From Our Principal
Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change…
Dylan Alcott made history last week in becoming the first person with a visible disability to be appointed Australian of the Year. The 31 year old athlete, Paralympian, philanthropist, media commentator and advocate was recognised for both his sport and disability awareness work. Alcott stated:
‘To be named Australian of the Year and to get it for not just being good at tennis, but for the work off the court…my purpose 10 years ago, yesterday, today and as Australian of the Year, it’s never changed. It’s not to win tennis tournaments, it’s to change perceptions so people with disability live the lives that they deserve to live.’
Dylan has taken us on a journey to appreciate individuals for their humour, their passion and their ability – to concentrate on the ten thousand things that they can do, not on the one thing that they can’t do. Whether it be through the media or on the tennis court, he has allowed us to get to know him, to begin to understand what makes him tick so that we see him as a normal, everyday good bloke. By changing the perception of what it is to be disabled, he has moved the dial towards inclusion.
As we start the new school year, you will form many perceptions – your first impressions of that new teacher, what you believe to be your daughter’s friend’s motivation for posting that message on Snapchat, how you perceive your daughter is settling into the new school year.
What you perceive to be true and what is actually true aren’t always the same. In fact, those two things can be so far removed from each other, you might wonder how you ever thought what you thought in the first place. Our perceptions are what define our behaviour. When we refuse to allow any flexibility in our perceptions, we close our minds to possibility and sometimes even the truth. Take arriving at a perception of someone as being either likeable or unlikeable. We form that impression very early on in the game but can rarely articulate our reasons well enough to make sense. We just see someone as being either likeable or not. And then of course, we use everything the person says or does to confirm that initial perception.
A shift in perception starts with an increase in awareness. We had to take the time to get to know Dylan. It takes great communication to change perception. We need to ask questions and not assume we know the answers. Dylan has patiently answered the same questions over and over again. It’s been a tough couple of years and the start to Term 1 isn’t that for which we’d hoped. But just because we can’t see many of our girls and parents in person at the moment, doesn’t mean that we can’t answer your questions and help formulate your perceptions. Now more than ever, the lines of communication need to be strong. Your daughter’s Home Group Teacher remains the first point of contact for you, and we are here, ready and waiting to answer your questions as they arise. If something happens that doesn’t seem quite right, don’t just assume that’s the way Saints Girls goes about it. Ask us – challenge us – because we’ll work hard to ensure that your perceptions of the School continue to be very positive ones.
The new classrooms in the Middle School have been completed and the views provided over the Oval are simply stunning. It’s yet another amazing space in which our girls will learn and draws once again on the beautiful surrounds of the School. The landscaping underneath the extension will be completed in the coming weeks.
Of course, our focus remains on the new Gym and the fundraising campaign to help bring that project to fruition. The School will hold its inaugural Giving Day on Thursday 14 April to coincide with the Summer Interhouse competition, and a Gala Ball will be held on Saturday 18 June. Please save both of those dates in your diary. Further details will be available shortly.
Drinks on the Lawns
Unfortunately, this function has been postponed due to the latest guidelines from SA Health. We hope to reschedule this event later in the term so you have the chance to meet the new members of our teaching staff. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming:
- Joni Combe – Drama
- Esther Kim – Mathematics
- Ying Liu – Chinese
- Kyle Martelle – Business/Economics
- Melanie Smith – English
- Lauren Sutton – Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School
You can find links to email your daughter’s teachers under ‘Class Contacts’ on the myLink
Best wishes for the start of the year. We hope to welcome you all back on site in the not too distant future.
Welcome to 2022 at Saints Girls!
Welcome to the 2022 school year! It was wonderful to greet many of our students at Stonyfell for Day 1 on Tuesday, and we hope to see the rest of our girls very soon.
Check out the video below featuring some of our Receptions on their first day of school, and our Year 12s enjoying their last first day of school with a traditional group walk-in and a few shoutouts for our girls learning from home.
Week of Firsts for Youngest Saints Girls
It has been a very exciting start to the school year for the Reception students. The girls have settled extremely well into school life and have enjoyed meeting new friends in the classroom and schoolyard. They have spent time exploring their new classroom, listening to stories, learning about the important rules and procedures of the classroom, and brainstorming ways to be a good friend and learner. We asked the girls some questions about their first week:
What did you have the most fun doing this week?
- ‘The best thing we have done is colouring the dragon mask for Chinese New Year because I like colouring.’ – Zoey
- ‘I loved doing PE because I liked playing a game where we put on blindfolds and someone told us how to get to the hoop.’ – Mila
- ‘I have liked playing with my friends because we made pretend pancakes with bark chips and leaves, and we made pizza as well.’ – Emily
What games did you play at recess?
- ‘I have been going on the swings that go really fast.’ – Willow
- ‘I have liked playing on the yellow bars at recess.’ – Nina
- ‘I was playing ‘the floor is lava’ with Sophie and Charlotte. This is a game where if you are on the ground, you need to wear your lava shoes or else your feet will melt.’ – Olivia
What are you loving learning about?
- ‘I like learning about the number of days we’ve been at school. We put a sticker on a ten frame each day to help learn and count.’ – Keira B
- ‘I loved thinking of words for our classroom. We thought of sensible, kind and happy.’ – Sia
- ‘I enjoyed learning about Twos-Day. On this day, the date had lots of twos in it (2/2/2022). We made special badges to celebrate.’ – Mia
Have you made a new friend this week?
- ‘My new friend named Ameila is nice and helpful. We became friends when she helped me to the toilet and she said, ‘Do you want to be my friend?” – Mackenzie
- ‘I made friends with Harper and Charlotte. I loved playing upstairs in the sandpit with them.’ – Olivia
- ‘I made friends with Emily. We played together on the playground. We made pizza and pancakes.’ – Saarvi
We are so proud of the girls’ confidence and sense of agency and are looking forward to seeing all they achieve in their first year of school.
Meg Jordan and Alana Lesiw
As we embark upon a very different start to the school year, we must all work together to minimise the risk of COVID transmission. Please note the following:
Children are to be kept home if they are unwell, even mildly.
If your child tests positive to COVID-19, notify us immediately. Please also provide the date your child’s test was taken and the date symptoms started (if no symptoms, note ‘asymptomatic’).
Where possible, to help limit the amount of telephone traffic, please notify us via email or text:
Text: 0428 601 957 (save to phone contacts as SPGS)
If you do need to notify us over the phone, please call the Front Office on 8334 2200.
We thank all of our families for your continued support and cooperation.
Our Musician in Residence – David Goodwin
St Peter’s Girls’ School is excited to welcome back David Goodwin as this year’s Musician in Residence. David is a versatile pianist, arranger and composer, working professionally in the Adelaide music scene as both a bandleader and ensemble member.
David has been trained in jazz performance (Honours Degree, Adelaide University, 2017), classical performance (Associate Diploma, AMEB, 2017), sound engineering (SAE, Diploma of Music Production, 2018), and has received accolades in areas such as the James Morrison Scholarship in 2014, a Distinction in the AMEB Certificate of Performance for piano in 2016, and winner of a Downbeat student award in 2017.
David has worked with the likes of Kate Ceberano, James Morrison, Ross Irwin, Joe Lovano, David Helfgott, Paulini, Gordon Goodwin, as well as Adelaide and West Australian symphony orchestras, having performed in many concert halls and iconic music venues around the country and overseas.
Working regularly as an experienced accompanist and MD, David is regularly involved in multiple musical projects and has featured on dozens of recordings and albums. The synth fusion band ‘Er@ser Description’ as led by David, will also be working with some of our students, collaborating in musical arrangements from the group’s two album releases.
David will be working with our students in several areas of music including jazz improvisation and performance, songwriting and arranging, and recording and music production techniques. Playing in professional bands from 12 years of age, he has many years of experience in jazz and improvisation and is excited to share his knowledge with our girls this year.
Riverland Rowing Regatta
In Term 4 last year, our Rowing squads travelled to Renmark for the 2021 Riverland Regatta. The two-day event offers a combination of school and grade races, and integrates the 2nd Grade State Championships. Saints rowers participated in a variety of crew and boat classes, as well as mixing year levels, helping to build bonds across squads.
Our students produced strong performances over the weekend, many walking away with a win! Some highlights included our 2W4+ (Sadie Vitor-Lam, Charlotte Parker, Georgina Wakeham, Sarah Gulliver and Stella Rasheed) who placed 3rd in the final championship event, beating multiple club crews, and the 3W4+ (Isabelle Evans, Georgie Owler, Lucy Schirripa, Georgia Mallick and Stella Rasheed) who received a trophy as fastest crew from across 3rd Grade Women’s Four divisions.
On the last evening, the Friends of Rowing support group organised a social dinner at the Renmark Club on the banks of the River Murray. The Regatta was a wonderful opportunity for the Rowing community to get together and celebrate the end of the rowing calendar year.
Thank you to the Rowing parent community, Rowing SA, Renmark Rowing Club, and to the Friends of Rowing for their support in making the weekend a success, and well done to our girls on their outstanding accomplishments.
Director of Rowing
Fall in Love with Fantasy
In the real world, adolescents are faced with many real challenges. Through fantasy, the girls are transported to other worlds filled with epic adventures where good battles evil and heroes emerge. These worlds capture the reader’s imagination, offering unimaginable characters and settings drawing from old mythology or the author’s rich imagination.
This week in the Library, the focus is on Fantasy books, old and new, many of which have come into our library through student requests for specific titles. Of books that are new, the most popular series is currently Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, a young adult fantasy that divides society into Reds (the commoners) and Silvers (the elite). The central protagonist is a girl, and the series brings in magical elements, betrayal and social conflict.
Other series popular with the girls include:
The Old Kingdoms by Garth Nix
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott
The Talon Saga by Julie Kagawa
The Immortals by Tamora Pierce
In all of these series, there are strong female characters who are empowered to control their own destinies. Once our girls are hooked on fantasy, there is no going back. There will be a continual quest to find the next great series as they seek to become intwined in the adventures that will ensue. Be sure to check out the Fantasy book range at the Library soon.
Head of Library and Information Services
Dad’s Night on the Green – Save the Date
Friday 4 March from 6.30pm
Tranmere Bowling Club
1 Kings Grove, Tranmere
Tickets will be available via TryBooking shortly and will include entry, bowling fees and a sausage sizzle. Drinks will be available for purchase.
Supported by the Saints Sport Support Group.
Be Involved in ‘Our Saints’ Community
Would you like your daughter’s Grandmother, Grandfather, Aunts and/or Uncles to receive our biannual Saints Alive magazine and our weekly eNews updates? Sign up for the free ‘Our Saints’ membership for Grandparents, other treasured family members and friends.
Support from The Athlete’s Foot Burnside
We once again invite our community members to support the School and local business by purchasing your shoes at The Athlete’s Foot Burnside.
$5 from every pair purchased by anyone connected to our Saints Girls’ 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.
As part of this fantastic community initiative, The Athlete’s Foot Burnside donated over $13,000 back to local schools last year. For more information, click here.
School Shop Notices
New Opening Hours
Monday to Friday: 8am – 4pm
(closed for lunch 12 – 12.30pm)
Swimming Requirements for Years 4 to 10
We ask parents to check that their daughters have correctly-sized bathers for Swimming activities for all girls in Years 4 to 10.
If your daughter requires new bathers, we highly recommend making an appointment with the School Shop on 8334 2228 and purchasing soon.
Year 10, 11 and 12 Jumpers
Jumpers are now available for Year 10, 11 and 12 students to purchase from the School Shop.
2022 School Immunisation Program
The information below is provided by Eastern Health Authority
Immunisation Information for Parents/Legal Guardians of Year 8 and 10 Students
The SA School Immunisation Program will be offered at your school by Eastern Health Authority.
All Year 8 students will be offered:
2 doses of the human papillomavirus vaccine, Gardasil®9 at 2 separate visits.
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.
1 dose of the meningococcal ACWY vaccine, Nimenrix®.
Immunisation Consent Packs will be sent home with all Year 8 and 10 students. 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 www.eha.sa.gov.au
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 receive an Immunisation Consent Pack from your child, please ask for one at the school’s Front Office.
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. If you go to your local doctor for the vaccination, they will need to order the vaccine and may charge a consultation fee.
Remember to keep your child’s School Immunisation Program records in a safe place as they may be required for future employment or travel.
Safer Internet Day – 8 February
As technology continues to rapidly evolve and with ‘Safer Internet Day’ upon us, it is vital and timely for parents and caregivers to talk to children about how to stay secure online.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has some valuable resources to encourage cyber secure practices for children. To view them, click here
Bushfire Action Plan
It is timely to remind families about the School’s Bushfire Action Plan.
The policy was developed in consultation with the CFS, MFS, Department for Education and other stakeholders to ensure staff and students are prepared in the event of an emergency.
For more information, you can access our Bushfire Action Plan on the myLink parent portal by clicking the ‘School Documents’ menu item, followed by the ‘Whole School’ tab.
General Absences from School
If your child is going to be absent, late to school or leave early, please use one of the following methods to notify the School, providing the student name, Class/Home Group and reason:
Text: 0428 601 957
Phone: 8334 2200
Feel free to include the Class/Home Group Teacher when emailing. It would be appreciated if notifications could be made prior to 9am.
Congratulations to Annabelle Knowles and Imogen Lindh who competed at the 2021 Equestrian Interschool Championships in December.
Annabelle had a great first day placing 2nd in Working Hunter 45cm, 3rd in one dressage test and 4th in another. She also won Reserve Champion, came 2nd in her combined training event and was pleased with her personal best dressage results. Imogen competed in the 110cm show jumping and placed 2nd.
Well done to both girls and thank you to Aurelia Pyne who also attended and supported the team.