Sport teaches us a lot about life – it is no accident that there are so many sporting analogies in our culture, so many sayings, quotations and truisms used to help understand how to get on in life.
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do” - Pelé
“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” - Muhammad Ali
“Champions keep playing until they get it right” - Billie Jean King.
So many men and women of sport say the same thing – it is the effort you put in to something which is most important.
I think this applies just as much to academic work at school too.
Of course the quotes above come from amazingly successful people. We are not all going to be as successful as Pelé, Muhammad Ali or Billie Jean King! We can’t all get over 90% in tests, or gain entry into the top universities or colleges. But we can try to do as well as we can at school work, to give ourselves the best possible opportunities for a post-school life, and to be well-educated, thoughtful and contributing adults. Therefore, it is really important that parents praise effort, to recognise that success rarely comes without effort. It is better to say: “I noticed that you put a lot of work into that assignment – well done!” or, “I am really proud of the fact that you started that work early, so it wasn’t a last minute rush”. Or, if they do get a good mark or comment on some work from school: “You see what you can do if you really apply yourself with commitment?”
I want to recommend a book to you – a book called Bounce. It is written by Matthew Syed who was a one-time British Table Tennis champion. His thesis is that the only way you rise to the top is through intense and prolonged practice. For example, he notes that Mozart had likely racked up over 3,500 hours of practice at the piano by the age of 6! Of course Mozart was incredibly talented, but he wasn’t a musician with special God-given powers that enabled him to circumvent practice and effort; rather he was somebody who embodied the rigours of practice. Mozart had talent, but that was not enough. Einstein said: Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. That’s not to say that Einstein and Mozart were not geniuses. Just that they also worked incredibly hard!
No one thinks that academic work, the extending of skills and knowledge should be easy. If it were easy, if you could already do it, what would be the point of doing it? You go to school to learn hard things, to learn things you have to work hard to master. And it is good to enjoy that intellectual challenge - to strive and fail, and fail, and fail again, and then experience the real joy of getting it, of finally being able to do it!
A young friend of mine used to proudly say "I can easily do that....", when she had finally learnt how to use a key in the door, or how to tie her shoelaces, or remember her phone number for the first time after a long struggle. Of course she didn't mean it was easy - she meant that she knew that it was actually really hard, but that she was proud of the fact that she now felt confident in that ability - that she could do it each time.
I want to put that feeling in the context of academic work. We need, as a society, to encourage high levels of intellectual rigour. We should value academic pursuits - to tell students that it is OK to attempt hard work. We need to encourage all students to understand that academic work at school is challenging, and that is good. There are things (a great many things, indeed) which Google can answer, but you don't really learn anything that way. You learn by puzzling over, by grappling with things deeply. The joy of mastering something which has taken real time and effort is unsurpassed.
If a young person says quickly "I can't do that....", then they will definitely be right. You will not be able to do it if you start with that attitude. We want our young people to say "I'll have a go....!" And to strive and work hard, again and again.... You never know, in the end, they too might be able to say: "I can easily do that...."! All of us need to encourage academic resilience in our young people, so that they are NOT put off by a hard HSC Paper, or the difficulty of learning French verbs, or the complexity of sophisticated scientific ideas.
I worry that there has been an increase, over the 30 years that I have been a teacher, in girls' fear of getting things wrong in tests and assignments, an aversion to taking risks in their learning, in wanting a formula instead of grappling themselves, in worrying more about the answer than the process of getting there. I want our young people of today to understand that you often learn more by getting things wrong. It's about the doing, not the answer at the end. It's about the intellect, not someone else's generic recipe.
I spoke earlier of the importance of the struggle of academic work. As a teacher, I certainly know that there are times when it's good to help your child with his or her school work. Giving them some encouragement, a hint about which way to proceed, to show them something they can’t yet do is good!
But it is important to be judicious about this. If you do so much that you take away that struggle, you deprive your child of the journey of discovery, of learning, of growing. What safer place in life is there to fail than at school? There’s a marvellous book called I Can Jump Puddles by Alan Marshall. He contracted polio when he was a child and then there was no treatment available to help him. As a result his doctor operated to correct tensions developing in the tendons of his legs which were leading to curvature of his spine and as a result he was confined to crutches and wheelchairs for the rest of his life.
He lived in Noorat in Victoria and would go on “hunting expeditions” with his best friend Joe; Joe, able-bodied and he on crutches, looking for rabbits and hares. One thing he particularly appreciated about Joe, was that he always waited for him, never trying to assist or carry him. Joe would not rush ahead to search for the prey when they saw some tell-tale sign, but would walk beside him so that they could see what was there together. He wrote that Joe ‘never robbed me of the pleasure of discovery”. You should try to allow your daughters that joy in as many endeavours as possible. The struggle is an essential and profound element of learning. Don’t tell them everything. Let them find out for themselves!
If you help too much, the following happens:
- Their teacher doesn’t know what your daughter doesn’t know, and so can’t help them. They are working on inaccurate information.
- Your daughter doesn’t learn much about the academic work. If it isn’t their own work, if they didn’t have to struggle, then won’t really learn. (You might learn something, but they won’t).
- Your daughter doesn’t learn the importance about honesty and integrity. If she turns in a paper that isn’t all her own work, then that is plagiarism.
- Your daughter gets the message that you think she can’t do it. That you have to do it for her. It is better to communicate to her that you want it to be her own work – even if it is less good, but the journey of learning is a long one and that the effort and actually attempting it for oneself is the most important, not the final product.
So, by all means encourage, suggest some ways forward, listen to what she is finding difficult and help a little. But don’t take away that struggle, that independence of learning. Through the journey of failure, through the act of perseverance and determination, of “try, try, try again...” may well come understanding and mastery.
Head of School
Years 3-6 Cross Country Carnival
The Cross Country Carnival, in which all girls in Years 3-6 are involved, will be held on Tuesday 20 March at Queens Park - opposite Moriah College, Baronga Ave, Queens Park. The girls will be leaving SCEGGS at 8.30am, with the first event starting at 9.00am. The girls will return to school mid-morning, with lessons taking place as usual for the rest of the day. The program has been organised with approximate times as follows:
|9.00am||- 8/9 years||2 km|
|9.20am||- 10 years||2 km|
|9.45am||- 11 years||3 km|
|10.15am||- 12 years||3 km|
Please note 'age' is the age each student is on 31 December, 2018.
The first 10 girls in each age group will be selected to represent SCEGGS in the IPSHA Cross Country Carnival, which will take place at The King’s School on Saturday 7 April.
Parents are very welcome to join us at Queens Park. However, all girls are to come to school in the morning as usual and travel to the event with the rest of the school. Girls may come to school in PE uniform, but will change into school uniform upon returning to school after the Carnival. Girls are asked to ensure they take with them to the park their school sun hat, sunscreen, a small snack, plenty of water, and medication if required, for example, their asthma puffer. In the event of wet weather the Carnival will be cancelled and the girls will remain at school. A message will be left on Twitter (SCEGGSSport).
We are all looking forward to a fun morning.
Head of Primary School
House Families in the Primary School
Everyone in the SCEGGS community who has been associated with the Primary School will have heard the girls talk about House Families. House Families are multi-age groupings of girls from the same House who meet and play together once a week. The groups remain constant from Kindergarten to Year 6. Year 6 girls lead the House Families. You may ask, “What is it that the girls do during House Families?” They socialise with children from other Year levels, they play games (such as Fishing in a Bucket or Ten Pin Bowling), they spend time together reading and they take care of one another. Key features of House Families are the leadership opportunities offered to our older girls, and the pleasure that all the girls share by forming friendships with girls from Year levels across the Primary School. Everyone has fun during House Families.
Deputy Head of Primary School
I would like to take the opportunity to invite you to this year’s Easter Festival on Wednesday 28 March starting at 7.00pm in the SCEGGS Great Hall. This is always a wonderful event which focuses on the meaning and significance of Easter. The following day the whole school will be involved in our Easter Service. At both of these services a collection will be taken as a donation towards David’s Place, a drop-in community that has recently moved onto the premises of St Canice’s Rushcutters Bay from Surry Hills. It is a community that attracts the haves and the have nots, believers and unbelievers and all of those in between, as they seek to find their own sense of meaning and purpose together. They do this through meals, meetings, art workshops and other activities. They are run entirely by volunteers and need funds to help with the running of their programmes. All students are asked to bring at least a gold coin donation to go towards their Form or Year class’ Lenten offertory. This can be brought to their Form or Class Teacher by Monday 26 March.
Prayer Service for Lent
As we approach Easter and observe the period of Lent, I would like to invite all members of the SCEGGS community for a time of prayer and contemplation on Tuesday 27 March at 1.15pm in the School Chapel. Lent is a time to consider change and renewal, sacrifice and service. I am hoping that this event would be an opportunity to stop and bring the issues of the world and communities before God, seeking guidance and restoration. I hope you can join us.
Food Delivery to the Homeless
SCEGGS has been taking food out to the local street community for many years. One of the activities that we offer girls is the opportunity to take out food to those living on the street in our local area. Our intention is to work towards building connections within our community so that people feel noticed and valued. We are starting this activity again next term for all girls in the Secondary School and will continue for the rest of the year. Students will be able to sign up via Cognito and will be given more information over the next few weeks. Those that participate will need to prepare food at home to deliver to the homeless on the following day. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.
There have been cases of head lice reported in both the Primary and Secondary School. Head lice are very common in schools, and it is important that all parents check their daughter’s hair regularly and follow the necessary procedures if needed. For further information, please refer to the NSW Health Department: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/headlice/Pages/default.aspx.
House Drama Results
SCEGGS were fantastic last Friday evening, with every team winning their debate – well done!
SCEGGS is hosting Round 3 of Eastside Debating this Friday. We are against The Scots College and the topic area is 'Gender Issues'. All debates will be held in the Old Girls’ Building or G2, and supper will be served in the JFSATC cafeteria.
Hannah Keir (Year 9) has had the brilliant idea that we should have an Art magazine at SCEGGS.
A group of students from Years 9 to 11 have formed with Hannah as Chief Editor, to make and collect content. We hope to launch the first magazine early in Term II. The magazine will have student artwork, a 'What’s On in the Art World', reviews of Art Shows, interviews with Artists and photo essays. The purpose is to create a forum for discussion and to showcase the creative abilities of students in both making and writing about Art. It is also to promote visiting Art Exhibitions, as well as making and reading about Art as a vital activity beyond the classroom. At this stage we hope to publish four magazines a year, one each term.
Stay tuned for how to contribute artworks to the magazine.
Head of Visual Arts
The artwork of Ms Thea Perkins (Class of 2009) is currently on exhibition at Firstdraft Gallery, Woolloomooloo. http://firstdraft.org.au/.
The exhibition, titled History House, runs until 28 March and exhibition hours are Wednesday to Sunday 12.00pm-6.00pm. Below is the inspiration behind History House as published on the Firstdraft website.
“Pointed in the wrong direction, trapped outside their own history and unable to retrace their steps because their footprints had been swept away. He explained that history was like an old house at night. With all the lamps lit. And ancestors whispering inside. “To understand history,” Chacko said, “we have to go inside and listen to what they’re saying. And look at the books and the pictures on the wall. And smell the smells.”
“[...] because we’ve been locked out. And when we look in through the windows, all we see are shadows. And when we try and listen, all we hear is a whispering. And we cannot understand the whispering”.
– ‘The God of Small Things’ Arundhati Roy
History House forms the vehicle for an investigation of identity as a concept inextricable from personal ‘history’, sparked by an interest in photographs from my family archive and their evocation of emotional and psychological spaces in time.
As representations of the context from which my identity emerged, it was interesting to consider the selection of images from a random collection of photographs as a group of multifarious experiences and to channel them the through a mechanism to produce an ‘architecture’ or framework of self; experiences inherently contiguous with the frameworks of others.
History House is a proliferation intended to reflect the growth or evolution of identity. Not only is it an intervention, it is a new expression or iteration of a moment, of a history.
Ms Thea Anamara Perkins is an Arrernte and Kalkadoon woman living and working in Sydney. Perkins has an emerging painting and installation based practice and is interested in subtle disruptions of the orthodoxies surrounding these disciplines. This extends to an examination of the often rigid and prescriptive conceptual tropes applied to art and portraiture in the work created for her first solo show at Firstdraft.
Perkins studied painting and photography at UNSWAD UNSW Art & Design. Her practice has been informed by her role as studio assistant to Christian Thompson, Jonathan Jones and Tony Albert. In 2017, while establishing her own practice, she undertook a Solid Ground internship at Carriageworks. Perkins was also commissioned to create a contemporary response to petroglyphs as part of the Barangaroo Ngangamay project by Amanda Jane Reynolds and Genevieve Grieves and provide artwork for an interactive documentary for SBS.
Opening: 7 March, 6.00pm-8.00pm
Artist Talks: 29 March, 6.00pm-7.00pm
Head of Visual Arts
Term I - Week 7
Hiroi Migita for sharing a little ‘slice’ of your piano work at assembly.
Basie Jazz Band for their entertainment at the recent Open Morning, the P&F Cocktail Party, and at a recent Assembly. A busy start to the year with some very ‘cruisey’ music. Well done girls and thanks to Mr Jewitt for preparing them for these important public events.
Amati Strings for their contribution to Assembly - nothing like a ‘crisp’ Mozart Divertimenti to start an Autumn morning. Well done, girls. Thank you to Mr Whitting for his support.
SCEGGS Eisteddfod - Week A
Performers, across the Primary and Secondary Schools, have been presenting their pieces for our team of visiting adjudicators. I have enjoyed some very well prepared pieces from a variety of musical styles. Girls should feel very proud of their achievement. Thanks to our busy accompanists, Ms Heidi Jones and Ms Stephanie Holmes.
Who are the Eisteddfod adjudicators?
Ms Judy Hellmers (Primary heats) – Violinist and Music Educator
Ms Susanne Powell (Secondary heats) – Pianist and Music Educator
Mr Neal Sutherland (Rock Eisteddfod) – Guitarist, Tutor and Composer
Ms Christina Wilson (Vocal heats) – Vocalist and Music Educator
SCEGGS Eisteddfod and Highlights Concerts
- The Instrumental and Vocal heats timetable is on Cognito.
- Heats are being held throughout the school day in Weeks 7 and 8 (12-21 March).
- Heats for Year 7 students will be scheduled during regular class Music lessons.
- Solo vocal and instrumental performances will be heard by visiting adjudicators and accompanied at the piano by Ms Jones and Ms Holmes.
- All participants should bring a copy of their accompaniment music to their heat.
- The Eisteddfod adjudicators will select outstanding student performances for two great concerts featuring performances by Primary and Secondary musicians.
- Friday 23 March (Week 8) Primary musicians (5.00pm – 6.00pm); Secondary musicians (6.30pm – 8.00pm).
- Members of the audience will once again be able to vote for the, always ‘hotly contested’, Listeners’ Choice Award.
Head of Music
Friday 23 March
Primary Highlights 5.00pm - 6.00pm
Secondary Highlights 6.30pm - 8.00pm
A showcase of the most outstanding performances from this year's SCEGGS Music Eisteddfod.
Each year, the Music Department holds an Eisteddfod, open to all instrumentalists and vocalists in the Primary and Secondary school. Over 350 students perform in front of specialised adjudicators, who select performers to participate in this concert.
Anyone and everyone across the school community is welcome to attend.
Venue: SCEGGS Great Hall
IGSSA Swimming Carnival – Friday 16 March
We wish the 21 students representing SCEGGS at the IGSSA Swimming Carnival on Friday all the very best for each of their events. Year 8 will be going along as spectators to cheer the team.
100th Tildesley Shield – March 21, 22
Best wishes to the 16 players competing at the Tildesley Shield to be held at Pennant Hills Tennis Centre next week. The players will be joined by 8 Line Girls who will assist with adjudicating the matches. This year is extra special as it is the 100th anniversary year of the Tildesley Shield and there will be lots of celebratory activities taking place at the tournament.
Easts Touch Grand Finals – Saturday 17 March at Parade Grounds, Centennial Park
Good luck to our seven teams competing in the Grand Finals of Easts Touch on Saturday. The schedule is as follow:
|8.50am||SCEGGS 1 v Monte 2||Field 5|
|10.45am||SCEGGS 3 v Wenona 3||Field 2|
|8.00am||SCEGGS 6 v Kambala 4||Field 6|
|8.55am||SCEGGS 7 v Reddam 3||Field 6|
|8.55am||SCEGGS 10 v Monte 10||Field 3|
|10.45am||SCEGGS 11 v Monte 12||Field 1|
|9.50am||SCEGGS 13 v Monte 15||Field 2|
Secondary Soccer Trials – Saturday 17 March at Parade Grounds, Centennial Park
A reminder that we have our Soccer trials for the Term II IGSSA competition this Saturday. All players are expected to attend these trials.
Years 10, 11 & 12: 12.30pm-2.00pm
Years 7, 8 & 9: 2.00pm-3.30pm
For more information please contact Ms Smith in the PDHPE Department.
Best wishes to Elise Aroney as she trains hard for the 2018 International Karate Friendship Tournament in Tokyo in April. Elise currently possesses her brown belt in karate. She won her category at the Australian Championships in 2017. The picture below shows Elise doing a head kick!
Well done to Alia Levi who placed 3rd in the U’14 Shotput at the NSW Junior State Athletics Championships. Alia will compete at Nationals this coming weekend.
Congratulations to Bronte Palmer and Elizabeth Robson who won their pool at the Northern Suburbs Tennis Association (NSTA) Secondary Schools Tournament last week.
Director of Sport
Years 3-6 Cross Country Carnival
The Years 3-6 Cross Country Carnival will be held on Tuesday 20 March at Queens Park opposite Moriah College, Baronga Ave, Queens Park. For more information go to the Primary section of this edition of Behind the Green Gate.
Primary Sport and PDHPE Co-ordinator
Year 8 Annual Father/Daughter Camp
Friday 6 April - Sunday 8 April
(Friday Night Optional)
This camp is optional, and is a parent-organised (not a school) event.
Patonga Camping area (Central Coast, nr. Pearl Beach)
Bay St, Patonga, NSW 2256
$120 - Including camping site and food for Saturday night and Sunday breakfast.
Year 9 Father & Daughter Camp
Friday 4 May - Sunday 6 May
Venue: Glenworth Valley
Contact: Dougal Kennedy (Miranda’s Dad) 0400 441 925