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Beyond the Classroom
Development and Community
At this time of year, we inevitably say farewell to staff who leave us to pursue the next stage of their professional and personal life journey.
Ms Therese Garrahy has been on long service leave this term and she leaves us at the end of the year after 44 years of service at the school. We wish her well. During this time, Ms Garrahy has been a well-known teacher in the Science Faculty, particularly with her Coordination of the Chemistry program. She has also held a role as House Coordinator of Lawson. Throughout her time, Ms Garrahy has supported the school in a variety of extra-curricular activities, including Water Polo and tutorials, and has received nominations for a National Excellence in Teaching Award. Many Old Girls ask after Ms Garrahy when they return to school as they nostalgically remember her lessons in some of the old science labs. We wish her well in her retirement.
We congratulate Mr Tom McCormick who has secured a role as Head of Senior School at Fairholme College in Toowoomba. This year, Mr McCormick has been in the role of Acting Dean of Studies. Mr McCormick came to Australia with his family to live and work in July 2014 and 2 days later he started as a Secondary History Teacher at St Margaret’s. In 2016, he was appointed to the role of Head of Faculty - Sociocultural Studies. We are sad to see Mr McCormick go but we wish him well in this next stage of his career.
Ms Jo Butterworth has been on leave due to ill-health this year and, although she is now well, she has decided to pursue other goals. We wish Ms Butterworth all the best and confirm Mrs Nicole Devlin will continue in the role as Dean of Academic Performance.
In our Secondary department, Ms Helen Rath is leaving us to relocate back to Townsville; Mr Ben Haig is leaving us to pursue further study; Ms Kelli Pilling is leaving to work on the Gold Coast; Ms Alison Scott, Head of E-Learning and Research, is leaving to take up a Principal Project Officer role with the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority.
In our Primary school, Mrs Rowena Harle is returning to St Paul’s. Ms Lauren Richards will be returning from maternity leave and so, therefore, we say goodbye to Ms Kate Jones who has done a wonderful job in Ms Richards’ role. Ms Jenny Matheson is returning from maternity leave in 2021 so we farewell Mrs Nicola Warda who has been undertaking her role. We thank all teachers leaving us for their service to the school community.
A number of our staff are going on maternity leave and we wish them well; Ms Phoebe Mawer, Ms Ysabella Dawson and Ms Kirsty Krynauw.
It is hard to believe that in a week from today our students will be taking part in their last day of the school year. On Tuesday this week, the last Year 12 exams were held. I wish all our 2020 Year 12 cohort all the very best for the future!
There are beginning to be signs in the school that this year is coming to an end. I can imagine that as families, you can see that your daughters are becoming in need of a well-earned rest and are probably counting down until the holidays.
At school, the staff are continuing to support the students right until the end of term. We are now embarking on our last pieces of assessment for the year and students must persist and work to their potential.
It is important though that they look after themselves and each other. They must ensure they are getting enough sleep, eat nutritious meals each day and work at maintaining positive relationships with their family and friends around them.
I urge them to take the time to check in with their fellow classmates; it is amazing how a smile or a little bit of small talk (not in the middle of academic time though!) can really lift people when they are not feeling so great.
I wish all students well for their last pieces of assessment for the year.
This week at assembly, we reflected on the past and then we time travelled into the future. We opened a time capsule which was sealed in 1995. I wonder what was happening for you in 1995. I know I was at Theological College training to be a priest. Life was hectic with full-time study, formation expectations and raising three young children. The time has certainly flown by so fast, and life has changed dramatically since 1995. As we opened the 1995 time capsule, I hope we take the time to pause and reflect on the past, and if we choose to give thanks for the last 25 years.
At the same time as we opened the 1995 time capsule, we also created a new time capsule which is to be opened in 2050. I wonder what people will think when they open the 2020 time capsule. 2020 has been such an incredible year of challenges, change and complexity. I wonder what the students and staff in 2050 will think about all the things which symbolised the events of 2020. This week, we moved from the past into the future, ever aware of the need to anchor ourselves into the present moment, living, noticing and giving thanks.
This week in the Advent Wreath is the candle of love. We are reminded that God came into the world so that we might know unconditional love for all of humanity. Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; remain in my love.”
When have you shared in the gift of love?
When have you known God’s love come into your life or life around you – in the big things or the small?
We thank you Jesus that you want to bring love and relationship into every life. We thank you for the love you have brought to us. We bring to you now prayers of love for the people and places on our hearts this morning. Trusting in your powerful name. Amen.
It is great to see everyone in good spirits, finalising subjects and preparing the last rotation of assessment for the year. The Boarding House during the final weeks of the year is always in a funny, yet excited mood. The atmosphere during the week is determined by serious study, and the weekend is cramming in as many activities as they can before they head home. I would say dedication is at its peak; the students are truly wishing to finish the year on a high note.
We are also now in a moment where each year level is passing on their torch of knowledge to the year below; sharing what to do and what not to do for next year and preparing them for what to expect and look forward to.
In the Boarding House, the House Mothers rotate looking after different year levels each year. This is also a moment for our staff to embrace every last moment with the cohort they have cared for this year. Close relationships have been formed and year level routines have become second nature. We celebrate with cohort parties, secret Santa and a week of packing and saying goodbye to the year level area they lived in over the past year. The girls and staff celebrate these final weeks together and are making every moment count.
It’s hard to believe that the Year 12s finished their last External Assessment on Tuesday this week. It has been a long four weeks and I want to thank the girls for all their efforts and conduct throughout this time. All Year 12 students need to be congratulated on their persistence and effort. It has been a pleasure working with these young women and I wish them all the best for what lies ahead!
This is the time of year when we are putting plans in place for the year ahead. Next week, the Year 12 2021 Assessment Planner can be accessed on the Year 11 POD page and includes all due dates for internal assessment and the period of the external assessment block in Term 4. This will be a useful reference for families to use when planning activities in 2021.
Adding to the preparations for 2021, the Year 10 students and I all met this week to set up their QCAA Student Portal and complete the QCAA Academic Integrity course during Year Level Assembly. This was done to prepare the girls for Years 11 and 12 and beyond. It is important to promote academic integrity to ensure they understand what it means to produce their own work, work hard to earn their grades and be prepared for situations that may challenge their academic decision making. With the growing use of phones, smartwatches and online resources, there has been considerable conversation in schools and universities about raising students’ awareness of the importance of academic integrity.
The course they complete aims to develop their knowledge of academic integrity, academic misconduct, submitting work that is their own and improving their work. The course is interactive and offers scenarios to respond to and case studies to answer. By completing the course, they will be able to explain why academic integrity is important, identify acts of academic misconduct and understand how to avoid them, as well as understand how to make sure the work they submit is their own.
I look forward to continuing to work with the Years 10 and 11 students as they move into Years 11 and 12 next year.
Supervised Study Sessions
There will be no Supervised Study Sessions offered in Week 8. Sessions will resume in Week 2 of Term 1 2021, every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following Supervised Study Supervisors who have worked hard to support students with all their homework and revision activities this year: Lili Tarabay, Zoe Bidgood, Kira Shelton, Zoe McLoughlin, Annie Garland, Madeleine Krebs, Lizzie Fowler, Meg Armstrong and Gi Young Seo.
Welcome Day - 20 November
This Friday, we welcome 2021 Year 7 students to St Margaret’s. Our Year 10 student mentors will be looking after the new Year 7 students next year. The day will be filled with ‘get to know you’ games, tours and an activity afternoon where students rotate around music, digi tech, science, drama, sport and art sessions.
We also welcomed our new students from Years 8 to 12 to St Margaret’s today (Thursday 19 November). All new students to our school are assigned a student mentor/buddy. The student mentor program is an integral part of our student wellbeing framework, where a student feels connected and has a sense of belonging, knows they are valued, and they flourish. This program provides our current students with a great opportunity to lead and to be ambassadors for our wonderful school.
End of Term - 26 November
The term finishes on Thursday 26 November at 3pm, with lots of celebrations happening on this day. We strongly urge parents to resist requests from their daughters to depart early. If an early departure is unavoidable due to extenuating circumstances, please advise the school, in writing, via firstname.lastname@example.org as early as possible.
Oh what a week!
The school values guide our beliefs, our interactions and our behaviour. Last week certainly provided the opportunity to see the school values in action when the Years 5 and 6 girls attended their respective camps and students in Pre-Prep to Year 4 participated in NAIDOC week celebrations. Courage, Integrity and Respect were very evident during the week, with Year 6 girls identifying peers who demonstrated these values.
Courage: There was a lot of courage demonstrated by both year levels. The girls had to step outside their comfort zones when they slept away from home. Year 6 girls had to do this a long way from home, when they visited Cairns. The activities for both camps required courage, but particularly the Year 5 girls, who participated in physically challenging activities.
“She showed courage while doing the activities and she was having fun, even though she didn't feel well.”
Integrity: The Year 5 girls certainly showed this through their week-long leadership program. The Year 6 girls demonstrated integrity at all times, both with their peers and members of the wider community.
“For handing in the $50 note that she found on the ground.”
Respect: The value of Respect is constantly referred to in the Primary School as it is about understanding that each student is a member of a diverse community and has the responsibility to and for others. This was very evident with the Year 6 girls as they interacted with the wider community in Cairns; they were constantly congratulated on their interactions, manners and their behaviour. The Years 5 and 6 students also demonstrated respect when they worked collaboratively, supported and cared for each other on camp.
“She let the public go in front of her at the public toilets, always listened to the teachers when they were talking and comforted the girls on the boat over to Green Island.”
Year 5 Camp
Year 6 Camp
Developing respect for the rich and diverse culture of First Nations people was the intent of NAIDOC week celebrations. Throughout the week, students came together for storytelling, dance and reading about famous indigenous Australians to learn about and build respect for this culture. Thank you to Mrs Kylie Briggs for her organisation of the week’s activities.
Thank you to the Year 5 staff: Mr Evan Chia, Ms Kate Porter, Ms Lucardia Moulton, Mr Michael Crowe and Ms Kate Jones, as well as the Year 6 staff: Mrs Danielle Patterson, Mrs Georgina Stevenson, Ms Kimberley Bachmann, Mrs Karen Andrews-Close, Ms Sasha Protopopoff (student teacher) and Ms Mary Surtees for ensuring the success of the camps. Both camps occurred during a very busy time of the year. I am grateful for each teacher’s commitment and generosity of time and I know girls are as well.
Well done to our students who have recently been accepted into the Qld Youth Orchestra Program. The QYO Program provides wonderful opportunities to students from around the state, allowing them to perform together with other exceptional music students under the tutelage of highly experienced conductors.
Lily Song (Year 7) has been accepted in the QId Youth Symphony which is the highest-level orchestra within the program. Lily will play in the first violin section and is the youngest student currently in the ensemble. Also, Hilary Davis (Year 8) has been accepted into Qld Youth Orchestra 3 on double bass, and Abigail Kho (Year 3) has been accepted into the Junior String Ensemble on viola. Congratulations to these students!
Years 3 and 4 Strings Morning/Year 5 Band Morning
Congratulations to our Primary music students who provided many performances at the Years 3 and 4 Strings and Awards Ceremony, and at the Year 5 Band Morning. These events were wonderful opportunities for the girls to showcase their work from throughout the year on their respective instruments.
2021 Private Music Tuition
If your daughter is currently undertaking private music tuition, she will automatically be placed on her current teachers’ roll for 2021. Parents do not need to fill in a new application form. However, if your daughter is wanting to discontinue lessons in 2021, we ask that you please email directly to the Music Department at email@example.com prior to the end of the school year.
Return of Hired Instruments
All hired instruments are to be returned to the Sister Helen Orchestra Room Music Department no later than 3pm on Friday 20 November for cleaning and repairs.
Music Support Group
The first Music Support Group meeting for 2021 will be held on Tuesday 2 February 2021 at 5:00pm in the Primary Music Room. We encourage parents from both the Primary and Secondary schools to become involved.
Our Water Polo girls have thrived in the water this term, displaying great skill, teamwork and spirit. This weekend completes the first part of the season and all teams are to be congratulated on their efforts, with special mention to the 12 Blue, 13 Blue, 14 Blue and 18 Brown teams who are still undefeated.
2021 QGSSSA Sport
Registrations are now open for girls to sign-up to participate in for the following sports:
All links to the online registration forms are found on the Secondary Sport POD page, as well as the 2021 Trial and Training schedules for each applicable sport. All registrations will close on Friday 27 November. If you have any questions regarding the 2021 Sports Program, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to our St Margaret’s swimmers on a wonderful swim meet with our sister school, St Aidan’s. There was some brilliant racing across the two schools. We thank the staff and volunteers who helped organise, manage and deliver this event.
The swimming pool will be undergoing the final stage of construction therefore all training will cease on Saturday 21 November. Cross-training will be offered throughout Week 8 with pool sessions recommencing at Nudgee College from Monday 30 November - Friday 11 December. Detailed information on these sessions is available via the Secondary Swimming POD page.
All students are encouraged to attend the annual Swim Camp on Wednesday 20 January - Friday 22 January. This camp is an integral part of the Swim Program. To learn more about this camp, please visit the Swimming POD page and register via Flexischools.
Tyla Proctor (Year 11), Isabella Harte (Year 9) and Milla Roberts (Year 8) for being selected in the Queensland All Schools Athletics Merit Team.
Lucinda Bourke (Year 9) for being selected in the Queensland School Sport U15 Cricket team.
Private Speech and Drama Performances
The year may be drawing rapidly to a close, but the Private Speech and Drama Program is in full swing with a range of end-of-year performances designed to celebrate what students have learnt throughout the year.
Congratulations to the Years 2, 3 and 4 Speech and Drama students who took to the stage in Week 5 as flowers, nursery rhyme favourites, witches, aliens and a range of other colourful characters in their end of year plays. While COVID-19 restrictions prevented parents from joining the audience, students were still able to enjoy the opportunity to perform for their classmates and teachers.
Our Speech and Drama students in Years 5 to 10 are busily rehearsing for the upcoming Eisteddfods, where they will perform for other students, as well as receive valuable feedback from an external adjudicator.
Year 5 - Monday 23 November
Year 6 - Wednesday 25 November
Year 7 - Friday 20 November
Years 8 and 9 - Tuesday 24 November
Year 10 - Monday 23 November
For more information about these events, please contact email@example.com.
Private Speech and Drama Tuition for 2021 – Enrolments Now Open
Would your daughter benefit from improved communication skills? Does she love to perform, or does she lack confidence when presenting to an audience?
At St Margaret’s, the Private Speech and Drama Program offers a fun, supportive environment for students to gain skills in interpersonal communication, presentation, performance and public speaking. Enrolments for Private Speech and Drama lessons for 2021 are now open for students who will be in Years 2 to 12 next year.
If you would like further information about the Program, please contact the Coordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 3862 0750 or refer to the Private Speech and Drama Handbook on the website or Private Speech and Drama POD Page.
If you would like to enrol your daughter in Speech and Drama for 2021, please complete and return the Application for Tuition form by clicking here. Places in the Program are limited and are provided to continuing students and then to new students, based on the order in which enrolment applications are received and according to availability of spaces in each year level. New enrolments are requested by Monday 23 November 2020.
Parents of current students - please remember to confirm or cancel your daughter’s place in the program for 2021 by completing and submitting the electronic form that was emailed to you by your daughter’s Speech and Drama teacher. Your consideration regarding this procedure is greatly appreciated. Accurate enrolment numbers are essential for ensuring successful timetabling, suitable staffing arrangements and a smooth start to the year for current and new students.
Lessons for 2021 will commence in Week 2 of Term 1. We are looking forward to another exciting year of cultivating confident, capable communicators.
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 from Friday 27 November to Monday 25 January 2021. School resumes on Wednesday 27 January 2021, with Tuesday 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 to inform you 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 more all within a parent portal called ‘My Family Lounge’.
How do I log in?
Please click on this link 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?*
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: email@example.com.
Professional Women’s Network 2021
Are you interested in purchasing a table at a Professional Women’s Network event next year? We welcome not only businesses, but anyone within the St Margaret’s Community who may be interested in broadening networks and hearing from our outstanding guest speakers. You may even wish to gather together a group of friends and purchase a table with your Years 10, 11 or 12 daughters attending St Margaret’s.
To find out more, please do not hesitate to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07 3862 0884, as these events sell out fast!
St Margaret’s 2021 Women’s Luncheon – Save the Date
The St Margaret's Women's Luncheon, hosted by the Parents and Friends Association, will be held on Friday 12 March 2021. Please note, tickets will go on sale in Term 1.
OGA Annual General Meeting
The Old Girls’ Association Annual General Meeting will be held next week, on Tuesday 24 November, from 7:00-9:00pm in the Arts Centre Foyer. Past students of St Margaret’s are warmly invited to attend to share their views and ideas.
Visit the Careers POD page for the latest information on these topics and more.
The University of Queensland
The right advice can set students on the right path. Students can discover what's possible at UQ during our ATAR Advice event, on Sunday 20 December. Register now
ANU Applications Open in March 2021
We encourage all domestic school-leavers interested in studying at ANU in 2022 to apply directly to us in March 2021. If you are interested in applying directly to ANU, you can sign up to receive information on applying by completing our form. COMPLETE OUR FORM
Change of Preference Expo
A new information portal will provide fresh opportunities for Year 12 students to choose the university that best suits their needs following a year of almost unprecedented disruption and difficulty across the country. The Good Universities Guide have announced a series of online Change of Preference Expos across Australia, to be held in December.
The University of Melbourne
Our change of preference program of events will run from Monday 7 December to Friday 18 December 2020. We are in the process of finalising the details for each session. More information and registrations will be available on our website soon. Visit website
MedView: How to Get into Medicine
Date: Saturday 21 November 2020
Time: 1:00pm AEDT
While this is an event aimed for prospective medical students, parents and family are strongly encouraged to attend. REGISTER
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
The University of Tasmania
Exclusive events for interstate students – Know Your Options for 2021
Between 7-17 December, students can have a one-on-one appointment to speak with one of our interstate team members. They’ll be there to talk about the best degrees or pathway options, how to apply, and to answer any questions about studying with us. Book your phone appointment here.
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
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