In Focus

Head of Campus Update – 27 April 2017

Welcome to Term 2. Looking ahead we have a very busy term with many major events on the calendar. These include the Year 11 and 12 Formal, the school production of Man The Balloon, NAPLAN tests, Year 7, 8 and 9 camps, Year 10 Work Experience, exams, Masters recital, House carnivals, Social Service activities and the weekly sport and music programs. The term will conclude with our Semester 1 Colours and Awards presentations and I encourage parents to join us in this celebration of student achievement.

This week we remembered the sacrifices made by the Anzacs through our Anzac Day Assembly followed by participation in the march at the Berwick Anzac Day service. Our Senior School Anzac Day Service was enhanced through the contribution of the Naval staff from HMAS Cerberus led by Platoon Commander Leading Seaman Katie Reid and our guest speaker, Navy Chief Patricia Kelly. The girls were inspired by Chief Kelly’s words and the leadership demonstrated by these women in senior military positions.

It is with great pride that I report to you some significant student achievements.

Congratulations to the SMS Intermediate Softball team who are the GSV Premiers, defeating OLMC 17-4 in the Grand Final held at Jells Park at the end of last term. In recent weeks we have also celebrated the successes of SMS Alumnae including Elise Hutchinson (Dux of 2015) who was recently nominated for the Best Female 1st Year in Civil Engineering Award presented by the Civil Contractors Federation and Priscilla Jessica (Class of 2016) who was formally presented with her Monash University Engineering Scholarship at a recent gala dinner. The Geography Teachers’ Association have acknowledged the exceptional work of SMS Geography teachers and have awarded Certificates of Excellence to Natasha Robinson and Samantha Guerster (Class of 2016).

As previously reported, three students from the Class of 2016 received perfect study scores. Today all three of the girls have been awarded a Premier’s VCE Award which recognises them as the top performing students within the study. Congratulations to Ebony Hughes and teacher Chris Wyatt (Computing Informatics), Isabella Imperatore and teacher Natalie Petruccelli (Art) and Lani Li and teacher Deborrah Francis (Biology).

The focus of the staff professional learning day on 18 April was on building resilience, self- regulation and resourcefulness in our students. Keynote speaker Dr Judith Locke shared strategies with the staff on how to build these capabilities in our students. At the parent information session, Dr Locke’s main message was ‘All trees need wind’. That in order to grow into strong, capable and resilient adults, children need to learn how to deal with challenges, disappointments and setbacks. Dr Locke’s research shows that when parents and teachers work towards making things happy and easy for children, the child fails to learn the essential skills of;

  • Resilience (the ability to cope with difficulties)
  • Self-regulation (forging current pleasure for future gain)
  • Resourcefulness (the ability to take the initiative to improve your situation)

I recommend Dr Locke’s book The Bonsai Child to you or visit her website Confident and Capable for great parenting tips. Go to

Mrs Fiona Williams
Head of St Margaret’s Senior School