Issue no. 9
From the Deputy Principal / Head of Middle School
Parent-Teacher Interviews are some of my most enjoyable evenings in the School calendar. They may not have the glamour and excitement of Choral Night, the joy of a School Musical, or the pizzazz of Presentation Night, but in their own way, they always leave me feeling energised. They are a great opportunity to catch up with parents I haven’t seen for a while, to share some banter about the footy or the cricket, to get instant feedback on the service we provide, and to be able to help answer questions or solve emerging problems in a much more personal way than email does.
When we made the decision to conduct this week’s Year 7 Parent-Teacher Interviews by phone to support social distancing, I was consequently a little deflated. I knew that the social element of the evening would be lost, and I had doubts over the logistical possibility of connecting 60 sets of parents with 20 teachers by phone, simultaneously, for 7 minute phone calls across the 4 hours of the evening.
I have to say, that I left school at the end of the night even more buoyed than usual. Our staff and parents rose to the challenge beautifully, with professionalism, kindness, understanding, patience and a good deal of humour. As I called the parents of my Year 7 Mathematics class, I was greeted warmly from people’s lounge rooms, kitchens, workplaces and even from the car. As well as talking about student progress, parents took the time to share their gratitude for the work of our staff in these trying times, as well as giving me overwhelmingly positive feedback about the ‘PTI-by-phone’ process.
I missed the usual banter around the water fountain, the chance to remind Crows fans about who is currently sitting on top of the ladder. However, this was replaced with comments about the ability to cook dinner whilst talking to teachers, to be in pyjamas whilst hearing about History.
Whilst the value of face-to face contact should never be underestimated, it gave me great heart to see parents and teachers join together with a tangible sense of common purpose to find a way to make connections with each other and stay connected with the successes and challenges of our students. At a time when we’ve been forced to cancel or postpone so many events that give us joy, it was pleasing to have launched something new!
Deputy Principal / Head of Middle School
Warmest of Receptions for Dedicated Staff
In a truly heart-warming gesture, our Reception girls decided to say a big thank you to all the staff at Saints Girls for going above and beyond over the past few weeks.
They printed ‘thank you’ posters and decorated them, and drew pictures of the many people they wanted to thank including Ms Shea, Ms Haddy, Mrs Smith, the Property Services team, the IT team, the Tuck Shop, our Registered Nurses, Lesley and Sarah at the Front Office, the bus drivers, the teachers and more. They have put the posters up on the classroom windows so people can see them when they walk past each day.
Thank you girls! For staff, this is just one of the many joys that makes us so proud to be part of the Saints Girls’ family.
Saints Girls Shine for Harmony Day
Our Junior School girls recently celebrated Harmony Day, embracing this year’s theme that ‘Everybody Belongs’. Despite current global segregation and distancing, the girls have worked to promote what makes us all belong in this world and the joy of diversity. Classes have undertaken a variety of discussions and activities around belonging, caring, diversity, equality, peace and joy, which has culminated in the creation of a pledge chain. Every student has created a link in a giant chain on which they have written their pledge for 2020 to ensure everybody belongs. This has been emotional to read and uplifting in such difficult times. The chain now emblazons the Junior School corridor.
All girls were also given an orange ribbon to wear on their lapels to celebrate Harmony Day, and this has been a bright addition to the uniform.
Please enjoy this snapshot of our Harmony Day celebrations. May peace and joy be with you and your families at this time.
Junior School Wellbeing Coordinator
Introducing our Strings Coordinator
We would like to introduce and welcome our new Strings Coordinator, Natalie Maegraith:
“I started learning viola at school when I was nine years old.
I had a wonderful teacher who instilled in me the love of music and the joy of playing. The first orchestra I played in was the Primary Schools’ String Orchestra. At the age of 12, I was awarded a Music scholarship at Marryatville High School. I spent my high school years and some of my university years learning from Keith Crellin, and playing in the Marryatville High School Orchestra and Adelaide Youth Orchestra, and then the Adelaide Youth Chamber Orchestra.
I completed a Bachelor of Music Performance at the University of Adelaide, studying with Keith Crellin, and then undertook a Graduate Diploma of Music performance studying with the late esteemed violinist Dr Jan Sedivka at the University of Tasmania.
I have taught violin and viola for 25 years at various schools and institutions including Sydney Conservatorium, Adelaide Open Music Academy, Saint Ignatius’ College, Prince Alfred College, Pulteney Grammar School, and in 2020, was awarded the position of Strings Coordinator at St Peter’s Girls’ School.
What I love about teaching in this role is being able to pass on the precious musical jewels I have been taught by incredible teachers, and pass them on to new students, who work hard and achieve their best on their instrument and enjoy contributing to the musical community at Saints.
I am the Strings Director of the Senior Strings, Intermediate Strings, Developmental Strings and Junior Strings groups at Saints. In addition, I teach about 30 private violin/viola lessons at the School.
I also perform as a casual member of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Concert Orchestra, and various other ensembles.”
eSports a Hit with APEX Girls
Our APEX co-curricular club is now a part of eSports, which involves playing video games competitively as a team. We currently have some small teams preparing to participate in the FUSE Cup. This is a national inter-school competition, playing games such as Mario Kart, Rocket League and FIFA. With our new Nintendo Switch consoles, we will be participating in the Mario Kart segment of this competition. The event is being held online in Term 2.
A group of keen eSports’ girls get together every Thursday recess to meet for APEX, and we practise techniques and strategies most lunches, building skills and teamwork. If you are interested in joining events like this, email Mr Coulter for more information, or come along to our lunchtime practice sessions. As the eSports Captain, I would love to see even more new faces joining us.
Year 8 student
Colour Explosion for Daring Visual Artists
The Year 11 Visual Arts students were set the task of creating a painting inspired by the work of contemporary Adelaide-based visual artist Mariana Mezic. In recent years, Mezic has burst onto the art scene with her vibrant, whimsical creations. She produces vivid, large-scale paintings with an energetic and beautiful explosion of colour. Working with graphite pencil and languid acrylic paint, Mezic’s distinctive work features bold, hyper-realistic imagery surrounded by colourful and energetic scenes.
For their own creations, the Year 11 Visual Arts’ students were encouraged to use an original photograph for the imagery, but the characteristics of their pieces were inspired by the bold, colourful and embellished works of Mariana Mezic. Kendra Ware (pictured above) effectively utilised a range of media to create her mixed media artwork.
All of the students embraced and enjoyed the challenge.
Art and Design Teacher
Year 1s Put a Smile on Your Dial
The Year 1 students in Mrs Liddy’s class have been playing in the Measurement drawer of Mathematics. During explorations of clocks and time, the girls looked carefully at different clocks and their features. They were then challenged to use materials from the classroom to create a clock. Here are some of the girls’ comments:
“I noticed that there’s a pattern around the clock.” – Ava D
“Clocks don’t always have to be circles, they can be any shape.” – Mikayla
“I realised a clock only has 12 numerals on it.” – Emma
“I learnt that clocks sometimes have three hands. One’s called the hour hand, one’s called the minute hand and one’s called the second hand.” – Parker
“Cuckoo clocks have hands and, when it’s 3 o’clock, the bird comes out and cuckoos three times.” – Sanisha
“Some clocks look different, like alarm clocks.” – Eliana
“I noticed that the minute hand is on the 12 when it is o’clock.” – Harper
It has been a fun week exploring Mathematics in Year 1!
Year 1 Teacher
Year 2 Scientists Rise from the Shadows
Every hour on the hour across one day, Year 2 scientists collected data about the length and direction of shadows as part of the Central Idea that ‘People’s curiosity has encouraged them to investigate beyond our planet’.
Our scientists predicted that the shadows would change length and direction because the earth is rotating, so the sun looks like it moves across the sky. Each pair set up their experiment with a shadow stick and recording paper. They recorded the length and direction and observed the changes that occurred over the day. This data has been collated and presented in graphs as the girls apply scientific thinking to everyday life.
Kathryn Clark and Bec Greenhalgh
Year 2 Teachers
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 on-site adventures, there is plenty of fun to be had.
Vacation Care Program – April 2020
Places are limited, so please click here to secure your booking now!
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 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, nonporous 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.
FREE Online Code Camp Program
The team at Code Camp has 50 experienced staff members ready to teach Saints Girls’ students how to code via online webinar classrooms. Topics covered in the lesson plans include loops, sequencing, iteration and animation.
While this is usually a paid program, Code Camp will be providing the online program to Saints Girls’ students for free.
Here is a copy of the digital flyer with the link where parents can sign up for free.
For more information, visit https://codecampworld.com
Music and the Brain – The Ultimate Duet
With any move to online learning, a greater focus will be placed on students to participate in individual learning. To be successful, students will need to rely heavily on their executive function skills. What is executive function? Well, it is all the ‘adult skills’ we use in order to be successful in day-to-day activities.
Recent research has discovered that students who undertake three or more years of one-on-one instrumental lessons and play in an ensemble have improved executive function skills up to one year over students who do not learn an instrument.
Check out the infographic that details the cognitive control skills that music learning develops.
For more information, check out https://biggerbetterbrains.com
Director of Music
Notice from CommBank School Banking
The health, safety and wellbeing of our communities and our people is our first priority. Due to the rapidly developing situation with coronavirus, School Banking has been temporarily paused from 20 March 2020 until the start of Term 2. Please don’t bring your deposit book with your weekly banking to school at this time. We will notify you when banking will recommence.
Due to the coronavirus response, Education Ministers have decided that NAPLAN will not proceed in 2020. The NAPLAN test window was scheduled to be held from 12 to 22 May.
The decision has been taken to assist school leaders, teachers and support staff to focus on the wellbeing of students and continuity of education, and because coronavirus impacts may affect the delivery of testing.
The full announcement from the Education Council can be found here.
The Garden of Saintly Delights Cancellation
It was with a heavy heart that, due to the coronavirus response, we had to cancel The Garden of Saintly Delights which was scheduled for Sunday 29 March.
I would like to thank all the members of the Parents’ and Friends’ Association, the other community groups within the School and everyone else involved for all their hard work that went into the planning and organisation of our School Fair.
We have other events scheduled later in the year, so we hope you can come along and show your support for our community.
Parents’ and Friends’ Association President
Uniform Reminder for Year 4 Students
If your daughter is in Year 4, there are a few different uniform requirements that you may need to purchase before Term 2.
In the winter uniform, the pinafore is replaced by a skirt of the same fabric, so if the pinafore still fits, the bib can simply be removed. The grandpa shirt is replaced by a collared shirt and tie, and the junior blazer (cardigan) is no longer worn and is replaced by a navy blue jumper and a wool blazer.
Please contact the School Shop on 8334 2228 to arrange an appointment.