As we near the holidays, I thought it timely to write about social media and update you on some of the latest research and resources for parents. One of the conversations we are having on a regular basis with parents in the Primary School and Secondary School is about social media and phone use. With the upcoming break, I am conscious that these are conversations you will be having at home too. We want you to feel supported and equipped to have conversations with your daughter- we are "in this together"- and so I thought it was a timely topic. This Christmas, some of you may be buying your daughter her first phone, others battling with her to reduce screen time. Regardless, talking about how you will manage the use of technology in your home is important, even more so when you have a long period of holidays looming.
The eSafety Commissioner has recently updated their website and has some fabulous resources for parents. If you have not yet accessed these, here is the link: https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents.
On their website you will find information about the latest research, strategies and information on a range of topics. Their resources are for parents with young children, and teenagers. I particularly like their hints for magaing screen time:
- Stay engaged with what apps your child has on their phone and encourage balance, rather than punitive measures;
- Create a plan as a family for balancing screen time with other commitments;
- Set a positive example by reducing your own screen time;
- Use the available technology to monitor and limit your child’s internet use.
We know that young people use a huge range of apps and other social media platforms for communicating with their peers. These can be fun and harmless, but sometimes young people don’t always think before they post. It can be difficult for young people to navigate and to understand the consequences of the choices they make online. And they don’t always make the best choices!
On the eSafety Commissioner website you will find easily downloadable resources on topics such as how to have the difficult conversations with your child, how to build digital intelligence and help your child act responsibly, and how to know what age feels right to give your child access to different devices and apps. They also regularly update information about the latest apps, games and websites young people are using (https://www.esafety.gov.au/key-issues/esafety-guide), providing thorough information which can help you decide what you are happy for your child to access. We are also seeing an increasing number of families opting for so-called "dumb" phones for their daughters to have during the school day. This might be something you would also consider to help your daughter better manage her phone use and reduce her screen time. I would definitely recommend that all parents spend some time browsing through the website and having conversations together, with other parents, and with your children so that you can feel better informed and decide what feels right for you and your family.
We also recently provided a link to the wonderful SchoolTV resources in Behind the Green Gate on managing screen time. Below are links to two other past issues which you may find helpful:
- Social Media and digital reputation: https://sceggs.nsw.schooltv.me/newsletter/social-media-and-digital-reputation
- Sexting: https://sceggs.nsw.schooltv.me/newsletter/sexting
These links provide a wealth of information but also tips on how to have conversations with your child. You may also find other resources there which may be of help, too, when you click on the "All Editions" tab.
Lastly, remember that although you have given your daughter a phone, you are the one (in most cases) who pays the bills. It is ok to have access to their accounts (up to an agreed upon age), to follow your daughter’s social media accounts, and to monitor what she posts. It is a "new world" and it can be daunting try to make sense of the many apps, games and websites that they use. However, giving your child a smartphone also means helping them to use this wisely.
Director of Pastoral Care
Why it is Important for our Graduates to be Technologically Literate
There are two schools of thought about the future of our workforce: one leans towards “human” skills such as flexibility, adaptability, resilience, creativity and innovation, the other that high level skills in technology development and programming will prevail.
As educators in the Technology and Applies Sciences (TAS) discipline, our role is to equip our students with the skills and aptitude to excel at both.
In 2018, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) launched “The Future of Education and Skills 2030” Project [i]. The aim of the Project is to help countries and educational organisations answer the questions:
1. What knowledge, skills, attitudes and values will today's students need to thrive in and shape their world?
2. How can instructional systems develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and values effectively?
The Project has identified five important principles underpinning the future of education systems:
- The need for new solutions in a rapidly changing world;
- The need for broader educational goals to benefit the individual and the collective wellbeing of students;
- Learner agency: Navigating through a complex and uncertain world;
- Competencies to transform our society and shape our future;
- Need for a broad set of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values in action.
In summary, the OECD Project identifies that “students who are best prepared for the future are change agents. They can have a positive impact on their surroundings, influence the future, understand other’s intentions, actions and feelings, and anticipate the short and long-term consequences of what they do”.
The relationship between these principles and the curriculum we develop is crucial to equipping our students with the skills and knowledge necessary for future fulfilling lives, which leads us to explore why is relevant and contemporary education important for high school graduates and girls' education in general?
Our students will face a future where technology is ubiquitous in their homes, workplaces and in their relationships. Some will go onto be CEOs or CFOs of large companies or run their own businesses and will need to make decisions about which technology they use. They will all face a future where AI is used, whether it is in approving loans, influencing their purchases, voting or controlling transport. It is important that they understand how computer systems work so that they can make wise decisions, and that they can make valuable contributions to ongoing conversations about the implication of technology in our lives.
Cody Swann, CEO of software development company Gunner Technology, believes teaching children and adults how to code is one of the best ways to teach logic and persistence, two skills he says that are being lost in today’s connected society.
When programming, you learn how to break down a problem into individual steps and to use a language that the computer understands to logically create a program. In doing so, you develop a certain mindset about approaching problems and processing large amounts of information that is necessary with conquering any new topic. In other words, you learn to look at problems from a “big picture” perspective and overcome the frustrations of hitting brick walls to solve issues.
At SCEGGS, our aim is to teach students not only to code and produce electronic systems, but also to develop their depth and breadth of knowledge in understanding technologies and how to think critically and creatively about them.
Our students begin with visual programming and then transition into the open world of text programming as their confidence and competence grows. This is the approach advocated by Karsten Schultz [ii] and the approach we have taken here with the new Technology syllabus. In our introduction unit, students used “Scratch” coding software to create their own animated story. The excitement of seeing their code generate movement and sound on the screen was infectious - all students achieved success, and many produced very sophisticated animations using a range of programming techniques. Watching them help each other debug their programs was rewarding for us as teachers and instilled in them the confidence that they can problem-solve.
In our exploration of how to engage young women in technology, we have sourced and referenced young female engineers, technologists and entrepreneurs who model their journey to success with determination and perseverance.
One such contemporary woman is Limor Fried, or more commonly known as “Ladyada”, (a moniker that is a tribute to Ada Lovelace - the 19th Century mathematician widely credited as the world’s first computer programmer) a young engineer and entrepreneur who founded Adafruit Industries, a company that designs and creates technology and associated platforms and equipment. The purpose of her company is to create learning that is fun, engaging and accessible for all ages. She was the first female engineer on the cover of WIRED magazine, her company is ranked #11 in the top US Manufacturing companies and is a 100% female owned company.
Fried has created her products with the distinction that “it’s not technology for technology’s sake, in other words a lot of traditional programming education is super-focused on the academic aspects. That’s great if you are trying to get a job with Facebook or Google” Fried says, “and bless them, we need them to do that stuff.” [iii]
Another female role model is journalist and activist Caroline Criado Perez. In her book Invisible Women Caroline has consolidated research and case studies which illustrate the hidden ways women are excluded in the collection of data and therefore excluded from the building blocks of the world we live in. Criado Perez states that “data not only describes the world; it is increasingly being used to shape it. The first programmers were women – the human "computers" who performed complex calculations for the military during the second World War. Now women make up just 11% of software developers, 25% of Silicon Valley employees, and 7% of partners at venture capital firms. Bytes may be neutral, but programmers are often – wittingly or unwittingly – biased”.[iv]
In a world increasingly driven by data and immersed in AI, it has never been more important for women to be equally represented in the design and development of technology.
Preparing our students to be valued contributors, designers and engineers of the future is not merely based in competent programming skills; we also need to teach our students how to use industry standard products, understand information and processing systems and to create with technology.
So, what do we identify as the best strategies to engage girls in technology education?
· Teaching and learning through project-based activities to allow scope and individual pursuit and development;
· Making the projects creative and fun;
· Designing experiences that are accessible and have a safety net. If each student finds a level of success to their ability and interest, they won’t turn away from the learning and value the competencies they have developed.
Whether it is driven by the agenda of governing bodies, new syllabus requirements or philosophical educational values, the TAS Department at SCEGGS genuinely believes that our students will be better prepared for their future with purposeful and meaningful technology education. At each stage of our curriculum, we are building capacity and competencies through diverse technology programs and drawing relationships between student experiences and real-world industries. We want our students to “tinker”, and to “level the playing field” that fosters the spatial learning and confidence their male counterparts will have in their working future. We want our graduates to be part of the next generation of inevitable equal representation and making the decisions that will shape our society and the design and development of technology.
[i] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, The Future We Want, https://www.oecd.org/education/2030/E2030%20Position%20Paper%20(05.04.2018).pdf, 2018
[ii] Schulz, K., Visual or Text Programming, https://blog.aca.edu.au/visual-or-text-programming-c75046312ff7, 2018
[iii] Sierra, J., What you need to know about the CEO and chief engineer of Adafruit Industries, https://opensource.com/article/19/5/award-winner-limor-fried, 2019
[iv] Criado Perez, C., Invisible Women – Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, Penguin, 2019
Anne Rumpler & Caroline O’Sullivan
Anglicare Toys and Tucker
Every girl in the School is asked to contribute towards providing a Christmas gift for a child of a certain age group which will be collected at our School Christmas Service on Monday 2 December. Most of these gifts will go to Anglicare who will then deliver them to families struggling with poverty in our city. This always brings a lot of joy to the children as well as the parents. Some parents feel ashamed that they cannot provide a gift for their children due to their circumstances and our donations help them to have something to celebrate during Christmas. Form and class teachers will help the students to plan and prepare for this activity over the next few weeks.
“Mr Lee-Lindsay needs new undies”
For those new to our community I would like to introduce you to our socks and undies drive. There are a number of welfare organisations that are always asking for NEW socks and undies for their clientele. This is a serious issue amongst the homeless in terms of hygiene and good foot care. This is a whole school activity and because we want to get a variety of sizes this is how we would like the different year groups to donate:
(Kindergarten, Year 1, Year 2) – Girls Socks and/or Undies for 3 to 7 year olds.
(Years 3 and 4) – Boys Socks and/or Undies for 3 to 7 year olds.
(Years 5 and 6) - Socks and/or Undies for 8 to 12 year olds.
Year 7 – men’s medium undies and/or socks
Year 8 – women’s medium undies and/or socks
Year 9 - men’s large undies and/or socks
Year 10 – women’s large undies or socks
Year 11 – men’s or women’s small undies or socks
Students are welcome to leave their donations in the basket outside the Chapel for collection, like what we do for Harvest Festival (only we will not decorate the chapel with the items!) I will distribute our collection to local organisations next week. Thank you in anticipation.
Rev. Garry Lee-Lindsay
K – 2 Concert “The Animal Band”
This year’s K – 2 concert, "The Animal Band", was held last Friday. And what a wonderful concert it was! A wonderful story about caring for our environment, combining Music, Drama and Visual Arts, the girls obviously enjoyed every minute of their performance. Congratulations to each of them! And many, many thanks to Mrs Bronwyn Cleworth for orchestrating it all – what an amazing teacher!
Head of Primary School
Artistic Gymnastics Display
Congratulations to Glen Hay and his team of coaches for putting together a very entertaining Artistic Gymnastics concert on Monday 25 November. The girls show cased skills acquired throughout the year. The following girls were awarded Achievement Certificates:
|Level 1||Victoria Poniros|
|Level 2||Olivia Roberts|
|Level 3||Helaina Travassaros|
|Level 3||Emma Talbot|
Years 5 & 6 IPSHA Tennis Team
We have a team playing in the IPSHA Tennis competition, the first for a number of years. The girls have shown great improvement over the term and have worked so well supporting each other. We hope this is the first of many more tennis teams to come.
Join us at the SCG for the Women’s T20 World Cup
A fabulous opportunity to see the Women’s T20 semi final at the SCG. The Australian women are the current World Champions and we hope to see them go all the way again in 2020.
The ICC Women's T20 World Cup is the biennial international championship for women's Twenty20 International cricket.
We’ve secured our own SCEGGS bay for the semi-finals (double header) at SCG on Thursday 5 March. These tickets are open to family and friends. Click on this link http://bit.ly/2NDoVtu to get your tickets. Kids tickets only $5 and adults $35!
Primary PDHPE and Sport Co-ordinator
Congratulations to Frankie Ryan who has been selected in the Australian U18 Oztag team!
IGSSA Water Polo
Congratulations to Lana Oppenheim, Sienna Green and Sophie O’Connell who have been selected in the IGSSA Water Polo team to trial for the NSWCIS Team early next year.
Easts Touch Grand Final Day – Queens Park
SCEGGS has five teams participating in Grand Finals this weekend at Queens Park. We encourage all students not involved in sport this weekend to head down to cheer them on.
|SCEGGS 2 v Reddam||8:00am|
|SCEGGS 8 v Schols||8:55am|
|SCEGGS 10 v Schols||8:55am|
|SCEGGS 11 v Reddam||8:55am|
|SCEGGS 1 v Monte||9:50am|
Director of Sport
All I Want for Christmas – is to be taken home!
As the school year is drawing to a close… there are some instruments in the Music studios and storeroom that are begging to be taken home. Show your instruments some love, take them home and play them to spread Christmas cheer to your family and friends.
This is especially important for students who are performing as part of SPO (Special Projects Orchestra) for Speech Night. The Music Department will not be opened prior to Speech Night on Thursday 5 December.
Congratulations to the following students for their hard work and achievement in the following levels for their instrument’s examinations:
|Preliminary Piano for Leisure||Harriet Watson|
|5th Grade Piano for Leisure||Hannah Guest|
|5th Grade French Horn||Samantha Millin|
|Grade 3 Oboe||Georgia Baker Wood|
Thank you to Ms Chloe Waldron Reilly (Piano), Ms Cindy Sims (French Horn) and Ms Zoe Sitsky (Oboe) for their teaching and careful preparation for their students’ examinations.
String Exams – Students of Ms Kathryn Crossing, Ms Evelyn Drivas, Ms Dominique Gallery, Ms Vicki Parkin, Ms Rachel Valentine and Mrs Anne Sweeney
Congratulations to the 30 girls who have completed their String examinations this week. The girls worked very hard to prepare all areas of the syllabus for these examinations and they are to be congratulated for their efforts!
|Preliminary Grade Cello||Akansha Singh, Giselle Wharton and Victoria Lincoln|
|Grade 1 Cello||Ruby Peters and Ofelia Imm Smirk|
|Grade 1 Violin||Anjola Petrie, Audrey Rivers, Darcey Farrell, Allegra James, Olivia Chua and Olivia Flanagan|
|Grade 2 Violin||Chelsy Diec, Meike Bannister, Jessica Venetoulis, Stella Manos and Paige Lee|
|Grade 3 Violin||Grace Chandler, Ashley Diec, Josephine Mitchell and Simran Murphy|
|Grade 4 Violin||Zoe Andrea and Charley Masnick|
|Grade 5 Violin||Natalie Assaad, Georgina Dandolo and Elizabeth Shin|
|Grade 6 Violin||Bondi Barlow, Lauren Miller, Scarlett Cooper, Mary Williams and Erin Zikos|
Special thanks to Heinz Schweers for accompanying the upper grade exam candidates and to the string tutors Ms Kathryn Crossing, Ms Evelyn Drivas, Ms Dominique Gallery, Ms Vicki Parkin, Ms Rachel Valentine and Mrs Anne Sweeney for their careful preparation.
Wayside Chapel – Basie Jazz Band
Well done to the students who performed at the Wayside Chapel last Thursday 21 November. The students performed a small set for a luncheon that was being served to the Wayside community. The staff and community loved the girls’ performances. This is a venue that we would like to return and perform throughout next year. Thank you to Mr Peter Jewitt who organised, performed and directed the performance.
Download a recording of their Jazz piece "Mood Indigo", "Blues Machine" and "It Don't Mean a Thing".
Clarion Band “Come and Play”
Well done to the members of Clarion Band who participated in the first “Come and Play” initiative last Tuesday afternoon. This was a new idea to welcome new members of the band who will formally join the ensemble in 2020. We had several participants both internally (from SCEGGS Primary) and external students who will be commencing Year 7 next year. The afternoon finished with a short performance of three works that the students had workshopped in the session. You can hear one of the pieces in the sound file below.
Thank you to Mr Peter Jewitt for his assistance and to Ms Alison Ryan for her organisation of the event and direction of the band.
Download a recording of their piece "Bird Land".
Beginner’s Band – Final Performance
Congratulations to all members of Beginner’s Band on your final performance last Friday morning in the Primary School. The performance was well attended and “Power Rock” was clearly a favourite with the audience! Thank you to Ms Alison Ryan for her work to reintroduce this band as part of the ensembles program at SCEGGS.
K-2 Concert “The Animal Band”
Well done to the students who performed in the K – 2 Concert last Friday afternoon in the Great Hall. “The Animal Band” is a musical with an important message for our children on the care of our planet. A very special thank you to Mrs Bronwyn Cleworth who scripted and designed the musical, based on the songs by Niki Davies.
Festival of Lessons and Carols
An invitation is extended to all families and friends of the SCEGGS Community to listen and be a part of the beautiful performances by the School’s Choir, Madrigal and Amati String ensemble. This is a special service and the students have worked hard to prepare for this event. The music is a wonderful accompaniment to the lessons to celebrate the birth of Christ. We look forward to seeing you there!
Thank you from the National Trust
This week, Ms Allison Harrigan received a lovely thank you note to our students who performed at Lindesay House last week as part of the National Trust’s Christmas event;
"On behalf of the National Trust Women's Committee NSW I thank you for bringing The SCEGGS Madrigal Ensemble to entertain the visitors to the Lindesay Gift Fair.
They were the highlight of the day and the positive feedback was appreciated. We all love to hear the traditional Christmas Carols and your 16 girls certainly did a great job. To listen to them singing and watching the reaction of the people it brought a tear to my eye. I thought it was a natural stage around the Plane Tree, slightly elevated so we all had a great view. Even without amplification or keyboard support their voices were clear and moving.
Wishing you and the girls a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Convenor Lindesay Gift Fair"
Messages like this highlight what an important role Music can have when shared with our local community. Well done to the students from the Madrigal ensemble and to Ms Harrigan for her hard work.
Clarinet Concert – Tuesday 26 November
Congratulations to the students of Ms Nicole Barrett who performed in a lunchtime concert on Tuesday in DB1. The students have worked hard to prepare and are congratulated for their performances. Thank you to Ms Barrett for her careful preparation of the students and to Ms Heidi Jones for her accompaniment.
Does your SCEGGS Hire Instrument require a service?
Thank you to the families who have brought or returned their instruments to the Music Department for the year. If you would like to have you instruments assessed for service, Week 7 is the last week for us to do so. The holidays are a great opportunity for a clean and service so that your instrument is ready for the new year.
Please contact our Music Administrator, Ms Stephanie Holmes so she could make the necessary arrangements. The instruments would then need to be handed into the Music Department by Monday 2 December in Week 8.
Upcoming performances and events in Term 4:
Vocal Concert – students of Ms Eloise Evans will be performing in the final lunchtime concert for 2019. The concert will take place in DB1 Friday 29 November 1:10pm.
Head of Music
A triumphant season of Saving SCEGGS by Linden Wilkinson concluded its four performance season on Saturday night. Over 700 audience members attended the show, delighted by the return to 1976 and enthralled by the 37 strong cast.
Opening night hosted three of the players who had been significant in saving SCEGGS – Ted Davis, Sam Cullen and Denise Fleming. Their presence added another dimension to this riveting narrative, connecting the student actors to their real-life counterparts and giving their performances an emotional weight.
The excitement continued at the matinee performance where the company played to a Great Hall full of old girls attending the show as a feature of their reunions. They relished the opportunity to re-visit school days via the play and the immense recognition of themselves and Miss Chisholm on stage.
Linden Wilkinson has crafted a magical memory play, told in the Verbatim style. The real words and experience of the event’s players are recorded, dramatised and preserved like a time-capsule, which we may open from time to time to relish our story. At its core, it is a play about community – and don’t we have a glorious community at SCEGGS?
It takes a community to pull together a performance like Saving SCEGGS and many people contribute. Thanks to staff and students who chaperoned and built and ushered and ticketed and fed and dressed and printed and advised. The students who performed and crewed the show never failed to impress with their competency, commitment and confidence.
Bravo to our Production Assistant Ms Jodine Wolman and our Set and Costume Designer Mr Peter Mussared. They guided the students with imagination and care.
And a standing ovation to our Director/Technical Wiz, Ms Eddi Goodfellow. She was the perfect person to direct this play being an exceptional theatre-maker and great supporter of the School. She applied tremendous vision and passion to the project and we thank her for giving us a wonderful treat!
Theatre Excursions - School of Rock & War Horse – Going Fast – Few Remaining
We have secured a limited number of tickets to two exciting theatre events that will take place early in the 2020 school year. Registration of participation is now open.
School of Rock is a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is based on the film of the same name. The show features many talented young musicians in the cast. This show plays the Capitol Theatre in Haymarket. We attend on Thursday 6 February at 7pm (Term 1 week 2).
War Horse is the theatre juggernaut that originated at the National Theatre in London. It is a masterwork of theatricality, cleverly employing puppetry and stagecraft to transport us to another time and place. The play is based on the popular novel by Michael Morpurgo. It is not to be missed. We attend on Thursday 27 February at 7:30pm. The show plays at the Lyric Theatre at Star City in Pyrmont.
These theatre excursions are open to all girls across Years 7-12 in 2020. Permission letters are now available and may be obtained from Mr Eyers.
“The difference between a theatre with and without an audience is enormous. There is a palpable, critical energy created by the presence of the audience” Andy Goldsworthy
Head of Drama
Girls in the Secondary School who are awarded a blazer "Pocket" for excellence and outstanding achievement in a co-curricular activity are able to have their blazers embroidered only during holiday periods.
Awards will be announced at Final Assembly on Wednesday 4 December. Blazers may be left at Student Services after the assembly or at any time until 1:00pm on Monday 9 December when all blazers will be sent to the embroiderers.
Students with previous awards not yet embroidered can also leave their blazers at this time. All blazers will be dry cleaned before being embroidered, as this is a requirement of the embroiderers.
Blazers cannot be accepted after 1:00pm Monday 9 December. Any late submissions will need to wait until the next School Holidays.
Embroidery and dry cleaning will be done during the holidays and the cost will be charged to your daughter’s account.
Group photographs taken on Photograph Day 3 on Thursday 17 October, can be ordered online at www.advancedlife.com.au using our school's unique 9 digit Online Order Code, available on the home page of the SCEGGS Portal. Ordering Envelopes for cash orders are available from Student Services in Reception or the Primary Office.
P & F Events
Friday 29 November
Year 7 End of Year Cocktail Party
The Tilbury Hotel
12-18 Nicholson St,
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Per head (for food) $35
Drinks can be purchased at the bar
Via TryBooking link;
Simon Hallgath-Jolly or Year 7 Class Parents
Go to the Parent Portal for contact information
President of the P&F Association