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Issue 11, 2015

From the Principal

Consilii Centre

When the doors of the new Consilii Centre were opened to students for the first time on Tuesday 4 August 2015 some of the descriptive phrases used by the girls included “futuristic”, “like a University” and “awesome”.

After two years of planning and eighteen months of building, this state-of-the-art facility is now providing our students with flexible modern, learning spaces for Science and Humanities & Social Sciences. The Consilii Centre has four floors:

Lower Ground Floor – change rooms, bus parking and plant room

Ground Floor – Six Humanities & Social Sciences classrooms and the Forum, which will provide a space for combining classes for guest speakers, such as Dr Chris Smith of the BBC show  ‘Naked Scientist’, who is visiting us next week to speak with a number of our senior Science students.  The Forum will also enable communication between students and specialists in their field, for example, Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield spoke with senior students who will be attending the 2016 NASA trip and Year 5 students this week, via video link.

First Floor – The Super Lab in a central area surrounded by three studio classrooms and Laboratory Preparation Area. The innovative Super Lab provides a spacious open laboratory for multiple classes to conduct practical work. Students complete theory sessions in the studio rooms and move into the Super Lab for experiments. All students in the Years 5-8 IGNITE program used this space for a problem solving experiment during their showcase last week. It was wonderful to see the Junior School students using these spaces.

Second Floor – Six specialist laboratories, one each for Biology and Physics and two each for Chemistry and Human Biology, with practical and theory stations within each laboratory. This ensures senior students studying these specialist courses have access to a wide range of resources and equipment. The balcony, adjoining the biology laboratory incorporates a greenhouse and also abseiling facilities for Outdoor Education.

These wonderful facilities will support the continued growth of Middle School and Senior School Science courses at the College in addition to Science electives introduced in the past three years, Mythbusters, Science Quest, Marine Studies and for the first time in 2016, BrainSTEM, a new elective studying the brain and biotechnology.

As Professor Lyn Beazley, Western Australian Chief Scientist (2006-2013), stated “whatever their background, people need to have an understanding of science because they will have to face issues such as whether to immunise their children, whether to eat genetically modified crops, use of stem cell therapy or promoting renewable energy projects. We need to have an understanding of all of these areas and more, to be active participating citizens of Australia and the world.”

We hope these wonderful facilities will inspire our students to reach new heights in both Sciences and Humanities & Social Sciences.


Athletics Carnival

Our Athletics carnival was held on Monday 3 August in beautiful sunshine at the State Athletics Centre. The girls displayed great House spirit cheering on all competitors regardless of their place. The Year 12 House captains showed great leadership, assisted by the House Coordinators. Congratulations to overall winners Dillon House and to each of the girls who were Champion and Runners Up for their year group. A big thank you to Ms Wood for her coordination of this very successful carnival.

Full details, records and photographs from the carnival can be found here.

Best Wishes and God Bless.

Mrs Jennifer Oaten, Acting Principal


Sisters of Mercy

MaintainingMary Reynolds our mercy values and heritage is paramount in identifying who we are as a College community. Equally, we ensure we make and maintain as many links as possible with the present Sisters of Mercy as possible.

In the past week, there have been two very special events.

On Thursday 6 August, fifteen of our staff members attended a talk at Mercedes College by Sister Mary Reynolds, visiting from Ireland. Mary Reynolds is the Executive Director of the Mercy International Association. In this capacity, Mary leads, integrates, develops and manages the Mercy International Association in accordance with the MIA vision.

Mercy International Association is an international faith-oriented organisation of Sisters of Mercy serving in forty-seven countries worldwide and committed to those who suffer from poverty and other forms of disadvantage, especially women and children.

Mary worked for many years in the forefront of education ministry. She taught 12-18 year old students in a variety of schools and served for a number of these in the role of Principal. Mary has also held roles on Boards of Governors and Trustee Boards. She was joint Director of the Education Desk of the Conference of Religious of Ireland and a founding member of the Catholic Schools Partnership (CSP), an association established by the Irish Bishops’ Conference and the Conference of Religious of Ireland, to foster coherence in Catholic Education at a national level. It aims to provide a unified voice for Catholic Education in the public forum and with educational bodies and the Government, as well as supporting Catholic Educators and those who hold roles of governance, trusteeship and management.

Mary’s Presentation

Sometimes an age old concept is phrased in a new way and we are jolted into a fresh understanding and appreciation of what is involved. Pope Francis has a knack of doing just that and I think he caught our imagination with his wonderfully invented word mercy-ing. In turning the noun into a verb, a sentiment into an action, Francis calls us not only to have mercy or to show mercy, but to embody mercy. The word emphasises the active element of mercy, as a force that binds us, compels us, and enables us to love one another more fully.

However, long before Francis invented the word mercy-ing, Catherine McAuley was on a mercy-ing mission. Inspired by the Gospel and moved by compassion for the plight of the poor in Dublin, especially the plight of women, she took action in the early 1800s to remedy the situation. With her selfless spirit and her new found inheritance, she envisioned a way to raise up the status of women through education and training.

Mary then outlined why education was so important to Catherine McAuley. How the Mercy message of Francis was foreshadowed in a very practical way by Catherine, both in her spirituality and her practical outreach to those in need of God’s compassion. How the ministry of education today can actually activate what Francis challenges the world to do – to make the corporal and spiritual works of Mercy active in our world

The presentation was highly acclaimed by all who attended as articulated by one of our staff members, Mrs Tania Hicks. “Sister Mary Reynolds’ message was really interesting and affirming. I especially liked her discussion of the ‘new poverty’ we face in young people lacking meaning in their lives. Also, her reference to education being about growing in wisdom through relationship, as against the mere transmission of knowledge, such a pertinent message to teachers.”

Sister Mary was also the keynote speaker at the Sisters of Mercy Community meeting held at the College on Saturday 8 August. This was one of five such gatherings held at Santa Maria throughout the year. As a school community we feel privileged to host these events and very keen to offer the College facilities, IT support and catering as required.

As well as the community meetings, a number of the Sisters have chosen to celebrate their jubilees at the College. Recently Sister Kathy Kettle celebrated twenty-five years as a Sister of Mercy with a Mass presided over by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe in the College chapel followed by a meal in the Mercy Community Room. On 26 September there will be six Sisters of Mercy celebrating special jubilees during Mercy Day celebrations, ranging from twenty-five years to sixty years as a Sister of Mercy. We congratulate and honour all Sisters of Mercy and thank them for the legacy they have left us.

Mrs Helen Chaffer, Deputy Principal, Mission


The first few weeks of Term 3 have indeed been a great time of celebrating our learning experiences across the College. We have had a vibrant festival of colour and culture with both Arts Week and Languages Week taking centre stage. It has also been wonderful to see our IGNITE program showcase student learning in the new Science facilities. The girls really enjoyed the collaborative nature of the activities and the opportunity to mix with different age groups. It is also a special time for our Year 12 girls as they enter their final five weeks before mock examinations begin. I spoke to the girls today about the importance of organising their plan, prioritising their time and entering these last few weeks with a focused approach.

Mrs Carol Bell, Acting Deputy Principal of Teaching & Learning

 Collaborating – 21st Century Learning

IMG_2351In a framework of 21st  Century employment skills ( 2015) the abilities to communicate and collaborate were considered to be two of the four most important skills for future employment. To this end a wonderful opportunity for intentional collaborative learning between classes has become available at the College. With the opening of the Consilli Centre, the plaza level of the Sawle Literature & Research Centre is now available for classes to combine and work with several teachers at once, building their inquiry skills and learning to collaborate effectively in day to day classes.

Last week, teachers from the Year 7 Humanities & Social Sciences learning team combined three classes of students who worked with the assistance of their class teacher, a Teacher Librarian and members of the Digital Learning team on their Ancient China Historical Inquiry. Girls in these three classes were grouped according to the Dynasty they were investigating and armed with the Inquiry Process, books, websites and online databases teachers worked with groups facilitating individual inquiries at the point of need.

The large open space easily accommodated the three classes and allowed students to spread out and work in small groups or one on one with teachers. Students were able to work with others who are not in their regular classes. Easy access to books, printing and scanning allowed all students to work easily and effectively together.

“I really liked this morning, because when we sat at our dynasty tables the other people on our tables were all talking together. It was really good how we traded answers and talked about the same dynasty together!” – Jenna Clark (Year 7, O’Reilly)

The Humanities & Social Sciences Department and the Sawle Literature & Research Centre have developed an initiative of regularly collaborating together for inquiry tasks, now expanding the collaboration to include the Digital Learning team. The plaza is providing space for a rich environment for inquiry in the HASS learning area.

A special thank you to Miss Kimberly Maslin for liaising between staff to organise the lesson.

Mrs Tracey Rouhiainen co-Head Sawle Literature & Research Centre, Mr Stephen King, Head of Humanities & Social Sciences and Mrs Lisa Winkler, Head of Digital Learning


On Tuesday 4 August the girls involved in our IGNITE program participated in an IGNITE showcase, where they had the opportunity to work together and show each other the amazing projects they have completed. The girls were placed in mixed year groups and had to design a motorboat comprised out of a styrofoam cup, cardboard and elastic bands. The girls then got to trial their boats, and the results were amazing!

After a great showcase afternoon, the Year 6 IGNITE girls enjoyed a morning at Kings Park Naturescape on Wednesday 5 August. The invaluable knowledge they obtained will help them complete their own playground designs this term.

Mrs Melanie Lee, Head of Enrichment Centre

Student Life

Senior School

Term 3 is well underway and Senior School students have been engaged in a number of exciting pursuits this term. On Thursday 6 August, the Year 12 student leaders, under the direction of Mr Morris, staged a very successful Purple Bra Day. The College was decorated with purple bras and streamers. During recess, Year 9 students ran a cake stall and some Year 12 students showed off their ball gowns in the annual fashion parade, accompanied on the catwalk by male staff members. During lunch, an energetic Brasketball match between staff and students took place. A sausage sizzle at lunchtime was a sellout. This is a popular annual day with free dress the go but only if it’s purple. This year, the total raised for Breast Cancer WA was $3714.50.

Year 10 students are well underway with their dancing lessons with Aquinas and everyone is enjoying the chance to acquire new dance moves and socialise at the same time. This year the Year 10 Social will be held at Santa Maria on Friday 28 August. Ms Jansen is working with the student leaders on some decorations for the social. Course Selection interviews have concluded and Year 10 students can look forward to some engaging academic programs next year in both the ACCESS and ATAR pathways.

Year 11 students, as part of their pastoral program, have enjoyed hearing about life as a musician from Helen Shanahan who is an Old Girl of Santa Maria (Class of 2005). Helen wowed students with a lunchtime concert. Miss Waterhouse, Acting Head of Year 11, has created a calming playlist for the girls to listen to while studying which includes some of Helen’s tracks. Year 11s have the Father Daughter Dinner to look forward to on Monday 24 August at the Fremantle Sailing Club.

All students are now engaged fully in their academic programs. Year 12s are encouraged to seek extra support should they feel they need it to ensure their study schedule is on track. Heads of Year and Head of Senior School are always available to assist students with study planning and organisation. They are welcome to make an appointment to come and speak about how to refine their examination preparation.

Mrs Claire Newton, Acting Head of Senior School


Languages Week 2015

Our Cultural committee organised a wonderful array of activities for all years throughout last week. Tuesday saw our Year 12 SLC and Languages students and staff as well as the Cultural committee dress up as a famous person.

An ‘Amazing Race’ activity for Junior School was arranged for lunchtime – where students needed to complete a variety of language themed activities – origami, crepe flipping, bocce and saying three things about themselves in French or Italian. All were enthusiastic and came out winners on the day.

On Wednesday we held a Dance Party in the Great Court at lunchtime. There were conga lines, Macarena moves and it was great to see so many students get involved.

Friday saw our own Master chef, Sensei Choo, demonstrate the art of sushi making with some very abled assistants. We also sold mini gelati, which were a hit with all.

An online quiz was also distributed to Homerooms as part of the week.

We now look forward in Week 6 to our pizza maker, Vincenzo coming to cook pizza for our Italian classes and Week 7 for the Crepe Cart to sell crepes to our French classes.

A big thank you to our Cultural Captain, Olivia Tamigi and her committee for working tirelessly throughout the week and for their great ideas and planning.

Until next year – Au revoir! Arrivederci! Konnichiwa!

Ms Connie Quattrini, Head of Languages


Despite the cold, wet weather, #artselfie#artsweek delivered bursts of colour and excitement and a sense of community. The Year 11 and 12 Visual Arts students, very ably led by Visual Arts Captain Monique Tilt, had four days of exciting activities planned for the whole College community.

#artselfie stations were strategically placed around the College, inviting students and staff to take an #artselfie and then upload it to Instagram. Students and the Visual Arts staff dressed up as famous artists and drew portraits at lunchtime. One new initiative, which proved to be a huge success, was the launch of the ‘Santa Collective’, in Doyle Lane. In the style of Melbourne’s famous Hosier Lane, a street art wall has been allocated, and students were invited to paint and wheatpaste images during the week. The resulting wall is a visual feast of the students’ collective images and quotes.

An art competition also ran during the week, with a high quality of work displayed in the Mercy Gallery. Overall the week was a huge success and the Santa Collective wall in Doyle Lane will continue to feature works throughout the year!

Mrs Jan Withers, Head of Visual Arts

Student Leadership

All Middle School students will have been emailed application forms and role descriptions for the positions of College Student Representative Councillor and Middle School Student Leadership Councillor on Monday 10 August. All girls will be reminded about the application process regularly by their Homeroom teachers and via the Daily Notices. All application forms are due to Student Services by Wednesday 19 August (no later than 4.00 pm). No application forms will be accepted after this date and time. Please take the time to read through the leadership role descriptions with your daughter and then support her in carefully and thoughtfully completing the application form. All applicants will be notified by the Head of School or the Head of Year as to who will be members of the College Student Representative Council and Middle School Leadership Council for 2015/2016 during Weeks 6 and 7 this term. There is usually a large number of girls who apply for these positions and there are only two positions per Homeroom, so sixteen leaders in each year and twelve positions on the Student Leadership Council for 2015/2016. This means that there will be some girls who will not be successful in this process. Parents are asked to support their daughters in this process, which is one that demonstrates each girl’s abilities as a leader along with their skills in time management and in being responsible and resilient.

Bush Dance with Aquinas

The Year 8s, dressed in checked shirts and jeans, arrived a little apprehensively to the Bush Dance last Friday night. It was not long before they were all dancing, laughing and having a great time. A huge thank you to Miss Amber Stieber for her meticulous organisation of this event, to the Homeroom teachers for their time and enthusiasm (as demonstrated in their dressing in their best bush dance outfits), the fabulous Year 11 Peer Support Leaders who worked hard throughout the evening and to the students from Santa Maria and Aquinas Colleges. It was a fun and enjoyable night for all.

 Mrs Tracy Webster, Head of Middle School





































Livestream Reflection with Colonel Chris Hadfield

On Wednesday 12 August, Santa Maria’s Year 5s and some of the Year 10s experienced a livestream with astronaut Chris Hadfield. Colonel Hadfield experienced the most extreme environments. He has lived under water in a submarine at the deepest depths of the ocean in his training to be an astronaut. He was the Captain of the NEEMO 14. He was also a Colonel in they Royal Canadian Air Force.

We learnt all of the ins and outs of space as we watched Colonel Hadfield being interviewed by two hosts. He answered questions from children all around Australia. We learnt many interesting and cool facts about space, like all about noctilucent clouds, stars, our solar system and the Milky Way Galaxy. He mentioned to us how to manage our future and about colonising the planets in our solar system.

We had a lovely ending with a guitar and voice solo from Colonel Hadfield. He played one of his own songs all about seeing Earth from out in space as well as playing his famous cover of David Bowie’s song Space Oddity.

Jorja Reeve (Kelly), Stella Mellows (de la Hoyde) and Gemma Thomson (Dillon) Year 5.3

For Parents

Seven apps and websites parents should be aware of

Here is a link which will provide you with more information on the apps and websites that teens are currently using.



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