St Saviour's College Newsletter 2023 - Term 1 Week 10
PNG – Australia Partnership
Earlier this term, myself and Mrs Wendy Collins and Ms Leah Dempster were fortunate enough to join with eight Australian schools and twelve PNG schools in Port Moresby to engage in professional learning with colleagues and students. The PNGAus Partnership Secondary School (PASS) initiative was implemented from 2019 to 2021. Emerging from a demand for Australia to respond to calls for improving people-to-people links with PNG, the initiative intended to strengthen secondary school capabilities and leadership skills.
The four-day program included visits to a local secondary school (Sogeri National School of Excellence), the National Art Gallery and markets, sessions focussed on STEM, including Artificial Intelligence, the use of the Google suite and developing Professional Networks that would lead to sustainable relationships between ourselves and our PNG counterparts.
It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with our sister school, St Mary’s Asitavi, Bougainville and share our experiences. A big thank you to the PASS team and the Australian Government for funding the opportunity and thanks to Leah and Wendy for being such wonderful ambassadors and diplomats!
A final phase of the partnership was hosted on Tuesday of this week, which saw many of our Year 9 students participate in an Ethics and Artificial Intelligence Youth Forum. Again, this was a great opportunity for our Mercy Girls to enhance global connections and experience online learning with students from across Australia and PNG. Thank you to Mr Rhody Nilon for supervising the girls.
Term 2 Staffing Changes
As announced some weeks ago, I will be acting Principal at Our Lady of the Southern Cross Catholic College in Dalby. Consequently, my position will be filled by Deputy Principal, Mrs Jessica Wade, and the following positions will be backfilled.
- Acting Deputy Principal – Ms Leah Dempster
- Acting Year 7-9 Learning Leader – Mr Chris Grierson
- Acting Careers Development Practitioner – Mrs Alyson Holmes
Many thanks to Jess, Leah, Chris and Alyson for stepping up into these roles. I am most confident in the gifts that these individuals will bring to their respective roles during this time.
In addition, sadly, Mr Julian Smith has accepted a teaching position at St Mary’s College, commencing in Term 2. I warmly thank Julian for his professionalism and commitment to the success of his learners during his time at St Saviour’s College and I wish him all the very best as he embarks on a new chapter in boys’ education. We will endeavour to fill Julian’s position in the weeks to come.
Our WHS Coordinator, Mr Chris Buckley, has relocated with his family to the Gold Coast. For some months, he has been operating online to support the College in this space. We have successfully filled this position. We warmly welcome Mrs Chloe Pile as the new WHS Coordinator, working across the College and Boarding House, two days a week. Thank you to Chris who has been the consummate professional, working hard to tighten up our processes in relation to WHS.
'Big Fish' – The Musical
Best wishes to the stars of the show in ‘Big Fish’, playing at St Mary’s on Thursday 20 April, Friday 21 April and Saturday 22 April at 7.00pm. In addition, our Year 7 students will be attending a matinee performance on the Thursday. I am forever grateful to Mr Brendan Stewart, Mr John Condon, Mrs Leanne Peters and the staff of St Mary’s College for the organisation of this event. What a wonderful opportunity for our girls to be a part of such a production, in such a lovely space as the Edmund Rice Cultural Centre.
The Sorrow that is Good Friday
As the school holidays approach and many of us are planning for the adventures of the Easter long weekend, I encourage to never lose sight of the season of Easter and its intended significance. Easter is, in fact, the most important event in the Catholic Church’s calendar.
It is very telling that Christian story resonates for each of us, at different stages on our life journey. In reading the following reflection written by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the story of Good Friday is particularly pertinent.
We learn that we are not immortal; that things can go wrong. With age, we learn to be more cautious, much more aware of disappointment and pain and therefore more able to identify with the depths of a story: the complex realities of human suffering.
So it is with the crucifixion. Jesus was in physical agony to an indescribable extreme. He was also in spiritual and emotional agony. He had seen his community of disciples torn apart by outright betrayal as well as cowardice and desertion. He could see his mother watching him die; is it possible to imagine her anguish? He was mocked and told he was a failure.
His sense of God the Father’s presence was gone. There was no earthly or heavenly help in his hour of need. Like every human being he had to rely, in his agony, on what he could find within himself. Jesus could not call on God for help because he was choosing to enter into the fullest hell of all: separation from his loving heavenly Father and therefore bearing the weight of the wrongs of our world
Jesus would bear our sins, taking the whole darkness of human history and cosmic chaos, and die under their weight. The resurrection was promised, but in the absence of God the Father it could only be taken in faith.
These were not lines to be spoken in some school play: this was God’s love in action, even to the point where the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit - that deep mystery - was separated, out of love for God’s creatures.
As we wait at the cross and bring the darkness of bereavement, of isolation, of confinement, of insecurity and homelessness, or the sufferings of others, we place them all at the feet of Jesus. We can do nothing else. But at the feet of Jesus, at the cross, we also find the sign of our hope and the faithfulness of God-in-Christ, crucified. This is Jesus Christ who bears our sins and our suffering, that we may hear the whispers of resurrection: of new life, forgiveness, freedom and healing.
We too may call out: “Oh God, where are you?” The answer will come, “With you in your suffering and fear, knowing every aspect of it, for I drank it to the dregs. With you, if you take my hand, to lead you to new light and life.”
Yet, we are an Easter people. We believe in life after death.
And that is the most beautiful and profound message of hope for us all.
I ask you remember in your prayers our College Board Chair, Mrs Liisa Hammond, whose brother, Stephen Turner, sadly passed away from terminal cancer. Eternal rest grant unto Stephen, O Lord, and may your perpetual light shine on him. May he rest in peace.
Blessings for the holidays and for the weeks to come.
May our loving God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Blessings for the coming weeks.
Parent Teacher Interview Bookings Now Open
This week the booking system for Parent Teacher Interviews has opened on the Sentral portal for parents to make bookings for interviews. Interviews are held on the first day of Term 2 and often creep up quickly. Please make an appointment to see your child’s teachers and discuss their progress and learning thus far. Key to all student success is our ability as teachers to work in partnership with you as parents to support our learners to define and achieve their authentic personal and learning goals. Your daughters are encouraged to attend parent teacher interviews with you and contribute to the conversation about their learning and progress.
Congratulations to all Year 7 and 9 students who have now completed NAPLAN. This national testing schedule provides information to both schools and parents about what students can and can’t yet do in terms of Literacy and Numeracy. In previous years we have expected the results in August, but this year, given all tests have been completed online and much earlier, we expect the results next term.
Overall, we observed excellent levels of determination and stamina in the tests, with students committing themselves whole heartedly to the completion of the tests. Our new Year 7 students demonstrated that they have the tenacity, pride and commitment to excellence that is characteristic of true Mercy Girls. Congratulations to all.
Congratulations and thank you to Ms Leah Dempster, Mrs Kathy McDonald and Mrs Lisa Cocks for their management and support of the testing schedule.
Year 7-10 Reports
Students in Years 7-10 will receive their Term 1 interim report today. These interim reports contain both subject grades, feedback on learning behaviours and feedback on engagement in Homeclass. These can be accessed through the parent portal.
This year we have provided feedback on a more comprehensive set of learning behaviours. These learning behaviours reflect our approach to learning and the attributes all learning areas and teachers value in their classrooms.
For each subject, your daughter will be provided a rating of either Consistently, Generally or Needs attention for the following learning behaviours:
Hybrid Learning Success
This term we have extended our subject offerings by engaging in blended, hybrid and shared campus arrangements with our Catholic Schools counterparts.
Students engaging in these pathways have experienced enormous success despite some initial difficulties in navigating a new platform and mode of delivery.
Our College Captain Kiara McMahon studies Film, Television and New Media through St Mary’s College and has attained excellent results in her first assessment.
Coolock Captain Abby Kelderman in Year 11, studies Economics through St Mary’s College and has also attained an excellent result in her first assessment.
Year 11 Students, Eliza Morcom and Giliann Mharie Pamalaran study Specialist Mathematics through the TCSO hybrid delivery model and they are experiencing immense success via the online and face-to-face components of the course.
Year 11 Legal Studies students Jen Wilson, Tennille Prause and Claudia Shippey, are also studying through the TCS hybrid delivery model. They too have now completed their first assessment.
Congratulations to all these Mercy girls for their flexibility, their demonstrated independence as learners and their willingness to step beyond the known into the unknown - and succeed!
Deputy Principal - Curriculum
Acting Assistant Principal - Mission and Student Wellbeing
What a term! The College has been a buzz since week one, with many achievements and opportunities for students and staff. Students have been involved in not only their academic studies, but holistic opportunities of camps and retreats, sporting teams, debating, Homeclass liturgy and class Mass at the Cathedral. Also, showcasing the school to parents through the New Parent Gathering and the wider community through the College Open Day, as well as engaging in the many fun activities that have helped raised funds for Project Compassion throughout Lent. We jump straight back into it next term with our first week commemorating ANZAC Day on Thursday 20 April followed by the Cross Country and Harmony Day Celebrations on Friday 21 April. All these opportunities provide our Mercy Girls with not only avenues to succeed, but are the foundations of citizens who can create change in the world. It is our hope that all our students, especially those new to our community, have received a hospitable welcome and everyone feels that they belong, that they are a Mercy Girl.
Holy Week Liturgy
On Wednesday, all members of our community came together for our Holy Week Liturgy in preparation for Easter. We were led through the Stations of the Cross by not only our Senior Leaders, but some of our Year 9 students as well.
In leading into the holidays, we prayed:
Lord Jesus, you call us to follow in your footsteps, to love and serve in a world that often seems void of your presence. We ask that you shower us with the gifts of wisdom, strength and compassion. As we leave this space and time in silence, keep us ever mindful of the suffering you endured for our salvation. Give us the strength to bring others the comfort, hope and healing that you have secured for us. And remind us always of the great truth — that no matter how vast our brokenness is — love with prevail.
ReachOut Australia (2023) stated that in The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne 2017 Study, it was found that ‘young people aged 13 to 18 spend on average, 43.6 hours a week on screen-based activity at home (6.2 hours a day).’ Throughout the HPE curriculum and wellbeing initiatives at the College, students are engaged in conversations about using technology in not only a safe manner but a healthy manner too. It is important that teenagers understand the risks of using technology such as social media in conjunction with the opportunity to engage and learn how to use it appropriately. Although adolescence is a time of learning, young people still need guidance and assistance with regulating on how to balance the use of technology as well as engaging in other important factors of a healthy lifestyle such as sleep, physical activity, other interests/hobbies and physical socialisation.
The devices students have included in their school fees are corporate devices. This means that all licences on the devices are purchased through Toowoomba Catholic Schools including all updates. A part of this is the Zscaler program, that monitors students’ devices whilst on the school network. This program does not allow the use of social media, restricted websites and the blocking and reporting of inappropriate material. From this week, this program will now be functional despite the network that the laptop is connected to. For example, students will no longer be able to access social media websites on any network, such as their home internet. Although this provides some boundaries for students with their devices, it is not the only way we can encourage students to make healthy technology choices. Having routines, such as no use of technology an hour before bed as well as no technology in the sleep space, have proven to be effective in ensuring teenagers get adequate sleep during this period of growth and change. Other tips can be found at:
With school holidays approaching it is a great opportunity to discuss with your student how they use technology and adapt some routines that can be utilised before returning to school.
Resources for Parents to Utilise
The adolescent years are a challenge for not only teenagers, but their carers and those around them. Often, changes occur rapidly and can send teenagers into a spin, or it can be as simple as having to step up and accept greater responsibility with increased capacity. Regardless, understanding teenagers can be a difficult time for parents. Often, as adults, we have experience behind us to understand that most of the things that may worry teenagers are actually quite small in the grand scheme of life. But to our teenagers, how we respond to these challenges that they face, can make a world of difference. Our modelling of emotional regulation and positive self-talk can really set our teenagers up for success. Linda Stade, an educator for over 30 years, has some great resources for carers to help understand teenagers a little better and strategies that help. Her writings are simple and practical, a lot quicker than trying to read a parenting book. Linda’s website is a wealth of knowledge and I encourage you over the holidays if you have some downtime to read, to have a look through the various articles and resources that exist on her website: https://lindastade.com/. She currently writes blogs on the Lourdes Hill College website to help with raising strong, independent women. I have really enjoyed reading her current blog https://www.inspiringgirls.info/post/childs-inner-critic and I hope our students find the time to recharge over the holidays and come back to Term 2 with Linda’s notion of our mind is also a bully-free zone … we need to believe in ourselves and be our own number one fan. Your student has many supports that we can provide them pastorally so please don’t hesitate to contact me or one of our pastoral leaders/homeclass teachers to ensure your student starts the term well.
Acting Assistant Principal - Mission and Student Wellbeing
Phew! What a busy term we have experienced in the library. From participating in our Library Lovers’ Week, to celebrating International Women’s Day, Pi Day and International Poetry Day, to our project work on generifying our collection for student ease to find something they want to read. Everyday seems to have flown. Currently we have a work experience student investigating what it is like to work in a school library, from the day-to-day processes to longer term project work.
As the term draws to an end, a reminder that at the start of next term we will be looking at following up any overdues from Term 1 with charges to school accounts. This is to keep our library being able to purchase new resources that students and staff request and not just replacing books consistently from ones not returned. Please take note of overdue emails from SSC library and return them as soon as is possible. Students have the ability to renew their resources online once, so if they haven’t done it already, they can do that and it won’t show up as overdue anymore. They log in to Library online and their loans should be seen, if they are able to renew, they should see a renew button on the resource description.
Term 2 is indicating to be as busy as Term 1 with some wonderful events being held by the library – one of our bigger ones we are starting to develop is “May the 4th be with You” (or Star Wars day). We will be having some new Star Wars books (fiction and non-fiction) making their debut on this day, stay tuned for that!
What’s Happening in the Library?
Book of the Week
First Nations Food Companion by Damien Coulthard and Rebecca Sullivan
How to buy, grow, cook and eat Indigenous Australian ingredients. This book starts with a description of the ingredients – a guide to the edible and accessible native plants. It is not just restricted to ingredients fresh, dried or frozen, but includes those that may be grown around/in your home (if suitable OR culturally appropriate). So if you are just adventuring into the concept of native foods from Australia or are a seasoned user of the ingredients this book is for you! If you want to try Pepperberry cookies or make a Christmas pudding Australian style, check out the recipes that tell you how to make them! That plus more … a worthwhile delve into cooking with flavours you may never have thought to try before.
Not enough? But wait … there’s more … This book isn’t just about enjoyment and food-tasting, it has clear curriculum links too. So, what better resource to enjoy learning about First Nations foods and culture than this book. Check it out of the library today!
With International Women’s Day behind us, our competition for the “most wanted woman” came to a close. This was where students were to name the 10 most wanted women on display in our library. The names were found, whether through names tacked throughout the library or by using our display of women in skirt format to find them.
Our winner was …. Lakshitha, well done.
New Books in the Library!
We continue to promote our new books – they are often on display in the spinner. Some more non-fiction is on display, come in and check it out.
April 25: ANZAC Day.
May 1 – 31: Family Month of Reading
May 4: Star Wars Day.
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.
From the Careers Centre
Work Experience: Year 10 – Monday 27 March to Wednesday 29 March
Year 10 students completed a successful work experience program for three days in this last week of Term 1. Placements differed significantly and included working with Aboriginal Health Practitioners, Aged Care, Hair and Beauty, Pharmacy, Police, Marketing, Grounds Keeping and Animal Therapy. This experience gives students insight into career options for themselves, often clarifying areas of interest for further pursuit and opening doors for school-based traineeships and apprenticeships.
UniSQ Experience Day
On Tuesday 28 March, sixteen Year 11 and 12 students went to UniSQ to participate in the annual experience day. This day provided students with an on-campus experience where they delved into different fields of study and got a taste of life as a student. Students participated in two sessions during the day and could choose from a variety of subjects including Archaeology, Biomed and Medical Science, Criminology, Engineering, Theatre, Urban and Regional Planning and Wildlife Management.
The students actively participated in the day’s events with Adolphine being the lucky winner of a UE Boom Bluetooth speaker. Students had time over lunch to mix with peers from around the region, while enjoying the BBQ provided, live music and lawn games.
Date Claimer - Wednesday 17 May
To celebrate National Careers Week, all Year 11 and 12 students (with the exception of those on traineeships) will be required to stay at the College for the afternoon of Wednesday 17 May. We have arranged for guest speakers to come to the College to speak to the students on the pros and cons of various career paths. This is valuable information that will assist students as they move into life after school.
Term 1 Opportunities
Students had plenty of opportunities to explore careers in Term 1 through attendance at the University Showcase at St Mary’s College, Downs Group Training – Girls Trade Up presentation, the online 2023 Girl Power WebEx Session, ATOM Day through the UQ Rural Health, Year 10 Work Experience and the UniSQ Experience Day. Keep your eye out for opportunities in Term 2 via emails and the newsletter.
Acting Career Development Practitioner
McAuley House Boarding
McAuley House has had a very busy and successful first term. We have welcomed back new boarders and introduced two new girls to boarding life. It has been a challenging but rewarding term and we are excited to be a part of the girls’ growth, both at school and while they are here at boarding.
A big congratulations to the Under 13 Souths Footy team who played in the Walker Challenge, making it through to the semifinals. A busy but fun weekend for the girls.
The Under 15 Souths Footy girls played at the Pittsworth Carnival taking some friends along to cheer them on.
After a term of training, the basketball and volleyball girls also played their final games for the term with great results.
St Ursula’s College kindly invited the boarders over to use the pool for a weekend swim. It was a welcome reprieve from the heat and much enjoyed by our girls.
We are very proud of Flossy, Alison and Meg (pictured below) on receiving the ‘Mercy Girls of the Month” award. These girls certainly display the mercy values both at school and in our boarding house.
Year 10 girls are completing work experience and are enjoying learning new skills.
Congratulations to Roxy for winning the easter raffle and then generously sharing her chocolates.
Co-Curricular Music News
Saviour’s Sisters – SSC Choir
The Saviour’s Sisters have been incredibly busy throughout Term One. They have performed at the Strategic Plan Launch, Opening Mass, New Parent Gathering, International Women’s Day Breakfast and the College Open Day, as well as leading weekly “Mercy Girl” sing-offs on Assembly.
Working together with their conductor, Mrs Jenni Potter, and accompanist Father Nathan, the students have been expanding their repertoire, learning new songs and welcoming many new members of the choir; going from eight choir members, to over twenty-five members!
Despite an incredibly busy term filled with events, disruptions, camps and assessments, the students have worked very hard and are sounding amazing.
The choir performed at the College Open Day, and then ran a two-hour Disney Sing-a-Long session for the visiting students, with many laughs, some fantastic dance moves, and a fantastic afternoon had by all.
The Saviour’s Sisters are looking forward to another busy term in Term Two with Harmony Day, Mother’s Day, Toowoomba Eisteddfod, Catherine McAuley Day Mass and the Toowoomba Catholic Schools Arts Festival, plus many more exciting events coming up!
Term One saw the return of the SSC Rock Band, as the girls prepared for their first performances of the year. This year they are joined by Mr Rhody Nilon, who will be undertaking the role of Rock Band Instructor and occasionally accompanying them on the electric or bass guitar. The girls performed “I am Woman” at the College Open Day as their first performance of the year and did a fantastic job.
This term has seen the first establishment of an Instrumental Ensemble at SSC for many years. After several students expressed an interest in playing additional instruments such as saxophones, clarinets, bass guitars, pianos, drums, flutes and violins, Mrs Jenni Potter decided to form an instrumental ensemble with the assistance and leadership of Mr Chris Hartley, our private instrumental instructor. The students are busily working on their first performance piece and are looking forward to performing at some of the many events in Term Two.
Private Music Tutoring
Private lessons have been under way with Mr. Chris Hartley providing private instruction in Drums, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Keyboard and Piano to students on a Monday and Mr Jon Maskell continuing with private vocal lessons on a Friday.
If you would like more information on any of the co-curricular music programs we offer at SSC, please contact our Co-curricular Music Coordinator, Mrs Jenni Potter on Jennifer.email@example.com
Co-Curricular Music Co-Ordinator
In a mini unit at the end of the term, students in both Year 9-10 Visual Art classes, studied monograms and illuminated scripts. Students then used their name initial to communicate visually their culture, interests, heritage and personality. The designs were as diverse as our wonderful students.
Mrs Potter’s Year 11/12 Hospitality class have had an incredibly busy first term with plenty of opportunities to develop their skills and build on their Service Hours towards their Certificates II and III in Hospitality.
The students have set up, prepared for, served at and cleaned up from several functions this term, including the Strategic Plan Launch, New Parent Gathering, International Women’s Day Breakfast and the College Open Day.
The Year 11s have also had focused training days with Peti and Jason from Blueprint Career Development in Barista Coffee Service and Responsible Service of Alcohol certifications.
The teachers have been the lucky recipients of Valentine’s Day cookies, barista-style coffees, mocktails and rocky road easter eggs, as the Hospitality students have practiced their kitchen skills each week during their practical lessons.
Mrs Potter’s Year 7 Dance classes recently performed their assessment piece, ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ at the New Family Gathering. It was a fantastic opportunity for the girls to show their families how hard they have been working in Dance class this term.
All the girls performed with a fantastic display of expressive and technical skills, demonstrating plenty of personality and pizazz on stage, making their teacher and families incredibly proud.
Mrs Potter’s Year 9 Dancers had the opportunity to perform their Dance assessment piece ‘Fight Song’ at the recent Open Day.
Their grace and elegance while performing this contemporary piece was beautifully displayed as the girls wowed the audience with their strength and flexibility.
"Big Fish - School Edition" Musical
Big Fish centres on Edward Bloom, a travelling salesman who lives life to its fullest ... and then some! Edward's incredible, larger-than-life stories thrill everyone around him - most of all, his devoted wife Sandra. But their son Will, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father's epic tales. Overflowing with heart, humor and spectacular stagecraft, Big Fish is an extraordinary Broadway musical.
Three shows only:
- Thursday 20th April at 7.00pm
- Friday 21st April at 7.00pm
- Saturday 22nd April at 7.00pm
Don't miss this outstanding performance by St Mary's College, St Saviour's College and St Ursula's College students! Tickets on sale now at https://www.trybooking.com/CFGYT
Sponsorship opportunities are available. If you would like to receive a copy of the sponsorship prospectus, please email Mrs Tyhla Roper at firstname.lastname@example.org.