Term 4, Week 3 - Issue 17

From the Principal

Dear St Mary’s College Community,

Our Year 12 cohort of 2023 reached their first milestone in the end of school life last week with their final  formal lessons. We had two wonderful community celebrations to mark the occasion, an awards assembly and a final mass for the Year 12 cohort.

My address to the students was inspired, in part, by my recent pilgrimage to the lands of St Dominic. For nearly seven years as Principal of St Mary’ s College, I have learnt about the life of Dominic and the early communities. It was wonderful to walk in the lands where Dominic was born, raised, and educated. And then eventually ministered and formed his first communities.

Before we began our pilgrimage, we met with a Dominican sister in Madrid. She described Dominic as a man of wide horizons; she believed this was instilled in him in the places he grew up and in the lands where he studied and ministered. Towns and villages were often built on hills or outcrops, and all had a church tower to climb that allowed visibility for miles. It was very easy to get a sense of the wide horizon that would have been part of the place that shaped Dominic.

The image in the photo shows the wide horizon from a hilltop in Fanjeaux, southern France, looking out towards Prouille, where the first community of Dominican Sisters was established.

The photo does not come close to capturing the majesty of the landscape and the feeling of awe and infinite possibility looking out across the land.

Our Year 12 community stand looking towards an infinite horizon. I hope that as they finalise assessments and graduate later this year, they keep awareness of the wide horizon that lies ahead, embracing the sense of possibility. At the same time, knowing they only have to approach it one step at a time.

I am sure Dominic never considered that at some point, over 800 years into the future, a group of students in Adelaide, South Australia, would be learning in a school founded in his charism. Dominic simply focused on the next bit, grounded in study, service, and community, and trusting in the power of prayer and the grace of God to nurture him along the way.

Here's to being people of wide horizons!

Warm regards,

Clare Nocka


Middle School WRAP Showcase and Rite Journey Ceremony

On Wednesday 15 November, our St Mary’s Middle School students will showcase the learning they have engaged with during the 2023 school year. During the showcase, our Year 7 and 8 parents will have an opportunity to hear from our students and teachers and view the work they have completed in WRAP and other subject areas. 

The Year 9 cohort will celebrate their final ceremonies to conclude the Rite Journey program, including a presentation by each Care Group, a final challenge, and some time with their families. The evening will also provide all Middle School families with an opportunity to hear our Middle School music students perform and to view some of the performing arts and visual artworks completed throughout the year.

The evening will conclude with an opportunity to mingle and share some light refreshments with our Middle School families and staff

Please click here to register your attendance.

Andrew Footner, Director of Middle School

Mathematics Learning Area Highlight

Our mathematics curriculum follows the Australian Curriculum (Reception to Year 10), which promotes excellence and encourages students to become confident and creative individuals who are successful lifelong learners. It sets out the essential knowledge, understanding and skills students need to learn and the quality of learning expected of the students as they progress through the first 11 years of schooling.

The Australian Curriculum is designed to prepare young people for the future world in which they will learn and prepare them to respond to the challenges that will continue to shape their lives.

We are proud to highlight some examples of mathematics at our College:

Maths Help

Students from Years 7 to 12 attend Maths Help each Tuesday and Wednesday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm. Maths teachers provide students with maths homework support and explanations of concepts. The space is friendly and relaxed, allowing students to move ahead with their maths learning.

Year 9 Barbie Bungee Jump Investigation

Year 9 students were asked, "Do you think the length of the cord and the size of the person matters when bungee jumping?”

After a brief introduction, students were informed they would create a bungee jump for a Barbie doll. Their objective was to give Barbie the greatest thrill while still ensuring that she was safe. This meant she should come as close as possible to the ground without hitting the floor.

Students conducted an experiment, collected data, and then used the data to predict the maximum number of rubber bands that should be used to give Barbie a safe jump from a height of 400cm. Students tested their conjectures by dropping Barbie from this height.

We provide many opportunities to engage students kinaesthetically with mathematics in real-world contexts and delight in the valuable learning that is achieved.

Gail Morgan, Mathematics Learning Area Leader

Premier League Coaching Announcement

Congratulations to St Mary's staff members, Amanda Shattock and Laura Gilbert, on their recent Head Coach appointments at Matrics Netball Club. Please read our interviews with them below:

What is your current role at Matrics and your history with the club?

Amanda: I am the 2024 Premier League Head Coach at Matrics. This will be my eleventh year at Matrics, having previously held the following roles:

  • Head Coach of the Matrics Premier League Reserves
  • Head Coach of the State Under 19 team in 2022, winning Silver, and in 2023, winning Gold
  • Assistant Coach of the State Under 17 and 19 teams
  • Head Coach of the State Under 15s for seven years, winning Gold in 2018 and 2019.

Laura: I am the 2024 Head Coach of the Premier League Reserves at Matrics and hold an Advanced Coaching Accreditation. After 18 years at the club as a player and coach, I have been made a Life Member. I have also previously held the following roles:

  • Head Coach of the AMND League (Adelaide Metropolitan Netball Division) team
  • Assistant Coach of the State Under 17 and 19 teams
  • Squad Manager for the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI).

What do you love most about coaching?

Amanda: Being able to work with and train athletes and coaches of all levels, supporting them to be their best both on and off the court. This helps me strive to be the best coach I can be to support my athletes. I love netball, and being involved at every level allows me to give back to the local community through Matrics and St Mary’s College.

Laura: Supporting and developing athletes to improve and perform at their full potential and applying tactical strategy in training and games. I also love meeting and working with various staff, athletes, and people in our community.

What does your experience mean for our Netball Academy?

We will continue to develop our knowledge by working collaboratively with other coaches, gain experience coaching in the leading competition in SA and refine our tactical strategies. This can then be translated to our students, who can benefit from our support, high-performance training environments and quality feedback in games. It also gives us an understanding of what is required to play in the Premier League and to equip students with the behaviours, skills, and mindset to progress through the Netball Australia pathway.