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August 20th, 2018 

From the Principal...

Dear Parents,

NAPLAN Testing – Knowing your Daughter
There has been considerable educational conversation on the matter of NAPLAN most recently in the media. It is important to take stock of the discussion and consider the role that data can play in informing a school’s learning and teaching. While there may continue to be divisive opinions around the value of NAPLAN or the pressures that it may place on students and teacher it does, however, provide a snapshot on learning and can be one part of the educational narrative.

Educators are savvy in terms of how they build learning profiles on individual students at St Ursula’s College. We are fully aware that there are a number of factors that may influence the performance of a child during testing and it is for this reason that we use triangulated data to get the ‘best’ picture of your child’s learning profile.

How does data inform learning and teaching?
There is much literature on the value of using data to inform teacher practice. It is for this reason that we at St Ursula’s College use:
Observational data- This is when, the teachers use formative assessment or day-to-day work to identify areas of strength and challenge. They work with the students in the classroom setting to explore how their strengths can be extended and how their challenges can be addressed.

Summative Data- This is when, students are placed under test conditions to apply their learning in new ways. This summative data informs the teacher of the child’s ability to apply what they have learnt and explore this within an established criteria.

Snapshots of learning data- This is when, a teachers uses a combination of both formative and less high-stakes summative data to provide insight on how the child is tracking in relation to their peers or an established goal.

External data- This is when students sit for common external examinations, such as NAPLAN. Here there is no specific content that is assessed but rather common skills-sets that are assessed under test conditions. These skills are measured against a criteria and compared to national trends.

Please feel free to read about some of the emerging questions around NAPLAN through the URL provided.


After NAPLAN – what’s next?
After the NAPLAN has concluded and the test results come through, we begin a process of drilling down into the data to enhance our understanding of your child. This includes in the first instance, providing feedback on performance to staff.

We then reflect and review our learning intervention programs to help calibrate the nest way to proceed to target area of strength and challenge. With this in mind, we enact a number of strategies in preparation for 2019. These include the following:
* Reading for Meaning Program (R4M)
* Literacy and Numeracy Coaching
* Explicit teaching of comprehension, spelling and grammar
* Master classes in Literacy and Numeracy
* Targeted assessment

While, most of these interventions will run concurrent to the curriculum there will be additional workshops on offer to students who need additional support or extension.

Mrs Tanya Appleby


From the Deputy Principal...

During the second week of the holidays your daughter’s report card will be available for viewing on the Community Portal. If you would like a paper copy of this, or you would like instructions on how to access the Parent Portal, please contact the College Office.

I encourage you to speak with your daughter about her engagement and results, and encourage her to set goals for the coming term.

The format and feedback provided in the Term 3 report card will depend on the Year Level your daughter/s are in and the subjects they have studied. A legend is available on the final page of the report card.
 Below is a brief guide outlining the aspects of the report card teachers have completed for each Year
 Level for Term 3.


*Students new to the College in Term 3, 2018 will receive a complete report.

I hope that when the girls review their report card and their efforts during Term 3, they have met the challenge of Angela Merici’s words, which was set for them during the first weeks of this term.
“Do Something, get moving, be confident, risk new things, stick with it then be ready for big surprises”.
This week we received the “Next Step” from the Queensland Government. Each year the State Government surveys all former students who completed Year 12 the previous year, to provide information to school and community on their pathway destination or journey. Over 99% of our 2017 Year 12s are currently engaged in either education, training or employment. As a College, we would like to thank all the staff who have worked with the girls, the girls for their dedication and passion to their futures and the families of our Year 12 2017 students who have continued to support their daughters on their life journey. Please see the table below for a further breakdown.

It has been a pleasure to work with your daughters this term and I wish all families a happy and restful break. I look forwarding to working with you and your daughter/s in Term 4.

Ms Kay Gleeson

From the Acting Assistant Principal - Pastoral Relationships...

There is no denying that we are living in a contemporary society that is demanding and busy and while Angela Merici stated “Do something, get moving, be confident, risk new things, stick with it, then be ready for big surprises”, achieving and managing a balanced life can be a challenge.

When we have a sense of control in our lives and have the ability to adjust to the varying challenges of life, a healthy equilibrium can be established and within that, a positive state of wellbeing. Wellbeing continues to be a concept that proves to be difficult to define. Possibly it is easier to describe the characteristics that an individual with high levels of wellbeing may portray - resilience, gratitude, empathy, optimism, positive relationships, a sense of purpose and the list goes on.

According to two decades of research, a student who has high levels of wellbeing is also likely to have better physical health, better social relationships, more optimism for the future and higher academic performance (Waters, 2017). Not surprisingly, boosting student wellbeing has become an important dimension within the College Strategic Plan, giving rise to the formation of the wellbeing committee and the development of a specific wellbeing framework. This framework is being developed on the premise that wellbeing is not something that just happens, rather it is something that can be cultivated and developed. This puts the pursuit of wellbeing in the hands of individuals by teaching them that they can increase their resources or challenges to maintain a sense of equilibrium (Seligman, 2002.)

Targeting the students’ abilities to harness and build strengths is directed through planned, proactive experiences and interventions,  Our overriding College document, the College Culture Statement, outlines the aspects of wellbeing in the following words, “to encourage students to take responsibility for their own thinking and learning, so that they may become more resourceful and empathetic young woman who seek the development of a personal faith and spirituality, participation and leadership in all facets of today’s and tomorrow’s world. The challenge for all is to model relationships within and beyond our community, based on mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance, care for the individual and the environment, interdependence, collaboration and service”. Using these foundation documents in conjunction with evidence-based research a College working definition of wellbeing has been framed: Wellbeing includes the cognitive, emotional and behavioural responses that enable individuals and communities to connect, grow and flourish. 

We would like to thank the student and parent consultative committee who provided feedback on both the definition and the framework at last week’s P&F dinner meeting. Please don’t hesitate to contact me via the office If you would like to be a part of future focus groups.
Seligman, M. (2002) Positive education: Positive psychology and classroom interventions.  Oxford Review of Education,35 (3)
Waters, L. (2017) Visible Wellbeing in Schools: The powerful role of instructional leadership. Journal of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders,39 (1).

Ms Ann Brownlie




Opti-MINDS 2018

Our Opti-MINDS team participated in the Opti-MINDS Regional Challenges at UQ Gatton Campus. The Ursie Extraordinaire team performed exceptionally well and has been invited to compete at the State finals which will be held in Brisbane later this year. The girls took on the Social Sciences Long Term Challenge and the Spontaneous Challenge which both contributed to their excellent final score.
The girls worked extremely hard to pull together their presentation and showed brilliant teamwork. They gave up numerous hours of their personal time to prepare and they engaged in every practice with enthusiasm. Their creative thinking, problem-solving and story-telling ability is a credit to all of their teachers.  
The girls did us proud in the way they conducted themselves and represented the College. We have great confidence that our Ursie Extraordinaire team will make us proud in the upcoming State finals.
The girls who participated were:
Front Row: Erin Foley, Jessica Lindley, Larissa Picton
Back Row: Jiayong Jiang, Emma Coyle, Imogen Kleidon


As a College, St Ursula’s is always looking for ways to improve sustainability and to care for the environment. As a Catholic school we are called to be stewards of the environment. As such, we are looking at some new recycling projects for the remainder of 2018. The first project we are participating in is the TerraCycle Oral Health Care Recycling Initiative. As toothbrushes and toothpaste containers fall into a “difficult to recycle” category, we are collecting these items from students and staff to recycle in large quantities through this program could we please ask families to collect any old toothbrushes and toothpaste containers and send them to school with their daughters to form part of our collection. You can find out more about this project here: https://www.terracycle.com.au/en-AU/brigades/oral-care-brigade
Did you know?
You can drop off several streams of hard to recycle waste around town:
  • Old batteries can be recycled at Aldi
  • Soft plastics can be recycled at Coles and Woolworths
  • Nespresso coffee pods can be dropped off at:
    • Dawn Osborne Florist (Entrance 1, St Vincent’s Hospital, Scott Street); and
    • Sungrown Seedlings (17 Prescott St)
  • Old mobile phones can be dropped into most Telstra and Optus shops
  • Certain types of e-waste can be recycled at USQ and Officeworks.
Do you have some recycling tips or ideas for us?
Send them through to our Campus Minister, Louise Delahunty at LMD@st-ursula.qld.edu.au

Year 7

Not only are our Year 7 students working hard in the classroom, so many girls are enthusiastically involved in every aspect of College life such as: Sport, the Arts, Service and even extra-curricular activities such as Opti-MINDS, the College’s Junior Play and Design competitions.
Emily McErlean and Poppy Gibson (our members of the Student Representative Council) have also embraced their role and have been working with students from Years 8 to 12 to plan College events and ensure that Year 7 students have an active voice at St Ursula’s College.
Our very confident and enthusiastic Year 7 Leadership Group did a wonderful job this term organising a stall to raise $100 for the Love Your Sister Foundation. The girls are now working with Year 11 students to continue their fundraising efforts. The Leadership group is also exploring further social activities for their year level.
This term, Year 7 students have also reflected on their study habits and I encourage you to talk to your daughter about her current study practices; what is and isn’t working and possible ways of improving or strengthening her study skills.
The much-anticipated social organised by The Toowoomba Grammar school was also held at the end of August and our Year 7 students had a wonderful time.  We have also enjoyed some of the many talents of our cohort at our last Year Level meeting (trumpets, guitars, singing, dancing and horse-riding) and we look forward to others sharing their gifts with us next term.
It has certainly been an exciting and busy term. Our Year 7 students are working hard, have risen to the challenges of high school and I look forward to journeying with them into Term 4.
Mrs Jeannie O’Reilly
Head of Year 7

Humanities and Social Science (HASS) Faculty

Students within the St Ursula’s College HASS Faculty study human behaviour and interactions in social, cultural, environmental, economic and political contexts. HASS subjects have both an historical and contemporary focus, from individual to regional and to global contexts. The subjects offered in the St Ursula’s College HASS faculty include: Accounting, Business Communication and Technologies, Civics and Citizenship, Geography, History, Legal Studies, Tourism and GO – a unique subject in Year 7 that is Health and Physical Education and Geography, presented with an integrated approach.

Through studying Humanities and Social Sciences, students will develop the ability to question, think critically, solve problems, communicate effectively, make decisions and adapt to change. Thinking about and responding to issues requires an understanding of the key historical, geographical, political, economic and societal factors involved, and how these different factors interrelate. It is purported that, “Humanities and social sciences graduates have a deep understanding of how society works, and there is a widely held view that no organisation of any kind can effectively function without them.” (Study International, 2018)
Our HASS faculty embraces a vibrant culture of learning that is based on an enquiry approach, is innovative and focuses on real life learning experiences. This was evidenced recently in our Geography subjects when students engaged in field work. The Year 11 Geography students travelled to Brisbane for their unit of study on Social Environments. The students examined the role of infrastructure in creating higher density residential areas in the cities of the 21st Century.  Whilst visiting a number of areas of inner-Brisbane, including West End, New Farm and Teneriffe, students analysed the infrastructure and transport needs of residents in the future.  Another field trip was undertaken by our HGET101 students (Year 10 Physical Geography and Sustainable Tourism) who undertook field work at The Spit on the Gold Coast with the CoastEd division of Griffith University to evaluate the issues of human activities and the impact they have on coastal ecosystems. They were able to identify a number of key areas of concern and analyse the primary, secondary and tertiary impacts as well as the significant management challenges that exist for The Spit.
If you or your daughter have any questions about the HASS Faculty,  I am more than happy to hear from you and look forward to communicating with you. Please contact me via email at cmw@st-ursula.qld.edu.au
Ms Clare Watson
Head of Faculty – Humanities and Social Science
Reference: Study International. (2018). Benefits of studying humanities and social sciences in the UK - Study International. [online] Available at: https://www.studyinternational.com/news/benefits-of-studying-humanities-and-social-sciences-in-the-uk/ [Accessed 4 Sep. 2018].


Ursie Girls do Biology in the Real World

North Stradbroke Island was once the World’s largest sand island. Its formation began about 2.5 million years ago and saw the gradual build-up of sand dunes and the introduction of plants and animals before it was inhabited by the Quandamooka people. Since the mid 1800s, Europeans discovered and subsequently mined a number of minerals from the accumulated sands. Sand mining now has 95% of the island leased and, together with tourism, has resulted in extensive human impact on and in the waters surrounding North Stradbroke.
Armed with transect lines and quadrant squares, our Year 11 Biology classes explored various aspects of the island to determine the extent of the human impact on the various ecosystems. Their tasks were diverse. They ranged from mapping a variety of natural and disturbed landscapes, sampling aquatic and terrestrial environments to calculate species diversity and gauging the impact of plastic on a food web. All of these experiments gave the girls a lot to consider about their place on Earth and how their actions contribute to changing the world they live in.
These students have been called to action our “Serviam” motto, built on our Ursuline Charism, making them responsible for an ecologically sustainable world. Picking up in excess of 4000 pieces of plastic along the high tide line of Main Beach in less than 30 minutes has brought a sense of urgency to our Ecology unit this term. More important than what they have learnt in class, more important than the mark they get on their assignment, is the call they have been given to serve our environment.
Biology at St Ursula’s continues to be a subject that goes beyond classroom learning and gives them the skills to solve real world problems.

From the Head of Boarding...

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  ~  John F. Kennedy

As part of gratitude week we have been focusing on the many things that we are grateful to have in our lives.  The girls have been designing their bulletin boards to reflect aspects of things that are important to them.  These bulletin boards are a central focus in the boarding house that allow the girls to express themselves creatively and focus on the notion of gratitude. 

God Bless
Mrs Jan Pearman
Puppy Love
Creating a family environment is very important in boarding at St Ursula's College.  To help bridge the gap of girls missing their pets, our staff often bring in their dogs to let the girls have some good old fashioned fun.  Recently, Reba Pearman, a very cuddly pooch was very much at home when she came to visit. The girls love playing with Reba.  Mrs Appleby's dog, Rocco, popped in last week to share some fun times with the girls. Rocco was treated to a shampoo, blow dry and a new hairstyle before he returned home. Bella, Mrs Gleeson's Dachshund also loves frolicking in the back yard with the girls.  What more can a dog ask for! 
                        Rocco                                                        Bella
Ram Sale
Mikayla Davey from Stanthorpe attended a Ram Sale last Friday. Mikayla said the sale went well with only four Rams passed in.  We are so proud of our girls and their broader achievements.
Master Chefs in Brescia
Over the past couple of weeks, the girls have been cooking up a storm in our Brescia kitchen.

On the menu this weekend are Spring Rolls on Saturday night for supper, pancakes for breakfast and spaghetti bolognese. We are encouraging the girls to bring back their Mum’s favourite recipe so we can try different tastes and flavours from home. The spring rolls were a bit of a challenge but the taste was incredible.

“Here’s how it came about”
During the fifties and sixties, Australia was riding on the sheep’s back. Wool was pound for pound and cattle were literally worth their weight in gold. The Paroo Shire was booming with large properties employing hundreds of men who worked from sun up to sun down in the outback mustering, chasing scrubbers and eating damper and wallaby stew.
The Festival is a yearly event and it is wonderful to see many of the locals and property owners come together to enjoy themselves. Rain and hail were predicted that evening and I am sure the very little amount received made everyone happy.

In a previous newsletter, Chelsea Ferguson, a boarder and local ambassador of Cunnamulla, travelled back to her home town to promote our College and Boarding Community.  It was Chelsea’s initiative to make people aware about the wonderful education she is receiving at St Ursula’s College.

On the night, the College donated a $50 R.M. Williams Voucher for the best dressed Boy and Girl.
Pictured: Chelsea Ferguson, Mia Woods and Bianka Larracy, proudly presenting the Gift Vouchers.

Best Dressed Boy: Hunter Thorpe    
Best Dressed Girl:  Ruby Schmidt
Soccer News
Behind a successful team there is always an amazing coach, Mr Steve Broderick. Thank you Steve for being such a great mentor!
The girls have achieved a lot this season. Runners-up in the final - what an achievement! Congratulations girls!
Travel Cards
We are introducing travel and shopping cards for the girls. At the end of each term, the girls will be handed a luggage identification tag to use when travelling on aircraft and buses. Our commitment is to greet any student who arrives on a bus or plane.  However, if for some reason there is a delay, e.g. traffic issues, then each girl has a card with all the numbers they need to ensure they are always supported.
Health Centre News
Currently, Papua New Guinea has an outbreak of Paralytic Poliomyelitis (a virus that affects the cells of the the nervous system which can cause paralysis).  This has been eradicated in Australia but anyone travelling to Papua New Guinea should see their family doctor to get advice about a booster.  Most students would have had their primary immunisations for Polio as a baby.

PNG's Department of Health and the World Health Organisation are working together to respond to this outbreak.

Whooping cough (Bordetella Pertussis) - some cases seen in NSW.  Whooping cough usually begins like a cold, blocked runny nose, tiredness, mild fever and cough.  The cough gets worse and severe bouts of uncontrollable coughing can develop.  This can last for many weeks.  Whooping cough is very contagious and, in babies, can be life threatening.

Immunisation reduces risk of infection but immunity fades over time.  Most school age children receive a booster in Years 7 or 8, but you can still get Whooping cough even if you have been immunised.

Antibiotics are used to treat Whooping cough in the early stages.  People not treated early with the right antibiotic can spread the infection in the first three weeks of their illness.  After five days of antibiotics, you are normally no longer infectious.

Exclude from school and presence of others outside the home (especially infants and young children) until five days of therapy is received or coughing for more than 21 days.

Please see your Family Doctor if you have any concerns.


On August 26, twelve students represented St Ursula’s at the Interschool Sprint challenge held at Toowoomba Grammar School. The number of competitors from schools across the Darling Downs was lower this year, with only fifty-four in attendance across primary and secondary categories. So, it was fantastic to have thirteen of our girls compete. We had the competitive orienteers and girls who have been introduced to orienteering through their physical education studies. Our Swiss exchange student Zoe Aovnet was even introduced to the sport by her host Nina Gannon.

We successfully defended last year’s win with a dominant performance. We have now won the secondary trophy four times in the last five years. Complete results are as follows:
Name Age group Result
Isabella Cooper 13 girls 1st
Ella Scutt 13 girls 2nd
Mia Coren 13 girls 3rd
Valhsala Naidu Junior girls 5th
Breanna Simmons Junior girls 6th
Holly Mills Junior girls 8th
Zoe Aovnet Junior girls incomplete
Julia Gannon Senior girls 1st
Nina Gannon Senior girls 2nd
Georgia Waters Senior girls 3rd
Simone Groot Senior girls 4th
Taylah Bullen Senior girls 5th
Molly Ferguson Senior girls 6th
Georgia Verdon Senior girls 7th
St Ursula’s are in the final of the Junior School Soccer competition next week against Downlands College.

This competition has been running after school on a Wednesday afternoon. St Ursula’s qualified for the final after a four-way competition involving Downlands College, St Ursula’s College, The Glennie School and Christian Outreach College.
The quest to make the grand final for a third year in a row ended for the U18 St Ursula’s College Football team on Monday evening after they were convincingly defeated in the preliminary final by Glennie 4-1. We wish Glennie the best of luck in the final against Highfields on Friday 7 September.

The U18 St Ursula’s team finished second to Highfields after 13 rounds of the competition with 10 wins and 3 losses. This was certainly a stellar effort.
Chloe Hutton represented QLD in the recent U18 National Football titles held at Shepparton in Victoria. Chloe had a very successful tournament scoring three goals and receiving a ‘Player of the Match’ award in one game. Queensland finished second to New South Wales and Chloe was named as a shadow player for the Australian team. Congratulations on your outstanding achievement, Chloe.
Congratulations to our Senior Netball teams which have competed in the Vicki Wilson competition recently. We now await our Junior A team which is still to play in their competition. We will have a wrap-up of all results in the next newsletter when results are finalised and we find out who progresses onto the next level. Thanks to Ms Doré (Teacher-in-Charge Netball) for all her hard work and the many hours she has put into having the teams involved in these activities. 
Track and Field
Congratulations to Alex Neenan, Rachel Makings, Lauren Makings and Charlotte Morcom who have been selected in the Darling Downs team to compete in the state titles at QSAC in October.
We wish the U 14s and U 16s all the best in their first games of the season at the Scots PGC carnival in Warwick on Saturday, 15 September. Full results will be in the next newsletter. The Southwest Sevens competition begins in week 2 next term.
The CBSQ team is preparing for its competition in Brisbane which is being held from the 18 September until Sunday, 21 September. This is a very high-level competition and we thank Mrs Debbie Ryan (Team Manager) and Mr Gavin Smith (Coach) for their work on preparing the team.
The U15 and Open teams are preparing for the Qld All schools' competition which begins in Brisbane in week 1 of next term. We thank Miss Meg Ballon, Mr Cameron Williams and Mrs Carene Ward for their work with both teams.
Mr Dan Fox
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