St Saviour's College Newsletter 2023 - Term 3 Week 8
Our Lady of the Southern Cross Feast Day Mass
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (Luke 1: 46)
The first of September is recognised as the Feast of Mary of the Southern Cross, our diocesan patron saint. This celebration is a timely reminder of the pivotal role Mary not only played in the life of Jesus, as His mother, but the role she plays in the lives of all of us as carer and protector, and mother of the Church. Mary’s gentleness and compassion serve to model to each of us what it means to live our lives in accordance with God’s will for us. In addition, Mary’s willingness to serve God so unconditionally, and without question - to the point where she carried Jesus and then raised him as a child through to adulthood - stirs in us a desire to do and be more for others; and not to count the cost.
Typically, there is a diocesan schools’ Mass to celebrate this special Feast Day, but sadly for 2023, this coincided with our annual CTJ (Consistency in Teacher Judgement) Day, which provides opportunity for teachers to work collaboratively to ensure consistency across learning, assessment and reporting. Many thanks to our staff who worked so collaboratively on this day, to progress the great work we undertake as teachers and to Mrs Wade for her leadership of the day.
Year 12 End of Term Events
Our Year 12 students are currently sitting their Mock Exam Block that will provide for them a great ‘training ground’ for the External Assessment Block that awaits them in Term 4. While the ATAR-eligible students have only been in attendance for their exams, it is anticipated that their spare time at home will enable them to begin their revision process in preparation for their final assessments.
The end of these exams leads directly into our Year 12 Retreat next Wednesday through to Friday at Alexandra Headlands. This is always such a special time of reflection, sharing and time spent well together.
As has been noted on previous communications, Week 10 of this Term, normal Year 12 classes will resume from Monday until Wednesday. The end of Term 3 will culminate in our Year 12 Graduation Mass and Awards Ceremony that will take place on Thursday 14 September, held at the Callaghan Centre from 8.45am. A morning tea will follow these celebrations for our Year 12 students and their families. Girls will then be permitted to leave with their families to prepare themselves for their Valedictory Dinner at Clifford Park Racecourse, commencing at 5pm. Many thanks to all the staff involved in the organisation of these events including Ms Harriette Spork, Mrs Kathy McDonald, Mrs Kerri Prentice, Mrs Lisa Cocks, Mrs Jess Wade, Mrs Megan Schulze and Mrs Helen Ryan. We look forward to celebrating our Senior Class of 2023!
Father’s Day Breakfast
It was wonderful to gather with over 60 guests to celebrate our fathers at Thursday’s breakfast. Strong male role models are so critical to the lives of our Mercy Girls and I thank all in attendance for taking the time to be with us, reminding our (your) girls that they matter, and that they have a strong male presence in their corner, which is not something to be taken for granted. Happy Father’s Day for Sunday to all our fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers and significant male role models in our lives! Special thanks to Jenny and CaterCare who prepared the sumptuous breakfast and to Mrs Harriette Spork and her team for their organisation of the event.
External Exam Preparation Period (EEPP)
EEPP 2023 is a Toowoomba diocese initiative available to all Year 12 students in the second week of the school holidays to engage in revision and feedback intensive sessions, which endeavours to build skills in preparation for the October/November external exam block. The experience is facilitated by teachers from across the diocese serving as experts who will be paid to serve as subject ‘Mentors’. A great amount of work has gone into this experience, which I am sure will prove to have great results for our senior students. All our ATAR-eligible students are encouraged to participate.
Student Elected Leaders
This week we announced our Class of 2024 Student Elected Leaders. Congratulations to the following students who I am confident will serve our community with distinction:
College Captain: Eliza Morcom
Vice College Captain: Maryam Abawi
McAuley House Residential Leader: Minnie Baird
Mission and Identity Leader: Giliann Pamalaran
First Nations Leader: Jauntae Bamaga
Sports Leader: Meg Woodcock
Cultural Leader: Mairead Obst
Coolock House Leader: Injil Mwibusa
Goretti House Leader: Xeroxia Nona-Poipoi
McAuley House Leader: Mia Sloan
Xavier House Leader: Kyomie Deemal
Many thanks to Mrs Schulze for expertly leading students through this process and to our Middle Leaders for their input and support.
Blessings for the coming weeks.
Deputy Principal - Curriculum
Year 11 and 12 Exam Block
Beginning from Friday 1 September students in both Years 11 and 12 who are undertaking a General Pathway (ATAR) in their senior education will have the opportunity to study from home when they do not have exams. Their exams cover work from either the whole year long course (Maths and Science subjects) or from their most recent unit studies. I wish all students undertaking exams in the coming week the best as they strive to fulfil their potential.
APPLIED SUBJECTS will run as usual. Students enrolled in applied subjects are expected to attend class as usual. They do not have exams to prepare for at home.
Exam Tips for Success
- Plan your study schedule ahead of time and stick to it. Avoid cramming the night before the exam.
- Take breaks every 30 minutes or so to stretch, relax and refresh your mind. Don't study for too long without a break.
- Eat healthy and balanced meals and snacks. Avoid junk food, caffeine and sugar that can make you feel jittery or crash later.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and alert.
- Get enough sleep every night. Aim for at least 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep. Avoid staying up late or pulling all-nighters.
- Exercise regularly to boost your mood, energy and brain power. Choose an activity that you enjoy.
- Manage your stress levels by using positive coping strategies such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, music, hobbies or talking to someone you trust.
- Be confident and optimistic about your performance. Don't let negative thoughts or emotions get in the way of your success. Remind yourself of your strengths and achievements.
- During the exam, read the instructions carefully and follow them - Answer the questions you know first and manage your time throughout. Check your answers for errors and omissions at the end of the exam - don’t leave early.
Year 10 Subject Allocation for Senior Schooling
Students in Year 10 have this week received their subject allocations for Year 11 and 12. Students are congratulated on the mature and proactive manner in which they engaged with the SET planning processes. I would like to thank Mr Chris Grierson, Mrs Kim Benvenuti and Ms Leah Dempster for their support of students in the SET planning interviews.
If you have any ongoing questions around your child’s SET plan or senior pathways, please do not hesitate to get in contact with myself or Mr Grierson.
Deputy Principal - Curriculum
Assistant Principal - Mission and Student Wellbeing
Over the past few weeks, I have been afforded the wonderful opportunity to attend different professional development sessions relevant to this role. In Week 6, I attended the Australasian Mercy Secondary Schools Association Conference at All Hallows in Brisbane. The theme for the conference was ‘Mercy in Liminal times’, which couldn’t be more important to our current students. With the constant change in the world around us, how do we ever prepare our students to tackle the problems of tomorrow and into the future. How do you prepare when you don’t know what it looks like? You prepare through a Catholic, Mercy education where there is a strong foundation paved by Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy and the Mercy values of Justice, Compassion, Excellence and Hospitality. When these values become a part of who students are and what students do, they can navigate the liminal times ahead.
Last Wednesday morning I was also gifted with being able to listen to Sue Chandler speak on Academic Care. Previously a HPE teacher and then head of Pastoral, I was attentive to not only Sue’s journey but her messaging around wellbeing in the classroom and how this brings about academic results. Many would have seen the impacts of Covid and then the Senate inquiry into school refusal, or as many would call “school can’t”, as opposed to “school won’t”.
Throughout this year we have implemented the Berry Street Educational Model to have consistent strategies within the classroom which are used to create a learning environment that is safe and encourages learning. Learning is hard and uncomfortable; it wouldn’t be learning if it wasn’t. Sue confirmed for me that we are on the right track with our current model and there is still the possibility to stretch further to ensure we have students who do feel comfortable in the environment so learning can flourish. We also have a wonderful Pastoral Team ready to support and teachers who go above and beyond for each and every student.
A reminder that this time of the term is when students may feel the pressure with assessment or chose to disengage due to a fear of failure. It is best, if possible, that normal routine outside of school can be maintained as it provides a stability where students can focus their energy on things that may require higher cognitive load. As important as getting assessment completed and study is important, general health, hygiene, eating a good diet and getting the recommended amount of sleep is crucial to ensuring students can give their best to the work they produce. Too often in conversations, students tell me how they drank energy drinks, ate chocolate and stayed up all night studying, often the narrative spun in the world around what success looks like. This combination of methods does not produce the student’s best work and can often lead to more stress. Time management around assessment and being able to rework the plan of action when something pops up are the skills our students need to be focusing on in prepping for their assessment. Finally, they need to accept that assessment requires work … it is meant to get them to reflect and challenge what they know, rework their learnings of the term and try to apply their new knowledge and skills in an unfamiliar environment. This is where the growth happens.
This week we also continued with our Wellbeing Wednesday. I have the privilege of working with our Year 7s conducting a Mental Health First Aid Program. Young people will often turn to each other when stressed or upset and try to help each other, taking too much on. This course teaches them not to try to take on these problems alone. It gives teenagers the skills they need to recognise and help with mental health problems of, and crises with, their friends and to get the help of an adult, quickly.
In total there are three sessions:
Session 1 discusses mental health problems in general and understanding how common and disabling these are in young people. Students also learn about professionals who can help.
Session 2 talks about the Action Plan (‘Look, Ask, Listen, Help Your Friend’) for the first time. Students will see a film showing how it is used and they will start to explore how it might apply when a friend is in crisis or developing a problem.
Session 3 focuses on students practicing their new skills and discussing how they can look after themselves.
The majority of our staff are trained in the Youth Mental Health First Aid and use this on a daily basis as a foundation when assessing how our girls are travelling.
Finally, on Thursday and Friday I was thrilled to get to spend the time with colleagues from the Toowoomba Diocese attending Br Damien Price’s Masterclass on Service Learning. Br Damien is a wonderful man who has taught for many years in a range of schools and brings such depth of experience to any professional development he leads. I look forward to engaging with staff at the College on how we deliberately prepare our students to be critical thinkers in the social context. How do we get them to sit back and look at society through a lens where they feel confident to analyse what they see and challenge what may seem the norm or very narrow thinking, where they can be the social agents of change that our world needs in these liminal times.
Assistant Principal - Mission and Student Wellbeing
Students needing support in Maths and Science are welcome to come along to the following sessions:
Year 8 Visual Arts Excursion - 6 September
All our Year 8 cohort will be attending the Gold Coast Home of the Arts on Wednesday 6 September to view "100 Years of Archie".
In Visual Art, students study this famous portrait prize and complete artmaking activities based on inspiration from The Archibald.
Permission notes and a $10 payment are to be returned no later than first break MONDAY 4 September to Student Services. Permission notes have been sent home with students and are available on the Parent Portal or you can click on the link below to access them. Permission can also be given via the Parent Portal.
New Uniform Supplier
We have a new uniform supplier, School Locker, who will commence in Term 4 with first day of trade being Tuesday 3 October 7.30am to 10am. (Please see flyer below for more information)
In Week 6, we celebrated Science Week! The theme for this year’s National Science Week was Innovation: Powering Future Industries. We held a variety of competitions and activities throughout the week with prizes being awarded at assembly.
Students participated in a Homeclass competition where they were given three clues and had to identify the Scientist. Can you guess the following Scientist (ask your student for the answer):
- She was born in Poland over 100 years ago.
- She studied something called ‘radioactivity’.
- She was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize.
Students were given time in Homeclass to email their responses. The quicker they answered, the more points they received. The winning house was McAuley.
Students also participated in a variety of other activities throughout the week, such as a quiz show, experiments and a Virtual Escape Room. For someone who hasn’t experienced a Virtual Escape Room before, Stile’s escape rooms are an immersive and hands-on experience. The students solved a series of challenges and clues, where they had to draw on their scientific knowledge, and were given 45 minutes to escape. The students did well in this activity. The students escaped in the following order:
1st: Lakshitha Muthuramalingam
2nd: Millah Phythian
3rd: Nani Admassu
The culminating activity was the ever reliable ‘egg drop’. Students collected 20 straws and sticky tape on the Monday and had until Thursday to create a structure that would keep the egg safe. We had many groups and individual students participate. The students dropped the egg from various heights from the Lab Building, and we ended up with a tie for first place. Congratulations to Evie Clarkson, Jessica Day and Nani Admassu.
It was great to see students participating in the various competitions and activities, ultimately gaining new scientific knowledge.
Curriculum Leader - Mathematics & Science
8 Humanities – Geography Excursion to Picnic Point
On Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 August our Year 8 Humanities classes ventured to Picnic Point for an excursion as part of our Geography unit, Landforms and Landscapes. Students were able to learn about the mountain Meewah (Tabletop Mountain) and its significance for First Nations people, in particular learning about the Battle of One Tree Hill. Then, students examined the impact humans have had on the natural landscape of Picnic Point and considered whether these impacts have overall been positive or negative for the environment.
Year 12 Visual Art
Acrylic paint on canvas 46cm x 36cm
My work reflects the consuming beauty standards that were perpetuated by the media that I consumed as a young girl growing up. I wanted this artwork to represent my perspective throughout childhood. What was considered 'hot and trendy' when I was at my peak interest in the media was an unrealistic and over-saturated idea of what women should look like. My perspective is shown within my artwork through the visual implications of the shallow and stereotypical ideal image of women in that period.
Drawing, pencil on paper, various dimensions, largest 29.5cm x 40cm
My Visual Art Body of Work ‘Wandering Words’ investigates personal journey and coming home, relating to my experience with life and journeys I’ve taken, subsequently leading me home to my birthplace, which reflects how birds almost always return home to where they were born. The drawings are inspired by the feathers of birds, the part that often gets displaced whether, by force, strenuous flight, or natural molting, similarity, my work embodies notions of leaving one’s mark on the world.
Health Hub Excursion to UniSQ
Our Health Hub students attended UniSQ as part of an immersion experience. Students participated in a range of hands-on skills after a leisurely stroll through the Japanese Gardens. The experience included:
- Checking vital signs
- Practising hand hygiene
- Assessing a pulse using an ultrasound
Our experience was shared with two current health students who are the ambassadors for UniSQ. They shared a wealth of information including different pathways and first-hand knowledge of what it is like to be a student.
Students also were able to have an insider view of the technician lab and thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the refectory and having a very worthy lunch.
What a busy time of the year! Book Week has been a huge success and it was great to see the turnout for dress-up on Wednesday last week. The quiz was amazing and our wonderful senior students involved in the afternoon made it a more student-oriented event. Many thanks to Kiara and Amelia for putting together their rounds for the quiz and for compering the afternoon.
But it doesn’t end there! Our gold coin donations for dress-up went to The Indigenous Literacy Foundation. This year $83.00 was given to support this. Next year we are looking to beat this figure. Also, we raised over $400 for Hummingbird House from our Harry Potter day and Book Week Quiz Canteen. What fantastic support from our school community for these charities.
Book Week Library Display
Theme: Read, Grow, Inspire
Book Week Results
Students who chose the winning title of the CBCA shortlisted books:
Library Competition Winners:
Selfie / Shelfie Winner
Selfie / Shelfie Runner-up
Book in a Bottle Draw Winner
Quiz Winners Tied
Ella P, Marni L, Jamie V, Bella W, Liv S, Esther-Leigh
Quiz Winners Tied
We’re all Mad Here
Millah, Grace, Jess, Madi, Rhi, Amelia (Elisse)
Quiz 3rd place
Death Noot Noots
Miami, Charlotte, Jesa, Bushra, Fatimah
Wooden Spoon Winners
Emily, Neda, Akshaya, Raniya, Rianne
Quirky Name Winners
No Sugar – Gatorade
Wini, Flossy, Rheanna
Quirky Name Runners-up
Penny, Alina, Jathu, Gianna, Clovelly, Nicola
Book Week Quiz Afternoon:
Wednesday 6 September – Indigenous Literacy Day https://www.indigenousliteracyfoundation.org.au/ild
Friday 8 September – International Literacy Day
McAuley House Boarding News
Spotlight on our Bamaga Girls!
We currently have five girls from Bamaga in boarding - Lucinda, Xeroxia, Maleta, Val and Moira.
Bamaga is a small community about 40km from the northern tip of Queensland and boasts beautiful beaches, waterfalls and swimming holes. It is Australia’s most northerly mainland township with a population of around 2000 people. The Aboriginal name for the Bamaga area is Ichuru. Bamaga’s traditional owners are the Anggamuthi, Atambaya, Wuthathi, Yadhaykenu and Gudang peoples. The region has several languages including “Kalaw Kawaw Ya “and “Brokan” (Torres Strait Creole).
Our girls travel from Bamaga to Cairns (sometimes via Horn Island), then on to Brisbane before arriving in Toowoomba. A huge day of travel and effort from our girls.
This term we had a photographic competition with our girls entering their favourite images into several categories including My Hometown, My Friends, as well as Landscapes and Food. We had a great selection of photos which are on display in our dining room. A favourite was the baby section where we had to guess which baby photo belonged to which staff member. A big thank you to Miss Christie for organising this fun project.
It was rugby league semi-final time on the weekend with South’s Under 15s and 17s both playing. We had both players and a great group of loud, cheering supporters. Congratulations Under 17s for making it through to the grand finals.
Blood Drive 2023
Every drop counts. Can we count on you?
From 1 August to 31 October, St Saviour's College will be supporting Australian Red Cross Lifeblood’s annual QLD & NSW Schools Blood Drive and we’re encouraging all eligible members of our school community aged 18+ to roll up their sleeves and donate.
Can we count you in?
Every week across our nation, Lifeblood needs to collect 33,000 donations to support patient healthcare needs. Australia’s donors are lifesavers, they’re indispensable and inspirational. However, with winter colds and flu having an impact, many regular donors are feeling unwell and are unable to donate. That’s where people from St Saviour's College come in! If you haven’t donated for a while or if you’ve never donated and are keen to give it a try – Lifeblood is counting on you to help fill the gaps.
By giving together, our College can make a difference.
Schools are at the heart of our communities, they bring people together, foster connection and support others when they need it most. And this Blood Drive is the perfect opportunity for our school to do just that!
To be eligible to donate you need to be aged 18+ and feeling healthy and well on the day of your donation. You can check if you’re able to donate by taking the online Lifeblood Blood Eligibility Quiz. Blood can be given every 12 weeks, while plasma can be given more often – helping even more people.
And because this is a Blood Drive, hundreds of schools across Queensland and New South Wales will join together as we aim to give 1,000 donations, which have the potential to save up to 3,000 lives.
You can see our school’s donation tally at any time on the Blood Drive landing page.
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 to count yourself in.
So, whether you’ve been giving blood for decades or you’ve just started thinking about it, now is the perfect time to start, and it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Remember, every drop counts - and we’d love to count you in!