In public speaking, the Department has been thrilled with
the enthusiasm in involvement and presentation, as well as
the breadth and understanding of complex topics, in both
internal and external competitions across the levels.
External competitions in which Ruyton girls have
successfully represented the School include the prestigious
Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA)
Plain English Speaking Award. Furthermore, all students in
Years 7-10 participated in the keenly contested Orator of the
Year Awards, and a number of students chose to participate
in the Year 11 Suzanne Northey and Year 12 Alan Patterson
competitions. These were celebrated and awarded at the
Senior School Public Speaking Finals on the last day of Term
3. Thanks must go to the encouragement and support of
the English Department for their assistance in organising
and adjudicating these competitions.
In addition to those detailed above, stand-out
achievements for the English Department in 2014 have also
included excellent results in the International Competitions
and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) from students in Years 7
and 8. This competition assesses reading and language
skills in a range of contexts. More than this, however, are
the achievements of the girls in each of their English
classes, which can be seen in their commitment to do their
best, and their enthusiasm for both English and Literature.
The culmination of all these achievements can only happen
with the skills and zeal of the staff of the English
Department to whom I give my thanks and appreciation.
Ms Danielle Cooper,
Acting Dean of English
Expanding Horizons, Tours,
Interstate and International
The year began with Ruyton’s first Overland Track
Expedition, which took place in January. The Overland Track
is approximately 70 km long, and covers diverse terrain
from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair in the middle of
Tasmania. It was a wonderful and challenging expedition
for the five girls and three teachers who traversed this
beautiful wilderness over six days, carrying everything on
their backs, including tents, food and toilet paper! The
weather ranged from snow at Mt Ossa to a heatwave by
the time we rolled into Hobart. Some minor bumps, bruises
and tummy bugs didn’t deter this intrepid group, who felt a
huge sense of achievement at the completion of the walk.
The Year 7 camp traditionally takes place at the beginning
of the school year, giving the Year 7 girls the opportunity to
get to know one another and their teachers very early on.
Due to bush fires in the Kilmore area, this year’s camp was
delayed until May. The girls substituted a day at the
Geelong waterpark instead, and three days at Camp
Weekaway in Term 2. The girls and staff were able to
mingle and get to know one another in spite of these
adjustments to the programme, and a positive experience
was reported by all.
In March the Year 8 girls participated in the Marine
Discovery Camp at Queenscliff. This camp is a packed week
of marine-based activities, including snorkelling, stand-up
paddle-boarding, beach-combing, harbour cruises,
canoeing on the Queenscliff estuary and surfing at
Ocean Grove. The girls stay at Cottage by the Sea, operated
by a charitable organisation which runs camps for
disadvantaged children. As part of their fundraising
activities, the Year 8 girls raised money for Cottage by
February and March were busy times also for international
visitors, with students from Canada and New Zealand
attending Ruyton as part of the International Programme.
In addition to this, we also hosted fourteen girls from
Sheng Kung Girls’ School, Taiwan, for a week at the end of
March. The girls stayed with Ruyton host families, and
enjoyed getting to know the Australian way of life, eating
western food, and practising their English language skills.
In May, Ruyton hosted visitors from Alice Springs as part of
the Smith Family’s Girls @ the Centre Programme. This is a
multi-faceted support programme that operates at
Centralian Middle School in Alice Springs, which is designed
to assist disadvantaged girls to stay at school and to
succeed with their education.
The Year 11 Leadership camp took place in July at Phillip
Island Adventure Resort. The students participate in a range
of challenging team-based activities that are designed to
foster leadership skills and to create a strong sense of
teamwork within the year level. The girls also had the good
fortune to hear from past Ruyton Co-Captain, Sarah Blyth,
who spoke about her experiences beyond school at
university, in voluntary work and now in the business world.
July was also the month for the Year 9 Snow Sports Camp,
which was again located at Falls Creek, with
accommodation at Howman’s Gap YMCA. The girls
remained in very good spirits in spite of white-outs, icy
winds and snow. Most of the girls were complete beginners
in all three disciplines (cross country, downhill skiing and
snowboarding) but all came away with some good basic
skills and a real sense of achievement.
Annual Report 2014