St Saviour's College Newsletter 2023 - Term 2 Week 10
Belief in the Arts
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn - shout for joy before the LORD, the King.
(Psalms 98: 4-6)
This week, the Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office (TCSO) have organised and facilitated a host of incredible creative opportunities for students from across the 31 diocesan schools. We were pleased to play host to a group of students from St Joseph’s School, Chinchilla, who stayed with our boarders at McAuley House. Over 60 of our girls have had the opportunity to engage in almost all the events on offer for secondary students. The week culminates in the Sacred Choral Concert and Eucharistic celebration, which our entire College will participate in. We are most grateful to our Arts staff who have been involved in ensuring that our students have had the fullest and most enjoyable experience possible: Mrs Wendy Collins, Mrs Jen Potter, Ms Jo Stewart, Mr Rhody Nilon, Mrs Berni Gray and Miss Kara Jensen. We are most proud of our Mercy Girls and their incredible talent. We offer our gratitude to TCSO for affording our students these valuable opportunities to share their gifts and delight in the joy of sharing their creative gifts with others.
Recently, I have had to sign off on some Phase 2 and Phase 3 attendance letters that address ongoing attendance concerns of some of our students. These letters are a timely reminder that we, as a College, are committed to ensuring that each student has every opportunity to engage fully in their learning. If your daughter/s are experiencing a sense of ‘disconnect’ and are finding themselves absent for a greater majority of term time, we will work with you to ensure that every effort is put into a positive return to regular schooling. The best learning for your daughters takes place with continued attendance. Continued and regular attendance ensures that your daughters feel a sense of connection and belonging; and when this sense of authentic connectivity is experienced, learning – at its very best – is able to take place.
150 Years Celebrations in Term 3
On Friday 21 July, we will be welcoming a number of Sisters of Mercy to the College to celebrate 150 years to the day since their arrival into Toowoomba. The day will begin with a special Eucharistic celebration taking place in the Chapel, celebrated by Bishop Ken Powell. Afterwards, the Sisters and invited guests will gather for a ‘high tea’, followed by a special assembly. Following on from this, the Sisters are being invited to the rose garden at Newtown Park, to dedicate a special plot for the Catherine McAuley rose, commemorating this auspicious milestone. Many thanks to past pupils, Sue Englart and Alison Smith, who have been working with the Toowoomba Regional Council in making this happen.
Grandparents' Day and Catholic Education Week Mass
All members of our community are invited to attend our special Catholic Education Week Mass, which coincides with our celebrations for Grandparents’ Day, on Friday 28 July at 8.45am in the Callaghan Centre. Our Mass celebrates the special gift our grandparents are to our lives and acknowledges our recipients of the ‘Spirit of Catholic Education’ awards. Following Mass, we will acknowledge the Academic Award recipients for Semester 2.
Two weeks ago, our Year 11 and 12 students were issued their report cards. This Friday, our Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 students will be issued theirs. These reports provide valuable feedback in terms of your child’s learning journey and their progress. I ask that you sit down with your daughters and discuss these reports with them; have a conversation about their learning and their results, celebrating success and discerning what efforts could be made to continue pursuing excellence.
Thank you to all our teaching staff for their hard work in preparing these reports, particularly Deputy Principal, Mrs Jessica Wade, and Curriculum Support Officer, Mrs Kathy McDonald.
Semester 1 Thank You
Thank you to all staff for their continued efforts to provide a quality learning and life experiences for our young women. From our boarding staff right through to our ancillary, administration and support staff, and teaching staff, everything we do is to ensure that our girls have the best opportunities made available to them to see them succeed and reach their fullest potential. This requires a great deal of effort and a personal knowledge and care for each student. I thank our parents and carers who entrust their daughters in our care and work with us in partnership. I wish you all the very best for the holidays, spending quality time together and replenishing and renewing, ready for a busy Semester 2 of learning.
It is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to our Community Liaison Champion, Mrs Amii Brown. Amii has been an incredible asset to the College across the past 18 months in her role. She has been a wonderful conduit between boarding and the day school and has built many strong and truly beautiful relationships with our girls, who I know will miss her deeply. We thank Mrs Brown for her enormous contribution and wish her, Dallas and family all the very best for the next chapter.
Ms Katey Parker was appointed this term in a contracted teaching position and has performed her role with professionalism and poise. We have loved having Ms Parker on staff and I know she will be well missed by her students. We hope that one day we might welcome Ms Parker back. Thank you most sincerely Katey!
Mrs Wendy Collins has stepped down from her role as Middle Leader: English and Arts. Wendy has done an excellent job in ensuring that the departments in her care have operated seamlessly and the cultural and arts offerings at the College have broadened significantly under Wendy’s leadership and guidance. I thank Mrs Collins most sincerely for her valuable contribution and thank Mrs Adele Sretenovic for taking on the role in an acting capacity until the end of the year.
A couple of weeks ago we welcomed Miss Charlotte Croker to our Support Officer team. Welcome Charlotte. Next term we welcome back Miss Leah Dempster to her position of Middle Leader: Learning Year 7-9 and Mr Chris Grierson will continue in his substantive role as Careers Development Practitioner (CDP). Many thanks to Mrs Alyson Holmes who has filled the CDP position this term with creativity and dynamism.
Blessings for a happy and safe holiday.
Year 10 Subject Selections
In Term 3, all Year 10s will participate in subject selection processes. The subject selection process is made up of the following steps:
1. Analysis of self: What are my strengths? What are my interests? What are my goals for the future?
2. Fact-finding – through consultation with Career Development Practitioner (CDP), 2023 QTAC prerequisite guide and university websites.
3. The completion of a SET Plan (undertaken in Career lessons this term)
4. Consultation with Subject Selection handbooks (emailed to students and parents)
5. Attend subject selection evening on 17 July (Monday Week 2) with your child.
6. Select subjects via web portal by 4 August 2023.
7. Participation in Careers Conference 16 August - 18 August at Southport.
8. Late Term 3, notification of assigned classes for senior schooling.
9. Term 4 - All Year 10 students begin Senior Schooling subjects.
It is our privilege each year to walk beside Year 10 students on this hope-filled journey as they plan for their futures and create a pathway that is meaningful and empowering for each of them, individually. Mr Chris Grierson (CDP) and myself are here to assist and are happy to help at any stage of the subject discernment process.
Year 7-10 Reports
Students have now completed their Semester One 2023 subjects. The semester report will be published on Friday 23 June and provides a final achieved mark and learning behaviours feedback for each subject for your child.
For each of their subjects, students are allocated an A - E grade.
Student learning behaviours reflect our focus on empowering students as learners and encourage students to exhibit positive and purposeful learning behaviours. These learning behaviours encompass four areas of school life and are measured using a simple 3-point scale (Consistently, Generally, Needs Attention).
Reports in the Parent Portal
All report cards, both this one and previous reports, are available in the College Parent Portal. If you have any problems accessing the Parent Portal, please contact Fiona Roberts at the College. The reports may be accessed under “Student Details” option as well as on the newsfeed.
Requesting a Hard Copy of Your Daughter’s Report
If you would like to collect a ‘hard copy’ report, please contact the College by phoning 4637 1600 or by email email@example.com and we will have one printed and in the office for collection.
Deputy Principal - Curriculum
Assistant Principal - Mission and Student Wellbeing
Each term, our community extends its hand to those in communities that are in need. In Term 1, we helped those more vulnerable globally, through Project Compassion. This term, our focus has been local, gathering donations for the Toowoomba Rosies Outreach - Friends on the Street. As a community, donations have built throughout the term and we are excited to be able to present these to the Rosies Toowoomba Branch next term. It has shown that when we all contribute a little, we are able to make a big difference!
Toowoomba Branch Coordinators, Joe and Kate Robertson, are always grateful for our support with donations and with our senior students volunteering on their Sundays at the Wilsonton Park Outreach.
Rosies amazing work within communities around Queensland is well received, especially during times when many families are feeling the pressure. But Rosies mission is more than that, it is about friendship. How friendship can overcome many adversities and allows individuals to feel connected. To view the most recent Rosies newsletter to see the wonderful work they do, please click the link:
Blurred Minds – Griffith University Project
In Term 3, we have the wonderful presenters from Blurred Minds coming to connect with our Year 8 and 9 students in a two hour workshop around vaping, an ever-growing concern for our adolescents. Our students are already engaged in the Blurred Minds Academy within their HPE lessons. The Academy curriculum aligns with Health and Physical Education Australian National Curriculum and is an engaging alcohol and drug education program which utilises gamified online and in-classroom activities to deliver content and messages around drug and alcohol use.
A part of Blurred Minds website is a useful section targeted for parent use. There are many informative videos around adolescent use of drugs and alcohol and how it impacts on development. It answers common questions parents have about teenage vaping, drug and alcohol use, social media, parties and communication techniques for ensuring family safety. To directly access, click on the following link:
The most beneficial aspect of the Blurred Minds resources is expert knowledge in the latest research that is shaped by parents needs of raising teenagers.
Pastoral Team Spotlight
Over the next term, the College pastoral team will be highlighted in the newsletter to help parents understand the supports that are in place at the College to ensure success for every student. Understanding what is available and the role of each staff member allows quick intervention between staff and families when help is needed.
We start the spotlight with our College Counsellor: Ms Renee Hunter
Dear parents/carers, my name is Ms Renee Hunter and I am the St Saviour’s School Guidance Counsellor (SGC). This is my sixth year at St Saviour’s College and with every passing year, my affection for the College only grows. This is a wonderful school to educate your child and it is my blessing to journey with them through this very important time in their lives.
A little bit about me ...
I am a registered Psychologist and I obtained my qualifications through the University of Queensland in Brisbane before moving to Toowoomba and transferring my studies to the University of Southern Queensland. My professional background extends across the fields of inpatient hospital services, employment services and rehabilitation, criminogenic and forensic psychology and youth mental health.
I am passionate about providing access to mental health services and normalising this process. I am also very passionate about the impact that education can have on improving a person’s opportunities to follow their dreams, as it allowed me to do. So, working as a SGC at St Saviour’s College was the perfect personal and professional blend. I also love dogs and aspire to have an assistant therapy dog one day to help me provide the unconditional positive regard that is so essential to effective therapy. I love nature walks and market shopping, British crime dramas and spending time with my family - as a mother of two teenage boys, I am also personally experiencing the joys and challenges of parenting teens.
As a Psychologist, I practice from an evidenced-based and scientific framework offering well researched and sound counselling and intervention approaches. I operate from a holistic and collaborative framework to understand an individual student and their fit within their environment/s to improve socio-emotional and academic outcomes.
According to the Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing report, schools play a major role in supporting young people with emotional and behavioural problems and are often where symptoms of mental disorders are first identified. My role as the SGC is a privileged role and I take great care providing the best possible service to the many young people that seek help and support. Encouraging help seeking, and reducing the stigma of mental health, is at the heart of my daily working life. I am so proud of young people when they show the courage and maturity to seek support and acknowledge that taking care of their mental health is such an important part of their holistic health and wellbeing, and therefore, success at school.
A little bit about the SGC Service …
Reasons for referral to the SGC
- Educational and academic challenges
- Cognitive and learning difficulties
- Specialist advocacy and support for learning environment modifications and adjustments (academic and socio-emotional/neurodiversity)
- School refusal and the implementation of specialist supports to increase engagement
- General supportive counselling targeting relational/friendship issues, home/personal problems, low distress tolerance, resilience building, emotional dysregulation, grief/loss, mild to moderate mental health problems (adjustment disorder, anxiety and depression) etc.
- Risk and acute mental health assessment/crisis management
Scope of the SGC role
- Supportive counselling is generally based on a solution focused brief therapy model (SFBT)
- Best practice is that a student access around six (6) sessions of individual support per presenting problem, which may also include completing referral/s to external providers if a student’s mental health needs require more intensive and ongoing intervention.
- The SGC is not a substitute for a private therapist/specialist should a student be experiencing ongoing, moderate to severe and complex mental health problems or developmental/neurodiverse/learning challenges.
- The SGC can assist with linking students and families in with specialist support, provide referral letters and provide supporting evidence to external clinicians.
- The SGC is a specialist that can support you and your child access the right support.
- The SGC role is a collaborative role that works best if consent to share with external stakeholders is gained i.e, private specialist supports (psychologist, psychiatrist, paediatrician, GP, speech therapist etc).
- The SGC acts as a conduit between private specialists and the school environment to improve a student’s socio-emotional and educational outcomes.
- Student improvement is increased by collaboration with parents/carers invested in solution formulation. Parent/carer/stakeholder meetings form a significant part of the SGC role.
- The SGC provides expert/specialist information at school level meetings advocating for a student’s needs and supporting educational pathway planning.
- The SGC may facilitate socio-emotional group programs to improve mental health literacy, self-awareness and skills building.
- Cognitive assessments can be completed through the SGC service if deemed necessary to better understand the student’s learning strengths and difficulties.
Privacy and confidentiality in the counselling context
- The SGC can provide psychological services without prior consent from the student or parent/carer in an emergency or exceptional circumstances where immediate support of the student is necessary to protect the student’s wellbeing.
- If a student self refers to the SGC, the SGC is not obliged to disclose this to parents. However, the student’s consent to disclose this to the parent will be sought when it is deemed to be in the best interest of the student.
- Only a person with parental responsibility, a legal guardian or a documented Informal Carer can give consent for a young person to see the SGC. A new partner, de-facto parent or step-parent cannot give consent.
- There are limitations to confidentiality namely, if the SGC reasonably believes that the use or disclosure of personal information is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to the life, health or safety of an individual or to the school community.
SGC’s are responsible for implementing the Student Protection Processes and Guidelines reporting requirements. For further information about these processes please click on the link below:
Assistant Principal - Mission and Student Wellbeing
Parent Information Evening
St Mary’s College is hosting a Parent Information Evening with Paul Dillon who will be informing parents and carers about the use of alcohol and other drugs by school-aged people. Paul has been analysing trends and speaking with young people about drugs and alcohol for many years and is a well-respected expert in this field. More information on Paul Dillon’s work can be found here: https://darta.net.au
Urgently Seeking Host Families
We are urgently seeking host families for Japanese students visiting 17-29 July 2023. Some of our wonderful families have already agreed to host students in the second round of visits but we urgently require nine families to host students in this first round.
Please see the flyer below for information and payment amounts. There may be a chance families could host two students and if so the payment will be double the amount as shown on the flyer.
We would love to hear from you. You can obtain a Host Family Application Form by contacting Japanese teacher, Ms Jane Greenhalgh via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 4637 1600.
Last week of Term 2, what a frenetic term and what looks to be another one in Term 3, especially for the Library. We are finishing the term with a celebration of music with World Music Day. We watched High School Musical and had a number of puzzles and colouring-ins available for students to participate in throughout the week.
Students have also been borrowing for the holidays – below is a frequently asked question about bringing the books back after the holidays.
When are they Due Back?
They will be due in the first couple of days back at school. Bring them with you on the first day of school and place them in the return slot.
Finally, have a great holiday and take some down time to grab a book, relax and read! Pleasure reading helps you to relax and unwind. Term 3 will bring our main events for the library – see below as to what is happening in our school library.
What’s Happening in the Library?
Our term ended with our celebration of World Music Day:
MANGA being Enjoyed!
We had a great visit with Zombster bookstore, where a number of books were put on display and students had the opportunity to vote which ones they would like to see in our library. We had a lot of interested students who came in, browsed the titles and voted on the series they would like to read. Our library is now busily processing these books, so they are ready to go next term. Students are eagerly awaiting their debut in the Library!
New Books in the Library!
Yes, we are still churning out new books! Make sure you suggest options for our library to purchase and don’t forget our non-fiction resources too. There are some great reads on interest areas in this section and we are willing to purchase more for you to read too. We have recently purchased from QBD, our local bookstore here in Toowoomba as it is great to support businesses in our town. These books will be available next term too – there is a range of First Nation books around knowledge in different areas, horror stories, various series updated and some stories with Asian themes/characters.
But do not forget our new books on display and ready to be borrowed! Check out the images below and our catalogue online to find something that interests you.
New Books Collection
Senior Collection - for our Year 10-12 Students
Term 3 Events
Library and Information Week
Harry Potter Birthday Celebration
July 31- August 6: Library and Information Week.
August 2: Harry Potter Birthday celebration.
August 19-25: Book Week.
August 23: Book Week Quiz and Dress up.
9-11 Legal Studies Excursion to Toowoomba Court House
Magistrates Court in Session; District Court Set Up and Bailiff
On Friday 16 June, Mrs King and Mrs Judd escorted our Year 9/10 Legal Studies class, along with our two Year 11 Legal Studies students, to visit the Toowoomba Court House to consolidate their learning from the Semester. This was a great opportunity for the students to see the legal system in our society and see how it works.
We started the day by visiting the Magistrates Court and observing how the court is run and the number of cases that they get through. From adjournments to suspended sentences and fines, this was a fast-paced and interesting process to observe. We were also allowed to view the court room that is used by District judges. The Bailiff for this court was available and went through a number of processes that occur at this level of court proceedings. A very informative and timely excursion. Below are some comments/observations made by students who attended.
Impressed with how calm the court was, even with witnesses speaking out of turn.
Magistrate - consideration and concern for all in the courtroom.
Laws working in real situations and how they are implemented.
Interesting to see the layout of the District Court and how it works.
Judge calm even when faced with disruptions.
Magistrate not as scary as perceptions were before the visit.
Magistrate handling the situations in front of them.
I had found the legal studies excursion to be very interesting. The excursion has been a huge benefit to see a working court in session, which will be important to assist with Unit 3 and 4 (Criminal Law and Human Rights). The one thing I found that stood out to me the most was, there were many people who made claims to not know what all their charges were.
I thoroughly enjoyed the excursion to the Toowoomba Court House. It gave me a better understanding of what can happen during a trial, this will be a benefit for me when I go into Units 3 and 4 of Legal Studies. This also gave a better understanding of the court hierarchy which is the current unit I am undertaking. Something that stood out to me was that the Magistrate was able to keep as calm as she did when faced with difficult people, as well as being considerate when passing down a verdict.
Class view of the excursion:
Beneficial to see court in action and see laws and decisions made about them in action. Also, being at the end of the unit was great as it allowed our prior knowledge of terms and legal components to be applied in context.
Visual Arts Creation
Visual Arts students from Years 8 - 10 created a mosaic with students from the Toowoomba Diocese at a workshop at Cobb & Co on Tuesday 20 June as part of Catholic Schools Arts Fest. Students created a wonderful work that will be the centrepiece of a display which will be attached to the windows of the Micah Centre at the Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office. Our Mercy Girls were impeccably behaved and were a real credit to their families and the College.
From the Careers Centre
UniSQ Discovery Day
On Tuesday, 20 June, students from Year 10 had the opportunity to attend the UniSQ Discovery Day at the University of Southern Queensland. This event provided the students with an on-campus experience where they delved further into different fields of study. Students participated in sessions led by UniSQ’s academic professionals and had the opportunity to meet the lecturers. The discovery day was a way for the students to discover the skills and talents they are good at and enjoy. Students participated in sessions including aviation, agriculture and environment, business and management, engineering, media and communication, nursing and allied health, psychology and human services, and sciences.
Balancing Academic and Extracurricular Activities: A Guide for High School Students
Balancing academic responsibilities with extracurricular activities can be quite the juggling act. With countless opportunities available to explore your passions and interests beyond the classroom, it’s essential to strike a healthy balance. In this article, they delve into practical advice and tips on how to manage your academics and extracurricular commitments effectively.
For many Indigenous students, particularly those living in rural and remote communities, accessing university or higher education can seem almost impossible. But thankfully, there are ways to make education more accessible and affordable; and one of them is through scholarships. In this blog, we’ll look at some great scholarships for Indigenous students you might like to apply for.
Why Should I Apply for Scholarships?
Scholarships can help unlock doors to higher education, empowering you to pursue your dreams without the burden of financial constraints. Scholarships could provide financial aid, covering tuition fees, accommodation expenses, textbooks, and sometimes even living allowances. They are awarded to students for a wide variety of reasons, including academic excellence, leadership potential, community involvement, and to help deserving students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Scholarships for Indigenous Students
There are lots of government, university, and community scholarships out there to support Indigenous students. Here are some of the best ones we’ve found:
- The Smith Family Indigenous Youth Leadership Program: provides scholarships and leadership opportunities to young Indigenous Australians, with a focus on Indigenous youth from communities in very remote areas of the country or regional communities.
- ANU National Indigenous University Scholarship: acknowledging the academic excellence of Indigenous students in secondary school studies and providing assistance with costs related to tertiary studies.
- Bendigo Bank Indigenous Scholarship Program: for students who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander looking to start their first year of tertiary study.
- AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship: for Indigenous medical students who want to study medicine but may not have the financial means to realise their dream.
- Rio Tinto Indigenous Scholarship Program: financial support for Indigenous students in WA studying their first undergraduate degree.
Indigenous Student Success Program: provides funding to universities so they can offer a variety of scholarships and support services dedicated to Indigenous students.
How Do I Apply?
Most scholarship applications these days are done online, so you’ll need access to a computer or tablet and the internet. While each scholarship may have specific requirements, generally you’ll need to submit an application form, academic transcripts, and a personal statement outlining your achievements, aspirations, and community involvement. Remember to highlight your unique experiences, cultural heritage, and resilience in overcoming challenges. Don’t forget, you can always seek assistance from mentors, teachers, or scholarship support services if you need help putting your application together.
Scholarships can provide a stepping stone towards fulfilling your dreams, whether that’s becoming a lawyer, an engineer, an artist, or a leader in your community. Take advantage of these opportunities, be ambitious, and don’t be afraid to dream big. You can find more blogs about scholarships and search for opportunities on our website here.
Acting Career Development Practitioner
Here is a great opportunity for students in Years 9 - 12 to book real-world, personalised video conversations with women working in ‘non-traditional’ roles and industries. Students have the opportunity to book calls with an engineer, data scientist, fire fighter, apprentice carpenter, police officer, data analytics consultant, field ranger and more. Visit Home - UNIQ You for more information or click on the links below to register your daughter.
McAuley House Boarding News
McAuley House has been a busy place coming up to the end of Term 2. Our boarders have been working hard to complete assessments and homework. As this is the final week of Term 2, we have had a small reprieve and are able to enjoy some extra free time and also start packing for the holidays.
Our girls, as usual, have been very excited about the footy season with games being played with vigor and great sportsmanship. The girls who go along as supporters enjoy the outing and cheering the players on. A special trip to the charity fundraiser TGS Prefects vs Glennie was also a highlight.
Congratulations to several girls who have been picked in Representative sides. The training schedules and intensity have increased but there is no doubt our girls will rise to the challenge.
Volleyball girls had a great season this term. Bella Anderson and Flossy Elisala both received awards for Most Valuable Players.
We had a very special dinner for Miss Amii who is finishing her time with us this term. It was a delight to hear the girls’ favourite stories. We celebrated with performances of special dances and enjoyed a delicious meal. Thank you, Miss Amii ... you will be missed.
The girls are loving their new boarding hoodies which look great and are very warm.
The Deadly Choices Workshop was run over two days and all boarders attended. Boarding and Day school supervisors and teachers attended the Teenage Mental Health Workshop training day. It was an exceptional course giving us all valuable tools to continue to nurture and grow our students.