Cootamundra High School Newsletter

Term 3 ‐ Week 8, 2021

PRINCIPAL: Mrs Leesa Daly  

DEPUTY PRINCIPAL: Mr Christopher Payne

Principal's Report

Circumstances have changed dramatically for us all over the past fortnight, however this was not entirely unexpected.

I would like to thank the whole school community for their ongoing support and for rising to the challenges which have included keeping our students at home and safe. There is a glimmer of hope, that in the event that stay at home rules are lifted in regional NSW before the end of term 3, then our students and staff will be able to return to fulltime face to face lessons in week 10 (Monday 13th September) on Level 3 COVID Safe School Operations. We have two big weeks of continued remote learning from home, whilst maintaining reduced movement and close contact with friends and family. Let’s continue to do the hard yards and hopefully we will be rewarded for our efforts in the very near future.

Most students have embraced learning from home since Monday 16th August (Week 6).  We have been strategically upskilling students in the use of the online learning, Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom, platforms for a considerable time anticipating this may happen. Students and staff were ready to continue teaching and learning remotely and the overwhelming feedback from students and parents/carers is that this has been a seamless transition this time round. Students are much more at ease and have demonstrated resilience and enhanced independent learning skills. Keep up the good work everyone.

Every teacher will continue to have their designated student work for the week on their classroom learning platform each Monday. All work should be completed and submitted by no later than Friday. Teaching staff are providing individual feedback to all students on the work that is submitted.

I would like to commend our Year 12 students who are showing shear grit and determination as they continue to deal with the ever-changing details of their HSC. We now know that HSC exams will start, in a Covid safe manner, on the 9th November with a revised timetable to be released early September. Results will be released in mid-January.

We encourage all parents and carers to use the passkey, that was emailed to you all a couple of weeks ago, so you can access the new Sentral Parent Portal. This platform enables you to see student notices, your students timetable and any absences that may need addressing. It will also be a key method for the school to communicate important and timely information to you.

It was awesome to catch up with students last week as Year Advisors led remote cohort gatherings on Microsoft Teams. Wellbeing activities, games, fun and laughter made up these sessions. Technology is truly amazing. Congratulations to the Year Advisors for developing and hosting engaging and timely year group gatherings. We will do these again in week 9.

It was a shame that we had to postpone our two parent/carer sessions we had planned for weeks 6 and 8. We will look to reschedule both the Tips and Tricks to using Microsoft Teams/Google Classroom + Introduction to the new Parent Portal as well as the Wellways QPR (Question, Persuade and Refer) Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper training.

All students eligible for a vaccine are strongly encouraged to book appointments as soon as they can. All parents and carers who have not been vaccinated are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccinations for all school-based staff, across all sectors, will be mandatory from the 8th November. Vaccination is a key tool to keeping all members of our school and the wider community safe and will allow schools to be fully operational.

Keep up the good work everyone. Stay positive and look for the little things that bring you joy. Stay safe and continue to be kind to one another.

With Kind Regards

Mrs Daly


Energy in Action


May the FORCE be with you...



From the Library Desk

We are so lucky at Cootamundra High School to have a library full of great resources both, recreational and academic. Our fiction collection contains all the popular books listed for 2021 and many students are borrowing these books throughout the week. Our senior students, while enjoying reading for recreation are also becoming more focused on their academic pursuits.  To assist them in their studies, we have the latest Prelim. and HSC study guides available for them to utilise whilst focusing on their private study in the library. 

The modern school library is more than a learning area and resource centre, it is also a valuable school hub. During the whole school celebration of NAIDOC week this year we were lucky enough to host Wiradjuri Elder Aunty Elaine Lomas who taught some Wiradjuri words to groups of students in the library. Elaine brought the Wiradjuri language to life with her humour and in-depth knowledge. She taught students the concept of ‘Yindyamarra’ which means respect and honour … and that’s also about how you behave with your elders and other students in the playground!

To go along with the fun library-based activities our students can enjoy during their break times (e.g. board-games, card games and reading for pleasure), we also made a special effort to televise the recent Olympics Games on our ‘big-screen’ which students enjoyed watching and commenting on – many great discussions were held.  We also look forward to showing the upcoming Paralympics in our Library.

The school library is also keen to promote our community links with our local library, the Cootamundra Town Library. Some of our students have taken the opportunity to go the Town Library and utilise their facilities to supplement their study after school hours.  The Cootamundra Town Library also provides free wi-fi access which students can use to find extra resources which will potentially add depth to their assignments.  Some students have also taken advantage of the opportunity to join the Town Library as members and access their eBooks, eAudio and eMagazines.

Like everyone, we’re looking forward to Spring and planning more activities to celebrate!

 Ms Freeman & Ms Grewal.

Accessing e-books via My Library



This term, Year 7 are studying a unit called Understanding Mental Health. This unit focuses on developing students understanding around Mental Health and the resources that are accessible for students and the wider community. To date the students have identified the difference between a reliable and unreliable source, research around Mental Health conditions and misconceptions around Mental Health.


This term, Year 8 are studying a unit called Fit for Life.  This unit examines the benefits of a balanced lifestyle and the strategies students can use to promote a lifetime of physical activity.  To date students have identified and explored the five components of health and looked at the factors that affect our health and wellbeing such as environment, disease and lifestyle behaviours.  Students have also conducted a survey of their overall health and we are starting to examine the cultural influences on physical activity

Our practical unit of study for this term was Court Sports but the prolonged wet weather and upgrades to the synthetic courts has meant that we have instead focused on quad based games such as Handball/Volleyball, European Handball and Speedminton.  Once the court upgrade has been completed students will be engaging in Basketball, Netball and Volleyball.


Year 9 have commenced a unit entitled Diversity, Inclusion and Mental Health.  This unit focuses on developing students’ personal identity and the many factors that can influence diversity, inclusion and mental health.  Over the last few weeks, students have examined their values and beliefs and the influences on these as well as norms and stereotypes that shape the way we see the world. 

YEAR 10 

Leading a Balanced Lifestyle is the unit of study for Year 10 this term.  In this unit students are asked to examine their food and physical activity habits and look at strategies to create environments that would support their health.  As part of this unit, students have also set health goals using the acronym SMARTER which helps them to create goals that are specific, measurable and realistic.  It was interesting to read the number of students who identified the need for more sleep as their goal. 

YEAR 9 and 10 Prac.

In practicals, both Year 9 and 10 are completing a unit entitled Kick, Pass, Catch which would normally include practicals such as touch football, soccer, league tag, AFL and variations of each game.  Due to the prolonged wet weather that we have had over the last few weeks, we have instead focused on activities that we can play in the quad such as European handball, Spike Ball, Handball/Volleyball, Speedminton and variations of these games.


Exam Prep...


Geometric Designs

Ms Willoughby’s Year 9/10 Mathematics class have been learning about Geometry. They have been studying the use of similar figures and how they are embedded in Islamic designs. They have also been demonstrating different techniques for producing scale drawings.


STEAM at Milestones

During Term 2 students from Cootamundra High school visited the Childcare Centre Milestones on Wednesday afternoons. In their time at the centre students’ taught STEAM lessons to the toddler and pre-school students.


We had a blast learning about the chemical reactions in colours as well as making jelly fish from reusable materials. We look forward to continuing to work with Milestones in the future. 


Food in Australia

This term, Stage 5 Food Technology are completing a unit on Food in Australia.  This unit examines native Australian bush food and the multicultural influences in Australia.  As part of this unit, students have been cooking food from different cultures including Johnny Cakes, Crepes and Bun Bao Xao.


Students recently had the opportunity to hone their writing skills by creating recounts of their favourite events and moments of the 2021 Olympics.

Covid Funded Tutoring Sessions


Update for Year 12 Students and Parents and Carers

With a short time to go before Year 12 commence their HSC examinations, students have been busy with preparations for university entry, apprenticeships, traineeships, gap years and casual work.

By the end of term, Mrs Alderman will have met with all students a number of times to discuss post - school options and pathways.

University Information

Students preparing for university, and their parents and carers are reminded that deadlines are approaching for a number of admissions, and are urged to keep an eye on Google Classroom and their emails for updates. CSU Advantage (Direct Entry Round 2) is now open and will close at the end of the month. Payments and registrations to UAC are open for a while yet. However, students are strongly encouraged to pay prior to the end of September to avoid a price hike. 

Below are some tips and links for university entry in 2022 and beyond:

1.      UAC (Universities Admissions Centre) – the ‘broker’ that acts on behalf of the student and their chosen universities and courses. They calculate ATARS, coordinate the Schools Recommendation Scheme and equity programs, make offers and process some scholarships.

 For students to access UAC, they need to apply and pay a fee and will need to do this before preferences can be put in, and before they apply for the Schools Recommendation Scheme.

To apply, a student number and a PIN is required, which will have been emailed. If these can’t be found, ring UAC or chat live, and someone will assist.

2.      Schools Recommendation Scheme (SRS)

 Certain universities may make early offers to Year students using criteria other than, or in addition to their ATAR.

Use the link below to find out which universities are participating.

SRS Applications close on the 19th September at midnight.

3.  Educational Access Scheme (EAS)

If studies have been impacted upon in Years 11 or 12, students may be eligible for this scheme. Depending on the university and the application, further adjustment points may be made to their ATAR.

Socioeconomic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) - now used to calculate adjustment to ATARS (this used to be based on the school and called bonus points). If students are eligible, they will be notified via email after the UAC application is submitted.

4. Direct Entry

A number of universities are offering this scheme and students don’t necessarily need to go through UAC to get an offer. In most cases, they need to answer some personal attribute questions when they apply, and may be asked to submit marks from Year 11.

Charles Sturt University (CSU) Advantage Round 2 is now open and firm offers will be made in late September. 

5. Scholarships

Many scholarships for universities are open now. An example is in the link below for CSU. Use the filters provided by the universities – it is surprising how many are on offer.

 Our Local Country Education Foundation will also be opening applications to students completing their schooling. Students do not need to be planning on attending university to be eligible - the scholarships are open to all students seeking financial assistance with further education and training. More information is available on the Country Education Foundation website, or from Mrs Alderman.

Work Placement - Years 11 and 12

A number of our senior students are on Work Placement over the next month, including Automotive, Information Technology and Construction. TAFE Riverina Institute and the school are grateful to local business owners for hosting our students. Students are urged to meet with their prospective employers well in advance to complete paperwork and inductions so as to avoid last minute rushes for signatures and appointments.

Positions Vacant – Seasonal Work

There is no shortage of work coming up for students keen to gain some seasonal employment.

BackCreek Orchard near Young is already recruiting for the cherry harvest, and would love to hear from any interested students. The contact is Michelle Walton 0438 166 215 (text please), or via email


GrainCorp are also recruiting, with a number of local jobs becoming available for the 2021/2022 grain harvest. This information has already been posted to Year 11 and 12 Google Classroom. It is important that you start your application early – it is online and takes a while. But worth it!

Visit for more information