Newsletter Edition 1 2021

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Newsletter

ST GEORGE’S ANGLICAN GRAMMAR SCHOOL Edition One

19 February 2021

Xavier Camacho - CASA Record - Youngest Australian to ever fly solo, January 2021


Contents From the Executive Principal ..................................................................................... 1 From the Head of School Operations - Acting ..................................................... 4 From the Head of Curriculum .................................................................................. 5 From the Head of Pastoral ........................................................................................ 8 From the Head of Science ......................................................................................... 10 From the School Chaplain ......................................................................................... 12 From Health and Physical Education ...................................................................... 13 School News .............................................................................................................. 14

St George’s Anglican Grammar School; an exciting, innovative co-educational secondary school based in a high-rise building in the Perth CBD. The School caters for local and international students in Years 7-12, and is a proud member of the Anglican Schools Commission network of schools in Western Australia. We are committed to child safety and protection, and expect all staff, volunteers, visitors to the School and contractors to respect and abide by all policies, procedures and practices developed and put in place by the Anglican Schools Commission (ASC) and/or the School in this regard.


From the Executive Principal Dear St George’s community WELCOME! Whether you are a new student or member of staff, parent or carer, or you have returned for another year, it is good to have you as part of our St George’s family. Meeting many new parents and carers at the Sundowner earlier this week, it is clear that we share the same desire for your children – that their time at St George’s is full of joy and curiosity; full of academic challenge and nurturing support; filled with opportunities to experience success and failure, to fall and to rise up. I know our dedicated and caring teachers and support staff will do their best to ensure these experiences form part of your child’s education at St George’s. Our staff won’t get it right every time; but their commitment to you is to try their very best, placing student wellbeing (both individual and collective) at the fore of their decision-making. We end Week Four in our academic calendar, yet it seems like the first week of school again! What a start it has been. From start-up to lockdown, masks to breathing freely – and its only mid-February. We are in for a year of challenge and opportunity. ‘Flexibility’, ‘adaptability’ and ‘resilience’ will be the key words of 2021. Be assured that we will do our best to achieve steady, uninterrupted learning for students, no matter what the external factors imposed beyond our control are. St George’s opens the year with record enrolments. We welcome some 50 students 1

over and above the December close. This affirms the decision of the Anglican Schools Commission (ASC) some seven years ago to acquire Murdoch College, rebrand as St George’s Anglican Grammar School and relocate to the CBD. Further, the ASC took the decision at the time to bring the teaching and support staff with us, as they are the great asset that underpins our culture and standards, bridging the past with today and taking the School forward. Faculty Speaking of our people, let me welcome to our community new members of our faculty, both academic and support: Mr Anthony Bochrinis - Head of Mathematics Mr Paul Smith - Mathematics Mr Tom Hatton - Science Ms Taryn Sephton - Humanities and English Ms Courtney Fraser - Humanities and English Mrs Jenny Vong - Education Assistant Mr Shaun Morton - Assistant Business Manager Mr Jeri James - Maintenance Officer Thank you to our staff who enabled the School to move to online teaching and learning for the Year 11 and 12 students during the lockdown. In a matter of hours, teaching staff and students were ready to enter remote learning once again. It is easy to maintain equilibrium in a school when the routine is established. On the other hand, it is when that routine is

St George’s Anglican Grammar School Newsletter


upended that we really see the true character of our community. Our students were ready to learn and prepared to adapt to the changes brought about by their online learning experience. This was also borne out by the students returning to school with their colourful masks in the post-lockdown week. I’m sure they had smiles on their faces… if only we could have seen them behind the masks! Adaptable and resilient they have proven to be.

Despite the Covid-19 disruption early this term, we are back on track with School life and events. The highlight of the annual Swimming Carnival this week was the Synch Swim Competition, an Inter-House event that defies description other than to say that it is unique, hotly contested and entertaining. Although we are now in our seventh year as

St George’s Anglican Grammar School, there are some traditions that we have carried from the days of Murdoch College, of which Synch Swim is one. At the same time, there are some events that are newer and have become valued traditions, such as the ‘On the Roof’ Concerts and the annual Colour Run. Another is the award winning Electrocity Ensemble’s participation in Perth’s Fringe Festival. These are the events that become traditions which help to build community and House spirit. We are indeed blessed to be able to combine the old with the new to become quintessentially St George’s. Lent This week, we resumed our weekly Chapel Service at St George’s Cathedral in time for the start of the season the Church calls ‘Lent’. Our Chaplain, The Reverend Sarah Stapleton conducted some of the Ash Wednesday services at school in Religious Education classes, and one service was held at the Cathedral. On Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Day as it is known by some) our students enjoyed pancakes (or were they pikelets?!) to mark the ‘end of the feast’ before Lent began on Wednesday. Part of being an Anglican school is our rich tradition of Christian worship. Whether this takes place in a classroom or in the beauty of the Cathedral, we know that we are connected to a world-wide communion of people doing the same.

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St George’s Anglican Grammar School Newsletter


2020 was a year to ‘get through’. But we would be foolish if we did not reflect on the many learnings that came from the struggles of the year. Lent is a time for reflection; that is, a time to consider not just how we can be better prepared for Easter, but reflect on what God does in and through people – in and through us - to make God’s world a better place. Each of us at St George’s play our part, making our school community a better place.

Their leadership and support are greatly appreciated across our community.

It has been an unexpected joy and challenge to step into the role of Executive Principal since early November. That said, I look forward to returning to life as the ASC’s Chief Executive Officer fulltime Congratulations to Mrs Susan Lazenby after next Susan was recently awarded a Certificate of week! The Recognition from the School Curriculum and school is in Standards Authority for her valuable outstanding contribution, hands with new leadership Principal Mrs and Tina Campbell generosity in commencing on supporting March 2. Many of you have already met her teachers of over the past month or so as she has been Literature, in the School on numerous occasions. Mrs particularly Campbell is a highly respected educational as Chair of leader who brings a wealth of experience the Literature together with a real heart for young people. Curriculum Working closely with new Chair of School Advisory Council Mr Tom Carmody, she is well placed Committee. On behalf of all teachers, staff, to lead St George’s for the years ahead. and the wider St George’s community I would like to congratulate Susan and thank her for I pray God’s blessing on all at St George’s.You all her tremendous work. We are so very remain close to my heart. blessed to have her as part of our team here at St George’s. Every blessing. As I conclude these few months of serving The Reverend Peter Laurence OAM as Executive Principal, I thank particularly Ms Executive Principal Karen van Rooyen (Personal Assistant), Mr Hilton Hardman (Head of Pastoral), Ms Vickie Kelleher (Head of Curriculum), Mrs Susan Lazenby, (Head of School Operations Acting), Ms Nicole Sangrigoli (Business Manager) and The Reverend Sarah Stapleton (Chaplain).


From the Head of School Operations - Acting Mrs Susan Lazenby

How good it is to welcome our students back to school without masks this week, although I must say that the vibrant, creative designs certainly added a brightness to the rather unexpected change in circumstances. Part of being a school in the city is also about being good neighbours. We have to be mindful of those around us as we move through the city in classes or small groups to the Cathedral, lessons at CQU, hopping on the buses waiting outside the school to go to Physical Education lessons, up to the Art Gallery, the State and City Libraries, down to Elizabeth Quay, Langley Park and Supreme Court Gardens. Quite a considerable list, isn’t it? And I have only mentioned some of the outings! Unlike suburban schools where almost all the activities happen on campus, our campus is vast and shared. In the same way, within the vertical school buildings it is also about sharing spaces respectfully and considerately. These features of St George’s provide our students with many opportunities to be good, empathetic and compassionate neighbours, a transferable skill for community living. Australian social researcher Hugh MacKay’s book Australia Reimagined, is subtitled: ‘Towards a more compassionate, less anxious society’. In a public lecture at the University of Newcastle referring to his book, he explained the personal and social impact of compassion. On a personal level, compassion ‘shifts the focus away from ourselves and onto others.’ MacKay believes that socially, the impact of compassion is ‘like a high octane fuel that runs the machinery of social capital’. He adds that it is the ‘crucial ingredient 4

in the life of any healthy, functioning community, especially the local neighbourhood.’ He defines compassion as the discipline of developing a disposition towards kindness and respect towards anyone we meet, even though we may not agree with them or even know or like them. If we practise this, he says that we can treat our neighbours, or whomever we encounter, kindly and respectfully.You can well imagine how transformational this attitude is. As I go about the School, speaking to students, teaching, observing what is happening, I see many instances of kindness, respect, inclusivity and compassion. New students tell me that they feel welcome, at home and have been treated kindly. This of course makes me even prouder to be part of the St George’s community. However, we need to be vigilant and continue to be mindful of our neighbours too. Over the next weeks, I will be reminding students of this as they go between the buildings where they have lessons, go on outings, attend Chapel, and especially in the CQU building which houses several tenants. Being good to our neighbours is fundamental, and we read of it in both the Old and New Testaments. As we reflect on what it is to be an Anglican school, we remember that being good neighbours is very much part of that identity and practice, as is developing the discipline of compassion. Already we can see this in the fundraising events our students enter with enthusiasm and joy, with their desire to be good, compassionate neighbours to the community wherever the need may be. I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming School events and especially meeting the new families at St George’s.

St George’s Anglican Grammar School Newsletter


From the Head of Curriculum Ms Victoria Kelleher

Because of my role as Head of Curriculum, and my compulsive need to overthink, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the practice of teaching and always asking the question ‘what makes a great teacher great?’ I have worked with exemplary teachers in Ireland and in Perth and I am always interested to figure out what makes them great. What I have discovered is the inherent sameness of great teachers, regardless of the context in which they are teaching. What I have found is that great teachers have more in common with each other than they possibly think. In fact, great teachers all possess the same characteristics.

knowledge or teaching skill. But we all know people who have tremendous knowledge but fail to communicate it: people who have, on paper, a great lesson, but whose students are bored or frustrated, or both! Students want teachers who they can trust will get them to where they need to be. Students want teachers who they know care for them. Students want great teachers. When we are being honest, we admit that great teaching often has less to do with our knowledge and skills than with our attitude towards our students, our subject, and our work. In my experience, great teachers all share the following characteristics:

1. Great teachers have a sense of purpose (and humour). 2. Great teachers have expectations of success for all students. 3. Great teachers know how to live with To prove the above statement, try to think of ambiguity. the best teacher you ever had. The best teacher I 4. Great teachers adapt and change to meet ever had was Mr O’Regan, my secondary school student needs. English and Geography teacher – no surprise I 5. Great teachers are reflective. am now an English and Geography teacher! Try to 6. Great teachers are comfortable with not remember what they were like, but more knowing. importantly, how they made you feel as a student. 7. Great teachers had great role models. Most Now consider the words of educator and importantly however, philosopher Parker Palmer: 8. Great teachers enjoy their work and their Great teaching is not about technique. I have asked students. students around the country to describe their great teachers to me. Some of them describe people who To add to our growing team of great teachers, I lecture all the time, some of them describe people am delighted to welcome several new staff to St who do little other than facilitate group process, and George’s who, I know, are great teachers: others describe everything in between. But all of them describe people who have some sort of connective Mr Damien Kerrigan – English/Literature capacity, who connect themselves to their students, Ms Courtney Fraser – Humanities/BME their students to each other, and everyone to the Ms Taryn Sephton – Humanities/Geography subject being studied. Mr Anthony Bochrinis – Head of Mathematics Mr Paul Smith – Mathematics When we talk about the quality of someone’s Mr Thomas Hatton – Science/Maths/Physics/ teaching, we often talk about their content Chemistry 5

St George’s Anglican Grammar School Newsletter


In this Newsletter, I have the pleasure of featuring two of our new staff members who I put on the spot with some ‘tricky’ questions. MR THOMAS HATTON

else. I’m also a big fan of school holidays! What are you excited about for 2021? I am excited for the opportunities of teaching in the middle of the CBD and being able to give our students the opportunity to avail of the unique experiences we have here at St George’s. MR DAMIEN KERRIGAN

What subjects do you teach? I teach Science and Math with a focus on Physics and Chemistry! How long have you been teaching? This is my seventh year as a teacher. I’m from Perth originally, but I’ve been working in Canberra for the last three years. I am so happy to be back in Perth though and working in such an exciting school. What made you become a teacher? I became a teacher because of the wonderful teachers and role models I had in secondary school, and I wanted a career where I could help others in the same way they helped me. What is the best thing about teaching? My favourite thing about being a teacher is getting to know the students and getting the students excited about science. I am very passionate about working with young people, and unlike some other teachers (not naming any), I can still remember what it was like to be in secondary school. Building relationships is the cornerstone of our profession, and I love having a job where I can spend every day doing that. Every day I get to talk about and teach something different. I know couldn’t do anything

What subjects do you teach? I teach English and English Literature and The IB Theory of Knowledge, which is more of a critical reasoning and metacognition subject. Much of my experience has been with the International Baccalaureate. I am happy with the match that I see between the IB learning philosophy and what we are developing here at St George’s. How long have you been teaching? It’s a sure sign that you’ve been teaching for a long time if you run out of both fingers and toes while adding it up. 2021 is my thirty second year of teaching. I began teaching when chalk was a learning forum, photocopiers were a new tech and ATM’s were still in use. It may seem surprising for me to observe that that time seems to have gone by very quickly. Over that time, I have taught in four different countries and three different educational systems, so nothing has ever remained the same for all that long. I think I am attracted to growing schools. What made you become a teacher? When I left school, I decided I wanted to travel, so I got a job, in 1984, with Dorrington’s


Bookstore. That brought me in to contact with a lot of teachers and they are therefore to blame for encouraging the fantastic notion that I carried around Europe, at 19 years of age. What’s the best thing about teaching? Kids are the best thing about teaching. They always have something new to share and some other way of seeing things. They are intensely amusing and very easy to beguile and trick. I could not stand to belong to a profession that didn’t involve working with people. Teaching involves dealing with people who aren’t good at things and often don’t feel good about that. If you are the right kind of person you can help build people up when they don’t believe that they are capable. I’m always amazed to hear what people remember about the help I gave them. I never remember any of it and often don’t even remember the people concerned, but I love the fact that it meant so much to them, at the time. Adolescence is a tricky time to negotiate and school experiences run deep, for better or worse, with people. I like to focus on making it for better. Also Teaching is also a creative and relatively autonomous profession. I wouldn’t swap that out for anything. What are you excited about for 2021? Doubling my career history of multi-city learning. Growing with a growing school. Developing city- based interdisciplinary learning projects. Having the opportunity to creatively deliver teaching in an environment that fosters creativity and difference. Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) The first round of the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) testing is scheduled for Weeks 6 and 7 of this term (Tuesday 2 March –

Tuesday 9 March). Students in Years 10, 11 and 12 who have not yet demonstrated Category 3 Standard for Numeracy, Reading or Writing will have an opportunity to do so at this time. Personalized emails have been sent home to all parents/guardians informing them of which component(s) their child is required to sit, and support classes have been organised for students to attend in preparation for this round of OLNA. Students are also encouraged to speak to their English and Mathematics teachers to obtain further assistance. Assessment Schedules Term 1 2021 Term 1 Assessment Schedules have now been sent to all families via SEQTA. These schedules may help to support your child's progress during this term. Where possible, teachers have limited the number of assessments to no more than two in a day, especially between Week 5 and Week 10 where our students will have many of their tasks and assessments. While every effort will be made to proceed with these assessments on the scheduled date, situations occur which may involve the movement of an assessment task. In this instance, teachers will negotiate a suitable replacement date with the class.

Victoria Kelleher Head of Curriculum


From the Head of Pastoral Mr Hilton Hardman

Welcome to Term 1 Our PCG and House system are central to our Pastoral Program at St George’s. Through it, we aim to focus on building a sense of community, developing resilience, offering opportunities for personal, social and emotional development and provide emotional support. This year has seen the school return to the popular vertical system which has students from different year groups meeting each morning during PCG and become closer as a group during pastoral activities run on Fridays. During specific periods of the term students will break up into Year groups for Protective Behaviour sessions and guest speakers, but for most of the term, they will stay in their PCG groups. I look forward to seeing our senior students taking on a supportive role within these groups particularly with the younger students during their initial years at St George’s. This area of care between the students is what creates a strong sense of community within the school. Term 1: Parent Guest Speaker This term, the school has secured Paul Litherland as our parent guest speaker. Paul is well known for Surf Online Safe (SOS) and his media appearances talking about the online world and students safety. 8

Paul was a Western Australia Police Officer for 20 years. He worked in a diverse range of areas during a decorated career, receiving three commendations and two nominations for Police Officer of the Year. In 2007, Paul received a Pride of Australia Medal. In 2016, Paul was awarded a National Service Medal for his continued service to the Western Australian community, and in 2018 he was nominated for Australian of the Year. In 2019, he was a finalist in the Small Business Champion Awards and also received a nomination for the Telstra Australian Businessman of the Year. He is passionate about education, which is reflected clearly in the recommendations and testimonials he receives. Paul is a regular contributor to Australian media and is a first point of contact for many national TV and radio organisations, including The Project and Australian news media. Paul’s qualifications include A+ Certification in Computer Technology, Certifications in Computer Forensics and Social Media Marketing, and a Diploma in Public Speaking. He also holds a Certificate IV in Education and numerous other qualifications in digital design and technology. Over 70 000 students, parents and educators have seen an SOS presentation. The demand for his services has increased dramatically, and this reflects the high quality of his work and the passion he has for education in this everchanging environment. Points to be covered in the session: Cyber Bullying – Legislation surrounding this and how it is affecting our kids.

St George’s Anglican Grammar School Newsletter


Digital Citizenship – Where our kids are going online, the Apps they are using and the information they are sharing. Online Footprint – How easy it is to find kids online and what they can do to minimise their risk. Social Networking and Networking in general – How the systems work and how to overcome their reach. Online Gaming and Website Use - Risks and uses. Tips & Tricks – How to keep an eye on your kids through software and hardware. Easy instructions on what we can do to keep them safe. This talk will take place on the 10 March from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm. This time includes questions at the end of the session. If you wish to attend this session, please email sgamble@stgeorges.wa.edu.au , we have a restricted number of seats available for this session.

Hilton Hardman Head of Pastoral


From the Head of Science Ms Charlotte Donovan

News from Science The Science Department warmly welcomes back all our students and new families to St Georges for 2021. We are looking forward to delivering a dynamic set of programs to engage, excite and extend you all.

This term we will have some excursions to Perth Zoo (Year 11 Biology ATAR and General, Year 12 Psychology), and a field day excursion to Kent St Weir and the Canning River EcoEducation unit (Year 9 Science).

We are working toward competing in the Brain Bee Challenge (Year 10 Nobel Pathway) plus the annual Science and Engineering Challenge competition will be run in Term 2 for some interested year 9 and 10 students. Stay tuned We welcome to the team Mr Thomas Hatton, to hear more about these events from the who will be teaching Year 8 and 10 Science,Year organising teachers. 12 Physics and Chemistry and Year 12 Maths Essentials. Mr Hatton brings with him a wealth Charlotte Donovan of experience and we are thrilled to have him Head of Science part of our Department. Congratulations to the graduating class of 2020. We are all so proud of the efforts they put in over the final years of schooling, they are a testament to the old adage that with the right attitude and work ethic, you can achieve your goals. Our Year 12 classes have started smoothly, some have already completed assessments! The Science department have invested significant time in reviewing 2020’s WACE statistics, have set clear goals and are all motivated to deliver high quality teaching and learning programs to enable our students to achieve to their best. The Nobel Pathway, the signature Science suite of electives, has commenced, with students excited about the possibilities of discovering more about the natural world, global-problem solving and effective means of communication. The Egg-Drop Challenge has proven to be a popular challenge, to start the discussion about Scientific Inquiry, persistence and communication. 9



From the School Chaplain The Reverend Sarah Stapleton

Lent I am so excited that we are finally in Lent! Lent is my favourite season of the Church. On Tuesday we celebrated the nearness of Lent with pancakes for Shrove Tuesday – the big eat-up before the lean time of Lent.

In Lent we are gifted a chance to go inside ourselves and see what is happening in the interior, in the quietness (or clamouring) of our minds and hearts. We are following the journey of Jesus, into the wilderness for forty days and forty nights. The wilderness is comfortless, which is why we are encouraged to give up something that makes us comfortable. In the discomfort of missing our chocolate, sugar, meat or coffee (insert your favourite indulgence here) we are prompted to examine our relationship with our habits, good or bad. In our struggle with temptation, we are encouraged to rely on something other than the quick-fix that calls us from the kitchen. This small struggle with consumables might seem paltry when compared to Jesus’ time in the wilderness surrounded by wild animals and a life-threatening lack of food and water, but this Lenten sacrifice is about the interior, rather than the exterior. In Lent, we are encouraged to go inside, to check-in with ourselves. In that battle with temptation over chocolate or whatever, we face our own weaknesses, and regardless of whether we fail or prevail, we come away with a new understanding of our own being.

Lent is the time when we recognise in the smallness of our sacrifice, the smallness of ourselves. Lent is the time that we anticipate in our smallness, the enormity and generosity of God’s gift to us in his Son. In the Easter act of death and resurrection, all of our smallnesses are gathered together and transformed into something powerful enough to change the world.

Blessings

The Reverend Sarah Stapleton School Chaplain


From Health and Physical Education Ms Jodie Scheele

Well, what a fabulous day we had for the 2021 Swimming Carnival. Everyone had a wonderful time and the events ran smoothly. Thank you to the staff that helped me coordinate the event and thank you to all our students who made this the best Inter-House Swimming Carnival we have had. You are all champions. We are already thinking of ways to make 2022 fantastic for all participants. Winners will be announced later today.

Jodie Scheele Head of Health and Physical Education


School News

Student Term Dates - 2021 Term 1 29 January - 01 April New Student Orientation, 28 January Students Mid Term Break, Friday 26 February

SEQTA The St George’s Anglican Grammar School SEQTA account is not a monitored platform. Please contact the staff member directly to ensure prompt action to your message.

Term 2 21 April - 02 July Students Mid Term Break, Friday 4 June

Computer Rental Agreement Computers are not always reliable and will sometimes fail and require repairs. This causes the student to sometimes go without a computer for a couple of weeks. The School can now offer free loan computers when required. Parents/guardians, please fill out and sign the agreement form here and allow the IT department 24 hours to prepare a computer for use.

Term 3 26 July - 24 September Students Mid Term Break, Friday 21 August Term 4 12 October - 9 December 2021 Enrolments The School Enrolment Policy requires one full term’s notice in writing prior to the withdrawal of a student from the School. Where such notice is not received, the School will charge an amount equal to the tuition fees for that current term. To avoid fees in lieu being charged, notice of a student’s withdrawal must be received by the School before the first day of the School Term preceding the Term of the student’s departure. If this does not occur, families will be charged the remainder of the current Term, plus an additional Terms fee in lieu.

Battery Recycling Used batteries are being collected in the IT Manager’s office. Please take advantage of this free facility. What batteries can be collected? Dry cell batteries include AA, AAA (single use or rechargeable), C, D, button batteries, 9V, 6V and cordless power tools.

What batteries cannot be collected? Lead acid batteries, such as car batteries, and mobile phone batteries cannot be collected. Please contact your local council for details of how to dispose of these batteries. More information can be found here: Upon withdrawal of a student from the School, https://www.mrc.wa.gov.au/School-community/ all fees and charges incurred for that student Battery-programs/School are payable to the School in full within seven days of exit. If the account has been paid in full and a refund is due, payment will be processed for the full refund due within seven days of exit.

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St George’s Anglican Grammar School Newsletter