The latest P&C news

Hello and welcome to the THS P&C final update for 2017 & reflection on the year just gone - as presented at the AGM.

Just before you get into this update ...

We have created a Hello & Welcome quick start for new parents, it's also helpful if you're not sure how the P&C works, it's @

... Now for the update, it's long, but as a community we have achieved a lot this year and it's worthwhile to stop and reflect on this ...

The year just gone ...

"Community-owned, student-driven, professionally-supported"

A significant focus this year was recognising that the THS P&C is made up of two quite different parts and that we need our organisational structure to reflect this.

Part 1: The management of contributions by parents & surplus funds from trading units (the other part).

Part 2: The management of the community-owned businesses (Canteen & Uniform Shop).

The Community-owned businesses (Canteen, Uniform Shop)

A significant change has been engaging professional business and accounting management services to take care of the business activities such as accounting, staff management, compliance, other day-to-day demands associated with running a business that we can not reasonably expect volunteers to do - it becomes un-fun very quickly and just not rewarding to say the least.

Committees as oversight (policy setting)

This change in organisational structure then allows Committees associated with the Canteen and Uniform Shop to focus on oversight, planning, direction setting and policy.

Student Engagement

This one may sound obvious, but we have focused on engaging the students in the decision-making process. The students understand what facilities and services they need, and we want to support them to make their projects happen. This approach aligns with the THS community's over-arching drive to make education authentic and centred on the well-being of the student via the development of agency and the 4Cs.

Educational support

This year we have continued to develop and fund our three main THS community programs;

by-your-side, together & adopt-a-space

We are now working with the school leadership to ensure that the P&C funds complement and support the school's plans for the year. The available funds for each program can then be input into the schools planning and budgeting processes - with a clear shared understanding.

We can then work towards supporting the programs with people and funds - ie your contributions of money & time and surplus funds generated from our community-owned businesses (Canteen and Uniform Shop).

Proposed Budget for 2018

Information Sessions

Information sessions are a key part of our general meetings, with workshops and talks from the teachers & students. As more and more information becomes available online, our need to report on activity at the meeting lessens and we can use the time for discussions - similar to the idea of the flipped classroom.

This year we covered;

- A laser cutter demonstration,

- the 4Cs and how they are guiding the future of education,

- a school planning workshop

- a student presentation on "our canteen".

more about the information sessions (including photos & presentations)...


This year we also recognised Sharon & Peter Franke with life memberships for their service to the THS community in the past - serving as presidents, amongst many other roles.

more about recognition...

THS Community History & Archiving

The history of a community is important, and to help with collecting photos, videos, links, text etc we have set up a simple archiving-by-email system that all can use - more details...


We continue with a healthy financial position, with funds in the bank, parent contributions, social events surplus funds and surplus funds from our community owned businesses (Canteen and Uniform Shop) . To help with investment of funds into the educational/learning community we have created three programs (by-your-side, together, adopt-a-space) and collectively worked with the school leadership to create the budget for 2018. Audits have been completed up until December 2016 (we work on a calendar financial year) and all ACNC and P&C Federation reporting completed.

Some goodbyes

After five years of service to the THS community as P&C President & Canteen Coordinator, Fran Macdonald is hanging up her P&C hat! Fran has worked tirelessly for our community and we thank you very much Fran for all you have done.

And thank you Chris Greedy for your 3 years on the committee including serving as P&C Vice President. Your support has been invaluable.

And Lisa Rigby for being Secretary in her final year of being involved in high schools, with her ninth child finishing year 12 this year .


This year we also recognised Sharon & Peter Franke with life memberships for their service to the THS community in the past - serving as presidents, amongst many other roles.

more about recognition...

As part of the 50th anniversary the P&C funded a time capsule.

It is above-ground, so hopefully want get forgotten or built on top off! ;-)

And we helped the school with getting the lift fixed!

Letter to Alister Henkens

AGM 2017 information, including financial report is @

Updates from each of the teams ...

Another cracking year for the social events team.

Bringing the community together in many different ways, plus adding funds to our educational support programs!

Highlights include;

- Comedy Night

- Trivia Night

- BBQing support at athletics carnival

- Parent Teacher Evening Support

- Orientation day support

- 50th Celebration Evening

And we raised over $5000 for the community to be used on educational support programs!

Thank you to everyone that has helped this year.


The 50th Anniversary Evening ...

A great night!

A video from the evening ...

What has changed at Turramurra High School?

What do you envisage in the next 50 years?


It was a big year for the canteen with a re-structuring to support our student-driven initiatives.

As part of the THS educational environment, students are now actively involved in the management and operations of the canteen, including rostering, volunteer management, food preparation, stocking, sales and more -- it is best summarised in the student "Our Canteen" presentation to the P&C!

We thank all staff & volunteers (past & present) for their support.

We also say a special thank you to Fran, Athira and Lynne for their work on the committee and thank Kate & Katia for all their work with Fran over the last 5 years.


P&C Presentation 18th October.pdf

Canteen student management squad talking at the orientation day 2017...

2017 Canteen Orientation Day Video.MOV

We said goodbye to Heather after many years of service to the community and welcomed Kylie!

Equality of the uniform is the focus at the moment and we are currently working with the school leadership & student leadership group around how best we can met the students needs. The student leadership group are now doing working with all students to gather their thoughts - they have built an online survey and is currently available to all students for feedback.

We note that pants/shorts for female students is a hot topic!


We did some great work at the four community working bees (see the photos below). At the end of each working-bee first timers consistently comment how good it felt to do something for the community - so hope to see you at one in 2018!

And a big thank you to Lucy Bal for her amazing morning teas - the best egg/bacon tarts!!

The design for the new Science Collaborative Learning Space is developing well (more details/drawing), and we have started the initial design phase for the "MPC Kitchen".

Our current projects

and as part of the 50th year celebrations we did some research into our history ...

"Innovations in school master planning took place within the NSW Government Architect’s Office c.1962-5, with Michael Dysart’s doughnut shaped classroom blocks grouped around a large central space, an acknowledgement not of progressive pedagogy as such but that the external environment of the school might shift the emphasis from the classroom interior, hence spaces such as courtyards, niches and open ‘squares’ as places of learning and socialisation."

More on the architectural history of THS and it's revolutionary modernist design...


The shed comes to life ..

2017 has been another busy and successful year for the THS school bands. As in 2016, there were three concert bands and two stage bands, with close to 150 participants overall. Students are auditioned on entry into the band program, and annually if they would like to be in a stage band or to move to a different concert band. This ensures the best fit between student and band, so they can be playing music of a suitably challenging level as part of their band experience.

The bands are conducted by Mr Mark Barnsley. A jazz improvisation course was again offered, with two classes held on Friday afternoons. These classes are run by Mr Steve Fitzmaurice and have had a big impact in the confidence and ability of the students in stage bands.

Bands performed at school functions, as well as competing in the City of Sydney Eisteddfod and NSW School Band Festival. In August, a regional tour was held. This visited Bourke, as well as Orange, Parkes, Manildra, Peak Hill and Narromine. It was a very worthwhile experience for our band members, both musically and in terms of exposure to a part of NSW that most have not visited before. On tour, as well as at other external performances, our bands are frequently commended for their musicality as well as their exemplary behaviour. Our THS bands are known to be wonderful ambassadors for our school.

We are moving to a new online platform to manage the Band program, MySchool Music. This will assist with registration, fees and invoicing, instrument management, communication to band members and parents, and also provide a repository for band information which is accessible by committee members according to their role.

I would like to thank our Musical Director, Mark Barnsley, for his tireless work this year; Stephanie McConnell and Jeff Lambert (and, in his absence, Jennie Cooper) who, as always, have shown a huge amount of support for the band program. I would also like to thank P&C President Mark Byers and the whole committee, for the great support for the Band program and being so responsive to our requests for information.

I’d like to end with a quote from Mark Barnsley’s annual report to our Band Ctee meeting last week which I think sums up the culture of the THS band program:

“I’d like to acknowledge and thank the group of very fine young adults that have stayed with the bands all the way through to year 12, showing great loyalty along the way. Ellie Meagher, Emma Davies, Lewis McRae, David Taylor, Avril Ambrose, Jenna Ireland, Jenna Du Preez and Marty Cornford have been highly valued members of the band who have contributed in so many positive ways and will be very missed. The bands at THS are in a very strong position and I am greatly looking forward to the new adventure of 2018.”

Linda & Anne,

A note from Stephanie McConnell ...

2017 has been another very exciting and successful year for Turramurra High School, particularly in regard to the evolving partnership between the school and the P&C. I would like to start by acknowledging the amazing work of Mark Byers [& the P&C team] who has worked tirelessly this year to ensure appropriate processes and practices are in place to support the small business that exists through the P&C Uniform shop and Canteen. But even more than that, Mark [& the members] has aligned P&C funding to school priority areas through the By your side, Together and Adopt a space programs and included students in decision making in an authentic way through this process. Apart from all this, the establishment and constant updating of the P&C website, and the spamming of my email (joke) is an indication of the amount of time that Mark puts into this role. On behalf of the school I would like to thank Mark [& the P&C team] for his incredible efforts this year.

Turramurra has also experienced unprecedented success this year in terms of our HSC results in practical major work subjects. In the past week we have been notified that we have had one student nominated for SHAPE, the Design and Technology exhibition of outstanding works, one student for Texstyle, two students for ArtExpress, two group performances for Drama Callback. We have also had numerous students receive early entry offers to University. This is a great testament to the staff who work tirelessly to ensure that students achieve their best results in every year, not just for the HSC.

In September this year, we went through the Department of Education’s Validation process for the first time. The school self-assesses against 14 elements on the school Excellence framework, examining the key areas of teaching, learning and leading. We had to produce 8 evidence sets to demonstrate whether we were delivering, sustaining and growing or excelling across these 14 areas. An external panel comprised of a peer Principal and Principal support leader examines our evidence sets and then interviewed a group of us for two hours before writing their report. I am very pleased to say that we were validated at the level of excelling in 10 of the 14 elements and sustaining and growing in the remaining four. These four areas will be central areas for development in our next three year school plan and we were pleased to have already identified them as such prior to the validation process. They are; Data skills and Use, School planning, implementation and reporting, Assessment and Reporting & Management practices and processes.

As gruelling as it was, we have learnt a lot from the validation process but we are also pleased that it only happens once every five years!

Throughout the second part of 2017 we have been undertaking extensive consultation around our new three year school plan. We are excited that the P&C are on board with us as we seek to embed 4C’s transformative learning. We have already made some progress towards this through our selection in the Schools of the Future program and through P&C’s funding of professional learning related to this work. The schools of the future program is another way that our school has been recognised for the work we are doing in 21st century learning. It provides us with a partnership with the Innovation unit and with two other schools who are working on innovative teaching and learning projects.

The other emerging areas in our new school plan appear to be a continuing focus on student and staff wellbeing which will also include a review of our Positive Behaviour Engaging Learners (PBEL) system and a review of our assessment and reporting processes. In the latter we want to explore how learning might be made more engaging and relevant if it were not necessarily driven by the assessment and reporting agenda. We want to change the focus so to speak.

The school Executive are currently working on budget priorities for the coming year. We look forward to working alongside the P&C to continue to improve the learning environment for our students by investing funds in ways that will make the biggest difference to their social, emotional and academic progress.

Thank you again for choosing to be involved in your child’s education through the P&C. I look forward to working with you next year.

Stephanie McConnell, Principal, 14 November 2017

Orientation day on the 5th of December, if you can help please let us know!

and ...

Thank you to everyone that that got involved in the THS community this year, and we wish you the best and see you in 2018!

Can you help?

On the THS P&C website (this website) you will find an “Getting Involved” section which contains a quick 2min survey where you can let us know what is important to you and also how you could potentially help - we love to hear about what is important to parents.