From the Department of Asian Language Acquisition & The arts

Fiona Scarth

Welcome to 2024! I am thrilled to embark on this new academic year, assuming a fresh role as the Head of Department for Asian Languages and Arts. 

There are countless exciting and engaging events lined up within this dynamic faculty, and I am eager to share the enthusiasm with all of you.

Over the first two weeks, I will be making visits to all Asian Languages and Arts classes to introduce myself to students. During these interactions, I look forward to not only familiarising myself with the students but also offering my support to help them excel in their studies. I am keen to hear about the incredible accomplishments and activities taking place in each class.

This year, the Chinese language program is making a comeback with the introduction of two Year 7 classes. Additionally, a group of Year 10 students will be embarking on the Diploma Preparation Programme in Chinese. The experienced Mr. Meng Yin Leong will be leading these classes, ensuring a high-quality learning experience.

In the realm of Japanese language studies, we are delighted to welcome back esteemed educators Ms. Masumi Morimoto, Mr. Keita Ishii, Ms. Vanessa Ngarae, and myself. Together, we form a dedicated team committed to providing rich and immersive learning experiences for students enrolled in Japanese.

Moreover, I am excited to announce a special cultural experience happening in Week 3. Setsubun is a Japanese festival usually celebrated on February 3 or 4 to mark the beginning of spring, according to the lunar calendar. A highlight of the festivities is "mamemaki," where roasted soybeans are thrown while shouting "Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi!", to ward off evil spirits and invite good luck. In Japan, people also eat soybeans for good health, and some decorate their homes with holly leaves and sardine heads to protect homes from malevolent forces. Join us on Thursday, Week 3, during lunchtime in the Courtyard area and F Block for a special Setsubun experience, offering insights into these unique Japanese rituals.

All of our Asian Languages teachers bring with them a wealth of experience in teaching Japanese, and we are excited about the prospect of fostering a conducive environment for students to thrive in their language studies. Here's to a year filled with exploration, growth, and achievement in the realm of Asian Languages and Arts!

The Arts

Exciting news! The Arts Faculty has teamed up with Asian Languages this year, and the collaboration is already off to a fantastic start. A warm welcome to our newest members in the Languages Faculty staffroom: Mr. Greg Thompson, Ms. Lissa Sullivan-Ward, and Ms. Renee Johnson. Together, we are eager to fuse our creative energies for a vibrant and successful 2024. May the upcoming year be brimming with inspiration and achievements!

Year 7 and 8 Visual Art

Our Year 7 students will investigate environmental issues that affect wildlife, and then design a super-survivor hybrid animal. They will gain skills in graphite drawing, digital painting and colourful collage. Our Year 8 students will explore the expression of identity through a range of approaches, including self-portraits and portraits of others. They will develop their knowledge and skills in drawing, digital imaging, and mixed media.

Year 8 - Graphite Portraits

Year 7 - Animal Drawings

Year 7 and 8 Classroom Music

Year 7 music students are exploring music concepts, fundamentals and elements through discovering 'Bold and Beautiful' music through the ages. Students are collaborating in groups to rehearse for a live performance in front of their peers. 

Year 8 music students are going on a journey through Blues, Jazz, Rock and Pop genres through the unit 'Beatbox'. In this unit, students develop skills in performance, composition and analysis through active listening and ensemble playing in addition to creating a 'hit song'.

Year 9 Music - STEM Futures 'Soundtrack'

Year 9 music students are delving into film music this term, focusing on compositions that represent or are inspired by space and astronomy. NASA images will be dissected to create sonifications utilising Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) or notation software. In addition to developing genre-specific composition techniques, students will collaborate on a performance project to perform in groups in front of a live audience.

Instrumental and Vocal Music

Our Music Program at QASMT continues to grow from strength to strength with more enrolments than ever before as we welcome 105 new incoming students to our music family. Teachers have been busy auditioning new students for ensemble placement and group lessons with strong representation across all instrument groups.

Our music teachers including curriculum music for Semester 1 are:

  • Lissa Sullivan-Ward (Woodwind, Classroom Music, Community Project)
  • Greg Thompson (Strings, Classroom Music, Extended Essay - Music)
  • Teena Sullivan (Strings - 1.5 days a week)
  • Alice Emor-Kan (Brass, Percussion - 1 day a week)
  • Amanda Cole (French, German, Choir - rehearsing Thursday lunch)
  • Simon Freeman (Computer Science, Design, Classroom Music, Extended Essay)

Key dates to remember include:

Saturday 9 March           

Workshop Day, 9:00am – 3:00pm on campus

Thursday 16 May           

Evening Concert (5:30pm Strings, Choir; 7:00pm Brass, Woodwind, Percussion) in the Auditorium       

Friday 14 June                

Festival of Creativity

Tuesday 6 August          

Evening Concert (5:30pm Strings, Choir; 7:00pm Brass, Woodwind, Percussion) in the Auditorium             

We look forward to another eventful musical year ahead.

Fiona Scarth – Head of Department Asian Language Acquisition and The Arts

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From the Department of inclusion & Wellbeing

Jane Manwaring 

Welcome to the 2024 school year. It is wonderful to see so many students happy to be back and reconnecting with their peers and, for many, meeting new people.

This year, I have moved to A Block. It is a beautifully refurbished space that has been designed with supporting students and inclusivity at its heart. It includes the refocus space, a de-escalation space, careers resources, a prayer/reflection room, first aid room, as well as my office and our Guidance Officers. As always, I love it when students come to visit me, and I look forward to seeing students access this new area throughout the year.

The school calendar is full of events, activities, and awareness days. I encourage all families to regularly check what is happening at our Academy. This term, we have Neurodiversity Celebration Week, Harmony Week, Valentines Day, and ANZAC commemoration assemblies, just to name a few. We will have several opportunities to support charities and we encourage all students to support these.  Being a student in the IB journey means that you are caring and that means thinking of others. Keep a look out on the media pole and Instagram for information and celebrations of Neurodiversity.

When it comes to inclusion, neurodiversity refers to a world where neurological differences are recognised and respected as all other human variations.

Depending on how our brains are wired, we think, move, process information, and communicate in different ways. Many people in our community use Neurodiversity as an umbrella term used to describe alternative thinking styles such as Dyslexia, DCD (Dyspraxia), Dyscalculia, Autism and ADHD. But regardless of labels, Neurodiversity is about recognising those who think differently. No matter whether you are a school, university, or in an organisation, you can benefit from different thinkers!

Approximately 15-20% of the population has a neurological difference. Instead of labelling people with deficits or disorders, when we use the term Neurodiversity, we take a balanced view of an individual’s unique strengths and challenges. Many ‘challenges’ neurodivergent people face are more to do with the environment and systems they are placed in, often designed by a majority population. https://www.neurodiversityweek.com/introduction

Jane Manwaring, Head of Department Inclusion and Wellbeing

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From the Deputy Principal Senior Years

Esme Hatchell

I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year, and a very Happy Lunar New Year!

I hope all our returning families have had a restful break and are ready for another wonderful year at QASMT. A very warm welcome to our new families and students, I hope your first official week at QASMT was successful and that you are beginning to settle in. If you have any concerns or questions, remember to reach out to your House Dean, they are a wonderful source of support for your time here at the Academy.



Celebration of the 2023 DP Cohort

I would like to take a moment to celebrate our Graduating Class of 2023 – we are so proud of our graduates who achieved some of the best Academy results we have ever had. But most of all we are so proud of the way they completed their studies with integrity, and as open-minded, reflective, principled and knowledgeable thinkers. We are so proud to know our 2023 Graduates will go into the world with a strong sense of International Mindedness, and they will contribute positively to our ever-changing world. 

Senior Years Curriculum and Assessment

Year 10

Our Year 10 students have enthusiastically navigated a busy start to their senior schooling. They are now in their final STEM Futures subjects which run for the first semester, before all students embark on their Diploma Preparation Program (DPP) in the second semester. I would like to remind all our students of the importance of staying organised, setting your own personal goals and working hard to reach your potential. I would like to encourage our families to talk to your child to ensure they are in the right subjects, as next term we will start to think about subject level selections. As the year progresses, we aim to have students in the subjects and levels that they intend to study in their IB Diploma Programme (DP) course. There are also a myriad of extra-curricular events and activities to get involved in – and inspired by – this term, so I encourage all students try to find something that will excite their curiosity.

Year 11 IB DP

Our Year 11 students have just embarked on their IB Diploma journey, and it has been wonderful walking around classrooms seeing students already fully engaging with their chosen IBDP subjects. The IBDP Assessment Guidance Handbook will be emailed to all Year 11 students and parents in the coming week. Please make sure you keep this as a reference to refer to in conjunction with student assessment calendars which will also be emailed out. Students and parents will learn more about CAS, TOK and EE as we progress in the programme of study. I look forward to supporting all our students as they take part in the IB Diploma.

Year 12 IB DP

To our Year 12 students and families - welcome back to your final year of high school! Hopefully, our Year 12 students have taken time to rest and spend quality time with family and friends during the holidays, and have come back prepared to undertake their final assessments. The 2024 Cohort IBDP Assessment Guidance Handbook was emailed out last year but will be re-emailed out in the coming week - please make sure you use this as a guide to all upcoming IB assessment submission dates. A reminder to Year 12 students that effective time management, consistent study routines and a distraction free workspace at home are key ingredients for success at this stage of the Diploma Programme. As the year progresses, all Year 12 students and families will be provided the information on upcoming important dates and information.

IB Learner Attributes and ATL in the Classrooms

At QASMT we proudly strive to support our students to achieve their potential through the embodiment of the IB Learner Attributes. We want, and support our students to be: inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective. We also seek to embed the IB Approaches to Learning (ATL) in our classrooms, where we purposefully support the development of student thinking, communication, social, self-management and research skills. At the end of this term, I look forward to reflecting with you which of these skills I have seen students using in classrooms, and which attributes I have noticed students demonstrating.

I wish all our families a wonderful term, filled with joy, new experiences and learning.

Esme Hatchell, Deputy Principal Senior Years

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From Education Outside of the Classroom (EOTC)

Yanah Floridis

I am delighted to present our EOTC (Education Outside the Classroom) team, featuring:

  • Sean Conway: Representative Sports Coordinator and MYP PHE teacher
  • Dale Meyer: SEHS and STEM teacher
  • Joao Vasco: Bridge and Duke of Edinburgh Program Coordinator, MYP STEM and PHE teacher
  • Vanessa Elmore: School Sports Coordinator and MYP PHE teacher

Together, our EOTC team is dedicated to fostering student development through PHE and SEHS courses, as well as providing enjoyable and enriching opportunities for growth outside the classroom. Stay tuned for details on this term's EOTC activities!

What is EOTC?

EOTC at QASMT extends beyond traditional classroom boundaries, offering curriculum-based teaching and learning activities across the MYP and DP, as well as extra-curricular opportunities. We place a significant emphasis on encouraging students to actively participate in extracurricular learning experiences, enriching their overall journey at QASMT and fostering a growth mindset.

These include events like the cross country, the sports program/gala days, and an extensive selection of CCA and CAS activities.

Beyond extracurricular engagements, our robust Physical and Health Education, as well as Sport Exercise and Health Science courses, empower students to comprehend the importance of physical activity and cultivate motivation for making healthy choices. Ultimately, we believe that healthy bodies contribute to healthy minds.

PHE Curriculum

Physical and Health Education presents a prime opportunity to develop fundamentals of wellbeing across a range of components. Year 7 students will embark on a journey of interpersonal skills growth, where activities such as ‘Capture the Flag’ will be the core of the practical component. Besides increasing student fitness levels and stimulating beneficial physiological responses, these activities are a means of combining fun moments with the encouragement of communication and social skills through problem-solving situations.

Our Year 8 students will focus on game analysis and evaluation of strategy in achieving set goals by engaging in activities such as cricket, softball/tee ball and French cricket. These games are good examples of how to improve motor skills such as hitting, kicking and throwing, which are transversal to a range of sports and exercises. We will also emphasise nutrition, not just as an approach to understanding how to improve fitness performance but also to establish healthy habits from an early age, developing self-management and research skills.

CCA

We are kicking off our CCA program this term with great enthusiasm, offering a diverse array of clubs and programs that will commence in Week 3. From the Bee Keeping Club to STEAM Club, 3v3 basketball, and the Environmental and Diversity Club, our students have an abundance of options to choose from. The range of challenges presented outside the classroom provides a fantastic opportunity for students to develop new strengths, overcome obstacles, and connect with like-minded peers to share valuable experiences. The CCA program runs throughout the year, allowing students to explore different clubs gradually without the need to join multiple clubs at once. It is also an excellent chance for our Diploma students to accumulate valuable CAS hours!

Daniel Turner

From the Chess Program Supervisor

The popularity of our lunchtime Chess Club CCA last year has sparked significant advancements in all aspects of chess activities here at QASMT, paving the way for exciting new opportunities for students in 2024. Thanks to our amazing achievements at the 2023 Gardiner Chess Individual Age Championships, and strong student interest in the game, this term will see our CCA program expand and include the inaugural QASMT Chess Coaching program on Friday afternoons. Students will now be able to develop their skills even further with professional and experienced coaches here at QASMT! Don´t miss out as registration ends soon and places are limited!

Sport Program

QASMT proudly boasts a robust sports program, consistently achieving excellent results and performances. Term 1 is poised for success, particularly in volleyball and cricket, two of our most distinguished sports. After narrowly missing the title last year, our cricket coaches are determined to reclaim it, and we are excited to introduce new sports to our Term 1 lineup, including Futsal.

The program is designed to foster maximum participation, encouraging students to enhance their physical abilities, build confidence, develop teamwork skills, and set and achieve goals. As a member of the West Brisbane Senior Secondary Sports Association, QASMT offers a wide range of team sports aligned with the gala day schedule.

We are also continuing to offer our growing volleyball extension program in 2024. Our skilled volleyball coaches are eager to advance in the rankings this year, having secured an impressive 14th place on the Queensland Schools Volleyball table in 2023. The volleyball extension program kicks off in Term 1, starting with our Year 9 and 10 boys and girls. Selections for volleyball extension students will be finalised in Week 3, with formal commencement in Week 4. A detailed schedule will be emailed to successful participants.

With the ongoing support of top-notch specialised coaches, we anticipate a successful year of sports at QASMT. If you are seeking an opportunity to meet new people, stay physically active, and learn or refine your sporting skills, look no further than the QASMT sports program.

Sean Conway

From the Representative Sports Coordinator

Term 1 offers a vibrant array of representative sporting opportunities including swimming, volleyball, soccer, cricket, netball and much more.  It is imperative that students regularly check their emails and Daymap notices for updates on upcoming trials.  For your information, here are the various avenues and progressions available for sports:




Sport

District

Region

State

National

Notes

Representative

Northern Eagles

Metwest

Qld

Australia

Students applying for rep trials must be playing at a high level.

School

West Brisbane Secondary School Sport Association (WBSSSA)

Metro Finals (other state school districts in SE Qld)

Qld

N/A

School Sport training once a week with a gala day once a term. Selection for gala day based on training and trials. Students sign up via survey.

Club (outside of school)

Various

Various

Qld

Australia

Usually specialist sport e.g. judo, equestrian.

Yanah Floridis, Head of Education Outside the Classroom

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From the Guidance Officers

Katrina Judge

Greetings! What a wonderful time of year with fresh starts, and the opportunity to dream with a new year stretched before us.  

There are many ways to get involved in the Career Planning sphere this term to support our students and families. 

Volunteers Needed!

Career Breakfast:  One of our major events for this term is our Career Breakfast, scheduled for 7:30-9:30am on Wednesday 13 March. Each year, we hold the Career Mentoring Breakfast for Year 12 students, where academics and professionals from a range of fields come to the Academy to discuss their career experiences with our students.  Students will be divided into small groups and will have the opportunity to ask mentors questions about their personal career experiences and pathways. Each group will have about 20 minutes before rotating so that students are talking to a variety of guests.

I am still seeking volunteer mentors and would appreciate hearing from you or anyone you know who might be interested in helping us.  All fields are of interest but may include:

  • Dentistry
  • Design (artist, architect, creative director, industrial designer, etc)
  • Engineering
  • Hospitality (hotel management, event management, chef, etc)
  • Actuary/Mathematician
  • Business/Finance/Economics
  • Political Science (analyst, diplomat, politician)
  • Medicine
  • Allied health fields

If you, or someone you know, would be willing to support our students by joining us as a mentor at our breakfast, please contact our Guidance Officer, Katrina Judge at kjudg12@eq.edu.au  by 19 February with a brief sentence or two about your role or career experience. This will assist us to ensure that we have mentors from a cross-section of workplaces and careers, and will enable us to provide students with information as they sign up for their group rotations.   

Information Sessions: Throughout the year, Career Information Sessions will be held focussing on timely information for career planning. Sessions will have a target audience (e.g. parents or a specific year level) but others are welcome to attend. Topics will include application processes, university specific information and study field focus sessions. During Term 1, the following sessions are scheduled:

  • 14 February - 6:00pm; Year 12 Parent Evening, university application processes
  • 14 February - 2:00pm-3:00pm; Year 11 and 12 students, university applications: how and when
  • 21 February – 2:00pm-3:00pm; Year 11 and 12 students, interstate applications

SET planning: Our new Year 10 students will also have the opportunity to engage in career planning this term as we explore the many aspects of career decision making. This will culminate with each student completing their Senior Education and Training (SET) plan to help guide them through the senior phase of high school and preparation for tertiary studies. Parents are encouraged to ask their students about their career plans and what they have been exploring in writing their SET plan. Returning Year 10 students will have completed this process during Year 9, but will have an opportunity to review their plans later in the year.

Career Planning Resources and Events

Australian National University (ANU): Applications open 1 March and close 13 May 2024.

Apply directly to ANU between March and May. Your application form will cover scholarships, student accommodation and admission. Your application will be assessed using Year 11 or 12 results, whichever is better. Early offers will be released 2 September 2024.

Note: Tuckwell Scholarship closes 8 April so ANU applications should be submitted in March to allow time for this application if desired.

Further details: ANU Undergraduate Domestic Student Guide 2024 is available in A block, Students Services, Career Library.

Resources

There are many resources available to support our students as they explore their goals and potential.

Guidance Office (A Block, Student Services): a range of free resources available for students to access    including career magazines, university handbooks and topic factsheets.

QASMT Digital Library: a growing collection of career resources including newsletters and factsheets        from previous communication. 

Options Bulletin: fortnightly newsletters, factsheets, event calendar and regular updates on career        topics such as universities, open days, scholarships, study skills and career fields. Members of our            immediate school community may use the Options Career Information app available through the Apple        store and Google Play: access code “QASMT.” 

Study Work Grow: features include guides (e.g. Entry to Medicine Guide), weekly newsletters, a work      experience database, a scholarships database, job spotlights and online tools. Go to             https://studyworkgrow.com.au/school/qasmt/ . Create your membership with school Code “QASMT.”

Contact

I am available Monday to Thursday during the term, 8:00am-4:00pm for appointments, or I can be contacted by email to answer your career questions. Happy planning!

Katrina Judge, Guidance Officer (Career Planning) 

Tara Le Pla

Welcome to a fabulous start to 2024 at QASMT

Starting off a new school year is always an exciting time for students, families and our staff. The new year brings with it new hopes and expectations of what lies ahead. For some, this can be a little daunting. A vital key in maintaining positive momentum and a grounded connection is setting up a practical and sustainable routine. Students have received a Guidance Wellbeing Newsletter with links to an article around preparing for the new year – starting the year strong. When developing routines, it is important to consider all aspects of our life, not just our study/learning time. Scheduled time for rest, family, socialising, health and fitness are also important.

Guidance Wellbeing Newsletter

Several times throughout this term, I will send out a Guidance Wellbeing Newsletter to all students with articles, activities and resources to support their wellbeing. I invite students and parents to share with me any suggestions for future topics. If you have younger children in your home, ask your QASMT child to teach them some of the strategies suggested in the Wellbeing Newsletters. This is a great opportunity for our students to teach their younger siblings some important skills.

Strategy Spotlight

The whole QASMT community will explore strategies together. I will share a weekly ‘Strategy Spotlight’ with all students, staff and parents. These weekly spotlights will focus on simple, fun and effective strategies to calm the mind and soothe the body. These strategies can be helpful for the whole family.

This week’s Strategy Spotlight: Many ways to meditate.

Most people who say they can’t meditate haven’t found the method for them yet. There are as many methods as there are personality types! This strategy reminds us to try different methods of meditation, even if we already have one we like. We may discover that we prefer one method for chilling, another when anxious, and another still when energised. Or maybe we need a winter and summer method, an active method (such as a walking or swimming meditation) and a passive method (such as listening to a voice or music recording). This strategy can prompt you to try out mindfulness methods you’d assumed you wouldn’t like, or you can simply focus on a method you know and trust. The amount of time spent is not as important as the consistency, so if you only have five minutes, then take that five minutes to direct your consciousness in a way that makes you feel calm and clear. Try to experiment with repeating the phrase, “calm and clear”; this word repetition or affirmation is especially useful for job interviews, performance situations, exams, public speaking and other times when we need to deliver the goods! 

Wellbeing Seminar Series

Wellbeing seminars will continue this year to support the wellbeing and brain health of our students and the Academy community.

Parent and Community Program

Headspace will be presenting two evening family and community sessions during Terms 2 and 3. The dates are: Monday 29 April and 22 July, 6:00pm-7:00pm. These will both be virtual presentations due to popular demand.

Topics this year will include ‘Motivation and Procrastination’ and ‘Perfectionism and Performance Anxiety’.

Details will be provided closer to the events, regarding registering your intention to attend.

Student Program

Student programs will be offered each term. These online programs will run for six weeks (during Weeks 4-9), just one session a week (accessed at any time suitable for each student). The sessions will be weekly ‘bite sized’ learning opportunities. These learning opportunities include science-based strategies around an assortment of topics.

The Term 1 program is Eat That Frog! This is a program providing strategies to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time.

Students will receive information via email with details of the course and how to enrol.

Other student programs offered this year may include the following topics based on cohort trends and needs:

  • Emotional grit
  • Overcoming perfectionism
  • Master your emotions
  • Panic stations – anxiety and panic
  • Anger

Gay, Straight Alliance

Our students have embraced the opportunities to practise positive engagement and wellbeing, with the majority of our students participating in our ever growing cross-curricular activities program, as well as other events throughout the year that offer opportunities to practice gratitude and other wellbeing strategies. Our CCA program has been designed to suit the needs of our diverse student body. One such CCA that was introduced in Term 3 2021, was the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). This CCA is run by Tara Le Pla (Guidance Officer). The program for this CCA is based on the research and resources provided by the GLSEN organisation https://www.glsen.org/. This organisation’s mission statement states, “GLSEN believes that every student has the right to a safe, supportive, and LGBTIQ+ inclusive K-12 education”. The GSA invites EVERY student to attend, no registration needed, just turn up.

GSA will begin meeting once a term in Week 5 with additional planning and event days throughout the term. The focus for students attending GSA in 2024 will be on organising celebrations and education around key dates in the LGBTIQ+ and QASMT calendar e.g. Pride Week and Wear it Purple day.

Accessing Guidance Officer: Student Support

Referrals for Guidance Officer support for students come through the House Deans. House Deans continue to be your first point of call for accessing information and support. If there are sensitive matters that you or your child require Guidance Support for, then I may be contacted directly. 

Appointments with me are available during school hours. To request an appointment, email tlepl4@eq.edu.au with the following information:

  • Student name
  • Year level
  • InStep class
  • Suggested time/s (between 8:00am-4:00pm)
  • Preferred meeting type (face-to-face, Zoom, phone)
  • For phone appointments, a contact number (if applicable)
  • A general reason for the request (e.g. mental health, safety concern etc).

School TV

This is an excellent resource that I have used with parents for some time now – the response from parents and community who have accessed these resources have reported to find them extremely engaging and insightful.

Today parents face a multitude of modern-day challenges in raising happy, well and resilient young people. Whilst there is a great deal of information available, this can often be confusing and overwhelming for parents looking for guidance.

SchoolTV addresses this as a new online resource designed to empower you as parents with credible and sound information with realistic, practical ongoing support strategies.

I invite you to take some time to explore each of the series listed below; they each include numerous topics. The resources section is also worth exploring. There you will find useful factsheets, apps, books, websites and other additional videos - all on one single topic!

Sections include:

  • Cybersafety series
  • Mental health series
  • School survival series
  • Healthy body series
  • Positive parenting series
  • Special reports

This resource can be accessed through the Academy’s website: https://qasmt.eq.schooltv.me/

Have a wonderful term – Be kind to yourself and each other.

    Tara Le Pla, Guidance Officer (Student Support)

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    From the House Deans

    House Deans

    We are delighted to extend a warm welcome to our latest members, the Year 7 and new Year 10 students. 

    Additionally, we would also like to extend this hearty welcome to all returning Year 8–12 students. We are so very pleased to see you back in 2024!

    There are a few changes that have taken place this year (including in the House Dean team) and, as always, Term 1 promises to be action-packed, so we take this opportunity to share some important information with you.

    House Dean Team

    We are very happy to find ourselves working with Jae Morris, Djamila Reynolds and Kate Oxenford, who have been newly appointed to the House Dean team. It is amazing to be working with such caring and capable people. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to meet your House Dean, please consider attending the Parent Information Evening on Monday, 12  February.

    House Charities

    Agnesi House Charity update

    Just before Christmas, the Agnesi House Dean dropped off the huge load of gifts donated by Agnesi House students to the Children’s Foundation at Brisbane Hospital. The foundation staff were very excited to receive so many resources to support children who unfortunately have to spend time in the hospital. Thank you to everyone who donated to this very worthy cause.

    Outline of Term 1 House Events

    There are a number of community activities and events taking place this term. Outlined below are a few of the most relevant:

    CAS Audits and Interviews (Year 11-12)

    During Weeks 3 and 4, CAS checks and interviews will take place. Students in Years 11 and 12 should first ensure that their minimum CAS requirements have been met, then consider how they can ensure that future CAS experiences offer value to their lives and the lives of those around them.

    House Dodgeball Competition (all years)

    All students have the opportunity to participate in and watch the House Dodgeball competition organised by house and sports captains. This event will take place over two consecutive Thursday lunchtimes in Weeks 2 and 3.

    House Art Competition (all years)

    Beginning in Week 2, students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their creativity through the House Art competition organised by the Arts Captain. Sessions will take place in InStep during the first half of Term 1, and completed works will be displayed later in the year.

    Year 7 Camp (Year 7)

    Held in Week 5, this camp will ensure that all Year 7 students have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the QASMT community and our house culture.

    Cross Country (all years)

    All students will have the opportunity to contribute to the QASMT House Cup in Term 1 via the whole school cross country event. On Wednesday Week 6, we will all be lacing-up our runners in order to run/jog/walk our respective house to victory.

    Other Important Reminders

    Mobile Phones

    From 2024 onwards, all Queensland state school students must keep their mobile phones switched off and away for the day during school hours. One of the many reasons for this change is that it will improve learning and nurture the wellbeing of students through increased social interaction. The updated 'Responsible Use of Electronic Devices and Mobile Phone Policy' is available via the QASMT website.

    Uniform

    It is important that high school students take responsibility to check their timetable and prepare their uniform in advance of the school day. In the event that you come to school in the incorrect uniform, make sure to collect a Uniform Slip from any House Dean before the commencement of Period 1. All uniform expectations are clearly outlined in the Dress Code Policy available on the QASMT website.

    If you have not been able to source the correct uniform through the uniform shop, please advise your House Dean.

    Timetables

    All students should have received two copies of their timetable on their first day back at school. One of these copies should be attached to the inside of their locker to help stay organised throughout the day.

    If you think that a student timetable has an error (i.e. unfilled lesson, or conflicting classes) please contact Ms De Freitas Pessoa, Deputy Principal Performance.

    Aileen Davis, House Dean Agnesi; Marc Wheeler, House Dean Curie; Stacy Wallace-Cunningham, House Dean Da Vinci; Ross Bray, House Dean Franklin; Jae Morris, House Dean Hawking; Kate Oxenford, Djamila Reynolds, House Deans Hollows; Sam Weston, House Dean Jackson; and Deva Prasad, House Dean Newton.

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    From the Department of Mathematics

    Russell Hams

    The Mathematics Department extends a warm welcome to all new and returning students and their families.

    Mathematics

    Term 1 is shaping up to be filled with engaging lessons and challenging enrichment opportunities. This year we are delighted to welcome Mr Guy McNicol, Mr Rabi Kundu, and Mr Joe Andersen to our Maths teaching team.

    In Maths lessons we want our students to be active participants in the search for concepts and relationships. They should ask questions about how mathematics is applied in the world whilst enjoying the exploration and discovery of patterns. Mathematics promotes students to be Inquirers, one of the 10 IB Learner Profile attributes. We want them to be enthusiastic, curious and learn independently and with others. To ensure they are ready for this, we ask that all students come organised with a fully charged stylus enabled computer and their calculator for every lesson, as well as a growth mindset attitude. 

    In the classrooms

    Year 7 classes will be considering “Is fairness always equal?” through their study of whole numbers, integers, fractions and decimals through a lens of probability. “A little bit of history repeating” unit for Year 8, will see them investigate equivalence while studying fractions, decimals, Pythagoras Theorem and congruence. Algebra and index laws will be used by Year 9 students in their unit “How’s it work?” where they will get the chance to apply this knowledge to investigate patterns.                          

    Year 10 students will focus on GDC (graphic calculator) skills, matrices, linear modelling, triangle trigonometry, algebra and surds in readiness for an investigation and then a test. In the Diploma Programme, both Year 11 and 12 students will be working on their Internal Assessment, an exploration of a mathematical topic. As this is a practise for Year 11 students, they have limited choice of topics, but the Year 12 students will be choosing their own topic.

    Maths Enrichment

    I would like to introduce and congratulate our Mathematics Captain and Ambassadors on their leadership positions.

    Mathematics Captain: Victoria 

    Mathematics Ambassadors: Harishen, Katherine, Mido, Alankrita, Parth, Siddharth, Helen, Milana, Jenny.

    This group will be working with Ms Josey, and have already made plans for an Escape Room, Question of the week and Pi Day celebrations. 

    As part of Maths Enrichment there are a number of activities we offer our students, these include:

    AMO (Australian Mathematics Olympiad)

    This year we have three students (Siddharth, Aimee, and Eason) who have been invited to compete in the Australian Mathematics Olympiad Competition on 7-8 February. This competition involves sitting two four-hour tests over two days. It is an outstanding achievement to be invited to participate in this competition. We wish Siddharth, Aimee, and Eason every success.

    UQ/QAMT Problem Solving Challenge

    Pi Day is 14 March every year. The Annual QAMT/UQ Problem Solving Competition is always held around this time. However, this year it is on 16 April to accommodate the change in NAPLAN dates. It is open to all students in Years 7-12 and is a very challenging competition. It is a two-hour competition with approximately 10 challenging questions that require full working out. The Year 11 results are taken heavily into consideration in the choice of Queensland students to be offered places in the National Mathematics Summer School, held in Canberra each January. Please check your emails, as I will be calling for interested students early next month.

    Kangourou Sans Frontieres Competition (30 March)

    This 75 minute online quiz made up of 30 questions will be again offered to students in Year 7-12. More details will be sent by email to students closer to the date.

    Maths Challenge

    This program offered by AMT (Australian Mathematics Trust) runs for four weeks and comprises of six challenging questions. Details of this program will be sent soon.

    Australian Mathematics Competition and ICAS Mathematics Competition

    As per usual, these competitions do not charge any extra fee, and all students are entered. Students will be informed in Term 3 when they will be sitting these competitions. Results from the Australian Mathematics Competition are taken into consideration when offering students positions to enter the Australian Mathematics Olympiad.

    Senior Robotics

    The Senior robotics CCA extends a warm welcome to all new and returning students and their families.

    Senior robotics at QASMT has seen tremendous growth recently, growing from approximately 30 students to 80 students. This is due to the programmes that we offer and the results our students have achieved.

    I would like to introduce and congratulate our Robotics Captain and Ambassadors on their leadership positions.

    Robotics Captain: Nikita 

    Robotics Ambassadors: Charlie, Enoch, Aaron, Saskia, Ermia, Calvin, Hugo, Rina, Disath, Mariah, Samuel, Lokajith, Alvis, and Michael.

    This group will be working with Ms Bebbington and have already made plans for ‘Battle Bot’ competition, ‘Spot the Robotic Dog’ demonstration, and many student upskilling sessions in 3D printing, laser cutting, CAD, electronics, and more.

    We currently offer the following programmes:

    First Technology Challenge - students learn to think like engineers. Teams design, build, and code robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. Robots are built from a reusable platform, powered by Android technology, and can be coded using a variety of levels of Java-based programming. Students gain skills in Computer Aided Design, 3D Printing, laser cutting, use of workshop tools, teamwork, leadership, outreach, budgeting, and more.

    Droid Racing Competition is a student robotics challenge focusing on the development of ground-based autonomous robotic racing platforms. The “droids” that take part in this competition will feature autonomous operation, robotic vision, navigation and obstacle avoidance, and mechanical design optimised for speed. This is a university undergraduate competition which we use to extend our capable students. In 2023 there were 15 teams entered from universities in Queensland and New South Wales, plus two teams from QASMT.

    Senior Robocup students build and design robots from scratch using 3D printers, laser cutters and general robotics parts, all controlled using Arduinos and coding in C++ . They gain many skills including: Computer Aided Design, 3D Printing, laser cutting, use of workshop tools, and soldering.

    Last year’s results

    We are very proud of our student’s achievements; last year in robotics we started the year with three teams being selected to participate in the FTC Asia Pacific competition. This was the first year our students have participated in a competition with teams ranging from Canada, India and Kazakhstan to name a few. All three teams were placed in the top half of the competition and gained many valuable skills, partners and ideas.

    In Semester 2, we had two teams compete in the University Droid Racing competition, one team came third and the other came first, and also achieve overall best droid! This is brilliant to do so well when competing against university students (our teams were from Years 10-11).

    At the end of the year, we had four out of our seven teams successfully qualify to compete in the Australian National FTC competition. From these four teams, one team was awarded the All Rounder award. Another team came forth, as well as receiving the Connect Award, and the other team came second.

    These are brilliant results for 2023, and I look forward to our students trying to maintain this standard in 2024.

    Russell Hams, Head of Department Mathematics

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    From the Department of Life Sciences

    Saengdao Philavane

    I am extremely excited to be your new Head of Department Life Sciences for 2024. 

    I have taught Biology and Science at QASMT for four years and have 14 years of experience with the International Baccalaureate Programme, both Diploma and Middle Years. I can truly say this is an amazing and engaging place to study and teach, where a world class STEM education is provided, and personal excellence is nurtured.

    I would like to say a big hello and welcome to our new Year 7 and 10 students, as well as a warm welcome back to all our students returning this year!

    We have four new teachers joining our team in Life Sciences and they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience. I would like to extend a warm welcome to Jessie Lyne, Vandana Pillay, Dr Karen Schwarz and Dr Karen Weynberg.

    Curriculum - Foundation Science

    Year 7 students have had a great start to the year, meeting their teachers and learning about lab safety and protocols through the Year 7 Laboratory Induction. It was a very exciting introduction to high school science - many students expressed they had never been in an actual lab before. Year 7 students will be starting the year with Chemistry, exploring elements, compounds and mixtures, while learning about water pollution and how to separate mixtures through the ‘The Water Crisis’ unit. This means that they start the year immersing themselves in practicals and experiments.

    The Year 7 statement of inquiry for this unit is:

    “Finding solutions for the impact of pollution on our natural systems is a global responsibility.”

    Year 8 students will start the year with Biology, where they will learn foundations for physiology in the ‘Body in Balance’ unit. They will start with the small world of cells, develop microscope skills and learn about cell specialisation and organ systems. Students will develop an understanding of the levels of organisation and how that leads to body systems working together in synergy. This knowledge will be used to investigate how medical innovations can help to combat issues that arise when the body is not working properly.

    The Year 8 statement of inquiry for this unit is:

    “Complex organisms are made up of smaller structures and systems that scientists’ model in order to understand their functions.”

    STEM Futures

    Year 9 Sustainable Futures is an MYP science course that is part of the pathway to the IB DP Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS). They investigate the natural environment with a focus on sustainability and maintaining biodiversity. Students will be learning and developing fieldwork skills before their excursion to Toohey Forest, where they will investigate and compare two different sites: one site with minimal human impact, and one with high levels of human impact. They will use the data collected from their field study to evaluate the effect that humans have on the environment.

    Year 10 Blue Planet is also part of the pathway to IB DP ESS. Developed in conjunction with UQ, this subject aims to give students exposure to real life issues in our local environment, while also giving them a ‘bigger picture’ global perspective. With a focus on marine ecosystems, students will be exploring the abiotic and biotic factors of the different marine ecosystems. They will investigate different impacts on aquatic ecosystems, looking particularly at natural impacts that our weather systems bring, and invasive species. This knowledge will help them prepare for an excursion in Term 2 to Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre.

    Year 10 Medical Biotechnology is a fascinating subject with a pathway to IB DP Biology. Students will be learning about the discipline of medical biotechnology, which uses novel techniques to produce pharmaceutical and diagnostic products that help treat and prevent human diseases. They will first learn about the structure of DNA and some of the biotechnology available to analyse genes, such as PCR, gel electrophoresis and CRISPR. They will also have the opportunity to understand the scientific, social and ethical challenges that accompany these technologies. Developed through our UQ partnership, we are extremely lucky to collaborate closely with two amazing UQ researchers who are continuing to lend their expertise and support for our students.

    Diploma Programme

    Year 11 Biology students have started their Diploma journey learning about the new Biology Guide, with first assessments to take place in 2025. The main aim of the new Biology Guide is to learn Biology conceptually for deeper understanding and application. Students will start with molecular biology that will then lay a foundation and lead to cellular biology. Year 12 Biology students are continuing with the legacy Biology Guide, and are learning about plant hormones and reproduction, human and animal physiology. They have also started the year with their Internal Assessment (IA) drafts due. It is important that students read through their teacher’s written feedback carefully so they have questions to ask during scheduled verbal feedback sessions, this will maximise their understanding and ability to apply that feedback.

    IB DP ESS is offered as an SL subject and is classified as either Group 3 (I&S) or Group 4 (Science). Students in Year 12 ESS have started the year finishing the collection of data for their IAs and will have their written draft due in Week 8. Year 11 ESS students will be building their foundations in the subject by looking at environmental value systems, energy in the environment and sustainability.

    Personal Protective Equipment

    It is a requirement that all science students have their own PPE, which consists of a QASMT lab coat and a pair of safety glasses, as well as appropriate footwear which is part of the normal school uniform. Students have been instructed to clearly label their names on their lab coats and safety glasses, and ensure they keep these in their lockers (unless dirty and need to be washed). We have a number of these ending up in lost property, and we would hate for students to miss the practical component of science because they have lost their PPE!

    UQ Science and Engineering Challenge

    The UQ Science and Engineering Challenge is coming up quickly, and we have more than 20 eager students who will be representing QASMT in this challenge. The challenge involves a full day of practical activities where students put their best problem-solving minds to the test designing an earthquake-proof tower, building a hovercraft or bridge, providing electricity to a city or creating an environmentally friendly house (just to name a few). The exhilarating day culminates in the final task, where students put their efforts to the test in front of excited onlookers. Teams design and build bridges that should withhold loads as weighted ingots (blocks of metal) that travel from one side to the other. Students are encouraged to approach the challenges with creativity, innovation and teamwork.

    “The greatest scientists are also the greatest dreamers, constantly envisioning new possibilities and exploring uncharted territories of the mind.” – Jane Goodall

    Saengdao Philavane, Head of Department Life Sciences 

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    From the Department of Physical Sciences

    Robert Hughes

    Welcome back everyone! I hope that you all had a lovely break and are recharged and ready to go for another busy year and, if you are new to the school, a very big welcome! 

    Week 1 saw a smooth start back for everyone and it felt like we had never been away by the end of the week. Classes were in full swing, bringing the Academy site back to life with the energy of lessons occurring across the campus.

    Over the holiday break, four students from QASMT attended the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) in Canberra. Jyothika, Liam, Timofey and Anshu joined 200 other students from around Australia for the first, in person, NYSF since 2020. The students stayed at ANU and participated in an exciting program that included visiting university research facilities, industry tours, STEM careers expo, cultural experiences, lectures and a great debate on space ethics by two of Australia’s top research scientists.

    NYSF Year 12 program applications for 2025 will open in Term 1 and all Year 11 students will be notified via email of this amazing opportunity.

    This term, we will continue with our STEM Seminar Lecture Series with our first lecture of the year scheduled for Week 5. A series of exciting lectures have been arranged for several lunch times over the course of the year, and any of our students are welcome to attend. Last year we had everything from genetics, astrobiology, and intelligent autonomous agents. To all our students - keep your eyes open for the announcement of who the next speaker will be in the coming weeks.

    This semester, our Year 9 Physical Science students had four different electives to choose from: Fuelling the Planet, World of Reactions, Biochemical Solutions and Medical Physics. These students have now begun to focus more specifically on the areas of science that most interest them and I look forward to hearing from them over the course of the term as they experience these new areas of science.

    Our Year 10 Physical Science students have begun their Semester 1 subjects of Future Materials (FMT) and Journey to Earth X (JEX). In Week 3 of this term, we look forward to inviting back our UQ research collaborators who will present to all of our FMT students. This is a great opportunity for our Year 10 students to be exposed to a real-life context for what they are learning in the classroom.

    Meanwhile, the main event to look forward to for our Year 10 JEX students will be their annual trip to Dreamworld theme park later in the term. This is always one of our students’ favourite trips of the year. Apart from the sheer fun and exhilaration that this trip provides, it offers, once again, a great real-life context for the physics concepts that our JEX students will be learning throughout the term.

    Our Year 11 students are our first cohort through who are studying the new IB Chemistry and Physics Guides, with the first assessments for 2025. A huge amount of work has been done in the background by our teaching team in order to have new and revised resources available for our students. We are very excited to be rolling out the new guide this year and look forward to supporting our students with their learning in their subjects.

    Our Year 12 cohort will be the last cohort to be assessed according to the legacy Physics and Chemistry Guides. Our Year 12 Physics students are submitting their final IA reports early this term, and then they move on to complete their learning of new content, including their option topic of Astrophysics. Our Year 12 Chemistry students will be collecting their IA data this term and continue with their learning of Redox Chemistry. This is a particularly busy time for our Laboratory Research Coordinator, Laboratory Research Educator and our Laboratory Technicians, and so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for all of their hard work.

    I always like to finish these articles with a quote. For me, the most relevant quote for this time of the year would be an old favourite saying of mine:

    A good start is half the battle

    To all our students and families: focus on making a good start to your school year, and this will pave the way for a successful outcome over the coming months ahead.

    Robert Hughes, Head of Department Physical Sciences

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    From the Department of Individuals and Societies

    Lyle Fredericksen

    Welcome to all new and returning students from the Individuals and Societies (I&S) teaching team.

    My Week 1 message as I visited classes was “I hope you got out of the break what you wanted and strive for personal best, not perfection”.

    In Term 1, all Years 7-12 classes will be focusing on two core skills: effective succinct note taking and then applying evidence to enhance written responses in the TEAL (Topic, Evidence/Example, Address the command term, Link) paragraph writing structure.

    Finally, I would like to welcome four new staff to the teaching team and below is a short message from each of them.

    Abby Vogels – Psychology and I&S

    My name is Abigail Vogels and I’m excited to be joining QASMT as a Psychology teacher. I’ve come to QASMT from a college in Auckland, New Zealand where I taught History and Sociology. My BSc, however, is in Psychology, so I’m very enthusiastic about being able to teach my favourite subject. When I’m not teaching, I like to hike, dance, travel, cook, and read (mostly about Psychology!).

    Sumit Giri – Business Management and I&S

    Hi, I am Sumit and I’m teaching Years 10-11 Business Management, World in Your Pocket and Year 8 I&S. I recently made the move to Brisbane from Forbes, NSW, where I taught at Red Bend Catholic College. In addition to teaching at QASMT, I am most looking forward to helping out the Robotics teams this year. In my spare time I enjoy playing badminton and chess.

    Jeff Cao – Economics and I&S

    After teaching economics at Indooroopilly SHS during the past three years, I had the desire to teach the IB. This semester, I’m teaching DP1 Economics, Year 10 Tragedy of the Commons, Year 9 Future Global Cooperation and Year 8 I&S. I’m looking forward to teaching the highly gifted students who attend the Academy. In my spare time I play badminton and catch up with friends.

    Joshua Kiehne – Economics and ToK Coordinator

    My name is Joshua Kiehne, and I am teaching Economics in addition to coordinating Theory of Knowledge. I am joining QASMT from Singapore where I taught at the Australian International School for seven years teaching the IB curriculum. I am most looking forward to supporting both staff and students as they immerse themselves in the world of TOK. In my spare time I enjoy good food (always happy to receive restaurants recommendations), all sports with a ball and exploring the world.

    Joshua Kiehne

    From the ToK Coordinator

    We commenced the year for both DP1 and DP2 cohorts in the Lecture Theatre, sharing last year’s results, expectations, and using some prompts to discuss thinking including unpacking Plutarch’s “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled”.

    DP1 students will commence the core unit of “Knowledge and the Knower” before progressing to Mathematics as the area of knowledge (AOK). A practice commentary will be submitted later in the term and students will be doing ‘show and tells’ using personal objects in class. DP2 students are reviewing the five AOKs and developing their essay structure writing. The IB essay topics for 2024 will be released in early March and then students will commence on the 1,600 word task which contributes 67% to their ToK grade. Students will be supported by our wonderful ToK teaching team which, with the retirement of David King, will be lead by Joshua Kiehne in 2024.

    Lyle Fredericksen, Head of Department Individuals and Societies

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    From the Department of Technology

    Larry Vint

    Welcome to Term 1, 2024

    I would like to extend a very warm welcome to our three new members to the Design and Technology teaching team for 2024 - Gerard Atzeni, Paul Clarke, and Ashton Simmonds. Also, a welcome back greeting to Don May who returned to QASMT after his secondment.

    Gerard is a teaching-focused programming enthusiast, he enjoys data-driven web development and algorithms. In addition, Gerard has a passion for gymnastics. After working in the Toowoomba region for the past six years, he is excited to bring his unique skillset to QASMT.

    Paul joins the team with a vibrant background in Sciences and Social Sciences and brings a unique blend of expertise in Nanotechnology and Design to the Department. He is eager to contribute to Robotics, Coding, and teaching the Design processes. A culinary fan with a passion for European cuisine, he dreams of teaching in Geneva, exploring the South of France, and savouring the delights of Northern Italy. Paul believes in the holistic development of our students, valuing the arts and physical fitness, and is excited to engage in community projects that foster these ideals.

    Ashton lived in Japan for 15 Years and brings an international blend to the department. He lives and breathes new ideas and innovation, and loves riding bikes.

    Gerard Atzeni

    Paul Clarke

    Ashton Simmonds

    Given below is an overview of our learning journeys for each of our course offerings in Term 1.

    MYP Program for Years 7 and 8

    The Year 7 and 8 subjects run for one semester, where the students will change over to either Music or Visual Art (incorporating Media Studies) in Semester 2.

    As these courses are very practical in nature with a focus on the process, students will document their learning journey in their process journal in the class OneNote. The process journal is a vital part of the course as it is evidence of learning and the intent is for students to have time each class to update their journal which may include screenshots, photos of sketches, as well as notes about their learning. We look forward to an exciting term of creative learning, risk taking, developing how we communicate with others, and how we can solve problems.

    Year 7 Design

    Our Year 7 students are exploring the Statement of Inquiry (SoI) ‘Human-centred design drives the development of products by engaging with the design cycle to explore the concepts of User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) to design a prototype mobile app for their client’. A particular focus will be on listening to the client’s needs and seeking feedback on designs as they explore questions such as, “how do modern apps appeal to customers, ensure effective functionality and address usability issues associated with both?.” These ideas are key to success for modern applications.

    Year 8 Design

    Our Year 8 students are engaging with the design cycle to create a promotional website for a client as they explore the Statement of Inquiry (SoI) ‘Design choices influence how others perceive our identity’. Students will consult with clients through interviews and develop the technical skills required to create the website.

    Year 9 and 10 STEM Futures Program

    The Year 9 subjects run for one semester, where the students will change into other STEM Futures electives in Semester 2.

    Year 9 Future of Automation

    This term, students will be introduced to programming Arduino based micro-controllers and the Internet of Things (IOT) in an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Learning by doing, students will investigate the capabilities of sensors and display components to design proof of concept mini-automation projects, developing fundamental skills they will later utilise in home automation projects.

    Year 9 Disrupting the Market

    In Term 1, students will learn how to use the laser cutter through a series of skill development activities and design challenges. This is a subject where students develop business management knowledge and experiences alongside design skills.

    Year 10 Living in a Digital Society

    What is a data scientist? What do they do? How do they shape the modern world with their skills? These questions are the backbone of this terms learning. Big data has taken on a massive role in advertising, planning, preparation, and running of big businesses and it is all due to the efforts of data scientists around the world. Students get to explore this field and the modern concerns and benefits of this technology, as well as the impacts this data collection has on people and products.

    Year 10 Computational Thinking (Computer Science)

    Our students will investigate the possible career pathways of a computer scientist, including the different fields of study and the university pathways that can be undertaken to become a computer scientist. Is there more to computer science than programming? To answer these questions, students will develop logical and algorithmic approaches to problem solving, designing systems, and understanding human behaviour, drawing on the concepts fundamental to computer science (Wing, 2006).

    Diploma Programme

    Year 11 Digital Society – Higher Level

    This term, students will focus on the key concepts, such as power, identity, expression, which we use as a lens to unpack and explore existing and emerging digital systems, such as ChatGPT. Our focus this term is to learn about the underlying technologies and concepts upon which systems are developed, such as algorithms, networks, the Internet, and artificial intelligence (AI).

    Year 11 Computer Science – Higher Level

    This term, the Year 11 Computer Science students will be learning about the planning and installation of new IT systems and the issues involved in the replacement of legacy systems. Students are also learning an introduction to Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) through Java. We will investigate the concepts of classes and objects, as well as constructing Unified Modelling Language (UML) diagrams and decomposing problems into related objects. As well as this, students will understand the basic premise of procedural problem solving and constructing simple algorithmic solutions using pseudocode.

    Year 12 Digital Society – Higher Level

    Our students will explore how digital systems are changing our world and transforming how we think, communicate, collaborate, and create. As partners in inquiry, students and teachers explore the impacts and implications of digital systems for people and communities in diverse real-world contexts. Students are empowered to become citizens who not only participate in digital society but lead it as well.

    Further, students develop as ethical, empathetic, and creative people who address the world with individual and shared understanding, imagination, and action.

    Year 12 Computer Science – Higher Level

    Abstract data structures are a fundamental component of modern computing. They allow us to create programs that are efficient, multi-faceted, and allow for optimal performance for computer hardware. Students are exploring abstract data structures with an understanding of their structure, application, and implementation. Students are also exploring our case study, "Rescue Robots", where they will explore the search and rescue of humans after disaster, and the assistance of robots in searching and mapping areas, assessing damage, removing debris, delivering supplies, and evacuating casualties after events such as an earthquake or tsunami.

    Finally, many of you will have heard the buzz about ChatGPT, a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology that allows you to have human-like conversations and much more with a chatbot. This is something that we will explore in Year 10, 11 and 12 Digital Society and Computer Science classes, as we encourage students to keep abreast of emerging technologies and engage in conversations about both the opportunities and dilemmas for society. We highly recommend the ABC's weekly podcast, ‘Download This Show.’ https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/downloadthisshow

    We look forward to an imaginative and creative term of learning through enquiry and problem-solving.

    Larry Vint, Head of Department Technology 

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    From the Department of European Language Acquisition

    Inga Mertens-Walker

    Welcome to the 2024 school year! As the newly appointed Head of European Languages, I am thrilled to extend a heartfelt welcome to our esteemed school community.

    It is both an honour and a privilege to lead a department dedicated to fostering collaborative learning experiences and supporting students on their academic journey by embracing language learning and encouraging global connectedness.

    In the coming weeks, I will be visiting European Languages classes to introduce myself and connect with both students and teachers. I am eager to see and hear about the exciting learning activities and achievements within our European Languages Department and offer my support to ensure a successful academic year ahead.

    I am proud to announce that we have an exceptional team comprising of Miss Johnson, who we welcome as a new addition this year, Mrs Robert, Dr Cole, Mrs Weill-Ainscough and Miss Cantoni in French; Frau Wilson and Frau Liebchen as well as myself for German; and Spanish is led by Mr Turner. Our Latin Classical Languages teaching team are Mr Girola, who is also new to our school, Ms Haskmann and Ms Lambert. Each of these teachers brings a wealth of experience to contribute to the creation of an enriching and immersive learning environment.

    Free tutorial lunchtime sessions and times for all classes will be communicated by the class teachers, and commence in Week 3.

    We have exciting initiatives ahead, so please stay tuned for announcements regarding unique opportunities for students to engage with European languages and cultures throughout the year.

    As we embark on this academic journey together, let us celebrate the joy of learning, exploration, and achievement in the realm of European Languages. Here's to a successful and fulfilling school year for all!

    Inga Mertens-Walker, Head of Department European Language Acquisition 

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    From the Department of Language and Literature

    David Bracken

    In the dog days of summer as muslin curls on its own heat
    And crickets cry in the black walnut tree
    The wind lifts up my life
    And sets it some distance from where it was.

    (excerpt from Dog Days of Summer by Meena Alexander)

    The season that we are encountering in Term 1 can be characterised by “dog days of summer”. 

    As Alexander writes, despite the searing conditions, any season can see us make progress, change and develop. That is the goal for our students, through the variety of productive and receptive writing that they will create this term. This will be supported through a variety of Approaches to Learning (ATLs).

    Year 7 are welcomed into the study of Language and Literature through their initial Empathic Biography unit in which they will demonstrate their Research, Thinking and Communication ATLs to re-create a key moment in the life of a celebrated mathematician or scientist. By combining factual information with the mode of creative writing, our students will demonstrate their ability to produce texts that are interesting and engaging.

    Similarly, Year 8 students will write creatively to engage with the Statement of Inquiry: Imagined consequences of change have value, through a Speculative Fiction creative writing unit. By imagining the possible implication of technological or environmental change, students will draw upon the ATLs of Research, Social Skills, and Thinking Skills to create narratives that are conceptually deep, in a timed examination.

    Our Year 9 cohort are creating podcasts while exploring the Statement of Inquiry: People, Places, and Things empower people. By collaborating with peers, researching the context of a variety of Australian poems, planned out a thorough drafting process, and analysing poems in relation to the Statement of Inquiry, students will develop their ATLs of Research, Self-Management, Thinking Skills, and Communication.

    Year 10 are embarking on a study of the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald and will articulate their findings via a timed block examination in response to unseen questions. Our conceptual exploration of this text will see students not only explore Fitzgerald’s content and purpose, but apply the principles present in the text to the world that they see around them. By transferring their study of literature into an understanding of the human condition, students will develop their ATLs of Research, Thinking Skills, and Communication Skills.

    Within the first year of the IB Diploma Programme, our Year 11 students will study Chimamanda Adichie’s short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck and start to identify Global Issues that have significance on a wide scale, are transnational, and are felt in everyday contexts. Simultaneously, they will prepare for an unseen Paper 1 which requires them to view non-literary texts, analyse the content within them, and provide a conceptual insight into universal truths about how the world works. This will see them develop their ATL Thinking Skills and Communication Skills as they articulate their conceptually deep insight into literature and the 21st century world.

    Finally, Our Year 12 students are exploring Anouilh’s drama script Antigone for their November 2024 external examinations. The ATLs of Thinking Skills and Communication will be developed as they, similarly to our Year 11 students, try to make connections between this deep and rich context-specific text (WW2 occupied Vichy France) and the functions of power, gendered social expectations, and the role of rebellion.

    In all, it is a pleasure to view students engaging with not only the skills of analysing and creating Language and Literature texts, but seeing the subject develop them as socially aware communicators who are able to support their opinions with informed thinking. The heat may permeate the QASMT campus and seem to seep into every crevice of our beings at this time to prompt a sense of lethargy; however, it cannot touch our students’ own high standards and their development as students of Language and Literature and exceptional thinkers.

    David Bracken, Head of Department Language and Literature

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    From the Deputy Principal Middle Years

    Kirsten Baker

    As we commence the new academic year, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all students, parents and carers back to QASMT after what I hope was a relaxing break.

    It was lovely to see our new Year 7 students on Monday and to welcome them into the QASMT community. Our youngest cohort for 2024 have certainly had a very full week of activities and informative sessions to best prepare them for their time at QASMT.

    The year ahead will offer our Middle Years' students many opportunities to perform at their best and involve themselves in all the QASMT has to offer. I urge all students to take every opportunity that comes their way in an effort to enrich all aspects of their schooling life.

    During this busy first term for the year, we have many activities on the horizon. In the coming weeks we will have our student leadership induction ceremony, school photos, parent information evenings, a ‘Battle of the Bands’ competition, parent morning teas, our annual cross country event, Year 7 camp and Harmony Day, to name just a few. All calendared QASMT activities can be found on our website. A reminder that our House Deans also send out fortnightly newsletters with important student and parent information across the year.

    Please note that online NAPLAN testing will take place this term for our Year 7 and 9 students, commencing on Wednesday 13 March. Important information for parents and students relating to these NAPLAN tests will be sent out soon.

    From this year, all students must ensure that their mobile phones are away for the day and that all wearable technology notifications are turned off. This is a mandated requirement across all schools. Further information can be found on our website.

    Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to remind our Middle Years’ students of safe road practices when walking to and from school. When walking to and from school it is important to always be aware of their surroundings. When playing music in headphones, for example, it is difficult to hear oncoming traffic. To avoid an accident when crossing streets, students should use pedestrian crossings where available; look left, right and then left again. Brisbane’s streets are very busy. Please take care.

    I look forward to a very enjoyable term ahead with our Middle Years’ students.

    Kirsten Baker, Deputy Principal Middle Years

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    From the Senior Leadership Team

    Senior Leadership Team

    Dear parents, caregivers, students, and teachers

    A very warm welcome to both our new and returning families! We trust that your summer vacation was rejuvenating and enjoyable. It has been a pleasure meeting our Year 7 and new Year 10 students, who are wholeheartedly embracing the QASMT culture and swiftly adapting to the essence of being an IB learner.

    Commencing the new school year has been a delight, and we eagerly anticipate building positive and supportive relationships with all of you throughout the coming year.

    Embarking on a new school year is a time filled with optimism, excitement, and perhaps a touch of nervous anticipation. Equipping our students with the skills of positive psychology is paramount, creating a toolbox for them to navigate new challenges. Dr. Peter L. Benson, an esteemed expert in child development, emphasises the crucial role of relationships in human development. At QASMT, we firmly believe that nurturing our young people's relationships is fundamental to their wellbeing.

    Hans Christian Andersen's quote, "Just living isn't enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower," resonates with our belief at QASMT. We understand the importance of providing an environment that fosters not just academic growth but also personal flourishing.

    Reflecting on the themes that emerged in 2023, we recognise the value of learning how to attain optimal wellbeing. To this end, we introduced our revised whole community Wellbeing Framework, titled 'Learning to Flourish, Flourishing to Learn.' This framework integrates various elements within our Academy culture that support the wellbeing of both students and staff. It outlines the roles of each community member and equips teachers with a toolkit to support wellbeing inside and outside the classroom. For more details, please visit the QASMT Wellbeing Framework.

    Our Strategic Plan embodies QASMT's unwavering commitment to flourishing. The vision statement, 'Inspiring great minds through the provision of a world-class education that nurtures personal excellence and develops young people who can contribute positively to an ever-changing world,' underpins our emphasis on personal excellence.

    We highlight the values underpinning our educational philosophy, captured by the 10 Attributes of an IB Learner. These values surpass a mere checklist, embodying the aspirational qualities of the IB Learner Profile. Our emphasis extends beyond academic success, aiming to instil a deep sense of personal excellence. At QASMT, we are dedicated to a journey of continuous improvement, striving to reach our fullest potential and flourish in every facet of life.

    Contrary to pursuing perfection, we value the ability to learn from failures. Perfectionist attitudes can hinder personal satisfaction, even in the face of tremendous success. Our emphasis on learning rather than perfectionism, with your support, will contribute to a more satisfying state of wellbeing for our students.

    At QASMT, our continuous improvement journey is vital in supporting all students to achieve personal excellence. Our core priorities, integral to our success, have evolved over time and include:

    1. Confident Learners

    Nurture personal excellence to ensure every student is able to flourish and pursue their future pathway of choice.

    1. Collective Efficacy

    Shared commitment to our collective capability for optimal student learning and wellbeing.

    1. Collaborative Culture

    Promote positive school culture through collaboration and authentic partnerships.

    Five actionable ideas to help our students start and sustain a positive school year:

    1. Set the Tone with a Positive Outlook

    In a world where the news often leans towards the negative, it's crucial to approach the school year with a positive mindset. Despite the challenges we might face, remember that human potential has always found a way to thrive. As we kick off the school year, we invite parents to adopt a stance of possibility. Your optimistic approach can be infectious and serve as an inspiration to those around you.

    1. Encourage Ambition in Your Child

    Ambition is a powerful motivator, as exemplified by figures like Serena Williams, LeBron James, Beyoncé, and Malala Yousafzai. Their success is driven by an inner fire that comes from a clear vision or sense of purpose. As your child steps into the new school year, motivate them not to simply coast through but to embrace ambition. Channel the spirit of Nelson Mandela’s philosophy, "I never lose, I either win or I learn," and encourage your child to breathe life into their aspirations.

    1. Embrace the Learning in Failure

    Starting the year by acknowledging the possibility of failure may seem unconventional, but it's an important aspect of learning. Encourage your child to ponder the question, "What would you do, even if you knew you would fail?". Embrace the idea that failure is a genuine pathway to understanding one's capabilities. Share the liberating notion that, even in the face of challenges, there's an opportunity for growth.

    1. Shape Their Perspective Positively

    Remind your child that where they stand in life determines what they see. Just as different seats in an auditorium offer unique views, diverse perspectives can be powerful tools for shaping their reality. Encourage them to approach situations with an open mind and consider different viewpoints.

    1. Advocate for Being Present

    In a world filled with constant busyness and digital distractions, being present can be a challenge. Remind your child that the most important moment is the one they are in right now. Encourage them to resist the urge to constantly rush from one thing to another. Emphasize the significance of appreciating the present, as it is the only true moment they have.

    STUDENT LEADERSHIP

    Congratulations to all the students undertaking leadership roles this year! Your genuine enthusiasm for accepting this responsibility is truly noteworthy. We eagerly anticipate the positive impact you'll bring to these crucial roles. As role models for our entire student body, your guidance plays a pivotal role in strengthening the bonds within our QASMT community. Below, you'll find the list of our student leaders for 2024.

    OUR 2024 ACADEMY CAPTAINS

    Middle Years Academy Captains: Abby Hatchell and Joy Chen

    Senior Years Academy Captains: Gabriel Pavilion and Anika Gupta

    Demand for places at QASMT continues to increase. Our enrolment is currently at 1373 students, with further demand for placements in 2025 and 2026. Our increase in student numbers necessitates an increase in teaching staff and we welcome all of our new teachers.

    Name

    Role/Faculty

    Cathy Lu

    Deputy Principal Engagement

    Jae Morris

    House Dean Hawking

    Inga Mertens-Walker

    Head of Department European Languages

    Dean Aspland

    Language and Literature

    Joanne Ikin

    Language and Literature

    Jenny Wood

    Language and Literature

    Stefano Girola

    European Language Acquisition

    Alexa Johnson

    European Language Acquisition

    Abigail Vogels

    Individuals and Society

    Joshua Kiehne

    Individuals and Society

    Jeff Cao

    Individuals and Society

    Sumit Giri

    Individuals and Society

    Jessie Lyne

    Life Sciences

    Vandana Pillay

    Life Sciences

    Karen Schwarz

    Life Sciences

    Joseph Anderson

    Mathematics

    Rabi Kundu

    Mathematics

    Guy NcNicol

    Mathematics

    Gerard Atzeni

    Technology

    Paul Clarke

    Technology

    Ashton Simmonds

    Technology

    Once again, we take immense pride in the exceptional achievements of our Year 12 graduates last year. Their unwavering commitment to the IB programme and QASMT not only ensures their personal success but also reflects positively on the overall student body. The robust support provided by our dedicated staff cultivates a healthy learning environment, enabling students to attain their personal best.

    Playing a pivotal role in guiding individual students towards success are our wonderful House Deans. These dedicated individuals take on central responsibilities in tracking, monitoring, and coaching our students, contributing significantly to their academic journey. Furthermore, our Guidance Officers collaborated closely with students to ensure the fulfillment of their preferred QTAC preferences.

    The year 2023 marked a notable milestone for our graduating students, and we extend our congratulations to each one for their resilience and determination. Notably, our students achieved among our best results, surpassing our target for 40+, with 32% of the cohort achieving an IB score of 40 or more and 91% of students achieving a 30+. Our graduates have received their tertiary pathway offers and we wish them all the very best for the year ahead.

    There are a number of important operational updates commencing at the start of 2024. The Research Centre hours are 7:30am – 4:30pm Monday to Friday. It is important to note, that at all times, the Research Centre is designated as a quiet study space including lunch times. Middle School students can book a collaborative working space at the Research Centre reception. The Refectory space is open to Year 12s only and will be monitored by CCTV. 

    From 2024, in line with all other Department of Education schools, mobile phones must be ‘away for the day’ and students are not permitted to use mobile phones during school time. ‘Away for the day’ will support schools to maintain a strong focus on educational achievement, and student wellbeing and engagement by:

    • providing optimal learning and teaching environments
    • encouraging increased face-to-face social interactions between students
    • promoting the health and wellbeing of students through increased social interaction and physical activity
    • reducing the potential for students to be exposed to the negative impacts of the digital world, resulting from unsafe or inappropriate technology use.

    Mobile phones may be brought to school, however, they must be switched off and not be visible at any time throughout the school day. Notifications on wearable devices, such as smartwatches, must be switched off so that phone calls, messages and other notifications cannot be sent or received during school hours. This also applies to student attendance at school activities, such as school sport, excursions and camps, unless otherwise determined by the principal. Students are not permitted to bring any mobile phone or wearable device into an examination.

    Students are permitted to bring mobile phones and wearable devices to school to:

    • support safe travel to and from school
    • make contact with parents, friends and part-time employers outside of the school day.

    During school hours, urgent communication between students and parents should be directed through the school office. Non-urgent communication between students and parents should be done via email. More information can be found in the policy Responsible Use of Electronic Devices and Mobile Phones.

    Unfortunately, throughout 2023 there was a decline in student attendance due to families taking holidays during term time. Whilst we understand that the global pandemic presented unforeseen challenges, we now need to return to business as usual. While we have accommodated families traveling during term time, a more stringent approach will be implemented to align with the Department of Education’s absence criteria. Unless deemed a genuine emergency, approvals for leave during term time will not be granted. Vacations, family visits, engagements, wedding ceremonies etc are expected to be scheduled exclusively during official holiday periods. The school will continue to support applications for academic and sporting competitions.

    Ensuring the safety, wellbeing, and duty of care for our students and school community stands as our foremost priority. On behalf of QASMT, we extend our sincere appreciation for your continued commitment and cooperation as we commence the new school year. We kindly request your adherence to our safety protocols, including the suspension of handshakes and the option for individuals to wear masks.

    For our families embarking on their QASMT journey this year, we are confident that you will swiftly become integral members of this exceptionally caring community.

    Kath Kayrooz, Principal; Tanya Haggarty, Associate Principal Academic;  Kerry Bullock, Associate Principal Teaching and Learning; Catherine de Freitas Pessoa, Deputy Principal Performance; Cathy Lu, Deputy Principal Engagement

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    Summer hats

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    From the Department of Language Acquisition - Asian Languages

    Fiona Scarth

    As we bid farewell to 2023, let’s take a moment to reflect on our languages students’ remarkable accomplishments and anticipate the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.

    National Speech Competition Triumph

    We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Jyothika for securing 2nd place in the prestigious National Japanese Language Speech Contest. Her eloquent speech on the forthcoming phone bans in Queensland schools not only earned her recognition at the regional Brisbane contest, but also propelled her to success in the state finals on the Gold Coast and the national competition. The speech competition, scheduled to return to Brisbane in early August next year, provides a platform for budding speakers to showcase their skills. Let’s harness the momentum from this year’s success and aim even higher in the coming year.

    Global Youth Forum: A Resounding Success

    This term, the Asia Education Foundation and the Department of Education International hosted the culminating event at the Royal International Convention Centre for the inaugural Queensland Global Youth Summit. Students in Years 8-10 were treated to thought-provoking presentations from inspirational entrepreneurs and engaged in pitches addressing challenges identified in their school communities. Each year level group presented their pitch, relating it to the Sustainability Development Goals and proposed possible solutions. Following the event, an invitation was extended to all presentations to showcase their ideas at the Department of Education International conference in May 2024. Impressively, all three groups, comprising a total of 10 QASMT students, have submitted applications for this unique opportunity. We commend all students for their outstanding efforts, consideration, and encouragement of each other and those from other schools throughout the program.

    Holiday Language Learning Opportunities

    As we approach the holiday break, we encourage students to continue their language learning journey. Consistent exposure is key to success. Spending just five to ten minutes a day engaging with the language of study can significantly enhance vocabulary and skills. Simple activities such as watching TV or movies, listening to music, or borrowing books from the local library in the target language, can contribute to this immersive experience.

    For those looking to delve deeper into language learning, consider participating in a week-long language course at the Institute of Modern Languages (IML) at UQ. Scheduled for early January, these courses cater to Years 9-12 students and cover a variety of languages including Chinese (Mandarin) and Japanese. Enrolments close on 19 December and there are sponsored places also through the Department of Education International. Explore the opportunities available at the IML high school program site for more information.

    Wishing everyone a restful and language-filled holiday season. May the coming year be filled with even greater achievements and learning adventures!

    Fiona Scarth – Head of Department Language Acquisition – Asian Languages

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    From the inclusion team

    Jane Manwaring 

    As our 2023 school year ends, I want to thank all the families and students we worked with this year as part of Inclusion at QASMT. 

    With the Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence strategy as a key priority, it is not surprising that the portfolio is growing and that my focus on this strategy is important work. A large amount of the new priorities falls under the portfolio of Inclusion and Wellbeing.

    Connection and belonging are what underpins what we do as the numbers of students we support has grown this year, and will continue to grow. I look forward to collaborating with families and students next year to help support you in 2024. I would like to wish not just our Inclusion students but all our students and families and safe and happy holidays.

    https://intranet.qed.qld.gov.au/about/PrioritiesandInitiatives/Pages/equity-and-excellence.aspx

    Our new Student Leadership Team

    The newly appointed captains for 2024 have already been hard at work. Portfolio Captains have been planning dates for events and working to have them calendared on what is a busy school calendar. Several of our traditional events will be going ahead in 2024, with the addition of some new and exciting opportunities for students to be involved in Academy life. Please ensure to check the Academy calendar to see what you might like to be involved with in 2024.

    Our Academy Captains have also started official duties, one being the Remembrance Day Service. This is the first time our Captains have been to this service with the Toowong RSL, and it is lovely to see that they were able to represent the Academy community this year. I would like to thank Mr Bray for accompanying the captains. I know it is with pride that the students had the opportunity to attend such an important event with you.

    Jane Manwaring, Director Inclusion and Wellbeing

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    From Instrumental Music and Vocal music

    Gregory Thompson 

    It has been a wonderful year of music making with significant progress made across our ensembles. 

    Thank you to our parents and caregivers who support our students with home practice and ensuring our musicians get to morning and afternoon rehearsals on time.





    Thank you to our teachers this year who commit their time and energy into our musicians:

    Sue Berti: Percussion and Brass

    Amanda Cole: Choir

    Neridah Oostenbroek: Strings

    Teena Sullivan: Strings

    Lissa Sullivan-Ward: Woodwind and Classroom Music

    Greg Thompson: Strings and Classroom Music

    Key dates confirmed for Instrumental Music in 2024:

    Saturday 16 March         Workshop Day with guest conductors

    Thursday 16 May            Evening Concert    

    Tuesday 6 August           Evening Concert     

    Congratulations to Arts Ambassador Leonardo (Year 9), who has been accepted into the prestigious QSO Compose program. He will be working with mentors from the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) to compose a new piece that will be premiered at a public performance by QSO musicians at the ABC Studios in Southbank next year. This year, Leonardo has been enrolled in the STEM Futures Soundtrack Year 9 Classroom Music class and the composition CCA both led by Mr Thompson. Leonardo’s contribution to the ‘Sustainability Suite’ by QASMT Student Composers for our orchestra premiered at the opening ceremony for ISSF 2023 in December at our Auditorium. Leonardo is part of our Instrumental Music program, as first violin in Chamber Strings.

    The year has rounded out well, with a lot of our students involved in music events during the International Students' Science Fair 2023, which saw a wonderful collaboration in The Arts across dance, choral and music.

    We are looking forward to another fantastic year of music making in 2024.

    Gregory Thompson, Instrumental Music Coordinator
    gdtho0@eq.edu.au 

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    From the Deputy Principal Senior Years

    Esme Hatchell

    As the year draws to a close, now is a perfect time to stop and reflect on all that we have achieved together this year. 

    Reflecting on the year that has been, I am extremely proud of our students and teachers, they certainly embody what it means to be an IB learner – they are caring, reflective, balanced, knowledgeable, open-minded, principled, inquirers, communicators, risk-takers and thinkers. 



    Year 12 DP Curriculum

    Congratulations must go to our Year 12 cohort who completed their schooling journey on the 10th of November after three weeks of intense final IB examinations. Our students sat their exams with the upmost of integrity, and their behaviour during this time was exceptional. As the exams came to an end, we celebrated with the Year 12 Farewell Assembly and the Year 12s had their final walk around the courtyard to say goodbye to their InSteps, friends and teachers. Following this was a spectacular Valedictory evening at the Brisbane City Hall, which was a beautiful way to end their time at QASMT. To our Year 12 families – congratulations, what an impressive achievement to have supported your child through their entire school journey, they could not have done it without you. To all our Year 12 students – we wish you all the best with the release of results in January, and with your next steps in your journey!

     Year 11 DP Curriculum

    Our Year 11 students are now well and truly into their Diploma. They have completed their final IB English IO and TOK Exhibition and have begun their Extended Essay this term. Many students have started to collect data for their Science IAs, and students in Economics have had their first IB assessment draft due. These upcoming holidays are a good time for our Year 11 students to reflect on what has worked well for them in their Diploma so far, and to begin to plan how they want next year to look. But it is also essential that students allow themselves to rest and unwind before Year 12 begins.

    A very special part of our collaboration with UQ is our EE UQ-Mentor Program, which is growing each year. Through this program, students undertaking their EE in Year 11 are able to register their interest to be mentored by a UQ collaborator as well as a subject teacher. As we celebrate the successful end to the program for the 2023 cohort, we are also celebrating the wonderful start to the 2024 cohort program. I am looking forward to seeing what our 2024 cohort students produce with the support of their teachers and UQ-EE mentors, as well as our EE Coordinator, Ms Chetty.

    Year 10 DPP Curriculum

    This term has been a busy term for our Year 10 students, they have wrapped up their Diploma Preparation Programme across all their subjects and are about to start in their Diploma next year. Our students were able to spend some time each Wednesday afternoon, guided by our Careers Guidance Officer, Ms Judge, thinking about their pathways after their school completion, and I hope they found this time to be valuable. 

    As preparation for the transition into their Diploma, one of the best things you can do is make sure your child has all their stationery and textbooks and are feeling prepared for their Diploma. It is important that students take a well-earned break during this holiday time and come back refreshed and ready to learn next year.

    Spotlight on ATL

    At the end of each term, I highlight the IB approaches to learning (ATL), and this term I want to remind you of all the IB ATL: thinking, communication, research, self-management and social skills. It is through these different approaches to learning that students are able to learn how to learn. I have seen these ATL in every subject this year across all year levels in our school. I have seen students use their social skills to work in teams where their individual strengths are harnessed to produce work that a single individual could not have; I have seen research undertaken by our students that have impressed visiting university leaders; I have seen and heard students communicate their complex work with eloquence and impressive confidence. But I want to ask you to reflect with your child - where and when did our students feel they used these ATL this year? Where does your child feel they could use ATL more next year? Together, with our dedicated teachers, we have been working on ways to further embed ATL in our learning and teaching across QASMT, and next year I look forward to sharing with you how ATL are used at the Academy.

    To end this year, I would like to thank our wonderful students for their dedication to their learning over 2023. I would also like to thank our wonderful teachers, support staff, the leadership team, and our engaged parents and caregivers – we are a dedicated team driven by the same vision to provide our students with access to a world-class innovative education so they can become the best learners they can be.

    Have a wonderful and well-earned break over this coming holiday, make sure you take the time to unwind and relax, and see you all again in 2024.

    Esme Hatchell, Deputy Principal Senior Years

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