Issue no. 21
In this edition
From Our Deputy Principal & Head of Middle School
It is with mixed emotions that I write my final eNews article for the St Peter’s Girls’ School community. After nearly 13 years as a staff member, Senior Leader, and 12 years as a parent, I officially become an ‘ex’ at 3.30pm next Friday.
During my time at the School, I have seen us grow in size, develop our beautiful campus and consolidate our position as a trusted and well-loved school. It offers families from a diverse background what, I believe, is the best single-sex educational experience in South Australia.
I’m immensely proud to have been associated with the School for so long, see it flourish and grow in reputation, whilst still remaining true to our core values and the ethos of our founding Sisters.
Finding a place to work that concurrently challenges, inspires, rewards and fulfils is rare, and I’m aware that I’ve been fortunate to have experienced just that at Saints. Whilst I know that my new role in Victoria will certainly have the potential to offer all those things, there is no doubt that a part of me will always be poorer for the absence of interaction with our students. Their energy, enthusiasm, good humour, warmth, determination, creativity, sense of respect and all-round positive outlook make our community an inspirational place to be. Most of all I will miss their grounded nature and have-a-go attitude that make our students such a joy to teach.
It has been a pleasure to work with such a dedicated, passionate and approachable group of staff in all areas of the school – their genuine team approach, commitment to excellence and shared sense of pride in the work we do has been inspiring.
Whilst I will have a chance to say farewell and ‘thank you’ to staff and students next week, I want to take this opportunity to thank the families that are such an important part of our community. Whether it’s been at AFL on a Friday evening, Netball on a Saturday, Soccer during the week or at Music concerts, Drama performances, Parent-Teacher interviews or at one of the many major events we put on each year, I have always enjoyed getting to know our families. Your enthusiasm, banter, concerns, questions and feedback has always been a welcome and enriching part of my role.
It is important to note as well, that my family also leaves the immediate Saints community next Friday. Whilst my daughters Abbie and Maddy will always be Old Scholars, and have an exciting life ahead of them, we are extremely grateful for the support shown to them during their time here. Tasha and I, as parents, were made to feel welcome and included despite the occasional awkwardness of having the Head of Middle school round for dinner!
It would be remiss of me not to mention what is often a highlight of my day – the thirty minutes I spend on carpark duty with Prefects and other Senior Leaders. Instigated during Covid-19, it has become an amazing way to get to know more parents, our younger students, and their dogs. I shall miss my canine friends Bach, Bear, Coffee and numerous others who allow me a daily pat! I’ll also miss the friendly waves and morning conversations with parents and grandparents in the drop off zone. Seeing those younger students pass through the Middle School, and getting to know their parents better will be something I will not experience, but I know that they will be well looked after by Emma Smerdon and the Middle School team of staff.
So, as I enter my final week before becoming an ‘ex’, I do so with a sense of reflection and some sadness, as well as with excitement about the challenges ahead, but mostly with a sense of deep gratitude for being afforded the honour of helping to guide and support a decade of extraordinary young people, at what I believe to be a truly extraordinary school.
Deputy Principal & Head of Middle School
New End of Year Program for Senior Students
We are excited to share with the community a new and bespoke program for Year 10 and 11 students to finish their academic year. Week 8 for both cohorts will focus on life skills, wellbeing, connection and preparation for the 2024 school year. Year 11 students will commence the week by travelling to Hallet Cove, Kingston Park and Glenelg for a cultural immersion and connection experience. In addition to spending time with their Home Groups, the girls will also have an opportunity to learn about the Tjilbruke Dreaming story and its connection to the land on which they are visiting.
The Year 10 Cohort will remain on site on the Monday participating in three different workshops centred around life skills and wellbeing. Guest speakers from the Pelvic Pain Foundation and Financial Maths will join our School Psychologist Nicole Letch to deliver three engaging, interactive and informative workshops for students.
Tuesday will see both groups at school, working with their teachers as they reflect on their exams. On Wednesday Year 11 students will take part in ‘Head Start’ lessons in preparation for 2024. The girls will spend a lesson in each of their chosen Year 12 subjects with their classmates learning about what they can expect when they return in the new year. On Wednesday the Year 10 Cohort to travel offsite, the girls will have an opportunity to draw on their outdoor education skills from camp as they take part in the Kuitpo tree climb high ropes adventure course.
Year 10 and 11 Music Students will be involved in rehearsals for both Carols and Presentation Night over the course of this week. While taking part in some, but not all aspects of the new program, they too will be further developing connections with their peers as they rehearse ready to put on a show stopping performance for our community at Carols and Presentation Night. We thank these students for their dedication to the Music Program and for making our school events the special occasions they are.
Deputy Principal & Head of Senior School
ELC Upgrade and Extension Announcement
We are thrilled to share some wonderful news with you. As part of our commitment to providing the best possible educational experience for your children, we are pleased to announce that we will be upgrading and extending our St Peter’s Girls’ ELC. This expansion will bring new opportunities for growth and development for your children.
What to expect:
- Extension of the current learning space
- Brand new commercial kitchen
- New and additional toilets for children and staff
- Upgraded Piazza
- Extension to the outdoor play area
When to expect the changes:
The upgrade and extension will begin at the end of this year, and we anticipate completion by January 2025.
Our School Leadership Team has worked alongside the architects, builders and the Educational Standards Board to ensure that any changes to the ELC will cause minimum disruption to the children and families throughout 2024 and to ensure protocols are in place.
Where to from here:
In Learning Community 1, we will continue to offer a smooth transition into the Early Learning Centre. We will continue to create a strong sense of belonging and consistency for children and families, laying the foundation for children’s social and emotional development and continued success for learning. Children are supported to build deep relationships with teachers and peers, as well as share their knowledge through intentional group experiences as we cater for each child’s holistic development.
To support each child’s transition from Learning Community 1 into Learning Community 2, they will move into the Erindale room, our current Pathway room. During this time, children’s independence and their growing developmental needs will be nurtured, such as their transition from sleep times and other key milestones. The children in the Erindale classroom will build strong relationships with Pathway staff and become familiar with the Learning Community environment through a planned and intentional approach around the transition into Learning Community 2.
12 month Pathway to School:
We have received extremely positive feedback from the community around our Pathway to School. We realise the value that a full year of Pathway offers our children in supporting them to develop the capabilities that they need to be successful learners and helping them to further develop their independence.
From 2024 children will be in Pathway to School for 12 months. We will have two Pathway rooms:
- One for children transitioning to school in the Mid-Year intake
- One for children who will transition at the start of a school year
Kirsty Porplycia will be the leader in Learning Community 2 and will oversee Pathway to School in 2024. Fundamental capabilities that are accelerated through our Pathway to School include social, emotional and self-management skills to further develop independence, organisation and resilience. Literacy, numeracy and STEM explorations are amplified during daily rich inquiries and interwoven play activities, guided by problem-solving and creativity. Relationships are developed with key staff in the Junior School, and emphasis is placed on familiarising children with the environment and facilities of school. Children will be supported to feel confident and comfortable as they transition into Reception and embark on the next stage of their learning journey.
We are pleased to show this continuous endeavour to provide an exceptional learning environment for our children and families. We look forward to 2024 and supporting your child to thrive and reach their full potential.
Director of Early Learning Centre
Gold Experience for Year 5 Campers
Last week the Year 5 teachers and students spent four glorious days on camp at Tandara Lutheran Camp at Halls Gap. The camp setting was amazing, every day we would watch deer, kangaroos and even kookaburras, come nearby and eat or just enjoy the shade of the weeping willows surrounded by the beautiful Grampians. Our days were jam-packed with fun activities. Highlights included a day visit to Sovereign Hill, Ballarat where we explored the mines, a gold pour demonstration, the amazing Aura spectacular and we even had a chance to pan for gold!
One day a local animal expert brought some Australian native animals including a crocodile, wombat, frog, python snake and even a dingo to our campsite. The girls loved experiencing the animals up close. We returned to school Friday exhausted but grateful for having had such a wonderful experience.
Year 5 Teacher
Saints Girls Ethical Triumph
Monday 6 November saw two teams of students take part in the State Ethics Olympiad. It was a tough competition discussing issues such as lying to friends, whether life would be different with artificial trees and whether sports associations should be allowed to take a stance against issues such as war. The girls worked hard to apply their best ethical judgement to arrive at sound ethical solutions for all stakeholders in the problems presented. Unlike debating the girls are not given a stance to present but decide upon their own. The students are allowed, in fact encouraged, to consider both sides of the problem and present both using, where appropriate, ethical theories to support their ideas.
The girls were put into two teams, a Year 9 team and a Year 7/8 team and competed against nine other teams from across South Australia. Our Year 9 team came second. Our Year 7/8 team took fifth place and won the Most Improved Team award and received an honourable mention. It was great to hear the girls commended for their grasp of ethical theories and their application, several judges commented that this was unexpected for this age group!
The Year 9 team will now go on to compete next February in the national competition. Well done to the following students.
Year 9 – Alison Francis, Elaine Chen, Vi Ahn (Angelina) Tran and Beverly Hii
Year 7/8 – Nishka Soodan, Naomi Meng, Chelsea Francis, Olive Dawson, Lois Burton-Howard
Don’t forget, if you would like to take part in ethics or philosophy come along on Fridays at lunch to CW 302 and join the philosophy club. All students in Middle and Senior School are welcome.
Gifted and Talented Teacher
Beverly Comes Top in SA at Geography Competition
Congratulations to Beverly Hii, who achieved first in the state for the Australian Geography Competition, as a Year 9 student, placing her in the top 1% nation-wide. Beverly was pleasantly surprised by her achievement, noting that, as it was a multiple-choice format based on the Australian Geography curriculum, she ‘couldn’t actually revise’ as she would do for a normal test.
There were other significant achievements with the following students being awarded High Distinctions:
Year 7 – Leila Buttignol, Emily Kim, Chutong Liang, Chloe Sturt, Lucille Trengove, Mya Trinh, Christina Zhu
Year 8 – Tia Bal, Ruby Marschall, Abbey Phillips, Jie-Xi Tam
Year 9 – Evelyn Kelly, Olivia Ng
Saints Girls have also performed well in the Australian History Competition, a source-based test linked to the Australian Curriculum. Notable achievements included Distinction recipients:
Year 9 – Abigail Hawkes, Evelyn Kelly (a great achievement across both competitions, Evelyn!)
Year 10 – Annabel Keough, Malaika McLeod, Anna Russell, Ray Tsang, Ziyu (Jerrie) Wu, Wenhan (Heidi) Zhao
Congratulations to all students!
Head of Humanities
Olympiads Accelerated Program for Young Physicist Heidi
Congratulations to Heidi Gong (Year 11) on being invited to attend the 2024 Australian Science Olympiads Summer School. Heidi’s excellent performance and attaining of a High Distinction in the Physics Olympiad Exam resulted in her selection for the program, where she will undertake accelerated learning in Physics.
The Summer School program will be held at The Australian National University (ANU), Canberra where students will reside and work with other students from across Australia, receiving intensive tuition in both the theory and practice of science.
An average day at Summer School comprises morning, afternoon and evening sessions of academic instruction — these might be lectures (which introduce new material, concepts and theory), experimental labs (which provide practical experience with experimental techniques), or tutorials (which allow you to test your understanding, work with staff, other students and ask plenty of questions).
It’s an intensive, fast-paced training program, with a lot to cover, the equivalent of the first-year university studies in a chosen discipline. It is an amazing experience that will truly challenge her skills.
This is an exciting opportunity for Heidi, we wish her all the best.
Head of Science
Food Forest Adventure
On Tuesday 7 November, our Year 9 Geography students visited the Gawler Food Forest. The Food Forest is a 15-hectare, organic farm and permaculture education centre, run by Graham and Annemarie Brookman. The farm produces over 160 varieties of organically certified fruit and nuts, wheat and vegetables, free-range eggs, honey and carob beans as well as several native Australian foods. Their produce is sold every week at the Farmers Market at the Adelaide Showgrounds.
The excursion linked with our studies of Food Security and whether permaculture holds the key to ensuring food security for generations to come. Students participated in several activities, including a tasting session where they were able to enjoy some of Food Forest’s amazing organic produce. Pistachio nuts and dried Jujube fruit were amongst their favourites! Finally, students participated in a walking tour of the vegetable gardens and orchards. The visit to the Food Forest was a great experience for all; an opportunity to see first-hand how an organic, and sustainable farm operates. It was most definitely food for thought!
Saints Rock Band and Guitar Ensemble Rock Lunch Hour!
The Saints Rock Band and Guitar Ensemble put on a fantastic concert for the students and staff at lunchtime last Friday. The concert began with the Guitar Ensemble, which consists of six girls from Year 7 through to Year 11. They performed pieces in three parts including ‘The Pirates of the Caribbean’ theme song and ‘Oye Como Va’ by the famous Santana. The Rock Band then took to the stage consisting of eight performers playing drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, percussion and vocals. They performed five popular songs including the super catchy ‘Style’ by Taylor Swift and the Christmas classic ‘All I Want for Christmas’ by Mariah Carey. The bands were cheered on by a very enthusiastic audience; some sang along, and some of our Reception students had a great time dancing too. This is the last performance of the year for Rock Band and Guitar Ensemble, and we look forward to hearing much more next year!
Shane Davidson Presents – The Lion King JR
Join us in this magical spectacular production as we take to the Pridelands and join the circle of life with fantastic music, big dance routines and wonderful tunes such as ‘I Just Can’t Wait to be King’, ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’, ‘He Lives in You’ and ‘Hakuna Matata’.
With a wonderful cast, including 25 girls from Saints and a vibrant array of beautiful costumes, face paint and eye-catching headgear for all the characters, this show will entertain all ages.
The production will be held on November 25 & 26 at the St Peter’s Girls’ School Jefferys Linn Arts Centre.
Tickets now on sale – click here to book.
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.
Bushfire Action Plan
It is important to remind families about the School’s Bushfire Action Plan.
The policy was developed in consultation with the CFS, MFS, Department for Education 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 Health Centre Notices
It is imperative that all medical information, including immunisations, is up to date on the School’s myLink parent portal.
Please follow this pathway to check and/or update details: myLink > Community Portal > My Details > select child name
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please find the latest guidance from SA Health:
- It is strongly recommended that students stay home if they have cold or flu-like
symptoms, and test for COVID-19.
- Whether they receive a positive or negative result, they should stay home until symptoms subside (usually five to seven days).
- While face masks are no longer mandated, they are an important physical barrier to help stop the spread of COVID, particularly when indoors.
If your child tests positive to COVID-19, please inform the School. Please also notify the School each day of absence, or provide the expected period of absence.
You can notify us via one of the following methods. Please include the name of the ELC Room, Class or Home Group. If emailing, feel free to ‘CC’ the teacher of the Room/Class/Home Group as well.
Text: 0428 601 957 (save to phone contacts as SPGS)
Phone: 8334 2200
For more SA Health information, click here
Please note that if your child is unwell, they should remain home until they have recovered, irrespective of the illness.
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 ie 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 1 November – Tuesday 7 November
Year 4-6 Blue: Saints (18) v St Ignatius (28)
Best Player: Ruby Pahuja
Superwoman: Jessica Dong
Year 3-4 White: lost on forfeit.
Open A: Saints (33) v Seymour College Senior B (33)
Best Player: Levanya de Silva used her skills and experience to help the team score. Additionally, she shot some great 3 pointers and drove on some much taller players!
Superwoman: Emily McCorley played great defence, helped her teammates out and got in for rebounds despite being one of the shorter players on the court.
Middle A: Saints (45) v Wilderness Middle A (32)
Best Player: Wei Ning Khoo for attacking the basket well and putting defensive pressure on her player forcing turnovers.
Superwoman: Tia Bal, for excellent rebounding.
Middle B: Saints (36) v Wilderness Middle B (17)
Best Player: Alyssa Piantedosi for being the top scorer, scoring half the team’s points and excellent fast break layups.
Superwoman: Mia Bennett, for multiple blocked shots, rebounds and passing ahead to teammates running the floor.
Middle C: won on forfeit.
Middle D: won on forfeit.
Open A: Saints (22) v Mercedes 1 (1)
Best Players: Alice Braithwaite
Superwomen: Everyone as we worked as a team and everyone scored a goal.
Open B: Saints (7) v Pembroke 1 (8)
Best Players: Alyssa Tran
Superwoman: Evie Gosse
Middle A: Saints (6) v Loreto College Middle 1 (2)
Senior A: Bye
Senior B: Saints Senior B Blue v Saints Senior B White (friendly – no results recorded)
Senior Open A: Saints (1/21) v Seymour Premier League (9/71)
Experienced: Saints (0/1/10) v Seymour Green (0/5/20)
Best player: Emily Wang
Superwoman: Matilda Roesch
Intermediate Blue: Bye
Beginner Blue: Bye
Beginner White: Saints (0/5) v Scotch Navy (6/24)
Best player: Emma Brooks
Superwoman: Yukai (Kate) Yin, as she played 2 singles to ensure the scotch opponent could get a match.
Senior Division 2: Saints (38) v Pembroke Div 2 Green (35)
Best player: Alice Morel, as she played one of her strongest games yet and pulled out some very fierce forehands!
Superwomen: Alyssa Walpole and Lilly Michelon as they played a very long doubles game, the first game having 12 deuces! They managed to keep up their spirits and energy the entire time.
Senior Division 4.1: Saints (0/0/23) v Pembroke Div 4 Blue (1/9/54)
Superwomen: Yeucen (Luna) Dou, as she came close to winning both her matches.
Additional coach’s comment: An additional thank you to Sanvi Dholiya and Zijing (Phoebe) Liu for filling in for our absent players. All girls stayed back to support our team and it was great to see Ms Skewes come out and support the team.
Senior Division 4.4: Internal game
Senior A: Bye
Senior B: Saints (0/43) v Pembroke Senior C (3/75)
Best player: Ella Warrick
Superwoman: Alysa Trinh, as she stayed positive throughout the match even though we were down in points, took on feedback and implemented it straight away.
Senior C: Saints (1) v Concordia Senior C3 (2)
Best player: Amelia Sutherland, she passed the ball really well, took ownership at the net and showed excellent leadership on court.
Superwoman: Monica Isaac, she was a quiet achiever. Dependable with her skills and has improved with her serving.
Middle A: Saints (3/65) v Woodcroft Middle B1 (0/48)
Best player: All players
Superwoman: Kiera See, she is a great reader of the play, injecting herself and supporting teammates on every single play.
Middle B: Saints (0/24 v Concordia Middle B2 (3/65)
Best player: Ashmitha Ramesh, as she was cool, calm and collected on court. She is solid in her skills and can use them to help bring out the best in her team.
Superwoman: Lyra Cox, her development throughout the game and ability to keep her head high and work on her mistakes to improve herself.
Middle C: Saints (2/70) v Concordia Middle C2 (1/58)
Middle D: Saints (1/57) v Pembroke Middle C Blue (2/70)
Best player: Aoife Carty
Superwoman: Mya Trinh
Open A: Middle B: Saints (3) v St Peters Girls Open B (3)
Best player: Ava Field
Superwoman: Lucy Mitchell for her defensive efforts.
Open B: Saints (3) v St Peters Girls Open A (3)
Best player: Chloe Richardson
Superwoman: Elodie de Wit
Open C: Saints (4) v Mary MacKillop College 1 (3)
Best player: Olivia Reynolds
Superwoman: Amy Dillon
Middle A: Saints (0) v St Ignatius 1 (8)
Middle B: Saints (6) v Mercedes 3 (2)
Best player: Kaylisiah Jang
Superwoman: Emma Sayers for scoring her first try and taking on the role as Captain seriously. Emma was heard motivating the team on and off field and communicated efficiently to assist in working as a cohesive team.
Soccer Stars on the Rise
Fresh off their win in the Middle A IGSSA Soccer Final, Aleesha Gray and Chloe Richardson were selected to represent South Australia at the National Championships in the Under 14 and Under 16 age groups respectively.
Both girls gained valuable experience throughout the tournament, playing against the best girls from across the country.
The Under 14s had a challenging tournament, managing one win and scoring four goals throughout their matches. Chloe and her Under 16 teammates won two game and drew twice, going through to the semi-finals for the first time! Their team finished third overall.
Chloe’s highlight was her team’s first win on the tournament and scoring her first goal!
We also have four students, Natalia DiMauro, Audrey Fox, Lauren Disney and Aurelia Weidenbach, who are currently in Singapore, representing South Australia at the SINGACUP. The SINGACUP in an annual international youth football tournament. The tournament finishes on 11 November, we look forward to a full report of their experiences when they return to school.
Congratulations to all our Soccer Girls, we can’t wait to follow your Soccer progress in the years to come.
It’s a very proud moment for some of our Middle and Senior girls who competed in the National Lacrosse Championship a few weeks ago.
Cleo Hart, Alannah Godfrey, Lara Maione, Mable Cook and Ivy Pratt went through the tournament undefeated! All girls managed to score goals throughout the tournament and the girls came away as winners.
Amazing achievement girls, well done!
PE Week – Next Week!
Week 5 is PE Week and our Sports Captains have been working very hard behind the scenes to organise a number of fun activities for our girls and staff to be a part of as we celebrate all things PE.
On Monday, Junior School girls can test their ninja warrior abilities on a course designed by our captains. Girls will be able to race both individually and as part of a team with their friends.
Tuesday sees our first Staff vs Students match of the week, Ms Brennan’s Bears will take on our Senior A Touch Football team on the top oval during lunch.
On Wednesday, girls are encouraged to bring out their inner ‘White Goodman’ and compete in Dodgeball in the gym. The girls will be pleased to know a few staff are keen to join in this one too, so they can take aim at their favourite teacher!
Thursday rounds out our Staff vs Students matches for the year with our Senior A Basketballers, lead by Ashlyn May taking on Ms Perkas’ Panthers. We will have a couple of Sports Captains on the mic commentating the game and a half-court shooting competition at half time.
Friday completes PE week with classic catches on the oval. Ball machines are locked a loaded to put our Junior, Middle and Senior school girls through their paces to see who can take the best catch.
It should be a great week, with something for everyone to get involved in.