Issue no. 11
From Our Principal
Someone from outside the School community asked me how things were going. How were the girls holding up? I said it was tough, for Year 12 particularly. So many events, so many rites of passage, so many final year traditions that had to be put on hold given the current situation. They would only have one Year 12 and this wasn’t the way it was meant to be. And then I expanded and spoke about the Year 6 girl who had spent years dreaming of flying to Canberra with her friends, only to cry herself to sleep when she found out she couldn’t go. I mentioned the 1st VIII who had trained so hard and had spent months visualising that final race at the Head of the River in front of thousands of screaming supporters, only for it to take place in almost clandestine circumstances. The impact is significant; all of our girls have been affected to some degree.
But when you focus on what’s missing, you miss out on what’s there. We’re a wonderful School filled with a great culture and incredible self-belief. At times like this, it’s important to think about the journey that we’ve travelled over many years, not just recent months. We need to remind ourselves of the many successes we’ve enjoyed, the amazing relationships we’ve built. We need to reframe our thoughts…focus on what’s there, not what’s missing.
So much about coronavirus is outside of our control. Not just the virus itself, but all the other aspects of life that have been impacted, from work and finances to socialising and travel. At times like this, you need to concentrate on things that are in your control. And the way Saints Girls plans to finish the year is absolutely in my control. An event like Choral Night defines us in so many ways – it’s student-led, the girls take centre stage, the friendly House rivalry is to the fore and it rocks! Events such as Choral Night sit at the very heart of who we are and what we do, and that fact doesn’t change, despite the crisis that surrounds us.
When discussing the current restrictions, the politicians consistently talk about a six month timeframe. December is eight months away. At Presentation Night, Tuesday 8 December, I dream of gathering once again as a community. But rather than meet at Adelaide Town Hall, we’ll meet at Influencers Church in Paradise, a venue with a capacity of 2,000 people. It will be a Presentation Night with a difference. We’ll present our prizes and our Year 12 girls as we normally do, because it is right they be presented in front of the whole School. But there won’t be any staff speeches and the Music will be a little different…it will be Choral Night! So put that date in your diary and start spreading the word. We all need something to look forward to in life. Anticipation can be an incredibly powerful emotion. Imagine Year 12 dancing in front of 2,000 people – and they will, if every girl in Middle and Senior School brings just four people with her. Let’s dream of lifting the roof off that place and giving them the send-off they deserve.
Thank you once again for your ongoing support. I’ll be in touch throughout the holidays as the situation continues to unfold. In the meantime, best wishes for the Easter season.
A Shout-Out to Our Class of 2020
Our Year 12 teaching staff and leadership provided some words of support for our Class of 2020. In these challenging times, we have seen the students step up and face the uncertainty, as well as the idea of a Year 12 very different to the one they imagined, with a positive attitude and a smile.
The full-length version can be seen below, with a shorter video appearing on Facebook.
Staff vs Student Basketball Showdown!
Our PE team, led by Head of PE, Health and Outdoor Education Dan Searle wanted to put together a fun video about the Staff vs Student Basketball match scheduled to be played this week. Enter the Communications Team, and a production was in the works! Across a Home Group and lunchtime, the team filmed their masterpiece – all with the aim to bring a smile to the girls’ faces.
Principal Julia Shea took the half-court shot, referee Richard Lisle kept everyone in order, and team coach Kate Mortimer offered inspiring words at half-time. Additional staff joined filming as crowd members.
Check out the video below – and remember, our videos are often released first on Facebook, so if you want to see them when they are published, Like us on Facebook! We also have an Instagram page which has a greater focus on awesome photos.
Easter Message from Our Chaplain
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
There is no other day more significant in the Christian calendar than Easter Sunday. The day we remember the victory over death that Jesus won for all people. Resurrection Sunday is a celebration and, in this moment in history, it feels a little odd or out of place celebrating such a victory.
It was a shame that we were not able to celebrate our Easter services as usual at school this year. The Stories of the Cross service is always a powerful and moving time, and the joyful celebration of our Easter Eucharist has been missed. But, in this time, I have been thankful for the technology and the commitment of the girls who have logged on to our live streamed services.
On Wednesday, we were able to live stream our Easter Chapel service from school to lounge rooms across Adelaide. And in the midst of this, there was something special happening. Being apart, we are reminded that as part of the worldwide Church, we are united in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. We join in with others who are not able to meet, but we are also reminded that our celebration crosses over time, and we join the celebration of the first Christians who were witnesses to the risen Jesus.
A very different, yet a very special service.
But as we gathered apart, it didn’t take long to remember why we are apart. It is in this time of fear and uncertainty that questions about God and his victory over death are quick to come to mind.
The story of Easter provides us hope in our darkest times. It is our window into life after death, life without fear, without tears, suffering, without pain or loss. A life spent in paradise, with God.
The Bible shows us that Jesus went before us, that he died and rose so that we too can be risen and live with him. It provides us with perspective. It allows us to see beyond the pain and suffering of this world and see into a world where all is perfect. That is the hope we find in the risen Jesus.
Jesus’s words in John’s Gospel, “I am the way, the truth and the life”, ring out here. Through Jesus, we have the way to being with God, forever, where all is perfect! What a comforting image in a time like this.
I wish you and your families a happy Easter and pray that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy, and find time to reflect on the living hope we have in the risen Jesus.
Christ is Risen!
He is risen indeed!
Former Head Prefect’s Post-School Journey
Saints Girls was delighted to hear from one of our well-known, recent Old Scholars.
2018 Head Prefect Antonia Kirsten-Parsch shared details of what she’s been up to since leaving Stonyfell:
“I am studying a Doctor of Medicine undergraduate degree in Sydney. I am in my second of the five-year degree which, at its completion, qualifies me to work as a medical intern in Australian hospitals.
Science always piqued my interest in school, and though it wasn’t my strong suit, I knew it was the realm I wanted to find a career in. Translating this passion into a job proved challenging. I took my Year 9 work experience placement in a medical research laboratory and realised that solely conducting research wouldn’t work for me in the long term. Despite my doubts, I enjoyed thinking about the patients who we were trying to help and appreciated the application of scientific concepts to the human body. Gradually, these sentiments led me to medicine.
As I started medical school, I envisioned myself to be a student who would be ready for all to come, because nothing could be as hard as Year 12 right? This vision of preparedness was not so. I was surprised to find the workload to be greater than before and with equally significant stressors, a situation I’d expected to depart from. I can’t imagine launching into my current environment without previous academic challenges to compare it to. In my degree, examinations are infrequent but heavily weighted, making up 90% of our final mark. When facing these intimidating hurdles, I am particularly thankful for my experience in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, which taught me how to cope with similarly ‘high-stakes’ examinations in a more forgiving setting.
To get to class at 8am, I try to be up at 5.30am so I can stagger to the train station, squinting and clutching my coffee. By midday, I can head home or hopefully to a library to get in some study. Outside of university, I am besotted with my Water Polo club, the Sydney Stingers, who I train and compete with each week. The club has become another family to me, and I’m constantly excited by the opportunities it brings including playing in interstate and international tournaments, and this year marching in my first-ever Mardi Gras. This pivotal part of my life was all triggered by my experiences at school where I first discovered my passion for sports, and particularly Water Polo. I remember feeling inspired to improve as Mr Fuller would let me upgrade to tougher teams even when I was feeling scared to.
I have a host of fond memories from Saints, but in general, I can take many from my years lovingly wrapped up in the Music Department. I am comfortable with having moved on from much of school-life, but I can’t deny that I’d love to find myself in another of Miss Rounsevell’s or Mrs Noble’s rehearsals, which kept me going throughout school.
I expect to take a year away from my medical training as an opportunity to work and travel. A particular goal is to live in France for a portion of this time to refresh and extend the language skills I learnt at Saints. In the longer term, there’s no knowing what my life will look like, but I am enchanted by life in Sydney, and the more entangled I become in my new city, the less I can envision life elsewhere.”
Antonia Kirsten-Parsch (Selwyn 2018)
Head Prefect 2018
Saints Girls – Now and Then
The old two-room cottage behind Chiverton was extended south in 1979 to become the Art Centre. Over the decades since then, it has had changes to its use. During the 1990s, it became the hub for Home Economics, with Textiles classes occupying one end of the extension and Cooking classes at the other end.
The building finally became the Food Technology Centre. In the 2000s, doors were installed at the south end and the new decking enabled School community functions to be held there in pleasant weather.
Morale Booster Trolley
Last week, our fabulous Tuck Shop Team put together an amazing ‘Morale Booster Trolley’ full of goodies for our staff.
Thank you so much for this lovely gesture!
Touching Gesture from Our P&F
I hope you and your families are happy and well in these difficult times.
On Tuesday, to show our gratitude for our wonderful teachers and support staff, we dropped off some gifts as a token of our community’s appreciation for all their hard work under such challenging circumstances.
Thank you to all the members of the committee who baked, wrapped and made all this possible. A special shout-out to our amazing School family from L’Abruzzese Pasta for supplying all the staff with a packet of their beautiful pasta.
Take care and stay safe.
Parents’ & Friends’ Association President
Acid Test for Year 12 Chemistry
This week, the Year 12 Chemistry students briefly visited school to perform a summative practical.
We used the upstairs connecting labs to spread the students out so they could be supervised and work safely in their own space. They were performing a series of titrations, which is a standard analytical Chemistry technique used to very precisely determine the concentration of a substance through chemical reaction.
On this occasion, the girls were attempting to determine the concentration of citric acid in a number of different brands of lemonade as citric acid is the reason for the sour taste.
It was lovely to see each other again!
Year 4 Artists Wrapped with Foil Creations
Year 4 Art students have found resourceful and creative ways to continue their sculpture projects at home.
In this task, they used aluminium foil as a material to shape and form sculptures. The girls enjoyed the task and were surprised how much detail they could create using such a simple material.
Junior School Art Teacher
Message from the Education Minister
South Australia’s Education Minister John Gardner has written a letter to parents as we enter the school holiday period. To read it, click here.
School photos have now been delivered to school. These will be handed out to the girls when they return to school. If you would like to drop in and collect them from me earlier, I am working from Tuesday 21 April to Friday 24 April. To make this as smooth as possible, meet our social distancing obligations and ensure I am available, please contact me via 8334 2225 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a suitable time. Ordered sibling photos and additional items are also available for collection.
You may recall from an earlier eNews article that we have simplified the process for families. A special ‘St Peter’s Girls’ Package’ has been designed for each student (one pack per student) to receive the following photos:
1 – 8″ x 10″ Individual Portrait
2 – 5″ x 7″ Individual Portraits
4 – 2.5″ x 3.5″ Individual Portraits
1 – 8″ x 10″ Home Group Photo
There is no additional cost to families as this has been incorporated into your fees. Should you wish to purchase extra packs, photos or items such as key rings, mugs, jigsaws etc., you will be able to order these by contacting Focus School Portraits via email@example.com or 8389 9002.
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions regarding school photos.
School Banking – Message from Commonwealth Bank
The health, safety and wellbeing of our communities and our people remains our highest priority. Due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, the School Banking program will remain on hold. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed with any updates including how we will be managing Dollarmite tokens for students.
In the meantime, here are some handy online resources for parents who wish to maintain momentum with their child’s financial education:
Start Smart: these resources have been created to improve children’s money management skills, and is aligned to the Australian Curriculum and the National Consumer Financial Literacy Framework.
The Beanstalk: offers videos and fun activities for children to learn about money.
Apple’s Cleaning Tips for iPads and Laptops
Apple products are made with a variety of materials, and each material might have specific cleaning requirements. To get started, here are some tips from Apple that apply to all products:
- Use only a soft, lint-free cloth. Avoid abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, or similar items.
- Avoid excessive wiping, which might cause damage.
- Unplug all external power sources, devices, and cables.
- Keep liquids away from the product, unless otherwise noted for specific products.
- Don’t get moisture into any openings.
- Don’t use aerosol sprays, bleaches or abrasives.
- Don’t spray cleaners directly onto the item.
Is it okay to use a disinfectant on my Apple product?
Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or disinfecting wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, non-porous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don’t use on fabric or leather surfaces.
Here’s the full article from Apple: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204172
Of course, please check your device instructions for specific requirements.
FREE Online Code Camp Program
The team at Code Camp has 50 experienced staff members ready to teach Saints Girls’ students how to code via online webinar classrooms. Topics covered in the lesson plans include loops, sequencing, iteration and animation.
While this is usually a paid program, Code Camp will be providing the online program to Saints Girls’ students for free.
For more information, visit https://codecampworld.com