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Development and Community
It is with great sadness we learnt this week that Mother Eunice SSA passed away peacefully. Mother Eunice led a remarkable life of faith and service and we take this time to acknowledge her indelible contribution to the Society of the Sacred Advent (SSA), their schools and beyond. She was a compassionate, caring, friendly, humble and unassuming woman and an exceptional example of the Sister’s philosophy who dedicated much of her life to the SSA.
In 1982, Sister Eunice was elected Mother of the Society of the Sacred Advent, a position she held for over 33 years. Mother Eunice was instrumental in the formation of the St Margaret’s and St Aidan’s School Councils which were established to oversee the growth and development of each School and to ensure the philosophy of the founding Sisters is maintained. Mother Eunice served on the School Councils and other committees at both St Margaret’s and St Aidan’s for many years.
The Eunice Science and Resource Centre was opened in 2012 named aptly in recognition of Mother Eunice’s significant contribution and influence within the St Margaret’s community. At St Aidan’s, The Eunice Plaza was named in her honour.
Please join us in keeping Sisters Gillian and Sandra and Mother Eunice’s family in your thoughts and prayers.
Congratulations to the P&F for another successful Father’s Dinner. This was a well-attended event at the Queensland Cricketers’ Club, and our fathers and male role models enjoyed making connections with the St Margaret’s community, and listening to a powerful address from guest speaker Caitlin McConnel (’07).
As the term comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to give our best wishes to those staff who will be leaving us. Thank you to Mrs Lindsay Khushal (Acting Director of Philanthropy and Stakeholder Engagement) and Mrs Bridget Buchanan (Acting Supervisor – Health Centre).
I would also like to announce that Mr Michael Crowe (Primary School Numeracy Coach) will be leaving us, as he moves into a Senior Leadership Role at Ambrose Treacy College. Mrs Suzy Edwards (Primary/Secondary HPE) will also be moving onto another role. We thank both Michael and Suzy for their contributions, particularly in the Primary School, for nearly 12 years.
Finally, it is now time to wish Ms Mary Surtees all the very best for her retirement. Mary has been a member of the St Margaret’s community for over 42 years, first as a university student doing her practicum placement here, then as a staff member. Mary began as Physical Education/Health teacher, and has held numerous roles over the years, including senior teacher, Workplace Health and Safety Officer, Coordinator of Activities, Acting Head of Teaching and Learning in the Primary School, Coordinator of Planning and Organisation and now her current role of Assistant Head of Primary – Wellbeing and Operations (PP-6). Mary has taught many of our current and past students, and I know some of our current parents in the school have also known and been taught by Mary.
Our Principal, Ms Ros Curtis will be returning from sabbatical leave next term, and will be pleased to share many of her projects and findings on her sabbatical break with our school community. I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and restful holiday break, and I look forward to seeing all our students and their families again in Term 3.
Can you believe that we are already halfway through the year? There has been so much happening in the school this semester and I would like to take this opportunity to thank teachers, support staff, students and their families for their involvement in the school community so far this year.
Evidence that the year is going fast is that the Year 11s began their journey towards school leadership this week. Throughout the week I was able to share some thoughts with the girls about leadership. I told the girls that when we, as adults, are asked to speak about topics such as leadership, we turn to imparting knowledge like follow your dreams, make your mark, find your inner voice and dream big and don’t stop dreaming until all your dreams come true. However, I shared with the girls that a lot of people dream and while they are busy dreaming the really happy, the really successful, the really interesting, engaging and powerful people are busy doing. I challenged the girls as they embark on their senior year as leaders of the school to be themselves and be a ‘doer’. I also challenged them to be their authentic self and to look up Brene Brown and her work on this topic. The best leaders are themselves, because they are already the leader of the most important person; themselves. Finally, I challenged the girls as they embark on their leadership journey to really know themselves and know what drives them, not to spend time dreaming about what and how, spend their time doing and lead from where they are.
A new initiative commencing next term is an Adult Swimming Program. This opportunity is open to former students, family members of current students and current staff. There will be a program that you can follow or alternatively, there will be lanes that you can do your own program. Kick boards and fins will be available, or you can bring your own kit bag. The squad is designed for improving fitness or training for a certain goal. The St Margaret’s pool is heated and we are excited to offer this beautiful complex for your use.
The program will start on Tuesday 13 July and be held every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. The cost for the term is $100 and payments can be made via Flexischools.
Any enquiries should be directed to Mr Kevin Sargent via email: email@example.com.
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.
As Term 2 draws to a close, and I reflect on the term, I remember many occasions of celebration. Front of mind was our farewell to Ms Mary Surtees who has faithfully served the community of St Margaret’s for over 42 years. We will miss this amazing teacher, mentor and loved member of staff. We wish Mary God’s many blessings as she enters a new phase of her life.
As I mentioned earlier, this term we have held many liturgical celebrations, most of these were cancelled last year due to COVID restrictions. Some of the highlights were our Years 4-6 Family Service and Baptism Service. It has been lovely to see so many families, as we gathered for our Family Services. Our Prayer Space during Reconciliation Week complimented the many activities that were held in the school community. We opened and blessed our new Year 12 Senior Study Centre - what a beautiful space for the students. We blessed the new processional cross which reflects the SSA cross, crafted by Mr George Mogilski, one of our Facilities team members, for our assemblies.
As we finish Term 2 we pray that families, students and staff will have a restful break and return refreshed for Term 3.
May our homes be places of relaxation,
joy, love, peace and safety.
May we be generous and considerate,
not thinking only about ourselves,
but helping others enjoy the blessings of the school holidays.
Lord God, Creator of all things,
guide our steps and strengthen our hearts
during these weeks of holidays.
Grant us refreshment of mind and body.
May we constantly strive to make a meaningful difference
in the lives of our loved ones and in the world around us
as we enjoy the days of our break.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
To flourish means to live well, to grow in every sense, to appreciate the beauty of all things, to establish and nurture relationships, to be able to manage challenges, be resilient and be strong. We encourage the girls in Boarding to be positive, as positive emotions enable them to feel confident, to have a go, to do well in all aspects of their learning and deal sensibly and constructively with setbacks.
Positive emotions need to pervade the whole Boarding House, from the girls to staff and parents. Barbara Fredrickson, and others, have shown through scientific studies that people who flourish have greater life possibilities than those who are ‘languishing’ (going through the motions) or those who are dominated by negative feelings about life and feel they cannot cope. If you feel positive you see the world in a better light and appreciate things more (you actually ‘see’ more that is going on around you). You also live better in relationships, you are kinder, you help others more, you understand others better, you ‘learn more’ in every sense, in and out of class, you remember more, you are more likeable, you contribute to others more and you think more about what you do and how it affects others.
It is hoped that all students will ‘engage’ positively in all activities at school and in Boarding. For our girls to flourish, they need to feel ‘safe and secure’ in their lives, which is critical and therefore one of the main goals of the Boarding House.
This term has seen many of the girls flourish in different aspects of their school life. We hope that after a holiday at home with family, they will continue on this positive path in Term 3.
Studies relating to the nutrition and sleep of young people have determined there is a direct effect on brain development and learning. This can directly impact academic outcomes.
As we approach the holidays, I encourage you to talk to your daughters about nutrition and sleep. Families today, with school-age children, have very busy schedules. This can sometimes make it hard to sit down to homemade meals every day when there is such an abundance of pre-packaged and processed food available. However, it is still important to teach your daughter healthy eating habits. Diet and nutrition are crucial to your child’s development. Not only can it prevent many chronic diseases, but it also impacts on your child’s brain development and learning abilities.
So too is sleep which is also vital to a child’s wellbeing and brain development. When children sleep well, they are more settled, happier and ready for school the next day. Sleep also strengthens their immune systems, supports overall development and their ability to function properly on a daily basis. Children who do not get enough sleep show increased levels of aggressive behaviour, are less attentive and are much less active. Trying to catch up on sleep on weekends is not the answer and can still lead to severe sleep deprivation. Recent studies have shown that many children, especially teenagers, are missing out on vital REM sleep, which is particularly important for memory and learning. Talking to your daughter about the term ahead and how they can organise set routines with study, eating habits and sleep are a pathway to their success.
Have a wonderful holiday with your family.
Whenever holidays are on the horizon, I always start compiling a ‘to do’ list and before I know what’s happened, my holiday is filled with social commitments, jobs around the house and work projects. I get to the end of the holidays and feel like I need another one! It is so important to take advantage of the opportunity to relax, recharge and separate yourself from the busyness of the term.
This holiday break, I have committed to making sure I have some downtime and have consulted Google to see what the internet suggests I do to achieve this. The following tips are ones I think that I can easily implement into at least some of my days:
I hope you all have a restful holiday with plenty of opportunity for relaxing and reconnecting. I look forward to starting next term with plenty of energy and enthusiasm.
School holidays provide the opportunity to recharge, reflect and experience a different pace of life. The girls are encouraged to focus on the feedback from their teachers and use this to support their learning, guide their revision routines and aid in the formulation of questions that will help to check for understanding throughout units of work next term. They are to be commended on the way they have applied themselves to their learning and completed assessment items. Resilience has been demonstrated as they built on acquired knowledge and applied their learning to new situations. This is worth celebrating!
The holidays can also facilitate new learning that broadens perspectives and deepens awareness. Reading provides a conduit to experiencing new adventures through the pages of fictional books and also promotes awareness of social and community issues. The ‘Eunice Centre Library’ tile, accessed via the Secondary School tile on the POD, houses many resources including book suggestions, eBooks and a showcase of Book Bentos. These are visual representations of sections of a novel and have been designed to capture key messages of the chosen book through a creative collage. Class discussions are enhanced as the girls contribute new ideas and they are encouraged to read over the holiday period. Writer Lisa Stringfellow encourages students to reflect on their reading by asking questions such as:
“What did I know about this topic already?”, “How has my understanding of this issue changed?” and “What actions can I take now or in the future to help?”
Likewise, the benefits of a curious mind can be experienced parents and teachers create opportunities for students to seek new information and predict outcomes. The development of the girls’ working memory and flexible thinking skills (Growth Mindset) are supported by curiosity and assist the girls as they become confident, capable young women.
Boudreau, E. 2020. A Curious Mind: How educators and parents can encourage and guide children’s natural curiosity – in the classroom and at home. Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Stringfellow, L. 2021. Summer Reading to Inspire Middle School Activists. Edutopia Education.
Time to say Goodbye
The final day of this semester marked the end of an era for the Primary School as we said goodbye to three significant staff members: Mrs Suzy Edwards, Mr Michael Crowe and Ms Mary Surtees. Together, these staff members have contributed 65 years to St Margaret’s. Both Suzy and Michael started almost 12 years ago and Ms Surtees 43 years ago.
We thank these three members of staff for their service and dedication to St Margaret’s. Suzy’s love of physical activity is infectious and the girls she has taught have been lucky enough to catch her ‘infection’. She has had a significant impact on the sporting program, particularly Netball and for the past number of years has ensured the Year 5 girls have presented a polished dance routine at Arts Spectacular.
Mr Crowe started his career at St Margaret’s as a classroom teacher in the upper year levels. He has contributed significantly to the success of all curriculum areas in this part of the school. However, it is as a mathematics specialist teacher, Mr Crowe has given the girls the greatest gift, a love of mathematics. This knowledge has not been limited to the girls as the teachers have benefited from his curriculum knowledge which has been imparted through teacher coaching.
During her 42 years of service, Ms Surtees has worn many hats. Moving from the Secondary school where she taught HPE, she started in the Primary school as the HPE teacher and German teacher.
It was while she was in these roles, her capabilities and attributes were observed: she was organised, willing to help and always put her hand up to do extra duties. Coupled with her enthusiasm and commitment, these were a perfect mix for the appointment of a new leadership role, Head of Planning and Organisation. In 2020, this role was extended to include Wellbeing, making her Assistant Head of Primary - Wellbeing and Operations.
Ms Surtees has touched the minds and hearts of generations of students, but this has not been limited to students, as the staff and I have also learnt much from her. So here are just a few of them:
Ms Surtees is a loyal, fair and kind human and I know I can say on behalf of the whole school community our lives are much richer because she has been part of it.
Each of the parting staff go with our love and we wish them every success and joy as they start a new chapter in their life: Mrs Edwards in a new school, Mr Crowe as leader in his new school and Ms Surtees doing all the things she has always wanted to do but not had the time to do so. Each of these teachers have made a significant impact on the girls and their legacy will live on long after they leave the school gates.
I wish everyone a safe and happy winter holiday. Keep warm and I look forward to seeing everyone next semester.
Soaring Upwards Music Festival
On Saturday 31 July, the St Margaret’s Soaring Upwards Music Festival will be held on Circular Drive from 12pm onwards. A special stage will be set up for students in all music groups to present performances in a fun and informal environment, with the Music Support Group making refreshments available. A schedule of performances will be made available to parents during the first week of Term 3. This event promises to provide an entertaining afternoon of music and we look forward to having many in attendance!
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.
Thank you for another wonderful semester of music making at St Margaret’s. Semester 1 has been busy with big events including Matilda the Musical and Classics in the Cathedral, along with numerous student recitals and other smaller performance events. In Semester 2 we are very much looking forward to presenting the Soaring Upwards Music Festival and of course performances at end of year events such as Speech Night. Thank you to all students and parents for their commitment to the St Margaret’s Music Program. I trust you have a refreshing and safe holiday break and will look forward to seeing you back in Term 3 for more music making!
It has been another incredible term of sport full of Touch Football, Basketball, Soccer, Artistic Gymnastics, Lifesaving, Club Netball and Cross Country. My sincere thanks to all students and staff who have made a wonderful contribution to St Margaret’s Sport this term and also to our families who have supported their daughter’s commitment and dedication in their sporting endeavours.
Vicki Wilson Shield
The next generation of St Margaret’s Netballers took to the court representing St Margaret’s at the state-wide Vicki Wilson Shield qualifying tournament on Thursday 3 June. The team comprising of players from Years 7-9 played 7 games in tough, wet conditions, winning four games in total. The team displayed discipline, competitiveness and structure in their play. Congratulations to Ashley Blackman, Lucinda Cameron, Cosette Cooke, Jemima Given, Ruby Gowns, Lily Hicks, Harriet Hooper, Lucinda Kovac, Neve Mattsson, Sarah Sorensen, Georgia White and coach, Karen Booth on a fantastic effort. This was a great experience, with all players now concentrating their efforts on their QGSSSA Netball teams for Term 3’s QGSSSA competition.
QISSN – Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Netball Carnival
A select group of girls will represent St Margaret’s at the Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Netball Carnival at the State Netball Centre in Brisbane from 27 June to 2 July. QISSN is the most popular and top Netball Carnival in Queensland with 60 schools competing against one another to win the QISSN Cup. In 2020, St Margaret’s finished in the middle of the field, but with an excellent start to the 2021 Club season, the team is looking good to secure a higher place this year. Good luck to all girls.
Term 3 - Week 1 Events
Secondary Interhouse Athletics Carnival
The Secondary Interhouse Athletics Carnival will be held at Windsor Park on the first day of Term 3 - Tuesday 13 July for all students in Years 7-12. The carnival will commence at 9:00am and will conclude at approximately 2:30pm with all girls being transported to and from the carnival via school buses.
All girls are to show their House spirit by wearing their House colours on the day and are asked to bring with them a drink bottle, sports hat, sunscreen and lunch. They will have an opportunity to support a charity by buying snacks and/or lunch at the Philanthropy stall.
The philosophy of participation, healthy competition and fair play is paramount to St Margaret’s Sport, therefore all events at this Athletics Carnival have been designed to encourage student participation and healthy competition in an inclusive environment. We invite all parents and friends to support their daughters by attending this event. To view the program for the day, please click here (PDF 87.4KB).
St Margaret’s Run - Friday 16 July
The St Margaret's Run is a tradition that commenced in 1999 and is based on the famous ‘Great Court Race’. The Great Court Race was made famous in the movie ‘Chariots of Fire’ where students at Cambridge attempted to complete a circuit around a court within Cambridge University. The St Margaret's Run will be held on St Margaret’s Day, Friday 16 July and requires students to run a circuit around the school of approximately 800m in length.
The event includes both Primary and Secondary students competing in year group divisions, with the overall fastest time within the Secondary Divisions crowned ‘The St Margaret’s Run Champion’ and a trophy being awarded on Speech Night. The divisions are as follows:
All Secondary students must register online by clicking on the following link: St Margaret’s Run Online Registration.
Jordan Wright (Year 9) who gained selection in the Queensland Secondary Schoolgirls Merit Soccer Team after a successful tournament representing Metropolitan North at the U15 State Championships. Well done!
Mary Comiskey (Year 11), Chelsea Johnson (Year 11) and Emma Pickering (Year 11) who attended a Water Polo Australia 17 and Under Talent Identification Camp at the AIS last week. This was a fantastic opportunity for the girls to train under the guidance of the Australian coaches, with the best players from each state around Australia. From this camp, Water Polo Australia will select an Australian team to compete in New Zealand in July. Well done girls and good luck for the selection process.
Trading Hours for end of Term 2
Friday 18 June 2021: 8:00am-2:00pm
Trading Hours for start of Term 3
Monday 12 July 2021: CLOSED - Appointments ONLY
Normal Trading Hours from Tuesday 13 July
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:00am-2:00pm
Winter Uniform for students (Term 2 and 3)
Unless otherwise stated, all winter items are optional and can be purchased from the School Supplies Shop or the Supplies Shop on-line store.
Pre-Prep and Prep
Sports Uniform - Fleecy top and pants or jumper, brown socks and joggers from home (compulsory)
Middy Uniform - Jumper
Sports Uniform - Fleecy top and pants or jumper
Sports Uniform - Either fleecy top and pants or tracksuit jacket and pants or jumper
Years 3 to 9
Sports Uniform - Tracksuit jacket and pants or jumper
Years 10 to 12
Middy Uniform - Jumper, blazer (compulsory)
Sports Uniform - Tracksuit top and pants or jumper
Scarf and tights are available for all year levels
As many of you are aware, I have been at St Margaret’s for the past year acting in the role of Director of Philanthropy and Stakeholder Engagement, whilst Lara Pickering has been on maternity leave. My time at St Margaret’s will soon come to an end, as Lara returns to her position on 12 July.
As I reflect, I would like to particularly thank the Development and Community team, Bronwyn Small and Benita Bell, who have supported me immensely during my time in this role.
It has been an enormous privilege working with you all. Thank you for welcoming me into the St Margaret’s community, for your heartfelt support and your endless generosity. I know that Lara is looking forward to her return, and to the exciting things ahead in Term 3 and the rest of 2021.
All the very best for the future.
Please check the Careers News section on the Careers and Pathways POD page for more information about upcoming opportunities and events.
Congratulations to the following students who have been awarded a scholarship to study a Certificate II in Health Support Services with Axial Training in Terms 3 and 4 this year:
This entry level qualification will assist students to develop the basic skills needed to work within a variety of health environments in support roles. Well done, girls!
NIE UCAT holiday preparation workshop in Brisbane
Students in Years 10-12 interested in medicine or dentistry will need to sit the compulsory UCAT when applying for one of the above career choices. On Saturday 26 June 2021, NIE will be conducting a full-day intensive UCAT preparation workshop in Brisbane at the UQLD St Lucia Campus. Tickets are limited. All details are available via: nie.edu.au.
Year 12 Early Entry for 2022 has opened for several universities
Southern Cross University STAR Early Offer
University of New England Early Entry - University of New England (UNE)
Griffith University https://www.griffith.edu.au/apply/guaranteed-admission-scheme/early-offer
Australian Catholic University ACU Guarantee
Bond University Click here for more information.
Monash University: Choose your Open Day experience
This year, you’re able to choose the Open Day experience that's right for you. We’re 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.
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.
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.