Issue no. 31
From the Principal
Welcome back to Term 4
Prior to the holidays, the 2018 NAPLAN results were released. I welcome transparency in student progress and achievement and hence don’t have an issue with NAPLAN per se. Education is a serious business and, like all schools, we should be held accountable. I welcome all data that can be used as a diagnostic tool for teachers to better understand the gaps in their students’ knowledge. NAPLAN does not replace the much deeper, more sophisticated and more frequent formative or summative assessments of student learning conducted by our teachers. It is simply another tool in our toolbox. And let’s keep it in context – it’s a tool utilised for a few hours across three days at four points in a child’s school journey.
That said, there are two issues from my point of view. Because the tests are held in May, and the results not provided until September, they have limited diagnostic value for individual students. The main benefit for the School is to track its performance over time. But even when taking that wider view, mean results can vary significantly given our small cohorts. And with Year 5 and Year 7 in particular being entry points for new students, is it fair for outsiders to conclude that the results of a test taken only months after commencement genuinely reflect the quality of teaching at our School?
The main issue remains with the media and its insistence on generalising about school achievement based on figures obtained from the MySchool website. There is no value in pitting one school against another, particularly when they’re not even on a level playing field. The website compares ‘similar schools’ where ‘similar’ relates to the socio-economic background of its students. But in recent years, some of our similar schools have been academically-selective schools – schools in which the students sit an examination in order to gain entry. How can they be considered similar when we have a comprehensive enrolment policy? And of course this year, we have the added complication of some schools completing the tests online and others using the pen and paper version. The media has been filled with debate around whether results from these two types of tests are comparable.
My point of view is that they are not – they are incomparable. The online version of the test was tailored to the students’ ability. If they answered the first stage easily, the questions would become more difficult; if not, the questions would get easier. In the pen and paper version, a highly capable student may not have left time to attempt the harder questions at the end of the paper. If they’d completed the online version, the harder questions would have been completed. And there were links across the online testing with students who achieved high scores in reading prompted to answer more difficult grammar and punctuation questions. Not so in the pen and paper version. Results indicate that those who completed the writing task online performed better on average than those who used pen and paper. This is most probably due to a student’s ability to easily review and edit their work online in a way that is not possible with a paper test. Apparently, a scaling system was used to bring the results from the two modes of assessment into line. But the transparency around this process has been non-existent.
So, I won’t be placing any value on the comparisons that appear on the MySchool website later this year. I prefer to look at the joy on the faces of the Year 5 girls who performed Mary Poppins JR. and feel the excitement of the students who were part of the Athletics team crowned IGSSA champions for the third year in a row. You cannot reduce those things to a score on a league table and argue that one school is better than another. Such a reductionist view of what we as a School seek to deliver reduces our daughters to a malleable commodity designed to make the School look good.
Next year, we will move to the online version of NAPLAN. Hopefully, this will see a faster turnaround in results allowing staff to actually utilise the information in a meaningful way. And, as a consequence, the media’s temptation to succumb to simplistic headlines will simply move to an earlier time of year!
If you have any concerns with your daughter’s NAPLAN results, please contact the relevant teacher, that being the classroom teacher in Years 3 and 5 and the Maths or English teacher in Years 7 and 9.
Thank you to each and every one of you for adhering to the new car park regulations. As you can see, the builders are on site and work on the new Science Centre, including upgrades to the Visual Arts and Pool areas, is about to begin. Obviously, the safety of our girls is paramount, so please stay alert and resist the temptation to be on your mobile phone whilst driving through the car park. Apart from Reception, classes conclude at 3.30pm. The girls then need time to pack their belongings and make their way to the car park. Please arrive after 3.35pm so that your daughter is ready to be collected. Girls in Middle School and Senior School are encouraged to meet their parents in the surrounding streets, thereby limiting the volume of traffic entering the School grounds.
It’s hard to believe but this time next week, we’ll be saying farewell to our Year 12 girls. Formalities commence next Wednesday when the Year 11 girls are inducted into their leadership roles. As usual, the staff dance for Celebration Day is looking a little uncoordinated but rest assured, we’ll pull it together on the day! It’s an incredible privilege to watch a group of girls develop into such amazing young women and I look forward to celebrating their incredible achievements with them and their families next Friday.
I would like to congratulate Brian Parsons on his appointment as Head of Learning and Teaching at Walford Anglican School for Girls. Brian will take up the position in January next year.
Have a great term!
Year 10s Show Care and Compassion
“In the second week of the school holidays, the Year 10 Kilburn girls visited the Flinders Cancer Council Lodge as part of the Service Learning program. We decided we would like to support the work of the Cancer Council in a more practical way rather than just fundraising. It was arranged that we would supply morning tea by bringing some baked goods for the patients and their families, as well as providing some board and card games so that we could interact and provide some entertainment for the residents.
I think all of the Kilburn girls would say this was an enlightening experience as we received an insight into some of the vital work the Cancer Council is doing here in South Australia. It also gave us a chance to just talk to someone, a patient or a relative, and learn about where they are from, as many of the people travelled from regional areas to the lodge. Their appreciation and gratitude for the accommodation and facilities and what the Cancer Council does was really inspiring and made us realise how important organisations like this are and why helping is so critical. It also motivated us to want to find more ways to support this vital organisation.” – Siena Kulinski
“It was a good experience as we were able to get to know the organisation we are supporting and understand why we are helping such an important cause.” – Millie Wilkin
“The scones were a delicious way to create an ice-breaker between the patients and families staying at the lodge.” – Hannah Freeman
Bright Outlook for Solar Rollers
This term, the Year 6 students are required to engage in a collaborative transdisciplinary inquiry process where they will identify, investigate and offer solutions to real-life issues. This unit will also give students the opportunity to apply all the knowledge and skills they have learned while being a part of an IB school. This year, the central idea of focus under the transdisciplinary theme of ‘Sharing the Planet’ is, ‘Global citizens can take action for the future of our planet’.
We were fortunate to have the opportunity this week to investigate the benefits and limitations of solar energy in our world. Through an incursion with Nick from Active Ed, the girls were challenged to build a solar-powered car using their knowledge of electrical circuits. The group enjoyed testing and racing their creations.
Sarah Braithwaite and Kim Butler-Nixon
Year 6 Teachers
Voyage of Learning for Year 4
On Tuesday 16 October, the Year 4 students visited the South Australian Maritime Museum. This excursion linked with our central idea, ‘Exploration has led to discovery and change’ through the transdisciplinary theme, ‘Where we are in place and time’.
The students participated in five activities; viewing the museum’s current exhibition through a self-guided tour, a walk up the Port Adelaide Lighthouse, a tour of a replica ketch, an iPad trail on explorers and a boat ride on the Archie Badenoch on the Port River. A major focus was the exploration of Matthew Flinders, Nicholas Baudin and James Cook. This included looking at the artworks from Nicholas Baudin’s voyage, scientific specimens and the navigation instruments that were used.
They really enjoyed:
• The tug boat ride on the Archie Badenoch and seeing the view out of the hatch, then climbing up the lighthouse and looking down at Port Adelaide. – Adjoa
• How we got to see the tiny little kitchen in the ketch because it’s like an oven and stove in one and there was only a tiny little window. – Alyssa
• Looking at all of the ship cabins and how they would have lived in those conditions. They got a lot better over the years. – Emily
• Learning about Matthew Flinders and how he was so important to Australia. – Olivia
Rebecca Riley and Louisa Mitchell
Year 4 Teachers
Year 10’s Starring Role in Musical Theatre
I have been dancing for 13 years and performing is something I am very passionate about. I have been fortunate enough to have been selected alongside three other performers from Adelaide Youth Theatre (AYT) to head over to Newcastle for a week to attend a Pilot Workshop program for the musical Sister Act JR. I will have the opportunity to work with many other theatre people from all over Australia to put together a 10-minute musical.
As well as this, over the past few months, many other performers with AYT have worked extremely hard to put together two other 10-minute pieces which we will showcase to everyone at the end of the week. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I am very excited.
Year 10 student
Christmas Drinks on the Lawn
We would like to thank all members of the St Peter’s Girls’ community for your support by inviting you to celebrate the successes of 2018. Drinks and nibbles will be provided. We encourage children to attend, however they will need to be supervised.
RSVP by 5 November – this is one event not to be missed!
Community Golf Day
Hosted by the St Peter’s Girls’ Old Scholars’ Association
Friday 2 November 2018
Mount Osmond Golf Club | 60 Mount Osmond Road | Mount Osmond
Stableford Competition | 18-hole round | Multi-tee start 8.30am
Golf and Lunch: $80
Golf and Lunch (Mount Osmond Golf Club Members): $60
Lunch only: $20
Book via www.trybooking.com/TJZS or contact Megan McCormack on 8334 2239.
Important Music Dates – Term 4
> Friday 26 October – Celebration Day
> Friday 9 November – JS Arts Assembly – Junior Choir, Junior String Orchestra, Just Jazz and soloists – Arts Centre
> Friday 9 November – 11am – Remembrance Day – Year 9/10 Music classes – Arts Centre steps
> Monday 12 November 6pm – Wendy Hopkins’ Concert – Years 1 to 5
> Tuesday 13 November 6pm – Wendy Hopkins’ Concert – Years 6 to 11
> Friday 16 November – Year 10 Lunchtime Concert – Arts Centre steps
> Friday 23 November – Reception Christmas Assembly – Arts Centre
> Monday 26 November – Lesson 1 – Choir – Arts Centre
> Wednesday 28 November 7.30pm – Friends of the Arts AGM – Arts Office
> Thursday 29 November 6.30pm – Years 1 and 2 Nativity – Arts Centre
> Friday 30 November 2.30pm – Year 9 Graduation – School Orchestra, Chamber Choir and Concert Choir – Arts Centre
> Friday 30 November 3.30 – 7pm – Music CD recording – School Orchestra and Chamber Choir – Arts Centre
> Tuesday 4 December 6pm – Enchanté live recording – Enchanté – Wizard Tones
> Wednesday 5 December 2.30pm – Year 6 Graduation – Junior Choir – Arts Centre
> Thursday 6 December 7.30am – 3.30pm – Music rehearsals for Carols in the Cathedral and Presentation Night – Chapel and Arts Centre
> Friday 7 December – all day rehearsal and 7pm performance – Presentation Night – Adelaide Town Hall
> Monday 10 December – all day rehearsal and 7pm performance – Carols in the Cathedral – St Peter’s Cathedral
Friends of Prince Alfred College Present Livvy & Pete
TONIGHT at Prince Alfred College at 7pm!
Book tickets via www.pac.edu.au/news-events/
Please note that all of the Term 4 sports draws can be found on the myLink parent portal, which also contains links for match venues. Any changes and cancellations will be conveyed in advance via email and, where possible, directly to parents.
With summer quickly approaching, a friendly reminder of the Sporting Hot Weather Policy:
Reception to Year 6 (training and matches)
• If the forecast temperature on the Bureau of Meteorology website is 35 degrees or higher, checked anytime before 9am on the day of training or a match, sport is automatically cancelled.
• Morning sessions, Rowing and Water Polo are usually not affected.
• In the event that matches are cancelled due to inclement weather or any unforeseen reason, such as the playing surface is deemed unsafe, the decision to cancel will be made by the Sports Coordinator at the host school no later than 2pm. (refer to cancellation procedures)
Years 7 to 12 (training and matches)
• Mid-week: if the forecast temperature on the Bureau of Meteorology website at 9am predicts the day’s maximum to be 36 degrees or higher, sport will be cancelled.
• Weekends: if at 12pm on the Friday the forecast temperature for Saturday is predicted to be 38 degrees or higher, ALL Saturday morning sport will be cancelled (see below for rowing).
• Inclement Weather: matches will only be cancelled due to rain or inclement weather if it is considered that the conditions determine that the playing surface is unsafe or player safety is compromised (refer to cancellation procedures).
• Morning trainings and Water Polo are usually not affected and ARE NOT to be cancelled.
• Cancellations of Rowing training and regattas will be advised by the Director of Rowing.
Open A – Saints 29 defeated by Westminster 37
A close game for the team. The girls played with persistence and skill up against a strong side with two State players. Unfortunately, the girls lost but it was a thrilling game to watch and the girls kept their heads up through it all. Bella Bernardi came to fill in for us and was a great member of the team. Best players go to Paris Robinson for her ever-growing persistence and hard work, and to Sivani Sivasuthan for some excellent 3 point shots. I would also like to extend my congratulations to Sarah Matheson who is the new Basketball Captain for 2019, a top team member who very much deserves the position. – Ella Robinson (Captain)
Middle A – Saints 21 defeated by Westminster 60
A tough game against a team full of Division 1 District players and Willow Stewart-Rattray going down with a bad arm injury early in the piece. Taking all of that into account, I was really happy with the way the girls played; they gave 100% effort and improved as the game went on, scoring 16 in the second half. All players contributed and scorers were Bella Parton 9, Indya Dodd 6, Ashlyn May 2, Ellie Humphrey 2 and Sophie Dansie 2. – Brenton Davies (Coach)
Middle B – Saints 18 defeated by Westminster 33
Saints had a good start to the game and were only down by 4 at half-time but were overwhelmed by the opposition’s speed and gave up a lot of lay-ups. Due to short numbers, we had Sophie Dansie and Ellie Humphrey play their second game for the day; they tried gallantly but ran out of legs. Special mention to Sophie Norman who was fantastic all game in rebounding and blocking shots, and Ellie Humphrey who had her best game for the year. Scorers were Sophie Norman 10 and Ellie Humphrey 8. – Brenton Davies (Coach)
From 30 September to 7 October, Stephanie Smalls and I travelled to Melbourne for the Under 15s National Lacrosse Tournament as part of the Comets team. The Comets are one of three South Australian Girls’ State Development teams and are an IGSSA team introduced in 2013 to encourage more independent school girls to participate in tournaments outside of their school and club teams.
The eight-week training period in the lead up to the tournament proved a huge challenge as our team appeared significantly younger and less experienced than the majority of the other SA girls (our coaches and coordinators later admitted their hope for us was low in the beginning as well!).
Despite this, we trained hard and were determined to play the best lacrosse we could from the beginning of our time together. The teams we played in Melbourne included Fire (VIC), Sparks (VIC), Stars (WA), Waikato (NZ), Ice (VIC) in the Semi-Finals and Storm (SA) in the Grand Final.
Both games against Fire and Ice came down to just one goal. The Comets fought extremely well against some very tough, experienced teams and did very well to make it to the Grand Final.
For a team that many people underestimated initially, we are proud of the progress we made and how far we went into the competition. The week unfortunately ended with a loss to Storm, which meant SA placed first, second and fifth in the tournament overall. Despite this, the Grand Final was our first loss of the week as we had beaten all of our previous competitors. The Comets placed 6th in the tournament last year and to make it to the end this year entirely exceeded our expectations of what our team could do.
I was lucky enough to be elected as one of three Co-Captains of the team and have loved watching each player develop and improve their skills throughout the training period and the tournament week. Stephanie and I are very grateful for the opportunity we were given and the awesome time we had in Melbourne. – Isabelle Norman