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The Illawarra Grammar School

Newsletter Academic Christian Caring


TERM I 2014


10 and11 March


Last Saturday, in fine weather which was a nice change to the experience of recent years, our annual Expo Day was held at TIGS. It was a busy day with strong interest in TIGS programmes, particularly for Prep, Kindergarten, Year 7 and Years 10 and 11.


During the day there were many questions asked about the advantages of a TIGS education. Some of the most asked questions were: 1.


What is the PYP? TIGS is an IB World School that is fully accredited to teach the Primary Years Program (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). Students still study the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) curriculum like all schools in NSW but learning is organised under the PYP framework. Central to the PYP approach is concept-based learning. The PYP is taught in 1088 schools world-wide, 88 in Australia. Click here for more Information What is the MYP? TIGS is currently introducing the Middle Years Program (MYP) of the IBO for Years 7 to 10. Students study the NSW BOSTES curriculum but learning is organised under the MYP framework. Conceptbased learning which is central to the MYP approach engages students in their learning. Students learn, within the normal academic disciplines, how to learn and are better prepared for the rigour of study in Years 11 and 12. The MYP is taught in 1025 schools world-wide, 43 in Australia Click here for more Information

What is concept-based learning? Most parents were taught under a ‘topic-based’ curriculum – a focus on factual content and skills. This form of learning was common prior to the digital age. A ‘concept-based’ approach to learning starts with concepts, principles and generalisations using related facts and skills as tools to gain a deeper understanding of content that can be used within subjects, across subjects and beyond the classroom.


Does TIGS achieve strong academic results? TIGS has an outstanding record for success at all levels. HSC achievements attract all the headlines but the School’s ability to progress students at all levels of academic ability beyond what was perceived as their limit is also worth celebrating. The universities know this – 90% of TIGS applicants for Early Entry to university were offered a place before they sat for the HSC examinations in 2013.


Can my child learn a musical instrument at TIGS? Yes, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. The Faculty of The Arts provides opportunities for students to excel in Music, Dance, Drama, Art and Photography. Classroom teaching in The Arts extends from Prep through to Year 12 and is complemented by an extensive range of extra-curricular activities in both Junior and Senior Schools. The clearest signal that TIGS excels in the Arts is the quality of the Musical Production delivered each year – TIGS does not do easy musicals. Performances by our actors, singers and dancers, supported by our musicians, back stage hands and our technical crew (TIGStech) are of the highest quality. Last year’s production of CATS received three nominations for Canberra Area Theatre awards. This year’s production of the Secret Garden (following after recent productions of CATS, The Boyfriend, West

What is Concept Based Learning Video Concept Based Teaching and Learning 4.


How big are TIGS classes and how big will the School grow? The School has no intention to grow beyond its current number of classes in each cohort but it is keen to fill empty seats in some cohorts. In the Junior School there are normally three classes in each cohort with maximum class sizes of around: • 20 from Prep to Year 2 • 25 from Years 3 to 6 • additional teachers’ aides are used if enrolments temporarily drift higher than the target number • In the Senior School there are notionally four classes of around 25 students in each cohort What activities are available for students? The School is committed to a holistic approach to the development of each child. Academic performance is enhanced when students participate in and develop the broad spectrum of life experiences: academic, spiritual, physical, aesthetic, cultural, social and emotional. The School offers opportunities through extra-curricular

and co-curricular activities that are without equal in the region. A comprehensive list can be found on the Junior School and Senior School sections of the TIGS website.

Chaplain’s Message WHAT MAKES TIGS UNIQUE?

perspective’. We want to look at all of life through the lens of God’s revelation of himself and his purposes in the Bible. Sometimes this raises concerns for parents. The concern is that we are going to narrow our students’ focus to only a Christian perspective on life. That couldn’t be further from the truth. On the contrary, we believe at TIGS that if the Christian worldview is valid it has got to hold up to scrutiny. A worldview that cannot

Side Story, Jesus Christ Super Star and Les Miserables) is a not-to-be-missed event. 8.


Does the School provide the Duke of Edinburgh programme? Yes. It is not compulsory for students to be involved but each year about 65% of Year 9 students choose to participate at Bronze level. The Gold level students hiked across the South Island of New Zealand in December last year. Given the expectation at TIGS that students be involved in as broad a range of activities as possible, it is no surprise that the Duke of Edinburgh programme is so popular. Are there scholarships available at TIGS? Yes. Scholarships are available for students entering Year 7 and Year 10 in the categories of Academic, The Arts and General. Applications for 2015 close on Friday 14 March 2014.

10. How do you apply to attend at TIGS? Contact the Director of Enrolments, Mrs Moira Jefferson enrolment-procedure At Expo Day many members of staff and students were on hand to talk about our school and the daily routine at TIGS. Our student hosts from both the Junior School and the Senior School were outstanding and many of our visitors commented that they were wonderful ambassadors. Thank you to everyone that made it a successful day. Stephen Kinsella Headmaster

Last Saturday at our annual TIGS Expo Day I had the pleasure of speaking with a number of enquiring parents. Perhaps the most common question I was asked on the day was how the Christian education we offer at TIGS is distinctive. I thought I might speak about that issue in this week’s newsletter article. At TIGS we aim to acknowledge the reign of God over all of life. We resist secularism which seeks to abandon God to the fringes of life. Similarly, we resist dualism which seeks to compartmentalize the relevance of God to so-called “religious” spheres of life. We believe God is relevant to all of life. Indeed, we believe God informs all of life so much so that if we receive his counsel our understanding of the world becomes much richer and deeper. It is for this reason that at TIGS we don’t just seek the mind of God in the obvious places like Christian Studies and Chapel. We look for light from God in all of our teaching and learning. The language we often use at TIGS to apply this principle is ‘Christian worldview’ or ‘Christian

hold its own against other worldviews; a worldview that is not internally coherent; a worldview that does not mesh with the reality we experience each day; a worldview that cannot be lived in the real world is not worth our consideration let alone our allegiance. At TIGS we are confident enough in the robustness of the Christian worldview to examine it. This is one of the strengths of our approach. This is not to say we demand allegiance to a Christian worldview at TIGS. Some parents worry about this as well. Let me assure you at TIGS our practice is simply to inform our students of a Christian perspective. Our students are respected enough to be afforded freedom to maintain or adopt the perspective on life that they believe best bears the weight of research and reality. While we might argue at TIGS that the Christian worldview makes the best sense of life, our students are never coerced into adopting this view for themselves, nor are they penalized if they choose to adhere to another integrating principle. I am proud of the approach we take at TIGS. I believe it has integrity in that it respects the freedoms and rights of our students to make informed decisions themselves. Thank you for entrusting us with this most important aspect of our School’s education programme. Rev James Rogers Chaplain

Senior School


One of the things that parents consistently place as a high priority when choosing a school is the level of safety and care provided for individuals within the School. Research also supports the notion that students learn better when they feel safe and cared for, whether that is at home or in school. At TIGS, caring represents one of the three pillars of the School’s Mission. How is this core value reflected in what we do in the Senior School? With students moving from teacher to teacher, it becomes more difficult to monitor and track the individual wellbeing of students, compared to the Primary years of education, when they spend most of their time with one teacher. For this reason the School builds in supporting Pastoral Care structures such as time each morning with a Mentor teacher, a Dean of the Year group who tracks students and co-ordinates wellbeing programmes and a strong House system that provides multiple opportunities for students connecting with peers from all age groups in various sporting and co-curricular activities. As well, students have access to both learning support and counselling services provided by qualified and experienced professionals. As mentioned in last weeks Newsletter, Year camps and other extracurricular and community service activities add to the tapestry of our school in providing a safe, caring environment that attempts to draw out the latent talents of students by exposing them to new activities, in a safe and supportive environment, where they may be sometimes out of their comfort zone. The final key ingredient of the School’s Pastoral Care structures is the extensive leadership programme offered across the whole school, where students have the opportunity to take on leadership in a range of different areas at a level where they are comfortable and where they may have some expertise.

Last year the School started exploring additional ways to support student wellbeing at school. In particular, the Pastoral care team has been reviewing current wellbeing best practice and examining research in the area of Positive Psychology by Martin Seligman and others. In short, the Positive Education movement advocates explicitly teaching wellbeing to students in order to reduce levels of anxiety in young adolescents. Following this review, the current Year 7 cohort have commenced a wellbeing programme this year which was developed through the collaborative efforts of Ms Evans, Coordinator of Counselling Services, Mr Ferguson and Mrs Lowe. The programme will provide students with an introduction to the five core elements of wellbeing; positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and purpose and accomplishments. It also aims to give them skills that will help to keep them safe in the on-line environment and to build a sense of belonging to the School community, through the Peer Support programme. The expected outcomes will be that all students from Year 7 will have a clear idea of how to interact respectfully and responsibly while using the internet, a deeper sense of belonging and have a personal experience of the core elements of wellbeing (especially focusing on gratitude and mindfulness). Through reflection and journaling, students will have the opportunity to personally integrate their learning and build awareness into their daily life and relationships.

Greg Lanyon Acting Head of Senior School



In 2013 four HSC Dance works were nominated for the Callback Showcase of exemplary HSC Dance Works; Grace Crisp (Major Study Composition), Laura Stutchbury (Core and Major Performances) and Hannah Garbo (Core Composition). Grace Crisp was successful in selection for the programme and on the 3 March her work was performed as only one of two Major Study Compositions chosen from across the state. Grace is to be commended for this major achievement, as well as her dancers who performed exquisitely- Zoe Bolt and Jessica Kuit (Year 12) and Clara Davidson (Year 11). Callback provides a showcase that features the very best Dance students from the NSW Higher School Certificate. Grace’s work was very well received, with many comments from both students and dignitaries on the complexity and maturity of her piece. The work explored the human body as an art form and how it grows and changes throughout it’s life. This recent success is testament to the strength and development of the Dance programme

Year 7 Meet the Teacher – Monday 24 March at 5:30pm in the Goodhew Research Centre. Please contact Courtney Brooks - with any questions.

LIONS YOUTH OF THE YEAR Congratulations to two of our Year 12 students, Emma Hatton and Stephanie Varcoe, for their outstanding representation at the Lions Youth of the Year Southern District final at Bomaderry on Sunday. Both students presented themselves with excellence in both the interview and speech sections of this competition in a very competitive field of young speakers from seven South Coast High Schools. Well done! Marg Dubowski


The Vaccinations Programme for 2014 will commence on Monday, 24 March for Year 7 Girls and Boys and Year 9 Boys only. The dates for this year are as follows: Visit 1 – Monday 24 March 2014 Visit 2 – Monday 21 July 2014 Visit 3 – Monday 2 December 2014 Forms were given to students this week to bring home. Please complete the forms and return to Student Reception by Wednesday 19 March 2014. For any further enquiries please call Lisa Dent on 42200 227.


The language prefects invite the TIGS community to participate in raising money for their Year 12 charity. Online orders must be made by Sunday 16 March through your registered flexischool account or as a guest login. Contact for further details. Merci et bon appétit

Junior School Year 4 Excursion

Year 4 students visited the Wollongong Art Gallery, Council Chambers and Library last week to enhance their case study of Local Government. Under the PYP theme, ‘How we organise ourselves’ students inquired into the way representative groups serve their community. Some students extended their inquiries during the excursion by mentioning ‘rate hikes’ and questioning the maintenance of their suburb as well as praising the council for their awesome fireworks displays. Students enjoyed an art gallery workshop, a mock council and delved into the depths of the library to discover it’s behind the scenes organisation. The excursion was enjoyed by all and helped to further student and teacher inquiries. “The best part was going in the lift with Gordon Bradbury, the Lord Mayor” (Clara Swainson 4R) “In the library I discovered that I was born on Wollongong’s 170th birthday” (Sam Murrie 4C) “The excursion was great, especially the mock council. It was fun to have a debate in the real council chambers” (Beth Michelmore 4Y)

Judi Nealy Head of Junior School

Pre Prep and Prep Excursions

It’s amazing how a simple conversation with children can start a new provocation. Just by listening to the children discussing placing their food scraps in the bin, a child revealed that he had a pet pig at his Grandparents place named ‘Tofu’. The child went on to tell the other children that Tofu the Pig loves food scraps. The teacher went on to ask the children what we could do with our food scraps? And the children then suggested saving our scraps for Tofu. The children suggested a food scrap bucket in the eating area. This week the three year old Pre-Prep went down to visit Tofu the Pig with a bucket of food scraps and watched Tofu eat them. The children also had the opportunity to see cows, geese and goats and most of all they spent quality time with Nana and Granddad. This provocation also compliments our PYP topic this Term ‘Sharing the Planet’. The Elanora children’s unit of inquiry “We are individuals and are part of many communities” was strengthened this week with an excursion that took in our local community on the TIGS bus and included a tour of The Lagoon Seafood Restaurant. The bus ride was a provocation and used as a research tool for the children to take in the view of the Botanical Gardens, University of Wollongong, Flagstaff Hill, Wollongong Entertainment Centre, The Art Gallery, Wollongong Library, The Wollongong Hospital and St Marks Anglican Church. During the tour the children’s conversations reflected their sense of belonging to groups and communities with many children noticing where they play sport, watch sport, where their parents work, and where they spend time on the weekend with their friends and families. Our tour of the restaurant was also a provocation for an interest in changing the focus of our outdoor cubby. The children have been using it as a café and we wanted them to see first hand what aspects of a café/restaurant we could bring to the outdoor learning environment. We look forward to reflecting on our excursion and inquiring further into the many communities past and present around us.


Weekly Awards KD KM KP 1M 1T 1WJ 2C 2H 3R 4R 4Y 5A 5S 5Y

Connor Hutchinson, Boston Zeidler Oliver Grneski, Subhaan Ul-Haq Hunter Hooton, Andrew Neal Nelle-May Makowski William MacKay, Victoria Di Martino Alexandra Birch, Campbell Boardman, Rhea Boga, Ashley Brewer, Geraint Dodd Lillian Glover Nicole Mau, Kavya Acharya Rebecca Winn, Reid Gunther, India Strangman Joshua Franco Michael Marzano, Nadia Nagaratnam Xia Lian Wilson, Tamara Matar, James Taylor Alana Newhouse, Harrison Kiteley Isobel Kinnear, Tanay Shrestha, Stephen Borg


Friday 28 March Friday 28 March Monday 31 March Monday 31 March Monday 31 March Monday 31 March Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 April

Parent Coffee Morning PYP Parent Workshop Parent Helpers Workshop Parent Helpers Workshop P&F Term I Meeting PYP Parent Workshop Parent Teacher Interiews

8.45am – 9.30am 9.30am – 10.30am 9.30am – 10.30 am 5.00pm – 6.00pm 6.00pm – 7.00pm 7.00pm – 8.00pm

MERIT CERTIFICATES Academic Samra Tarrant Tamara Matar Keiran Reveley Evan Glover Alexandra Birch

Goodhew Research Centre Goodhew Research Centre Junior School Classroom Goodhew Research Centre Goodhew Research Centre Goodhew Research Centre



We had many students represent TIGS in the NASSA Swimming Carnival that was held at Homebush on Tuesday 6 March. The students showed great enthusiasm and team participation with TIGS placing 3rd overall behind Penrith Anglican College who won and St Luke’s Grammar who placed 2nd, with only a mere 18 points between 1st and 3rd place. What an outstanding achievement by all students especially the Jnr Boys Relay team who broke the NASSA record in the 200m Freestyle. What a fantastic accomplishment! We now have 15 strong competitors going on to represent TIGS in the CIS (Combined Independent Schools) team, which will also be held at Homebush later on this month. Congratulations to the following students who placed in the top 3 and are now moving on to CIS:

Individual Events Mackayla Hutchinson Jessy Harman Aria Bacic-Johnston Cartia Taranto Ben Giason Aydin Arapali Amelia Druett Jack Worthington Elliot Winn Tamara Matar Ruby Tilden


Jnr Girls – Amelia Druett, Jessy Harman, Tamara Matar and Kiarna McIlwraith Jnr Boys – Ben Giason, Jack Worthington, Jack Burrows and Taylan Arapali Snr Girls – Cartia Taranto, Ruby Tilden, Aria Bacic-Johnston and Maya Soligo


FRIDAY 14 MARCH 2014 5.00PM - 8.00PM JUNIOR SCHOOL OVAL Junior School students and their families are invited to a fun filled night to be held on our Junior School Oval. Pack a basket with everything you will need for a picnic Our Senior School Leaders will be organising lots of games and races for parents and their children to enjoy together RSVP: Wednesday 12 March Please email An email/SMS will be sent if the weather does not allow this event to take place

Please be advised that this is an alcohol free event


Catch up and make connections with other parents as well as Junior School Coordinators, Senior School Deans and School Executive.

FRIDAY 28 MARCH 2014 8.45am to 9.30am

In the Goodhew Research Centre We will have a barista onsite brewing delicious hot drinks.

Please join us for a cuppa!

EXTEND @ TIGS This week, we made Rice Paper Rolls using carrots, cucumber, tuna, vermicelli noodles and had sweet chilli sauce as a dip for “Our Kitchen Rules!” The children had a turn each with this activity, some of the children enjoyed it and some of them thought they were eating paper! The children also made pirate hats and eye patches for craft. Our Futsal Club is also getting more and more popular. It’s organised by Tom and runs every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Come along and join in on the fun! Our Extend Superstar is… Ella F for being helpful and supportive towards the younger children.


Monday 17 March “Bend It Like Beckham” with Tom “Crazy Craft” using Recycled Materials Tuesday 18 March “Organised Sports”- Retro Games “Bend It Like Beckham” with Tom Wednesday 19 March “Crazy Craft” using Recycled Materials “Bend It Like Beckham” with Tom Thursday 20 March “Organised Sports”-Basketball Drills “Organise Craft”- Pirate Hats and Patches Friday 21 March “Crazy Sports” A Day at the Cinema(plus Popcorn!) ONLINE BOOKINGS: CALL OUR OFFICE: 1300 366 437


We would love all our K-9 students to participate in the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge for 2014. The Challenge offers a fabulous opportunity for children to explore and read from an extensive list of great literature. There are four challenge levels for our school students to choose from: K-2, Years 3-4, Years 5-6, Years 7-9. To find out more about the Premier’s Reading Challenge, visit their website Permission notes have been emailed to parents of Junior School students and are also available from the Junior School office and the Library. Senior school students please contact Library staff. We will send additional information when the permission slip is returned. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us by phone on 42200275 or email



NASSA Tennis

The TIGS NASSA Tennis representatives travelled to Campbelltown last Friday to compete in the NASSA Tennis Gala Day. The boys and girls teams both played valiantly throughout the day finishing as runners up in both events. Lily Tuivaga, Mili Haber, Mitchell Main and Sotiros Haris were standout performers on the day. In the finals, our girls came up against a solid St Luke’s Grammar team where it was 2 sets all leading into the last game and unfortunately they were successful. The boys played a strong Broughton Anglican side in the final and were comprehensively beaten 4 sets to 2. The students displayed amazing sportsmanship throughout the day and should be commended for their behaviour. Well done!

NSW All School Triathlon Individual/ Team events

Last Thursday and Friday a number of TIGS students participated in the Individual and Teams Triathlon events at Penrith International Regatta Centre. All students were fantastic TIGS ambassadors and performed amicably throughout the

events. We had tremendous success in the Individual event on Thursday with James Seal finishing 4th within the Independent school system and 10th overall. Other competitors Lucas Heidrich finished 44th and Austin Pallone 17th within the independent school system. Well done to the boys. The Teams event was held on Friday where TIGS had six students participating in two categories. The Junior Boys team consisted of Austin Pallone, backing up from the Individual event the day before, Jonathon Michalopoulos and Griffin Spicknall. They finished in 11th position within the Independent school system and 19th overall. Our Intermediate Girls team performed amazingly well completing the event in 1st place overall and in the Independent school system. Elizabeth Martin, Natasha Mullany and Kelsey Cresswell are to be commended for their fantastic effort and result. Congratulations. A big thank you to Mr McIlwraith, Mr Rutty and Paul Micale who drove and supervised the students at the triathlon.

NASSA Swimming The TIGS Swim Team wins the NASSA Swimming Carnival for 2014 and not just in the points score. We may have won the Overall Shield, the Intermediate Shield and the Junior Shield however the way our school swim team cohesively worked together and contributed on the night was impressive. We would like to congratulate all the swim team members and give a special thank you to our Year 12 students who in the middle of their half yearly exams came

and represented the School. Other students including Bryce Prior and Thomas Goodhew from Year 11 stepped in to swim on the day to enable the two senior boys relay teams to compete. There were numerous swimmers who were racing event after event during the evening with outstanding results. A large proportion of our team have been selected on the NASSA Swim Team to compete at the AICES Swimming Carnival at Homebush on the 31 March. We wish them the best of luck at this event. We say thankyou to our Year 12 Swimmers Jessica Kuit, Kate Martin and Harrison Steele.

Splash and Dash fundraiser for Cancer Council WHEN: 29 – 30 March at Wollongong Harbour EVENTS: Saturday 29 March Wollongong Ocean & Basin Swim Kids Harbour Splash 350m, 800m Harbour Splash, 2km Sunday 30 March City Beach Fun Run all ages City Beach 5k Scenic coastal course, Kidz Family Run 2.5k ideal for younger kids Sunday 30 March Aquathon’s swim and run Big Aqua: 605m swim, 5k run Mini Aqua: 250m swim, 2.5k run Kidz ‘Try A Aqua: 150m swim, 2k run For event details and online entry: www.



Junior School Twilight Picnic 5.00pm Friday 14 March


Elective Drama Evening 6.00pm Monday 17 March

TIGS Foundation AGM 6.00pm Wednesday 19 March


Elective Music Concert 6.00pm Wednesday 26 March


Music, Dance and Drama Showcase Friday 4 April


TIGS Cross Country Wednesday 9 April

*** A reminder that the Whole School Cross Country will be on 9 April and NOT 3 April as printed in the School calendar. ***

Issue 5 Term I 2014  

Issue 5 Term I 2014