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Beyond the Classroom
Development and Community
I’d like to begin this week’s article by thanking Ms Louise Brown, Rev. Susan Crothers-Robertson and all staff and students who assisted in our ANZAC Day Ceremony last Friday. We were so fortunate to have one of our fathers, Lieutenant Shane Bliss, join us to talk with the students about some of the courageous soldiers from the suburbs surrounding St Margaret’s who served at Gallipoli. Students Isabella Bluett, Sophie Martin and Lucy Edwards also spoke about the ANZAC spirit of courage, endurance, initiative, discipline and mateship displayed on the Western Front.
This week, our prefects ran our assembly, and our students loved hearing their messages. Much preparation goes into such an entertaining assembly, and I thank our prefects for the great spirit (and singing and dancing skills) they show at these times.
At the end of the assembly we introduced our new school dog. Luna Peggy Fowler is the most adorable cavoodle, and I know will be a much-loved addition to our school. We look forward to welcoming her in the school grounds in about a month, after she has been able to have all her vaccinations.
On Saturday night we held the Past Student Awards evening. This year’s dinner was a double celebration, as we recognised both the 2020 and 2021 recipients. The Young Past Student of Distinction Award was presented to Dr Mikaela Seymour ’09 (2020) and Ashley McCarthy-Griffiths ’12 (2021), and the Distinguished Past Student Award was presented to Kate Gibson ’96 (2020) and Professor Doune Macdonald ’76 (2021). They are all exemplars of the confident, compassionate and capable women the school aims to send into the world. We thank the Old Girls’ Association and our Development and Community Office for their organisation of such a wonderful event.
Not all learning at a school occurs in the classroom. In fact, as a school community we engage in many events where we as a community learn from others. When reflecting on these important school events I am reminded of the quote:
“If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.”
St Margaret’s has a long history in educating girls and without the pioneering attitudes of the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent, the girls of St Margaret’s would not be able to see as far as they can or have. We are indeed very lucky as a school to have many positive role models for our girls to gain inspiration for their futures.
Albert Bandura, a noted psychologist and former president of the American Psychological Association, says, “Most human behaviour is learned observationally through modelling: from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviours are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action.”
It is clear that girls need role models to look up to, not only for everyday behaviour, but for career choices as well. Numerous studies have found that positive female role models are essential for female students, especially when choosing a career path that will be satisfying in today’s world.
As a school, we celebrate these role models through many events such as Scholars Assemblies, St Margaret’s Day, the Old Girls’ Associations Notables Project and the Past Student Awards.
The Past Student Awards were held last Saturday evening and have been established to:
The Award recipients from this year are indeed positive role models for our current students. Their biographies can be found on the honour board in the Arts Centre Foyer or the school website for your daughters to look to for inspiration.
How wonderful it was to be able to hold our Baptism Service last Friday afternoon. Last year, our Years 4-6 Family Service was cancelled due to COVID. The cancelling of this service meant that those children who were going to be Baptised and Admitted to Holy Communion had to wait until this year. As there were so many, we separated the Baptism part of the service from the Years 4-6 Family Service.
The Baptisms on Friday were very special, as 8 children were welcomed into the Anglican Church through the waters of baptism. Baptism is very special as it reminds us, invites us, into a relationship with God. While the invitation to be in relationship with God is always being offered to us, Baptism is about saying I want to publicly acknowledge my relationship with God.
This week, we held the next part of the Years 4-6 Family Service as 18 children were Admitted to Holy Communion. At the last supper, Jesus broke the bread and shared it and said, do this in memory of me, then he took a cup of wine and shared the cup with his friends and said do this in memory of me. Each time we come to the table and share in the Eucharist, Holy Communion, we remember Jesus and the life he offered us. He showed us a life we can all live.
This term there are a number of Family Services, listed below. You will also see the link that takes you to the attached information letter.
6 May: 6pm, Year 11 Family Service (PDF 138KB)
11 May: 6pm, Year 12 Family Service (PDF 142.4KB)
18 May: 6pm, Year 8 Family Service (PDF 139.4KB)
8 June: 6pm, Year 9 Family Service (PDF 117.3KB)
Prayer for India
God of love and healing we lift our brothers and sister in India to you.
We pray for your protection,
We pray for your provision,
We pray for the nations of earth to have compassion.
We pray for the people who are in need.
We pray for the people who are scared.
We pray for medical staff and government.
We pray for those who are trying to get back to Australia.
We pray for the people who are mourning.
Compassionate God, draw close to those who seek your refuge today. Amen.
Boarding at St Margaret’s is a rewarding, fulfilling and happy time for all. The students come from many geographical areas, both within Australia and from overseas. This exposure to other cultures is an enriching experience which gives each of our Boarders a chance to develop a wider understanding about others and the world in which we live in.
This coming weekend, we have our annual ‘St Margaret’s Day/Boarder Long Weekend.’ A four-day long weekend to allow our Boarders to take a Day student to their home. It is a wonderful opportunity for our St Margaret’s students to have an understanding and insight into the lives of our Boarders when they are not at school. This weekend has always been a special event for those who participate. We love to hear all the stories and see the photos and videos on their return back to school. The weekend provides lifelong memories for many of these girls.
Now that Term 2 is underway, it is timely for us to reflect upon the concept of academic fitness (Martin, 2010). This has relevance to students of all year levels, staff and parents. The girls understand that being academically fit means being fit for learning. That is, being well-prepared to learn effectively, by developing a positive mindset and productive behaviours. The notion that an individual’s academic fitness is to a large extent within their control is empowering for students - it tells them that what they do makes a difference.
It is important for young people to understand that they have to train if they seek to improve their academic fitness. Generally, students can understand the importance of training for sporting success and practising for success as a musician; however, they have difficulty applying this concept to their academic work. Equating the effort needed to learn well with the effort needed to be an exceptional violinist or elite athlete can be empowering for young people. It facilitates a discussion about the behaviours and attitudes which characterise effective learning in a way which is accessible to adolescents. Part of this is to encourage your daughters to view progress in terms of personal bests rather than marks. As always, my message to students is to focus on what they are doing, trying their best and incorporating the idea of achieving a ‘Personal Best’ in Maths or English or Drama may well be a significant motivator.
Years 10 to 12 Assessment Planners are updated and are now on the Year Level POD pages. The Years 11 and 12 planners include all assignments and exams for the year and provide a very useful tool for planning study schedules. Please note that Exam Block schedules will be available by the end of Week 3.
It is well documented that being actively engaged in learning produces positive academic outcomes. As such, at St Margaret’s we have high expectations regarding student engagement in the classroom. We also note that in order to be actively engaged in the classroom it is necessary to be physically present for the learning.
At the Prefect Assembly this week, the prefects made all students aware of the focus on the following areas of academic engagement:
Students need to be punctual to lessons, so they do not miss the beginning phase of learning. In addition, girls will need to fill up their water bottles at morning tea and lunchtime, rather than use class time to do this and are also encouraged to use the break time for the bathroom, rather than waiting until class time. Lastly, we can show respect for the physical space in the classroom by leaving rooms organised and tidy to provide a positive, calm learning environment for the following class.
I encourage students to focus on these three areas at home as well. To get the most out of homework and study time, don’t delay starting – set a start time and stick to it! Get organised before you start so you’re not tempted to get up for a drink, your calculator or a book halfway through a session. Having a clear, organised area for study and homework creates a productive learning environment. We don’t always need to make large changes in order to optimise the way that we work – making these small changes both at school and home can reduce the amount of lost time and can improve outcomes without increasing your time commitment.
Building confidence and resilience requires deliberate, conscious actions. As confidence in one’s self increases, learning and friendship-making becomes easier; resilience grows. The Pastoral Care Program this term is focused on developing the Secondary girls’ understanding of themselves and others. Guest speakers will work with each cohort as they build healthy teenage friendships, explore their leadership capacity and learn about mental health topics. Within these supportive contexts, the girls’ resilience and ability to face challenges will increase; they will be empowered.
Approaching learning with confidence is also an intentional decision and students are encouraged to ‘back themselves’ more and interpret their learning as a journey. Australian psychologist, Andrew Fuller believes that “one of the most powerful ways we can build resilience is to have students discover how to be successful learners”. As learning can look messy and unorganised, strategies such as creating mind maps and discussing concepts learnt at school can contribute to increased confidence. Engaging in conversations where students explain ideas and teach us, their support team, consolidates learning and strengthens connections. Online parenting resources about issues such as mental health are available on ‘School TV’. This is the brainchild of renowned psychologist, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg and is available on the POD (‘Parenting Resources’ tile).
References: Fuller, A. (2020) Building Learning Strengths. Generation Next.
Happiness and Gratitude – life’s essentials
“Life is not always happiness. Sometimes, there are many hard days. But you must remember that you are lucky to be alive. Every breath is a gift. Life is beautiful if you let it be. Happiness is in your hands.”
It is hard to believe this is a quote from a man who survived the horrors of war and now at one hundred years of age, calls himself the happiest man on earth. This is another powerful message from Eddie Jaku.
The bedrock of our happiness is gratitude. Gratitude is defined as ‘affirming that there are good things in the world – gifts and benefits that we’ve received – and recognising that these sources of goodness come from outside ourselves’ (Zakrzewski, 2013).
Gratitude is an element of our spiritual practices. What is interesting is that emerging research highlights that gratitude is a potential bridge between students’ academic and social well-being. It has found that grateful youth have higher results, experience more positive emotions and ultimately go on to live more meaningful lives. Research also suggests that practising gratitude at a young age promotes later development of self-control and self-regulation, both qualities which contribute to lifelong success. For egocentric, 6 and 7 year old children, gratitude can be fostered but it doesn’t fully materialise until ages 10-14 when students develop the ability to empathise. Last week I discussed the ways we can develop empathy.
Teachers and parents have a significant role in encouraging children, from an early age, to say why they are grateful. Adults should model this again and again for children to think more deeply in terms of why they’re grateful for someone or something. When a child expresses gratitude, it is recommended that the adult should encourage them to notice intentions (the thought behind the gift that they have received), appreciate costs (someone went out of their way or made sacrifices to help them) and recognise the benefits (someone provided them with a gift or a kind act that has personal value).
Gratitude does start with the adults in a child’s life because by modelling gratitude, you encourage your child to do the same and together you will value others more and strengthen your relationships.
As a school community we can be grateful for staff, friends and loving families committed to giving children in our care the best education. Last week, the wider community had the opportunity to be grateful and show appreciation for the country we live in. As a whole school community, we acknowledged ANZAC Day by paying homage to those who have fought for our country in order that we can live today in a democratic society. I am sure this is not lost on a survivor like Eddie Jaku who states: “after what I had experienced during war, it truly felt like heaven.”
Private Music Students’ Recital
Congratulations to all students who performed in the Private Music Students’ Recital on Wednesday afternoon. There was a wide range of styles performed on a variety of different instruments. All girls should be exceptionally proud of their performances!
Music Tour 2022
The Music Department is very excited to offer students the opportunity to join with other student musicians from around the Pacific region in the Rhapsody Rotorua Music Festival, which will occur for one week in Rotorua, New Zealand during the June/July holidays in 2022. As part of the festival, students will perform in a variety of community and professional settings, as well as participate in numerous music workshops facilitated by professional musicians. Many schools from across the Pacific are involved in the festival with students having the opportunity to interact and build friendships with other music students from the Pacific region. There will also be opportunities to build cultural awareness through special experiences organised by the Festival convenors, as well as experience some fun activities unique to the area. The tour will be open to Secondary students who are involved in the following ensembles: Sister Helen Wind Symphony, Exultate and Chamber Strings.
An information night has been organised for Wednesday 12 May in The Loft at 6:00pm. Further details will be provided at the meeting and there will be the opportunity to ask questions pertaining to the tour. We understand that we are proposing this tour whilst still dealing with our current COVID environment. We are hopeful that by June 2022, travel opportunities to New Zealand will be more stable, particularly given that many more people will have had vaccinations by this time. All tour costs will be refundable should the tour become unviable due to further outbreaks. A draft itinerary is attached (PDF 931.4KB) for your perusal.
We ask that you please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 10 May if you are interested in attending the information evening to assist in preparing for the event.
We look forward to having many girls involved!
It was fantastic to see so many girls come along to our first Encorah rehearsal last Thursday afternoon. Encorah is an ‘all-comers’ choir open to students in Years 7-12. All who enjoy singing are welcome to attend with no audition required. It is not too late to join, so if students missed out last week, they are more than welcome to come along this Thursday!
Music Support Group
The next Music Support Group meeting will be held on Tuesday 25 May at 5:00pm in the Primary Music Room (second floor of Chaseley). Parents from both the Primary and Secondary schools are welcome to attend.
One of the most unnoticed aspects of being part of a team is the importance of being social and joining in the team environment. At St Margaret’s, we expect students to attend the nominated training sessions to develop not only their skills, but to also develop great relationships with one another, their coaches and teachers. A research article by the Canadian Olympic Committee investigated the factors which contributed to the success or lack of success of Canadian athletes at the Olympic Games in Beijing. It was found that the most significant contributor to a medal winning performance or personal best was a strong coach-athlete relationship and a strong athlete-athlete relationship.
Sport is not just about what happens on the field, but also what happens off the field. Often what happens off the field can have such a positive impact on it! Therefore, I ask that you support your daughters by maintaining their attendance at training to enable them to build great relationships!
All Autumn sports recommenced their season against Brisbane State High School on Friday 23 April. Touch Football secured 4 wins and 2 draws from 12 games. For many of our Basketball teams, the score did not reflect the game with only two teams, 10B and 8B experiencing a win. Whilst our Soccer teams did not score a win, there were many positives to take away and build upon during training.
Over the next three weeks, teams will be playing mid-week and on Friday’s. This is due to the rescheduling of games for the Boarder/Day Girl long weekend and QGSSSA Cross Country (15 May). Please ensure you check the draws found on each individual sport POD page.
Sixty-five girls attended the Cross Country High Performance Day Camp on Saturday 24 April. The camp was designed to be challenging, yet energising and involved a scenic trail run, yoga with mindfulness, a pool session, nutritional seminar, team talks and even more running. Many thanks to the staff and coaches who attended to help support the squad in their quest to become the fittest, strongest and toughest Cross Country squad in QGSSSA. Special thanks to the Support Group and all parents for supplying fruit and home baked goods for all of the girls.
Cross Country – St Hilda’s Meet - 4 May (Student Free Day)
St Margaret’s Sport is requesting that all Cross Country squad members attend the St Hilda’s Cross Country Meet on Tuesday 4 May (Student Free Day) as this meet will be held at the QGSSSA course. A bus has been arranged to take all girls to the meet and will depart from St Margaret’s at 2:30pm. Further details can be found on the Cross Country POD page.
Millicent Watson (Year 8) who was selected in the U14 Queensland Softball squad and will now attend an emerging talent camp in May.
Miller Enders (Year 7) who competed as the youngest Level 10 gymnast at the recent Gymnastics State Championships, held at Chandler on 26 and 28 March. Miller achieved selection in the Queensland team as an individual and will now compete at the National Championships on the Gold Coast in May.
Past Student Awards
The Past Student Awards took place last Saturday 24 April in the Arts Centre Foyer. Guests were treated to a beautiful evening which began with drinks on the Arts Centre Foyer Terraces under the stars. This was followed by a sit-down meal interspersed with inspiring and fascinating speeches from our winners. We were overwhelmed by their outstanding achievements, and so proud that St Margaret’s was such a big part of all of their educational journeys. Congratulations again to our 2020 and 2021 winners:
Distinguished Past Student Award Winner 2020: Ms Kate Gibson (’96)
Distinguished Past Student Award Winner 2021: Prof Doune Macdonald (’76)
Young Past Student of Distinction Award Winner 2020: Dr Mikaela Seymour (’09)
Young Past Student of Distinction Award Winner 2021: Ms Ashley McCarthy-Griffiths (’12)
Please join us at this wonderful event next year!
Professional Women’s Network Breakfast – Wednesday 12 May 2021
‘Getting comfortable in high heels and safety boots.’
We are delighted to be welcoming Nicole Hollows as our second guest speaker for 2021. Nicole is an experienced Senior Executive, with a career spanning over 20 years in the resources sector. Nicole will provide a summary of her career progression starting out as a young Chartered Accountant in a small firm, to getting uncomfortable and out of her comfort zone in the male dominated resources and water industries, initially as a Chief Financial Officer and later as Chief Executive Officer.
Date: Wednesday 12 May 2021
Time: 7:00am arrival – 8:45am finish
Enjoy Barista Coffee from a Wolff Coffee Roasters cart, before and after the event
Location: St Margaret's Anglican Girls School, 11 Petrie Street, Ascot
Tickets: $80 Adult, $40 Student (Tertiary, Years 10-12)
Tickets are available for purchase via Flexischools. Alternatively, please contact the Development Office on email@example.com or 07 3862 0767.
We sincerely thank our generous corporate sponsors:
Major Sponsor: Pitcher Partners
Associate Sponsors: Programmed Property Services, Wolff Coffee Roasters
Supporting Partners: Downer Group, NAB, Clear Insurance, O’Reilly Shaw Lawyers and Red Oak Teamwear
P&F General Meeting
The next P&F Association General Meeting will be held on Monday 10 May 2021, from 6:30pm. This meeting will be held face to face in the Arts Centre Foyer and a link to Microsoft Teams will also be sent out prior for those parents who are unable to attend in person.
If you have an agenda item or suggestions, we encourage you to send these via email to Tom Reddacliff, President, P&F Association: P&F@stmargarets.qld.edu.au.
Please check the Careers News section on the Careers and Pathways POD page for more information about upcoming opportunities and events.
Year 13 online Career Expo
The Year13 Expo will again be virtual from 17-19 May. The Expo is a free, 100% online careers exhibition. Hear about your dream career from experts in their industry and explore exhibitors across work, study and travel. Please click here for more information and to register.
Bursaries for female students
The National Council of Women of Queensland has launched its 2021 bursary program for female students. Visit the website for more information and to download the application form. Applications close on 2 June 2021.
Sydney University Engineering Aid
Each year since 1997, Engineering Aid Australia has conducted Indigenous Australian Engineering Schools in Sydney. Students are invited to apply to participate in an online IAES hosted by Sydney University from 6-8 July 2021. Applications close Wednesday 5 May. Application Form.
Durack College Associate Program
Durack College is excited to announce its newest initiative: The Durack College Associate Program. Durack College Associate members live outside the College but can call Durack ‘home’ while at university and enjoy the benefits of College life.
Becoming a Durack College Associate also provides social connections within the Durack College community. It is great for students who are commuting to university, new to Brisbane or living in accommodation where meeting like-minded women is difficult. Find out more here.
2021 Tertiary Studies Expo reminder
The annual Brisbane Tertiary Studies Expo (TSXPO), Australia's largest tertiary studies expo, offers a unique opportunity for anyone interested in starting, changing or upgrading their career. It will be held at the Royal International Convention Centre, Brisbane Showgrounds on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July 2021, from 10am to 4pm on both days. Featuring many local, interstate and overseas education providers, students' services and support agencies. Don't miss this great opportunity to map out your future, all in the one location!
University of Sydney: Webinar Wednesdays
Sessions will be posted to our undergraduate events page as they become available.
The Melbourne curriculum
The curriculum structure at Melbourne University requires you to complete a three-year undergraduate degree. You can then enter the workforce or apply for a graduate program. To enter many professions (e.g. nursing, journalism, medicine, law, engineering etc.), you must complete a graduate program. Find out more about Melbourne’s graduate programs here. A Guaranteed Entry scheme to graduate programs is available for very high achieving Year 12 applicants.
Match My Skills
Need help finding a uni course that suits you? Match My Skills sees you work through the steps and create a list of QUT courses that may be of interest to you. It takes less than 10 minutes. Take the quiz.
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
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.