Deputy Head of Campus Update – 31 May 2018

What an incredibly busy and richly rewarding month it has been in the life of St Margaret’s Senior School. Our students have participated in a vast array of activities, experiences, camps and events. Some of these include the outdoor education camps (Year 7 and 9), NAPLAN (Year 7 and 9), Fieldtrip based camp (Year 8), Work Experience (Year 10), the School Formal (Year 11 and 12), DAV Debating, House Standards, Social Service activities, musical and sporting performances.

Our Outdoor Education programs allow for important experiential learning to take place that provides our girls opportunities for the building of self-efficacy, resilience, perseverance, independence, co-operation, leadership, tolerance, determination and initiative. Having attended the Year 9 camp myself, it was such a pleasure to be involved in a program that facilitates such growth and personal development for our students. Some of these character building qualities are fostered in ways often less achievable in the classroom environment.

Our Work Experience program places the girls into an environment which allows them to work alongside adults as part of a team, gaining an understanding of work, developing and practicing a range of new skills, becoming more independent and confident and relating the school curriculum to the workplace. It allows our students the opportunity to explore career options and has the potential to increase motivation to continue their study and/or undertake further training in areas of particular interest. I sincerely thank each member of our staff that travelled to visit the girls at their respective work placements. We are always so proud of the feedback we receive from employers, complementing our students’ upon aspects such as their punctuality, initiative, communication skills and work ethic.

On Wednesday 9 May the VCE Theatre Studies performed the musical ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’ to an enthusiastic audience. The students worked as a production team taking responsibility for directing and designing the show. During lessons, they learned about Musical Theatre and developed their characters. The students also organised extra rehearsals so that they could learn songs and choreograph dances. This effort and commitment was rewarded with a polished and professional final performance.

This week we were delighted to have Ms Rome and Mrs Holstock discuss aspects pertaining to National Reconciliation Week at school assembly. Students heard about why we acknowledge the traditional owners of the land, the history of the land in which SMS and BGS are built, what a Bunjil is and why Casey Council named their new centre Bunjil Place. Dimensions of Reconciliation were discussed and our School’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program was proudly introduced.

At this assembly we were also privileged to hear from Sajah and Aiyah Agha who spoke to us about Ramadan. The girls spoke of the proficiency of self-reflection, of having gratitude and thinking about who we are and who we want to be. Sajah and Aiyah encouraged us to give to those less fortunate or extend a helping hand to those in need and I thank them for their wonderful presentation that fostered cultural understanding within our global community.

Languages Day was held on Thursday 24 May. This was yet another colourful, fun and educative day. The splashes of colour of national costumes were an apt reminder that many of our students, already bilingual, are able to learn a third language, either Chinese or French, at our school. Hands-on activities included Chinese Painting, French Painting, Kung Fu or Tai Chi, Chinese Fan Dancing, Music and Dance around the globe. A new initiative this year was to buy authentic crepes from the Crêpes for Change ‘Food Truck’, a Not for Profit venture raising funds for Homeless Youth.

We were also delighted to have Kath Crowley do a writers workshop with Year 8’s in their English classes on 18 May. This inspiring workshop provided the girls with opportunities to take risks and develop creative strategies to enhance their writing.

The coming month continues to be busy and full of opportunity with a number of events worth making a note of:

DAV Debating – Round 4 takes place on 14 June

Social Service – Tin rattling for the Salvation Army takes place 31 May and the Bake sale for The Zoe Foundation will be on 21 June at 12.30 pm in the Lunchbox

Sports – The GSV Cross Country carnival is on 1 June, House Athletics Carnival is on 19 June, Running Club continues to be held before school every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Yoga classes run before school on Wednesdays

Music– Music Recitals will continue to take place in the Music Room foyer and Auditorium 31 May, the Music Camp is on 15 June and the Masters Recital is being held in the Auditorium on 18 June commencing at 7.30 pm

Presentation Ball – Year 10 Presentation Ball takes place on 23 June

Interstate and International Trips – Year 9 Central Australia departs 24 June and the New Caledonia trip departs on the 27 June

Exams – Year 10 and 11 exams run from 4-14 June, Year 7-9 exams are on 7-8 June and the Unit 3/4 General Achievement Task (GAT) is on 13 June

The student free Teacher’s Assessment and Reporting Day is on 15 June.

Finally, I would like to invite parents to join us at our end of semester Colours and Awards ceremony which is takes place in the Auditorium on 22 June commencing at 2.00 pm.

What a vibrant, productive and inclusive community we belong to.  Wishing everyone a positive, warm and safe month ahead as we close in on the end of Term 2.

Mr Paul Atkins
Deputy Head of Senior School