Principal's Newsletter, Week 7, Term 4, 2017

posted Dec 4, 2017, 6:32 PM by Ms. Connors

Principal’s Report

 I would like to take this opportunity to thank all teachers for their amazing work this term. In term 4 it is a whirlwind of setting exams, marking exams and writing reports for year 7, 8, 9 and 10 as well as doing the same for the first HSC assessment period for year 11 (Yr 12 2018). I would also like to thank the office staff for all they do in ensuring that all reports are ready before the end of the year.

Planning for 2018 continues with a new calendar, a diary for students, theatre groups booked, carnivals organised, dates for special events and of course Orientation Day and Presentation Day and the end of year concert at the Concourse. Please make sure you purchase your tickets from the accounts office.

On Monday year 10 had their presentation ceremony for the Urban Challenge. I think the students were just as excited as they were following their path and solving puzzles around Sydney. The winning team was number 4. Photos have been added to the newsletter so you can see their joy. I must admit I do think the teachers were just as excited to hear the result of the challenge.

Tuesday was the Year 7 Gala day. Year 7 students were placed in teams with some Yr 9 PASS students who acted as their coaches.

On Monday Mrs Golding and I attended a course on how to plan for the school’s budget for 2018. We have made a start and have everything ready for Ms Connors when she returns.

The canteen committee met on Tuesday to look at tenders for a company to operate our canteen for the next 3 years. It was pleasing to see many canteen operators apply to take on the business of our canteen operator. We are committed to having a healthy canteen. The decision will be finalised soon.

The first assessment period for Year 11 (now Yr 12) began on Wednesday. Just a reminder that if anyone is sick on the day of the exam, then a phone call must be made to the office and Mrs Mayers must be given a medical certificate. This certificate is found in the assessment booklet or on the intranet. The students must report to Mrs Mayers as soon as he / she is well and Mrs Mayers will decide on the day / time for the student to complete the exam.

Thursday saw the first year 8 beach day. 8A and 8K had a fantastic day at the beach learning about surf awareness. It is important for all Australians to be confident in the water. The other year 8 classes will go next week.

Also on Thursday year 7 were able to have a Medieval Show organised by the history faculty in the Lecture Theatre. Year 7 were also involved with the History mastermind. Year 8 had their gala day on Friday.

I was fortunate to be invited to the Book Club which meets on Wednesdays at lunchtime. The group has grown to at least 20 year 7 and 8 students who read and discuss books. They will need to find a larger space. At the moment they meet in the small meeting room in the library.

Programming continues with planning days for Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics English and Ancient History. Getting ready for 2018 certainly is a challenge.

Gala Day for year 7 was Tuesday 21st November at James Ruse and Cumberland High Schools. Touch football, soccer, T Ball, basketball and netball were played during the day with lunch at Cumberland High School. A huge thank you must go to Kaarin McKenzie, Garry Ng, Peter Low, Jason Driscoll and Lisa Knight. Five rounds were played and each round was about 35 minutes.  The year coaches were Chenming Feng, Christine Jo, Nayeni Kuhasri, Grace Li, Quention Wo, Jennifer Cheng, Winston Huang, Eric Vuong, Esaias Feng, Christina Lee, Dineth Fernando, Vivian Wang, Justin Chen, Kelly Ni, Alan Chen, Amanda Shi, Dahee Kim, Ethan Li, Keru Lau, Ben Tran, Nikita Gupta and Tracey Nguyen.

Students from year 9 and 10 who were interested in games were lucky enough to have Ms Zhu organise League of Legends.


Week 8a

Tuesday November 28th           Yr 8 Thinkers in Education

Wednesday November 29th      Yr 7 Thinkers in Education

Thursday November 30th         Yr 8 Beach Day

                                                Yr 8 State Debating Camp four students

Friday December 1st                Yr 10 Formal – The Epping Club

                                                Yr 8 State Debating Camp four students


Week 9b

Monday December 4th              End of Year Concert at The Concourse 6.30pm

Tuesday December 5th             Year 7 2018 Orientation Day

Yr 12 Drama Performance - all day

Yr 9 Japanese BBQ Cooking Incursion

CoJR Cake Day

Wednesday December 6th        ISCF Christmas Service in Hall

Thursday December 7th           Presentation Day

ISCF end of year BBQ 3pm

Friday December 8th                Cadet Annual Camp

Have a wonderful week

Annetta St Louis

Relieving Principal


Principal's Newsletter, Week 6, Term 4, 2017

posted Dec 4, 2017, 6:29 PM by Ms. Connors

Principal’s Report

I do not know why we always think term 4 will be quieter than the rest of the year. At James Ruse we are busy till the very last day. Teachers have spent many long hours setting junior exams and marking those exams. Year 11 will have their first HSC assessment period next week. The whole school is planning for 2018. Orientation Day, the annual concert at the Concourse and Presentation Day are all huge events. We must really thank the SASS team as they do all the behind the scenes preparation for these annual events. Mrs Weber, Mrs Bowen and Mr Driscoll are working solidly on the 2018 timetable.

This week alone we have year 9 complete their cross curricular project (Shark Tank) and Year 10 attend their Urban Challenge.

Years 12 have finished the HSC and on Wednesday and Friday they returned to sign out and hand back any text books or library books. All of them looked quite relaxed and were even shocked by having nothing to study.

On Monday 13th the Year 12 Formal was held at Le Montage in Haberfield on the water. Excitement was abound as the students danced and made sure they had their photo taken from the wonderful photo booth.

With changes in the senior syllabus for many faculties, staff are re-writing new programs for Year 11 next year and then Year 12 the following year. Science and English have been able to take a day or two creating new programs to ensure that our students have the best possible start to the senior school.

On Monday Year 9 began their cross curricular program. Their task was to create a product or service. They had to create a business plan, SWOT analysis and a marketing plan. Then the students had to present to a panel of Sharks who were able to ask a myriad of questions and decide on which product in which to invest. I was lucky enough to be a “shark” with Mrs Ramsay and Fayanne Cui from Year 12. We were so impressed with the quality of the presentations and the variety of ideas. Our panel was not at all gentle in asking questions. We certainly made sure all of our questions were answered before we gave our financial backing.


On Wednesday morning year 10 met at Parramatta station to head off on their Urban Challenge. The challenge involves solving a series of puzzles and physical challenges like synchronised swimming or dancing. Once the challenge is complete then the team can move onwards. I have received my first postcard from team 6 who “spent $70 on fish and chips for lunch, did synchronised swimming at Bondi Icebergs and fell in love with Sydney.” I am so proud of them all and cannot wait to see the photos.

We are very lucky to have some maintenance done on some of our farm buildings. A few will be painted and a few buildings will have a new roof to replace the old rusty ones we have now. Our cottage on Jenkins Road will also have a new coat of paint.

Mrs Mayers, Mrs Novotni and Mrs Golding met with 8 canteen operators on Tuesday to discuss our requirements. Our contract is finished with the current canteen operators and we must follow the correct process so we have advertised for tenders. We want to promote healthy eating so we certainly want a canteen operator to be aware of healthy canteen policy.


Coming Events

Week 7b

Monday November 20th            Yr 8 VA Enrichment Day

Yr 10 Alcohol Seminar

Tuesday November 21st           Yr 10 Urban Challenge Winners Presentation

Yr 7 Gala Day vs. Cumberland

League of Legends

Wednesday November 22nd     HSC Assessment

                                                Yr 10 – 10 students to Powerhouse

Thursday November 23rd         Yr 8 Beach Day

Yr 7 Medieval Show

Friday November 24th              History Mastermind

Yr 8 Gala Day

Week 8a

Tuesday November 28th           Yr 8 Thinkers in Education

Wednesday November 29th      Yr 7 Thinkers in Education

Thursday November 30th         Yr 8 Beach day

Friday December 1st                Yr 10 Formal – The Epping Club

Have a wonderful week

Annetta St Louis

Relieving Principal

Deputy Principals Report

Year 10 Urban Challenge has been another huge success with all students having fun and participating in solving problems and challenges whilst exploring Sydney. Thank you to all the wonderful staff Miss Belinda Buurma, Ms Katrina Jenns, Mr Ian Goggin, Miss Sophie Belevski, Miss Lauren Silvestro, Mrs Robbie Ashhurst, Miss Lauren Killey, Ms Sandra Fernandez, Mr Patrick Wong, Mr Jamie Gerlach for making this such a memorable experience for all.

Natalie Novotni,

Releiving Deputy Principal

Principal's Newsletter, Week 5, Term 4, 2017

posted Dec 4, 2017, 6:24 PM by Ms. Connors

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week year 6 students who will be starting their high school career at
James Ruse, were invited to attend an interview. The purpose of the interview was to create a smooth
transition to high school and allow parents and new students time to ask questions about our school. Mrs
Mayers, Mrs Novotni, Ms Hameed, Ms Romic, Ms Belevski and Ms Knight all conducted the interviews. Parents
and students were able to buy uniforms and hand in all documents to ensure enrolment is competed for 2018.

Tuesday 7th November was the last day of the HSC. All year 12 students entered each exam with excitement
and left each exam satisfied they had done their very best. Many teachers are marking HSC at the moment
and in a few weeks’ time all results will be available. Results will be available from December 14th.
Monday 13th November year 12 students and 21 staff will attend Le Montage in Haberfield for the year 12

Informatics School of Excellence

The Australian Informatics Olympiad Committee (AIOC) has invited Yasiru Jayasooriya of year 9 to be a
member of this year's AIOC Informatics School of Excellence. The school will be held at Burgmann College,
Australian National University, Canberra, from 2 December to 12 December 2017.

This invitation should be viewed as a particular honour as the principal purpose of the School will be to help
identify and develop the skills of students who may become members of the Australian Team to compete at
the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) to be held in Tsukuba, Japan in 2018. The four members of
that team will be selected following further examinations and the AIOC Informatics Selection School in April

Chess News
On Sunday 5th November, we had both an Opens team and a Girls Team play-off for the right to represent
NSW in the National Teams Chess Tournament to be held in Sydney (at Sydney Grammar in the first weekend
in December) this year. The Girls team played well but were unfortunately unsuccessful in winning. The Opens
team were successful in winning after a gruelling day of chess playing.

Opens Team                                                                     Girls Team:
Kevin Willathgamuwa (8T)                                                Eva Ge (8A)
Rowan Willathgamuwa (10C)                                            Anagha Kanive-Hariharan (9T)
Raymond Li (11K)                                                             Jessica Xu (8K)
Brendan Xu (11T)                                                                Elizabeth Hua (8A)

Fencing news
Over the weekend, at Carlingford Village the annual invitational foil competition for youth was held. Jason Pak
from grade 7 in James Ruse came 2nd out of 13 other competitors in the youth electric foil division. His
teacher has praised Jason’s efforts and recognises the importance of focus, grit and fair play.
Young Scientist Awards

Aniruddh Chennapragada (Year 11) and Sariena Yu (Year 9) are to be congratulated for their achievements in
the 2017 Young Scientists Awards. The awards were presented at the University of Wollongong on
Wednesday 1 November 2017. Sariena Ye achieved 3rd place in the 7-9 Physics Category of the Awards
Aniruddh achieved 1st place in the 10-12 Chemistry Category, the RACI Best Chemistry Project Award, and
Second Place in the Young Scientist Grand Awards and is a member of the ISEF Team travelling to compete in
Pittsburgh, USA in May 2018. This is the second time Aniruddh has been a member of the ISEF Team
travelling to the USA to participate in an International Science and Engineering Fair.

A wonderful letter from a parent. We are so proud of Hiya.

Hello James Ruse,
I'd like to thank one of your students from your school for a brave thing they did today. At Parramatta station today, I
was waiting at the station with my three year old daughter. The train appeared and my daughter excitedly ran towards it.
Before I could stop her, she slipped down onto the track. My hands were full of shopping bags so I dropped my bags and
ran. The train was coming closer and my daughter couldn't get up.

Luckily, a girl from your school managed to get there before and pulled my daughter out. The train managers had stopped
the train by the time I got to them. I thanked the girl and she politely welcomed me and handed my daughter to me. Not
only that but she kindly explained the "behind-the-yellow-line" concept to her. :D After a few high fives and hugs with my
daughter she ran onto the train waving happily.

Later, I managed to find out her name was Hiya Patel from other students from your school but I unfortunately couldn't
get the grade. I'd like to thank her for her brave action and I am grateful to your school for teaching your students to
take action and be helpful in society.

Have a wonderful week
Annetta St Louis
Relieving Principal

Principal's Newsletter, Week 4, Term 4, 2017

posted Dec 4, 2017, 6:19 PM by Ms. Connors

Congratulations to Linus Cooper (Year 11 – Senior), Emilie Wu (Year 10 – Junior), Jocelin Hon (Year 10 – Junior), Samuel Lam (Year 9 – Junior), Vivian Wang (Year 9 – Junior), Christina Lee (Year 9 – Junior) and Eva Ge (Year 8 – Junior) who have been invited to the Mathematics School of Excellence in December. This prestigious camp is a wonderful honour for our students.

“Spooktober” our Prefect event was a huge success. Thank you to Ms Ward and the Prefect body for raising the spirits of our whole school. The “haunted hall” was a particular favourite with students lining up to be thrilled and frightened.

As Year 11 students pick up additional extension courses, Mrs McIntosh, found a lovely poem to inspire us all. Our students choosing the higher level English course, Extension II, will stretch their writing abilities and creativity. This poem inspires us to not only pick up our pens and write but to read. It is so important that all students keep reading a wide variety of texts.


Schools aren’t just about teaching children to read, but teaching children to be social beings.
— Michael Rosen


The New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) paper Growing independence: a summary of key findings from the Competent Learners @14 project shows that teens who enjoy reading are more likely to succeed in school and in their engagement with their various communities.


Continuing the habit of reading, widely, into teenage years helps teens to:


  • deal with their increasingly complex world, and understand some of the adult issues they will have to grapple with
  • know they are not alone – that others may be thinking and feeling the way they do
  • open lines of communication, particularly if parents, teachers, librarians provide opportunities to discuss what teens are reading
  • share and see how others have found solutions to problems
  • develop their vocabulary
  • broaden their imaginations
  • improve their writing
  • deal with the increasing demands of school work
  • gain confidence when speaking.

Growing independence: a summary of key findings from the Competent Learners @14 project


As we move into Term 4 and the last quarter of our current school plan, we have begun discussing with staff, ideas for the 2018-2020 school plan. The basis of our planning is the Department of Education’s School Excellence Framework which can be found at


The three areas we will focus on are Learning, Teaching and Leading.

Unfortunately I have found it necessary to take leave over the next few weeks, Ms St Louis will relieve me as Principal while Ms Novotni relieves as Deputy Principal and Ms Hameed as Head Teacher Wellbeing.

Coming Events

Week 5B                        HSC Examinations

                                  Year 7 and 9 exams

Tuesday November 7th             IPT and SDD Excursion to ABC centre and Powerhouse

                                                Year 8 Valid8 Science assessment – 8A, 8K and 8L

Wednesday November 8th        Year 8 Valid8 Science assessment – 8T

Thursday November 9th           Zero Robotics


Week 6A

Monday November 13th             Year 10 Urban Challenge Pre Camp Information Session

                                                Year 9 Project

                                                Year 12 Formal 6.30pm

Tuesday November 14th           Whole School Assembly Period 6

                                                Year 9 Project

Wednesday November 15th      Year 10 Urban Challenge

Thursday November 16th         Year 10 Urban Challenge

                                                Year 9 VA Excursion

                                                Combined Mothers’ Club and CoJR meeting 9.45am in Lecture Theatre

Friday November 17th              Year 10 Urban Challenge


Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors


Principal's Newsletter, Week 3, Term 4, 2017

posted Dec 4, 2017, 6:16 PM by Ms. Connors

Thank you to our Agriculture staff who supervised the Year 8 small farms excursion last week. Students enjoyed learning about a range of enterprises. Thank you to Ms Hameed, Ms Ashhurst, Mr Stevenson, Mr Widmer and Ms Twomey.

Ms Englefield and Mr Gerlach shared the Sculptures by the Sea experience with Year 10 Visual Arts also on Friday. Thank you.

Our Prefects are committed to raising funds for the Smith Family and began their quest with the SPOOKTOBER activities . Thank you to all that dressed up and took part in our festivities.

Year 10 will embark on the Urban Challenge on November 15th. The Urban Challenge provides the ultimate real-world experience to students. Students work in small teams to meet challenges, solve mysteries and adventure around Sydney. Parents are also encouraged to get involved by logging in to the site: .

I recently came across the website - and found the information very useful. As our exams approach in the junior school the following tips might prove useful.

It's never too early - or too late - to develop good study habits. The sooner you get into a good study groove, the easier everything will be and the more your chances of getting good marks will improve. Here are our top tips for getting the most out of study. Click each link for more about each tip.

1. Pick a place and time
 2. Study every day
 3. Plan your time
4. Discover your learning style
5. Review and revise
6. Take breaks
7. Ask for help
8. Stay motivated
9. App it up
10. Look after yourself

The above links access valuable information. Getting organised and writing own notes are the most important skills a student can gain. Encourage students to write notes by hand; it has been proven that more information  is retained through the thought processes involved in handwriting as opposed to typing. Students should also ask their teachers for practice papers or access resources on the intranet .

A small amount of stress is very normal during an exam period, however if you notice your child is not sleeping well, not eating well or feeling too anxious please talk to your child’s  year advisor, our school counsellor (Mr Wong) or Head Teacher Wellbeing (Ms Novotni).

Our Year Advisors for 2017

Year 7  Mr Ng and Ms Samy Pullay

Year 8 Ms North and Ms Zhu

Year 9 Ms Ramsay and Ms Silvestro

Year 10 Ms Fernandez and Mr Wong

Year 11 Mr Gengiah and Mr Hutchinson

Year 12 Ms Hameed and Mr Gerlach


Coming Events

Week 4A                       HSC Examinations

                                  Year 8 and 10 exams


Tuesday 31st October              Visit from Yanco Agricultural High School


Week 5B                        HSC Examinations

                                  Year 7 and 9 exams

Tuesday November 7th             IPT and SDD Excursion to ABC centre and Powerhouse

                                                Year 8 Valid8 Science assessment – 8A, 8K and 8L


Wednesday November 8th        Year 8 Valid8 Science assessment – 8T


Thursday November 9th           Zero Robotics

Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors


Principal's Newsletter, Week 2, Term 4, 2017

posted Dec 4, 2017, 6:12 PM by Ms. Connors

Congratulations to our Year 11 Drama class for the fabulous performances they put on last Thursday. The abstract theatre engaged the audience, moving us throughout the hall to the various stages, to enjoy the creative and talented performances of our students. This production was very much directed by the students themselves and I am so proud of their efforts. Thank you to their teachers Mr Jamie Gerlach and Ms Lauren Killey.

This week our HSC students have sat a number of exams and are handling the period well. As families of HSC students please ensure students are eating well, sleeping well and keep to an early morning routine. A number of our accelerated courses – Music, PDHPE and Agriculture – have completed their exams as well. We wish our Year 10 students, studying IPT and SDD, our best wishes next week.

On Tuesday night, we shared a wonderful evening at the Community of James Ruse Meeting with our four guest speakers. Royce Chen, Clare Wu, Bella Kwai and Delian Entchev presented inspirational speeches about their journeys since leaving James Ruse. All emphasised the importance of communication skills, perseverance and flexibility in seeking career opportunities.


The election of our 2018 Community of James Ruse executive was conducted. I wish to thank the outgoing executive for their fabulous efforts in 2017, a special thank you to Mr Gavin Rewell who contributed enormously as President. Our Executive in 2018 is


                                    President                     Yvonne Lo

                                    Secretary                    Suzan Meguid

                                    Treasurer                    Winton Anton

                                    Vice Presidents            Gavin Rewell

                                                                        Jacqueline Ku

                                    Committee Members    Praba Prabaharan

                                                                        Carmen Lam

                                                                        Disna Nanayakkara

                                                                        Alice Ho


Congratulations to our 2018 Science Scholar school participants. It is wonderful to see James Ruse represented in all four sciences and in such number:


·      Oliver Yau                         Biology

·      Wilson Jiang                     Biology

·      Wen Jing Chen                 Biology

·      Bruce Chen                       Chemistry

·      Jessica Chia                     Chemistry

·      Richard Huang                  Chemistry

·      Shilan Jiang                      Chemistry

·      Raymond Li                       Chemistry

·      Phillip Liang                       Chemistry

·      Anthony Mai                     Chemistry

·      Yon Su                               Chemistry

·      Elton Yang            Chemistry

·      Yichen Zhang                    Chemistry

·       Helen Han                        Earth & environmental science

·      Kim Zheng                         Earth & environmental science

·      Sharon Thio                      Earth & environmental science

·      Wayne Wong                    Earth & environmental science

·      Sourajit Bhattacharyya   Physics

·      Brian Su                            Physics

·      Andrew Xu                        Physics

Congratulations to Cameron Greig Yr 11 who was awarded 3rd place in the 2017 Republic Essay Competition. 

Coming Events

Week 3B                        HSC examinations

Thursday October 26th                       Geography Challenge

Friday October 27th                Mufti Day 

Week 4A                       HSC Examinations

                                  Year 8 and 10 exams


Week 5B                        HSC Examinations

                                  Year 7 and 9 exams

Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors


Principal's Newsletter, Week 1, Term 4, 2017

posted Dec 4, 2017, 6:08 PM by Ms. Connors

Welcome back to Term 4. Our Year 12 students begin their HSC on Monday and we wish them all the best in their study and exams.

Congratulations to our HSC Music students – Chelsea Baek, Adrian Law, Nicholas Rewell, Ivan Shen, Julia Tran and Elton Yang – who have each achieved the honour of being nominated for ENCORE. An amazing achievement.

Ms Hameed and Mr Grant spent the first week of their holidays with our students in Vietnam. This fantastic experience was a great success with all students and teachers having a fabulous time. The purpose of the excursion was to learn more about agriculture in a country such as Vietnam – this was certainly achieved. It was not all schoolwork with lots of fun and shopping as well. On behalf of our students I want to thank Mr Grant and Ms Hameed for their generosity and dedication.

The Year 8 Cross Curricular Project was a wonderful success and our Year 8 students were impressive in their presentations at WSU. We have a number of requests for students to present to Parramatta Council and other institutions.

Recently we had the pleasure of hosting a team of educators from Malaysia to share our experiences. Thank you to Ms Buurma for organising this visit and our teachers for allowing teachers into their classrooms.


The Year 11 Wellbeing day taught students awareness of proactive strategies for managing stress. Matthew Johnstone, was our keynote speaker. Matthew Johnstone had 15 years + as a creative in advertising where he worked in Sydney, San Francisco and New York. He worked for some of the world’s best agencies and won many industry awards. In 2005 he published I Had a Black Dog an illustrated book on what it is to suffer depression and what can be learnt from it. Students also took part in a drumming workshop and a seminar on meditation and relaxation techniques.

Next Tuesday evening at 6.30pm, the CoJR will host their Term 4 forum for both students and parents. Four fabulous ex-students will share their journey since leaving school. We aim to highlight a range of wonderful career options for our current students.


Isabella Kwai is a editorial assistant and reporter at The New York Times' Australia bureau. After graduating James Ruse in 2011, she attended Duke University in the United States, double-majoring in English and Public Policy. She received a Bachelor of Arts with distinction in 2016. She has worked in Washington D.C. as a fellow for The Atlantic and recently moved back to Sydney and re-assimilating slowly to flat-whites and avocado toast.


Royce Chen graduated from James Ruse in 2012, and decided to study physiotherapy, a choice that was not common within his cohort and year at Ruse. He graduated from the University of Sydney in 2016 with a Bachelor's of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) and started work in the private sector as soon as he graduated. With the knowledge and experience gained from working in a thriving clinic, Royce went out and has just very recently started his own Physiotherapy and allied health clinic in Rhodes, NSW.

Claire Wu joined JRAHS in Year 11 and graduated in 2010. From there, she went straight to university, and completed a Bachelor of Engineering (civil with architecture) at UNSW. She has worked as a facade engineer for over 2 years. In addition to liking maths and design, Claire's initial career path was inspired by the television show 'Prisonbreak'.

Upon graduating from Ruse in 2012, Delian Entchev spent two years working full time at investment bank UBS through a cadetship program, while completing his studies. In his penultimate year he joined hedge fund Watermark, where he is now an equity partner and manages $500mn of investments in global technology and media shares. Delian also studied a semester abroad at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.


It would be wonderful to see a great audience of both parents and students in the lecture theatre.



Year 7 enjoyed a fabulous day at the zoo on the last Tuesday of term 3. Thank you to Ms Ward, Ms Kong, Ms Kowalski and Ms Annetts for taking their classes.


The SRC and Prefects have a spectacular plan of activities for the school in Term 4. The latest prefect video was one of the best I have seen and was curtained enjoyed by the audience. 

Coming Events

Week 2A                        HSC examinations

Tuesday October 17th              Amnesty – Teacher Appreciation Day

                                                School Development Afternoon

                                                6.30pm CoJR Forum in the Lecture Theatre – students and parents

Wednesday October 18th         “Meet the Music” Opera House

Thursday October 19th                Year 10 and 11 Drama Excursion

                                                    Year 7 Vaccinations

Friday October 20th                    Year 8 Small Farms Excursion

                                                    Year 10 “Sculpture by the Sea” Excursion

 Week 3B                        HSC examinations

Thursday October 26th                Geography Challenge

Friday October 27th                    Mufti Day

Week 4A                       HSC Examinations

                                Year 8 and 10 exams


Week 5B                        HSC Examinations

                                  Year 7 and 9 exams

Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors


Principal's Newsletter, Week 9, Term 3, 2017

posted Dec 4, 2017, 6:03 PM by Ms. Connors

It was wonderful to be informed during the week that our Drama students had once again been nominated for OnStage. 

Liesl Chen has been nominated for her Individual Performance, To Fly.

Richard Mo, Helen Park & Travis Wu have been nominated for their Group Performance, The Unholy Trinity. 

This is a wonderful achievement. Congratulations to their teachers - Jamie Gerlach, Amy Murphy and Lauren Killley.

Congratulations to our superb mathematicians who recently sat the Australian Mathematics Olympiad. Linus Cooper achieved a Gold Medal, Brian Su a Bronze medal and Yasiru Jayasooriya and Philip Liang an honourable mention. Fabulous achievements for all four students.

Awards Day was another memorable event to honour our graduating Year 12 students and award recipients. Andy Cai and Ashley Wong were awarded the prestigious Sydney University and JRAHS Leadership award. I have enclosed my speech below:

“As we wish our year 12 students every success as they move into their futures, I would like to reflect on the importance of the relationships they have developed – with friends, families, teachers and other students. These relationships have helped you grow into the person you are today. These relationships have shaped your identities and supported your dreams.

Year 12, as you move onto the next phase of your education, it is important that you seek out new relationships – relationships that will continue to support but also challenge you. Many of you may have heard of A.A Milne, author of Winnie–the–Pooh. Milne wrote “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”

It is so important that we all step out of our comfort zone, our “corner of the forest”, and seek out new experiences, new opportunities to build relationships and networks. It is our ability to connect with all types of people and build productive relationships that will ensure we thrive at university and later in careers. It is our networks that will help us find future jobs. It is also our ability to create relationships that employers will seek. Your ability to connect with each other is perhaps the most important skill you will leave Ruse with.

I wish for all our graduating students a life time of learning and a life time to find, develop and explore relationships. To thrive in this fast paced, changing world we need to cultivate our friendships, nurture our dreams and look after the world we live in. Thank you to our parents and staff who have shared this journey with Year 12; helping and supporting them throughout their high school career.

Year 12 – Congratulations to our Awards Winners today. Your achievements across so many fields are impressive. I wish each of you good health, happiness, adventure and laughter. Please always remember, as Christopher Robin said to Winnie-the-Pooh

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Congratulations on your graduation.”

We wish Year 12 a wonderful last week of school – celebrating their last concert on Monday afternoon and graduation lunch with their parents on Tuesday. They will enjoy a day of relaxation on Balmoral Beach on Wednesday. Stuvac follows and is a time of intensive preparation. The key is the completion of past papers. The first HSC exam is on Monday 16th October. Students should always ensure they arrive at the hall 30 minutes before each exam. The full timetable can be found at:

It is very supportive if parents collect students after exams – but please note it can take 30 minutes after each exam to complete the paperwork required.

On Wednesday we held a lovely assembly to farewell a much loved teacher, Ms Sue Briggs. Sue has taught at JRAHS for the past 27 ¾ years. An inspirational teacher, supportive colleague, mentor to staff and students alike and great friend, Sue will be greatly missed. Sue is transferring to Penrith High School, much closer to her home. Very popular, many former students joined us in celebrating Sue’s career. Thank you to Mrs Weber and the Mathematics Faculty for ensuring a successful farewell assembly. We wish Sue a fabulous career at Penrith High School.

The Year 8 Cross Curricular Project starts today and will conclude on Thursday 21st of September when they present their projects at Western Sydney University. Students will be working on a project related to the Sustainable Sydney 2030 vision with the overarching question being 'How can gaining a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding globalisation help us be an agent of change in our communities?' Students will be given an option of 5 projects they can select from that deals with Equality, Culture, Sustainability, Liveability or Innovation. Thank you to our Head Teacher, Teaching and Learning, Ms Belinda Buurma and the Cross Curricular team – Ms Monique Bobanovic, Ms Nancy Zhu, Ms Alicia North and Ms Sophie Belevski. I have included the project outline below. Parents are welcome to join us at WSU Parramatta on Thursday 21st September to observe the presentations in the form of a trade display.


Today we also welcomed our new students who will be joining us in Year 9. Thank you to Ms Sophie Belevski for her organisation of Orientation Day.

In 2017 Mrs Janie Golding has been working in the DEC training new schools as they embrace LMBR. Four excellent staff members have relieved as SAM over this time. Thank you to Mrs Cathy Threlfo, Mrs Kathryn Longmuir, Mrs Leanne Ryan and Mrs Cathy Hayes who have all done a superb job learning and working in the role of School Administration Officer.

Save the Date: Tuesday 17th October 6.30pm Community of James Ruse Forum meeting – students and parents are welcome to listen to our former students share their journeys and careers.

This is our last newsletter for Term 3. Thank you to our students, parents and teachers for their amazing efforts in Term 3. It is such a huge term of learning, assessing, performing and playing. Please join us on Wednesday night for the Classical Concert which will be held in the lecture theatre.

Coming Events

Week 10A

Monday 18th September           Year 8 Cross Curriculum Project (all week)

                                                Year 12 Final Assembly

                                                Year 10 Science Practical examination Period 4

Tuesday 19th September          Year 12 Graduation Lunch

                                                Year 7 Excursion to Taronga Zoo

                                                6.30pm Classical Concert in Lecture Theatre

Wednesday 20th September    Year 12 Balmoral Beach Day

                                                Year 11 Meeting


Thursday 21st September        Year 11 Wellbeing Day

                                                R.U.O.K Day – Cloud 9

                                                Year 8 Cross Curriculum Project – presentation at WSU

                                                3.15pm ISCF BBQ


Friday 22nd September            Prefect Games

                                                Year 9 Meeting Period 4

Week 1B, Term 4

Tuesday 10th October              Year 10 Science Practical Exams Period 4 and 5

Thursday 12th October             Year 11 Production       

Have a wonderful holiday

Megan Connors


Principal's Newsletter, Week 8, Term 3 2017

posted Dec 4, 2017, 5:58 PM by Ms. Connors

Congratulations to our HSC Drama class who performed both their group and individual performances to a very impressed audience on Tuesday night.  The Drama, Music and Language students have now sat part of their HSC examinations.

Our Year 8 students participated in their camp earlier this week. Thank you to Ms Alicia North for her wonderful organisation and also to Mr Garry Ng, Mr Ted Kowalski, Ms Chelsey Killey, Ms Robbie Ashhurst and Ms Lauren Killey for supervising this program. Our Year 8 camp aims to promote the values of a resourceful adolescent. The program builds positive family relationships and reliance in adolescents. It encourages students to reflect on their important support networks – their families, friends and teachers. Students reflect on their own strengths and how to rely on these strengths in difficult times. Thank you to Year 8 who behaved perfectly and were a credit to the school.

On Wednesday afternoon our SRC hosted a Trivia and Movie event. The SRC combined with our talented Cooking Club to cook great snacks. Thank you to Ms St Louis for organising the afternoon and all the teachers who were able to supervise and participate. Thank you also to Mr Hutchinson who led the cooking creations.

It was wonderful to see our first newborn lambs on the farm this week.

The Cadet Passing Out Parade is one of our most special events and traditions. It was wonderful to welcome back Colonel Paul Byleveld, former student, to inspect our parade.


Congratulations to CUO Nathan Lee for leading the parade and the outstanding preparation of our cadet unit. Thank you also to WO2 Sakilan Gopalarajah, CUO Winston Woong and CUO Rathepan Raguram.


Thank you to our cadet officers, Capt (AAC) Best, Lt (AAC) McFadyen, LT(AAC) David Shaw and 2LT (AAC) Low, for the enormous role they play in ensuring the success of our cadet unit.


At this parade we honour our Year 12 students who have given so much to the Unit.




RANK                   NAME                              YEARS IN UNIT

CUO                                  Nathan Lee                                                5 years

CUO                                  Rathepan Raguram                                  5 years

CUO                                  Winston Woong                                       5 years

CDTWO2                          Sakilan Gopalarajah                                 5 years

CDTSGT                            Andy Cai                                                     5 years

CDTSGT                            Victor Fang                                                5 years

CDTSGT                            Brandon He                                               4 years

CDTSGT                            Ivan Hou                                                     5 years

CDTSGT                            Connie Jiang                                               5 years

CDTSGT                            Dhnanjay Soundappan                           4 years

CDTSGT                            Elaine Wu                                                   6 years

CDTCPL                             Katherine Cheng                                       5 years

CDTCPL                             Jayden Choi                                                5 years

CDTCPL                             Allen Huang                                               5 years

CDTCPL                              Simon Jing                                                 5 years

CDTCPL                              Geoffrey Lim                                             5 years

CDTCPL                              Jack Shen                                                   5 years

CDTCPL                              Dylan Vom                                                 4 years

CDTLCPL                            Timothy Lehuynh                                      5 years

CDTLCPL                            Jason Liang                                                5 years

CDTLCPL                            Calvin Lin                                                    5 years

CDTLCPL                             Lucas Myeong                                          5 years

CDT                                     Celia Kan                                                    5 years

CDT                                      Annie Lin                                                   5 years

CDT                                      Nisalya Nanayakkara                               5 years

The Secondary Principals Council Western Sydney, Hills Parramatta Network has inaugurated a recognition award ceremony for outstanding teachers in their network. The awards acknowledge staff in our schools who ensure that students receive a quality education in an engaging, inclusive and compassionate environment. Ms Annetta St Louis received the award for “Excellence in Leadership”. The citation that was read at the Awards Ceremony on Thursday afternoon acknowledged Ms St Louis’ contribution to public education.

Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors


Excellence in Leadership

Ms St Louis, Deputy Principal of JRAHS, has dedicated her career to the education of students and development of staff. An innovative and instructional leader, Annetta’s creativity and desire for continuous improvement have led to the creation of programs to challenge, inspire and engage students. Her expertise in student wellbeing creates a safe and supportive environment. A mentor to many, Annetta willingly shares her expertise, knowledge and time with aspiring leaders, early career teachers and head teachers alike. As a teacher and leader, Annetta is an advocate for all students and their families.

Principal's Newsletter, Week 7, Term 3, 2017

posted Sep 3, 2017, 12:53 AM by Ms. Connors

On Saturday 26th August our school community farewelled our former student Edward Zhang (2016). Edward had been tragically killed in an accident on the 12th August. The service celebrated Edward’s fun loving, happy and caring personality. Many friends filled the auditorium. As a community we pass our condolences to Edward’s family who have been wonderful supporters of our school over the many years Alex, Christine and Edward attended. Edward’s friends reminded us to appreciate our lives, our friends and our family.

On Tuesday night our HSC class performed their fabulous pieces. It was a wonderful concert with a wide variety of instrumental pieces. Congratulations to our Year 12 and Year 11 students. We all wish them the best for their HSC performance examinations next week. This is the first year of our accelerated Music course and already it is proving to be a success. Thank you to Mr Patrick Wong for preparing our students.

Our HSC class:

Julia Tran,     Leona Jiao,     Chelsea Baek,     Hannah Wrigley-Carr,     Bill Chen,    Brian Feng,     Adrian Law,

Aimee Death,     Victoria Soo,     Shirley Wang ,    Edward Xu ,    Ivan Shen ,    Nicholas Rewell ,    Elton Yan,     Victoria Lawson.

On Sunday Ben Tran and Hugo To played in an adult orchestral concert at the Sutherland Entertainment Centre. Dr Anthony Clarke, the conductor, asked the students to participate and was very proud of their achievements. The concert was a great success. Congratulations to Ben and Hugo.

Our HSC students are now preparing for HSC exams. The last weeks of school are vital in ensuring adequate revision and constant practice. Please make sure your child attends every lesson, I have been concerned by the late arrival of Year 12 students in recent days.

This week we received news of the Australian Mathematics Competition – congratulations to the many students who achieved an invite to the AIMO by winning a Prize.

We wish Year 8 a wonderful time on their Year 8 camp next week.

Last Friday we played our first game in the new Gymnasium – a staff versus student netball game. Unfortunately youth prevailed and Year 12 came out winners on the day. It was great to see our new gym full of students cheering for their peers and teachers.

In Week 9 of this term, we have been advised that Year 7 and 9 students will participate in an online version of NAPLAN. The purpose of this testing is to ensure our systems and the DEC network are able to administer NAPLAN online in 2018. Please see the attached factsheet which is to provide information for parents.


Coming Events


Week 8A


Monday 4th September                        Year 8 “Resourceful Adolescent Program” Camp


Tuesday 5th September           HSC Drama Showcase 6.30pm


Wednesday 6th September      Year 7 Science Practical Test


Thursday 7th September         Year 8 Geography Excursion


Friday 8th September              Cadet Passing Out Parade


Week 9B                        NAPLAN ONLINE for Year 7 and 9


Monday 11th September           Awards Day Practice

                                                Year 8 Agriculture Incursion


Tuesday 12th September          Awards Day



Wednesday 13th September     Period 4 Farewell Assembly for Mrs Sue Briggs

                                                SRC Trivia and Movie afternoon


Thursday 14th September        Year 11 Information Night 6.30pm

                                                Year 11 Visual Arts Excursion


Friday 15th September             Year 8-11 2018 Orientation Day


Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors


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