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Beyond the Classroom
Development and Community
Thank you to the P and F and for all those who attended the Mothers’ Luncheon last Friday. It was a lovely afternoon and a great success for the P and F. A lot of effort by volunteers goes into organising these events and the school remains appreciative of everyone’s hard work.
After more than 42 years of loyal and dedicated service to St Margaret’s, Mary Surtees has indicated to me that it is now time to retire. Ms Surtees started work at St Margaret’s in April 1979 and she will leave us at the end of Semester 1. There will be time and opportunities to honour Ms Surtees and her contributions to St Margaret’s prior to her departure in June, but I thought many of the current parents and past students in the school community would wish to know that Mary has tended her resignation.
Recent media coverage of the sexual assault of young women in both workplaces and social settings has been deeply shocking and disturbing, highlighting a toxic culture that goes far beyond simply ‘rating’ girls on their looks or singing offensive songs in public places to non-consensual and criminal sexual assault, often when young women feel pressured, intimidated, scared or are affected by alcohol. Although respectful relationships education is mandated in the Australian Curriculum for Years 3 to 10, we work in partnership with our families on this issue and I want to refer parents again to my eNews article last week and encourage you to read some of the resources placed on the POD (Consent Education). The School TV episode is particularly good to watch. Alcohol has often been a factor associated with these events and I recently read this in a bulletin produced by the Association of Heads of Independent Schools which provides food for thought for all of us:
‘Without the support of parents, schools have limited influence over events that happen beyond the school gate. Consider, for instance, that not only are parents the most common source of alcohol consumed by adolescents, the 2017 Australian Secondary Students’ Alcohol and Drug Survey found that 57 per cent of adolescents who reported drinking at parties did so under adult supervision’.
At St Margaret’s, our staff, students and parents are involved in several committees and initiatives that assist us to inform our practices and ensure we continue to provide the best possible academic and pastoral care for all our students.
Next week, we have the first meeting for the year of our Child and Youth Risk Management Strategy Committee.
This committee is made up of staff (teaching and support), students and parents from our primary, secondary and Boarding communities. If you as a parent would like to be involved in this committee, please email me on KGorrie@stmargarets.qld.edu.au to let me know. The committee will meet on the following dates this year during the school lunchtime to allow our students to attend: 22 March, 15 June and 13 September.
The Child and Youth Risk Management Strategy (C&YRMS) is a legislative requirement for all Queensland schools to have. It is designed to create safe and supportive environments for children, to minimise the risk of abuse, harm and inappropriate behaviour. The C&YRMS is to be clear, easily understood, implemented and monitored to ensure its effectiveness. You can find this document by following the link at: https://www.stmargarets.qld.edu.au/discover-st-margaret-s/student-protection.
Part of the monitoring process involves this committee coming together throughout the year to share ideas and information about the contents of this strategy in order to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our young people in regard to student protection. Although we officially review the strategy with the School Council in October each year, we continue to adjust the document to best suit the needs of the young people in our community.
I urge all members of our school community to read this document. Feedback is encouraged; please feel free to email me with any suggestions or additions you may wish to see reflected in this document.
A few weeks ago, at one of our Boarder chapel services, we reflected about prayer, in particular the Lord’s Prayer. As part of this reflection I used part of a poem by one of my favourite poets, Mary Oliver.
Sometimes we are not sure what to do or how to pray; however, as Mary Oliver suggests in her poem, “One day you finally knew what you had to do and began”. Sometimes this is all we can do, when life gets so full of exams, assignments, all the busyness of school, and in all the busyness of life. We put one foot in front of the other and begin. Prayer can be like this, we don’t have to sit and be still, we can move around, admire the world around us and give thanks. Simply giving thanks can be a prayer.
One of the highlights in the school calendar is the Day/Boarder Weekend, where our Boarders invite Day girls home to their properties. The Boarding girls love this event as it gives them an opportunity to show the Day girls where they live and their lives outside of school.
It was disappointing that last year’s Day/Boarder Weekend was cancelled due to COVID; however, it makes it even more special this year. The Day/Boarder Weekend is from Friday 30 April to Tuesday 4 May 2021.
Years 11 and 12 Exam Block Reminders
Next week, the Years 11 and 12 students will begin their end of unit Exam Blocks. The Year 12 Exam block begins on Monday 22 March with a study day and concludes on Friday 26 March. The Year 11 Exam Block is longer, starting on Monday 22 March with a study day and concludes on Wednesday 31 March. Only Years 11 and 12 girls who have exams need to attend school on these days. A reminder to all students that when they come to an exam all students need to be in full school uniform with the appropriate equipment for the exam.
When coming in for exams, all students need to have the following equipment:
Finally, can I please remind all Years 11 and 12 Day students if they are attending school during the exam block to study or meet with a teacher, they need to be in full school uniform and all other school rules apply, including the use of mobile phones. Years 11 and 12 Boarding students also need to be in full school uniform if they are meeting with a teacher.
As we get to the pointy end of Term 1, all students will be receiving feedback on assessment they have recently completed. Now is a good time to remind your daughter/s of the importance of feedback and ensuring that she has somewhere she records this feedback to reflect on at a later date. It’s also a good time to reflect on the goals that were set at the beginning of the term, and how successful her routines and strategies were in helping her achieve these goals. This process of reflecting and taking on board feedback is imperative for progress and improvement and is a skill that will continue to serve her well once she leaves school.
The girls should reflect on how actively engaged they have been in class; were they asking and answering questions, or passively listening to the answers of others? Research indicates that only 25% of students regularly answer questions in class (Black & William, 2014), which means that 75% of students are missing out on opportunities for optimum engagement. Which academic opportunities outside of the classroom, such as Supervised Study Sessions or Faculty Tutorials, did she take advantage of in Term 1? When doing homework or study, how effective and focussed was she? Having these conversations while the Term 1 behaviour is still fresh is a great way to identify possible areas of improvement or refinement and get a head start on Goal Setting for Term 2.
Parents and guardians are able to see results and when they will be released by selecting ‘Curricular Activities’ in the navigation column in the Parent Lounge (accessible through the POD).
Thank you to parents for their ongoing support of the school and our policies. Communicating the School’s aspirations for our students ensures a shared vision and allows staff, students and parents to work together to support St Margaret’s Mission Statement, “preparing confident, compassionate, capable women able to contribute in a global community”.
The School Support Officer, Mrs Shendelle James has been employed to encourage adherence to St Margaret’s high standards of personal presentation amongst students in Years 7-12. As a result, teachers, students and parents have continued to notice an improvement, and only a small number of students have been required to do clean up sessions in the school grounds for uniform breaches. As the term draws to a close, we would appreciate parental assistance in checking that the girls’ school uniforms are in good condition for the start of Term 2.
Parents are strongly encouraged to assist the school by ensuring that students are at school up until the last day of term. If, due to extenuating circumstances, students have to leave before the end of term, requests for leave should be made well in advance through: email@example.com.
Bullying, No Way!
This week, there has been a focus on social interactions as a lead up to the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence, on Friday 19 March. Bullying is insidious and, unfortunately, is part of society both in real life and the online world. The National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence is a reminder that citizens and society have a role to play in stamping out bullying.
Research has identified that bullying is a social problem, and solutions need to occur within the social context. Therefore, schools are both the context in which bullying can occur and a place where solutions can be found.
It is believed the overall culture of the school and prevention approach are significant factors in reducing bullying in schools. School culture is regarded as the way students behave towards each other, values and ethos, environment, customs and ceremonies. Teachers acting in accordance with formally espoused values and using positive behaviour management strategies with students all contribute to a positive school culture.
As a school we have clearly articulated values and respectful relationships which are understood and endorsed by the whole school community. Our school values and the St Margaret’s Way are enhanced and linked to the key components of our social and emotional wellbeing program.
In terms of the prevention approach, I believe kindness and getting along are relevant to the success of preventing bullying and building a positive school culture.
“Being kind and getting along” is working well with teachers and classmates, solving problems calmly, following the rules of the classroom and making positive contributions to school, home and the community, including protecting the rights of others. It is these aspects that are the focus of the teaching and as a means to prevent bullying. Our faith community is a strong contributor to our school values and ethos.
If you are looking for support with a bullying situation, you will find ideas on the ‘Bullying. No Way!’ website for parents. Here are the key points:
In the Primary Library we have many picture books which explore social interactions, friendships, bullying and online interactions. If you would like to explore topics in this area with your child, please contact Ms Gillan who can assist with relevant books to be sent home.
Many people know that we have a sister school in Japan, Konan Elementary School. The school normally visits each year, but due to COVID they are unable to do so again this year. As we value our relationship with Konan Elementary School, this year our Year 5 students and our sister school students will be interacting online throughout this week. Acknowledging this international friendship and ‘Bullying. No Way!’ day, we are highlighting to the girls important ways to interact with others and the long-term goal of developing responsible, caring global citizens.
Matilda The Musical
All the very best to the cast, orchestra and crew of ‘Matilda the Musical’ as they prepare for opening night. Much hard work has gone into preparing for the show and all involved are very excited to share the performance with the school community!
Thank you to May Xiong (Year 10) for her contribution to the P&F Mothers’ Luncheon held last Friday. May performed on the piano as guests arrived, contributing to the wonderful atmosphere at this special event. Her performance was greatly appreciated by all in attendance. Well done May!
Our Secondary school choirs, Encorah and Volare, will recommence rehearsals from the start of Term 2. Encorah is an ‘all-comers’ choir for girls in Years 7-12. All who enjoy singing are welcome to attend with no audition required. The choir will sing a wide range of repertoire from a variety of genres. The choir will rehearse from 3:30-4:30pm on a Thursday afternoon in the Arts Centre Foyer with the first rehearsal to commence in Week 1 of Term 2 (22 April).
Volare will also recommence in Term 2. Volare is an auditioned choir for girls in Years 7 and 8 who enjoy singing more challenging repertoire. Volare will rehearse immediately after Encorah from 4:30-5:00pm in the Arts Centre Foyer. (Exultate for students in Years 9-12 will also continue rehearsals at this time from 4:30-5:30pm in the Sister Helen Orchestra Room). Auditions will be held for students interested in joining Volare on Tuesday 23 March in the Sister Helen Orchestra Room (students who have already auditioned are not required to re-audition). Audition requirements can be downloaded here and are available from Mrs Lloyd in the Sister Helen Orchestra Room.
Music Support Group
The next Music Support Group meeting will be held on Tuesday 27 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 was a super start to our Autumn fixture season, with so much energy and enjoyment at all sports. Touch Football won 8 out of 11 games. The Senior A, 10A and 10B teams dominated their games, winning 8-0, 5-1 and 8-1 respectively. Meanwhile, the 9A, 9B, 8B, 8C and 7A teams also enjoyed success.
The Basketball season started well with the Open, Senior A, 8A and 8B teams winning. Special mention to the 8B team who scored a three-point shot on the final siren to take the win. Lastly, whilst the St Margaret’s Soccer teams showed great skill and teamplay they were unable to defeat their opponents.
Congratulations to all girls on a great start to the season. For information on Round 2 of Autumn fixtures, please see either the Secondary Sport POD page or the individual sports pages.
Water Polo Success
Congratulations to the 12B, 13B, 14B, 16B, 17C and 18C teams who will be contesting the semi-finals of the Brisbane Water Polo Inc. Competition. All teams will be playing in the semi-finals on Saturday 20 March. Good luck to all girls.
The Cross Country squad competed in their first QGSSSA warm-up competition on Tuesday 16 March at the Brisbane State High School playing fields. This was a very valuable experience for all girls as it gave all squad members an opportunity to compare their fitness levels against others from all QGSSSA schools.
The Sports Department is very motivated to ensure all girls perform to the best of their ability. Therefore, all girls are encouraged to attend 3 sessions per week, with Wednesday mornings at 6:30am being compulsory.
Daisy Brown (Year 9) for gaining selection in the Junior Matilda’s training camp (the Junior Australia Football team). Daisy is one of three players from the QAS who gained selection and is now vying for selection to represent Australia at the AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup 2022 qualifiers.
Sally Bambling (Year 10), Ashley Blackman (Year 7), Annabel Bright (Year 9), Isabella Harte (Year 10), Matilda Lee (Year 9), Ebony Okonkwo (Year 8), Milla Roberts (Year 9), Olivia Rees-Smith (Year 10), Brogan Tomich (Year 9) and Tayden Tomich (Year 10) who competed at the Queensland Athletics Championships and achieved a national qualifier for the Australian Titles in April.
Ava Futcher (Year 7) who placed 5th in the Under 12 Beach Flags event at the Queensland Youth Surf Lifesaving Championships.
Tickets for the 2021 Father Daughter Breakfast (Years 7-12) are selling fast!
Join us for the 2021 P&F Father Daughter Breakfast for students in Years 7 to 12. An annual favourite on the last day of Term 1, this sell-out breakfast will be held this year on Circular Drive and the Arts Centre Terraces.
Date: Thursday 1 April 2021
Time: 6:45am for a 7:00am start, 8:00am finish
Venue: Arts Centre Foyer, St Margaret's Anglican Girls School
Cost: $40 per adult /$30 per student (Years 7-12) - includes a selection of individual hot breakfast boxes, fruit and yoghurt cups, tea, coffee and orange juice.
For all enquiries, please contact Chris Brown on 0400 319 545 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets are on sale via Trybooking: www.trybooking.com/BPFGG
Past Student Awards - Saturday 24 April 2021
Tickets are now available for the 2021 Past Student Awards. Join us for a special evening as we celebrate two inspirational St Margaret's women and hear about the impact they have made within their field and community.
The Past Student Awards Dinner is a wonderful opportunity to connect with fellow Old Girls and parents, and to hear from this year's amazing award recipients, while enjoying canapés on the Terraces, followed by a sit-down dinner and drinks.
Date: Saturday 24 April 2021
Time: 6:30pm for 7:00pm Dinner
Venue: Arts Centre Foyer, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School
Tickets: $75 (adult) $55 (Student)
Tickets can be purchased via Flexischools.
Nominations are still OPEN for the 2020/2021 Distinguished Past Student Award and the Young Past Student of Distinction Award. To submit your nomination, please click here. Please note, due to the cancellation of the 2020 Past Student Awards, all nominations from 2019 onwards will be valid.
Please send in your nominations and look out for further information about this special event.
Please check the Careers News section on the Careers and Pathways POD page for more information about upcoming opportunities and events.
USA sports scholarships and university placements:
Crimson Education entry into US and UK webinars:
NIDA acting on Screen Grades 11-12 courses
Please Click here for more information and to apply.
Bond University Student for a Semester
Bond University’s Student for a Semester program gives high achieving Years 11 and 12 students the opportunity to gain an authentic university experience before they finish high school. Applications for the May 2021 semester will open on 17 March 2021.
Tuckwell Scholarship applications now open
The Tuckwell Scholarship Program awards 25 Scholarships each year to talented and motivated students.
To apply to commence study at ANU on a Tuckwell Scholarship in 2022, you must:
The ANU Direct Application will ask if you wish to apply for a Tuckwell Scholarship to which you must answer “yes” if you wish to apply.
Griffith Sports College
Griffith Sports College plays a vital role in fostering students who are also elite athletes, helping them devote time to training and competition while they complete their tertiary studies. As part of the Elite Athlete Friendly University Network, the Sports College integrates sporting and academic aspirations.
UQ Medicine Information Night
Learn about studying Medicine at UQ. Hear from leading medical experts, UQ alumni and current students on the changing medical climate, how to apply for medicine at UQ and tips for success. This event will be held on Wednesday 21 April and is open to Year 12 students and their parents/guardians. Places are limited, so click here to receive updates on the event.
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.