St Saviour's College Newsletter 2023 - Term 1 Week 2
“No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” (Mark 2: 22)
Welcome back to the 2023 College year. I am so incredibly excited to welcome over 80 new students. To see our enrolment numbers grow from just over 220 in 2022, to 280 this year is a wonderful testament to the quality education afforded our young women at St Saviour’s College.
You may have noticed the new branding that adorns the St Saviour’s College buildings. As 2023 marks our 150 year celebrations, commemorating the arrival of the Sisters of Mercy to Toowoomba. In 1873, the Sisters assumed leadership over the then St Patrick’s School.
Towards the end of last year, it was agreed by College community stakeholders, that this milestone presented a timely opportunity to reimagine our College logo to move us into the next era. Our new College logo is an exciting refresh of the more traditional crest that has served St Saviour’s College well for many decades. The actual logo retains the traditional shape, and some elements of the old have also been retained, to maintain the connection with the past.
The book represents our core business: learning; and the great quest to be life-long learners.
At the heart of our logo is the distinctive Mercy cross, paying homage to the great work of the Mercy Sisters who began their journey, educating young women on this site some 150 years ago.
The shamrocks are symbolic of the Irish heritage of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, and St Patrick – the original name of our school.
The recreation of the logo is made complete with the distinctive College stripe.
SSC marks the initials of this great community of St Saviour’s College, as it moves into the next 150 years of quality and inclusive education for our Mercy Girls.
As remains always, is our College motto, ‘Integrity is our strength’.
So much has changed in the past decades, and Jesus’ reference to ‘new wine in new wineskins’ in Mark’s Gospel is the impetus for our rebrand.
In addition, the House logos have had a refresh. We have reimagined crests that maintain strong ties to our Mercy story.
The gold of Coolock House represents the flame of the lamp, which is referenced in a quote by Catherine McAuley, “We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us”, encouraging us to always strive for excellence.
The red of Goretti House represents Maria’s martyrdom, her heart of compassion, and the flame of the Holy Spirit.
The green of McAuley House and the shamrock represents Catherine McAuley’s Irish heritage, manifesting in her strong sense of justice.
The blue of Xavier House represents the waters traversed by St Francis Xavier throughout his life as a missionary, and the teacup is a symbol of his hospitality demonstrated to those with whom he shared the Christian story.
Strategic Plan Launch
On Wednesday afternoon, we celebrated the launch of ‘Resolve’, our 2023 -2026 Strategic Plan.
The St Saviour’s College 2023 – 2026, Strategic Plan, Our Resolve, posits for our community a future that is hope-filled and driven by purpose. It represents our aspiration to continue to build our College in the great Mercy tradition and aims to respond to our call to continue to fulfil Catherine McAuley’s vision to liberate young women through quality education, empowering them in a changing world.
I am grateful to the many supporters of the College and staff who joined us to celebrate. I am also very grateful to all who were involved in the preparations of launch. It was a wonderful celebration auguring well for the next four years. Special thanks to Ms Leah Dempster for her talents in preparing the multimedia supporting ‘Our Resolve’. Thanks also to the College Executive Team for their collaboration and wisdom in preparing the plan. And a special thanks to the Events Team for all their efforts in planning for what was a beautiful gathering.
Opening Mass and Academic Awards Presentation
On Thursday we celebrated as a community our Opening Mass, where we welcomed in the year, inducted our Class of 2023 and inducted our new leaders. In addition, we welcomed back the Class of 2022, listening to the wisdom of 2022 College Dux, Charlotte Morcom. Following this, academic award recipients from Semester 2 were acknowledged and Gold, Silver and Bronze badges presented to our high achievers.
Many thanks to all involved in what was a wonderful event, bringing the many stakeholders that make up our College community. It is always good to give thanks in this special way to celebrate the great gift that St Saviour’s is. Special thanks to many people involved in the organisation. The events epitomise the great care we take to ensure that we showcase as our absolute best.
With College growth, sees our staff grow as well. We warmly welcome to our College community:
- Amica Aindow (Humanities Teacher)
- Jordie Franke (LS/HPE Teacher)
- Lauren Geldard (Maths/Science Teacher)
- Rhody Nilon (Maths/Science Teacher)
- Will Wigan (HPE/Science Teacher)
- Susan Justice (Support Officer – Design and Art)
- Helen Ryan (College Chaplain)
- Harriette Spork (Marketing Officer)
- Elysse Thomas (Support Officer – Assisted Student Learning)
- Sharon Todeschini (Admin Officer – Daily Organisation)
- Jodi Klingberg (Boarding Supervisor)
- Kym Wright (Boarding Supervisor)
- Jasmine Neliman (Boarding Supervisor)
In addition, with Mrs Heather Hagemann taking a year’s leave, Mrs Megan Schulze has assumed the role of Acting Assistant Principal Mission and Wellbeing, and Mrs Michelle Reid is acting in Megan’s capacity as Middle Leader Student Wellbeing. Mrs Narinder Loi accepted the position of Middle Leader Maths Science for this year.
Sadly, we farewell Mrs Hazel Johnson, an exemplary teacher who has been a valued member of our St Saviour’s College community for many years. We also farewell Ms Catherine Scott, Senior Boarding Supervisor, who will be greatly missed by the residents of McAuley House, and Ms Sarah Deoberitz, Finance Officer, and Mr Chris Buckley, WHS officer, who were both efficient operators and valued members of our Administration team. We ask that God blesses each of these great people as they move onto their next chapter.
150 Years of Mercy Education in Toowoomba
As a community, we give thanks for our Mercy heritage and ask for God’s blessings upon us as we celebrate this important milestone in the College’s history. In the words of Catherine McAuley, the simplest and most practical lesson we know is to resolve to be good today, but better tomorrow.
Blessings for the year ahead.
Deputy Principal - Curriculum
Welcome back to 2023!
I am sure you have heard of ChatGPT and its global arrival this year.
At its base, ChatGPT is a form of AI that will essentially answer almost any question you ask it. It certainly has universities and school systems ‘on the hop’ desperately trying to pull together policies and position papers. For us too, it presents many challenges and opportunities.
There is no denying the temptation ChatGPT presents. If you haven’t used it, as parents, I urge you to have a play around… see just how easily and quickly it can generate a 600 word essay on the causes of salinity and erosion. Of course the next step for tempted, time-poor student would be a quick copy and paste. But, as teachers and parents, we know that the only people short changed in this experience are the learner.
When we talk often about the inherent value of learning, of productive struggle, of the ‘a-ha moment’, we share with our children the joy of learning. When we question with curiosity and look at our world with a desire to understand it and others, we demonstrate that learning has meaning beyond test taking and assessment writing. When we celebrate growth and progress, and knowing more than we did yesterday, we instil in our students a yearning to know more.
In the coming weeks, once we have established our educational position on AI technologies, especially in light of its safety concerns and 18+ restrictions, we may be able to explore the ways your daughters might leverage this technology to serve them as learners.
Assessment Calendars this year have been published in the Sentral Portal. You can find these in the School Documents tab in the app or on the desktop site. Please use these to support your daughters as they embark on their educational pathways this year.
Year 12 Academic Interviews
It has been a pleasure this week to engage with Year 12s and their parents around their future goals and pathways. A highlight of my job is working with students so that they can achieve their goals, their dreams and feel empowered as they progress through school and beyond it.
Congratulations to all students who took part in the Hybrid Learning Day on Monday 30th January. Students partook in classes, met their teachers and peers face to face and experienced learning together for the first time this year.
We extend our great congratulations to all participants and wish them well in their studies this year.
Deputy Principal - Curriculum
Acting Assistant Principal - Mission and Student Wellbeing
Welcome to the 2023 school year. It is a privilege to step into the role of Acting Principal for Mission and Wellbeing in what will be an exciting year for the College. As a past student, it brings me great pride to be able to work in this space with all our beautiful students in our 150th year of Mercy Education. Sunday’s Gospel was the Beatitudes, which I find a beautiful connection for our students to consider how will they find meaning in 2023? What will their story look like in the 150th year of our College?
I challenged the students at our opening assembly last week, to develop habits that will set them up for a good year ahead. James Clear (2018) stated in his book Atomic Habits “The quality of our lives often depends on the quality of our habits”. If we then consider the great Aristotle who said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, in not an act but a habit”, it is clear that to set ourselves up for success we need to develop good habits. Those could be wellbeing habits (leaving technology out of our sleep space, eating a balance diet and getting adequate sleep, moving our bodies, socialising with family and friends) or learning habits (being organised with all equipment, being on time, completing assigned work in class or homework). They could be habits that ensure that we uphold our Mercy Values (not walking past someone who is alone, speaking kind words). I encourage you to speak to your daughters about what habits in 2023 they want to develop.
Before the return of our students, our staff engaged in professional development and planning to ensure that our classrooms are consistent and predictable. Last year, five of our teaching staff participated in the Berry Street Education Model training which has been rolled out to all teaching staff this year. The model “provides strategies that enable teachers to increase engagement of students with complex, unmet learning needs and to successfully improve all students’ self-regulation, relationships, wellbeing, growth and academic achievement” (Berry Street 2023). We have adopted strategies of the model to ensure every student is “Present, centred and Ready to Learn” when they go into the classroom. Attendance at school is important, but being a true participate, a true learner, means that when opportunities arise to learn we grasp them wholeheartedly. One of our latest strategies is to include a Positive Primer at the start of each lesson. The purpose behind this 2-5 minute strategy is to flood students with positive emotions which in turn allows the brain to be in a learning state, rather than survival mode. We have seen many classes over the last week with many smiles and laughter to begin their lessons and I thank students for engaging in the hard work teachers have put into preparation and ensuring each and every student can achieve success in the classroom.
Berry Street, 2023. Berry Street Education Model. [Online]
Available at: https://www.berrystreet.org.au/learning-and-resources/berry-street-education-model
Updated Policies for 2023
On the first day, students were briefed with the following information provided below on the use of lockers and electronic devices (including mobile phones). We appreciate your support with these policies.
All students have a day-locker where they are expected to keep their bags during the school day. These are located in their House Area grouped by Homeclass. Bags must be placed either in or on top of their lockers – any other position represents a WHS hazard.
Because lockers are used to keep items that are valuable, the College requires all students to have a sturdy lock to secure their day-locker.
Mobile Phone and other related devices (such as smart watches, ear buds)
To prevent mobile technology from disrupting the learning and face-to-face socialising of your daughter, all mobile phones and electronic devices must be turned off whilst on College grounds. If you wish to contact your daughter, please do so by contacting Student Services.
Any electronic device found switched on in the possession of a student while at school will be confiscated by the teacher and handed to Student Services to be stored securely:
- First instance – until the end of the day
- Second instance – until the end of the following school day (College Office will send a text message to parents/carers so that they are aware that their child is not in possession of their phone)
- Subsequent instances (within the school term) – parent/carer will be contacted by the College office to arrange for the student to hand in their phone each day, for an agreed period of time.
Note: Confiscation of the phones will be logged as a Negative Incident on Sentral.
In circumstances where a student needs to use their mobile phone for a specific purpose, this can be arranged at Student Services, or with a member of the Student Wellbeing Team. Situations that might warrant this may include – contacting a workplace, checking a change of details with a parent, making an appointment. Students who use their phone to make payment at the tuckshop, may do so on the condition that the phone is used only for that purpose.
On excursions or camps, students should not use their mobile phones except where permission has been granted or when given express permission by a teacher for a legitimate learning activity.
Use of Related Mobile Devices
Devices such as Smart watches and fitness monitors should be managed so as not to interrupt teaching and learning. Possible strategies for this may include setting a school timezone, turning off notifications or changing the notification alert.
Ear bubs/headphones are not permitted unless permission has been granted by the Principal/School Counsellor for social/emotional usage or Head of Department/Classroom teacher if required for curriculum purpose (i.e., STILE – Science department online learning platform).
Acting Assistant Principal - Mission and Student Wellbeing
Welcome to a new year at St Saviour’s College. It has been a busy start to the year and everyone has been positive and happy. I am looking forward to seeing what the year will bring.
The library is a community orientated space that welcomes all students and parents into its space. It acts as a link between curricula, social and personal aspects of our students’ lives.
Free reading has been identified as having a positive impact on literacy levels and we try to keep our resources up to date and relevant, both to our students’ interests and to classroom learning.
Monday to Thursday: 8.00am – 4.00pm
Friday: 8.00am – 3.00pm
PLEASE NOTE: On occasion there may be unforeseen circumstances, therefore the library may be closed. Please keep looking at the library section of the newsletter for further updates.
What’s Happening in the Library?
Library Lover’s Day is coming up soon (February 14).
Also go and visit our school Instagram page and view our Library Lovers Day post!
Library Lover’s Day (information retrieved from: Alia – Library Lover’s Day)
The theme for Library Lovers' Day 2023 is ‘Only You’.
Has your library enriched your life in big or small ways?
Is there something that your library does that no other public service, or space, can do?
Is your world a better place because of your library?
Queensland School libraries Week (information retrieved from: http://www.qsla.org.au/qslw)
Queensland School Library Week will be celebrated from Monday 13 to Friday 17 February. Our theme is School Libraries Devoted to You.
Secondary students (Year 7 - Year 12): School Libraries Devoted to You. What does this look like for you? Take a photo or produce an artwork to illustrate your ideas.
Students must remember to look after their resources, it can be very easy for an item to be damaged:
- because a water bottle has leaked or even just having water condensing on the outside of the bottle
- left out on lockers overnight
- thrown into bag on top of fruit/food.
Please help us keep our resources in an appropriate state so all students can borrow them for a long time.
The library will be open at lunch times from Monday – Friday where possible. There will be times where the library will need to be closed but we try to keep it open as often as possible.
Manners in the Library
Please remember to say “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” as you come into the library. We love seeing the students using our library, especially when they are polite and respectful to both the staff in the library and the users of the area. “Please” and “Thank you” are expected in asking and receiving help at any time in the library. Also remembering it is a shared space and to keep our voices at a respectful level.
Book Club Issue 1
Issue 1 has been (or will shortly be) delivered to our Year 7 cohort this week – other year levels are more than welcome to order too. There are spare copies in the library, or you can check out the issue online: https://mybookclubs.scholastic.com.au/Parent/BrowseCatalogue.aspx
Remember all ordering is done via Parent Loop – instructions are on the website. The main aspect is to attach yourself to our school so the rewards points count towards our library and has your order coming to the school.
Any queries please contact Mrs King in the Library.
WHAT DO TLs DO?
Quite often our job is misunderstood as to what we actually do besides purchase books.
Our job is to ensure that learners (this can be students, staff and/or parents) are effective users and producers of ideas and information. This is across grade levels and learning areas. We teach and model: inquiry/research; evaluating resources; digital citizenship; creating and sharing.
My job is to liaise with teachers and work with classes around ICT capabilities specifically in relation to research skills, as well as managing and resourcing the library with relevant resources for both curriculum and pleasure reading.
New Books in the Library!
Come and check out our new books – some are on display and others on the shelf. If there is one you would like to read and you are not sure where it is – just ask at the front desk, we love helping someone make a connection with one of the books waiting to be read.
Senior Collection (for Years 10-12)
February 13 – 17: - Queensland School Libraries Week
February 14: Library Lovers Day
March 8: - International Women’s Day
From the Careers Centre
Welcome to our first newsletter for 2023. The Careers Centre newsletters aim to let you know about all the opportunities in the world of careers for our students and to help them explore, connect and succeed. At school, each student is given assistance to understand what their interests, aptitude and skills are, the sorts of careers that they are suited to and to develop a plan of how they can get on the right pathway to get where they are headed.
Students and parents are also encouraged to look at www.myfuture.edu.au which provides free national career information and exploration service. It can help students make career decisions, plan career pathways and manage work transitions. It is a fun and interactive website with loads of information and videos to watch.
We wish everyone the very best for the year ahead.
Congratulations to Eliza Morcom (pictured with Andrea) who commenced her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care school-based traineeship at Eastwood Early Education.
Congratulations to Madisyn Green who commenced her Certificate III in Individual Support with Southern Cross Care (Qld) Inc.
Why choose a School-Based Apprenticeship / Traineeship
- Support transitions from school to work and promote education, training and employment opportunities for secondary school students
- Provide students with opportunities to develop skills and knowledge relating to actual employment situations
- Allow students to start, and in some cases complete, a vocational qualification while still at school
- Improve post-schooling employment and training pathways for students
- Improve links between education and industry, school and local community.
- Apprentices/Trainees generally have stronger graduate employment outcomes than the average VET graduates.
Career Development Practitioner
The girls have settled in very well and we have welcomed a number of new boarders and staff.
Welcome to our new Year 7 girls Abeygail, Felicity, Mia, Moira, Taya and Te’Arani.
We also welcome Hayley and Rikeah in Year 8, Laura in Year 9, Janaya and Selma in Year 10 and Shakeitha and Imogen in Year 11.
Our new staff include Ms Jodie Klingberg, Mrs Kym Wright and Miss Jasmine Neliman.
The girls enjoyed the recent public holiday with a BBQ lunch and free icecream at Picnic Point with several girls opting to go swimming at Milne Bay.
Queensland Gallery of Modern Art Trip
Students in 11/12 Visual Arts travelled to the Qld Gallery of Modern Art to view "AIR", an immersive exhibition of diverse works responding to this theme. Students will use this experience of noticing things you usually fail to notice to prepare for their IA1 Visual Art Assessment. They conducted themselves impeccably and thank you to Visual Art Student Officer, Mrs Susan Justice who accompanied us on this jam-packed day.