Monthly Archives: December 2020

eNews – Week 8, Term 4 2020

Issue no. 38Enews-banner

W8 - Banner

From Our Chair of the Board of Governors

Despite a year of challenges, Saints Girls have stayed the course, much as our founding Sisters responded when faced with adversity. Whilst there have been unparalleled obstacles, the true character of our community has shone through. Indeed, there has been much to give thanks for and celebrate.

W8 - JSIn Sport, the School’s recent dominance grew even stronger with our girls winning the coveted IGSSA Athletics Carnival for a phenomenal fifth year running, and the IGSSA Swimming Shield for the fourth time in five years. In Rowing, our 1st VIII and other exceptional crews were crowned 2020 State Champions. In addition, our girls also achieved top trophies, pennants and medals in sports such as Badminton, Hockey, Lacrosse, Water Polo, Aerobics, Cross Country and more. Much of this success can be attributed to the passion and expertise of our outgoing Director of Sport Neil Fuller who has served 12 outstanding years in the role. Neil is excited to be joining our Property Services team and we look forward to his continued contribution.

In the Creative Arts, Saints Girls once again flourished across all spheres. When audience performances were not possible, our Music students unleashed their talents brilliantly online, attracting national and international acclaim. Our senior Dance and Drama students delivered performances of the highest calibre, and our Year 5 girls were magical in their production of Matilda the Musical JR. Creativity has also been abundant through the Symphony of Languages platform in our ELC, all the way through to our new Visual Arts space where girls have been igniting their imagination.

In typical fashion, our students shone across a host of academic pursuits, claiming top honours in the International Ethics Olympiad and Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence competition, and 2nd prize in the University of Adelaide’s Shark Tank eSchool challenge, building upon previous success.

Another highlight has been the continued transformation of the School’s facilities, with new Junior School classrooms, a state-of-the-art Media Hub, dynamic spaces for our IT and Learning Strategies teams, and extensive restorations of our historic Chiverton building. Over the holidays, we expect to complete the upgrade of classrooms along the Junior School corridor, and we look forward to sharing news of further developments in the near future.

Our 2020 – 2022 Strategic Plan is well on its way to reinforcing our reputation as a world-class deliverer of girls’ education. We have continued to advance across our integral focus areas of Academics, Wellbeing, Staff, Co-Curricular, Spaces and Places, Community and Organisational Sustainability. Highlights in 2020 have included establishing the framework for a new personalised and futures-focused careers program, enhancing technological capabilities such as data analytics to better track and support student progress, and reviewing our subjects and curriculum to optimise opportunities for our girls. In fact, a new Year 10 elective subject recently received a prestigious honour in being named on ‘The Educator Innovative Schools 2020’ list. Designed in-house by our talented teachers, Engineering for Global Change (E4GC) traverses the curriculum, encouraging our girls to develop creative and agile solutions to future challenges.

As we approach the end of this extraordinary year, I wish to pay tribute to our Principal Julia Shea for her meticulous and consistent leadership through uncharted waters. Indeed, the Senior Leadership Team is to be commended for their collective endeavours, so too my faithful colleagues on the Board of Governors who have provided a steady hand of guidance; my sincerest thanks to members Bronwyn Corbet, Bishop Tim Harris, Lisa Jarrett, Michelle Kennedy, Andy Keough, James Lawes, Paul Sherlock and James Young.

Once again, our passionate teachers and support staff have been the backbone of the School, putting our girls first at every turn. This was particularly evident during the seven days of remote online learning where staff worked tirelessly to remain connected with families. I also take this opportunity to recognise our loyal volunteers and generous donors whose invaluable contributions have taken on added significance this year; your support means the world to our girls, now and into the future. And of course, I extend my deepest thanks to our wonderful parents and students for their patience, flexibility and collaboration in facing the changing climate together.

Finally, congratulations to our Class of 2020. Your resilience, determination and courage have provided inspiration to all around you and I have no doubt you will go on to become women of character and influence. The challenges you have overcome and the composure you have demonstrated have, I am sure, strengthened your resolve for the years ahead. We look forward to following your continued success as you begin your next chapter.

Jeremy Schultz
Chair, Board of Governors

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From Our Principal

W8 - Chiverton

juliashea_web-200x300-200x300As we reach the end of the school year, we bid farewell to some members of staff.

Thank you to Tony Houey and Monique McLeay who completed short-term contracts with us this year.

Thomas Barclay and Chris Carey have taught in our Science Department for the past two years. We thank them both for their wonderful contribution to Saints Girls and wish them well in their new positions.

Hayley McLauchlan joined the School as Communications Coordinator in early 2017. Her talents in graphic design, video production and other pursuits have been thoroughly enjoyed by the School community and we wish Hayley well in her new position.

Susanna Anderson started working in the Enrolments Team in 2016. She has been a ‘triple threat’, wearing the parent, Old Scholar and staff member hats simultaneously. Susanna’s passion for the School is palpable and we thank her for all her work over the past four years.

Mel Angel joined the ELC teaching team in 2017. She has had a significant impact on our School and we wish her all the best as she relocates overseas.

We also say farewell to three of our ELC co-educators – Donna Connolly, Magdalena Mos and Jaye Bessell – and thank them for the important role they’ve played in the development of our youngest students.

It would be hard to find anyone more ardent and enthusiastic about Mathematics than Heather Lines. After seven years with us, Heather’s illustrious teaching career is coming to an end as retirement beckons. We thank Heather for all that she has given to Saints Girls and wish her and her husband Kevin all the best in the next exciting stage of their lives.

We have some wonderful new staff joining us at the start of 2021 and I look forward to introducing them to you early next year. You will have an opportunity to meet them at the annual ‘Drinks on the Lawns’ to be held on Friday 5 February 2021.

Finally, I would like to echo Jeremy’s words above and thank all of our staff for their amazing contribution this year. Any organisation is only as good as its people and we are so lucky to have staff members who will always go the extra mile for this wonderful School.

May your home be filled with love, peace and joy throughout the coming weeks. For those of you with loved ones interstate, I hope all the borders will be open so that you can spend the festive season together. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a blessed new year.

Julia Shea

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Holy Night – Carols in the School Chapel

W8 - Carols
Angelic harmonies filled our School Chapel last night as many of our talented Music girls delivered our annual Carols Service.

The evening was comprised of two sessions, with both featuring poignant and celebratory songs and prayers. A special thank you to Lily Marshall (Year 6) and Ariel Spartalis (Year 9) for designing beautiful illustrations for the event.

The live stream recordings from last night can be viewed for the next week via these links:

Junior School Carols 2020

Middle/Senior School Carols 2020

Junior Carols Service Event Program
Senior Carols Service Event Program

And please enjoy some precious highlights in this short video:

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Congratulations to Our Outgoing Director of Sport

W8 - Farewell

Neil Fuller (OAM) has been an inspiration to our students across all sporting pursuits since joining the School as Director of Sport in 2008. His achievements in athletics are legendary, including six Paralympic Gold medals and eight World Championship titles. He is a member of the South Australia Sport Hall of Fame and is listed on the Australian Institute of Sport’s ‘Best of the Best’ honour roll.

Neil has helped elevate the School’s sporting platform to unprecedented heights, empowering girls to achieve their goals at every opportunity. He is excited to be joining our Property Services team and we look forward to his continued contribution at St Peter’s Girls.

“There have been so many amazing highlights, and being involved as the School has increased in size and upgraded facilities has been worth every minute,” Neil said.

“I have always tried to enable, create and foster a fantastic sporting culture across all ages, primarily to simply have pride in representing the School at whatever level girls choose, and with that, aimed to become as successful as possible which we have achieved in recent years, dominating the IGSSA competition in Athletics and Swimming.

To be able to support the development of girls across a wide range of sports has been extremely rewarding, especially in providing opportunities for Old Scholars who wish to return as coaches or officiators.”

Here are just some of Neil’s memorable highlights:

  • Establishing an Old Scholars’ Soccer Team (2012-2015)
  • Initiating, planning and establishing the Saints Girls’ Hall of Fame (2014)
  • Implementing the Intercol with Walford (2017)
  • Travelling with teams for sport to Melbourne and Canberra (Athletics) and to the Gold Coast and Brisbane (Netball)
  • Involvement in improvements and upgrades to develop the multi-purpose courts and the synthetic long jump run-up
  • Successful introduction of additional programs such as Aerobics, Cross Country, Aussie Rules, Lacrosse, Rowing, Touch Football and the Kelly Sports multi-sports program.

Thank you Neil for your magnificent service!

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Heartwarming Scenes at ELC Hat Ceremony

W8 - ELC

This week, we celebrated a very special Saints Girls’ tradition: the ELC Hat Ceremony!

Our 2021 Receptions were excited to accept their ‘big school’ hat and bag with the help of our incoming Prefects.

We wish them all the best for school next year!

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Year 6 Exhibition Goes Global

W8 - Year 6 Exhibition

The Exhibition is the final step in the Primary Years Programme journey. The Year 6 students all chose a personal project that connected to the idea that, ‘Global citizens can take action for the future of the planet.’

Each student represented their learning in a visual way, explained their thinking behind it and created a digital message to share the knowledge they developed over the course of this project. The students also kept a journal of the process and spent time reflecting on the skills and dispositions they needed to complete this unit of work.

The girls proudly showcased their work in our Science Centre this week. Staff and students from a variety of year levels visited the displays to hear each student share their learnings and articulate the important ‘take away’ messages designed to raise awareness and interest around very worthwhile global topics.

Helen Smith
Deputy Head of Junior School / IB PYP Coordinator

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Young Achievers Score Maths and English Awards

W8 - High Distinctions

It was fabulous to see the majority of Junior School girls challenge themselves by sitting the Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) and the ICAS English and Mathematics competitions this year. We are very proud of all of the girls, especially those who set themselves the goal of working outside of their comfort zone. Over and above their High Distinction awards, Lauren Fuller was awarded a medal for her achievements in the ICAS English Competition and Xielan Ouyang was awarded a medal for her results in the ICAS Mathematics Competition. We congratulate the following students for receiving High Distinctions in these competitions:

ICAS English
Lily Croser-Barlow (Year 3)
Grace Marshall (Year 3)
Lauren Fuller (Year 5)

ICAS Mathematics
Xielan Ouyang (Year 5)

Australian Mathematics Competition
Sasha Connor (Year 3)
Erin Liau (Year 3)

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From Our IB and SACE Coordinators

W8 - SACE and IB

As SACE and IB Coordinators, we field many questions from students and parents about our programs and entry to tertiary studies. To help you understand the many issues which will inform your decisions around pathways, subjects and careers, we would like to welcome you to a series of articles, the first of which talks about ATAR versus selection rank. Should you have any questions that you would like us to address in our articles, please do email them through to us as we are here to help. With Year 12 results soon to be released, our first topic relates to understanding them.

We must start talking about ‘selection rank’

One word that dominates senior schools around the country more than any other is ‘ATAR’.

“The ATAR is a rank given to students on a range from 0 to 99.95 to show their competitiveness, or how well they have performed, in relation to other Year 12 students in Australia.” (SATAC Guide 2021)

Okay, well that seems simple enough. Students around the country study in different states, different systems and they study different subjects. The ATAR provides a way in which to compare results. So, the ATAR is what universities use to determine which students are offered places in courses, right?


What? Now we’re confused. We need to look closely at this…

Universities do not use the ATAR to decide whether your daughter is offered a place in their course. Instead, they use a selection rank.

“The selection rank is used to determine a student’s competitiveness relative to other applicants for the same course.” (SATAC Guide 2021)

This means that the selection rank depends on:

• the course you are applying for
• the subjects you have studied at high school
• and possibly, equity access considerations

Selection ranks are determined by using adjustment factors in combination with the ATAR. Subject-based adjustments are designed to encourage enrolments in certain subjects at high school rather than reward outcomes; although naturally, a passing level of achievement is required. Adjustments do not change your ATAR but they may change your selection rank for a particular course.

In South Australia, subject-based adjustment factors can be earned by way of the Language, Literacy and Mathematics Scheme for a maximum of two subjects from:

SACE: English, English Literary Studies, any LOTE subject (Language Other Than English), Mathematical Methods, Specialist Mathematics.

A minimum score of C- is required.

IB: English, any LOTE subject (Language Other Than English), Mathematics: analysis and approaches.

A minimum score of 3 for higher level and 4 for standard level is required.

Note, every successful IB Diploma student automatically earns the full subject adjustment factor. A table of selection ranks can be seen here.

Below is an example of what a selection rank might look like (based on 2020 admissions):

SACE student (with English & Mathematical Methods)
Selection Rank 94.65

SACE student (with English)
Selection Rank 92.50

IB Diploma student (IB score of 33)
Selection Rank 94.65

Almost all degrees in South Australia such as Law, Finance, Business, Health Sciences (including Dentistry), Education, Engineering, Science, Humanities, Information Technology, etc. will all use the selection rank as their cut-off score, not the ATAR.

There are a small handful of degrees, notably Medicine, which do not apply subject adjustment factors, and so the ATAR is also the selection rank (unless there are other applicable equity adjustment factors). As those of you who have looked into Medicine entry will well understand, the ATAR is the very last piece of the ‘med entry’ puzzle. For example, at the University of Adelaide, the UCAT score is considered (20%) and based on this only, students are invited for an interview (40%). If a student successfully navigates these two pieces, the ATAR (40%) makes up the final piece. High UCAT scorers typically also earn high ATARs. It cannot be said that the reverse is true. Too often, students choose subjects to maximise their ATAR but fail to develop the “mental abilities, attitudes, and professional behaviours required for new doctors to be successful in their clinical careers” (, which is what the UCAT is designed to identify. It is important to engage in learning which develops these qualities if medicine is your aim.

Interstate universities take a different approach to selection ranks as they do not apply a blanket method as South Australia does. Each university applies its own adjustment factor depending on the subjects studied at high school and the intended university course. Both SACE and IB students are eligible for these subject adjustment factors which will determine their selection rank for that course.

We hope this now moves your conversation with your daughter from ATARs to the more meaningful ‘selection ranks’.

We look forward to helping your daughter find her interests and to flourish in the study of them.

Karen Alderson (SACE Coordinator)
Carolyn Farr (IB Coordinator)

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Out of the Blue Arts Journal

W8 - Out of the Blue
After seven months of hard work, the Out of the Blue Arts Journal is finally off the ground! A group of Year 10 and 11 students have worked tirelessly in creating this journal, filled with amazing art from the School community. During this experience, we have found ourselves reflecting on the importance of art, not just within the Saints’ community, but also within our day-to-day lives. Despite the many struggles coronavirus has brought to the world of art, such as concerts being cancelled and art galleries and museums being forced to close, art has been more prevalent than ever this year, as people have drawn to it for comfort.

I’m sure I can speak for many girls within our community when I say that, amidst the hardest parts of this year, we have turned to music, television, poetry, books and drawing to help us both escape hard times, and reflect upon them. It’s clear that art is so important to us all as a way of forming connections, having fun and finding comfort. We hope that this journal becomes another way in which people can find comfort, whether it’s through producing art for the journal itself or through the process of reading and experiencing the art that our girls have to offer.

As we’re so passionate about the importance of art to communities, we’ve decided to donate all of our profits to First Nations Bedtime Stories, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander charity dedicated to sharing Aboriginal art with the rest of Australia. The charity works towards reconciliation through the sharing of art and culture, demonstrating one of the ways in which art has the power to be incredibly healing. We hope to make continued donations to this charity as next year we will pass on the baton to a new committee in order to make Out of the Blue not just an annual book, but one that is always new and innovative.

I’d like to send a shout out to Victoria Thorp, Emeshe Robson, Holly Wallman-Craddock, Cynthia He, Katija Franchi and Emily Teague for all their hard work on the committee this year, turning this dream into a reality.

Thank you to everyone who submitted art – we could not have done this without you. We hope that next year will be even bigger and better, and that you will help us to do this through your continued support and art submissions.

Sara Peak
Out of the Blue Committee Member

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New Chapter for Little Street Library

W8 - Books

In collaboration with the City of Burnside, Year 5 artists were lucky enough to paint a Little Street Library. They were inspired by Adelaide landscape artist Hans Heysen and in particular his 1894 painting ‘The Wet Road’. In awe of Heysen’s clever cloud painting techniques, the artists chose to cover the Little Library in clouds.

Street Libraries are a beautiful home for books and are accessible from the street. Books come and go and no one needs to check them in or out. People in the community can simply reach in and take what interests them, and when they are done, they can return them to the Street Library network, or pass them onto friends. If anyone has a book or two that they think others would enjoy, they can just pop it into any Street Library they happen to be walking past. They are a symbol of trust and hope – ‘a tiny vestibule of literary happiness’.

Sarah Casson
Junior Art Teacher

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Year 2 Chefs Cook Up a Storm

W8 - Year 2

Home Fresh Cooking School provided an amazing culinary experience for the Year 2 girls recently as we celebrated our learning journey together.

This event was a culmination of our ‘Who we are’ unit of inquiry that, ‘People can make choices that affect their health and wellbeing.’ The girls learnt how to peel, chop and baste and bake as they created chicken or eggplant parmigiana, roast vegetables and a special Oreo cookie dessert.

The delight on their faces as they tried new foods was truly magic and we hope this is the start of their cooking adventures for life.

Kathryn Clark and Rebecca Greenhalgh
Year 2 Teachers

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Junior School Vacation Care

W6 - 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!

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Holiday Opening / Closing Times

The School’s Front Office will be closed from 5pm Friday 18 December 2020 until 8am Monday 11 January 2021.

The School Shop will be closed from 6pm Thursday 10 December 2020 until 9am Monday 18 January 2021.
School Shop 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. To help reduce your waiting time, it is advisable that you call the School Shop on 8334 2228 prior to coming in.

The IT Hub will be open for much of the holiday break from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday, but will be closed from 4pm Friday 18 December 2020 to 8am Monday 4 January 2021.

For School Vacation Care enquiries, contact OSHC Supervisor Rebecca Kranz via or 0419 999 552.

For ELC Vacation Care enquiries, please contact one of the following staff:

Learning Community 1 (Bell Yett and Stonyfell Rooms)
Danniella Capaldo
Phone: 0477 993 317 | 8155 5778

Learning Community 2 (Ferguson and Hallett Rooms)
Henrietta Balnaves
Phone: 0477 993 318 | 8155 5775

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Heart and Sole from The Athlete’s Foot

W8 - Donation

At our Assembly on Monday 16 November, Byron Davis, Director of The Athlete’s Foot Burnside, presented P&F President Bronwyn Bartter with a cheque for $890.

We encourage our community members to please support this continuing promotion. When you visit The Athlete’s Foot Burnside, $5 from every shoe purchased by anyone connected to our community will be donated back to St Peter’s Girls’ School.

This is an ongoing partnership, so please let their staff know that you would like your donation to come to Saints Girls when you make a purchase.

Thank you for your support!

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Volunteer Musicians Spread Joy

W8 - Music

A few weeks ago, Saints Girls’ musicians Samantha Li, Caitlin Middelberg, Lauren Parker, Abigail Papps and Annie Bui volunteered their time to busk at the All Souls Church at St Peters to bring a little cheer and music to support a fundraising event.

Well done for giving up your time to share your beautiful music.

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Year Level Parent Reps for 2021

W6 - Parent Representatives

Are you a Reception, Year 6, 7 or 9 parent next year? We need you!

We’ve been recruiting and receiving nominations for Year Level Parent Representatives for 2021.

Our structure has been simplified and this will not be an onerous or time-consuming task. This is, however, a great way to socialise and connect with other School families.

We are looking to recruit four parents per year level. If you are interested in volunteering at our community events or becoming a Parent Representative for 2021, please contact me in the Community Relations Office for more information via 8334 2244 or

Melissa Westgate
Foundation Manager


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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 or phone 8132 3600 for further information.

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