Term 3, Week 9 - Issue 15

From the Acting Principal

Dear St Mary’s College Community,

I am delighted to introduce and congratulate our College Leaders for 2024

College Captain SRC - Makeely J

College Captain Justice - Katija Z

Deputy Captains SRC - Georgena H & Sophia M

Deputy Captains Justice - Katie S & Sophia T

Dance Coordinator - Sofia M

Music Coordinator - Ioanna A

Art Coordinator - Montana C

Drama Coordinator  - Summa A

Sports Coordinators - Madison G & Bianca P

STEM Coordinators - Chantal D & Sirisha S

We thank the outstanding contribution of the 2023 Student Leadership Group and are sure the 2024 student leaders will rise to this new challenge. Upon reflecting on leadership with the students we know it takes courage, energy, and dedication to stand up before not only your peers but the College. I am in awe of our young leaders - they are confident, articulate, actively seeking the truth and inspirational.  

On the final day of Term 3 we focus on the College theme of ‘Connecting in, Reaching out’, where we aim to connect with the wider community beyond St Mary’s. Each care group has been preparing their Justice Day initiatives that will support local charities or our Immersion trips. We have a variety of activities, stalls and guest speakers joining us next Friday as we continue to learn, build awareness, and fundraise. Thank you for your ongoing support it is greatly appreciated.

I would also like to thank Mark Labrosciano, Acting Deputy Principal, for joining the St Mary’s Community, he has built connections and supported students, staff and parents and quickly become part of our community during the term. Thank you!

As we head into the term break at the end of next week, I wish you all a relaxing and rejuvenating break! 

Warm regards,

Kate Bawden

Acting Principal

Justice Day

Our Justice Leaders have been busy working with Service Learning, Outreach, and Immersion Coordinator, Mr Peter Batty to plan our annual Justice Day. Learning about and living into the value of justice is part of our purpose at St Mary’s College. We believe that education is about forming young people to go out and make the world a better place, through both their personal and professional lives. Already this year the College community has done an extraordinary job of committing to causes and organisations who work with humans in a variety of perspectives and dimensions.

On Justice Day, our students come together to focus on various organisations and charities that work diligently to enhance the lives of others. Following the educational focus of the morning, our school community comes together to raise money and have some fun to finish the term. Please note students will be dismissed at 1:30 pm on this day.

Each cohort is supporting the following organisations and causes:

  • Junior School: Moore Street Centre and Hutt Street
  • Year 7: Moore Street Centre
  • Year 8: Cambodia / Matakaruna Centre (educating young women)
  • Year 9: St Vincent de Paul
  • Year 10: First Nations People perspectives and issues (Link Up Program)
  • Year 11: Service Learning in our Community (Week 10 Term 2)
  • Year 12: Zonta

Junior School Highlights - Wellbeing

It is well established that social and emotional skills, such as the ability to manage one’ s emotions and get along with others, play an important role in a child's future success.

We also know that children come to school with varying abilities, temperament, life experiences and learning needs. In the Junior School, we support your child's social and emotional learning through the delivery of our WRAP program: Wellbeing, Relationships, Agency, Personal Responsibility

Lesson content and activities are inspired by the MindUp and What's the Buzz programs. We also link lessons to the Child Protection Curriculum, and incorporate Trauma-Informed Practices, Making Space for Learning and Restorative Practices for building respectful relationships.

Our Care Group Teachers create welcoming classrooms that promote positive relationships focusing on self and the acceptance of others: they support each child to grow to be their best selves and build the capacity to acknowledge individual differences. Our classroom environment is specially designed to incorporate self-regulation spaces with sensory tools and strategies on offer. Teachers, ESOs and Social Workers provide opportunities for structured play activities during our break times, these might be quiet, mindful play or active and energising activities to cater for individual needs.

Some of the strategies used in our WRAP lessons include the Incredible 5-point scale, Circle Time, and the Pulse Wellbeing Check-in. All lessons are designed and supported by evidence-based school programs such as “Way to A” , The Kamochis, Big Talks for Little Kids, Restoring Relationships, The Resilience Project, Peace Pack, and Embrace Kids.

For more information about our Junior School WRAP program, please contact Sandra Ciccarello, Junior School Director or Nicole Cremona, Junior School Leader of Wellbeing.

Farewell Jo Cains

Jo joined the St Mary’s College community in Term 1, 2013 as a College Counsellor. In 2019, with the opening of our Wellbeing Centre, Jo began a new role as the Director of Wellbeing, and in 2022, through her diverse work at the College, Jo’s role expanded to the Director of Wellbeing and Inclusion.

Jo is a valued member of our St Mary’s College Leadership Team and played a vital role in the development and success of our Wellbeing Centre. Jo was also a key member of the team that developed our unique St Mary’s Wellbeing Framework, as well as our WRAP curriculum. She developed a culture of wrap-around support, giving a voice to families and students always in partnership with external allied health professionals.

As a great leader of Inclusion at St Mary’s, Jo was instrumental in establishing our Learner Hub, a space for flexible and inclusive learning to support diverse learning needs. She also established processes to ensure updated Personalised Learning Plans for students needing support to access learning.

She has recently been appointed the position of Leader of Diverse Learning at Cardijn College commencing in Term 4, 2023. We are extremely grateful for the many contributions Jo has made to the St Mary’s College community over the past 10 years. She is a valued team member who always held students at the core of our business. Jo’s depth of experience in the Wellbeing sector will be a great asset to her new community.

Farewell Jasmin Parasiers

Jasmin started her St Mary journey as a student, graduating in 2005, and then later returning as a staff member in 2011. In this time Jas has made some incredible contributions during her time at St Mary's College. Her innovative programs have made a significant impact on our school community, creating a profound impact on our students and their wellbeing throughout their educational journeys.

Jas' initiatives such as Grounds 4 Change, Service Learning with Café Outside the Square (Food on the Table), Digital Twin, and the Bee Project, have connected our College community to industry and outreach programs.

Her contribution in establishing the Learner Hub at St Mary's College will serve as a model for other schools in South Australia and beyond. Her work will undoubtedly provide future students with an individualised and supportive education option, enriching their educational experiences. Jas' unwavering dedication to personalised education and her commitment to fostering flexibility in learning have been nothing short of inspiring.

We have no doubt that Jasmin will continue to be a force for positive change in the world of education, and we eagerly anticipate the many successes that lie ahead for her and the students she will impact. Thank you, Jas, for your extraordinary contributions to St Mary's College.

Planning for 2024

At St Mary’s College, we look forward to a long-term partnership with families in the education and formation of your daughters. Whether you begin in Reception, Year 7, or somewhere in between, we want all our students to finish their time as St Mary’s Year 12 graduates.

We are currently building our timetable for next year, forming classes and finalising staffing. If you are planning a change of school in 2024, now is the time to let us know. Please email the Acting Principal - kate.bawden@stmarys.sa.edu.au, or our Registrar enrolments@stmarys.sa.edu.au

As always, the Leadership Team is available to discuss your child's learning and wellbeing. We can also support you when finances are a concern. At the moment, we are planning for all our students to continue, and we look forward to nurturing their growth into a new year level.