You are here:
Beyond the Classroom
Development and Community
For many people it appears that the news (from Australia and overseas) is overwhelming. From war-torn Ukraine to the chaos of natural disasters — not to mention the constant drone of a global pandemic — we might be forgiven for feeling a little down, even if we are not personally affected. We can’t hide the news from our young people; they are bombarded by it and engaging in information in a way that can be difficult to moderate.
All reports on young people’s engagement with the democratic process indicate that they want to know what’s happening; they know they can be deeply affected by government decisions, such as climate policy, and they want to be consulted. Despite a past reputation for disengagement and apathy, youth really care, and it appears that the current Australian federal election has galvanised them into action. Australia recorded its single biggest day of enrolments in history just after the election date was announced. This is something Electoral Commissioner, Tom Rogers referred to as a 'democratic miracle'. Despite barely a mention of youth issues on the campaign trail this election, more than half of the 700,000 new enrolments were aged between 18 and 24; a statistic that may be indicative of young people’s concerns for their future and the state of the world.
In the recently released Mission Australia 2021 Youth Survey report — which surveys 15–19-year-old Australians on their values and aspirations, but also their concerns, 41.9% of respondents were concerned or extremely concerned about mental health, while 38% were concerned about the environment and climate change.
Five central themes emerged from the findings:
1. educational engagement and successful transitions;
2. mental health and wellbeing;
4. environment and climate change; and
5. equity, discrimination, and unfair treatment.
Gender differences were noted in three: educational engagement, mental health, and discrimination.
Along with climate change and mental health, the survey also revealed gender discrimination remains an unfortunate focus in the lives of young women — even more so for gender diverse people. From the 34.2% who reported discrimination, the top reason given for unfair treatment was gender (37.3%).
Curriculum Handbooks will soon be posted to the POD for all students in the secondary school in order for them to make their subject choices for 2023. The Year 10 2023 and the Year 11 2023 Subject Selection Evenings will be held on Tuesday 24 May. The Year 9 2023 Subject Selection Evening will be held on Thursday 26 May. The Dean of Studies has more information about these evenings. Parents and students are encouraged to attend the subject selection evening (either in person or livestreamed) so that they feel confident when making their selections.
Students in Year 9 in 2023 are able to take subjects in a major or minor strand, and students in Year 11 2023 should be choosing subjects according to their interests, what they are good at, and those based on discussions that have come out of their SET plan interviews; these are the ones that will put them in the best position to achieve well in years to come. For those students moving into Year 11 2023, we also have set criteria in terms of groups of subjects students should choose from – this is to give our students the best possible chance of achieving their potential and open up as many pathways as possible after Year 12 and beyond.
On the day following their subject selection evening, all students in these year levels will receive an email with the information required for entering their subject preferences online. It is very important that this is done by 3pm on Friday 10 June for Years 9 and 10 2023, and Year 11 2023 on 16 June. After these times the portal will be closed. For your records, please print a receipt of your subject selections. This is for your reference only - there is no need to submit this receipt to the school as we have an electronic copy of your preferences.
We are fast approaching election day. I don’t know about you, but I am feeling overwhelmed by the number of people waving to me from their various places across the path to work – and the numerous ad campaigns (which tend to smear the other party). It feels as though each political camp is completely separate – and never the two shall meet. In reality, whichever party wins this election they will have to collaborate with different viewpoints and work across different political persuasions.
Our Archbishop’s theme for the year “Embracing Joy” (amid our diversity) is pertinent this election week. How do we live together valuing diversity and seeing it as a gift? I think that politics could learn much from schools, particularly the St Margaret’s Way – where we are committed to treating one another with respect, valuing our diversity, and learning to be a community with differing opinions.
I give thanks for this diverse community, and I hope you enjoy your democracy sausage on Saturday.
On a calendar note, a reminder that we have the Years 9 and 10 Family Service coming up on 1 June, 6pm. As well as the annual Confirmation service on 10 June, 6pm. If your daughter would like to be Confirmed (and/or baptised) please fill in this form: https://forms.office.com/r/ivpVEu8zty. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rev’d Jazz Dow
This week we are celebrating National Boarding Week along with all other boarding schools in Australia. There are 189 boarding schools across Australia with over 20 000 students boarding. Boarding schools are about community and providing the best possible care for students living away from home to gain their education. At St Margaret’s 189 girls call the boarding house home for most of the year and the staff work tirelessly to ensure that they have the best possible care.
The theme for National Boarding Week is, “I’ll be there for you”. The girls have been busy enjoying the many activities taking place in the boarding house this week. We started the week with “Discover our Dorm”, a competition between year levels to decorate the doors of their dorm. On Monday we celebrated with a picnic lunch on Circular Drive with the day girls to further build on the relationship between day and boarding students. Our Boarder Captains, Lily Shann and Gabby Henzell presented a speech about boarding at the whole school assembly and a video showcasing what boarding is about.
Wednesday the whole school was invited onto Circular Drive for a whip cracking demonstration and some of the day girls were shown how to crack a whip. Thursday was the boarding house open day. The boarders were all given the opportunity to invite two day girls into the boarding house during morning tea and lunch. Sharing where the girls live was an exciting opportunity for the girls and this was also accompanied by all the teachers invited to the dining hall for lunch. Thursday night dinner featured a trivia night. All the events throughout the week have been focused on showcasing boarding and providing the rest of the school community with an insight into the boarding house at St Margaret’s.
Today, our Year 10 students participated in the Broadening Horizons Conference. This is an opportunity for the girls to hear from some industry professionals about their current careers and their journey to date. It is an important event in the Senior Subject Selection process. Tomorrow, the Year 10 students will be attending a Careers Expo in the morning and then attending Transition Day at school for the remainder of the day. The Transition Day program involves presentations by myself, the Heads of Faculty and senior subject teachers. This is to familiarise the girls with the Years 11 and 12 program, explain the processes moving forward and make sure they understand the requirements of their senior subject options. A huge thank you to Naomi Holley for her organisation of the Broadening Horizons Conference and the Careers Expo, as well as to the Heads of Faculty and subject teachers for their time and support of our girls.
Next week I will have my last few Year 11 Academic Progress Meetings. I have enjoyed meeting with each Year 11 student and some parents, discussing their progress so far and their goals for the future. Thank you to the Year 11 students who were proactive about booking their appointments and successfully navigating the hybrid delivery of in person and Teams interviews! While I will hold another round of Academic Progress Meetings for the Year 11 students in Term 4, my door is always open if parents or students have any enquiries in the meantime. Student meetings can be made via the booking tile on their Year Level POD page.
As we near the pointy end of Term 2 (already!), some Year 12 students are preparing for and/or completing some of their final internal assessments for their subjects. I know many Year 12 students are also turning their minds to early entry applications for several universities. It’s a busy and exciting time and I encourage all Year 12 students to maintain focus in class and an organised approach to their assessment and studies.
Subject Selection Evening
Next week, we are holding our Subject Selection Evenings across two nights:
Tuesday 24 May
Thursday 26 May
A reminder that these events will all be livestreamed and that parents are asked to register their attendance (online or in-person) through the Microsoft Forms link that was emailed to you last week.
Parents and girls are encouraged to read through the Curriculum Handbooks that have been posted on the POD before these nights.
Any questions about Subject Selection Evening can be directed to Megan Farnsworth (email@example.com).
Trends in Education
Our first Trends in Education Seminar of 2023 occurred on Tuesday afternoon, and it was wonderful to welcome over 140 people from schools across South-East Queensland to our school. Dr Lorraine Hammond AM shared much of her wisdom and insights, and the presentation sparked many professional conversations after the event.
Information about our next Trends in Education Seminar (to be held on Thursday August 25) will become available later this term.
Congratulations to all the Year 7 and 9 students who sat the NAPLAN Tests over the last two weeks. Individual reports from these tests will become available to students and their parents in August.
Do you look at your teenage daughter and sigh? Do you remember her when there were chuckles of joy when she was a little girl? Those days have now been replaced with giggles and gossiping with friends! We need to tell ourselves this is good. And this is normal, because they do need to grow up and leave childish thoughts and behaviours behind.
It is how they grow up and the image that they portray of themselves to the world that is so important. I am sometimes unfortunate enough to witness how some beautiful young girls portray themselves online. It is scary and it can be dangerous. According to Maggie Hamilton in her book What’s Happening to Our Girls?, what a girl now aged 12 experienced when she was seven is not what a seven year old faces today. No wonder it is so difficult for us as parents to get a fix on the lives of our girls today. Hamilton says that no previous generation of girls has been where today’s girls are heading. Advertisers and the media are partly to blame; they know that at six months a baby is able to retain brand logos, this translates into sales from age two upwards. ‘This early process of turning girls into consumers reduces them to little more than a target market and has a dramatic and detrimental impact on their aspirations, body image and sense of self.’ (Maggie Hamilton, 2008)
And then there is the internet: a place where our daughters roam and we often have no idea of where they are exploring or what image they are putting out there for billions in the world over to see. The Media Awareness Network research found the internet to be the biggest point of contention between parents and their children (Carr-Gregg, 2007).
Adolescents need boundaries; this is because of the stage of brain development that they are at, which means they are not good at impulse control, prioritising or assessing risk. Often, they are unaware of which pictures or comments they post are inappropriate or even downright offensive. The boundaries and consequences need to be laid out clearly, because as Carr-Gregg states, ‘We are our adolescent’s prefrontal cortex’.
It is clear that it has never been more important to be communicating with our daughters and students.
There is unfortunately no manual on how best to parent our children, but there are a number of books and websites that can help us to navigate these often-confusing adolescent years. Of note are authors such as Maggie Hamilton, Michael Carr-Gregg and Steven Biddulph. A website that I find particularly useful is www.parentingideas.com.au and further resources can be found on the POD, Parent Resources, School TV.
This week I have travelled to Canberra with the Year 6 girls and I look forward to sharing the highlights with you next week.
As we are halfway through the term, I thought it would be timely to highlight administration procedures we have in place for the safety of your daughter.
When a student is absent, the School must be notified on the morning of the absence before 9:00am, but preferably before 8:20am - Primary Absentee Line - 3862 0729. It is important that all parents advise of a student absence through the absentee tile on the POD or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Records of absentees are maintained by the staff in the Primary Office, and as such, office staff need to be aware of any absentees. You are welcome to include your child’s class teacher on an email advising of their absence from school, but it is imperative that you address the email to email@example.com to ensure our records are accurate. The School will contact parents/guardians if we have not been informed of your daughter’s absence.
Departures during the Day
As a school we have legal responsibilities involved in attendance at the School. A student may not leave the school grounds for any purpose during the school day without the school being notified. A parent/caregiver must sign out at the Primary Reception. Leave of this type would normally only be for important medical reasons and appointments and should be made carefully to ensure minimal time is lost.
Communication to office for unscheduled early departures
At times, parents need to pick up their child for an unscheduled appointment. In this situation, please inform the office, of this early pick up, before arriving at school. The office is then able to arrange for the student to be ready waiting for her parent. Trying to find a child can often be difficult (as not all classrooms have phones) so other classes must be called, students from that class have be sent to find the ‘said’ student. At times students are also at specialist lessons, lunch or a private lesson so again need to be tracked down. Please support the primary office in supporting you.
Late Pick Ups
At the end of a school day, students will be supervised at the gate at the top of Butler Street from Monday to Thursday until 3.40pm and Friday until 3.30pm. Students who are not picked up by this time will be escorted to the office to check for messages. If no contact has been made by the nominated ‘pickup’ adult, the student will be checked into Outside School Hours Care (OSHC). Parents will be charged at the full afternoon school care rate.
Mobile phones are deposited in the class phone box and sent to the office every morning. Students do not have access to their phone until the end of the school day. Smart watches, which have the same capabilities as mobile phones, can be worn in the Primary school, providing that the ability to send and receive messages is switched off. If this cannot be done, the smart watch must be placed in the phone box until the end of the school day or simply not worn to school.
NAPLAN – Years 3 and 5
Congratulations to all students who have completed NAPLAN this past fortnight. Results are reported on scales which demonstrate how students have performed compared to established standards. These assessment scales allow achievement to be mapped as students progress through schooling. NAPLAN results are reported using five scales, one for each of the domains of reading, writing, and numeracy, and two for language conventions domain (one scale for spelling, and one for grammar and punctuation). Individual student reports will be shared with families between August and September.
Continuous Reporting – Year 5 and 6
Students in Years 5 and 6 have a range of feedback available to them. Students can receive this feedback through Learning Analytics. Parents, you can access results and feedback though Parent Lounge -Student Details -Curricular Activities.
CLASSICS IN THE CATHEDRAL
Tickets for Classics in the Cathedral are now on sale! Classics in the Cathedral is a spectacular evening of beautiful music, performed within the stunning setting of St John’s Cathedral and is one of the St Margaret’s Music Department’s most anticipated events. It will be held this year on Friday 27 May in St John’s Anglican Cathedral at 7.00pm. We are also excited to welcome back Xanthe Lowe-Brown (‘18) who recently completed her Bachelor of Music in Melbourne and will perform on guitar as part of the evening’s program. Tickets are available for sale via TryBooking: https://www.trybooking.com/BYPVP
Further information is available here. (PDF 326.1KB)
FATHERS’ DINNER – SCULTHORPE STRING QUARTET
Thank you to the Sculthorpe String Quartet for their musical contribution to the Fathers’ Dinner which was held last Friday evening at the Qld Cricketers’ Club, Woolloongabba. The Sculthorpe String Quartet provided music as guests arrived which was appreciated by all in attendance.
Thank you to all students who participated in the recent Practice-a-thon organised by the Music Support Group. Thank you also to all family and friends who sponsored students as their endeavoured to build a strong practice routine. The Music Support Group raised almost $3000 which is a wonderful result. Winners of the Practice-a-thon prizes will be announced soon on an upcoming assembly.
MUSIC SUPPORT GROUP
Thank you to all those who attended the last Music Support Group meeting. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 14 June at 5.00pm in M’s Cafe. Parents from both the Primary and Secondary Schools are welcome to attend.
QGSSSA Cross Country
The QGSSSA are pleased to confirm that the 2022 QGSSSA Cross Country Championships will be rescheduled to Saturday 4 June at John Paul College - Cec Munns Sports Centre, John Paul Drive, Daisy Hill.
More information regarding the event will be posted in the coming days on the Cross Country POD Page.
We wish our Maggies all the very best of luck for the championships and cannot wait to hear of the results.
It’s with great pleasure that we can recognise the outstanding sport performances and representation of St Margaret’s students at a national and international level. I would like to highlight and congratulate the following student on her recent success:
Brooke Lane (Year 12) for her representation and achievements at the recent Australian Gymnastics Championships. Brooke and her Queensland teammates won gold in the Intermediate Team AeroDance and bronze in the AeroDance individual.
We would like to continue to recognise the outstanding achievements and representation of students’ participating a national level, outside of the school sport pathway. I look forward to continuing to hear from our community regarding such outstanding achievements. Please directly contact Mr Knight via firstname.lastname@example.org
Emerging Artist Competition
Bernborough Ascot is supporting emerging artists at St Margaret’s through an Emerging Artist Prize as part of the MAYO Arts Festival. Students in Years 7 to 12 are invited to enter an original work that reflects this year’s MAYO theme, ‘reconnect’.
Submissions can be 2D static artworks on paper or canvas using paint, pastel, pencil or mixed media.
First prize (acquisitive prize) will receive $500 and the opportunity to have their artwork permanently on display within the Bernborough Ascot Village near Doomben Racecourse.
Entries close on Friday 8 July 2022. For any questions or assistance, please see Mrs Hulme in the Art Department – email@example.com.
Giving Day – just under one week to go!
Over 125 years ago, the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent established St Margaret’s to give girls the opportunity to be educated, the opportunity of a better future.
On Giving Day, donations to St Margaret’s Foundation help to continue this tradition for every girl.
Your donation, if received prior to or during our Giving Day on Wednesday 25 May, will be DOUBLED by our generous matching donors and will help a generation of young women make their ambitions come true.
Follow our live countdown at: www.charidy.com/everygirl
You can support the cause that resonates with you.
A donation to the Scholarship Fund will, through needs-based bursaries, help us provide a St Margaret’s education to some girls who thought such an opportunity would never exist for them.
A donation to the Building Fund will help us to develop new student amenities, including a new cafeteria and seating area, and learning spaces so that we can continue to deliver the best educational experience to St Margaret’s students.
We are also looking for volunteers to help us spread the word on the day by making some phone calls to members of our community from the Operations Room in M’s Café.
If you can spare an hour of your time to volunteer, we would be very grateful. The sign-up form can be accessed via this link: https://www.charidy.com/everygirl
Thank you for your support.
Fathers’ Dinner wrap up
On behalf of the P and F Association and St Margaret’s we thank you our community for supporting and being part of the 2022 St Margaret’s Fathers’ Dinner last Friday.
150 fathers gathered at the Queensland Cricketers' Club for this signature event and the night embodied the St Margaret’s spirit with Old Girl, Grace Tobin (’05), two-time Walkley Award winning investigative reporter delivering an inspiring keynote address on the evening.
We thank our Major Sponsor, Adcock Prestige, and Supporting Sponsor, Morgans for their support.
Thank you to our Prize Donors: Queensland Cricketers' Club, My Mistress, One Fifty Ascot Bar & Eatery, GoBoat, Granddad Jack's Craft Distillery, Fonzie Abbot, and St Margaret's P&F Association, who provided the prizes for the auction and raffle.
Funds raised from the event will allow us to make a significant contribution to St Margaret’s Building Fund to help support the development of new student amenities, including a new cafeteria and outdoor seating area, and new learning spaces.
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
The St Margaret’s community acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land upon which we gather each day. We pay our respects to the Elders past and present, for they hold the memories, traditions, culture and hopes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the nation.