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Beyond the Classroom
Development and Community
Although the sports precinct is still not yet finished and the girls are still not able to access the site for classes, we had the official opening yesterday.
The original gym on the site was named after Philip Harris who has been a long-term supporter of the school and we have carried that honour on to the new gym in this precinct. Philip Harris’ association with the school began in 1971 when his first of 3 daughters enrolled. There have also been granddaughters. He served as President of the P&F in 1979 and 1980 and then became member of the body which preceded the School Council, the School Advisory Committee from its establishment in 1981. In 1987 he was Chair of the School Council for 14 years long after his daughters had left school and set the foundation for good governance of St Margaret’s. His continued support and service to the school community was recognised again in 2006 when he became Patron of the School. On Wednesday, at 92 years of age Philip with his wife Elizabeth and his children Sally, Joanna Belinda and Jonathan were in attendance. When he first heard that his building was to be demolished to make way for this new centre, he graciously understood the need for the school to further develop and progress.
It was wonderful to have the Precinct opened by the Governor and then dedicated by the Archbishop. We now just look forward to its completion and to the girls using the facilities in Term 4.
Important information regarding blue cards for our school community
Starting 31 August 2020, the Queensland Government will make changes to strengthen and streamline the blue card system. Please read on to find out what this means for parents and non-parents volunteering within our school community.
Changes to Queensland’s blue card system
Parent volunteers, except for ‘restricted persons’ (see below), will still be able to volunteer at St Margaret’s without a blue card.
However, parent volunteers who provide home stay accommodation organised by the school for more than 7 days in a calendar year, will need a blue card.
Under the new changes, any parent who is a ‘restricted person’ will not be able to volunteer within the school in any capacity. A ‘restricted person’ is a person who either:
A change to the frequency test will mean that if a non-parent volunteers or works with children in a regulated capacity for 7 days or less in a calendar year, they do not require a blue card.
For more information about these changes to Queensland’s blue card system, visit the Blue Card Services website: www.qld.gov.au/bluecardchanges.
All persons, including parents, who are seeking to volunteer at St Margaret’s are still required to complete an online Volunteer Register Form prior to commencing their volunteer engagement. The form can be accessed on the St Margaret’s website at: https://www.stmargarets.qld.edu.au/discover-st-margarets/student-protection/volunteering-at-st-margaret-s- (go to ‘Click here to access the Volunteer Register’). An updated Volunteer Register form will be available from 31 August 2020.
Opening of the new sports precinct
After much work and planning our amazing new sports precinct was opened this week. We give thanks for the donors and the many people who had the vision to create such an exceptional sports precinct. Sadly, due to the COVID restrictions, we were not able to hold the grand event we were hoping to. However, it was still a very moving ceremony. The Governor of Queensland, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, formally opened the precinct and the Archbishop of Brisbane, The Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall dedicated and blessed the precinct. Please see below the special dedication the Archbishop prayed. We give thanks to God for all those who were involved in creating such an outstanding sports precinct.
Creator God, we thank you for the vision and commitment that has made this building possible. We pray that this sports centre will contribute to activities that renew the spirit and strengthen the mind and body. We give thanks for the life, faith and work of this school now and in the future. In the faith of Jesus Christ, we bless and dedicate this place to the glory of God and the wellbeing of the St Margaret’s community; in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Formal dinners are a lovely time for our boarders to come together to share quality time with their peers. Last Monday night, in the Arts Centre Foyer, the Year 9 Boarders enjoyed a delicious two-course meal overlooking the beautiful city.
We were joined by our School Principal and Senior Leadership Team. Ms Curtis spoke about St Margaret’s strong sense of community and asked the girls to reflect on what this meant to them. The girls spoke about being a strong community, having good relationships, trust, acceptance and tolerance of others. They all acknowledge the importance of these values in Boarding.
This week, the Year 12 cohort has started their 4-week block of Mock Exams in preparation for the External Assessments in Term 4. The students have been experiencing the process for the External Assessments, as well as having the opportunity to sit unseen practice exams set by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA).
Last week, the QCAA announced they will be releasing to parents and students, advice around how subject results will be calculated given the removal of an assessment due to COVID-19. Ms Ros Curtis and I attended a QCAA Senior Leaders update and I share the information from this presentation below:
From these principles, the QCAA had decided to use the Rasch Model to calculate Year 12 Subjects results for 2020. This model accommodates missing information and can be used to construct a comparable subject score for students regardless of which instruments they undertook. This model was already going to be used in the new QCE system to manage individual students who missed an assessment due to unforeseen circumstances. The Rasch Model is also used in other high-stakes assessments both nationally and internationally.
We will advise the community when QCAA has released parent and student information on their website (www.qcaa.qld.edu.au) to assist you and your daughters to better understand how their subject results will be calculated.
Trends in Education
Thank you to all teachers and parents who joined us, in person or via the live stream, for the excellent Trends in Education seminar held last Thursday evening. I do hope it was useful in providing strategies which may assist in developing stronger, healthier relationships with the young people in our lives.
Years 9 and 10 Study Hall
This term, the Years 9 and 10 girls will again have a Study Hall and Exam Block. Year 9 Study Hall and Exam Block will take place on Monday 31 August and Tuesday 1 September. Year 10 Study Hall and Exam Block will take place on Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 September.
The aim of these days is to assist the girls in learning valuable study skills as they move toward preparing for the external exam process in their senior years of schooling.
On these days, Year 9 students will complete their History Short Response, Chinese Speaking and Mathematics Round One Examinations. The Year 10 students will complete their English, History Short Response, Chinese and Legal Studies Examinations.
Alongside these exams, the girls will be provided with time to practice good study and review habits. During the non-exam time, they will have the chance to meet with teachers to ask questions and check for understanding as they go over concepts for their upcoming assessments. The schedule for each of these days has been sent to students and also uploaded to their Year level POD pages. Each girl has been encouraged to devise a study plan for the two days to assist them in managing their time effectively.
We hope these days will provide the girls with valuable time and lessons about how to prepare for exams, as well as provide us with feedback to continue to support them on their learning journey.
“I don’t divide the word into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures… I divide the world into the learners and the non-learners”.
Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation and is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. Her research has focused on why people succeed and how to foster success, specifically on mindset. Professor Carol Dweck believes that mindsets are beliefs - beliefs about yourself and your most basic qualities. In her work, Dweck has found that people have either a fixed or a growth mindset.
In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success - without effort. In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work - brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.
Dweck summarises much of her work into two main themes: ‘Mindset Rules’ and the associated ‘Dangers of Praise’. Professor Dweck was able to package years of her research into some useful rules on mindset:
Mindset Rule 1:
Fixed Mindset - Look smart at all costs
Growth Mindset - Learn at all costs
Mindset Rule 2:
Fixed Mindset - It should come naturally
Growth Mindset - Work hard; effort is the key
Mindset Rule 3:
In the face of setbacks…
Fixed Mindset - Hide mistakes and deficiencies
Growth Mindset - Confront mistakes and deficiencies
Fixed Mindset - “I’d spend less time on that subject from now on”
Growth Mindset - “I would work harder in this class from now on”
Interestingly, Professor Dweck warns against praising our children and students for their intelligence alone, drawing on her research that proves that this praise can be severely detrimental to a child’s sense of self-worth and a have a direct negative impact upon academic success. Results of her studies reveal that students who were praised for their effort were more inclined to persevere with more difficult tasks and ultimately achieved higher on test scores.
Examples of the different ways of praising were shared:
“Wow, that’s a really good score. You must be really smart.”
“Wow, that’s a really good score. You must have tried really hard.”
Professor Dweck challenges parents and educators to praise effort and struggle, strategies and choices, choosing difficult tasks, persisting, and learning and improving over ‘being smart’ alone. In fact, every word and action sends a message. It tells children how to think about themselves. It can be a fixed mindset message that says: “You have permanent traits and I’m judging them”. Or it can be a growth mindset message that says: “You are a developing person and I am interested in your development”.
Sustainability in the Primary School
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Sustainability is a cross-curricular priority in the Australian Curriculum, meaning it can be integrated in all curriculum areas and year levels. In this context, sustainability has been described as “allowing all young Australians to develop the knowledge, skills, values and world views necessary for them to act in ways that contribute to more sustainable patterns of living.”
Last term, the Years 3 and 4 students undertook an inquiry unit with a focus on sustainability. This term, our Year 6 Sustainability Leaders - Rose Joseph, Coco Fidler and Letitia Watson will lead the school in two areas of sustainable practice; composting and recycling. These students are planning a campaign to collect and recycle bottles. The money raised by returning the bottles will be used to buy compost equipment and bins to use for recycling. So, start recycling (10 cents return) and saving them. This program will be launched next week by our Sustainability Leaders.
As a staff, we have broken down the meaning of sustainability and prioritised the types of actions our school would like to take in the short and long terms. These include developing vegetable gardens, harvesting the produce and creating meals, taking responsibility for gardens and using our lunch waste to create compost to use in the garden. Our program also involves the wider school community in our sustainable activities, so that our students can also see that adults also value the environment. From a landscape gardener planting up the vegetable garden, Year 6 girls maintaining the garden and more recently the early childhood students harvesting the produce. The Prep students created a ‘zero waste’ meal using the garden produce. Each of these acts have provided the opportunity for the students to see sustainability in action.
We also believe that embedding sustainability into our school program is fundamental to empowering our students to be environmental change agents, who contribute now and in the future to our world.
Classics in the Cathedral
Classics in the Cathedral was held last week on Friday evening and was once again a truly special evening. The Music Department was thrilled to still present the event, albeit in a reimagined form due to current COVID restrictions. Only a small number of guests were allowed inside the cathedral; however, we were very pleased to livestream the event to the broader community. There were many beautiful and memorable performances from our ensembles throughout the evening and we were fortunate to also have Old Girl Annabelle Traves (’14) join us to perform some spectacular repertoire on the violin. Thank you very much to all girls for their wonderful efforts in putting together a fantastic program. Special thanks also to our music conductors/staff, our stage crew, facilities team, IT staff and the Music Support Group for their outstanding contribution to the evening!
Barley Sugar Garden Performances
Thank you to the Stage Band and Mr Mackenzie for their entertaining performances provided during morning tea last Wednesday in the Barley Sugar Gardens. They were very much enjoyed by all in attendance!
Private Music Students’ Recital
Congratulations to all students who performed in the Private Music Students’ Recital on Wednesday afternoon. There was a wide range of styles performed on a variety of different instruments. All girls should be exceptionally proud of their performances!
Opening of the Sports Precinct - Philip Harris Gym
The Music Department was very happy to support the St Margaret’s Sporting Program providing numerous performances at the opening of the new Sports Precinct - Philip Harris Gym. Thank you to the Sculthorpe String Quartet, Chamber Strings, Rock Band as well as soloists Grace Hutcheson, Etienne Steven and Lily Song. It was a very special event to be a part of, with all the performances assisting in creating a wonderful festive atmosphere.
Special Recital given by Annabelle Traves
It was very special to hear Annabelle Traves (’14) perform last Sunday evening in a recital given in the Arts Centre Foyer. Annabelle, who was accompanied by Mr Jonny Ng throughout the evening, thrilled all in attendance with her expressive and virtuosic performance skills. She performed a wide range of spectacular repertoire, finishing the program with a very emotional rendition of ‘O Joyful Light’. Annabelle returns to Germany next week to resume her Masters studies in violin performance. We wish her all the best as she travels away from home and thank her for providing us with this wonderful evening!
Music Support Group
The next Music Support Group meeting will be held on Tuesday 8 September at 5:00pm in the Primary Music Room (second floor of Chaseley). Parents from both the Primary and Secondary Schools are welcome to attend.
Whilst there are several new restrictions on gatherings that have come into effect in Brisbane and surrounding areas due to the new positive COVID-19 cases, the Chief Health Officer has advised that community sport can continue as long as COVID-Safe Plans are in place and adhered to. The School’s COVID-Safe plan for sport restricts access to anyone who has:
Additional reminders include:
Netball at Windsor Park - 2 spectators
Hockey at Windsor Park - 2 spectators
Volleyball at Clayfield College - 0 spectators
Tennis at Churchie - 2 spectators
Rowing at Wyaralong Dam - 0 spectators
Head of the River
The BSRA Head of the River will be held on Saturday 29 August at Wyaralong Dam. Despite the challenges all schools have faced this year, Rowing at St Margaret’s has remained strong with the First VIII crew looking forward to defending its Head of the River title. Whilst we are unable to physically support our girls at the venue, we have an opportunity to support virtually by watching a livestream of the event through the BRSA website by clicking here.
Good luck to all crews!
Our winter sports had a successful weekend of competition against St Hilda’s on Saturday 22 August. Our netballers had their most successful round, winning all games except one. Our Tennis teams recorded a 50% success rate, whilst our Volleyball teams experienced some tough competition with the Senior A team winning 2-1.
This Saturday, we look forward to games against Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School at our home venues. A reminder that the weekly schedule can be found via the Secondary Sport POD page or on each individual sport page.
The St Margaret’s Athletics squad participated in an intensive training day on Sunday 23 August at Windsor Park, in preparation for the QGSSSA competition in Week 10. The day commenced with a captain inspired team-building session, followed by a training session and ending with a team lunch supplied by the Athletics Support Group. The day has created a buzz amongst the team that will no doubt continue through the final weeks of training.
Details of the latest Athletics Newsletter can be found via the Athletics POD page.
Water Polo Trials
The first Water Polo trial session at Somerville House was held on the weekend with over 140 girls attending. Trials will continue over the next two weekends. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Water Polo Coordinator, Talia O’Callaghan: email@example.com.
This week, we tempt you with more images of beautiful artwork which will be on sale at our MAYO gallery event. Purchase your tickets via Flexischools to attend the Friday 9 October preview. Please click here (PDF 785.3KB) to view details of the event.
Sculpture - Mela Cooke
Jewellery - Jacqueline Calvert-Lane
Ceramic vessel - Fiona Cuthbert O'Meara
Details of each of the workshops are listed below and bookings can be made through Flexischools.
Students will choose from a range of beautifully coloured recycled t-shirt material before learning the basic techniques of this tactile art form to create a pot holder. All materials included.
Date: Wednesday 7 October
Price: $55 per student
Suitable for: 12 years and up
Maximum 10 in this workshop
Pinch a Pot
Participants will make a Pinch a Pot bell or small hanging or standing pot by working with a sandy coloured clay and decorating with a Royal Blue slip. Pieces will be fired, glazed and available for collection two weeks after the workshop. All materials included.
Date: Thursday 8 October
Price: $35 per student
Suitable for: 8 years and up
Please note: Tickets will be available on sale through Flexischools within the next week for this workshop.
Students will create their own Terrarium Log with all materials provided.
Date: Saturday 10 October
Times: 12pm, 1pm and 2pm
Price: $30 per student
Maximum 15 in each workshop
In this workshop, students can make their own resin jewellery piece; either a bangle, a pendant or a ring. All materials included.
Price: $50 per student
Maximum 15 in this workshop
Professional Women’s Network
The Professional Women’s Network is delighted to confirm the date for our next event, Thursday 8 October. Due to COVID restrictions, this will be a breakfast networking event, rather than an evening cocktail format. We are delighted to confirm our guest speaker will be Caitlin McConnel (’07) LLM (Hons) LLB (Hons) BBUS (Fin) GradDipLP.
As Senior Associate in the commercial litigation, restructuring and insolvency in agribusiness and food industry groups at Clayton Utz, Caitlin acts for liquidators and administrators, as well as a range of private and government clients in respect to complex commercial litigation, corporations law and administrative law matters. Caitlin is an inaugural Director of the Royal Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA) Foundation, Chairperson of the RNA Future Directions Committee and a Non-Executive Director of the Future Farmers Network.
Caitlin will share valuable insight into the agribusiness and food industries. Australia has faced enormous tragedies recently with drought and bush fires, and Caitlin will be speaking about the impact this has had on these industries. The global COVID pandemic has also brought about movements regarding the support of Australian produce and supporting local agribusiness.
We sincerely thank our corporate sponsors for their generous support of the Series:
Major Sponsor: Pitcher Partners
Associate Sponsor: Programmed Property Services
Supporting Partners: Downer Group, NAB and Clear Insurance.
Time: 7:00am arrival for a 7:15am start - 8:45am finish
Location: St Margaret's Anglican Girls School, 11 Petrie Street, Ascot
Tickets will be available shortly.
The much-awaited official opening of the sports precinct took place yesterday, and we were delighted to see so many faces there from across the school community. The spectacular donor wall and naming plaques positioned around the precinct, demonstrate the amazing support we received during the capital campaign and we are so incredibly grateful to all of our donors for helping us to make it happen.
We acknowledge that COVID has made 2020 a tough year for many, and it is unfortunate that we have had to postpone our 2020 reunion events. We know that this decision was generally well received, given recent border closures, and we will aim to run these events in 2021. We are unable to confirm dates at this stage; however, watch this space!
What’s new this week? Visit the Careers POD page for the latest information on these topics and more.
Applications for Durack College are now open for 2021. Durack College offers a boutique residential experience, with a personalised focus on educational success. We work hard to create a culture and environment based on academic excellence. The small but vibrant community of female learners is offered a tailored living environment, making the transition to new routines easier and more rewarding. There are only 25 residency places, allowing Durack College to be both a private sanctuary and a busy and exciting community. Discover more
Bond University Headstart Day
Date: Friday 4 September 2020 (student free day)
Where: Bond University, 14 University Drive, Robina QLD 4226
Complimentary tickets for Year 10 students and their parents.
Registration is essential for catering and COVID venue capacity compliance.
Includes morning tea and lunch. Register now
University of the Sunshine Coast
Students and their parents are invited to our online Headstart Information Evening where we’ll take them through everything they need to know to get started. Headstart gives Years 11 and 12 students a real university experience and sets them up for their future, allowing them to study first year university subjects and receive credit to take time off their degree.
Date: Thursday 17 September via Zoom
Who should attend: Parents and students in Years 10-11 Register now
James Cook University Early Offer Program
If you’re in Year 12 and graduating this year, you may be able to receive an early offer for a course. To participate in JCU’s Early Offer Program, work with your school on a recommendation and list JCU as your first preference in QTAC when applications open. To support your success at university, you may be required to meet entry requirements and subject prerequisites for your chosen course. Find out more
The Educational Access Scheme (EAS) can help if you have experienced circumstances which negatively affected your most recent studies. If you are assessed as eligible for an adjustment to your ATAR or QTAC selection rank under EAS, it will be combined with other adjustments you may be eligible for. You apply for EAS when you are applying for tertiary study through QTAC. You must complete a cover sheet for each category that you feel you are eligible for and provide written evidence to support your application.
How to get your ATAR result
To get your ATAR you need to register with QTAC who will notify you of your ATAR on 19 December 2020. This registration is COMPLETELY SEPARATE to your QTAC course application for study in 2021. If you are ATAR eligible you need to apply/register for BOTH. To register to receive your ATAR you need to go to the QTAC website, scroll down the home page and click on ATAR PORTAL. REMEMBER, you STILL need to do a separate QTAC application if you are wanting to apply for course entry in 2021 and this will cost you $45.
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