Issue no. 21
In this edition
From Our Director of Teaching and Learning
On Monday, we had the pleasure of welcoming members of our 2023 Year 12 class back to school to celebrate their outstanding achievements during our Academic Assembly.
These students exemplify what it means to be an effective and adaptive learner in today’s world. They have demonstrated not just academic excellence but have also shown qualities such as organisation, persistence, resilience, consistency, responsibility, and self-motivation. It is these attributes that have propelled them to achieve at such a high level, and I am confident they will carry these traits with them as they embark on their post-school journeys.
No doubt, the students would say that one of the most important skills to master was time management. How do our students ensure they do all that is required of them, take care of themselves, allowing them to live a life that is balanced, happy, and healthy?
In thinking about this, an old story of a philosophy professor comes to mind. The story goes that during a lecture, the professor unveiled a big glass jar, a pile of rocks, a bag of small pebbles, and a tub of sand.
He started off by filling up the jar with the big rocks. When they reached the rim of the jar, he held it up to the students and asked them if the jar was full. They all agreed there was no more room for the rocks; it was full. ‘Is it full?’ he asked.
He then picked up the bag of small pebbles and poured these into the jar. The professor shook the jar so that the pebbles filled the space around the big rocks. ‘Is the jar full now?’ he asked. The group of students all looked at each other and agreed that the jar was now completely full. ‘Is it really full?’ he asked.
The professor then picked up the tub of sand. After the sand was poured in between the pebbles and the rocks, he once again held up the jar to his class and said, ‘yes, class, the jar is now full.’
The professor then explained that the jar represents our life. The rocks signify the most important things that have real value – your health, your family, your relationships, your happiness. Those things that if everything else (the pebbles and the sand) was lost and only they remained, your life would still have meaning. Your rocks are your very core time management items because they are the core of you.
The pebbles represent the things in your life that matter and are certainly things that give your life meaning (such as school, your job, and hobbies), but they are not absolute for you to have a meaningful life.
The sand represents everything else – the small things. Material possessions, watching television, browsing social media, worrying about grades, not sleeping over an assignment, or being stressed about a test happening tomorrow.
If we think about the jar, if we started with putting sand into the jar, there would not be room for rocks or pebbles. This holds true with the things you let into your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small and insignificant things, you will run out of room for the things that are truly important.
So, during the upcoming academic year, I ask all our students to take care of their rocks first – the things that really matter to their long-term wellbeing, happiness, and success. If we encourage our students to deal with the most important things first, by putting the rocks in the jar first, the small things can still fall into place. Then, you can fill in the pebbles and sand, knowing that you can have all three successfully in your life if you place your rocks first.
Director of Teaching and Learning
Drinks on the Lawn: Friday 9 February
ELC Learning and Teacher Evening: Monday 12 February
Year 7 Information Evening: Thursday 15 February
Year 11 and 12 Formal: Saturday 17 February
Swimming Carnival Year 4 – 12: Friday 23 February
ELC Twilight Family Picnic: Friday 23 February
Parent Information Evening Year 10 and 11: Wednesday 28 February
International Women’s Day: Friday 8 March
Public Holiday: Monday 11 March
Head of the River: Saturday 16 March
Choral Night: Thursday 21 March
ELC Coffee Van: Thursday 28 March
Good Friday: Friday 29 March
Easter Monday: Monday 1 April
Last day of Term: Friday 12 April
Academic Excellence Assembly
It was wonderful to celebrate some of our newest Old Scholars and current students for their outstanding achievements across SACE and IB in 2023 at our annual Academic Excellence Assembly.
Special thanks to our guest speaker, former Dux Bethany Cross (Patteson 2018), who presented an engaging speech as well as shared inspiring advice with our audience. ‘It’s ok not to have found what you want to do, as long as you’re looking. You won’t know what excites and interests you until you try. It is perfectly reasonable to try one thing, realise it’s wrong, turn around and try something else. I’ve found that people are generally willing to help, and it’s incredibly rewarding to realise you really like something you’ve just discovered.’
With a Bachelor of Science (majors in Genetics and Bioinformatics), Bethany is currently studying a Master of Philosophy in Molecular and Biomedical Science. She is interested in the fields of genomics and science communication and plans to further explore her research topic in the future.
Congratulations to all our award recipients, such an inspiring occasion for all present!
ELC Joins our eNews
We’d like to extend a warm welcome to our ELC families to the St Peter’s Girls’ eNews. The eNews is a cherished platform of communication from our entire School community. We are a one campus school, ELC – Year 12, and we are looking forward to sharing in the learnings and special moments from our ELC.
Year 7 Parent Information Evening
The Year 7 Parent Information Evening will be held in Week 3, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm on Thursday 15 February.
Commencing in the Jeffreys Linn Arts Centre before relocating to Middle School classrooms.
If you are a current parent of a Year 7 student and you wish to attend this event, please send your RSVP via email to Jo Fraser email@example.com.
I look forward to sharing this time with you and know that you will find it an informative and worthwhile evening.
Head of Middle School
ELC Learning and Teaching Evening
Dear ELC families,
We would like to invite you to our Learning and Teaching evening at the ELC.
This event will be held on Monday 12 February at 6.30pm. The evening will start with a gathering in the School Chapel to Meet the Director, find out more about the progress of the extension and upgrade of Learning Community 2 and hear about how St Peter’s Girls’ ELC nurtures each child’s learning and development so that they are able to thrive and reach their full potential. This will be followed by a unique opportunity to visit your child’s room to see the learning environment and hear from the teaching team about how we plan and implement our units of inquiry and gain a better understanding of the teaching and learning within our ELC context.
As this is a formal presentation, we recommend parents/guardians only attend this event.
Junior School Parents – THRASS Information Evening
In the Junior School, the Linguistic Inquiry approach to the teaching and learning of spelling and vocabulary includes integrating the skills and tools of THRASS (Teaching Handwriting, Reading and Spelling Skills).
Junior School parents are invited to enjoy an engaging presentation about the THRASS chart and the THRASS approach more widely during our THRASS Information Evening:
Tuesday 20 February, 6 – 7pm
Jeffreys Linn Arts Centre
If you have previously been to a THRASS Information Evening, you are very welcome to come along for a refresher. Parents of older girls may be interested to learn how a better understanding of the code of English can assist students to develop a broader range of spelling strategies as they progress through the year levels.
No registration is required. We look forward to seeing many of you there.
Deputy Head of Junior School
Reminder: Drinks on the Lawns Tonight
Year 6 Student Leadership Service
Dear Year 6 Families,
The Head of Junior School, Ms Marika Taylor, warmly invites two guests per family to attend the Year 6 Student Leaders’ Badge Presentation and Leadership Service.
Tuesday 20 February, 12.15pm in the Chapel at St Peter’s Girls’ School
Following the service, Year 6 students and their guests are welcome to enjoy a light lunch on Chiverton Lawns.
Please click here to book.
Swimming Carnival 2024
On Friday 23 February (Week 4), 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 by approximately 3.30pm. Parents and friends are welcome to attend to support the girls.
Students who regularly travel to and from school by the School bus will automatically be taken to the Adelaide Aquatic Centre in the morning and will be dropped home in the afternoon on their usual School bus.
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 4.15pm. To register your daughter’s place on this bus service, please visit TryBooking before 9am, Monday 19 February.
All other students will need to be dropped off at the Aquatic Centre in the morning and picked up from there in the afternoon.
The carnival is to be treated like a normal school day; therefore, attendance is compulsory for the whole day. We encourage the girls to compete in a number of events, with their preferences being discussed in PE lessons and House meetings.
To view the program of events – click here.
Swimming Carnival House Merchandise
Students have the opportunity to purchase House merchandise for Swimming Carnival. Orders must be received by 5pm Tuesday 20 February via TryBooking.
Items will be delivered to Junior School classrooms, older students will be asked to collect their order from Front Office on Thursday 22 February so they can bring them to Swimming Carnival on Friday.
Items available for purchase: House Bundle (hat, water bottle, 2 tattoos and wristband) – $26
All proceeds support the School via the Friends of Sport. Thank you for your support.
Click here to view and purchase the House merchandise.
Friends of Sport
Welcoming Our New Scientist in Residence: Lene van Schalkwyk
We are thrilled to introduce our newest Science Faculty member, Lene van Schalkwyk, who joins us as our Scientist in Residence. With an impressive background in research in Health and Medical Sciences and currently completing a PhD in Pharmacogenetics, Lene embodies a passion for scientific inquiry and discovery. Her presence at our school underscores our commitment to innovative STEM education and provides our students with an exciting and an invaluable opportunity to engage with real-world scientific research.
Lene’s role is pivotal in bringing science to life in our classrooms. The impact of a Scientist in Residence extends beyond the laboratory. Lene will play a crucial role in reshaping perceptions of scientists, particularly for our young girls. The presence of a female scientist in such a prominent role is instrumental in breaking down gender biases and expanding the image of what a scientist can be. By working alongside Lene, our students will see firsthand that scientists are diverse, relatable individuals who pursue fascinating and impactful work. This exposure is crucial in encouraging more girls to consider STEM fields, where they are traditionally underrepresented. We are confident that Lene’s influence will leave a lasting impression on our students, inspiring the next generation of innovative thinkers and leaders.
Welcome, Lene, to St Peter’s Girls School! We eagerly anticipate your vibrant ideas and experiences in our community.
A message from Lene
My name is Lene van Schalkwyk. I’m completing a PhD in Pharmacogenetics at the University of Adelaide, researching HIV in indigenous communities. I have a Bachelor of Science (majors in Genetics and Pharmacology) and an Honours degree in Health and Medical Sciences. I’ve worked as a tutor and practical demonstrator at the University for many years across fields such as medicine, health and medical sciences, and science.
My passion for science and for sharing science with others began in primary school during the Oliphant Science Awards. I hope to bring the joy of scientific discovery I experienced early in school to the students. What excites me about science is its application and integration with medicine through research, clinical trials, and diagnostic advancements to enhance our understanding and treatment of health and disease.
I believe that ongoing interdisciplinary collaboration ensures a dynamic relationship that fosters continual progress to benefit individuals and communities. I want to inspire scientific curiosity and a keen interest in STEM.
ELC Twilight Family Picnic
ELC families are invited to our ELC Twilight Family Picnic on Friday 23 February from 5pm to 7pm on Chiverton Lawns.
Families are encouraged to bring a picnic basket and rug for this family-friendly event. A sausage sizzle will be available on the night with pre-order required. Bookings for the sausage sizzle can be made via Trybooking. Please book by Monday 19 February, 5pm as there is a limited sausage sizzle. Please also note this is a cashless event.
We ask that families bring their own drinks, and that no glassware is used on the lawns as safety is one of our highest priorities.
The Twilight Family Picnic is an ELC community event and a wonderful opportunity to meet other families. We look forward to gathering as a community and spending this special time together.
Girls in Tech Day is Coming!
Get ready to experience the thrill of innovation because St Peter’s Girls School’s annual Girls in Tech Day is just three weeks away! On Thursday, February 29, from 9am to 2.30pm, we invite our Year 5 and 6 girls, in conjunction with several local schools, to a spectacular full-day event sure to spark their tech curiosity.
An exciting tech arena, including professional workshops and an Innovation Hub engage girls in a dynamic celebration of technology. Girls in Tech is now in its sixth year, and we know the girls will enjoy the fusion of activities on offer such as how to create your own podcast with Poddiy, laser cutting with Trotec and interactive robotics workshops. More information will follow in Week 4.
Our Girls in Tech Day is not just about gadgets and gizmos; it’s about connecting the girls to inspiring careers and real-world applications and igniting their imagination. Mark your calendars – and let’s countdown to a day of discovery and empowerment through technology at Saint Peter’s Girls School!
STEM Innovation Leader
Pancake Breakfast Next Week
Next Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday, the day before the season of Lent begins. Lent is the season in the Christian Church that focuses our attention on the upcoming events of Easter. Lent is traditionally a time for fasting and prayer but before lent begins it is common to have a feast. This year will be holding a pancake breakfast for students in year 7-12 to mark the beginning of Lent.
We will be serving pancakes before school outside the Food Tech centre on Tuesday 13 February 8 – 8.30am.
Pancakes will be $3 for 1 or $5 for 2.
All proceeds going towards our house charities.
Saints European Renaissance Tour
Our students joined with St Peter’s College to explore Renaissance Italy over the holidays. Tour highlights included guided tours in Venice of the Doge’s Palace, San Marco Basilica, the Venetian islands, bringing in the new year viewing iconic fireworks on private boats on the Grand Canal, a bike ride around the old city walls of Lucca, an Italian cooking course in Florence, guided exploration of iconic landmarks in Florence including the Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, San Lorenzo, Uffizi Gallery, and the Duomo Cathedral. We also participated in a service at St James’ Episcopal Church with our students reading the Gospel and Prayers.
The tour not only provided students with an opportunity to explore the rich cultural tapestry of the Renaissance but also fostered an appreciation for art, history, and architecture and an understanding of the complexities of High Renaissance Italian geopolitics. We also managed to help the Italian economy with our enthusiastic shopping excursions!
Thank you to the dedicated staff who organised the tour, especially Mr. Nicolas Smith and the students at St Peter’s College who helped make our trip memorable.
History and Legal Studies Teacher
Enrolments and International Student Manager & Chinese Teacher
News from ELC Learning Community 1
A very warm welcome to Term 1 in Learning Community 1! Welcome to our new families who are about to embark on a new journey with us at St Peter’s Girls’ ELC, and welcome back to our families continuing with us in both the Bell Yett and Stonyfell Rooms. We begin the year in Learning Community 1 with an open mind and excitement for what the year ahead has in store for our community of learners.
As we embark on a new year together, the teaching team take time to reflect on what is important for our youngest citizens of St Peter’s Girls’ Early Learners’ Centre. The development of relationships and a feeling of connectedness are pivotal to a child’s sense of belonging and wellbeing. These underpin their ability to develop understandings, enhance knowledge and learn new skills.
With this in mind, our Central Idea for Term 1 is:
‘A new environment can inspire curiosities.’
Within the context of Learning Community 1, we will deeply explore this Central Idea, guided by the following lines of inquiry:
- Interactions with one another
- Discoveries of shared rituals and new learning environments
- Transformation of the ELC
Through these inquiries, our intention is for the children to develop a strong sense of belonging to our Learning Community, create connections with people, places and spaces, and to encourage children to embrace their curiosity as it sparks wonder, creativity and a desire to learn.
We are looking forward to a wonderful term ahead with you and your children.
Nell Tierney, Annabelle Redmond, Dot Kelly and Kathy McCabe
Learning Community 1 Teachers
ELC Vacation Care Reflection
Over the December and January school holiday period, Learning Community 1 continued to immerse and explore the meaning of celebration. We reflected on how celebrations often serve as a cultural and personal narrative, reflecting traditions, values and milestones within a community or individual life.
The children expressed their Christmas wishes through letters to Santa, engaged in traditional festive activities such as cookie making, singing carols, decorating the Christmas tree, and we had a fun New Year’s Eve dance party.
The children shared stories of celebrating with families over the Christmas holiday break, meeting Santa, having a BBQ, big dinners, picnics, birthdays and going to the beach.
We revisited all the skills we acquired in 2023 and the children showcased their knowledge by confidently participating in activities and shared it with each other. We continued to celebrate the beautiful summer sun through water play, beach set up and dramatic play, and cooking food using the summer produce from our ELC garden.
OSA Paint and Sip Event
Please join us for our ‘Paint & Sip’ event Friday 23 February 2024.
The evening commences at 5.30pm with a two-hour painting session lead by artist Makaela Nolan. Tickets are $45 each and include wine, nibbles, all art supplies and a take-home canvas. Limited places available. Please click here to book.
We hope to see you there!
We would like to address a mistake that has been brought to our attention in the Middle and Senior School Diary. An error was made in the Term 3 dates content. To rectify this, we will be collecting all diaries from the students at the end of Term 1. During the school holidays we will resolve the issue and have the diaries back to the students ready to commence Term 2.
Tuck Shop Ordering – Flexischools
We have finalised our 2024 classes in Flexischools.
To simply change your child’s profile to their 2024 year and class:
- Open your Flexischools app and select ‘Profile’
- Under ‘Students‘ select the relevant student
- Update their ‘Year level‘ and ‘Class‘ and hit ‘Save‘
School Shop Notice
School Shop Opening Hours
Monday to Friday: 8am – 4pm (closed for lunch 12 – 12.30pm)
Parents can also order items via our Online School Shop. This is now accessible via the Flexischools platform which also administers our Online Tuck Shop. To sign in or sign up to Flexischools, click here
Absences from School
If your child will be absent from school/ELC or is arriving late or leaving early, please notify the School via one of the following methods:
Text: 0428 601 957
Phone: 8334 2200
Please ensure to include your child’s name, the name of the ELC Room, Class or Home Group and the reason for the absence i.e. illness/appointment/family/sport etc
If notifying via email, feel free to ‘cc’ the teacher of the Room/Class/Home Group as well.
It would be appreciated if notification is received prior to 9am.
Wednesday 31 January – Tuesday 6 February
Senior C: Saints (37) v Seymour C1 (21)
Senior D: Saints (22) v Seymour C (8)
Middle D White: Cancelled
Middle D Blue: Saints (10) v Seymour Middle C (38)
Best Player: Serena Zhang, scored 6 out of our 10 points this week! She took some great shots over a very tall opposition.
Superwoman: Ivy Zhang, gave 110% effort every time she was on the court and was a voice of encouragement from the sideline all game!
Middle C: Saints (10) v Seymour Middle C (33)
Best Player: Evie Murphy showed a large amount of effort in defending a talented Seymour team and taking on their players in offence too.
Superwoman: Sandra Hennes (fill in) applied great pressure to their players. She was often the first player to run back in defence each time.
Senior A: Saints (1/107) v Pulteney Senior A (7/22)
Best Player: Phoebe Lucas. She provided a great fielding effort and smashed 29 off 13 balls including her first 6! Top score for our team.
Superwomen: Our entire team! Pulteney unfortunately were short on players and our girls stepped up like absolute champions and sub fielded for them to make sure a game could happen.
Senior B: Saints Blue (7/63) v Saints White (2/91)
Best Player: Winnie Vartuli, top scored with 29* (20) including three boundaries – smashing it!
Superwoman: Sylvie Flavel made wonderful partnerships at the crease, positive in looking for singles and calling clearly, kept the strike rotating.
Senior Open A: Saints (0/0/19) v Scotch Senior A (12/12/72)
Best Player: Sophie Wiggins had a strong performance in both doubles and singles. First time playing as our number 3, and she showed great promise.
Super Woman: Ayanna Roy as she led from the front as captain and helped to get the girls organised to play when there was a last minute coaching sub!
Senior A: Saints (2/56) v Westminster Senior A (1/53)
Best Player: Annabel Keough as she had amazing skills.
Superwoman: Alannah Godfrey for playing with consistency and directing court traffic to help the team.
Senior B: Bye
Senior C: Bye
Senior D: Bye
Middle A: Saints (1/60) v Westminster Middle A (2/61)
Best Player: Imogen had strong serving, good voice on and off court as well as reading the play.
Superwoman: Lucy as she came up as a fill in, having confidence to go for the ball, persistence when things weren’t going perfectly.
Middle B: Bye
Middle C Blue: Saints (2) v Seymour Middle C1 (1)
Middle C White: Saints (2) v Seymour Middle C2 (1)
Scarlett Smashes it at Nationals!
In December, Scarlett Drake attended Cheercon Nationals in Sydney at the International Convention Centre with her club South Coast Elite. She competed in two teams. Team Mini Gunz finished second overall and team Youth Ops took out first place and were crowned National Champions! Scarlett showed that hard work does pay off, she was awarded the Coaches Award and Spirit Award by her club for being the most coachable and high-spirited team member.
Well done Scarlett, such a great achievement!