Welcome back to Term 3. I hope that all members of our community had a relaxing and refreshing holiday. As always, we have an extremely busy Term 3 ahead. Our Year 12 students enter into the final term of their studies as they prepare for their external exams in Term 4. Our Year 11 students enjoyed their residential Retreat at Luther Heights in Coolum as they commenced their student leadership journey. I was privileged to be a part of this experience and I congratulate them on the positive way in which they engaged with the activities during the Retreat. Year 10 students have some important decisions to make as they consider their future pathways in their SET Plan interviews. Students in Years 7-9 are also involved in subject selection decisions this term. We also look forward to welcoming the Year 7 2024 cohort at their Orientation Day on 17 August.  Our co-curricular program also has big events planned including the “Spirit of the Arts Festival” on 29 August and the CaSSSA Cup Athletics Carnival on 14 August. This is just a small snapshot of some of the activities in store for Term 3!

It is great to be back at MSM after enjoying some sabbatical leave in Rome during the last four weeks of Term 2. I am truly grateful to the College Board for allowing me to participate in this life-changing experience. I sincerely thank Ms Ros Collier for her work as Acting Principal and to the College Leadership Team - Ms Sian Mason, Ms Sally Crothers, Ms Kate Simpson and Mr Grant Cole for their support.

Since my return many people have asked me what was the highlight – a really tough question. When you have an experience like this, the people that you share the journey with become quite special to you. Our study group had an international flavour with Principals and Catholic Education System Leaders from Australia, Ireland, Scotland, England and the United States participating in the course which was entitled “Leading Catholic Education in a Change of Era”. This led to a sharing of information about how Catholic Education is a lived experience in different parts of the world. There were many “sacred” moments for me. One of these was our encounter at St Peter’s Basilica, one of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome. We left our accommodation at 6:00am to clear security at St Peter’s Square. This allowed us to enter St Peter’s for Mass in St Peter’s Crypt at 7:00am. When we entered the Basilica there were hardly any “tourists” present. I had the privilege of standing by myself in front of Michelangelo’s magnificent marble sculpture of The Pieta. This was an opportunity to absorb the wonder of the statue (a photo really doesn’t do it justice) and the incredible surroundings of the Basilica in silence.
After Mass, we had a tour of the Basilica, which was very crowded by this point. Catholic tradition holds that St Peter’s tomb is directly below the Altar of the Confession and is the burial site of many popes.
Staffing News
Welcome back to Ms Kathy James (College Psychologist) who has been enjoying long service leave during Semester 1. As mentioned in the Spirit at the end of last term, we have two staff members on long service leave this term – Mrs Paula Brydon and Mr Peter McFadden. Thank you to Ms Ella Carstensen who has accepted the position of Acting Year 12 Pastoral Leader for Term 3.

At Tuesday’s assembly we farewelled Mr Ciaran McCallion who commences a position at another College next week.  We thank Mr McCallion for his valued contributions to MSM and wish him God’s blessings.

I am pleased to introduce the following new members of staff to our community:
  • Ms Patricia Greenland – Curriculum Leader (Mathematics Years 7-12)
  • Ms Grace Dwyer – Psychology and English Teacher
  • Ms Megan Field – Mathematics, Music and Religion Teacher (Commencing Monday 17 July)
  • Ms Jessica Garrahy – Study of Religion and Religion Teacher
  • Ms Aura Parsons – English and Humanities Teacher.
In faith and love.

Sharon Volp
Be quick! Tickets are selling fast!
This event provides an opportunity for MSM Mothers to indulge in a beautiful lunch and support the MSM Foundation’s Light the Way Capital Campaign through our raffle with some great prizes up for grabs! Gather your friends and book your table of 12, or seats now to avoid disappointment. Bookings are essential and ticket sales will close on Friday 4 August, if not sold out prior. 
Join MSM Alumni for breakfast and gain insight into their personal journey from MSM to their chosen career pathway. Throughout the morning, parents and students will be given the opportunity to speak to several Alumni from varied industries. More information to come.
We would love your help!
If you, your business or family can support this event in donating valuable products and services, we would love to hear from you.

The funds raised at the Mothers’ Lunch 2023 go to the MSM Foundation’s Light the Way Capital Campaign to assist the enhancement of new educational facilities for our MSM students.
Welcome to Term 3 for all new and existing families! I hope all our students were able to relax and rejuvenate over the break and have returned with enthusiasm and eagerness to learn.

I recently read an article about a partnership between the University of Newcastle and an independent girls' school to implement a Reading for Pleasure program for girls. The broad results of the study indicated positive outcomes for students, with 85 percent of teachers agreeing that girls benefited from regular, silent reading, with three primary themes of benefits observed by teachers: skill development, engagement, and wellbeing. Additionally, teachers observed a general development in students' comprehension, verbal and social skills, creativity, and imagination. In addition, they believed the students were better prepared to learn and engage with the curriculum.

Cultural capital is consistently encouraged at MSM because it exposes students to diverse ideas, perspectives, and modes of expression. Reading also facilitates effective communication and the development of critical thinking skills, which are necessary for appreciating diverse cultures and values.

In the past decade, there has been a steady decline in reading for pleasure. Despite the ease of access, people today are reading less compared to past generations.

Students who have less experience with long-form text and traditional media may be unprepared for the crucial task of understanding complex issues and developing critical thinking literacy skills. For a teenager who is used to jumping from one app to another and switching formats and content within seconds, the shift to focusing on one piece of text over an extended period can prove challenging. However, many future career paths and jobs still depend on the ability to focus on one subject, text, or topic for an extended period.

Parents, the next time you hear "I'm bored!" at home, suggest a visit to the MSM Library or to the Wheelers ePlatform where eBooks and Audiobooks can be accessed anytime, anywhere.  

Find what works for your child and make goals to read more together. Our qualified Library staff are always on hand to make individual reading suggestions, and the Reading tab within LibGuides contains recommendations from both the Junior and Young Adult collections. Pick up a good book, make a goal to read more, and rediscover the joys of reading!

As the research has indicated, the benefits are innumerable.
Year 11 Retreat
Our Year 11 students opened Semester 2 with a beautiful Leadership Retreat at Coolum. As part of the implementation of our new MSM Retreat Formation program, this was the first time that we have taken Year 11 students away for an overnight Retreat experience. This new Retreat signaled the formal commencement of the discernment process for Year 11 Leadership. While at Retreat, our students reflected on the following:
  • As part of a Charity community, our senior students are tasked with continuing to actively live the mission and vision of the sisters of Charity, using the story of Mary Aikenhead and the modelled values of Jesus as their guides;
  • Leadership is a service activity. It is not about power, prestige or amplifying the cause of one person. In the words of the great Winston Churchill, A leader is best fulfilled when people barely know they exist. When their work is done, their aims are fulfilled, the people will say: “we did it ourselves.”
  • It is our sincere belief at MSM that every student in Year 12 is called to leadership. Each student receives a senior badge which is blessed and worn on the school tie as a reminder of our shared commitment to our values.
  • For those who are called to lead in declared roles, the responsibility of upholding the mission and vision of the College is particularly significant. They must work as a team and with the support of the whole cohort to ensure that our community is strengthened during their tenure.
We hold our Year 11 cohort in our prayers as they continue to discern the path to leadership, and we look forward to blessing and commissioning our new SLT later in the year. I would like to sincerely thank the students for the wonderful way that they engaged with our retreat program, and Ms Volp, Ms McLaughlin, Ms Mason, Ms Bow, Ms Devenish-Meares, Ms Paterson, Ms George & Ms Bolton for so generously giving of their time in accompanying us to Coolum.
Mary Aikenhead Day
The 22nd July marks the 165th anniversary of Venerable Mary Aikenhead’s death in Dublin. She left an extraordinary legacy that continues as a global movement today. Each year, our College celebrates Mary’s life and the work of her Sisters at Mary Aikenhead Day. This year, Mary Aikenhead Day will be held on Friday 21 July (week 2). As a significant day of celebration for our community, no classes run on this day.

Our community gathers for a whole College Mass in the morning. After morning tea, year level groups will engage in a variety of service learning and community outreach activities, reminding us all of the Sisters’ fourth vow to creatively seek out and serve the poor of our time. After lunch, we will don our house colours for two special house spirit competitions. This year our Cultural Captains have arranged a sustainable fashion parade competition and our House Captains have been perfecting their dance moves ready for the interhouse lip sync battle!

Students must come to school dressed in their formal uniform but may carry their tote bag to and from school on this day. A sausage sizzle ($3) will be available at lunchtime, with all funds raised to go to Project Wakitikimi. Students will change into house colours at lunchtime but must change back into formal uniform prior to departure.

I would like to welcome all students back for Term 3 and hope that they had a relaxing mid-year break! As we get back into the swing of school, there are a few reminders that I would like to offer all students.

Semester 2 Assessment Calendars
Semester 2 Assessment Calendars have been finalised for students in Years 7 – 10 and have been released. Given that Semester 2 is shorter than Semester 1, it is vital that your daughter start planning her study commitments once she has received her calendar to give her the greatest opportunity to submit her best work. Year 11 and 12 students have their Unit 2 and Unit 4 assessment calendars and need to be revising these regularly as assessment in on the horizon!

Parent Teacher Conferences – Monday 17 July
Parent Teacher Conferences will be occurring for students in Years 7 - 12 on Monday 17 July from 9:00am – 6:00pm. The conferences will be conducted online via Microsoft Teams.

If you experience any technical issues with joining parent teacher conferences, please call the MSM Helpdesk on
07 3858 4999.

Subject Information Evenings
As we commence Semester 2, we now start to consider the 2024 academic year. Our Year 10 students will engage with their Year 11 Subject Selection Evening on Monday 24 July commencing at 5:00pm in the Sophia Centre. The evening will conclude at approximately 7:00pm. This is a very important event that provides detailed information about the QCE system as well as the various pathways on offer to students in the senior years. Students and parents will be able to engage with a variety of subject talks at this event to determine their choices moving forward with a course of study.

On Tuesday 1 August, students currently in Year 9 will have their Year 10 Subject Selection Evening. This evening gives students and parents the opportunity to speak with the Curriculum Leaders and subject teachers and ask any questions to allow them to make the best decisions they can for their academic journey. Information about this evening will be sent home to families shortly. I strongly encourage all students to get involved with these processes to ensure that they are making informed decisions about their 2024 subject choices.

Year 7 and Year 8 students will hear presentations about their 2024 elective choices from Curriculum Leaders in their Positive Education lessons on Wednesday 2 August.

All students will be required to submit their 2024 subject selections using the online platform Web Preferences. Students will receive an email after their subject selection event with detailed instructions about how to do this.

Year 10 SET Planning
This term, Year 10 students will be involved in a thorough process to assist them to choose the most appropriate courses of study for Year 11, 2024.  As part of the subject selection process, all students will be completing a Student Education and Training (SET) Plan.

SET Plan interviews will be held between Tuesday 8 August – Friday 18 August 2023. Interviews will be approximately 20 - 25 minutes. Students and parents will meet with an allocated Curriculum Leader to complete the SET Plan. This is a compulsory requirement of the senior schooling process. Bookings for a SET plan interview are now open in Parent Lounge and will close at 3pm on Friday 4 August.

Accessing Progressive Reporting in Parent Lounge
Semester 1 Report Cards were published for all students in Years 7 – 10 at the end of Term 2. Report cards give an overview of how students have performed across the semester. Detailed information about the breakdown of criteria for specific tasks and individual teacher feedback can be found under Student Details > Curricular Activities in Parent Lounge. Please click on the button below to find a guide about how to access all progressive reporting feedback.

At the end of Term 2, Year 12 students studied interpersonal processes as part of their senior psychology class. Students were given the opportunity to develop their directing skills by using Barbie and Ken dolls to create a movie showing the Duck’s phase model of relationship breakdown. Students had a great time creating fun and often dramatic scenes to explain the stages of the model.
In the final week of Term 2, our Year 9 students embraced the 1000 Hearts Project which was started by Sarah De Jonge, a Tassie mother who had a simple idea in 2016 – to make 1000 pocket-sized fabric hearts to spread some love and compassion. Her project has inspired us at MSM to become Heartists. In the making and gifting of a heart to another, we are helping to foster a global kindness community that offers a heart to people who are struggling, feeling alone, suffered trauma and who need a bit of love. 
Inspired by the Year 8 theme, Together we stand hand in hand, Year 8 students were given a piece of calico fabric to create their own bunting artwork. In each homeroom, individual bunting pieces will be strung together to form classroom decoration. Year 8 students thoroughly enjoyed the chance to be creative and also relished the opportunity to participate in the team harmony/team building games to wrap up Semester 1.

Our Year 7 students celebrated the end of their first semester at MSM with end of term activities including, Mummy Making, People Bingo and the collaborative Mosaic Door project. We look forward to seeing the end result in Semester 2! 
Meeting Updates are posted on the P&F Facebook Page and MSM Alumni Facebook Pages.
2023 P&F Events Schedule
Term 3
P&F Meeting Monday 7 August 6pm
P&F Mothers Lunch Friday 25 August 12pm
P&F Meeting Monday 4 September 6pm
Term 4
P&F AGM & Meeting Monday 6 November 6pm

2023 Term Dates

Term 2
Monday 17 April – Friday 16 June 
Term 3
Monday 10 July – Friday 15 September 
Term 4
Tuesday 3 October – Friday 24 November (Years 7-11)

Click here to view the 2024 term dates.
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
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.
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 msmnews@msm.qld.edu.au

For more information please click here
Mt St Michael's College
67 Elimatta Drive
Ashgrove, QLD 4060

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