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Principal's Newsletter, Week 7, Term 1, 2015

posted Mar 20, 2015, 12:53 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Mar 20, 2015, 12:55 PM ]

Week 7 has arrived so fast and so much is happening at James Ruse. Thank you to Ms Sofia Hameed who escorted four of our year 10 students to Girraween High School on Monday to celebrate International Women’s Day. James Ruse Amnesty International Club highlighted a day for gender equality.


On Tuesday night we launched our CAPA faculty with an Information Night that led into the Community of James Ruse meeting. It was a fast paced, action packed event that introduced us to the CAPA teachers:

Head Teacher              Ms Amy Murphy

Visual Arts Teachers    Mr Ian Goggin and Ms Ashlee Walker

Music Teachers            Mr Richard Brus and Ms Rachel Hann

Drama Teachers           Mr Jamie Gerlach, Ms Diane Mason and Ms Kristy Webb


We learnt of the wonderful experiences that occur in Music, Drama and VA classrooms and we were treated to a number of special performances. Two Year 12 Drama students performed a “sneak peak” of their individual performances – thank you to William Chen and Kelvin Zhai Lu. The Strings Ensemble, Saxophone Ensemble and Woodwind Ensemble gave fabulous performances. Year 11 Drama also entertained us, demonstrating the four elements of drama. The CoJR provided us with snacks to allow the party feel to continue.

Congratulations to Andrew Zhao of year 11 who has been selected to play for the Hills Zone Basketball team. Good luck today Andrew. Congratulations also to Ria Sinha, also of year 11, who has been selected to play in the Hills Zone Soccer team and will play a right midfielder.

Year 11 completed two components of their mandatory Crossroads course this week. RYDA is a series of practical and powerful workshops that aim to change the way young people think about road safety. As part of an interactive one-day experience, students experience braking at different speeds, devise travel strategies that will work for them in the real world and get tips from road safety experts on how to protect themselves, their friends and family. Perhaps the most impactful moments come from the personal stories of loss and survival.


Next Thursday is “National Close the Gap” day.

An excerpt from Oxfam:

What is Close the Gap?

Equal access to healthcare is a basic human right, and in Australia, we expect it. So what if we told you that you can expect to live almost 20 years less than your next-door neighbour? You wouldn’t accept it. No-one should. But in reality, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People can expect to live up to 10—17 years less than non-Indigenous Australians. Learn more about why the health gap exists.


Working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is one of the critical success factors. With continued support from the public, we can ensure the Australian Government continues to work with Indigenous communities, recommit additional funding and invest in real partnerships.


Please have a family discussion about this issue. With many of our students thinking about careers in the Health sector it would be wonderful to see them make a difference in this crucial area. More information is available at


This weekend Ms Jenns will lead our first Silver Duke of Edinburgh hike of the year. These students have completed the Bronze level of the program and over the next six months (minimum) will complete their adventurous journey, physical recreation, skill development and volunteering components of the award scheme. This fabulous program ensures students take calculated risks in a safe environment, become more independent and become resilient and resourceful. For more information please see the website Our Duke of Edinburgh team are Ms Katrina Jenns, our coordinator, Mr Neil Pakes, Ms Kaarin McKenzie, Ms Jen Burgess and Ms Keira Brooks. We would not be able to run the program without our dedicated staff.


The following are the minimum time requirements for each Section of The Award.




Physical Recreation

3 months

6 months

12 months


3 months

6 months

12 months

Service (Volunteering)ɫ

3 months

6 months

12 months


All Participants must complete an additional 3 months of Physical Recreation, Skill or Service as their Major

Participants who have not achieved a Bronze Award must complete an additional 6 months of Physical Recreation, Skill or Service

Participants who have not achieved a Silver Award must complete an additional 6 months of Physical Recreation, Skill or Service

Adventurous Journey**

2 days + 1 night

3 days + 2 nights

4 days + 3 nights

Residential Project



5 days + 4 nights

Minimum age to start

14 years

15 years

16 years

On Monday we begin our HSC Assessment period. As we begin the exam period it is important to praise your child’s efforts. Tell them you are proud of how they are approaching the exams. Please ensure students keep balanced during this time; eating good foods, taking breaks and getting plenty of sleep. If a student is unwell they must contact the school (on the day of the exam), see a doctor, obtain a medical certificate and apply for Illness and Misadventure. Students must not sit an exam if they are unwell. If a student is granted illness and misadventure they will be asked to sit the task at a later day however the mark that will be assigned will be estimated based on the child’s performance in other tasks. If a student sits an exam unwell the mark for that exam does stand. Please ring and discuss your situation with Mr Long if you are unsure what you should do.

James Ruse’s very own “Dirt Girl”, Ms Katie Twomey, has been leading Rural Ruse as they complete their display for the Castle Hill Show on this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It will be great to see their production of “Dirt World”. If you live in the area please visit the educational displays and say hello to our dedicated Rural Ruse students.

Coming Events        

Castle Hill Annual Show - Fri 13th, Sat 14th & Sun 15th March

Week 8B                       HSC assessments begin

                                Year 10 work experience all week

Monday 16th March                  Year 7 Peer Support Camp

                                                Regional Swimming

Tuesday 17th March                  Year 7 Peer Support Camp

                                                Year 9 Drama Physical Theatre workshops

Wednesday 18th March             Year 8 Geography Skills test

Thursday 19th March                Year 11 and Year 9 Visual Arts excursion

                                                Year 8 Meeting p8       

Friday 20th March                    Year 7 and 8 Debating Training Day (Regional debating)          

Week 9A

Monday 23rd March                  HSC assessments continue

                                                Year 7 vaccinations

                                                Year 10 BrainBee competition p2-3

Tuesday 24th March                 HSC Assessments (last day)

                                                Australian Informatics Competition

                                                Year 11 Drama Individual Performances

                                                Year 9 Meeting

Thursday 26th March               Year 12 Hamlet Excursion

                                                Year 10 Study Skills

Friday 27th March                    Whole School Assembly Period 5

                                                Shave for a Cure – Lunch

                                                Year 11 Study Skills

Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th March  Duke of Edinburgh Silver Expedition Hike

Have a wonderful week.

Megan Connors