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Beyond the Classroom
Development and Community
Last Friday we celebrated St Margaret’s Day. This year was a little different. We didn’t have our House cakes and our Chapel Service was online rather than in person. However, we still had the St Margaret’s Run which we have held for the last 21 years. Elsewhere in this eNews will be the list of winners on the day. There were many highlights, including some very fast performances, the Pre-preps running around Circular Drive and being cheered on by Secondary students, and the prefects running in pink tutus.
The excitement is building as we look to take possession of the new Philip Harris Gym, tennis courts and HPE building at the end of July, with the pool to follow in mid September. We asked some of our HPE and sports staff what they were most looking forward to about the new sports precinct.
Head of Rowing, Jared Bidwell said: “The new sports precinct will put everything at our fingertips to optimise performance. This facility will allow us to take our tried and tested knowledge base and incorporate modern sports science research in our training programs. We will be more efficient with our use of time due to the well-planned layout which will allow St Margaret’s Rowing to continue to grow and improve.”
Gayle Coutts, Head of Netball, said what first came to mind when she thought about the new sports precinct was the vision of a strong skilled netball player wearing the Maggies netball dress flying across the court and leaping high in to the air and landing on the most modern sprung timber flooring.
“My vision then turns to our newest and smallest players being able to walk out of their classrooms and straight onto the courts to be greeted by coaches ready to train and cultivate in them a love of sport. Personally, I cannot wait to design my first coaching session for my team, collect my well organised equipment and train in this wonderful new bright and airy environment. I am asking for excellence from out Nets (Netball excellence training squad) and they will be surrounded by an excellent venue in which to prepare. With the growth in netball, the extra court and training facilities could not have come at a better time,” Gayle said.
Primary HPE teacher, Suzy Edwards said the facilities “are phenomenal”. “They will provide such wonderful opportunities for the students first and foremost, as well as for the staff and the wider community. What a wonderful environment it will be for all our students to develop a life-long love of leading an active and healthy lifestyle. The new staffroom will create the opportunity for all HPE teachers and sports staff, across both the Primary and Secondary schools, to work even more closely together on both curriculum and sporting goals.
“I’m not sure who will be more excited come opening day… me or the girls,” Suzy said.
Swim coach, Kev Sargent said he was working towards a full-time program for swimming and looking at having Learn to Swim and adult swimming for parents and Old Girls.
Now that we are into Week 2, the school students are well and truly into their academic routines, and it is also fantastic that our sport, music and club activities have started again too. The school is definitely humming!
I am very happy to be an Academic Advisor, and this year the students I advise are in Years 11 and 12. Our Academic Advising program is one where many staff connect with students to assist them clarify their academic progress, assist them pastorally and ensure they are connected and on track. With the students I see, we have started articulating goals for the semester and then I help them with planning, identification of areas to develop, and any other issues that may arise.
I was reading an article once about Academic Lifeguards, a system in a US school that is designed to prevent students from drowning academically. The system works very similarly to our Academic Advising system, with the key difference being that it only targets students that are struggling with their schoolwork.
I like that our Academic Advising system is for all students in Years 9-12 and feel that the conversations that, as an advisor, we are able to have with our students are rich and encouraging. Our students in Prep to Year 8 also receive the same guidance with their Form Teachers.
I believe that all students can benefit from conversations and guidance about their academic progress in a variety of ways. They can connect with their peers, attend the supervised study sessions during the week, make sure they ask questions of their teachers when they are unsure, and they should be engaged with their learning both inside and outside of the classroom.
Flexibility is a word that has been well used in the life of the school this year. This is because of the many cancelled, postponed or put on hold events, due to the pandemic. Prayer Space or Dadirri is no different. While we were able to hold our Prayer Space in Term 1, we were not able to do so in Term 2. However, I have regularly uploaded to the POD Prayer Spaces @ Home suggestions. While we planned a big Prayer Space to be held in our chapel for this term, we had to learn to be creative and flexible in our approach in how we were going to offer Prayer Space to our students.
This term we are holding two very different Prayer Spaces - Dadirri. By the time you read this eNews, we would have held our portable class Prayer Space for our Year 11 students. The theme for this RVE masterclass, or Spiritual Development Seminar, was Sacred Places, Sacred Spaces, Special Places. During our time together, students were encouraged to identify and explore special/sacred places. We talked about what makes a space special or sacred. Students were encouraged to develop a sense of the sacred in many other places and learn how people of other traditions and faiths view their sacred spaces. They were finally challenged to spend some time quietly working with the Prayer Space resources. We ended our time with journaling.
Next week, we will hold another Prayer Space -Dadirri. Instead of being in the chapel, we will have Prayer Space outdoors. One station is peg-a-prayer; the students will be encouraged to think, reflect or pray and write this on a special card and peg it onto the plants. The second station will be individual bubbles; the girls are invited to think, reflect or pray about those worries that may be concerning them. They will then take their own bubble tube and hopefully blow their worries away.
Many students have worked behind the scenes to create the resources for the Year 11s portable Prayer Space and preparing for our outdoor Prayer Space. Many Year 8 girls, the Sacristans and our Duke of Edinburgh's Award students have been busy cutting out, bagging the resources and packing the boxes. I am most grateful for their willingness to support and care for the student body.
In last week’s eNews, Lesa Fowler wrote about the importance of feeling connected. This connectedness was very obvious on the weekend in and around the Boarding House. We held our biannual Closed Weekend and I am proud to say that the event was a great success.
It began on Friday night with each year level doing their own activity of choice with their Housemothers and Boarder Prefects. Some watched movies together or played games and it set the scene for the next two days. On Saturday afternoon, the girls broke into groups and took off on a scavenger hunt around the school. Competition was fierce and the girls worked cohesively to solve all the clues. After a delicious barbecue dinner on the Terraces, the girls were entertained with a Kahoot trivia game, Just Dance and Karaoke. The Boarders certainly have talent we hadn’t witnessed before!
On Sunday, the girls moved between stations of cooking, beeswax paper making, pot decorating, netball, tabletop games and card making. The weekend concluded with the much awaited ‘Compose a Boarding Song’ competition. Each group performed their compositions in front of all members of the Boarding House. The songs were clever, entertaining and made us all feel very connected. I wish to acknowledge our Year 12 Boarders who led the weekend with positivity and energy which was truly infectious.
Tuesday this week I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Year 11 in their RVE Masterclass. In this masterclass, Rev Susan had organised a reflection and prayer space activities for the girls to engage with around Sacred Places, Sacred Spaces, Special Places. Throughout the afternoon the girls completed activities and while they did these it was nice to chat with them and hear their thoughts on things bigger than themselves. It is in these moments of conversation that I as a teacher, parent and adult, my faith is restored and energised.
In my conversation with some students we discussed the importance of paying attention to our inner strength as the girls navigate the last years of school and into the future. They reflected that this is something they linked to the idea of Sacred Places, Sacred Spaces, Special Places and finding their purpose. I reflected with the girls about a book that I read in the holidays called “Phosphorescence” by Julia Baird. The overarching theme of this book is that we need to seek our purpose, but we will only discover this when our eyes are fully opened to ourselves, our strengths and the possibilities of our strengths.
Over the next semester, I will use this conversation as a base as I work with Year 10 girls as they move towards Year 11 in 2021. In the sessions with the Year 10s we will be discussing preparing for the transition to Year 11 and the skills and strengths they have to help them navigate the transition. I am looking forward to working with the girls over the coming semester.
Semester 1 Reports and GPAs
Last week, Semester 1 report cards were released in Parent Lounge for parent review. However, over this week Tom McCormick and I have identified there has been an issue with the calculation of the GPA for some students. This has occurred due to data translation between the timetable program and the TASS Student Management System.
Therefore, we will be re-uploading reports for all students in Years 7 to 12 and we hope to have this done by the end of next week. In addition, the Maths Faculty will have marked and entered results for students who have just completed their end of term exam which they missed due to absence relating to COVID-19. Please note the individual subject grades will not be affected in all other subjects in the new upload, it will just be the calculation of the GPA for some students.
Years 7, 8 and 9 Assessment Calendars
Many of our students are not only busy with school work and assessment, but they also participate in a variety of extracurricular activities in and out of school. Trying to balance our commitments as adults sometimes can be difficult; however, we have had the life and learning experiences that have taught us how to balance our commitments and be organised. It is important to assist your daughters to continue to balance commitments and help her realise that as demands increase, we need to be mindful of not trying to fit too much in.
All students can access the Semester 2 Assessment Calendars through their Year Level page on the POD. Academic Advisors and Form Teachers will encourage all girls to ensure they save or print their Assessment Calendar to ensure they are aware of their assessment commitments for the rest of the year. It is important to note, that due to the Continuous Reporting Process, assessment is held in the last weeks of school and all students are required to attend school until the last day to complete all assessment.
St Margaret’s is often touted for its strong sense of community, of which we are proud. We have a school brimming with motivated, generous and perceptive students who naturally recognise opportunities to foster the idea of ‘community’. In fact, they will take every occasion and find a way to build an element of community. St Margaret’s is a busy and bustling environment and there are many opportunities to promote and display our sense of community.
Last Friday, we held St Margaret’s Day where the girls supported their friends as they battled it out in the St Margaret’s Run and in spirit through cheering them on. Days like this demonstrate what can happen when, as an individual, you contribute. The result is essentially achieved as a team. Our runners competed for themselves but contributed towards The St Margaret’s Way which gives an extra layer of healthy competition to the day. Cheers were abundant as the girls outlined the running course. Any athlete could tell you how much the crowd can help you find that little bit extra to get you over the line that little bit faster. Girls feel the support of their peers and it is always fantastic to see the celebrations and congratulations at the conclusion of events.
When you look closely at just one event on our school calendar, it is not difficult to see where St Margaret’s get their reputation for fostering such a strong sense of community. Any school event can provide our girls with a much richer experience than one would normally assume, and this is thanks to the continuing spirit of the St Margaret’s community.
Research strongly indicates that measuring student wellbeing, in a way that is both comprehensive and timely, will enable schools to provide emotional support at both the individual and cohort level.
Since 2014, students in Years 5 and 6 have participated in an annual survey - Australian Gallup Student Poll. This has provided data on students’ feelings about Hope, Engagement, Wellbeing and Faith. The data collected from this poll is used to compare a cohort from one year to the following year. From this data, we have been able to track and identify trends in relation to the areas identified above and used to monitor the psychological environment of the school.
This year, we have engaged with Educator Impact and its Pulse platform. Pulse is a tool for measuring the week-to-week wellbeing and engagement of students. It tracks the wellbeing of individual students so that we can respond to those students who express a need. It also tracks anonymised student sentiment about engagement with the school, allowing us to make changes based on the student voice. It was fortuitous that we were able to launch this program when the students returned to school from online learning.
Each week, since returning from online learning, we have been able to monitor the girls’ wellbeing and engagement by each student completing a survey online after they are prompted to complete a ‘check-in’. The check-in consists of 5-6 questions and collects two kinds of information: Identified and Anonymous.
Identified: With each check-in, students will be asked ‘How are you feeling today?’. This question is asked every week of every student with the student’s identity attached to her response. This question allows the student to reflect on her emotional state and provides an easy way to ask for help.
The student can choose from the following responses:
Based on the response to this question, the student is then asked a further 4-5 questions which are different each week and relate to wellbeing and engagement. The question responses are all anonymous. Each week, the responses are collated in a continuum for analysis and a percentage of positive check-ins is also provided. This data is used to help monitor the efficacy of our wellbeing programs.
The social and emotional wellbeing of all students is of paramount importance. A happy child equals a happy school and that environment is conducive to strong learning in all areas.
Classics in the Cathedral
The St Margaret’s Music Department is excited to announce that Classics in the Cathedral will proceed in St John’s Anglican Cathedral on Friday 21 August. This is an evening of beautiful music, performed by St Margaret’s Music ensembles within a spectacular setting and is one of the school’s very special performance events. As part of St Margaret’s 125th Anniversary celebrations, we are also very excited to announce that Old Girl, Annabelle Traves (’14) will perform as part of the evening’s program. The event will be held in strict compliance of the Cathedral’s Industry COVID Safe Plan and as such there will be some changes to the way in which the event is conducted. This year a limited number of seats will be available to allow for social distancing within the audience, with priority given to special guests and parents of Year 12 students. A letter will be provided soon to parents with further details.
Extra-curricular Music Ensemble Photos
Students in Music Ensembles will have their photos taken on Wednesday 29 July. Students are asked to bring their respective performance uniforms to school, along with their musical instrument on this day. A scheduled with times will be provided soon.
Drum Circle Sessions to Recommence
Drum Circle sessions will recommence from Week 3 in the Barley Sugar Garden. These sessions are open to all students in Years 7-12 with no prior experience required. Drumming is an ancient and universal technique that is valued for its therapeutic effects, promoting feelings of wellbeing, building a stronger immune system and providing an emotional relief from the stresses of everyday life – something we can all benefit from in our current times! All students will be required to use hand sanitiser prior to the sessions and be socially distanced whilst performing. All drums will be cleaned before and after each session.
St Margaret’s Spotlight
This week, St Margaret’s Spotlight features Ella Yu. Ella is in Year 5 and is currently working towards her Grade 4 Piano and Grade 2 Violin AMEB exams. She is a member of Belle Voci and Amati Strings. For St Margaret’s Spotlight, Ella is performing Cantabile and Allegro on the piano. Thank you to Ella for her musical contribution this week!
Special Performance Event - Annabelle Traves (’14) Violin Recital
Old Girl, Annabelle Traves (’14) will be holding a violin recital in the Arts Centre Foyer on the afternoon of 23 August at 5pm. Annabelle was Music Captain and Strings Captains in 2014 and the recipient of the Old Girls’ Speech Night Prize. Since leaving school Annabelle has gone on to complete her Bachelor of Music at the University of Sydney and is now undertaking Masters studies in performance in Germany. She has been awarded a number of national and international prizes and has studied under some of the world’s top violinists. Annabelle has been listed as one of St Margaret’s 125 ‘Notables’ as part of the school’s 125th anniversary with a link here to her many achievements: https://www.stmargarets.qld.edu.au/125/125-notables/annabelle-traves. This recital will be a special opportunity for those in our community to hear Annabelle perform, as well as Mr Jonny Ng, who will accompany on piano, so please stay tuned for further details in regard to the purchase of tickets.
Music Support Group
The next Music Support Group meeting will be held on Tuesday 28 July at 5:00pm in the Primary Music Room (second floor of Chaseley). Parents from both the Primary and Secondary Schools are welcome to attend.
QGSSSA sport kicks off this weekend with 30 teams across four sports representing St Margaret’s for the first time in four months. Whilst we welcome our girls onto the field and court, we will have to postpone welcoming our spectators to all sporting venues for the first two weeks of competition due to a directive by QGSSSA. The recent statement released by QGSSSA has undertaken a staged approach to the return of sport limiting numbers for the first two weekends. To read this complete statement, please click here (PDF 690.9KB).
The first round of competition takes place against Somerville House at various venues. To view the game schedule for each sport, please visit the individual POD pages or the Secondary Sport Page. All girls selected in a team to compete in the weekly QGSSSA fixtures on Saturdays will be required to wear a sports specific uniform. Details of all uniform requirements, as well as the season draw for each sport can be found on each individual sports POD page.
Last weekend, 12 Club Netball teams took to the court with our youngest netballers capping off the weekend, playing on Sunday in the Net, Set, Go competition. It was a positive first weekend on the courts which is a result of many girls having commited to the COVID-19 restricted conditioning sessions causing girls to come out the other side, fit and ready for competition. A reminder from Downey Park Netball Association is to ensure that all players and spectators are following the below procedures:
St Margaret’s Run
The St Margaret’s Run was reimagined this year in terms of its operational aspects, but the spirit of the day remained the same. There were cheer squads lining the course instead of crowding Circular Drive, whilst the runners showed up in droves with 130 participants from Year 4 to Year 12 making the 22nd year of the St Margaret’s Run the most participated run yet! Congratulations to all our runners and special acknowledgment to our race winners:
Junior Primary: Jasmine Moody
Senior Primary: Kate Greenwood
Junior Secondary: Milla Roberts
Intermediate Secondary: Isabella Harte
Senior Secondary: Gabrielle Geldard
St Margaret’s Run Champion: Milla Roberts (overall fastest time across all divisions)
Rivercity Water Polo is offering students born in 2009, 2010 or 2011 who have never played water polo, the opportunity to come and try and learn the basic skills of the sport. A 4-week course will be held at the Brisbane Grammar School pool (which is indoor and heated) on the last 4 Sundays of August (9, 16, 23 and 30). All sessions will be conducted for one hour. Any students interested in participating, please contact Rivercity Water Polo via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artwork of the Month - July
Congratulations to Grace Nankivell (Year 11) whose art folio has been selected as our July Artwork of the Month.
After School Secondary Art Activities Term 3
Digital Art Club – Semester 2 2020 (PDF 113.1KB)
Join Digital Art Club in Semester 2 to explore new media in the context of Visual Art! Develop your skills in virtual reality painting and drawing, animation, filmmaking and more, using a range of software to digitally enhance still and moving images.
This term, we will be telling a story through 3-dimensional illustrations painted in virtual reality using our virtual reality headsets! Come and join us on Thursday afternoons from 3:30pm–5:00pm in V103 (Secondary Art room).
To register your participation, please email Ms Martens at: email@example.com.
Who: Students in Years 7–12 (A maximum of ten students will be selected)
When: Thursday afternoons
Start Date: Thursday 30 July 2020 (Week 3)
Where: V103 - Secondary Art room
Coordinator: Miss Martens
When: Monday afternoons
Where: V103 (Secondary Art room)
Art Workshop and Sculpture Competition Tuition
When: Tuesday afternoons
We are in our second week of Term 3, and it promises to be another exciting and busy term, despite having to be a little more flexible and inventive about how we structure events and community engagement opportunities due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
P&F General Meeting
The P&F invites the school community to attend our second General Meeting of 2020. We are delighted that we are able to conduct this face to face, but we will need to adhere to strict social distancing rules, as well as restricting attendee numbers. This is an opportunity to share your views and ideas, so please join us.
Date: Monday 27 July 2020
Time: 6:30pm start
Venue: Arts Centre Foyer, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School
Professional Women’s Network
We are pleased to announce that our Professional Women's Network (PWN) Breakfasts are returning in a new COVID safe format!
Our Term 3 PWN Breakfast will be held on Tuesday 18 August with special guest speaker, Annabelle Chaplain AM.
Annabelle's global career spans 25 years in investment banking and a wealth of experience in non-executive director roles across a range of industries including the fintech, education, resources and arts sectors. She is currently non-executive Chairman of MFF Capital Investments Ltd, a non-executive director of Seven Group Holdings Ltd, Super Retail Group Ltd, Chairman of Canstar Pty Ltd and a director of the Australian Ballet.
In 2020, Annabelle was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to business through a range of executive roles.
Annabelle will address what she sees as the biggest opportunities in the Australian market for recovery, how to navigate key issues within our most affected sectors, including the arts, and the importance of good governance throughout this period.
When: Tuesday 18 August 2020
Where: Arts Centre Foyer, St Margaret's Anglican Girls School
Tickets*: $45 Adult, $35 Student (tertiary, Years 10-12)
*Please note: numbers are limited, so the tickets are likely to sell out very quickly. Get in early to avoid disappointment.
2020 Milestone Reunion Dates
We are pleased to announce the dates for our 2020 Milestone reunions:
10 Year Reunion – Class of 2010 – Friday 18 September
20 Year Reunion – Class of 2000 – Friday 18 September
30 Year Reunion – Class of 1990 – Saturday 19 September
40 Year Reunion – Class of 1980 – Saturday 19 September
50 Year Reunion – Class of 1970 – Sunday 20 September
60 Year Reunion – Class of 1960 – Sunday 20 September
Chapel Service and Morning Tea – Unfortunately cancelled this year due to COVID-19
60+ Year Reunion – Unfortunately cancelled this year due to COVID-19
Formal invitations will be sent out very soon!
Please feel free to contact the Development Office should there be any queries regarding these events: firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s new in Careers this week…
University of Sydney
Parent Information Session
Join us for this session where we will provide helpful tips on supporting your child as they finish their high school studies and embark on their journey to university. Tuesday 4 August, 6:00pm-7:00pm
Sydney Scholars Award - applications open early! Our flagship suite of scholarships have opened early for applications. Students can join us for a workshop in early August or apply now!
Monash University Open Day
Monash Open Day 2020 will be an interactive digital experience held over three days:
Saturday 29 August: 10:00am–2:00pm
Sunday 30 August: 10:00am–2:00pm
Monday 31 August: 4:00–7:00pm
Conservatorium of Music Application Changes
The process for applying to study at Queensland Conservatorium in 2021 has changed. With the health and safety of applicants and staff in mind the audition process will now include a video audition component.
Applications open 4 August through QTAC.
Application closing Dates:
Bachelor of Acting and Bachelor of Musical Theatre: 31 August
Bachelor of Music: 4 September
Audition requirements and helpful information on how to complete the application process are available at: griffith.edu.au/conservatorium-auditions.
Opening Dates Tertiary Application 2021 for current Year 12 students
Queensland: QTAC - 4 August, www.qtac.edu.au
Victoria: VTAC - 3 August, www.vtac.edu.au
New South Wales - 1 August, www.uac.edu.au
Visit the Careers POD page for the latest information on:
Contact Our Admissions Team
An independent day and boarding school for girls from Pre-Prep to Year 12; Boarding from Year 5; Boys Pre-Prep and Prep
A School of the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent St Margaret's School Council Ltd ABN: 69069684019 CRICOS Code: 00511K