From the Acting Principal
What is the best book that you have read lately?
Last week we celebrated Book Week with a variety of activities, highlighted by another wonderful parade of book characters. A lot of effort obviously went into the planning and making of costumes, all for the delight of students and all so very worthwhile.
What was your favourite book as a child? Was it Charlotte’s Web, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, or was it James and the Giant Peach?
Our days can be so busy and finding time to read a good book has to be one of life’s many joys. Reading to our children and grandchildren is, of course, also important.
There are many great children’s books to read and there are so many good reasons to read to our children, but one of the best must surely and simply be because it’s time that is spent together.
I hope you all have the opportunity to read to your beautiful children – perhaps the book that was your own favourite.
SMC Student Resource Centre – statistics and fun facts
Loans, so far, for 2018: 14,685 for K-12.
In the Junior School, the following number of books have been borrowed: 3,810 fiction, 2,473 non-fiction, 3,299 picture books.
The most borrowed title in the Junior School: Spooky House by Sally Rippin.
The most popular books borrowed in the Senior School: First and Then by Emma Mills, This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills, Then by Morris Gleitzman.
The most popular genre in the Senior School: Crime, thriller and mystery.
Latest from the blogs
Please click on a title to be directed to individual blog posts.
Identity and Mission
Reflection on past, present and future
Andrew Clarke, Director of Identity and Mission
Learning and Teaching
Teaching excellence awards – nominate now
Tameika Grist, Director of Pedagogy (K-12)
Upcoming important dates and excursions
Friday 31 August
- Chinese Speaking Competition, the Friends’ School (9.00-11.00am).
- Excursion: Year 4 to St Virgil’s College Junior School.
Monday 3 – Wednesday 5 September
- Scholastic Book Fair, Student Resource Centre.
Tuesday 4 September
- Excursion: Year 6 to UTAS Science Fair.
- Excursion: Kinder Wallabies to Woolworths Campbell Street.
- Tournament of the Minds, St Mary’s College Senior School (3.15-4.30pm).
- Rowing Committee Meeting (St Virgil’s College Junior School).
Wednesday 5 September
- SMC ‘Try Rowing Day’, New Town Bay (10.45am-1.30pm).
Thursday 6 September
- Kinder Koalas excursion to Woolworths Campbell Street.
Friday 7 September
- Student Free Day/Study Day (K-12).
Monday 10 September
- P&F meeting, St Mary’s College (5.30pm).
Tuesday 11 September
- Rowing Information Evening, St Virgil’s College Junior School (5.30pm).
Wednesday 12 September
- Excursion: Year 2 to Dru Point, Margate.
Congratulations to the following students:
Isobel Kuo (Year 12) and Saakshi Dhakal (Year 11), who have enjoyed great success in a range of challenging public speaking competitions involving youth engagement in local, national and global issues.
Among these were the United Nations’ Youth State Conference, the Youth Parliament weeklong camp and, most recently, the Evatt Competition run by the Youth United Nations.
This is in addition to Isobel attending the National Debating Competition and debating with the Guilford Young College debating teams. Both girls have also coached junior debating teams this year.
Recently, over two weekends, the two students, as a pair, participated in the southern Tasmanian round of Evatt, representing Côte d’Ivoire. Impressing the judges, they then progressed to the state round of the competition, where they represented a different country – learning their country’s position on a range of social, economic and political issues in just one week.
As a result of their hard work, Isobel and Saakshi have been chosen as one of the three teams to represent Tasmania in the national finals, which will be held in December in Hobart. Adding to her current achievements, Isobel was awarded ‘Best Negotiator’ at the state final.
The students who participate in these events are of a particularly high calibre, so the girls’ result is particularly impressive!
Anna Blackwell (Year 11), who has been selected as one of 20 Year 11 students in Tasmania to participate in the National Youth Science Forum in January 2019, with the opportunity to attend either the Australian National University or the University of Queensland.
The NYSF Year 12 Program is a 12-day residential program designed to give students a broader understanding of the diverse study and career options available in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and to encourage continued studies in these fields.
Anna also recently competed in the Australian National Road Walking Championships held on the Sunshine Coast, receiving a bronze medal for her efforts.
Vivienne Scott (Year 12), for the commitment and care she has displayed as a volunteer tutor at the Light the Way Homework Club, which supports students from a refugee background.
The Light the Way program operates under the auspices of CatholicCare at Guilford Young College in Glenorchy. The students are in Year 8-10 at local schools and have been residing in Australia for less than five years.
Vivienne’s dedication as a tutor has continued over recent years, despite the demands of examinations and other school and family commitments. She has built a great rapport with many of the students who enjoy spending time with her each week, both for help with their homework and to play games and improve their English.
Imogen Brown (Year 8), Chelsea French, Olivia Graham and Ashley Rhodes (Year 9), who have been selected to represent the AYC Netball Association in the national CANA championships in Sydney from October 4-9, 2018.
Holly Teale (Year 6), whose Tasmanian state hockey team earned a bronze medal at the recent Schools Sport Australia U12 Hockey Tournament in Newcastle, New South Wales.
We want to hear about your child’s significant achievements, so please email us at email@example.com
National Skills Week: Real skills for real careers
National Skills Week (August 27-September 2) marks a time to celebrate the important contributions vocational education and training (VET) makes to the lives of many Australians.
This year’s theme – ‘Real skills for real careers’ – aims to showcase Australia’s VET sector as a powerful career pathway from high school, through secondary to tertiary education; a pathway that provides qualifications for successful, meaningful and professional careers offering great salaries and prospects.
St Mary’s College VET student, Tayla Pyke (Year 12) says:
“I am completing a school-based traineeship Certificate III in Individual Support with the District Nurses. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to broaden my experience, knowledge and skills.
The school-based traineeship has enhanced my secondary school education. It has given me focus and purpose and helped to define the career path which I intend to follow.’
St Mary’s College continues to develop strong industry connections with aged care and health service providers; child care centres and many tourism and hospitality businesses across greater Hobart.
The Southern Tasmanian Catholic Colleges Trade Training Centre, with Guilford Young College as the registered training organisation, is the current holder of the national School Pathways to VET award. St Mary’s is proud to have contributed to, and been part of, this accolade, received in 2017.
For more information about VET pathways, please visit the College website: http://www.smc.tas.edu.au/senior-school/vet-vocational-education-training/ or contact Angela Mitchelmore, St Mary’s College Learning Area Coordinator, VET and Careers on firstname.lastname@example.org
Homestay family required
St Mary’s College is seeking expressions of interest from families wishing to provide homestay accommodation for a mature-age Chinese Teacher Assistant.
The Teacher Assistant, who is currently employed at the College, requires accommodation for the remainder of 2018.
The initial length of the homestay arrangement will be a minimum of six weeks, but the duration can be extended through negotiation with the host family and College.
All families are welcome to apply; however, priority will be given to those that live within the greater Hobart area and in walking distance to a bus route.
Hosting an international teacher can be an interesting and rewarding opportunity for many households and families, providing new learning and social experiences and the chance to build lifelong friendships.
If you would like to consider being a homestay family, or for more information on the role of host and the homestay requirements, please contact our Project Officer, Tammy Carlton on phone 6108 2560 or email email@example.com
NAPLAN Online - trial of the new assessment platform
You may have heard that NAPLAN Online is being introduced across Australia over three years from 2018. Tasmanian schools will be administering NAPLAN online from 2019.
NAPLAN Online will provide better assessment, more precise results and faster turnaround of information.
Our school will trial the new assessment platform (the computer system the test will be taken on) and assess our readiness to participate in NAPLAN Online from 2019. This trial is called the School Readiness Test (SRT). The SRT is not a test of student achievement and results will not form part of a student’s overall assessment.
Participating in this trial is important as it will help us ensure we have adequate internet connectivity, and whether students have access to a sufficient number of devices for NAPLAN testing. During the trial, our school will have the opportunity to practice managing the classroom logistics for an online assessment and the new test administration processes.
Feedback from schools participating in the trial will inform transition to the online assessment as well as provide valuable feedback to shape the final development of the NAPLAN Online platform.
The SRT has not been constructed to assess curriculum knowledge, but rather to provide students an opportunity to experience the types of questions that will be included in the new online assessment.
During September 11-19, 2018, selected students in Years 2,4,6 and 8 will participate in the trial of the assessment platform, by undertaking one or two online tests that include examples of the new NAPLAN Online questions. Each test will take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
Participation in this trial is a key step to ensuring a successful NAPLAN Online experience.
If you have further questions, please contact Michelle Baker at the College.
Friday 7 September is a Student Free Day/Study Day
Families are reminded that Friday 7 September is a Student Free Day/Study Day for all students in Kindergarten to Year 12, and a Moderation Day for all staff. Please note, the College will be closed on this day.
Book Week lands at St Mary's College
It was Book Week at St Mary’s College last week, and to mark the occasion, the Junior and Senior Schools held a dress-up parade, with students donning costumes inspired by their favourite characters.
Run by the Children’s Book Council of Australia, this year’s event brought children and books together under the theme, ‘Find your treasure’.
Other activities held at the College to celebrate the week included colouring and poster design competition, and a treasure hunt, all of which were designed to instil in students a love of literature and reading.
Thank you to our SMC families for supporting these activities, and for your hard work on the costumes – they all looked spectacular!
Festival of Bright Ideas goes off with a bang
By Charlotte Coutts, Ashlee Cripps and Natarsha Golab (Year 7)
On Friday 17 August, Mrs Walter’s 7A Science class and Mrs Lelong’s 8B Science class took an excursion to the Festival of Bright Ideas in Salamanca as part of Science Week 2018.
Our first stop was a chemistry stage show called ‘Bang, Pop, Whizz, Whoosh’ by Jeremy Just, who showed us how we can make our own lava lamps using food colouring, oil, baking soda and citric acid. Jeremy also presented experiments using fire, balloons, liquid nitrogen, helium and different gases.
After the performance we made our way around the science exhibits. We learnt how to hack Minecraft and do some coding; we learnt about sustainability and Aboriginal tools; we saw alpacas, pigs, bunnies, ducks and chickens, and looked at their role in a farm. We learnt about drones that map caves using lasers and Wi-Fi. We also looked at the human body and some of the major organs.
We had a really good time learning about lots of different, interesting science facts and we would recommend visiting the festival next year.
Year 3 experiments with STEM
St Mary’s College Year 3 students joined forces with St Virgil’s College recently in a celebration of all things STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
Working together in small groups, the boys and girls took part in a series of hands-on workshops that involved building bridges out of pasta, making waterproof cubes, using robotic spheros and assembling dimensional objects with marshmallows and toothpicks.
The day was about cooperation, perseverance, challenging the mind and having fun, with a highlight being the shared pizza and fruit lunch enjoyed by all students.
Students band together to support women in need
On Thursday 16 August we had the privilege of welcoming Bec Woolley from the Annie Kenney Young Women’s Refuge to the College.
Bec visited to speak with our Year 4s about the accommodation and support services that the organisation offers young women in need. She then met with Year 3 Bottlebrush to receive a large tub of donations.
Pictured with Bec are Alice Stanford and Ayzia McCarthy (Year 3), who led the collection.
The Year 4s will be collecting items between now and the end of the year to donate to the shelter.
Beauty and the Beast a roaring success
After an exciting lead up, our Senior School musical for 2018 performed to sold-out audiences at the Playhouse Theatre in August.
A cast of 43 students from St Virgil’s and St Mary’s Colleges were supported by 30 backstage crew and band members to bring to life the magic of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
The production was extremely successful, and we have received numerous letters of congratulations from the public.
The cast and band have been rehearsing since March under the guidance of Leah Smith (director), Scott Weston (musical direction) and SMC Alumna, Georgia Taskunas (choreographer).
Hundreds of hours of work were dedicated to rehearsals, sourcing the many spectacular costumes and designing, making and painting the elaborate sets.
It was an absolute pleasure to work with such gifted and dedicated students. The calibre of talent across both Colleges was outstanding and we are very proud everyone involved.
Leah Smith, Senior Drama Teacher
Scott Weston, Learning Area Coordinator for the Arts and Director of Music
Year 11/12 Geography take to the field
The Year 11/12 Geography class has been very busy over the past week.
On Thursday 23 August we attended the Asia Pacific Geopathways conference at Guilford Young College, Glenorchy.
On Monday of this week we travelled down to Bream Creek, to David Walsh’s property Marchweil, to find out more about land cover change. We also took part in planting a range of native plants with Greening Australia.
The property was once a working farm but now it is being replanted to help sustain the local fauna and flora. It is a particularly valuable parcel of land because of the number of endangered orange bellied swift parrots which feed on the blue gums (E. globulus) present on the site.
We were lucky enough to see a family of wedge tailed eagles while we were finding out how to identify some of the plant species.
I was very proud of our girls because they encountered a true Tasmanian day – rain, hail and shine and lots of mud while we were planting – but they didn’t complain once.
Youth gain valuable road safety knowledge
While they may not yet have their driver’s licence, our Year 10 cohort has already gained some valuable knowledge and skills that will hopefully help them stay safe on the road.
The students recently attended a RYDA (Rotary Youth Driver Awareness) Road Safety excursion hosted by Rotary Tasmania and Tasmania Police.
The day consisted of practical workshops and scenarios focused around educating young people on the importance of road safety, decision making, and how to remove hazards and distractions when driving a vehicle.
Q&A with Vivienne Scott (Year 12)
St Mary’s College Year 12 student and Prefect, Vivienne Scott is currently enrolled in the University of Tasmania High Achiever Program, in which she is studying second-year Japanese. Vivienne juggles the requirements of this course alongside studying Chinese Foundations (Level 2) and Level 3 subjects, English Literature, Computer Science and Physics at SMC.
The University High Achiever Program provides high-achieving Tasmanian senior secondary school students with the opportunity to enrol in university units to complement and extend their TCE studies. It is designed to engage and challenge students through enrolment in university subjects of their choosing.
To be eligible for the program, applicants are required to demonstrate very high levels of academic performance at senior secondary education or equivalent level.
We recently sat down with Vivienne to chat about her involvement in the program, her interest in languages other than English, and what she most enjoys about being a ‘university student-in training’.
*At the time of writing, Vivienne learned that she received a High Distinction for the unit she completed in her first semester this year.
How did you gain entry into the High Achiever Program?
I submitted my application last year and was accepted this year (I started in Semester 1 in February). To be considered for the program, I had to have good grades in Japanese (Level 3), as well across my other TASC Level 3 subjects. Last year, I completed the College-based program, which was designed to fill the gap between Level 2 and Level 3 subjects – it involved six after-school sessions at UTAS. This program, therefore, is the second-year Japanese course.
What does the program involve, in a nutshell?
The program requires me to attend four classes a week on campus. I’m considered a university student, which means I need to follow university semesters and sit university examinations. The program includes examinations, as well as tests – both written and verbal. I currently fit this in on top of my current workload at St Mary’s. Oh, and I also take a course a Guilford Young College.
You’ve obviously managing quite a heavy study load already – what was your reason for applying?
I applied so I could continue with my language studies. As I studied Japanese and Italian last year I figured it would allow me to keep studying Japanese before university.
What do you find most challenging about the program?
The course, itself, is going well – much of it builds on previous years of study. What I found the most challenging was probably figuring out how to get around campus and remembering where all the buildings and rooms are. Because I have to wear my St Mary’s College uniform, I tend to stand out a bit!
What do you most enjoy about the experience?
The program is very rewarding and enables schools to build a connection with the university. The real highlight for me is the opportunity to interact with university students – to network and form relationships with other students my age – and being able to experience UTAS from a students’ perspective. I really enjoy exploring the buildings, getting to know the lecturers and taking advantage of the university resources, library (and food!). I’ve made a lot of friends during the past few months, and I have also reconnected with SMC alumna who are now studying Japanese in their first-year at UTAS.
How does the program complement your current studies at SMC?
It’s great as it gives me a valuable head-start in my university studies. It also helps me develop my organisational skills. For instance, managing my time effectively while moving between school and university is a skill I’ve had to learn very quickly. UTAS is very strict about students attending classes and handing assessments in on time. While you may have more flexibility and freedom, this relies on you putting the work in – there’s the expectation that you do the required readings before class and prepare for assignments and exams. Luckily, as I don’t yet drive, I use a taxi for transport to and from SMC, which saves me some time.
Is studying Japanese something you wish to further pursue in tertiary education?
The program can be used as credit towards your chosen university degree, which is very handy. Because I am technically considered a UTAS student, if I choose to continue studying Japanese next year, I will probably transition into the third-year degree program. At the moment though, I am not too sure what specific courses I will take at university, or what my future career will look like, although, out of all the languages I’ve studied so far, Japanese is definitely my favourite – it is just so different.
What is it about languages that interests and/or inspires you?
Travelling has played a big part in sparking my interest in learning other languages. In 2017, I had the opportunity to travel to Italy and Japan, and this year I will be going on the China trip [in September]. I recall really wanting to travel in Year 7 and 8 which is why I decided to dedicate a lot of time and effort to learning these languages, so I would be fully prepared and, also, so I could get the most out of the experiences.
In your opinion, why do you think learning – or being exposed to – languages other than English is so important?
There are many benefits to studying languages other than English. The communication aspect is, perhaps, the most important. Most non-English speaking countries today expect visitors to be able to speak at least two foreign languages (including those native to that specific country). Through learning to appreciate other languages, you gain an added appreciation for different cultures and ways of living.
College life in pictures
This week we have images of:
St Mary's rubs shoulders with Australian rugby greats
An exhibition match of women’s 7s rugby turned into a memorable experience for students at St Mary’s College when several players from the Australian Women’s 7s Rugby squad dropped by for a visit.
The match was played against Collegiate during the Aon Uni 7s 2018 Rugby Championship round, which was held at the University of Tasmania’s Hobart campus last weekend.
With women’s rugby going from strength-to-strength, the College is hoping to get a team together for the Term 4 school girls’ roster.
Pictured: SMC’s rugby players meet with Australian Women’s 7s Rugby team members during the Aon Uni 7s Rugby Championship round at the University of Tasmania.
Parents and Friends update
PF& Father’s Day feast
We celebrated Father’s Day this morning with a sizzling barbecue breakfast held on the College Green.
Thank you to all our fabulous fathers, grandfathers, uncles and male role models who braved the chilly weather to enjoy some tasty food and the chance to spend some quality time with their loved ones.
A huge thanks must also go to our dedicated army of volunteers and supporters who were on hand to ensure the event was a well-oiled success, from setting up and manning the stalls, preparing sausages, eggs and bacon, and serving hungry tummies. Well done to everyone involved!
Parents and Friends President
What: Hobart ball kid program
Where: Hobart International 2019, Domain Tennis Centre, 2 Davies Avenue, Domain.
When: January 6-12, 2019. (Training dates are yet to be finalised but will most likely be either on a Saturday or Sunday morning from 10.00am-12.00pm, commencing early November).
Contact: Olivia French T: 6108 8200 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
What: Super Smash Badminton – Term 4 roster
Where: Southern Tasmanian Badminton Association, 101 Cascade Road, South Hobart.
When: Term 4 roster commences October 2018, with games played Saturday afternoons from 2.00-4.30pm.
More information and to register: Contact Donna Meaghan, Development Officer, T: 0448 819 974 | E: email@example.com
What: Canoe slalom ‘come and try’ sessions
Canoe Tasmania is holding two ‘come and try’ sessions for males and females aged 10-15 years.
When: Monday 17 and 24 September, 7.30-9.00am.
Where: Clarence Aquatic Centre, 4 Loinah Crescent, Montagu Bay, Hobart.
What you need to bring: Boardshorts, rash vest and goggles.
More information and to register: http://www.tis.tas.gov.au/talent_identification/canoe_slalom
What: Bricks4Kidz – Lego Holiday Workshops
Ogilvie High School, 228 New Town Road, New Town
When: October 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 October.
Cost: One-day workshop $80 incl. GST.
More information and bookings: Kylie, Bricks4Kidz
Contact: T: 0408 487 393 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org. | www.bricks4kidz.com.au/tasmania-hobart
What: St Virgil’s College Open Day
An interactive principal’s tour of the College’s Senior School.
Where: St Virgil’s College, 195 Main Road, Austins Ferry.
When: Friday 31 August, 9.00am-10.30pm.
RSVP: Monica Nugent, College Registrar – T: 6249 6519 | E: email@example.com
All enrolment information: www.stvirgils.tas.edu.au
Please note that 2020 Year 7 enrolments close September 14.
What: Your Health Link – National Photographic Competition
Open to primary and high school students across Australia.
When: Competition closes October 14, 2018.
More information: www.yourhealthlinkphotocomp.com.au