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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

the Sea.

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