Middle School News - March 2019

Middle School News - March 2019

Middle School News – March 2019

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Encouraging student voice enables the girls to contribute their collective perspectives and be active participants in the School community. Earlier this term, the Year 9 cohort met to determine what themes and related values they wanted to explore and express in order to give inspiration and direction to the Middle School. The theme for Term 1, Get Amongst It, was chosen to encourage girls to try new things and have the courage to make the most of opportunities and get involved in school life.

This week, the Year 9 Student Leadership Team has embraced the philosophy of Non Nobis Solum by organising different activities designed to heighten awareness of how the School values apply to everyday life both in and out of the school environment. The girls continued the tradition of celebrating Shrove Tuesday by the cooking and serving of pancakes to the School community, while at lunch time the Year 9 House Leaders organised a series of pancake races. Working together as a team, the girls learnt how their combined efforts can produce greater results, enabling them to experience a sense of shared accomplishment.

In the wake of the recent devastating floods in North West Queensland, Year 9 girls have undertaken a number of initiatives to raise awareness and funds for flood affected families. They will be selling blue tear-shaped ribbons, to be worn as a symbol of support, and have organised a raffle to support Cloncurry-based charity, Sisters of the North, to distribute funds directly into these communities. Students will be selling the raffle tickets at school and they are also available for sale from the Middle School Centre. Parent support of their efforts would be greatly appreciated.

The inaugural House event, So You Think You Can Dance, provided a rich learning experience as well as a lot of fun for the girls. Involvement helped to foster connectivity between year levels, as well as promoting teamwork, House spirit and a sense of camaraderie. Each House created a truly wonderful performance, with Karragaroo being declared the winners in a tightly fought contest. House Leader, Poppy-Jane Todd encapsulates the event with her comments.

The Inter-House So You Think You Can Dance competition was an event filled with not only incredible singing and dancing from every house, but also one which nurtured inclusion and involvement, connections between grades, appreciation of girls’ artistic talents as well as boundless amounts of house spirit. However, although the girls looked and sounded effortless in their performances, much time, effort and hard-work had gone into these highly polished presentations. Rehearsals began a little under four weeks ago, when girls started working enthusiastically during their house times, ‘TS’ sessions and lunches. This was a perfect opportunity for new girls in the Middle School to form connections and begin to embody the theme of ‘get amongst it’. This theme, chosen by the Year 9 Leadership Team, is all about involvement and active participation in the wider school and house community, and so this event was the perfect way for the girls to embody this message while having a fun time. Speaking about the event, Kenina Murtagh from Year 9 expressed that “the festival was an amazing new way to meet girls in younger and older grades within houses. It was so fun coming together as a big family to rehearse and eventually perform for the School, and an added bonus was the countless new friendships we all formed along the way. Whether it be singing your heart out or dancing like no one is watching, the event not only showed everyone’s individuality, but also brought us closer together, not only as a house, but also as a School.” In the end, although each house presented two outstanding performances, Karragaroo took home the coveted prize for the overall winner of the day. However, Melaleuca and Banksia definitely proved very strong competition and must be applauded for their continued spirit and sportsmanship.

Homework is intrinsically linked to, and grows out of work done in the classroom. The development of effective study habits, including a regular homework routine, is expected. Homework is used to complement the study of each subject, while study aims to increase student understanding and knowledge through encouraging ongoing, independent learning. Homework tends to be task-oriented, teacher-directed and has a set completion date. Study tends to be student-centred, self-initiated and should be ongoing in nature. The Student Diary should be used to note all homework tasks along with due dates for assignments, assessment tasks and tests/exams. Parents are encouraged to take an active interest in their daughter’s homework and study by helping ensure that she uses the Student Diary effectively and that she undertakes a regular homework pattern. Parents can assist by:

  • providing a quiet time and place for study
  • ensuring that their daughter has some rest and relaxation time
  • where there are concerns, notifying the subject teacher, Head of Faculty or Head of Year.

For students who would like additional assistance to enhance their confidence and to consolidate their learning, After-School Tutorials are available. These include: Mathematics, English, Science, Languages and the Homework Club.  Tutorials operate on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons between 3.30 and 4.30pm; the girls have been emailed the schedule which parents can also view on the website. Accessing the Library after school and the Tutorial sessions are key tools to support student learning.

The National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) for Years 7 and 9 will be conducted on Tuesday 14, Wednesday 15, and Thursday 16 May. For planning purposes parents need to be aware of these dates, as it is important that your daughter attends school on these days.

Susan Sanburg
Head of Middle School

Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Hope, Grace