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Issue 15, 2015

From the Principal

Dear Parents

Innovative School MedalIn the recent De La Vida mention was made that Santa Maria College was a winner of the ‘Innovative Schools’ award. The Educator magazine refers to the winners as schools “leading change in education”. There were 177 submissions received across Australia and forty schools were named as winners. Santa Maria College was the only West Australian School to be recognised.

Our successful application was due to a number of innovative opportunities including:

  • Programs that go beyond the curriculum eg Seek7, Explore8, Strive9.
  • Helping girls at different ability levels eg IGNITE – our Gifted and Talented Program.
  • Learning Support offered by our Enrichment Centre.
  • Extension for all students through differentiated learning in the classroom, new electives and co-curricular activities.
  • Our ACCESS pathway in Years 11 and 12 that offers a two year program of study leading to TAFE, employment and possible alternate university entrance. Our success in ACCESS is also recognised by the many School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) Awards achieved every year.

At the recent opening of the Consilii Centre I commented on the massive changes that have taken place in creating our outstanding learning environment. However, it is not just about our architectural achievements, it is about what we offer in the classroom and the learning relationships established between staff, students and parents.

While it is pleasing to win such awards, there is no time for complacency. We continue to strive for innovation and further creative thinking opportunities. Last week our Year 5 students were offered a new model for undertaking a range of electives in 2016. This is an exciting project and the girls are currently making their selections online.

Finally it is great to be back and I acknowledge the outstanding term’s work by those who took on different promotional positions in my absence. In particular I need to mention Jennifer Oaten as Acting Principal. Jennifer and I are very passionate about curriculum design and innovation and much of what is written in this article can be traced back to Jennifer’s curriculum leadership.

Best wishes and God bless.

Ian Elder, Principal



Term 4 Rosary and Masses

Family and friends are invited to attend Mass or Rosary, including Mass for boarding students each weekend, all held in the College Chapel. Following the Friday Mass, guests are invited to stay for coffee and fellowship.

Rosary is held at 8.10 am on a Thursday. Weekday Masses are held on Fridays at 8.00 am with Weekend Masses being held on Saturday or Sunday. See specific dates below.

Term 4 Mass & Rosary Times and Dates
Week Day / Date Rosary Date / Date Mass
Week 1 15 October Year 12 Friday 16 October 8.00 am Byrne House
Sunday 18 October 6.00 pm Boarders
Week 2 22 October Year 10 Friday 23 October 8.00 am Corbett House
Saturday 24 October 5.00 pm Boarders
Week 3 29 October Year 11 Friday 30 October 8.00 am de la Hoyde House
Sunday 1 November 6.00 pm Boarders
Week 4 5 November Year 9 Friday 6 November 8.00 am Dillon House
Sunday 8 November 6.00 pm Boarders
Week 5 12 November Year 8 Friday 13 November 8.00 am Frayne House
Sunday 15 November 6.00 pm Boarders
Week 6 19 November Year 7 Friday 20 November 8.00 am Kelly House
Saturday 21 Nov 6.00 pm Boarders
Week 7 26 November Junior School Friday 27 November 8.00 am O’Donnell & O’Reilly Houses
Sunday 29 November 6.00 pm Boarders
Week 8 Friday 4 December 9.00 am College Christmas Mass


Mrs Helen Chaffer, Deputy Principal, Mission

A Parish Feast 

On Sunday 15 November, Attadale Parish celebrates the feast of its patron saint, St Joseph Pignatelli. We have a celebratory Mass at 9.00 am followed by fun on the oval. This year there will be Kidz ‘n Sport to keep the children entertained. There will also be the popular animal farm, face painting, cake stall and café. There will be beef and chicken rolls, drinks and ice creams for sale. The new SJP recipe book will also be available. So come along to Mass and stay for the fun as we celebrate St Joseph Pignatelli and our community.

Father Sean Fernandez



WACE Examinations 2015

WACE examinations began in the holidays with some practical examinations such as Drama, Dance, Languages and Physical Education studies already completed. Written examinations commence on Monday 2 November, so Year 12 students should be focused on their studies, using their time to review any areas of weakness and seeking help on areas identified in their final College examinations.

If a student is unable to complete an examination on the day due to being unwell, a medical certificate must be provided. Students need to complete a sickness/misadventure application, which are available from Mrs Oaten.

On 29 December, results will be available on the Authority’s website at To access this site students will need their SCSA student number.

We wish all the Year 12 students preparing for examinations and those who have now completed Certificate Courses all the best in their future endeavors.


Year 12, 2016 Courses Begin Week 4

Year 11 students will be reviewing examinations and completing courses on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 October following course reviews, before Year 12 courses commence on Monday 2 November.

This initiative enables Year 12 students to have five weeks in Term 4 to begin courses. Most courses will complete one unit of work including one assessment task. Attendance by all students concluding on Friday 5 December is an expectation at this crucial time. All Year 11 students have received an email with details of their appointment time for their course review and transition to Year 12. This is a time for students to reflect on Year 11, the successes, the challenges and changes for Year 12 with a senior member of staff.


Year 10 Examinations

Year 10 examinations begin in Week 6 and I encourage all parents to have a discussion with their daughters about the methods they are using to revise. Some suggested questions for discussion are listed below.

Does your daughter:

  • have all exam dates marked in her planner and on the family calendar?
  • have a plan that indicates when she will revise for each subject?
  • have revision notebooks for each subject with summary notes completed at least a week before exams begin.
  • have a page to record problem areas at the back of her revision notebook?
  • have an objective sheet as a guide for areas of revision?
  • know how to learn the information such as writing paragraphs, concept maps, flash cards?
  • need assistance in any of the above areas?

Ms Jansen, Mrs Newton, Mrs Bell and I are all available to assist Year 10 students in planning for their examinations.

Mrs Jennifer Oaten, Deputy Principal, Teaching & Learning

Student Life

From Junior School

Science Alive in the Junior School

On Friday 16 October, the Junior School classes were involved in a science incursion in the MacKillop building. In line with current topics being studied in their Science programs, the Year 5 students experienced a light and laser show entitled ‘In the Dark’ while the Year 6 students were involved in experiments about electricity and circuits, entitled ‘Electricity and Energy’. The students and teachers all thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and are now continuing their exploration of these topics during the remainder of the term. Below are some quotes from students about the sessions.

Mrs Andrea Dopson, Head of Junior School

“It was really exciting”

Mia Halvorson

Class 5.3

“Peter set off explosions and kept us all involved”

Gemma Anderson

Class 5.3

 “Our session went off with a bang!!”
Jasmin Hussey

Class 6.5

“It was fun and entertaining”

Lucy Anderson

Class 6.5

From Middle School

Experiences in the Balance Wellbeing Program

Our experiences in the Balance Wellbeing Program helped us to learn about the stress and difficulties we can feel during school time and at home. The program also helped us through the right and wrong ways of dealing with these problems.

We had many fun experiences with College Psychologists, Chris and Beth, including meditation sessions, fun activities, role-plays, games and some healthy and not-so-healthy snacks at the beginning of each wonderful session. We also had a party on the last day of Balance making fun and exciting new memories, and also getting to know the amazing people around us even more. We learnt a lot about the foods and physical activities we can do and eat to keep our physical health ‘up to date’. We also learnt some mental skills to keep our minds active and fresh. We learnt about how to deal with stress at school and how to have the right frame of mind when it came to being lazy and eating the wrong types of foods in our everyday life.

We loved the relationships we made during this program and when Beth and Chris walk past us in the hallway now, we often stop to say hello and have a nice friendly chat. We would recommend this to other students as it really helped us with our physical, mental and emotional state of mind. It was not only educational but it was also a great, fun way to spend our Monday afternoons. Overall we enjoyed this program very much and we will definitely be joining the Balance Wellbeing Program next year and hope to see many other wonderful faces joining us too.

Abigail Lennon and Chloe Mowday (Year 7, Kelly)


RU OK? Day

RU OK? Day is an annual day that our school community embraces. This day is dedicated to remind people to ask family, friends and peers the question, “RU OK?”, in a meaningful way. RU OK? Day was possibly one of the best leadership experiences. It wasn’t all about the day but the preparation that went in to the event. The event was organised entirely by the Middle School Leadership Council with assistance from Mrs O’Regan, Mrs Machell and Mrs Webster. We had many meetings trying to finalise all our great ideas.

RU OK? Day quickly arrived after much thought and planning. The Middle School Leadership Council donned our RU OK? t-shirts and got to work. As students arrived, they saw the RU OK? Day banner hanging above the College and the many yellow decorations, streamers and balloons we had placed around the school. Girls were asked to wear yellow ribbons in their hair and many yellow ponytails could be seen around the College that day. The day before some girls had set up pinup boards around the school. At recess and lunch, people were encouraged (by lollies) to write on these boards. The simple question they had to answer was, ‘what makes you happy?’. Some responses were general such as food, school, weekends. While others were more special, like a sibling or friend’s name, a pet or a hobby they enjoyed. The canteen, as always, was a great help in getting into the spirit of the day. They decorated the cafe and also wore yellow as well as selling all things yellow on the day. Pumpkin soup, bananas, cupcakes and banana muffins were just a few items they prepared. The Middle School Leadership Council also posted inspirational quotes all around the school, in the spirit of the day.

All in all, RU OK? Day was a great success. It was one of our last events to organise for the year and we were all sad to see it end. After taking down the decorations and folding away our t-shirts, we were all very glad we had raised awareness for such a great cause.

Olivia Walton (Year 9, O’Donnell) and Mia Algar (Year 9, de la Hoyde)

RU OK? Day

What Makes You Happy?

From Boarding

The Boarding House remained open for the Year 12 girls over the holidays for their mock exams and the WACE Practical Exams. The countdown is now certainly well under way, as is the planning for the final days and weeks, and then the long summer for our senior girls before they commence the next big stage of their lives. The 12 boarders can be very proud of how they are managing the lead-up to exams and how they are managing to care for each other as well as themselves. A number of our Year 11s are dotted around the countryside undertaking work placement and we look forward to their return following the course break next week. From our younger girls, holiday tales have been forthcoming and we trust everyone enjoyed the time together with family.

The Year 11s have well and truly assumed the mantle of leadership. Their first big event is the Breakfast and Mass for the Year 12s as they prepare to leave us. There is much planning and secretive undertakings and I know our beautiful Year 12s will be seen off from Boarding in style. The Farwell Mass for our Year 12 boarders is on Saturday 24 at 5.00 pm and if parents are in town they are most welcome. The Year 12s will be out for a final dinner together following the Mass.

For the first time in several years Santa Maria visited Esperance during their show. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet families in the district who may be interested in bringing their girls here to Santa Maria as well as catching up with former students. We have teamed up for the field days with Aquinas College, this relationship works well; the two schools share so many values as well as families and the opportunity for networking together is one both schools believe enhances what we do at the field days. We drove back from Esperance on Saturday night, just preceding the inclement weather all the way. Our thoughts go to those families whose crops were damaged by the hail. Farming can indeed be a fickle business.

Sport continues to feature on our collective horizon and sometimes the afternoons are a bit of a juggle. Sincere thanks to those parents who have been able to help us out. Girls are playing netball, hockey, tennis and cricket, as well as the sports they undertake with school. Our first cricket game for the season is this Saturday at 9.00 am at Juniper Park in Duncraig for those of you who are around.

Next week is a very big week for our Year 12 boarders and I look forward to seeing parents of our Year 12s at the Mass and Dinner. Thank you for the privilege of sharing your daughters; we do certainly value the trust placed in us. Whilst all the girls are held in our prayers, we especially remember your daughters, our Year 12s, as they venture forth beyond Santa Maria into the wider world. God’s rich blessing for each of them and for you also.

Ms Linda Bulloch, Head of Boarding

Year 12 Boarders

Year 11 & 12 Boarding Leaders

For Parents

Parent diary 302016 Parent Diary

Order your 2016 Parent Diary online and support the Santa Maria College Parent Council.


ALL Diaries must be pre-ordered and paid for by 4.00 pm Friday 4 December

To purchase your diary go to

Diaries include all College events, term dates and contact information for key staff.



Diaries will be available for collection on Monday 1 February 2016, from Main College Reception.

Boarding families will recieve their diary when dropping their daughter/s off at the commencement of the 2015 school year.

For more information contact E: or T: 6330 0230

True facts about teens and media

 Below is a link to a great infographic that outlines the Social Media teens are using, how they are using it and what they are using it for.

Chris Machell, College Psychologist


Santa Maria College Leadership & Music Photos

Leadership and Music photos are available online to view and purchase by following the below steps.

Go to

Click on the Santa Maria College logo

Enter password :  murg15

If you have any questions, contact Photo Hendriks T: 9361 3206

College Social Media 

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