It was a delight to welcome our students and staff back onto campus after the delayed start to the College year. Students were clearly pleased to be back at school with their friends and teaching staff have enjoyed the relationship building that face-to-face contact provides.

We have approached 2022 with a sense of optimism and enthusiasm. It has already been a busy week as we commence our more “normal” college activities. We commenced the week on Monday with an Assembly that was streamed to Homerooms. On Tuesday we celebrated the Year 12 Commissioning Liturgy, our re-imagined Opening Eucharist.  We were pleased to be able to give Year 12 Parents and Caregivers the opportunity to join the livestream so that they could see their student receive their badge. Thank you to Ms Simpson for organising this liturgy and you can read more about this liturgy in her article in this newsletter.

Our students have settled in remarkably well given the unusual start to the year on-line.  Our Year 7 Students are transitioning well to the secondary school environment and after two days of enjoying lunch together in the Sophia Centre, they are now confidently moving around the campus at lunchtime. We hold our Year 12 students in our prayers as they enter their final year of their studies at MSM. Our Year 11 students have commenced their QCE journey, and I thank the parents, caregivers and students that joined the Year 11 Information Evening on Wednesday. Thank you to Ms Crothers (Dean of Teaching and Learning), Ms Howe (Program Leader – Senior School) and Ms Lennon (Year 11 Pastoral Leader) for their presentations. Students in Years 8, 9 and 10 are immersed in their new subjects and I encourage them to make the most of every opportunity that MSM offers this year.

We are blessed with an amazing community.  A new year brings with it fresh starts, new challenges, new dreams, and expectations. We can draw inspiration from our role model, Venerable Mary Aikenhead, Foundress of the Sisters of Charity as we approach this year. In the publication Voices from the Heart, we are reminded of the qualities of Mary Aikenhead and I invite you to select one of these that speaks to you and focus on developing it throughout 2022.

Mary Aikenhead had an unshakeable faith, compassion for all, and tirelessness in the face of her own physical burdens.  She wrote that “prayer from a tired heart will be very powerful”, and that we should “try not to allow undue anxiety to weigh [us] down.  She would encourage her co-workers to: reach out to those in any kind of need – material, spiritual or intellectual; trust in God’s providence; value education in the broadest sense; learn from each other and benefit from those more experienced; be conscious of the bigger picture and have a universal vision for all; have a great sense of humour; build great relationships; treat with respect and reverence all that God has created.

In faith and love
Sharon Volp

Upcoming Term 1 Events
Tickets for the MSM Foundation International Women's Day High Tea will be released to the community on Monday 14 February. Details on how to book will be emailed to all parents.

Individual tickets and table purchases (strictly capped at 10 per table) will be available. Start planning - encourage your friends to join you for this beautiful event.

Further details of our raffle supporting the Sisters of Charity Scholarship Fund and our guest speakers for this event will be announced soon.
The Welcome to MSM Event is a great way for parents and caregivers of our Year 7 students to meet and get to know each other.
More information will be available soon.
College Leadership Team
Year 7 Snapshot

It's been an enormous pleasure this week to visit and observe Year 7 classes. The classrooms' vibrancy and bustle reflected an attitude of joyful learning. Additionally, I was pleasantly surprised by our Year 7 students' confidence with their tablet computers and stylus pens. Each student with whom I spoke had an amazing week.

Tilly expressed how much she has enjoyed meeting new people and getting to know her wonderful new teachers. Zara said that she has always loved PE but has a special fondness for HPE at MSM. Laura also enjoyed making new friends and realised how much fun Humanities is at MSM. Daisy has also embraced new friendships, while Caitlin has relished the opportunity to explore new subjects, notably English and Science.

I am now looking forward to popping into other Year level classrooms next week.
It has been so wonderful to welcome our students back to school after our short season of online learning. One of the highlights of this week was the opportunity to bless and commission our Year 12 students, and present them with their senior badges.
We were fortunate to be able to share this special moment with our Year 12 families via livestream, thanks to the hard work of our wonderful IT department.

Each student was called forward by name, a recognition of her unique worth to our community. At the conclusion of the liturgy, we prayed this blessing over our class of 2022:

May the blessing of the God of love be with you:
That you might honour and celebrate the dignity of others.

May the blessing of the God of hope be with you:
To guide and strengthen you on stormy days.
May the blessing of the God of justice be with you:
That you might be courageous enough to right wrongs and seek peaceful solutions.
May the blessing of the God of compassion be with you:
That you might learn to walk in the footsteps of Charity,
Led by the light of all who have gone before you.

May God bless and sustain you today, and all the days of your life. Amen.
Special thanks to our College Captains Eden and Georgina, our Mission Captains Millie and Imogen, our MSM Singers and staff for making this very special occasion possible.
Anniversary of the Apology to the Victims of the Stolen Generations
Sunday 13 February is the Anniversary of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Victims of the Stolen Generations. Our College marked this important day through prayer at assembly this week. Next week, some of our students will join via livestream with young people from other Independent Catholic Schools in Brisbane for a liturgy and sharing with Elders.
I am always moved by this most beautiful statue of a grieving mother from the Colebrook Reconciliation Park in South Australia, as we remember the words of Prime Minister Rudd’s historic apology:

For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry. To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry. And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture. We say sorry.
Goods Collection in Term 1: Micah Projects
In Term 1, our community will be collecting goods for Micah Projects. This year, Micah has requested assistance to collect items for women and children coming out of homelessness or domestic and family violence, and for support of the Wellspring Young Mother’s Program.
Our CAN groups and Mission Captains have some fabulous plans for goods collection this term. Keep an eye out for more information.
Valentine’s Day Dress Up Day
Our first fundraiser for this year is the Valentine’s Day dress up day. For a gold coin (or two), students are invited to bring in pink and purple accessories to wear over their uniforms while at school.  All money raised will go towards the purchase of premmie and newborn nappies for Micah Projects’ Wellspring Young Mother’s Program. Student's are encouraged to visit TEAMS for information on appropriate accessories.
New study habits for students in the Senior School
Year 11 students and families took part in the Information Evening this week. A link to the recording has been sent to all families. This link will remain active for the next week.
As part of embracing senior schooling, students need to develop study habits to suit the demands of the QCE system. A study technique that may be beneficial is 'Spaced Practice'. As senior students need to retain knowledge for their external examinations across the two years, this technique can be embraced to replace last minute habits such as cramming before an examination!
While surveys show that over 90% of students admit to cramming (i.e. leaving study for an exam the night before or even 2 nights before), brain research consistently shows that cramming is not conducive to students achieving their best results. The increased length of time between assessment items and the increased volume of content students need to retrieve as part of the QCE system, reinforces the need for students to engage in more effective study habits.
‘Spaced Practice’ is a study technique where students regularly review subject material over an extended long period of time, with the purpose being to almost forget learnt concepts before revisiting that work again. This periodic revisiting process gives students’ brains time to make connections between the ideas and concepts so knowledge can be built upon and easily recalled later. These neural connects are strengthened because a student’s brain is having to work harder to recall the information. This spaced study practice increases the chances of the subject material being stored in a student’s long-term memory. During the first few study sessions of a ‘Spaced Practice’ study schedule, students’ brains will be working hard to recall the material and the study technique will feel difficult. However, this difficulty is what leads to the information being stored in an individual’s long-term memory and the more times the work is revisited, the easier it will be to remember and build upon.
According to The Learning Scientists, students should be studying well in advance before an exam date and adopting regular ‘Spaced Practice’ study routines. Some tips for students include:
  • Start planning early – from the very beginning of the semesterSet aside some time every day, just for studying, even if your exams are weeks away. This may seem strange at first, if you are used to cramming right before an exam; but it’s just a new habit that you will get used to if you persevere.
  • Review information regularly from each class. After students review information from the most recent class, go back and study older information to keep it fresh.
  • Do not simply read class material. Use other strategies including sketching, reciting aloud, mind maps, using colours and highlighters to identify key points.
Assessment Calendars
Assessment Calendars for students in Years 10 – 12 have been made available to students this week. Calendars for students in Years 7 – 9 will be released shortly. These calendars provide an overview of all assessment requirements and it is very important that your daughter uses this document to organise her time and resources to ensure all assessment tasks are completed to the best of her ability.

After much anticipation, we were finally all together on campus as a college community. Despite vigilant use of masks, smiles all round were evident and the genuine feeling of joy was palpable. Our Year 7 students were welcomed with open arms and their relatively seamless transition to high school and onsite learning has been remarkable. I have had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of many students in break times and look forward to meeting many more over the coming weeks.

We came together as a community in our assembly on Monday and although we could not all be in the Sophia Centre, it was lovely for our Principal and College student leaders to be able to address the girls from familiar surrounds. Our student leaders were warm and impressive in their confidence and enthusiasm, with some of them presenting from isolation! The tone was a positive and promising one for an exceptional year to come.

Tuesday saw the Mt St Michael’s community celebrate the commissioning liturgy for our senior class of 2022. Congratulations to our Year 12 students who were beautifully presented and engaged meaningfully in the event.

As we continue to gain momentum and move through Term 1, I would like to highlight the following dates to put on the family calendar:

· Friday 4 March - Photo Day

· Friday 25 March - Year 7 Immunisations (round one) please return forms asap

Have a restful and wonderful weekend.

Around The College - Week 3
Students' First Day Back on Campus for 2022
Year 12 Psychology
Year 12 Psychology students participated in an online psychological investigation into the capacity of short-term memory (STM) which Miller (1956) suggests, is 7 + 2 items at any given time before the memory decays. They were subjected to two trials of 30 words each to test if the strategy of chunking items of information into different categories (e.g. apples, oranges, bananas) would increase the number of items they could freely recall compared to a strategy-free recall test (e.g. apple, tennis, computer, etc). Together online, the class processed and analysed their data and drew a statistically significant conclusion that STM capacity increased when using chunking as a strategy to recall items.
Health And Physical Education
This term Year 8 HPE students will perform, apply and refine lifesaving skills in a variety of authentic survival situations.  They will participate in a range of activities including entries, survival strokes, surface dives, survival swim, defensive positions and swim and throw rescues.  Students will evaluate and justify their choices of action in different survival situations. 
2022 Music Soiree 1

Chookas to our music students who will perform in Music Soiree 1 on Tuesday evening. The girls have been working hard in rehearsals and look forward to sharing their talents via a livestreamed event to our community. 

Queensland Youth Orchestra
Congratulations to Year 10 student, Ruby who was successful in securing a 2022 place with the Queensland Youth Orchestra Wind Ensemble, playing clarinet for the second year in a row. A truly wonderful achievement, Ruby.
SHEP Music Program
Congratulations to MSM students, Claire, Riley and Eva who participated in the State Honours Ensemble Program (SHEP) at the Griffith University Brisbane Conservatorium of Music.  

This well-respected program brings together the finest young musicians, under the tutelage of a team of eminent international and national conductors, in a world-class environment. Its pursuit of excellence defines it as the highest quality performance avenue available to young ensemble-based instrumentalists outside of the Queensland Conservatorium and the Young Conservatorium.
Snapshots from Week 3
News from the MSM Library
MSM Reads - Monday 14 February
MSM READS coincides with key literary or library events. It is an opportunity for our community to disengage from their devices and to immerse themselves in the written word by reading for pleasure.

Monday 14 February is also the start of Queensland School Library Week and Library Lovers’ Day so we are asking Home Room teachers to remind their students to bring in a book from home or to borrow one from our library beforehand. 
The Kaf News
The Kaf - New 2022 Menu
Special Menu for Weeks 3 to Week 6 of Term 1

Please be advised from Week 3 to Week 6 of Term 1 The Kaf will have a reduced selection of items available for sale. 

Click here for the current menu and items for sale
MSM College Community Groups
Please keep up-to-date with changes to meeting formats.
 P&F Meetings: Please check the Mt St Michael's College App for meeting update notifications.
Alumni Meetings: Please visit the MSM Alumni Association Facebook page for updates.
Parents and Friends Association

Please click here  for information on 2022 meeting dates and to find out more about the MSM Parents and Friends Association.

Follow the P&F on Facebook
Alumni Association

Please click here for information on 2022 meeting dates and to find out more about the 
MSM Alumni Association.

Follow our Alumni on Facebook
P&F Association
2022 Committee Executive
Vacant Position

The P&F Association needs your help. If you are interested and have the capacity to volunteer as Secretary of the Association in 2022, we would love to hear from you. This role is well supported by the other members of the Executive and the College.

For more information please visit the College website - or email  
2022 Term Dates

Term 1
Monday 31 January – Friday 1 April

Term 2
Wednesday 20 April – Friday 17 June

Term 3
Tuesday 12 July – Friday 16 September

Term 4
Tuesday 4 October – Friday 18 November (Year 12)
Tuesday 4 October – Friday 25 November (Years 7-11)

Help Support the MSM Environment Group

Support the MSM Environment Group by donating your eligible containers! Bring your containers to school or use our scheme ID when returning to your local depot. Your donations will go towards funding our current and future environmental initiatives.

Mt St Michael's College scheme ID: C10333591
Now available on the College APP!
Mt St Michael’s College is pleased to bring to you the MSM Business Directory. Accessed through our website and APP, this online portal, profiles businesses and provides opportunities to connect with the wider MSM community to promote your services, sales and special offers. 

Many business owners profiled in the MSM Business Directory are long-term friends of the College. They include current and past parents, local businesses and alumni who, together show a commitment to Mt St Michael’s College and support for MSM events, fundraisers and initiatives. 

If you would like to be included in the online MSM Business Directory, simply email

For more information please click here
Slow down!

The Brisbane City Council, in coordination with The Gap Ward Office, recently erected an additional 40 km/h school zone limit and traffic signs facing incoming traffic along Elimatta Drive and Aloomba Road following a request from Mt St Michael’s College to investigate the traffic management in the school vicinity. A safety project endorsed by Mt St Michael’s College’s Work Health and Safety (WHS) Committee.
Parents are reminded, for the safety of everyone, to DROP students off in the LOADING ZONE area outside the Ionian Centre and avoid areas marked with yellow lines which is against road safety rules. This is dangerous as it blocks other driver’s visibility and obstructs cars from moving around.
Onsite parking in the College grounds; Grantuly, undercover in the Ionian Centre and within the campus near the Sophia Centre is only permitted for staff. In consideration of our neighbours, please refrain from parking across driveways, adhere to the 40 km speed limit and be considerate of those living around the College when dropping and picking up students. Please do not drop off or pick up students within the College grounds.

In consideration for our neighbours, where possible please avoid leaving your motor running, especially when parked outside a home.
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