Edition 182 - Friday 18th November 2022

From the Principal

This week I have had the privilege of attending a 3 day Principal conference. It is four years since I have attended a conference with my colleagues and it was a wonderful chance to exchange ideas, share learning and be inspired. I feel very privileged to have heard Julia Baird speak and I do encourage everyone to read her book Phosphorescence.  The conference gave me time to reflect on our directions as a school, the impact COVID has had on us all and the need to keep our passions alive. Jennifer Robinson a human rights lawyer, Rhodes Scholar and proud public school alumni, spoke of her passion to give back to public education and the creation of a scholarship with the Public Education Foundation. I encourage all parents and students to regularly look at the Public Education Foundation website and search for relevant scholarships. As many of our parents are public school ex-students it may be appropriate for you to become involved in the Acacia scholarship that Jennifer and colleagues have created.

Thank you to all students and teachers who have participated in Zone and Regional Cross Country and Zone Athletics. Representing our school in this way is a wonderful way of showing our communities that students from North Sydney Girls HS are talented across so many fields. Thank you to Ms Parnaby for organising these events for us.

Our debating teams have been competing fiercely over the past two weeks and I would like to thank Ms Kat for the wonderful work she is doing in coordinating the debating program. In conjunction with Masters Academy we now offer public speaking classes at school and it may be possible to sign up for Term 3 classes on their website soon.

Congratulations to our various ensembles, participants and conductors who have performed in the recent Eisteddfods. Tonight, at school, we will host our Co-Curricular Gala Concert which will highlight the wonderful progress of our junior ensembles. This concert is being held in the school hall and all are welcome.

Our Showcase Concert, at The Concourse, has seen tickets selling fast. Please book your tickets asap.

For details and booking please head to https://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=NSGIRLS22 or directly to https://www.theconcourse.com.au/Whats-On/NSGHS-SHOWCASE-CONCERT for event information.

Please note that students in Junior Band, Junior Strings, Concert Band, and Camerata already have their seats reserved and do not need to book a ticket through Ticketek. Students who are performing also do not need to book a ticket. 

Thank you to parents, teachers and in many cases students, who attended our recent Parent Teacher interviews. It is very important that information on progress can be shared to ensure all of us work consistently on improvement. Last night we held our Year 10 into 11 Subject Selection evening and in the previous week and information session on Morrisby testing. We now ask students and parents to slowly discuss, research and consider the subjects each student is hoping to select.

The Year 7 and 9 Mentoring program is in full swing. Students have been matched in pairs with the Year 9 mentor and Year 7 mentee. This is a wonderful chance for students across these two grades to build productive relationships.

In my role as principal, I often find myself talking to families when things might not be going so well for one of our students. In these conversations I always find the parents to be very supportive but often surprised and shocked that their child’s mental health has become a concern. The impact of COVID and the trauma and fear faced by many adolescents at this time, added with the normal stresses of school, friendships and family has enhanced the issues some students are coping with. Students often say that they know mum and dad care for them but would like to hear the words “I love you”. Our students often feel enormous pressure to please and excel for us, the school, and also for their parents. We have to work together to try and relieve this pressure and have conversations with children where they feel safe and loved and can tell us about their fears and concerns. Students need to be told that our priority is that they work towards their own personal best while striving to be happy and healthy. There are many wonderful resources to help families, many of which are free and often online. I will include a brochure from Headspace that gives links to where parents can access guidance on how to talk to and reach out to their children. Other wonderful resources can be found at:

https://headspace.org.au/services/parent-and-carer-events/

https://parents.au.reachout.com/

https://healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au/home

Please do not assume your child is “doing well”, please check in with them. Often our children are very good at hiding how they are feeling and we need to take time to observe and listen to each other. If you are noticing any changes in behaviour, withdrawal from activities at home and with friends or a lack of motivation/joy in doing the things they used to love to do, it is wise to seek help from us at school or your local doctor. A check up at a GP can be a wonderful way to start a conversation with your child about how they are feeling.

Next week we hold our Annual Charities Day on Friday 24th June. This is a day of fun and celebration where every student in the school spends time working towards raising funds for charity. This is a great day for friends to work as a team to create wonderful food, games or craft to sell to other students. A huge thank you to our Social Justice and Charities Council for running this event for us. Students are encouraged to wear mufti and be warmly dressed (with closed in shoes).

Next Wednesday evening we will hold our Rowing Information Evening in the school library. We invite all interested students from Years 7 and 8 and their parents to meet in the library at 5.30pm. The meeting will also be held on zoom.

At 7pm also in the library and on zoom we will hold our P&C Annual General Meeting. Everyone is welcome both in person or on zoom.

As we approach the end of Term 2, I am aware of the fatigue that sets in for teachers, students and families and ask that everyone takes the time to look after themselves. We need to give ourselves and our students permission to rest and take breaks. In my re-reading of Phosphorescence, I am determined that I will spend more time “hunting” for those moments of joy, wonder and awe and hope you are able to do the same.

Have a wonderful fortnight ahead.

Megan Connors
Principal

-->