From the Head of Middle School
Parent engagement in school and the impact on student performance and well-being
Earlier in the year, students in Years 6-9 participated in data collection about students’ well-being and relationships using the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI). More than 29,500 students from 368 schools in South Australia responded to the well-being survey. We have recently received our summary of our students’ responses, which have proved very interesting.
The well-being survey included questions about young peoples’ social and emotional development, perseverance, engagement, physical health and well-being, relationships and connectedness with others, experiences at school and activities outside school. The report was produced by the Business Intelligence Unit, Department for Education and Child Development.
At a time when staff are busy completing reports to parents, and when the School hosts a variety of events that include the whole community, I was drawn to the section in the report that dealt with our students’ relationships with their parents.
International research has shown that parental engagement (of various kinds) has a positive impact on many indicators of student achievement, including:
- higher grades and test scores
- enrolment in higher level programs and advanced classes
- higher successful completion of classes
- higher graduation rates
- a greater likelihood of commencing post-secondary education.
Beyond educational achievement, parental engagement is associated with various indicators of student development. These include, but are not limited to:
- more regular school attendance
- better social skills
- improved behaviour
- better adaptation to school and challenges
- increased social capital
- a greater sense of personal competence and efficacy for learning
(Source : Emerson, L., Fear. J., Fox, S., and Sanders, E. (2012). )
It was therefore with great pleasure that I read that over 85% of our Years 8 and 9 students responded in a consistently positive way to the statements about connections to adults at home.
The statements to which they responded were:
- In my home, there is a parent or another adult who believes that I will be a success
- In my home, there is a parent or another adult who listens to me when I have something to say
- In my home, there is a parent or another adult who I can talk to about my problems
Given the natural ‘ups and downs’ of relationships between teens and their parents, and the fact that these surveys were anonymous, this is an incredibly illuminating statistic, pointing as it does to the unusually high level of positive engagement that our students receive from our parents. Given the clear links between parental engagement and student academic success and well-being, this is excellent news for our Middle School families. As an educator, and parent, it is also satisfying to know that our students acknowledge the support they receive from home, and in the vast majority of cases, have someone they feel they can turn to if (and often ‘when’ during the Middle Years) they experience difficulties.
One way that our parents often report feeling connected to other parents, and by extension, students with students, is through their involvement with our many different community groups. Supporting Sport, Rowing or the Arts through their specific support groups is an excellent way to support our students in their co-curricular activities, and helps parents and students mix with those with shared interests.
I recently attended an excellent informal picnic organised by the two Year 7 Year Level Reps, Brynee Mount and Tracey Hunt, held on the Chiverton Lawns. This was an excellent opportunity for students and their families to mix at an informal event, and I was delighted to see so many community members there who have joined the St Peter’s Girls’ Community relatively recently. It followed a number of events earlier in the year, and those that the previous reps for this year level have organised over a number of years.
Next year we have more than 25 new families joining the Middle School. Moving to a new school environment is often an anxious time for adolescent students, but also for their parents. Learning how things work, rules, regulations and the mystery of events such as Choral Night, Swimming Carnival or Carols in the Cathedral can be overwhelming. Year level ‘reps’, especially those in the Middle School, have a crucial role in helping organise opportunities for helping us integrate our new families and make them feel truly welcome. However, I’d also hope that all our families can cast their minds back to when they first arrived at Saints, and think about what small acts of kindness and solidarity would have made their entry into the community even smoother, and therefore aim to go out of their way in 2016 to help embrace our new families in an authentic way. If you are interested in being a Year Level Rep, please don’t hesitate to contact Fiona McGregor in the Development Office (email@example.com).
I hope I will get the chance to see many of you at one of the major school events over the next couple of weeks, where we will all have the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements and talents of our students.
Year 12 Thank you barbecue
The Year 12 girls and the Mothers’ Club teamed up to hold a farewell barbecue for the Reception to Year 11 girls on Wednesday at lunchtime. While the Year 12s loved the chance to give back to the School and catch up with students from younger years, the event also provided a chance for the Mothers’ Club to christen the brand new barbecue for which they had fundraised over the year. While the Mothers’ Club cooked sausages, the Year 12s gave out cupcakes and served the food to staff and students. The event was a huge success and on behalf of the Year 12s, I would like to thank the Mothers’ Club for supporting us with our ‘farewell barbecue’ and to the Property Services men who helped with cooking and setting up. A special thank you also to the SRC girls, who provided extra cupcakes on the day.
Head Prefect 2015
Boxing Kangaroo Award
The BK ‘Boxing Kangaroo’ Medallion is used to recognise primary aged students, who demonstrate the a.s.p.i.r.e. values during Physical Education, in the playground and on the sporting field. This year we recognise Harriet Maerschel as the recipient of the BK Medallion. The a.s.p.i.r.e. values are explained below:
- Attitude – Positive attitude is essential in overcoming obstacles to help improve and give your best. Positive attitude is a key ingredient to success and leadership.
- Sportsmanship – Recognise that sport is greater than the individual; that cheating reduces the stature of sport and all who love it; that class, race and creed are never factors in the attitude of true sports people and those who respect the virtues and values of sport.
- Pride – Pride drives us when the temptation is to settle for something less.
- Individual responsibility – I alone am responsible for my performance but I will be generous in acknowledging the support of others.
- Respect – I respect sport, the efforts of my competitors, my team mates and officials.
- Express – I have an opinion and will express my view with thought and consideration to others. In showing my emotions I do so with individuality and, where possible, good humour and humility.
Head of PE, Health & Outdoor Education
Buy a brick to build a house in Cambodia
A group of Year 11 students will be going to Cambodia in the next few weeks to build a house for those less fortunate than ourselves. For the IB girls involved, this project forms part of the CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) subject.
Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in Asia, with approximately 4 million people living on less than $1.25 per day, and 37% of Cambodian children under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition.
The program that the students are involved in is ‘Habitat for Humanity’, which is a not-for-profit organisation providing housing for low-income families living in poverty.
The students are currently raising money to buy the bricks and other equipment required to construct the house. Each student has been provided with a brick which can be purchased for $5. This brick is in their House colour and, should you support our campaign and return your brick with either your daughter’s or family name, it will be placed in the display houses.
The home the students build in Cambodia will be named after the winning School House.
Thanks to our friends at Swanbury Penglase Architects, any donation you make will be doubled! Swanbury Penglase will match all donations dollar for dollar, up to $3000.
Please return your envelope, with the completed brick and $5, to the Development Office by the end of Week 8.
To have community support in this project would be invaluable, for this is such a great cause, and every donation will contribute towards improving the standard of living for families in need.
Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School
Uniform update: Year 3 students
As your daughter nears the end of Year 3, we thought it timely to remind you that she will need a few different uniform items for Year 4.
The junior blazer (cardigan) is no longer worn and is replaced by a navy blue jumper and a wool blazer. These items are compulsory and form part of the summer uniform.
The girls also move to a one piece swimming costume, and a sports cap replaces the ‘bucket’ hat.
For further details, contact the School Shop on 8334 2228 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
School Shop Manager
Year 12 PE off to a windy start
The Year 12 Physical Education class have begun their Headstart Program with a three-day windsurfing course at West Lakes.
The 14 girls worked well to improve their skills and were all able to follow a set course around markers by jibing, tacking and performing square runs. The girls will begin their other two practical components of the PE course in 2016.
Head of PE, Health & Outdoor Education
Carols in the Cathedral
All parents are warmly invited to attend the annual Carols in the Cathedral service.
This is a special celebration – a true highlight of the School year.
Tuesday 1 December 2015
Guests must arrive at 6.45pm, for a 7pm start
St Peter’s Cathedral
King William Street, North Adelaide
All students from Years 3 to 12 are expected to attend and sit with their class groups and teachers in the Cathedral. Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 students may attend and sit with their family members.
We hope to see you there.
Junior Primary Nativity Play
Of all the sheep in the flock the smallest, youngest ewe is the most inquisitive. She is always busy getting under the shepherds’ feet, asking question, and, to the irritation of the rest of the flock, demanding to know exactly what is going on. One night, however, while all the other sheep are trying to sleep, some extraordinary events unfold that excite her curiosity more than ever before!
Our R-2 Nativity, ‘Hey Ewe!’, is an upbeat Christmas Nativity that will have you tapping your toes and baaing away to all of the songs. The Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 girls invite you to come along and celebrate the Nativity with us!
6.30pm, Friday 4 December 2015
Arts Centre, St Peter’s Girls’ School
Please RSVP at www.trybooking.com/JPMI
Kathryn Clark and Sallyann Bruun
Year 2 Teachers
Year 6 Graduation
The annual Year 6 Graduation will be held on Monday 7 December.
Years 3-6 students will attend the ceremony, and all families are welcome to attend.
2pm, Monday 7 December
Arts Centre, St Peter’s Girls’ School
Please RSVP at www.trybooking.com/JPMD
We hope to see as many parents as possible join us for this special celebration.
Cassandra Moore and Vicky Charlton
Year 6 Teachers
Year 9 Graduation
The annual Year 9 Graduation will be held on Tuesday 8 December.
Year 9 parents have been sent a formal invitation, and other Middle School families are also welcome to attend.
2pm, Tuesday 8 December
Arts Centre, St Peter’s Girls’ School
Please RSVP at www.trybooking.com/JPMF
We hope to see as many parents as possible join us for this special celebration.
Head of Middle School
All parents are warmly invited to attend the inaugural Presentation Night on Wednesday 9 December.
7pm, Wednesday 9 December 2015
Adelaide Town Hall
Join us to celebrate all our achievements of 2015
Featuring outstanding musical performances
Please RSVP at www.trybooking.com/JPGQ
Buzz Book advertising now open
Next year’s Buzz Book is just around the corner. The Buzz Book is an integral part of each St Peter’s Girls’ School family home. It’s the go-to resource for all our families – and this is your opportunity to be included in the Buzz.
Advertising is available in the 2016 edition and prices start from just $20 for a text listing and from $120 for display spaces.
This year we are offering advertisers who purchase a full page colour ad the option of a complimentary promotion on the big screen at the 2016 Twilight Cinema!
This is an annual fundraising initiative of the Parents’ and Friends’ Association where all funds raised go towards resources for the girls. The fundraising efforts of the P&F have been integral in such initiatives as the purchase of a NAO Humanoid Robot worth over $20,000. The P&F’s contributions to the School are all the more possible thanks to the support and generosity of local businesses and school families who contribute to the Buzz Book each year.
To book your spot, visit www.trybooking.com/JGEN.
But hurry – bookings must close on Monday 7 December!
SPAA presents: Conducting for Choirs with Timothy Sexton
Are you preparing to lead your peers in Choral Night 2016 but don’t know where to start?
Are you doing Senior Music next year?
Do you sing in a choir or a group?
Would you like to sing in a choir or a group?
Are you simply interested in music for voice and want to learn more?
If you have answered yes to even one of the questions above, you need to come along to the Conducting for Choirs Workshop. The workshop will be at the:
St Peters Girls’ School Arts Centre
on Wednesday 2 December
from 4.30pm – 6.30pm
Tickets $25 each
RSVP online at www.trybooking.com/JRQN.
Timothy Sexton has been the CEO and Artistic Director of the State Opera of South Australia since July 2011, and has been a supporter of the Saints Performing Arts Academy since its inception, officially opening the academy in 2012.
As a freelance composer, conductor, arranger, singer, writer, adjudicator and ABC broadcaster, Timothy Sexton is one of the most prominent musicians in South Australia. Since gaining an Honours degree in Music Composition at the Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide, he has created more than 200 works, ranging from opera and music theatre to choral and orchestral works and film scores. Timothy has sung in over 30 productions for the State Opera of South Australia, he was Chorus Master and a Rehearsal Conductor for the 2004 Adelaide Ring Cycle and Chorus Master and Associate Conductor for the 2010 Adelaide Festival of Arts opera, Le Grand Macabre.
In late 2001 Timothy founded the Adelaide Art Orchestra, working with such entertainment luminaries as Kate Ceberano, Hugh Sheridan, Anthony Warlow, David Hobson, Christine Anu, Rachael Beck, Tim Campbell, David Campbell, Natalie Cole, Bernadette Peters, Rhonda Burchmore, Silvie Paladino, Rob Guest, Marina Prior, Doug Parkinson, Glenn Shorrock and Julie Anthony.
Timothy was twice awarded the Henry Krips Memorial Conducting Scholarship and in 2003 received a Centenary of Federation Medal for Services to Music. In 2008, Timothy was awarded a prestigious Ruby Award for Sustained Contribution to the Arts by an Individual and was the 2009 South Australian of the Year (Arts Category).
We are indeed incredibly fortunate to have Timothy running this workshop.
The Conducting for Choirs Workshop is open to all 2016 senior secondary students, tertiary students and musicians.
Contact me on email@example.com for further details.
Director of SPAA
Scholarship information and registration details are now available at www.stpetersgirls.sa.edu.au/scholarships.
Year 8 Academic Scholarship for Entry 2017
Students who will be in Year 7 in 2016 are eligible to apply for an academic entrance scholarship commencing from Year 8 in 2017. Registration for these scholarships must be completed online through the School website which provides a direct link through to the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). A series of academic tests will be undertaken at our School on Saturday 6 February 2016 and further information regarding these scholarships can be downloaded from the website. Registrations will close on Thursday 21 January 2016.
Music Scholarships for 2017
Current and external students from Year 6 to Year 10 in 2016 are welcome to apply for a Music Scholarship, for commencement from 2017. The scholarship criteria and application details are available on the School website and applications will be accepted until Friday 12 February 2016. Successful applicants will be invited to attend an audition in late February.
Further details about all of the scholarships on offer are available at www.stpetersgirls.sa.edu.au/scholarships
Saturday 12 December will be a great family rowing day and this year we have something for everyone. Following the Interhouse regatta which starts at 10am, Friends of Rowing will be holding a parent ‘come and try’ session. For $25 you will be coached by a Saints Rowing coach and get to experience some of what our daughters experience each week.
We will set up the marquee at the Torrens riverbank and there will be a BBQ and cold drinks available on the day.
9.30am, Saturday 12 December
Scotch Boat Shed, River Torrens
This is a great opportunity to give rowing a go and support Saints Rowing at the same time. Parents wishing to give rowing a go can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends of Rowing President
Beach volleyball festival
On Wednesday 18 November, the Years 9 to 11 volleyball girls participated in the South Australian Schools beach volleyball festival. Initially, the girls struggled against the wind but were eventually able to adapt to the different conditions and worked well as a team.
Despite the heat and the wind, they were able to put their best efforts forward, resulting in both the Year 10 and Open teams placing second in the competition. The girls had an amazing time, and look forward to future competitions.
Event photography: end of year sale
Focus School Photography is offering St Peter’s Girls families a Christmas special for the purchase of event photographs.
End of year file clearance
Select as many images of your child or family as you like. Over 50 School events to choose from for the 2015 calendar year.
As many images as you like – all at the special price of $85.
But hurry – this offer must end on Friday 18 December.
To order your photographs, visit events.focusschoolportraits.com/stpetersgirls and login with the password SaintsGirls
For further details, please contact Focus School Portraits on 8389 9002 or email@example.com.
YMCA school holiday summer camps
Why not join the YMCA Camping team on a fun-filled school holiday camp these summer holidays!
This summer YMCA Camping has plenty of camps on offer with a huge variety of awesome activities to keep your children busy throughout the summer holidays.
A teen surf camp, a Kangaroo Island Adventure, Caving at Naracoorte and a New Year’s Party are just some of the amazing camps we have planned for this summer!
YMCA Holiday Camps are very popular and places are limited. Book now to secure your place in the sun, and join us for Fun, Friendship and Adventure!
All the details and booking form can be found on the YMCA website – www.sa.ymca.org.au/our-services/ymca-camping/school-holiday-camps/
Contact YMCA Camping on 8406 2900 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Looking for something to do these holidays? Get along to an Adelaide Strikers Holiday Clinic! You will meet players, practise your skills, and get some great Strikers giveaways. The emphasis will be on fun and participation while increasing skill levels, and the clinics are open to 6-11 year old girls and boys of all abilities! For more details about the various locations across Adelaide, and the dates, head to http://www.adelaidestrikers.com.au/fans
Junior Softball – Wednesday 18 November
Matches cancelled due to heat
Junior Tennis – Friday 20 November
Year 6 White – Saints 3-17 defeated Seymour 3-15
Singles: Taj Shahin 4-1, Ruth Oliver 0-4, Tahlia Louca 3-4
Year 5 – Saints 4-22 defeated Seymour Green 2-16
Singles: Chloe Venning 4-0, Georgia Langley 4-2, Anushka Rajbhoj 0-4, Primrose Robinson 2-4
Junior Volleyball – Friday 20 November
Saints 3 defeated Wilderness 1
The girls had a fabulous game this week and got off to a really great start, establishing a firm lead in the first set. All the girls played exceptionally well and it is really encouraging to see the girls’ improvement in all aspects of their game play. Kellie Bested and Molly Bond both did many great sets, resulting in us winning several close rallies. Megan Jenssen and Alice Powell (Coaches)
Rowing – Saturday 21 November
Congratulations to all the crews under really trying conditions with the strong winds. We had everything from capsizes, equipment failure to many wins; what a day! I would like to make special mention of our 1st VIII making history with our first ever Senior win on West Lakes since rowing started at Saints.
While the conditions were terrible, I think as a Club we learnt some valuable lessons that will be worked on at training. All girls should continue to work on their technique when they are in the boat, try not to miss sessions, listen to their coach and if there is anything at all that they don’t understand please always ask; we are all here to help.
Well done to Sophie Freeman and Carys Jones for completing the SASI time trial on Friday morning. They rowed 4.8 kms in a single and both did really well. Let’s hope they both make it into a South Australian Crew in which they will compete at Nationals. Ben Flannagan (Director of Rowing)
In the first race the crew was comprised of Lily Habel in stroke seat, Victoria White, Sophie Freeman, Jo Dalpra, Carys Jones, Grace Dawson, Hannah Vine Hall, Lara Khoury and Isobella Hannon. The girls were happy with the result of this race, finishing in second place to Seymour with a margin of roughly 10 seconds. The second race was head-to-head against Loreto, with the Pulteney boys 1st VIII racing in the same race on a 40 second handicap. There was a crew change for this race, with Carys Jones in stroke seat, Victoria White, Sophie Freeman, Jo Dalpra, Olivia Habel, Fiona Dawson, Hannah Vine Hall, Lara Khoury and Isobella Hannon. This was the first ever win for a Saints Girls 1st VIII and all the girls were very pleased with the results, especially Jo Dalpra who won her first ever medal in rowing. Bel Hannon (Coxswain)
The Inter As had a very messy first race with the boat being unbalanced and catching many crabs. All of this aside, it was our original fitness and determination that scored us a win. Although we were quite unhappy with our racing, we still took the win which we are still proud of. Due to an injury to Olivia Compare’s wrist we scratched our second race so we could recover for upcoming regattas. Khandee Swaeney
The crew entered two races, with Chanel Stefani in stroke, Wilhelmina Fowler in 3 seat, Grace Packer in 2 seat and Alexandra Reade in Bow seat. Although the weather was not in our favour, we were still excited to race. In our first race we got off to a flying start but were overtaken by Walford, and it was a battle with Wilderness for second place. Wilderness were in front at the 500m mark, and despite Saints closing the gap we were unable catch them before the finish. Our second race didn’t turn out as well as we wanted, and despite a good start, Grace caught a crab and ended up snapping an oar due to the terrible and windy conditions. We are all determined to do better at the next regatta, but in the meantime we are training hard to achieve our goal. Good job, girls! Grace Edwards (Coxswain)
The crew of Amy Rice (stroke), Zoe Vine Hall (three), Brooke Weymouth (two), Eve Habel (bow) and Amy Carrodus (cox) had a fantastic day on the weekend by winning both races. Although we had a crew member away, Eve managed to fill in perfectly for us and pulled us through the finish line. Overall, it was great day and has prepared us for the tough race on the Torrens this Saturday. Amy Carrodus (Coxswain)
The wild and woolly conditions provided some challenging rowing and mixed results on Saturday. We worked hard together in our first race to claim victory despite the choppy conditions. Our second race broke our West Lakes winning streak due to several mishaps. We managed to regroup, fight hard, finish the race and came away learning some valuable lessons about what to in difficult conditions and, most importantly, stay calm. Thank you to Marley Banham and Sarah Matheson for rowing with us. Zoë Scobie (Coxswain)
The crew of Hannah Stroeher, Charlotte Sapio, Brooke Oliver and Ella Robinson missed the start in the first race and we couldn’t recover the deficit. In the second race, there were a few mishaps but about 1k into the race we started to push into 2nd place, ahead of Seymour. When they stopped because of an oar coming out, we overtook them, but soon afterwards one of our oars came out and another girl’s gate had come undone, forcing us to stop. The girls continue to improve and it is starting to pay off. Emma Herselman (Coxswain)
On Saturday, Kate Reade, Emma Carrodus, Hannah Freeman and Hannah Keough did well, considering the conditions. We didn’t start off well because as we were turning to get into our lane, we capsized. We had to swim to the bank, while pulling the boat along as well. There were some very nice ladies at the bank who helped us. We then had to miss our first race. After capsizing, the girls made a quick comeback because we won our second race. We still need to work on not talking in the boat, but the girls have improved their timing together and squaring up early. Charlotte Creek (Coxswain)
The crew of Paris Robinson (bow), Eliza Hannon (two), Zara Stefani (three), Scarlett Hocking (stroke) and Abigail Lisle (cox) raced in windy and rough conditions. In our first race, after trying to get into our lane after lots of backing, we placed 2nd. In our second race the water had calmed down and we were able to get into our lane easier, but after rowing 500 metres the oar of one of the girls came off and we had to row with only three people. I am proud of the girls for the effort they gave. Abigail Lisle (Coxswain)
The crew of Sophie Johnson, Imogen Parkinson, Olufunto Komolafe and Caitlin Fidler also faced awful weather, but despite this, the girls rowed exceptionally well. There were minimal issues with timing, considering the weather, and the girls pushed through and managed to finish 2nd in their first race and 3rd in their second. Emma Herselman (Coxswain)