Issue 3 - 21 Sep 2017

Students go the extra mile for Cambodia and Vietnam

A team of 39 Year 11 students and five staff were involved in the Cambodia/Vietnam mission, the Extra Mile Project.  They organised a series of school fundraising activities and raised close to $26,000 to fund all the projects they undertook.  These included renovating a school in Vietnam, building two school classrooms in Cambodia and planting over 100 mango trees.  They also donated to various charities including two schools, Sunshine Cambodia, Cambodian Women’s Crisis Centre, an orphanage for disabled children and 600kg of rice to needy villagers.

Mrs Rebecca Hall, Cambodia and Vietnam Mission Coordinator shared:  “The Project has been a major School service activity for the past nine years and aligns with Arden’s Vision and Mission of providing educational opportunities to develop confident, capable global citizens who will have the experiences and skills as graduates to help transform the communities in which they will live and work in the future.”

Mrs Hall continued:  “Students have described how they developed a greater appreciation for their own life circumstances, for the community in which they live and the service opportunities available to them as young Australian citizens.  They also reflected positively on the personal connections they had made with the children and the families in the communities where we worked and the joy they experienced meeting these people and sharing in their lives.”

Emma Davies (Year 11) shared:  “I enjoyed working at the English language school because it gave me an opportunity to connect with and really help the kids on a personal level”.  While Bethany Groenestyn (Year 11) commented:  “I loved the school renovation in Cambodia as I felt that we accomplished so much and it was good to see everyone working together.”

Arden proactively manages and adapts mission itineraries each year.  The school has been mindful of the orphanage issues there and has worked diligently to ensure the itinerary factors in the latest research on these issues.  The focus of the mission has always been on service-based activities, usually involving physical labour.  For example, renovating schools, building houses for villagers and planting mango trees.

Four students receive Gold Duke of Edinburgh

Four students have received their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards this year, with three students currently in Year 12 – Joyce Lim, Maja Pavic and Emily Hestelow – while Clare Lawrence graduated in 2014.  This result is especially impressive given only a small percentage of participants who commence the Bronze Award, ever go on to complete Gold whilst still at school.

Miss Julia Hepworth, Arden’s Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Coordinator, said:  “Arden has been involved with the Duke of Edinburgh Award for over 10 years and it is a key component of the Year 9 Co-curricular program.  All Year 9 students are encouraged to complete the award, with many then choosing to complete Silver and Bronze Awards.  In 2016 Arden was one of the top schools for Duke Registrations.”

Discussing the benefits of the program, Miss Hepworth shared:  “The program is an excellent way for students to engage in their community.  It teaches perseverance and commitment.  Students are able to pursue their passions and also serve the community.  The program teaches life-long skills of organisation and time management.  Students are challenged and often participate outside of their comfort zone, but this in turn develops character and instills in them a sense of adventure and the knowledge that they can achieve if they take the first step.”

Reflecting upon the whole experience, Joyce Lim (Year 12) shared:  “This award is challenging to acquire, but truly self-rewarding.  With each level you begin to understand that you are limitless, and with the right attitude you can preserve and break through any challenge.  Throughout this incredible experience, you meet amazing people, form strong friendships, make life-long memories, and see Australia’s natural wonders.”

Musicians showcase talents

What a busy term it has been for our Ensemble musicians, with rehearsal days, Vocal and Guitar Soiree, Music Ensembles Showcase and performances for the Trial HSC Music exam, Open Day, assembly and Arden Fair.  The State Band Championships were another highlight, with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Concert Band achieving excellent results.  Mrs Philippa Wood, Coordinator of Co-Curricular Music, shared:  “We are so proud of the commitment and grit shown by our musicians as they have juggled their busy schedules to uphold their commitment to their ensembles.”

Ms Elizabeth Moore, Head of Music, added: “I am very proud of the Secondary Vocal Ensemble’s (SVE) achievements.  The standard has certainly lifted to yet another level.  SVE, our vocal ensemble representing students from Year 7 through to 12 are all part of a very important team that represents the soul and fabric of our amazing community.”

Our Year 12 music students have been rehearsing diligently for the HSC Music examinations. We celebrate the vocal and instrumental talents of these students.

Arden celebrates sports achievers

Arden celebrated the outstanding contribution Secondary School students have made in sport for 2017 at its annual Sports Presentation Assembly on 23rd August, 2017.  Guest presenters were Mr Phil Tubby (an Australian Life Saving Champion) and Mrs Suzanne Atkins (Director of Carlingford School of Dance).

Mr Tubby talked about the importance of dreaming big and then working hard to achieve your goal.  The assembly recognised Year 12 students who have made a great contribution to 2017 Sport at Arden while also celebrating 10 years of dance at the school.  Mrs Jenny Lee, Arden’s Head of Sport, commented:  “It has been wonderful to recognise the dedication of our students to sport at Arden.  We have been so successful in our sporting achievements this year due to the commitment and participation of all our students.”



Other sports highlights in Term 3 have included:

HZSA Weekly Competition

  • Inter and Senior Girls Netball- Runners-Up
  • Senior Girls Touch Runners-Ups

 Cross Country

  • Girls Hills Zone Champions
  • Overall HZSA Runners-up


  • Boys Hills Zone Champions
  • Girls Runners-Up
  • Overall-HZSA Runners-Up

 Overall, Arden achieved 2nd Place for Champion School 2017.

Celebrating 10 years of Dance

Recently we celebrated 10 years of dance at Arden.  Mrs Melissa Colllins, Arden’s Dance Coordinator, shared:  “After approximately 95 performances over the 10 years, our groups have continued to grow and develop on the performing stage.  Eisteddfods, festivals, Performing Arts Nights, assemblies, presentation night and Arden Fair appearances, have all given our students the opportunity to display their creativity and abilities in a range of dance genres.”

Recent highlights have included placing in the Baulkham Hill Shire Dance Eisteddfod (Jazz 1st place, Contemporary 1st place), The North West Dance Stars competition (Jazz 2nd place, Contemporary 3rd place), as well as Arden Fair performances.  Arden’s dancers were also recognised at the School’s annual Sports Presentation Assembly, with Lara Hutcheson and Courtney Chung both awarded Most Promising Dancer Award, while Maja Pavic was presented with the Commitment to Dance Award.

Students gain experience of poverty and refugee displacement

Understanding the practical realities of poverty and displacement is an important part of developing as a global citizen.  Social Justice Group (SJG) members have gained a better understanding of these challenges through involvement in the ‘Live Below The Line Food (LBTL) Challenge’ and World Vision’s ‘Backpack Challenge’.

The LBTL experience challenged 30 SJG members to live for one day on just $2.00, the globally recognised line of poverty, while Laura Dimarco (Year 10), bravely took the challenge for five days.  Laura shared:  “LBTL not only helps raise funds for developing nations, but helped us understand and briefly experience the issue of poverty by giving us a tiny insight into the daily struggle that so many have.”

15 students participated in the Backpack Challenge, raising $5,500 for refugee and displaced children.  Participants were challenged to fill their backpack with whatever essentials they thought they would need to get them through 40 hours.  Mrs Karen Moss, Social Justice Group Coordinator, concluded:  “I am so proud of the students who accepted the challenge to temporarily ‘step inside’ the life of a refugee and negotiate the difficult daily challenges it entails.  It is evidence, yet again, that Arden students not only know about inequality and suffering, but understand that the individual can bring about change to the lives of these people.”

A record of 31 blankets donated to Wrap With Love

The co-curricular group Students with a Mission (SWAM) has been working hard over the past year, knitting squares and sewing these into an impressive 31 blankets for Wrap With Love via Hornsby Library’s Community Knit In.  These blankets are then given to organisations supporting people in poverty or experiencing trauma, with this year’s blankets part of a shipment for World Vision and Syria.  Since 2008 SWAM has donated 179 completed blankets to Wrap With Love.

Mrs Joanne Webb, SWAM Coordinator, reflected:  “The School Values of Service, Compassion and Love are clearly evident in the passion and commitment SWAM members demonstrate as they meet each week to work on this project.  We are also very grateful to the members of the School community who regularly donate wool, completed squares and knitting needles to support this project.”

A note from the Registrar

There have been so many wonderful events at both the Junior and Secondary campus’ over the last term.  One of the best things about being part of the Arden community is allowing the individual to find their ‘spark’ – be it through performing in our Musical Showcases, taking part in our Readers’ Festival or tending the soil in our new Community Garden.

We invite you to visit us at an upcoming Tour or Open Morning to hear more about the opportunities available to students at Arden, both in the classroom and in the wider school community.

Term 4 Pre-School and Primary Open Morning – Wednesday 1st November 9am.

Term 4 Secondary School Tours – Friday 20th October 8.45am and Wednesday 15th November 8.45am.

Bookings for tours are essential.  Please go to to reserve your place.

An update on the enrolment process for specific year groups is provided below.  For the most up to date information on enrolments, please refer to the Current Waitlist page of our web site which is updated regularly or contact our Enrolments team on 9484 1146 or

2019 Kindergarten – The enrolment process for this year group will begin shortly.  All families who have already submitted Application Forms will be contacted and asked to confirm interest and update all contact details.  Siblings of existing students who have submitted Applications will be offered priority interviews in Term 4 and remaining external places will be offered throughout Term 1 and Term 2, 2018. Any families who are yet to submit an Application Form, and would like to secure a place on the waiting list, should do so as soon as possible.  We have a very long waiting list for this year group.

2019 Pre-School – The enrolment process for this year group will begin early in 2018. All families who have already submitted Application Forms will be contacted and asked to confirm interest and update all contact details.  Siblings of existing students who have submitted an Application will be offered priority interviews in Term 1, and remaining external places will be offered throughout Term 1 and Term 2, 2018.  Any families who are yet to submit an Application Form and would like to secure a place on the waiting list should do so as soon as possible.

2018 Year 7 – A limited number of places have now become available. Please continue to check the Current Waitlist section of our website for updates.

2019 Year 7 – The majority of places in Year 7, 2019 have been offered and confirmed.  We anticipate some further places will become available later in 2018.  Families should continue to check the Current Waitlist section of our website for updates.  Anyone interested in this Year Group is strongly encouraged to submit an Application Form for their child, as soon as possible to gain a place on the Year 7 waiting list or alternatively families may like to consider pursuing a place in Year 6, 2018.

2020 Year 7 – The enrolment process for this year group will begin shortly.  All families who have already submitted Application Forms will be contacted and asked to confirm interest and update all contact details.  Siblings of existing students who have submitted Applications will be offered priority interviews in Term 4 this year and remaining external places will be offered throughout Term 1 and Term 2, 2018.  Any families who are yet to submit an Application Form and would like to secure a place on the waiting list should do so as soon as possible.  We have had significant interest in this year group.

2021 Year 7 and beyond – There are healthy waiting lists for entry to Year 7 in 2021 – 2025. Families with siblings of future students are encouraged to submit Applications to avoid disappointment.  Attending an Open Morning is a great way to find out more about the educational offering at Arden, see the School in action and learn more about the exciting development plans for our Epping Campus.

Alumnus Timothy Graham a lifelong learner

 Timothy Graham (2008) describes himself as “inveterate university student”.  He completed a Bachelor of Art Theory (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts majoring in International Relations at the University of New South Wales and the College of Fine Arts (COFA).  Since then, he has been studying part-time for a Diploma in Laws while working for a family law firm.

Timothy lists the 2005 Europe Trip as a favourite memory.  “It was my first time on the continent and being able to experience Italy, France and England with close friends and within an educational context was invaluable,” Timothy said.

“Arden fostered my intellectual abilities and creative interests. Teachers were truly passionate about their subject specialisations.  Students meaningfully engaged with the subject materials, and this was reflected in excellent academic performance.  Students were also given opportunities outside the classroom.  I, for instance, participated in Tournament of the Minds, the Personal Interest Project and the National Art School HSC Intensive Studio course,” said Timothy.  He concluded:  “Arden helped to found and stoke my intellectual and creative pursuits, and gave me confidence in my abilities.  This has been of inestimable assistance in both my tertiary academic and work careers thus far.”

Spring Fair fun

We were once again blessed with perfect weather for the P and F’s 95th Anniversary Spring Fair.  The crowds started arriving early and by 7:00am the first eager fair goers were through the gates – no doubt hoping to be able to choose the best cake, a bargain at the vintage wares stall or perhaps a bacon and egg roll from the BBQ.

A steady stream of people continued throughout the day enjoying the rides, entertainment and food on offer.  The atmosphere was typically “Arden” – warm, friendly and welcoming to all.  Highlights of the day included a talk in our new community garden by TV/radio personality Graham Ross and a visit from author Belinda Murrell.  Our community garden provided produce to sell at the new market garden stall and an expansion of our entertainment program saw the addition of a second mini stage in the CMC.  We now look forward to 2019 when we will enjoy our next Spring Fair.

Budding community garden opens

Junior School’s Community Garden was officially opened in July, with Garden Club members recognising the wonderful community partnerships and support received from staff, parent and grandparent volunteers, Bunnings stores and the School’s Parents & Friends’ Association.  The garden was instigated by a committed group of parents and staff including Mrs Jackie Isenegger, Director of Development, who is also a parent at the School.  “This exciting learning environment provides opportunities for leadership, creativity and initiative as children discover they can make a difference in their own way.  The experience will help our students to learn responsibility and equip them with constructive life skills to take home to their own gardens,” said Mrs Isenegger.


Mr Rutherford, an Ecologist at Kimbriki, gave an educational and humorous speech at the opening.  He shared that he was impressed by the amazing energy and creative use of the space and partnerships which had been created and discussed the innate need of children to get back to the earth.

The delight and exuberance of Garden Club members was evident at the Opening as was their pride in the garden they have created.   Students have enjoyed working as a team and deepening friendships, sharing their handiwork with others, learning how to grow fruit and vegetables and harvesting the garden produce for the recent Fair.  Charlotte Slade-Smith (Year 6) summarised:  “This beautiful new garden is not only an exciting learning environment but a haven for many.”

English and History Extension showcases students’ hard work

HSC English Extension 2 and History Extension Year 12 Major Works were shared at the school’s annual Showcase.  Mrs Ariana Ryan, Head of English, shared:  “Each student’s work was displayed and enjoyed by all.  Madison Hill and Isabella Sellick also explained the process, tasks, challenges and rewards associated with English Extension 2 and read extracts from their short stories.  We are very proud of all our 2017 English Extension 2 students.”   Mr Rod Henderson, Head of HSIE added: “All History Extension students are to be congratulated for their dedication, innovation and application in this subject.  Harry and Thomas are to be especially commended for the engaging and provocative way they made their areas of historical investigation come alive for their audience.  Their works remind us that the study of History is the study of our own humanity”.

Readers’ Festival celebrates the wonderful world of books

Books and reading were celebrated at the annual Readers’ Festival, with students enjoying author and illustrator workshops, a Literary Breakfast and the fun of Secondary School staff dressing as book characters.

James O’Loghlin, comedian, media personality and author spoke at the Literary Breakfast, before heading to the Secondary School where he imparted his knowledge of writing and reading in separate sessions to students in Years 8, 11 and 12.

Secondary Visual Arts students had the advantage of workshops with award winning illustrator Liz Anelli.  Meanwhile Year 3 – 6 students were thrilled to have writer and illustrator Gus Gordon and author Sandy Fussell return to share more of their expertise.

Head of Information Services, Mrs Gabrielle Ritchie, concluded:  “Story-tellers are respected and valued in our culture and it is good to sit and listen to their wisdom and that is what we did at Arden during the Readers’ Festival.”

Sherprize Day

Sherprize Day was a very successful day filled with blue pancakes, basketball, soccer, cakes, lollies and sausages.  Blue mufti added to the fun of the day, with winners for ‘Best Dressed Blue’.

The Sherwood House event raised $2,140.00 for the Sunshine Centre in Cambodia.  This centre has been supported by the school for many years and works to prevent the sale of children for sexual exploitation or cheap labour in underprivileged and poverty stricken areas of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Artists envisage diverse creations

Showcasing the creative and practical talents emerging at the Secondary School, the annual Art Exhibition featured Years 7 to 12 artworks and was entitled “Envisage”.

On display were a diverse range of Year 12 HSC Body of Work and Year 10 ‘Arden Archies’ artworks.  Another highlight was the Year 11 Mini Body of Work.  Edward Lawn (Year 11) chose photomedia as his expressive form for his Body of Work.  “Epping is undergoing such rapid development and change that it is easy to overlook the history of the place.  I took photos in the same places as photos from 100 years ago to compare them with how they look today.  Through the juxtaposition of the past with the present, my aim is to capture these traces of Epping’s past before they disappear,” said Edward.  Mrs Eizabeth Owen, Head of Visual Arts, felt Edward’s work was “very interesting and timely given Arden’s 95th Anniversary and also the redevelopment of Epping.”

Pre-Schoolers learn from Seed, Harvest and Spoon experience

Pre-Schoolers enjoyed engaging with nature and learning about sustainability through our Seed, Harvest and Spoon incursions.  Held over four weeks, they were educated about recycling, worm farming, vegie patches and water conservation.

They were taught how to build a compost bin and what to compost.  They gained a better understanding of the importance and management of worm farming, using the Pre-School’s existing worm farm.  They learned about where water comes from and how to use it wisely.  Finally, students had the opportunity to plant seeds for themselves.  They made newspaper pots for radish seed planting and also created two new vegetable gardens planted with broccolini, silverbeet, herbs and bok choy and enjoyed watching them grow.

Mrs Linda Bialous, Pre-School Director, commented:  “The children learned so much from this experience.  They asked lots of thoughtful questions and it was exciting to hear that they have been applying this knowledge both at school and home.”

Mathematicians’ hard work adds up to success

Arden has again placed first in several divisions in the Mathematical Association NSW ‘Annual Investigating with Mathematics Competition’.  Arden students will now go onto compete at a National level.  Dr Gabrielle Oslington, Arden’s Gifted and Talented Coordinator, explained:  “Finding opportunities for high ability students to develop their learning in a flexible and relevant way, is one of the most satisfying parts of catering for these admirable young people.”

Finn McDonald (Year 2), a second time winner with his individual project on hyperlinks transport between Australia and New Zealand, loves considering the mathematics of seemingly impossible questions.

Along with the Year 6 small group winners – Charlotte Goddard, Hayley Goodlace and Ganaarthy Srirangan, Finn emphasises the need to keep working through the challenges. “Persistence is key when working as a team,” added Hayley. A passion for mathematics extends way beyond number work, with Ganaarthy describing the challenges of the competition as being really fun, highlighting the satisfaction of working together on a stimulating and self-directed project. Hayley Goodlace concluded:  “I like how Mathematics is heavily involved in everyday life, so there is always something new to learn.”

Visual Arts Camp

The Years 9 to 11 Camp on Arthur Boyd’s property, Bundanon immerses students in art processes and culture.  Mrs Elizabeth Owen, Head of Visual Arts, explained “Art Camp is a wonderful learning opportunity as it relates to the practical and theory component of the Syllabus, applies to all Secondary artmaking programmes and is linked to their critical and historical case studies.  The HSC Body of Work requirements are also discussed; development of conceptual and material practice, decision making and project management skills.”

Activities included painting landscapes, creating natural sculptures inspired by environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy, indigenous storytelling and weaving a rope or string out of natural reeds.  A tour of Boyd’s house, studio and art works was another highlight, with Genevieve Smith (Year 11) sharing:  “We gained insightful detail into the life of Arthur Boyd and a deeper understanding of his work and the reasoning behind it.  From studying Boyd’s work to seeing each piece in real-life, we became more motivated to learn about his practice and improve on our own.”

Year 10 succeed at their Work Experience placements

Year 10 students gained a taste of possible future careers through the annual work experience program.  Students sourced their placements with the support of their parents and the Career’s Adviser.  During placement they were supported by contact with their class teachers.

Mrs Beverley Paskin, Careers Adviser, shared:  “Work Experience is a unique opportunity to forge community partnerships for the benefit of students.  By the end of the week the students have made great contacts and have gained an experience of the workplace to write on their resumes.”

The program encourages students to consider both short and long term career possibilities.  For example, Jackson Langford said he would consider trying to get a job at his work experience placement whilst studying at university, whilst Laura Dimarco shared:  “Now that work experience is over I wonder if I will become a surgeon or surgical nurse.  I am more aware of the medical industry now, and I am now more interested in specialising in surgery.”

School alive with music

With over half of Arden’s student body in the Upper Primary involved in ensembles, the School has been alive with music this term.  The annual Junior School Band Camp provided students with a fantastic opportunity to strengthen their music-making skills.  This was excellent preparation for the Primary Proms, IPSHA Combined Schools’ Festival and Arden Spring Fair.

All students enjoyed the experience of the Primary Proms which treated audiences to a rich variety of performances from all the ensembles and Year 2.  Their enthusiasm and skill showcased the high standard of music at Arden.

In late August Arden musicians performed at the IPSHA Combined School’s Festival.  The Primary Vocal Ensemble, Primary Concert Band and Percussion Ensemble all shone on the night, as did the Arden musicians who performed with other IPSHA schools for the combined Choir and Band.  A proud Mrs Lis James, Music Coordinator, shared:  “Arden’s item was of a high quality and the generous applause was well deserved.  Phrases such as ‘ they sang so beautifully and with such clarity’, ‘the harmonies were beautiful’ and ‘the percussion item was amazing’ and ‘stunning’ came not only from people we know, but also staff and parents from other schools.”

The visit by Musica Viva’s ‘Acoustic Odyssey’ was enthusiastically received by every child from Kindergarten to Year 6.  The performers commented on the wonderful interest and reception from the Arden audience.

Instrument tutorials continue to thrive with over 60 students participating in our in-school programme.

Primary Sports Highlights

Term 3 has been an action packed term with many different sport opportunities available to students including IPSHA Saturday sport competitions for Netball, Rugby and Football (with Hockey and Minkey played in Term 2).  All Year 3 students have also been participating each week in the HZSA Football competition.  This represents their first opportunity to compete against other schools from the Hills area, with both the boys and girls teams performing very well and demonstrating great team work and sportsmanship.

The Kindergarten – Year 6 School Athletics Carnival was held at the Sydney Olympic Park Warm-Up Arena in August and we were blessed with a wonderful sunny day at an outstanding venue.  The participation and performances of the students were excellent, as was the House spirit. Sherwood was declared Overall Champion House.  Over 40 students then competed at the IPSHA Athletics Carnival held on Tuesday 29th August with many Personal Best performances being achieved.  Additionally, ten students finished in the top 20 in their event.

Individual sporting achievements

  • Cricket: Olivia Maxwell (Year 6) has been selected into the CIS Primary Girls Cricket team for the second year running and will compete at the NSWPSSA Championships in October.
  • Golf: Vidur Subramaniam (Year 5) placed close fourth in the inaugural USA Kids Australian Open in January, won the US Kids Autumn Tour 2017 and also won the D grade Saturday competition at Ryde Parramatta Golf Club a couple of times.  His next challenge will be competing as part of the NSWCIS Primary Golf Team at the NSWPSSA Golf Championships in September.
  • BMX bike riding: One year ago, Jonny Valenta (Year 5) made a pledge to do a backflip on his BMX bike just a year later on Channel 9’s This Time Next Year   Jonny returned to the show to honour his pledge (aired on 7th August) and successfully achieved his goal.


Photo courtesy of This Time Next Year.