The end of Term 1 is rapidly approaching. As I reflect upon the last nine weeks it is easy to let the events such as the delayed start to the school year, an unpredictable weather event that led to flooding and the illness and isolation created by COVID dominate our perception of the term. There have been many wonderful events and achievements that have been celebrated and have captured the positive spirit of MSM. There are many wonderful stories in this final edition of the Spirit for Term 1.
Year 7 Parent “Welcome to MSM”
Last night approximately 100 Year 7 Parents/Caregivers attended the “Welcome to MSM” function at Walkabout Creek. This event which is hosted by the P and F was postponed from 25 February and I would like to thank Natalie Chadud (P and F President) for the warm welcome that she extended to our families. MSM Leadership Team members, Kate Simpson, Sian Mason and Sally Crothers and I, enjoyed the opportunity to informally engage with parents/caregivers and to “check in” to see how their children are settling into life at MSM.
I am very pleased to welcome Sr Cate O’Brien, Sister of Charity, back to MSM. Sr Cate commenced this week in a part-time role providing pastoral support to the College Leadership Team, staff and families. Sr Cate has previously served at MSM in 1993 and 2013. It will be wonderful for our students to be able to engage with Sr Cate and she has already introduced herself to the students at this week’s Middle School Assembly and reacquainted herself with many members of staff. Welcome back Sr Cate!
It is with sadness that I announce the resignation of Maryann McDougall, Finance Manager, who will finish on Thursday 7 April 2022. Ms McDougall commenced at the College in January 2012 and has interacted with every parent/caregiver in the College and often has been privy to many private family situations which she has handled with great care and sensitivity. She is also the proud mother of two MSM Alumnae. We thank Ms McDougall for her dedication to MSM and wish her all the very best for the next exciting chapter of her life.
We welcome Ms Nadine Gagliardi to the role of Director of Finance. Ms Gagliardi has already commenced her transition into the College and will officially commence on 1 April 2022.
Ms Nicola Crawford has resigned from her position as Director of Literacy effective as of the end of the school holidays. Ms Crawford has done an outstanding job in leading the English Department and I am delighted that she is going to remain on staff in a teaching role.
Congratulations to Ms Treasa Kennedy who has been appointed to the role of Curriculum Leader – English commencing next term. Ms Kennedy is a highly experienced English teacher and Head of Department and we are excited that she is joining our staff.
I would like to invite parents/caregivers to attend our Easter Liturgy that will be held on Friday 1 April commencing at 2.15 pm in the Sophia Centre. As a Catholic community, this event is very significant.
International Women’s Day High Tea
It was a fabulous gathering of the women of MSM at our 12th annual IWD Foundation Mother-Daughter High Tea which was held on Friday 11 March and was well attended. Thank you to Sr Cate for opening the proceedings by leading us in prayer. This year we welcomed two of our Alumni as speakers. Jasmine Armstrong (Class of 2021 and Dux of the College) addressed the theme #BreaktheBias with a passionate speech. Jasmine is studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at UQ.
Our keynote speaker was Claire Brown (Class of 2004) Claire has an impressive biography. She is an international human rights lawyer who has spent the last decade working on human rights and justice, with a focus on gender and women’s rights, in Africa and the Middle East. Claire is currently based in Beirut, Lebanon. Her work has included supporting activists and victims of crimes to demand justice, helping to write new laws, conducting research and writing reports about key human rights issues and challenges, and conducting trainings with governmental, civil society and legal partners on gender and the rule of law in Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya, Lebanon and Bangladesh.
Jasmine facilitated a Q&A session with Claire at the conclusion of her address and it was wonderful to see this community engagement.
Thanks you to the Guitar Quartet who provided some entertainment during the function. I would like to acknowledge the wonderful efforts of the P and F Mothers’ Lunch Committee who presented me with a cheque for $23 000 for the Sisters of Charity Scholarship Fund. I would like to thank Danielle Ferris (Director of Marketing, Communication and Development) for her efforts in organising this event.
Please note that the final day of school, Friday 1 April, is a full school day. The first day of Term 2 for students is Wednesday 20 April.
I wish all our families a Happy and Holy Easter. May the joy and peace of the risen Christ be with you.
In faith and love
A big thank you to the MSM community for supporting our 2022 MSM Foundation International Women's Day High Tea and raffle. All proceeds from our event are directed to our Mt St Michael’s Sisters of Charity Scholarship Fund.
If applying interleaving successfully, students (and teachers), should resist the temptation to repeat the exact same process multiple times in a row. Instead, the practice of new processes should be interwoven with other previously learnt skills and processes. This switching causes an interruption to repetitive practice and forces the brain the think more critically about what strategy to use to solve the problems.
For example, when solving mathematics equations, students will typically complete five of the same problem, or 10 of the same problem. Instead of doing that, they should try to complete different problems in different orders. Another approach could be if students are learning to calculate the area of a triangle, instead of having them do 20 problems with triangles, have them do one with a triangle, then one with a circle, then a triangle, then a square.
This approach is more challenging, so students may potentially make more errors initially, but they will also be learning something very important, which is how to choose a particular strategy for each problem, as opposed to just repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again.
As we begin to head into the busy end of the term, I want to reflect upon the purpose of drafting. It is important to make the distinction between feedback given as part of the teaching and learning process and structured feedback given as part of developing an assessment response. The purpose of drafting is to provide students with feedback so that improvements can be made to the assessment response. Drafting is a consultation process, not a marking process. Teachers do not award a notional result or level of achievement for student work that is in draft form.
What is a Draft?
A draft is a preliminary version of a student’s response to an assessment instrument. The quality of a draft may vary from a brief outline to a response that is nearing completion. A draft can be used to provide feedback on a response as well as to authenticate student work.
When submitting a draft, students may be required to:
What sort of Feedback will be provided?
Teachers will provide feedback on a maximum of one draft of each student’s response. Continual feedback on multiple written scripts will not be provided as it is not an effective way of assisting students to develop independence.
Feedback on a draft must not compromise the authenticity of student work. Teachers may not introduce new ideas, language or research to improve the quality of student responses. Similarly, teachers may indicate some key errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation and calculations, and remind students that the draft requires more editing, but should not edit or correct all errors in a draft.
Students may be advised to:
All assessment instruments indicate the required length of a response as a word length, duration of time, or page count. This information is provided to:
Teachers may use a range of suitable strategies to provide feedback on the draft response. The strategy chosen may differ depending on the mode of response. Possible strategies include:
It is then the student’s responsibility to act upon the feedback that they have been given. I hope that as we begin to move into the business end of term that students are working towards submitting their best drafts to get feedback on how to improve. This is particularly pertinent for our Year 11 students as we approach the mid-semester break as our senior students no longer operate on a term-by-term basis – they will have drafting to complete over the mid-semester break as Unit 1 will conclude at the end of week 4 in Term 2.
Interim Reports for students in Years 7 – 12 are now available in Parent Lounge. These reports provide information on your daughter's learning habits in her subjects from Term 1. The details for the criteria are on the report. Contained in this report is an indication if your student's teacher would like to meet with you at the upcoming Parent Teacher Conferences.
Parent Teacher Conferences
Parent Teacher Conferences for students in Years 7 – 10 & Year 12 will be occurring on Tuesday 19 April from 10.00am – 8.00pm and on Tuesday 24 May from 3:30pm – 7:00pm for students in Year 11.
The conferences will be online via Teams. Bookings for the Years 7 – 10 & Year 12 conferences are now open in parent lounge and close next Wednesday 30 March at 3:00pm.
National Day for Action Against Bullying
Friday 18 March marked National Day for Action Against Bullying and was a great success at MSM, the vibrant flash of orange could be seen in hair and on ties across the college. It is a day when we recognise the harm that bullying behaviours can have on individuals and communities alike. We are all called to reflect on how our words and actions may be perceived by others and reignite a commitment to building and maintaining positive relationships. The issue of bullying is one that requires ongoing education and reflection to enable young people to restore relationships and develop strategies that promote inclusion and respect. It is also essential that we challenge the culture of not ‘snitching’ and become confident to call out wrongdoing and tackle the problem head on. At MSM we work in partnership with parents to model appropriate responses to incidents to ensure a safe environment for our students. I encourage families to talk openly about the importance of kindness as well as seeking assistance from teachers if any challenges present.
Last Thursday evening a group of the Mt St Michael’s College Student Leadership Team attended a leadership event at St Rita’s College, Clayfield. The students had the opportunity to build connections with other Student Leaders from Catholic girls’ schools across Brisbane. The evening was full of vibrant conversation and the buzz of a generation emerging with a passion for social justice. We heard from a guest speaker, First Nation’s woman, Yarraka Bayles who regaled the captive audience with her family’s story bringing home the continuing impact of the Stolen Generations and touching on her son’s experience of bullying. Her engaging and accessible story telling left an obvious impression on all attendees, sparking intelligent questions and subsequent conversation. This was a wonderful event for our leaders who represented the College with pride and dignity.
Congratulations to all Middle School students who presented, performed, or received awards during our Middle School Assembly. The Year 9 Homeroom Captains demonstrated outstanding leadership today in leading Years 7, 8 & 9 in the first Middle School Assembly for 2022. During this time, we were able to celebrate the achievements of our students across all dimensions of MSM College life. These ranged from the Years 7 & 8 choir, Year 9 HPE aerobics, Year 9 Disco dancing, Mission Appeal, Year 9 Japanese activities around ‘Girls Day’ and the work of the Japanese Club. Special commendations also went to those students who are utilising Breakfast Club to consolidate their learning and all recipients from Years 8 & 9 who received a Principal’s Award for Excellence, Commitment and Most Improved in their studies for Semester 2, 2021.
The Year 12 Breakfast function on Thursday 24 March was a great success with students producing delicious breakfast boxes for staff and parents. Inspiration was drawn from their breakfast excursion. Students trialled various breakfast appropriate recipes before deciding on the final menu. Tea, coffee and a range of juices were served with takeaway breakfast boxes. Some of the items on offer were Sweet Potato Pancakes served with candied sweet potato and ricotta cream, mini prosciutto quiches and a breakfast staple, the Big Breakfast.
Debating Season has begun at MSM with our Year 8, 9 and 11 teams competing and recording three wins from five debates in Round 1.
Our 12.2 Debating Team put up a strong fight for their first debate for 2022. With an onslaught of setbacks leading up to the debate, the team ‘Took a Chance’ on themselves and their own competence and confidence. Even though they didn’t come out with a win, they held their heads high and had a laugh along the way. Impressive stuff!
Congratulations to Team 9.1 who won their Round 2 debate and our 11.1 and 11.2 teams who both came away with wins for Round 2.
We wish our 12.1, 9.2 and 8.1 teams all the best at their upcoming events in the next week.
The girls should be commended for their efforts in preparing for their events and their ongoing commitment to Debating at MSM. The students always show great sports(wo)manship when competing and represent our community very well. We wish to thank our Alumni who have returned as Debating Coaches to share their knowledge and skills with our teams, they are doing a competent and confident job!
Monday 31 January – Friday 1 April
Wednesday 20 April – Friday 17 June
Tuesday 12 July – Friday 16 September
Tuesday 4 October – Friday 18 November (Year 12)
Tuesday 4 October – Friday 25 November (Years 7-11)