PRINCIPAL: Mrs Leesa Daly
DEPUTY PRINCIPAL: Mr Christopher Payne
It is hard to believe that we are almost half way through Term 4 already and continue to enjoy gorgeous Spring weather. The hot weather cannot be too far away but we are all going to very much enjoy the protection from the sun and heat that our brand-new cola will provide us this Summer.
Some much has happened in the last 10 weeks. Students, staff and parents, on the whole, managed 4 weeks of remote learning from home as the state was placed into lockdown mid term 3. Feedback from all stakeholders has clearly indicated that we were all better prepared this time around and there was a greater sense of calm and structure to the teaching and learning. I would like to congratulate the students for rising to this challenge and managing the many complexities that come with being away from friends and the face to face teaching experience. Staff worked incredibly hard to re gig programs to suit the online learning platforms and to provide timely feedback to students and to make regular contact to check in on student’s wellbeing.
Since our return to school in Week 10 Term 3, under Level 3 COVID Safe School Operations, we are all learning to do things a little differently. I appreciate how well students have adapted to these requirements which have included the wearing of masks indoors, the separation of cohorts in the playground and restrictions associated with sporting activities. With all staff required to be double vaccinated by the 8th November and an increasing number of our whole school community being vaccinated, we know that we are all doing our bit to keep our school community safe.
A big shout out goes to our Year 12 students who have lived this COVID nightmare for the last 2 years. They are to be congratulated on the way they have conducted themselves in the most challenging of times. With a third change to the HSC start date and timetable we know our students are keen to get their HSC exams over and done with. We wish all our students the very best of luck as they begin their exams on Tuesday 9th November and look forward to celebrating the completion of their secondary studies with them all at their Formal in December.
I would also like to acknowledge our Year 11 students who also had to take a leap of faith in their abilities as they completed their final Year 11 exams using online platforms. The was a first for our students and indeed CHS staff and I must say we are incredibly proud of how well they managed this challenge.
At the end of Term 3 we farewelled a number of staff members: School Psychologist Sarah Zimmerman made the move to Kooringal High School; Relieving HT Wellbeing and Engagement & PDHPE teacher extraordinaire Mr Rob Plain has taken up a Special Education teaching position at Cessnock High School and Ms Amanda-Lee Boatswain, Visual Arts teacher, went on maternity leave. A beautiful baby girl has been welcomed into the family. At the start of Term 4 we welcomed numerous new staff to the CHS family: Miss Kate Jenkins has joined the PDHPE faculty as a permanent staff member; Fiona Harvey and Danielle Sayers have joined our school counselling team and Mrs Charlotte Matheson and John Officer have joined the Creative Arts/TAS team.
Our school continues to have major upgrades occurring including the ‘Cooler Classrooms’ project which will see all our teaching spaces fitted out with new air conditions and the old blue heaters will finally go. This is a massive undertaking and we appreciate all the tradies who are working hard to get this project completed. Our massive new cola over the Basketball courts is finally up – what an awesome space this is. Tiered seating, drainage and fencing still needs to take place to complete this project. The last of our classrooms to be refurbished with new blinds, carpet, paint and furniture in C block will take place in the coming weeks.
We are thrilled to announce that the school has taken up the call to get a Therapy Dog and ‘Gizmo’ is his name. A gorgeous Cavoodle who is slowly being introduced to students and staff. Gizmo is about to start attending puppy school and is regularly sited in the playground and in fortnightly year meetings. Gizmo will be around to help a number of our students settle into their HSC exams and to help our Year 6 students as they start their extensive transition program here at the High School every Thursday. A warm welcome is extended to our Year 6 students and their teachers.
Congratulations is extended to our newly elected School Captains - Will Holt and Amelia Franklin and Vice Captains – Maddie Robertson, Yasmin Lambert and Eric Chick. We know you will lead our school beautifully and we look forward to working with you all in 2021/2022. Thank you is extended to Ms Clarke for supporting these students through this process.
Take care and continue to enjoy all the opportunities being provided for you here at CHS.
Mrs L. Daly
A lot of things have been happening for our students at Cootamundra High School in the library. While students may not be able to physically browse the library as easily as they did prior any covid restrictions, we are pleased to say that they now have access to more than 3000 eBooks and eAudio books as a part of our collection. All they need to do is log onto their school portal, go to My Library and browse the resources. If there is a book they’re interested in, they can click on it to see if there is a digital version to borrow. Students can also go to the News Tab in the library catalogue to access digital resources from Australia and across the globe. There’s links to the State and National library and museums in Australia and overseas. We even have free comics there. We also have a link to Cootamundra local library, where you can access digital books to read.
WHO would have thought one of Australia’s most notable writers of non-fiction and the Australian environment, Bruce Pascoe, (Dark Emus) would also be quite confident in creating Young Adult fiction! Mrs Whitlam, is a novella which was recently shortlisted for the Children’s Book of the Year Awards.
It’s about life in the bush for a lower income family. The description of the landscape makes you think about our own region, especially towards the Snowy Mountains. Within this setting a girl inherits a beautiful horse from a grieving mother, Mrs Arnold, whose daughter has suddenly died. Both girls attended the local pony club where Marnie works with the horses and the other girl had all the trappings of the best equipment only money can buy. What both girls have in common is they can ride, really well … and now through the gift given by Mrs Arnold, Marnie has a horse which she can love as her own. Marnie’s family is Aboriginal. They have been through rough times but they make do with what they have and care for each other and their community. With this as the backdrop, Marnie deals with other pony club girls who laugh at her because she doesn’t have all the stylish equipment. But it is Marnie in the end, who saves a family from drowning because she knows how to build a rapport with her horse, who helps her rescue them.
This book has a simple message – but it’s a good one. This is a book for kids who like or dream of getting outdoors. It’s also a book for all of us to think about how we treat each other in our community. It’s not about the money, it’s about your attitude to life.
I give this book 4/5.
Just a little reminder:
Don’t forget you can access free eBooks and eAudio through My Library when you log onto your school portal. Just browse the catalogue or go to the News tab at the top of the My Library catalogue to find books or comics you can use on any device! Have fun and enjoy your next adventure!
To sleep in a sea of stars is what I'm reading at the moment by Christopher Paolini. Books that have stuck with me are The Chronicles of Narnia, The Folk of the Air Trilogy, Percy Jackson, The Illuminae Files, The Aurora Cycle, The Inheritance Series, Lore, The Hunger Games and many more. Some of my favourite authors are Sarah J Maas, Christopher Paolini, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. They all write captivating novels that transport you to different worlds, even universes.
My favourite genres are sci-fi and fantasy because they create fantastical worlds that are so different from our own and interesting in their own ways. I read when I'm bored, when I feel like I need time alone, in the car, on the plane, before bed, and the best place to read is in the sun on a hot day or snuggled up in your blankets with a hot drink when it's cold. I read to escape from the stress of my life and the everyday problems and events that can drain me. Reading is a recharge and an escape from real life for me.
What are you reading at the moment?
I just finished The Rich Man's House by Andrew McGahan.
About to start "Hail Mary" by Andy Weir (who wrote The Martian)
Which book/s have 'stuck with you' over the years as the best?
I loved "A wrong turn at the office of unmade lists" by Jane Rawson. It is an outrightly bizarre book, but easy reading and brilliant for its imagination.
Tiger Flu by Larissa Lai. I can't explain what is going on in this book, it was so bizarre. But I remember reading it and deliberately going slow, so that I wouldn't finish it too quick. I then bought a copy of it to give to a friend.
IQ84 by Huraki Murakami. This is set in Japan in 1984, and the main character slips into a slightly different version of reality. I love the premise of "What would the world be like if this one small thing was different". It's big, again it's weird, but really good. I can still picture the world created.
Who is your favourite author and why?
Ursula K. Le Guin is without doubt my favourite author. She wrote a lot of Science Fiction with some Fantasy. For anyone who goes "I don't like Science Fiction" then you should read some of her stuff. It's not about the other worlds or space ships, her books just use these places as a setting. But the main reason she is my favourite author is that her writing is so beautiful and poetic. There are paragraphs you'll read and then stop and go "Wow" and then read them again.
What is your favourite genre and why?
Dystopian Future (Australian is the best) is my favourite. (With Sci Fi a close second) I'm not a "Dooms-day-er" but I like to think about what would it be like if the world came to an end as we know it? I love Australian stuff because usually I can relate to the setting/landscape.
When do you find time to read?
I read after work, sometimes to help me switch off. Often after dinner. When I have a good book I make time to read.
Why do you read?
To escape into another world, to entertain and to enlighten.
Important Information for Year 12 Students!
Best wishes are extended to Year 12 next week as they commence their final exams…finally!
Please ensure that you find the time to apply for a Country Education Scholarship, if you are intending on studying at TAFE, university, or undertaking an apprenticeship. These scholarships are donated by local people and provide generous financial assistance for school leavers to pursue their dreams. Application close on 30th November. Don’t miss out! https://cef.org.au/foundations/cootamundra/
Calling all Superheroes!
Cootamundra Youth Council are hosting a Superheroes Trivia Night on Friday 19th November, 6-8pm.
There will be games for all, food provided and prizes to be won.
At the Cootamundra RSL – Wattle Room
More info at https://tinyurl.com/cyc-heroes