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Beyond the Classroom
Development and Community
One way St Margaret's recognises the achievement of its Old Girls is through the Past Students Awards. Anyone can nominate a Past Student for either the Distinguished Past Student Award (for those who have passed their 20th reunion) or the Young Past Student of Distinction Award (for those in the 20th reunion year or younger). Both Awards will be reviewed by a selection panel and assessed on their significant contribution or achievements in their profession, the community or through volunteer work.
The St Margaret’s Past Students Awards program has been established to:
recognise the many achievements of St Margaret’s Past Students, both professionally and personally;
celebrate the diverse achievements of Past Students and provide an opportunity to share stories of success;
increase connections between the School and Past Students to honour their legacy.
Engaging with our valued Old Girls’ community and recognising the achievements and contributions of Past Students creates a significant impact on our current students, as they seek and gather the inspiration they need to fly upwards.
Please draw this to the attention of our Past Students or act by nominating a past student for the award. Details on how to nominate are on the community section of the website and are outlined in the nomination forms which can be downloaded here (PDF 1.3MB).Please note that 2020 nominations close on Friday 4 September 2020. However, nominations may be received at any time.
Winners will be presented at the OGA Awards Cocktail Evening on Saturday 24 October 2020.
Being able to have adequate sleep is so important for our young people. For our students to function well in classes throughout the day they should be ensuring they are able to have good sleep patterns.
Research from Kings’ College in London, which studied the effects of technology on the sleep patterns of over 125 000 young people between the ages of 6 and 19 years old, found that those children who used devices such as smart phones and tablets at bedtime have over double the risk of a disrupted sleep compared with those children who did not have access to these devices at bedtime. Even if the child was not using the device, if the device was in the bedroom then there was an increased likelihood of poor sleep.
Many suggest that not having these devices in the bedroom is beneficial to student wellbeing. Perhaps having a central place in the household (or area out of sight if in boarding) where the device can charge overnight would assist students to ensure they have enough sleep. Also, parents can help to monitor the use of these devices to make sure they are being used safely. If they are always used in a public area of the house rather than in bedrooms, monitoring can be much easier.
The world is such a connected place now, which of course has so many significant advantages. However, it is important to ensure that our children are using these devices safely and that they take care of themselves and their usage of them so as not to interrupt their sleep.
I brought the concept of Prayer Spaces in schools to Australia in 2014. The concept comes from England. This was when I was the chaplain in my previous school. To our knowledge, we were the first school in Australia to create Prayer Spaces in schools. Since creating the first Prayer Space, it has now gone throughout Australia and being used by other denominations and religions, and within churches, schools and cathedrals.
Prayer Spaces are about working with the whole person, using the “four domains of spirituality- the self, the other, the world and the Divine”. Students are encouraged to pray, reflect and be mindful when they enter the Prayer Space. Dadirri, as it is known at St Margaret’s, is a creative and reflective space.
Our first Dadirri for 2020 will be held in week six. It will be open to our senior students. The theme this term is Lent/Easter. We will have seven stations: Palm Sunday (Joy), The Last Supper (Friendship), Gethsemane (Big Questions), Carrying the Cross (Worries), Forgive them (Forgiveness), The Cross (Sorry) and Resurrection (Hopes and Dreams).
The Prayer Space offers to our students an opportunity to experience several interactive activities which may help students express and explore their own concerns as hopes, reflections or prayers. Research reveals that prayer can play a key role in reducing stress (Corry, Tracey, & Lewis, 2015; Francis, Fisher, Lankshear & Eccles, 2018). Prayer is about slowing down, centring the self and knowing there is something much more significant than ourselves. With the many distractions and demands made on students, making a Prayer Space accessible to them has the potential to help the students with the daily demands.
Dadirri-Prayer Spaces in Schools: Monday 2 March up to and including Open Day on Saturday 7 March
Mother Emma Service: St John’s Cathedral for students in Years 4 and 8, Monday 9 March, 1.30pm
Pre-Prep to Year 3 Twilight Family Service is held on Wednesday 25 March at 6pm. Families and their children are invited to attend this 125th Celebrations Family Service.
In Term 2
Years 4 to 6 are invited to participate in preparation for Baptism and Admission to Holy Communion (Year 4s will all have in-class RVE lessons). The service will take place at the Years 4 to 6 Family Service on Wednesday 29 April at 6pm in the School Chapel. Download letter and form. (PDF 435.2KB)
Confirmation is considered a mature, more adult rite. In 2020, this is open to students from Year 8 and above, and other members of the school community are warmly invited to consider being Confirmed in the Church. The service of Confirmation, with Bishop Jeremy Greaves, will be held on Wednesday 27 May at 6.30pm in St Margaret’s Chapel. More information and the application form will be sent out soon.
For any further information, don’t hesitate to call 3862 0716 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Vaping – a growing concern
Vaping/juuling are new terms to many of us - however, there is a growing concern that its use among teenagers is rising. Vaping is inhaling the vapour created by a vaping device. They are battery-operated devices that hold an e-liquid to produce a vapour, or an aerosol, that can contain nicotine, flavour and other chemicals. Like cigarettes, these devices and vaping are prohibited in the Boarding House at St Margaret's.
Vaping has been a common practice for over a decade in other countries, and is a phenomenon that has only recently become popular in Australia. Vapes or e-cigarettes, as they also known, are especially popular with young people. This popularity and the given demographic is clearly a dangerous combination, as research recently released by the University of Adelaide has found that vaping can kill lung cells even without nicotine.
The Vaping devices are sleek and discrete, and therefore hard to identify; some even look like a pen. There are numerous flavours available which entice teenagers to vape rather than smoke cigarettes. More and more information is coming to hand to show that what was once seen as a safe alternative to cigarettes is now showing that there are real dangers in vaping. Please take the time to have a conversation with your daughter about the dangers of vaping.
This week I attended the Year 11 Year Level Assembly to talk to the girls about their senior schooling journey that has begun. When I spoke to the girls, I shared the following key points. These included:
As I have done with the Year 12s over these last few weeks, I will meet individually with the Year 11s at the beginning of Term 2 to monitor their progress. However, as always, my door is open for anyone to come and have a conversation about academic pathways and processes.
Year 12 Exam Day – 13 March
Friday 13 March is an Exam day for Year 12 Math Methods students. The girls are required to wear full school uniform to the exam. We are also ensuring that no electronic devices including mobile phones and smart watches are brought into the exam room so please remind your daughters to leave them at home or in their lockers. Girls who are not studying Math Methods do not need to attend school on this day.
As we approach the end of week 4 the girls are working hard, supported by their teachers and Academic Advisors to settle into strong routines. Building regular routines around learning empowers students with the confidence and knowledge to succeed.
It is important to remember that learning does not just happen in isolation at school. At St Margaret’s there is an expectation that all students’ complete aspects of their school work at home. Homework, or Home Learning as it is known, helps reinforce skills and concepts learned in class. It also encourages students to take initiative and work independently.
At St Margaret’s, we expect all teachers to produce Home Learning activities that are challenging, stimulating and have an emphasis on revision of learning and reflection.
While requirements may vary from time to time with subjects, particularly during times of assessment, as parents you can help your daughter develop sound study habits. By playing an active role it helps you as parent to monitor your child’s progress.
Students in Year 7 and 8 are encouraged to complete approximately one and a half hours of homework five times a week, Year 9 and 10 students should be aiming for two hours a homework five times a week, with students in Years 11 and 12 doing 2 to 3 hours of homework five or six times a week.
Below are some suggestions that may assist with home learning and the process for your daughter.
Establish a routine. Work out a study time which works best for your child. Maybe take advantage of the school’s supervised study sessions offered.
Establish a good working environment. Make sure your child has a quiet area (away from distractions such as mobile phones and television).
Help them make a plan. On heavy home learning nights or during times of assessment, encourage your child to break up the work into manageable chunks. Create a work schedule for the night/week if necessary.
Motivate and monitor. Make yourself available for questions and concerns. For example, ask about upcoming assessment. It is also important to provide encouragement and check completed homework.
Open Day, Saturday 7 March
Open Day is a day when we showcase our school and our community to potential students and their families as well as opening our doors to the public. We welcome current school families and friends on the day.
We would very much appreciate your support in publicising the event to friends and colleagues who may be interested in seeking a St Margaret’s education for their daughter.
Furthermore, Saturday 7 March is a day when we require all of our students to be present at school, in full uniform and either participating in curricular, co-curricular or community activities. Students should arrive no later than 9.15am for the activities.
If due to extenuating circumstances a student is unable to be at school on Open Day, we will require a written note or email requesting absence to email@example.com
Learning to be Resilient
Resilience is a skill that became prominent in education at the beginning of this century. It is a word used to describe the ability to bounce back in terms of physical wellbeing, social and emotional wellbeing and it has more recently been applied to cognitive skills and learning. In a recent eNews, I wrote about how playing board games is a great family activity that has many benefits including the opportunity to bounce back from loss.
Resilience is a trait that all people possess as it involves behaviours, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone. We encourage parents to work in partnership with us so that students will be more likely to attain resilience and therefore greater emotional wellbeing. The skills we focus on and build include the following:
Personal coping skills
Coping skills provide the cognition, behaviours and attitudes for making their lives in the classroom and playground happier and more productive; they also use life skills for coping with difficult times in their future careers and relationships. The skills include:
Using helpful thinking/evidence-based rational thinking
Resilience builds a stronger sense of self confidence in dealing with problems (resourcefulness and adaptivity)
We use the learning pit as an analogy for learning. The diagram we share with the girls helps them see learning as a process. It is also a way to build a student’s capacity through the development of dispositions such as optimism, perseverance/persistence, motivation and, of course, resilience.
Head of Primary
Once again, Years 5 and 6 will continue to utilise Continuous Reporting. For our new parents, this is a process that enables teachers to provide timely feedback on assessed work. Throughout Semesters 1 and 2, Years 5 and 6 will be provided with assessment grades on each assessment task in every subject. Feedback on each task is provided to assist parents when talking with their daughter to address any areas identified for improvement and to acknowledge success. Given that feedback has a very high effect size in relation to student achievement, this initiative supports our commitment to evidence-informed teaching.
As parents, you will be able to access the results of your daughter’s completed assessment tasks by entering the POD, click on Parent Lounge then Student Details and finally Curricular Activities. A description of the assessment task, dates when the assessment must be completed (Start Date) and then dates when grades and feedback will be available (Due Date) is outlined. All students are given the same amount of class time to complete assessment tasks irrespective of the day it is due.
As all assessments are done in class, the actual task may be due on a Monday for one class, and a Wednesday or Friday for another class depending on the day/s that each student has the specific subject. The Due Date is the date the results will be released in Parent Lounge. This is generally a fortnight after the start date listed, except when an assessment has been completed in the last week of term. Results will then be available in Parent Lounge early the following term. We recommend that you check in Parent Lounge on a regular basis from approximately the end of Week 6 this term to access results of assessments throughout the coming term.
As assessment results become available in Parent Lounge you will be notified via the POD.
Assistant Head of Primary – Curriculum (PP – 6)
Saturday 7 March Open Day
Tuesday 10 March Andrews Cup Swimming
Tuesday 17 March Andrews Cup Touch Football
Friday 20 March PP-3 Family Fun Night
Music Camp was held last weekend at the Luther Heights Youth Camp, Coolum and was a wonderful opportunity for the girls to further develop their musical skills as well as build friendships with other music girls across the different year levels. Almost 90 students attended with rehearsals held for our string ensembles, symphonic bands, choirs and rock bands.
The seniors, led by our very capable Music Captains Sophia Colledge and Eloise Matyear, also organised many different activities ranging from trivia games to scavenger hunts to dance routines to assist in building community throughout the weekend. We also managed to fit in some time down at the beach where the girls enjoyed beach cricket and volleyball. Thank you very much to our conductors Dr Syntageros, Mr Ng, Ms Brennan, Ms Taylor and Mr Gillespie who worked very hard in taking many hours of rehearsals, and thank you also to Mrs Walker for her wonderful support and care for all of the music girls throughout the weekend. Thank you also to Mrs Benson-Lloyd for all of her amazing ‘behind the scenes’ work that allowed the organisation of the camp to run so smoothly.
OPEN DAY MUSIC PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
The St Margaret’s music ensembles are looking forward to performing at the upcoming Open Day on Saturday 7 March. The music ensemble performance schedule has been published on the St Margaret’s Music POD page. A reminder that several of the ensembles require performance uniforms. Please check the POD pages for the respective ensemble uniform requirements.
MUSIC SUPPORT GROUP
Thank you to all those who attended the recent Music Support Group meeting. The next meeting will be on Tuesday 21 April at 5.00pm in the Primary Music Room (second floor of Chaseley). Parents from both the Primary and Secondary Schools are welcome to attend.
It is less than one week until the QGSSSA Swimming Championships and the squad has done an amazing job in maintaining their commitment to training and the Meets so that they can achieve their best at the QGSSSA competition for not only themselves but the brown, white and blue. Details for the final week of preparations for the swim team are as follows:
Further information can be accessed via the POD swimming page.
QGSSSA Spectators – Year 7 and Year 12
All Secondary students are required to attend a major inter-school event as supporters. All Year 7 and Year 12 students will be required to attend Swimming on Wednesday 4 March at Chandler Aquatic Centre. The School provides transport to and from the venue with buses departing at 2.35pm and returning at approximately 9.00pm. If your daughter is unable to attend due to a prior commitment a leave request must be submitted via email firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 2 March.
The Autumn Fixture season which includes Touch Football, Basketball and Football (Soccer) is set to commence on Friday 6 March. St Margaret’s will be travelling to Ipswich Girls Grammar School for the first round of competition. Due to the wet weather all staff and coaches are working on having teams selected as soon as possible with draws to be available via the individual POD pages as quickly as possible. A general overview of the season is available by clicking here (PDF 53.7KB)
Stella Stuart (Year 8) who was recently selected in U14 State Water Polo squad and will compete in the Interstate Challenge in Hobart on 28 September – 3 October.
Planning for the MAYO Arts Festival has well and truly begun. In order for this event to be successful we invite the whole school community to get behind it. Many families and community members have offered support to this event through sponsorship. Thank you to the following Gold sponsors: Lendlease Bernborough Ascot and Cult Design; Silver sponsors: Brisbane City Council, Italiquore, Barambah Organics and Allclear Print & Signs; Bronze sponsors: The Van That Can and Vanilla Pod; and Stall Sponsors: Golf Central and Clear Insurance.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Starting from as little as $350 you can sponsor a year level run stall featuring your company branding.
Alternatively, you might like to consider donating a prize to our raffle which is always a highly anticipated aspect of the event and drawn on the Saturday afternoon during the Festival. Please contact Pru Reed: email@example.com if you are interested in sponsoring.
Thank you in anticipation of your support of this year’s MAYO Arts Festival and thank you to those businesses who are already supporting the event.
Chair of MAYO
St Margaret's 2020 Open Day will be held on Saturday 7 March 2020 from 9.30am - 12.30pm. If you have friends and family keen to explore a St Margaret's education for their daughter, please direct them to our website for more information and where they can also register online.
For parents and friends, it's a great opportunity to see your daughter perform in one of the many musical ensembles and if you are a primary parent wanting to know more about the secondary school, you are welcome to take a self-guided tour or tour with one of our Year 11 students to learn more.
The Open Day program will be available to view online from Friday 28 February.
For Open Day enquiries, please call our admissions team on (07) 3862 0777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Register to volunteer on Giving Day!
Can you help us in our Operations Room at M's Cafe for 2 hours on Thursday 19th March?
Giving Day is an exciting community event with student led activities taking place at school over their lunch break and a live telecast of the donor tally running all day.
We need your help to ensure we reach as many people as possible.
As a Giving Day volunteer, you’ll be assisting us to spread the word that on this day, for 24 hours only, donations to the Building Fund will be doubled thanks to the support of our generous matching donors.
Donations will provide our young women with an outstanding new learning facility to support their education, health and wellbeing for life.
To register your interest in volunteering, please complete the Volunteer Register Form at
www.stmargarets.qld.edu.au/discover-st-margarets/student-protection/volunteering-at-st-margaret-s-. When completing the Form, please nominate Lara Pickering as the supervising staff member.
Once we receive your application we will send you an email with further instructions about your role on the day.
If you have any questions please contact me on (07) 3862 0884 or email email@example.com
Professional Women’s Network Breakfast – Thursday 19 March 2020
Join us for our first Professional Women's Network Breakfast in 2020 with leadership expert and trailblazer Dr Robyn Wilson, Founder and Managing Director of Praxis Management Consulting, Singapore.
Date: Thursday 19 March 2020
Time: 7.00am arrival for a 7.15am start - 8.45am finish
Location: St Margaret's Anglican Girls School, 11 Petrie Street, Ascot
RSVP: Friday 13 March 2020 (unless SOLD OUT prior)
Individual tickets: $80 Adult, $40 Student (tertiary, Year 10 -12)
Corporate tables: $800 (10 seats)
Dr Robyn Wilson (’77) is the Founder and Managing Director of Praxis Management Consulting, a Singapore-based firm that provides facilitated strategy and leadership-related services to the greater Asia Region (covering Japan, Australia and the Middle East and everything in-between).
Regarded as a leadership expert, Robyn has been based in Singapore for 25 years and has worked across industries and a range of organisations from global multinationals including BHP, Hilton, Barclays and Singtel, to start-ups, government entities to development banks.
Believing in championing young women, Robyn is currently an Ambassador for WomenLEAD Nepal. She also actively mentors younger women who are at various stages in their careers. Robyn’s career started in IT and engineering. Among other qualifications, Robyn has a PhD from the National University of Singapore, a Masters of Engineering from UWA and a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from The University of Queensland.
To buy tickets to this event, please click here.
St Margaret’s Women’s Luncheon – thank you to our sponsors!
The St Margaret's Women's Luncheon will be hosted on Friday 13 March in celebration of our 125th Anniversary.
We would like to acknowledge and thank our Supporting Sponsors and Major Prize Donor, UMS, Qscan and Snowscene, for their support of this event which will be a wonderful coming together of St Margaret’s women.
Director of Philanthropy and Stakeholder Engagement
What’s New this Week?
A reminder about the Tuckwell Scholarship
If you are awarded a Tuckwell Scholarship you will receive $22,200 per year for the length of your undergraduate degree at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. You will be in a group of motivated young people who want to use their abilities to make a difference in the world. The scholarship allows you to study a single or double undergraduate program, including honours and vertical degrees in any discipline offered at ANU for up to five years. Find out about the study options available on the ANU website. The application consists of a three-stage process.
The selection panel is looking for bright students, but not necessarily those with very high ATARs as they will look at applicant attributes, interests and achievements as well. Visit the scholarship site for information about the selection criteria and the application.
Visit the Careers page on the POD for the latest information on
Contact Our Admissions Team
An independent day and boarding school for girls from Pre-Prep to Year 12; Boarding from Year 5; Boys Pre-Prep
A School of the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent St Margaret's School Council Ltd ABN: 69069684019 CRICOS Code: 00511K
The St Margaret’s community acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land upon which we gather each day. We pay our respects to the Elders past and present, for they hold the memories, traditions, culture and hopes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the nation.