From Our Principal
Welcome to the 2023 school year at Saints Girls! It is an absolute pleasure to be writing to you as the new Principal of this esteemed school. I’d like to begin by acknowledging the outstanding leadership of Ms Julia Shea during the past nine years to position St Peter’s Girls as a world-class provider of girls’ education, a school steeped in tradition yet also equipped with an innovative, adaptive and future focused approach which harnesses advances in educational knowledge and practice.
The recent academic results have reinforced Saints Girls’ reputation as one of Australia’s leading schools for girls. I congratulate all members of our staff as the work they perform each day in every learning environment from ELC to Year 12, together with the authentic relationships developed with families, form the foundation of this success. Of course, our students’ success is not reflected purely by SACE and IB results alone. An authentic holistic education in an all-girls’ setting has other very important measures. Fostering critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, character, citizenship and wellbeing in our girls is essential in empowering them to face challenges with a positive and flexible mindset.
I leapt at the opportunity to join Saints Girls as I am drawn to lead schools that have a long history of recognising the value of a sound education and a school community that honours its founders. In 1894, dedicated women from the Community of the Sisters of the Church sailed to a settlement they knew little about on the other side of the world to open a school for girls. It is hard to imagine what life was like then, but I know how incredibly courageous these women must have been to take on such a challenge. They arrived with very few possessions and little understanding of the environment and society they would be serving, but what they brought to our shores was priceless: a vision for quality girls’ education.
The Sisters epitomised the values of courage, creativity and compassion; values that continue to drive our School today. In the programs we deliver, the support we offer and the culture we embody at Saints Girls, we enact and model those compelling values in a way that would make the Sisters proud. Our School’s vision of ‘inspiring women of character and influence, fostering the next generation of leaders’, is so powerful. I am deeply committed to developing character, nurturing students to have inquiring minds and to be agents for change in our increasingly complex world.
Another special feature of Saints Girls is our one School on the one campus, ELC to Year 12. I bring experience and expertise to each part of our School and there is a great joy that comes with being involved in a student’s growth from two years of age to 18 and beyond. Saints Girls is a school grounded in Christian ideals with a committed staff, committed families and a committed community, one that blends the strengths of almost 130 years of tradition while embracing change to best serve the needs of our girls and their families.
I passionately believe that schools are about the three Rs: Relationships, Relationships, Relationships. Hence, the development of authentic relationships is central to my leadership. As your new Principal of Saints Girls, getting to know our families, staff and members of our wider School community, and enabling you all to get to know me, is a priority. With this in mind, I’d like to share a little about my family. I am married to Mal. He has served as a secondary teacher for many years, having taught in various schools across South Australia and most recently in Melbourne. We have an 18 year old daughter, Georgia, who finished Year 12 last year. She decided to remain in Melbourne, and in somewhat of a role reversal, her parents have moved out of home! And the last member of my family is Beanz, our beloved 11 year old Golden Retriever.
I am extremely grateful that I have now been given the opportunity to extend my circle, as a proud and devoted member of the Saints Girls’ community. I look forward to supporting you with my leadership experience and expertise in a committed school with vision and purpose.
As the 2023 school year begins, we are thrilled to welcome new and returning staff to Saints Girls.
We welcome back:
Nikki Brennan – Teaching PE and Junior Sport Coordinator
Annalisa Cecere – EAL/D Teacher
Shelley Hampton – Year 5 Teacher
Katherine Kitching – Drama and English
Yuhan Liu – Chinese
Emma McIntyre – Maths and Head of Kennion House
Angelina Pisaniello – Humanities and some Food Tech
Kirsty Porplycia – ELC (Pathway to School Transition)
Change of roles:
Sera Boccaccio – ELC Manager
Alice Johnswood – Sport Coordinator
Zoe Lloyd – Learning Strategies Teacher
Louisa Mitchell – Junior School Teacher-Librarian
Katherine Perkas – Head of PE
New Non-Teaching Staff:
Olivia Carter – Accountant
Linda Littler – Payroll Officer
Gabriella Shanahan – School Nurse
New ELC Staff:
Liz Schembri – Director
Chloe Skoss – Teacher
Catherine Jiang – Co-Educator
Dot Kelly – Co-Educator
Rachel Li – Co-Educator
New School Teaching Staff:
Emily Hocking – Science and Year 9 Home Group Teacher
Sue Mears – Music Teacher
Michael Monda – Year 6 Teacher
Alannah Prestwich – EAL/D Teacher
Emma Warren – Classroom Support and Learning Strategies ESO
Wishing all of our staff a wonderful 2023! Parents will have the opportunity to meet and catch up with many of them at next Friday’s Drinks on the Lawns.
Drinks on the Lawns – Next Week
Parents are cordially invited to join us in celebrating the new school year by coming together as a community for an evening of socialising
Friday 10 February, 6.30 – 9pm
A great opportunity to connect with other parents and staff including our new Principal Cherylyn Skewes
Flashback Friday: 2022 at Saints Girls
While 2023 has well and truly landed at Stonyfell, Saints Girls are still buzzing from a phenomenal 2022.
Take a look back at some of the amazing highlights across our ELC all the way to Year 12 and beyond:
Prestigious Art Honour for Fantastic Five
In sensational news, artworks by five of our 2022 Old Scholars have been selected for inclusion in the prestigious SACE Art Show 2023.
The annual exhibition is a celebratory showcase of SACE Arts students and their amazing creativity. This is a fantastic achievement with St Peter’s Girls being the only school in the State to have five works chosen. These will be displayed at the Light Square Gallery alongside pieces by other South Australian students from from 21 March to 14 April.
Congratulations to Annabelle Bradshaw, Hilary Clark, Sophie Norman, Eva Young and Lucy White on this incredible recognition and also to Year 12 Visual Arts Teacher Kirsten Mansfield for the encouragement and support she has provided.
Head of The Arts
Keys to Georgia’s Piano Success
Congratulations to Year 12 student Georgia Evans on receiving Honours for her Grade 8 Piano Exam held in November.
Georgia has performed beautiful piano solos at many events over the years including Arts Nights, School Tours, Assemblies and Piano Eisteddfods. She has also been a valued member of Stage Band and Little Big Band, and has enjoyed singing in various vocal ensembles such as In-Ta Jazz, Bella Voche and Chamber Choir.
Well done Georgia! You are to be commended on this special achievement and your commitment and dedication to the Music Department.
Saints Star at Music Theatre Camp
Last month, a group of talented Saints Girls participated in Pelican Production’s annual Music Theatre Camp, this year entitled ‘We’re All Made of Stars’. Throughout the two-week program, students learn 10 minute snippets of eight different musicals. This year, these included Hercules, Matilda, Mean Girls and Shrek!
The camp is an amazing way to expand a performer’s skillset and nurture lifelong friendships. It was my 10th year of the Music Theatre Camp, having been fortunate to be involved since the age of 7. I was joined by fellow Saints Girls Madeleine Andrejewskis, Zoe Pool, Sophie Blight, Madeleine Schroeter, Lauren Fuller, Charlotte Norman and Emma Pool.
I want to especially congratulate Madeleine Schroeter (Year 7) who received a Most Outstanding Performer Award in the West End Cast and Sophie Blight (Year 9) for her Spirit of Performance Award in the Hollywood Cast, both incredible achievements!
Year 12 student
Serving Our Community with Grace
Year 12 student Grace Beaumont was recently commended for her charity work as part of the Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) component of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Committed to undertaking a project to aid the community, Grace organised and ran a fundraising afternoon tea where all profits went towards care packages for women admitted to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital following a pregnancy loss.
Grace shares, ‘Sometimes an expectant mum goes to hospital for a check up and faces the tragic news that she has lost her baby. And so, she finds herself needing to stay overnight heartbroken and unexpectedly unprepared. I recognised the need and developed my IB Service project around providing basic support for these women during their hospital stay.’
Grace not only baked and prepared the afternoon tea, raising money with raffles and games, she also organised speakers to help increase awareness. Raising close to $4000, Grace then got to work preparing 100 packs which she calls ‘a hug in a bag’. The contents provide the women with some necessities during their unexpected hospital stay.
Tracy Carroll attended Grace’s fundraising event and wrote to the School shortly afterwards: ‘I have been a midwife and nurse for many years and was deeply moved by the heartwarming insight into the caring spirit of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Service at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. This is the only service of its kind in South Australia and the speakers are clinical experts from this highly-regarded unit which is recognised nationally and internationally.’
‘Grace’s family and her school must be very proud to have such a mature and capable young woman who, with her quiet and caring manner, navigated through such a delicate and often tragic topic. Her choice of funding and preparing these care packages for women affected by this loss (often with little or no warning) is so special…it will really make a difference to so many.’
Well done Grace, we are very proud of your efforts.
IB Diploma Coordinator
Champion Triathlete Returns to Stonyfell
We were thrilled to be visited by Old Scholar triathlete Sophie Linn (Patteson 2012) who anchored Australia to Bronze in the Mixed Team Relay at last year’s Commonwealth Games.
Sophie shared details about her stunning career journey, including how Saints Girls set her up for success both academically and in the sporting arena.
‘URSTRONG’ Friendship Program
It is exciting to announce that our Junior School will become a ‘URSTRONG School’ in 2023. This whole-School friendship strategy will connect students, teachers and parents with a common language around friendships. Junior School Teachers will talk about the core principles of the program in their ‘Meet the Teacher’ sessions next Tuesday 7 February, and Junior School families will receive an email with further details next week.
Junior School parents are invited to take advantage of a free Parent Membership to access hundreds of resources. For more information – click here
We are also pleased to partner with the URSTRONG organisation to offer a ‘Language of Friendship’ parent and child online workshop on Wednesday 22 March at 6pm. This session will teach you and your children the skills and language to foster healthy, feel-good friendships. To register – click here
Deputy Head of Junior School
Parent Information Session (Years 5 – 12)
As part of our wellbeing platform at St Peter’s Girls’ School, one our key roles is educating families about the challenges facing young people.
A topic that has risen to prominence in the wider community of late is the issue of vaping. Accordingly, we are pleased to offer parents across Years 5 to 12 the opportunity to attend an information session hosted by respected drug and alcohol education expert Paul Dillon. Paul is well known to our School, having spoken with parents and students on other important topics in the past.
This session will share up-to-date information on the use of e-cigarettes and vaping, including the potential harms. Practical advice will also be provided on how to talk to young people about vaping.
Monday 6 March
6.30 – 7.30pm
RSVP by Monday 20 February via TryBooking – click here
We hope many of our parents can join us for this valuable information session.
Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School
Scholastic Book Club
Scholastic Book Club starts again this year, offering families a terrific way to purchase quality children’s books at a great price. This issue, Scholastic has special bonus offers to celebrate the 2023 school year:
Spend over $30, receive 1 free book
Spend over $50, receive 2 free books
Spend over $70, receive 3 free books
You can easily place your child’s order via the Scholastic Australia LOOP website or the LOOP app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Books will be delivered to class.
Now Casting: Alice in Wonderland
SHANE DAVIDSON PRESENTS is now casting for its upcoming show: Alice in Wonderland
Open to children aged 8 – 14 years
Shows: Friday 31 March and Saturday 1 April (Holden Street Theatre)
If your daughter is keen to participate or you would like more information, please email email@example.com
Please find the latest guidance from SA Health:
- It is strongly recommended that students stay home if they have cold or flu-like
symptoms, and test for COVID-19.
- Whether they receive a positive or negative result, they should stay home until symptoms subside (usually five to seven days).
- It is strongly recommended that parents/guardians inform the School if a student is a
close contact. For further advice regarding close contacts, click here
- While face masks are no longer mandated, they are an important physical barrier to help stop the spread of COVID, particularly when indoors.
If your child tests positive to COVID-19, please inform the School. Please also notify the School each day of absence, or provide the expected period of absence.
You can notify us via one of the following methods. Please include the name of the ELC Room, Class or Home Group. If emailing, feel free to ‘CC’ the teacher of the Room/Class/Home Group as well.
Text: 0428 601 957 (save to phone contacts as SPGS)
Phone: 8334 2200
For more SA Health information, click here
Please note that if your child is unwell, they should remain home until they have recovered, irrespective of the illness.
2023 School Immunisation Program
Please find information from Eastern Health Authority:
Together with SA Health, the SA School Immunisation Program will be offered at your school by Eastern Health Authority in 2023.
All Year 7 and 8 students will be offered:
2 doses of the human papillomavirus vaccine, Gardasil®9 at 2 separate visits (6 months apart)
1 dose of the diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough vaccine, Boostrix®
All Year 10 students will be offered:
2 doses of the meningococcal B vaccine, Bexsero® at 2 separate visits (8 weeks apart)
1 dose of the meningococcal ACWY vaccine, Nimenrix®
Immunisation consent packs have been sent home with all Year 7, 8 and 10 students this week and are due to be returned by Monday 6 February. It is important that you read the information contained in the packs before you give consent for your child to be vaccinated at school.
If you have any questions about this program, please contact Eastern Health Authority on 8132 3600 or visit eha.sa.gov.au
If you do not receive an Immunisation Consent Pack from your child, please ask for one at the school’s Front Office.
All parents/legal guardians are to complete, sign and return the Consent Cards, even if you do not consent for the student to be vaccinated at school. Students aged 16 years and above can consent for themselves.
If you do not want your child to be vaccinated at school, please contact Eastern Health Authority to arrange for your child to receive the free vaccines at an EHA clinic located at your local Council.
Remember to keep your child’s School Immunisation records in a safe place as they may be required for future employment or travel. Records are uploaded onto MyGov and available to view 24 hours after EHA visit your child’s school.
School Medical Information Reminder
It is imperative that all medical information, including immunisations, is up to date on the School’s myLink parent portal.
Please follow this pathway to check and/or update details: myLink > Community Portal > My Details > select child name
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Car Park Protocols
As we begin a new school year, it is important to remind families about our car park protocols, particularly during drop off and pick up.
If the car park is full and you are unable to enter, circle the block until it is clear to enter, find a park elsewhere or, where age-appropriate, meet your daughter in a surrounding street.
Please note that, unless special circumstances apply, parents of girls in Years 2 to 12 should not enter the car park to collect their daughters prior to 3.30pm. Parents of girls in Reception and Year 1 have exclusive use of the pick-up zone prior to this time for safety and traffic reasons.
Please also refrain from turning right into or out of the car park at peak times, and please do not queue in the car park’s lanes as this often prevents drivers who are legally parked from exiting.
We have also previously received complaints about cars being parked too close to or in front of driveways, or across from other vehicles in surrounding streets, making it extremely difficult for residents and other road users to navigate.
We ask all community members to show consideration for others. Thank you for your cooperation.
School Shop Notices
School Shop Opening Hours
Monday to Friday: 8am – 4pm (closed for lunch 12 – 12.30pm)
Parents can also order items via our Online School Shop
New ELC Uniforms
Our new ELC uniforms are available to purchase in the School Shop.
This beautiful new range is designed for the needs of our youngest community members, giving our ELC children a smart, cohesive look, and simplifying the routine of getting dressed in the morning.
We look forward to seeing the children proudly wear their new ELC attire.
Absences from School
If your child will not be attending school/ELC due to illness or otherwise, please notify the School via one of the methods below.
Please include the name of the ELC Room, Class or Home Group, along with the reason for the absence as the School requires this for government reporting purposes.
If emailing, feel free to ‘CC’ the teacher of the Room/Class/Home Group as well.
Text: 0428 601 957
Phone: 8334 2200
It would be appreciated if notifications could be made prior to 9am.
Welcome to Sports in 2023
With a new year also comes some fresh faces in the Sports Department! Alice Johnswood takes over Tommy Peak’s role while he is on leave for 12 months, and Nikki Brennan is working with Alice and coordinating Junior School sport. Both Alice and Nikki are familiar faces around the School already, with Alice being Netball Director for the past seven years and Nikki teaching here last year.
They are really looking forward to their new roles and can’t wait to get stuck in to an exciting and busy Term 1 of sport! Most Middle and Senior School sport will kick off in Week 2 and Junior School sport in Week 3. Fixtures will be available via myLink soon.
We also have Swimming Carnival, Head of the River, Summer Interhouse, a Junior School Cricket Carnival, and IGSSA, SSSA and SAPSASA Swimming competitions to look forward to!
Please make sure you share your sporting achievements with Alice and Nikki (via emails below) so they can be included in future eNews editions, especially State or National representation, even if it’s in a sport the School does not compete in.
Get to know Alice and Nikki a bit better:
ToGetHER Moving in 2023
The Sport Captains are excited to ‘ToGetHER Moving’ this year! Keep an eye out for fun events that will be held throughout the year as part of this initiative. To view the timetable – click here