New beginnings

August 4, 2023  
Mr Nick Hackett - Head of Senior School

I’m sure many of us would agree, starting a new school can be really hard – not only socially but also in terms of its impact on learning. Professor John Hattie’s ‘Visible Learning’ research, the focus of Senior School professional learning for the last 18 months, underlines the significance. The research, which evaluated the impact on learning of some 252 factors, identified moving schools as potentially having one of the most significant, negative effects on learning of any of the factors considered. (You can see all 252 factors arranged in order of their significance here.)

During Term III I have been involved in a number of enrolments and am constantly reminded of the importance of helping students to make the strongest possible start. Anyone who knows our School well, will recognise that it is a community defined by its convivial warmth, but I wondered how some of our newer students had found the experience of becoming a part of our community during 2023. They were happy to share some of their experiences:


Connor – Year 7: “My first week was amazing, I got some new friends. The canteen’s food is really good. Also, students in this school are super-helpful and friendly. If I get lost, they will help me to find the room. If you’re joining TIGS, don’t be scared of sharing your answers, if you have a thought, share it, and don’t be afraid to make new friends or bring up any questions you might have.”


Isla – Year 8: “Before I came to TIGS, I felt very nervous and scared that I wasn’t going to have any friends or fit in. But as soon as I walked into the school gates, I felt very welcomed, and the environment was so happy and kind compared to my past school.”


Giorgia – Year 8:My first day at TIGS was great… but nerve-wracking at the same time! I had a friend that I knew before coming here which gave me a sense of confidence; but instantly, I was brought into a group of friends, and they were all kind and welcoming. I adapted to the new timetable and the way around the School pretty quickly and made good relationships with the teachers”.


Mason – Year 8: “I have really enjoyed the friendships I have made at TIGS. I have even seen my friends outside of school and had a lot of fun. My advice to any new student is to be yourself. You can easily find a great friend group to hang out with…. Also make sure to stay on top of your homework!”


As TIGS continues to enjoy such sustained growth, I am greatly encouraged to hear that the newest members of our community are finding their feet so quickly and wasting no time in making a strong contribution to the wonderful TIGS culture.


Community Problem Solving Nationals Final

After TIGS’ exceptional showing in the 2023 international CMPS finals, we continue to enjoy great success in this area. Congratulations are in order as all four TIGS entries into the Australian Future Problem Solving Competition have been invited to compete in the national finals in Brisbane, in October.

  • From Year 9, Chloe Mekisic and Grace Russo will be presenting their project on coastal safety encouraging young people’s awareness of water dangers.
  • Helping Hands, consisting of Year 9 students Lucy Bernie, Isabella Carswell, Rhys Chieng, Robbie Lavalle and Yasmin Matar are collaborating to provide resources to ameliorate homelessness in the Illawarra.
  • Year 11s Ishe Chibanda, Samantha Fritsch, Will Jorgensen and Mia Parker are tackling the important subject of mental health with their project ‘Walk till you Talk’.
  • Year 10s Alyssa Jeffries, hot on the heels of taking first place in the 2023 international finals with her project on domestic violence, is now competing with the topical and vital subject of social media addiction.


I would like to thank Mrs Burton for her excellent work in supporting our CMPS students and we look forward to more success in this area, later in the year.



The Works Exhibition


Japan Foundation excursion