From the Head of Primary Years


Coordinator Roles for 2018 The creation of new Coordinators’ positions in 2018 is a major reshaping of our Primary Years structure. These roles have been designed to cover all year levels in Primary Years and will support the day-to-day wellbeing of staff, students and their families. These staff will continue in their full-time teaching roles and be given some time release to support their work. The successful teachers are: Mrs Kelly McBurnie: Prep to Year 2 Coordinator Mr Cameron Glass: Year 3, 4 Coordinator Mrs Jenelle King: Year 5, 6 Coordinator They will be taking on this extra responsibility throughout this year, working closely with Mrs Kim Izatt, Ms Lia Trevisan and me. We wish them all the best as they embark on these new and exciting roles. Year 6 Leadership Day Yesterday, Year 6 students were involved in a Year 6 Leadership Day which was supported by Character Builders, a well renowned Brisbane-based company that specialises in school and corporate team building. Students were involved in activities which give them the opportunity to enhance their skills of presenting, responsibility, facilitating, sharing and service.   The Year 6 Leadership Day spanned the length of the school day, providing engaging and challenging situations that encouraged students to work together as a cohesive team toward common goals. It was wonderful to see students engage with each other in a collaborative manner and reflect on their individual contribution towards maturing into their upcoming leadership positions – that of leading the Primary Years in whatever capacity in 2018. Parent Survey At the beginning of this year, a survey went out to gain feedback on the big community events in the Primary Years. Several questions were asked with regard to the type of events that would suit the needs of parents. There was an approximately 30% response rate with a diverse range of replies.  The potential of amalgamating the support groups, the frequency of the Bush Dance and the Mothers’ Day service and High Tea all created much interest. From the responses, it has been agreed that we will continue to have two support groups this year, but move towards a merger for 2019. The Bush Dance will be held every second year; becoming a biennial event. This means that we look forward to holding the Bush dance again in 2019. While the Mothers’ Day service is still popular, a breakfast event prior to work rather than morning tea was the preferred option. Further information will be forthcoming as we get closer to that event. Some great suggestions for alternative activities included trivia evenings, a fun run/walkathon, coffee catch ups, sports afternoons and a fancy-dress evening. The parent support groups will continue to work with the P&F to support the many offerings of our College community. Save the Date: Upper Primary Movie Under the Stars The Upper Primary Parent Support Group (UPPSG) is excited to be able to bring an outdoor movie experience to Upper Primary students and their families on the evening of Friday 9 March. Details about the movie and how to book tickets will be coming in the near future. We will have food trucks or you are most welcome to bring a picnic. In the case of inclement weather, we will relocate to the Performing Arts Centre. So, save the date and come join us for a fun filled evening! Pam Carden, Head of Primary Years read more

Seeking Hosts for Japanese Students


In March 2018, as part of our sister school program with Toho High School in Japan, St Peters will host a visit by 30 members of their football club. Toho students will play a number of friendly games while here as well as spend time sightseeing around Brisbane. We are looking for expressions of interest from parents who would be able to host a student during their stay in Brisbane. This is a great opportunity for families to help further deepen our relationship with our Japanese sister school, who have hosted a number of St Peters groups in recent years. The group will arrive at St Peters at 5.00pm on Monday 26 March and depart St Peters on Friday 30 March at 7.00am. Please note that Term 1 holidays begin on Wednesday 28 March. Toho students have a full schedule on Tuesday and Wednesday and only require a drop off and pick up on these days. All students are free on Thursday and it is hoped that they might be able to experience an enjoyable and active day. Students will gather at St Peters at 7.00am on Friday to go to the airport. If you are able to assist with hosting a student please, or would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact me. Steve Petherick, Teacher of Japanese read more

High Expectations


At most of the Parent Information evenings held during the last couple of weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak about one of the College’s School Improvement Initiatives in relation to improving Student learning – naming High Expectations. High Expectations has two components to it – teachers having high expectations of their students and students having high expectations of themselves in relation to their own learning. Professor John Hattie from the University of Melbourne looked at the research about what actually improves student learning outcomes, and out of the 200 or so strategies he looked at, students having High Expectations of themselves and their learning proved to be the second most powerful thing. It has an effect size of 1.44, three and a half times above what we would normally consider an effective impact.  Two initiatives that parents can work in partnership with the College in relation to helping your son or daughter to have high expectations of themselves are using the language of Personal Bests and Growth Mindsets. Personals Bests help to raise the expectations a person has of themselves. Goal Setting plays an important part of Personal Bests e.g. if a student received a B on their last English assignment, then setting a goal of achieving a B+ on their next English assignment is an example of a Personal Best. In order to achieve that goal, helping your son or daughter to work out possible strategies or steps they need to take is critical. With the English assignment example, some strategies might be to write a rough draft and get feedback from the teacher, and proof read it several times to ensure it is error free. Growth Mindsets come out of the work of Professor Carol Dweck at Stanford University. It is based on the premise that intelligence is not fixed, and that the brain is highly malleable, which, increasingly from the neuroscience research we know to be the case. A Growth Mindset doesn’t put a ceiling on our capacity to learn. This means that when we are learning something, just because we don’t do well at it straight away, it doesn’t mean we can’t learn it or do well at it eventually. It just means we haven’t learnt it YET. With approaches like more practice, a different strategy, or additional assistance from the teacher we can learn it. This notion of a Growth Mindset helps to raise the expectations that the learner has on themselves in terms of their ability to learn and succeed. When your son or daughter doesn’t succeed at their learning straight away, using the language of a Growth Mindset helps them to realise that learning is not the result of intelligence, rather it comes from effort, practice and persistence. Whilst Personal Bests and Growth Mindsets are relatively simple initiatives they are foundational to helping the learner to have high expectations of themselves in relation to their learning, and are strongly linked to better learning outcomes.Tim Kotzur, Head of College read more

French Walk and Talk


This week, primary students in French have been doing the ‘French Walk and Talk’! This is a rather unique learning activity where the students get up out of their seats and walk around the classroom (or the corridor) in pairs, while reading and speaking French at the same time! The thinking behind the approach – termed Marler, or a combination of marcher (to walk) and parler (to speak) – is that students are more engaged and motivated when they learn in a hands-on, physically-active environment. The students did very well practicing their speaking lines for the play Les Trois Petits Cochons and walking at the same time! Anthony Stott, Teacher read more

From the Primary Sport Coordinator


“The problem is not to find the answer, it’s to face the answer.” - Terence McKenna The following sports are on offer in Term 1: Boys and Girls Swimming, Girls Touch, Boys Cricket, Girls Club (WDNA) Netball and Years 4-6 Run Club. Boys and Girls Swimming The Primary Swimming Squad (Years 4-6 boys and girls) will have training on Wednesday morning from 6:00 - 7:30am at the 25m pool. All students are welcome to come to Primary Swimming Training and compete at the lead up meets. A team will be selected to compete at the Inter Lutheran and AIC Boys Swimming Carnival. Important Dates: 9 February: Northern Eagles District Swimming Trials, St Peters 50m;9 February: Boys AIC Years 5-12 Meet, Centenary 50m;16 February: Boys AIC Years 5-12 Meet, St Peters 50m Pool TBC;21 February: Met West Swimming Trials, Chandler;21 February: Primary Girls Years 4-6, St Peters 25m Pool;23 February: Boys AIC Year 5-12 Time Trial and Relay Practice;2 March: Boys AIC Year 5-12 Meet, run as part of QGSSSA meet at St Peters 50m pool;5 March: Boys AIC Years 5-12 Swimming Championships, Chandler; and8 March: Primary Years 4-6 Inter Lutheran Swimming Carnival, St Peters 50m pool. Girls Touch All girls have been emailed information regarding the upcoming Primary Girls Touch Competition. The Competition will run over two afternoons on Monday 12 and Monday 26 February. Training will be on the Lower Primary (Stolz) Oval on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30-5:00pm. Sign-on forms are due back as soon as possible.  Boys Cricket Years 5 and 6 boys are playing in the AIC Competition. Training has begun and will take place from 3:30-5:00pm at the cricket nets and Sport for Life time on Fridays. All boys are welcome to attend training and play on a St Peters Cricket Team.  Girls Club Netball St Peters will enter teams in the Western Districts Netball Association (WDNA) again in 2018. The St Peters WDNA Netball is open to all girls in Years 3-6. Sign-on information has been sent to students and parents. This is an exciting prospect for the College and something that all girls are encouraged participate in. It would be great to have as many teams as possible playing in the competition. Girls will be able to play both Touch and Club Netball. WDNA Training begins on Friday 9 February from 3:30-4:30pm at Harts Road Courts. Years 4-6 Run Club Years 4-6 Run Club will start later in Term 1. Training will be offered three times a week on Monday and Friday afternoons. The sessions will be run by St Peters Running Coaches. More details will follow in coming weeks.  Middle School HPE  All students will be involved in swimming during Term 1. Students are required to wear the St Peters swimmers, St Peters rash shirt, St Peters cap (if required) and goggles. Students have also been asked to bring along fins (flippers). These are required to assist with drill work in developing the stroke of the students. A towel is also required. Any student, for any reason unable to participate in swimming will be required to bring a note. If they are unable to participate for multiple HPE lessons they will require a doctor’s certificate. Students have also been reminded that they are to bring a water bottle and are required to wear their hat to and from lessons. Following the Swimming Unit, students will begin a Cross Country Unit.  HPE Dates Term 1:  Swimming: Monday 2 January – Friday 9 MarchAquathlon and Cross Country: Monday 12 March – Tuesday 27 MarchPeter Dawson, Primary Sport Coordinator read more

Entrepreneurship Program at UQ Idea Hub


Following the conclusion of school for Term 1, senior business students, Matthew G, Angleo O, Talisha H, and Declan E joined six St Peters Indooroopilly students in a two-day entrepreneurship workshop hosted by the University of Queensland. The workshop was run as part of the newly-founded ‘Idea Hub’ and is designed to teach about the many different principles and types of businesses and start-ups. The Idea Hub serves as the University’s incubator. It is a program used to develop and grow business ideas for students before accelerating them to market. However, over these two days we were piloting a new program designed for high school students looking to continue business studies at university and pursuing their own start-up ideas. The workshop covered many different aspects of business, such as the start-up process, the different kinds of enterprises, creating marketing strategies, and pitching ideas. We were taught how to quickly come up with ideas and strategies to deal with problems that we were each passionate about and pitch our solutions to the rest of the group. By working in teams with students from other schools we were constantly learning how to articulate our visions, bounce ideas off each other and to deal with tricky questions in pressure situations. Additionally, during the Wednesday session we were lucky enough to have Ben Coughlin, a St Peters Indooroopilly Old Scholar (2014), talk to us about his transition from school to university and his start-up story, Backyard Coach. The workshop was very informative and interesting, providing us each with a wealth of knowledge on how we can pursue our dreams, and avenues we can take after school. I would like to extend my gratitude to Mr Sheppard, Ms Grotherr and Mrs Larney for providing the opportunity to attend this workshop; and Ms Cayetana Martinez for running the program over the two days. Declan E, Student read more