Farewell from Our Director of Teaching and Learning
I was talking to a Year 10 student last week and she was telling me about her favourite subject. When I enquired as to why it was her favourite, she reflected that it was because the focus was on learning new things rather than assessment tasks. Her curiosity and thirst for new knowledge were being satisfied without the pressure of imminent assignments and stressing about ‘what to write to get an A grade’. Which is not to say that there is no assessment on this particular course; quite the contrary in fact. And neither am I suggesting that aiming for A grades is not a noble pursuit. But crucially, the emphasis in the Year 10 subject in question has been shifted just subtly: the assessment tasks are there to serve the interesting content rather than the other way round. To an extent, this reflects the fact that Year 10 doesn’t quite carry the same weight and pressure of the final two years of school. But it also raises some interesting questions about learning – why we do it, how we do it and what it is for.
All schools face the challenge of balancing love of learning and learning for its own sake with the need to assess students and the need to deliver successful outcomes in programs such as SACE and IB. This balance can be particularly tricky in schools like ours where expectations are high and students can sometimes feel the pressure to perform. We recognise that it is imperative for learning to be fun, to inspire, to stimulate and to engender further curiosity about the world. Actually wanting to learn is always at least half the battle. So, whilst understanding assignment details and accessing examples of top-grade work are important parts of the assessment process, the enjoyment of the formative learning phase is vitally important too. We ask our middle and senior students via feedback surveys how well we engage them in class, and this continues to be a key area of focus for us moving forwards.
As I come to the end of my four and a half years at Saints Girls, I am perhaps inevitably reflecting on my time here and on the particular qualities of the School. A good example of what makes it a special place came two weeks ago when the Stage 2 SACE students stayed behind over three evenings to tackle some practice exam questions. Not only did the students accept this additional requirement, they tackled the tasks intently and without fuss and a proffered cheerful ‘thank you’ as they left the classrooms at 6pm. The maturity, warmth, diligence and politeness of our students never ceases to impress.
Remember – when you are chatting with your daughters over dinner, ask them what they learned at school rather than what grades they received! And finally, best wishes for the future to all in the Saints Girls’ community.
Director of Teaching and Learning
Esperanza Strikes Again
In addition to their recent win at Generations in Jazz, we are thrilled to announce that vocal ensemble Esperanza is among only a dozen finalists nationwide to have placed in the Musica Viva event ‘Strike a Chord’.
119 ensembles participated, so congratulations to Esperanza for making it this far which is truly an achievement in itself. This very prestigious, classical competition is designed to inspire students who are performing chamber music at a very high level, many being of prodigious talent.
The girls were adjudicated by concert pianist Amir Farid, and concert violinist and professional chamber musician Helen Ayres. The Grand Final will take place on Saturday 27 August at the Melbourne Recital Centre where the finalists will perform to the in-house audience and via live stream to viewers across the nation. The winners will be announced live on stage by the jury.
Here is some of what the jury had to say about Esperanza’s classical performance:
‘This was a beautifully crafted and expressive performance of a moving work. Your group achieved a very fine vocal blend, and diction was admirable throughout. I loved the wonderful sense of cohesion and group collegiality in this ensemble. Well done on a beautiful performance.’
All the best for the Grand Final girls!
Acting Director of Music
Pizza, Pyjamas and All That Jazz!
This year due to COVID, Generations in Jazz was held in an online format to allow students to submit video entries of their bands and choirs in action. As a way of celebrating the milestones achieved by Stage Band and Esperanza in entering this event, we held a Pizza and Pyjama Party last Thursday night where we watched the live-streamed concert together.
A highlight of GIJ is the amazing concerts featuring international artists who provide immense inspiration to the students. This year, a concert was live-streamed featuring James Morrison, Darren Percival (from ‘The Voice’), David Williams (jazz didgeridoo performer), ‘The Real Group’ from Sweden, The John Clayton Jazz Orchestra from Los Angeles, the ‘GIJ Alumni Big Band,’ previous scholarship winners including our current Musician in Residence David Goodwin, and many other wonderful performers.
Here are a few reflections from the girls:
‘Although we weren’t able to travel to Mount Gambier this year, the girls had an amazing night! The concert included some impressive pieces from composers and performers in the GIJ community. Great job to the girls in Stage Band for achieving 2nd in their division and a special shoutout to Esperanza for placing 1st!’ – Caitlin Middelberg, Year 12 (Music Captain)
‘I am extremely proud of the girls for all their efforts and this amazing achievement in such a short amount of time!’ – Sophie Norman, Year 12 (Head Chorister)
‘Despite not being able to perform at Mount Gambier, being announced 1st in the Open Ensemble category for Esperanza was just as rewarding. Watching so many amazing jazz artists perform from Sweden, Los Angeles and right here in South Australia was the best way to celebrate.’ – Samantha Keough, Year 11
‘The GIJ online experience was a wonderful opportunity to be exposed to some of Australia’s best jazz musicians. Winning the Open Ensemble category as a member of Esepranza was extremely rewarding as our result reflected weeks of hard work.’ – Emma Pool, Year 11
This week, we were delighted to receive our feedback from international adjudicator Kerry Marsh (for Esperanza), and local musician and jazz prodigy Thomas Voss (for Stage Band, pictured below):
‘Wow…so many corners of this are just top notch! Sari, you definitely know what you are doing my friend…Phenomenal. Such excellence on the stage. I have chills…This is the best I’ve ever heard this chart, by far. Soloist (Samantha Keough), again, you’re navigating your vocal registers with real skill and musicality. Ooh…The dynamic shading is so good. Kind of can’t believe all of this my friends. Huge, huge thanks for your phenomenal work! Basically you are all pros!’ – Kerry Marsh (Colorado, USA)
‘Rockin’ intro! Sounded and felt great. Excellent trombone solo. Great balance intonation and dynamics throughout. Excellent articulations and energy in the shout chorus. Overall, an excellent performance.’ – Thomas Voss (South Australia)
A huge congratulations to all of our girls!
Acting Director of Music
Welcome Exchange from the West
As part of our Global Academy, St Peter’s Girls is delighted to welcome Year 11 exchange students Claudia and Evie from Methodist Ladies College (MLC) in Perth. For the remainder of Term 2, they’re attending our School and living with their exchange buddies Ruby and Claudia who joined them at MLC last year.
We look forward to hosting other MLC exchanges over the coming weeks and we hope all of our guests enjoy their time in Adelaide and at Saints Girls!
Polished Pieces for Piano Recital
Last night, 16 talented musicians selected from our Piano Eisteddfod proudly performed at our annual Piano Recital.
The girls from Reception to Year 8 enjoyed their moment in the spotlight, playing with confidence and poise. They were also treated to some musical inspiration from our guest artist, the School’s Musician in Residence David Goodwin.
Terrific effort by all girls who performed in these events. Here are some highlights from last night:
Prized Performance at Adelaide Piano Eisteddfods
Congratulations to Christina Zhu who recently competed in the Adelaide Piano Eisteddfods. These events have a long tradition of excellence and acknowledge students who are performing on the piano at an extremely high level.
Christina competed in two divisions, winning 1st prize in the 11 Years and Under, Own Choice division. Christina also competed in the Primary and Secondary School Age Piano Duet division, placing 3rd.
As well as achieving these accolades, Christina was chosen as one of 16 students to perform in our annual Piano Recital last night.
Acting Director of Music
All Eyes on Year 11 Drama Production
On Monday night, the SACE Stage 1 Drama students presented Eyes to the Floor by Australian playwright Alana Valentine. The story chronicles the experiences of teenage girls sent to the Hay Girls Home during the 1960s where they endured brutal, punitive treatment. Our version of this thought-provoking production combined movement, poetry, music, video and chorus work to highlight the inner turmoil of the young inmates.
The Drama students were creatively involved in all aspects of the production, from the choreography and direction to set design, costumes and lighting. I am so proud of the way the students embraced the challenging subject matter with such maturity, compassion and creativity. A spectacular performance that wowed the audience – well done to all involved!
Year 2 Scientists Filtering Knowledge
As part of the ‘Sharing the Planet’ unit of inquiry, the Year 2 classes have been investigating the earth’s resources and discovering why water is a precious resource. They have learned that many people around the world do not have access to clean water.
The Year 2 scientists worked with Sophie, our Scientist in Residence, to make water filtration systems. They conducted an experiment using cotton wool, layers of charcoal and gravel to make and test their water filters. They were astounded that such dirty water could be cleaned through their filters!
Kathryn Clark and Rebecca Greenhalgh
Year 2 Teachers
Community Sparkles at Starry Night Gala Ball
A big thank you to all of our Saints Girls’ parents and other community members who attended last Saturday’s Starry Night Gala Ball in support of our Gym fundraising.
It was a stellar evening at the Adelaide Convention Centre where guests enjoyed terrific company, premium hospitality and sensational live entertainment courtesy of corporate party band ‘The Cast’.
A highlight was the drawing of our Star Struck Major Lottery. Congratulations to the lucky winner, Darren Roberts, who is the proud new owner of a Toyota Yaris Ascent Sport, with the added bonus of a personalised car park at St Peter’s Girls’ School in 2023.
Our sincere gratitude to Northpoint Toyota and the Goldsmith family for supporting this lottery, and thank you again to all who joined us on the night.
Lottery Licence No: M14175
Music for Peace Strings Concert – Next Monday
The Music for Peace Strings Concert will be held next Monday 27 June at 6pm in the Arts Centre.
This is a wonderful opportunity for our Strings students to share the music they have been working on with other students, their parents and the School community. The ensembles involved include Extension Strings, Senior Strings, Intermediate Strings, Junior Strings and Piano Trio, with solos from some of our extraordinarily talented violinists and cellists.
The concert will also feature Karl Jenkin’s magnificent work ‘Benedictus’ from Mass for Peace which will be played by Senior Strings. We are also pleased to announce that we will have special guest artist Zhao Liang who will perform Chinese Harp or Gu-Zheng on the night.
Entry is free and by general admission. Please come and support our Strings students as they present their major concert for the year.
Acting Director of Music
Choral Night – Coming Soon!
With Term 3 fast approaching, our middle and senior girls are gearing up for our rescheduled Choral Night 2022 on Friday 29 July (Week 1) at Influencers Church, Paradise.
Choral Night is one of the most anticipated events on the Saints Girls’ calendar, and this year’s spectacle carries the theme ‘Power Ballads’.
Ticket information has now been provided to Years 7 – 12 families. Please note that all previously booked tickets for the original Choral Night event have been cancelled and tickets will need to be re-booked.
Junior School Vacation Care
Our next awesome instalment of Junior School Vacation Care is almost here. We have some great activities guaranteed to keep the children entertained through the break. With an array of excursions and on-site adventures, there is plenty of fun to be had.
NB: some activity dates have changed since the first publication of the Vacation Care Program on 17 June 2022. Please refer to this program for the latest dates and activities.
Places are limited, so secure your booking now – click here
Nude Food Tuesdays
The Environment Club is encouraging all Saints Girls to minimise their plastic usage, especially in the packaging of their recess and lunch. Many of us pack our recess and lunch in zip lock bags and cling wrap. But the issue with this is that we use these once and then toss them into the bin. These plastics are not biodegradable, and over many years will simply break down into microplastics contaminating our water sources and even our food.
So, to decrease this impact, the Environment Club is inviting everyone to participate in Nude Food Tuesdays. On this day, we ask that students’ lunch and recess are not packaged in single use plastic and are instead packed in other items such as containers, beeswax wraps or even multi-use silicon bags.
If everyone participates, the amount of plastic which the School contributes to landfill will decrease greatly, thus benefitting our environment. You can even do this every day if you are extra keen to help our environment!
Native Tree Giveaway
Burnside Council invites locals to help grow its Urban Forest. It’s giving away free advanced native trees for City of Burnside residents to plant in their garden.
To get your free native tree:
- Visit the Customer Service Desk at the Civic Centre on Greenhill Road to collect your voucher (voucher must be collected by the property owner only), or email with your name, the address of the property and mailing address (if different from the property address), and a voucher will be posted to you.
- Take your unique voucher to one of the participating nurseries to get your native tree.
Valid from 15 April to 30 September 2022, voucher limits apply per rateable property. For more details – click here
Environment Club Captain
Social Media Reminder
A reminder to families and students who take video and/or photos on campus or at School events (e.g. sports carnivals, Arts performances, graduations, etc.) to please refrain from sharing this content externally online if other students are shown without permission. Instead, we encourage our School community to access and share the curated and approved content provided on our public website and across our Vimeo, Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Car Park Courtesy
The School has again received complaints about traffic blocking Stonyfell Road for lengthy periods during drop-off and pick-up. If the car park is full and you are unable to enter, circle the block until it is clear to enter, find a park elsewhere or, where age-appropriate, meet your daughter in a surrounding street. Unless special circumstances apply, parents of girls in Years 2 to 12 should not enter the car park to collect their daughters prior to 3.30pm. Parents of girls in Reception and Year 1 have exclusive use of the pick-up zone prior to this time for safety and traffic reasons.
Please also refrain from turning right into or out of the car park at peak times, and please do not queue in the car park’s lanes as this often prevents drivers who are legally parked from exiting.
We have also received complaints about cars being parked too close to or in front of driveways, or across from other vehicles in surrounding streets, making it extremely difficult for residents and other road users to navigate.
We ask all community members to please show consideration for others; thank you for your cooperation.
SA Health has advised that asymptomatic COVID-19 close contacts no longer need to quarantine. Therefore, asymptomatic children and students can attend school or ELC despite being a close contact, provided they undertake 5 RATs over the subsequent 7 days and receive negative results.
Please also be reminded of these vital requirements:
Should your child develop any symptoms, even mild ones, they must not attend school or ELC and should be tested for COVID-19. They require a PCR test with receipt of a negative result and resolution of symptoms before return to school/ELC can be considered. Students who have previously tested positive and have completed isolation in the past 12 weeks do not need to undertake testing.
If your child tests positive to COVID-19, notify us immediately. Please also advise the type of test (RAT/PCR), the date your child’s test was taken and the date symptoms started (if no symptoms, note ‘asymptomatic’).
Please notify us via email or text:
Text: 0428 601 957 (save to phone contacts as SPGS)
If you need to notify us over the phone, please call the Front Office on 8334 2200.
Please note that if your child is too sick to attend school, they are therefore also too sick to be working remotely from home.
School Medical Information Reminder
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
Warm Up with Saints’ Scarves and Beanies
With the cooler weather, the School Shop has some branded winter warmers:
Saints Girls’ Supporter Scarf – perfect for staff, coaches and parents
Saints Girls’ Beanies – can be worn by students during their sport training sessions and warm ups, and also available for staff coaches and parents
To get your hands on these fabulous new items, please visit the School Shop.
General Absences from School
If your child is going to be absent, late to school or leave early, please use one of the following methods to notify the School, providing the student name, Class/Home Group and reason:
Text: 0428 601 957
Phone: 8334 2200
Feel free to include the Class/Home Group Teacher when emailing. It would be appreciated if notifications could be made prior to 9am.
Premier League: Saints A (3) v Seymour (4)
Division 1: Saints B (1) v Westminster (7)
Division 3: Saints C (1) v Immanuel (1)
Open A: Saints (3) v Pembroke (42)
Middle A: Saints (2) v Pembroke (57)
Saints (6) v Trinity College (0)
The team was up nice and early for our game at Trinity College in Gawler. Our coach Liv switched up the positions on the pitch which allowed us to try new roles and apply our hockey knowledge from trainings. A shoutout to Zara who scored a hat trick, with all 3 goals in the third quarter. Amazing work from Abbey in the midfield, linking the ball through to our attackers, and to Kiera who worked hard in our attacking circle. A great game played by all; well done to everyone for your persistence, especially given we had 10 players this match. – Bridgette (Captain)
Open A: Saints 5 (161) v Walford 1 (82)
Open B1: Saints 2 (127) v Walford 4 (143)
Open B2: Bye
Open A: Saints (37) v Pembroke (39)
Open B: Saints (26) v Pembroke (46)
Open C: Saints (34) v Pembroke (39)
Open D: Saints (23) v Pembroke (52)
Open E: Saints (9) v Westminster (57)
Year 9 A: Saints (31) v Pembroke (50)
Year 9 B: Saints (28) v Pembroke (16)
Year 8 A: Saints (11) v Pembroke (35)
Year 8 B: Saints (20) v Pembroke (14)
Year 7 A: Saints (26) v Pembroke (32)
Year 7 B: Saints (5) v Pembroke (32)
Last weekend, Phoebe Lucas, Abbey Phillips and Yashika Agarwal competed in the South Australian State Hockey Championships.
Their team won the U13 State Championships, they were undefeated and did not have a goal scored against them throughout the entire event. Congratulations girls on your amazing success!