Issue no. 12
From Our Principal
I’ve had many people ask me over recent weeks how difficult my job has been. No matter the challenges that surround you, it’s important to take time and reflect on the reasons you chose your vocation. I firmly believe that good Principals are motivated by a moral imperative that has at its heart a commitment to the care and development of each and every student. For me, that commitment is underpinned by a belief that all of our girls have the capacity to truly thrive across multiple domains when provided with the right conditions and opportunities. I will always seek to put a compelling narrative around any decision that I make, outlining why our girls are better off for following the chosen path. If you make successful student learning the central consideration in all aspects of your leadership, then the job isn’t really that difficult.
We’ve had a wonderful start to the term. With almost full attendance in many year groups and just a few girls absent from class in others, our teachers and students have loved being back in the classroom. I’d like to thank all of our parents for embracing the new guidelines around drop-off and pick-up, and commend our wonderful Prefect Team and Year 6 Leaders for being on hand to assist our younger girls each morning as they enter the school grounds.
The Sarah Wing refurbishment was completed over the term break. The wing houses three new Junior School classrooms with breakout spaces, a versatile area for the Learning Strategies and EDGE teams and an amazing new space for our IT Department, including a media hub complete with green screen. Work has now begun on refurbishing classrooms at the eastern end of the Junior School corridor. That project will be staged throughout the year and is due to be completed by the commencement of 2021. Similar to the Middle School, the finished product will harness natural light and transparency so that our teaching and learning will be visible; flexibility; and a design that will bring the ‘outside in’ so that we embrace the beauty of our natural surroundings, particularly on the southern side overlooking Ferguson Park. Our Junior School will then be a hive of activity in which the key elements of space and pedagogy will be intertwined; a place in which our girls will be inspired to explore and engage.
In staffing news, Randal Irvine joins us to teach Technology whilst Monique Green is on maternity leave. We welcome Emma Smerdon back to the Science Department to cover for Chris Carey who is on leave throughout Term 2, and Jacinta Hriskin back to the Arts Department to teach Dance until Kate Burnett returns in a couple of weeks.
It’s so great to have the girls back! I know we moved into the remote online environment for just seven days, but without the girls’ energy and laughter resonating throughout the School, it seemed even longer. I’ll continue to keep you updated as authorities review the social distancing measures currently in place, as this will impact IGSSA sport in particular.
Best wishes for a healthy and successful term.
Enchante Celebrates GIJ Virtual-Style!
Generations in Jazz has been a highlight of our Music calendar for many years. Although we have previously placed 1st in the Division 1 Small section, this year was set to be even more exciting, as it was to be Enchante’s first appearance in the elite Division 1 Large section. Very few schools (mostly Performing Arts schools and specialist Music schools, who rehearse daily) attempt this challenging division.
Enchante worked extraordinarily hard to be able to perform at this level, and confidently mastered the incredibly difficult and complex set piece ‘Middle Ground’. While it was disappointing for all that the Jazz festival needed to be cancelled, we wanted to take the most positive route we could to celebrate the huge progress we have made in skill development. We decided to do GIJ virtual-style! During the holidays, each student recorded their part individually for both the set piece and our chosen piece in order to support social distancing guidelines. We then stitched the parts together to create two recordings, one of which includes video footage. This was a bigger than expected undertaking, and particular thanks go to David Goodwin, our talented accompanist, and now, recording expert and video editor! A shout out also to our talented soloists Emeshe Robson, Georgie Raftopoulos, Stella Rasheed and Choral Leader Izzy Norman; an extra special thank you to Izzy who showed outstanding leadership throughout the process.
Both recordings will be released via the St Peter’s Girls’ Facebook page. Watch out for our special multi-screen video to be launched tomorrow when the GIJ competitions would have taken place. The set piece recording is also available below. We hope you enjoy!
Hats Off for Return to School
During remote schooling at the end of last term, Year 12 students were invited to participate in a local version of our popular global hat throwing video. We had many dogs get involved, and even a chicken and a horse! It was a fun way for the girls to remain connected and show that whether they are in a classroom or at home, they are and always will be Saints Girls. Check it out:
Good Sports Put Skills to the Test
At the start of Term 2, all PE classes from Years 4 – 9 are participating in skills and fitness testing. The skills tests assess catching, throwing and kicking. Girls will complete four tests: punt kick, overarm throw, kicking accuracy and catching. These tests will measure their efficiency in coordination, accuracy and power.
The fitness tests assess cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance and power, and balance. Students will complete five tests: 12 minute Cooper run, plank hold, maximum push ups, stalk stand balance and standing broad jump.
We will use the results to identify areas for improvement and the tests will be conducted again later in the year to monitor the level of progress.
Physical Education Teacher
Year 5 Girls Clued Up with Science
Year 5 was abuzz with excitement this week as we commenced our new Unit of Inquiry affectionately called ‘Bazinga’. The Central Idea of this unit is ‘Understanding of Scientific Knowledge is constantly evolving and has an impact on people’s lives.’
To provoke the girls’ thinking about scientific methods, a ‘crime scene’ arose in Ms Hampton’s room complete with barrier tape and clues left by the ‘criminal’. The scenario was proposed that someone stole Ms Hampton’s handbag, and three potential suspects were listed. Each had detailed alibis and there were specific clues in the room: a dropped scarf, some hair, a boot print and a daily planner. Our clever forensic scientists worked hard to assemble a case study and wrote up a full report complete with photographs about their thoughts. This created a great deal of curiosity, critical thinking and enthusiasm for our unit.
Whodunnit? You’ll have to ask the Year 5s!
Shelley Hampton and Sarah Mulraney
Year 5 Teachers
Startling Simulation for Year 9 Health
As part of the Year 9 Health curriculum, students have been learning about alcohol and other drugs, looking at how the abuse of such substances can reduce their chances of ‘Being the Best they can Be’.
One activity involves students wearing various ‘Drunkbuster’ goggles to simulate the effects of alcohol and drug consumption on body systems. Students attempt everyday, simple and safe tasks including walking along a line, walking around a garden path, catching a ball and stacking cups. The goggles imitate the impairment effects of reduced alertness, slowed reaction time, confusion, visual distortion, alteration of depth and distance perception, reduction of peripheral vision, poor judgement and decision-making, as well as a lack of muscular coordination.
This was a surprising and informative activity for the girls.
Physical Education/Health Teacher
Year 4 Girls Full of Beans
Last term, the Year 4s commenced the Unit of Inquiry, ‘Sharing the Planet’. Our Central Idea is ‘Living things depend on each other and the environment to survive.’ We planted borlotti beans which had been soaked in water. Firstly, we gave the beans warmth, nutrients and water, and watched for germination. To begin, growth was small but, over time, some of the little plants have flourished.
The students have enjoyed the scientific focus of this unit and they are currently learning about symbiotic relationships. The girls have also undertaken research looking at factors which affect interdependence such as the consequences of a world with fewer bees, uncontrolled weeds, severe bushfires and excessive deforestation.
It has been exciting to observe the girls’ enthusiasm and watch as they pose questions and seek answers. Many of them are committed to taking action to find out what they can do to address some of the problems the environment faces.
Shane Davidson, Olivia Coulter and Rebecca Riley
Year 4 Teachers
World of Food’s Slice of Heaven
This week in World of Food, we continued to upskill and research the range of foods that we now call Australian cuisine. Lemon meringue pie was this week’s recipe challenge which involved three elements that must be achieved to perfection.
The Year 10 girls capably accomplished these and you can see them above perfecting the meringue topping which is an essential component of the dish. They even had time to experiment with a bit of colour and creative piping on their pies.
World of Food Teacher
St Peter’s Girls’ Piano Eisteddfod 2020
In Week 8 of Term 2, the Arts Department will hold St Peter’s Girls’ Piano Eisteddfod. It is open to all Junior and Middle School students who play piano, and will be held on Tuesday 16 June from 8.45am in MB120.
Girls will have the opportunity to perform a piece to a panel of judges, who will critique their performance based on accuracy, technique and musicality for their specific music level.
This year, we will not hold a recital but instead will invite 10 students of varying levels to perform in a virtual recital which will be shared online.
This is a great opportunity for girls to perform in a supportive environment and receive some valuable feedback.
Girls are asked to play one piece that best displays their musicality and technical ability at their own musical level. There will be no minimum or maximum time limit. While the Eisteddfod provides our top piano players with a platform to perform, the aim is to give performers of all levels the opportunity to participate.
Please notify the Arts Department if your daughter would like to be involved by Friday 5 June. She will then receive a time slot to perform in the Eisteddfod. Students will be notified by email if they have been chosen to have their piece recorded following the Eisteddfod.
So get busy practising, and we look forward to hearing all of our amazing piano players!
Director of Music
Virtual Mother’s Day Stall
The Parents’ and Friends’ Association is holding a virtual Mother’s Day Stall where all of our Junior School girls are able to purchase gifts online for mums, grandmothers or other special women in their lives.
We have a variety of wonderful gifts available for $5 each. They will be wrapped and delivered to class teachers on Friday 8 May.
To order gifts, visit www.trybooking.com/BJMAW. Purchases close 7 May 2020.
Please contact the P&F via firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Parents’ and Friends’ Association President
Apple’s Cleaning Tips for iPads and Laptops
Apple products are made with a variety of materials, and each material might have specific cleaning requirements. To get started, here are some tips from Apple that apply to all products:
- Use only a soft, lint-free cloth. Avoid abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, or similar items.
- Avoid excessive wiping, which might cause damage.
- Unplug all external power sources, devices, and cables.
- Keep liquids away from the product, unless otherwise noted for specific products.
- Don’t get moisture into any openings.
- Don’t use aerosol sprays, bleaches or abrasives.
- Don’t spray cleaners directly onto the item.
Is it okay to use a disinfectant on my Apple product?
Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or disinfecting wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, non-porous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don’t use on fabric or leather surfaces.
Here’s the full article from Apple: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204172
Of course, please check your device instructions for specific requirements.
Code Camp After-School Sessions
The Code Camp team has been working around the clock to create a new online program that encapsulates the fun and engaging learning environment children across Australia have come to expect when attending one of our courses. The holidays have given us a great opportunity to test our online courses with over 2500 students taking part. We are confident we have the formula right!
We will be running our online sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and also on Saturday mornings, so families have a variety of times to choose from. Children will be supported through the tutorials with our Live Tech Support Team which is made up of our very best facilitators.
The program, which is available now, is one session per week for eight weeks. Due to our reduced facilitator costs, we want to pass those savings on to parents. As such, the new online after-school price is $160.
Parents can book via https://www.codecamp.com.au/online-after-school-programs