SCEGGS Religion and Ethics

Have you ever wondered how SCEGGS incorporates its Anglican tradition into the daily life of the School? How SCEGGS teaches about other religions or what Year 10 ethics classes cover? Come along to hear from Jenny Allum, Garry Lee-Lindsay and Julie McCrossin as they answer these questions and more, in an open forum for discussion. For parents and staff of all faith backgrounds, or no faith, please join us for what promises to be a frank and important discussion about our school.


Tuesday 5 November 
  Drinks and Canapes from 7:00pm
  Panel and discussion from 7:30pm
Where: Joan Freeman Lecture Theatre
Parking: Joan Freeman Car Park

This is a free event but for catering purposes, please RSVP to

Class Parents 2020

We have received lists from most year groups for Class Parents for 2020, but if you would still like to volunteer as a Class Parent for 2020 please contact one of your Class Parents for this year and they will add you to their list. Class Parents, all lists to me by Friday 8 November please. 

Penny Gerstle
P&F President



Our children’s sleep patterns and habits are under threat in our current technological environment.

Young children require sleep for healthy brain development and to allow their developing bodies time to recuperate.

Growth hormones are released during sleep. While awake, children’s brains take in a flood of new experiences and make sense of them, simultaneously. However, while asleep, our brains shut out new input and process what has already been seen and experienced. Pruning of synapses and consolidation of information occurs during sleep and quality and length of sleep is essential for these processes.

Primary school children require 9 to 11 hours of sleep, pre-teens and teen require 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately, in the new era, digital insomnia is a modern health epidemic and children are chronically tired. Even mild sleep deprivation (1 hour less) could impair a child’s cognitive functioning, particularly language skills. One hour less sleep at night is equivalent to reducing their cognitive ability by two grades (Year 4 student deprived of one hour sleep will perform at the level of Year 2 student – study published in Developmental Neuropsychology).

There are theories that attribute hyperactivity to chronic tiredness. Technology/screens caused displaced sleep, overstimulated brains as the blue light hampers melatonin production and the scary content seen on screens can cause night terrors which happen in the first two or threehours of sleep. Nightmares occur in the second half of sleep and are a normal part of development, as a child learns to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Children under 10 are susceptible to experiencing intense fear after seeing images of intense violence or devastation out of context.

Given that the use of screens and digital devices before bedtime seriously and adversely impact children’s sleep patterns, parents need to manage the situation so that children get the required amount of sleep.Here are some tips to achieve this:

  • Screens should be avoided in the 90 minutes before bedtime. This needs to be done gradually by increasing devices from sleep time, until you reach no devices for 90 minutes before sleep.
  • Establish a screen-free bedtime ritual and introduce alternative non-screen activities into sleep routine,such as a massage, a puzzle or reading a book.
  • Make bedrooms tech-free zones by removing digital devices; specify tech landing zones.
  • Monitor the content that your children are exposed tp; avoid violent or age inappropriate programs. It is important to play and watch the online content with your child, so that you can discuss the content and be a part of her world. Experience your child’s view of the world.

Reference: Goodwin, Kristy, 2016, ‘Raising Your Child in a Digital World’

Elaine Slot
Primary School Counsellor



Year 7 Academic Scholarships - Talented students are encouraged to apply for these scholarships which are awarded on the results of the ACER Co-operative Scholarship Test and interview.

Grace Newbery Scholarship - Named after an early student at SCEGGS, this scholarship is for Year 7 entry and has been established to increase the diversity of the SCEGGS student body. It is designed to assist an enthusiastic learner who is also a good all round student, involved in a range of co-curricular activities. The scholarship is means-tested and covers 50% of tuition costs. It will be awarded on the basis of application, interview and ACER testing.

The Shirley Moore-Jones Scholarship - This means-tested scholarship is named in honour of Shirley Moore-Jones from the Class of 1943, in gratitude for her significant philanthropic support of SCEGGS. It covers 75% of tuition fees, is open for entry into Year 7, 2020 and aims to assist a student who has the potential to grow and contribute to the School. This could be through academic, creative, sporting or leadership avenues. We are looking for a girl whose emerging strengths can be developed, whilst contributing to the life and diversity of the School.

Old Girls' Union Scholarship - This means-tested scholarship is for Year 7 entry and is open to a girl whose mother or grandmother attended SCEGGS Darlinghurst. The scholarship covers 50% of tuition fees.

Joan Freeman Science/Mathematics Scholarship - Named in honour of this renowned scientist and Old Girl, this means-tested scholarship aims to offer a talented student of Science and/or Mathematics the opportunity to complete their senior years at SCEGGS from either Year 10 or 11.

Music Scholarship - SCEGGS offers a scholarship for an outstanding Music student to enter Year 7. We are looking for girls who have exceptional ability for their age and may have completed high grades or diploma level examinations with outstanding results. The scholarship covers 50% of tuition fees and is awarded on the basis of audition and interview.

Barbara Chisholm Boarding Scholarship - SCEGGS offers boarding in conjunction with St Vincent’s College, Potts Point. This Boarding scholarship aims to assist rural families by covering full boarding fees for a girl who wishes to enter the Secondary School.

Indigenous Scholarship Program - As a school committed to social justice and reconciliation, SCEGGS proudly offers a scholarship program for Indigenous children. The scholarship is open to students entering the Secondary School as day girls in either Year 7 or later years.

Applications close on Monday 10 February 2020. No late applications will be accepted.

Application forms and criteria are available at

For further information please contact the Enrolments Office on 9332 1133.

Sonja Richards



SCEGGS is delighted to host our next SPAN event, Women in Marketing, PR and Communications with Nestle’s Head of Marketing, Michelle Katz as the keynote speaker.

Michelle has extensive Marketing and Communication experience across multiple marketing sectors and has spent the last eight years leading the development of integrated marketing and communication plans at Optus, Unilever and now Nestle. This networking opportunity is not to be missed if you are currently working or aspiring to work in this highly competitive industry.

Please join us for drinks and canapés alongside like-minded women.

Monday 11 November
6.00pm - 8.00pm
The Joan Freeman Terrace

Cost: Tickets are $20 each
Please click here to secure your ticket
RSVP by 6 November



Last Friday night, we and 18 other Year 11 girls, along with Miss Nilon and Ms Zipfinger, slept rough in Darlinghurst to raise awareness of homelessness and help raise funds for Rough Edges.

BTGG 2019 10 24 Roughtober 1

Rough Edges is a community centre in Darlinghurst that provides food and other services for free, for homeless people in our local area. Rough Edges also aims to create a sense of community and security among its homeless and struggling patrons by creating a reliably warm and friendly environment in their café.

BTGG 2019 10 24 Roughtober 2

We were given the opportunity to go on an urban walk through Darlinghurst, which was led by people who know firsthand what it is like to sleep rough. Listening to their stories, once again showed us how important it is for us to continue our support for Rough Edges and raise more awareness of this issue. Originally, our goal was to raise $2,000 but currently we have raised a total of just over $7,090. This is an incredible effort, and we would love this number to keep growing. Donations close at the end of the month, so if you haven’t already and you can donate... it would mean a lot, not just to us, but most importantly to the individuals who rely on this service every day.

BTGG 2019 10 24 Roughtober 3

Finally, we would like to thank Ms Nilon for allowing us to take part in this initiative and to Ms Zipfinger who joined us for the night. Here is the link  if you would like to donate. 

Sophie Kuijper
Year 11





ENCORE Nominations
Congratulations to the following Year 12 Music students who have been received a nomination for the NESA Encore concert.

Hiroi Migita – Music 2 and Music Extension (Piano)

Elizabeth Armour – Music 1 (Flute)

Diana Sideris – Music 1 (Voice)

We’re incredibly proud of these students’ achievements. Well done girls!

Aachen Girls Cathedral Choir
Congratulations to members of the secondary Choir who performed in a concert on Saturday night in collaboration with Pymble Chorale (Pymble Ladies College) and the Aachen Girls’ Cathedral Choir. It was a wonderful experience for our students to be a part of this concert and to hear the performances delivered by the choristers of the participating choirs. Many thanks to Ms Allison Harrigan for her careful preparation and direction of the performance. Thank you also to Mr Heinz Schweers for his accompaniment. Well done!

Click here to listen to a performance excerpt.

Clarinet Ensemble – Assembly Performance
Congratulations to the members of the Clarinet Ensemble who played in Assembly on Monday morning. The ensemble played an excerpt from Handel’s “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” for the procession and performed “Somewhere Out There” composed by James Horner from the 1986 animation film The American Tale. Thank you to Ms Nicole Barrett who prepared and directed the performance.

Royal School of Church Music NSW
On Tuesday 22 October, Cantare choristers participated in this year’s Royal School of Church Music NSW. The event took place at St Andrew’s Cathedral and we were one of five schools to sing in this annual event. This was a wonderful experience for our junior choristers to work in collaboration with other schools and would not have been possible without the direction of Ms Allison Harrigan.

Music 1

Opera Australia
Congratulations to Akira Nicholson (Year 7) who has successfully auditioned for Opera Australia and been chosen to sing in the children’s chorus in Verdi’s "Attila" in March next year. This is a wonderful opportunity for Akira and we look forward to seeing her performance with Opera Australia. Well done!

Upcoming performances and events in Term 4:

String Concerts – Week 3 in Primary Music Room

Monday 28 October, Tuesday 29 October and Wednesday 30 October 3.20 – 4.15pm

Year 6 Musical – Friday 1 November, Great Hall 6:00pm

Flute and Oboe Concert – Monday 4 November

The students of Ms Kel Grennan, Ms Zoe Sitsky and members of the Flute Choir are performing in the Primary Music Room, 3.30 – 4.30pm.

Percussion Concert – 7 November

All percussion students of Ms Jayne Groves are performing in a concert in the Great Hall, 1.10 – 1.40pm.

Twilight Concert – Wednesday 14 November, Great Hall 5:00pm

Studio Concert of Ms Kylie Bailey – Monday 18 November 1.10 – 1.40pm

Voice students of Ms Bailey will be performing in a lunch time concert in DB 1 classroom.

Pauline Chow
Head of Music



Primary Sport

IPSHA Basketball and Year 3 Football

We had a great start to Term 4 Basketball and Football. Thank you to the parents and guardians who ensured the girls were at their venue 30 minutes before their game. Warm up is very important for injury prevention and preparation for the game. Please ensure your daughter has applied sunscreen if playing outdoors and has a large full water bottle.


Year 4 Basketball Team

Year 4 Basketball

Year 6 Basketball Team

Year 6 Basketball

IPSHA and IGSSA Gymnastics

Our Primary and Secondary gymnasts have been training all year attending various reginal, state and national championships throughout the year. We wish both teams the best of luck next week at their respective events. IPSHA 31 October and IGSSA 1 November.

Nina   Genc          Olga   Giannikouris
Olivia   Roberts       Emma   Talbot
Lily-Mae   Cook       Ella   Bishop
Lucinda   Cook       Milla   Brown
Katerina   Giannikouris       Zara   O'Shea
Abigail   Tattersall       Hannah   James
Zoe   Lindner       Madison   Liew
Isobel   Murray       Ilana   Patkar
Meike   Bannister       Aisha   Imtarnasan
Ingrid   Weaver       Sally   Webster
Poppy   Hegarty       Laura   Davies
Emmeline   McLeod            
Emilia   Narev            
Abigail   Sauer            
Sarah   James            
Annalise   Zimmerle            
Zoe   Argyrides            
Sienna   Morris            
Olivia   Phillips            
Bronte   Treffiletti            
Stella   Wilson            
Isabella   Conroy            
Cassandra   Davies            
Georgia   Farrow            
Bianca   Hardge            
Lucia   Scala            


Sue Phillips
Primary PDHPE and Sport Co-ordinator


Secondary Sport

Australian Interschools Equestrian
Congratulations to Claudia Woods who placed 12th overall at the Australian Interschools Equestrian Championships in the Eventing E95 class, held at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre. Claudia and her horse (Allegro Roccoco) performed particularly well in the Show Jumping and Cross-Country disciplines and did clear runs in both events.

NSW All Schools Touch Qualifiers – Years 7 & 8
SCEGGS sent a team of Year 7 & 8 Touch players to the Sydney Region of the NSW All School Touch Qualifiers held at Taren Point Touch Fields. The team lost the final to 1-0 to Heathcote High School. As runners up we are hoping for a wildcard to progress through to the NSW All Schools Finals in November. A massive thank you to Abby Burge who refereed all day at the competition.

The team that competed was: Zara Ibrahim, Tara Collins, Heavenly Dwyer, Maggie Harper, Sophie Davis, Gabriela Skettos, Milla Brown, Stella Hopkins, Emma Juneja, Indiana Meers, Gagara Farrawell, Olivia Ward and Jemima Daisy Smith.

Touch Football 1


Touch Football 2Match Results
SCEGGS defeated Randwick 8-0
SCEGGS defeated Port Hacking Blue 3-2
SCEGGS lost to Heathcote 0-3
SCEGGS defeated Sylvania 8-0
SCEGGS defeated Meriden 7-1
SCEGGS defeated Port Hacking Red 3-0 Semi Final
SCEGGS lost to Heathcote 0-1 Final

SCEGGS Commitment to Sport
SCEGGS expects full commitment to both sports training and matches. Parents are required to write to Ms Allum and request leave if there is an unavoidable clash of commitments for a competition match. Unexplained absences from training and matches will result in disciplinary action and may exclude the student from further sporting activities at SCEGGS. If a student does not reach a minimum attendance requirement then the co-curricular activity will not appear on the student’s school report.

SCEGGS Father and Daughter Camps
A reminder that it is the expectation of the school that students who are attending father and daughter camps still attend their Saturday sporting fixtures. Your daughters have made a commitment to their team and to SCEGGS. It is unfair on fellow teammates and the opposition if the team forfeits due to a lack of players. It also reflects poorly on the reputation of SCEGGS within the community.

If students fail to maintain their commitment to school sporting teams then the future of such camps will be placed in question.

A further reminder that students are not permitted to miss their regular sports training sessions next Thursday for Halloween. With daylight saving there is plenty of time to go trick or treating afterwards. Please do not contact the PDHPE Department requesting leave – our answer will be NO!

Alison Gowan
Director of Sport





Congratulations to the Year 10 History debating team for winning their semi-final against James Ruse Agricultural High School in a high quality, closely contested debate! The topic was "That the Industrial Revolution has had a greater impact on the world than the Age of Enlightenment" and the SCEGGS team were the affirmative. Although the subject matter was familiar, the girls had to read widely and work together closely to prepare a detailed case. We congratulate Maeve Hopper, Amelia Board, Ella Godhard, and Dominique Liew for their fine efforts and we wish them well in Grand Final later this term!

Kelly McManus
History Debating Co-ordinator



Theatre – Fangirls

We are taking a theatre party to see Fangirls by Yve Blake on Tuesday November 5 at 6:30pm. The venue is the Belvoir Theatre and the excursion is open to girls in years 9-11.

Girls have been emailed the information letter and permission slips to be returned to Mr Eyers by Friday November 1.

Design Competition – Production Poster for Saving SCEGGS

The Competition:

We are looking for a member of the student body to create a design to be used as the Poster to communicate the show to a prospective audience. It will be displayed around the school in Term 4.

A gift voucher will be awarded to the poster selected and the finalists will receive double passes to the play.

The Brief:

Our November production is a Verbatim Play titled Saving SCEGGS. The play was commissioned in 2015 and is written by Linden Wilkinson. It concerns an unfortunate and critical episode in SCEGGS history, during the 1970s, when the school nearly had to close its doors. The school community and neighbouring Independent schools rallied with much fund-raising and crisis meetings to save the school. Fortunately, the play has a happy ending and we are here to celebrate the school’s 125th anniversary in 2020.

The Poster Content:

In your design you must consider the inclusion of the following:

• An arresting production image – newspaper clippings? Photos from the day? School photos?
• The best font and colours for your poster
• Does it communicate the story of the play?
• SCEGGS Darlinghurst, in association with Sydney Grammar, presents $aving $cegg$ by Linden Wilkinson
• Performance dates – Thursday November 21st at 7pm / Friday November 22nd at 7pm / Saturday November 23rd at 3pm and 7pm
• Venue: The Great Hall
• Directed by Ms Eddi Goodfellow
• Bookings: TryBooking

Poster entries should be submitted in electronic form to Mr Eyers (

Closing date: Friday October 25 

Winner announced on Monday 28 October.

Theatre Club 2020

I am delighted to announce that Ms Morice and the Drama department have assembled another exciting line-up of theatre to form SCEGGS Theatre Club 2020. There is a variety of style, content and theatre venue to compliment your theatre experience and post-show discussion.

The shows that will feature in the Theatre Club for next year are:

  1. The School of Rock – a musical at The Capitol Theatre
  2. War Horse – you may have seen the film or read the book but the theatrical storytelling of this narrative is not to be missed – The Lyric Theatre.
  3. No Pay, No Way by Dario Fo at The Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
  4. Dance Nation by Clare Barron at Belvoir Theatre
  5. Jump For Jordan by Donna Abela at The Eternity Playhouse
  6. Super Heroes by Mark Rogers at The Griffin Theatre

It is a very eclectic selection that will amuse, engage and enlighten. Each theatre visit is followed by an enthusiastic de-brief the next day with Ms Morice in the school cafeteria.

The Theatre Club is only able to cater to 30 students so first in, best dressed as they say. Participation in the Theatre Club is open to all SCEGGS girls in Years 10 – 11. You do not need to be studying Drama as a subject. You should have a passion for attending live performance, be responsible in arriving and departing the venues, practice excellent theatre etiquette and enjoy the company and conversation of your peers.

Girls have been emailed the play descriptors and participation letter for consideration.

Permission letters must be submitted to Mr Eyers by Monday November 4.

Saving SCEGGS by Linden Wilkinson

The 2019 SCEGGS play opens in a few weeks and rehearsals are well underway with the production coming together pleasingly. It features a cast of students from Years 7 to 10 and will be a great celebration of the school as we enter our 125th year.


Thursday 21 November 2019 at 7:00pm
Friday 22 November 2019 at 7:00pm
Saturday 23 November 2019 at 3:00pm
Saturday 23 November 2019 at 7:00pm

Ticket prices: Adults: $20 Concession $15
Tickets on Sale from Monday 28 October 2019

Located in The Great Hall, SCEGGS Darlinghurst, 215 Forbes Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010

BTGG 2019 10 24 Drama

“One of the safest places in the world to be …. is the stage!”

Mr Peter Eyers

Head of Drama



As Term 4 ticks along, a reminder that it is time for Class Parents to start asking their year group for volunteers for Class Parents 2020. It’s NOT a Festival on Forbes year so that usually makes it easier. Below is the Class Parent role description. Please note that we have included a line about Class Parents being willing to accommodate members of The Trust, as they reach out to parents during the Wilkinson House Capital Campaign. If you would like to volunteer as a 2020 Class Parent, please contact one of the parents for 2019 and they will forward your name to me. We usually like four parents per year group, although sometimes Kindy-Year 2 can manage with three, and Year 12 usually has six to eight.

Class Parent Role Description
Class Parents act as liaison between parents, the P&F, the Trust and the School. They:
• Help to welcome new parents to the School
• Provide a link for all the parents of the Year group by organising a couple of Year group activities, to support generally the sense of social cohesion and community, and by giving the Trust a platform to talk (very briefly!) about the Capital Campaign
• Can generate interest and engagement in the School’s plans for the new buildings and for Scholarships as part of the School’s current Capital Campaign
• Provide invaluable assistance to the P&F and the Trust in organising various whole School functions from time to time
• Can help other parents to know who to contact within the School and to understand the culture of SCEGGS Darlinghurst
• Can help the School in various other ways on occasion

My term as President of the P&F comes to an end in March 2020 at our AGM. It has been a fun-filled role, lots of hard work and a great opportunity to get to know SCEGGS parents and staff. We are looking for a new President to take on the role from March. I am happy to remain on the Committee while the new President learns the role, if that is of help, or to assist the new President in any way that is useful. If you have any interest please do not hesitate to call me on 0408 29 11 96 to discuss, or I am happy to meet at the Rusty Rabbit for a chat.

Our next parent forum is on 5 November, from 7pm in the Joan Freeman Lecture Theatre. The topic for discussion is “SCEGGS, Religion and Ethics” and guest speakers will include Jenny Allum, Garry Lee-Lindsay and Julie McCrossin. Please put it in your diary. Bookings for catering purposes would be appreciated at

Penny Gerstle
P&F President



Navigating the ups and downs of modern life is a challenge for us all, the girls at SCEGGS included. Every girl, throughout her school journey, will experience a raft of challenges and will manage them in various ways. Living with two teenage children of my own and witnessing the trials and tribulations of their daily lives, I am aware of many of the pressures that make being a 21st century teenager so fraught with angst.

Your daughter will inevitably have her own worries about homework, exams, relationships with friends and others. Very often it is these struggles with relationships that we teachers witness and have to deal with constructively. Our girls want to be different, to be individuals but at the same time fit in and be accepted by their peer group. Peer-related stress can be one of the main sources of stress for our girls. They often face pressure from peers, parents and things they learn online to behave in a certain way or to feel accepted and valued by those around them. Research has shown that nothing is a more significant determinant of our psychological well-being than the healthy nature of our closest social bonds.

At SCEGGS, we regularly observe the impact of a friendship breakdown on our girls’ emotional wellbeing, self-esteem and achievement at school. Having a conflict with a friend or not being invited to a party are a couple of examples of the daily challenges our girls encounter. They are affected deeply by these experiences as they place a great emphasis on interpersonal connectedness.

Girls may receive unrealistic messages about how friendship looks and feels. Films and television shows oscillate between two extremes: mean girls (think Clueless) and best friends forever (Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants). We adults may not always be the perfect role models, either. The result is a steady stream of “friendship myths” – the idea that one has to find a “best friend” and keep her forever or that a good friendship is one where you never fight and are always happy, or the idea that the more friends you have, the cooler you are.

Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter all play an important role in our everyday lives, but they can also be a major source of stress for teenagers. They can even be a place where bullying happens. The first detailed study of how social media affects the mental health of young people, carried out by researchers from Imperial College and University College London, shows that social media does damage the mental health of teenage girls. It suggests that the harm is caused indirectly — through cyberbullying, sleep loss and reduced physical activity — rather than directly by affecting brain development. It also found that the psychological distress girls experience is twice as impactful than in boys.

Adolescence is hard work on the body and mind. During the teenage years, hormones are on the rise and so too the levels of anxiety and depression. Hormonal fluctuations affect each of our girls differently. I am sure the parents of any teenager would tell you that over-emotional adolescents can negatively impact a family dynamic from time to time. Rapid growth spurts, the onset of periods and acne can all contribute to a girl feeling overwhelmed and out of control. It’s no wonder that by mid-adolescence girls are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with a mood disorder than their male counterparts.

Research has also shown that many girls feel ashamed of their body, with imagery of “idealised” bodies on social media driving their insecurity. Some of the girls I speak with have told me they sometimes feel enormous pressure to behave and look a certain way. It’s disturbing that so many young girls think their appearance is their most important attribute. Others aspire to some level of perfection. Concerns about body shape can spiral out of control into eating disorders or mental health problems without the right support.

So how can we support our daughters through these difficult times? How can we strike the correct balance between allowing them space to feel and experience stress during a difficult time, and yet to resist the temptation to swoop in and deny them the opportunity to resolve an issue in their own way?

Turn up the positivity and turn down the drama
Some girls seem to be readily drawn into friendship dramas and get caught up in other peoples’ business. Listening without judgement to your daughter when she describes a bad day or a difficult time with friends can be the hardest thing to do, especially when you know she is really hurting. Controlling that "mum face" (or equivalent!) is key in getting them to share the right information with you. Staying calm and encouraging them to maintain some perspective in a crisis is paramount. As a teacher and a parent, I have found value in role-playing a difficult conversation with a friend. It may help them to step into someone else’s shoes and understand a situation from another point of view.

A good sleep can be a cure for most things
Sleep is absolutely vital for our physical and mental wellbeing. I am sure we have all had nights where worries and stress keep us awake in the small hours. If your daughter experiences poor or inadequate sleep, this can impact mood and has consequences for handling relationship difficulties. Encourage your daughter to talk about or write down their worries before bedtime and do something relaxing in the hours before lights out to help her mind settle. Social media should be avoided for as long as possible prior to lights out.

Promoting a healthy body image
Our tweens and teenagers are bombarded with images in the media and the 24/7 availability of social media can put additional pressure on young people. Remind your daughter that she is much more than just her body and help her understand and celebrate all the amazing and unique qualities that she has. Conversing with your daughter about realistic and healthy bodies versus heavily edited and airbrushed images that show the curated highlights of people’s lives, may help your daughter to understand that some of the images they see on social media are not a true representation of how most people live their lives. Eating together as a family each night can be a great way to connect. Improving communication during family meals gives teenagers an opportunity to talk about their day and for parents to help them build their self-esteem, resulting in overall improved body image. Do not ignore warning signs such as a sudden fussiness around food or rapid weight loss. If you are at all concerned that body image worries are an issue for your daughter, seek professional help from your GP.

21st century mobile phone users
A mobile phone can be a helpful tool for your teenager to achieve independence. Keeping mobile phone use out of the bedroom will be a helpful way to monitor how much time your daughter is spending on her phone. Less time on screens is going to mean less time absorbing inappropriate content, advertising messages, inane celebrity gossip, bullying and sexualisation. Negotiate and put a screen curfew in place and be bold enough to stick to it. Phone use disrupts sleep. Messages from friends “ping in” until late at night and the blue light from the screen is proven to impact sleep. You may have noticed that there always seems to be someone within your daughter’s circle of friends who is still awake and posting past 11pm!

One of the most important protective factors that buffers against stressful and challenging times is social support from close relationships. Close relationships with parents, siblings and peers in adolescence are a critical part of our girls’ development. We must do all that we can to ensure they become a healthy opportunity for our young people to develop. Supportive relationships are associated with widespread benefits for physical and mental health throughout one’s life. When it comes to parenting, research suggests that authoritative rather than authoritarian parenting, which balances warmth and love with clear expectations and support, encourages a young person’s growing autonomy and independence. Authoritative parenting is the leading driver of positive outcomes for children and teenagers.

Nicola Kidston
Science Teacher and Year 11 Coordinator



For those of you that had one, I hope you had a good break before the start of Term 4. I would like to bring your attention to a couple of initiatives that are happening this term.

Let’s Build A School Trivia Night
"Let's Build a School" is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes social and economic justice by improving access to education in rural Cambodia. One school supported by this organisation is the Rik Reay Primary School which has about 350 students from Kindergarten to Year 6. "Let's Build a School" has been supporting the Rik Reay Primary School since 2014 and run three privately funded classes: English, computing and library/arts.Through "Let's Build a School", SCEGGS too has supported and donated to the school and have been part of the remarkable change over the past five years. "Let's Build A School" is organising a trivia night on Saturday 26 October in the Great Hall from 6:30 – 10:00pm. Tickets are $40/$25 concession and to purchase please email For more information please go to

“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 can start bringing in donations from this week and there will be a 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 in the last week of Term 4. Thank you in anticipation.

Rev. Garry Lee-Lindsay
School Chaplain



Group photographs taken last term may be ordered online at 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.



Primary Sport

Gymnastics Camp
The following girls attended gymnastics camp on Thursday 10 October. They had great fun with some preparing for the upcoming IPSHA and IGSSA Competition in Week 3.

Georgia Scott Diya Shankar
Victoria Poniros Jessica Grace
Nina Genc Giselle Wharton
Isla Roberts Katerina Giannikouris
Olivia Roberts Isobel Murray
Olga Giannikouris Emma Talbot

BTGG 19 10 17 Gym Camp 1

BTGG 19 10 17 Gym Camp 2

Co-curricular Sport
All co-curricular Sport commences this weekend. Please ensure your daughter is at her venue 30 mins prior to the start of her game for warm up. It is important the girls wear SCEGGS uniform only and have a full water bottle. Draws and venue details are available on Cognito (parent portal). 



Sue Phillips
Primary PDHPE and Sport Co-ordinator


Secondary Sport

Water Polo
Congratulations to Sienna Green who has been selected in the Australian All Schools Water Polo Team. Sienna will tour with the team in December. We wish her well with her training in the lead up to this tour.

SCEGGS will be sending buses to Frensham for our Saturday Water Polo fixtures on October 26. Please indicate numbers with Ms Axford in the Sports Department. 

Well done to Alia Levi and Laura Roderick who competed at the NSW All Schools Athletics Championships. Alia placed 3rd in the 14 years shot put whilst Laura Roderick placed 6th in the final of the 16 years 800m. These are both excellent results.

Rhythmic Gymnastics
Congratulations to Ilana Patkar, Madison Liew, Cassandra Davies, Sally Webster and Laura Davies for their performances at the Australia Nationals Clubs Carnival held over Friday 20 – Wednesday 25 September at the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre, Queensland. This event brought gymnasts from all around Australia to compete.

Ilana Patkar (Level 5 Senior): 23rd in Freehand, 25th in Rope, 5th in Ball, 21st in Ribbon and 17/42 overall
Madison Liew (Level 5 Senior): 11th in Freehand, 7th in Rope, 18th in Ball, 37th in Ribbon and 20/42 overall
Cassandra Davies (Level 6 Junior):  18th in Freehand, 21st in Rope, 11th in Ball, 20th in Clubs and 18/21 overall
Sally Webster (Level 7 Junior): 12th in Freehand, 10th in Rope, 4th in Hoop, 8th in Clubs and 10/14 overall
Laura Davies (Level 8 Junior):  12th in Freehand, 6th in Rope, 12th in Ball, 7th in Clubs and 9/20 overall

Laura also placed 6th overall in the Level 8 combined Junior and Senior team division.

Congratulations to Georgina Dandolo and Amelia Whelan who competed in the U’14 International Grand Prix Fencing Tournament during the holidays. The girls competed against various other competitors from Oceania and Asia.

In the foil event the girls won gold in the team event. Amelia won the gold medal in the individual event whilst Georgia placed 5th. Well done!

Alison Gowan
Director of Sport


Manly Jazz Festival
Congratulations to Uma Volkmer (Year 11) who performed as part of the Women in Jazz Orchestra in the Manly Jazz Festival. The festival took place over the recent long weekend from 5 – 7 October. This was a wonderful experience for Uma and for any student who are interested in Jazz or would like to have a weekend of wonderful music. Well done Uma!

Songs for a Day Concert (Old Girls Union)
It was lovely to have Dr Aristea Mellos return to SCEGGS on Sunday 13 October presenting a portrait recital, featuring a collection of her art songs that she has composed, using the poems of CP Cavafy, Frank O’Hara, Emily Kendal Frey and more. The concert was held in support of the Old Girls Union Scholarship Fund. Guest artists, soprano Helen Zhibing Huang (Deutsche Oper Berlin) and pianist Ada Arumeh Kim Lowery (New York) were featured as part of the performance. We look forward to hearing more of Dr Mellos’ works in the future.

AMEB Achievements
Congratulations to the following Voice students from Kylie Bailey’s studio who achieved the following AMEB grades:
Scarlett Pearce – 3rd Grade
Indie Parks – 1st Grade
Well done girls and thank you to Ms Bailey for her preparation of the students.

Aachen Cathedral Girls’ Choir
Come along this Saturday evening to St James Church (King Street) 7pm to hear the SCEGGS choir perform in collaboration with the Pymble Chorale (Pymble Ladies College) and the visiting Aachen Cathedral Girls’ Choir. The students have collaborated on a program of choral items including the works of Australian composer Michael Atherton, Henry Purcell, Keith Hampton, Joe Twist, Richard Gill and more. Tickets are available at the door $20 for Adults, $15 for Concession and students are free.

Junior School’s participation in the Royal School of Church Music NSW
Cantare choristers have been invited to participate in this year’s Royal School of Church Music NSW. The students will meet music staff in the Primary Music room and walk to St Andrew’s Cathedral. Rehearsals with other schools will commence at 4pm with the choral festival service commencing at 6.15pm. Parents are most welcome to attend the service. A wonderful experience for our junior choristers to work in collaboration with other schools.

Upcoming performances and events in Term 4:
Aachen Cathedral Girls’ Choir Concert in collaboration with SCEGGS Darlinghurst Choir and Pymble Chorale (Pymble Ladies College)
Saturday 19 October at St James Church, King Street 7pm

Junior School’s participation in the Royal School of Church Music NSW
Tuesday 22 October St Andrew’s Cathedral – Service commencing at 6.15pm

String Concerts – Week 3 in Primary Music Room
Monday 28 October, Tuesday 29 October and Wednesday 30 October 3.20 – 4.15pm

Year 6 Musical
Friday 1 November, Great Hall 6:00pm

Flute and Oboe Concert – Monday 4 November
The students of Ms Kel Grennan, Ms Zoe Sitsky and members of the Flute Choir are performing in the Primary Music Room, 3.30 – 4.30pm.

Percussion Concert – 7 November
All percussion students of Ms Jayne Groves are performing in a concert in the Great Hall, 1.10 – 1.40pm.

Twilight Concert 
Wednesday 14 November, Great Hall 5:00pm

Pauline Chow
Head of Music



SCEGGS is delighted to host our next SPAN event, Women in Marketing, PR and Communications with Nestle’s Head of Marketing, Michelle Katz as the keynote speaker.

Michelle has extensive Marketing and Communication experience across multiple marketing sectors and has spent the last eight years leading the development of integrated marketing and communication plans at Optus, Unilever and now Nestle. This networking opportunity is not to be missed if you are currently working or aspiring to work in this highly competitive industry.

Please join us for drinks and canapés alongside like-minded women.

Monday 11 November
6.00pm - 8.00pm
The Joan Freeman Terrace

Cost: Tickets are $20 each
Please click here to secure your ticket
RSVP by 6 November



Now that Term 4 is here, it is time for Class Parents to start asking their year group for volunteers for Class Parents 2020. It’s NOT a Festival on Forbes year so that usually makes it easier. Below is the Class Parent role description. Please note that we have included a line about Class Parents being willing to accommodate members of The Trust, as they reach out to parents during the Wilkinson House Capital Campaign. If you would like to volunteer as a 2020 Class Parent, please contact one of the parents for 2019 and they will forward your name to me. We usually like four parents per year group, although sometimes Kindy-Year 2 can manage with three, and Year 12 usually has six to eight.

Class Parent Role Description
Class Parents act as liaison between parents, the P&F, the Trust and the School. They:
• Help to welcome new parents to the School
• Provide a link for all the parents of the Year group by organising a couple of Year group activities, to support generally the sense of social cohesion and community, and by giving the Trust a platform to talk (very briefly!) about the Capital Campaign
• Can generate interest and engagement in the School’s plans for the new buildings and for Scholarships as part of the School’s current Capital Campaign
• Provide invaluable assistance to the P&F and the Trust in organising various whole School functions from time to time
• Can help other parents to know who to contact within the School and to understand the culture of SCEGGS Darlinghurst
• Can help the School in various other ways on occasion

My term as President of the P&F comes to an end in March 2020 at our AGM. It has been a fun-filled role, lots of hard work and a great opportunity to get to know SCEGGS parents and staff. We are looking for a new President to take on the role from March. I am happy to remain on the Committee while the new President learns the role, if that is of help, or to assist the new President in any way that is useful. If you have any interest please do not hesitate to call me on 0408 29 11 96 to discuss, or I am happy to meet at the Rusty Rabbit for a chat.

Our next parent forum is on 5 November, from 7pm in the Joan Freeman Lecture Theatre. The topic for discussion is “SCEGGS, Religion and Ethics” and guest speakers will include Jenny Allum, Garry Lee-Lindsay and Julie McCrossin. Please put it in your diary. Bookings for catering purposes would be appreciated at

Penny Gerstle
P&F President



I would like to wish all our students, families and staff a happy Term III holiday break! Best of luck to our Year 12s as they undertake their final preparations for the HSC examinations.

I look forward to seeing you all refreshed and recharged for Term IV.

Jenny Allum
Head of School



Great Book Swap
Students in the Primary School celebrated their love of reading and helped to raise approximately $400 for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation during the Great Book Swap.

The Book Swap involved the girls swapping a book they loved for a gold coin donation. Selecting a favourite book was a very hard decision for some of the girls but knowing that they would receive someone else’s book in return and that their gold coin was going to such a wonderful cause, helped the selection process.

Thank you to all the girls for their enthusiastic involvement in this initiative.

9 26Pri BookSwap v2

Mrs Louise Cluff
Primary Teacher-Librarian



Secondary Sport

Water Polo
Congratulations to Sienna Green who has been named in the Born 2002 Australian Water Polo Squad. The squad will be training over the next 12 months in the lead up to the 2020 FINA Youth Championships.

Good luck to Claudia Woods who is competing in Eventing at the Australian All Schools Equestrian Championships this weekend to be held at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre.

Well done to the following girls on some excellent results at the Intermediate (Years 7-9) Schools National Championships.

Ilaria Roncolato won the bronze medal in the Women’s Individual Sabre.

In the team Foil Ishara Verdickt, Georgina Dandolo and Amelia Whelan won the Gold medal after defeating Sydney Girls High in the final.

In the Individual Foil Georgina Dandolo won the bronze medla and Amelia Whelan won Gold Medal.

9 26Spo 14 Fencing

9 26Spo 12 Fencing

9 26Spo 13 Fencing

9 26Spo 15 Fencing

Netball Grand Final Results
Well done to all our teams who played in the IGSSA Netball Grand Finals on the weekend. Results were as follows:

SCEGGS 2 defeated Danebank 1   18-15   in Grade S05
SCEGGS 4 lost to St Catherine’s 3   28 -16   in Grade S10
SCEGGS 12 lost to Abbotsleigh 14   9 - 35   in Grade S18
SCEGGS 13 lost to Pymble Ladies’ 15   21 - 23   in Grade J03
SCEGGS 15 defeated Abbotsleigh 20   25 -24   in Grade J07
SCEGGS 16 defeated Pymble Ladies’ 19   24 – 19   in Grade J09
SCEGGS 19 defeated Meriden 14   24 - 21   in Grade J15

9 26Spo 5 Netball 1

9 26Spo 7 Netball 1

9 26Spo 6 Netball 1

9 26Spo 8 Netball 2

9 26Spo 9 Netball 2

9 26Spo 10 Netball 2

9 26Spo 11 Netball 3


NSWCIS Athletics Championships
SCEGGS had three students representing IGSSA compete at the NSWCIS Athletics Championships on Tuesday. All three competitors were successful in winning medals.

Eleanor Lawson placed 2nd in the 12 years 200m and 4th in the 12 years 100m

Tessa McCarthy placed 8th in the 13 years 200m and 3rd in the 13 years 400m

Samara Foulds placed 2nd in the 13 years Javelin

Good luck also to Alia Levi and Laura Roderick who are competing at the NSW All Schools Athletics Championships this week.

9 26Spo 1 Athletics

9 26Spo 2 Athletics

9 26Spo 4 Athletics

9 26Spo 3 Athletics


Alison Gowan
Director of Sport

Primary Sport

Year 3 Minkey
Well done to our Year 3 girls who completed their Minkey hockey season on Saturday 21 September. The girls have developed some great skills over the season and displayed great teamwork and sportsmanship. Thank you to the coaches, Bonnie, Cat and Mrs Edwina Sweeney.

9 26PSp Year 3 Minkey

Term 4 Co-curricular Sport
All Co-curricular Sport, except for Water Polo Skills, will commence on Monday 14 October. Saturday games will commence on 19 October.

IPSHA Basketball training venues next term will be as follows:
Years 5 & 6 Moore Park Basketball courts, Robertson Road. Pick up from the courts at 4:50pm or outside the SCEGGS Sports Hall at approximately 5:20pm.

Year 4 SCEGGS Sports Hall. Pick up at 5:00pm.

All team draws will be emailed to parents as soon as we receive them.

Sue Phillips
Primary Sport Co-ordinator



Theatre – Fangirls
SCEGGS alumna Yve Blake (2010) has penned and performs in a new production called Fangirls. It has just opened in Brisbane at The Queensland Theatre Company before a season at Belvoir Theatre in Sydney. The reviews have been splendid.

“Having written the book, music and lyrics, Blake adds a compelling stage presence, charisma to burn, and superb acting skills to a list of credentials that seems somehow implausible in someone who, onstage, genuinely does look 14 (the age of her character). Through sheer star power, Blake draws you in until you’re sharing every rollercoaster emotional moment”.

Design Competition – Production Poster for Saving SCEGGS
The Competition:
We are looking for a member of the student body to create a design to be used as the Poster to communicate the show to a prospective audience. It will be displayed around the school early in Term 4.

A Gift Voucher will be awarded to the poster selected and the finalists will receive double passes to the play.

The Brief:
Our November production is a Verbatim Play titled Saving SCEGGS. The play was commissioned in 2015 and is written by Linden Wilkinson. It concerns an unfortunate and critical episode in SCEGGS history, during the 1970s, when the school nearly had to close its doors. The school community and neighbouring Independent schools rallied with much fundraising and crisis meetings to save the school. Fortunately, the play has a happy ending and we are here to celebrate the school’s 125th anniversary in 2020.

The Poster Content:
In your design you must consider the inclusion of the following:
• An arresting production image – newspaper clippings? Photos from the day? School photos?
• The best font and colours for your poster
• Does it communicate the story of the play?
• SCEGGS Darlinghurst, in association with Sydney Grammar, presents $aving $cegg$ by Linden Wilkinson
• Performance dates – Thursday November 21st at 7pm / Friday November 22nd at 7pm / Saturday November 23rd at 3pm and 7pm
• Venue: The Great Hall
• Directed by Ms Eddi Goodfellow
• Bookings: TryBooking

Poster entries should be submitted in electronic form to Mr Eyers (
Closing date: Wednesday October 23 (T4W2)

Winner announced on Monday 28 October.

HSC Drama
Congratulations and good luck to our HSC Drama students as they finish their school days and work towards their end of course examinations. It has been an engaging year of study that has included the topics Black Comedy and Contemporary Australian Theatre Practice and the construction of practical works for the Individual Project and Group Performance.

Farewell Antonia Capelin, Danielle Bouchard, Elizabeth Armour, Elodie Jakes, Emma Sexton, Emma Shirley, Genevieve Cox, Greta Schaffer, Isabella Croker, Jana Hollo, Polly Hanning and Rose Byrne.

Thank you also to Elodie Jakes who has served as Drama Captain through the year.

SCEGGS Productions 2020
We look forward to celebrating SCEGGS 125th year with two exciting student productions.

The first of these will be a musical. I am delighted to announce that we will be presenting Ladies in Black. This is a musical based on the popular novel by Madeleine St John. Tim Finn of Split Enz and Crowded House fame has written the score.

A scrumptious coming of age musical set in the 1950's. The lead character is a teenager Lisa who joins the staff of a fashionable department store while she waits for her exam results.

Over a summer that changes her life, she befriends the colourful characters of the women's clothing department. Each is on the precipice of change - facing independence, working for a living and what it means to be a woman.

The Age called it "a unicorn of the stage: a full-blown, home grown musical that actually works" and "probably the best Aussie musical since Priscilla went global." It wrote "Tim Finn's songs range from Broadway-inspired numbers to true blue ballads, from witty patter songs to shares of blues and jazz standards. They're beautifully integrated with the dramatic action, and the comic lyrics are priceless."

9 26dra DALLIMORE Chloe 12

Musical Theatre Performer Chloe Dallimore will Direct and Choreograph the production. Chloe has appeared in significant commercial musical productions including Chicago, Oliver, Crazy For You and delivered star turns in The Addams Family as Morticia Addams, The Producers as Ulla and Annie as Lily St Regis.

The production will play The Eternity Theatre in Darlinghurst from June 4 to June 6, 2020.

9 26dra Satchell Liv

The excitement continues with a new play to be staged in November. The school has commissioned playwright alumnus Olivia (Liv) Satchell (2008) to construct a play for the anniversary celebrations. She has been working with students in the development of the work and early glimpses demonstrate something special.

The play is called Pretty.Strange and will be presented in St Peter’s Playhouse.

Ms Vivienne Rodda will direct.

Liv visited the school last week to hear the Year 10 Drama class read a first draft. It is very exciting! The girls were able to contribute dramaturgical advice and embraced the opportunity to be a part of the developmental process.

We look forward to the production to be presented in November 2020.

Both productions will be open to girls from Year 7 to Year 11 to audition.

9 26dra liv

“Music blows lyrics up very quickly, and suddenly they become more than art. They become pompous and they become self-conscious ... I firmly believe that lyrics have to breathe and give the audience's ear a chance to understand what's going on. Particularly in the theater, where you not only have the music, but you've got costume, story, acting, orchestra. There's a lot to take in.”
― Stephen Sondheim (Composer)

Peter Eyers
Head of Drama



Year 12 Farewell Service
Well done to the students who performed in the Year 12 Farewell Service. The singing was beautiful with featured items of Mendelssohn’s Lift Thine Eyes and Bach’s The Lord Bless You which showcased the quality of voices in the ensemble. Thank you to Mr Kurt Ison for his accompaniment of hymns in the service. Special thank you to Ms Allison Harrigan for her careful preparation and direction of the ensembles in the service. Well done everyone!

Aachen Cathedral Girls’ Choir Rehearsal at PLC
The students in Madrigal and Choir have certainly been busy with the attendance of a combined choral rehearsal with students of Pymble Ladies College on Monday afternoon. The students are rehearsing for a special combined school performance with the choristers of the Aachen Cathedral Girls’ Choir. This performance will take place at 7:00pm at St James’ Church on Saturday 19 October.

Primary Piano Concert
Congratulations to the Primary students who performed in the Primary Piano concert on Friday 20 September in the Great Hall. The performance was well attended, and it was wonderful to see the range of students in their stages of development. Thank you to the Primary Piano teachers – Ms Natalia Deasy, Ms Catherine Lie, Ms Chloe Waldron Reilly and Ms Therese Watson for their enthusiasm and guidance of the students. Thank you also to Ms Heidi Jones and Ms Stephanie Holmes with their organisation and assistance of the event.

AMEB Achievements
Congratulations to Madison Au (Year 9) who achieved an outstanding result for her recent Grade 8 Piano examination. She will now progress towards the AMusA program, which is the same level as her oboe. Well done Madison!
The following four students also received outstanding results in their recent trumpet exams:

Georgia Mannix (Year 4)
Pippa Brenner (Year 5)
Astrid Collingwood (Year 5)
Jemima Lowe (Year 5)

Congratulations, girls!

Upcoming performances and events in Term 4:

Year 6 Musical – Friday 1 November, Great Hall 6:00pm

Twilight Concert – Wednesday 14 November, Great Hall 5:00pm

Instrumental and Vocal Soirees – TBC

Pauline Chow
Head of Music



Lost Property - Reminder
We have accumulated a collection of lost property items from Term III in the School Shop.

All secondary students with identifiable items in lost property are encouraged to collect them before the end of term.

We also have water bottles, lunch boxes and sundry un-named items waiting to be claimed.

The School Shop will close Friday 27 September and re-open Monday 14 October.

Have an enjoyable term break.

Clare Reid
School Shop Manager



I have had a number of comments and responses to my Behind the Green Gate article of a couple of weeks ago about the School Strike 4 Climate which is happening on Friday. I do thank all of the parents who wrote to me – some thinking that I had made the wrong decision, and others who agreed with or supported my stance.

I also received a letter which was signed by a very large number of (mostly) younger Old Girls, encouraging me to take a different position.

I met with two of the SCEGGS Alumni who were signatories to that letter – Olivia Schmidt and Stella Maynard. They are two of the most impressive young adults you could ever wish to meet. They were thoughtful, considered, intelligent, well-informed. They were also so empathic – wanting to demonstrate solidarity with students at SCEGGS who are rightly expressing significant concern, anxiety and sometimes despair surrounding climate change, but also demonstrating empathy to me, understanding the complexities of my position and wanting to listen, understand and engage with me on my concerns and hesitancies. I couldn’t be prouder of those two and would hold them up as beacons of all I want our young people to be!

I have been somewhat swayed by them both! I have already articulated my beliefs around Climate Science, and I repeat it here for clarity:

As I said last time, I believe the scientific evidence which tells us that the currently observed Climate Change is real and anthropogenic, and that the impact of human life on our world is significant. I believe that Governments should be doing far more long term thinking and specifically much more than they are doing currently about Climate Change, to protect the future health and sustainability of our planet.

I asked my Scientist friend (Prof Tony Haymet, Distinguished Professor and Director & Vice-Chancellor Emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California) about how to think of this. Here is what he said:

Yes, things are looking very bad for planet earth. Most of the heat caused by burning of fossil fuels has gone into the ocean (93%), causing sea-level rise, changes to fisheries and ecosystems, changing ocean currents, and changes to rainfall for almost all our farmers. Air temperatures are rising inexorably. Glaciers currently on land are melting, adding even more to sea-level rise. It’s bad. When I visited Bangladesh twice earlier in 2019, I felt famine was just around the corner.

Fortunately, we know EXACTLY what is causing this. It is not natural. It is 100% caused by humans emitting extra Greenhouse gases (GHG). What we have done in 150 years, we can undo, although simple chemical kinetics tells us it will take much much longer in the reverse direction than in the forward direction. Up to 2000 years according to Susan Solomon at MIT.

More good news: we know how to produce all the electricity we need without making more GHG. For example, California will do that by 2030, possibly sooner. In transport, we can use electric small cars, or hydrogen power small cars, all running on pollution free fuel. For trucks and construction equipment, we have more research to do. But no-one in my world is daunted.

For aeroplanes and big ships we need to manufacture liquid fuel which uses up as much GHG in its manufacture as it emits. We can already do that with fuel produced with algae. Aeroplanes have flown on algae fuel. The US Navy has green ships.

We need to reduce GHG pollution from agriculture. We have more work to do, but there are plenty of young scientists and farmers stepping up to the challenge.

Probably we will overshoot the “sustainable” amount of GHG in our atmosphere. So we need to actually remove some. Again, we have not perfected that technology yet, but there are great ideas out there, and pilot plants in operation. Sweden for example has CO2 removal built into its GHG legislation.

So what’s the problem? The problem is politicians, and vested interests who have been allowed to pollute “for free” since the industrial revolution, clinging onto their historical, mistakenly-granted privilege.

So what do we need? We need more young, ethical, well-educated scientists & engineers, farmers, economists and politicians. We need great teachers to educate not just this generation but the next and the next and the next until we have recovered from this global pollution overload.

I am not yet convinced that time off school to protest is more important or significant than doing a whole range of other things – some local action, some global movements (but in a student’s own time!). But it is a moot point anyway – you don’t get permission to strike either! So if parents give written permission for the girls to go to the strike, they will be marked Absent without Leave, but they won’t be punished, or “thought badly of”, and no negative consequences will flow in any way. I have been persuaded that this is a “unique and significant moment in international public advocacy about the future of the planet”.

As always, please let me know your thoughts and ideas about all this.

Jenny Allum
Head of School



Social Justice

“Social justice” is a term that has become commonplace in our public discourse. But what does it mean? To me – a mother of four - social justice in an aspiration for a fairer, more decent and empathetic society, where the fortunate use their privilege, opportunities and resources for the greater good.

We’ve tried to promote these values to our son and three daughters and I know I’m supported by schools like SCEGGS, which embrace the values of fairness, kindness and humility. We’re confident they will continue these values throughout their lives.

I think the School’s understanding of social justice partly stems from its unique location in a diverse part of Sydney. Our daughters have been exposed to a cross-section of Australian life. At one end of the spectrum, you’ll find Sydney’s powerful institutions in politics, business, medicine, law and the Arts, surrounded by gentrified terrace homes, fancy cafes and boutique fashion stores.

Alongside this privilege however, are communities experiencing acute disadvantage – the working poor, the homeless community and of course the LGBTQI+ community, who have toiled for decades in these streets just to gain the most basic tenet of social justice – acceptance.

It’s hard for SCEGGS girls to ignore these contrasts and histories. They underline an important lesson – that our society is not equal, life can be truly unfair and that it doesn’t take much for a person to fall through the cracks: a bad relationship, a trauma, a lost job, addiction, family breakdown, bad health or discrimination based on race and sexuality.

Understanding one’s privilege and considering these life experiences of others is the first step to achieving a more just society.

We’ve encouraged our children to become involved in social justice initiatives through school. Our daughters have been fortunate enough to go on school trips to Uganda, Cape York and soon, to Cambodia. They’ve also been involved with Community Service at Wayside Chapel, Rough Edges, Our Big Kitchen and delivering meals in surrounding streets. They’ve learnt that simple acts of kindness and modest donations of time can make a substantial difference.

Once school is done, I’d encourage parents to talk with their children about considering taking time to become involved in a social justice initiative. After the HSC, our three eldest travelled and volunteered in far flung places from Cusco in Peru to Kathmandu in Nepal. They taught English, provided manual labour in rural schools and assisted in health clinics. The experience exposed them to new cultures and languages and helped to broaden their understanding of the world.

Back in Sydney, we’ve encouraged our children to use their skills and passions in their local volunteering efforts. Our son’s strength is writing, so he volunteered once a week through “Sydney Story Factory”, working with marginalised students at Plunkett St Public School in Woolloomooloo. It taught him patience, compassion and the value of elevating those children’s voices.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that our children have pursued public service in their studies and careers. Our son works for a public broadcaster in Regional WA, providing a critical service during emergencies; our oldest daughter is a Registered Nurse providing compassionate care to patients in ICU at their most vulnerable times. Our middle daughter is a passionate advocate for the rights of women and the protection of the environment. She’s pursuing post-graduate studies in public policy, volunteering at a domestic violence refuge in Sydney and is very involved in grassroots work for action on climate change – the greatest social justice challenge of our time.

My own parents are still very generous in supporting causes they are passionate about including medical research, overseas aid, the Guide Dogs and educational scholarships (including SCEGGS). This has influenced how our family understands society and what we can do to help make a difference.

Most recently my daughter, Georgi in Year 11 and I fulfilled one of my dreams to visit Kenya and see first hand the work of “So They Can”, a charity which was established 10 years ago by two mothers in our local suburb. Our family have followed the growth of the school they created in collaboration with the Kenyan Government. The primary school now has 1080 students. We have been exchanging letters with the students we support at the school for some time, so to finally visit them was amazing! To learn first hand how our sponsorship contribution has made a difference to a group of “Internally Displaced People” will stay with us forever. These families fled for their lives due to political unrest and were left with nothing. Many children ate food from the local tip. They had became refugees in their own country. Now the children are educated and given two nutritious meals a day at school. We gained a better understanding of how education is the best route for sustainable change for children. It has a ripple effect that is felt by women, their children and whole communities. The school is now well run by the local Kenyans, so the charity is branching out to other areas in Kenya and Tanzania.

We learnt first hand that empowering and educating women has a wonderful cascade effect for families and communities. In addition to its school operations, the charity trains women in business skills and provides a small loan to enable their enterprises to get off the ground. We met four resilient, optimistic women whose lives had been transformed with this micro-finance. One woman, who had HIV, used her loan to buy a goat, some chickens and a rainwater tank. She was so positive about her future. Another has set up a successful little shop in the local village and now employs three people. Her entrepreneurial ideas were inspirational. Our group had 14 teenagers who will never forget their experience.

Getting involved in social justice pursuits is a win-win for all. Participants develop a fuller undertsanding of the world in which they live and marginalised people are afforded the basic dignity, respect and love they deserve. There are so many ways we can make a difference and it can all start at our doorstep.

9 19Ken Sponser Kids

Our three sponser kids at Abardare Ranges Primary School - Nakuru, Kenya.


9 19Ken Shoes

We bought kids much needed new uniform items! A local Kenyan man makes the shoes by hand, so the money is kept in the community.

9 19Ken Math Class

Geogi doing a maths lesson at a Kenyan high school.

Juliet Schmidt
Old Girl and current parent



In this edition of SchoolTV - Internet Addiction
In today’s digital environment, the internet can be a valuable tool for education and research, but it is also a key mode of entertainment too. Young people today tend to go from one screen to another, so how much is too much? Of course, each family will have different rules and expectations about this, but it is important to discuss what feels right for you. Time spent in the "screen world" has parents concerned that their kids may be missing out on real life experiences and we know that especially for girls their connections on social media can, if not monitored, become all-consuming. Therefore, it is vitally important to a child’s wellbeing for parents to regulate a child’s internet use.

Internet addiction can cause significant psychological and social problems for children in years to come. The true effects on future generations is not yet known, but there are strategies that parents can implement now. In this edition, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg discusses what causes internet addiction, who is most at risk and what parents can do to regulate the amount of time their kids spend online each day.

Here is the link to the Internet Addiction edition of SchoolTV : 

We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this edition of SchoolTV and we always welcome your feedback. If you have any concerns about your child, please do not hesitate to contact the School for further information.

Bethnay Lord
Director of Pastoral Care



Thank you to everyone who made representations to the City of Sydney regarding the proposal to trial the reopening of St Peters Street to vehicular traffic. The City of Sydney has decided not to go ahead with this proposal!

I received notification from them which read:

The City of Sydney recently consulted on a proposal to trial the reopening of St Peters Street to vehicular traffic except in between school drop off and pick up times and special school events. The City would only proceed with the trial if it was strongly supported. After carefully reviewing all the submissions, the City has reconsidered the proposal and will not proceed with the trial.

I really appreciate all your support. Thank you!!!

I know that a number of neighbours in the local streets around SCEGGS were also very opposed to this trial and I think they would thank you too!

Jenny Allum
Head of School



R U OK? Day
The girls in K-6 have been reflecting on the power of conversation as a way of checking in with friends and asking how they are feeling. The girls enjoyed many activities around R U OK? Day in their classrooms and through House Families. There have been conversations inspired by our love of Winnie the Pooh and his friends which helped us all to talk about our different feelings. Year 6 girls organised a lunchtime of physical activities and invited all the K-6 teachers to come and enjoy playing in the playground which saw Mrs Lodge and Miss Permezel being particularly adventurous on the playground equipment! We even had a flash mob dance led by Miss Sheil and some wonderful Year 5 and 6 girls which saw girls and teachers in K-6 dancing happily at lunchtime on R U OK? Day. The girls enjoyed all these opportunities and we hope they will now continue to check in everyday with each other, asking the simple but heartfelt question, “R U OK?”

9 19Pri Group

9 19Pri Slide

Community Service in the Primary School
Community Service plays a key role in our K-12 pastoral care program, and care and compassion are at the forefront of all we do within and outside our school community. Our hope is that each SCEGGS girl will gain a deep understanding of how she can help those in need and experience a sense of personal joy by giving to others. Over the last two weeks our Primary girls have been making meaningful contributions to our community and building their sense of social responsibility. Our Year 3 and 4 girls delighted the volunteers at Beehive Industries when they shared pieces of work, conversation and songs with them and our Year 6 girls will be making sandwiches and delivering them to Wayside Chapel on Friday this week. Our K-2 girls are thinking about ways in which they can perform an act of service inside or around their home over the next few weeks. They will then reflect on and share their acts of kindness together in Term 4.

Kate Brown
Head of Student Wellbeing K-6



Secondary Sport

Netball Grand Finals
Good luck to all our Netball teams who are playing in the IGSSA Grand Finals on Saturday:

Teams Grade Venue

Teams   Grade   Venue
SCEGGS 2 vs Danebank 1   Grade S05   SCEGGS Sports Hall at 8am
SCEGGS 4 vs St Catherine’s 3   Grade S10   St Catherine’s Indoor 1 at 8am
SCEGGS 12 vs Abbotsleigh 14   Grade S18   Abbotsleigh Sports Hall 1 at 10am
SCEGGS 13 vs Pymble Ladies’ 15   Grade J03   SCEGGS Sports Hall at 10am
SCEGGS 15 vs Abbotsleigh 20   Grade J07   Abbotsleigh Sports Hall 2 at 9am
SCEGGS 16 vs Pymble Ladies’ 19   Grade J09   SCEGGS Sports Hall at 9am
SCEGGS 19 vs Meriden 14   Grade J15   Meriden Indoor 1 at 9am

Rhythmic Gymnastics
Congratulations to Ilana Patkar, Madison Liew, Cassandra Davies, Sally Webster and Laura Davies for their performances at the Levels 5-8 State Championships held on Saturday 7 – Sunday 8 September at Abbotsleigh.

Ilana Patkar (Level 5 Senior A):    12th in Rope, =7th in Ball, =14th in Ribbon and 13/31 overall
Madison Liew (Level 5 Senior B):    11th in Rope, 12th in Ball, 18th in Ribbon and 16/25 overall
Cassandra Davies (Level 6 Junior):   16th in Rope, 17th in Ball, 12th in Clubs and 15/19 overall
Sally Webster (Level 7 Junior):    9th in Freehand, 9th in Rope, 6th in Hoop, 8th in Clubs and 8/9 overall
Laura Davies (Level 8 Junior):   9th in Freehand, 8th in Rope, 11th in Ball, 12th in Clubs and =9/15 overall

Cassandra Davies also placed 2nd overall in the Level 6 Junior team division.

Good luck to all girls who are heading up to the Gold Coast to compete at the Nationals Club Championships.

Touch Trials dates:
Year 7 Trials
Friday September 20 – Rushcutters Bay
3:30pm – 5pm

Year 8/9 Touch Trials
Tuesday 24 September - Moore Park Synthetic Field
6.30am - 7.50am

Touch Skills
Tuesday September 24 – Moore Park Synthetic Field

Year 10 & 11 Trials and Senior A Trials
Monday September 25 – Moore Park Synthetic Field

Indoor Hockey Trials
Years 7, 8 & 9
Friday September 20 – SCEGGS Sports Hall


9 19Sport 1

9 19Sport 2


Alison Gowan
Director of Sport

Primary Sport

CIS Athletics
Congratulations to the following girls who competed for IPSHA at the CIS Athletics Carnival on Thursday 12 September. Stella Argyrides, Bondi Barlow, Camille Coonan, Coco Espie, Abigail Grace, Isla Hootman, Stella Manos and Zara Torrance.

Congratulations to Stella Argyrides, Abigail Grace, Isla Hootman and Stella Manos who gained 3rd place in the Senior Relay and to Coco Espie who came 1st in the Multi Class shot put, 2nd in Multi Class discus and 3rd in the Multi Class 100m. This is an amazing achievement and these girls will progress to the NSWPSSA Athletics Carnival on 6 and 7 November.

9 19PriSp 3

9 19PriSp 4

9 19PriSp Ath 5

9 19PriSp Ath 4

9 19PriSp Ath 6

9 19PriSp Ath 3

Years 4-6 IPSHA Basketball Trials
IPSHA Basketball trials will be held on the following date:

Date: Tuesday 24 September, Week 10
Venue: Moore Park Netball and Basketball Courts
Moore Park, Cnr Robertson & Lang Road.

Girls will need to have a water bottle and SCEGGS Basketball top (available in the School Shop).

Pick up from the venue is at 4:50pm or from the SCEGGS Sports Hall at approximately 5:20pm.

Year 3 Football Trials
Year 3 Football Trials will be held on:

Date: Tuesday 24th September, Week 10
Venue: Moore Park All-Weather Turf Field. Parking on Robertson Road.

Girls will need to have a water bottle, shin pads and long SCEGGS sports socks (socks available in the School Shop).
Pick up from the venue is at 4:50pm or from the SCEGGS Sports Hall at approximately 5:20pm.

IPSHA Years 4-6 Touch Football
We have had a great season of Touch Football. Thank you to the coaches, parents and especially the girls for their efforts over the term. It was wonderful to see improvement in all teams and some excellent sportsmanship displayed by our girls. There will not be any games on Saturday 21 September.

9 19PriSp team5

9 19PriSp team6

9 19PriSp team7

9 19PriSp touch team1

9 19PriSp touch team2


Family Fun Run
Congratulations to Annabelle Jessup who ran the 3.5km Family Fun Run over the Harbour Bridge on Sunday 15 September. She finished with a time of 18 minutes 58 seconds. She came 30th out of 1,202 finishers for her age group (females under the age of 12).

9 19PriSp Annabel Jessup

Primary PE Lessons Term 4
In Term 4 Kindergarten to Year 6 will be involved in Swimming during their PE lessons.

K to Year 2: wear a one-piece swimming costume and bring goggles, cap and towel.
Years 3-6: wear SCEGGS Swimming costume, a cap, goggle and towel.

Please ensure all items of clothing are named. All classes will go by bus to and from the pool.

Sue Phillips
Primary Sport Co-ordinator



SCEGGS HSC Music Examination – Music 2 and Music Extension
Well done to the Music 2 and Music Extension students who have completed their HSC performance examinations this week.

The practical components for the HSC Music students are now completed. They will return in Term 4 to complete their Aural skills paper (Music 1) or Musicology/Aural skills paper (Music 2) during the HSC examination period. We wish the girls all the very best on their musical journey beyond SCEGGS.

Clarinet Lunchtime Concert – Studio of Ms Nicole Barrett
Congratulations to the students of Ms Nicole Barrett who performed in their lunch time concert on Monday 16 September in the Primary Music Classroom. It was wonderful to see the talented students in the Primary school who are making wonderful progress on their instruments. Thank you to Ms Barrett for her enthusiasm and guidance of her students. Thank you also to Ms Heidi Jones for her accompaniment.

Upcoming performances and events in Term 3:
Primary Piano Concert – Friday 20 September
3.30 – 4.30pm Great Hall

Pauline Chow
Head of Music



We were delighted to once again see so many students from the Primary and Secondary School enter the prestigious Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards. The theme for this year, “Is Anybody There?” encouraged students to probe a wide range of provocative topics; from refugee and environmental crisis to family relationships. In the Lower Primary section Samantha Cutbush (Year 3) was Commended for her poem entitled “What Do You Do?” Celeste Georgiou (Year 6) was Shortlisted in the Upper Primary section for her Villanelle “The sadness drowns me.” The Villanelle is a very complex poetic form and the judges commented on Celeste’s ability to effectively employ the form of the Villanelle without having her poem sound repetitious.

In the Junior Secondary section Ruby Cooney (Year 8) and Samantha Dawson (Year 8) were both Highly Commended. The judges commented on the “lush imagery and clever structure in Ruby’s poem “Paper Stars” and on the “strong imagery and powerful message” in Samantha’s poem “In the Crater”. Lucia Gelonesi (Year 9) entered a number of poems and was Highly Commended for “Sicilian Music Box” and Shortlisted for “Mothers as Others.” The judges described Lucia’s Shortlisted work as “a cracker of a poem - oozing with confidence and clever use of metaphor.”

We are so proud of all the students who submitted work for this competition. Certificates will be awarded to all participants in Year meetings. The high standard of SCEGGS entries was noted as we were Commended in the Secondary Schools’ Award. Well done to all entrants and their teachers.

Jenny Bean
English Teacher



Lost Property - Reminder
We have accumulated a collection of lost property items from Term 3 in the School Shop.

All secondary students with identifiable items in lost property are encouraged to collect them before the end of term.

We also have water bottles, lunch boxes and sundry un-named items waiting to be claimed.

The School Shop will close Friday 27 September and re-open Monday 14 October.

Have an enjoyable term break.

Clare Reid
School Shop Manager



Rethinking Stress

“I’m so stressed!!”
This is a comment I hear many students make, particularly when coming into an exam or an assessment period. Something I find helpful in my sessions with students is to remind them that stress is not inherently a bad thing. In fact, stress is a normal reaction that we all feel as human beings towards situations that are challenging. Not enough stress in life can result in boredom, apathy, low mood and ultimately a lack of working to one’s potential. However, too much stress also costs our performance by creating distress, and can result in fatigue, physical ill-health and anxiety. Our aim at SCEGGS is to facilitate students to experience an optimal amount of stress. This is when students are pushed out of their comfort zone and rise to that challenge. Optimal stress can have a range of benefits including an increase in energy and focus, a sense of pride and can lead people to accomplish things they never thought they could. This idea is backed by research that suggests short term moderate stress for a few hours, like an exam or speech, primes the brain for alertness resulting in better learning and memory (Jaret, 2015).

So how can you as parents make stress more beneficial for your daughters?

Stay calm and connected
It's normal to feel stress coming up to exams, big assessment periods or waiting for results. But, stress as an emotion can be catching. You may have noticed this in your own household. If one person is stressed this feeling may go through the entire household and before you know it everyone’s heart is racing!

Regular communication during a shared activity like going for a walk or driving in the car or doing something they like to do can be helpful. Get a good understanding of your daughter’s study routines and plans so that you can help them balance out schoolwork with time for fun, family and friends in an age appropriate way. Communicate regularly with your daughter in a calm, non-judgmental, non-blaming way, as this will encourage them to speak honestly with you about how they are feeling. And if you do notice yourself, or your daughter, beginning to become distressed, one of the most effective things to do is to take a few deep breaths and stay calm. This breaks the cycle and helps contain and regulate emotions.

Encourage helpful thinking
It’s important for us all to help your daughters keep things in perspective. To remind them that you and their teachers are here to support them. Tell them that while there their exams or assignments are important, their value as human beings and the value of their education is not reflected simply in a mark. Thinking inflexibly about situations or jumping to the worst possible scenario is not going to be helpful in keeping them at the optimal level of stress, which is where they learn and perform best. We need to help them to think in a balanced way, recognising that they will need to prioritise tasks and develop the resilience to deal with minor setbacks and disappointments.

In order to do this, you can ask things like:

  • Is that a helpful way of thinking about that situation?
  • What is a more helpful way of thinking about it?
  • Is that the only possible explanation?
  • What are some other ways of thinking about this situation?

It is so important that you try to ask these questions rather than react to your child’s worry in the moment and try to fix things for them.

Nurture a healthy lifestyle
Often when I first meet students, I ask about their sleep, diet and level of exercise. I talk about this being the foundation of our emotional house. If our foundations are rocky, our emotions too will be more susceptible to extremes and more likely to be unstable.

Encourage your daughter to not forget the simple things like sleeping. According to the Student Wellbeing survey we conducted last year over half of our High school students (60%) report waking up feeling quite exhausted or exhausted. According to experts’ school aged children 6-13 years old require 9-11 hours of sleep per night and young people aged 14-17 need 8-10 hours of sleep (Sleep Connection, 2019).

Remind your daughter to go to sleep at a regular time and remove phones before bed. Good sleepers usually take 30 minutes to fall asleep at night and may wake a few times throughout the night. It is unrealistic for your daughter to expect that she will fall asleep straight away. Encourage your daughter to engage in a non-screen activity in bed 30 minutes to 1 hour before sleep time to help your daughter unwind and prepare for sleep. As a household you may consider turning off main lights and using just lamps 1-2 hours before bedtime. Low lighting helps the release of melatonin which encourages human bodies to sleep.

Keep a watchful eye
The most commons signs of too much stress is when you see changes in your daughter's emotions (for example agitation, anxiousness or sadness), behaviour (this may include withdrawal from activities they normally enjoy or too much socialising and not enough studying), physicality (such as headaches, or a gain or reduction in appetite or weight) and cognitions (difficulties with memory, inability to focus and negative perspective). It’s important to point out that most young people leading up to an exam period or an assignment period are going to show signs of stress and this is perfectly normal. But if changes are intense, frequent, persist for more than two weeks and are not easily explained or alleviated by an external stressor such as an exam period there may be something more going on.

If you do notice changes in your daughter that you find concerning, telling your daughter what changes you have noticed in their behaviour, without nagging or blaming, and asking them whether they have noticed changes too, can be helpful. You can also contact their Year Co-ordinator, Form Teacher, Director of Pastoral Care, one of the School Counsellors or speak to your GP. I have also included a few apps that you, and your daughter, might find helpful in managing stress at the end of this article.

Jaret, P. 2015, The Surprising Benefits of Stress Greater Good Science Centre at UC Berkeley, viewed 4 Sept 2019, 
The Sleep Connection, Sleep for Children and Teenagers: Amount of Sleep Required, viewed 4 Sept 2019, 

Apps to help manage stress

  • Reachout Breathe
  • Reachout worry time
  • Smiling Mind


Dr Melissa Saxton
School Psychologist



How green was the Festival on Forbes? The numbers are in and the community has achieved an outstanding result!

This year the Festival committee made a conscious effort to reduce what was being brought into the School. It is estimated that the 2017 Festival on Forbes produced 20,000 litres of unsorted waste. You may have noticed there were no balloons and no excess plastic or packaging this year. As a result, the amount of waste removed after the fair was only 12,020 litres. 28% of the waste was cardboard and paper, 3% was organic food waste, 4% was green waste and 52% was mixed recycling. Only 13%, or 1580L, of the waste from the Festival on Forbes went to landfill. This is an amazing result! However, it could not have been achieved without the fantastic student waste warriors who worked tirelessly at the bins helping people to correctly dispose of their waste and the maintenance team.

gr waste warriors from FoF

Festival goers were clearly thirsty! The Sydney water refill stations were constantly used throughout the day consuming 217 litres of water. Combined with the availability of the reusable water bottles, this meant we saved 362 600ml bottles from being purchased. This would amount to 5Kg of plastic going into landfill and a saving of 543 litres of water which would otherwise have been used in manufacturing the bottles.

gr water stations

Finally, single use takeaway coffee cups and lids were reduced to just a single bag, thanks to the "Borrow a mug" campaign. Of course, we also thank everyone who contributed to this result by bringing their own keep cup!

gr borrow a mug

Overall the campaign to make Festival on Forbes a more environmentally friendly event was a huge success. These excellent results could not have been achieved without the support of the school community. The planet thanks you for your efforts.



Ulrika Aroney, Juliet Schmidt, Sarah Stuart-Jones (FoF Green team)
and Sue Zipfinger



All girls from K-12 must be in full summer uniform commencing Week 1 of Term IV.

Summer uniform items are now available for purchase through the School Shop.

Clare Reid
School Shop Manager



Secondary Sport

Australian Interschools Snowsports Championships
SCEGGS had six girls compete at the Australian Interschools Snowsports Championships held at Mt Buller over the past week and they produced some outstanding results.

Division 1 Cross Country
Phoebe Cridland placed 1st individually to win the Gold Medal.

Division 1 Moguls
Isabelle Senes and Claudia Holmes placed 9th as a team.

Division 1 Skier Cross
Eliza-Grace Gannon and Claudia Woods placed 8th as a team.

Division 2 Alpine
Lily Punch placed 3rd individually and won the Bronze Medal.

Further congratulations to Phoebe Cridland who also won the Australian U’20 5km cross-country event in Falls Creek and who has qualified for the Australian Junior Team. Well done to Lily Punch who also competed in Falls Creek at the Australian Junior Nationals to record some excellent results in the U’16 Giant Slalom events finishing 7th and 6th in both her races.

As we conclude the Snowsports season for 2019, I would like to give a big thank you to all the families involved this year. Thank you so much for your support given to me and Ms Axford, getting girls to their races on time and performing team manager duties. Well done to our two captains Phoebe Cridland and Isabelle Senes for supporting the girls and keeping everyone updated with your daily reports.

Sport 4

sp Eliza  Claudia

sp Issy  Claudia H

Sport 3

Sport 2

Sport 1 Lily P

Well done to Amelia Whelan who represented NSW in the 2019 Joseph D'Onofrio Challenge in Melbourne. Amelia gained Silver Medals in both the U14 and U12 Girls Foil categories.

Any students wishing to try fencing for the first time you are welcome to attend the Fencing NSW Centre in Alexandria on a Wednesday or Friday afternoon and ask for Adriano.

Sports Amelia Whelan Fencing

Touch Trials
Tuesday Sept 17 – Years 8 and 9 must attend
3:15pm–5:00pm at Moore Park Synthetic Turf
A bus will bring all players to and from Moore Park after school

Indoor Hockey Trials
Indoor Hockey trials are commencing on Friday September 13 from 6:45am–8am for all players. Players are to bring their own indoor hockey stick, shinpads, gloves and mouthguard.

Good cheap indoor sticks can be purchased at Just Hockey:

Players should also consider buying a left-handed indoor glove (or both) 

Expectations on the sidelines at Saturday Sport
With the last rounds approaching and semis and finals coming up in the secondary school we thought it timely to give some reminders for being a spectator at sport.

Saturday sport is a wonderful time for families and can become very exciting when scores are close. We ask that all parents keep a two metre distance from the sidelines of sports such as Touch, Hockey, and Soccer. Parents should spectate well away from the coach and team, so players are completely engaged with their teammates and coaches.

Players, especially younger students, can find it very intimidating and embarrassing when parents are yelling constantly at them or are creeping onto the field/court themselves. Parents need to be mindful that their own children are not the only players on the field and should be politely cheering for the whole team. It also makes it very difficult for umpires to adjudicate the match when they are dodging parents on the field.

We all love our dogs and they are very much part of the family but please be respectful when bringing them to matches. Not all venues allow dogs at their grounds so you should check first before bringing them. Under no circumstances should dogs be brought into school gyms or pool areas (unless they are an assistance dog). Please make sure all dogs are kept away from the teams, especially during the half time team talk. That adorable new family puppy becomes a massive distraction when showing it off before the game and at half time. Finally, please come prepared and clean up after your dog!


Alison Gowan
Director of Sport

Primary Sport

Rhythmic Gymnastics
Congratulations to Hannah James and Georgia Farrow for their performances at the Level 4 Trial competition held on Sunday 25 August at MLC School, Burwood.

spP rhythmic Gym

Artistic Gymnastics
Congratulations to the following girls who competed in the Kincoppal-Rose Bay Invitation Artistic Gymnastics Carnival on Sunday 8 September.

Level 1
Sarah Ibrahim - Gold Banding
Victoria Poniros - Gold Banding - First Ever Competition

Level 2
Nina Genc - Gold Banding
Lily-Mae Cook - Gold Banding
Stella Argyrides - Silver Banding
Lucinda Cook - Silver Banding
Ella Chong - Silver Banding

Level 3
Katarina Giannikouris - Gold Banding - 3rd Overall
Emma Talbot - Silver Banding
Zoe Lindner - Silver Banding
Isobel Murray - Silver Banding
Olga Giannikouris - Silver Banding

spP Gym 2

spP Gym Photo 1

Years 4-6 IPSHA Basketball Trials
IPSHA Basketball trials will be held on the following dates:

- Tuesday 17 September, Week 9
- Tuesday 24 September, Week 10

Venue: Moore Park Netball and Basketball Courts
Moore Park, Cnr Robertson & Lang Road.

Girls will need to have a water bottle and SCEGGS Basketball top (available in the School Shop).

Pick up from the venue is at 4:50pm or from the SCEGGS Sports Hall at approximately 5:20pm.

Year 3 Football Trials
Year 3 Football Trials will be held on Tuesday 24 September, Week 10
Venue: Moore Park All-Weather Turf Field. Parking on Robertson Road.

Girls will need to have a water bottle, shin pads and long SCEGGS sports socks. (socks available in the School Shop).

Pick up from the venue is at 4:50pm or from the SCEGGS Sports Hall at approximately 5:20pm.

Sue Phillips
Primary Sport Co-ordinator



SCEGGS HSC Music Examination – Music 2 and Music Extension
Well done to the Music 1 students who have completed their HSC performance examinations this week.
Next week, the Music 2 and Music Extension students will be examined by NESA markers on their performances. Good luck girls!

Vocal Lunchtime Concert – Studio of Jessica O’Donoghue
Congratulations to the students of Ms Jessica O’Donoghue who performed in their lunch time concert on Monday 9 September in the Diana Bowman Music Classroom 1. It was wonderful to see the array of talented vocalists who are progressing well in their stages of development. Thank you to Ms O’Donoghue for her teaching and guidance of students. Thank you also to Ms Heidi Jones for her accompaniment.

Year 3 Choir Visit to Beehive Industries
Congratulations to the Year 3 Choir who performed in Beehive Industries on Monday 9 September. The students’ performance was much enjoyed by the staff and volunteers. They sang five songs, including "My Favourite Things" and "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah". Thank you to their teachers, Ms Kate Brown, Ms Felicity Permezel and Ms Ellen Sheil, who accompanied the students for this performance. Special thank you to Mrs Bronwyn Cleworth who directed the performance and to Ms Stephanie Holmes who accompanied the choir. This was a lovely opportunity for our students to share their music with our local community.

Australian School Band & Orchestra Festival
On Sunday, three SCEGGS String Ensembles performed in the Australian School Band and Orchestra Festival (ASBOF) at the University of NSW – Sinfonietta and Chamber Strings from the primary school and Amati Strings, the top string ensemble in the Secondary School. Girls from Year 2 to Year 11 represented the School with their music making. Sinfonietta, Chamber Strings and Amati Strings each gained a Gold Award for their performances in different sections of the Festival. Mrs Anne Sweeney was joined by Mrs Stephanie Holmes, Ms Dominique Gallery and Ms Rachel Valentine who assisted greatly on the day. Congratulations, girls!

Have a listen to Sinfonietta's performance below.

m sinfonietta

m concert 1

m concert 2

Upcoming performances and events in Term 3:
Primary Clarinet Concert – Monday 16 September
1:10–1:40pm Primary Music Room

Year 8 and 9 Elective Music Excursion – Meet the Music with Sydney Symphony
Wednesday 18 September, 6:30pm – Sydney Opera House (Concert Hall)

Primary Piano Concert – Friday 20 September
3:30–4:30pm Great Hall

Pauline Chow
Head of Music



A Teacher’s Perspective

Creative persons differ from one another in a variety of ways, but in one respect they are unanimous: They all love what they do. It is not the hope of achieving fame or making money that drives them; rather, it is the opportunity to do work that they enjoy doing.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Two personal experiences

In 2001 I had to prepare for a recital performance. The brief: present a 45–50min programme on my chosen instrument, the saxophone. To put this into some perspective, it is worth noting that up until this point I used to get extremely nervous about performing. Every time I did so my legs would shake, I would overly sweat and generally the experience was not an enjoyable one - yet I loved playing the saxophone. In preparation for this recital I was putting in approximately six hours of practice a day, which involved a range of activities from technical preparation through to learning the music in detail, as well as working with my chosen accompanist. Throughout this preparation I was honing my skills through the repertoire in order to be as fluent as possible. One day, I was speaking with my accompanist, and it was interesting when he said how enjoyable playing the repertoire that I had chosen was and that for him, that the music was so challenging also made the experience a rewarding one. And, as we continued working together, he actually said, “you might actually come first you know!”. I scoffed at this but carried on regardless. In my mind, it was impossible that I would come first and indeed it wasn’t even something I was aiming for.

The time came for the performance and I distinctly remember waiting in the green room to go onstage. After my performance, I came out smiling. In my mind I had done what I had set out to do - and then I suddenly realised that, for the first time, I hadn’t had any nerves throughout the performance whatsoever and – while I didn’t come first - I was really happy!

What had just happened?

Engineers and chemists, writers and musicians, businesspersons and social reformers, historians and architects, sociologists and physicians – and they all agree that they do what they do primarily because it’s fun.
Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi

Ordinary man, extraordinary event
This year I took part in what is widely known as the World’s Toughest Footrace. What I realise now is that the experience had many similarities to that of my recital many years earlier. The preparation was different but no less arduous. The time I invested in preparing every detail, from physical training to understanding how my body reacts to strain and stress; preparing and understanding nutrition, putting together my kit, as well as the mental preparation and balancing all of this with a busy role as a teacher was all part of the challenge.

Each day in the Sahara Desert brought new challenges, whether traversing the many kilometres over sand dunes (as many as 21kms at one point), climbing a mountain, dealing with an injury, food deprivation, heat exhaustion, foot preparation, sand storms, sleeping conditions (the desert floor is like a sea bed and within your assigned bivouac it feels as though you’re packed in like sardines - compromising all personal space) – it all combines to make an incredibly tough experience.

What impressed me most, however, were other people in the race with far more difficult challenges ahead than me: the lady with a prosthetic leg; the elderly man with scoliosis. These people were an inspiration. And they were, daily, proving that anything is possible.

On reflection, I realise that in both scenarios – recital and ultramarathon - I had learnt to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. To exist and even thrive outside of my comfort zone. And that this is something we can all learn from. That rewarding experiences, achievement and success are not easy, and that good and personally satisfying experiences come only from careful preparation of both body and mind. Failure at both of these events didn’t even register in my mind; it was not an option because I had prepared.

In order to achieve, a person must take control of, to "own", the goal. Learning to normalise difficult and intense situations, whether this be examinations, presentations or performances is integral to achievement. By taking oneself to an extreme situation we can begin to learn to normalise difficult situations. For example, in order to complete the ultramarathon, I first had to be comfortable achieving a marathon and it is worth noting that in Googling "top 10 life goals", you will more than likely come across articles that tell you to complete a marathon – and I was ticking this off purely as part of a bigger goal!

If one does these things a certain way, they become intrinsically rewarding, worth doing for their own sake.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The best things in life do not come easily. Achievement in any activity or subject requires dedication, practice, endeavour, resilience, concentration, self-belief and above all enjoyment. We live in a society where we have become obsessed with assessment. Assessment is just a means to end. If I had thought for a moment that my recital was worth 25% of my entire university degree, you would’ve had to drag me into the recital hall kicking and screaming and the experience would have been dreadful. If I thought about where I would place in the ultramarathon, I would have lost sight of the achievement of just doing the event. If you aim for your best with careful and thorough preparation, results will follow.

To quote Mark Strand, the flow state can be considered as "[when] you lose sense of your time, you’re completely enraptured, you’re completely caught up in what you are doing."

But, interestingly, you often don’t realise that you have been in the flow state until you come out of it and evaluate the situation.

I wouldn’t consider myself to be a "spiritual" person per se, but the "flow state" I achieved on both the fourth day of my race and throughout my recital have since taken on an almost spiritual significance. I went through the check points, up and down the mountain, and I didn’t even notice there was pain in my knee. When the finish line was in sight, I began to feel almost overwhelmingly emotional – followed by the elation of knowing I had completed it.

It is more important than ever that we teach students to enjoy doing things that are challenging, whether it be problem solving, maths, poetry, music or science – or any subject. It is far too simple to find pleasure in things that we find we can do with ease.

And, while I cannot tell anyone which co-curricular activities to join, I can say this: whatever you do choose you must do so for the right reasons, and undertake it with commitment, passion and determination.

Peter Jewitt
Music Teacher



There has been a confirmed case of Influenza A in the Secondary School. Influenza A is highly contagious, so please pay attention to any flu-like symptoms and see your GP as soon as possible if you are concerned.

Winter is the peak time to catch the flu, and in places like schools it can spread between children easily. It is passed from person to person by the droplets produced by coughing or sneezing and can also be picked up from touching surfaces that these droplets have landed on.

You and your child can help prevent this spread in several ways. If your child is unwell, keep them away from school or other activities, encourage them to cover their mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing and throw tissues straight in the bin, and make sure your daughter knows to wash her hands thoroughly and often, especially after coughing, sneezing or blowing her nose.

For further information see the fact sheet below: 



Helping Students in the Early Years of School

Over the last couple of years, I have noticed an increasing number of articles and reports about what we as parents and educators can do to help our children grow into confident, resilient and productive adults. It’s given me cause to reflect on the changes I have observed in how children are parented and in how we provide for their learning at school. There is no doubt that our girls are part of a more challenging and complex world than their parents experienced as children. What then can we, as parents and teachers, do to support them on their journey to adulthood?

At SCEGGS we aim to provide the girls with an education that builds their confidence and the skills to be part of this rapidly changing world. The girls now in their first years of school are still ten or more years away from leaving SCEGGS and we can only imagine what the world will be like for them as adults. Nevertheless, the staff here are committed to doing all they can to support their academic, emotional and social development.
One of the most dramatic changes that takes place in the first few years of school is the huge shift in independence demonstrated by the girls. Many arrive at school having had to make very few decisions for themselves. They are quickly encouraged to take responsibility for their belongings, their learning and make decisions about a whole range of things, from who to play with, what to eat at recess or lunch and how to look after their belongings. We encourage this independence and support the girls to take responsibility for their actions and their choices.

We understand that effort is key to success, and that making mistakes encourages a commitment to keep trying, building grit and resilience. Both effort and mistakes are applauded at school, because we understand that risk taking is an integral part of learning. Only by taking risks, making mistakes and continuing to struggle will the girls develop the mindset that things may not always come easily, and that reward may not be immediate. When faced with challenges in class, we encourage the girls to say, “I can’t do it...yet!” This supports students to believe that, with practice, they will master a concept or skill.

There is much talk in the media about the increasing prevalence of anxiety and depression in young people. At SCEGGS we are quite aware that we have a role to play in supporting the wellbeing of our students. The Head of Wellbeing in the Primary School provides leadership to teachers and support for students with emotional concerns, friendship or family issues. As well, many teachers include mindfulness in their form programs. In the early years we provide sessions on topics such as understanding emotions, staying calm and remaining attentive. The intention is that these skills become part of the natural behaviour of the students.

At home, too, there are things you as parents can do to support your daughter in her learning and more generally, as well. Over the last few years I’ve observed the changes our girls face and have some ideas about the ways in which I believe girls in their early years of school can best be supported by their parents. I’ve included a few of them here.

Allow time for free play, or even boredom! Nothing encourages creativity more than allowing the time and space to explore. By not overscheduling children they are able to engage in play, both alone and with others. It is considered to be one of the most important things we can do to promote health and wellbeing, as well as school success.

Alongside time for free play is limiting the amount of screen time – sometimes easier said than done, I know! I see families out at dinner where the young children are entertained by a phone or iPad. Encourage the kids to be part of the conversation. At home or in a restaurant, instead of a screen I suggest providing your daughter with a colouring book and pencils, or a pile of books to read.
Allow your daughter to take risks and make mistakes. Children who avoid all fearful situations don't have the opportunity to face their fears and don't learn that many of them are manageable. Anxious kids worry about things not working out as they should, things not being quite perfect. At school we see students who need to do everything perfectly and who have difficulty giving things a go because they might make a mistake. Perfectionism is the antithesis of a growth mindset, so celebrate mistakes and praise struggling to do difficult things.

Get into nature. Earlier this year I took my Year 1 class on an excursion to Vaucluse House. One of the things the girls loved most was playing in the long grass. They hid, they ran, they made things with the grass. It was so rewarding for me to see them in this lovely natural setting, but I was also aware that for a few of them it was an uncommon experience.

Have meaningful discussions. Ask questions. I love to hear a child’s perspective and am often amazed at what they know and how they perceive the world. They don’t learn these things in a vacuum and we at school are just a part of the whole learning process. Teach your daughter to confidently articulate her feelings and share her ideas. Girls who have the opportunity to experience the world – a train ride, art gallery, or farm for example, or who have a rich view of the world through discussions and books bring that to their learning at school.

Encourage routines, doing chores and taking responsibility. If possible, stick to regular bedtimes during the week, including Sunday night! So often I see girls on Monday morning who look like they need a weekend! Lack of sleep really does impact on learning and I feel sorry for students who are so tired at school their brain doesn’t work properly. In addition, gradually increase the amount of responsibility your daughter has for getting herself ready for school. I often suggest a class timetable on display at home so that together you can see what she needs for the next day.

A final word - be less worried about comparison with peers and more concerned with progress. If there’s anything I’ve learnt over the years about how children grow and learn it’s that they really do all learn at different rates. I’ve seen students who’ve required academic support for reading or Maths in the first year or two of school achieve at a high level in later years. It’s much more important that a love of learning is instilled in the girls and that we do all we can to develop this love both at home and school. We really are in this together!

Anne-Maree Lodge
Year 1 Teacher



Tonight, SBS will release The Hunting, a new four-part series which explores the impact of a nude teen photo scandal. As stated on the SBS website, “Tackling themes of misogyny, privacy, sexuality and sexualisation, online exploitation, toxic masculinity and gender, the series uses this singular event as a way of exploring some of the most pressing issues of our time.”

Whilst you may not yet have given your daughter a mobile phone or let her access a computer in an unsupervised environment, we thought it was a timely reminder that discussions around appropriate use of technology, healthy relationships and consent should begin from a young age, both at home and at school.

We know that the series will be uncomfortable viewing for some. You may choose to watch this with your daughter, but this might be something which you choose not to do due to the sexually explicit content. However, regardless of whether you decide to watch it as a family or not, it is important to take care how you respond to the issues the show raises, as judgement or interrogation will quickly shut down any opportunity to have a discussion in an open and healthy way.

And we hope that you do have conversations with your daughter about the different topics raised (of course in an age appropriate manner). Should your daughter watch The Hunting, please also observe her response and take seriously any behaviours you notice, as the series may leave her worried about an incident in her past, a current relationship, or a friend’s behaviour. No matter what, remaining calm and listening without judgement will show your daughter that she can talk to you about the difficult things which she experiences, now and in the future.

If you watch the show, you might have more questions, concerns or simply want to understand why young people might choose to engage in ‘sexting’ and other risky online behaviours. The SBS website offers a viewing guide to parents, as well as some interesting interviews and articles related to the series which will help you to reflect on the content. You will also find the following websites will give you some more information:

• Office of the eSafety Commissioner
• Think U Know
• Reach Out Parents
• Youth Law Australia

You might also like to access the SchoolTV edition on "Sexting" which can be found here

There is no doubt that technology has changed the way that relationships are conducted, but it doesn’t have to impact how we teach young people about trust, communication, consent or any other aspect of a healthy and loving relationship.

Bethany Lord
Director of Pastoral Care


10 Things We Can Do Right Now To Be A Better Indigenous Ally

On Thursday July 18, more than half a million people stopped to watch the film The Final Quarter (available to watch on 10 play,) which documents the final three years of Adam Goodes’ playing career. Hosted on Channel 10 by Waleed Aly, he invited the viewer to reflect where, as a nation we go from here; “the question now really is whether it can become a productive national conversation. And the answer to that question rests with each of us.”

In the wake of the film’s release I read the voice of many prominent Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers to try and deepen my understanding of the “conversation” that needs to happen. This reading strengthened my already held position that it is not up to Indigenous people alone to continue to carry the weight of our nation’s last 250 years – it is vital that non-Indigenous people listen and act on what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been saying for so many years in so many ways. In her article How to be a Good Indigenous Ally Summer May Finlay, a Yorta Yorta woman, academic and writer, urges all non-Indigenous people to be a useful ally to Aboriginal people: “We need good allies. We are only three per cent of the Australian population. We can’t raise the profile of issues affecting us without our allies.”

But what does a good ally look like? What can we do in our roles as teachers, friends, daughters, parents, mentors and community members to be a better ally to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?

Inspired by Summer May Finlay’s article as well as a recent article by Shannan Dodson 8 Things you Can Do Right Now to be a Better Indigenous Ally, I’ve created a list for the SCEGGS Community, outlining some actions we can take to stand with and be an ally to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

1. Read the Uluru Statement from the Heart
Read the statement aloud at a meeting, or show this short video by Blackfella Films to better understand its history and meaning. Talk about it to your friends, parents, children and students.

2. Say something when you hear inappropriate speech about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Summer May Finlay says;
“If you hear someone say something racist, reinforcing stereotypes or being dismissive about Aboriginal people and culture — say something. Not saying something means condoning their attitudes, making you as bad as them.”

3. Request a cultural tour in our local area as part of your professional learning
Then make the effort to remember at least one interesting fact to share with your friends, family and students. As an example, on a recent tour of Centennial Park, I was taken to a special site and told that the fresh groundwater made it a safe and clean place for Gadigal women to give birth. I later shared this fact in an Acknowledgment of Country.

4. Regularly Acknowledge Country
Traditionally, Acknowledgement of Country protocols have been used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as part of a process of ensuring safe passage while on Country. It is an honour for non-Indigenous people to continue this ritual and is a clear and obvious way to show respect and reconciliation.

5. Listen to Indigenous voices
Watch, read and learn from the Koori Mail, IndigenousX and NITV to better understand and represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives.

6. Support Indigenous business and local Indigenous creators
Economic participation is a significant indicator of self-determination and engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned businesses is a simple way to be a better ally. From graphic designers to small and large catering businesses, Supply Nation is Australia’s database of verified Indigenous businesses.

7. Attend Indigenous events in our community
Search out at least two Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander events in our community and invite your friends and family to them. Some ideas are Bangarra, Blak Markets, Aboriginal Arts Market at Carriage Works, Stan Grant and Adam Goodes in conversation at the Art Gallery of NSW.

8. Volunteer or donate to local Indigenous organisations or causes
Mudgin-Gal (which means “Women’s Place) is an organisation I connect with and support. Located in Redfern, it offers support for women, girls and their young families through drop in, in-home family support, legal, medical and accommodation referral and educational and vocational support programs. Other organisations include The Tribal Warrior Association, Redfern Foundation and WEAVE Community Centre.

9. Share the voice/perspective of Indigenous people with solidarity and respect rather than with a saviour mentality
This point speaks for itself.

10. When teaching about Aboriginal perspectives, wherever possible teach with an Aboriginal person
In Kindergarten I feel honoured to teach about the Stolen Generations with Renee Cawthorne, a Wiradjuri woman and educator. We write the lesson together, teach it together and reflect on it together.

There are many more actions we can take as individuals to be more effective Indigenous allies, but these few points are a start. If you can add to this list, don’t hesitate to let me know. Let’s work together.

The SCEGGS Reconciliation Action Plan is committed to listening to and teaching Indigenous perspectives, celebrating Indigenous culture and developing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. I look forward to sharing its vision with the SCEGGS Community in future articles.

Sarah Kearney teaches Kindergarten at SCEGGS. She leads the SCEGGS Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) which aims to make Aboriginal histories, perspectives and culture more visible across the School.



As Semester 1 draws to a close and the girls look forward to a well-deserved break, I thought it timely to offer some advice about engaging with the feedback offered by teachers in the end of semester report.

There is a great deal of information contained in both the Primary and Secondary reports. However, too often the achievement grade or mark becomes the sole focus of both girls and parents. Yes, this data is very important, but the report contains so much more information that is designed to offer feedback and to guide the student in the best way forward to see improvement in their learning. How can you as a parent assist your daughter to unpack the content of her report and help in the development of learning goals for the second half of the year?

Parents of girls in Kindergarten to Year 10 will be receiving an email next week to let you know that your daughter’s report is available to be accessed on the portal. Once you receive this message, I think it is important to sit down with your daughter and read through the report together. By taking the time to do this, it gives you the opportunity to assist your daughter to ask a number of questions that will help her to analyse the information from the report. This could begin with an initial reading of the report with a focus upon questions such as:

• What are three things of which you are most proud in this report?
• What are three areas that you think need further development?

By commencing with these types of questions it will allow your daughter to not only consider what some of the positive things that come out of the report feedback but also encourages her to start to consider the areas that require some attention to see an improvement.

A more detailed reading of the report comments could follow to fully unpack the feedback provided in each subject comment. May I suggest a very useful strategy to do this, one that I use in my teaching of essay writing, that I think can be applied to the reading of report comments to enable the identification of the key messages of the comment. Take three different coloured highlighters and a printout of the report. Who does not enjoy an exercise that involves multicoloured highlighters! Read through each comment again. As you read, highlight in a different colour each of the following:

• Suggestions about what has gone well
• Suggestions about what has not gone so well or needs improvement
• Advice or strategies in order to see improvement

By identifying these things in the comments, you can then have a discussion with your daughter about what the report suggests are the main areas for development in the coming semester. This is a strategy that we use regularly but by starting this conversation at home it will give you the opportunity to discuss with your daughter some possible goals that she can set for herself as a learner in Term III. In the Secondary School, activities such as this will happen early in the new term but if your daughter has gone through the process at home first it will give her a chance to really consider the main pieces of advice and what she wants her focus to be in the coming semester.

These are just some suggestions to help you and your daughter to get the most out of the feedback in their semester report. Of course, as always, if you want to discuss any of the feedback in the report do not hesitate in contacting the relevant class teachers or other appropriate staff member.

Andrew Gallagher
Director of Curriculum



Firstly, I wanted to share two great resources – not individual articles or podcasts, but whole websites with a mine of information to help you through a range of topics!

1. You might have noticed some advertising in a variety of media outlets from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner about keeping kids safe online. There are a variety of resources for parents and carers which you might find helpful:

2. The Parents Website, published by Independent Schools Victoria, has a range of articles and other resources for parents of children of all ages. There will be something for you there for sure!

Secondly, we are interested in knowing what you might want from this section of our Newsletter. What ideas would you like us to talk more about (or less about!). Are there topics you are interested in, or resources to help you more than we could locate and share? Please let us know! Send me an email at

Have a good week, everyone!

Jenny Allum
Head of School



At SCEGGS we recognise the benefits of exchange and immersion experiences not just for students but for teachers too! One such experience was undertaken by Drama teacher Vivienne Rodda to the Nightingale Bamford School in New York. In this issue of Behind the Green Gate, Ms Rodda writes about the community behind the "Blue Door". 

I had the tremendous good fortune late last year of being selected to visit The Nightingale Bamford School in New York. This was a wonderful opportunity to engage with the teaching and learning in a like environment, in an international city, and be a fly on the wall to the similarities and differences in pedagogy and our 21st Century learners.

The Nightingale Bamford School is located on the Upper East side on the corner of Madison Ave and East 92nd street, adjacent to Central Park, and right around the corner from The Guggenheim. While being slightly smaller, enrolling approximately 650 students between its Lower School and the Upper Schools, it is remarkably similar to SCEGGS; just as we have the Green Gate, through which our girls enter, the Nightingale students all come through their "Blue Doors", an entry way on 92nd Street. The Blue Doors is also coincidentally the name of the regular publication Nightingale produces just as we have our own Behind the Green Gate!

BTGG 2019 05 23 Teacher Exchange View from the LibraryThe building in which the school operates is, like SCEGGS, a combination of the old and the new, with a beautiful, expansive, Edith Wharton-like window that provides picturesque views from their library. It is very old New York, and part of the original 1920 school building. In more recent years, several modern buildings and additions have been integrated with the original block, and the school now occupies approximately seven floors of its building, with each year group or stage occupying a floor.

In my two weeks at the school, I was fortunate to have a wide variety of experiences, attending an excursion to a glass blowing factory in Brooklyn with Year 8, serving lunch in a soup kitchen on a visit with the lower school, attending a PE class in Central Park, and seeing the school production of Noises Off among many other things, all of which were routine when you are as well located as Nightingale.

It was fascinating to learn of the differences in subject and course selection and how a school creates a program of study in an Independent New York School. The school follows no approved or endorsed program or curriculum and are permitted to create their own. This provides a great deal of freedom in the devising of courses and the programs set for study. Some subjects such as English are mandatory until Senior Year. Staff and Heads of Department (Chairs) write course proposals, which are submitted and approved, before they are offered to students. An elective English course in a Senior Year of study may include an intensive analysis of a poet or playwright or be more thematic covering a topic such as New York City Literature or Shakespeare’s Tragedies.

Nightingale was very proud of its strong focus on student-centred learning, and its belief that the school’s role was to prepare students for a largely unknown future. Everyday Nightingale timetables a half-hour for the entire school community, called "Enrichment time", simply designed to allow the students the freedom and independence to pursue whatever they best felt fit. This was used variably, covering everything from meeting with teachers, completing homework or study, playing in the playground, or spending time in one of the student lounges with friends.

Many of my observations and experiences at Nightingale came from informal discussions with staff during lunch, as well as sitting in formal meetings and discussions where people were very generous and willing to share their thoughts about their school community. A topic among some long-standing staff was their disgruntlement at the direction in which the school was heading, particularly around things such as the allocated half an hour for enrichment, which they felt lacked efficacy. Accompanying this pursuit of student freedom also was the reduction of formal assessment tasks and formal reporting. Staff were both thrilled and baffled to learn that we held formal assessment blocks, where students were assessed, graded and reported upon formally twice a year.

Additional to the organisation of their secondary school, I further developed an understanding of tertiary entrance requirements, which were, again, vastly different to our own. As we have seen in the recent College Admissions Scandal, university entrance in the U.S.A. can be skewed towards those from more advantageous backgrounds, and as such, the system lacks the equality available in our own university entrance schemes. Without a prescribed syllabus to follow, courses taught at a high school level have a depth and breadth available to them in terms of choice, but also seem to have the pressure of making decisions as to what and how to prioritise the courses that students must include for the various requirements needed for entrance to their preferred university.

Accordingly, to prepare for college there is no standardised test like our HSC that significantly determines admission. American students do sit for their HSC equivalent, the SATs, but primarily there is a deeper, more complex process of essays, references, community involvement and submission of academic reports and GPA scores that are submitted for consideration. I was privy to numerous discussions amongst staff about the system of college entrance and the drive of students to appear to have achieved a well-rounded educational experience through numerous participation in extra-curricular activities, clubs, volunteering for a school newspaper, or being involved in community outreach programs, and the careful preparation and writing of the all-important college essays which were being taught in the junior year class I sat in on for a few days.

When I wasn’t at Nightingale I was absorbing all that New York has to offer and of course spending plenty of time on Broadway. The opportunity to see (and meet!) Bryan Cranston in Network, Daniel Radcliffe in The Lifespan of a Fact, Jeff Daniels in To Kill A Mockingbird and the exceptionally fabulous production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was all wonderfully inspiring and enriching.

My learning and observations can only be touched upon in this article, but it was a tremendous opportunity and I look forward to supporting further collaborations between SCEGGS and the Nightingale Bamford School ahead. Their Head of School Paul Burke and Director of Global Operations Damaris Maclean were wonderful hosts and supported an experience that was enriching and impossible to forget.

Vivienne Rodda
Drama Teacher



The Power of Play

Is child play and “free-time” frivolous and something no longer needed or valued in our world? In our fast-paced lives, do our children even have time to play?

I recently attended a forum led by Pasi Sahlberg, Professor of Educational Policy and Deputy Director at the Gonski Institute for Education School of Education. The discussion centred on the differences between the philosophy and culture behind educational practices in Finland and here in Australia. Professor Sahlberg highlighted a few key differences but one struck a chord with me; the power of play. Educational policy in Finland stipulates that children have the right to 15 minutes of play in each hour of learning, additional to Recess and Lunchtime. Play in Finland is generally outdoor play, despite freezing temperatures, and is always child led. It seems to me that children often aspire or are encouraged to grow up quickly and to therefore dismiss play as something superfluous and not conducive to real learning. Professor Sahlberg’s concept of children having a “right” to play inspired and challenged me to reconsider the function of play for children.

As someone who grew up in the 1970s, unstructured play both indoors and outdoors was very much part of my everyday life. As an educator and a parent, I have often queried how much time this current generation of children dedicate to simply playing, and whether the decreased focus on play is something that negatively impacts their development and wellbeing. Play was something I took for granted as a child and yet I wonder if children today have the same experience or feel the same sense of entitlement. According to research by the American Psychological Association, children today spend more time on competitive sports, additional academic pursuits and screen-based entertainment than any previous generation. Whilst these are meritorious experiences for children, I also wonder if we are risking the elimination of a child’s natural predisposition to exercise their curiosity and creativity by limiting their chances of unstructured play? Having listened to Professor Sahlberg and having read the latest research from around the world, I think the answer is a resounding yes!

Current research shows that play is a powerful tool in the social, emotional and even educational development of a child. It therefore concerns me to read statistics arising from a study of 1,000 students conducted by University College London’s Institute of Education which show that just 1% of Secondary School students now have down-time in the afternoon compared to 41% of students 30 years ago. A child growing up in Finland experiences a shorter school day than their Australian counterparts and the Finnish Primary School child has a guaranteed 15 minutes of play in each hour. By the time a child within the Australian education system is 15 years old they have had the equivalent of 5 extra years of face to face teaching than their peers in Finland. As a teacher, I know how much thought, time and effort teachers invest in planning and delivering learning opportunities for students. Yet despite the additional years of teacher instruction, Finland has, according to data from the OECD’s international PISA tests, outperformed Australia in terms of results in literacy, Maths, Science and problem-solving as well as subjective measures like student happiness and positive wellbeing for the past two decades. The emphasis on wellbeing through play in Finland is deeply embedded in their education system and has been for several decades. Whilst it is no simple thing to change government policy, the correlation between a focus on play and improved results academically and emotionally is something I believe is worthy of discussion in our schools and homes.

There are many different types of play; imaginative, physical, sociodramatic, symbolic to name just a few. What these all have in common is that they have a positive impact on a child’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional development. Children develop and practise social skills as they learn to respect one another through the rules they make and break through their collaborative games. I find it hard to keep up with the ever-changing versions of traditional chasing games in the playground, but the girls are quick to adapt to these rule changes and the joy each girl feels as she charges around the playground connecting with others is palpable. Play enables children to build social connections and it also fosters confidence and resilience as the girls learn to negotiate the rules and inevitable challenges to those rules!

At the end of Term I, I worked with a group of Year 6 leaders to review our Primary School House Families and to seek their ideas for activities in Term II. The girls enthusiastically shared their ideas and I admit I was surprised by the number of girls who requested the inclusion of traditional games such as Cat’s Cradle and Elastics. They also wanted time to “invent” games and dramas within their Family groups. The fact that they felt the need to ask permission to devise their own games made me stop and think. Are we guilty of trying so hard to engage our children in learning activities that we are in danger of overlooking the power of spontaneous, unstructured play? The games the girls requested had a distinct lack of “rules” and so, by their very nature, offered endless opportunities for imaginative thinking. This is the power of play. Unstructured play allows children the chance to explore, invent and think creatively and critically; all skills which are critical for the world they will enter once they complete their education.

Research suggests that play promotes self-initiated learning and offers a child agency over their learning. I only need to spend a few moments on the playground to see how true that is. At any given playtime there are girls involved in active collaborative play whilst others are building worlds with wooden blocks, some are quietly tracking native stingless bees in the flowers and others are testing their superpowers in fantastical worlds. This led me to reflect on the wise words of Sir David Attenborough who is, amongst other things, the Learning through Landscapes Patron. Sir David suggests that “outdoor environments can offer a very special kind of learning experience: the opportunity for discovery and learning through touching and feeling, the chance to explore and take risks, the stimulations of the fresh air and limitless skies. And yet, we are steadily depriving our children of these wonders.”

It seems to me that play enables children the chance to step outside the world we structure for them. Play offers children the chance to think boldly, to see and explore limitless worlds at their own pace. The power of play is simple; it helps children to show us and themselves what they are capable of. As we all aim to empower our girls and equip them with skills to take out into their world, perhaps play is something we should focus on as a superpower in their learning toolkit. Play can be a way of liberating thoughts, of embracing change, building resilience and forging social connections, all of which encourage a positive sense of self. Therefore, it seems to me that play and learning are inextricably linked and in the busyness of our world more important for children than ever before. Perhaps through their play, children can teach us all lessons on how to see the world and ourselves.

Kate Brown
Head of Student Wellbeing K-6



SPECIAL REPORT: Parenting Styles - What type of parent are you?

There are so many different opinions offered on how best to parent. Raising children can bring parents and caregivers great joy- even when learning ‘on the job’- but it can also raise many questions about how best to support your children as they grow and change. However, children will always flourish in a warm and loving environment, supported by clear guidance.

In this Special Report, parents and caregivers can gain a greater understanding of the four defined parenting styles. It can guide parents towards deciding which style they wish to adopt and the effects it may have on their children. You can also take a quiz to give you information on your own parenting style too.

Here is the link to the latest SchoolTV:

We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback. If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.

Exam Jitters
We also know that Junior Exams are fast approaching and it may be worth looking back at the past SchoolTV issue on ‘Exam Jitters’. In this edition, a range of psychologists and educators answer some common questions parents have about how best to support your child before, during and after an assessment period.

The issue can be found here:

Bethany Lord
Director of Pastoral Care



I recently read an interesting article published by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley titled “How to live a more courageous life”. The article outlined a number of areas which were key to this, and creating community was paramount. Research shows that feeling connected to a community is one of the most important protective factors against mental illness and important in building resilience. It is also a key factor in improving academic performance too! This is one of the reasons why schools encourage students to participate in everything from camp to extra-curricular activities. House events, such as the Swimming Carnival or House Drama are also such fabulous opportunities for a sense of belonging to be formed and solidified. So, when I sat down to think about what I would contribute to "In this together", I kept coming back to the Prefects’ theme for 2019, "connection".

I remember sitting with the new group of Prefects last year and listening to what they wanted for the students of SCEGGS. They expressed a desire to see stronger relationships within and across year groups, to hear the buzz of chatter across the playground at lunch times rather than girls looking at their phones, and increased participation in House and Co-curricular activities; in other words they wanted everyone to feel like they were part of a community. It was so heartening to hear these young women express how much they wanted to encourage these connections, and how important SCEGGS was in their lives.

It got me considering the importance of having strong connections between families and the School. I believe that a strength of SCEGGS is the sense of community that exists, not just in the student body, but the community as a whole - students, staff, parents, and Alumni. I have seen moments where families are in real crisis and have marvelled at the way that staff and students at SCEGGS offer support with such care and openness. In the coming weeks we have a musical soiree where a number of Old Girls will be performing, and at the end of last term SPAN hosted another fabulous event that was attended by parents and students, past and present. How wonderful to be part of a community that is enriched by the strong, supportive connections that have been fostered.

Therefore, it saddens me to see stories in the media about "bully parents" or "concierge parenting", because it suggests that the relationship between home and school is one that, in today’s society, may not be valued as highly as it was. What a shame it would be to see this relationship disintegrate or become one of tension, when both school and home want the young people for whom they care to be flourishing emotionally, succeeding academically, and feeling supported socially. This is not to say that each and every day will be a positive one, or that there will not be moments where your daughter feels disappointed by a grade or let down by a friend. However, how we work together to assist your daughter to navigate these moments greatly impacts on their ability to develop the necessary skills to become a resilient young woman.

I particularly liked the idea raised in the Greater Good article that, “As humans, we make meaning out of our experiences by telling stories to ourselves about how the world operates. But here’s the important part: Those stories might not be objectively true. They are more like your personal lens on life, colouring your experiences just as if you were wearing sunglasses.” Not only is this a good reminder for us as adults, but it is also important to teach to young people. There is no doubt that it is difficult to face a school day when your friendships are changing, or you have received a disappointing mark, but it also isn’t the end of the world. Instead, we want to help young people learn the skills to reframe negative narratives that they might tell themselves when they feel overwhelmed, lonely or anxious. Another important factor to consider is the correlation between strong social support, optimistic thinking and a significant reduction in stress. This in turn reduces stress in the home too - something I am sure that many parents would heartily welcome as your daughter faces the different challenges that growing up brings.

This is where having a strong connection between the School and families can be so helpful, as if the message young people are hearing is consistent and empowering, what a difference this can make. Fear, feeling rejected or like a failure are natural and normal feelings, and a very important part of learning, but they do not have to control the way that young people respond to the events in their lives. Instead, as the title of this section of Behind the Green Gate suggests, we are in this together, and together can continue to engender a culture of courageous thoughts and actions here at SCEGGS.

Swoboda, K., “How to live a more courageous life”, Greater Good Magazine: Science Based Insights for a Meaningful Life, UC Berkley, October 10, 2018.

Bethany Lord
Director of Pastoral Care

Thoughts on the new Stage 6 English Syllabus by Dr Nina Cook

In our second instalment of "Thinking Allowed", English teacher Dr Cook takes us on a journey to New York and back as she explores the philosophy behind the new Stage 6 English Syllabus and demonstrates the new, discursive style of writing students may be asked to employ.

The advent of a new syllabus is always an opportunity for reflection and reinvention. The introduction of the new Stage 6 English syllabus has come at a particularly opportune moment, as it has coincided with our ongoing departmental conversations about student wellbeing and technology, a concern about the difficulty of sustained and concentrated reading, and a renewed understanding of just how foundational good reading is in developing emotional intelligence and empathy.

These discussions prompted me to reconsider some of the key readings that have influenced my practice and approach to teaching English over the past decade. The first is a very dry sounding study I read in 2010: “Changes in Disproportional Empathy in American College Students Over Time: A Meta-Analysis”, from the Personality and Social Psychology Review. This University of Michigan study shows that college students demonstrated 40 percent less empathy than they had 40 years ago, with much of the drop having occurred since 2000. (The study’s authors see the decline in empathy as related to the prevalence of social media, reality TV, and hyper-competitiveness). I was reminded of this study when I heard Neil Gaiman’s 2013 lecture at the Barbican Centre, London about the importance of libraries as foundations for good reading. Gaiman stated explicitly that “the thing fiction does is to build empathy”. For Gaiman:

Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals.

You're also finding out something as you read vitally important for making your way in the world. And it's this:


If we are losing this vital capacity to be compassionate and insightful won’t we lose what it is that makes us most human?

In David Denby’s 2016, book, Lit Up: One reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-Four Books that Changed Lives, Denby argues that:

Everyone agrees that establishing reading pleasure early in a child’s life is a monumental achievement (and you do it, the paediatricians say, with books not with screens); and everyone also agrees that the gap between those children who grow up loving books and active conversation and those who don’t – with troubled school performance and restricted career opportunities likely for those who don’t is a gap that sets in early and may be hard to close.

Denby then goes on to ask a crucial question that I felt the new syllabus needed to address: But what about high school? How do you establish reading pleasure in busy, screen-loving teenagers – and in particular, pleasure in reading serious work?

This question seemed particularly apposite when I encountered an article by Jean M. Twenge in The Atlantic, September 2017 issue, sent to parents by Jenny Allum, called, “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” Twenge persuasively argues that “there is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives—and making them seriously unhappy. You might expect that teens spend so much time in these new spaces because it makes them happy, but most data suggest that it does not”.

She references “The Monitoring the Future” survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which found that “teens who spend more time than average on screen activities are more likely to be unhappy, and those who spend more time than average on non-screen activities are more likely to be happy”. The question thus becomes, how can we use the new syllabus to address some of these issues?

What we are particularly excited by, as a department, is the Reading to Write and Craft of Writing common modules. The rubric for Reading to Write, the transition module to Senior English, states:

Central to this module is developing student capacity to respond perceptively to texts through their own considered and thoughtful writing and judicious reflection on their skills and knowledge as writers.

Both this module, and its companion module in Year 12, The Craft of Writing, offer the opportunity for students to reflect deeply on what they have read and to respond to texts in their own voice in a discursive form. This emphasis on reflection and, on texts helping students to develop insights into the world around them, deepen their understanding of themselves and the lives of others, and enhance their enjoyment of reading, seems directly linked to the challenges my readings posed.

All this was on my mind when on a coldish day in January I found myself standing outside the Lego store on the corner of Fifth Avenue and West 23rd Street in New York. I was waiting for a guide from the Art Society to take me on a walk of Edith Wharton’s New York. My vision of Mrs Wharton’s Gilded Age had always been of whispered conversations behind fans, plundered rich Rococo furniture and deep velvets, the click of horses’ hooves and their steaming nostrils, the redolent whiff of a coachman’s blanket. There are always shadows in Wharton’s world, conversations are opaque, shimmering, unable to survive the glare of the electrical globe. Standing outside the garishly primary-coloured Lego Emporium, looking across at a Starbucks and a nearby Pret a Manger, nothing could have seemed further from the assertive and seriously subjugating brownstones of Wharton’s youth.

The guide walked us all of five paces and stopped opposite the ubiquitous green sign. He pointed to a tiny red plaque just beside the entry door:

Edith Wharton 1862-1937. This was the childhood home of Edith Jones Wharton, one of America’s most important authors, at a time when 23rd Street marked the northern boundary of fashionable New York.

I looked up.

There was the drawing room window where the narrator of Wharton’s short story, “New Year’s Day” stood watching the married Lizzie Hazeldean and her lover Henry Prest trying to sneak out of the Fifth Avenue Hotel after it most inconveniently caught fire. I remembered the opening line: “She was BAD ... always”. The outrage and glee of that assertively capitalised BAD! I loved it. The way it jumped with the force of Wharton’s condemnation at the small-minded cruelty of her society. The ultimate insider wielding the pen as sword against her oppressors.

The lovely theme driving the new Reading to Write module that the departmental working group had come up with was ”Beneath the Surface”. I had been thinking about the word “palimpsest” (a manuscript upon which earlier writing has been later overwritten), which I had just been relishing while re-reading Margaret Atwood’s "The Handmaid’s Tale", the core text for the unit, and here it was in front of me, the visible traces of an earlier form. The present overriding the past, but the past waving its hand vigorously, signalling its presence. Taxis honked and pedestrians bustled, taking the short cut through Madison Square to the East side.

Both Edith Wharton and Henry James had spent their childhoods with that square at its centre. Although James was older, I imagined them passing each other as they were hustled by their nannies to Grace Church. Wharton wrote in her autobiography A Backward Glance that she had spent “a childhood and youth of complete intellectual isolation”. I wish she and Henry had been able to stop and speak then. She recalled that when she first actually spoke to James, she was “still struck dumb in the presence of greatness” But it wasn’t long before it was as if they had always been friends, and were to go on being, as Henry wrote to Edith in February 1910, “more and more and never apart”. I was reminded of a recent survey: “About the Mental Health of Children and Young People" by the NHS, released in November 2018. This study reveals that “about one in six (16.9%) of 17 to 19 year olds in the UK experienced a mental disorder in 2017. Girls were over twice as likely to have a mental disorder than boys at this age (23.9% and 10.3% respectively). Emotional disorders were the most common type of disorder reported, experienced by 14.9% of 17 to 19 year olds. Nearly one in four (22.4%) girls experienced an emotional disorder”. Edith’s intellectual solitariness and sense of otherness was relieved in part by reading. It sustained her until she found her tribe, Henry James and the other writers and artists, who made her feel less lonely and strange. What we could offer our students was a way to bear loneliness and vulnerability by helping them to be good readers and to find the solace that Edith found.

There was another highlight from Wharton’s adolescence that stuck in my mind from that tour. The French had sent the Statue of Liberty piecemeal to America. They had delivered the arm with the torch first. The City of New York had placed it in Madison Square to raise money for the pedestal it would need when it was finally assembled. The New York Times had written in 1876:

Finally, our eyes were gladdened by the actual receipt of a section of ‘Liberty’. Consisting of one arm, with its accompanying hand of such enormous proportions that the thumb nail afforded an easy seat for the largest fat woman now in existence.

Standing at the apex of Madison Square I could see Edith delightedly joining the happy throng outside her doorstep, paying her penny and sitting in that thumbnail surveying all that was familiar to her with the bird’s eye of the born novelist. She viewed the world through books. They were the building blocks of her identity.

Having been deposited back at the Lego store I walked uptown to meet friends for dinner. I paused opposite 597 Fifth Avenue as the pedestrian light turned red. Glancing across at a Sephora, I looked up and there was the insignia Charles Scribner’s and Sons, Wharton’s first publishers. They had moved uptown from 24th Street in the 1940s and it was from here that Max Perkins had had a visit from F Scott Fitzgerald with a manuscript called The Great Gatsby and Earnest Hemingway had popped in with The Sun Also Rises. As I crossed and walked on I imagined that elegant store with its beautiful carved staircase, mahogany bookshelves filled with titles and occasional tables with The Beautiful and the Damned piled high.

I thought of Neil Gaiman arguing so persuasively that:

When you watch TV or see a film, you are looking at things happening to other people. Prose fiction is something you build up from 26 letters and a handful of punctuation marks, and you, and you alone, using your imagination, create a world, and people in it and look out through other eyes. You get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. You're being someone else, and when you return to your own world, you're going to be slightly changed.

Dr Nina Cook



Some holiday reading and listening for you all over the school holidays...

Dear Everyone

I thought you might like to see a few different articles we have come across over the past few months.
Perhaps one or two of them might be interesting for you over the school holidays?

1. On perfectionism. 

2. A fun, but serious article from The New York Times that we can ALL learn from! 

3. Some good practical tips to parents for managing screen time. 

4. Interested in the digital detox trend in restaurants? 

5. Helping teenage girls reframe anxiety and strengthen resilience. 

6. And lastly, a podcast from The Harvard EdCast – “Overparented, Underprepared”. 

Wishing all our parents a lovely school holiday time from all of us at SCEGGS, when we get there!

Jenny Allum
Head of School



It was with immense sadness that I saw the news last week about the tragedy in Christchurch.

The loss experienced in such an horrific event is so profound and something which has far-reaching impact. It is impossible to understand why such events occur, and your daughters may have many questions, but sometimes events such as these can trigger other worries. This can include concerns for a family member or friend who may be unwell, or remembering somebody they know who has passed away. I think, too, of the individuals and families in our community who may be coming to terms with their own loss. Grief and loss, in whatever form, can be a distressing experience.

Grief is a natural response to loss. It might be the loss of a loved one, relationship or even a pet, or it may be that grief is experienced through empathising with the loss of others such as the recent events in Christchurch. The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief is likely to be.

Children and adults grieve differently due to their developmental stage, and sometimes this can prove difficult for parents to understand and navigate. Young children fluctuate in and out of the stages of grief rapidly, as they may not comprehend the permanency death; they express their grief more physically. Teens on the other hand may not know how to express their grief and will need some space and time to process their loss. Some may choose to grieve alone, not wanting to stand out or be seen as not coping, whilst others may be much more comfortable expressing their feelings and worries.

In this edition of SchoolTV, parents can learn how to acknowledge their child’s feelings and the best way to support them through experiences of grief. Click here for this month's edition.

In This Together
We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this month’s edition and we always welcome your feedback. If you have any concerns about your child, please contact the School.

Bethany Lord
Director of Pastoral Care

What is your favourite tip or guideline to help your daughter have a good night’s sleep?
Thank you to all the parents who submitted a sleep tip last week – we had a fantastic response and have many great words of wisdom from lots of different families across the school. So a big thank you to you all!

The tips covered all sorts of different strategies and included ideas about the importance of exercise and natural light during the day, having consistent routines, managing technology well, using different relaxation strategies, thinking about the quality of the sleep as well as quantity, making sure games and activities get quieter as the evening goes on ... and much, much more!

As I heard a teacher say to a group of students last year, “Do you want to do better at school, be a better learner and feel better in yourself by doing absolutely nothing at all? Then go to sleep!” So how do we help kids do this? Here are your top tips for 5-18 year olds:

1. Consistent routines really help

  • Consistent routines help us make sleep a priority
  • Have a consistent routine prior to a consistent bed time – even on the weekends when you can!
  • Make sure the girls are organised and not procrastinating about homework, so that they can go to bed at a consistent time
  • We’ve made our mornings calmer for everyone by getting things organised the night before – and we try not to have any late nights as a family during the school week.

2. Winding down on device time

  • At least an hour of "screen free time" before bedtime on week nights. We are doing this too and it makes such a difference!
  • No phones at the dinner table – ever!
  • No devices at least an hour before bedtime – this really makes a difference to the quality of sleep we are all getting.

3. "Tech free" bedrooms – no matter what!

  • No technology in bedrooms after a set time (eg 8pm) – and don’t fall for the excuses like "I need my phone to listen to music or to use as an alarm clock" because they don’t! This works much better for us than any software that limits access to Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube or anything else.
  • No screens or phones in rooms overnight – no matter what!
  • Have one place in the living area to charge phones and request that phones are in the charging area from a certain time (eg 7pm or 9pm). This ensures phones are out of the bedroom for study and sleep times. If they need to use the phone they must come to the charging area (eg in the living room).
  • All devices (phones, school tablets etc - including the parents' devices) must be charged in a central spot downstairs overnight. We aim to have the phones there from dinner time onwards.

4. Food and drink – the right amount at the right time

  • Ensure dinner is quiet, calm and healthy – being too full or hungry makes it harder to get a good night’s sleep.
  • No caffeine for my older daughter after lunch – and I’m using this rule too to try and be a good role model!


5. Calm your brain by doing something relaxing before bed

  • 20-30 minutes of reading in bed each night before lights out.
  • A calm bath at the end of the day does wonders!
  • Read a familiar bedtime story, one they have read many times before, keep the conversation quiet and calm.

Thank you again to all the families who submitted a sleep tip last week! And if you missed the opportunity to participate this time, perhaps it is a question you could ask the parents of your daughter’s friends sometime ... what sleep time tips do they have that might work well for you too?


Holly Gyton
Deputy Head of School

A Good Night’s Sleep
“In partnership with the School, it is essential that our parents are empowered with the knowledge and skills to help them navigate their daughters’ educational and social growth.”
Our Path Ahead (SCEGGS Strategic Plan)

For our parents, that knowledge can come from many different places – articles, family members, SCEGGS staff, news, blogs, friends ... the list goes on! There is a lot of wisdom amongst the parents within the SCEGGS community too! And from time to time, we use "In This Together" to share tips and advice submitted by your fellow SCEGGS parents that might help you navigate each of your daughter’s growth in the years ahead.

We all know how important a good night's sleep is for adults and children alike! Sleep enhances our wellbeing overall and when we get enough sleep, we tend to:

  • stay healthier
  • be more creative, think of new ideas and solve problems more easily
  • be able to pay attention, concentrate and remember things more easily
  • be in a better mood
  • get along better with friends and family

... and many other things too!

At several Parent Information Evenings recently, we have heard parents sharing their tips with each other about how to help their daughter have a good night's sleep - limiting screen time before bed, keeping regular routines, exercise during the day and many more.

So what is your favourite parenting tip to help your daughter have a good night's sleep? We’d love you to hear from everyone who has a favourite tip or guideline to share using this quick survey link.

This short survey will close on Monday 25 February at midday ... and we will share a sample of your feedback in Behind the Green Gate next week.


Holly Gyton
Deputy Head of School



“There is a reason we were given two ears and one mouth..."

Whatever the age of your daughter, keeping the lines of communication open is so important. Whether you have a quiet and shy child, an outgoing pre-teen or a moody teenager who is monosyllabic at best, here are some ideas to help.

Firstly, three tips:

Tip #1:               
Be curious... about her life, her opinions, her ideas.
  Tip #2:    Don’t push it. If the time isn’t right and she doesn’t want to chat or tell you what’s worrying her, let it be...

  Tip #3: Let her know you are always there to listen. That you care about her, that you are easy going and accepting, that you won’t be judgemental...

Keep trying to find the right sort of questions which will encourage your daughter to talk. It might be music or sport, or something else she is particularly passionate about. And do persevere... but gently. She will see that you are open to talk, that you care, that you are interested, even if it doesn’t prompt a deep conversation at the time. You will get there!

Don’t ask closed questions – where the answer is can be given in one or two words. Don’t ask probing questions – it shouldn’t feel like an inquisition. Ask curious questions – about what she thinks, what she feels, what she is worried about. The aim is to get to know your daughter better – and to show you are interested in her, her life, and her views on the world.

You might try to schedule specific times you could start a conversation – over the dinner table, Sunday morning breakfast, or Friday night movies and pizzas. Regular, predictable and comfortable family routines encourage good conversations. But it doesn’t really matter how you start a conversation – what topic you choose. Be alive to what is happening around you, and what your daughter is interested in, thinking, or doing.

Now sometimes it is really tempting to tell her all about what you think! The moment she tells you about a problem or issue she is worried about, you know what she should do. (And of course, you are probably right – you are so much more experienced than her). Trying to resist the urge to solve her problems, to be bombastic or opinionated, but gently encouraging her to find the solution to problems herself, to work out for herself what she thinks ir right or important – it is a far better process in the long-run.

Learn to be quiet! I started by noting that we have two ears and one mouth. Listen more than you talk. Be comfortable with silence. It might take her time to process what she is feeling or wants to say. It might be taking her time to build courage to say something. Or she might be just thinking... Give her the time and space to think, and, just maybe, she might talk.

If you try to start a conversation, and she isn’t responsive, don’t push it. Just shrug and walk away, or drop the subject, or go back to something else you were doing. The time has to be right for her. Don’t push it – if she isn’t ready, let it go. End with something like “I am always ready to listen, when you are ready to talk something over...? Remember – I am always on your side... I always have your back.

The most important thing you can do is to tell her, with genuine love, softness and deep caring in your tone, that you love her. Every child needs to know that they are loved – even when their behaviour is not at all lovable. She needs to know that you love her, even when her behaviour is bad, even when she knows herself that she is being unreasonable and difficult. Smile at her and tell her you love her, write her a card or send a text, find lots of different ways to tell her you love her. Let her know that you are always there to talk or help if she needs it – that you will always be there for her, that you “have her back”.

Find every opportunity to notice good behaviour – and praise her explicitly for it so that she knows you know! Be as specific as possible. “I noticed the way you particularly got ready tonight for school tomorrow – with your bag packed up and ready to go. That is so good! I really admire your commitment to start the day well by being prepared the night before. I am so proud of you for doing that without being asked!”

If you ask a question to which the answer is either yes or no, you will probably just get that – and not a lot else. Practise asking questions like: “What do you think about...?” Or “Why do you think she did that...?” Or “How does that make you feel?” Or “What would you do differently next time?”

None of the advice above (or any other strategy you try) is going to make your communication with your daughter always constructive and friendly. But it might help, in some small ways. And remember – it will get easier, over time. I know this will be the case, without a doubt, even if it doesn’t feel like this is possible, right now. So hang in there!


Jenny Allum
Head of School


This month on SchoolTV - school transitions
Whether it is starting school for the first time, moving up to a higher grade or embarking on the journey to secondary school, there is no doubt that any school transition for children and parents can be a time of mixed emotions. However, as parents the way that you respond during this period can make a world of difference to how your daughter experiences the different challenges that she may face.

2019 02 07 Smartphones

This edition of SchoolTV provides a range of helpful resources, articles and tips to help you and your daughter to manage the transition. You will find information on topics such as starting high school, helping your daughter manage homework, and beginning at a new school. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered here and we always welcome your feedback. If you do have any concerns about your child, please contact the School.

To access the School Transitions edition of SchoolTV click here.

Bethany Lord
Director of Pastoral Care



As the year draws to a close, the P&F would like to thank Class Parents for all their hard work during 2018. We have seen a wonderful mix of picnics, parties, coffee mornings, community events, movie nights and  family sporting activities during the year and all have been organised by our dedicated Class Parents.  We cannot thank them enough for all they do to continue the SCEGGS tradition of warm and inclusive community get-togethers.  We have a full contingent of Class Parents for almost all Year groups for 2019 too and we look forward to more fun in 2019.

2019 is of course a Festival on Forbes year and work to organise the Festival is well underway. If you would like to join the organising committee, we still have plenty of roles to fill so please email me at or call me at any time on 0408 29 11 96.

Finally and most importantly, the P&F would like to thank the wonderful teachers and staff of our School for all their hard work during 2018. A SCEGGS school year is always so busy and staff across SCEGGS put in an extraordinary amount of time and effort to ensure our students have every opportunity to participate and learn.  We hope all the staff have a restful break over the summer holidays, and wish you all a merry Christmas and  the happiest of New Years.  Till next year, with deepest gratitude,

Penny Gerstle
P&F President




A Chorus Line
Congratulations to those girls who have been cast in A Chorus Line, the SCEGGS Musical in 2019. Thank you to the many girls who auditioned as the standard was very high.

Female roles have been allocated and we will be allocating roles for boys at the beginning of next term.

181206 1


Character Cast
Bebe Benzenheimer Olivia Reed
Cassie Ferguson Teya Phillips
Connie Wong Lara Feller
Diana Morales Marie Karantanis
Jude Turner Hannah Mavrakis
Kristine Urich Nathalie Wilder
Lara Eliza Wachholz
Maggie Winslow Bonnie Harrington
Michelle Costa Millicent Fairlie
Sheila Bryant Zara Rubinsztein
Val Clark Charlotte Barnes
Ensemble Lillian Barker
Sienna Best
Isabella Habib
Imogen Holmes
Emma Kirkland
Lucie Natalizio
India Poiner
Male (roles to be allocated in Term 1)
Sebastian Carl
Hunter Cole
Zachary Fuller
Hugo Gibson
Sean Hwang
Ryan Lum
Daniel Sirmai
Reuben Wilder


Inga Scarlett
Head of Drama



Congratulations to members of the Bugles Band in the Primary School. Last Tuesday was a lovely chance to celebrate some of their achievements. The day began with an open rehearsal, where they shared some music with parents and Year 6 students were recognised for their contribution. We also recognised four students who had 100% attendance for the ENTIRE year: congratulations to Mia Costa, Hannah Guest, Julia Richards and Alexandra West!  At lunchtime the band performed in the Primary School. They added a little Christmas cheer to the playground and Baby Shark was a popular piece to move to!

Well done to the 23 students from the studios of Jonathan Whitting, Kathryn Crossing and Dominique Gallery who achieved very pleasing results in their AMEB examinations last Friday.

Great work those students who recently performed at the Suzuki graduation concert.

Pauline Chow
Head of Music



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