Issue no. 2
From the Director of Early Learning
Our Community Welcomes You
At St Peter’s Girls’ Early Leaners’ Centre, we understand the importance and value of bringing our community together, and the special events that allow this to happen are something we take great pride in.
Our Friends of the ELC group works alongside the ELC educators to embed a strong feeling of community through events such as today’s Welcome Morning Tea, volunteering and fundraising efforts. The Welcome Morning Tea is just one example of how we begin the St Peter’s Girls’ journey for our families in a warm and inviting manner. Our families love these opportunities to form connections with staff and other families, as well as gaining an insight into the wider St Peter’s Girls’ community. Many of our families begin their whole school journey at this event.
This year in the ELC, we are giving additional value to the language of welcome, embedding this beyond just the physical act of welcoming. As a team, the ELC educators are carefully considering how we can best welcome every family, new or returning, to assist with the transition from holidays to daily life in the ELC, and establishing strategies that will support everyone. Prior to Term 1 commencing, we engaged with an Early Childhood Consultant, Kirsty Liljegren, to unpack the language of welcome at a deeper level, understanding it is more than just an action but an ongoing philosophy that underpins our Centre’s community. She urged us to expand our thinking and dialogue on the value and importance of welcome. We were provoked to deeply consider how our diversity strengthens our work together, and what it means when we consider the notion of belonging.
We are excited to begin this year with a declaration of intent and accompanying strategies on the language of welcome. We finished the workshop with a profound sense of commitment and purpose as an ELC team, and we look forward to sharing our journey of learning with not only our ELC community, but the wider St Peter’s Girls’ community over the coming year.
Director of Early Learning
Welcome Drinks on the Lawns – TONIGHT
The Parents’ and Friends’ Association invites all parents to welcome in the new school year at the traditional Welcome Drinks on the Lawns TONIGHT from 7 – 9pm on Chiverton Lawns.
This annual, parents-only event is a great opportunity for new parents to meet and connect with other parents, teachers and school staff in a relaxed atmosphere.
Food and drinks will be provided courtesy of the Parents’ and Friends’ Association, as well as a DJ spinning some groovy tunes throughout the evening.
Please feel free to seek out our P&F Committee Members on the night to learn about the volunteering opportunities here at Saints Girls.
7 – 9pm
Chiverton Lawns, St Peter’s Girls’ School
Parents’ and Friends’ Association President
Meet Our New Head of Science
I started teaching in 1995. I didn’t realise that the teaching career path was for me until one of my mentor teachers told me I was a ‘natural’ and ‘born to be a teacher’ during my first teaching practicum. From there, I haven’t looked back.
I began my teaching journey in London, where I taught at a range of schools and honed my classroom management skills for two years before returning to Australia to teach in regional schools around South Australia. I then spent 18 months teaching in a local school in Vanuatu. My duties there also included providing training to mathematics teachers as part of an AusAID project. I returned to Australia and took up a position at Woodcroft College, where I worked for 18 years teaching senior Physics, Psychology and Mathematics, and Middle School Science and Mathematics, as well as fulfilling a number of leadership roles. Most recently, I returned from teaching International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Physics and IB Middle Years Programme Science at Munich International School in Germany.
I also work extensively with the International Baccalaureate Organisation as an IB Educator, leading teacher workshops in Science, Physics and Mathematics and conducting school site visits. At Saints Girls, I am currently teaching senior Physics and Psychology, and Middle School Science.
I have a wife, Candice, and three sons, Callum, Taran and Nathaniel. I enjoy camping and hiking, music, most sports including golf, soccer, NFL and AFL, reading, and Marvel movies.
Throughout my career, I have endeavoured to model my passion for teaching and inspire a love of learning in the students I teach and the staff I work with. As Head of Science, my aim is to continue to improve the excellent Science teaching and learning at St Peter’s Girls through the use of conceptualised inquiry-based teaching strategies, the innovative use of technology as a teaching tool, and the formation of strategic partnerships with the wider scientific community locally and nationally.
I look forward to seeing you at Saints Girls.
Head of Science
Newest Old Scholars Celebrated at Stonyfell
The St Peter’s Girls’ community was delighted to honour outstanding graduates from our Class of 2019 this week during our Academic Excellence Assembly.
Special thanks to Old Scholar and Dux of 2014 Lauren Simpson (Kilburn 2014) who presented an empowering speech, as well as certificates to more than a dozen of our newest Old Scholars.
Official IB and SACE recognition ceremonies were also held this week, attended by many of our graduates including Dux of 2019 Hannah Brown who received her prestigious Governor of South Australia Commendation – Excellence Award.
Major Leap for Athletics Program
Saints Girls has taken a further leap in supporting elite performances in Athletics with upgrades to the Long Jump facility. Over the holidays, the run-up was widened with a synthetic surface laid to provide training for Long Jump and Triple Jump; it’s also a facility students can use to practise block starts.
With students competing in a wide range of inter-school carnivals, Saints hopes to build upon our recent success, having won the IGSSA (7 – 12) Athletics Shield for 4 years running.
The School’s Athletics program continues to grow with more than 50 Year 4 – 12 students now attending training on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, receiving specialist coaching in sprints, distance, hurdles, throws and, of course, jumps.
Director of Sport
Spotlight on New Arts Centre Lighting
Over the holidays, the Arts Centre underwent a makeover and now features new lights, audio equipment and speakers! Last week, students and staff were treated to a dynamic sound and light display, thanks to Wesley Hiscock, our very own Arts Centre Manager! The upgrade has created much excitement in the School community and sets us apart as one of the best-equipped schools in the State for audio and lighting.
Students in Years 7 to 12, if you are excited by this news, I encourage you to come along to Technical Theatre Club. We meet at 1.05pm every Tuesday in the Arts Centre. Keen to see you there!
Technical Theatre Captain
UK Teacher Exchange
Two days was all it took to feel completely at home on my two-week teaching exchange to Sherborne Girls in the south-west of England. The trip was a completely immersive experience, living in one of seven boarding houses, teaching and observing classes during the day in the main school and embracing the co-curricular activities outside of school hours. The school runs Monday through to Saturday morning with comparable academic rigour to Saints. Compulsory school sport takes place on Saturday afternoons, with teaching staff accompanying these trips to schools throughout the region.
A typical day at Sherborne would include a 7.30am breakfast with the staff and girls living in your boarding house. A selection of cooked breakfasts or cereals was provided, as well as lunch and supper every day. For me, it was then a short five-minute walk to the main school building where classes would start at 8.30am after morning prayers. The school day runs from 8.30am to 4.30pm with meals for all staff and students provided during the breaks. Lunch runs for an hour and a half, allowing the students time to return to their boarding house for a cooked lunch and to then enjoy some down-time in the middle of the day as they have very little of this at night. Evening boarding house staff, the majority of whom are teachers, are rostered on ‘duty’ and oversee homework, supper and all other matters that come with caring for teenage girls! These duty shifts run until 10.30pm, making it a very long day for teaching staff.
Each boarding house has its own House Mistress and live-in boarding/teaching staff, with 90% of the school students boarding. Many staff have their families living in the boarding houses with them. For most of the students and many teachers, the school is their home. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to be completely immersed in this 24/7 working world for two weeks. This experience provided me with a valuable insight into the UK education system, the daily operation of a boarding school and the lifestyle of living on-site as a teaching and boarding house staff member. I thoroughly recommend considering this exchange for your daughter before they start Senior School.
US Teacher Exchange
What an adventure! I had the privilege of chaperoning four girls to Kent Place School in Summit, New Jersey – a short 40-minute train ride from downtown Manhattan. After a lengthy but exciting flight via Los Angeles, the girls enjoyed a long weekend with their homestay parents prior to commencing school.
The school is a beautiful, historic property, once the summer residence of Manhattan dweller Mr Kent, and is 125 years old like St Peter’s Girls. The weather was kind to us for much of our stay but there was plenty of excitement as we all arrived on day one to see the grounds blanketed in overnight snow.
I was billeted with a primary school teacher who welcomed me into her family and looked after me for my stay. This was a wonderful ‘real’ American experience. The four girls were fortunate to participate in many areas of curriculum not offered at Saints Girls and fully immersed themselves in every aspect, revelling in the no formal uniform policy. Each day, we were provided with lunches including soups and desserts, all included in the school fees.
I was able to meet with different faculty heads to discuss the Junior School’s wellbeing courses, the Head of the Ethics Institute to set up links between the two schools, and the Junior School Mathematics and Language Arts coordinators. I was also fortunate to teach lessons in Pre K (a challenge chasing 3 year olds around!), Years 2, 3 and 5. I prepared and taught lessons on Australia, problem-solving Mathematics and thrilled all by my slightly fabricated stories of sending my pet kangaroo to the shop to buy milk in its very insulated pouch! I was also fortunate on weekends to be able to visit Manhattan, taking in many sights, Broadway shows and museums.
I am very grateful to the School for allowing this opportunity and was extremely proud of how my four exchange students conducted themselves during their stay.
Junior School Wellbeing Coordinator / Year 5 Teacher
Swimming Carnival 2020
On Friday 21 February, St Peter’s Girls’ School will be holding the annual Swimming Carnival for Years 4 to 12 at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre, North Adelaide. Students are expected to be at the Aquatic Centre no later than 8.30am, with the carnival concluding at 3.30pm.
Students who regularly travel to school on school buses will automatically be taken to the Adelaide Aquatic Centre in the morning and will be dropped home in the afternoon.
To assist other families, we are offering a special bus service to transport students from school to the Aquatic Centre and back. Buses will depart school at 7.45am and return by approximately 4.30pm. To register your daughter’s place on this bus service, please visit www.trybooking.com/BIEBC before 4pm Wednesday 19 February. All other students will need to be dropped off at the Aquatic Centre in the morning and picked up in the afternoon.
Upon arrival, all students must sign in at their House table inside the entrance to the pool deck before taking a seat in their House area. A roll will be taken at the end of the day before the final announcements and the winners are announced.
Students are reminded to wear their complete PE uniform with bathers underneath, as well as their House swimming cap which can be purchased from the School Shop. Extra House-coloured ribbons are encouraged, but coloured zinc and body paint are not permitted in the pool. House caps are available for purchase on the day. These can then be worn during all Interhouse events throughout the year. House tattoos will also be sold at the carnival. We ask that the tattoos are not visible outside the girls’ school uniforms when returning to school.
There will be no specific lunch break but girls can eat during breaks between their races. They have the option of bringing money for the pool canteen; otherwise, they will need to bring their own food. Water bottles should be brought for the day.
We encourage all girls to compete in a number of events, with their preferences being discussed in PE lessons and House meetings. The carnival is to be treated like a normal school day; therefore, attendance is compulsory for the whole day. If a student is too ill to attend (Years 7 to 12), the School will require a medical certificate the following Monday and absent students will meet with Mr Lisle and Ms Mortimer. If a student is unable to participate in their events, a note must be provided to PE staff.
Click here for a program of events with approximate times. We will be using both 25m pools in the morning session and only the deep-end pool in the afternoon session. School teams for SAPSASA (Years 4 to 7), SSSSA (Years 8 to 12) and IGSSA (Years 7 to 12) will be selected from the Swimming Carnival results.
We encourage parents to come out and support the School at one of the most exciting events on the calendar.
Focus School Portraits will be at school next Monday 10 February and Tuesday 11 February to take our school photos.
This year, to simplify the process for families, a special ‘St Peter’s Girls’ Package’ has been designed for each student to receive the following photos:
1 – 8″ x 10″ Individual Portrait
2 – 5″ x 7″ Individual Portraits
4 – 2.5″ x 3.5″ Individual Portraits
1 – 8″ x 10″ Home Group Photo
There is no additional cost to families as this has been incorporated into your fees. Should you wish to purchase extra packs, photos or items such as key rings, mugs, jigsaws etc., you will be able to order these by contacting Focus School Portraits via email@example.com or 8389 9002.
Your daughter’s Home Group/class teacher has the schedule and will have communicated their photo time to them.
If you would like to arrange sibling photos, order forms can be collected from the Front Office.
Please do not hesitate to contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions regarding school photos.
Chorus of Support at Music Camp
Once again, the Music Department will make its pilgrimage to Ardrossan for Music Camp. This year, almost 100 girls from Years 5 to 12 have been invited, and we look forward to sharing all that we learn over the three days in our ninth Music Camp Concert which will be held at 2pm on Saturday 15 February at Ardrossan Town Hall. Family and friends are welcome to drive up for the afternoon. Tickets are $10 and funds raised will go directly to the local hospital to purchase extra resources and lifestyle facilities such as BBQs, plants and even chickens. Over the years, we have raised money for the residents of the aged care facility in the hospital, and each year, we take a small group of girls to perform for the residents as part of our Service Learning component at camp.
We love travelling to Ardrossan every year and feel very welcomed by the residents of this wonderful community.
Director of Music
How to Apply to US and UK Universities
For students interested in applying to US and UK universities, a special event is being held on 27 February at Prince Alfred College. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the application processes and how to plan ahead for international applications. The event is suitable for students in Years 9 – 12.
Bushfire Action Plan
In light of recent fire crises, it is timely to remind families about the School’s Bushfire Action Plan.
The policy was developed in consultation with the CFS, MFS, Education Department 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.
School Banking Information Session
Our School is excited to offer the Commonwealth Bank School Banking program to all students:
School Banking is a fun, interactive and engaging way for young Australians to learn about money and develop good savings habits. Children who deposit money into their Youthsaver account through School Banking earn Dollarmites tokens, which they can save up to redeem exciting rewards.
Rewards available during 2020 are:
o Terry Denton’s Activity Book
o Mini Soccer Ball (size 2)
o Treetop Stationery Set
o Treetop Handball
o Tomato Seed Kit
o Magic Mist Drink Bottle
o Emoji Wallet
o Snakes & Ladders Game
School Banking is also a great fundraiser for the School, which receives a Regular Savers Contribution of $5 for every 10 deposits processed per student as well as an Annual Contribution which is based on the number of students who made at least one School Banking deposit in the prior year.
School Banking day is Wednesday. Each week, you need to hand your book to your classroom teacher.
We will be holding a School Banking Information Session at the School:
Wednesday 19 February
8.30 – 9.30am
Meet beside the Food Tech Deck
Please join us and find out more about the School Banking program and how your child can get involved.
If you are interested in opening a Commonwealth Bank Youthsaver account for your child, you can visit www.commbank.com.au/schoolbanking and click on the link to open a Youthsaver account. A School Banking representative will be available at the Information Session to explain how you can do this. In order to verify yourself and your child, you will need your driver’s licence and your child’s birth certificate, but if you don’t have these with you on the day, you can complete verification online at home.
Join Our Team of STAR Volunteers!
Our Learning Strategies volunteers are all enormously valued within the department and the broader School community. Our girls LOVE working with them, and the teachers are so appreciative of their generous donation of energy, expertise and enthusiasm. We have some exciting developments within our department in 2020 and we’d love you to join us.
Our volunteers work with our girls on areas such as literacy, anywhere between a couple of lessons a week through to a couple of days per week. They include parents, grandparents, Old Scholars, retired staff and university students who are keen to gain further experience and enjoyment working with children.
To register your interest, please contact Aleasha Francis as soon as possible via email@example.com
We will send you a volunteer information sheet to fill out and then invite you in for a chat. We will also provide training for some of our Junior School programs.
Learning Strategies Team
OSHC Temporary Relocation
Parents of R – 6 students are advised that the OSHC program, which was based in the Food Tech building, has been temporarily relocated to the transportable on the Oval.
To access the transportable, please use the main staircase outside the Stott Wing (with the St Peter’s Girls’ sign). Children will need to be dropped off and collected from the transportable.
Saints Girls’ Rowing Bingo Night
Join us for a fun night of bingo to support the Rowing Program at St Peter’s Girls!
12 Grenfell St, Adelaide
Saturday 29 February 2020 at 7pm
$45 per person or $450 per table of 10 via www.trybooking.com/BHGZV.
Tickets include pre-game drinks for the first hour, a bingo card in each of the three rounds (more cards can be purchased), and platters on tables. Amazing prizes will be up for grabs in each round, with a grand prize for the final round. Fantastic auction items will also be on offer. Additional drinks can be purchased from the bar.
We encourage you to invite your friends and book a table of 10!
Everyone in the School community is welcome to attend.
At Saints Girls, we love hearing about and sharing sports results and news, whether it be achievements at school or externally. Please email details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In December, Keeley Fahey and Holly Cardone competed in the Australian All Schools Track and Field Championships in Perth as members of the South Australian team. Keeley won a Bronze medal in the U18 Pole Vault and finished 15th in the U18 100m Hurdles. Holly Cardone finished 14th in the U18 High Jump.
On 18 and 19 January at the SA Athletics Stadium, Olivia Kelly won Bronze in the U18 Heptathlon at the State Multi-Event Championships. The Heptathlon involves Long Jump, High Jump, 200m, 800m, 100m Hurdles, Shot Put and Javelin.
Open – Saints 18 defeated by St John’s 75
The girls fought hard against tough competition. They tried their best to get back in defence to stop St John’s from scoring. The girls put up many shots in offence but were unfortunately unsuccessful in their attempts. Overall, a hard first game back. – Emma Matheson (Captain)
The first regatta of 2020 (West Lakes Regatta, Saturday 1 February) was an unseasonably wet affair. Although the forecast thunderstorms held off, the wind and rain ensured conditions were challenging. But, as they say, “Rowing in the rough makes you tough”, and our rowers tackled the conditions with admirable courage.
Unfortunately, the worsening conditions meant our Junior squad was only able to take part in the first of their two rounds. In completing the first round though, it was good to see all Junior crews consolidating the technical improvements made during camp. This was reflected in their times, with all crews posting considerable improvements since their last regatta in Term 4, 2019.
The Senior squad did not compete in the Schoolgirl 8+ race, instead taking the opportunity to race in smaller boats (doubles and coxed fours). This produced some positive outcomes, with the Seniors placing 1st and 3rd in the Schoolgirl Coxed Four division. But with the first School Premiership Series regatta of the season this weekend, the Seniors will be looking to test themselves in the eight.
U19 W2x (Barr/Romaniuk) – 3rd – 07:23.2
U19 W2x (Maerschel/Maerschel) – 4th – 07:39.3
SG 4+ (#1) 1st – NTT
SG 4+ (#2) 3rd – NTT
2W8+ – 2nd – 07:29.9
SG 9/10 A 4x+ – 4th – 06:32.6
2W4x+ – 3rd – 08:56.9
SG 8/9 A 4x+ – 6th – 04:08.36
SG 8/9 B 4x+ – 6th – 04:18.54
SG 8/9 C 4x+ – 5th – NTT
SG 8/9 E 4x+ (Divison 1) – 3rd – 04:25.34
Following Aroha Munroe’s performance at the Australian U18 Women’s Softball Nationals last week, she has been selected in the Junior Spirit squad as a reserve. Aroha has also been selected as part of the Junior White Sox (JWSX) New Zealand U18 team to compete in the NFC tournament across the ditch next month. A decision will then be made after that tournament for the final JWSX team to go to the World Cup in August in Peru (and compete against Australia). We wish Aroha well in her preparations and selections. – Neil Fuller (Director of Sport)