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Beyond the Classroom
Development and Community
It is quite a momentous week in education. For the first time, since 1972, Year 12 students are sitting external exams. It is the first year of ATAR and across Queensland, 54% of students have opted to be ATAR eligible.
In Week 2, we said our formal goodbyes to our Year 12s. They are now focussed on their performance in their final exam.
Here are some interesting statistics about our current Year 12 group:
There are 109 Grade 12 students at St Margaret’s in 2020.
1 Student scored in the top 1% of the 2.5 million people who sat the SATS this year and now qualifies to enter Stanford University.
10 students already have unconditional offers to universities in Queensland, Canberra and Sydney.
14 students who are not ATAR eligible, have 15 diplomas (13 in Business and 2 in Project Management) and will get an ATAR equivalent score anywhere between 82 and 87 depending on the university. For those of you more familiar with the old language, this is an OP equivalent of about a 9 or 10 and will allow them to enter any university next year, except the University of Queensland where a student can apply after one year.
That leaves 84 students waiting for their ATAR results.
On the 30th of October this year, 3 of our 109 students will be the first to graduate from St Margaret’s in this new system. They will be the earliest ever to start their post school life. A week later, 44 students in total will have also finished Year 12 and by the 9th November, 50% of our students would have sat for their last exam. Only 20 students are required to finish their last exam on the final day of external exams on the 17th November.
Our Year 12s are very much in the transition phase. It is not quite the end – a lot of study still needs to occur until the end date. However, it is natural to be excited about the new beginnings and sad about the change in routine and relationships. As each exam is completed, each student gets closer to this time of change. Farewell to our Year 12s; best wishes for the future in all your endeavours. We will miss you – but our work here is done, you are ready to face the world!
All staff and students at the school have their login screens on their computers feature one of the key focus areas of The St Margaret’s Way each term. The current message has been refreshed to the following:
We ask ourselves “How do I want to feel every day when I come to school? What am I doing to ensure others can feel this way?”
This message is all about alignment and accountability to the values of St Margaret’s and being part of the community. The key aspects are about Alignment and Accountability:
We have had a special week; last week we held our final Year 12 Boarder chapel. We gathered early Wednesday morning in the chapel to bid our final farewells and ask for God’s blessings on our Year 12 Boarders. This Friday, we will have the opportunity to celebrate World Teachers' Day. We also held our Dadirri-Prayer Space, inviting students on the Advent journey towards Christmas. The six stations were Nothing is Impossible - Hopes and Dreams, Christmas Journey, A Manger for a Bed, What is God Like, Asking for Guidance, and Amazing Angels. Many thanks to all the students and staff who helped make Prayer Space so special.
Over the next few weeks, we journey the Advent Journey and each week we will light the candles of hope, love, peace and joy. This week at assembly, we lit the candle of Hope.
Demonstrate your ways, O Eternal One.
Teach me to understand so I can follow.
Ease me down the path of your truth.
Feed me your word
because you are the God who has saved me.
I wait all day long, hoping, trusting in You.
What does hope mean for us? What do you think about when you hear the word hope? How can we share hope with others?
God, we thank you for giving us hope. Help us to have hope and to share hope as we wait for Jesus to be born. Amen.
Keeping Boarders engaged and busy is a top priority here in Boarding at St Margaret’s. We organise a well-rounded Activities schedule each term for the girls to participate. Every weekend there are three outings the girls may attend; some are held on campus and some are off campus. Examples of off campus activities include ice skating, picnics, beach trips, shopping trips, theatre trips and socials with other Boarding schools.
On campus activities include outdoor cinema nights, personal training sessions, visits by staff and their canine companions, quiz nights, Zumba classes and dance parties. The completion of the Sports Precinct has brought great excitement for our girls. Already they have made use of the state-of-the-art Aquatic Centre on the weekends to relax and cool off or get some laps in for exercise. Access to the Sports Precinct has already enhanced the Boarding activities experience for our girls; having a facility such as this on campus is a bonus. We look forward to making further use of this wonderful space in 2021 and inviting other Boarding Schools to visit and share the experience.
I was sent a Facebook message this week from a friend that said, “Teachers should wear bodycams so they can share with parents what their child is like at school”. This week, I wish I had a body camera on to share with what I have been seeing.
This week was the start of the External Assessment program for the new senior schooling pathway. It has been much anticipated by staff and students for many different reasons. These assessments are totally unseen by the staff who have been teaching the Year 12s and, for students, this is the first year of External Testing for the new QCE. Both of these reasons obviously have our Year 12 girls and staff feeling the pressure, but from what I have witnessed over the last week being an Exam Supervisor, all are doing themselves proud in this situation.
This is where I wish I had a body camera on! I have witnessed eyes staring at me at the beginning of exams that are saying “get me out of here”. I have seen students before the exams pace, laugh, focus, talk excessively about anything and everything and just be. But it is in the exam room where you best see the character of this Year 12 cohort. The determination, the courage, the perseverance and methodical approach they are taking to these exams are impressive. In the 2 hours and 15 minutes I spend in the exam room with the students I feel myself ride every emotion with them as they navigate themselves through the exam. But my overwhelming feeling is proud!
I know that some girls come out of the exams and feel unhappy with their perception of how they went, and some girls are just unsure, but when it is done it is done and they should feel proud of how they have approached these exams from the onset. So, if your daughter is coming home unhappy about the exam, the questions, the things they did not know, tell them you are proud and remind them that the windscreen is bigger that the rear vision mirror. You need to glance back, but it is important to keep looking forward and navigate the next bend in the road.
Finally, thank you to all Year 12 parents who are supporting their children during this. I am sure you too are feeling all the emotions that I feel with your daughters!
This coming Friday, I look forward to attending the Year 9 Assembly to talk with students about preparing for assessments and strategies for effective revision. I will share some of the common mistakes students make, and will take them through some tips and hints to support their learning during Term 4.
Central to exam preparedness is a students’ ability to recall information when under pressure. Indeed, students need to plan their revision schedules more effectively in order to avoid cramming, ensuring they are following a sustainable plan in the lead up to exams.
Of course, a more planned schedule that allows for frequent, effective revision of class materials will lead to far greater comprehension than any last-minute cramming. However, habits and strategies that work best vary depending on the learner. Some people are excellent at remembering facts such as dates, whereas others prefer visual clues. My mother-in-law, for example, can remember exactly what everyone was wearing on any given day, such is her ability to recall visual details with minimal effort. With any form of revision, students need to work out what works for them. It is important to remember, that just because a system worked for them in Year 8, it may not necessarily work for them in Years 11 or 12. Consequently, I encourage students to be flexible and reflective in honing strategies that will lead to their individual success. Below, I have noted some interesting research speaking to common strategies employed by students at a Secondary School level.
Research by Hartwig & Dunlosky (2013); Craey, (2014); Aleven & Koedinger (2002); Karpicke et al. (2009); Gurung et al. (2009) have all proven that highlighting, re-reading and repetitive notetaking are all low utility, meaning that they do not always improve memory retention. Research suggests that the most successful approaches involve testing of knowledge (active recall). Here are three strategies which I will share with the Year 9s:
A child can form an opinion about their own body at a very young age. Research suggests that children as young as three, can have body image issues, and there are many things that can influence them.
Kids these days often use computers and mobile devices for relaxation and recreation purposes, as well as tools for learning and education. This is impacting on the sedentary lifestyle kids have now adopted. The key is finding the balance and parents play a critical role in helping children establish positive health habits that will benefit children in the long-term.
Children who have a positive body image feel good about themselves and are comfortable with their physical appearance. Parents need to encourage children to focus on their assets rather than flaws. This way of thinking contributes to a child’s self-worth and helps support their mental health and wellbeing. For information regarding body image, please go to the Parent Resource Tile on the POD then go to School TV.
In what has been a year with many changes, Book Week was no exception. Traditionally celebrated in August, it was celebrated nationally last week. Book Week was established in 1954 by the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) and presents annual awards to books of literary merit, for outstanding contribution to Australia’s children’s literature. Each year, the Council identifies a theme as a focus of the celebrations. This year, the theme was ‘Curious Creatures, Wild Minds’. This theme provided the opportunity for the girls to explore texts with curious creatures. The wild minds component provided an opportunity to investigate biographies of famous people and find out which ‘wild mind’ each of the teachers appreciate. Thank you to Miss Moulton for creating this activity for the girls.
I think, in a year when we have been so influenced and governed by technology, it is important to be reminded of the benefits of that ‘curious artefact’, the book, as perfectly summed up by Ursula Le Guin in the following quote:
The book itself is a curious artefact, not showy in its technology but complex and extremely efficient: a really neat little device, compact, often very pleasant to look at and handle, that can last decades, even centuries. It doesn’t have to be plugged in, activated, or performed by a machine; all it needs is light, a human eye, and a human mind. It is not one of a kind, and it is not ephemeral. It lasts. It is reliable. If a book told you something when you were 15, it will tell it to you again when you’re 50, though you may understand it so differently that it seems you’re reading a whole new book.
In the middle of Book Week, two more sporting events were held; Touch Football and Tennis. Teams from each of the sports travelled in opposite directions to compete. Once again, success followed our teams with some results breaking a long-time drought of wins. It has not been since 2006 that our B Grade Tennis team achieved a first place.
Touch Team Results
A Grade - 4th
B and C Grades - 2nd
Junior A Grade - 4th
Tennis Team Results
A Grade - 3rd
B Grade - 1st
Boarder Musicians’ Recital
Congratulations to the Boarders who performed on Tuesday evening at the Boarder Musicians’ Recital. This was a wonderful opportunity for Boarders undertaking private music lessons to perform in a warm, supportive environment. Thank you to all who performed and thank you also to Dr Syntageros for her work in facilitating the Boarder Music Practice sessions throughout the year and to Mr Ng for accompanying the girls at the concert.
Australian and State Honours Ensemble Program
Congratulations to the following girls who recently participated in the Australian Honours Ensemble Program and State Honours Ensemble Program organised by Griffith University Conservatorium of Music. These programs provide wonderful musical opportunities to students where they have the opportunity to work with renowned conductors and rehearse/perform high level repertoire with students from around the state.
Australian Honours Ensemble Program: Meleia Richardson (Year 11).
State Honours Ensemble Program: Isabella Bluett (Year 9), Annette Chan (Year 10), Yu-Chen (Elia) Chen (Year 9), Nicole D’Abreton (Year 9), Arkie Edwards (Year 9), Sofie Gustafsson (Year 9), Taylah Murphy (Year 11).
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.
The Music Support Group is very pleased to launch an exciting fundraising initiative with amazing prizes to be won!
First prize: a Day on Moreton Bay for 15 people ($2,000)
Second prize: a 2-night Gold Coast Getaway ($600)
Third prize: $200 QPAC voucher + $200 Runway Scout voucher
Fourth prize: $150 Rebel voucher
Purchase your tickets today! *Open to QLD residents only
Tickets $10 each - please click here.
Your purchase of tickets will greatly assist the Music Support Group as they continue to support the St Margaret’s Music Program through the purchase of a variety of resources.
Raffle drawn on Tuesday 10 November 2020
QGSSSA Touch Football
On Saturday 31 October, 10 teams from Years 7-11 will compete in the supplementary QGSSSA Touch Football Carnival. This competition will be held at two venues; Whites Hill Reserve hosting 9A, 9B, 8B, 7A and 7B teams and Labrador Touch Association hosting 11A, 11B, 10A, 10B, 8A. Transport is available for all players due to it being a NO SPECTATOR event. All students should travel in their representative uniform of a white representative polo shirt, skirt or shorts with sandshoes. Players are expected to compete in their Touch Football lycra singlet and bike pants. Further details regarding the carnival can be found via the Touch Football POD page.
Bus Transport: 6:00am for 6:15am departure from Butler Street
Venue: Labrador Touch Association, 4 Jacob Drive, Labrador
Teams: 11A, 11B, 10A, 10B, 8A
Time: 8:00am commencement, 1:30pm estimated conclusion
Bus Transport: 6:45am for 7:00am departure from Butler Street
Venue: Whites Hill Reserve, 258 Boundary Road, Camp Hill
Teams: 9A, 9B, 8B, 7A, 7B
Time: 8:00am commencement, 3:00pm estimated conclusion
It was a super weekend of Water Polo across all pools. Nine out of eleven teams had success over the opposition on Saturday 24 October; however, the greatest success has been all teams displaying great St Margaret’s spirit, learning and enjoyment at the games. Access to the playing schedule for Saturday 31 October is now accessible via the Water Polo POD page.
Our swimmers are looking sensational this term and this November we are hosting an invitational swim meet with St Aidan’s on Friday 13 November. Details of this event can be found via the Secondary Swimming POD page.
Good luck to our Tennis teams as they head into the final two rounds of Knowles Cup this weekend.
Syren Letizia (Year 10) for being selected in both the U23 and U18 Queensland Softball Squads due to her participation at the recent State Titles. Syren will now participate in a State Training Camp to finalise selection.
December/January School Holiday Program - Bookings now open - secure your spot!
The school holidays are just around the corner and we can’t wait to show you the fun-filled and exciting activities we have planned for our December/January School Holiday Program. Further details of the program can be found here (PDF 668.3KB). Boys and girls, siblings, friends and family welcome!
St Margaret’s Outside School Hours Care will be operating for the upcoming December/January Vacation Care. The Service is open from 7am until 6pm daily on Friday 27 November to Monday 25 January 2021; school resumes 27 January 2021, with 26 January being the Australia Day public holiday. Please note, OSHC will be closed from Monday 21 December 2020 to 10 January 2021, reopening on Monday 11 January 2021.
Please refer to the attached Information Guide (PDF 668.3KB) for full booking terms and conditions. We are unable to accept bookings via email or text message. The OSHC registration and Debitsuccess form must be completed, signed and sent back to us to finalise your booking. Please read the information guide carefully as some information has changed. OSHC registration and Debitsuccess can be completed via the My Family Lounge.
Please complete your Vacation Care Booking Form via the My Family Lounge APP
We are very excited that St Margaret’s OSHC has subscribed to a fantastic online Booking and Waitlist management program called QK Enrol. This program will give you access to manage your own account information, where you will have the ability to make bookings requests and allows you to complete and submit an online enrolment form for your child. You can do this and much, much more all within a parent portal called ’My Family Lounge’.
How do I log in?
Please click on the link below and either sign in with your existing My Family Lounge account or Register for an account if you do not already have one. Please note, all families who have previously submitted an enrolment form will have an account already set up; all you will need to do is click ‘forgotten password’ and use the email address you used to receive this form.
When making a Vacation Care booking, please select Casual bookings, not Permanent.
What is the cost?*
Early Bird Fees: $60 per day
Early Bird Bookings close: 13 November 2020
Fees: $65 per day*
Bookings close: 20 November 2020
*Incursions and excursions incur additional costs. These are compulsory for all students and therefore you are able to claim CCS.
What are the hours of operation?
The service is open from 7:00am until 6:00pm.
How can I obtain more information?
If you would like further information regarding our OSHC Program or if you would like to make a booking, feel free to contact me on 0423 547 653 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The P&F held their last meeting of 2020 in the Arts Centre Foyer this week. Whilst they realise it has been a challenging year, with less opportunity for face to face events, there is much hope that in 2021 we will be able to resume some normality. Whilst there are no guarantees, the Committee remains positive and many exciting ideas were put forward and discussed. At the forefront remains the education and experience we can offer St Margaret’s girls, and the P&F remains committed to ensuring that we explore all opportunities.
I am also delighted to announce the winners of our two Giving Day Trophies, which were presented to House Captains at this week’s whole school assembly.
On the 19th of March this year, St Margaret’s held its first ever Giving Day. The entire school community united together and we were delighted to far exceed our original goal of $100,000, raising just under $163,000! St Margaret’s girls truly rallied together, displaying House spirit and clearly demonstrating their passion for philanthropy and contributing to the quality of their education.
The support that St Margaret’s girls demonstrated on Giving Day is a clear indication of the way they live and breathe The St Margaret’s Way. They continue to demonstrate an appreciation and acknowledgement of others and the need to support their community.
Two trophies were presented; one for the House that raised the highest funds, and the other for the House that contributed the highest number of donors.
A huge congratulations to Kendall who won both categories!
Thank you to the entire community for supporting the girls and making Giving Day such a success.
Visit the Careers POD page for the latest information on these topics and more.
The University of Sydney
The new ATAR and IB search tool is now live. Students can explore course options, adjustment factors and admission pathways.
Griffith University offer round dates update:
20 November offer round: Year 12 Early Offer Guarantee Offers will be released
23 December offer round: Majority of offers to majority of Griffith's degrees will be released
14 January offer round: Offers for B Medical Science, B Dental Health Science, B Midwifery, B Nursing/Grad Cert Paediatric Nursing will be released
Seeking a career in Health? If you missed us at Open Day, you can watch our course information sessions on demand.
QUT will be hosting live webinars to provide students with advice about admission pathways, ordering their preferences and getting in to QUT on Saturday 19 December. Learn more
QUT scholarships are now open. Closing dates vary, please check each scholarship for the application close date. Learn more
Uni essentials: Tax File Number and Unique Student identifier
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. For further information on admission criteria and available courses, visit: griffith.edu.au/guests
University of Sydney
University Bridging Courses Online | January & February 2021
Current school leavers
Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics Ext 1, Physics - these 5-7 day courses are ideal for students wanting to enter a University degree that requires assumed science knowledge not complete in their HSC.
Please note: bridging courses do not satisfy the mathematics prerequisite. For relevant advice, please see the heading 'What if I don't meet the maths prerequisite?'
Free TAFE for Year 12 graduates
The Queensland Government offers free TAFE in high priority areas. Eligible Year 12 graduates must enrol and start training within 12 months of finishing school. Learn more
Some important information:
Scholarship closing dates and important information for 2021 applicants;
Upcoming events and activities for the rest of 2020
UQ College is offering an intensive short course over 4 weeks for students to obtain a prerequisite in Mathematical Methods, Biology or Chemistry. 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