This Week In The Senior School

June 10, 2021  
Head of Senior School - Mr Nick Hackett

Over the last two weeks, the Senior School community has been grieving the loss of a cherished member of our community. One of the activities we have undertaken as a school is to each make an origami lily that has formed a truly beautiful memorial display. This week, a book of condolence was opened and staff and students have been recording their personal messages and memories. This book, along with paper flowers made by our community will shortly be sent on to the family of Our Friend. On behalf of the Senior School, I’d like to express our shared gratitude to Year 7 parent, Catriona Stanton, who offered her artistic skills and passion and supported teachers and students from every year group in making their flowers. Thank you!

Becoming a Published Author

In the midst of COVID-19, I was at home during the lockdown and decided I wanted to do something productive with my spare time. I decided that I would finally write a book and try to get it published. Writing a book has always been a dream of mine but I never committed to finishing a whole book. I put this ambition into use and spent an entire day outlining Nevella and creating the characters. Once I had finished that I realised how much I loved this story and these characters, and I knew it had to be a series. I then spent another day outlining the rest of the books I would write once I finished the first one. As soon as I had finished outlining the arc of my stories, I started to finally write Nevella. It took me eleven whole months to write and another two months to edit it. After the editing was complete, I got someone else to read and edit it. After that I found someone to make a cover for my book and everything was imported onto Amazon for publication. It was an amazing journey to go through and a great accomplishment for myself to be able to hold my own book in my hands.

– Ella Smith, Year 9

Winning at High School

Life was good in the junior school; your parents and one classroom teacher help you manage all of your time. You go where you’re taken, you do what you’re told, and you play with your friends.  Life is simple and easy.

But things can change at Senior School! Over 40% of students in NSW high schools report[1] being under psychological stress. Students need to manage:

  • Around 10 teachers providing ongoing learning and allocating homework and assessment tasks,
  • Family commitments,
  • Increasing independence,
  • Commitments to Co-curricular activities outside of school hours

With this in mind, late last year I decided to try and help. I needed to find a lifehack to help me and my friends “win” at High School. I took a step back, analysed everything I was doing, and set about devising a solution –I came up with ‘SuperStudent’. 

SuperStudent is an online app designed specifically for high school students that helps maintain a healthy school/life balance, whilst juggling competing priorities and ensuring that students are always doing the right next thing – be that schoolwork, taking time out in the sun, or sleeping. My dad is an entrepreneur and both parents are computer engineers so technical solutions are a way of life in our family. Most of our life is organised by our calendar and reminders apps and our emails. I wanted to find a way to bring it all together.

I spoke to my dad and he gave me ideas as to how to build an app. I also worked with Zig Zag Hub (the Young Entrepreneurs Program) and that showed me how to develop the basis for starting a business, designing a prototype and so forth. Finally, in my Commerce class at school, I had an assessment task to write a business plan and I used this as an opportunity to develop the plans I already had for my app and to refine my thinking.

TIGS students, if you’d like to become a Super Student too, help test the app, or are interested to find out more, please get in touch. Let’s win at high school together!

– Rhiannon Evans, Year 10

[1] Health Statistics NSW, Psychological distress components, secondary school students, 2017


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