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Beyond the Classroom
Development and Community
It has been a good week, where we have been pleased to have been able to welcome back to school our Years 2-10 students. Of course, not all students have been able to return. There are two groups of students, some of our rural Boarders and some of our indigenous students from remote communities, who had limitations placed on their ability to travel back to Brisbane. Please spare a thought for them as they miss their friends and must work differently to keep up with their study and class work while being so far away.
We have made some changes to the calendar for the first part of Term 3. Queensland has extended the public health emergency for COVID-19 for a further 90 days to Monday 17 August, so it was prudent for us to look at our calendar for Term 3 and make appropriate adjustments, at least for the first few weeks of Term 3.
Our calendar on the POD has now been updated to reflect those changes. In some cases, we have had to cancel but, in many cases, we have reimagined events so that they accord with the restrictions. This has been one of the positive aspects of the changes at school during the Coronavirus isolation period. We have introduced new competitions and activities and encouraged students’ participation in them.
Liturgies, assemblies, prefect challenges, virtual running club and more have been available for all students at any time and some of these features will stay as part of our offering post-COVID.
Again, I take the opportunity to remind parents that if your child has a sore throat, shortness of breath, fever, cough or any other COVID-19 symptoms or otherwise are unwell, they are not able to attend school. They may only return when they have received negative results for a COVID test. Our caution on this matter is designed to keep our community well.
Staff members will also not be coming to school if they exhibit any of these symptoms. I have asked them not to soldier on but to stay home and teach online, if they are well enough to teach, until they too receive a negative COVID test result. Therefore, although students have returned to school, a small degree of online teaching will continue.
Curriculum Handbooks have now been circulated to all students in the Secondary school in order for them to make their subject choices for 2021. The Year 9 2021 Subject Selection Evening will be held on Wednesday 3 June. The Year 11 2021 Subject Selection Evening will be held the following day on Thursday 4 June. These will both be held in an online format this year, and the Acting Dean of Studies and Acting Dean of Academic Performance have more information about these evenings. Parents and students are encouraged to attend (virtually) the Subject Selection Evenings so that they feel confident when making their selections.
Students in Year 9 in 2021 are able to take subjects in a major or minor strand, and students in Year 11 2021 should be choosing subjects according to what they enjoy, 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 2021, 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 afternoon of Friday 5 June, 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 12 June as this is when 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.
The gift of wonder
Not that long ago I was on my daily walk, when I was confronted by a very long line of furry caterpillars slowly moving across the path. It was obvious that someone had walked through and broken the line. It appeared the caterpillars who were left behind were working hard to catch up with the group in front. It was certainly a wonder to behold. Normally I would have been walking fast, busily doing my daily walk, not noticing special things like this. However, during this less hurried time many people are commenting on how they are noticing all sorts of things around them, that they had noticed before.
There are so many wonders to be seen if only we slow down and notice. As we move back into the busyness of ‘normal’ life, hopefully we will not forget to pause and notice the extraordinary things around us. May we never lose the gift of wonder.
Here is a beautiful prayer about Wonder by Lilly Lewin:
Lord give me ears to hear
And the peace to actually listen.
Give me eyes to see
And the patience to actually pay attention!
Lord, give me ears to hear
And the ability to be still and hear you in the silence.
Give me new eyes to see the wonder all around me!
Give me new ears to hear the laughter and music, and experience your joy
Rather than the static and the noise.
Give me child-like wonder to see that ordinary things have extraordinary beauty.
Thank you for God-blessed eyes - eyes that see!
And God-blessed ears - ears that hear!
Thank you for the gift of WONDER.
Help me to experience this so I can share it with others. AMEN
It was wonderful to be able to welcome back our junior students this week. It is so good to have some life back in our school with more students now on campus. I acknowledge that it has been really difficult for some families and I thank all our parents and carers for their patience and efforts in working with us through this Term. We still think of those who are not on school campus just yet. You are all so dearly missed and thought of always. We still have students in the Torres Strait Islands, interstate and overseas, and staying connected with everyone far and wide has been very rewarding. It is quite breath-taking recognising how global St Margaret’s really is.
At St Margaret’s, we know that positivity and gratitude have an immense impact on our emotional wellbeing, thus creating an environment in which we can all flourish. We genuinely appreciate others in order to strengthen and support our community to be the best we can each day and to boost our relationship with peers, students, staff and parents. I am truly amazed at the way in which our staff have built processes and systems to respond to the needs of our students and families to ensure continuity in learning. If it is a life lesson we are currently learning during this fluid and ever-changing season, it will be resilience. We are resilient at St Margaret’s.
Years 11 and 12 Exam Block
Due to the QCAA decision to remove an assessment for all Year 12 students this year, the Year 12 Exam Block and Study Day at the end of this term has been cancelled. The end of the term will therefore be normal classes for all Year 12s.
The Year 11 Exam Block begins with a Study Day on Thursday 11 June. The exams are detailed on the Assessment Calendar and Exam Block schedule, which can be accessed on the Year 11 POD page. During the Exam Block, Year 11 students are not required to attend school unless they have a scheduled exam.
The girls are required to wear full school uniform to each exam. We are also ensuring that no electronic devices, including mobile phones and smart watches, are brought into the exam room. Please remind your daughters to leave them at home or in their lockers.
Year 12 2021 English and Music Extension
Year 11 students have the option of studying English and Literature Extension or Music Extension. Extension subjects are only offered for Units 3 and 4 and will commence in Term 4 this year. Music students and high performing English and Literature students will be invited to a meeting in early Term 3 to learn more about the courses. If your daughter is interested in these subjects, please ask them to see Mrs Walker for Music Extension or Ms Layton for English and Literature Extension for more information. Students who choose to study an extension subject will be required to drop one of their existing subjects at the end of Unit 2.
Supervised Study Sessions
Please be advised that Supervised Study Sessions continue on Monday to Thursday from Week 7, up to and including Week 9. Bookings for Supervised Study Sessions should be made via Flexischools.
Parent Information Sessions - Subject Selection
Please click here to access the online Year 8 Parent Information Session taking place on Wednesday 3 June 2020, 6:30-7:00pm. I will be talking parents through the process for subject selection and the various resources available to students on the POD. I will also be available to answer any questions via a live online forum.
Wellbeing and Engagement for Students of Alliance of Girls’ School Association Schools
St Margaret’s is totally committed to monitoring our students’ wellbeing. As students return to school this week, and in the future, we expect that most will flourish but, we also expect some will find it difficult to return for a variety of reasons. In order to track how the girls are travelling from week to week, they will complete a short questionnaire each Friday during Form or Academic Advising time.
EI Pulse is a system that allows schools to collect data which is frequent, familiar and formative. It works by asking a small number of questions regularly so schools can quickly build and maintain an up-to-date picture of wellbeing and engagement. The questions differ for each student depending on how they respond the week before.
This data will allow the Pastoral Care Team to get real-time insights on student wellbeing and engagement. The Pastoral Care Team are looking forward to using this information as this survey will allow the school to take action using real time data for:
Study habits and personal goals
This was a very special week having all the students back in the Primary school. Thank you to parents for supporting the girls with their online learning at home. The teachers have supported the girls in their transition, whilst preparing them for assessment in order to report on their Semester 1 learning.
Reports will available at the end of Week 1, Term 3. As you see your child preparing for assessment, you may like to review with her the following points:
Ensure her sense of mastery is appropriate – just rereading and highlighting isn’t the most effective way to recall. Ways students are encouraged to recall information include:
It is our role as parents and educators to encourage the achievement of personal best; this is closely aligned with goal setting. Goals which focus on personal best are attentive to improving specific skills and/or knowledge and limits outside variables, such as getting a better mark than someone else. Therefore, goal setting in relation to study habits allows students to have control and ownership of the variables which will enable them to achieve their personal goals. Goal setting is commonplace for our students as they regularly set and measure goals.
Rehearsals recommenced last week
It has been wonderful to hear once again the sounds of music coming from our rehearsal spaces and teaching rooms. Rehearsals recommenced last week, albeit in a slightly altered manner due to the requirement for reduced group sizes. A very big thank you must go to our conductors for their flexibility as they continue to work very hard to ensure that our students have access to quality musical experiences, whilst also adhering to strict hygiene and social distancing requirements.
Bands Concert - Cancelled
Due to the current restrictions and concerns regarding large group gatherings, it has been decided that the Bands Concert scheduled for 22 July will not be able to proceed. We are hoping to provide all girls involved in extra-curricular music ensembles opportunities to perform at events later in the year. Thank you for your understanding of this decision.
St Margaret’s Spotlight
This week, we are featuring two musicians in St Margaret’s Spotlight. Nina Hutchins (Year 4) has provided a performance on the piano of In the Hall of the Mountain King by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. Nina is currently working towards her Grade 1 Piano exam and is also a keen violinist. Ruby Howard (Year 12) is one of our Senior Music Extension students and has provided a video performance of Mozart’s Flute Sonata No 4 in F Major (Ist movement) and is accompanied on the piano by Mr Jonny Ng. Ruby is performing at AMEB Grade 8 level. Thank you Nina and Ruby for your contributions!
St Margaret’s Sport is thrilled to welcome all year levels back to school and back into sport, with the news that the QGSSSA Winter sports of Athletics, Hockey, Netball, Tennis and Volleyball will be commencing in Term 3. At the time of writing this article we wait in anticipation for the release of news from the Brisbane Schoolgirls Rowing Association (BSRA) on the 2020 season. Information regarding the outcome of this news will be communicated over the coming week by Head of Rowing, Jared Bidwell.
In preparation for the sporting seasons ahead, we ask that all girls register for their Winter sport of choice. All registrations wil open on Friday 29 May and can be found on the Secondary Sport POD page and/or on each individual sport POD page. Please note, there will be no sport specific training or trial sessions for the remainder of Term 2 due to current restrictions, instead we will be offering fitness sessions to girls in preparation for the upcoming sporting seasons. These sessions will focus on strength, speed, agility and fitness to improve athleticism, performance and help prevent injuries. All sessions will commence over the next week and will be held on campus, involving only 9 students and one staff/coaching member. Information on how to register for these sessions can be found via the Secondary Sport POD page from Friday 29 May.
Run Club – New Challenges Available
St Margaret’s Sport has been running a virtual running club for all girls over the last 8 weeks. This has provided students across all year levels an avenue in which they could continue to be active and stay fit whilst logging their runs, collecting virtual badges and competing for a place at the top of the leader boards. This has led to some impressive kilometres being logged. Check out the latest leader board below. During the month of June, we will be introducing several challenges and look forward to many girls getting involved. The following challenges will be available for participation:
June 5km Challenge – complete one 5km run during the month of June
June 10km Challenge – complete one 10km run during the month of June
June Fitness Challenge – Run 4 days a week for 4 weeks
Do you know an outstanding Past Student of St Margaret’s?
Nominations for the 2020 Past Student Awards are now open and close on Friday 4 September 2020. The Past Student Awards were established to recognise and celebrate the many achievements of St Margaret’s Past Students, both professionally and personally, to share stories of success and inspire our current study body, and to strengthen connections between the school and Past Students to honour their legacy.
There are two award categories:
To read more about the Awards and our most recent award recipients, please visit the School’s website. The nomination process is easy, simply download and complete the Nomination Form using the link above or on the website.
What’s new in Careers this week…
UCAT 2020: Important information
The UCAT ANZ Test is going ahead as planned in July 2020. Candidates who have booked their test will be notified about any changes to testing related to COVID-19 in July, as well as updates to the official website.
Pearson VUE has extended the registration for UCAT ANZ 2020 until 1 June 2020, 11:59pm AEST. This will be the final opportunity to book the test this year and no further bookings will be accepted after 1 June under any circumstances. Registrations are via the UCAT website: www.ucat.edu.au.
Upcoming UCAT NIE Events
2 June 2020: Free UCAT & Pathways into Medicine Seminar (for teachers, student and parents)
7 June 2020: Live Online & Interactive Full Day UCAT Preparation Workshop (Years 10, 11 and 12)
9 June 2020: UCAT Verbal Reasoning 'Advanced Skills' Crash Course (Years 11 and 12)
UCAT and Interview Preparation Books
Comprehensive UCAT Online Preparation Platform
Complete UCAT Preparation Courses
Medical Interview Training
COVID-19 period support scheme: 20% off on UCAT Workshops and Courses
Discount Code: NIE2020SPRT
Details about the UCAT and Interview preparation resources and services NIE offers can be downloaded here: Preparing for the UCAT & Interviews
JCU - Careers in Health
Tuesday 9 June, 4:00pm (AEST)
Join us for the JCU Careers in Health Webinar, presented by Professor Richard Murray. Be inspired by the wide range of career options available in the human and animal healthcare industries and have all your questions answered. Register here
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
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.