From the Principal
I was lucky to be able to go to the Parents and Friends meeting last night. I am in awe of the generosity of them as a group. They were talking about the High Tea they have arranged for Sunday. The trouble they are going to, to make it a special occasion, amazed me. It smacks of our St Mary’s College culture.
P&Fs were an invention of necessity, of times gone when there was no government funding whatsoever. All money needed was raised by parents or contributions from parishes and the work force or, in our case, the Presentation Sisters. Times then, often one parent was working inside the home. Now, most families either are single parent families or both parents work outside the home.
I greatly admire the commitment and energy of the Parents and Friends Association. Many parents and carers contribute to our College. Whether it is coming in for reading help, accompanying an excursion, or coaching a team, there is a great culture at St Mary’s College of parent involvement. Also, we should acknowledge all those lesser acts – standing on the sideline cheering the team on, dropping your daughter at a Prefects’ function, bringing her or him to Mass when the College asks, coming to Parent/Student/Teacher interviews just to meet the teachers, reading the newsletter.
Thanks to all the parents and carers who make time to be involved and be connected. It is a great strength of the College.
Latest from the blogs
Please click on a title to be directed to individual blog posts.
Learning and Teaching
Proving is good, but improving is better
Tamekia Grist, Director of Pedagogy (K-12)
Upcoming important dates and excursions
Thursday 10 August
- Year 7-12 Student/Parent/Teacher Conference, Mary Morgan Wing (3.30-7.30pm).
Friday 11 August
- Chinese students from Fuzhou arrive (August 11-18).
- Year 11/12 Chemistry and Physical Science classes to participate in RACI Titration Competition, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay (8.45am-1.00pm).
- Excursion: Year 6B to Hobart City Council (11.00am-1.00pm).
- Excursion: Year 1 to Train Park, West Hobart (11.15am-1.15pm).
- Excursion: Year 6W to Hobart City Council (1.00-3.00pm).
- Year 5 Wax Museum launch, St Peter’s Hall, Harrington Street, Hobart (1.45-2.45pm).
Saturday 12 August
- International Youth Day Student Rally for Hope, Parliament Lawns, Hobart (10.30am-12.00pm).
- National Science Week (12-20 August).
Sunday 13 August
- SMC High Tea, Nagle Centre (2.00-4.00pm).
Tuesday 15 August
- Feast of the Assumption mass, St Mary’s Cathedral (12.00pm).
Wednesday 16 August
- SMC Choir to perform at the Tas Prayer Breakfast, Hobart Grand Chancellor (6.00-8.00am).
- Year 12 body image talk, Nagle Centre (9.30-10.30am).
- Excursion: Year 6 to State Parliament.
Friday 18 August
- Year 10-12, 2018 subject selections due.
- Year 8 and Year 4 trial literacy tests.
Monday 21 August
- Year 8 and Year 4 Religious Education literacy test (August 21-25).
- SMC’s Children Book Week (19-26 August) celebrations start.
- Madonna King presentation and book launch, McNeill Performing Arts Centre, St Michael’s Collegiate, Corner of Davey and Barrack Streets, Hobart (6.00pm start).
Tuesday 22 August
- Year 9, 2018 subject selections due.
Wednesday 23 August
- Book Week dress-up day and all-school book character parade (2.00pm).
Congratulations to the following students (pictured clockwise, from left):
- Zali Kingston, Millie Lane and Hannah Daley (all in Year 7) who competed at the recent ‘Get The Beat’ dance competition in Hobart. Our young starlets performed beautifully in their respective jazz, lyrical and acrobatic dance categories, with Millie winning her section and awarded the champions trophy. All three girls have now qualified for the national finals in September.
- Year 10 students Keeley Hine-Haycock, Chloe Cooper, Saakshi Dhakal, Spriha Paudel and Eloise Deconinck who have had their STEM Inquiry Based Learning science investigation proposals accepted at gold CREST level, and Alana Bellette at silver CREST level.
- Mitchell O’Shea (Year 2) for winning a book voucher for his excellent book review on Meg and Mog, which he completed for the Tasmanian Premier’s Reading Challenge.
We want to hear about your child’s significant achievements, so please email us at email@example.com
Body image - it's not a taboo subject
Year 12 students at St Mary’s College will be hosting an informative one-hour presentation on the issues related to body image, self-esteem and eating disorders on Wednesday 16 August at 9.30am.
All students, staff, counsellors, parents and family members with an interest in this important topic are warmly invited to attend.
To RSVP, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about the talk is available on the College website via the following link: http://www.smc.tas.edu.au/body-image-it-is-not-a-taboo-subject/
CatholicCare PAUSE program
The counselling team at CatholicCare Hobart is offering an exciting new program suitable for parents of children aged between 10 and 18-years.
The PAUSE (Parenting Adolescents with Understanding, Sensitivity and Engagement) program has been designed as a resource for parents to assist their children through the turbulent years of adolescence.
Delivered over five-weeks, the program will address topics including the physical and neurological development of adolescents, parenting styles, social media and the ‘modern’ lifestyle, communication and problem solving.
A consultation prior to registration is essential. Please contact Diana or Sonia at CatholicCare on telephone 6278 1660 to schedule an appointment.
SMC takes over Parliament
Year 10 students, Jade Burke and Saakshi Dhakal were among more than 50 Year 10-12 students from 14 schools and colleges around the state to attend the annual Tasmanian Youth Parliament camp.
Held during the recent school holidays, the week-long event gave young people the opportunity to sit in both the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council where they could debate issues that mattered to them.
Saakshi, pictured below, has provided the following article about the experience:
During the term break Jade and I attended an event known as ‘Youth Parliament’. Youth Parliament is a weeklong camp with the intention of teaching young Tasmanians about our state parliamentary system. There, we took up the role of politician and spent our days at Parliament House debating bills and dressed in our fancy business wear.
Before the camp, in groups of three-to-five, we created our own bills which we believe positively impact our Tasmanian community. Jade and her group prepared a bill where individuals can opt out of organ donation (rather than opting in). I created a bill to take measures to prevent elder abuse in aged care facilities. Both of our bills were passed by the House. Other bills that were debated included marijuana legalisation, environment rejuvenation and renewable energy.
We were also fortunate to be invited to attend a reception at the Governor’s House, where we met with many politicians and political aides. This year there was a bit of media buzz around the event as we featured in the Mercury newspaper, on Southern Cross News and ABC radio.
Overall, this was a fantastic event and we would recommend it to anyone with a passion for change and politics.
Year 6 takes on an important role
Our Year 6 students also paid a visit to Tasmanian Parliament recently. On Wednesday 2 August the youngsters were given a guided tour of the Legislative Council and the House of Assembly, and enacted a role-play where a bill was debated by the students.
The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Elise Archer, also allocated time from her busy schedule to address the girls.
It was an invaluable experience for the students and the classes are looking forward to returning in two weeks’ time to observe Question Time.
Science Week preparations underway
National Science Week (12-20 August 2017) has started early at St Mary’s College.
We had a visit from the Young Tassie Scientists on August 1 and students from Year 7-10 had great fun listening to talks on topics ranging from astronomy and the application of maths to science and medical matters.
Over the next few weeks we will have students visiting Government House, listening to a lecture on women in physics and participating in some exciting science activities.
Students from Year 5-10 are also busy completing their science investigations in preparation for the SMC Science display on September 5 and the University of Tasmania (UTAS) Science Investigation Awards on September 14.
In more good news, Year 10 students, Chloe Cooper, Keeley Hine-Haycock, Spriha Paudel, Eloise Deconinck and Saakshi Dhakal have had their proposals for their major science investigations accepted at gold CREST level, and Alana Bellette at silver CREST level. It is very difficult to get a proposal for an investigation approved at either gold or silver standard and they are congratulated on their efforts.
All six students are working with mentors from UTAS and CSIRO. They now need to finish their data collection and submit their reports to complete the process. You can read more about their individual research projects here.
Student Rally for Hope
To demonstrate their support for refugees and asylum seekers, SMC’s Justice Action group has organised a rally to be held this Saturday 12 August at Parliament Lawns.
Please come along and encourage your family and friends to attend too.
2017 Book Week celebrations
Firstly, we welcome Mrs Nicole Eckardt to the SRC team at St Mary’s College while Mrs Mary-Lou Jones is on leave during Term 3-4. We will miss Mrs Jones’ spirit, commitment and creativity and wish her a restful and wonderful period of leave. Mrs Eckardt has much experience in school libraries and as a Junior School teacher. We wish her a very happy time in our College.
Book Week 2017
The third week of August (week commencing August 21) will once again see the SMC K-12 school community get involved with Book Week (the Children’s Book Council of Australia celebrates it then, too!).
This year’s CBCA theme is ‘Escape to Everywhere’, and we look forward to doing just that – especially in the Student Resource Centre, the College’s Book Week hub. We will have displays, competitions and two big, fabulous events during Book Week this year: the annual K-12 Book Character Parade and the second bi-annual ‘Great Big Book Swap’.
• August 21-25 – Book Week
• August 23 – Competition entries due
• August 23, 2.00pm – Book Character Parade
• August 24, throughout the day – Great Big Book Swap (Kinder Wallaby will swap books on Wednesday)
• August 28 – Competition entries announced
Yaizu, Japan sister city visit
By Stella Barnhoorn and Taylah Pickett (both Year 11)
From July 26 to August 2, eight students from our Japanese sister city, Yaizu, Japan, were welcomed into the homes of St Mary’s students to experience a week in Hobart with us.
During their time in Hobart, we attended a Lord Mayoral welcome reception and afternoon tea at the Town Hall. We also visited Mona, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Richmond and Government House.
At the end of the week, we had a very teary farewell. It was an amazing experience, and one that is sure to be remembered by all.
Arigatou, Mrs Macleod and Miss Lowe, and a big thank you also to Ms Spencer for supporting this exchange and helping us celebrate Hobart’s 40-years of friendship with Yaizu.
The students hosting: Meg Hastie, Gabrielle Saxton-Hillier, Caroline Wilson, Taylah Pickett, Stella Barnhoorn, Vivienne Scott, Caitlyn Cooper and Faith McDougall.
Official opening and blessing of new facilities
We welcomed staff, students, parents and friends of the College on Thursday 3 August for the official blessing and opening of our new-look Junior School, Hospitality, Drama and Music facilities.
The $2.5 million project encompasses the refurbishment of St Peter’s Hall and the Betty Bow Music area, the Prep classrooms, Hospitality rooms and Year 3-4 classrooms, along with the construction of a brand new purpose-built Kindergarten learning and play space.
The College’s Prep and Kindergarten facility will be known as ‘The St Columba’s Early Learning Centre’, a name that directly acknowledges the site of the original St Columba’s School on which the building stands today.
Geography students investigate impact of bushfire
By Lucy Ryan (Year 10)
On Thursday 6 July, the Year 10 Geography class, together with Miss Raward and Miss Goldsworthy, hopped on a bus and drove to Dunalley for the day to collect data for our evaluation of the impact of the 2013 bushfire.
We were lucky enough to hire Angela, a Parks and Wildlife Discovery Ranger, who connected us with members of the community who had first-hand experience with the effects of the fire. We chatted to Gai, a homeowner, who stayed back to fight the fire away from her home. She gave an honest account of how the fire had affected her socially and financially. Gai also gave us a tour of her property and we noted how she had actively restored the land to its original vegetation. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed our conversation with Gai because she spoke genuinely and allowed everyone to ask her questions which she openly answered.
We then spoke to Ben, the owner of Bangor, who had to regrow his grapes, rebuild kilometres of fencing and create a new farm, as many sheep died as a result of the fire. Ben was an important part of the day as he talked the environmental impact of the fire on his land, government support and his business.
Our Discovery Ranger then took us to a plot of land where we documented the regrowth of vegetation and observed some fauna. We used binoculars, field books and quadrants to gather our data.
Our last stop of the day was at the Dunalley Fish Market, where we all enjoyed a warm, delicious meal before returning to school.
All of the students really enjoyed the excursion and would like to thank Miss Raward for organising such a fulfilling day or learning and laughing.
100 days of Prep
Last Wednesday 2 August our Prep students celebrated 100 days of school.
Our Possums and Bilbies have been eagerly counting down the days since they first walked through the school gates back in February this year, so the 100th day was very highly anticipated!
Top mark the special milestone, children made ‘100 Days’ crowns and colourful dot paintings.
We are very proud of all that they have achieved in just 100 days, and look forward to seeing what they will do in the next 100.
Cyber awareness in the Junior School
This week beginning Monday 7 August, and for the remainder of the term, we will be specifically focusing on all things ‘cyber’ in the Junior School.
This is such a crucial area of student education and it is essential that parents are able to have informed discussions with their child that supports their learning in school.
Each of the next three newsletters will feature an article on cyber-related issues that we hope families will share with their children.
Technological communication is an ongoing area of change and uncertainty in the lives of our students and we need to help them navigate this most challenging space in partnership.
Parenting resilient kids: research study
Evidence indicates that parents can play a major role in building their child’s resilience against problems with mood and anxiety.
Dr Marie Yap, a senior research fellow and psychologist from Victoria’s Monash University, is leading a team of researchers evaluating a new online parenting program designed to empower parents with strategies to parent with confidence and stay connected with their pre-teen child.
Families with at least one child aged between eight and 11-years, who have regular access to the Internet and are fluent in the English language are invited to take part in this research study, which will be conducted online over a 24-month period.
To learn more about the research study, and to register your participation, please read the full article on the College website here.
How is technology affecting our 'screenagers'?
Are you watching your children scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and six-second attention span?
Parents of the College are invited to attend an exclusive Q&A screening of Screenagers on Monday 21 August at 6.30pm at Village Cinemas Hobart.
The award-winning documentary probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director’s own, to understand how screen time affects young people’s minds and development, and how parents can empower their children to best navigate the digital world and find balance.
For more information about the Hobart screening, and to view the movie trailer, head to http://www.smc.tas.edu.au/join-the-parentech-conversation/.
College life in pictures
Head over to our photos page to view our latest galleries: http://www.smc.tas.edu.au/photos/
This week we have photos of the first grade hockey southern grand final, the Prep’s 100 Days of School celebration, our Yaizu sister city visit and the official launch and blessing of our brand new early learning facility. Enjoy!
Winners are grinners: Hockey grand final success
Congratulations to our first grade hockey stars who blitzed the field on August 1 to clinch a thrilling 7-1 southern grand final win over Mount Carmel College at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre.
The win caps off an undefeated season for the girls, who have scored an extraordinary 50 goals over just nine games.
Coached by our own SMC Alumna, Maddi Curtis, the team is now through to the state final, which will be played later this term. Go SMC!
Jump Rope for Heart in full swing
Jump Rope for Heart is in full swing at St Mary’s College.
Last Friday (August 4) marked the official launch of our annual fundraising program, where all students received their sponsorship forms and participant ropes.
Our girls and boys were shown the ropes by National Jump Rope for Heart Field Officer Mitchell Sandridge, and tackled techniques called ‘criss-cross’ and ‘double-under’, before finishing with some long-rope ‘double-Dutch’.
Now in its 34th year, Jump Rope for Heart is an exciting and non-competitive program that encourages children to become more active through skipping, learning new skills and raising vital funds to help the Heart Foundation fight heart disease in the Australian community.
The program will culminate in a special ‘Jump Off Day’ on Thursday 7 September.
Fun fact: Did you know that SMC has raised more money for research into cardiovascular disease than any other Tasmanian school, and even has the mainlanders ‘all tied up’ when it comes to fundraising?
Since we began taking part in Jump Rope for Heart, our school has raised more than $80,000, with more than $24,000 in funds raised in 2015 alone. This year, we aim to lift the bar even higher.
Sponsorship is easy – simply go online to www.jumprope.org.au and click on REGISTER. Once you have completed this step, you can start fundraising and sharing the link with as many people as possible.
For more information about the Jump Rope for Heart program visit the ‘In the School Bag – Latest notices/form’ section on the College website. Happy skipping!
Parents and Friends update
SMC High Tea
Thank you for the fantastic response to this Sunday’s High Tea in the Nagle Centre.
The high tea is a wonderful opportunity to have a relaxing couple of hours with SMC friends and our children. It is also another occasion in the school year where we can build the sense of community and belonging.
If you have forgotten to send your RSVP, or haven’t yet got around to doing so, but would still like to come along, please let the College Business Office know, or you may email me directly at email@example.com.
Before Sunday, we will be busy working out table numbers. If you have already organised a table, could you please let me know of the guests you would like to sit with.
We have some wonderful raffle prizes and a lucky door prize, so bring along some extra dollars. There will also be bags of fairy floss available for purchase.
Access on the day will be from the Brisbane Street entrance. The car park beneath the Nagle Centre will also be open for parking.
We are looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!
Father’s Day Breakfast
Mark your calendars – the Parents and Friends will be hosting a Father’s Day Breakfast on Wednesday 30 August. Wednesday was chosen as it is the day that both Kindergarten classes are at school, and it avoids clashes with other schools’ Father’s Day events.
The breakfast will be getting underway at 7.30am, with fathers from Kindergarten through to Year 12 most welcome.
As a ‘side’ fundraiser, and for a bit of fun, we will be selling football margin tickets for the AFL Grand Final.
More details on this event will be in the next edition of The Fountain on Wednesday 23 August.
Parents and Friends President
Where: Guilford Young College Performing Arts Centre, Barrack Street, Hobart.
When: Friday 11 August, 3.30pm-6.30pm.
More information: Register online at: www.gracefesttasmania.org.au | E: firstname.lastname@example.org | T: 6208 6038.
Where: Princes Wharf 1, Castray Esplanade, Hobart.
When: Saturday 12 August 2017, 9.00am-4.00pm.
Topics: Human body and movement, energy and transport, environment and nature, health and medical, science and astronomy, innovation and technology.
Cost: Admission is free.
Where: Castray Esplanade, Hobart.
When: Sunday 17 September 2017, commencing at 9.00am.
More information: Register online at: https://hobartfunrun.org.au/ (just nominate SMC when asked if you are a member of a team). Contact Stuart Corney on email at: StuartCorney@utas.edu.au with any questions.