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Beyond the Classroom
Development and Community
Last term I attended the Virtual Summit on Girls’ Education. One of the guest speakers, Professor Jean Twenge, an international expert on teen depression, presented data showing that significantly fewer American teens drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and use illicit drugs than in the 1970s. Today’s teenagers, she says, are also less independent than earlier generations, spending more time at home and less time hanging out with friends. Part of this change in teen behaviour, Twenge argues, is due to the advent of helicopter parenting, but she also believes that young people don’t need, or even want, to go out as much because they can socialise with their friends online instead.
American data on the declining rates of alcohol, cigarette and drug use may come as a surprise to many, but this American experience is reflected in statistics from many countries including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Alcohol use by Australian adolescents has declined dramatically over the past twenty years. The proportion of teens aged 14 to 17 years abstaining from alcohol rose from 39% to 73% between 2007 and 2019. In addition, the age of first drinking alcohol rose by two years from 14 to 16 years and ‘risky drinking’ (five or more drinks on a single occasion) by teens fell from 30% to 9% between 2001 and 2019. While it is encouraging that binge drinking is declining, 83% of risky drinkers aged 14 -19 years are injured each year in Australia, including 7% presenting to hospital emergency departments with an alcohol-related injury.
Smoking by young Australians also declined significantly between 2001 and 2019. The proportion of secondary school students reporting that they currently smoke cigarettes fell from 9% to 2% and the proportion of teens aged 14 to 17 years that have never tried smoking rose from 82% to 97%. In addition, as for alcohol, the average age of first having a cigarette rose by two years from 14 to 16 years.
Illicit drug use by teens has also declined in Australia where illicit drug use among 14 to 17 years fell from 23% in 2001 to 10% in 2019, with cannabis use falling from 21% to 8%. However, the proportion of Australian girls aged 16 to 17 years using cannabis in the previous month increased, rising from 10% in 2011 to 14% in 2017.
It is concerning, however, that the use of e-cigarettes in young Australian adults aged 18 to 24 years rose from 19% to 26% between 2016 and 2019. In addition, a 2017 survey revealed that 14% of Australian high school students had tried e-cigarettes, although less than 5% reported vaping once in the past month and only 2% had used an e-cigarette three or more times in the past month. In the last 2 years, there is little doubt that the number of young people vaping has increased exponentially. There is little Australian data available as the trend is relatively new, but it is likely to be marginally less than the reported American data, which indicates there has been a 218% increase among middle schoolers and a 135% increase among high schoolers.
It appears that education campaigns and societal pressures have decreased alcohol use, cigarette smoking and even the use of illicit drugs. We now need to do the same for vaping.
Parents and schools need to become more aware of the increase in vaping and its long-term effects on the health of young people. St Margaret’s will ensure that we educate about these matters and I encourage parents to talk to their daughters about the dangers of vaping. I refer you to this helpful resource for parents who may know little about this topic from Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia. Once you follow all the links in this resource you will be an expert and will at least be able to identify a vaping pen/implement. VAPING-RESOURCES-PARENTS.pdf (darta.net.au)
The more that students are involved in their learning, the more engaged and motivated they will be. It is important that students are key collaborators with their teachers and schools to reach their learning goals and improve their learning outcomes.
Student voice in schools is productive. Students are in control of their own learning journey, so connecting with their teachers and peers is important for them to realise their goals.
It is essential for students to understand though that this does not mean that the teachers do the thinking for them. With the guidance of their teachers, students can engage with the content and rehearse the skills they are taught in order to reach a depth of learning that goes beyond the surface and results in deepest understanding.
With a new semester beginning and after feedback from their teachers through their reports, students should be revisiting their learning goals. Students should be looking at those areas where improvements can be made and taking steps to achieve these goals. Teachers love connecting with their students and assisting students to find their direction with making improvements in their learning.
It is expected that students are studying each day. This could include homework, preparation for assignments and exams, revision of work they have completed in their lessons and also reading. Engaging with the resources or activities that teachers provide through their POD class pages would be a good place to start if they are not sure where to start.
For secondary students, reading could include pre-reading, research or reading for pleasure. Primary students should also take time to read each day, either individually or with family members.
This week we held Prayer Space-Dadirri, for Senior school. The theme for the Prayer Space this term was the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes can be found in Matthew chapter 5, verses 1-12. They are part of what is called the sermon on the mount, where Jesus speaks to the people. While it is short, the words have a powerful message of being blessed.
The students were invited to explore the Beatitudes through 8 stations - Wisdom, Resilience, Peace, Justice, Joy, Humility, Hope and Forgiveness. Each station was designed to be interactive, inviting the students to pray, reflect and/or think about different areas of their life, the world, others, and if they choose to think about their relationship with God. For instance, the station with the theme Humility encouraged students to be aware of people who work behind the scenes to make a difference in their lives and to take the time to show their gratitude. In the Hope station it has been very special to watch the students interact with this activity. As one staff member said, it is transformative. The students were invited to create flowers as they reflected about what hope meant for them. You could hear the gentle rustle of the tissue paper as the students created their flower. Then they attached the flower to netting to create a sea of flowers- a sea of hope.
Next week we welcome onto the chaplaincy team, The Reverend Jazz Dow. It is very exciting to have two chaplains once again at St Margaret’s.
Keeping the Boarders entertained over the weekends is a large part of our roles. While it is important for the girls to have down time, it is equally important to have activities and outings organised to give them opportunities to get out and about. Our Activities Coordinator Lilly ensures that there are interesting and fun things for the girls to participate in on the weekends. Whether it be a simple Pizza Dinner on Circular Drive watching the sunset or a day out at Movie World, the girls are always excited on a Monday morning to see what they can sign up to for the coming weekend.
We are very lucky that Lilly has also developed great working relationships with the Activity Coordinators of the other Boarding Schools. On most weekends at least one of the outings will be in conjunction with one or more of the schools. This gives the girls the opportunity to socialize with boarders from other schools, also providing them the opportunity to catch up with siblings as well.
This weekend the girls can join boarders from Marist, Stuartholme and Nudgee at a big BBQ or they can sign up for a tour of Maleny Dairies. This goes to show why organised activities are just another aspect of what makes boarding at Maggie’s a positive experience.
Year 11 and 12 Exam Preparation
The Year 11 Term 3 Exam Block will be available for students on their year level POD pages next week. The Year 12 Mock Exam Block begins in Week 8.
This week I have shared with the Year 11 and 12 students some of the simple practices I hear many students say have turned around their academic results. I also reminded the Year 12 students to continue to commit to their study plan they have discussed with their Academic Advisor.
Simple tips to assist with exam preparation:
I have encouraged all Year 11 and 12 girls to use these simple strategies as there is nothing stopping all students from doing these simple things each term to achieve the academic success they are after.
Year 12 Maths Exams
Year 12 students will have Exam Days for Maths Methods, Specialist Maths and General Maths on Tuesday 10 and Thursday 12 August. On these days, the girls are only required to attend school for their exams. When attending school for an exam or study all students must be in full school uniform.
Year 7,8 and 9 Assessment Calendars
Many of our students are not only busy with school work and assessment but they also particpate in a variety of extra curricular activities in and out of school. Trying to balance our commitments as adults sometimes can be difficult, however we have had life and learning experiences that have taught us how to balance our commitments and be organised. It is important to assist your daughters to continue to balance commitments and help her realise that as demands increase we need to be mindful of not trying to fit to0 much in.
All students can access the Semester 2 assessment calendars through thier Year Level page on The POD. Academic Advisors and Form Teachers will encourage all girls to ensure they saved or printed their Assessment Calender so that they are aware of their assessment commitments for the rest of the year after this date. However, it is important to note that due to the Continuous Reporting Process, assessment is held in the last weeks of school and all girls are required to attend school until the last day to complete all assessment.
Trends in Education
This term sees St Margaret’s hosting the second seminar for Trends in Education on 26 August. Presented by Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen OAM, this seminar will focus on “Careers of the Future” and how we prepare our children and students for tomorrow’s world. For more information or to RSVP, please refer to the Events section on the St Margaret’s website or click here.
At St Margaret’s we are passionate about inspiring and supporting girls to develop into strong and confident young woman. Indeed, our School’s Mission states that we are ‘preparing confident, compassionate, capable women able to contribute in a global community’. With this in mind I would like to share some insights from an article on the PBS website about raising such girls.
Powerful girls grow up feeling secure in themselves. They learn to take action, making positive choices about their own lives and doing positive things for others. They think critically about the world around them. They express their feelings and acknowledge the feelings and thoughts of others in caring ways. Powerful girls feel good about themselves and grow up with a “can-do” attitude. Of course, strong girls may (like all of us) have times of insecurity and self-doubt, but these feelings aren’t paralysing because the girls have learned to work through their problems. Powerful girls will grow up to lead full, valuable lives.
Here are some of our experts’ ideas to help you raise powerful daughters.
Encourage your daughter to pursue a passion.
Identify the values most important to your family.
Encourage her to solve issues on her own rather than fixing things for her.
Encourage her to take physical risks.
Allow her to disagree with you and get angry.
Address girl fighting when you see it.
Acknowledge her struggles but keep a sense of perspective.
For the full article, including many other ideas on how best to support your daughter in becoming a powerful girl and thus a strong, independent woman please go to https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/raising-a-powerful-girl
The Communication Puzzle
Communication is like a puzzle with three interlocking components: reading, writing, and oral language. Each of these aspects enhances the development of the others. As a school, we plan and provide learning experiences that contribute to this development.
This term, Year 3 to Year 6 students were offered a novel study. Through novel study, the words on the page are enhanced by the teacher’s reading and student analysis of the novel is enriched through deep discussion. Additionally, these students also participate in Literature Circles (LC). This is a child-centred model of learning through sustained conversations about literary texts. Literature Circles occurs three times a week in reading cluster with mixed year level groups. Students contribute to the group from the perspective of a role; these include predictor, quiz master, connector, literary luminary, visualiser, and plot profiler. These roles are built on a platform of explicit modelling and practice through novel study. I would encourage you to converse with your daughter about her book and try to ask questions from the perspective of one of the roles.
Whilst reading, students are seeing the models for, and making connections to, writing. As a school, we are committed to developing your child’s writing and do so through using the VCOP (Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers, Punctuation), providing a writing coach and offering writing club for Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 students.
Some of the learning experiences we offer to develop communication are beyond the classroom and this has been the case over the past weeks for some year levels. For the past two Mondays, renowned author Jacqueline Harvey has been author in residence. The opportunity to listen to her and write with her has enabled students to find out firsthand the process of writing a published story. The girls enjoyed hearing the stories Jacqueline regaled about her inspiration. I think that when they now read her stories, they will have a greater depth of appreciation for the reading/writing connection.
In the first week of term, the Year 4 girls visited the theatre where they saw their novel, Emil and the Detectives, come alive on stage. Through mime, puppetry and acting, this engaging interpretation allowed students to gain a greater understanding of the novel.
“Writing should be supported alongside reading as a means of encouraging a holistic approach to nurturing a literate child who is self-motivated to both consume and create words.” Megan Daley (Raising Readers, p. 38).
This term there are changes to staff. Karen Andrews-Close has been appointed Primary Mathematics Specialist/Numeracy Coach and so we welcome Tamryn Cronje as the new Year 6 teacher. Stephanie Cowie has been appointed Acting Learning Enhancement Coordinator Prep to Year 12. She will work closely with the Primary Learning Enhancement staff.
News from Acting Assistant Head of Primary - Wellbeing and Operations
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself - my name is Ms Annette Box and I am stepping into the role of Assistant Head of Wellbeing and Operations (Acting) previously held by Ms Mary Surtees. I come from the roles of Head of Faculty - Arts and Design, Drama teacher and Director of the School Musical Matilda, so I am delighted to be able to be involved in the many and exciting events the Primary School has on the horizon. Term Three is a very busy one so please ensure that you access the POD. Please see the list on the POD and click on each one for the details.
Soaring Upwards Music Festival
The St Margaret's Music Department is very excited to present the Soaring Upwards Music Festival to be held this coming Saturday 31 July from 12pm. Normally each year the St Margaret’s Music Program provides separate String/Band and Choral Concerts. Given the current COVID context, we have decided to combine the concerts and present this special outdoor event. We are hoping that the afternoon will be a fun, informal opportunity for the girls to perform repertoire they have been learning in their respective ensembles on a big stage with a professional sound crew. The program of performances is attached below with approximate times (please note the change to some of the String performances). Feel free to bring along a picnic blanket/snacks to enjoy whilst listening to the performances. Plenty of chairs and stools will also be made available for audience members. The Music Support Group will be putting on a sausage sizzle and there will be a bake sale. We are also hoping to provide a coffee van for you to purchase hot drinks. A raffle has also been organised so there will be the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets on the afternoon, or prior via the link https://www.raffletix.com.au?ref=5kutb. COVID check-in stations will be provided at the Petrie Gate entrance to Circular Drive and also at the Barley Sugar Garden entrance. Current restrictions still require parents and other visitors to wear face masks whilst on school grounds. We are hoping that this will be fun and exciting event for the girls to be involved in and look forward to having many in the audience to support the girls’ performances!
St Mark’s Village Fair
Congratulations to all students in the Clarinet, Flute and Saxophone Ensembles for their performances at St Mark’s Village Fair held last Saturday. It was a wonderful community event to be involved in, with the students providing wonderful entertainment on the day. Thank you also to Dr Camille Syntageros for preparing the ensembles for the event.
Choir Workshop with Astrid Jorgensen
Encorah had the privilege of working with special guest conductor Astrid Jorgenson last Thursday. Astrid founded Pub Choir in 2017 and during the COVID lockdowns launched Couch Choir, which brought communities together through online singing with thousands from countries all around the globe sending in vocal contributions. She was awarded the 2019 Queensland Community Foundation Emerging Philanthropist of the Year as a result of her charitable work with Pub Choir and in 2020 was nominated for Young Australian of The Year. Encorah workshopped a piece written by Astrid entitled “Give Love” which will be performed at the upcoming Soaring Upwards Music Festival. We thank Astrid for coming and sharing her time and expertise with Encorah!
Student Congratulations – Emi McBride
Congratulations to Emi McBride (Yr 11) who was successful in achieving a place to perform as part of the 'Influence Brisbane' program, which aims to provide students across the arts with the opportunity to present their work to a wider audience. Emi was given a performance time at the Mt Gravatt Show held last weekend where she was able to perform both original works and covers. This is a wonderful achievement. Congratulations Emi!
Music Support Group
The next Music Support Group meeting will be on Tuesday 24 August at 5.00pm in the Primary Music Room (second floor of Chaseley). Parents from both the Primary and Secondary Schools are welcome to attend.
QGSSSA Rhythmic Gymnastics
Our Rhythmic Gymnastics team will be testing their poise, creativity, and skills at the warm-up competition on Friday 30 July in readiness for the annual QGSSSA Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition on Friday 6 August at Moreton Bay College. Details regarding both competitions are available via the Rhythmic Gymnastics POD page.
The Athletics squad will commence the competition season with a series of lead up meets titled the ‘Super Six Series’ held at the University of Queensland Athletics Centre in preparation for the QGSSSA Championships in September. The competition Meets are vital to the squad’s preparation and team selection for QGSSSA. The dates for each warm-up Meet are as follows:
Please visit the Athletics POD page to keep up to date with the Athletics season and to register your daughter’s attendance at the Meets.
It was a super Saturday of sport and whilst Brisbane Girls Grammar School proved to be tough opposition, all teams stepped onto the court or fields with a great attitude and determination to win. Unfortunately, both Tennis and Netball were cancelled due to the unfavourable weather conditions however both Hockey and Volleyball competed fiercely with the Senior A Hockey team securing a 5-1 win. Meanwhile the remaining Hockey and Volleyball teams experienced narrow losses.
This weekend we welcome Somerville House to our home venues, to view the weekly draw please access the Secondary Sport POD page or the individual sport pages. Please note, Covid restrictions are expected to ease on Friday 30 July at 6am. Please monitor this situation as to the requirements of masks when outside the field of play and spectator restrictions at Volleyball.
An amazing 28 crews hit the water at the first regatta on Saturday. Big Shout out to the Year 8 and 9 crews who have now participated in their first BSRA regatta. Unfortunately, the second round of racing was cancelled due to the windy conditions. The Orange army was in full swing and all showed great determination and spirit. We look forward to Regatta 2 this weekend and an even stronger performance on the water.
Cosette Cooke (Year 8) who was selected in the U14 Queensland Water Polo team who will compete in the Inter State Challenge at the Hobart Aquatic Centre in Tasmania in September as part of the Water Polo Australian Championships.
Grace Marchant (Year 9) who was selected in the Under 15 Girls Metropolitan North Basketball team to compete at the State Championships in Mackay from Thursday 5 August to Sunday 8 August.
Annabel Livingstone (Year 7) who was selected in the 10 – 12 Years Girls Metropolitan North Touch Football team to compete at the State Championships in Townsville from Thursday 12 August to Sunday 15 August.
Syren Letizia (Year 11) and Millicent Watson (Year 8) who were selected in the Under 19 Metropolitan North Softball team to compete at the State Championships at Redcliffe from Thursday 19 August to Sunday 22 August.
Netball Support Group Trivia Night Raffle
The Netball Support Group is holding their annual raffle, with first prize being a weekend package from Audi Centre Brisbane - luxury car hire, accommodation, and dinner. Don’t miss out - buy your raffle tickets now at https://www.raffletix.com.au/?ref=cdu29
The raffle will be drawn at 9.30pm on Saturday 31 July 2021 at the Trivia Night. Please note you do not have to be in attendance to win.
Green and Gold Day – Friday 30 July
In support of our Australian Olympic Team we are asking all girls to wear a 'Green and Gold' ribbon in their hair or on their collars on Friday 30 July. This is a national day of colour and it is about painting the country in the colours of green and gold and being proud of Australia's sporting achievements and the ability that sport has to unite us all despite our differing abilities and backgrounds!!!
Come and Try Flyer – River City Water Polo (PDF 743.7KB)
Over the weekend we welcomed just over 380 Old Girls back through the school gates for the 2020 and 2021 milestone Reunions. The feedback was very positive. Our Old Girls enjoyed hearing how well their school is doing, seeing the new facilities, and reconnecting and reminiscing with their classmates. 92 of our Old Girls in attendance across the weekend generously donated to the Scholarship Fund to support student bursaries – a fantastic show of philanthropic participation and their passion for their school and the education it provides.
I would also like to highlight a couple of other exciting events coming up this Term:
Professional Women’s Breakfast with Ruth Drinkwater ( Event 3)
Date: Tuesday 17 August 2021
Venue: Arts Centre Foyer
Our guest speaker, Ruth Drinkwater, Chair of Alkira Software Pty Ltd and Mrs Clucks Pty Ltd, has more than 20 years’ experience in management, business development, marketing and commercialisation, investment in emerging technology companies and capital raising.
Ruth will be interviewed about getting ideas into the market, the investment environment in Australia and her professional journey since commencing her career in science.
Tickets: $80 Adult, $40 Student (tertiary, Year 10 -12) available via Flexischools.
Save the date: St Margaret’s P&F Polo Day
Alsace Polo fields will be a glamorous home to St Margaret’s inaugural Polo Day on Saturday 4th September 2021. Save the date for this exciting new event and the hottest ticket on the social calendar this year!
Date: Saturday 4 September 2021
Time: 11:30am – 4:00pm
Venue: Alsace Polo, 390 Veresdale Scrub School Rd, Veresdale Scrub
Transport/Parking: Complimentary St Margaret’s bus transport to and from the venue will be available. Onsite parking is also available.
Tickets on sale soon!
Please check the Careers News section on the Careers and Pathways POD page , or click here for more information about upcoming opportunities and events.
QTAC Parent Information Webinar
Please join us for this informative webinar presented by QTAC. Registrations will open 5 minutes before the event.
Topic: How to Apply to QTAC
When: 3 Aug 2021
Time: 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Brisbane
Join Zoom Meeting click this link below -
Meeting ID: 957 8722 7419
Bond Scholarships are closing soon. Click here for more information.
Open Days 2021 Program Planner
A comprehensive list of tertiary Open Days is available from this link:
Open Day Program 2021
Upcoming - UQ Sunday 1 August, Bond Uni Saturday 7 August, Griffith Uni Sunday 8 August 2021
QTAC admissions open
QTAC applications will open on Tuesday 3 August for admission to courses for 2022. To create an account, you will need to nominate an email address - DO NOT USE YOUR SCHOOL EMAIL as it will be invalid once you leave school. Click here for more information.
Register to get your ATAR result
If you are a Year 12 student and you want to find out what your ATAR is, you must register with QTAC. You can register from Tuesday 3 August.
Queensland Conservatorium auditions opening soon
Auditions for students wishing to study the Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Acting, or Bachelor of Musical Theatre See the application and audition information
3/08/2021 QTAC applications open for 2022 courses: ATAR account registration opens
During August some QTAC audition and portfolio applications close
September Early closing dates for some courses
19/11/2021 Graduation day for Year 12. Offer round for some courses.
17/12/2021 Qld ATAR and QCE released
23/12/2021 December offer round
13/01/2022 January offer round
Further offer rounds
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.