Term Three, Week Four - 14 August 2020
Message From the Principal

Message From the Principal

I am so proud of our students, they are standing up and advocating for their peers in a very difficult time. The opportunity for students to be on the news and use their voice is wonderful, just not the specific cause for their courage and bravery. As reported on Tuesday night, there have been five youth suicides in our area in the last five weeks, and several suicides of adults as well. These losses are so tragic and difficult to process, as we know that they were avoidable.

This is such a complex issue, and I don’t want to minimise what was happening for each individual that led them to their tragic decision. But it galvanises me to use every means possible to raise awareness and to help our students and – our broader community – know that when they are struggling, they have options, there is support and help, that there is hope. I’m so proud of our students for wanting to speak out about mental health issues that are so often stigmatised, to be a voice of hope with their peers and our community, and for taking an active part to make a difference.

As a College I am determined to continue to develop our pastoral care, our wellbeing programs and our tangible supports so that we provide students with the language, the skills and strategies they need to thrive. Helping them build the frameworks for thinking and the capacity to know how and when to seek help for themselves, their friends or family is essential as we prepare them to be resilient, hopeful and courageous adults. 

We need to change the story from one of grief to hope. Now is the time to reach out across the traditional boundaries to work with other schools, the health agencies as well as family and youth supports to build a positive and vibrant culture in the Illawarra and a hope for the future for our young people.

Will you join with me?

If you need help…

Mrs Megan Hastie
Head of Junior School

Head of Junior School

So Twitter has expanded from 140 to 280 characters. Apparently the statistic on using abbreviations is now less and the use of ‘please’ and ’thankyou’ is up. But it’s still the platform for brief commentary on life, the universe and everything.

The College has its own platform for brevity and writing, and that’s the Thrifty Fifty competition. Fifty words was five words ago, so what I write now would not count in this wonderful and challenging literary space. For our Stage 1, 2 and 3 students earlier this term it did count, and the result was very satisfying. Previously a Senior School competition, Head of English Dr Molkentin encouraged our younger writers to have a go. The topic was 2020; Stories of Extraordinary Times’ and the entries were rich and varied. This year has been challenging for children as well as adults, and many of the entries were about aspects of life that have not been experienced before for many in our community.

We presented our People’s Choice and overall winners in assembly last Thursday. There were very proud students and equally proud parents when they heard the news. I think there are some budding authors in our College who have found that the pen is mightier than the sword. For your enjoyment, here are the three winners.

In the summer I watched as the sky was swallowed by smoke, homes burned to the ground, oceans filling with ash. In the Autumn I watched as the virus took lives and toilet paper industries surged to success. Now I watch as protests fill the streets. What will be next?  

Kiah Vallentine 5/6H

Woeful Times

Buttoned up streets. The only sound was the flapping of birds. Shops closed, devastated lives everywhere. There was a silent assassin on the loose. Danger around every corner. Countries raging at each other. Death creeps in. Many families are broken. When Oh when will it end.

Miles Coulthart 3/4M

I was in my burrow. I saw flames burning on the trees. I was so scared. I had to move quickly. The fire was coming right for me. I got out of the burrow just in time. I dug a new hole. I was deep and safe from the flames. I fell asleep feeling safe and warm.

Sienna Georgakopolous 1/2S
Mr Andrew McPhail
Head of Senior School

Head of Senior School

Glass Half-full

Dr Martin Seligman, widely regarded as the father of Positive Psychology, has been researching happiness and optimism for more than four decades. His research found that optimism is correlated with excellent mental and physical health as well as healthy relationships and success in business and at school. When an optimist experiences a setback or a challenge, they believe it is temporary and will pass. They can also identify aspects of the situation which they can learn from and they feel they can exercise some measure of control. The good news is that we can learn to develop a more positive outlook, no matter how difficult a challenge may be. 

I continue to be impressed by the resilience everyone is demonstrating on a daily basis, in what has been a challenging year, both individually and collectively. We have faced and continue to face some really tough times. And whilst we continue to have restrictions placed on us, our students are engaged and are achieving some excellent outcomes. 

We have had much to celebrate and be thankful for at school. By the end of this week, 113 Bronze and Silver Awards will have been presented to students at Assembly which is an outstanding achievement. Participation in our Tuesday afternoon Sport and Service Learning Program has been particularly impressive, students have been engaging with energy and effort. We have had 41 Year 11 students indicate their willingness to serve the College or their House in an official leadership capacity in 2021 and this week we’ve had a group of students making face masks to raise money for mental health. Our Mock Trial team is also doing very well and have been victorious in their last two competitions and our Year 12 Val Dinner committee are showing good agility and creativity in organising the Val Dinner in trying circumstances. I’d like to encourage and applaud the collective efforts of students for these and many other accomplishments, undertakings and efforts over the past few weeks.

Mr Peter Gibson


In Dr. Suess’ classic story Horten, tiny specks of dust float out-of-control through time and space uncertain of how, or where they will land. Their world has been turned upside down and they face impending doom. It sounds oddly similar to life in 2020 COVID-19 land! Perhaps it doesn’t feel quite as dire as that, but I’m sure we’ve all been feeling like life’s out-of-control and the future is uncertain. Is there a Horten who can hear our cries for help? 

In Chapel we’ve been reading about Joseph’s story in Genesis. Joseph, victim of his brothers’ hatred, is sold to passing slave traders, ending up alone and enslaved in a foreign nation. His brothers are free of him, but like a floating speck of dust, he is homeless and (seemingly) abandoned. 

And yet. [SPOILER ALERT]. The story isn’t over. Just as Horton the Elephant hears the speck’s cries for help, God hears Joseph. But unlike Horton, instead of scrambling to protect Joseph, God is in control all along. Despite the evil intentions of Josephs’ brothers, God is weaving a plan that will ultimately result in the saving of many lives. It’s hard not to think of the horrific death of Jesus which also results in the saving of many (more!) lives. But what’s this got to do with us? 

Trials will come our way. We won’t understand them. We won’t enjoy them. But faith gives a new perspective. To know a God who does not forget or abandon His people gives great hope. We can cry out to Him with small and strained voices, knowing that His ear is turned towards us when we come to Him in faith. In the end Horton sees a big picture he never dreamed of – and so does Joseph. If God is as trustworthy and loving as the Bible says, then by knowing Him, so can we.   

Mr Dan Odell
Prep News

Prep News

Hooray for Birds

Prep Blue and Gold have been exploring birds in library. We have talked about different types of animals and what makes birds special. We have studied and read books about penguins and owls. We have especially enjoyed reading Hooray for Birds by Lucy Cousins and have decided to make a retelling of this story. This week we painted our bird drawings to create bird costumes for our retelling. Prep Blue and Gold love exploring new stories in the library.

Mrs Helen Luke – Teacher Librarian
Junior School News

Junior School News

Stage Three Federal Election! 

Stage Three held an election as part of our learning about Federal Government. On the day they had to form parties, choose a candidate to run as well as make election speeches, campaign ads as well as posters and how to vote flyers. The students formed ten different parties with party names including, Elmo Squad, The Sporticus Gang, Equal Rights and Awesome 8. Through the process of voting, students learnt about the value of handwriting as in the end invalid ballots altered the results. It was a tightly contested election with the preferences deciding the eventual winner as Zoe Bayo from the pillow party. The future of Australia is bright with the quality of candidates coming from Stage Three.

Matthew Low, Janet Hazell and Claire Donnelly – Stage Three Teachers
Kindergarten enjoy buddy time!

Kindergarten enjoy spending time with their Year Six buddy once a week throughout Term Three. The excitement builds each morning until it is Buddy Time! This week, Year Six shared their favourite picture book with the younger students. Kinder chatted about their favourite characters and their favourite page in each book. Some children also learnt how to control a Sphero with their buddy’s help.

Rebecca Scarratt – Kindergarten Teacher
Senior School News

Senior School News

Thrifty Fifty Winners!

Congratulations to the Senior School Thrifty Fifty winners! The theme for 2020 – Extraordinary Times – Extraordinary Tales. Students were required to write 50 words to the theme.

Scroll. Double Tap. Scroll. Two hours fades into forty-eight. They cling to my brain, becoming ingrained in my psyche. I give in, succumbing to common idiocy. Rock. Swing. Cross. Renegade…Renegade…Whoa. Clap. My brother screams in horror, “JESS THAT’S THE WRONG MOVES!” TikTok, the true virus of 2020.

(Jessica Livingstone – Year 12 – People’s Choice Winner)

Dr Michael Molkentin – Coordinator of English, Drama and LOTE
Makuta Masks

We are extremely proud of our students! More than 2000 orders have been placed for Makuta Masks, the proceeds of which will go towards suicide prevention in the Illawarra. If you want to order a mask, visit the Makuta website.

Mrs Meegan Knight – TAS Teacher 
It’s a Winner! 

Congratulations to Grace Wakefield who won the Gold Duke of Edinburgh fundraising guessing competition. The Gold Duke of Edinburgh participants are preparing to complete their nine day Exploration Journey in the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury River regions at the end of Term Three.

Mr Gregory Thornton 
Another Mock Trial Win!

While many interschool competitions have closed in 2020, the Mock Trial has been able to continue through zoom software online. This week our team competed against Woonona High School and came away with a convincing win! The College’s team is comprised of Year 10 and 11 students who have demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment to learning how the justice system operates and the relevant court room processes

Jade ten Kate – Teacher-in-charge Mock Trial
Unleashing Personal Potential

Year 10 students participated in a leadership seminar that focused on how they can all be leaders by their example, service and actions. The students were engaged in all the activities and were presented with some valuable messages. Thanks to Madeline and Izzie, our guest presenters and all the staff who contributed to the success of this event.

Ms Jodie Liddiard – Coordinator of Pastoral Care
Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award

Congratulations to the Students who have gone the extra mile to complete their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award! Check out the Illawarra Mercury article here.

Mr Nathan Alterator – Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator
Library News

Library News

Bridging Books in Stage One

Bridging books are those books that support and bridge a child’s reading development from a picture book to a chapter book. These books are often set out in chapters, are written to entertain and amuse, have illustrations and are written to allow early readers to access them on their own or with help from their parents or teachers.

As a child my mum was constantly encouraging me to move on to reading early chapter books from the joke books and riddle books that I preferred. Thanks to my mum’s patience and never giving up with her encouragement and nightly read aloud sessions I did finally become an independent reader who now constantly delves into chapter books. I can still remember the book that helped me jump on the reading ladder of independence it was Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine. I still giggle at Roald’s description of the horrid grandmother who was nothing like my own kind and generous (especially with baked goods) grandparents. Once I got going with this Dahl classic I went on to read them all and then started on other books of interest.

In Stage One last term we read the first chapters of Andy Griffith’s 13 Storey Treehouse. Many of the Stage One students were hooked and started to read through the whole hilarious series. This term as part of the Stage One library lessons we are encouraging students to borrow a bridging book from our Junior Fiction section. I am intentionally spending time at the beginning of each lesson giving students a taste of some of the collection.

We hope you enjoy discovering a range of bridging books with your child this year. You might enjoy reading them aloud together or listening to your child read them independently. Bridging books are a fantastic way for your child to develop a love and interest in fiction.


Hello Lighthouse

In Week Three, Stage One read Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall. We enjoyed hearing this story and allowing it to take us back to a time when lighthouses needed a light keeper to look after the light. Stage One were inspired to create their own lighthouse artworks in a similar style to Sophie’s illustrations.

Mrs Helen Luke – Teacher Librarian
P & F News

P & F News



Pre-Loved Uniform Shop
The Pre-Loved uniform shop will be open every week on Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings from 8:30am to 9:30am. Please book your appointment via https://10to8.com/book/ywfpeojvgkammztvak/ Due to social distancing and convenience appointments are necessary. Appointments are available every 15 minutes or you can book a 30 minute appointment. Please note that all sales are CASH only.
Accepting Pre-Loved uniforms! 
If you have good quality uniform items that you no longer need you may choose to donate them to the P&F for sale. Alternatively you may choose to consign your clothes. When sold, you receive 80% of the proceeds with the remaining 20% going to the P&F. All monies raised by the Preloved Uniform Shop are donated to the school for the benefit of the students. We would appreciate uniforms to be brought to the shop directly. 8.30am – 9.30am Monday, Tuesday and Friday. If this isn’t possible then please bring them to the office.
If you choose to donate, pop in a message to let us know or please fill in a Consignment Note:
Helpful hints: 
  • Clean
  • Ironed
  • Buttons on Blazers, and
  • Small tears are repaired

 We can not sell items with the following. They just don’t sell: 

  • Sweat stains
  • Pen or paint marks on front, collar and sleeves
  • Large tears:  Inside blazers, sport jacket armpits, sport shorts split, any really
  • Broken zippers on Bomber Jackets and sport jackets
  • Midford pale grey shorts and trousers
Next Meeting – Monday 23 November in the Administration building.

Everyone is welcome to join us in the meetings. We chat about raising funds and friends within the College Community.

The College executive also share about upcoming events and how the P&F can support the College vision. 

College Notices

College Notices