From the Principal
Welcome back to the start of Semester 2. I know many families went in search of a warmer climate during the holidays. I hope you all had a relaxing break and have returned refreshed for an exciting new term.
Over the break, I travelled to Melbourne to visit a number of schools and endured the wettest day in 20 years! Despite that, it was a very worthwhile trip and much of what I saw triggered valuable discussion. Over the past year, I have been working with the Board of Governors and Senior Leadership Team to identify our next building priorities. The new Master Plan will be released later this term. In the meantime, I would like to update you on another key development for the School.
Exciting Information Technology upgrade
21st century education demands that access to web-based tools and resources needs to be both instantaneous and ubiquitous, both inside and outside school. To provide students with the education they need to thrive in a globally connected world, the School must design, acquire and maintain the infrastructure that will make connectivity a reality for every teacher and student in every space.
The bandwidth required for today’s student to upload high-definition multimedia content, participate in an online video conference or curate an electronic portfolio of learning far exceeds what was required to give students access to early online tools such as email and static reference materials. For students to access cutting-edge digital learning tools, the School must upgrade its technical infrastructure.
Following an extensive investigation, the School has recently chosen to join Australia’s Academic and Research Network, AARNet.
AARNet is a not for profit company – its shareholders are 38 Australian universities and the CSIRO. AARNet provides high-capacity, leading-edge internet services for the education and research sector, including universities, research organisations, vocational training providers, schools and cultural institutions.
Currently AARNet connect over one million users – researchers, faculty, staff and students – at institutions across Australia, supporting education across the life-long learning spectrum and research across a diverse range of disciplines in the sciences and humanities, including high energy physics, climate science, genomics, radio astronomy and the arts. Any educational institution in Australia can communicate directly with another, anywhere in the world, without touching the commercial internet. AARNet combines emerging technologies and visualisation tools to give students access to real-time data from science and research organisations in Australia and across the globe.
Through new fibre optic cabling, our connection to AARNet will increase our internet speed from 150 to 1000 megabits per second and place no limit on our download size. This type of connection is essential if the School is to truly embrace the latest technologies as they become available.
To harness the true power of AARNet, every segment of our own network must also be able to accommodate these high speeds. Even if a school is connected to the Internet via fibre, if the network inside the school is outdated, students will not experience high-speed connectivity in their classrooms. In short, the slowest segment of a school’s network determines the speed of the network downstream from that point.
In preparation for our connection to AARNet, a significant update to our internal cabling and switches is required, much of which was completed during the recent vacation period. I anticipate that the link to AARNet will go live in Term 4 and will keep you updated on our progress this term.
We welcome a number of new staff to our Junior School. Sarah Fenwick will be teaching the Mid-Year Reception class, Alana Iannazzo will teach Year 1 whilst Liz Sandercock is on long service leave. Olivia Coulter returns to cover Cassandra Moore’s Year 6 class for the term. In addition, Old Scholar Stephanie Neale returns to teach Music whilst Sari Noble is on long service leave and Leanne Pease and Lia van der Pennen join our team of co-educators in the ELC.
As mentioned at the end of last term, Terry Coris, who has driven the Tea Tree Gully bus for many years, has retired. Ross Nicholson will take over from Terry and Gary Sutherland will commence driving the Southern Van route. As always, if you have any queries in relation to our bus service, please contact Brian Caire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New website launched
As you may have noticed, the new St Peter’s Girls’ School website was launched this week. The site reflects the School’s new tagline, Challenge your Thinking, and visuals from the current promotional campaign.
Much of the content has been reorganised and simplified to allow easy access to key enrolment information.
The website also features a new calendar option, that provides great access to see when events are happening. You can add events to your own calendar and also export a list of events.
Parents can continue to access all essential resources from www.stpetersgirls.sa.edu.au/community/parents
Please save this link to your favourites.
Year 10 work experience
Work experience is an integral part of the Year 10 Personal Learning Plan course and provides the girls with an opportunity to explore and investigate a field or career they may be interested in pursuing in the future. This year the placement was at the end of Term 2, from 22-26 June. The week again proved to be an invaluable learning experience for our girls. Students ventured into many varied and interesting places such as vet clinics, law firms, kindergartens, hospitals, and the Adelaide University just to name a few.
The feedback from employers was overwhelmingly positive and all the girls are to be congratulated for the way in which they represented their school, their family and themselves in the wider community.
Thanks needs to go to all the employers who made this experience possible for our students and also to all of the staff who gave willingly of their time to visit students in the workplace.
Growth and development seminars for parents and students
Parents of students in Reception to Year 7 are invited to attend the upcoming growth and development seminars on Tuesday 28 July. The seminars are intended for parents and their daughters and will be held in the Humzy Theatre.
6:40pm: Session 1 – Where did we come from?
Open to families of students in Reception to Year 4 and will look at the reproductive process in an appropriate manner for children of this age group.
7:30pm: Session 2 – What’s happening to us?
Open to families in Years 5-7 and will look at the stages of puberty relevant to this age group.
If you would like to attend one of these sessions with your daughter, please email Jess Geraghty at Student Services at email@example.com detailing the session/sessions that you would like to attend and the number of people attending.
Languages on the world stage
As part of the Languages curriculum, students in Years 6 to 10 this year have been using a language software program called Language Perfect, which particularly focusses on improving vocabulary in the target language.
Points are awarded for knowing the correct meaning of the words and the questions cover reading, writing and listening tasks. Extra points are given for knowing the meaning of words studied some time previously, thus giving credit for words committed to long-term memory, rather than simply cramming vocabulary into short-term memory.
To motivate students, each year the Language Perfect team conducts a World Championship, to see which student can answer the most questions over the course of 10 days. This year the Championships ran from 18 to 28 May and about 300,000 students from more than 1000 schools around the world participated.
Six students from Saints Girls received an award in the Language Perfect World Championships. Firstly, our top achiever was Holly Wallman-Craddock in Year 6. Holly answered an impressive 5,507 questions in the 10 days and placed in the top 5% in the World Championships, thus earning a Silver Award.
Two students achieved Bronze Awards and placed in the top 10%. Grace Edwards answered 3,626 questions and Isabelle Norman answered 2,749 questions. Three students achieved Credit Awards for placing in the top 20% in the Championships; Sarah Carrodus answered 2,761 questions, Antonia Kirsten-Parsch answered 1,704 questions and Sophie-Louise Shearwood answered 1,415 questions.
As a school, we answered nearly 60,000 questions. For many girls this was something they did outside of lesson time and it was wonderful to see so many of them enthusiastic about learning vocabulary! We look forward to even more girls taking part in the championship next year.
Welcome to all new students and their families who have commenced at our School and Early Learners’ Centre this term. This week we have welcomed many new families to our ELC and 24 new students to our School, including 18 girls who have transferred from the ELC to Reception. Additionally, it is special to acknowledge that we are hosting eight international visitors this term, who are attending the School on cultural exchanges from Korea, China and the United Kingdom.
ELC and School tours will once again be available this term and are being held on Thursday 30 July and Saturday 8 August commencing at 9.30am. Tours are undertaken by Heads of Sub-Schools and assisted by student guides, enabling prospective families to view our facilities and learn more about our curriculum choices.
During this term, further planning for classes in 2016 will be undertaken and should you be considering a placement for a daughter not already enrolled in the ELC or School, please contact me to discuss this further on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Year 6 Canberra Study Tour
During Term 2, our Year 6 students visited the National Capital for a five-day tour, jam-packed with the sights and sounds of everything Canberra has to offer. The study tour brought to life the inquiry unit on Civics and Citizenship, based on the Central Idea, ‘A government based on democracy allows its citizens to express themselves.’
The Australian Government recognises the importance of all young Australians being able to visit the National capital as part of their Civics and Citizenship education. To assist families in meeting the cost of the excursion, the Australian Government is contributing funding under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program towards those costs. The rebate is paid directly to the School upon completion of the excursion.
The Parenting Ideas Club is hosting a new online parenting course, commencing Monday 27 July 2015.
Raise Happy Families Program
Build an Emotionally Intelligent Family with the Family Charter
Join experienced parenting educator Michael Grose for the three-week, online parenting program. Michael will give parents the tools and the game plan to create a harmonious family culture, where parents and children feel valued, respected and supported, all from the comfort of home.
The course involves five sessions, covering topics such as what a strong family looks like, what the emotional intelligence charter is and how it can be used, as well as how to conduct successful family meetings.
For further details, visit www.parentingideasclub.com.au/raise-happy-families-program or contact 03 5983 1798.
Mothers’ Club update: amphitheatre complete
What an incredible space this has become! It has been transformed from an unused site to a beautiful area that we know will be used for many events, classes, lunch spot and more.
I imagine many will enjoy sitting there on a Saturday morning, complete with deck chair (yes, this has even been thought of!) and a coffee in hand, while cheering on the girls playing netball or tennis.
Why not hold your next year level parent catch up there on a Sunday afternoon. The kids can play on the courts while you meet new friends and old.
The Mothers’ Club is so very proud to be associated with this space, having contributed $22,000 to the project. This donation could not have been made possible without the generosity of our community and of course the hard work by the Mothers’ Club in organising our events.
A very big thank you must also go to the entire Property Services team, in particular Liam Blanden and Paul and Ned Ziesing, including casual staff Jarrad Farnsworth, Angus Gebhardt, Charles Gebhardt and Angus Robinson. The team worked tirelessly on this project over the break, even during the rain. At one stage, the brick cutter was set up under one of the school marquees as the team raced to finish the project in time for the start of Term 3.
We must also thank contractors Retaining Wall Industries and Jon Moore, for the beautiful stonework. The large agave plants were donated by Year 2 parent Danielle Palmieri’s neighbours, Karen and Rick Nunes-Vaz. This was a wonderfully generous gift. Last but my no means least, Andrew Rosser – for his enthusiasm for the project.
Keep an eye out over the coming weeks for our next instalment to this space – there is no stopping a dedicated group of ladies, once they are on a roll.
Tickets now available for the Winter Cabaret
The St Peter’s Girls Winter Cabaret music concert will be held from 7pm on Saturday 8 August (Week 3).
The Australian Army Band Adelaide will be a guest performer at our concert. In addition to performing a set featuring an eclectic program of music from traditional Concert Band repertoire, World War I music to top 40 songs, the band will also combine with our own Senior Concert Band to play a magnificent finale. This will include a high impact fanfare and music from the original Star Wars movies.
In preparation for the concert, the Army Band has invited us to rehearse at their Warradale Barracks Band Room on 28 July. This will be a wonderful opportunity for our girls to play alongside professional musicians and get a glimpse of how military bands operate.
As well as the Concert Band, the Winter Cabaret will also feature the Chamber Ensemble, Senior Strings, Junior Choir and Concert Choir, Stage Band, Senior Rock Band, Year 8/9 Percussion Ensemble and Senior Percussion Ensemble, as well as several Year 12 soloists.
Friends of the Arts will have platters and drinks available for sale on the night.
Proceeds from the concert will be donated to Legacy.
When: 7pm, Saturday 8 August 2015
Venue: Arts Centre, St Peter’s Girls’ School
Tickets: $15 adults or $10 concession
Tables of 10 will be set up in the lower area of the Arts Centre or general admission seats can be booked in the top section.
Bookings are now open: visit www.trybooking.com/IFHQ
We look forward to seeing you there.
An invitation to Strong and Proud Aboriginal Women’s Night
An invitation from PAC
Listen, laugh, learn and connect with two engaging and beautiful Aboriginal women as they share their life stories…
Alitja Rigney is a Narrunga Kaurna Elder. She grew up at the Point Pearce Mission on the Yorke Peninsula, South Australia, in the 1940s. During a long and outstanding career as an educator, she became the first Aboriginal female school principal in her state. Alitja Rigney was awarded a doctorate from the University of South Australia in 1998. Aunty Alice, as she is also known, is treasured by PAC and we are grateful to her for her guidance and support.
Pilawuk White has had an extensive and interesting career as a teacher and artist. She shares with our students and staff to bring a better understanding of Aboriginal cultures. This includes exploring the variety and styles of languages and cultures through art, music and her Black Bream Dreaming. Together with her son, Old Scholar Niwili White Forrest, Pilawuk designed and completed the outstanding canvas which features prominently at our Red Centre entrance. Pilawuk will have her artwork on display (and available for purchase on the night).
When: Tuesday 4 August 2015
Time: 7-9pm (Women only)
Where: Piper Pavilion, PAC
Cost: $30.00 per person (includes light refreshments, coffee, tea and wine)
An organisation may consider booking a table (10 places at each) Seats limited!
Event booking RSVP to: http://www.trybooking.com/144482
National Tree Day
The Environment Club has been doing some pretty exciting things this year, mostly behind the scenes, to make sure that our message of environmental conservation is heard around the school.
Have you seen that tree near the Junior School Library yet? If you haven’t, you really should have a look… This week, in celebration of National Tree Day, keep an eye out for the surprise we have been planning all year that will be popping up on the tree.
Happy National Tree Day! We hope that you are able to plant a tree in your local area to show your support.
Fiona Lethbridge recently entered the Speech & Drama division of the Adelaide Eisteddfod. Fiona recited the poem, ‘Fire’, written by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley and was awarded third place in the 13 and under poetry/prose event. Congratulations, Fiona!
Important dates for Term 3
Saturday 8 August
Winter Interhouse (Year 7 to 12)
Wednesday 19 August
Soccer Play-offs (Year 7 to 12)
Friday 25 August
Rowing information night
Saturday 29 August
Badminton, Hockey and Netball play-offs (Year 7 to 12)
Sunday 30 August
Come and Try Rowing. Scotch Boatshed on Torrens River (Year 6 to 12)
Tuesday 1 September
SAPSASA District Athletics (Year 4-7 selected students) at SA Athletics Stadium
Friday 4 September
Sports Day (Year 4 to 12) at SA Athletics Stadium
Monday 7 September
Rowing training commences (Year 10-12) at West Lakes
Tuesday 8 September
Rowing training commences (Year 7-9) Scotch Boatshed on Torrens River
Wednesday 9 September
Gymnastic Gym For All Challenge at Gym SA, Marion (Year 3 to 7)
Wednesday 23 September
IGSSA Athletics (Year 7 to12 for selected students) at SA Athletics Stadium
If you have any notable news items of sporting achievements – we would love to hear from you. Simply email Neil Fuller on email@example.com
While we do our best to convey all information we wish to remind everyone that the Sports Draws can be found on the School website and students are again reminded to check the notice board for any further news.
Sports fixtures are also now available here:
In the lead up to Sports Day, we are able to provide athletic training on Wednesday and Friday mornings (from 7.30am). There will be options for students to work on sprints, middle and long distance running, as well as throws and jumps (except high jump).
Interested students should advise Mr Fuller if they wish to attend.
Netball – Junior Interhouse
The final placings were:
1st – Patteson
2nd – Selwyn
3rd – Kilburn
4th – Kennion
By coming third in the South Australian Graceful Girl competition, she also won the right to perform her solo routine in the Graceful Girl competition at the National level.
The best 22 girls in Australia performed their Solo Graceful Girl routines with Charlotte placing fifth overall and the South Australian team winning in the National Team’s competition.
Congratulations to Annie Baldwinson (Year 7), who won two medals at the State Short Course Championships last week. She claimed a bronze in the 200m breaststroke and silver in the 100m breaststroke.
Shania Morgan (Year 10) also swam at the State Short Course Swimming Championships and recorded some excellent results for her age, including personal best times in every event. She finished first in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke, third in the 4 x 50 metre medley relay and fourth in the 100m individual medley and open 200m breaststroke.