From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas
Well done this week to all our Park Campus students who have been thinking hard and participating in activities to “grow their brain.” It is great to see how engaged our youngest students are when learning all about computers and how they work, as part of an ‘introduction to coding’ course. Years 7 to 10 have had plenty of opportunity to exercise their brains during their examinations this week. Well done to these students on the mature manner in which they have managed themselves.
This week the staff participated in a number of professional conversations and learning activities. Our Hill Campus Academic Heads of Department worked together to enhance their role and on Monday all staff contributed to a discussion on school values and student learning attributes. Mrs Dyer and I are involved in the next part of a course we are doing across this year in developing whole school approaches to literacy. Some of our primary staff have been involved in the Association of Independent School’s Spiral of Inquiry research project and are working to further develop our inquiry approach to Science curriculum for our K-6 Students. Engagement in professional learning and practice are essential to quality teaching.
Over the next week we say good bye to a number of our staff who will be on maternity leave for the remainder of the year. We wish Mrs Carla Holmes, Mrs Fiona Walker and Dr Katie Waters all the best. We have rearranged classes as best as possible to minimise disruption to our students however some changes have been unavoidable.
From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons
Growth vs. Fixed Mindset.
At a time in their lives when adolescents have a heightened sense of self-focus, they find themselves in secondary schools where they become exposed to increased levels of competition, social comparison and self-assessment of their abilities. At a time when their desire for control of their own destiny is increasing, they often find themselves having less influence in decisions that will affect their futures. The transition to secondary schooling can disrupt their social networks and support when those are most needed. All of this can lead to a mismatch between adolescent needs and their environment, with the real possibility of resulting in disengagement.
Each student’s academic progress through these transitions faced by all adolescents depends upon their ability to negotiate these changes. What is it then, that enables some students to develop resilience and allows them to flourish through their secondary years? Dweck’s research (Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2007) indicates that a student’s response to academic challenge is governed by their understandings of intelligence.
Two theories exist with regard to Intelligence and IQ:
- Entity Theory – Intelligence is fixed and unchangeable. People that promote this theory exhibit a Fixed Mindset.
- Incremental Theory – Intelligence is malleable and can change. People that promote this theory exhibit a Growth Mindset.
Incremental Theorists – those with a Growth Mindset
- Focus on learning goals aimed at increasing ability rather than performance goals aimed at documenting ability
- Believe in the utility of effort rather than the futility of effort
- Display mastery-oriented strategies – increase effort or change strategies, rather than stick with a failing strategy or withdraw effort.
Importantly, accepting a Growth Mindset perspective does not imply equal potential but rather that individual ability can be developed.
In a longitudinal study of 373 seventh grade students over their first two years of high school, researchers found that students with a Growth Mindset earned significantly higher grades than students who exhibited a Fixed Mindset. In a similar study, the students’ theory of intelligence became also a significant predictor of mathematical achievement.
Junior high school students who think their intelligence is malleable – that exhibited a Growth Mindset – are more likely to believe that working hard is necessary and effective in improving achievement compared with Fixed Mindset students.
Growth Mindset students are less likely to attribute failure to lack of ability and are more likely to invest more effort or employ different strategies that Fixed Mindset students. They hold more positive motivational beliefs, which translate into increasing grades.
In next week’s Newsletter, I will look at strategies that can be employed by parents and teachers to encourage a Growth Mindset in our students
Interestingly, Alfred Binet, a French psychologist of the early 20th Century, the creator of the first practical intelligence test that has evolved into the modern Binet-Simon Scale, was a strong advocate for the incremental theory of intelligence – he had a strong Growth mindset. His reason for creating his IQ test was to identify students in Paris schools who required help in accessing the school curriculum. He never intended that it would be used as a measure of a fixed intellectual quantity, particularly by the quantitative educationalists of the 20th century.
References: Blackwell, L. S., Trzesniewski, K. H., & Dweck, C. S. (2007). Implicit Theories of Intelligence Predict Achievement Across an Adolescent Transition: A Longitudinal Study and an Intervention. Child development, 78(1), 246-263. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.00995.x
From the Director of Learning and Teaching 7-12
Mrs Lisa Peterson
ICAS Science Competition
Students in Years 5 – 12 who entered the ICAS Science Competition are reminded that this will take place in HS1 at 3.15pm next Tuesday, 31 May. Please bring a pencil, pencil sharpener and eraser with you. The test is 1 hour in duration. Students will be dismissed from HS1 after which they must be picked up by a parent or go to the Tyrrell Library to catch the late bus home.
From the Head of Primary
Mrs Alicha Dyer
Families and schools belong together. Research tells us so and so does common sense. Unfortunately, forming those ties can become tricky. Parents can feel too busy or too stressed to find time to connect with their children’s teachers. Messages can get lost on the way home. Parents who struggled with school themselves may not feel eager to step inside the playground as adults. To encourage stronger ties between home and school, we are committed to holding Morning Tea and evening Information Sessions throughout the year.
Let’s continue the conversation about how to connect school and home.
From the Director of Pre-school
Mrs Angela Tapp
Each term at Pre-school we write a newsletter for families. The newsletter contains lots of reminders about Pre-school and interesting snippets about child development. This term’s newsletter has a paragraph dedicated to Occupational Therapy including the activities that we work on at Pre-school to strengthen children’s fine motor development and activities that families can work on at home with their child. It is really important that parents help children practice holding a pencil, writing letters and writing their name. This practice at home reinforces what the child is doing at pre-school and aids in a smooth transition to the classroom.
We have also been talking about technology with the children, another media for fine motor practice. It is interesting to note that, a recent article in Rattler Magazine titled, “No More Screen Limits”, indicates that American medical experts are modifying their position around how much screen time is too much. You may find the following points interesting.
- Media should now be considered just another environment: Children do the same things they have always done, only virtually. Like any environment, media can have positive and negative effects.
- Caregiving has not changed: The same caregiving/parenting rules apply to children’s real and virtual environments. Play with them. Set limits; kids need and expect them. Be involved. And limit your own media use, modelling good online etiquette.
- We learn from each other: Talk time between caregiver/parent and child is critical for language development. The more media engender live interactions, the more educational value they hold. Optimal educational media opportunities begin after age two.
- Content matters: the quality of content is more important that the platform or time spent with media. Prioritise how children spend time rather than just setting a timer.
- Be engaged when your kids are using technology: Adult participation with media facilitates social interactions and learning. For infants and toddlers co-viewing is essential.
(Rattler: Community Child Care Co-operative Quarterly Journal 117 Autumn 2016 – pg 15)
From the Hunter House Coordinators
Ms Marnie Thomas & Ms Chantal Byrnes
Hunter House Day Details
Just a reminder that Hunter House Day is coming up next week! It will be held on Wednesday, 1 June on Hill Campus and Friday, 3 June on Park Campus. Please remind your children to keep their eyes on Schoolbox and their note folders for more details next week.
WHAT: Hunter House Day – “A Day on the Green”
WHY: To celebrate HOPE and support Allambi and NGS Vietnam Project
WEAR: Your favourite HAT to school – so you can enjoy our ”Day on the Green” festival and your picnic lunch in the beautiful sunshine
BRING: Gold coin entry in to school, money for some yummy food, plenty of smiles and HOPE
Thank you very much for your support of Hunter House. We are looking forward to a fantastic week next week with plenty of GREEN spirit and passion!!
Phoebe O'Keeffe & Bronson Elsley
OzHarvest is Australia’s first perishable food collection service and cares for communities all over Australia on a daily basis.
This term, we are supporting OzHarvest Newcastle and encourage all members of the School Community to actively contribute to such a worthy cause. Each mentor group in Stewart and Berkeley and each class at Park Campus is creating a wonderful hamper that will be donated to the charity in Week 7. Whilst the food hampers are only a small gesture of our goodwill and desire to help our local community, they will provide innumerable individuals and families with food for the week, alleviating the burden of food bills when times are tough.
We are collecting non-perishable foods such as breakfast cereals, pasta and tinned fruit – anything that will enable someone in need to get through the day and create a nutritionally dense meal at a minimal cost. With so much excess food wastage in the world (approximately eight to ten million tonnes per year), OzHarvest seeks to minimise wastage and provide social justice to a diverse range of groups within the local community. Despite Australia producing enough food to feed 60 million people, two million people still rely on food relief to survive.
Minimising our environmental impact and assisting those who are less fortunate is part of the NGS mission – without addressing such prevalent issues, how will Australian society develop and become a haven of social justice?
Hampers will be collected during Week 7 with a representative from OzHarvest visiting our Combined Chapel Service on Thursday. During this service, mentors will present a food item as a token of their generosity and we will create a collective NGS hamper. The Mentor and class hampers will be collected by an OzHarvest truck later in Week 7.
Thank you to the NGS community for supporting this cause.
Ms Anna Roberts
On Saturday, 21 May Year 12 French Continuers students attended the French Study Skills day at Sydney University. The day is run by NAFT (New South Wales Association of French Teachers) and is one of the many excellent events designed to give students of French practice in HSC skills. We were treated to four wonderful presentations on Listening, Reading and Responding, Speaking and Writing skills. Led by experienced HSC markers, the students gained invaluable insight into the exam setting and marking processes. Most importantly, students understood what to do in order to gain the best marks possible, and how to increase the authenticity of their responses. Well done Year 12 for getting up at 4.30am to catch the early train! Ça vaut la peine! (It was worth it!)
From the Director of Sport/PDHPE Coordinator
Mr Leigh Carroll
During the first week of the next school holidays students may be interested in representing the school at Thredbo in the NSW Interschools Snowsports Competition.
Students from K to 12 are eligible to enter and can snowboard or ski.
Beginners to experts all welcome.
More information can be found at interschoolssnowsports.com.au
Mrs Kathryn Dries (firstname.lastname@example.org or 0434379739) has kindly offered to coordinate NGS entries and arrangements for this competition and can be contacted as per the above email and number. Kathryn is happy to answer any questions you may have about this event.
If you are interested in your son/daughter entering this competition, Kathryn must hear from you by Friday, 27 May, so entries can be submitted.
Mr L Carroll
Director of Sport
Stewart Athletics Carnival
The Stewart, House Athletics Championships will be held on Thursday, 2 June at Glendale Sports Complex.
Students have been asked to return a permission slip indicating how they will be travelling to and from the venue. Please return this to Mrs McGowan at the office.
An early bus will leave Hill Campus at 7.30am for any 1500m competitors and all other buses will leave Hill Campus at 8.35am once all remaining services have arrived.
A comprehensive canteen will operate throughout the day and we ask all students to wear house polo shirts and sports shorts.
We wish all students the best of luck for a successful day at the track.
HRIS Primary Cross Country Team
Congratulations to the following students who have gained selection in the HRIS Primary Cross Country team who will participate in the NSW CIS Cross Country Championships on Thursday, 16 June at Eastern Creek International Raceway.
Cameron Carson, Hannah Choi, Hunter Rowntree, Alexander Macdougall, Thomas McGrath, Alice Jeffery.
We wish these runners all the best as they take on the best Cross Country competitors in the state.
Ms C Byrnes
Stewart Sports Coordinator
Mr Kevin Young
Performing Arts Concert
Mrs Corey Rowntree
A night with NGS Players
Year 9, 10, 11 and 12 Drama students
NGS Gala Ball
Sponsorship Packages Now Available
We are pleased to announce the introduction of sponsorship packages at this year’s inaugural NGS Gala Ball.
Sponsorship Packages include the opportunity for businesses to gain significant and positive exposure both leading up to and during the evening.
Silver sponsorships can be purchased for $250 and Gold sponsorships can be purchased for $1000.
Anonymous sponsorships-both corporate or personal- are also welcome and privacy will be respected.
TICKETS ON SALE – Go to www.flexischools.com
The 98th Gala Ball
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From the Head of School
Year 11 Presentation Ball
Gallery Tickets are available for purchase at Hill Campus Reception
Cost: $5.00 (all proceeds will be donated to the Vietnam Project)
The Presentation Ball will be held on Saturday, 4 June 2016 at Town Hall.
Winter Uniform begins on Monday, 30 May for all students.
A reminder the uniform shop hours are as follows;
Monday: 8.00am – 2.00pm
Wednesday & Friday: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Carol Service - Calendar Change
The Carol Service has also moved and will now be held in the Cathedral at 11.30am on Tuesday, 29 November.
Mon 30 May:
Tue 31 May:
Wed 1 June:
Thu 2 June:
Fri 3 June:
Mon 30 May:
Tue 31 May:
Wed 1 June:
Thu 2 June:
Fri 3 June: