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Beyond the Classroom
Development and Community
Our St Margaret’s community is a strong community, and this is something we have certainly witnessed over the past week. On Tuesday, we held a very special farewell assembly for Ms Mary Surtees. Mary began teaching at St Margaret’s in 1979, and her planned five-year tenure turned into much longer! She has educated many in our community over the past 42 years and so it was lovely to see so many of those people including past students, staff and parents, join with our current staff, students and families at this assembly. We had messages and performances from past students, and we were treated to a performance by Ms Surtees herself on the triangle with one of our student ensembles. We have been so blessed to have Ms Surtees guide and support our students and families for so long and we wish her all the best when she leaves us at the end of this term.
I would like to bring your attention to the Fathers’ Dinner to be held on the 11th of June. This is an annual event and this year we will welcome our guest speaker - Old Girl, lawyer and grazier Caitlin McConnel (07). Our P&F committee have organised this exciting event in the school calendar, and I thank them for all their work on this. It is not too late to purchase tickets, and I would like to encourage our fathers to come along and meet other dads in their year level and the school. The P&F are organising specific year level areas for fathers to be able to meet and make connections.
Finally, I look forward to joining families and friends at Classics in the Cathedral on Friday night. This is always such a lovely event where our student music ensembles perform in the beautiful St John’s Cathedral. It promises to be a lovely night!
Last week, I attended a QCAA (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority) workshop about the Queensland Certificate of Education. 2020 saw the first cohort of school leavers receive a QCE (Queensland Certificate of Education) and ATAR (Australian Tertiary Assessment Rank). Like with any change to a school system many challenges and opportunities arise. Reflecting on this change for a school like St Margaret’s, the challenges are the opportunities for reflecting, reassessing and reinvigorating teaching for our students. St Margaret’s has a strong foundation of educational excellence and this is evident through the focus of the Strategic Plan, its reputation and of course the Sisters and their philosophy for educating girls. Therefore, it was reassuring to reflect on our progress in transitioning to the new system with peers from other schools to share ideas and processes from across the Independent School Sector.
This change, along with its challenges, is providing opportunities to enhance the learning experiences and strengthen the outcomes for students. Thanks must go to all teaching staff and the leadership of the Heads of Faculty who have assisted in ensuring that St Margaret’s is in a strong position with regards to the new system due to the strong learning culture of the school and its ability to shape and reshape within the Queensland educational landscape, while maintaining its own mission and vision for all students.
Subject Selection Process
Last week across three nights, Subject Selection Information Evenings were held for current Years 8, 9 and 10 students to hear information about Years 9, 10 and 11 curriculum programs for 2022. Recordings of the presentations and copies of the Curriculum Handbooks can be found on the POD in each student’s respective year level page, to assist with decisions.
Thank you to Ms Nikki Townsend, Ms Caitlin McCluskey and Ms Naomi Holley for their presentations on these nights. Thank you also to the Heads of Faculty who were on hand to answer subject specific questions.
Please note that on the 7 June, all Years 8, 9 and 10 students will receive an email with information required for entering their subject selections. It is very important that these are completed by the required closing date.
If there are any difficulties with the online process, please contact the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Principal, Ms Lisa Watson on 3862 0771. If you have any questions in regard to the curriculum, please contact Ms Rosie Parisi on 3862 0826.
It was very special to work with the Primary students as they interacted with the Reconciliation Prayer Space last week. When we hold our Prayer Space, Dadirri, I am usually in the chapel with each class as they are invited to participate. Student’s families may be surprised by how the girls seem to so easily move from the busyness of the school day into the slower, quieter space of the Prayer Space.
In the early stages of the week, it was quite special to witness one younger student respond to the Prayer Space by creating an Aboriginal Flag in each station she visited. Another younger student said her worries and cares seemed to melt away when she came to the Prayer Space. In hopes and dreams, one of the students dreamed of becoming a teacher, while another wished they could go back in time to save the Aboriginal people. When asked to think about peace in the peace fish station, they spoke about what peace meant to them; many prayed for peace in the world. The students took seriously the colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags making sure they had the colour just right as they coloured in the flags. I sensed pride and respect as we reflected on the story of Pamphlet and the Quandamooka people.
Many of the student’s beautiful and respectful creations now decorate the chapel ready for the Boarder Reconciliation Service. I would like to extend my gratitude to the Years 8 and 11 students who helped create, care for and pack down the Prayer Space.
8 June: 6pm, Years 9 and 10 Family Service (PDF 128.3KB)
The Boarding House is always a hive of activity. Last week, we commemorated ‘Reconciliation Day’ where the girls enjoyed celebrating their cultures. They taught other students dances and dressed in their traditional clothing. It was a lovely week listening to the girls share their stories about home and their traditions.
Year 10 SET Plan interviews
Thank you for supporting your daughters through the SET Plan interview process over the next few weeks. So far, I have enjoyed meeting many of you and your daughters. Most of the girls will have completed their interview by next week; however, due to student absences some interviews will continue into the last week of term.
Last Thursday night, we held an online Parent Information Evening to support the Year 10 girls to finalise their subject choices for 2021. On this night, I provided information about the new Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) system, the Australian Tertiary Rank (ATAR) Subject Scaling and the Subject Selection process, while Ms Naomi Holley addressed the Portfolio pathway. If you were unable to attend this event, copies of the PowerPoint presentations are on the Year 10 POD page; go to the CETL students tile, then to subject selection link.
Year 11 subject changes
Students considering a subject change in Year 11 for Term 3 should make an appointment to discuss their options. When considering a subject change or dropping to 5 subjects, it is important to remember that all subjects increase in difficulty in the senior years, so persistence and hard work are needed in all subjects to improve. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss a change during Week 1 of Term 3 with Mrs Devlin.
Over the coming weeks St Margaret’s will be participating in two field trials. The first is a Writing Rubric Pilot study conducted through ACER. This will occur on Tuesday 8 June and will involve 47 Year 7 students who have been notified this week. The purpose of this trial is to review the rubrics used for writing in future NAPLAN tests. The second is the PISA Field Trial. This will be conducted from Tuesday 15 June to Thursday 17 June. All involved students and their parents have been contacted with the relevant information. It is important to be involved in the organisations that surround education and assist by providing information and feedback for future decision making. We thank all students for being involved in these trials.
Monday 12 July is a student free day and St Margaret’s will be conducting Parent Teacher Interviews (for Secondary students). For this session, we will be offering both face to face and online interviews. Further information regarding these will be sent out to parents early next week.
Being part of the St Margaret’s community means that we actively participate in activities both within the school and in the wider community. The generous baking of the Years 7, 8 and 12 cohorts for Floral Friday demonstrated their service to our school and their awareness of Reconciliation Week’s theme of action.
A group of 33 Year 8 students participated in this year’s Red Shield Doorknock Appeal to raise money to help those who are alone and experiencing homelessness. Joining with Churchie boys, they doorknocked in the streets surrounding Churchie and collected digital donations via a link on the POD. They represented St Margaret’s with pride, enjoyed engaging with other students, demonstrated maturity and were very polite as they spoke to many East Brisbane and Norman Park residents. Our St Margaret’s community assisted in raising over $20, 000 for the Salvation Army which is greatly appreciated.
The Year 9 Year Level Leaders attended the annual yLead Altitude Day and returned inspired to make a difference here at school. Some of their reflections include:
"All of the Year 9 leaders enjoyed the Leadership Day as it was a great way to listen to people's stories about learning how they've dealt with change…"
“A highlight of the Leadership Day was meeting new people from different schools across Brisbane.”
“I am very grateful to have gone on the Leadership Day as I learnt many ways that I can improve myself and be a better leader. I learnt about how I can take every opportunity I receive and make the most of it. I stepped out of my comfort zone and interacted with new people that I shared a common interest with, and this improved my ability to approach people and make friends.”
Oh, what a Week!
As part of planning for learning, teachers include experiences that occur both within and beyond the classroom and this week many students were offered the latter. These experiences provide authentic learning opportunities and have purposeful academic outcomes and contribute to students’ intellectual, social and spiritual wellbeing.
Under 8s Week
The P-2 celebrated this special week. Each day, the girls were offered a special activity (art, science, outdoor play, cooking) which reflected the theme, ‘children celebrating outdoor play and learning’. Tomorrow it will culminate with a smorgasbord of activities which parents will share with their child/children. Thank you to Ms Georgi Eadie and Ms Camille Poupardin for organising this special week and for the P-2 teachers for their support.
Years 3 and 4 Chapel
This week, the Years 3 and 4 cohorts will participate in a special chapel with Rev Susan who will continue to guide them on their spiritual journey.
Years 5 and 6 Camp Week
This week, Year 5 engaged in leadership camp week. The girls started the week at school investigating and exploring leadership through a variety of activities. They then headed to the Gold Coast Hinterland to experience activities that challenged their physical fortitude and provided opportunities to put their leadership in action. Thank you to Mr Evan Chia for his organisation of the camp and the Year 5 teachers, Mr Michael Crowe and Mrs Kate Frewin for supporting the girls on this camp.
Normally the Year 6 girls would head to Canberra, but due to the uncertainty of travel restrictions, the girls did not do so, instead Canberra came to them. This week, each class visited Queensland Parliament House and explored City Hall. Tomorrow, a Parliament Day has been planned at school. Students will set up a mock Federal Parliament, role play members of parliament and pass a bill. Our local member, Hon Trevor Evans MP will speak to the girls about parliament, his role and future political careers that could be available to the girls in the future. Thank you to Ms Mary Surtees and the Year 6 teachers for the organisation of this day. We are in the process of planning a Year 6 camp later in the year.
As always, it has been a busy week in the Primary school where all the children have been engaged in an amazing array of activities that nurtured and extended them in all areas.
Classics in the Cathedral – Tickets now on sale
Classics in the Cathedral will be held this Friday 4 June and will feature special guest performer and St Margaret’s Old Girl, Xenia Puskarz Thomas (’13). This is always a wonderful evening of beautiful music performed within the spectacular setting of St John’s. Tickets are available via TryBooking: https://www.trybooking.com/BRIBR until 6pm on Friday 4 June (tickets are not available at the door on the night). A reminder also that a raffle will be drawn on the night with fantastic prizes to be won! Please click on link to purchase your raffle tickets: Classics in the Cathedral 2021 (raffletix.com.au).
Music Tour 2022
A reminder that deposits for the proposed Music Tour are due this Friday 4 June. We believe that this tour will provide students with a wonderful opportunity to develop performance skills whilst also building cultural awareness and having fun participating in a number of adventure activities. An itinerary is attached (PDF 1017.9KB) along with a letter (PDF 152.2KB) containing further details. To secure a spot on the tour, deposits of $210 can be paid via Flexischools: www.flexischools.com.au.
A decision will be made by the school by October this year as to whether we feel that we can proceed with the tour. If we decide not to proceed, all monies received will be fully refunded.
We look forward to having many students involved!
Celebration Assembly for Ms Surtees
On Tuesday this week, a special assembly was held in the lead up to Ms Mary Surtees’ retirement where we celebrated her contribution to the St Margaret’s community over many years. Several wonderful musical performances were provided by ensembles, including Chamber Strings, Chorale and the Senior Rock Band. We were also thrilled that Xenia Puskarz Thomas (’13) was able to join us to sing at the event, along with Annabelle Traves (’14) who was able to send through a special video from Germany where she is now residing. Congratulations to all students and guest performers for these special musical contributions. We thank Ms Surtees for her outstanding contribution to St Margaret’s and wish her a happy and healthy retirement!
Open Mic Sessions
Thank you to all girls who performed last Thursday at our first Open Mic Session. Videos of the performances are now available to be viewed on the St Margaret’s Music POD page.
Music Support Group
The next Music Support Group meeting will be held on Tuesday 13 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.
It was a great way to finish the Autumn season, with many teams securing a win against Clayfield College on Friday 28 May. Our super Touch Football and Soccer teams played with great spirit and it was wonderful to see everyone supporting each other with positive results. Congratulations to the 8B, 10B and 10A Touch Football teams who won the Premiership!! Thanks to all players, coaches, umpires and staff members for a great season.
St Margaret’s made history on Tuesday 1 June, playing their first AFL game in the Queensland Schools Cup Junior Competition against St John Fisher College. It was an amazing display of grit and determination, with all players taking on the challenge of a new sport, learning and having fun. We look forward to the next round of upcoming games.
Netball Trivia Night
The Netball Support Group is running its annual Trivia Night on Saturday 31 July at Norths Rugby Club. All friends and family of St Margaret’s are invited to get a team together and enter a table. This is bound to be a terrific night of fun and frivolity all in the name of Netball!
For more information, please click here (PDF 685.7KB) to download the flyer.
Hadassah Todd, Misha Washington, Indiahna Frawley and Lucinda Bourke (all in Year 10) who represented Metropolitan North at the Rugby 7s Invitational State Championships. This is incredible representation from a single school in a representative sport. Well done girls.
Congratulations to Tallulah Vanderaa (Year 7), who has had her lovely ceramic sculpture selected as the June 2021 “Artwork of the Month”. Please click here (PDF 286.2KB) to view.
A reminder to all students to ensure they present their student ID cards, with sufficient funds available, when purchasing from the Tuckshop.
The P&F Fathers’ Dinner – Friday 11 June
There are still tickets available for the 2021 P&F Fathers’ Dinner! Please go to this link to purchase your ticket, as it is set to be a fantastic evening: www.trybooking.com/BQSVH.
Date: Friday 11 June
Time: 6:30pm arrival for 7:00-10:00pm dinner
Venue: Queensland Cricketers’ Club
Cost: $150 - includes drink on arrival, 2 course dinner, 3-hour drinks package and Heads and Tails Trivia Competition Entry (optional)
There will be fathers attending from all year groups and promises to be a relaxed, fun and highly entertaining evening. We will be joined by guest speaker and St Margaret’s Old Girl, Caitlin McConnel (’07). Caitlin has a strong passion for the preservation of agricultural history and the advocacy of issues pertaining to Queensland's agricultural future, which stems from her rural upbringing. Alongside her work as a lawyer, Caitlin is also a sixth-generation grazier, and an historical spokesperson for her family, who live at Cressbrook Station near Toogoolawah. She is an engaging and highly entertaining guest speaker, so not to be missed!
Reunion Weekend – Friday 23-Monday 26 July
We are so excited to be fast approaching our double reunion weekend in July. Invites will be sent out this week, but as a reminder, the dates for these events are as follows:
10 Year Reunion – Class of 2010 – Friday 23 July 2021
10 Year Reunion – Class of 2011 – Friday 23 July 2021
20 Year Reunion – Class of 2000 – Friday 23 July 2021
20 Year Reunion – Class of 2001 – Friday 23 July 2021
30 Year Reunion - Class of 1990 – Friday 23 July 2021
30 Year Reunion – Class of 1991 – Friday 23 July 2021
40 Year Reunion – Class of 1980 – Saturday 24 July 2021
50 Year Reunion – Class of 1970 – Saturday 24 July 2021
60 Year Reunion – Class of 1960 – Saturday 24 July 2021
40 Year Reunion – Class of 1981 – Sunday 25 July 2021
50 Year Reunion – Class of 1971 – Sunday 25 July 2021
60 Year Reunion – Class of 1961 – Sunday 25 July 2021
VIP 60+ Year Reunion – Monday 26 July 2021
Melbourne Reunion - Friday 29 October 2021
Sydney Reunion – this event has been postponed to later in 2021. The Development and Community Office will communicate as soon as a date is confirmed.
Please check the Careers News section on the Careers and Pathways POD page for more information about upcoming opportunities and events.
Monash University: Choose your Open Day experience
This year, you’re able to choose the Open Day experience that's right for you. We are bringing you three different events to help you get a taste of everything Monash has to offer. You can attend just one or attend all three, it's up to you! We’ll open registrations soon, but you can find out more about the events and sign up for updates via the stay connected link.
Bond University is committed to continuing to support students. Continuing an initiative developed in 2020, in 2021 we will assess applications based on first semester Year 12 results, for entry to Bond in 2022. Click here for more information.
UQ Open Day
UQ will be holding their 2021 Open Day on 1 August, from 9am to 3pm at the St Lucia campus. There are a series of exciting on-campus and online experience days in the planning so you can have the chance to get a taste of what studying at UQ is really like. Register for updates
Open Days scheduled for 2021
QTAC has now updated their Open Days and Expos page. Click here to find out when the tertiary institution/s you are interested in attending has/have scheduled their Open Day.
GUESTS applications for Trimester 2 now open
Griffith University Early Start to Tertiary Studies (GUESTS) program is a great opportunity for motivated Years 11 and 12 students to sample their desired degree and make a start on their university studies. Benefits of the GUESTS program include two adjustments per course completed when applying for a Griffith undergraduate degree, academic credit and Griffith Credentials. Trimester 2 study will commence in July. Interested students should submit an online application by Tuesday 15 June. Click here to complete the application form.
The Griffith University 2022 undergraduate study guide is available on line.
UQ Provisional entry – Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Applicants are now selected for full offers into the Provisional entry to Doctor of Medicine (MD) using a merit order rank which is derived:
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 10:00am to 4:00pm.
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.