From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

My Huong Le’s visit to NGS last Thursday provided an opportunity for the community to hear first hand about her extraordinary work in Vietnam. So many aspects of her story touched us and we were uplifted to hear her stories – whether it was changing the life of a family who lived under a bridge by building them a home, providing a home for children who needed one or buying a bicycle to help a teenager get to school. Her son Daniel, who is now 14 years old, spoke about his adoption. This was such a strong message for our students. We are currently putting together a list of items the school and orphanage could use. This should enable our community to support My Huong.

Lexi Elkovich in Year 6 wrote “This story made me feel sad. As a child, I can’t imagine what it would be like to live the type of life that My Huong Le has lived. It also made me realise no matter what age or what obstacle you come across, you can follow your dreams and no path is the wrong path.”

Over the weekend, 30 competitors took part in the FISAF National Aerobics and Fitness Championships and Hip Hop Unite National Championships in Brisbane. The students returned to NGS this week with lots of stories and clearly enjoyed their time away. On Wednesday evening, the Co-curricular Performing Arts Concert will see displays from the Aerobics, Step and Hip Hop programme, Musical Theatre, Drama and Dance. This event begins at 6.00pm at Park Campus in the Sandi Warren Performance Centre.

Year 12 students begin their Trial Examinations next Monday. It is a critical learning experience for these students and as a community we wish them well. Trial examinations allow students to experience a full set of examinations that mirror the HSC and marks the end point in the assessment process for most courses. Good luck Year 12.

You may have read in today’s newspapers, or seen on the news, that the overall 2017 NAPLAN results have just been published. At this stage, only the National and State-wide results have been published, not results for students or schools.

I should clarify for parents of students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 that we are not due to receive the individual student results from ACARA until Monday, 14 August at the very earliest. Once we get them, we will send them on to parents as soon as possible.

We realise that parents of students in Year 9 may feel concerned, given the rules about pre-qualification for the new HSC Minimum Standards in literacy and numeracy. Please be assured that we are working hard on an action plan for any students who do not receive a Band 8 result in one of the key tests and their best interests are very much on our minds.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact Philip Fielden, Director of Studies at the School. philip.fielden@ngs.nsw.edu.au

 

From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  Reinhold Niebuhr, American Theologian

In my last article, I listed a number of protective factors that have been identified as contributing to the development of resilience. These factors include:
– Some degree of heritability
– Self-awareness
– Self-regulation
– Mental agility and cognitive function
– Optimism
– Self-efficacy and desire for mastery
– Connection
– Positive institutions

This week I would like to look more closely at one of these protective factors, and that is optimism, specifically, the Optimism Bias. The quote above from Niebuhr, often known as the Serenity Prayer, provides one characteristic of an optimistic outlook – the ability to separate out what you should accept from what you can control. An optimistic belief in a positive future is crucial for the development of resilience. It has been described as “the engine of resilience” (Reivich, Gillham, Chaplin, & Seligman, 2013).

Tali Sharot is an Israeli neuroscientist who has researched deeply into what she has described as the optimism bias (Sharot, 2011). Through her research, she has found that around 80 percent of people have a bias towards optimism, that is, we are optimists. A couple of quick questions might help you decide if this is you. Would you consider yourself to be above or below average for the following measures:
1. How well do you get along with others?
2. How good is your driving ability?
3. Personality – how interesting are you?
4. How attractive are you?
5. How honest are you?
6. How modest are you?

Most of us would place ourselves in the top fifty percent for most of these questions. A statistical impossibility. 85 percent of adults place themselves in the top 20 percent of drivers. Of course, this also is statistically not possible. But this does nicely illustrate that, while we may like to consider ourselves as realists rather than optimists or pessimists, we do tend to have an optimistic bias.

A classic illustration of the optimism bias can be seen in two of my favourite television shows on the ABC; Antiques Roadshow, in which hundreds of people queue up for hours in the worst of English weather, certain that their’s is the invaluable family heirloom that will bring them fame and fortune, and Grand Designs, in which no house has ever been built within budget nor on time. If you are interested in this phenomenon, I would recommend you view Sharot’s entertaining TED Talk at: https://www.ted.com/talks/tali_sharot_the_optimism_bias

As with other human characteristics, there is an evolutionary advantage to this optimism bias which is a robust and well-documented characteristic of around 80 percent of the human population across gender, race, age and other categories. A hallmark of human cognition is the ability to anticipate. Inferences we make about future occurrences are critical to our decision making and, in making these decisions, we tend towards overestimating the likelihood of positive outcomes and underestimating the occurrence of negative outcomes (Sharot, 2011).

People suffering mild depression, by contrast, tend to show no bias when predicting future events while pessimism is identified as a key symptom of severe depression, in which there is an expectation for future events to be worse than the present. Looking back at Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer, losing the wisdom to know the difference is characteristic of a pessimistic outlook in which one perceives a lack of control over one’s environment; a situation that can lead to what Seligman and Maier identify as Learned Helplessness (Maier & Seligman, 2016).

I will continue this investigation into optimism over the next few articles, specifically looking at learned helplessness, the benefits of optimism and hazardous of excessive optimism and a new definition optimism; one which will be introduced to our students through the Positive Education curriculum, Explanatory Style. Sharot’s TED Talk referred to above gives initial insights into these phenomena.

>References

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From the Director of Operations
Mr Duncan McKensey

From the Director of Operations image

As of Monday, 14 August the following changes will occur to the Toronto (morning) Bus Service;
– the entire schedule has been brought forward 7 minutes commencing at the new time of 7.21am
– the service will stop at Hill Campus at 8.11am and then Park Campus at 8.18am.

Please see the new schedule below;|
Toronto Shops: 7.21am
Booragul Roundabout: 7.30am
Warners Bay Shops:7.38am
Mt Hutton Shops: 7.43am
Blackbutt Reserve (Top Carpark): 7.50am
Lookout Rd (Near JHH): 7.54am
New Lambton Shops: 7.59am
Hill Campus: 8.11am
Park Campus: 8.18am

These changes only apply to the morning service, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concern. duncan.mckensey@ngs.nsw.edu.au

From the Head of Primary
Mrs Alicha Dyer

From the Head of Primary image

On Friday, 28 June, K-6 students came together to recognise Mark Hughes and his tremendous work he does raising awareness for Brain Cancer research. On behalf of the students in K-4 Miley Griffiths presented Mark with our contribution to this year’s Beanie Fundraiser. After that, Mark was kind to participate in a Masterchef challenge which was enjoyed by all.

 

From the Director of Pre-school
Ms Angela Tapp

From the Director of Pre-school image

It’s Term 3, Week 3 and as we are in the midst of report writing and looking at the children’s school readiness, we realise how far this group of children have come since Week 1, Term 1. Their cognitive skills are progressing at an amazing rate as the relationship between numbers and counting is recognised at the same time as that of name writing, letters and words in books. Similarly, the children’s physical development – both fine and gross motor is evident as their increased competence and confidence outside – running, climbing, swinging – is also evident with their inside skills – pencil grip, colouring and cutting techniques. These are all areas that can be worked on with the children both at Pre-school and at home.

However, perhaps the most noticeable area of development is the children’s social skills. This morning a Groover child who, at the beginning of the year may have ‘grabbed back’ a piece of construction from his friends hands and generated a physical and verbal altercation, “used his words” and, negotiated an agreement with his friend which saw them share and work together. Every day in both the indoor and outdoor setting, children are socialising and communicating with more maturity and respect – these 4.5 to 5 year olds are no longer as egocentric as the 4 to 4.5 year olds at the start of the year – and it is a very rewarding experience to observe.

Term 3 reports will be handed to families in the last week if this term. Just a reminder that Pancake Day (Monday, 7 August) and Vision Screening (Tuesday and Friday the 15 and 18 August) are the next events on our Term Calendar.

Kings Chess
Mrs Simone Muddle

On Friday, 28 July, our Kings Team (Alexander Macdougall, Kalen Routley, Hayden Martinelli, Sebastian Spencer) played against New Lambton South, Waratah Public, Belair and Avondale College to contest the top places from the finals in the Kings Division, the highest level of chess primary school students can play in the NSW Junior Chess League.

There were some tough, well considered matches and by the end of the day’s play, NGS and Avondale were both placed at the top of the leaderboard with 24.5 points. We look forward to completing the final game, but with the top two teams in this zone progressing through to the final rounds, our NGS team is sitting in a very strong position to make it into the Finals. We congratulate the Year 6 boys on their achievements and wish them well in their last game in the coming weeks.

From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport image

HRIS Athletics Championships

Last week’s newsletter detailed some of the excellent performances of our Secondary Athletics team. Following the publication of the official results at the end of last week, there are a number of other performances which deserve recognition:

The following students established new HRIS Athletics records:

Marshall Unie: Set a new record of 12.96m in the 18 Years Shot Put (old record 12.74m)

Connor Henderson: Set a new record of 53.05s in the 16 Years 400m (old record 53.41)

In last week’s newsletter I mentioned the four students who won their respective Age Championships.

Below are ALL of those NGS students who were placed in their Age Championships

Josephine Armstrong: 3rd in the 12 Years Girls Championship
Jadon Routley: 1st in the 15 Years Boys Championship
Caitlin Spencer: 1st in the 17 Years Girls Championship
Sabrina Kliousis: 1st in the 17 Years Girls Championship
Caleb Agostino-Morrow: 1st in the 18 Years Boys Championship
Marshall Unie: 3rd in the 18 Years Boys Championship

The following students have been selected in the 2017 HRIS team to compete at the AICES Championships, to be held on Thursday, 31 August at Homebush:

Josephine Armstrong: 12 Years Girls Shot Put
Cameron Carson: 12 Years 400m, 12 Years 800m, 12 Years 1500m
Jacqueline Melvelle: 15 Years Javelin
Dane Brouwer: 16 Years Javelin
Connor Henderson: 16 Years 400m, 16 Years 800m, 16 Years 1500m
Corbyn Holmberg: 16 Years 1500m, 15-16 Years 3000m
Sabrina Kliousis, 17 Years Javelin, 17 Years 100m, 17 Years Discus
James Myles: 17 Years 1500m
Caitlin Spencer: 17 Years 400m, 17 Years 800m, 17 Years 1500m
Bridie Bland: 18 Years Discus, 18 Years Javelin
Seraina Danuser: 18 Years 800m, 18 Years 1500m
Marshall Unie: 18 Years Shot Put


Netball

With only one game left for most of our competition teams, we have a good number of teams jostling for semi-final positions. On behalf of the School I would like to wish all of our teams every success this weekend. Our standings at the moment, after Round 13, are:

TEAM POSITION
NGS 1-Under 21 Div. 2 Currently in 4th position with 1 games remaining before semi-finals.
NGS 2-Cadet C Currently in 5th position with 1 games remaining before semi-finals.
NGS 3-Cadet C Currently in 2nd position with 1 games remaining before semi-finals.
NGS 4-14 Years Div. 1 Currently in 4th position with 2 games remaining before semi-finals.
NGS 5-13 Years Div. 3 Currently in 2nd position with 1 games remaining before semi-finals.
NGS 6-12 Years Div. 2 Currently in 7th position with 1 games remaining before semi-finals.
NGS 7- 12 Years Div. 3 Currently in 7th position with 1 games remaining before semi-finals.
NGS 8- 11 Years Div. 4 Currently in 5th position with 1 games remaining before semi-finals.
NGS 9-10 Years Div. 3 Currently in 4th position with 1 games remaining before semi-finals.
NGS 10-8 Years Brown Non point-scored ‘competition’. 3 games remaining. No semi-final series in this age group.
NGS 11-7 Years Brown Non point-scored ‘competition’. 3 games remaining. No semi-final series in this age group.

 


FISAF National Aerobics and Fitness Championship and Hip Hop Unite National Championships

NGS competed at the FISAF National Aerobics and Fitness Championships and Hip Hop Unite National Championships, from Friday, 28 to Saturday, 29 July, in Brisbane with the School presenting themselves very well in all categories.

The School gained a Gold Medal in the Junior Step Category with a very precise routine being performed. The team consisted of Brilee Stubbs, Hannah Choi, Isabella Oakley, Emily Fogg-Chorley, Tali Robinson and Sophie Franks. These students have now competed together for two Years and their synchronization and skill level have improved remarkably.

Our Mini Fitness team consisting of students in Year 2 and 3 performed a much improved routine from State gaining a Silver medal for all their hard work and extra training. Congratulations to Keerthana Kumar, Bronte Feros, Shaveen Salaria, Ellie Perry, Charlotte Jones, Ivy Heslop and Sofia Du.

Our Cadet National Grande Aerobics Team and Primary Fitness Team competed very well showing a well detailed routine finishing in 4th place. The team consisted of Phoebe Tanks, Miecha Blamey, Pierra Singh, Madeleine Guest, Prakriti Goel, Lillian Miller, Shilpi Salaria. For this team it is for some students their first Year of competing in aerobics and they have improved remarkably.

To finish the second day of competition, NGS competed in Hip Hop Unite. Here, the School had two teams: one in the Cadet category 11 to 14 Years, and one in the Junior Category 14 to 17 Years. The two teams did a fantastic job on the night in a very tightly contested competition. A special thank you to Kishok Pradeepan for choreographing and stepping into compete in the Junior team at short notice.

The Cadet team finished in 12th place. The team consisted of Madeline Nelson, Abby Bryant, Eliza Ginns, Ava Horn, Athanasia Petrelis, Alessandra Martinelli, Ruby Robinson and Hannah Choi. The Junior Hip Hop Team consisted of Alexandra Lange, Abigail Riddell, Brilee Stubbs, Kishok Pradeepan and Tia deSilva, these students finished in 13th place on the night.

Thank you to Brooke Doolan for all her hard work at training and in preparing the students for the competition. Congratulations to Alexandra Lange and Abigail Riddell for their coaching of the aerobics teams. Thank you to Mrs Martin and Mrs Howard for your time and effort over the weekend in assisting the students whilst away.


Primary Athletics Championship

Congratulations to everyone for all their efforts at the 1st Primary K- Years 6, Athletics Carnival held at Glendale Athletics track on Monday, 17 July. The level of participation was outstanding with around 20 students competing in all events in every age group on the day. For age champions and records broken on the day >Click here.

Thank you to all the Primary staff for all your hard work on the day and to the Year 11 PDHPE students for their assistance on the field events. Thank you also to our co-curricular staff for your assistance in making the day run smoothly.

A special thank you to Glendale Athletics track and the maintenance team for all their assistance in setting up this wonderful facility.

The results for the Winning House were as follows:
1st place: Shortland on 2501 points
2nd place: Hunter on 2435 points
3rd place: Tyrrell on 2275 points
4th place: Macquarie on 2197 points

Congratulations to the following students who have been selected to compete at the HRIS Athletics Championship in various events on 10 August. A note will come home shortly for this event.

8 Years Girls: Myla Tucker, Willow Slattery, Gizelle Griffiths, Bella Irvine, Darcie Horn, Gabby Waerea, Bronte Feros, Keely Rao, Bailee Turner, Matilda Dyer

8 Years Boys: Asher Ganga, Dominic Sawyer, Finlay Guest, Tom Blamey, Finbarr Harrigan, Nicholas Stojanovski, Oscar Avery, Reef Simpson

9 Years Girls: Vanessa Kuru, Madeleine McMillan, Samreen Haque, Charlotte Jones, Sienna Ryan, Adesha Kendurkar, Ivy Heslop

9 Years Boys: Joel Wright, Samuel Morgan, Bailey Parkinson, Ben O’Donnell, Rylan Gamer, Jack Brissenden, Maximilian Cohen

10 Years Girls: Eden Simpson, Neve Blamey, Claudia Branscombe, Ava Horn, Ella Beattie, Elyshia Lodge, Zahlia Ginns, Holly Irvine, Harriette Arnall, Zoe Moss

10 Years Boys: Luca Swancott, Elliot Sawyer, Brandon Muddle, Andrew Carpenter, Elliot Collins, Lachlan Smith, Jett Floyer-Kell, Daniel Richardson, Arthur Petrelis, Maxim Siderovski

11 Years Girls: Phoebe Tanks, Hunter Rowntree, Prakriti Goel, Alex Moss, Amelia Ryan, Eliza Ginns, Ruby MacDonald

11 Years Boys: Kalen Routley, Samuel Rowland, Thomas McGrath, Cooper Wilson, William Jeffery, Cooper Hides, William Irvine, Alexander Yost

12 Years Girls: Bronte Simpson, Mary Dundas-Sharrad, Miecha Blamey, Lillian Miller, Ayva Myers, Isabelle Colbert, Veronica Kuru, Sophia Prince

12 Years Boys: Hayden Martinelli, Fredrik Mead, Alexander MacDougall, Christian Logan, Connor Johansen, Jackson Broad

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The Blog
From the Head of School

Headlice Notification

There have been several outbreaks of Headlice within the School over the last few weeks.

Could all families please check their child/ren’s hair on a regular basis and treat as necessary.

Canteen Duties

If you can help, please contact the School Reception on 49 29 5811.

volunteers_needed

Hill Campus

Mon 7 August:
Derani Clarke
HELP NEEDED

Tue 8 August:
HELP NEEDED

Wed 9 August:
Amanda Folpp
Rebecca Webster

Thu 10 August:
Julie Lange

Fri 11 August:
Lesley Filby


Park Campus

Mon 7 August:
Molly Tao

Tue 8 August:
Rachael Heslop

Wed 9 August:
HELP NEEDED

Thu 10 August:
HELP NEEDED

Fri 11 August:
Elaine Mann
HELP NEEDED

Hill Campus Canteen Specials

Exciting news from the canteen. We have some salubrious house-made specials in the canteen this Term.

This Thursday, we have a delicious spinach and ricotta frittata w tossed salad.

Next week’s specials:
Tuesday: chicken tandoori wrap w baby spinach and tzatziki or antipasto toasted wrap with roasted capsicum, grilled eggplant, sun dried tomatoes, baby spinach and feta

Wednesday: Mexican rice bowl – brown rice, kidney beans, avocado, roasted capsicum, and coriander drizzled with a lime mayo dressing (vegetarian)

Thursday – roasted capsicum and sweet potato frittata with tossed salad

Soup of the week – Thai pumpkin soup

Please order on flexischools and see our special Wednesday lunch deals.

Uniform Shop
Hours

Uniform Shop opening hours:

Monday:  8.00am – 2.00pm
Wednesday:  10.00am – 4.00pm
Friday: 10.00am – 4.00pm

If you require an appointment outside of these times or would like to place a phone order, please phone Kerrie at the uniform shop on 4908 4035.

Enrolments

Please remember to advise the School if there are any changes to your family details/address/ emergency contacts/ email addresses and phone numbers or your child’s medical needs so that our database can be maintained with correct and up to date information.   A form is available on the website under Parents/Forms, Update of Information or via email to enrolments@ngs.nsw.edu.au