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Beyond the Classroom
Development and Community
I think we all thought that a lockdown period was inevitable and here we all are in this lockdown week! I hope all has gone well in your household with online learning; despite the change of conditions, the staff are working hard to ensure a quality teaching and learning program.
I know there is a significant number of our families who have needed to isolate or be quarantined for up to 14 days. It is a difficult time for you particularly; I hope you are managing well. We will continue to offer online options and support for families in this position.
St Margaret’s has four main stakeholder groups who work to support the school. They are the School Council, the School’s Foundation, the P and F and the Old Girls’ Association. The School’s Foundation is looking to create a list of potential directors to fill future vacancies and we are reaching out to the school community to see if anyone is interested in being considered for this role.
The Foundation works to support the school through philanthropy and is active in encouraging giving to the school for financial needs bursaries and building. For example, it was the Foundation who ran the Capital Campaign for the Sports Precinct and advises around our Giving Day.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Foundation or being considered as a future member of the board, could you please email Lara Pickering, Director of Philanthropy and Stakeholder Engagement on firstname.lastname@example.org
Student philanthropy is also very strong and as I write this newsletter article, I have just heard that we have exceeded $100, 000 for funds raised through the Ponytail Project. Well done to all the students and staff involved. You are inspirational!
With the students now in online learning mode, many things are very different. However, I feel there are also many things that remain the same. One of the most prominent of these at the moment is that our staff remain extremely committed to your daughter’s learning. It has been so lovely for our staff and students to reconnect this week online, and I know the teaching staff are working hard to ensure the learning experiences our students are engaging with remain rigorous, and that they are always on hand to assist as they would in the classroom environment. Please know that although we are all online, we are still available at any time if you have any questions or concerns.
In an online environment, it is very important for parents to be aware of their child’s safety in this environment, and I urge all parents to have a conversation with their children about this. Please be aware of your daughter’s activities online, who and what they are engaging with, and communicate with them about these activities. Our student protection policies and procedures certainly extend to the online forum.
I urge our students to think about how they can organise themselves at home to learn effectively. The following considerations may assist:
Have a separate workspace: Ideally the place where students are working shouldn’t be a place they go to relax, like their bedroom or lounge. Equally, the workspace doesn’t have to be in a lockable office area. It just needs to be a place, ideally with a desk or table with a comfortable chair, where other members of the household know is designated for study. Also, parents should be able to see the work and see the screen that the students are working from, to ensure online activities are safe and students are staying on task.
Establish a routine: In the secondary school students are remaining on their weekly timetable, and in the primary school students have a set schedule as well. This in itself helps to maintain a routine. However, other helpful habits can be to get up each day at the same time and making sure to get some outside time for fresh air during breaks as part of the routine.
Focus on one distraction: The bizarre but true rule of productivity is that the busier you are, the more you’ll actually do. It is important for students not to succumb to some of the distractions of home, like turning on the TV, playing with the pet dog or making frequent visits to the fridge during times set aside for lessons. When breaks occur, students should choose one of these distractions as downtime, then go back to work when the schedule begins again.
Look after your body: Make sure the area students are studying in is well-lit so they don’t strain their eyes. Also remember to eat well, drink lots of water, and schedule some daily exercise.
Make it hard to waste time on social media: Social media is designed to make it easy for people to open and browse quickly. Keeping phones out of the workspace can help to counteract this. Otherwise, logging out of the apps, making it so that to access them they have to be logged into can also help as it is a bit more cumbersome to do this all the time and the novelty soon wears off!
Hello Everyone. I am so pleased to be at St Margaret’s working alongside Reverend Susan. I just started this week and lockdown was not the start at St Margaret’s that I imagined. We will be praying for you all, as you navigate the uncertainty.
My husband Samuel and I, with our two girls Amelie (5) and Ellie (3), made our home in Brisbane in 2018. This week navigating a three-year-old and a five-year-old in lockdown is fun!!
I have spent the last three years working at St Francis College, Milton. During this time, I worked with a team to found, and be chaplain of, a residential community of Young Adults (18-30). I have spent the last eight years working in theological colleges (Trinity College, Melbourne, and St Francis College, Milton) in research, teaching and chaplaincy. During this time, I also worked in the Reconciliation, Advocacy and Education team of the Anglican Board of Mission – the national mission and development agency of the Anglican Church of Australia.
Compassion and inclusion are two important elements of my faith. I am passionate about social justice and building community. As a mother of two girls I am mindful of the many challenges that girls and women have to overcome and continue to overcome in a local and global stage. I am looking forward to joining the St Margaret’s community and working with young women who will lead the world into the future.
Reverend Jasmine (Jazz) Dow
Developing relationships is the key to a successful boarding house. The Boarding House is a place full of happiness, fun, successes and girls striving to be the best they can be. With all young women along the way there are struggles, upsets and disappointments but this is a significant part of their growth. Building authentic relationships is the key to the girls feeling connected to the boarding house and the whole school. Relationships are built on trust and importantly girls feeling safe and secure in their environment. All members of the boarding community strive to form relationships with each member of our community. This week with lockdown we have seen different connections being formed, new friendships and interactions amongst all year levels. The girls have been engaged at lunch time and after school in organised games of volleyball, basketball and netball. It has been wonderful seeing all the girls participating and coming together.
Our Boarding staff have been doing an outstanding job in the day to day engagement of the girls this week. It has also been an opportunity for Grace, Ange and I to spend quality time with the girls during the day and to help them with their schoolwork. The boarding staff are integral to the success of our boarding house and have been doing an outstanding job during this time. The quality of our staff is something that we are very proud of and I would like to thank each staff member for their commitment to the girls.
This week has seen the whole school curriculum go online again. Like many students and teachers this move caught us all by surprise, but I want to congratulate all students and thank all staff for moving and adjusting teaching, learning and assessment to accommodate what is our ‘norm’ again for the moment.
So much was written last time we went into a ‘Lockdown’ that I almost did not want to open an educational journal as there was much written about the perils of online learning. It is fair to say there is nothing ideal about students and teachers dealing unexpectedly with remote learning, but this is not to say that there no benefits for students working and learning online.
Unlike the classroom environment that is under the watchful eye of a teacher, the online environment works without this direct oversight of a teacher. Therefore, in the online learning environment, all students are more accountable for their own motivation and focus. While challenging for teachers and students, this ‘freedom’ is providing new learning for students and teachers.
What I have experienced and gathered from students is the collaborating online is preparing students with the kind of organisational acumen, emotional intelligence and self-discipline needed for their future. Working online enables students to develop maturity, focus and self-discipline all of which are needed to work and learn digitally. It also teaches valuable job skills such as how to navigate software, communicate over multiple platforms, and being personally accountability to a task.
Even though students and teachers may have to compensate for logistical challenges of online learning, what I have found is there are some unexpected positives.
A message for Year 12 student and parents
Please be assured that QCAA and schools successfully negotiated COVID and lockdown conditions throughout the pandemic in 2020 and we will do so again this year. All teachers have been in contact with their classes who have outstanding Internal Assessment items. All Year 12 students need to continue with their study plans and work to the known assessment dates. In relation to the Year 12 Maths exams next week, these are planned to go ahead. Please be assured that we will work with QCAA, and the current lockdown and quarantine conditions to ensure all students are considered and catered for. Please email or call me if you have any questions.
A huge thank you to all staff, students and parents who have so seamlessly transitioned to Online Learning this week. While there have been some (expected) teething issues as all of South East Queensland moves online, our staff and students have taken this in their stride. Well done everyone!
Moving online last year showed me how much energy I get from the enthusiasm of the students in the room and how much I can learn about my students from the look on their face or their body language. I also noticed that I was spending a LOT of time sitting down!!! To counter these things, I found it helpful to get up and have a quick walk around between classes. After classes finished, I would go for a walk and have a chat to a friend using my handsfree – no screens and exercise at the same time!! Touching base with my students 1:1 via polls, quizzes or quick chats helped me to understand where they were at on an individual level.
While it’s important to try to stay up to date with your schoolwork, it’s also important to make sure that you have a balance and spend some time away from your desk and computer. Connect with those around you and reach out to your school friends for a chat (even better if it’s not done staring at a screen!). If you have any concerns or questions or would like anything at all clarified, please reach out to your teachers, Heads of Year and Academic Advisors or Form Teachers. We are all more than happy to help.
COVID – TEEN MENTAL HEALTH
As the nation remains to be on alert and in various stages of lockdown, restrictions continue to be mandated. We as a society, persevere to do the best we can to navigate this post-COVID era. Whilst some of us quietly take comfort from the availability of vaccines, it does introduce new uncertainties for families and young people alike. We continue to remain in a state of suspended animation, wondering when “normal” will return.
The physical impact of the pandemic has mostly spared our young people, however researchers are now reporting that children and adolescents are paying a heavy emotional and developmental price, being affected by a range of psychological disorders. According to Kids Helpline, emergency interventions to protect young people have skyrocketed over the last 12 months.
Being a young person today is hard, but so too is being the parent of one. A recent international survey reported that parents are struggling to keep their child’s mental health afloat. Young people are feeling like they don’t have much control over their lives. Their developmental processes have been interfered with and their trajectory has been interrupted. Unfortunately, the emotional blowback of the pandemic cannot be vaccinated away. Young people can’t choose what happens to them, but they can choose how to respond. Encouraging them to use programs such as Moodgym, will help them change their thinking.
If your young person wishes to talk to someone outside of the family unit and the school, encourage them to call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 - anytime, any reason. Alternatively, they can chat online at kidshelpline.com.au
For more parenting resources please visit the POD, Parent Resources tile.
Being resilient is key in managing the times we are now living. For some, resilience is innate. However, as it involves behaviours, thoughts, and actions it can be taught and learned. On one hand, resilience can be developed when one is exposed to risk, challenges and by experiencing that feeling of discomfort. Something no doubt everyone is feeling as we negotiate the new normal in life and learning. On the other hand, the skills of resilience can be taught. One such skill is practising gratitude.
Research has found that people who practise gratitude face problems and challenges in their lives with resilience. They also have an ability to reframe problems as a possibility for growth. Gratitude has physical, psychological and social benefits. Gratitude is an element of our spiritual practices. There is emerging research that gratitude has the potential to bridge between academic and social well-being. It has been found that grateful youth have higher results, experience more positive emotions and ultimately go on to live more meaningful lives.
I would like to acknowledge my gratitude. I am grateful for all the staff, parents, and students at St Margaret’s. Thank you to the teaching staff for working tirelessly over the weekend, under the leadership of Kate Frewin, so that your daughter could begin her online learning school week. Each day the teachers work hard preparing for the next day of learning while also teaching online. Thank also to the support staff who have been behind the scenes helping with preparations. Thank you, parents, for supporting your daughters in their learning, especially when you are also engaged in your own job. Thank you to the students for demonstrating resilience and effort to be the very best learner you can be. I am grateful that I am part of a community who work together in support of each other.
You may find it useful during this time of lockdown and beyond to begin an evening ritual of the day in review.
The key points for each evening are:
If you would like to read more about this area, a great but simple read is The Resilience Project Finding Happiness through Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness by Hugh Van Cuylenburg.
Soaring Upwards Music Festival - Postponed
As you would all be aware, the Soaring Upwards Music Festival was unable to proceed last weekend due to the COVID lockdown. Whilst this was disappointing for our music students, we understand the importance of doing everything we can to keep our community safe. We are very hopeful of providing the opportunity at a later date for students to present their music performances. A huge thank you to all our music students and conductors who worked tirelessly to prepare performances for the event. Thank you also to the Music Support Group for all their hard work in preparing to run the sausage sizzle and bake sale on the day. Thank you to all the parents who donated baked goods. These were passed on to the Boarding House and were very gratefully received. Thank you also to Wolff Coffee for their willingness to be involved in our special event. Thank you also to our wonderful facilities staff who had worked very hard to set up Circular Drive for the day. We look forward to sharing the joy of music again soon with the St Margaret’s community.
Exultate Performance at St Mark’s Anglican Church – Cancelled
The Exultate performance scheduled for Sunday 8 August has been cancelled due to the COVID lockdown.
Private Music Lesson
Private Music Lessons have returned to online mode. Private music teachers will be in touch with students and parents to provide lessons times via Microsoft Teams.
Music Ensemble Rehearsals
Students are encouraged to check the POD for information pertaining to their respective ensembles.
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
The QGSSSA Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition scheduled for Friday 6 August has been postponed. All participating schools are working with QGSSSA and will communicate the new date once it is confirmed.
Saturday 31 July, was full of twists and turns! Whilst the day concluded early, it was fantastic to see our teams in action against Somerville House. There were some great wins on the Tennis courts on Friday evening with the Open, Snr A and Snr B teams having wins. Our Netball teams almost had a clean sweep with just one team losing. Hockey Open and Snr A teams also recorded dominant victories. Lastly, the Volleyball teams were competitive in all matches.
Round 4 winter fixtures to be held on Saturday 7 August against Brisbane State High School has been declared an abandoned round. All teams will share competition points for purposes of premiership ladders. To view all results and competition ladders, visit www.qgsssa.com.au
Second Regatta down and it was an exciting one! The Orange army arrived as one and was full of determination and spirit. The Year 8, 9 and 10 crews had some fantastic results whilst our senior crews were out to impress with our 3rd VIII and 1st VIII winning. Unfortunately, the second round of racing concluded early due to the lockdown.
On Friday 30 July, the rowing shed showed their support to the Aussie Rowing Team and rocked the Green and Gold. Special mention must go to our Senior 3rd VIII who decked out the crew in the Australian Representative uniforms.
Netball Trivia Night & Raffle
Unfortunately, due to the lockdown announcement the annual Netball Trivia Night has been cancelled. We would like to thank members of the support group for their tireless efforts in the organisation of this event including the setting up and then packing down on Saturday 31 July and then providing a drive through service for all guests to collect their pre-ordered drinks and dinner grazing boxes.
The highly anticipated raffle has been extended to Saturday 7 August and you can purchase your tickets by clicking here: https://www.raffletix.com.au/?ref=cdu29
Prizes include the following:
St Margaret’s Sport Goes Virtual
Whilst sport is on pause we are excited to offer alternate ways for all students and families to remain active and connected to our sporting community. Below is a list of ways our community can remain active.
St M Virtual Run Club – You are invited to connect with St Margaret's Sport via Strava 'STM Run Club'. To connect, follow the 'How to Guide – Strava Virtual Run Club' which is available via the Secondary Sport POD page.
Badges will be awarded depending on the km logged!!
ST M Fit Club - Join the St M Fit Club POD page and gain access to videos and documents that cover the following:
Tickets are on sale for St Margaret’s P&F inaugural Polo Day!
Alsace Polo fields will be a glamorous home to St Margaret's on Saturday 4th September 2021.
There will be three dynamic games of Polo, a fashion parade of Polo Ralph Lauren from Indooroopilly Shopping Centre to keep you entertained in the break and many fun activities to amuse you. Settle in for the day on couches on the deck with prime position or go Italian style wining and dining under the enormous shady trees right next to the field. With a DJ playing music to keep the vibe going, this is a day to remember 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
Tickets: $190 per person (ticket includes meals from four gourmet chef stations and wines, beer and cider from our sponsors, Bird in Hand winery and Green Beacon brewery).
On sale from 9.30am Tuesday 3 August 2021 online only via www.trybooking.com/BTHHR
Transport/Parking: Complimentary St Margaret's bus transport to and from the venue will be available. Onsite parking is also available.
RSVP: Purchase your tickets by 5pm, Friday 27 August 2021
Enquiries: Bradley Durkin on 0407 520 723 or Tom Reddacliff 0428 631 707 or email P&F@stmargarets.qld.edu.au
Veuve Clicquot champagne is also available for p,e-purchase at $110 per bottle.
Should a COVID lockdown or restrictions result in the event being cancelled, ticket holders will receive a refund. With the event proceeding, refunds will not be given after the RSVP date.
As we settle into this current lockdown, there have been some changes to immediate events:
2021 Friends of Mayo Long Lunch (Postponed)
Unfortunately, due to the current lockdown being extended until 4pm Sunday 8 August, the Friends of Mayo Long Lunch will be postponed; a new date will be advised for later in the year as soon as we are able to confirm this. This also extends to the Ceramics Workshop.
Thank you very much for your continued support of the Arts at St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School and within our wider community.
We hope that you are all keeping safe and well at this time.
Please check the Careers News section on the Careers and Pathways POD page, or click here for more information about upcoming opportunities and events.
QUT | Pathways to QUT
Wednesday 13 October 2021, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm. Online. Regardless of your age or background, there are many ways for domestic students to gain entry to QUT. Join us for a live webinar to help you find the best pathway to your preferred course.
Monday 2 August 2021, Enhanced Studies Program (ESP) applications for students who will be in Year 12 in 2022 will open. Discover more
UQ. High School Webinar Series - Scholarships Session
Tuesday 10 August 2021, from 5:30pm - 6:30pm. Click the link below to register.
Bond Scholarships are closing soon. Click here for more information.
Open Days 2021 Planner
A comprehensive list of tertiary Open Days is available from this link:
Open Day Program 2021
QTAC admissions open
Tuesday 3 August 2021, QTAC applications will open, 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 have early closing dates
Auditions for students wishing to study the Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Acting, or Bachelor of Musical Theatre See the application and audition information
1/08/2021 UAC applications for Year 12s open
2/08/2021 VTAC applications open
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
October Reminder to get EAS and supporting documents submitted
25/10/2021 External assessment period commences
12/11/2021 Due date to apply & submit documents for 19 November offer round
19/11/2021 Graduation day for Year 12
09/12/2021 Due date to apply & submit documents for December 23 offer round
10/12/2021 Due date to apply & submit documents for 13 January offer round
17/12/2021 Qld ATAR and QCE released
20/12/2021 Due date for change of preferences prior to next offer round
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.