Issue no. 37
From Our Director of Early Learning
Building Citizenship Through Our Service Learning Program
I would like to sincerely thank all members of our ELC and School for your community spirit in 2020. Despite the many challenges that we have faced, some wonderful opportunities across our School have emerged. One of these, for me, has been my involvement in the Service Learning Program.
This year, I have had the privilege of working alongside our School Chaplain, Thomas Bassett, in the area of establishing an ELC to Year 12 Service Learning Program as part of our School’s Strategic Plan. This has involved writing a School Mission for Service Learning, as well as creating a clear plan of Service Learning opportunities across the four Sub-Schools for 2021.
As part of the program, the Early Learners’ Centre has been cultivating a key partnership with The Smith Family. We were keen to establish a plan to ensure we are upholding our School’s Service Learning Mission:
For all students from ELC to Year 12 to grow in genuine, meaningful and practical service towards others through school-supported Service Learning opportunities.
How could we connect our students with The Smith Family in order to provide genuine and meaningful service? We decided to embark on the ‘Giving Tree’ concept for Christmas as a starting point. We invited Rhianna from The Smith Family in to explain the purpose behind giving to others via the Toy and Book Appeal. In contrast to previous years where we have established a giving tree, this year is different. It is about the children taking responsibility for driving the purchase of the gift to place under the tree knowing that it will make a difference in the lives of others. Having Rhianna talk to the children at the commencement of this mission enabled us all to hear a shared message, and for the teachers to build upon this in the remaining weeks of Term 4. Our intention is to make an impact through more than a one-off event.
Working in partnership with Rhianna, next year, we will create opportunities for the children to contribute to other campaigns. For example, the ‘Back to School Appeal’ where children can contribute items to go in backpacks for students going to school. Choosing meaningful opportunities for the age group is important, and with our older ELC friends preparing for School, it is indeed a relevant area. This will assist us in meeting two of the intentions of the program with our ELC students:
• Service Learning builds an attitude of citizenship and empathy for others
• Service Learning promotes students to work in collaboration with others towards a common purpose
We know that Rhianna is going to be pivotal in our work as she continues to come into our ELC to talk to our students, building their understandings about The Smith Family Trust and the benefits of service to others. Partnering with our Friends of the ELC community parent group, we will be able to creatively find other ways of providing service to this important cause. In addition, we will be able to connect with our older school students as they also support The Smith Family through the House Charity program. We are excited to be able to launch our 2021 vision now and lay the foundation for the year ahead.
Director of Early Learning
Year 9 Graduation
Congratulations to our Year 9 girls following their graduation this afternoon, marking their transition from Middle to Senior School.
This event is a chance to celebrate the achievements of every student throughout their Middle School journey. With superb musical pieces showcasing talented Year 9 musicians and vocalists, and a rendition of ‘We Are St Peter’s Girls’, it was a fitting lead in to the celebratory season.
The following video was played during the ceremony, featuring highlights from 2020 with a focus on the girls’ involvement in co-curricular activities.
Nativity Stars Shine on Stage
Christmas magic was in the air on Wednesday morning as the Year 1 and 2 Nativity was broadcast live to the Saints Girls’ community.
The story of the birth of Christ was retold through the eyes of the ‘Inn-Spectors’ who arrived in Bethlehem to ensure that all the guests were well provided and cared for in the town’s inns. They were shocked to discover that in the stable of a lowly inn, a baby was born; King of the world no less! But with the help and love of the Bethlehem guests and the stars shining from above, the inn was declared ‘Fit for a King!’
This was an amazing event to welcome the Christmas spirit into the hearts of the students, staff and Saints Girls’ community.
Kathryn Clark, Rebecca Greenhalgh, Michelle Liddy and Liz Sandercock
Year 1 and 2 Teachers
Special Reception for Festive Season
The Receptions from 0ZWE, 0ALE and 0MKA lit up the Arts Centre yesterday morning with their annual Christmas Assembly.
Countdown to Christmas depicted a family busily preparing for the festive season and counting down the days to Christmas. With special help from the arrival of a Fairy Clock Mother and some Tick & Tock clocks who kept a close eye on the time, the family was able to tick off all the important jobs in readiness for Christmas Day, including enlisting the help of some festive decorators who decked out the family home, going gift shopping and planning a Christmas feast. The girls dazzled the audience with their outstanding courage and confidence when reciting their lines, singing and dancing.
A very special thank you to Sarah Casson, Sally Rounsevell, Wesley Hiscock, Garth Coulter, Thomas Bassett and the Property Services team for their tremendous efforts and contribution to the assembly.
Meg Karvonen, Alana Lesiw and Zoe West
Prestigious Honour for Education Innovation
We’re excited to announce that we have been included on The Educator’s list of Innovative Schools in 2020. Acknowledging the growing importance of STEM and the need to attract more girls into STEM disciplines and careers, we have worked diligently for several years to be particularly cutting-edge with our Year 10 electives selection. Recent offerings have included Forensic Science; Business, Innovation and Technology; Girls in Engineering, Maths and Science; and, Psychology. This year, the School launched a creative new Year 10 elective subject entitled ‘Engineering for Global Change’ or E4GC for short. This subject is intentionally cross-curricular in nature. It was designed by a small team of teachers from the Humanities, Science and Technology faculties, and the class has been taught by two teachers – the Head of Humanities and the Head of Technology – sometimes separately and sometimes through team-teaching.
E4GC acknowledges that humanity will face increasingly complex challenges in the decades ahead (and the course was created and planned before the global pandemic struck!). These challenges will relate to, amongst other things, climate change, population growth, shifts in global power bases, and evolving social attitudes and trends across diverse groups around the world. Creative and agile solutions will be needed, and arriving at them will require collaboration, effective problem-solving approaches, and a sound understanding of how different strands of engineering and advanced technology can be applied, and maybe invented!
Assignment focus areas have included UNESCO’s 2030 Global Goals, understanding and applying the Quadruple Bottom Line of Sustainability, career investigations into different branches of engineering, robotics and assistive technologies, designing and building processes, and project work with external/industry mentors. Honours students from the University of Adelaide’s STEM Academy have delivered Zoom workshops to the class and have mentored students through their projects. Other partnerships have been scoped out with a view to future post-COVID collaborations, notably with the Civil Contractors Federation and with a local ‘Internet of Things’ company.
It is pleasing that the School and this innovative subject have been recognised by The Educator because it harnesses many of the approaches that research tells us lead to the best outcomes for students: collaborative planning and delivery, partnerships with external agencies and student-led project-based learning. Furthermore, students take knowledge and concepts from one area of learning and transfer them to others. Aspects of Geography, Technology, Science, Business, Economics and Mathematics are covered, and the subject also addresses significant elements of the Australian Curriculum’s General Capabilities and Cross-Curricular Priorities. We review our elective offerings every year, so look out for some more dynamic and futures-focused subjects in 2022 and beyond!
Director of Teaching and Learning
Young Composers Strike a Chord
This semester, a number of our Junior, Middle and Senior School students submitted compositions to the Young Composers’ Award competition. We are proud to announce that we have been nominated for two awards and have received a number of Honourable Mentions.
Year 6 student Eliza Brill Reed has been nominated for her original rock-pop song, entitled ‘Mine’, written for Mother’s Day. Year 9 student Emma Pool has been nominated for her song, entitled ‘Jealousy’, in the Year 8 – 12 Rock-Pop song category. Honourable Mentions were given to Zara Blight, Annie Bui, Stella Rasheed, Emma Pool and Chi Chi Zhao for their original compositions. The winners will be announced on 7 December during an online YCA concert where Emma Pool will be performing her song. The awards are very competitive and there are hundreds of entries, so congratulations girls!
This year, the Year 6, 7 and 9 Music classes have been studying songwriting. The students write lyrics, create a harmonic backing track of piano, bass and drums on their iPads or laptops, and record the song’s vocal melody to the backing.
“The songwriting program at Saints from Year 6 through to Year 9 has been a great opportunity to be creative and learn about composition. It has really fostered our love of songwriting.” – Annie Bui and Emma Pool
Once again, congratulations girls!
Georgie Charts Course with Music Debut
Georgie Raftopoulos, who performs as ‘Georgie Raft’, made the move to Saints Girls in 2019 and hasn’t looked back. This year, she was a member of both Enchante and Esperanza, and as a Year 11 student, also completed two SACE Stage 2 Music subjects: Ensemble Performance and Creative Arts. Next year, Georgie plans to study Solo Performance as well as Music Explorations, a Year 12 subject which allows students to pursue a specific music focus. A passionate singer-songwriter, this will form the basis of Georgie’s Music study in 2021.
Georgie has experienced considerable success as a semi-finalist in the world’s biggest songwriting event, the International Songwriting Competition. Four of her songs have made the top 30 of the Australian Songwriting Contest (Youth Category). Georgie has also co-written with our own Old Scholar and now Sony ATV artist, Alex Hosking, the song ‘Better Off’, which reached top 10 in this contest.
This year, Georgie released her first EP, working with award-winning music producer Mario Spate. ‘Breathing to Prove That I Can’ explores topics of toxicity, mental health, relationship complications and the struggles of adolescence.
Georgie’s EP is now available on Spotify, and/or if preferred, CDs can be purchased directly from Georgie for $10 each. I encourage you to have a listen to this talented young singer-songwriter’s work.
Enterprising Student’s Icing on the Cake
I have always found baking interesting and have always had a desire to develop a business based on baking. In March, my dream became a reality when ‘Jensbakes’ was born and I delivered my first commercial cake.
I offer a range of cakes and treats for all kinds of celebrations and have had the privilege of making cakes for some very special occasions including a book launch, a communion, a confirmation, a 1st birthday, and a 50th. I take pleasure in the fact that people trust me to produce a cake that competes with professional products, and that my cake is worthy of their event and that I am a part of their important celebration.
I am currently studying Year 11 Business Innovation and have learnt a number of skills and managed to incorporate my business into several of the assignments for the subject. COVID-19 has posed a number of challenges for all businesses (including my own!), and I am grateful for the support of the School community, classmates and especially my family (whose kitchen and oven get a workout!) for their support. I use social media platforms to host my business, and everything from past examples, options and orders can be found at ‘Jensbakes’ on Instagram and Facebook.
Year 11 student
Engage with a Book…It’s Important!
Here come the holidays and a chance to read.
With the summer break fast approaching, Saints Girls in Years 7 – 11 will be encouraged to select books to take home over the holidays, to visit our School’s eBook Library ‘Wheelers’ which contains eBooks and audiobooks, or to engage with their local public library. For those unable to access a physical library, online access to LIBBY, the public libraries’ online collection of eBook and audiobooks, requires families to simply register as members. An extra bonus is that the LIBBY collection is for adults as well as children.
We are fortunate in having plenty of keen readers here at Saints Girls and sound participation rates in activities such as the Premier’s Reading Challenge.
I recently attended a National Summit on Reading Research which highlighted the latest implications of reading for our students and families. The overwhelming message was that reading is in decline in Australia and yet the benefits of reading extend beyond literacy. Books enable students to develop empathy and positive interpersonal characteristics, can contribute to improved performance in Mathematics and Science, not just Humanities subjects, and have been shown to offer additional health-related benefits, especially with mental health.
By engaging in reading, students gain syntactic knowledge (gather word meaning), word recognition and expanded vocabularies, as well as better reading comprehension, spelling and language skills. Exposure to new words through reading during school years accounts for a substantial proportion of vocabulary acquisition. Yet, a pattern that is emerging is that as students progress from primary to secondary schooling, reading habits are declining and this is contributing to the decrease in NAPLAN results in many schools. Developing and maintaining reading skills needs to be seen as a lifelong process that does not end with the acquisition of reading skills.
Readers must be motivated to read, an essential factor in successful reading, and enjoy what they are reading. This is where the role of teachers, parents and librarians is crucial. Children’s attitudes towards reading can be positively influenced by adults modelling personal enjoyment and engagement. Visible reading by adults at school and home is as important as offering encouragement to a child to read. Reading becomes part of the child’s culture.
And the final message: engage with each other and share what you are reading. This only adds to the positive message about the value of reading.
Head of Library and Information Services
School Shop Holiday Hours
The School Shop will be closed from 6pm on Thursday 10 December 2020 until 9am Monday 18 January 2021.
Opening hours from 18 – 22 January are as follows:
Monday 18 from 9am – 4pm; Tuesday 19 from 9am – 4pm; Wednesday 20 from 1 – 4pm; Thursday 21 from 9am – midday; Friday 22 from 9am – 4pm.
For parents of Year 4 students in 2021, please note that they will be required to have a jumper and blazer from the first day of Term 1.
To help reduce your waiting time, it is advisable that you call the School Shop on 8334 2228 prior to coming in. Social distancing will likely still be applicable and we have many new students booked in for uniform fittings.
The School Shop
Junior School Vacation Care
Our next awesome instalment of Junior School Vacation Care is almost here. We have some great activities guaranteed to keep the children entertained through the break. With an array of onsite adventures and excursions, there is plenty of fun to be had.
December 2020 / January 2021 Vacation Care Program
Places are limited, so click here to secure your booking now!
Year Level Parent Reps for 2021
There have been many fantastic events planned by our community groups and year levels this year, especially over the past few months. We’ve also received great feedback in the Community Relations Office from our new families, relaying that everyone has felt included and welcomed into our community.
We are now recruiting and looking forward to receiving nominations for Year Level Parent Representatives for 2021!
We’ve simplified our structure and this will not be an onerous or time-consuming task in 2021. This is, however, a great way to socialise and connect with other School families. In early 2021, the Community Relations Office will communicate information to all Year Level Parent Reps, along with the representatives of all community groups at the School. This collaborative information will set the scene for 2021 and give you the opportunity to appropriately plan your social calendar for your year level.
Thank you to our 2020 Year Level Parent Reps for all your hard work and dedication this year!
We are looking to recruit 2 to 4 parents per year level. If you are interested in becoming a Parent Representative for 2021, please contact me in the Community Relations Office for more information via 8334 2244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saints Girls on Social Media
Celebrate Saints Girls by staying connected with us on social media.
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/stpetersgirls
Follow us on Instagram: www.instagram.com/stpetersgirlsschool
Enjoy fun and uplifting news and content, like this snapshot of our girls in action:
*Facebook and Instagram require account holders to be at least 13 years of age.
Meningococcal ACWY – Catch Up Program
The School Immunisation Program for 2020 includes Meningococcal ACWY (Nimenrix) for all Year 10 students only. Young people aged 15 to 19 are eligible for a government-funded Meningococcal ACWY catch up program.
As your School’s immunisation provider, Eastern Health Authority can offer this free vaccination service to students in Year 10 who may have missed vaccination this year, or Year 11 and 12 students who have not previously been immunised. For families residing within our council areas, we are also able to offer this catch up vaccination to adolescents under the age of 20 who may have left the School in recent years.
Meningococcal is a rare but very serious and often life-threatening disease, with adolescents at increased risk. Available vaccination for Meningococcal includes protection from B strain (Bexsero – provided at Year 10 at school) and A, C, W and Y strains (Nimenrix – provided at Year 10 at school). W and Y strains are becoming more prevalent in Australia, with Meningococcal W having a higher fatality rate than other types of Meningococcal disease.
We strongly encourage those eligible for this vaccination to visit one of our clinics to help protect themselves from this disease.
Book online via eha.sa.gov.au or phone 8132 3600 for further information.