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While on sabbatical I was fortunate to be able to consider Pembroke School and its immediate and long-term future. I could do this in detail and without the worry of day-to-day matters. It is a wonderful experience to have time offered for such a task. I would like to wholeheartedly thank the Board for the opportunity.
The Principal’s Sabbatical Report has been put to the Board with several ideas to consider over the next 5-year period. When finalised these ideas will be shared with the community. However, there are three initiatives that will have an immediate impact on the life of the School in 2018. This publication gives me an opportunity to explain these in some detail.
A New Academic Department
If our approach to student wellbeing is good enough for students to know, then it is good enough to be taught. The aspect of our educational experience that intentionally blurs the lines between the academic life of a student and their welfare can fruitfully be refined further at Pembroke. To this end we are creating a new department, to be called the Social, Emotional & Personal Development (SE&PD) Department, which will function from Years 7–12. It will not extend to the Junior School because it already has a well-defined, managed and taught social, emotional and personal development curriculum that is integrated into the students’ classroom experience.
The SE&PD Department will be responsible for the coordination of all curriculum taught under the umbrella of the student learning that the departmental name suggests. This includes the Coordinators of International Students and Indigenous Students, and the Directors of Careers Services, Personal Learning Plan (PLP), Community Service and Library Services. It will also become the administrative and support home for Health (which will move out of PE for curriculum development), Chapel, Retreat Days, Careers, Healthy Minds and aspects of the Australian Curriculum that are generic, such as general capabilities and cross-curricular priorities that focus on teaching aspects of wellbeing.
The beauty of having a department of this nature is that our modus operandi for departments is well established and respected. The curriculum scope and sequence of SE&PD is written and approved through the normal curriculum structures, and this scope and sequence will be enhanced to include more areas where a greater emphasis is profitable. This department will drive, encourage and support curriculum development in this key student learning area.
Counsellors, the School Psychologist and the Chaplain will join this department insofar as they are involved in the delivery of Retreat Days, Religious Education and the Health curriculum. Middle School (MS) Outdoor Ed will relate to this department on topics that are mutually supportive, especially around the MS camps program.
The inclusion of an SE&PD Department offers a sensible structure for a wide range of subjects and initiatives that share a common purpose, and offers an obvious place for Australian Curriculum requirements. It will help avoid the increasing inconvenience of separating welfare and academics, while maintaining the benefits of the individualised attention that curriculum organisational structures currently give. The SE&PD Department fits into existing modes of operation that are well understood and supported and should ensure a strong emphasis on the importance of the relationship between welfare and academics, without overemphasising one over another.
The New Assistant Head of Middle School, Curriculum Role as the Leader of SE&PD Department
The SE&PD Department will be led and coordinated by a new and second Assistant Head of Middle School. This position will be called the Assistant Head of Middle School, Curriculum. Because the bulk of the curriculum delivery in SE&PD is MS-based and because its coordination requires a level of authority to manage programs working within and across curriculum time, it seems very sensible to have the focus of its administration in the MS. The dedicated curriculum time is needed to make new curriculum initiatives easier to manage and a little more specific to the needs of the MS.
With the new building in place and the move to a full Year 7 intake, the MS student population will move to 800. This represents an overall increase from 2018 of 50 students in Year 7 on the campus. The current structures supporting the MS require some modification to underpin the enrolment change to a Year 7 intake. We began this modification by increasing the responsibilities of the current Assistant Head of Middle School, reforming Year 7 coordination, creating more coordination of Learning Support, and increasing areas of curriculum support for Indigenous students, international students, PLP, and counselling and nursing time. Teacher time has also been increased to accommodate more Year 7 classes, and adjustments have been made to House coordination in Year 7. The new Assistant Head of Middle School, Curriculum will round off those changes to leadership.
The Assistant Head of Middle School, Curriculum will create an exciting new leadership role at Pembroke. There are few roles that provide both an opportunity to shape curriculum as a Head of Department does and look specifically at student welfare as a Head of House does, and then support the translation of that to curriculum offerings. I am excited about the potential of this role to bring a concentrated day-to-day energy and support to MS curriculum development. It is timely, with the development of a new educational setting in the MS, to have this position in place to take advantage of a new spirit of adventure and development.
The Assistant Head of Middle School, Curriculum will also be charged with the responsibility of regularly monitoring the academic progress of students in the MS and including in each student’s ongoing analysis a clear understanding of the Pembroke experience from their viewpoint, able to be fed into and utilised by tutors, Heads of House and others.
Director of Pembroke Development and Communication
The Pembroke Development, Marketing and Publications Office will be led by a Director of Pembroke Development and Communication. This role will direct, develop and manage all aspects of the development of Pembroke. Development is a considerable department within the School and includes the Office for Old Scholars, Pembroke Foundation (community liaison, bequests, fundraising campaign support), Marketing and Publications.
We can consider this position now because the significant preparatory work has been undertaken over the past 5 years. There have been remarkable efforts on the part of Foundation Director Amanda Bourchier and Chair of the Foundation Mr David Minns, and of staff committing their time to capital campaigns, bequests and old scholar communication. Coupled with the reform of many legal, financial and organisational structures that underpin the development of the School, this allows us to now take a bolder approach. The comprehensive Foundation Development Plan and Facilities Master Plan provide further clarity for future developments. The shift in culture to acknowledge and recognise the importance of thinking about Pembroke’s future has well and truly taken hold, so all these areas can now be coordinated into a comprehensive strategy to underpin, develop and project the School in the most effective way possible.
This position will provide further expertise and support to develop a comprehensive and forward-looking marketing plan, fundraising strategy, community engagement strategy, advertising strategies, and strategies to regularly review the health of Pembroke’s profile including community feedback and analysis. The Foundation Director, Secretary of POSA, Director of Publications, school designers including web designers, and bequests coordinator will be supported by this position.
The position of Director of Pembroke Development and Communication will be advertised nationally and internationally, and before the end of the year.
There are some very exciting ideas ahead. I look forward to communicating those to you regularly.
Mr Luke Thomson
From the two-dimensional artistic impression published in the 2016 PemNews, the Environmental Learning Centre at Old Watulunga has come to life in resplendent three dimensions.
With local stone, large windows framing views over the water, flow-through ventilation, an industrial kitchen and open space to welcome large groups, Old Watulunga is both an inviting and exciting learning environment and event space.
Walking towards the ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ takes considerable time as the path begins at the greatest chook house in the southern hemisphere. Complete with solar panels to lift the coop door and hatches to collect eggs, the chickens reside in daylight hours in a large orchard space shaded by natural timber fences.
Through a magnificent gate (David Nelson’s final masterpiece) embellished with gardening implements, discoveries abound—curved stone walls flanked by cycads, ferns and interesting educational signage; raised vegetable and herb beds protected by scarecrows; an outdoor kitchen shelter; and a hothouse and potting shed all provide an overwhelming promise of bountiful harvests.
In contrast to the peace and tranquility of Old Watulunga, the ‘boom crash opera’ of the Shipsters Road Project has begun. At remarkable pace the walls and foundations of the existing infrastructure are vanishing.
Thanks to the efforts of the Capital Campaign Team, the number of families to contact before the end of the year is also vanishing. It will be an incredible accomplishment to consider in December 2017 that all current parents have been given the opportunity to support and contribute to the Shipsters Road Project.
2017 has been a huge year; for many it has been a time to contemplate being part of a community that values education and is prepared to help shape its future at Pembroke School. With the first development fully funded by the Pembroke community complete at Old Watulunga, it will be wonderful to watch the Shipsters Road Project emerge—a real tribute to community engagement, belief and generosity.
If you are interested in joining or contributing to Pembroke Community Development please email Development@Pembroke.sa.edu.au or phone the Development office on +61 8 3 666 830.
Late in Term 3 some surprise uniformed visitors knocked on the door of Mr Colebatch’s Year 6 class looking for Daniel. Led by Commander Andrew Burnett, Commanding Officer of Navy Headquarters in South Australia, this group sought to find Daniel and deliver a very important message on behalf of Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, Chief of Navy and the Make a Wish Foundation.
Good morning Teachers and Students of Pembroke School.
I will now read out a notice signed by the Chief of Navy.
I, Andrew Burnett, Commanding Officer - Navy Headquarters South Australia, have the great honour today to pass on a command from the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett.
I now call upon Daniel, otherwise known as ‘Dan the Digger’, to come forward.
Daniel, you have been personally chosen by the Chief of Navy to undertake a mission of national importance.
The mission is planned over two days in December and you will be given command of our nation’s Flagship HMAS Canberra to complete this mission. This is your warning order. Full details of your mission will be provided on a date closer to the mission.
In order that you are prepared for Command, you are to continue your current fitness program, and you will be monitored by Navy, with the able assistance of Lieutenant Dave Dawes. His role will be to visit you once a month, at your convenience, and discuss your progress and report back to Navy Strategic Command in Canberra.
In order that you can achieve the outcomes required by the Chief of Navy, today you will be promoted to Honorary Lieutenant until the completion of the mission.
HMAS Canberra is the lead ship of the two Canberra class Amphibious Assault Ships otherwise known as a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD).
At 27,000 tonnes, the LHDs are the largest ships ever constructed for the Royal Australian Navy. The ships provide the Australian Defence Force with one of the most capable and sophisticated air – land - sea amphibious deployment systems in the world.
The ships contribute directly to the defence of Australia and its national interests, and allow large-scale humanitarian assistance, at home or in our region.
There are four main decks; heavy vehicle, accommodation, hangar and light vehicles and flight deck.w Canberra is able to conduct amphibious operations and land a force of over 1,000 personnel along with all their weapons, ammunition, vehicles and stores by landing craft, helicopters or a combination of both.
Congratulations Daniel and I wish you all the best for the success of your mission.
Director of Publications
On 22 August the Year 3 students travelled to Aldinga for an overnight camp focusing on Indigenous culture.
Students participated in a ‘bush tucker’ walk through Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park, where they looked at different sources of foods and medicines such as acacia plants and ‘old man's beard’. The sharp spikes of the acacia plant were traditionally inserted into the roots of a wart. As the skin reacted to the spikes the wart would eventually drop off. 'Old man’s beard' is an edible leaf—when you place it in your mouth and chew it for a while it has a spicy, chilli flavour; the smaller the leaf the more intense the spicy flavour is.
The students were introduced to traditional wadli (shelters) building. In small groups they constructed their own wadlis using branches, sticks and leaves from the surrounding environment. The Year 3s had to make them strong and hopefully waterproof because one of the camp leaders pretended there was a storm coming and we had to get in our wadlis to shelter from the weather.
The artefacts that were shown at the Year 3 camp were stunning. All the artefacts the students saw were made out of natural materials such as carved sticks and smooth bark. One was a boomerang that was very old, from 50–60 years ago. The students learnt that boomerangs are very important culturally and were often used for hunting, cooking, reaching food from trees, digging and making music.
The students were also able to paint their own boomerangs. They practised by tracing around and designing their boomerangs on paper, before painting their completed stories onto wooden boomerangs.
It was an excellent first-time camping experience at the Aldinga Caravan Park, with the students gaining a greater understanding of the connection between themselves, the Kaurna people and the land we share.
Year 3 Teacher
Unfortunately the weather gods were not shining down on us this year, and for the first time in a number of years we had to move the annual Book Week Parade to DY Hall. This always proves to be a squishy affair but we made the most of it.
Parents were aplenty and it was fantastic to see so many students dress up as book characters. Many of the older students joined in the frivolity—the most for a number of years. What always amazes me is how creative both parents and students become and the hours of work that are obviously put into making the array of costumes. Once again many of the staff joined in with the Mr Men and Little Miss theme, which provided many laughs from the students.
A special thanks must go to Miss Jureckson who was the emcee for the event—she is always very entertaining and ensures that the parade runs smoothly.
National Science Week was celebrated in many ways in the Junior School (JS) this year. The theme was 'Future Earth' and throughout the week all classes were involved in various Science explorations linked with the environment and challenging STEM activities. They explored designing and making prototypes as well as improving on them to solve specific problems with explicit criteria. They used their strong teamwork skills and showed cooperation and persistence throughout these investigations. They all found these sessions exciting, engaging and challenging.
On Wednesday 16 August the Pembroke Junior School Science Fair was held to celebrate National Science Week. The fair was designed to serve a number of purposes—to celebrate and showcase Science in the JS and to develop the teaching of scientific investigation skills among JS staff.
The Years 4-6 classes were buddied up with a Senior School Science teacher to assist in the teaching of the scientific process in readiness for the Science Fair. Students also looked at hypothesising and justifying their hypothesis, choosing variables, recording results using tables and graphs, analysing their results and making conclusions.
The students’ work was then displayed throughout each of the classrooms. The standard was very high overall and some fascinating explorations took place. Students investigated topics such as which type of fidget spinner spins the longest, whether the weight of a ramp affects the distance a ball travels and if the size of the ball affects the height it bounces, which type of frozen liquid melts the quickest, whether the type of surface affects how far a remote-control car travels and which colour light helps a plant grow the best.
The Junior Primary buddy classes visited the displays on the afternoon before the Science Fair, allowing the Upper Primary students to practise explaining their choice of questions, the research they undertook and the results they found to their buddies. The fair was a fantastic success and culminated in parents and friends visiting on the Wednesday morning. Students were able to share their findings with their parents, teachers and students from other classes.
A special thanks to Mr Duffy (Head of Science), Ms Kelly and Ms Malec for all their work in mentoring the JS students and teachers.
Year 4 Teacher
As part of the Social Emotional Learning and Health Curriculum the Year 5s have been participating in the Rock and Water Program. The program is ultimately aimed at raising self-awareness of personal strengths and abilities and at learning how to play, work and live together with others in a changing, multicultural society.
‘Rock and Water’ incorporates a physical/social approach to assist boys and girls in their development to adulthood by increasing their self-realisation, self-confidence, self-respect, boundary awareness and intuition.
A specific goal for the course is teaching students how to deal with power, strength and powerlessness. There are elements of self-defence taught, with principles of ancient martial arts drawn on as a recurring theme. Physical games are constantly linked with discussions and social skill-building exercises throughout. Sessions are run by fully accredited trainers from the Gakadu Institute. When students enter Year 7 they are offered further opportunities to participate in the program.
Coordinator of Student Welfare
More? You want more?! The audiences clearly did when 2B and 2G performed Oliver! for friends and family on 19 and 20 September this year. All the Year 2 students showed passion and commitment during their rehearsals and met the challenge of learning their lines, songs, choreography and movement on stage with enthusiasm. Highlights of the musical process were being fitted for costumes, having hair and makeup done, using the microphones and utilising the wonderful facilities in Wright Hall. Particular mention should be made of Elijah in 2G, who designed and operated the lighting for the performances.
I would like to thank Year 2 teachers, Miss Battye and Mr Grubb, Mrs Riley, Ms Corbett and Mrs Howard for all their help and support. I would also like to thank Ms Van Den Ende for putting together all the wonderful costumes, including hair and makeup. Special thanks are due to Mr Gum for ensuring that all the rehearsals and performances went ahead without a hitch … no mean feat! And, lastly, thank you to all the Year 2 students for always coming to rehearsals with a smile and for having so much fun along the way. You showed true dedication and teamwork and should be very proud of yourselves!
Junior School Performing Arts Teacher
Class of Cabaret is an exciting annual initiative of the Adelaide Festival Centre that gives a select group of contemporary singers from across the state the opportunity to work with professional artists towards creation of their own show. This year Year 12 IB student Lana was the successful Pembroke applicant. For the first 6 months of the year she worked to develop her artistry with a dedicated vocal coach, Charmaine Jones, as well as professional cabaret mentors including 2016 Helpmann Award winner and Pembroke old scholar Michael Griffiths and Australian renowned cabaret artist Amelia Ryan. Lana proved an exceptional ambassador for Pembroke School in this year’s program. A dedicated artist, she performed superbly with great skill, sensitivity and professionalism, while entering into the spirit of artistic collaboration and creativity to contribute to the development of an exceptional show. The final performance was presented in June at Space Theatre as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and was enthusiastically received by the capacity crowd fortunate to attend.
Head of Arts
This year I performed in Class of Cabaret on 24 June as part of the Cabaret Festival in Adelaide. Hundreds of Years 11 and 12 students from all over South Australia auditioned to be a part of the class and only 23 students were accepted. Over the next 3 months we were given the difficult task of constructing our own 6–7-minute individual performance, telling our personal stories through chosen songs and patter/dialogue. I decided to explore my ambition to fall in love with not only another person but also with my life. I decided to perform a mashup of Louis Armstrong’s and Ella Fitzgerald’s Dream a Little Dream of Me and The Supremes’ Up the Ladder to the Roof. I learned a lot more about the industry through workshops with cabaret artists such as Michael Griffiths and Amelia Ryan and vocal coaching by Charmaine Jones, as well as organising my own performance with pianist Alex Wignall.
Recently our Middle School Visual Art students have worked on a number of exciting and varied projects. For 3 weeks this term our Year 10s worked with acclaimed South Australian potter Gerry Wedd. We all benefited from Gerry’s knowledge and skills gained from his illustrious career as a ceramic artist and designer. The work the students undertook with Gerry was a highlight of this year’s Middle School Art Exhibition, as was the large blue and white hand-built, hand-painted urn made by Gerry during his time at Pembroke. This work now forms an important part of the School’s art collection and will eventually be housed in the new Shipsters Road building.
Other highlights of this year’s exhibition were brightly painted ceramic chickens inspired by Mexican folk art and a table setting with hand-painted ceramic plates in the style of Polish Outsider artist Nikifor. A series of bold and colourful flowers expertly painted by our Year 8 students in the style of Georgia O’Keeffe also took centre stage. The standard of the work and the diversity of themes and materials really is testament to the creativity and hard work of our students and staff.
The creative process is at the core of our classroom teaching in the Visual Arts, but an exhibition such as this lets us all enjoy the creativity of our students, and allows the wider community to engage with them and their culture, whatever that may be, in a very tangible way.
This year our Year 10 Art students also attended an excursion to Hans Heysen’s former home and studio in Hahndorf. This was part of a unit of enquiry where students investigated the diverse ways in which Australian flora and fauna have been represented from ancient times until now, and it informed the work our students made with our Artist in Residence. Other excursions included trips to the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, which also served to inform much of the practical work undertaken this year.
As I write this our Year 12 SACE and IB Art students are perfecting, resolving and putting the finishing touches on their work in preparation for exhibition and assessment later this year.
Our Year 11s worked with artist Michelle Nikou as part of a sculptural unit involving various casting techniques in plaster and cement. The students also visited the Samstag Museum to view a major exhibition of Michelle’s work and listen to a very informative artist talk. Much of Michelle’s artistic practice relies on juxtaposition, metaphor and dead-pan wit to convey powerful messages about the human condition. Our students have been inspired by her fascinating use of unexpected, everyday materials to create their own sculptures, many of which will be on display at the Senior School Art Exhibition on 3 November.
Director of Visual Art
Each semester Year 9 History students take part in an internal competition in which they are required to research the life and wartime experiences of an Australian ‘Digger’ who fought and died on the Western Front in the First World War. Students utilise the online resources of the Australian War Memorial and the National Archives, as well as other primary and secondary sources, to produce a classroom presentation for their peers. Assessment is based on the ability of the researcher to accumulate and explain information concerning the soldier’s journey through the war, including aspects such as enlistment, the unit(s) he was part of and the key battle(s) he fought in. In Semester 1 Robyn Speck was judged by History teaching staff to have produced the most effective and engaging presentation. Congratulations to Robyn and to those selected as finalists in this competition.
Head of History
An annual highlight of the Year 10 Commerce course is the Running an Enterprise activity. This experiential learning activity tasks students with conceiving a business concept and pitching it to our own Pembroke-flavoured ‘Shark Tank’. Participating groups conduct market research and a costing analysis before ultimately trading at the market located in the Middle School grounds during Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes.
This year eager consumers have been greeted with an impressive assortment of goods and services, including delectable truffles, stylish tie-dyed and designer T-shirts, customised footwear, stress balls, cookies, hats and our own sideshow-alley-style basketball shooting competition and handball tournament.
Students have produced their own professional-standard marketing and promotional materials, and will conclude the project by producing a financial report and evaluation. Student enterprises will contribute a substantial amount of their profits to their chosen charities and the Kiva microfinancing organisation.
In spite of preoccupation, by some, with the digital world, the immediacy of the live, spoken word still has the power to affect and engage. At all year levels visiting performers and writers present to our students, as part of their English program, in a live forum. Earlier this term all Middle School English classes attended performances by the talented poetry group Poetry In Action. Audiences overwhelmingly enjoyed these shows, much to the surprise of some of the more sceptical students.
Some Year 10 comments described their show as ‘an engaging performance that linked nicely with our History presentation yesterday, even though they were about two different wars’ (Chelsea); ‘really educational and engaging; I always look forward to these performances’ (Macy); and ‘I learnt a lot about poetry rhythm and rhyme’ (Caitlin).
Some Year 9s found their show ‘entertaining and enjoyable. Their use of many famous speeches, some of which I had never heard, was clever. I also liked the themes explored during the performance’ (George); and ‘It taught me a lot about how to give a good speech. The performance itself was engaging and exciting’ (Dylan).
The Year 7 show ’Paper Tiger’ also invited praise: ‘This production made learning into entertainment, which taught everyone something new in a playful and definitely memorable manner.’ (Emma).
Jai (Yr 10) insightfully remarked, ‘It brought back to life the works of Wilfred Owen [and] was a highly entertaining and much enjoyed performance … in a new and contemporary way, the Poetry in Action team managed to really emphasise how the drastic effects of World War I took a toll on young poets. The highlight for me was the poem about the gas attack [which] helped the audience to grasp that WWI was not only about heroism and combat, but that it took an immense emotional strain and burden on those who saw it first-hand’.
And Amelia (Yr 8) perhaps best exemplified the benefits of these live performances: ‘My favourite part was … a poem about a tree in a carpark, which made me look at trees among slabs of cement in a new light. Instead of “it was nice the architect wanted to keep the tree”, I now think “it doesn't belong there, it isn't able to thrive, it can barely stay alive, it is cruel to leave it there”. I left from the performance with a different perspective on things’.
Head of English
On Friday 15 September grandparents and grandfriends flooded into the Pavilion near Haslam Oval for the annual Grandparents Day. This event gives grandparents the chance to visit Pembroke and spend some time with their grandchildren and learn more about their school.
After the Year 7 students had joined their grandparents Mr Macpherson invited everyone to head towards the Middle School Quad. When we got there we were lucky enough to come across the Medlin House bake sale!
After 10 minutes of conversation over cake, we all went into the Chapel. There were a few musical items from students, and introductions by Mr Roberts, Mr Macpherson and Mr Lawry. As part of Grandparents Day students write a letter to their grandparents. Mr Roberts reads all the letters and then selects a few to be read aloud by students at Assembly. We sat in the first row and our grandparents sat behind us. I was really nervous about reading my letter, but my turn came around before I had time to worry too much about it! I stood up at the lectern and read my letter and it wasn’t that bad. I looked at my grandparents the whole time!
After Assembly we divided into House groups and took our grandparents on a tour of the Middle School. It was great fun to introduce them to our friends and also for them to see lessons in Science, Maths and French. This is my first year at Pembroke, so it was especially nice for my grandparents to see my new school.
I think Grandparents Day was fun for both students and grandparents and it has definitely been a highlight of my year so far. I look forward to creating many other memories just like this during my time at Pembroke.
Boarders can never say they are bored at Pembroke School—there is always something fun to do. From the very start of the School year, activities are constantly on offer for boarders to participate in.
The Pembroke boarding houses invited boarders from all boarding schools in Adelaide to a pool party in early February. We had over 220 boarders attend the event, with a DJ pumping out music as boarders socialised in and around the School’s pool.
In Term 3 this year Campbell House ran a European handball tournament on Wednesday nights after supervised ‘prep’ (homework). A trophy and movie tickets for the overall winning tute group was on offer. The boys love to blow off a bit of steam and, as Haslam Oval is floodlit, it makes a great venue for the annual Campbell House tute soccer competition. The lads also enjoyed Campbell House Kahoot! quiz nights on Tuesday nights in Term 3.
Turner House girls were very busy volunteering their time to serve meals at the Baptist Homeless Shelter in the CBD. Movie nights, yumba and pilates are always well attended by the girl boarders and so too was a recent excursion to the Royal Adelaide Show. The girls finished the term enthusiastically vying for top position in the tute netball competition. Both the boy and girl boarders love the opportunity to attend AFL footy games at Adelaide Oval, recently attending the Adelaide Crows home finals games.
A boarder at Pembroke School would consume over 8,000 meals if they were to board from Year 7 to Year 12. The food is nutritious and varied but you can understand why boarders enjoy the two ‘self-cater’ meals each term, when (in small groups) they source their own dinner on The Parade on Friday nights. They all enjoy the opportunity to pool the money given to them from the boarding houses and often bring ingredients back from the shops to cook in the respective boarding houses.
In the recent City to Bay Fun Run 140 members from the Pembroke School community formed the Pembroke boarders team, raising much-needed money for CanTeen. Almost $30,000 was raised by this dedicated team, resulting in them being the top fundraiser at the event. Each participant walked or ran 6 or 12 kilometres and in turn raised individual sponsorship money before the big day on 17 September. In addition, Pembroke boarders and boarding staff were very busy running nine sausage sizzles as well as a stall at Gilles Street Market selling second-hand items, raising even more funds for CanTeen.
The year is quickly flying by—mock exams for all Year 12s recently concluded and the much enjoyed Year 12 Boarders Farewell Dinner is around the corner at the end of the first week in Term 4. This dinner gives an opportunity to celebrate and farewell the Year 12 boarders at Pembroke School, and for those boarders who started boarding 6 years ago is one of the last of their 8,000 meals eaten in the School refectory.
Head of Campbell House
Head of Turner House
In our world today, media headlines continually highlight the urgent need for increased cultural understanding, empathy and unity, both on a global level and within Australia. In Australia, our attention should be drawn to the rich cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, while also recognising the impact of traumatic events in the past and the need to work together towards reconciliation in order to create a more united and equal nation.
The reconciliation movement strives to achieve a just, equitable and unified Australia by building relationships, respect and trust between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Education obviously plays a vital role and, through our School Aims, Pembroke recognises the role we can play in this regard. Specifically, we seek:
• to promote thoughtful, respectful and informed participation in the community locally, nationally and internationally with an emphasis on seeking justice for all; and
• to facilitate the social, physical and emotional development of each student, emphasising, among other qualities, respect for differences in people, a sense of social responsibility and care for others.
Our School’s aims are in line with the goals of both the International Baccalaureate (IB) and Australian Curriculum programs that direct what we teach.
The IB mission statement outlines its aim ‘to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect’.
Likewise, the Australian Curriculum has identified this as an essential element of a student’s education and has therefore included Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures as one of the cross-curriculum priorities. The curriculum document states that it is important:
• that our own ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are able to see themselves, their identities and their cultures reflected in the curriculum’; and
• ‘for all students to engage in reconciliation, respect and recognition of the world’s oldest continuous living cultures’.
Pembroke is committed to playing an active role in the reconciliation journey and we are proud to have launched our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) this year during National Reconciliation Week, an annual event designed to celebrate and build on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.
Leading up to Reconciliation Week, the Indigenous students addressed assemblies to explain the significance of the occasion and to introduce our RAP to their peers. In a short film made by and featuring the Indigenous students and Reconciliation Ambassadors, they explained what reconciliation means to them, as detailed below:
• forgiving, but not forgetting
• respecting all cultures
• closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians
• working together for a better tomorrow
• acknowledging events of the past and working to achieve equality
• striving as a community for equality for all Australians
• recognising the past to change the future
• acknowledging other cultures and making a change.
Our Indigenous Round ceremony, a moving celebration of culture during Reconciliation Week, was of course the most appropriate moment to launch Pembroke’s RAP. Acting Principal Mr Kym Lawry spoke of Pembroke’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation as he officially launched this important document.
We are proud of our RAP and committed to its implementation. Its introductory words detail our vision for reconciliation, with extracts reproduced below:
Pembroke School’s motto, ‘Ex Unitate Vires’, meaning ‘Out of Unity, Strength’, encapsulates our vision for reconciliation. Our Reconciliation Action Plan strives for a future characterised by unity and respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. We value justice and equity for all Australians and are committed to an active, collaborative and ongoing approach to achieve this through our reconciliation journey.
As a school we recognise the rich cultural heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and respect their ongoing connection with the land. We acknowledge in particular the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the land upon which our School is situated. With support from the community we seek to build our knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and work together to achieve a future where all Australians have equal opportunities to flourish.
Pembroke School actively celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and offers many opportunities for students to build their knowledge through meaningful activities.
Reconciliation is an ongoing process and we have identified a range of new initiatives in this RAP document that will facilitate reconciliation at Pembroke and in Australia.
Pembroke’s RAP has been developed in consultation with staff, students and the community. This collaborative approach has produced a document of which the School community is proud and feels a sense of ownership and responsibility to continue the reconciliation journey. Together, Pembroke staff, students and community members are committed to the implementation and ongoing
development of our RAP. Out of unity comes strength to build a better future for all Australians.
Pembroke’s RAP has been endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. It details the actions we are currently taking and the new initiatives we intend to implement in order to advance reconciliation at Pembroke and in Australia. It focuses on relationships, respect and opportunities in the classroom, around the School and with the community. We have many exciting plans and have already achieved some of our goals since its launch.
The full version of the RAP with specific goals and plans for implementation is available here on the School’s website.
Indigenous Student Coordinator
The winter season has recently concluded and once again Pembroke School was proudly represented in a range of sporting activities, fielding teams in 14 different winter sports. As one of the most diverse sporting programs offered by any Adelaide school, it provides all students with the opportunity to experience the benefits of sport.
Building on the successful inaugural Indigenous Round in Football and Netball in 2016, this year the Indigenous Round was held across all sports, raising awareness and acknowledging our country’s Indigenous heritage. Pembroke teams also participated in the Beyond Blue Sports Round to raise awareness around mental health issues in Australia. Both rounds were successful in uniting our community in these important causes.
Our First VIII Table Tennis and Girls First XI Soccer teams once again remained undefeated for the season, with both teams finishing top of the table. This is the fourth year in a row that our Table Tennis team have gone through undefeated. The Middle A Girls Soccer and U14 Boys Rugby teams came first in their divisions, with a number of other teams also performing exceptionally well in their competitions.
The Winter Interschol was hosted by Westminster School. Pembroke retained the trophies in Table Tennis and both Girls and Boys Soccer, but Westminster’s teams were too strong in the first division for Football, Netball, Girls Badminton and Boys Basketball. Unfortunately, Westminster were not able to field teams in Hockey, Chess, Squash or Rugby this season, all activities in which we compete strongly.
The Sam Roberts Shield was recalibrated this season to be played between the Pembroke and St Ignatius College First XI Boys Hockey teams. Traditionally, this shield was played against Blackfriars Priory School, but in recent years they have not been able to field a team. The shield was developed in memory of Sam Roberts (son of Mr Martin Roberts) who passed away in 2005 after a courageous battle with Niemann-Pick Disease Type C, a rare neurological degenerative disease for which there is no cure. The Sam Roberts Family Fund proudly supports the Paediatric Palliative Care Service of the Adelaide Women's and Children's Hospital. Both Pembroke School and St Ignatius College have been great supporters of this fund, raising money through their support of the Cycle4Sam rides. Fittingly, both Hockey teams played in a spirited manner with a 3-3 draw, the perfect result to begin this friendly rivalry in Sam’s honour.
This season we saw the appointment of Mr Bawden as Head of Football. Michael’s role is to work with the coaches involved in the Football program and to assist in the development of Pembroke footballers. Mr Moore (Boys Soccer), Ms Johnson (Girls Netball), Mr Bawden (Table Tennis) and Mr Duffy (Boys Rugby) perform similar roles in other sports. Mr Gleeson came on board in Girls and Boys Hockey as a skills specialist coach to further develop this program.
Congratulations to all students who represented Pembroke School this season. More than 30 students across the School have been selected to represent their state in their chosen sport. Further, the following students have been selected in national teams competing on the world stage:
• James B: Cycling – Junior World Track Cycling Championships in Italy
• Matt C: Diving – FINA World Championships in Budapest
• Alyssa W: Water Polo – Born 2000 and Under competition to tour Europe
• Celia C: Rowing – Trans-Tasman Australian Rowing Under 21 team
• Angus H: Orienteering – Australian Schools Orienteering team
• Mathew D: Volleyball – Australia Junior Boys 2017 Thailand Development Tour.
Thank you to our teaching staff, external coaches, students and parents for their support throughout the winter season. I hope all involved have some pleasing memories and gained much from their season of sport.
Director of Sport
I would like to commend the girls who represented Pembroke during the winter Sport season for their enthusiastic and committed approach. Through rain, hail and shine the girls approached their sport with enthusiasm and purpose, and it was a pleasure to see so many of them enjoying the camaraderie of their peers and striving to improve their skills and tactical understanding of their respective sports. There were many highlights, including the broadening of the Indigenous Round to be recognised by all sports/teams this season, the recognition of the Beyond Blue Round and the dignified manner in which Pembroke participated in the Interschol against Westminster School, to name a few. Thank you to parents for supporting your children in their sporting pursuits at Pembroke and well done to the many girls who made State - or National-level teams in their respective sports.
The season began early for our Senior A/B Netball teams with the excitement of the Trans-Tasman Tournament, which was held at Pembroke for the inaugural time during the April holidays. We hosted Kristin School and St Paul’s Collegiate School from New Zealand, as well as Ballarat Grammar School from Victoria. The tournament was held across 3 days, with all schools entering both premier and development teams. The tournament culminated in finals, with both of our teams playing off in the championship matches. The tournament has become an annual fixture and Pembroke will once again send teams to New Zealand to compete in April next year.
The Indigenous Round was once again a highlight of the season, with the Senior A/B Netball teams playing Scotch College. The A game was a thriller, with Scotch victorious by the narrowest of margins. In a fantastic achievement the 8A team made the final and was defeated by Scotch by 1 goal in a wonderful contest.
Netball is continuing to prove popular, with Pembroke entering 22 teams from Years 7–12. This year the role of Senior A/B Coach Ms Johnson was extended to Head of Netball. She brings a vast background of coaching experience and enthusiasm to Pembroke, and the students and coaches benefited greatly from her involvement in the program.
Pembroke continued their strong form in Soccer. With Mr Ballantyne once again at the helm as Coach, our Open A team won the final—a 2–0 victory over Wilderness School. This was the fourth consecutive season Pembroke has won the Shield, which is a wonderful achievement by all involved. This was a particularly impressive season, with Pembroke winning all their matches. Participation in Middle School Soccer was once again strong, with three Pembroke teams entered in the IGSSA competition. For the second time IGSSA conducted a final for the Middle A competition, with Coach Mr Gelios leading Pembroke to a 4–0 victory against Wilderness, after having a tie against them last season.
Pembroke fielded three Hockey teams this season, an Open A and two Middle B teams. There were very few Years 7/8 teams entered this season, so one large B Grade competition was developed. Mr Gleeson was appointed as a specialist coach this season, and worked predominantly with the Open A girls team on specialist skills and strategies. The Open A team performed very well, particularly considering how young the players were—the vast majority of the team will be eligible to play again next season, with a number of the girls still only in Years 8 or 9. All teams acquitted themselves strongly, being in contention to play in a final. The Open B Blue team won through to a final after playing an extraordinary preliminary final against Walford Anglican School for Girls. They played sensationally in the final, just going down to a strong Immanuel College team 4–2. Teams competed in the Open Mixed Knockout and the Years 8/9 Girls Knockout competitions, with Pembroke performing well. The Open team made the final and finished third after losing a close preliminary final in the dying stages of the match.
We entered six teams in the IGSSA Badminton competition this season. All the girls showed a willingness to improve and conducted themselves in fine fashion when representing the School. Other schools made mention of the dignity and kind spirit that many of our girls displayed during their matches. Our A players lead the squad well and improved their Badminton game play and fitness.
Our Girls Rugby Sevens squad proved a committed bunch, continuing to train every Friday afternoon throughout the winter season despite limited opportunities for competition. The girls competed in the Eastern Fleurieu Schools competition at Strathalbyn. This was the first competition for many and they certainly displayed some terrific tackling for players who were relatively inexperienced in competitive matches. An Under 16 team also competed in the SA High Schools competition, which was conducted at the Burnside Rugby Club.
Girls AFL is certainly growing in popularity, with IGSSA making moves towards a weekly competition in 2018. This season a round robin carnival was conducted for both the Senior and Middle School teams. Both teams acquitted themselves well. The Middle School team were unlucky not to make the final, missing out on percentage despite defeating the eventual winner Immanuel. Our senior girls also played three Friday afternoon matches against Seymour College, Pulteney Grammar School and Scotch, winning two of these matches.
IGSSA competed in the Interstate Challenge Tournament in Brisbane this year against other Independent Girls School Sports Associations from NSW, Victoria and Queensland. Netball, Soccer and Tennis were again the sports on offer. Three of our students were selected to represent SA: Amber G (Soccer), Maisie P (Netball) and Charlotte N (Tennis). Well done to you all.
I would like to sincerely thank the many coaches for their passionate and professional approach to our sport teams, and also the staff for their hard work and organisation on a weekly basis throughout the winter.
Acting Director of Girls Sport
At 7 pm on 1 July 19 excitable students arrived at Adelaide airport ready to undertake a journey of epic proportions. We arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland, 22 hours later, jetlagged but more than ready to experience some of Europe’s best literary attractions. We immediately set out to explore the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. In a single afternoon we marvelled at the Scottish Crown Jewels, picturesque views of Edinburgh from the castle, a statue of the poet Sir Walter Scott and the hotel where JK Rowling completed the Harry Potter series.
The following morning we began our journey south. Our first stop was the Lake District in England, where we admired the beautiful landscape that had inspired writers such as Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth, and visited their homes and museums. Despite misty conditions, everyone enjoyed the boat ride on Lake Windermere and wandering through village and country lanes in the area. We were reluctant to leave our spacious hotel after just two nights, but eager to arrive at Stratford-Upon-Avon. On the way we stopped at Haworth to explore the home of the Brontë sisters, Ann, Charlotte and Emily, whose books left legacies that went far beyond their early deaths.
We were thrilled to experience warmer weather during our two days in Stratford, which we spent exploring the homes of Shakespeare and his family. These visits offered a wonderfully rich insight into life during Tudor times. We departed for Bath with a greater appreciation and understanding of Shakespeare’s work.
During our first evening in Bath we undertook a twilight tour of the Roman Baths, where we marvelled at the artefacts, statues and medallions that were preserved from Roman times. The following day was spent exploring Bath and learning about Jane Austen, who spent several years of her life there. We visited her museum and some of the places she frequented, seeing the Royal Assembly Rooms, the Circus and the Royal Crescent, which are said to have influenced themes and ideas in her books. The afternoon was spent shopping, leaving us with heavier suitcases as we prepared to travel to London.
Our days in London were extremely busy, with trips to the theatre on each of our three nights. We were up bright and early on day one following a wonderful production by the Royal Shakespeare Company of The Tempest the previous evening, to travel outside London to Harry Potter World. This much-anticipated visit more than lived up to its expectations and all, especially the many Harry Potter fanatics among us, were delighted by the exhibition.
The walking tour of London that we undertook that afternoon showed us many of the sites that were significant to Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare. The tour finished up outside the new Shakespeare’s Globe, where we saw a modernised and electrifying interpretation of Romeo and Juliet. Everyone was swept away by the tale that had captured audiences for centuries.
The following day was dedicated to exploring London’s famous landmarks, including the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye. Through these experiences we learnt about how London has grown and been transformed as a city for centuries, and how it has developed into the city we know today. An excellent production of Wicked topped off a busy but educational and memorable three days in London.
Our travels in France began in Amiens, a small town that was affected by both the First and Second World Wars. Upon arrival we quickly commenced our tour of France’s largest cathedral, located a short walk away from our hotel. The following day involved a tour of the Somme Battlefields and was perhaps one of the most emotional days of the whole trip. We visited the Adelaide War Cemetery, the town and Victoria School in Villers-Bretonneux, and numerous other significant places. A deeply moving experience was seeing the names of countless soldiers whose bodies were never found inscribed on the walls of The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.
Our next day began with a drive to Rouen, a town known for being the home of author Gustave Flaubert and the site of Joan of Arc's pyre. Everyone was eager to begin the journey to Paris, so the next morning was greeted with enthusiasm. En route to our last port of call before heading home, we stopped in Giverny to visit Monet’s beautiful house and garden that inspired many of his most famous works.
We descended on Paris in the afternoon and quickly began a walking tour of the Latin Quarter, involving a look at the Luxembourg Gardens and various sites associated with the French Revolution. The next day was packed with activities, including climbing the Eiffel Tower, admiring Notre Dame, wandering through the Louvre and cruising along the Seine. The final day of the trip was spent exploring Montmartre and spending the last of our euros at Galleries Lafayette. Leaving Europe was difficult but everyone was glad to have experienced so many incredible sights with a lovely group of people.
We cannot write this report without thanking Mr Clark and Mrs Ramsey for their efforts in organising the trip and making it such an incredible experience. It honestly would not have been the same without them.
Eleanor and Alice
(both Yr 11)
Surely there is no better way to explore the English countryside than to travel from one picturesque oval to another playing cricket. The 2017 squad enjoyed another successful tour of the ‘old country’, matching our abilities against a range of opposition over 11 matches.
Our first engagement was against an evenly matched Taunton School—the result fell our way by the narrowest of margins, a 1-run victory instilling a real sense of confidence in the players that their best antipodean brand of the game could match it with their northern counterparts.
Among many early highlights was a visit from legendary West Indian all-rounder Sir Garfield Sobers at Dauntsey’s School. It was an experience to be treasured. We fell short against a well-organised opposition, but for most the result was secondary to the opportunity to interact with one of the true icons of the game. A tight game against Langley School and a rain-marred match against Clifton College ensured that the players were looking forward to their first break from cricket and a visit to London.
It was a break from cricket but certainly not a rest. While the boys thoroughly enjoyed Quinn’s ‘magical mystery tour of London’, everyone (some, not many) thought a 22-km walk was a reasonable days wander. Other highlights of our time in London were headlined by an excellent tour of The Oval including access to the playing surface, a walk through Emirates Stadium (Arsenal Football Club) and a fun-loving musical in the West End. London is a city with an indomitable spirit and tenacity, and it was great to visit and be a part of its recovery after recent troubles.
Punctuating our time in the capital was a trip into the Home Counties to play City of London Freemen’s School. It was one of our most complete performances and demonstrated the emerging balance in the squad—it was a well-earned win.
Our next group of fixtures was in the beautiful county of Essex and specifically Felsted School. We hosted Felsted during our previous summer and it was great to catch up with friends made on Kensington Oval under the Adelaide sun. As part of a cricket festival, our assignment was steep—three 50-over matches played back to back. We had a rollicking hit-out against an impressive Felsted, where almost 600 runs and 19 wickets fell. The game ended with the hosts with their nose just in front but the boys had won some respect and enjoyed a fabulous game. Two more excellent games against strong opposition saw us round out the Festival with one win and two hard fought losses.
The players had earned a rest, and some time in Canterbury was a great tonic. This university town, shadowed by their magnificent cathedral, allowed the players to explore and enjoy each other’s company away from the sporting field. Sightseeing excursions to Bath and Rochester were other highlights of regional England.
In a first for Pembroke we played our last match in England against an association of private schools from Islamabad. This team had toured Australia previously and experienced significant success, so we were on guard as we opted to bat first on a beautiful neutral oval in Tunbridge Wells. Ultimately our well-balanced bowling group found inroads into their batting order and we came away comfortable victors, but the experience of playing against new friends from Pakistan was probably of greater importance.
If you had to have an early morning start, then the prospect of ‘crossing the ditch ‘ was a good enough motivation for the players on our last morning in the Old Blighty. Each of the previous tours had spent some time visiting the Western Front battlefields, as an investment in the fact that young men can reflect on those who have gone before them and the selflessness of the soldiers of the Great War. We toured Ypres and Menin Gate, two remarkable places to visit. Our excellent young tour guide also managed to find Charlie Bates’s (Yr 11) great uncle’s grave in the Menin Road cemetery; it was simply a great moment shared among teammates. From Ypres we hightailed it into The Netherlands to keep a fixture with the HV & CV Quick team, a cricket club based in The Hague. Although running a little late and a bit dishevelled, it was clear that the Pembroke lads where ahead of our Dutch counterparts, and we played out a sporting match. The lovely dinner and a willing game of soccer ensured that the boys slept soundly that night.
With the cricket finished, the squad enjoyed the sights of Amsterdam and The Hague before packing the kit one final time for the trip home.
This was an impressive touring squad. The players developed a belief in the idea that with work comes success, and if you are willing to hang tougher for longer then success will find you. They played some truly excellent cricket, they played in a spirit that we can be collectively proud of, and I am sure they played for each other. The squad leaves a strong legacy, both on and off the field, not only as to how to represent their School but how to represent this wonderful game. It is a credit to them.
The Year 6 Ski Trip at the University Ski Club (USC) was a successful one despite the unfortunate late withdrawal of a couple of staff. I am sure the kids had a ball and I know the staff who were able to attend thoroughly enjoyed the week with them.
The kids were fantastic. Staff continue to be impressed by how quickly they take to the sport, with many of the first-timers up on the lifts by the end of day one! We received very positive comments from the USC Manager, USC club members, ski instructors, Ski Patrol and the lady from the pop-up donut store, who had her most profitable week!!
The USC accommodation was outstanding, with the weather finally clearing on our last day to allow us to see the magnificent scenery from our recreation areas—the day was truly brilliant with full views of the mountain in all its glory. We were very thankful that we all managed to get in a good ski on this day after 4 days of very limited visibility despite some very nice snow conditions.
The SA Snowsports again saw a dominance by our teams, possibly due to the fact that we had 47 of the total 58 entrants. We didn’t quite mention that small detail to the pilot on the way home as he announced us as the champion ski school on the Victorian slopes!
The Duncan Falconer Award was shared by Lucy Townsend and Lachlan Tuffnell. This award is given annually on this trip in memory of a great friend and member of the ski trip who sadly passed away in 2012 aged 29. He was an inspirational young man who gave all his time in helping others throughout his short life. Lachy and Lucy demonstrated Duncan’s attitude during the week and were worthy recipients of the award.
All the kids did us proud. Although our jackets make us stand out on the slopes, it is the kids’ well-mannered attitude and friendly demeanour that attracts the positive comments from everyone on the mountain.
In the July holidays a group of 80 students and 10 staff ventured by plane and bus to Falls Creek for the Year 10 Ski Trip. This year we stayed in Halley’s Lodge and were hosted by Pene and Brad. During the week they took great care of us including providing delicious hot meals. The rooms were comfortable and the lodge had a pool table, TV room and open fire.
On the first day we had two lessons with a short break in between to have lunch and do some skiing with friends. At the end of our second lesson people were beginning to remember how to ski, and most spent the rest of the day doing some free skiing. We went back down to meet the 4.30 curfew and spent the rest of the night inside the lodge.
The next couple of days were more or less the same, as we only had one morning ski lesson and then the rest of the day was ours to do what we wanted, whether that be skiing, eating or just watching a movie. There were always teachers and friends on hand to help those of us who struggled to master the skills for skiing or boarding. Despite the challenges, everyone had a lot of fun and many laughs were had at the numerous falls.
One night we had an exciting trivia quiz organised by Mr Miller and hosted by Billy Beger. On Wednesday night we were treated to a pizza dinner before heading off for some night skiing, which was extremely fun and different compared to anything a lot us had done before.
Finally, on Friday morning we had a short while to do some skiing and then a quick photo was taken before we had to go and pack the buses to leave Falls Creek. We arrived back in Adelaide late that night and then spent the rest of the weekend wishing we were still at Falls. The trip was great fun as the accommodation was amazing and the experiences and skills you gain from skiing or snowboarding will benefit you forever. Even on days of hail and low visibility it was easy to fill the time, from playing pool to Uno, and the opportunities that the snowfall created allowed for snowmen, toboggan jumps and snow angels.
Fun and memorable moments such as friends falling off ski lifts and the countless numbers of phones that were dropped off the lifts are just some of the experiences we had on this trip. Thanks to the staff who gave up a week of their holidays to supervise this trip—Mr Lush, Mrs Tory, Mr Miller, Miss Jones, Miss Northcott, Mr Goh, Ms Rutherford, Mr Lentakis, Mr Izzo and the Trip Coordinator Ms Reynolds. It is an experience we will not forget.
Nic and Daniel
(Yr 10 Oats)
On Thursday 29 June 46 Senior School students and 6 staff members embarked from Adelaide airport on a 10-day expedition to New Zealand, eager to ski or snowboard. After a night in Sydney we flew to Queenstown, where we excitedly caught our first glimpse of snow for the trip. We then ventured to picturesque Wanaka, our base for 4 days, from which we soaked up the tremendous snowy conditions at Cardrona Ski Resort. A beginner skier could not have hoped for a better introduction and our rookies were well on their way to carving up the slopes. Despite long days of exertion, energy levels were high and so we sought further entertainment. At Paradiso Cinema we enjoyed an old-fashioned showing of the new comedy The House. The appreciated intermission provided ample time to devour a freshly baked cookie, delectable on a cold winter’s night. This delightful experience enticed the movie buffs among us to repeat the experience the following evening. Others chose to relax at the lodge, hitting the pool table or competing in fierce games of cards.
We returned to Queenstown ready to conquer Coronet Peak and the Remarkables. After morning lessons we were free to explore the mountain in glorious conditions. Dining at different restaurants each night, we discovered that the brilliant kiwi hospitality is unavoidable. However, it was on the last evening that we left our comfort zone far behind. After a pre-dinner gondola ride students and staff participated in a traditional haka show, directed by our very own ‘Chief’, Tom Oliphant. The spectacular views from the Skyline Restaurant provided the perfect backdrop to celebrate our artistic performance over a delicious, gourmet dinner.
This trip was the first time that many students had left Australian soil, and for all involved it was an opportunity to learn about a new culture coupled with a snow adventure. There are many poignant memories from the trip—all the students improved their skills and confidence on the slopes and formed bonds with their fellow skiers. I would like to acknowledge the wonderful students and the teachers, Mr Shillabeer, Mrs Switala, Ms Jones, Mrs Hodgkison and Mr Oliphant, who helped make this trip so unforgettable.
At the end of Week 9, Term 3, Pembroke human-powered vehicle (HPV) racing again took on the challenge of the 24-hour Pedal Prix event in Murray Bridge. After many weekends of training, after-school sessions spent building and maintaining vehicles, and countless hours of logistical and other planning meetings, it was finally race week. Packing of vehicles and event-related equipment had taken place during Wednesday and Thursday so that when Friday arrived, besides loading up our personal luggage, we were ready to hit the road around 8.30 am to arrive at Murray Bridge by approximately 9.30 am.
All went smoothly in the morning, and on arrival at the track in Murray Bridge we rapidly began assembly and set-up of our temporary home and race headquarters for the 3 days ahead. Our kitchen, mechanical workshop, timing centre and tent city were ready to go by early afternoon. Scrutineering of our race vehicles had taken place and anticipation was building for the practice and qualifying sessions scheduled to commence at 4.30 pm.
Our Junior Secondary team was first to get on the track and displayed some excellent speed immediately. When 7 pm arrived it was time for our two Senior Secondary teams to hit the bitumen, also proving that they were again the teams to beat in the big event that would take place from midday on Saturday.
With practice over it was time to attend a managers’ meeting and do some repairs and maintenance on the vehicles, before getting an early night in preparation for the tough weekend that lay ahead.
When Saturday morning arrived we were woken early by the smell of bacon and eggs, before final vehicle preparations took place. Two of our vehicles lined up for the Top 14 Shootout, a very elite event where only the two fastest qualifying vehicles from Friday get to show their ultimate speed on a clear track in a one-lap dash. Mitch Natt (Yr 9) managed to smash his opposition, setting a new Junior Secondary lap record and receiving a trophy, prizes and pole position for the 12 pm start.
Unfortunately, 12 noon came and went and we were left parked on the start line along with the other 205 teams. Shortly afterwards we were informed that the start had to be delayed due to 85 km/hour wind gusts. An unexpected 4-hour delay then occurred until we were finally flagged away at 4 pm for what would now be a 20-hour event.
The race was tough and we certainly faced our challenges, with the pit crew kept busy from race start to the early hours of the morning fixing punctured tyres, rectifying wheel alignment issues and repairing crash damage. Luckily all went reasonably well and our preparation paid off, with any spare parts needed being available in our comprehensive spares supply.
When the finish flag dropped at 12 noon on Sunday we came away victorious. Both our Junior and Senior A teams had won their respective divisions, and our Senior B team, consisting mainly of Year 8s, had finished in a respectable 14th place out of 56 teams. Along with these accolades also came the fastest lap awards in both divisions.
2017 has been another busy but successful year for Pembroke School HPVs. From an 8-hour event at Mt Gambier in early April to the largest and most prestigious HPV event on the Australian calendar, the annual 24-hour Murray Bridge Pedal Prix, Pembroke reigned supreme to again come away as the National Champions in both the Junior and Senior Secondary divisions.
Many thanks to the wonderful students, parents and staff that make this activity possible. Let the preparations for season 2018 commence.
In Term 2 Pembroke’s second Indigenous round was held, coinciding with National Reconciliation Week. Our students were the initial driving force in bringing this round into being. While the inaugural round involved Netball and Football, we now include all the Firsts’ sports teams playing during the week: Soccer, Rugby, Table Tennis, Squash, Hockey, Basketball and Badminton along with Netball and Football.
The ceremony for the round included a Welcome to Country and a Smoking Ceremony by Allan Sumner, music from Phil Allen and a speech from student leader Cassie. Cassie explained the significance of the uniforms as follows:
The Indigenous sports uniforms that we proudly wear today were initiated and designed by Pembroke Indigenous students. They show our respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their culture, as well as our fellow students and the Pembroke community, and recognise the importance of reconciliation.
The boomerang signifies our strength and determination to fight on in any situation, giving it our all and trying our best. The blue and white inner circles represent the strong connection and belief we share for one another—we are a team. The wavy green lines connecting each circle represent reaching out to the wider community and understanding the cultural attachment.
Overall, this design is about identity, strength and accomplishment. We as a School understand the cultural attachment of Aboriginal people to their land.
Our School’s student leaders have been working closely with staff and community members in developing our Reconciliation Action Plan. Ms Davis, Indigenous Student Coordinator, has been a key driver of this project. I encourage you to access the plan on our website.
Pembroke is a school that not only has an excellent record of academic success but also develops fine young people who are confident, capable and considerate in character. The values of this education are grounded in the Objects of the Constitution and the School Aims. It is the responsibility of School governance to preserve and improve the quality and opportunity of that education in a secure financial setting.
Governance at Pembroke: a snapshot
We are an independent school, an incorporated Association, with responsibility for our own governance and leadership and the freedom to establish our own identity and culture. The Constitution is our ultimate source of authority.
The School Board is the body to whom the Constitution grants the governance and control of the School, including the appointment of the Principal, to whom is delegated responsibility for implementing policy and managing the School. The Board is assisted by Board Committees and the Foundation Board.
The Board and the Principal: governance and management
The pivotal role of the Board lies in its crucial responsibility for the appointment of the Principal.
The stability and strength of the relationship between the Board and the Principal, that is between governance and management, is critical to the health and forward momentum of the School. At Pembroke this relationship functions as an open and candid partnership, with the Principal seeking advice from the Board and the Board supporting the Principal. The Principal reports to the Board and Board Committees and responds to questions at their meetings. The separation of governance and operational matters is well understood, with the Principal being responsible for operational matters. The current Board is fortunate to work with a Principal of the educational calibre and integrity of Mr Thomson.
Four plans that steer governance
The broad-ranging Pembroke Improvement Plan (PIP) seeks to develop the School while preserving its strengths and values. The Principal reports against it and this year is conducting a comprehensive review, extending its reach into the future.
The Facilities Master Plan (FMP) takes a bold conceptual overview of the three campuses and proposes how future needs can be accommodated on the existing footprint. The successful acquisition of the large Shipsters Road site in 2015 and the consequent planned Middle School Development represent an exciting spatial liberation.
The Foundation Investment Strategy is a culmination of strengthening our fundraising structures to build greater financial independence for the School and enable better resourcing of facilities and scholarships.
A new Strategic Plan that overarches these three complementary plans and anticipates future change and challenge is being developed.
The role of the Board: what does it do?
The Board is responsible for sustaining a high-quality multifaceted Pembroke education that meets the needs of contemporary students, parents and teachers.
The educational landscape is dynamic. The Board has an ongoing role in re-evaluating strategic direction. Programs must be enriched and facilities enhanced in each student generation.
The Board must ensure the enduring financial viability of the School—that risk is managed and compliance requirements are met. It must build financial independence and respond to economic and demographic challenges to enrolment.
The Board meets monthly and the agenda is partly structured and predictable: academic results are reported in February, the financial statements and Annual Report are adopted in May, the budget is presented in November and WHS data are reported quarterly. The Principal’s monthly reports address strategic and operational matters and typically cover capital projects, enrolments, staff movements, curriculum, government funding, regulation and events.
The Board’s schedule must also be responsive and mindful of strategic matters, addressing challenges in a timely manner, and getting more information from management and, where appropriate, high-level professional advice from external advisors. Areas of focus in recent years have included reviewing the Constitution; developing a risk management framework; taking institutional responsibility for student care; whole-School assessment; restructure of the Foundation and its fundraising entities; and recruitment, induction and education of Board members.
Periodically, senior staff present on topical issues. Most recently Mr Kym Lawry presented statistical profiling of our teaching staff. He highlighted the high level of opportunity for, and involvement of, staff in professional development, as well as the evolution of the Pembroke Academy, which is targeted at providing an optimal learning environment for students.
Specific-purpose planning workshops are convened in February and September. They have encompassed the future of education, changing the Constitution, developing philanthropy and managing a major capital project.
Membership of the Board: getting it right
Education is our core concern, but there is no doubt that contemporary school governance must have access to a considerable suite of skills and expertise, and be educated in governance, to ensure that it meets its responsibilities.
The current Board is diverse in capability and cohesive in purpose. Our aim is to have a membership that, while not a representative model, involves parents and old scholars who understand and are engaged with the School and who between them possess the required experience.
The 12-member Board comprises 3 members elected by the Association, 4 appointed by the Board, and 2 each by the Parents and Friends Association and the Pembroke Old Scholars Association. The Principal is a non-voting member.
The fields of experience considered valuable include: corporate and not-for-profit governance, policy development, legal, finance and audit, business and commercial, building construction, project management and planning, information and communication technology, education and early childhood services, community relations, philanthropy and fundraising, funds management, marketing and public relations, risk management, WHS and research.
Given this somewhat daunting list, we are fortunate that our community is a splendidly varied and willing resource.
Board committees: who are they?
Each committee is chaired by a board member, and committee membership comprises other board members, the Principal, community members with appropriate expertise and senior staff with relevant involvement. The work of the Board Committees is strengthened by their close collaboration with School management.
The Governance Committee was at the forefront in developing the 2016 amendments to the Constitution that better aligned the governance structure with contemporary needs and practice. It has ongoing responsibility for review of the Board’s policies, and has devised a skills matrix and a new board membership induction policy. Its current challenge is facilitating development of a new Strategic Plan. Mr Garry Le Duff is the Chair.
The Finance and Audit Committee’s regular business relates to the budget and financial statements, monitoring of major expenses, and complex financial judgments aimed at protecting enrolments and educational outcomes. Mr Chris Meulengraf is the Chair.
The Foundation Board has delegated responsibility for raising money to assist the educational, pastoral and physical development of the School, as well as the administration of established funds. Mr David Minns is the Chair.
The Planning & Properties Committee is the key player in the oversight of development of facilities. It provides excellent professional advice to the Board across the business of enhancing our built environment. Ms Melissa Mellen is the Chair.
The value of the embedded expertise on the Board Committees has been especially evident in the complex and many faceted process of planning for the major venture that is the Middle School Development on the Shipsters Road site. The Development Assessment Commission (DAC) consent granted in April was the culmination of many months of concentrated work by the Planning and Properties Committee, working with the Board, School management and external consultants. The Governance Committee ensures the appropriate policy framework, and the Finance Committee is securing responsible financing. The Foundation Board has a clear and active focus on imminent capital needs and is developing philanthropy and fundraising supported by the Capital Campaign Committee.
The Board exists to serve the Pembroke community, and in turn relies on the service of individual members to sustain its operation.
Enquiries regarding Board or Committee membership may be made to Board Secretary Ms Wendy Wills via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chair, Pembroke School Board
Generations in Jazz
The Generations in Jazz Festival was a major focus of preparation leading to Term 2 this year. Pembroke departed on Friday morning 5 May with two Big Bands and an enthusiastic Jazz Choir. Fifty-six students and 5 staff attended the exciting, inspiring and very tiring weekend. After a smooth trip we arrived at our motel in Mt Gambier, before travelling to The Barn—‘Jazz Central’ for the weekend—where 5,000 students from 200 different schools created an amazing ‘vibe’ during the festival. Guest artists as diverse as US Emmy Award winning pianist/saxophonist/composer/band leader Gordon Goodwin, Finnish pianist extraordinaire Marian Petrescu, trombone royalty Wycliffe Gordon alongside James Morrison, Ross Irwin, Matt Jodrell, Darren Percival, Jazzmeia Horn and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra meant that we were in for some outstanding entertainment and education over the weekend. All three Pembroke Ensembles performed very strongly and were placed in the top half of their competitive divisions without securing any prizes. All students came away with a satisfied feeling regarding their performances, but none more so than Drummer Simon Possingham (Yr 11) who was named the Superband Drummer in Division 3—a massive honour! An inspirational weekend that should not be missed!
Hot on the heels of Generations and during ‘jazz season’ we were privileged to have ARIA Award winning a capella vocal group The Idea of North as our guest artists for the Jazz Cabaret. Superb singing and musicianship was on display and wowed the audience with joyous musical expression. Really strong performances from the Years 11/12 Jazz Band certainly attracted attention, and the String Orchestra’s rendition of Michael Buble’s Sayin Somethin’ Stupid as they accompanied Luke Thompson and Jo Lawry from TION was a highlight for me. The Junior School Concert Band, Senior Concert Band, Big Bands 1 and 2, Jazz Choir and String Orchestra all gave strong and entertaining performances throughout a relaxing and enjoyable evening. The next one will sell out, so don’t hesitate!
On Wednesday 31 May 23 students performed a variety of instrumental and vocal solo pieces at the first Student Recitals evening for the year. An appreciative audience of approximately 70 people enjoyed the performances from students aged 8–18 as they performed their pieces with musical skill and flair.
On Wednesday 7 June the Middle and Senior School Ensembles, Concert Band, Middle School Orchestra, Pembroke Choir, String Orchestra, and Guitar, Percussion and Saxophone Ensembles presented their performances to an appreciative audience of approximately 220 people in DY Hall. A stunning performance by the Guitar Ensemble set the tone early in the evening, and the other ensembles responded appropriately. Beautiful and energised singing from the Pembroke Choir had everyone smiling as we moved through the program. The Friends of Music provided a welcoming atmosphere for both students and families on the Balcony, and arranged both food and beverages to keep everyone happy! The Middle School Orchestra played particularly well and presented their conductor, Mr Joyner, with a very large ‘pencil’ as a gift and some very kind words to mark his last concert with them.
It has been a very busy but rewarding semester in Music at Pembroke.
Director of Music
In April our Year 12 IB Theatre students presented a powerful collaborative self-devised production entitled Aleppo in the Black Box of the Girton Arts Precinct. This production used political theatre techniques to highlight the horrific experiences of women caught up in the devastating Syrian civil war, particularly focusing on the 2016 offensive on Aleppo.
Inspired by the devising techniques of British Theatre Company DV8, the class researched testimonials from Syrian women living through the horror of this war, and used a combination of direct monologues and physical theatre techniques to tell their stories. The three characters included a young woman who was married off by her parents at only 13 years old to protect her from the violence of Assad’s forces, a mother whose 8 year old daughter Reynad was caught up and killed during the bombing of Aleppo, and a young woman who refused to accept the path of oppression and joined the Women’s Resistance to fight for freedom.
The class of three performed the roles of the women and also worked in back-stage roles to bring the production to life. Tiasha synthesised class research to write the moving script. Catherine used her technical skills to create a powerful sound and audiovisual design that evoked the horrific sounds and images of the war, and cleverly incorporated a powerful political speech by Angelina Jolie protesting against rape and violence as tools of modern warfare. Hayley choreographed imaginative movement sequences to bring the women’s stories to life, and designed an imaginative set of chalk dust to convey the destruction of war and the bleak, monochromatic landscape that it evoked.
For young women growing up in Australia the Syrian war seems far away. Yet, as of February this year 207,000 civilians had lost their lives in Syria and over 45,000 of them were women and children. In developing this moving production the IB Theatre students demonstrated the importance of engaging with the real injustices and suffering experienced by women across the world in order to better appreciate those freedoms that must be protected.
Money raised from ticket sales was donated directly to Amnesty International.
Head of Arts
In Term 2 the Year 12 SACE Drama class presented a powerful performance of the Australian play Eyes to the Floor, written by Alana Valentine. Directed by Mrs Reynolds and performed over four nights in Wright Hall during 24–27 May, it told the story of the Hay Institution for Girls, which operated in NSW’s Riverina region from 1961 until 1974. A maximum security prison, it was an inhumane, isolated place known for its extreme discipline. The adolescent prisoners there experienced physical and emotional abuse and were expected to conform to ‘silent treatment’, keeping their eyes to the floor at all times. A theatre piece that raises awareness about a disturbing aspect of Australia’s past, Eyes to the Floor reminded us of how many times human beings have demonstrated an alarming capacity for brutality towards one another, and raised important universal questions about crime and punishment and the doubtful effectiveness of institutions as places of rehabilitation.
Subtle, mature direction by Mrs Reynolds successfully highlighted the bleak struggle of the characters, employing ranging Brechtian techniques of alienation to present this political theatre piece. This was most effective in the powerful ensemble work, which drew heavily on physical theatre to present a moving array of visual metaphors—notably in the staging of the moments of extreme violence. While the production began with strong images of collective oppression, Reynolds directed the play subtly and slowly to reveal the individual tragedies of the girls and the remarkable triumph of the human spirit as they struggled to maintain their identities despite every effort to dehumanise them. Particularly memorable was Hannah’s evocative portrayal of Jane who struggles secretly to maintain her identity despite being renamed Joanne, and Caitlin’s disturbing characterisation of Daniella who found solace in her secret childlike friendship with a dead moth.
The image of the moth is taken up in the powerful publicity images of Henry, and clever costume design by Alex who watermarked the bleak prison uniforms with subtle moth-like imagery to reflect the suppressed inner beauty of the characters. Another clever symbol recurred in the use of the light globes that each girl swung as a strong symbol of their own life force. Referencing both isolation and torture, these globes were often abruptly switched off as each girl, like the moths, struggled to find their light amid the darkness of the prison. This image was cleverly developed by Georgina in her evocative front-of-house design in which hung light globes suffocated in cement, reflecting the oppression of the girls. In contrast with the prisoners, the guards appeared as heartless, brutal oppressors. Andrew and James exposed the capacity for violence in ordinary Australians given power, reminding us of the Milgram and Stanford Prison experiments that showed how power really does corrupt.
Commendation is due to all who worked on the production but especially to the students. Their creativity and effort was evident in every aspect of the production, from the effective costume, hair and makeup design to the evocative live music, brilliant lighting, seamless stage management, informative dramaturgy and stunning front-of-house design, which together created a truly memorable show shedding light on a hidden horror in Australia’s past.
Head of Arts
‘By night one way, by day another. This shall be the norm. Until you find true love’s first kiss, and then take love’s true form’. Producing Broadway Junior’s Shrek proved to be an experience full of singing, dancing, laughing and a lot of gas! The Year 5 students put on three spectacular performances for their friends and family at Scott Theatre, University of Adelaide, on 22 and 23 June. They thoroughly enjoyed wearing their individualised costumes, using the microphones and performing on a professional stage. I would like to thank the Year 5 teachers, the Junior School staff, Mrs Riley, Ms Corbett, Ms Lynelle and also Miss Van-den-Ende for all their support and assistance during the rehearsals and preparation for the musical. I would also like to thank all the Year 5 students for bringing such passion, dedication and energy to both our rehearsals and the final performances. Congratulations, Year 5—let your Freak Flags continue to fly!
Junior School Performing Arts Teacher
Neuromyths and brain-based learning by Martin Westwell*
Last year, the makers of the brain-training product Luminosity were fined two million dollars for false advertising claiming, among other things, that users would perform better at school.
There’s a long history of people using the seed of a scientific idea and mutating it so that it grows into a meme that spreads and reproduces. The mutant meme bears little resemblance to the original healthy seed but thrives because someone’s nurturing it to make money and the original science makes it sound plausible. The mutant idea promises a quick fix or at least a simple way to deal with a complex problem.
So called educational “neuromyths” have some of these mutant characteristics. Take the notion that a child can be identified as a left or right-brain thinker. This takes solid science about how parts of the brain are specialized and necessary for specific thinking processes, some of which are on the left side of the brain and some on the right. It then incorrectly assumes that because these parts of the brain are necessary then they are sufficient. It forgets the enormous interconnectivity between brain cells and that for someone to understand something simple, e.g. a picture of a face, requires many brain regions, from left and right, working together. The final twist subverts teachers’ and parents’ understanding that children do have preference, at any given time, as to how they express themselves whether that be, for example, artistically, technically or analytically. Identifying children as left or right brain thinkers makes a complex situation seem simple and this never works. Giving in to temptation to teach the left-brain thinkers in their so-called preferred learning style and the right-brain thinkers in theirs, is likely to do more harm than good.
This caricature has all the real ingredients of a neuromyth: some good science, an accidental or wilful misinterpretation of the evidence, plausibility to educators and some apparent value. Then educational consultants take the idea and start selling it.
… and so it goes. I recall a presentation I made to colleagues 6 years ago about the marketing of educational ideas, warning that schools and educational institutions are low-hanging fruit for an emerging and voracious education industry. We were ripe for the picking if we did not net our fruit against fatuous claims masked as significant research. The allure of simple solutions to complex and, dare I say, in some cases near-impossible levels of understanding about learning, except for the most single-mindedly immersed expert, was too much to withstand. The research craze just took hold across the world and bagged the fruit to excess. When ‘mutant’ ideas, in this case ‘neuromyths’, take hold a great deal of damage can be done, particularly in schools.
I tend towards an unsubstantiated theory that most of contemporary educational reform is in the grip of a market in educational solutions, selling their wares to overly eager and undiscriminating schools and systems of education who are very anxious that they may be missing something, and to unsuspecting parents and teachers experiencing the same anxiety and who want desperately to do the right thing by the children in their care. I have written about this before. There is truth in it but there is also truth in the idea that we need to remain fully alive to the changes around us and how they impact education. How do we know what is good education?
The problem plaguing much contemporary research and public policy stems from a misconception that school education is the only key able to unlock an uncertain future. The growth and urgency of the market in educational ideas follows, and fuels, this misconception. It is a self-serving market strategy that has in turn become a societal anxiety.
School is fundamental to the formation of young people. Schools do deliver an education based on the knowledge and skills, and characteristics and values, that our community believes should be known and encouraged. Schools underpin and support the formation of the habits, skills and attitudes essential to encourage a knowledge of and curiosity about the world and a passion for learning over a lifetime. It would be foolish to underestimate their role. But they are only and have only ever been part of the picture, and the consistent inability for policy makers to acknowledge school education as part of a broader community context heightens the anxiety.
What advice is there, really, on how we can avoid the pitfalls explored in the abovementioned article? What are some fundamental principles of the educational experience that we apply at Pembroke for 3–18 year olds that help remind us all to avoid deliberately overstated claims and ideas? I have a few I’ve thought about that may help to provide a filter and ‘myth’ detector, and I have distilled them into seven ideas:
1. Love children abundantly and knowledgeably: know that there is no greater impact on the positive development of human potential than experiencing love—we all have a responsibility to do this and it’s about support, security and belonging.
2. Consider knowledge and learning as essential but their acquisition as gradual and not, in fact, inevitable—we learn and gain knowledge to our dying day and there are some things we will never learn.
3. Appreciate and enjoy school as offering much more than assessment results alone—we all know that worthwhile learning occurs everywhere, all the time, so validate it as no less important because it may either not be assessed, or assessed in a different way.
4. Relish the opportunities that children are given to be so challenged that they fail, and then help them try again—the experience of falling short is crucial to healthy development and, as an adult,
articulating your responses to those experiences is of infinite value to school- age children.
5. Don’t think of the future as the generation to come but think of it as now and, in so doing, be responsible for shaping the future; we can too often make the future either an excuse for inaction (it’s not in my power) or a justification for overreaction (urgency to change in case we don’t keep up)— neither is sufficient.
6. Our job is to encourage students to independence and a mature, knowledgeable understanding of their interdependence. While also focusing on the healthy development of the self, it is too much to expect student maturation to be uniform in place and time, but it is important to provide the opportunity for it. Having said that I am constantly surprised how uniform growing up is across cultures and time.
7. Hard work, concentrated effort and time make considerable differences to the quantity, rate and quality of student learning—each comes more easily to some than to others.
These seven ideas may be helpful when trying to consider education in the broader context of Pembroke sharing in and being part of the development of young people.
Back to the original story that prompted this piece—where do brain games fit into such a concept? They don’t, really. So, we need to change the perception that they are somehow special, different and separate, or a product to be purchased. This is damaging to the market but good for school education. Every day at Pembroke is a brain-game day, as it is at home. The brain develops at an extraordinary rate and, frankly, in a miraculous manner, exciting and baffling to even the cleverest in the neuroscientific community. The brain is brilliantly complex and will defy any attempt to corner it neatly in an educational market for self-improvement—frankly speaking, it’s far too powerful and valuable for that.
*Martin Westwell is the Strategic Professor in the Science of Learning at Flinders University. He recently undertook research in South Australian schools demonstrating that brain-training does not transfer into increased performance at school
The Shipsters Road Project
The Principal, Luke Thomson, has described the first part of 2017 as a time of quiet excitement and enormous gratitude. This was echoed by Foundation Director Amanda Bourchier in an opening welcome to donors at the Shipsters Road Supporters event in March. There is a growing sense of progress which can only be realised by working together. Donors surrounded the model of the Shipsters Road Project (made by a University of South Australia student) while Luke Thomson provided an update on the project’s progress, noting that planning approval is currently being sought via the State Development Commission.
From the many staff involved in creating possible scenarios of ‘what can be possible’ in the Shipsters Road building, to parents who have for the first time contributed to the Building Fund, there is a powerful sense of the bigger picture which continues to strengthen the future of education at Pembroke.
With similar vigour the Capital Campaign Team has continued to function at a high level. We are privileged to have a busy, committed and very hardworking group of current and past parents communicating up-to-date details and important information about the Shipsters Road Project across the School community. The Capital Campaign Team are happily answering an infinite range of queries; for example, why we need a Capital Campaign and how the students will benefit, along with all the different ways in which the community can support the School, both now and in the future.
Resting on the School’s Aims, the Shipsters Road Project projects Pembroke further into connecting with the world of learning, enterprise and innovation. Just as ‘ideas matter’, the community matters, and with an interested and proactive community assisting in whatever way they can, the hard yards associated with bringing big ideas to fruition shift in an energised, collaborative quest.
It seems that not a week has gone by in 2017 without reference being made to the Pembroke Producers. Requests continue to pop up for recipes for the homemade produce that graced the stall at the 2016 Parents and Friends Spring Festival, and discussions on weather conditions and harvest yields are now had with a new recognition and appreciation of where different Pembroke families live and how they spend their days.
The muster of Pembroke Producers at the very successful festival was outstanding; crates of fresh fruit and vegetables, lamb, beef, pasta, sauces, jams, chutneys, cheese, nuts, wine and coffee were among the abundant and impressive displays.
Thank you again to all producers in the Pembroke community for your generosity in donating truly fine produce and for joining the Pembroke Producers network. We are close to announcing the next phase of Pembroke Producers and preparing for another event later in 2017.
Pembroke School’s own patch of productive potential, Old Watulunga, continues to grow, with construction of the Environmental Learning Centre, our first building entirely funded through Pembroke community support, nearing completion. The new commercial kitchen and indoor and outdoor dining areas create a multipurpose centre for the busy Outdoor Education programs enjoyed year-round by our students. It is also expected to be in demand for community events.
The Garden of Earthly Delights situated adjacent to the new Environmental Learning Centre continues to flourish, providing an excellent educational platform for students. Manager David Nelson’s broad and expert knowledge and superb craftsmanship are reflected in every aspect of the garden. We look forward to inviting Pembroke Producers and supporters to tour Old Watulunga later this year.
The Pembroke Endowment Fund attracts donations that allow us to support many student activities and initiatives across the School through the Foundation Grants program. We are most grateful to our regular donors for your non-tax-deductible donations to this fund in support of Pembroke students.
Approved grants for 2017 include:
Endowed Speech Night Prizes and Awards
The Generations In Jazz Music Tour
The Indigenous Education Program
The Marree Aboriginal School / Pembroke School Exchange
The Parents and Friends Association Ball – Early Bird Prize
The Pembroke School Indigenous Round Sports Week
The Unreel Film-making Program
The Visual Arts Exhibition Program
The Year 12 Margaret Bennett SACE and IB Art Awards
We sincerely thank and acknowledge all members of the Pembroke community who continue to donate in support of Pembroke School students via in-kind support, one-off donations or by pledging to spread your donation over several years.
Many opportunities exist to support the School via funds offering both tax deductions for donations and non-deductible gifts:
The Pembroke Building Fund (tax deductible)
Pembroke Endowment Fund
Pembroke Cultural Trust
Pembroke Scholarship Fund (tax deductible
Pembroke Exceptional Circumstances Fund (tax deductible)
Pembroke Library Fund (tax deductible)
2016 Leavers – Alumni Donation
We sincerely thank the following parents and guardians of 2016 Leavers who have generously donated their enrolment deposit in their child’s name. All 2016 alumni donations (tax deductible) will be applied directly to the Shipsters Road Project Capital Campaign. We look forward to acknowledging your support and to welcoming you and your children back as donors to tour this amazing facility upon completion.
2016 Year 12 Leavers Donations
Mr D.W. Beger and Ms E. Marinucci
Mr A.P. and Mrs M.C. Bond
Mrs C.S. and Mr D.C. Boorman
Mrs M.S. and Mr A.J. Braggs
Mrs V.L. Burns and Mr M.P. Burns
Mrs O.M. Caon and Mr D. Caon
Mrs K.A. and Dr S.A. Carruthers
Ms S.K. Cretan
Ms J.L. Crowhurst
Dr N. Douvartzidis and Ms P.M. Ross
Mr M.J. and Mrs L.A. Fienemann
Mr Z. Han and Mrs K. Cheng
Mr S.J. and Mrs S.E. Hatcher
Mr G.A. and Mrs A. Heynen
Mr J.P. and Mrs K.M. Holland
Mr P.J. and Mrs C.R. Holmes
Dr P. Horton and Dr A. Pring
Dr C.O. Jackson and Ms A. King
Mr M.A. and Mrs K. Kuchel
Dr J.L. and Dr J.S. Linn
Ms X. Liu and Mr D. Li
Mr G. Marini
Mrs M.A. and Mr A.D. McInnes
Mr W.G. and Mrs S.L. Natt
Mr S.J. and Mrs K.M. Pengelly
Mr D. and Ms T. Pham
Ms M.L. Pippos
Mrs R. and Mr F. Rasheed
Mr P.M. and Mrs G.L. Read
Dr W.W. and Dr J.E. Richards
Mr G.T. and Mrs T.C. Sampson
Ms R. Soon and Mr Y. Chin
Mrs A. Turner and Mr I.A. Turner
Mrs K.A. and Dr R. Van Dissel
Mrs N. Wang and Mr X. Sun
Dr S. Wang and Dr X. Song
Mr M.J. and Mrs M.M. Wundenberg
Our hardworking and enthusiastic Capital Campaign and Development teams are ready to answer any questions you may have in relation to The Shipsters Road Project.
Capital Campaign Team
Mr Nick Ross
Mrs A Naylor
Mrs K Carruthers
Mr P Shute
Mrs K Carrocci
Mrs F Tam
Mr S Elvish
Dr J Teo
Mrs P Mills
Mrs J Zhu
Ms A Bourchier
Mrs S Williams
Mrs C Holmes
If you are interested in joining the Capital Campaign Team, Pembroke Producers or Pembroke Foundation, or would like to know more about the ways in which you can be involved in Pembroke community development, please email Development@Pembroke.sa.edu.au or phone the Development Office on +61 8 8366 6830.
On 5 April 2017 the School community lost our beloved friend and benefactress, Girton old scholar (1934–39) and Foundation Patron Mrs Margaret Bennett.
Margaret started school at Girton in February 1934 along with 146 girls under the leadership of the then new Headmistress Miss Bishop. Margaret very much respected and admired Miss Bishop, describing her as ‘intelligent, dignified, empathetic, practical, feisty and fun-loving’. Perhaps it is not coincidental that all these traits were also evident in Margaret Bennett.
Margaret especially loved her years at Girton, enjoying the Arts, particularly English and writing. She had several short stories and poems published in the annual Girton magazine over her 6 years at the School and was immensely proud of these achievements. Margaret also excelled on the sports field, earning a place in A and B Grade Tennis and Basketball teams. She later became a skilled and formidable golfer.
Of great importance to Margaret were the lifelong friendships forged at the School; many friendships were rekindled years later in the early 1990s when she returned to Girton old scholar events, and many new ones were formed from 1996 when her involvement with Pembroke School began.
Margaret had enjoyed close relationships with her younger brothers Philip and John Sellars who entered King’s College as scholars in 1936 and 1939, respectively, and would often comment that it was only natural that she had formed strong bonds with Pembroke as their families had such strong relationships with both founding schools.
In 1996 Margaret was invited to join the Pembroke School Foundation. At the time the Foundation was preparing for the launch of a capital campaign to fund the Senior School Resource Centre on the Girton Campus. In 1997 she joined the Foundation as a major donor to this campaign and so began a magnificent association of support for and engagement with Pembroke School and its students over 20+ years.
In 2000 Margaret created the Margaret Bennett Art Awards to be awarded annually to Year 12 Visual Art students in SACE and the International Baccalaureate Diploma. In establishing the awards Margaret wished to recognise ‘the quality and diversity of works produced by our students studying Visual Art at the highest level and acknowledging the culmination of years of instruction from exceptional Junior, Middle and Senior School Visual Art teachers’.
The Middle School Resource Centre Capital Campaign was launched in 2001. Margaret was particularly interested in this significant addition to the fabric of the King’s Campus and strongly supported the campaign. The Philip and John Sellars Gallery in the Middle School Resource Centre was named in acknowledgment of Margaret’s benefaction and she was honoured as Foundation Patron.
In 2006 the School Council completed their new Strategic Plan, which formalised the fundraising objectives of the School: to raise funds to assist the educational, pastoral and physical development of the School. Margaret’s keen interest in and ongoing commitment to the Arts at Pembroke motivated her to support the next capital project, the Girton Arts Precinct / Dorothy Yates Hall development.
In recognition of Margaret’s tremendous benefaction over 10 years, School Council bestowed the honour of Life Membership of the School on Margaret in May 2007.
In mid 2008, aged 84, Margaret enthusiastically joined students and staff on the annual Marree Aboriginal / Pembroke Schools Exchange. She held a lifelong love of rural and outback Australia, and travelling with the students to Marree and camping on Lake Eyre and sleeping under the stars was a highlight. Margaret particularly enjoyed evenings around the campfire, surrounded by students discussing their lives and aspirations. She commented at the time that it reminded her of days as a young girl on travels with her father associated with his work in the meat industry.
Student activities on the 2008 exchange included a collaborative film and soundtrack reflecting the students’ perspectives and ambitions for reconciliation in their lifetime. Written, directed and filmed entirely by Marree and Pembroke students, the film was submitted for the Australia-wide Generation One competition. The film was the overall winner and earned the exchange program a cash prize, and Margaret was delighted.
Following this experience Margaret became further immersed in supporting programs at Pembroke. The Unreel Film program for Year 9 students was established and later expanded to Junior, Middle and Senior Drama curricula. She ensured that the Marree Exchange program was funded in perpetuity. Margaret also supported the Equestrian program and the Pedal Prix Team from 2008.
Also in 2008, in recognition of the Sellars family’s long connection with the School, Margaret established the Margaret Sellars Perpetual Trust Fund. The Margaret Sellars Scholarship, first awarded in 2012, provides full tuition for two successful boarding students from rural Australia each year.
Margaret generously provided the seed capital to establish Indigenous Education at Pembroke and the program was launched in 2009 with five students. As student numbers and the program’s success grew, Margaret continued to provide support and felt enormous pride as students graduated and moved into post-school pathways. Of all, this program was perhaps closest to her heart. A respectful and genuine relationship existed between Margaret and the IE@P students and their families; she was viewed as an Elder and warmly embraced as a family member.
In 2014 the Pembroke Improvement Plan initiatives were solidifying. A key initiative under development was a plan to engage students in an experience that brings to their consciousness the importance of sustainable practices in all aspects of life. The philosophy underpinning the planned experience was ‘building community’. Margaret was very interested in the concept and agreed that students should understand the key issues related to the great moral questions of their age, including food security, water management, active citizenship and community responsibility. This understanding could be promoted by engaging them in an experience that brings these issues to life. The long-term vision of having students growing and eventually selling crops and produce while managing and sustaining the land resonated deeply with Margaret and she immediately pledged her support. This vision will be brought closer to reality later this year when The Environmental Learning Centre and Garden of Earthly Delights will be officially opened at the School’s property Old Watulunga at Finniss.
Margaret’s long-held view that education provides all the opportunity a child needs to change their world is validated and reflected in current and past Pembroke students each day, all over the globe. Her legacy will continue to assist the equipping and providing of opportunities for future generations of Pembroke students.
Margaret, your astonishing generosity has provided opportunities, resources, and life experiences to literally hundreds of young men and women. Your legacy is lasting and tremendously significant. We salute you, we miss you and we will never forget you.
The GRIP Leadership Conference is run across Australia each year for student leaders. Our eight Year 6 House Captains joined nearly 800 primary school leaders from all corners of South Australia at the Entertainment Centre on Tuesday 7 February. They were taken through a series of sessions, many of which were interactive.
This year there were four main focus areas:
Leadership is not about using a position, but rather about using strengths (your own and others’; and recognising your own weaknesses). Drawing on the strengths of individuals builds a stronger team.
Taking responsibility by
• role-modelling values
• upholding the trust of others
• responding to needs
• developing your own strengths.
Thinking outside the box—ideas for service
House Captains came up with a list of ideas for service to peers, teachers and community.
Putting ideas into action
House Captains are working through this process on some of their ideas for service.
A = Agree on an idea
C = Create a proposal
T = Talk widely (spread the word—promotional)
I = Identify tasks (what to be done)
O = Organise roles (by whom)
N = Navigate challenges
Students reflected on why they enjoy being a leader and how they hope to grow in their leadership skills. As a follow-up activity the House Captains presented a brief report at our Junior School Assembly, and have also undertaken activities from the conference with their peers to share the learning.
Assistant Head of Junior School
The Year 3s went to the Adelaide Central Market and Migration Museum in February to kick start our unit of inquiry on Cultural Diversity. The excursion was a great success! The highlight for many students was seeing and tasting some interesting foods such as ‘green ants’. The children enjoyed an informative walking tour of the markets, learning about the diverse cultures in Australia and the wide variety of foods that are present in our community because of this diversity. We were fortunate to have the shop owners answer many of the questions that the students had
We continued our learning at the Migration Museum where visual aids helped the students understand how people migrated to Australia and why they chose to migrate.
Year 3 Teacher
On Friday 3 March the Year 4 students were fortunate enough to see Inside the Walls as part of the Fringe Festival. This hour-long performance took them on a journey with Chief Izzy of the Adventure Squad as she moved house from the city to the country. On arriving at her new home, spooky things started to happen. Izzy discovers that a ghost is haunting her new home and is transported inside the walls as she tries to solve the mystery!
Performer Theresa O’Connor used her incredible skills in paper engineering, puppet making, projection, electronics and shadow puppetry to enthral the students, and when it came to our 10-minute Q&A time at the end every hand was in the air!
On the following Friday the students were treated to a personalised workshop with Theresa. She taught them about shadow puppets and then guided them in making their own. The students used these puppets to create a short performance with their friends.
Performing Arts Teacher
The Year 7 Camp was definitely an event to remember. I was already full of energy and excitement from the beginning of the bus trip. Everyone seemed to be feeling the same way, even though some of us had got little sleep from packing at the last minute. It was a racket on the way to the campsite. When we got there after one and a half hours, we were all welcomed to Old Watulunga.
There were a few rules we had to follow. It was going to be continuously hot and sunny throughout the week, so everyone was to be sure they were wearing a hat at all times, had applied sunscreen and always carried a drink bottle around. We were told this while we sat and shifted uncomfortably in the heat with the dry grass itching at our skin, looking up at the gumtrees and hoping that no autumn beetles or caterpillars were going to fall on our heads. Some students made sure that they also kept some insect repellent on them; the mosquitoes in particular showed no mercy. I learnt this lesson the hard way. In the first half an hour I was bitten by—something—that made my knee swell up and sting for a good 30 minutes.
We then got to set up our own tents and heave our bags into them. The temperature inside the tents was stifling during the day but would drop to freezing cold at night. I was relieved that my first activity for the day was kayaking—maybe it would cool me off a bit when I went into the lagoon? The lagoon water appeared to be a bluish grey from a distance, but when one was sitting in the boat the water that surrounded you was so brown and murky that it was impossible to tell how deep it was. It was infested with plants, weeds and slimy gunk so I was very careful and tried my best not to
capsize. Some of us weren’t so lucky and fell over in the first few moments they were in the water.
Then there were the beach activities. We had a lot of fun taking part in these creative and competitive challenges. One started with everyone lying down on their stomachs, to see who could get up the quickest and run across the sand to grab one of the limited number of orange bars that were sticking up from the ground. The other games were competitions between the different Houses, an example being when we had to try and fill up a bin full of holes with water—only one person could fetch water in the bucket at a time, while the others had to try and block up the holes with sand. When the time was up we would see who had managed to fill it up the most. In the second game each team had a single oar lying across the sand. The task was to try and dig a hole underneath it without anyone touching it, and to get every team member to the other side.
At the end of the day everyone got to have some free time to play in the water. Some of us got bodyboards for the giant waves. I could say it was a fun experience except that I got pushed under by the waves several times. Water managed to get into my head in every way possible— mouth, ears, eyes and nose. But now I know what it’s like to be inside a washing machine full of salt water.
Everyone quickly gathered their things once they got back to camp and dashed to the showers before the line got too long. Then we had dinner outside at some wooden tables. Everyone was hungry and ate quickly as they chatted to their tablemates. The sun sank below the horizon and all the mosquitoes began to come out, but the day wasn’t over just yet. For a night activity we each made sure to apply insect repellent and went over to the meeting areas. We were each given a small journal to write down our experiences of the day, and all that could be heard for a while was the flipping of paper and the scratching of pencils. Everyone began to settle down a bit and relax. The next thing we did was tied in with a survey we had all done before camp—our character strengths. This survey determined what our top strengths were and now we all finally knew why we had taken it to camp. We discussed our top three strengths and chose an animal that would represent those strengths. After a long day we all returned to our tents. Although we were supposed to be sleeping, most of us stayed up and talked to each other between tents for a long time.
The second day we all got up at the crack of dawn. It was freezing cold and it took a lot of effort for us to get out of our sleeping bags. Our backs were sore and stiff from sleeping on nothing but thin mats. This was the morning when we were introduced to the Father Abraham dance, a tradition of the Year 7 Camp. Every morning all the students were to take part in this exercise to help warm up in the cold.
After breakfast we quickly moved on to the next activity—for me this was gardening. We had a tour around the gardens, chicken coop and compost station, and then helped plant different vegetable seeds—from broccoli, peas and so on. After we had finished doing this we were shown to a small lake nearby. Nets had been set up overnight and we found a great number of yabbies caught inside them. Some were enormous and frightening but some were small enough to just wriggle out of the cage.
Then it was raft building—what fun that was. Before we started we were taught how to tie different types of knots. While this information was helpful, it didn’t benefit either team. Our raft didn’t even make it into the water. White shoes turned grey and my clothes dragged me down in the muddy water. Surprisingly, both teams failed and nobody won.
The last activity of the day was surfing. This was one of the highlights of the camp for most students. It was easy to pick up and lots of fun. Sadly, I wasn’t that good at it, only managing to stand up two or three times, but most students could catch great waves with ease by the end of the lesson. By now it was nearing sunset and we got on the bus back to the campsite.
This time the night activity was for all the Houses to create their own House chant. Some had difficulty coming up with ideas together with their teammates, but for others it ran rather smoothly. Each House had to perform their chant in front of everyone while their score was being determined by the judges. Medlin won! And our wonderful prize was to perform it all once again. Then we had a quick supper as everyone began to bicker about which House should have won. Students returned to their tents and everyone fell asleep quickly from exhaustion.
Once again we all woke up early, only this time we were greeted by the noise of a blaring car horn while Langers yelled, ‘GET OUT OF BED!’ This made the students emerge from their tents a little quicker. And again we all took part in the Father Abraham dance, but with everyone a little more tired than before. All the students changed into their House shirts and then we were off to the high ropes obstacle course at Woodhouse. After we had packed all our things and cleaned out the tents, we got on the bus for the hour-long trip to Woodhouse.
The high ropes were inside a small forest next to a rockclimbing building and giant swing. From the ground looking up, for me at least, it didn’t look too scary. Before we could start we had to learn a few things. First, we put on our harnesses and helmets. After these were adjusted correctly for each individual, we also had to learn how to correctly handle all the equipment, such as the carabiners and ropes. In each group there were four people: one person was the climber, whose position is quite self-explanatory; one was the belayer, who was in charge of either tightening the rope or making it more slack; the third was known as the anchor, who held down the belayer from getting lifted off the ground; and the last person was back-up, who also pulled the extra rope through from the belayer.
One rope course I did was easily the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done in my life. Imagine walking on an extremely slack tightrope, with nothing to hold onto except your own harness and the only support being ropes that are roughly 3 metres apart. I was terrified. There were many different courses ranging in height and length. Some were made up of wooden planks and others were of simple ropes. It was a windy day with the trees swaying as we climbed up them and leaves blowing in our faces. The experience overall was thrilling, exciting and just fun. I may have been terrified in the moment, but I’m glad that I got to do it and that I didn’t quit.
Some students were disappointed that the trip was already over and some were looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep. It can be agreed that everyone was worn out and exhausted but the things we got to do and the experiences were unforgettable.
On Thursday 16 March in Week 7 Pembroke Middle School held an event to create awareness for National Close the Gap Day. This campaign is all about raising awareness and trying to reduce the life expectancy gap and overall average health difference between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia. In the Middle School the event is run by a team of willing Year 9s who are supported by some staff to come up with ideas to run an awareness-raising event that can happen in a lunchtime. The event needs to be designed to allow maximum participation across a short time span and should be accessible by everyone in the Middle School.
This year we decided to create a huge banner where people could add their names to the campaign. The committee did a lot of brainstorming and refined our idea to creating a banner with the words ‘Close The Gap’ on it in bold green, with a black space in the middle that represented the average ‘gap’. All our participants could write their names in white marker within the black space, representing us committing to ‘closing the gap’. On the other, white parts of the banner everyone placed a black-paint fingerprint, representing the Indigenous community through a kind of dot painting. Before the actual event we presented in the Middle School assemblies to help everyone understand why this campaign was so important. Throughout the day we raised awareness by telling people about the event and its meaning, giving people stickers and, for the Year 9 team plus a few lucky others, temporary Close the Gap tattoos.
Overall, the day was a huge success and almost the whole Middle School turned up to contribute to the banner and help raise awareness for this important cause. Everyone who was involved in the creative process of the banner and event had heaps of fun. We really enjoyed the chance to be part of the committee and we encourage any current Year 8s to consider getting involved next year.
A. Williams and A. Grantham both (Yr 9) on behalf of the 2017 Close the Gap Committee
During Term 1 the Year 10 students have been undertaking their Outdoor Education Journey. This is the pinnacle of the Middle School Outdoor Education program and sees the students exploring the Finniss River, Murray River, Lake Alexandrina and Coorong National Park by kayak and ketch. This experience is always an adventure that promotes resilience and empathy and fosters the community spirit that we all know as ‘the Pembroke way’.
This year, with the wet summer, we have observed high freshwater levels within Lake Alexandrina, and this water has had the ability to flow throughout the Coorong National Park and out through the Murray Mouth. This has presented our students with a unique environmental opportunity, as for many years the waters within the Coorong have been hypersaline. This year the river has truly flowed, prompting a short-term return to balance within the ecosystem.
Our sailors and kayakers have shown persistence and perseverance in overcoming the added challenge of this extra water, which presents as a 4-knot river current often going the wrong way. This strong-willed approach has enabled them to adapt and overcome the challenge, allowing them to explore the wilderness of the Coorong National Park. We are in a privileged position in having a flotilla of expedition sailboats that have been custom built for their application. These state-of-the-art yachts enable the students to sail safely to their remote campsites, allowing them to have unique experiences.
During the course of this journey the students examine the footprint that they leave behind. They have been conscientiously sorting and examining their recycling, compost and rubbish. We have introduced soft plastic recyclable and sustainable products to reduce our immediate impact. At the end of the experience the students undertake a measurement of the waste that ends up in landfill and we use this as a gauge of sustainability; our average so far has been about 100 g of rubbish per person for a 6-day adventure.
This year’s cohort are to be commended on their positive attitude, community spirit and ability to support and encourage each other. At the end of the experience the students are often tired and slightly emotional but leave the wilderness having discovered a place that is close to their heart. ‘Camp’ is not a holiday, but rather a time that students work harder than they may have done the week before. It’s a time that provides honesty and opportunity. It allows our students the space and place to discover who they are. We all need to be supportive, encouraging and mostly proud of student achievements in the outdoors.
Outdoor Edcuation Teacher
The Pembroke Connect Program commenced in Term 1, 2017, catering for international and indigenous students for whom English is their second language and who are in need of an immersive English program prior to transitioning to mainstream classes. The program is focused on students entering Years 7 – 10 and is based in the Middle School.
The School welcomes David Freesmith as the specialist teacher of this program, with Mim Barnard (Coordinator of International Students) coordinating and teaching, and Emily Davis (Coordinator of Indigenous Students) also teaching in the program.
Ten students began the program at the commencement of the school year. They attend specialist English classes as well as one mainstream subject and PE lessons. In addition to preparing students for the English demands of mainstream classes the benefits of offering this course include a sense of belonging to the Pembroke community as well as feeling integrated and supported into existing programs at the School. The students also attend House activities and are involved in Pembroke’s sporting and other co-curricular programs.
Already we can see that the students have transitioned well into their new learning environment and are enjoying all aspects of a Pembroke education. In a small group they are engaging in a range of carefully structured language and learning activities to optimise their English language competencies, as well as building their confidence to assist in ultimately transitioning into mainstream Pembroke classes.
Coordinator of International Students
The IB Diploma Awards Ceremony takes place to recognise the graduates from Adelaide’s nine IB Diploma schools who have distinguished themselves in their IB Diploma studies; this year the ceremony was held at the Adelaide Town Hall on 6 February.
Diana Medlin, the first Principal of Pembroke School (1974–90), was a distinguished educator who introduced the IB Diploma in 1989, making Pembroke the first IB Diploma Programme (DP) school in South Australia. The Diana Medlin Lecture is delivered at the awards ceremony by a speaker chosen by the host school, and it honours her vision and commitment to a high-quality, globally recognised pre-university education that ‘aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect’ (IB mission statement).
Our entire group of graduates from 2016 did Pembroke, their families and their teachers very proud. It was extremely gratifying to see 31 students (of 47) invited to the awards ceremony, with 13 students being awarded a certificate of distinction for achieving an overall score of at least 40/45 and another 18 achieving at least one certificate of merit for a subject score of 7. Altogether, Pembroke students achieved 75 merits, which was outstanding.
Graduates are congratulated in order of their achievements. In fact, 5 Pembroke students featured among the first 10 called onto the stage, with Shien Wenn Sam and Nicholas Bradman achieving 45, Ray Ren and Yingtong Li achieving 44, and Julia Cretan achieving 43. Nicholas and Julia were also honoured for achieving two As in both Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay.
Families and teachers also attended the ceremony and enjoyed drinks in the foyer following the ceremony, which marked a very proud final get-together for our wonderful IB DP students of 2016.
Head of IB
Early in Term 1 a group of intrepid Year 12 IB Geography students set off on the inaugural Kangaroo Island fieldwork trip. The purpose of this camp was to explore the characteristics of tourism on the island and the ways in which tourism has impacted key visitor sites as well as the major settlements of Penneshaw and Kingscote.
Upon arrival on the island the group experienced one of the highlights of the trip, an ocean safari tour. The party were transported on a rapid inflatable craft that took them close to a range of wildlife including seals, sea eagles and dolphins. Then, after carrying out mapping of tourism infrastructure in Penneshaw we headed west to Flinders Chase National Park, our home for the next 2 days. The rangers from the Department of Environment provided a fascinating talk upon arrival in the national park, highlighting numerous threats to biodiversity in the area, including the new threat of drones being used by tourists.
The second day started at Kelly Hill Caves, a spectacular cave formation. After a guided tour the students completed a range of fieldwork activities including mapping of tourism management infrastructure, collection of visitor movement data and surveys of levels of biodiversity. These activities were repeated in the afternoon at the iconic site of Seal Bay, together with a talk from guides at the park.
The final day involved collecting more data at Remarkable Rocks along with a visit to a bird show at the excellent Raptor Domain attraction. A quick visit to Kingscote completed the trip before interviews with tourist managers at Penneshaw. The trip was highly successful and the students represented the School with distinction. I would like to thank Barbara Hunt and Andrew Quinn for their assistance in running the camp.
Head of Geography
Throughout the duration of Week 5 in Term 1 both Year 12 Outdoor Education classes were lucky enough to visit Kangaroo Island to commence one of our three expeditions for the year. The main purpose of this expedition was to use the snorkelling skills learnt at Port Noarlunga beach during our weekly practicals and apply them to the dives conducted at several locations on Kangaroo Island. Our other focus was to identify several South Australian marine species during our dives at a number of beaches, such as King George and Stokes Bay. An amazing aspect of the trip for students was swimming with the glorious bottlenose dolphins at Western River Cove, as well as the eagle ray at Stokes Bay. To have the opportunity to dive at these secluded locations felt special, and it was also comforting to know that these environments are being thoroughly taken care of as there was no lack of marine life.
The classes camped at sites including Flinders Chase National Park and Stokes Bay, both within 30 minutes’ drive from dive locations. Each day consisted of an average of two dives, which entailed individual class members leading the dive and instructing fellow students. Dives were not pre-planned; instead we chose the dive locations each morning depending on weather patterns and conditions. All dives had a goal, whether it was to identify a new species or to work on our diving technique. We were fortunate enough to observe and swim with species such as the zebra fish, horseshoe leatherjacket, bullseye, old wife, blue devil, boarfish, southern rock lobster and many more.
For all the students this was an unforgettable experience, diving at some of the most beautiful locations in South Australia. This expedition was an excellent chance to show initiative and organisational skills in order to prepare ourselves for the self-reliant expedition in the latter part of the year.
Term 1 can be a term of mixed emotions for boarders, especially if you are one of the 40 new boarders—anticipation of new beginnings, trepidation about the unknown and excitement at the prospect of making new friends. To conquer homesickness and to facilitate friendships and have fun, the Boarding House offers numerous activities catering for a wide range of interests. This term so far we have had overnight camps, a pool party where Pembroke was the host, the annual boarding picnic, excursions to the Fringe, surfing days, a diving course, trips to ALF football matches and movie nights, to name a few. A highlight for some students was the Gold Coast Trip. Year 11 boarder Rebecca Wurst wrote the following:
On Friday 10 March 14 boarders (7 girls and 7 boys), 4 staff and 2 of their children embarked on a Gold Coast adventure! We flew to Brisbane before driving to Surfers Paradise, keeping up the hype with loud music and excited snapchats. We got to enjoy dinner down by the beach before heading to our accommodation to prepare for a jam-packed Gold Coast long weekend.
On Saturday morning the excitement was obvious as everyone piled onto the bus and made the trek to Wet’n’Wild. Despite some nerves everyone made the most of the rides and reconvened for our BBQ lunch. After lunch our energy and enthusiasm had again intensified and we spent the rest of the afternoon trying new rides and going back to our favourites.
Following Wet’n’Wild we had the opportunity to go to the Outback Spectacular. The performance was a definite highlight, with amazingly trained horses, dogs, donkeys and cattle, and complete with captivating storytellers and acrobats. We were served a three-course meal throughout the show, including a perfectly cooked steak enjoyed by all. The cowboy hats that we all received were a treasured souvenir.
Sunday was an incredible day at Movie World, with some of us experiencing rollercoasters for the very first time! The group decided to try the terrifying Superman ride after being told by Mrs Tarca that ‘we'd enjoy it’. Many of us watched the parade and lapped up the chance to take photos with our favourite Disney characters. After yet another argument over whether we were going to listen to the girls’ or the boys’ music on the bus, we headed to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner, followed by a walk through the gorgeous night markets set up along the famous beach.
Not letting a little bit of rain dampen our spirits for the last day, we arrived at Sea World where we marvelled at the great dolphin, seal and jet-ski shows and had a blast on the adrenaline-pumping rides, which many of us went on multiple times in a row
We flew out of Brisbane, wearing our prized cowboy hats, with so many amazing memories from a truly incredible trip!
A big thank you to Mrs Crowhurst for organising and accompanying us on the trip, and to Ms Tarca, Ms Dunstall and Mr Bruce for their supervision and the fun they added over the long weekend!
Year 11 Boarder
Head of Turner House
The Indigenous Students Leadership Camp is always a highlight at the start of each school year. Having spent most of our time on or in the water on our last camp, this time we went underground. Naracoorte in the South East was our destination, where we embarked on our adventure caving experience.
Old scholar Brenz Saunders again joined the IE@P group as a valued mentor, and we enjoyed Evan Shillabeer’s company as well this year.
The camp is designed to welcome and get to know new IE@P students, build and strengthen relationships and our connection as a group, develop leadership and communication skills, reflect upon our individual and group directions for this year and beyond, and have fun too.
Paintballing was a good starting point! We stopped at Monarto and donned the regulation outfit for the weekend’s activities—khaki overalls and hard hat—for a couple of quick rounds of paintballing. Some warriors had prior experience and impressive accuracy, while others quickly resembled a Jackson Pollock canvas.
The bus journey to Naracoorte allowed everyone to recharge before part one of our caving experience. On arrival at the Naracoorte Caves National Park, listed as a World Heritage site in 1994, we again donned our hard hats, this time fitted with head torches, for our introduction to adventure caving. This was our test to see if we would manage the 3-hour session the next day. It certainly challenged us as we immediately found ourselves deep underground crawling through seemingly impossible spaces. Through impressive teamwork and a lot of laughter we discovered that it was, in fact, possible to manoeuvre our bodies through these highly unlikely places.
With a taste of what lay ahead, the next morning we travelled a fair distance along dirt tracks to reach a hole in the ground that was the entrance to Fox Cave. Slightly overgrown and almost hidden by the scrub, the entrance was revealed by our expert guides and we began our descent. This was by far the most challenging part of the experience as we had to crawl sideways and downwards for a fair way, sandwiched in a narrow gap between the rocks. With the constant encouragement and support of their peers the group crawled 20 metres underground. Our efforts were rewarded when the area opened up into spectacular, cavernous underground rooms.
Kanisha Wills (Yr 10) shares her thoughts about caving … Adventure caving was a really fantastic experience. It was a great work-out and it was fun to learn about the history of the caves. The caves were made out of limestone, with fresh water in the walls from an ancient sea. When we directed our torches onto the limestone, we could see it turn red with little drops of water running down. I tasted some of the fresh water and it was delicious! The first cave we went into, Stick Tomato, was the introductory cave, and then we went adventure caving in Fox Cave. Unlike the wet cave, it was really hot. We ventured into two main parts of the cave, The Madonna Chamber, which was fun to climb down into and opened up into a large area, and another that had long tree roots flowing from the ceiling. This chamber was very pretty and had a small mountain of pitch black sand from the ceiling. Overall, adventure caving was a really amazing experience and we all had a fantastic time!
After our introductory caving session on Saturday we spent some time with Indigenous elder Doug Nicholls on Bindjali land. Doug spoke to us about his family background, the local area and its seasons, bush food and animals. He demonstrated how to generate fire, played the yidaki (as also did Markell Stapleton (Yr 11)), and showed us how to throw a boomerang. The challenge was set to catch a boomerang and this occupied us for quite some time, with Jamie Fullston (Yr 10) winning the contest despite fierce competition. A cleansing ceremony was a powerful conclusion to this important and entertaining lesson in a beautiful setting.
After a lovely dinner in Naracoorte we gathered at our farmhouse accommodation for a discussion about our individual and group directions for the short term and into the future. The students discussed ideas for Indigenous Education at Pembroke and reflected upon our Reconciliation Action Plan, which is currently in draft form. We concluded the evening with the now customary birthday cake and UNO tournament.
After a very active, rewarding and unifying leadership camp we returned to Adelaide feeling very positive about the year ahead and the future for Indigenous Education at Pembroke.
Indigenous Student Coordinator
The Middle School House Swimming Carnival was held on Wednesday 15 March for the third time at the recently built SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre.
The atmosphere at the carnival was excellent, with all Houses supporting their swimmers admirably. The novelty events, which were held in a separate pool, provided an opportunity for all students to be actively involved in the carnival, as did the ‘standards’, which were held in the weeks preceding the carnival.
The carnival was marked with outstanding swimming by a number of our students; the winners from each year level are listed below. This year saw the introduction of the ‘champions race’ as the showcase event to conclude the carnival—the best swimmers from all year levels in the Middle School would race head to head against the other strong swimmers in the 50m freestyle. This year the two races were won by the White siblings, Emily in Year 8 Hill and Charlie in Year 10 Hill.
Hill won the Middle School Cup, with Mellor just pipping Medlin for second spot. It was great to see a range of Houses succeed at various year levels, with Reeves, Wright and Hill winning the year-level competitions and Oats showing strength in the younger years.
There were two records broken, both by Emily White— the Year 8 50m butterfly in 30.30 seconds (old 2007 record 30.38) and Year 8 50m freestyle in 28.21 seconds (old 1986 record 28.25).
Congratulations to everyone who participated and thanks to all the staff and students involved in making this a successful day.
Director of Sport
On 22 February Pembroke took 36 students down to West Lakes to compete in the Schools Team and Individual Triathlon competition. Other than a little wind, conditions were perfect and our individual athletes were underway shortly after 9 am. In the State Championships Lana finished second by a mere 6 seconds in the Primary Division, and Nick also finished second in the Intermediate ‘Come and Try’ event.
The team events commenced at 12.30 pm with a huge number of very strong teams embarking on the challenge. Pembroke was proudly represented and it was soon clear that we were going to be competitive in various categories.
When the competition was over we had finished with the following results:
|1st in Intermediate Mixed|
|1st in Intermediate Boys|
|2nd in Intermediate Boys|
|1st in Senior Girls|
|3rd in Senior Boys|
I want to make beautiful work. I want to make work that’s inspiring. There is enough ugliness in the world. I don’t really want to reflect on that in my work. I want to reflect on something that takes you beyond that. Liz Williams 2016
Anyone who knew Liz Williams will remember her charming, charismatic and gentle nature. She was an astute observer of life and possessed a fine intellect, but lived life with the vitality and curiosity of a child—a true enthusiast who seized every opportunity for new experiences.
Liz died in March after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just after Christmas. When I last spoke with her she was philosophical and resolute, and commented that she was neither angry nor bitter because she had lived a great and fulfilling life and had done all she wanted to do.
Liz was a remarkable teacher. She came to Pembroke from UniSA’s Art School in 1994. Initially terrified by the prospect of teaching young children, she soon discovered a depth in her relationship with them that took her by surprise. Her interest in children and knowledge of the way they learn was clear, and she provided her students with that important balance of gentle encouragement and rigour. Liz delighted in their achievements and they adored her. She was passionate about imparting her love of beautiful things to them so that they could begin to have real insight and understanding about creative work.
After taking students on the 2001 Marree Exchange, she became intricately involved in the Pembroke–Marree focus group and saw this as a tangible way towards reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
She was the most inspirational colleague and also a gifted and well-respected artist. Many would be aware of her exquisite ceramic sculptural works. Her 1998 exhibition Cinderella Dressed in Yella captured the movement and poses of children at play with deft accuracy, and her 2006 exhibition Let’s Dance paralleled this theme. Her 2001 exhibition Reconstructed Rituals took inspiration from the lives of martyred saints and further explored the notion of what it means to be female.
Liz’s work is held in high esteem throughout Australia and the rest of the world. The Australia Council funded overseas studios for her three times: in Mexico (1991), Barcelona (1996) and Rome (2004). These residencies fed her arts practice and her teaching. An expert in her chosen field, Liz worked with many of the heavyweights of the Australian art world, including Milton Moon AM and Gwyn Hanssen-Pigott.
She left Pembroke in 2006 to focus full-time on her own work, and continued to do this right up until the week before she died, when, with the aid of a close friend, she completed work undertaken in 2016 during her final residency in Shigaraki, Japan.
Liz’s swansong was at her own funeral—a stunning display of her work from the Saints series, which she curated to divine perfection. And with a touch of humour and irreverence, David Bowie’s Let’s Dance played while we all watched a photographic montage of her wonderful life.
Director of Visual Art