Issue 1 - 18 Jan 2017

Students share the Christmas spirit

Arden Junior School students enthusiastically packed 50 boxes for the School’s contribution to Operation Christmas Child (OCC).   The objective of OCC is to bring the joy of Christmas to children in developing countries.  For most, it will be the first Christmas gift they have ever received.  Each box contains something to wear, something to play with, something for school, something to love, something special and something to help them wash.

Arden Secondary School has been supporting this project for three years, but this is the first year that the whole school has participated.  A thrilled Mrs Karen Hopkins, Junior School OCC Organiser, explained:  “Packing the boxes is a hands-on and practical way the students can support children that are the same age as them living in poverty in countries overseas.  The students enjoyed the process and felt it was a lot of fun arranging the boxes knowing that they were helping children who are less fortunate than themselves.”

Atocc-packing-centre-img_3616 a Secondary level, 80 boxes were donated from students in Years 7 – 11.  The Social Justice Group (SJG) then delivered the School’s boxes and spent the afternoon helping Samaritan’s Purse process the boxes at the warehouse.  Mrs Karen Moss, Secondary School OCC Organiser, shared:  “Arden’s SJG remains committed to demonstrating the love of Jesus in a practical way.  Our involvement in this wonderful initiative allows us to serve the world’s poor and develop in students an attitude of servant heartedness.”

Tessa Marsden (2016 OCC Student Coordinator and recently appointed 2017 Social Justice Group Prefect) agreed:  “As a school, we have been actively working to share the love of Jesus to children all over the world through OCC.  Shoeboxes are such a simple thing to us, but the fact that they can have such a huge and lasting impact on someone’s life is so encouraging.”  Oliver Moss (recently appointed as Arden’s 2017 Vice Captain) concluded:  “The ability to create a loving, practical and thoughtful shoebox for a poverty-stricken child, allows us to fulfil the child’s educational and emotional needs, and give them a sense of hope.  The genuine effort and thought I see put into each shoebox is heart-warming.”

 

First place in National Mathematics Talent Quest

Finn McDonald is a young mathematics student to keep an eye on!  The talented young Arden student received first prize in the National Mathematics Talent Quest (Year 1 category) and was also awarded first place in the NSW Investigating with Mathematics Competition.  Finn’s project looked at the distribution and sales of the popular Andy Griffiths novel 65 Storey Treehouse.  An excited Finn shared:  “Maths is everywhere. I really liked using maths to investigate how popular my favourite book is.”

Two other Arden entries also achieved first place in the NSW Investigating with Mathematics Competition – Year 6 students Brandon Lam, Chloe Lam and Oliver Barry who researched mobile phone plans, and Year 3 student Caden Wu who studied the height of NBA players.

Finn was also awarded a medal for his perfect score in the Year 2 ICAS Mathematics Competition and was one of only 514 students from Australia and 100 students from New Zealand and the Pacific Region awarded medals for their outstanding achievement out of over 980,000 entries.

Arden Spectacular showcases performing arts talents of students

Arden’s biennial Kindergarten – Year 6 Dance and Music Performance evening, The Arden Spectacular: Legends, was a great success.  Held at the Chatswood Concourse on the evening of 9th September, the event showcased the many musical and artistic talents of Arden Primary School students.  Each year group performed a dance item.  In addition, the audience was treated to wonderful music-making from the Primary Concert Band, Intermediate Band, Beginner Band, Primary Vocal Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Year 2 Strings, String Ensemble, Advanced String Ensemble and Percussion.

Discussing the importance of the Arden Spectacular, Miss Tiali Fraser, Director of Teaching and Learning (Primary) explained:  “Legends was a wonderful evening which showcased and celebrated the musical talents of our students. It provided an opportunity for all students to be involved in the Performing Arts in an authentic way.  This was valuable as participation in the Performing Arts adds to the learning experiences of every student by teaching them to explore and express their feelings.  Music and dance have been shown to improve attention, memory and brain cognition, hence positively impacting on brain development and learning in other areas of the curriculum.  The Performing Arts make an effective contribution to the personal and social development of children and plays ‘an important role in inspiring and improving the whole school environment’ (Susan M. Crowe).”

Arden Alumnus Jeremy McGrath rows his way to Rio Paralympics

Arden alumnus Jeremy McGrath (Year 12, 2012) qualified his boat class for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.  It’s a dream come true for the talented rower who was named in the Australian Paralympic Team in August this year.  The LTA Mixed Coxed Four, in debut, won B Final of the LTA Mixed Coxed Four and were placed 7th in Overall Standings at the Rio Paralympic Games.

A delighted Mr Graham Anderson, Arden’s Principal shared:  “Jeremy is a wonderful example of perseverance and persistence.  Jeremy has a prosthetic foot and since graduating from Arden has passionately pursued rowing with outstanding success.  Jeremy and his team competed in Italy in April 2016 in the Legs, Trunk and Arms Mixed Coxed Four boat class.  They made history when they secured victory in the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta and in turn qualified the boat class for the Rio Paralympic Games.  It is the first time Australia has qualified in this boat class for the Paralympics.  What an outstanding achievement and opportunity for Jeremy and his team mates to compete at this elite level of sport on the international stage.”

Reflecting upon the influence of Arden on his life, Jeremy observed:  “During my time at Arden I learnt how to pursue higher standards for myself, which has assisted me in pursuing my Paralympic ambitions.  I learnt how to work hard and be resilient and persistent, which are attributes I hope to continue to have during my future sporting and working careers.”

Asidcgghb0iuiae_xp_e from rowing, Jeremy is currently a third year student in Occupational Therapy at Sydney University.  Discussing his dreams for the future, Jeremy “would love to take part in the Tokyo Paralympics Games, but whether that happens and in which sport (be it rowing or athletics) remains to be seen.”

He continued:  “I am also looking forward to finishing my course and beginning work.  I would like to work within disability and try to get people to participate in sport and recreational activities, as this is an area where I have my own personal experience and am interested in.”

Photo courtesy of Rowing Australia.

Christmas in July Trivia Night popular with parents

Arden’s P&F held their Christmas in July Trivia Night on Saturday 30th July, 2016.  The night was a great success, with members of the Arden community putting their general knowledge skills to the test in a fun and relaxed setting.  Guests enjoyed a spit roast dinner before working in table teams to face the trivia challenge.

The event was organised by Arden’s hardworking P&F whose aim is to foster and enhance social relationships for parents and children; helping them to feel connected to the school community; whilst also supporting and enriching the quality of the educational environment of Arden students through fundraising at various events throughout the year.

Students raise voices for justice

Two Year 10 students recently attended Micah Australia’s Voices for Justice Conference.  According to Arden alumna (2014), Ally Neale, who is Micah Australia’s Voices for Justice Intern: “ Voices for Justice is an initiative of Micah Australia, a coalition of Christian aid and development agencies and churches, which aims to educate and equip Australians to speak out for justice and a world free from poverty.  Voices for Justice offers a unique opportunity for students, with focused interactive training opportunities as well as the experience of meeting MPs and Senators.  Through inspiration and resourcing, students head home with tools and networks to continue seeking God’s heart for justice and working toward a world free from poverty.”

The overall theme of the conference was “Australia: A good neighbour?” and the important issues of Australian aid and Climate change were discussed in the lead up to the students’ visit to Parliament.  According to Year 10 students Amelia Quinane and Alanna Baker, highlights included hearing from a native Fijian reverend about storytelling and how it is a very important part of their culture, being involved with discussion/lobby groups, attending a “Q and A” style lecture titled “How to have a good MP meeting”, enjoying a Tongan feast and receiving policy briefings.  Attending a youth session run by Ally Neale was another highlight, with the session focused on personal narrative training and teaching students how to advocate for others, through their own story.

After absorbing two days’ worth of facts, figures and stories, the students assembled with their lobby groups in the Parliament House Foyer and attended challenging, yet exciting meetings with various politicians.  Summarising the experience, Amelia Quinane and Alanna Baker shared:  “After a challenging and exhilarating few days, we both felt very empowered and encouraged to use our voices to help those who are struggling in our neighbouring countries.  As the voters in the next election, we hope it was useful to the politicians in planning their next pitches.  Overall, this was an amazing experience and proved to us that more action needs to take place from younger generations as we have been called on to act by our brothers and sisters who still have hope.”

Readers’ Festival set to inspire students

Arden students were treated to author and illustrator workshops, a Literary Breakfast and Secondary School staff dressing up as their favourite book characters as part of Arden’s annual Readers’ Festival.  Writer, presenter and broadcaster Andrew Daddo was the special guest in the Senior School, while Junior School students were inspired by author James Roy and illustrator Frances Watts.  Author Deborah Abela was the guest speaker at the whole school Literary Breakfast.

Arden’s Head of Information Services, Mrs Gabrielle Ritchie, shared:  “The Festival is the highlight of our year.  It is wonderful for students to meet people who write foarden-readers-festival-_mg_60561r a living and each author we have had over the last four years has brought their own distinctive voice and manner of writing with them, so students have been able to see the rich diversity of books and writing that we have in Australia.  Through books we can experience life without limitations.  We can travel through time and cross gender, race and identity.  We can learn to empathise with others in their fortune and misfortune and increase our knowledge and understanding of life.”

 

Designers on display at ICON Showcase

Arden students’ creations were on display at the annual Technological and Applied Studies (TAS) ICON Showcase.   Featured works included major project work from the HSC Industrial Technology Multimedia and Design & Technology courses, as well as the Year 11 preliminary projects.  The Year 12 Industrial Technology projects included 3D Animation, 3D environments, Games, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Film and VFX (Visual Effects).  The Design and Technology projects combined tradition and innovation to produce some exciting works.

An enthusiastic Mr Trevor Bridgland, Head of Technological and Applied Studies shared “Once again Arden students have produced work of outstanding quality and creativity.  Completing a Major Work in TAS provides students with expertise in managing time and resources and equips them with valuable skills for their future study or vocations.”

Artists on show

Arden’s annual Visual Arts Showcase displayed the creative and practical talents emerging at the Secondary School, with the mature artworks of Year 12 students and the budding talents of Year 10 students (and their “Arden Archies” entries) being highlights.

Discussing the Arden Archies (where students paint a portrait of a staff member), Mrs Elizabeth Owen, Head of Visual Arts at Arden, explained:  “I hope to encourage the students to engage with the Arden community and staff and inspire them to feel like ‘real artists’.  Giving them a public forum will challenge their artmaking practice and perception of the audience and the world.”

Year 10 student Edward Lawn chose his Music Teacher, Mrs Philippa Wood, as the subject for his work.  Edward’s portrait is painted using Acrylic paint on canvas.  The reference to bamboo in the portrait was used by Edward to symbolise Mrs Wood’s role in the successful Arden 2014 China Music Tour and his planned participation in the 2017 China tour.

Year 12 Prefects slave for a good cause

Slave Day is a Prefect initiative that aims to raise awareness and funds for their Prefect charity; Youth off the Streets.  By becoming ‘Slaves’ themselves, the Prefect’s aim was to support those who are enslaved by poverty and their circumstance and are forced to live on the streets.

An auction was held in Assembly on Wednesday 18th May and raised $2,688 in auctions and, with a number of generous student and staff donations a total of $2,845.  The actual Slave Day was held on 20th May, with the Prefects attended classes with, and to the needs of, the individual or groups of students and staff who purchased them.

 

Alumnus Ben Craig follows hockey dream and joins the Kookaburras

Arden alumnus Ben Craig (2011) has followed his dream to play hockey for Australia.  In October, 2016 Ben was selected for the Kookaburras to play in the Trans-Tasman Trophy (held in Auckland) against New Zealand.  This was followed by the International Festival of Hockey Four Nations held in Melbourne against India, Malaysia and New Zealand, along with a two game test in Bendigo versus India in Bendigo.  This achievement is the culmination of Ben’s hard work and determination to do his best at hockey, combined with his ability to balance the demands of the sport with his studies and work.

When asked what he learned while at Arden, Ben shared:  “I was encouraged to pursue both sport and music in school – which lead me to find great work in one field and travel the world in the other.  I also learnt that being a good person is essential to satisfying success. Without learning how to be committed to what you do and to absolutely give it everything you have, then I’m sure I wouldn’t be in this position today.  I remember specifically understanding this during my HSC and fortunately have applied it to areas of my life post-school.  During my Year 12 experience I learnt how to be self-disciplined for a long period of time, exactly what I needed to get up at 5am for morning training to be in the position I am today.  This, however, can’t be to the exclusion of everything else in your life and it is really important to remember who you are, who the people are that mean a lot to you and that it is important to treat everyone well.”

Aside from hockey, Ben is currently undertaking his double degree – Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of International and Global Studies – at the University of Sydney.  He also teaches music and enjoys camping, boating and generally just being outdoors with friends.

Photo courtesy of Planet Hockey.

Students hungry to serve

Arden students raised $13,000 for World Vision’s 40 Hour Famine in 2016.  The fundraising was encouraged by Arden’s Social Justice Group (SJG) which helped mobilise an impressive 55 students to personally participate in the 40 Hour Famine as well as coordinating a bake stall.  A delighted Mrs Karen Moss, Arden’s Social Justice Group Coordinator, shared:  “I was very impressed by the generous spirit of those involved and their commitment to actively work towards making change in the lives of people less fortunate than ourselves.”

Mrs Moss continued:  “Arden’s SJG is a team of 45 servant hearted globally minded students who believe that they can make change.  Central to SJG is the motto of ‘Change through education and awareness, leading to community and individual action’.  Thus raising awareness and having an understanding of why we are going to act is important before we actually participate in the activity which will do good.  Leading by example is also important (in this case Arden students were encouraged to sign up to raise funds for the 40 Hour Famine as part of the Arden team)”.

In August 55 Arden students from Year 7 – Year 12 participated in the 40 Hour Famine.  One child raised sponsorship over $1,000, another raised $800, the average amount raised was $200.  Students were encouraged to join the Arden team, not only to raise much needed funds, but also so that they could experience first-hand what it is like to feel hunger.  Mrs Moss commented:  “I was very impressed that a large proportion of this year’s participants chose to make the personal sacrifice of going without food.  I felt this demonstrated their desire to empathise and more deeply understand the plight of people who experience famine on a daily basis.  So the famine became not only a fundraising experience, but a much deeper experiential learning adventure.”

Apart from their individual efforts, the SJG also organised the ‘Bake and Buy for Bangladesh’ sale where $739 was raised by Secondary School students through the efforts of a wide range of students.

Secondary Sports Highlights

Arden awarded HZSA Best Performing Hills Zone School for third year in a row

Foopen-boys-volleyball-hzsa-championsr the third year running Arden was awarded the HZSA Best Performing Hills Zone school percentage shield. In the Hills Zone Arden also finished 2nd in all the HZSA competitions and carnivals. This is amazing result when you consider that Arden is the second smallest school in the zone.

Arden has had a very successful year of HZSA Sport competing in all the competition on offer.  The School has also expanded the sporting program by entering two teams in competitions, where possible.  The following teams are congratulated for their excellent achievements:

  • 1st – Junior Girls Division B Netball, Open Boys Volleyball
  • 2nd Junior Girls Hockey, Junior Boys Indoor Cricket (Year 7), Senior Boys Football
  • 3rdJunior Boys Futsal, Senior Boys Touch, Open Boys Basketball, Junior Boys Basketball, Senior Girls Futsal.

Strong sports participation at Arden

2016 was another successful year of sport at Arden, with many students participating in representative carnivals, sporting teams and representative sport.

Participation in the three major sporting carnivals was again exceptional. Congratulations to the following Houses on their success:  Swimming – Birnam, Cross Country – Birnam, Athletics – Sherwood.

Sporting achievements celebrated at Sports Presentation Assembly

In September Arden recognised the outstanding contributions students have made in sport for 2016 and their dedication at the annual Presentation Assembly.  The guest presenters were Olivia Cason (Arden alumna 2015, a World Juniors 400m runner and Arden’s 2015 Sport Prefect) and Mrs Suzanne Atkins (Director of Carlingford School of Dance).

The assembly was led by 2016 Sport Prefects, Grace Craig and Cooper Pascoe. This year Arden also recognised the Year 12 students who have made a great contribution to sport at Arden

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Theatresports continues to thrive at Arden

Ardethatresports2n’s Junior Theatresports night was held in October, with the team with the highest score at the end of the performance going through to represent Arden in the ImproAustralia Junior Theatresports Challenge later in Term 4.  Then in November, an end of year performance night for all the teams was held and proved to be a fun night, as always.

Earlier in the year, Arden’s Senior Theatresports team made it into the Grand Final at the Enmore Theatre.

 

Artists gain places in prestigious art school course

Two Year 11 Visual Art students from Arden were accepted into the 2016 National Art School’s Intensive Studio Practice Course.  This is an exciting opportunity for the students as the course is designed to enrich and extend their study within a choice of seven specialised disciplines.  The course is targeted at students who are seeking to further their studies in Visual Arts to a tertiary level.  The students’ success at this course will be recorded on their HSC and their work will be formally assessed by National Art School staff.

The rachel-egan-with-isabella-sellick-lhs-teacher-and-dana-gacutan-6762budding artists attended studio workshops in the July 2016 holidays and continued to extend their Visual Arts practice in the October holidays, at the National Art School.  They were involved in the preparation of a formal exhibition of their body
of work upon completion of the course.  Rachael Egan studied Life Drawing while Catherine McCartney chose Ceramics.

 

Students embark on life changing mission

41 Year 11 students and five teachers went to Vietnam and Cambodia on the annual Extra Mile Mission Tour in the June/July holidays.  Before leaving, the group raised $34,000 to donate to these communities.  During the img_2810Mission, students renovated a school playground, built 14 houses, planted mango trees, played with and cared for children in orphanages and visited a Cambodian school.  The team also learnt about the history of the countries they were serving, which gave students an insight into what hardships these countries are facing and why. This understanding enhanced their care and compassion for the locals they interacted with and filled them with a strong desire to help make a difference in their lives.

When asked about the Mission impact, Owen Marsden-Readford (Year 11), shared:  “The trip has not only given me perspective as to our wealth in Australia, but also challenged me to have more of an impact and live my life in less of a safe, western bubble.”  A proud Mrs Elizabeth Dunn, Cambodia and Vietnam Mission Tour Coordinator, concluded:  “The students got a taste of the different types of physical mission work you can do to help others in need and got ideas on how they could serve in the future.  I was incredibly proud of their Christlike compassion with which they tackled every day.  They truly embodied our Arden values of Hope, Compassion, Love, Service, Courage and Respect.”

 

Crafty students ‘share the love’

While Arden’s Secondary School students have enthusiastically participated in Wrap with Love for many years, in 2016 a new group was started.  Miss Tiali Fraser, Director of Teaching and Learning (Primary) explained:  “We hope that the Junior School Service Group will be a meaningful way to continue to build community spirit and a sense of the value of service whilst developing personal connections amongst our girls.  It should also serve to further reinforce our current focus area of Respect, through demonstrating care and compassion for others.”

The group met weekly to knit (or crochet) squares which will be made into blankets and distributed to people in need all over the world.  Miss Fraser shared:  “The group knitted a massive 126 squares – equating to 4½ blankets for Wrap with Love.  This is an enormous effort and such a wonderful way to give to others in need.”

Miss Fraser continued:  “Recently Arden’s Year 8 SWAM (Students with a Mission) group joined our team.  The Secondary students have offered to knit the Junior School squares into rugs ready to send off to the Wrap with Love Foundation.”  While together, the SWAM students shared their knitting stories and brought along a finished blanket to show the Primary students what happens to the squares they knit.  Participants were also updated about places Wrap with Love have sent blankets to this year.

In 2016 SWAM donated an impressive 20 blankets to Wrap with Love.  An excited SWAM Coordinator, Mrs Jo Webb shared:  “Since 2008 SWAM have donated a total of 148 blankets to Wrap with Love!  You are a part of this, making a practical difference in someone’s life!”

Students build empathy through Slum Survivor experience

Year 8 Arden students experienced a night with a difference at the annual ‘Slum Survivor’ event.  As part of the School’s Geography and Christian Studies program, the students had a 17 hour simulated experience of what it might be like to live in a developing world slum overnight in November.  Mrs Karen Moss, Head of Geography, explained:  “This experiential learning activity aims to enhance students’ perspective as global citizens, building upon their classroom studies on poverty and inequality.  At Arden, we believe that the development of the student should encompass intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth and this simulation is an appropriate way of developing all these qualities.”

The event has now been run for five years and aims to help the students experience empathy for people in need.  As Mr Matthew Mallison, Head of Middle School, explained:  “The experience can change the perspective of the students about living in poverty as they have to do jobs to earn food, find their own water, build their own slum to sleep in (built from scavenged materials), endure being exploited by power-hungry ‘slum lords’ (the Prefects!) and experience what it is like to have very few rights.”

When asked how Slum Survivor has changed his perspective, William Massey shared:  “It has opened my eyes to the hardships those living in extreme poverty must go through everyday of their lives and has inspired me to make a difference in this world.”

Mijin Choi summed up the Slum Survivor experiential learning opportunity well when she said:  “Slum Survivor has helped me get a glimpse of how hard it actually is to live in a third world country.  Even though we learnt about slums in class, it didn’t really help us to see how hard it actually is until we really did it.”

Arden community swings the night away

Arden Swings proved a great success.  Mrs Philippa Wood, Coordinator of Co-curricular Music at Arden, shared:  “Arden Swings is a wonderful opportunity to bring together the Arden community on a night of jazz muarden-swings-img_6445-1sic, dancing, games and fundraising.  This evening is a key event for the Arden Jazz Ensemble and Stage Band as our musicians provide the night’s entertainment, as well as fundraising for our China Music Tour in April, 2017.  Being the evening’s entertainment is a significant challenge for our jazz musicians as they have to prepare a lot of music to a high standard to present to a paying room full of people.  The students get such a kick out of seeing adults dancing and having fun to the music they are playing.”

Another highlight was the special guest appearance of professional musician and Arden alumni Frances Madden (2008) and her band.

 

First in IPSHA Public Speaking Competition

Arden ipshastudent Brandon Lam (Year 6) was awarded first place in the IPSHA Public Speaking Competition held on 10th November, 2016.  Brandon attended with Hayley Goodlace (Year 5) and Sophie Thompson (Year 6).

All presented their speeches on heroes to an adjudicator, and Brandon was one of seven students selected for the finals including an impromptu speech.  Brandon has been given the responsibility of deciding where the prize money – a $100 donation to his charity of choice – will go!

Year 10 student off on Exchange to Denmark

Elise Williams (Year 10) attended a private ceremony with John Alexander OAM, MP for Bennelong in August.  During the ceremony she was presented with an Australian Flag to present to the Danish school she will be attending during her five month student exchange.  Mr Simon Przydacz, Head of Senior School, shared:  “This was a lovely occasion in recognition of her being awarded an SCCE Exchange Scholarship.”

Mr Przydacz continued:  “Over the past 10 years, Arden has had a significant involvement in exchange programs with numerous inbound and outbound students.  The benefits to our students and School of hosting exchange students are significant, broadening connections, cultures, language and much, much more. The benefits to our outbound students are also
substantial; whether for language, cultural, self-confidence or a whole host of other reasons, our students certainly embrace a unique learning experience that encoexchangeurages development of global citizenship. In the early years we had a strong link with Rotary; however, in recent times the majority of our exchanges have been through Southern Cross Cultural Exchange. Indeed this year we have welcomed two French exchange students Phileas and Leo through SCCE into Year 10, who overlapped across Terms 1 – 3.  Leo finished his time in Australia in August, while his host sister, Elise Williams, headed to Denmark on her Exchange with SCCE in August.”

Students write best book in Australia for Write a Book in a Day Competition

Arden students won the National Best Book (Primary division) in the 2016 Write a Book in a Day Competition.  This followed on their success in receiving Best Book NSW (Primary division) and also a Highly Commended for their fundraising efforts ($1,548) for the Kids’ Cancer Project.

Budding authors are given 12 hours to write, edit, illustrate, review and print a 2,000 word novel suitable for children aged 10 – 14 years. Completed books are presented to children in hospital.  A team of 10 Arden Junior School students from Years 5 – 6 collaborated on a book called “Potato Predicament”.

The students gained a lot from the experience, with Hayley Goodlace (Year 5) reflecting:  “As soon as we got the parameters, we all started brainstorming ideas that we could see would come together to make a great book.  Working together as a team helped us to accomplish our goals and become closer than ever.  It was a great experience and a great day to show our skills.’’

write-a-book-in-a-day-img_1975

 

 

 

Students follow STEM passion in da Vinci Decathlon

Arden students followed their passion for all things STEM, by participating in the da Vinci Decathlon in May.  Eight Arden students from Year 7 and eight students from Year 8 competed in the decathlon, which tested students’ intellect, creativity and critical thinking as applied to the theme of Exploration.  The students worked collaboratively in each of the following areas:  Science, Creative Producers, English, Philosophy, Art & Poetry, Mathematics, Engineering, Cartography, Code Breaking and General Knowledge.

With over 120 teams involved in the Stage 4 competition, competition was strong.  Out of Year 7 teams, Arden students achieved 5th place in Engineering.  In Year 8, Arden students achieved 6th place in Engineering and 7th place in Code Breaking.

Year 10 also participated and continued to show strength in STEM by creating a clever Martian Human Habitat on a budget (and with limited supplies).  Their creation narrowly missed the top few places out of 140 teams in the competition.

New Horizons Program extends learning for students

Arden keeps students learning right to the end of the year through its annual New Horizons program which is offered to all Year 5 – 6 students.  Program founder, Year 5 teacher, Mrs Marilyn Cox explained:  “The program was originally designed to provide students with opportunities to extend their learning beyond the classroom.  Over the years it has continued to encourage children to explore many different areas of interest.  Each year a fresh and vibrant program is developed.  The week-long program can ignite new sparks for learning now and in the future.”

Students are offered a range of workshops to choose from, with choices as varied as Digital Claymation, Cooking, Lego Robotics, Barefoot Bowling, Dance, Drama, Fencing, Impasto Art, Karate and Bike Riding.

This successfully run program involves a partnership between the Arden Staff, parents, students and many different workshop facilitators.  Some workshop tutors run local businesses or are themselves artists with expertise and experience which they willingly share with Arden’s young learners.

new-hozizons-fencing-img_1493 new-horizons-impasto-img_1502

Teacher recognised as one of BOSTES Lead Teachers

Arden’s Director of Teaching and Learning (Secondary), Mr Joshua Harnwell, is one of only 59 NSW teachers recently recognised by Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) as being a Lead Teacher, along with 92 other teachers who have achieved Highly Accomplished Teacher status.  He was one of only a handful of educational leaders from independent schools in NSW to have been recognised at this highest level.

Mr Graham Anderson, Arden’s Principal said:  “We commend Joshua Harnwell on his achievement as a Lead Teacher.  His commitment to striving for professional excellence and passion for enhancing our teachers’ professional learning is benefitting the entire Arden community.  Our vision at Arden is to cultivate a thriving learning community, where students are offered a well-rounded education where they are well known, well cared for and well taught.  While we have always done this, awards such as Joshua’s recognise that we are pursuing this vision with fresh intent, professionalism and great passion.”

Mr Harnwell shared:  “Having gone through the accreditation process positions me well to assist and encourage other staff in their accreditation.  This systematic analysis of one’s own teaching is essential to continue to improve teaching and learning and work for the best student outcomes possible.”