Term in Review - 9 Dec 2020
- From the Senior Leadership Team
- From the Director of Middle Years
- From the Department of Language and Literature
- From the Department of Language Acquisition
- From the Department of Technology and the Arts
- From the Department of Individuals and Society
- From the Department of Physical Sciences
- From the Department of Life Sciences
- From the Department of Mathematics
- From the House Dean of Agnesi
- From the House Dean of Curie
- From the House Dean of Da Vinci
- From the House Dean of Franklin
- From the House Dean of Hawking
- From the House Dean of Hollows
- From the House Dean of Jackson
- From the House Dean of Newton
- From the Guidance Officers
- Final Words about Academy Life
- From the P&C
From the Senior Leadership Team
The road this year, whilst seemingly uncertain at times, ended hidden behind a mountain of final examinations and before we knew it, we were farewelling our Year 12 Diploma Graduates of 2020. Vitalised with energy, after surviving this unprecedented year, and having met the goals they set for themselves when commencing their education at QASMT, the Year 12 2020 graduates joined with staff, fellow SMT students, and parents to celebrate the completion of their high school education and reflect on their IB studies and experiences at QASMT. The 2020 School Captains’ speeches reflected the enthusiasm of our Year 12's and how driven they were in their studies, and possibly most importantly, how much they supported not only each other, but also members of the wider school community throughout the year.
Those commencing in Year 7 this year also have marked a milestone of their own, in completing their first year of high school. We look forward to their return in 2021 and seeing them welcoming our new Year 7's in 2021.
Students in Year 8 completed their foundation studies and are looking forward to undertaking exciting new electives from our unique STEM Futures Program next year. STEM Futures Electives have been written in collaboration with university/industry links to provide a challenging and engaging curriculum designed to enhance students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in STEM and global citizenship. Our collaborators so far include, The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre, Queensland Virtual STEM Academy and SPARQ-ed. We look forward to further developing and expanding our collaborative relationships with key institutions and organisations as we develop this new and exciting curriculum.
Year 10 SMT students have completed their first year at QASMT and now begin preparing to commence their IB Diploma journey, whilst our Year 11's embark on one of the great journeys of the IB Diploma Programme, the Extended Essay (EE). As many of you are aware, the EE is an independent, self-directed piece of research which is completed with a 4000-word paper. Each student must complete the EE in order to obtain their IB Diploma. This Essay develops students’ skills in formulating appropriate research questions, engaging in personal explorations of topics, communicating ideas, and developing arguments – all essential skills required to complete future undergraduate research. The EE is also central to the IB Diploma Inner Core, as it contributes up to three points in the final grading, in conjunction with the Theory of Knowledge. Therefore due to its size and significance, it is essential that the research and development of the piece is ongoing and frequently conducted. Our staff have spent many hours supporting students through this process in 2020.
Whilst this year has certainly taken its toll on people across the world, it has provided our staff and students with the opportunity to be extremely innovative. The learnings from teaching online (both positive and negative) will inform future practice which is incredibly exciting. During Term 1 2021, we will be conducting forums with our students in order to seek further feedback regarding what worked and what didn’t work, with a view to incorporating the most successful aspects of online learning into our pedagogical planning.
Of course, a highlight of 2020 for SMT was the opening of our state-of-the-art STEM Precinct which was completed in early January and what an amazing building it is. We are incredibly fortunate to have, we believe, the greatest number of purpose built science laboratories of any state school in Queensland.
As the 2020 school year comes to an end, we reflect on what has been achieved this year and what we are soon to experience. It is with great enthusiasm that we continue preparing to welcome a new cohort of Year 7's and 10's, and a new parent community, to the Academy in 2021. We look forward to the wonderful opportunities of having these new members as we grow and develop the SMT school community, and thank our current school community for their ongoing support. To our current students, we thank you in advance. You are leaders in this school and the transition we experience, as we move into 2021, is driven by your enthusiasm to grow.
Finally, we would like to wish the SMT school community a relaxing, safe and festive holiday. The Principal, Kath Kayrooz, will be in contact in late January to share the celebrations of our 2020 cohort Diploma results.
Kath Kayrooz – Principal, Kerry Bullock – Deputy Principal, Tanya Haggarty – Deputy Principal, Russell Hams - Director of School Operations,
Jane Manwaring – Director of School Culture
From the Director of Middle Years
2020 Year 8 Honours Program
Acknowledging academic excellence is a key tenet in promoting student achievement at QASMT. Our bespoke Honours Program is designed to acknowledge, celebrate and encourage our students to achieve the highest academic standards. This year’s Year 8 Honours students have had the opportunity to participate in a range of unique experiences to enrich and extend their learning. This has included an excursion to the QUT Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), which they attended with their Year 11 Honours, student mentors.
Year 8 Honours student, Elizabeth Lee, recounts the day below.
Middle Years Readiness Program (Week 10)
Transition programs are vitally important to establish school routines and culture. This is not only for incoming students entering our school for the first time, but also for our current students as they prepare to move up to the next year level.
As a means to connect and inspire our students, each year we present the Middle Years Readiness Program in Week 10, Term 4. The program looks to develop leadership skills, deepen student knowledge and understanding of being an IB learner, and set our students up for success for the year ahead.
Zero Bullying will be attending to run sessions on the Safety Net Program, and trainers from Character Builders will be conducting one-day leadership training workshops for both Year 7 and Year 8 students, on alternate days. We look forward to supporting your student as they prepare for their transition to the next year level in 2021.
QUT STEM Middle Years - Saturday workshops
Our Middle Years QUT STEM workshops relaunched in Term 4, following a break due to COVID-19. They will continue into 2021, so keep your eyes out for details next year.
Year 8 - Mechatronics: Bionic Arms
Using the engineering principles of mechatronics, our students constructed a robot arm from a range of components and motors. Based upon their selected components, they then mathematically determined the physical limits of a prosthetic arm. Using this information, they tested their hypothesis by remote controlling the arm to perform a variety of tasks to test the capability of their robotic claw.
Year 7 - Rockets 101
Students competed to launch virtual rockets to the highest altitude using a spaceflight simulator program. They learnt the basic concepts of rocket science, exploring the definitions of terms such as rocket mass, fuel mass, thrust, and burn time, and investigated how these affect the trajectory of their rocket. They used their findings to manipulate the software code to select the optimal fuel mixture and throttle settings, and then pitted their rockets against each other in a bid for the highest altitude. There were a few surprises here!
Everything old is new again (The Ancient to the Medieval World)
Our Year 7 Individuals and Society students have been working collaboratively to complete an independent inquiry task that seeks to deepen their conceptual understanding of this term’s Inquiry Statement: Cultures are shaped through changing traditions, beliefs, values and social interactions. It is evident that all teams have been working very hard to fulfil the task obligations with purpose and creativity.
Incoming Year 7 Transition Day
It was a delight to host our incoming Year 7 students for their final transition day before they join our QASMT school community, in 2021. We appreciate that this transition can be both an exciting and challenging experience for our newest students. It has been our aim to ensure this move is as smooth as possible, by building a sense of connection to our school community. There are so many firsts to look forward to in the year ahead - new friends, new teachers, new routines and a whole new school!
May I take this opportunity to wish all our families a happy and safe holiday, and to thank you for your continued support throughout the year. Your students have much to be proud of and have come such a long way over the course of the year. Please take the time to acknowledge their achievements and learning.
It is my plan to disengage from technology over the holiday break and to make time to connect with nature, read a book and engage with my family in authentic ways!
Until next year,
Sandra Davey, Director of Middle Years
From the Department of Language and Literature
What a topsy-turvy, but inspiring year it has been in the Language and Literature faculty. I have been amazed at the incredible efforts and resilience of our students, staff and families in my first year at QASMT.
The incredible work all students have done this term is certainly locally orientated and globally minded, reflecting the international mindedness of the IB.
Our amazing Year 12's reviewed their Work in Translation Essays whilst continuing their learning amidst the effects of the global pandemic. Our Year 11's really engaged in the new Language and Literature course, particularly in our exploration of Scientific Progress and Ethics. Our Year 10's created CAR logs, inquiring into texts and global issues. This term our Year 8's have been studying sustainability, working toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Year 7 students have been exploring how poetry explores social and environmental issues – enjoy the two powerful student poems below.
Education Outside The Classroom
Year 8's transformed their documentary pitches into short video productions in Term 3. In Term 4 I had the honour of presenting the shield to congratulate our inaugural winners of the Year 8 Observational Documentary Competition:
- Students’ Award: Joshua Waghorn, Aiden Teimoori and Lachlan Rice.
- Teachers’ Award: Elizabeth Lee, Ryan Galgane, Jessie Wang and Dimitri McNicholas.
2020 was not the year we had planned in Junior Debating. After registering eight Year 7 teams and six Year 8 teams in the Queensland Debating Union (QDU) competitions, we were informed by the QDU that the entire competition had been cancelled due to the pandemic. In adversity lies opportunity, and out of the ashes of the inter-school competition, rose the first QASMT online debating competition. A new fixture was developed in Term 2 and teams logged on to Blackboard Collaborate to prepare their arguments and debate virtually. It was a truly amazing experience to see all the names of debaters, coaches and adjudicators appearing on Blackboard exactly on time, despite the participants being spread all over Brisbane. After seven rounds of debating across three terms, the grand final debates were held in the lecture theatre in Term 4, Weeks 6 and 7, and two teams emerged victorious. Congratulations to the following students for their achievement:
- Year 7: Afeefa Fareed, Sera Chatha, Ava Whitehouse;
- Year 8: Bela Varsani, Joan Sibi Peter, Maha Poursarparast, Sunny Chalasani, Anika Gupta.
Thanks to Mr Isaac for the original idea of an online debating competition. Thanks also to Olivia Hulme and Luke Soll for assisting with communication, scheduling and topics. Thanks to all the senior students who provided outstanding leadership and mentoring to the juniors. The online debating competition would simply not have been possible without you. Finally, thank you to all the parents and guardians who provided the support at home to help children be online, on time and participate fully. A final, massive QASMT thankyou to Mr Moore for running junior debating this year.
Over two Sundays in August, six of our Year 11 students participated in a Senior A Mini-Competition run by the QDU. Regrettably the team did not make the finals, but were successful in their Round 3 debate against Somerville House. This mini-competition provided an excellent chance for our potential future Senior A debaters to practise their skills in a challenging year. Well done to Nasrene Akhtar, Magnus Blums, Hayden Greer, Tavpreet Kaur, Kayla Malherbe and Grace Terec for their participation in this event. Additionally, congratulations must go to Shalomi Panadura Arachchige and Poorvi Malik for their success in making it into the finals for the Brisbane Girls’ Debating Association (BGDA) case competition. Thanks also to those who continued to debate online in Year 10 and 11.
Trials for the QDU Senior A team for 2021 were held in Week 4 of Term 4. Well done to all who trialled, and congratulations to the following members of next year’s Senior A team:
- Magnus Blums, Hayden Greer, Tavpreet Kaur, Nick Teimoori and Grace Terec.
Finally, I would like to congratulate Olivia Hulme in her role as Debating Captain for 2021, as well as our Debating Ambassadors: Tavpreet Kaur, Kanak Relekar and Nick Saneian.
Debating provides excellent opportunities to give back to the school community and gain CAS experience, and I encourage all debaters currently in Year 10 or 11 to consider coaching next year. I look forward to 2021 being a more traditional year of debating.
Texts for 2021
It has come to my attention that a number of Year 11 students have not purchased the texts for Year 12 next year from Sequel as they were required to do at the start of this year. To ensure students engage in learning, it is important that all students have the required physical texts and correct editions before the commencement of the new school year. For new Year 11 students in 2021, it is important they have all the required texts ready to go from the start of the year. Some students this year jeopardised their academic results because they did not have the physical texts.
On a final note, Ms Magar, our Year 11 Language and Literature coordinator, will be leaving us at the end of this year. Staff and students will dearly miss her at QASMT. We wish her all the best for the future and thank her for all her efforts and contributions to the QASMT community. Farewell Ms Magar!
Zachary Lurje, Head of Department Languages and Literature
From the Department of Language Acquisition
2020 will soon come to a close and it has been a very successful year for both our language students and our language teachers. It is exciting to see how much progress students are making in one academic year and how much their intercultural understanding and language skills have improved. To maintain the language would only require 5-10 minutes per day of targeted practice and this will hold everyone in good stead ready to start 2021.
The start of 2021 brings a very exciting development, with the expansion and inclusion of Year 9 into our Academy. We are looking forward to welcoming both new Year 7 and Year 10 graduating cohorts: 2023 and 2026!
The end of Term 4 signifies the fast approaching holiday season. This means it is a time for a multitude of different cultural and traditional celebrations. Although COVID-19 has changed the way some of these events are run, some are still going ahead this year, while others have been cancelled.
Christmas – France
In France, a Nativity crib is often used to help decorate the house. French cribs have clay figures in them. During December some towns and cities, such as Marseilles, have fairs that sell Nativity figures. As well as having the normal Nativity figures in them, French scenes also have figures such as a Butcher, a Baker, a Policeman and a Priest. One of the biggest Christmas markets in Europe is held in Strasbourg, in North Eastern France. In the Alsatian language it's called the "Christkindelsmarik".
Yule Logs made out of Cherry Wood are often burned in French homes. The log is carried into the home on Christmas Eve and is sprinkled with red wine to make the log smell nice when it is burning. There is a custom that the log and candles are left burning all night with some food and drinks left out in case Mary and the baby Jesus come past during the night. In France, Father Christmas / Santa Claus / St. Nicholas is called Père Noël (Father Christmas). In eastern France, he is accompanied by Le Père Fouettard, a man dressed in black. The main Christmas meal, called Réveillon, is eaten on Christmas Eve/early Christmas morning, after people have returned from the midnight Church Service. Dishes might include roast turkey with chestnuts or roast goose, oysters, foie gras, lobster, venison and cheeses. For dessert, a chocolate sponge cake log, called la bûche de Noël, is normally eaten.
St Nicholas Day – Germany, Switzerland, Austria
St Nicholas Day, or Eve, is celebrated on 6 December. This is the favourite holiday of all children – it’s a gift-giving day. When evening comes, St. Nicholas (a revered grey-haired figure with flowing beard, wearing gorgeous bishop’s garments, gold embroidered cape, mitre and pastoral staff) knocks on doors and enquires about the behaviour of the children. The custom of examining the children, where they will cite a verse, sing, or otherwise show their skills, is still widespread in German-speaking countries. Each little one gets a gift for their performance.
The story of St Nicholas, the bishop of Myra in Minor Asia, who died on 6 December, 343, dates back to the 4th century. He is said to appear in the company of Knecht Ruprecht, “Knecht” meaning “servant”. Historically, Ruprecht was a dark and sinister figure wearing a tattered robe with a big sack on his back in which, as a legend says, he would put all naughty children. St Nicholas also appears together with St Peter, along with an angel, the Christchild (Christkindl). As the gift-giving function of St Nikolaus began to shift to the splendour of the candle-lit Christmas tree and emphasis on the birth of Christ, Knecht Ruprecht became the servant and companion of the Christchild. In this role, Ruprecht became the patron saint of Christmas and was called “Weihnachtsmann", Father Christmas or Santa Claus. The most famous tradition on St Nicholas Day is that little kids put their polished shoes or socks outside the door or window, and at night St Nicholas fills them with little gifts. Families also share a Gritibenz on the morning of St Nicholas Day.
New Year’s Day – Japan
New Year is a great time to celebrate the end of a year and the beginning of another year. For many, there are so many traditions associated with how they celebrate. In Japan, there are also customs and traditions associated with bringing in the New Year. New Year is called ‘Oshougatsu’ in Japanese. During New Year’s Day, Japanese people eat certain New Year’s foods. Toshikoshi soba is one of the New Year dishes, often eaten on New Year’s Eve. The dish consists of buckwheat noodles in a soup with various toppings. The noodles symbolise a long life. So, by eating the noodles, it represents your wish for a continued long life in the next year as well. Another traditional food that Japanese people eat during New Year’s Day is Ozouni, which is a soup dish with mochi (rice cakes). The mochi, much like the noodles in toshikoshi soba, are supposed to represent longevity, due to its stretch form. Osechi is a traditional New Year’s assortment of food that each are symbolically supposed to represent something. There are so many components to osechi, and it varies so much depending on who has prepared it. It is commonly put into a traditional black bento box, and is compartmentalised based upon the dish. Below are some of the more commonly found dishes in osechi.
Another interesting tradition of Japanese New Year’s Day is otoshidama. On New Year’s, there is a tradition of handing a bit of money in an envelope to the children. Moreover, one of the more traditional New Year’s customs is Hatsumode, or the first shrine visit of the New Year. Many people go to visit a shrine on January 1st, 2nd or 3rd, in order to pay their respects, and also to wish for a happy and healthy year.
El dia de todos los Santos - Spain and Mexico
On 1 November, Spain celebrates “el dia de todos los Santos”, the day of all Saints and Mexico celebrates two to three days of ‘Dia de los Muertos’, the day of the dead. Both celebrations commemorate and celebrate loved ones who have died. Despite the feeling of sadness that one would think relates to such ceremonies, it celebrates life. The celebrations bring people together at meals and joyful activities, such as eating special foods and sweets or wearing colourful costumes.
We wish everyone an enjoyable break and happy holidays.
Stephanie Berlage and Sabrina Schmid, Heads of Department Languages Acquisition
From the Department of Technology and the Arts
What a year! Please join me for a review of Term 4.
MYP Design – Coordinated by Ms Sandra Knowles & Mr Simon Freeman
A key component of the Year 7 Design unit this term has been about how prototyping will allow designers to receive feedback from their client/audience without the need to produce a fully working solution. During the process of developing the prototype, students have been involved in interviewing their clients multiple times to ensure they can understand their needs. With each iteration of the design, it is expected that the prototype will be refined, and more closely match the functionality required in the final solution by the user. Students had the choice to invest in developing new skills using Adobe XD or use PowerPoint.
Students in Year 8 Design have spent the term exploring how constraints, experimentation and empathy may lead to an impactful and creative solution. To do this, they have been developing artistic montage videos in Adobe Premiere Rush, and utilising inventive thinking and audience feedback to inform and develop new iterations of their projects. If you haven’t seen your Year 8 child’s video, I recommend asking them. We’ve seen some very inventive and unique approaches to these videos, demonstrating some incredible video editing skills.
Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS)
This term in Year 10, students produced their animations about an ITGS issue. We then moved onto the case study for driverless vehicles which included students doing their own independent research. Students were asked to consider how driverless vehicles would impact on future employment, safety standards and the level of trust people will have about the vehicles. In Year 11, our students completed their projects where they studied the impact of the Internet and personal communications. Students did an in-depth study of the Netflix documentary, ‘The Social Dilemma’ and critically evaluated the impact of social media in society.
This term in Year 10 Computer Science, students have begun analysing the use of data encryption and how quantum computers may affect digital security. Through a mock case study, students have been able to develop their research skills to determine the differences between classical and quantum computers, the ways quantum computers can be applied and how effective modern encryption is, against quantum computers. From this, they have been able to determine what kind of algorithms are most effective for securing modern and future data storage. The skills students have learned from this will be invaluable to their DP Computer Science experience. For Year 11, students learnt about Abstract Data Structures including Multi-Dimensional Arrays; Singly, Doubly and Circular Linked Lists; Stacks; Queues; and Binary Trees. The 2021-2022 Case Study for Paper 3 has also been released, with the topic focussing on Genetic Algorithms and their use in solving the Travelling Salesperson Problem.
Music – Coordinated by Mr Gregory Thompson
All students of MYP Classroom Music have performed solo on stage to demonstrate their practical skills, focussing on Musical Theatre. This complemented a composition task requiring students to input their original songs into music notation software for publishing. These learning experiences offered students creative capabilities in the Arts, resembling industry related experiences, whilst drawing and extending on the strengths of each individual under the instruction of Mr Greg Thompson. Students included these pieces of evidence in a skills folio in which they explain their creative process, showing the development of skills over time. Each student is to be congratulated on their efforts whilst taking risks, and showing courage to communicate meaning and intent of the composer through performance.
Drama – Coordinated by Ms Susan Wisowaty
This term in Drama, the Year 7 students have demonstrated their performance skills and understanding of British Pantomime in in-class performances. We have seen Pantomime Dames, Villains and Principal Boys come to life in front of our eyes – and then we shouted “It’s behind you!” at them. Many thanks to all of the parents and guardians who helped our budding actors learn their lines and create a costume. Our Year 8 Drama classes have investigated scriptwriting through the form of Radio Drama. Some excellent scripts have been created that use the aural mode to communicate meaning. Year 8 Drama have spent their final weeks in our Drama course creating Radio Plays using their digital devices – and have discovered the challenges of performing for an unseen audience. It has been wonderful to hear all of the work they have completed!
Visual Arts - Coordinated by Ms Sarah Guymer and Ms Dani Towers
Year 7 students have reimagined their 'improbable beasts' in expressive charcoal drawings, blended photographic images to capture an illusion of reality using Adobe Photoshop, and then worked collaboratively to construct 3-dimensional mixed-media sculptures. This extensive folio has been further supported by a creative written response, transferring the students' research of environmental issues into imaginative creature adaptations.
Year 8 students have created heart-warming portraits of family members or expressive self-portraits that extend on their earlier planning and investigation. Students were able to choose whether they created their contemporary resolved artwork using digital or drawing media, with both techniques being equally popular. Using influences from case-study artists, tutorials, experimental folios, and their classmates, the finished artworks demonstrate extraordinary variety and insightful application of symbolism to communicate identity.
Year 10 and 11 students enjoyed an inspirational day working with artist Jacqueline Scotcher. The students learnt new techniques with media and ideation, which have built on their previous art experiences and strengthened their use of colour and layering. The Year 10 class extended these techniques in beautiful ‘Places and Spaces’ paintings, which have been on display in The Box. Year 11 students have presented the first of their exhibition artworks in the independent study. These are on display in the art rooms on our new display walls.
This term the Year 11 Engineering Ambassadors successfully completed the prototype of our cluster computer. Made from four Raspberry Pi 4 computers, the system is now up and running. The next steps in 2021 will be to create a suite of software that will give students across the school activities and tools they can use in their classwork.
This term the Year 11 Technology Ambassadors successfully completed both the Junior and Senior Mario Kart Competitions. There was a large turnout for both competitions, and we would like to thank both the participants and audience members for their attendance and enthusiasm. Thank you also to the students and teachers who supplied the controllers and equipment for the competition, without you this would not have been possible!
A warm welcome goes to our new Year 7 to 11 Ambassadors for next year, with Magnus Blums as our Technology Captain. Planning for our ambassador programme next year is well under way with students already working on their plans for next year’s Pi Day.
We have had a very eventful term in Robotics. Please read the Robotics Parent Support Group overview below. A warm welcome to our Robotics Ambassadors, led by Korin Aldam-Tajima, our Robotics Captain. This term QASMT hosted the First Lego League (FLL) Brisbane Regional Tournament which we ran in COVID-safe mode, and we welcomed 20+ teams from the region. This coincided with the FTC regional competition and at the moment in our Robotics spaces, we have an FLL and an FTC team busy preparing for their end of the year competitions. A big thank you to our large team of teachers and support staff who worked tirelessly this term to support our students. We wish you all a safe and enjoyable holiday.
Madeleine Brookes, Head of Department Technology and The Arts
From the Department of Individuals and Society
At this point of the year as I write this article, Year 12 students have successfully completed their IB exams and we wish them the best of luck with their results and their journey in life beyond QASMT. We have certainly enjoyed working with them. Our Year 10 and 11 students have also finished studying and there have been many strong performances across the three subjects in our department. Two of the major events that occurred in this term were the Year 10 Business pitch and the Year 7 Abbey Museum trip.
Year 10 Business Management Pitch
Students have been working in teams to investigate market opportunities and develop business venture concepts. Their particular focus was to develop a product that filled a gap in the market. Staff of the University of Queensland Business Ventures hub, guided our students in the preparation of pitch presentations and assisted in the final judging of the competition. The winners were Kevin Nguyen, Amlan Nag and Tirtha Sarker (below), who developed a same day prescription delivery business.
Year 7 Individuals and Societies Trip
Year 7's spent one day at Abbey Museum in Caboolture. The students worked their way through five rotations which included: medieval weaponry, archery, medieval games, the museum tour and church visit. They learnt about life in medieval times, engaged with historical artefacts and applied their knowledge to the classroom through a range of learning experiences.
Brock Cullen, Head of Department Individuals and Societies
From the Department of Physical Sciences
Term 4 brings to a close what has been both a challenging and busy year in Science at QASMT. Throughout 2020, teachers and students have demonstrated adaptability and flexibility, with teaching and learning and numerous enrichment and extra-curricular activities looking quite different to what we are used to. QASMT has had students win many awards and competitions this year, and we have sent students to virtual Science Fairs in Australia and overseas. We eagerly anticipate the IB results of our graduating cohort of students, and wish them all the best for the future.
Science Teachers Association Queensland (STAQ) Science Competition 2020 Results
Each year, the best student research in Science, Mathematics and Engineering is submitted to the STAQ Science Competition. Students from all over the state compete for prizes in a number of categories. As usual, we had a large number of excellent experimental research projects from our Year 12 cohort to submit. We also submitted posters produced by our Year 11 students who have participated in national and international Science Fairs. In addition, we had several projects submitted by Year 7 and 8 students.
This year, QASMT students have received 18 prizes across four categories. A number of scientific and industry organisations also donate bursaries for outstanding work in a selected field. QASMT students received four bursaries in 2020.
Year 7 and 8
First Place Science Investigations: Helen Butler, Amali Jose, Leisha Naicker
Second Place Science Investigations: Nerissa Do, Bela Varsani
Year 11 and 12
First Place Poster: Luke Soll
First Place Science Investigations: Ewan Beach
Second Place Poster: Poorvi Malik
Third Place Science Investigations: Sachin Kubsad
Third Place Poster: Hayden Greer and Murphy McDonald Smith
Highly Commended Science Investigations: Daniel Zhao, Sri Venugopal, Noreen Ryan, Tanvi Parulekar
Highly Commended Engineering: Ben Hogan
Highly Commended Poster: Lili Cavill and Annabelle Green
Ewan Beach – Royal Australian Chemical Institute Prize and AASQ Acoustics Prize
Jaewon Lee - AASQ Acoustics Prize
Jarvis Leeper - AASQ Acoustics Prize
Japan Super Science Fair (JSSF)
For three weekends in November, Year 11 students, Alex He, Emily Chen and Bhumiraphee (Poom) Foongkajornkiat, participated in the 2020 Japan Super Science Fair. This fair is hosted every year by Ritsumeikan High School in Kyoto. In 2020, faced with the COVID 19 health crisis, the fair was held online. 63 schools from 25 countries participated.
Alex, Emily and Poom presented their research at the fair, and their research topics were:
- Alex - PillPal: Using technology to help reduce hospital related prescription drug incidents;
- Emily – Chromatography: Polarity of the mobile phase effect on retention factor;
- Poom - The Compared Efficiency and Sustainability of Biofuel derived from various grocery products.
The students also participated in a group activity called Science Showdown. The international groups of students worked together online to solve five problems involving mathematics, ciphers, animal design clouds and origami. The students also participated in cultural exchanges, learning languages and about other countries. It certainly was different to attending an International Science Fair in person, but 2020 has been a year of adapting to changing circumstances. JSSF 2020 was a success, and the QASMT students have made friends with other like-minded students from around the world. Here’s hoping we can return to Kyoto for JSSF 2021!
Australian Science Fair (ASF)
Every year in November, the John Monash Science School in Melbourne hosts the Australian Science Fair. With the protracted Melbourne lockdown, the Fair was held online this year with participating schools from all Australian states. Three Year 10 students; Jessica Baily, Stevie Chiu and Xavier Groth, were able to complete a research project using a 15 keV Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), on loan from UQ. Their in-depth study of hydrophobic and hydrophilic leaf surface analysis using the SEM, was presented at ASF during Week 8. Shown here are some of their SEM images.
The three QASMT students completed a STEM challenge using a post pack of supplied materials to engineer a solution to a problem. They also participated in three immersion workshops with Monash University academics on image processing, climate change and probability. Despite the tight deadlines and the challenges participating online, the students had a fantastic time and are looking forward to sharing their research with a larger audience next year.
The Australian Science Olympiad Examinations are held every year in August to select students to represent Australia at International Science Olympiad events. The examinations are held in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Earth and Environmental Science, and for the first time in 2020, Junior Science. The exams are very challenging and students are invited to nominate to sit the exams.
Thank you to all staff and students for your enthusiasm and participation in Science learning and extra-curricular activities this year. QASMT is an amazing place to be a Science teacher. All the best to students and their families over the Christmas break; we look forward to working with you all next year.
Cheryl Pearce, Head of Department Physical Sciences
From the Department of Life Sciences
In Year 10 Health Science this term, students were introduced to skill development. They delved into topics such as classification, types of practice, coaching principles and made links to the mind of an athlete. After learning about psychological skills training techniques, students were challenged to execute these skills and evaluated their uses. With lots of practical application out on the courts and fields, the growing Year 10 Health Science class had a great end to the year.
In PHE, students have been learning about fitness and how to design, implement and perform a fitness routine to music. They started by undertaking a range of fitness tests to see where their weaknesses were, and then designed a routine that addressed those weaknesses. This has challenged many of the students, as moving their bodies to music, is not everyone’s cup of tea. Nonetheless, there have been some very creative and entertaining performances.
Our middle years students have been working hard all term to prepare for the Gala Day that was held this week. Our cricket, volleyball and futsal coaches have been thoroughly impressed with the progression of skills and attitude our juniors have shown throughout the term.
The news has just been received, in regards to our Social Gala Day held yesterday (Tuesday 8 December), and we are delighted to share with you the very impressive results below:
Year 7 girls Futsal – WINNERS
Boys Cricket – WINNERS
Year 7 girls Cricket – RUNNERS UP
Year 7 and 8 B Volleyball – RUNNERS UP
Year 8 girls Volleyball – WINNERS
Congratulations to Shlok Dani in Year 7 (right) for making the MetWest Regional under 12 Cricket team. He competed in a four day tournament in Toowoomba against some of the State’s best young cricketers. Shlok performed very well throughout the tournament, including a Man of the Match performance, where he scored an impressive 46 runs. Well done Shlok.
UQ Experience Scientific Research Day 2020
This year, in early November, we held the Inaugural QASMT Experience Scientific Research Day at the University of Queensland. All of our Year 10 students attended the day out, which consisted of three scientific workshops, aimed at giving students an immersion experience in the scientific laboratories of UQ. The first workshop included investigating emission spectra, holograms, and strange physics phenomena in a physics laboratory. The second workshop included upskilling at pipetting, understanding transformation, extracting DNA from bacteria, and running DNA on a gel in a biochemistry laboratory. And finally, the students experienced a scientific literacy workshop, aimed at upskilling students in reading and writing papers, in preparation for their IAs and EEs in Science. It was a fabulously bright and sunny day, and by all accounts the students and teachers had a great time.
Microscope Club 2020
Over the course of this year, students from all year levels have had the opportunity to be part of the CCA called Microscope Club, supervised by Dr Hatchell. This club has been extremely popular, and as students progress with mastering the use of the different microscopes, they become the mentors for the newer members of the club. This term was especially exciting, as not only did we have access to stereoscopes and light microscopes, we also used the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), which magnifies to over 600 times. I want to thank every member of this club, as every single student attended with such enthusiasm and energy. Each student was tasked with producing a set of images of their discoveries down the microscope, and you can see some of these below. Our students' final images were from multiple samples from different species. Some slides and samples were collected and prepared by the students themselves, others were bought especially to investigate under the microscopes. If QASMT students haven’t already been a part of the club, they should look out for it and consider joining up next year!
I wish staff, students and parents a well-deserved and restful holiday. 2020 has certainly been one for the history books!
Catherine de Freitas Pessoa, Head of Department Life Sciences
From the Department of Mathematics
Term 4 has been another busy term for the Mathematics Department with engaging lessons in classrooms and many exciting competition results being announced.
Firstly, congratulations to our Year 12's who have demonstrated persistence and dedication throughout their Maths studies. I look forward to seeing some excellent results. We wish them every success in the future.
In the Classroom
Our Year 10 and 11 students have packed their learning into a shorter term with exams in Week 8. Year 10’s have become proficient with Desmos, using this online program, along with their quadratic knowledge to model bridges, as seen in the example shown below. The skills used for this assignment will be very useful for the diploma program IA’s (internal assessments). Year 11 SL AI (Application and Interpretation) students have started drafting their final IA’s which will be due in Term 1 next year. All other Year 11 classes have continued with coursework, as well as starting to review the topics from earlier in the year.
Students in Year 7 and 8 have completed interesting real life application assessments (Criterion D) on the topics of car parking design and analysing data to see links between physical and mental health and wellbeing.
There are many great results to share with you from competitions held in Terms 3 and 4.
QAMT Year 7/8 Maths Quiz State Finals
Firstly, congratulations to Kelvin Chan, Bela and Kalil who placed third in the State Finals of the QAMT Year 7/8 Maths Quiz in Week 3.
Australian Mathematics Competition
Students from all grades competed in the Australian Mathematics Competition (run by AMT) in August with 45 High distinctions, 289 Distinctions and 406 Credits being awarded. Congratulations to Ian Lai, Victoria Yan and Jason Wang for being awarded a medal for top student in their group. Jason Wang was also awarded Best in School and Best in State which is a very impressive achievement.
ICAS Mathematics Competition
Year 8, 9 and 10 students also performed well in the ICAS Mathematics Competition with three Medals (Yeshwant Segu, Claude Xu and Anna Kim), seven High Distinctions (Chanu Jung, Ian Lai, Christian Ma, Edward Taylor, Henry Hu, Elizabeth Lee and Victoria Yan), 86 distinctions and 207 credits. Congratulations students!
STAQ (Science Teacher’s Association of Queensland) Awards
Nine MYP students and seven DP students entered Mathematical Investigations in the STAQ (Science Teacher’s Association of Queensland) Awards. Congratulations to the following award recipients:
Year 7/8 Division
2nd Elizabeth Lee (Transport and Graph Theory)
3rd Kelvin Chan, Ian Lai and Aaron Wei (group project: COVID-19 Spread and Preventative Measures)
Year 11-12 Division
1st Ewan Beach (Rocket Launch Trajectory Analysis Explorations)
2nd Sachin Kubsad (Investigating the Von Koch Snowflake)
AIMO (Australian Intermediate Mathematical Olympiad)
We have also received results from the AIMO (Australian Intermediate Mathematical Olympiad):
Distinction - Ian Lai (7), Elizabeth Lee (8)
Credit - Kelvin Chan (8), Jane Ding (10), Luna Shin (10), Victoria Yan (8), Siddesh Karekal (10), Katherine Lu (7)
Participation - Yeshwant Segu (10), Kieran Tran (10), Ermia Firouzabadi (7), Jessica Bailey (10), Tommy Tran (10), Bela Varsani (8), David Szabo (8), Kanwar Anhad Parmar (10)
Congratulations students for taking on this four hour challenge to solve 10 problems!
Results from these competitions have seen Elizabeth, Kelvin, Katherine, Ian, Ermia and Victoria being invited to participate in the AMOC Summer School where they regularly submit solutions to problems.
Further to this, we have a number of students attending summer schools for Mathematics:
- Elizabeth Lee was invited to join the AMOC School of Excellence in the last week of Term 4;
- Rosalita Rosenberg and Alex He, in Year 11, will be attending the National Mathematics Summer School in January;
- A number of Year 10 students will attend the Queensland Mathematics Summer School at UQ in January.
We hope they all have an exciting and engaging time, delving into interesting and abstract maths problems.
Finally I would like to thank the Maths teaching team and all students for their hard work this year. 2020 has proved to be a challenging one and I am proud to have led such collaborative staff and resilient students, who have all adapted admirably with changes in our delivery of programs.
Jane Gorman, Head of Department Mathematics
From the House Dean of Agnesi
As we say farewell to Term 4 and to 2020 - let us take a moment to look back and celebrate all the success we have had as Agnesi House this term.
Positive Education – Positivity and Purpose
Year 7 PEP modules this term focused on cultivating positivity in day-to-day life in order to increase the ability to flourish. Students investigated Broaden and Build theory to develop strategies to increase positive emotions and positive relationships. The Year 7 PEP module, Peak Performance, has allowed students to explore intrinsic and extrinsic drivers to help them achieve long-term success.
Year 8 students came up with some excellent ideas on how we can all reduce the amount of waste we generate, by just adopting simple changes that can reap huge benefits. These life hacks ranged from turning out lights in rooms when not being used, taking a three minute shower, through to the benefits of composting. Thank you to Declan, Jarred and Soren for highlighting their research and suggestions at House Assembly during Sustainability Week. Sustainability Week culminated in the Melbourne Cup Sustainability Fashion Parade with every InStep from Agnesi House represented.
Year 10 – Completion of Pre-IB
Congratulations to all our Agnesi Year 10 students. They have successfully completed their Pre-IB course and are well set up to embrace the Diploma Programme next year. Memorable moments for me this term, include the unscheduled performances from the Year 10 PEP boy’s band and the philosophical discussions that evolved during PEP lessons.
Year 11 - CAS Experience
Credit is due to Year 11 Agnesi students for stepping up and meeting all their CAS requirements. I always look forward to holding the Year 11 CAS interviews. They give me an opportunity to not only check in on their CAS experience, but also to have a one on one conversation, in order to reconnect and check on student’s general wellbeing and work-life balance.
Year 12 Valedictory Dinner
Year 12 students celebrated the end of their IB journey with family and friends at a very glamourous dinner at the RNA Showground. It was my honour to read the name of every of Year 12 Agnesi graduate for one last time as they walked across the stage to be congratulated by Ms Kayrooz. I wish all the Year 12 Agnesi students a bright and fulfilling future. In addition, I hope they continue to chase the quest for zest.
Finally, I would like to thank all the Agnesi InStep mentors and Agnesi House staff for their dedication, caring and good humour in looking after the Agnesi family. Grazie mille! I wish all Agnesi students and their families a happy and relaxing break and look forward to welcoming you back to Agnesi House next year. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any queries. Stay safe Agnesi.
Aileen Davis, House Dean Agnesi
From the House Dean of Curie
It is with great pride that I reflect upon the year and the achievements of our beloved Curie House. 2020 has been a very full and busy year that has seen our staff and students rise to meet the ever-changing landscape. I am continually blown away by the calibre of our students and the success they achieve in their lives. Even though 2020 has been a difficult and challenging year, I have been delighted to see our young people developing the skills required to tackle what life throws at them. It has been great to see Curie students engaging in Academy life and taking part in the wide variety of activities at SMT. The Curie spirit has shone very brightly this year and I am very pleased to say that…We are the champions, my friends!!!
Farewell Year 12
Term 4 has been a massive term for our Year 12's. At the beginning of the term, they started their preparation for their final examinations, which took place over three weeks in November.
After three weeks and approximately 18 exam papers, they have finished their secondary education and completed all assessment for their IB Diploma.
On the last day of exam block, the Year 12 cohort returned to school to take part in their final assembly and say goodbye to staff and students. At the completion of the assembly, the Year 7's, 8's, 10's and 11's formed a guard of honour in the courtyard and each Year 12 student received a gift from their InStep. It was lovely to celebrate this milestone with the students. After the school farewells, our Year 12 students travelled to the EKKA showground for their Valedictory Dinner. It was a truly joyful evening and opportunity to celebrate the positive impact that our graduating class has had on the SMT community over the last few years.
Congratulations Year 12's! Thank you for your contribution to Curie and your leadership, enthusiasm and curiosity. I wish you all the very best for your future endeavours!
2020 House Captains
Thank you to Keith Ferrer, Rose Zhu, Liam Revell and Zoe Grahl for their outstanding leadership as House Captains this year. After missing out on winning the House Cup by seven points to Franklin in 2019, the Captains were very determined to lead the House to glory in 2020. On top of their own studies and the constantly changing nature of the year, the Captains have done an outstanding job in encouraging Curie to get involved and participate. Curie ended up winning every House competition this year, except the Trivia competition and completed the clean sweep by winning all three trophies; House Cup, Spirit and Engagement and the Athletics Carnival.
2021 Leadership Team
I am very excited to announce the House leadership team for 2021. After a review and remodelling of the SMT student leadership structure this year, the House leadership team now has representatives from across the different grades to make sure that all students are able to have their voice heard and represented. I am excited to work with the following students next year and build upon the great work that our 2020 Captains have done.
Melbourne Cup Fashion Parade
The annual Melbourne Cup Fashion Parade took place on Tuesday 4 November and was a huge success. The competition required each InStep to create a fashionable outfit or accessory made entirely from recycled materials. Each InStep that submited an entry received 5 points with the winner awarded an additional 20. It was great to see the students working together to design and construct their outfits while forming relationships across year levels. Curie received maximum points with each InStep submitting an entry and INC01 taking home first place!
Congratulations to everyone on a fantastic year! It has been a pleasure to lead Curie House and I am looking forward to continuing to work with you in 2021 to achieve your goals. Remember to look after yourself over the break and recharge the batteries. Make the most of the opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Have a relaxing and refreshing summer break and see you in 2021. If you need to contact me, please do not hesitate to do so (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Yours in pink,
Dean Fanning, House Dean Curie
From the House Dean of Da Vinci
“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection” – Leonardo Da Vinci
Whilst it has been a turbulent year, full of ups and downs, uncertainty and hope, we have made it to the end of 2020 with smiles on our faces…a little stronger…a litter braver.
Firstly, a big congratulations to our Da Vinci Captains: Year 12 Da Vinci House Captain - Eugeenia Wen, and Year 9 Captain - Lachlan Peel, who will be leading our House in 2021. We are confident that you will lead our House with pride and honour, and carry the Da Vinci spirit with strength. Congratulations also to our faithful Da Vinci Ambassadors who will support our House in all ways possible:
Year 12 – Crystal Baek, Ahnaf Khan, Wilson Nguyen,
Year 11 – Stevie Chiu, Merin Manoj
Year 9 – Nayana Chundiran, Yijing Li, Haya Sheikh
Year 8 – Shahtaj Dur E, Eunice Chang, Annam Suresh
What an exciting 2021 ahead!
Book Week was a wonderful celebration where we had a fashion parade of students and staff dressed up in their favourite book characters, guest speakers, presentations and prizes. The vibe was excellent and it was clearly evident how integral reading is to our students and staff.
Melbourne Cup Fashion Parade saw an output of some incredible costumes. Da Vinci House did us proud with IND01 placing first in our House competition. Some fabulous costumes were created using sustainable products, and could not have been achieved without the wonderful team work of students and InStep Mentors.
Watching our Year 12's celebrate their graduation at Valedictory has been one of the highlights of this term and year. There was such joy and elation on the faces of our graduates. Families and staff could not be prouder. Da Vinci House knows that you will do amazing things with your life going forward and that you will touch many hearts as you have touched ours.
Transition Day was full of fun activities for our incoming Year 7's. The day started off with the Sorting Hat Activity where it was revealed to students which House they had been put in. A huge thank you to our wonderful Sorting Hat voices – Ms Toni Waters and Ms Susan Wisowaty. What talent you both have! The day soon followed with a fun and challenging Design Session which was led by Mr Simon Freeman and Mr David King. Many thanks to you both and all the staff who came to help supervise the sessions. The students had a great time developing prototypes to help their partner with an area they were worried about with the transition into high school. Lastly House Deans ran House information and team building sessions with their respective students. House Deans do such a great job of alleviating a lot of stress and anxiety new students are feeling about coming to secondary school. Thank you for all your wonderful leadership and support of our students. The day could not have run so smoothly without the tremendous help of our support and facilities staff – a huge shout out to you all.
2020 has been a year of change. We have welcomed and embraced our wonderful new Houses, Hollows and Jackson, led by wonderful new House Deans, Mr Colquhoun and Ms Snell. The initial six Houses saw a movement of students and staff who kindly volunteered to move Houses. Thank you to Da Vinci students who have left our House – we appreciate all you’ve contributed and look forward to some healthy competition with you next year. Many thanks to InStep Mentors, Ms Webster, Ms Welch, Mr Isaac and Ms Hough, for your wonderful support of our InSteps. The new Houses are lucky to have you as their mentors. Thankfully, we are holding onto Mr Vasco, Ms Yamaguchi, Dr Hatchell, Ms Lawler and Ms Philavane, who continue to be such outstanding and supportive InStep Mentors.
Lastly, we have a couple of Da Vinci staff not just leaving our House, but our school community at the end of this year. A huge thank you to Ms Magar who has been a strong InStep Mentor and role model for our House and school. You will be greatly missed and have certainly left a positive footprint that will be cherished by this school. We wish you all the best in your future endeavours.
I’m sad to say that I will also be heading in another direction at the end of this year and will proudly do a Da Vinci House Dean handover to Ms Stacy Wallace-Cunningham who is looking forward to embracing SMT and Da Vinci House in 2021.
Da Vinci House is exceptional, priding itself on fairness, kindness and community. It has been such a pleasure working with Da Vinci students and staff – thank you so much for your warm welcome at the start of the year and making me feel very much at home in our House, with speed and constancy – I will miss you all!
All the best for 2021.
Neha Reddy, House Dean Da Vinci
From the House Dean of Franklin
Our focus this term has been to “flourish”; flourishing being the optimal sense of feeling good and doing well.
As I am writing this, Year 10 and 11 students are heading into Exam Session 1 for the day. At QASMT, there is always a unique frisson of excitement before exams, as students harness all of their energy to perform at their best.
Our Year 12 graduates have moved beyond this, having been formally farewelled at the celebratory Valedictory Dinner. It was such a pleasure for staff and parents to share this special evening with them at the RNA Showground. I wish all of the foundation Franklin graduands the very best of luck as they embark on to the next phase of their lives.
I was able to meet with the new Year 7 cohort for 2021 at a transition day here at QASMT. They spent the day engaged in a design workshop and a House session. They were very excited to meet one another and to participate in all the fun that QASMT has in store.
A key component of the IB Learner Profile is the need for balance, and finding balance is also key to flourishing as human beings. During InStep this term, mentors were busy checking on students for CAS progress while the students worked feverishly on their Melbourne Cup sustainable fashion creations. The standard of entries continues to rise! Congratulations to InStep 2 for their winning design! And a special mention of InStep 4! Franklin House was the only House to have two finalists!
During Book Week, we had so many people dress up and participate in the amazing activities. One such activity was run by none other than Franklin InStep Mentor, Ms Wisowaty! She ran a potato-decorating event where students decorated a potato as their favourite character from a book. Mohammad Irshad’s Harry Potter potato (below right) bears an uncanny resemblance, wouldn’t you agree?
2020 will always be one for the books for me. Not only did we continue to build new House traditions and develop our unique Franklin culture, but we did it while navigating the unknown of COVID-19. Congratulations to all of Franklin House for making our House such an inclusive and fun House to be in! You have truly embraced all aspects of SMT life by fully participating in everything: Harmony Week, Virtual Athletics Carnival, Inter-InStep competitions, Intra-InStep competitions, and the food drive - these are only a few examples of where we have demonstrated our Franklin pride.
I am looking forward to working with the new Franklin leadership team. They have already begun enacting some of their visions for the House and are really enthusiastic and proactive in regards to their positions already!
I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable break! I will see you in 2021!
Kate Oxenford, House Dean Franklin
From the House Dean of Hawking
The final term has been full of celebrations, starting with Year 11. They all looked stunning in their finest 'get up' and had a great time socialsing the night away and enjoying the good food. The venue looked so pretty with the fairly lights outside, so it was the perfect setting for them. It was great to see them all have a good time with their friends. Year 11 you have now completed your first year of the IB Diploma Programme and should be so proud with how far you have come – I am incredibly impressed with how you have handled this year and with such positivity!
This term also saw us celebrate our Year 12’s completing their IB exams and graduating at Valedictory Dinner. A huge congratulations to you all! It was a pleasure having one final chance to celebrate your achievements throughout your time here. I wish you all the very best in the future and will miss you!
Finally Year 7 and 8, you had the delight of having the whole school to yourself for close to three weeks! We’ve had some great activities including debating. I was very impressed by the level of skill shown by debaters; Rhea Jain, Sankeerthi Chalasani, David Szabo and Coe Hsu, and cannot wait to see this develop more in 2021. Juniors, you have made a great start to your Readiness Programs and it has been great to have some time with you as a House, giving us a real chance to continue building upon that bond that will cement you for the years to come!
As a House, we have had multiple reasons to celebrate this term. The Melbourne Cup Sustainable Fashion Parade was a huge success and it was fantastic to see all Hawking InStep’s engaged and having fun creating an item of clothing to parade around the school. Well done to you all but particularly to INH01 who placed 2nd! So close to the winning spot, but something to aspire to for next year.
Overall as a House, we placed 4th for House points, which is an admirable effort! This gives us lots of room for improvement next year so let’s make sure 2021 is Hawking’s year!
We also welcomed the new Hawking Year 7 students in their final Transition Day at the Academy before commencing in 2021. We had some great design activities for students to take part in, as well as another chance to bond as a House, and take a look at the school. They are super keen, so I am looking forward to the House Spirit next year!
SMT launched a series of Positive Education Postcards this term. There are 10 designs, one for each of the IB Learner Attributes and have been designed by both past and present students. They were launched on a trial basis in Term 4 and we have had some wonderful feedback on them. Watch this space for 2021! Want to get a postcard? All you have to do is demonstrate an IB Learner Attribute. There are so many ways you can do this, both inside and outside of the classroom.
This Term also saw the announcement of the new 2021 Hawking House Captains and Ambassadors! It was a rigorous process and there was some stiff competition, but I am pleased to announce:
Sia Tamba-Lebbie – Year 12 House Captain
Harry Canalese – Year 9 House Captain
Ruby Kim and Hannah Williams – Year 12 Ambassadors
Connor Craig, Sophia Ryan and Diya Shah – Year 11 Ambassadors
Rhea Jain and Louise Hudson – Year 9 Ambassadors
Hannah Yang, Michael Power and Wendy Du – Year 8 Ambassadors
2020 has been a big year for us all and I wish all Hawking students a relaxing and restful summer holiday – you all deserve it! I look forward to welcoming you back in 2021.
Rebecca Parker, House Dean Hawking
From the House Dean of Hollows
Hollows House Leaders
What an exciting time to be part of SMT’s expansion and set up a new House. The fantastic Hollows Hawks student leaders, along with Captains Kayla and Josh, are frantically working on the Hollows House 'To Do' list:
- Design Flag and Logo – prizes to follow…
- Design and choreograph a winning War Cry
- Unite and engage the students in many activites.
Why Hollows you might ask?
Fred Hollows (1929 – 1993) was born in New Zealand, but he lived and worked in Australia. Fred Hollows was a skilled Eye Surgeon/Ophthalmologist, restoring sight to thousands of people around the world, particularly in Indigenous communities. Australian of the Year in 1990, who firmly believed everyone, rich or poor, has the right to quality, affordable eye care. Known for getting things done, Hollows preached, “that having a care and concern for others is the highest of all human qualities”. Today, the Fred Hollows Foundation works to put an end to avoidable blindness in many communities throughout the world.
The students in Hollows House have chosen to be named after this skilled surgeon as he represented a CAN DO attitude and actively served the community around him. He possessed many desirable qualities that all SMT students would be well served to uphold.
I'm looking forward to a successful 2021. Have a great holiday Hollows Hawks! Please direct any enquiries you may have regarding Hollows House to Mr Michael Colquhoun, House Dean of Hollows (email@example.com).
Michael Colquhoun, House Dean Hollows
From the House Dean of Jackson
Term 4 has been incredibly busy for Jackson House - from selecting and voting on our House name to designing mascots, we’ve seen excellent displays of student creativity and agency in the creation of our House.
In tune to Positive Education, our House Captains and Ambassadors have used our assembly time to build relationships with, and between students, by encouraging participation in collaborative activities such as Musical Pairs, Getting To Know You Poetry and a very popular, dodgeball match. We have started to build a very connected Jackson family
Why did our community vote for Mary Jackson to represent our House?
Mary Jackson was a Mathematician and Aerospace Enginner who became the first Amercain female Engineer to work at NASA. You may recognise her from the film and novel, ‘Hidden Figures’. During her time at NASA, she provided crucial data which was essential to the success of the US Space Programme in the 1950's. Without her and her team, American aeronautics would not have had the prominence that it did.
When working at NASA during the 1950's, she experienced appalling racism and sexism but persevered with her dreams to work at NASA. From racially segregated toilets to not being able to use the same kitchen utensils as others, she did not let these experiences dampen her spirit; instead, these experiences fuelled the fire in her belly to advocate for the rights of women and, in particular, black women’s rights. Jackson became the manager of the women’s programme at NASA, where she fought for equal opportunities for those who had been previosuly marginalised.
Ensuring that everyone is valued, empowering others so that their voices are heard, and acting selflessly for others, are three reasons why our House voted for Jackson to be our House name. We believe in the power of inclusivity and valuing diversity in our Jackson family, so who better to represent our House than Mary Jackson.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our InStep Mentors for the hard work that they have put in to making our House such a success - Ms Chetty, Mr Alexander, Ms Welch, Ms Carrington and Mr Isaac - we could not have done it without you.
On behalf of all the Jackson community, we wish you a restful summer, a very merry Christmas, and a fruitful New Year. We look forward to the successes and growth our community will have in 2021.
Victoria Snell, House Dean Jackson
From the House Dean of Newton
With 2020 almost at a close, I would like to congratulate you on all your hard work over the year. The Newton spirit has shone through in all you have achieved this year and the community that we continue to foster together.
Year 12 Farewell and Celebrations
During Term 4, our Year 12 students have come to the end of their IB journey. These students modelled the IB Learner Attributes of knowledgeable and balanced, along with the character strengths of zest and love of learning, as they persevered through SWOTVAC studies and IB exams. We celebrated this milestone with a farewell assembly and honour lap around the courtyard, where the InStep's offered their departing members gifts and mementos of their time together.
After the school farewells, our Year 12 students arrived at the EKKA Showground for their Valedictory Dinner. It was truly a joyful evening, full of pride in the achievement of our graduating cohort and gratitude for the positive impact they have had on our community.
Year 12 Newtonians, I wish you all the best as you wade into the vast ocean of learning and life - I am confident that you will continue to succeed and make positive contributions to our global community.
Newton House Leadership Team 2021
I am proud to introduce you to our new House leadership team for 2021. This team has already been active in promoting positive change in Newton House by facilitating the selection of our House charity, Beyond Blue, and arranging our first charity event!
Inter-InStep Trash-ion Parade
Passionate about all things green, Newton House took to the catwalk with style and grace in a celebration of high fashion at low environmental cost. On Tuesday 3 November, our InStep classes paraded their fashionable and sustainable creations to the great appreciation of the SMT community.
Inter-House Debating Competition
Term 4 2020 also saw the introduction of the first inter-House junior debating competition. The Newton representatives successfully debated that “Schools should continue to use textbooks” and “Schools should provide free school meals”, winning both these debates with passionate, entertaining and well-reasoned arguments. We are looking forward to watching Newton compete in the grand finale against Franklin House. Go team NEWTON!
I wish you all a safe and happy holiday and I look forward to seeing you in 2021!
Rebecca Skarshewski, House Dean Newton
From the Guidance Officers
What an inspiring year it has been! There have been so many stories of determination, perseverance and people working together to grow our SMT community.
Your adaptability and creativity have enabled us to find solutions and to provide support throughout the changing circumstances.
Thank you for your patience when responses took longer than expected and for your encouragement as we have learnt together.
Congratulations to our graduating students with many already accepting offers from universities around Australia! You have embraced the opportunities of 2020 as seen by the many students accessing the new early offer schemes. All universities are offering flexible support services over the summer break and students of all year levels are encouraged to contact them to explore how they can support your learning and future planning.
The link to the final 2020 edition of the Options Career Bulletin can be found below. You might also be interested in exploring current trends in the labour market. Australian Jobs 2020 is produced by the National Skills Commission and provides an easy to read overview of trends following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Redefining Success - “What does success even mean?
It will be different for everyone – so don’t stress if your idea of success isn’t the same as your friend or sibling. When you’re doing what you value, something that means something to you; where you feel worthwhile, challenged, proud of yourself and happy, you’re on the right track.
Sometimes succeeding is about sticking to it when things get tough too. If you know that something is important to you or is helping you get where you want to be, success might mean asking for help. Something like English or Maths might not be your strong point, but keeping at it to pass or improve your grade can be a success of its own.
"You define your success”
Holidays are a perfect time to review our goals and to reconsider your perspectives. Be encouraged to celebrate the ‘wins’, whether big or small. Appreciate the flowers while reaching for the stars! Read more at https://www.wethedifferents.qld.edu.au/succeeding-as-a-teenager-student/
As we head into a season of holidays, it is vitally important that we all take time for family and rest. We encourage you all to prioritise time for reflection and rejuvenation in these next weeks so that we can all feel refreshed for whatever 2021 may hold.
Finally, as we finish 2020, we would like to extend our enormous thanks to Helen Fawcitt as she leaves our Student Services Team. During her time as a Guidance Officer here, her passion for supporting students and enabling them to achieve their best has been an encouragement to many of us. We have valued her commitment to excellence and will miss her as part of our team. We wish Helen all the best for the future and know that she will be a blessing to others in anything she pursues.
Katrina Judge, Guidance Officer (Senior Years) and Helen Fawcitt, Guidance Officer (Middle Years)
Final Words about Academy Life
Positve Education Day - 17 Nov 2020
As SMT continues to promote student and staff wellbeing through our Positive Education Program and our Positive Education Enhanced Curriculum, Positive Education Day was a great opportunity to celebrate Positive Education.
This year’s theme was From Strength to Strength in Tough Times. For Positive Education Day 2020, we focused on character strengths - our own, and the strengths of those around us, which have helped us get through a difficult year and support one another.
Although bushfires and the Covid-19 virus pandemic have thrown some enormous challenges at us this year, through tough times we learn, develop resilience, and grow.
Let's work together to raise awareness and understanding of Positive Education, and to encourage students, teachers, families and the community to learn and talk about how to grow their own wellbeing, and support the wellbeing of those around them
Aileen Davis, House Dean Agnesi
From the SMT Sustainability Action Team
This term we witnessed a significant change in our approach to sustainability at SMT as we introduced our first-ever Sustainability Ambassadors, who then collaborated with our Plastic Oceans Action Team and Environmental Club to initiate our first annual Sustainability Week!
Under the leadership of Sustainability Captain Joseph, the teams united to brainstorm ways in which we could promote sustainability at school. This included hands-on activities such as making soy wraps, which are reusable natural alternatives to cling wrap and sandwich bags. At the start of the week, we revealed our new bins, bringing our total to five types! These are general waste, recycling, composting, paper and cardboard, and containers for change.
Our student leaders did a bin drive to encourage students to correctly dispose of their waste, along with asking students and staff to make a Sustainability Pledge - reinforcing the concept that if more waste can be properly recycled, less waste will end up in our oceans or landfill.
One of our first big steps towards being single use plastic free was a competition during Wednesday lunchtime (of Sustainability Week) where students with a single use plastic free lunch went in to the draw for reusable or eco-friendly prizes! Our Year 8's also presented their PEP projects on sustainability during the week, unveiling innovative ideas to reduce our school’s impact on the environment. The engagement and involvement of students throughout the week was incredible to witness, and we are already seeing changing behaviour and thinking around our plastic consumption and our waste. As we continue to implement strategies to improve our sustainability at SMT, we seek this ongoing support from students, staff, parents and next year hopefully our wider community as well. Thank you and happy holidays!
Greta Cabot, Teaching Aide
From the P&C
MESSAGE FROM THE P&C
The P&C would like to thank the QASMT Leadership team, all the teachers and support staff for everything they have done to make our school Queensland’s best!
It has certainly been a difficult year from a parent engagement perspective, with a limited number of social events, but we have stayed strong and made good progress.
Ealier in the year, we were lucky to have a Sunday social at St Lucia Golf Links, which saw many families exchanging their day-to-day experiences and getting to know each other better.
Last week, we hosted our first Uniform Sell/Swap event on the school oval and it was a great success. The sale of uniform items that were donated by our kind parents helped us raise $675 for our children.
The P&C Opportunity Fund has been created to fund initiatives that benefit our students. Participation in this year’s fund were in excess of $70,000 and we have been able to contribute towards extra table tennis tables, line-marking of the handball courts, bench seating for the courtyard, shade seating shelters, new water fountains and a laser cutter. Thank you everyone. We would also like to thank all our parent volunteers who have given so much of their time, so freely, towards running various initiatives. Our support groups continue to thrive and there has been a lot of parent involvement in Grant writing and general P&C governance.
It is now time for members to come forward for the roles of President/Vice-President/Treasurer/Secretary for 2021. Please email your interest to our P&C Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thank you for your continued engagement and support!
Winand D’Souza, QASMT P&C Vice President
CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE P&C:
Facebook - closed group for parents, peer support/discussion, news, event details, resources and photos
PandC Association - P&C web page introduction, member details and contacts.