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Having been postponed and reimagined more than once, we finally were able to celebrate our MAYO festival last week. It began with the Soaring Upwards festival on the Friday, the preview of the gallery exhibition on Friday evening, then the gallery exhibition and community stalls on the Saturday. As always with these events there are many people who make it possible - too many to thank all individually. Our appreciation goes out to Brad King and the music staff for a very uplifting day of musical celebration on the Friday; to the MAYO Festival Committee and Gallery Committee; to our Facilities team who move mountains to pull it all together; and to the catering for the food stall. I must make special mention of Angela Drysdale, Pru Reed and Kari Potts who were absolutely integral to the process and Lisa Smith who leads the Gallery Committee. Thank you also to the staff who helped on the stalls and to all who attended the festival on the day. We look forward to the return of our larger celebration in 2022.
Earlier this year, McCrindle Research surveyed Australian parents and educators in order to discern the key trends affecting the education sector and produced the results in the Future of Education Report 2020 - Exploring wellbeing, post-school pathways and the role of schools in building community. The full report can be found on their website: www.mccrindle.com.au. Below is an excerpt from the executive summary of the report of some of the future education issues.
Rising Pressure of Success
A good education is said to open many doors and set students up for success. In an increasingly globally connected world, parents are feeling the pressure to set their children up for success. More than two thirds of parents (67%) believe the pressure to set their child up for success has increased in the past five years. This pressure is particularly evident for high school students facing pressure to do well in exams and assessments (77% educators, 60% parents). At times, the pressure parents feel to set their child up for success has been transferred to their child. Almost half of parents (49%) feel they have placed too much pressure on their child to achieve at school at some point.
Balancing curriculum and wellbeing
As the focus on wellbeing continues to rise, so too does the tension of balancing wellbeing support with curriculum. In the last five years, three in five parents (60%) believe the expectations they place on their child’s school to support student wellbeing have increased (significantly/somewhat/slightly). This is up 12 percentage points from 48% in 2019. Educators are feeling this pressure, with four in five (83%) believing the tension between supporting student wellbeing and teaching curriculum has increased in the past five years. The significant challenges school communities will face over the coming 12 months such as supporting students with mental health conditions (52% parents, 73% educators) and improving literacy and numeracy (49% parents, 51% educators) centre around both wellbeing and curriculum. This highlights that it is not either or, but support for both curriculum and wellbeing that is required within Australian schools.
What skills and attributes are most important for success?
To futureproof students in a time when career pathways are increasingly adaptable and fluid, there is often a focus on students’ core competencies and character qualities. Currently, there is a disconnect; however, in what parents and educators believe is more important for success. Parents are more likely to believe that skills (such as literacy and numeracy) matter more for success than character qualities like adaptability and leadership, for example, (57% v 43%). Educators, however, are more likely to believe that character qualities matter more than skills (58% v 42%).
Half of parents (51%) believe a secure pathway to employment matters more, while 49% believe the ability to adapt to the changing environment matters more. Educators, however, are much more likely to believe the ability to adapt to the changing environment matters more (72%) than a secure pathway to employment (28%).
Transition to the workforce
More than nine in ten parents (92%) and educators (95%) believe the students of today are equipped to thrive in the workplace in the decade ahead.
Tomorrow we have our Year 12 Graduation and Special Awards Ceremony, which will be live streamed for parents. The link is on our Year 12 POD page. Click on the ‘Year 12 Graduation & Special Awards Ceremony’ tile, which has the link attached.
This week, we hosted out 123rd Annual Speech Night. It was a fabulous night that recognised the achievements of our students in 2020. On the evening, our School Captains, Isobel Barry and Alice O’Driscoll presented an inspiring speech to everyone. It was interwoven with stories of our students and what they have achieved this year. I am pleased that Isobel and Alice have let me share their speech with our school community in my article this week.
We ask that you cast your minds back to the Speech Night of 2019, which took place in this very hall, it was a wonderful event spent celebrating the year that had been. However, another common theme of last year’s Speech Night was detailing the exciting things to come in 2020, a year which was to mark the start of a new decade and coincide with St Margaret’s 125th anniversary. It is safe to say that everyone expected big things from 2020.
In particular, the senior cohort were delighted to finally don the brown collar and experience the year associated with it. The brown piping being symbolic of the final chapter, of leadership, respect, a year of lasts and exciting moments. However, while we had often been told to ‘expect the unexpected’, a global pandemic was not something we saw in our future.
Although 2020 was not exactly the year we imagined, it was a year which did not disappoint and one which we will remember and cherish forever. In light of the events of 2020, we have decided to discuss the values which we have come to utilise and appreciate throughout our unique senior year.
With the constant uncertainty that surrounded 2020, the ability to be adaptable and resilient were more important than ever. We had to let go of planning all the way from A to Z and be comfortable with planning from just A to B. After all, by the time we got to B things may already have changed. The necessity for flexibility presented itself when events had to be adapted to include social distancing, online capability and to adhere to COVID-safe policies. We were so proud of the way that girls transitioned to these adapted activities with excitement and energy as the pandemic could not keep the Maggies’ girls from sharing their passions.
2020 also taught us the importance of recognising the things you have control over and conversely, the things which you don’t. For example, moving into online learning was not something we had any control over. However, what we did have was the power to change was our attitude, our application and our mindset. We have found that it is far more beneficial to adjust your outlook, rather than try to approach challenges with a fixed frame of mind.
There were certainly times throughout 2020 where our confidences waivered, our frustrations surfaced, and we were puzzled by the events before us. It has been our St Margaret’s spirit which has stood firm and showed us that in coming together we were not only able to endure these setbacks, but thrive though them. The support of our teachers, peers and the wider community was integral to our emotional, physical and mental wellbeing and we could not be more grateful.
The tight-knit St Margaret’s community has always been one of our favourite aspects of the school. The moments of spirit that last forever like the announcement of the Old Girls’ Award, St Margaret’s Day and the Ponytail Project are all examples of our community coming together and celebrating. However, never before have community, spirit and connectedness been so important to the elaborate tapestry of our school and our world.
One of our biggest goals throughout the year was to amplify the spirit within our school and this became ever more pivotal during isolation and online learning. We had to find new ways of connecting, sharing and coming together. It’s safe to say that our video editing and vlogging skills drastically improved as we utilised online tools to connect with the girls and the wider community. We created the ‘prefect updates’ page on the POD as our main method of communication and interaction with students, staff and parents and were so excited to see how girls engaged with us virtually. Despite us being unable to celebrate our community and spirit in the ways that we were used to or were comfortable to us, we found new ways to do this, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones and adapting to challenges.
Not only have the obstacles of this year taught us to appreciate the community and spirit within our school, they have encouraged each and every one of us to reflect on the importance of connectedness in our world. It has revealed that as a global community we need empathy more than anything else. The ability to understand how others may be feeling has helped us to gain perspective on our problems and to overcome mental challenge. We need empathy with those in our communities who are struggling the most, empathy with leaders and from leaders and empathy with those who we disagree with. As a school, and across the globe, 2020 has been a year of change, and one that has proven the importance of strength and commitment to our values. We know that as leaders, and as people, we have come out of this year as more resilient, adaptable, connected and empathetic individuals.
As seniors, as leaders and as a school, our expectations for 2020 were like fine pottery, the harder we held them, the easier they were to crack.
Rather than letting the broken pieces define our experiences, we reshaped them and utilised them to our advantage, finding the beauty and joy in a year that can only be described as ‘unprecedented’.
I’m an early riser. As I was getting ready for work and looked out my kitchen window, I saw the sun was rising and the beautiful sky was streaked with vivid colour. The brand-new day was just beginning and offered such potential and so many possibilities. It reminded me of the Year 12s as they prepare for their final school weeks at St Margaret’s. For Year 12, it has been a demanding year and COVID has added another layer. Yet our Year 12s have done brilliantly.
This week has been full of farewells and endings. Each event, ceremony and service has been reimagined with each new change to the roadmap ahead. Now the new day is dawning with beautiful colours streaking through the sky, the new day is full of potential and possibilities. We pray for our Year 12s as they step into their new day and new beginnings. We pray for God’s many blessings be upon them today and always. Amen
1 Corinthians 13:12
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing God directly just as God knows us!
It’s been a busy week for the Year 12s in the Boarding House, attending a number of formal occasions. Speech Night on Tuesday evening saw many of our Boarders receive Academic and Commendation awards. On Wednesday night, the Year 12 Boarders attended the Year 12 Family Boarder Dinner. The dinner is an ideal opportunity for the Year 12 Boarders to celebrate the conclusion of their Boarding journey, alongside their parents, Boarding staff and, of course, their friends. It is a chance to re-live the memories of Boarding as a cohesive group one last time.
Allyssa Toua was the honoured recipient of The Barlow Prize. The Barlow Prize is awarded to a Year 12 student who contributes significantly to the overall well-being and sense of community in the Boarding House, who consistently demonstrates compassion and consideration to members of the Boarding House, and who places the needs of others and the good of the whole above her own needs. Congratulations Allyssa, you thoroughly deserve this prize!
The Senior Boarders of 2020 have been an amazing cohort and have been exceptional leaders and role models for the younger grades; truly embracing the St Margaret’s Way. We wish them all the best for a promising future.
We have now reached the time to say goodbye to our outgoing Year 12 students and welcome our incoming leaders for 2021. Congratulations to our Boarder Captains: Primrose Carrigan and Georgina Winter. They will be supported by the 2021 Boarder Prefects: Jahna Day, Emilyana Di Meco, Queena Jiang, Elizabeth Kettle, Isobella Macfarlane, Eva Moller, Phillipa Murray, Arabella O’Neill, Holly Watts and Adisha Yanda.
Year 11 Exam and Visual Art Incursion Day
Monday 19 October is a Year 11 Biology and Physics Exam and Visual Art Incursion Day. Students who do not do Biology, Physics or Visual Art are not required to come to school on this day. Students who are attending the exams or incursion are to be in full school uniform.
Year 12 External Assessment Organisation
This week, all Year 12 girls received a copy of the details for the External Assessment that begins on Monday 26 October. This timetable has also been uploaded to the POD for parent information.
Please note the following:
Years 10 and 11 Academic Integrity
Over the next two weeks, I will be speaking to all Years 10 and 11 students about academic integrity. The QCAA has produced resources to help all students to create and maintain good academic habits which will make the move into Years 11 and 12 respectively easier.
Each student in Years 10 and 11 will complete the QCAA academic integrity course to help them understand the correct way to approach assessment and how to maintain academic integrity and produce their best work. I look forward to working with the students as they continue to grow as learners.
Students are encouraged to use the beginning of a term to get organised before the assessment demand increases. To assist with planning for Term 4, all students have been provided with a copy of their Term 4 Assessment Calendar. These have also been uploaded to the POD. Parents will be able to access the list of assessments and due dates through Parent Lounge by accessing ‘Curricular Activities’ (in the drop-down box under student details in the top menu).
Year 6 Immersion Day
On Thursday 22 October we will be welcoming our current Year 6 St Margaret’s students, who will be continuing at St Margaret’s in Year 7 2021, to join us for an immersion day. Students will get a feel for some of the subjects on offer in the Secondary school. They will also have the opportunity to ask current Year 11 students about the transition from the St Margaret’s Primary school to the Secondary school.
Term 4 Study Hall days for Years 9 and 10 are as follows:
Year 9: Wednesday 11 November - Friday 13 November
Year 10: Monday 16 November - Wednesday 18 November
Please note, due to the nature of assessment in Term 4, Year 8 will also have a Study Hall day on Thursday 12 November.
The Study Hall schedule will be released in the coming weeks.
As our Valedictory Week draws to a close, I would like to congratulate the graduating class of 2020. The girls have enjoyed a fabulous week full of thank-yous and farewells. I wish the girls every success in their upcoming external exams and future endeavours.
However, I would like to point out that every year, the media exposes us to the hype and pressure relating to the final weeks of Secondary school. But, putting things into perspective for students and parents alike, can help prevent everyone feeling overwhelmed. Although this final year is important, it will not be the most important year of your child’s life. It is crucial for parents to reinforce the mantra of ‘you are more than your ATAR’.
A student’s performance in their final year is only a point in time measured by their ability to sit an exam. If the desired ATAR score is not achieved at the end of the day, there are other options available for your child. It will not define their happiness. There will be many other pathways available to them to help them to reach their goals. Your daughters have been well prepared by St Margaret’s to face any challenge put before them.
Best wishes always Year 12s!
The teachers of the Mathematics Faculty are committed to supporting the learning of the girls in the Secondary School and generously offer their time to supervise out of school hours tutorials.
We appreciate there is a lot of anxiety attached to learning Mathematics for some girls. The negative emotions and thoughts associated with anxiety make it hard for some students to make a start on homework or revision. The longer the students delay starting, the further behind they get.
The first step towards success is deciding to take some action. Maths tutorials offer a safe space for students to seek individual help. Students can come as frequently as they choose and do not have to stay for the whole tutorial and there is no need to book. It is best if students attend on a regular basis, so it becomes routine. Students are welcome to come and work in the tutorial room on homework or revision, even if they do not have any specific questions or problems. The girls are welcome to bring their lunch during the lunch time sessions.
The Term 4 tutorial roster is shown below. This is a Mathematical Faculty enterprise, so please direct any queries to Vicki Strid, Head of Faculty - Mathematics: email@example.com.
Tutorial times and the number of sessions may vary from term to term, as they are dependent on staff availability. They begin in Week 2 of each term and end in the second last week of term. I am very grateful to the staff of the Maths Faculty who give so liberally of their time.
Every session is open to all year levels
Monday: 1:15-1:45pm, A305 with Mr Mandla
Tuesday: 7:30-8:15am, A305 with Ms O’Brien/Mrs Patton
Tuesday: 1:15-1:45pm, A305 with Mrs Cowen
Tuesday: 3:30-4:30pm, A305 with Mr Higgins/Mr Haig
Wednesday: 3:30-4:30pm, A305 with Ms Cheng/Ms Strid
Thursday: 7:30-8:15am, A305 with Ms MacGinley
Thursday: 1:15-1:45pm, A305 with Mr Bruce
Thursday: 3:30-4:30pm, A305 with Ms Strid
Friday: 1:00-1:30pm, A305 with Ms Pilling
Oh what a week!
As a school we are committed to providing a holistic education, that is, we plan learning which addresses the cognitive, physical, spiritual, social and emotional development of each child. The learning experiences that occurred last week; the book character parade and Arts Spectacular reflect this commitment.
The book character parade was a great launch of our Book Week celebrations. It was wonderful to see favourite book characters come to life as the girls paraded in their costumes. Thank you to Kate Jones for coordinating the event and directing the Year 4 girls in their fabulous dance. Thank you to Regina Brennan for drawing the P-4 voices together to provide choral entertainment.
Arts Spectacular was the culmination of cultural learning experiences with the Years 5 and 6 girls sharing their artistic and musical talents. It was a spectacular like no other, and thank you to Kerry Rider, the Art Aides and Suzy Edwards who managed to navigate the girls through these unpredictable times and create the Spectacular.
The girls’ creativity could not have been so effectively implemented without the outstanding support of parents in the Art room. Particularly, Mrs Sandra Franklin who managed to sew every chin strap and wearable art body piece.
Thank you also to the many parents who attended these events and for your understanding of the constraints in which we had to abide to see them come to fruition. Thank you to Ms Surtees for coordinating the day so that the girls were able to perform for an audience. Our commitment to see this happen is testament to the significance we place on these events for each of the girls.
Today, the Year 3 girls head off to camp for the first time. This camp is not only an authentic learning opportunity but challenges each of the girl’s emotional development. Spiritual development will be enhanced this week with our first Chapel service this Semester in the Chapel. Physical development challenges will be offered next week when girls in Years 4 to 6 head off to Andrews Cup Touch Football and Tennis.
Thank you once again to all who attended the 2020 Music Dinner held in Week 1, and thank you to the Music Support Group for their creative efforts in transforming Eton Hall into a wonderfully festive space. With the theme of ‘Music Megastars’, there were many fantastic costumes on display. We hope you enjoy these photos!
MAYO Festival - Music Performances
Last Friday, twenty different music ensembles performed as part of the ‘Soaring Upwards’ MAYO Festival. Whilst the festival was slightly different this year due to COVID restrictions, it remained a wonderful celebration of the arts, and provided students with the opportunity to share their musical efforts with students from both the Primary and Secondary schools. All students who performed, along with their conductors are to be congratulated on their fantastic performances!
Congratulations to our students on the wonderful musical performances given at Speech Night held on Tuesday evening. Speech Night provides a special opportunity for the girls to showcase their talents within the amazing setting of the QPAC Concert Hall. Special thanks must go to our conductors for their hard work in preparing the girls for the event.
Thank you to the Sculthorpe String Quartet and Lily Song
Thank you to the Sculthorpe String Quartet and Lily Song for their recent performances at the Professional Women’s Networking event held in Week 1. These girls perform at many events throughout the year and we very much appreciate their willingness to support the school community through their musical talents.
Performance Presentations for students undertaking Private Music Tuition
Performance presentations will occur next week for students undertaking private music lessons. It is important to note that these presentations are not exams but are an opportunity for students to informally present repertoire and technical work they are currently working on within a supportive setting. Two teachers will listen to the presentation (one of which will be the student’s own teacher) and following the presentation, written feedback will be made available to students and parents through our end of semester reporting process. The aim of the initiative is to provide students with a goal to work toward, along with specific, relevant feedback that will allow them to direct their practise in a more focussed manner. Students are encouraged to view the process as one that will assist in improving their musical capacity and provide motivation to maintain a consistent weekly practise routine.
Auditions for Music Ensembles 2021
A reminder to students that auditions will be held in Week 4 for students wishing to participate in Music Ensembles in 2021. Audition music is available from the Sister Helen Orchestra Room and on the POD. Audition times may also be found on the POD.
Secondary Music Ensembles will then commence from Week 5 of Term 4. Primary ensembles will remain as they are for the remainder of the year. If a Primary student is accepted into a Secondary Ensemble (e.g. Stradivari Strings), they will have the option of attending their new ensemble whilst still participating in their current ensemble. Please note that Elevarsi, Volare and Encorah will not recommence rehearsals until the start of Term 2 2021 due to musical rehearsals.
Music Support Group
The next Music Support Group meeting will be the Annual General Meeting and will be held on Tuesday 10 November at 5:00pm in the Primary Music Room (second floor of Chaseley). Parents from both the Primary and Secondary Schools are welcome to attend.
Sports Awards Evening
The Sports Awards Evening will be held on Friday 16 October to acknowledge and celebrate team and individual achievements during this sporting year. All girls from Years 7-12 who are receiving an award are requested to attend and are asked to register their attendance via the link by clicking here.
Whilst this is a student only event, it will be live streamed for all parents and families to view on the evening. Those wishing to view the live stream can access the footage by clicking here or through the Secondary Sport POD page. The live stream will commence at 6pm to allow viewers to connect early before commencement of proceedings at 6:15pm.
It was fantastic to see our older Badminton players in action over the weekend at the Open, Senior and Year 10 QGSSSA Championships. Enthusiasm and enjoyment were ever present throughout each competition, with the 10C team securing a top 5 placing. The second week of competition will involve the Years 7, 8 and 9 teams on Saturday 17 October. Due to COVID-19 restrictions still being in place for indoor sporting venues, this competition is a NO SPECTATOR event. The competition takes place at three venues and the times for each of the teams is varied. Please check the Badminton POD page for competition times and venues.
Good luck to all teams.
The Water Polo season is back after a two-term hiatus with competition commencing last Saturday. This season, St Margaret’s fields eleven teams in the Brisbane Water Polo Competition and we look forward to the teams building great relationships with one another, developing their skills and having success.
The draw for Round 2, Saturday 17 October is available via the Water Polo POD page or by clicking here (PDF 141KB).
Water Polo Support Group Meeting
The Water Polo Support Group will be meeting on Tuesday 20 October at 6:00pm in Ms Café. All interested parents are invited to attend.
Swimming Support Group AGM
The Swimming Support Group will be holding its Annual General Meeting, followed by a General Meeting on Thursday 22 October at 6:00pm in Ms Café. All interested parents are invited to attend.
smART Club Term 4
Is your daughter looking for a fun and creative way to spend her Monday afternoons? Join the Christmas decorating team of little elves painting after school in V103. The decorations created will be displayed at St Augustine’s Church, Racecourse Road. Details are in the attached flyer (PDF 238KB).
Professional Women’s Network
We are so delighted that, despite the challenging times of this year, the Professional Women’s Network has held two sold-out events. Despite limitations on numbers, our Guest speakers, Annabelle Chaplain AM and Caitlin McConnel have been outstanding, and our audience and sponsors thoroughly enjoyed hearing their fascinating speeches. The PWN committee is now busily working on exciting plans for the 2021 series. We hope to be able to communicate soon with confirmed dates and speakers.
The Development and Community Office continues to seek out new corporate sponsors for 2021, and if this is of interest to anyone in our community, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Lindsay Khushal: firstname.lastname@example.org.
P&F General Meeting
The P&F invites the school community to attend our final General Meeting of 2020. This will be held face to face, in the Arts Centre Foyer, and will be in a COVID-safe format. This is a fantastic opportunity to share your views and ideas, and enjoy a glass of wine at the end!
Date: Monday 26 October 2020
Time: 6:30pm start
Venue: Arts Centre Foyer, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School
Despite a dramatically different format this year, the MAYO festival was a great success and we are so proud of all the immense effort that went into this. Thank you to the St Margaret’s community for your continued support.
Visit the Careers POD page for the latest information on these topics and more.
Griffith University GUESTS applications for Trimester 3 are closing soon
Year 11 students who wish to study in Trimester 1 next year (March 2021), are encouraged to apply by 13 November to ensure they can select classes that most suit their school timetable. The Griffith Film School is also offering Year 11 students the opportunity to study a course in Animation or Film in intensive mode over a three-week period in December.
For further information on admission criteria and available courses, please visit: griffith.edu.au/guests. Online information evenings – GUESTS courses in animation and film. 20 and 21 October, 6-8:00pm. Register your interest with Donna Hamilton at: email@example.com.
University of Sydney
Upcoming dates and events:
Elite Athletes and Performers Scheme - Applications close Saturday 31 October
Future Leaders Scheme - Nominations close Friday 13 November
Architecture, Design and Planning Portfolio Workshop - Tuesday 17 November, 4-5pm
For the latest regarding undergraduate events, please visit our events page
Some important information:
UQ College is offering an intensive short course over 4 weeks for students to obtain a prerequisite in Mathematical Methods, Biology or Chemistry. Successful completion of an individual course will satisfy the prerequisite requirement for The University of Queensland or other universities. Results will be ready for the 2021 January QTAC Major Offer Round.
Dates: 24 November-19 December 2020 (4 weeks)
QUT Year 12 Early Offer Scheme
The scheme applies to courses in the areas of business, creative industries, IT, justice, public health and science. Eligible students who include one of the specified courses in their top three QTAC preferences will be invited to apply for an early offer by uploading the Year 12 grades they have achieved so far this year, to their QTAC application by 4:30pm on Friday 6 November 2020. Eligible students will receive their QUT course offer via QTAC on Friday 20 November, the final day of school. Year 12 Early Offer Scheme.
Applications for Durack College are now open for 2020. 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
Contact Our Admissions Team
An independent day and boarding school for girls from Pre-Prep to Year 12; Boarding from Year 5; Boys Pre-Prep and Prep
A School of the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent St Margaret's School Council Ltd ABN: 69069684019 CRICOS Code: 00511K
The St Margaret’s community acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land upon which we gather each day. We pay our respects to the Elders past and present, for they hold the memories, traditions, culture and hopes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the nation.