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Development and Community
We take the opportunity to give our best wishes to those going on Maternity Leave at the end of term. Meredith Morris (Secondary Teacher); Helene Pallot (Health Centre Supervisor) and Lara Pickering (Director of Philanthropy and Stakeholder Engagement) are all leaving us at the end of term and we wish them well. We would normally be wishing Jenny Matheson all the best for maternity leave too, but her baby came a little early last weekend and it is now a congratulations on the birth of her daughter! We are very fortunate that Robert Grant, who is replacing Ms Matheson while she is on leave, was available to start taking her classes this week.
Parents may not be aware that the school holds Student Accident Insurance that may be of assistance to families if their daughter or themselves are involved in an accident and have sustained an injury. The accident does not have to have occurred at school or during school activities. If you would like more details, please contact School Reception who will direct you to one of our Business and Operations staff.
As we approach the winter break, Senior students are now beginning to consider options and plans for 2021; what an exciting time! Many school leavers will continue their educational journey by enrolling in a tertiary course. Some will need accommodation whilst studying in Brisbane.
I thought I’d take this opportunity to let you know that applications are now open for Durack College for the 2021 academic year. If your daughter, or someone you know, is interested in enjoying their independence and freedom as young adults, while being surrounded by a range of support mechanisms which allows them to focus on their studies, then I urge you to consider Durack College.
Nestled in a quiet corner on the St Margaret’s campus, Durack College is a unique tertiary residence for young women offering accommodation and full board and combines this with its unique Student Success program, tailored to young under-graduate and post-graduate students.
Book a tour or find out more by visiting the website or contacting the College Director, Kelly Alford on email@example.com.
I hope all members of our school community enjoy a safe, restful and enjoyable school holiday break. Remember the school is trying to build a holiday directory for those who may wish to support other St Margaret’s community members by a few days of local or state travel. Please contact our Director of Marketing and Communications, Wendy Johnston: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information, or refer to last week’s eNews if you wish to add to the site.
Taking up only a small corner of the expansive new sports precinct is a structure we anticipate will generate huge amounts of excitement... our indoor climbing wall. Featuring 7 belay stations with auto belay devices, the wall offers 76m2 of climbing. There will be 600 varying climb holds with professional routes set that will target both experienced and new climbers. These routes can be changed regularly. The climbing wall will open up a whole new set of challenges for our students and offers many benefits, apart from the sheer enjoyment we know it will bring. It combines cardio and strength work, increases flexibility, and requires hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills. 'Climbing the walls' will have a whole new fun meaning at St Margaret's!
See you all in Term 3!
Can you believe that we are already half-way through the year? There has been so much happening in the school this semester and I would like to take this opportunity to thank students and families for their continued engagement during these incredible times. COVID-19 has certainly tested us all in so many ways, and I have been personally so grateful to be part of perhaps the one ‘constant’ for our students. School has remained, although in a different form for part of this term, and our connection to the students and families remains strong.
I hope all can have a restful break, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back in Term 3. Perhaps it can be a time that all (parents and students) can catch up on some reading. Not only is reading enjoyable and informative, reading can boost your brain power as it stimulates the mind and improves your memory function. It is also an important literacy skill to have. Students learn to read from an early age, often to begin with from their parents and then through robust reading programs such as that which is in our Primary school. By the time students reach Secondary school, reading becomes something they need to do to gather, interpret and form opinions about information in all the subjects they choose.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all students and their families a well-deserved rest. We look forward to seeing all our students back next term, refreshed and ready for the semester ahead.
The Gift of Rest
What an extra-ordinary term it has been! Staff, students and families have certainly been challenged to do things in new and different ways. We may not be going on the holidays we had planned for this break, but I am sure we have the resilience to find new and fun ways to spend our time. Remember life is a gift, each moment is a gift, may we relish this time we have been given. And may we find rest, for this term, this year, as it has been different from the way we had planned.
While we started the year with such excitement about celebrating our 125th anniversary, circumstances changed dramatically. May we continue to celebrate all that makes us St Margaret’s. May we ever be reminded and be thankful for the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent, who always moved into challenging spaces with such courage that they were able to build our school.
125th Anniversary Prayer
Gracious and Holy God,
We thank you for the vision and faith of the Sisters of the Society of Sacred Advent in establishing St Margaret’s in 1895.
We are ever grateful for their philosophy which has guided St Margaret’s commitment to faith, academic endeavour, service and extra-curricular involvement for the last 125 years.
We give you thanks for the work, joy, passion and sense of purpose of all staff, students and parents who have contributed and supported the spirit of the school - Per Volar Sunata.
As we celebrate the pioneering spirit of those who have gone before us, we seek your guidance for the next 125 years.
May we remain courageous and strong in spirit as we continue to uphold the Sisters’ philosophy and legacy.
We ask this in Jesus name, the Holy Spirit and all the encompassing God. Amen.
Written by Ms Ros Curtis
Term 2 has certainly been a unique experience for all of us in Boarding. The challenges the girls faced in not all being able to come back to the Boarding House has given them the ability to develop a new set of skills over the course of this term. One skill the girls have attained as a result of the changes is insight.
Insight is the ability to understand oneself, others and the surrounding events or situations, to intuitively sense what is occurring and to be able to reflect and discuss such with deeper meaning. This term, the girls have improved their insight and understanding of themselves and their approach to life, while acquiring the competence to make change when necessary. By striving to balance all of the obligations and challenges of this term, the girls have gained a better understanding of themselves. They have shown in the face of challenges, they have been able to adapt and make different choices and now have a better understanding of how they will approach the coming term with more confidence and resilience.
As the Boarding staff adapted to communicating with the girls differently, we were able to observe how they responded to change, took up the challenges they were faced with and adjusted to a new way of learning and communicating, therefore having a better understanding of themselves.
My first instinct when writing this article was to remark on how quickly and yet how slowly the time has gone. Semester 1 has certainly been an interesting ride. I know we can all think of times over this semester when we have felt joy and have been challenged. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hard work, determination and commitment I have seen your daughters display throughout the past semester. Over the holidays, I would encourage you to take some time to reflect and discuss with your daughters their achievements, challenges and areas for improvement.
We are constantly reminded about the value of reflective practice and I have found myself doing much reflection over the last few weeks. Reflection is the one quality above all that makes for positive change and action. Reflection is the key to successful learning for teachers and for learners - the ability to reflect on what we do; why and how we do things and to adapt and develop our habits. As we move into Semester 2, I encourage all students to continue developing their skills to become life-long learners and to reflect upon and reinforce the positive skills that have developed out of the challenges of Semester 1.
QCAA Update on the adjusted method for calculating final subject results for 2020
Last term, the QCAA advised schools that due to the amendments made to the assessment load of the Year 12 cohort due to COVID-19, an adjusted method for calculating final subject results would need to be devised.
Last week, Brian Short, the Chair of QCAA shared this update with schools:
The QCAA Board has settled on a robust approach that will ensure fair assessment outcomes for students undertaking General subjects. Its work was guided by the following underpinning principles:
A summary presentation, factsheet and updated FAQs will soon be available via the QCAA website to introduce the subject result calculation method to the Queensland school community.
We will continue to keep you updated on this matter as further information is provided by QCAA.
Have a safe holiday.
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
We are now in a digital age; an age where over half of Queensland youth between the ages of 12-15 years exceed the average two hours of screen time on a daily basis. As an educator, the reality of the digital age seeps its way into my daily conversations with young people. Indeed, students often tell me that they ‘hate reading’; they are ‘too busy to read’, and they can ‘never find a book they like’. This, as a parent, educator and an avid reader, is rather disheartening.
As part of Independent Schools Queensland research project, in which I am involved, we have been analysing library borrowing data across school-aged people. It would appear the number of students borrowing books drops considerably in Secondary school, compared to Primary students. This is something we want to change. With the holidays just around the corner, this is the perfect time to make demonstrable steps that promote reading for pleasure.
Below are some suggestions on how parents can support students to engage with the written word beyond the school gates:
Teenagers and Social Media
Social media has become such an integral part of a teenager’s life that it can cause anxiety and lower their self-esteem. Modern teens are learning to do most of their communication whilst looking at a screen, instead of another person. They are missing out on very critical social skills.
Dependant on what they are communicating online, it can affect their digital reputation. Friendships, relationships and even future job prospects are all at risk. As a parent, it is very important that you are aware of what picture they are painting of themselves online.
Once information makes its way online it can be difficult to remove. Images and words can be misinterpreted and altered, as they are easily and quickly shared. Privacy settings on social media sites need to be managed in order to protect your child’s digital reputation. For more information regarding this issue, I encourage you to visit the POD, Parent Resources, SchoolTV.
I do hope you have a restful break over holidays and enjoy some time with those you care about and I look forward to another great term.
The Shifting Sands of Term 2
“And the people stayed home.
And read books, and listened, and rested,
and exercised, and made art, and played games,
and learned new ways of being and were still.
And listened more deeply.
Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently.”
Kitty O’Meara (2020)
The beginning of the above poem was written to find a silver lining in the COVID-19 restrictions. I think there has been many silver linings for the Primary school community.
For the students, their learner dispositions have been tested and developed. They have learnt to negotiate learning through technology. For many, they have developed independence, responsibility and self-regulation. They have also had to learn to live with disappointment as special events, such as sport, and school events have been cancelled, postponed or reimagined. Thankfully, the Years 5 and 6 camps were postponed. The Year 5 Leadership camp will go ahead in Week 6, Term 4. The girls will participate in a variety of activities with their teachers and outside providers at school. We are still investigating the possibility of camping out somewhere. Year 6 girls will travel to Canberra from 9-12 November. Due to the timing, the Canberra trip won’t have the usual curriculum focus; however, will be about getting to know our nation’s capital.
For the teachers, it has enhanced our professional learning community. More than ever, the teachers have worked collaboratively, shared responsibilities, materials and ideas, adapted their work and co-taught by sharing the preparation and lessons. For me, I have marvelled at the hard work, dedication and creativity of our teachers and I thank them for all they have done in supporting the girls at home, as well as assisting the students transition back into the classroom.
Many parents took learning outside, just as we did with the students who were at school, to create gardens. Everyone involved reaped the benefits. Gardening is not just about delicious harvests, but there are bountiful benefits. It can build self-esteem, be a good dose of Vitamin D and be a good stress reliever to name a few. Learning from home had a significant impact on our new girls as that limited time to make connections. Since returning to school, gardening has been a place where the new students have reconnected with their buddy. This week, as part of the sustainability unit, the Years 3 and 4 students will harvest our school garden and the Early Childhood students will create a meal with the produce. The garden is a place of happiness and as we head off to holidays, gardening might be a great holiday activity, along with reading, writing and baking.
Congratulations to the following students who were selected for Met North Swimming. Due to COVID-19, they were unfortunately unable to compete at the Queensland State Championships:
Thank you to all in the St Margaret’s Music Community for your efforts throughout the term. It has certainly been a very unusual term and one that has required a great deal of flexibility and innovation. I am very appreciative and grateful to music staff for their willingness to provide continuity of learning for the girls and engage them through a variety of learning activities throughout the term. Thank you also to all students and families for your willingness to engage in both private music lessons and rehearsal activities online. It has been fantastic to see students continuing to grow musically, whilst also maintaining connections within our community. I trust you all have a safe and relaxing holiday!
Thank you to Mr Alex McPherson
Thank you very much to Mr McPherson who has filled in for Ms Eleanor Streatfeild during Semester 1. Mr McPherson quickly become a part of the music community at St Margaret’s and made a fantastic contribution to the program, both through cello lessons and involvement in the Years 3 and 4 Strings Program. We very much appreciate Mr McPherson’s willingness to step into the role for the semester and wish him all the best.
St Margaret’s Spotlight
This week, St Margaret’s Spotlight features one of our Year 12 Choral Captains and Music Extension students, Etienne Steven. Etienne is a member of Exultate, Encorah and is also one of the lead singers in the school’s Rock Band. For St Margaret’s Spotlight, Etienne is performing Before It’s Over from the musical Dogfight by Pasek and Paul. She is accompanied by Mr Jonny Ng. Thank you to Etienne for her musical contribution this week!
Downey Park Netball Association announced the return of Club Netball last week. The season will be short and fast and is called a ‘9 Week Blast’. This competition will be held for girls from 11 years – Open age group. As the season will look very different, we ask that families to carefully consider the below details before re-registering for the upcoming season:
Further information about the season can be found by clicking here (PDF 169KB). All girls who wish to play MUST re-register via the link: St Margaret's Club Netball – ‘9 Week Blast’ Registration Form
Holiday training is available for the sports of Athletics and Rowing. A non-compulsory Netball clinic will be held on Saturday 11 July. Other winter sports will be offering online training tools to maintain fitness and skills. To access information regarding both the face to face and virtual sessions, please see the sport specific POD pages.
Winter Sport – Term 3
Registrations for all Term 3 winter sports have now closed. If your daughter missed registering for her chosen sport, please email email@example.com.
The 2020 winter seasons will look very different from previous years due to COVID-19 guidelines. As it is an ever-evolving situation, we will be communicating regularly via the POD sport pages regarding the specific guidelines pertaining to training and competition requirements. Therefore, it is vital that you join the Secondary Sport POD page, as well as the individual sport POD page your daughter is involved in, to stay up to date on sport specific news. If you have any questions or queries, please contact the sports coordinators via the emails below:
Athletics – Mr Tom Smithers: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hockey – Ms Helen Philp: email@example.com
Netball – Mrs Gayle Coutts: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rowing – Mr Jared Bidwell: email@example.com
Tennis – Mrs Delia Eastland: firstname.lastname@example.org
Volleyball – Ms Desley Upton: email@example.com
St Margaret’s Run 2020
The St Margaret's Run is a tradition which commenced 22 years ago and is based on the famous ‘Great Court Race’ first run at Cambridge University. The St Margaret's Run will be held on the first Friday of Term 3 - 17 July which is normally part of the St Margaret’s Day celebrations. The run is a circuit around the school of approximately 650m in length. To view the race route, please click here (PDF 416.3KB).
The event includes both Primary and Secondary students with the following divisions:
The fastest overall time will be crowned the St Margaret's Run Champion and will be awarded this prestigious trophy on Speech Night to be held later this year.
To be a part of St Margaret’s Run history, all girls are required to register via the link.
It is with regret that St Margaret’s Sport informs you the Interhouse Athletics Carnival, scheduled for Tuesday 14 July 2020 has been cancelled.
As many of you know, I’ll be departing on maternity leave at the end of this week. Since joining the St Margaret’s team at the beginning of 2018 it has been such a pleasure and privilege to work with you all, and to witness the strength and kindness of the St Margaret’s community in action through volunteering, philanthropy and corporate support, all with the purpose of enhancing the experience for our students.
We are pleased to welcome Lindsay Khushal to St Margaret’s in the role of Director of Philanthropy and Stakeholder Engagement, whilst I’m on maternity leave.
Lindsay joins us with a wealth of experience in philanthropy and corporate partnerships, with over 16 years of experience working across the private, and more recently not for profit sectors.
Most recently. Lindsay was the Philanthropy Manager for the National Breast Cancer Foundation and prior to this she held management roles within corporate and strategic partnerships for the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Queensland Law Society. At the Queensland Law Society, Lindsay was responsible for the management of all sponsorship acquisition for a complex calendar of large events annually, including the QLS Symposium, Gold Coast Symposium, Family Law Residential, Succession and Elder Law Residential, Property and Personal Injuries Conferences. In addition, organised sponsorship for other events such as the Specialist Accreditation Christmas Breakfast and the Annual QLS Law Ball.
Prior to her experience within philanthropy and corporate partnerships, Lindsay’s professional experience was within the recruitment sector, leading recruitment projects for clients across sales, marketing and communications, commercial, communities, not for profit, childcare, aged care and executive search.
The work of the Development and Community Office continues to be supported by Bronwyn Small, in the role of Development and Community Engagement Assistant.
I wish you all a safe and enjoyable mid-year break with your families and I look forward to seeing you all upon returning in 2021.
Thank you for your support of St Margaret’s.
What’s new in Careers this week…
QUT Video links are now available!
Welcome to QUT part 1 – the real QUT difference (8.16)
Welcome to QUT is a three-part presentation for Years 11 and 12 students considering university. Part 1 looks at how QUT can help students prepare for the changing world of work through our real-world learning, state of the art campuses and facilities, and the many student experiences available. https://youtu.be/NdP5wKFYdrU
Welcome to QUT part 2 – Courses for the real world (14.47)
Provides information on QUT courses, scholarships and entry pathways, including information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. https://youtu.be/k6NmzvD1I_I
Welcome to QUT part 3 – Student life at QUT (6.30)
Focuses on student life at QUT, with information on O-Week, support services and the differences between school and uni. https://youtu.be/ZQIwVP6GZGQ
Queensland Conservatorium's Tertiary Preparation Workshop is now online
If you're in your final years of high school, applying for entry to a university music degree, the Queensland Conservatorium’s Tertiary Preparation Workshop Online program can help you better prepare for the theoretical and practical requirements of the audition process. You will have the opportunity to speak to senior academic staff from the Queensland Conservatorium and get degree overviews, audition tips, presentation and performance techniques and what to expect during your first year. For more information, visit: griffith.edu.au/arts-education-law/queensland-conservatorium/opportunities/open-conservatorium/tpw-online.
Lattitude Global Volunteering
A Digital Gap Year Information Package has been produced. You’ll find a video presentation, testimonials from returned students, a reflection activity and links to our brochure, website and social channels for students to connect and get in touch. To view the digital materials, click here: Lattitude Digital Gap Year Info Pack.
Torrens University Interactive Online Workshop 22-25 June
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.