Newsletter 2017 – Term 2, Week 10

Important Dates

Wednesday June 28Stage 5 Parent Teacher Interviews 4-6pm
Showcase Learning Project
 Thursday June 29 Year 12 Physics Expo
 Friday June 30 NAIDOC Day
Last day of Term 2
 Tuesday July 18 All students return for Term 3

View and download PDF version of Newsletter here

From the Principal

Refugee Week and Shakespeare

The theme for the 2017 Refugee Week (June 18 – 24) celebration was “with courage let us all combine” taken from the second verse of our national anthem. In other words, UNITY, one of our three core values.

As cited on the website, this theme is about celebrating the courage of refugees and those who speak out about persecution and injustice, and a call for all Australians to show unity and take positive action in welcoming refugees to our great country. We are a lucky country and have the capacity to be compassionate to those who do not have the quality of life that we enjoy. The strength and value of our public education system is that it welcomes all and embraces diversity. We are all the same under the skin and there is no place for put downs based on differences.

Which brings me to Shakespeare. At the time of his writing, there were concerns amongst the workers of London about jobs being lost due to the influx of ‘refugees’ and there were intolerances to those who were not of the Queen’s faith (sound familiar?). Shakespeare’s writing shows that he did not agree with these views and, in fact, tried to educate people with his words. I think that is one reason why Shakespeare still has relevance today, across all cultures.

In the words of Shylock:

“I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands,
organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same
food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases,
heal’d by the same means, warm’d and cool’d by the same winter
and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If
you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the
rest, we will resemble you in that.”
The Merchant Of Venice Act 3, scene 1, 58–68

His point? We are all human, with the same needs and wants. He wanted people to see that differences are a state of mind and that we are all more alike than different. This message of tolerance and acceptance, written so long ago, is still the same message we want our students to understand and embrace today; let us truly accept the bounty that we get from being both a multicultural society and one that welcomes refugees to our shores.

Ms Anne Vine

From our Deputy Principals

Deputy Principal

Attendance at school is crucial for all students’ academic success. This might sound like an obvious statement to most, but it needs reinforcement. Regular attendance allows for continuity in learning and helps develop self-discipline. Another positive is that better outcomes can be achieved by students, leading to a greater sense of achievement, which can only be good for their wellbeing. Part of the role of schools is to prepare young people for the ‘real world’, be it in the workplace or in higher studies. Of course, we do not want students coming to school when they are ill. In the event of any absence, please inform the school as soon as possible to ensure any leave is recorded as justified.

It is essential that schools have current contact details for parents and caregivers. This is especially important in the case of an emergency. Frequently we are finding that students have changed address or parent / caregiver phone numbers have changed. This can be done through a phone call to our office, sending an email or using the school app. It would be appreciated if you could attend to this matter by contacting the school if this applies to you.

As this is the last newsletter of the term, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Ms Lidia Jeffrey for her outstanding work as the second DP. Her work was professional and committed, making valuable contributions to our school.

I wish all students and their families a happy and safe holiday.
Term 3 is already shaping up to be as busy as this term.

Mr Scott White
Deputy Principal

PBL awards week 10 - Term 2






Year 7

In this newsletter, I would like to touch on the CELL foundation which has been the basis of this term’s lesson: ‘Being … STRONG’. Recently, in readings, I have revisited the ‘heart and mind’ dichotomy and find it aptly related to what we are trying to achieve in the ‘Being strong’ CELL foundation: developing in students the ability to cope and thrive in the face of personal, social and educational challenges (heart) through thinking strategies and positive mind sets (mind).

Developing strength in self-confidence, developing the quality of persistence, developing resilience and ‘getting along’ socially with others, despite differences, are fundamental to success, not only in school, but in life. These qualities need to
be taught and nurtured by the adults in a child’s life. Alongside, we must model and teach to our children/students, how to problem solve so they are better equipped to optimistically deal with situations they face in the bigger world outside the microcosm which is school.

This is my last newsletter article as Deputy Principal of Year 7 2017. Mr Lester will be taking on the role for Semester 2, 2017. I have really valued my time as Deputy of Year 7, both in the relationships I have built with the students and in my interactions with parents. I wish Year 7 all the best and to remember that ‘Being … ORGANISED’, ‘Being… ON TRACK’ and ‘Being… STRONG’ are the foundations for a successful high school journey.

Year 12: Research Evidence and What Works for Success In Year 12 – Part 2

The focus on what the research tells us works best for success in Year 12 is continued in this newsletter. The previous newsletter highlighted six characteristics common to students who were successful in Year 12 (belief, goals, environment, team, results oriented, organisational skills).

The characteristics listed below are particularly relevant to Year 12 at this point in time as they include what needs to be done in holiday time and what needs to be done in the lead up to exams; the July holidays will commence shortly and the Trial HSC Examinations will be commencing in Week 4 of next term.

Please note that I wish to acknowledge the work of Elevate Education in the synthesis of the information which follows.


  • There is no substitute for hard work. Hard work will yield results.
  • Working hard means making sacrifices (cutting back on going out; not watching TV)
  • ‘Goals and study techniques are the bricks which make up a house. The hard work is the mortar which pulls it all together and makes it a strong and sturdy structure.’ (Elevate Education: The Science of Student Success).


  • Holidays need to be used: to chill, to catch up, to get ahead and to prepare for major exams (the July holidays are perfectly placed to ensure all this can be achieved in time for the Trial HSC Exams next term)
  • Consistently working on school work in short bursts works well
  • Students should ensure all notes and summaries are complete
  • Students should do practice papers
  • Relaxing is important – holidays allow students to have more relaxation time than during school time.


  • All notes should be summarised. Remember the “less is more” philosophy i.e. the more summarised the notes, the better it is for studying.
  • Use the marking rubrics, syllabus dot points, outcomes and school notes in making summaries
  • Space in summaries – have as much white space as possible on the page. It will make information easier to see and understand.
  • Have separate folders for each unit
  • Use colour (eg highlighters in notes)
  • Maximise exam preparation by setting goals for exams
  • Set goals for what needs to be done
  • Use time effectively. Students should be ready so that 3 weeks before the exams, they are completely up to date with notes and summaries.
  • The weeks before the exams, should be used for study and practice papers.


  • Practice papers are one of the biggest keys to success
  • A student should be doing a number each week in each subject
  • Practice papers should be given to the teacher to mark and to get feedback. The student should then look at the feedback, redo and resubmit to the teacher for marking.

Exam periods can be times of great stress. Our school counsellor, Ms Leanne Foubisher, has given lectures to Year 12 on the physiology of stress and on strategies to manage stress. Ms Foubisher and Ms Leah Varley, our other school counsellor, are available to support students with stress.

As always, if you have any questions in any area, please do not hesitate to contact me at school.

This is the last article I will be writing in capacity of Year 12 Deputy Principal. Mr Jai Lester will be taking the position for Semester 2. I have really valued my time in working in this position and wish each student in Year 12 the very best in their HSC and for their future.

Ms Lidia Jeffrey
Deputy Principal Year 7 and Year 12

English Essays

As part of a Year 10 English study of the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, our students were required to reference the text and answer the following essay question:

How do new experiences challenge characters’ perceptions of Identity?

On the following pages are some examples of students who worked on implementing the ALARM paragraph structure to demonstrate their understanding, resulting in some great essay writing. Georgia, Storm and Jasmine are congratulated on their diligent approach to this assessment task and continue to set an impressive standard in our Stage 5 English course.

Mr Crum

Georgia (Year 10)

Identity is an individual’s sense of self, including their beliefs, values, status, and personal preferences. Identity is incredibly complex and difficult to explore, partially due to the many aspects which not only form the basis of an individual’s identity, but challenge it also. Life’s experiences, the events, and situations that one finds themselves in challenge and often alter perceptions of one’s self, the world around them, and their identity. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee situates her characters in a variety of scenarios which challenge the social, emotional, and physical aspects of their identities. Ultimately, identity is a complicated journey challenged by events and experiences during the course of one’s life.

Certain experiences challenge the social aspects of an individual’s identity. Social standards, expectations, and responsibilities are paramount for most individual’s. These conventional views also apply to gender roles and presumptions of how one should act as a lady and the pressure to fit into these molds has the potential to deeply affect one’s identity. The capacity for an experience to challenge social aspects of identity are demonstrated through Lee’s use of the imagery “I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches … Aunt Alexandra’s vision of my deportment involved playing with small stoves, tea sets, and wearing the Add-A-Pearl necklace she gave me when I was born.”, suggesting to the audience her Aunt’s desire for Scout to fit into the social gender expectations which were prominent in the 1930’s. Through the use of descriptive language when expressing Alexandra’s for Scout’s childhood, Lee is able to portray how Scout’s extended family view her, and the standards of gender they expect her to present within society. Consequently, Lee implements the character of Scout and the experience of dealing with gender expectations to position the reader to comprehend how experiences can challenge the social aspects of one’s identity including perception of self and future implications.

Exposure to new encounters is crucial to forming the emotional aspects of identity. Young children instinctively believe the world is kind, and it is this that allows them to trust easily and develop morals. The development and challenge to one’s morals is demonstrated through Lee’s use of the rhetorical questioning “How could they do it, how could they?”, which indicates Jem’s bewilderment related to his sudden discovery of the overt racism ingrained in Maycomb County and his new-found awareness raises questions as to the legitimacy of the legal system. Through the use of repetition of the same statement, Lee conveys the intense emotional impact Jem’s exposure to inhumane treatment of African-Americans has had on his transition from the innocence of his childhood to the stark reality of the adult world. Lee uses the character of Jem and the experience of a first encounter with racism to situate the reader to understand how new experiences challenge emotional aspects of identity, most prominently challenging one’s morals.

Often the most influential impacts on one’s identity come from experiences that challenge a person’s physical perception of themselves. The environment in which one is raised is a significant part of life, along with the socio-economic status of one’s family. Physical aspects shape understanding and positions within the community which encompasses the visible factors of housing and schooling options. Harper Lee employs the use of the simile “Are we as poor as the Cunningham’s?”, to reveal the differing economic status among the Maycomb county residents. Lee states, “Not exactly. The Cunningham’s are country folks, farmers, and the crash hit them the hardest.”, which provides depth of understanding to Scout and Jem of the factors that impact financial security, or lack thereof. Through the application of the metaphor relating to the crash, Lee demonstrates how the experience of gaining knowledge of the world’s greatest monetary crisis affects Scout and Jem’s perceptions of their families standing in their community and how their future within society are predetermined unless the cycle of poverty is broken. Lee, through the characters of Scout and Jem and the experiences of acquiring insight into their socio-economic ranking, stations the responder to appreciate how new experiences can alter the physical aspects of identity.

Identity is a complex combination of many aspects that mesh together to determine one’s place in the world and their opinions and perceptions of that world. New experiences are vital in shaping and refining one’s identity through questioning their ethics, morals, and prior knowledge. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses a variety of literary techniques to reveal the formation and development of the identities of Scout and Jem to the responder. Through the study of the text, the responder gains new knowledge and ideas of what influences, pressures, and ultimately defines one’s identity.

Storm (Year 10)

New experiences have the power to challenge one’s identity in terms of both how they see themselves and in turn the world around them. Identity is complex and the many separate sides can affect people in a variety of ways. This is shown numerous times throughout Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee uses social, emotional, cultural and physical challenges to alter the characters within the novel, positioning the responder to apply this to the world around them. Ultimately the text displays the challenges to identity through Lee’s positioning of the characters in which their views are altered, therefore shaping and challenging their identity.

The environment that an individual is situated in can play a large part in shaping identity. Economic situations impact the way that people are brought up, where they are brought up, and the opportunities they may or may not have access to. Harper Lee establishes the social ladder through using a metaphor. ‘“Are we as poor as the Cunninghams?’ ‘Not exactly. The Cunningham’s are country folk, farmers, and the crash hit them the hardest’” Which suggests that Jem is becoming aware of how economic status can indeed affect social status in a community. Through the metaphor Lee references to the Great Depression as a crash, a situation which is shown to have affected Jem through the physical and environmental factors of his identity that are subconsciously placed upon him. He learns that moneys control is not limited to what you can and can’t buy, but also the people that you can and can’t associate with. Essentially, the environment that Jem is placed in by the author Harper Lee predetermines major features of his identity.

The beliefs and opinions of an individual can be challenged by the beliefs of those around them. Contrasting opinions can create tension and drive a rift between communities. Such separation is powerful in moulding character, shown through Lee’s use of colloquial language. “He had announced in the schoolyard the day before that Scout Finch’s daddy defended niggers.” The fact that Scout is being teased about who her father represents in court would lead her to automatically assuming Atticus was in the wrong. This challenges her viewpoint on the people within the community and the black and white cultures. Her opinions’ regarding the townspeople is then shaped by the racism taking place that her young mind is taking on.

The rules and expectations of our society affect our identity throughout our lives. This confronts the social aspects of our identity, testing our personal character as standards rise. These expectations have a strong impact on how people live and many aspects of identity. Lee uses questioning dialogue to display an example of said rules. “‘Scout, you’ll get in trouble if you go around saying things like that. You want to grow up to be a lady don’t you?’” Here, Scout’s Uncle introduces her to what is acceptable behaviour for a young lady in the 1930s. Many times during the text Scout is told she must be and act like a lady, disregarding her already evolved personality for what she ‘should be’. This displays the many expectations that are held for Scout, even as a child. Through this Lee positions the reader to further understand how society’s expectations and thoughts can majorly change who we are and challenge our identity.

To conclude, the way we perceive the world is challenged everyday by a number of factors, including the environment and physical location of an individual, the beliefs and opinions of the community and environment, and the rules and expectations of both our superiors and society as a whole. The novel To Kill a Mockingbird shows examples of each of these concepts through the characters Scout and Jem, displaying the various aspects of identity and how they can affect different people and their views in different ways. The author positions the reader of the novel to alter their view of their surrounding community and themselves, moulding and shaping their perception of society and the world as a whole.

Jasmine (Year 10)

A challenge to a person’s identity can come from new experiences a person goes through, which affect people differently according to who they are and the contextual information of themselves and the experience. Different aspects of identity can be challenged depending on the person or experience. In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses her characters to employ this idea. Scouts, the protagonist, alongside her father Atticus, both endure new experiences that challenge and shape their social and emotional aspects of identity. Ultimately, identity is a complex, forever changing idea that can be challenged through new experiences and can shape a person’s identity in many different ways.

Enduring a new experience has the ability to challenge and shape one’s social identity. As a person grows and changes, who they are is constantly evolving, new experiences can challenge a person’s view on society, or how they perceive themself fitting in with the people around them, which can significantly alter their identity for the future. This power to shape one’s identity can be seen through Lee’s use of the oxymoron, “… and I shivered, though the night was hot.”, which communicates to the responder that whilst Scout is viewing the rape trial, awaiting the jury’s verdict, she is completely worried about the outcome, as she now realises how the deep south discriminates black people due to the racial inequality, showing how this experience has affected Scout. By showing Scout’s comparison of the cold winters night shiver, Lee conveys the idea to the audience, that by Scout watching the trial, she has now experienced first-hand the racial discrimination that her society partakes in and therefore has a new-found perception of the society in which she lives. Subsequently, Lee communicates the idea of how challenges to identity are produced from new experiences through Scout’s first-hand witnessing of black treatment in her society, which in turn forces Scout to alter her social identity by changing her view on the people in her community.

Similarly, facing new experiences also has the power to challenge and shape a person’s emotional identity. New challenges or experiences are always available for people throughout their life, which can allow people to rethink their emotional identity in terms of interest, beliefs or state of mind. Lee conveys this idea of powerful experiences through the symbolic simile, “This case is as simple as black and white.”, to show the reader that Atticus is obviously very upset about Tom Robinson’s situation and how unfair and racist the court is being towards his client. Through the use of the double meaning of the phrase ‘black and white’, figuratively and literally, Lee is able to communicate to the responder that the trial and the Robinson case in general has challenged Atticus’ identity emotionally as he is enraged and saddened by the amount of racism towards Mr. Robinson, and the fact that without this racism, the case would never have gone to court. Lee uses Atticus and the experience of the trial to show the responder how experiences can shape one’s emotional identity.

Furthermore, a challenge to an individual’s social identity comes from a new experience. A person is exposed to many new experiences throughout their life, which have the power to shape and evolve a person’s identity in terms of how they view society or how they play a role in their community. The idea of social identity being challenged by a new experience can be portrayed through Lee’s use of the motif, “Well, it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it?”, where Scout is referring to Boo Radley as the mockingbird, and telling people what he did to Mr. Ewell is not worth it, as Boo is not the type of person to cause trouble – the mockingbird doesn’t disturb anyone. Through Lee’s analogy, it shows the audience how Scout got attacked, and Boo killed Mr. Ewell, as a result of this Scout understands why the sheriff wants to claim Mr. Ewell’s death as an accident as Boo Radley is a good man and doesn’t normally cause trouble. Lee implements this experience for Scout so the responder can clearly see how Scout’s view on her community and her part in justice is challenged due to the experience that she underwent.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee uses her characters to convey the idea that new experiences are a significant tool in challenging and shaping one’s identity. This has been communicated through the experiences of Scout and Atticus and how these experiences shaped their social and emotional identities, and how the same experience can affect people in a completely different way. Overall, identity is a dynamic construct that can be challenged, or shaped through new experiences, which can be communicated throughout the novel.

KMHS WOLVES – Sporting Highlights

Equestrian Championships

Olivia in Year 9 recently represented Kariong Mountains High School on her horse ‘Sitting Pretty’ at the NSW State Interschool Equestrian Championships at Horsley Park.

Olivia from KMHS at the NSW State Interschool Equestrian Championships 2017
Olivia on her horse ‘Sitting Pretty’

Olivia won two out of her three 90cm showjumping classes against a tough field of 84 riders and became overall State Champion. This win will qualify Olivia for the National Interschool Equestrian Championship to be held in Toowoomba in September. Olivia also placed 5th in the 1.00 metre class on her sister’s horse Chilterns Coat.

Congratulations Olivia, well done!

Olivia at the prize ceremony – NSW Interschool State Championships

Try A Skill Day

Eighteen students from Kariong Mountains High School participated in the 2017 ‘Try a skill’ day at Ourimbah TAFE. Everyone enjoyed the ‘hands on’ experience of different trades, including: driving a forklift simulator, building framework for a house, making pasta, doing hair, welding and plumbing. The students were great ambassadors for our school and displayed our core values – Unity Knowledge Respect. Thank you, to Mr Knowles for driving the bus.

Students from KMHS attending ‘Try a Skill Day’ at Ourimbah TAFE.

Canteen News

As some of you may have heard, there have been changes to the NSW Healthy Kids Strategy that regulates what government school canteens can sell to the students and staff. With the aim to reduce obesity in children, the school canteen is one way students can learn about healthy food choices.

We have until the end of 2019 to comply with the new strategy. This means our menu will be having a make-over and we will be progressively changing items between now and then.

Our new menu will start at the beginning of Term 3 (download link below). Please contact the canteen if you have any questions.

KMHS Canteen Menu – Term 3 2017

We are proud to announce that the canteen is moving with the times and will soon have EFTPOS.

Thanks to the P&C the canteen has purchased a new commercial oven to help with the changes. We are planning on doing some cook-ups in the canteen and need some extra help between break one and two (11:45 and to 1:45pm), each day.

If you would like to help once a month/term, please contact the canteen on the school phone number: 4340 0246


Comedy for a Cause - coming to KMHS in September


KMHS HP chromebook hire to buy program