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Development and Community
It is business as usual at school, albeit with some modification to the school calendar of events. Students should remain at school for as long as possible and schools should remain functioning for as long as possible.
Below is an excerpt from a letter from the Chief Medical Officer to Independent Schools Queensland. I received this letter on Monday this week:
‘There is currently limited information on the contribution of children to transmission of COVID-19, with the WHO-China Joint Mission noted in the primary role of household transmission and observed that children tended to be infected from adults. Previous work suggests that the potential reduction in community transmission from pre-emptive school closures may be offset by the care arrangements that are in place for children who are not at school. Children may require care from vulnerable grandparents or may continue to associate (and transmit infection) outside of school settings. Broadly, the health advice on school closures from previous respiratory epidemics shows costs are often underestimated and the benefits are overestimated. This may be even more so in relation to COVID-19 as unlike influenza, the impact on otherwise healthy children has been minimal to date.'
As you are aware the school has a School TV subscription available to all parents on the POD. Last week they published a special report to address the fears and miscommunication surrounding the Coronavirus. You may access this 6-minute video via this link or on the School TV on the POD.
Some interesting statistics from the recently released NCVER Generation Z: Leaving School Report it was reported that 9% fewer Queenslanders planned to go to university compared to the national average of 59%. However, despite having lower university aspirations Queenslanders gained entry at a similar rate to all students. The report also found that 25% of the 50% of Queenslanders who planned to go to university after school were still not studying a year later. Other findings included that 10% more Queenslanders finished Year 12 compared with the national average and of those who didn’t attend university, 10% were working, 9% took a VET pathway and 5% were not in education or employment.
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.
It is a legislative requirement for all Queensland schools to have a Child and Youth Risk Management Strategy (C&YRMS). 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 clicking here.
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 on KGorrie@stmargarets.qld.edu.au with any suggestions or additions you may wish to see reflected in this document.
Following the communication from our Principal, Ms Ros Curtis regarding student’s concern about the Coronavirus, we need to be open to conversations about the virus with our children. And if you choose to pray, pray together. Praying together as a family has the possibility of soothing the soul. You may also like to read an article by Christine Sine by clicking here.
Christine talks about the Coronavirus situation feeling like we are in a storm. Yet she also speaks about how one family turned things around when they were in isolation. The family relished the time together as they grew closer together.
God of the good news that spreads faster than fear,
God of the courage that comes from the heart:
Be with us as anxieties rise and with us as uncertainty grows.
Be with us when children ask difficult questions,
and with us when parents seem farther away.
Remind us that to be a community does not always mean
to be physically present beside those we know well.
It also can mean being spiritually present
with those who feel very alone;
and that you as our God, the God made flesh,
are also the God who calls us from the tumult
and tells us to be still
and to know that you are God
with us. Amen.
Prayer from the Corrymeela Community
Years 4-6 Family Service - Wednesday 29 April, 6:00pm in the School Chapel.
Confirmation is considered a mature, more adult rite. In 2020, this is open to students in Year 8 and above, as well as other members of the school community who 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, 6:30pm in St Margaret’s Chapel. Please find the letter attached (PDF 182.7KB).
For further information, please do not hesitate to call 3862 0716 or email: email@example.com.
We would like to acknowledge the great work and support the Boarder Support Group (BSG) provides to our Boarding House. Not only do Boarding parents give up their time to attend meetings once a term, they are generous without fault to our girls. The BSG is always interested in how the Boarding experience of their daughters can be enhanced. They raise money so they can purchase much needed equipment and make improvements within the Boarding House.
The BSG recently raised funds to purchase a St Margaret’s marquee which had its debut on Open Day. They also provided commercial grade washing machines and dryers for the Boarding House and a much-loved outdoor ping-pong table which is situated on the north side of Eton Hall. They are happy to consider any request to make the Boarding House a better place to live.
The BSG meeting is always an excellent forum for Boarding parents to raise concerns or questions in regard to the running of the Boarding House. Each year level has a representative to speak on their behalf and we welcome this input. The big social event for the BSG is the annual cocktail party held in August. This is a very popular event on the St Margaret’s social calendar and one that we all look forward to.
The BSG Committee for 2020 is:
President: Kate Scott
Vice President: Gen Behrend
Treasurer: Ash Geldard
Secretary: Sandra Cater
I saw a Facebook post last night and it said, “Has someone tried turning off 2020 and turning it back on again!” Like when your computer doesn’t work, or you can’t fix a problem, just turn it off and try again! If only it was that simple. However, some ‘glitches’ need much consideration and planning to amend, and our next glitch is the COVID-19 Pandemic and the impact this is having on our society.
As mentioned by our Principal, Ms Ros Curtis in her communications to the school community we are continuing to conduct classes and assessment as planned. We, of course, are taking measures to allow for physical distancing where possible and talking to the girls about the importance of good hygiene. However, we are also aware some parents are electing to keep students home from school. In this case we ask that students follow the normal student absentee processes of emailing teachers for missed work or to access the class POD or OneNote pages to check for new work uploaded.
In the case of assessment, all assignment work should be emailed to class teachers by the due date and make up exams will be organised if possible, on their return to school. If you have any questions, please contact Mr Tom McCormick for Years 7-9 students and me for students in Years 10-12.
External Assessment Calendar 2020
In the new QCE system, students’ results for General subjects are based on their achievement in three internal assessments and one external assessment.
In Mathematics and Science subjects, a student’s external assessment result contributes 50% to their final subject result. In all other General subjects, it contributes 25%. The external assessment result does not scale the internal assessment result.
QCAA aims to develop a timetable that minimises the chance of students sitting multiple assessments on the same day. At most, students may be required to sit two external assessments in one day.
The 2020 external assessments will be held from Monday 26 October to Tuesday 17 November. The timetable will be made publicly available on Monday 30 March 2020.
NAPLAN Equating Study 2020
St Margaret’s has been selected by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) for participation in the Equating Study for the 2020 National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). Each year, ACARA administers equating tests to students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 from a national sample of schools. The purpose of the equating tests is to enable the results for the 2020 NAPLAN tests to be reported comparably with tests from previous years, on the same measurement scales. Individual student and school results are not reported or published, and any identifying student information is destroyed. Please be assured the equating test is about ensuring NAPLAN results can be reported comparably, not about testing your child.
Although individual school and student results are not reported, it is essential that all students attempt the equating tests seriously.
The NAPLAN 2020 Equating Study is being held in approximately 420 schools across Australia between Monday 27 April to Friday 8 May.
Schools are permitted to select a range of 3 days and then ACARA will select one of these days to administer the tests at their school. We have nominated 6 May, 7 May and 8 May. Once the final date has been confirmed and students have been selected by ACARA, we will notify all students involved.
What the study involves
Your child will sit only one paper-based equating test in either Reading, Language Conventions, Numeracy or Writing.
Years 3 and 5 have been selected to undertake the language conventions paper and Years 7 and 9 will sit a numeracy test. The tests will be administered at the school by trained test supervisors. Students do not need to complete any preparatory exercises or any other task prior to the test.
All selected students are expected to participate in the Equating Study, unless they have been exempted or withdrawn from NAPLAN tests. If you have questions about your child’s participation in NAPLAN, please feel free to contact me.
Further information about NAPLAN is available at www.nap.edu.au.
Thank you to parents for your ongoing support of the school and our policies. Communicating the School’s aspirations for your 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 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 noticed 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 attend 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our values in action
Last week in the eNews I shared that we encourage the girls to live the School values of respect and integrity. Two significant events have happened since that time, with both providing evidence of another two values, passion and spirit. We believe when a student demonstrates passion, she understands that commitment and persistence are necessary for learning and achievement. This was proved by the Andrews Cup Swimming team last Tuesday, when the girls took out the Aggregate Cup.
This result was the outcome of every member of the team consistently training during the holidays, early mornings and afternoons. This consistency across all age groups was evident when each one was placed second combining to achieve first place overall against bigger schools. What I witnessed on the day were girls who demonstrated grit and resilience, including the reserve team members who cheered on team members throughout the competition. The team’s enthusiasm also exemplified the value of spirit. Thank you to Morgan Rowe for overseeing the program and Amanda Rhode and Bridgette Smith (’18) for coaching the girls to victory.
Spirit was evident in another example this week when a group of Year 5 girls made the news in the wider community. Charlotte Rhode, Georgiana (Gigi) Rombola, Antonella Perez-Lopez, Georgia Smith, Adelaide Bothwell, Zara Jack, May Kontani and Imogen Wren took the initiative to plan a fundraiser to “start doing something helpful for the planet”. They identified contributing to Covid-19 vaccine research as a worthy recipient. Professor Young from UQ research team was so touched by this offer, he took the time out of the laboratory to respond to a letter sent by the group. He stated in his letter, “I find it inspiring when young people, such as yourselves, harness the power of philanthropy to solve the world’s greatest problems”.
Philanthropic endeavours are the foundation on which our school was established by the Sisters 125 years ago. This act of service by the girls is a clear link to the heritage of our school which, in part, defines the value, spirit. In the confusing time we find ourselves, it is heartening to stand on the sidelines and see metaphorically spirit and passion in action.
Music Support Group
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.
Exultate’s performance at St Mark’s Anglican Church - cancelled
Exultate’s performance at St Mark’s Anglican Church on Sunday 22 March has been cancelled. We look forward to supporting our local church communities in the near future.
Anglican Schools Music Festival cancelled
Given the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we have reluctantly decided to cancel the Anglican Schools Music Festival which was to be held at QPAC on 22 May. This will be very disappointing to many of our students and their families. However, I am sure everyone knows how important it is to avoid large gatherings and the risk of infection. It will not be possible to reschedule the event this year. The health and well-being of our community is of the utmost importance and we thank you for understanding. For those parents who have already registered their daughter’s participation, the Anglican Schools Commission is working to process refunds promptly.
In sport you can experience incredible highs and not so enjoyable lows. Sport can create very special moments that are filled with excitement and joy, but it can also create moments of disappointment, criticism and harsh analysis. QGSSSA released a statement on Wednesday 18 March whereby all training and competition for Term 1 and Term 2 sport has been cancelled. Whilst this decision will be disappointing for all girls, coaches and staff it is important to acknowledge that the health and wellness of the community is paramount at this time. St Margaret’s Sport will be providing a variety of fitness alternatives that adhere to the hygiene and social distancing requirements during Term 2. Information regarding these sessions will be advertised shortly. To read the full statement from QGSSSA, please see the Secondary Sport POD page.
The second round of fixtures against Brisbane Girls Grammar School was a mighty success in Touch Football and Basketball but was unfortunately washed out for Football (Soccer). Our Touch Football teams did not disappoint with 8 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses. The highlights for our Basketball fixtures was our Open team winning 38-31, 8A winning 37-34 and the 7A team winning 34-12.
Congratulations to all teams on a great 2019/20 Water Polo season. This season we had 8 teams compete in the Brisbane Water Polo Club Competition from U12s through to U18s. All teams have shown great improvement in team play and individual skills across Term 4 and Term 1 with two teams being successful in securing a place in the semi-finals; U16C and U18B. Unfortunately, BWPI made the difficult decision to cancel all semi-finals and finals declaring the season complete as of Saturday 14 March. Whilst disappointing that these teams will not play in the semi-finals, it has been a great season overall and we look forward to seeing St Margaret’s Water Polo grow and develop as we move towards accessing our new Aquatics Centre in Term 3. A huge thank you must go to all coaches, managers and parents for their weekly support over the last two terms and to Ms Ethell for her wonderful coordination of the sport.
Last Wednesday 11 March, 25 girls made history by participating in the first ever AFL session at St Margaret’s. It was a super afternoon where they learnt some of the key skills found within the sport of AFL. St Margaret’s Sport thanks AFL Queensland for assisting and we look forward to entering our first team into the AFL Queensland Schools Cup.
Jane Haeusler (Year 10) who was recently selected in the Queensland School Sport U19 Tennis team after a successful tournament at the State Championships in Rockhampton.
St Margaret’s Outside School Hours Care: Vacation Care Program
Easter 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 April School Holiday Program. Further details of the program can be found here (PDF 836.3KB). Boys and girls, siblings, friends and family welcome!
Bookings for the St Margaret’s OSHC Easter School Holiday Program has opened. If you require care for the upcoming school holiday period, please return your booking form by 27 March 2020.
How do I book?
Complete the official booking form attached to the program. For further details, please email: email@example.com.
What is the cost?*
Early Bird Fees: $60 per day
Early Bird Bookings close: 20 March 2020
Fees: $65 per day*
*Incursions and excursions incur additional costs. These are compulsory for all students and therefore you are able to claim CCS.
SERVICE IS CLOSED: 10 -13 April 2020
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.
As I write this article, we find ourselves in a time where many are feeling uncertainty over what lies ahead; however, what we are seeing in our students is a sense of shared kindness and concern for one another. At the time of this week’s eNews being communicated our first ever Giving Day is live and our students are here in their House colours, enjoying a day of competitive school spirit, shared generosity and celebration.
Over the last 125 years, our community has helped us achieve great things together. We hope that you will join us in participating online to ensure that every St Margaret's girl has access to outstanding new facilities to support their education, health and wellbeing for life. For 24 hours only, your donation to the Building Fund will be doubled by our generous matching donors. Participation and growing the culture of philanthropy among our student body, the next generation of leaders, remain important to us.
You can follow our progress online and join in at www.charidy.com/bebold.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our generous matching and Giving Day donors, and those who have supported the school this year. We are very grateful for their continued support, particularly having experienced such an unprecedented start to 2020 which looks set to continue for some time longer.
While Giving Day has been able to proceed with our students on campus and Government advice adhered to, unfortunately due to the announcements regarding COVID-19 there have been a number of events whereby parents, past students and corporate supporters would normally gather at the school, that have been cancelled.
The events cancelled for Term 1 are as follows:
If you had purchased a ticket to the PWN Breakfast and require a refund of your ticket, we ask that you kindly request this via email to: email@example.com by this Friday 20 February.
Should you be happy to donate the cost of your ticket, there is no need to respond via email. Funds raised are directed to the Endowment Fund to assist the school meeting its financial commitment to their partnership with Yalari, which helps indigenous students access an education which they might not otherwise have.
If you had purchased tickets to the Father Daughter Breakfast, Flexischools will now default to an automatic refund of the value of the ticket price to your Flexischools account. Should you require a refund to an alternative credit card or Paypal account, can we please ask that you contact Flexischools directly on: 1300 361 769.
Take care of yourselves and one another, and once again thank you for your support.
What’s new this week…
Medical Schools in Australia
The Australian Medical Council website has a list of Australian medical schools with links to each school. There are three major entry points for medical courses in Queensland.
Some of the other states/territories also offer these three pathways. Visit the following websites for more information about medical studies pathways in Australia:
UM: University of Melbourne Interstate Student and Family Day at the University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne Parkville campus is holding two information days for interstate students and their families on Friday 17 April 2020 and Friday 2 October 2020 from 8:30am-6:00pm. This event is for interstate students who are thinking of attending the University of Melbourne to study an undergraduate degree. There will be presentations about the university, undergraduate degrees and graduate pathways, scholarships, student services, accommodation options and financial assistance.
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 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