Issue no. 13
From Our Director of Teaching and Learning
Never have teachers been more pleased to see their students in class again than at the start of this term. The past two months with all of the upheaval and ongoing uncertainty have been challenging for everyone. In the spirit of positive thinking though, I will add that, from an educational perspective, they have also been reassuring in some ways.
Firstly, we have been able to demonstrate that we can adapt quickly and can leverage the technology and platforms already in place to deliver a different learning model when the need arises. Secondly, we have been reminded that there is no such thing as a perfect virtual substitute to being in a classroom (or laboratory, or gym, or rehearsal room) with a dedicated and charismatic teacher. The social aspects, the immediacy, the spontaneous moments of comedy – in-class learning delivers all of these things and more in a way that is hard to replicate. Even a short break from the ‘traditional’ model of schooling has provided a salient reminder of this fact. Finally, adversity has a habit of bringing out the best in people, and the students, teachers and other staff have demonstrated this in multiple ways. The students embraced remote learning very quickly and were sat keenly in their virtual classrooms often before the teachers had been able to walk between the real ones. The teachers adapted to changing circumstances on a regular basis and, at the halfway point of the holiday, stoically switched their focus back from preparing remote learning activities to a normal school start (or at least something close to it). The flexibility and resilience shown by all has been outstanding.
Some other brief teaching and learning updates: the student feedback surveys that I mentioned in my last update will be completed towards the end of this term. In the meantime, we will have some valuable feedback from the online learning questionnaires to reflect and act upon. The Parent-Teacher Interviews this term will continue to be conducted over the phone and, once again, I acknowledge everyone’s flexibility in adjusting quickly to the new process. Lastly, our Middle and Senior School teachers will spend some time next week looking more closely at our lesson observation processes and how we can maximise the scope for ongoing learning from each other through focused formal and informal classroom visits.
Here’s to another term of rich learning experiences for us all!
Director of Teaching and Learning
Enchante Creates Global Harmonies
This year to celebrate Generations in Jazz, Enchante created a virtual choir recording of our free choice piece ‘Zemabia’. This piece has no words and requires the singers themselves to impart meaning through the use of vocal ‘scat’. The recording was posted on our St Peter’s Girls’ Facebook page and has been a huge hit with over 16,000 views to date! We were also excited to note that it is now being viewed by renowned vocal Jazz educators in America including Kerry Marsh, the composer and arranger of this piece. This is what he had to say:
“OH MY!! OH MY….. This is fantastic! Like really, really fantastic! I will share this with my Facebook community right away. Huge congratulations for putting together such a cool performance…. Well sung, well planned and edited video production! Top of the top, St Peter’s! Thank you so much for this…..”
Other comments included:
“So great! What a fantastic way for the girls to see themselves and each other performing like this” – Sally Cameron (Idea of North)
“Brilliant! How hard is that song?!!” – Noelene Howis
“Amazing what is being achieved with the challenges faced” – Cherie Forbes
“Wow, just beautiful.” – Mavi Jass
We hope you enjoy our video.
Supporting Our Friends at Kent Place School
St Peter’s Girls shares special bonds with our exchange schools overseas, including the wonderful Kent Place School in New Jersey.
While the current global situation has postponed all of our planned exchange visits, we remain connected with our foreign friends.
Our Kent Place exchange students and staff from the past three years took some time out to send uplifting messages of support:
Anyone can #WitnessTheFitness!
I’ve realised that I’m not the super sporty, athletic type. After school, you won’t find me on the basketball courts, but instead rehearsing with Senior Strings, or studying in the Library. I’ve also realised, recently especially, the importance of fitness, and try to integrate it into my everyday routine. The same can be said for my HL Maths class – after school we like to Microsoft Teams and exercise together. What I’m trying to say is: you don’t need to be at a certain athletic ability or know how to do all the moves to #WitnessTheFitness. It’s designed with the goal of making fitness as fun and realistic for you girls as possible.
With that being said, Hayley from the Communications Team and the Prefects have been working as hard as possible to produce some amazing content for you all. We recently filmed a HIIT workout with only eight rotations guaranteed to get your heart rate up and those endorphins flowing. Give it a go, your body will thank you for it!
On another note, keep an eye out for Term 2’s Prefect initiative. In Term 1, we challenged the girls to do the small but meaningful. This might’ve been opening a door for someone or smiling at passers-by. For Term 2, we challenge you to think of the bigger picture.
This week, the girls were given a look into the lives of students from all around the world. We asked our exchanges and friends from interstate, Japan and the US to document their typical day in the life. For some, this involved herding cattle, and for others, commuting from empty train stations. I hope this video makes you think about how others are coping in these confusing times. The rest of the term will be different than usual no doubt, but I challenge you to maintain perspective and realise just how lucky we are in this healthy community at Saints.
International Student Prefect
Business Insight from Passion for Fashion
Year 12 Business Innovation this week heard from leading Adelaide fashion designer Sally Phillips on what it takes to create your own clothing brand and run a successful business.
Sally certainly modelled all of the School’s values of courage, creativity and compassion as she overcame the challenges of launching her own business as a 20 year old.
The Year 12 Business girls were able to gain valuable insight into how to find a niche market and navigate turbulent times, such as the current economic climate.
Talented Trail Runner Leads the Pack
Congratulations to Year 5 student Zalia Valmorbida who entered the Ultra Runners South Australia – Summer Series, competing in short course races and placing 1st in the U12 girls’ category.
To qualify for a place, competitors had to complete a minimum of three out of the four races, which varied from 8 – 10km on a mix of single/fire trails.
Zalia entered three races and came 1st in each of them.
“I got in to trail running a few years ago when my family was living in Townsville, and I used to climb Castle Hill with my mum to challenge myself and to walk my dogs. Castle Hill is really rocky and steep, so it was fun to climb.
I prefer trail running to road running because I like going out and seeing all the forests and environment around me, and it is more interesting than running around the road where cars and buildings are.
My typical race is about 9km long with 250m elevation, and it takes about an hour to finish the race. The hardest thing about racing is the pressure at the start; it makes me nervous but it is worth the feeling you get at the end when you cross the finish line. I don’t really train much, I just stay active and do swimming lessons and sometimes a 5km park run. I would encourage more girls to get into trail running because it helps you stay fit and it teaches your brain you are capable of many things further than what you thought was possible.” – Zalia Valmorbida
Great effort Zalia!
Stage 2 Biology Under the Microscope
In Stage 2 Biology, we are learning about cell biology including the organelles found in eukaryotic cells.
We have been using light microscopes to explore the internal structures of a variety of cells, even our own cheek cells! Seeing the differences between plant and animal cells was interesting and brought the diagrams from our textbooks to life.
It was beneficial to be in the laboratory as it allowed us to develop a deeper understanding of how our cells work to keep us alive.
Year 12 student
Vote of Confidence from Year 6
In Year 6, our Transdisciplinary Theme for Term 2 is ‘How we organise ourselves’, with the Central Idea of how government systems and decisions impact the broader community.
The students have begun by exploring federation, democracy and the importance of having a voice. We have drafted bills to be discussed and, later in the term, we will be voting on the most relevant and important law to affect change.
The Year 6 Team
Saints Girls’ Grit at Boot Camp Challenge
The Stage 2 PE girls began their Performance Improvement task this week with an introduction to Obstacle Course Racing (OCR). Luke Williams (aka ‘Ninja Luke’ from Ninja Warrior) runs SA Base Camp which specialises in training novice to elite obstacle racers at its facility in Semaphore.
Fortunately, he was able to set up a 3km course around our campus for the girls to complete. Elements included heavy water carries, battle ropes, balance beams, weighted crawls, climbing walls and large tyres, with significant run sections in between. Luke explained the layout of the course and a warm up was completed before the starter’s siren sounded. Beginning with 30 laps of the tennis court whilst crawling under a net each lap, the girls’ heart rates shot up instantaneously, but they recovered and steadied throughout the rest of the course.
We will now train for six weeks with a focus on a specific element they wish to improve, e.g. aerobic endurance, before attempting the course again, expecting to achieve an improvement on their time.
Head of PE, Health and Outdoor Education
Science a Blast for Year 5 Inquirers
In Year 5 this week, we continued our exploration of Science as part of our Unit of Inquiry, ‘Bazinga’. The first line of inquiry is all about exploring the use of scientific method. The girls have learnt about what they need to include in a scientific method, as well as constructing their own hypothesis and putting it to the test.
Our first experiment went off with a bang, as four packets of Mentos were released into four different 2L soft drink bottles. As a cohort, the girls predicted that the Mentos would create a chemical reaction, making the soft drink fizz, forcing the liquid inside each bottle to expel at various heights. Prior to conducting the experiment, we discussed the variables involved, with the girls identifying the independent, dependent and controlled variables. Their theory was that the soft drink with the least amount of sugar would expel the least amount of liquid. They were surprised to have been proven wrong, observing that the Coke Zero and Diet Coke created the highest ‘fizz’ and quite clearly expelled the most liquid. This allowed them to evaluate their hypothesis, results and critically analyse the experiment, commenting on improvements that could be made if they were to conduct it again.
The girls are looking forward to participating in further experiments including an exploration of matter, involving the melting of different types of chocolate, and a light experiment where they will discover the Science behind shadows.
Shelley Hampton and Sarah Mulraney
Year 5 Teachers
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 will instead 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
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