how we might talk to children in these situations.
- Talking to kids about scary stuff in the news
- Supporting children during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
2. Looking Out for No. 1
On the surface this may sound selfish, especially as parents. As parents, we naturally put our loved ones before ourselves. However, what good are we if we are not operating at our best potential? Our mental health affects not just ourselves but the people closest to us: our children. There are some steps we can take as individuals to control our mental wellbeing: access support services, maintaining a balanced perspective, being thankful.
Accessing Support Services:
It is perfectly reasonable to be caught off guard in a mass public health concern. A fact we can reassure ourselves with is: ‘we are all on the same team’. Provisions made by our communities to assist our mental health is ample. Beyond Blue and the Australian Psychology Society are excellent resources for assistance. See links provided below:
- Beyond Blue Support Service and phone counselling 1300 22 4636
- Australian Psychological Society (APS)
Not to mention, the Tara community is open to everyone’s concerns. Our Principal, Heads of School, pastoral care staff and school counsellors are at the ready for providing reassurance and help to our Tara girls, parents and staff.
Maintaining a Balanced Perspective and Being Thankful:
Maintaining perspective over the situation can also assist in quelling our anxieties. Medical researchers, scientists and public health experts around the globe are working tirelessly to contain the pandemic, as well as develop a vaccine. Our hope will be answered by our finest and brightest. There are people helping everywhere. You may even be in an industry or know of someone, who is at the frontline of providing help during this event.
Living in a first world country, we are privileged to access first world health care, hygiene and testing regimes. Reminding our children of the steps being taken by the government, their families and their school to keep them safe, and they steps they can take themselves, provides a sense of self control and safety, and therefore mental stability.
3. We Are All in This Together
When I started writing this two weeks ago, the phrase ‘We are all in this together’ was one that resonated with me. Not surprisingly, it is the tagline being used by governments, media outlets and celebrities to buoy spirits and create unity during a time when we can feel alone and frightened. When we rally together as one, we can relinquish our fears and rest our faith in the good inside our friends, family and wider community.
I have to admit that I have taken exception to the terms ‘social distance’ and ‘social isolation’, preferring instead to use ‘spatial distance’. It is so important to keep our children spatially distant but socially connected. As I write, I am waiting to join an online gathering with friends I usually meet a few times a term. We gather to sew, drink wine and solve the problems of the world! This afternoon we are still doing that, albeit remotely.
When we are open with each other about our fears and concerns; and keep trust steadfast in our public officials who have our best interests in mind, we can rationalise the situation and not succumb to uninformed assumptions or add to a public panic. We can all only do our best. At present, our best relies on maintaining basic hygiene protocols and spatial isolation where possible. Our best involves staying connected and active, limiting our children’s (and our!) exposure to the 24 hour news cycle, and maintaining our trust in a God who is a sure foundation.
Acknowledgements and Helpful Resources
Important Reminder from the Principal
Returning to School
Week 3, 11 May
Year 12 - Assessment week and meetings with teachers on campus.
Year 11, Year 7 and Years ELC, Kindergarten, 1 and 2 classes will begin on campus and there will be no online offering for these year groups. Year 7 Boarders return.
All other year groups will remain online learning.
Week 4, 18 May
Years 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8, 9, 10 and Boarders in Years 8, 9 and 10 return with all classes on campus. Everyone is back and there will be no online offering.
Girls must not be sent to the School for supervision or face-to-face learning if they are unwell.
Your daughter must stay home from school and if presenting at school will be sent home if she:
- is unwell, particularly with a cough, fever, sore throat or other respiratory symptoms
- has travelled overseas within the last 14 days
- has had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
- has a confirmed case of COVID-19
- is awaiting the results of a test for COVID-19
Tara Community News
From the Community Office
Mrs Wendy McDermott - Community Coordinator
This last week of Term One at Tara is completely different to any version we could ever have imagined! The realisation that we may be in social isolation for longer is here. That quality time with our immediate family, we so wished for in the past, is possibly taking family bonding far more closely than we ever visualised. Working productively from home and becoming an excellent resource for our daughter’s school lessons is not as easy as it seemed in our minds. Not knowing where all these changes will end is creating much discussion and some concern.
In these uncertain times, it is important that we don’t lose sight of what this experience may bring us. Well, firstly my cupboards are looking sensational 😊. Not quite, however, we have so much to be grateful for.
- Our School staff, Executive leaders and IT have worked tirelessly to adapt their methods of teaching and learning to ensure the quality of your girls’ involvement. We are so blessed for their dedication and willingness to make learning interesting. They are brilliant.
- Your daughters have embraced these new virtual school methods with enjoyment and fun while being connected.
- You, our parent community, have been wonderful in how you have supported the School’s efforts in meeting the needs of the girls and each other. The positive feedback and messages have been so appreciated. Thank you.
- Technology and the amazing possibilities we have at our fingertips makes our new world one that enables us to remain connected with the ability to check on each other. It would be exciting to create a virtual parent community.
- Extremely grateful to all those people in the medical and science fields attempting to keep us safe and creating ways to solve the COVID-19 pandemic.
After discussions and ideas, our Tara P&F want to begin assist all those Tara businesses that have been impacted and, by necessity, changed how they conduct their day to day operations. The P&F Business Register has commenced. Please register and support our families through these times.
Virtual Tara Parent Community
Do you have ideas and thoughts about creating an extension of parent connections - whether by year, school or family group. Please email Wendy in the first instance at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set a time to speak. I look forward to your contact.
Be kind to all and demonstrate at least one Act of Kindness each day.
Stay well and enjoy your Easter and holiday break.
Tara Families Assisting Community Parents & Friends Initiative for Business
Our Tara Community have seen significant change in the way we go about our daily lives during the global COVID-19 crisis. During this time of isolation, many businesses have had unprecedented difficulties and have adapted to cope with this changing work environment. Families continue to require essentials – food & beverage, health & fitness needs, financial advice, trades & services for home and work.
A Tara Parents & Friends Association (P&F) initiative is creating a link for business and families to assist each other. If you would like your business to participate through the P&F Business Register, please fill out the link below. Details will be made available to our extended Tara community. You may view the main business details here.
Junior School News
2020 Premier’s Reading Challenge
The Premier’s Reading Challenge is now underway. Any parent who wishes to supervise their daughter’s reading for this challenge is welcome to contact Mrs Gwyn Bromhead in Junior School or Mrs Megan Wade-Ferrell in Senior School for a username and password for their daughter’s online entry. Please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to request a username and password.
Usernames and passwords remain unchanged from previous years. If students are participating with an existing username and password then please let us know by email so that we can send a reminder to conclude on time if needed. All online reading records must be completed well before the website closing date of 28 August 2020.
For comprehensive information, rules and booklists visit the PRC website here.
After School Care News
As Term 1 draws to a close we have begun our Easter craft activities. Divanya showed ASC educators a story she had made in school about Jesus rising from the tomb. Which lead us to speak about why we celebrate Easter at Tara and how each family celebrate holidays differently. Matilda wakes up Easter morning to a complex set of clues leading her to a tower of Easter eggs. While Miss Liz celebrates by having a large family lunch. We made Easter eggs, Easter book marks and even Easter chatterboxes. Hope was determined to catch the Easter bunny this week as he must have snuck into the centre, hiding a few chocolate Easter eggs before disappearing.
Beyond Google: Searching the invisible web with Tara’s subscribed library resources
Dear Students and Parents,
In this time of dedicated online learning, I encourage you to look beyond Google and turn to the Tara Library portals, both Senior School and Junior School, to take advantage of the wealth of subscribed services that are provided for you. Please login to Oliver to access services from home.
- Senior School: http://cloud.tara.nsw.edu.au/seniorlib login with Tara network username and password
- Junior School: http://cloud.tara.nsw.edu.au/juniorlib login with Tara network username and password for Year 5 and 6 students, login with generic username and password for ELC to Year 4 students
Generic username: Gordon Password: Tara1234
General Academic Resources – Senior School and Junior School
In Britannica School, students will find thousands of searchable encyclopedia and journal articles, images, videos, audios, primary source documents, detailed maps, editor-recommended Web sites, learning games, a world atlas, Merriam-Webster dictionary in English and Spanish, and a wealth of how-to research tools.
World Book Online
World Book Online offers a progressive suite of digital databases with unique, educational content and features for users of every age, ability, and interest. These intuitive databases include all the articles from The World Book Encyclopedia, a wealth of multimedia, and features to help with each step of the research process along with supplemental tools, such as language translation and text to speech.
World Book eBooks
Access to hundreds of World Book publications as well as classic Open Access Books. Our World Book eBook subscription allows us to give you and your family access to all the eBook titles at home 24/7, using your computer or mobile device. On this platform an unlimited amount of users can access each resource simultaneously.
A searchable online database with thousands of teacher-reviewed, approved and annotated web sites
Scholarly Research for Senior Students
Access to full text versions of over 700 scholarly journals from 125 publishers in humanities and social sciences.
Access to more than 2,600 academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Journals span continents and languages, with titles from 1,200 publishers from 57 countries.
Please note the following offer that has been applied until June 30:
To support our institutions during this challenging time, JSTOR and our participating publishers are making an expanded set of content freely available to our participating institutions where students have been displaced due to COVID-19.
More than 35,000 books available at no charge for JSTOR participating academic institutions and secondary schools. The number of books available through this effort is growing daily as more publishers opt in.
EBSCO Science Reference Centre Trial
Senior Science students should take advantage of this trial product, available until June 22. Science Reference Centre contains full text for hundreds of science magazines, peer reviewed journals, encyclopedias, reference books and a vast collection of images. Login to see username and password.
Senior School News
Social Science Update
Year 10 Interdisciplinary Studies have completed the first round of the Future Problem Solving Competition. The Future Problem Solving Competition is an international competition giving students opportunities to brainstorm issues that will potentially affect them in the future. The first round was centred on International Travel. Students discussed challenges relating to reliance on travel apps for information, the effect on jobs if people decided to opt to travel virtually instead of real life travel and the power that companies that dominate the travel industry could have. Students worked out the underlying problem in the scenario they were given and then came up with sixteen solutions. They then had to establish five criteria to judge their solutions. The best solution was then used to create an Action Plan. Our next scenario will be on sleep, especially with people not getting enough sleep in the future.
Grease Photo Gallery
What an amazing production!