In preparation for our Prep to Year 9 Christmas Service, I asked students and staff what the best gift is that they have ever received. Responses varied between ‘my family’ to ‘RC cars’, ‘my dog’ and even ‘my brother making it home for Christmas after being detained in a foreign gaol!’ There were all sorts of other gifts too that we value.
The question can then be asked, what is the best gift you have ever given? At the time of writing, this question has not been surveyed… I wonder, what is the best gift you have ever given someone?
Another question can be… is it better to give gifts or receive them?
Christmas is certainly all about gifts. Unfortunately, commercial enterprises have latched onto gift giving and promote it in a manner that is unhelpful. All of us are aware of a what a ‘racket’ the whole commercial side of Christmas is but in amongst the commercialism, the concept of gift giving and receiving is what Christmas is all about.
God coming to all of humanity as one of us, born to Mary in Bethlehem, 2,000 years ago is the greatest gift we can receive. God’s rescue from the selfishness that afflicts each of us occurred once and for all through Jesus arriving in our world. Jesus’ love for all people outshines any other gift we may receive in this earthly life. In response, we are moved by His great love for all humanity and each of us personally to give our life back to Him as our gift to Him. All God longs for is for everyone of His children to connect with Him through receiving Jesus as their saviour and Lord.
Christmas is all about Gifts! God’s gift to us of His Son Jesus and our gift in return of ourselves back to Him. May all of us be blessed in giving and receiving this Christmas.
From the Deputy Principal Head of Secondary School
Congratulations to the Graduating class of 2021. You are a remarkable group of young people and we thank you for your individual and collective contributions over your time here at St Andrews. May I also commend you on the positive role models you have been to our student body and on finishing well. Year 12 Graduates may God bless you and keep you safe through the journey of this life and may you remain confident in God’s love and plan for you.
This week we held the Year 10 and 11 Awards and Celebration Assembly and next Monday we hold the Years 7-9 Awards and Celebration Assembly and the Year 9 Gala Night of Nights. Thank you to Ms Stewart (Years 10-12), Mrs Roper (Years 7-9) and their teams for continuing to support our Senior and Middle School students to flourish within and beyond their academic studies.
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SEMESTER TWO REPORTS AND THE START OF 2022
Years 7-10 reports will be available on Parent Lounge to parents from Wednesday 8 December. Please use the feedback contained in the reports as a means of affirming your child’s effort and progress throughout the final semester, and also as a basis for setting new learning goals for 2022. We are working towards notification of class lists through Parent Lounge in late January.
All Middle and Senior School classes resume on Tuesday 25 January 2022. Our Year 7 students (2022) will attend an Orientation Day on Monday 24 January from 8:30am–3:00pm and new students in Years 8 to 11 will attend a morning session (8:30am–10:30am). This is compulsory and ensures a smooth start for our new students. All Year 12 students first day will also be Monday 24 January. Please remember that traffic congestion is likely on the first day, Tuesday 25 January, so please exercise extra care and patience.
FAREWELL and THANK YOU
A special mention of farewell and thanks to the following staff who are not returning to St Andrews next year:
Mr Tony Carter who commenced at the College in 2012, as the Head of Physical Education, is retiring. Mr Carter has developed a very strong PE program at the College and has taught with great passion for his subject content and a desire to see young people challenged to grow in their understanding of and care for their health and physical fitness. Thank you, Mr Carter.
Mrs Jenny Lotz who commenced at the College in 2009, teaching Chemistry, Science and Maths and who was also previously Head of Science, is retiring. She has been such a valued member of staff and will be missed.
Mr David Wyatt who commenced at the College in 2017 as Head of Science and teaching Chemistry and Biology is relocating interstate to Tasmania. We are grateful for his leadership and wish him well with both his fishing and teaching in Tasmania.
Ms Meg Sippel who commenced at the College in 2017, teaching MS Electives, Business, Economics and Health is also moving interstate to Victoria. Ms Sippel has been an exceptional teacher and Year 10 Coordinator this year and will be a blessing to a very lucky Victorian school.
Mr Rob Wecker who commenced at the College in 2008, as Head of Technologies and a teacher of Industrial Design Technology and Engineering, has accepted a teaching position at another Gold Coast school. We are ever grateful for the new senior QCE Engineering subject, Mr Wecker has developed for the College and for his input into the new Centre for Creative Industries. I wish Mr Wecker the very best in the future.
Ms Kerry Forrest who commenced at the College in 2016, teaching Japanese in the Junior, Middle and Senior school has resigned, choosing to take a break from teaching. We thank Ms Forrest for her energy and passion in teaching our young people and wish her God’s richest blessings for her future adventures.
We also wish Mrs Toni Bartel and Mr Mark Hibbs an enjoyable LSL in 2022.
I would like to offer our deepest thanks to all of departing staff members.
Staff joining our team in 2022 include:
Mr Guy Lawson has been appointed as Head of Innovation and Technology, a newly created position. Mr Lawson has been the long-term Principal of a local Gold Coast College and is broadly held in high acclaim for his work in leading Engineering and allied trades initiatives with and for students, including leading them to considerable international success. His strength in curriculum design and leadership, though diverse, includes capacity to lead collaboration in cross-curricular initiatives in tech and business-rich fields. Mr Lawson will be a leading hand in designing and driving programs within and beyond the new Centre for Creative Industries.
Mr Robert Slider has been appointed Head of Science. Mr Slider is coming to us from his position as Head of Science at St Hilda’s. Prior to that he had been Head of Science at Ipswich Grammar School and the Australian International School in Singapore. His Masters degree focused on differentiation in the Science classroom and inquiry-based learning.
Mrs Michelle Cooke will join the Food Technologies team and comes to us from another local Gold Coast private school. Mrs Cooke brings innovative ideas and rich experience both in Hospitality Practices and Textiles.
Finally, as mentioned in a previous newsletter, I am pleased to announce that Ms Tania Stewart, who has aptly led our Senior School for the past decade, has accepted an internal position as Director of Studies and Academic Operations and we are very excited about the expertise she will bring to her new role. In light of this change, Mrs Dani Goucher, has been appointed as the Head of Senior School for 2022. Mrs Goucher will also continue to oversee our Language department as Head of Languages.
As we prepare for the long summer break, I would like to encourage parents and families to stay connected. I believe the most powerful thing we can do is to stay connected. Stay connected with your child by being open to talking through your boundaries and expectations and also their ideas and thoughts around independence, trust and their world in general. Stay connected to one another. If your child wants to spend time with peers or to sleep over at another family’s house and you are feeling uncomfortable or unfamiliar with the family, call the parents and talk about your boundaries and expectations and their boundaries and expectations. Adolescents often use generalised statements like, ‘everyone is going’, ‘no one else’s parents are calling’ or ‘don’t you trust me’ to push boundaries and to become more independent. The balance of how much freedom/independence afforded a young person is a difficult juggling act for parents and very dependent on the individual, the family values and context. From personal experience, I know how challenging that balance can be. Finally, please stay connected with staff at the College. We are here to help and while there are limits and complexities to how we might be able to offer support, we will always take a restorative hope and intent in raising this that it might prompt family discussions at home and/or conversations amongst staff and parents.
St Andrews is a community of flourishing where everyone is someone and wherein more than a good education, an education for good remains at the forefront of our journey. This is our last Newsletter for 2021. May the coming Christmas season be a timely reminder of God’s blessings and the joy of knowing that Christ gave us the ultimate gift in sending his son to save us all.
Have a very blessed Christmas.
Deputy Principal Head of Secondary School
From the Head of Senior School
What an incredibly busy year. Firstly, thank you to the Senior School staff who go above and beyond supporting the learning and development of our young people. To the students what a fun year it has been. It is a pleasure to share with you daily interactions, quiet chats, engaging lessons, responses to curious minds and probing for learners leading learning.
We round out the year with the presentation of the Senior Jerseys to our incoming Year 12 cohort of 2022 and celebrate the Top of Subject and Citizenships Awards at the Senior School Final Assembly.
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As you may have heard I am moving to another position within the College - Director of Studies and Academic Operations. Fortunately, I will still be teaching Senior Health (Years 11 and 12) but working more closely with staff on the academic side of learning. After 9 years in the Head of Senior School role I am looking forward to a different challenge. However, I am very grateful that I have had the opportunity to serve many families and young people in that time. Thank you to our parents for your support and faith and thank you to our young Andrians – it has been an honour.
To all our families in the Senior School, have a safe and Merry Christmas.
Tania Stewart Head of Senior School (for the final time)
From the Head of Middle School
In my article, I want to discuss the use of mobile phones for connection. Middle School students love to connect with each other and mobile phones have made this a constant possibility. Before mobile phones, young people were able to leave school, go to sports training, interact with family without the constant fear of missing out. The pressure to be constantly ‘on’ with friends causes heightened anxiety for some students.
Students panic if they have left someone on ‘read’. This means the sender knows that the person has received the message and did not respond. Many young people attempt to sort out friendship shuffles over messages. Being left unread, whilst in a middle of an argument can cause young people to fear rejection from the other person. Coming to school the next morning after this has happened can often cause a level of apprehension.
At school we spend time on educating students in social/emotional areas. One of these areas that we try to inform young people is around the use of messaging. We explain that it is not normal for someone to be constantly texting/messaging. We inform them that if people don’t answer messages, then that person might be busy with family or homework.
It is important that Middle School students learn to manage their devices. The use of apps that are switched on when doing homework, is just one way to manage notifications. I encourage you to hold onto your child’s phone for 1 night and count how many notifications come in between the hours of 7:00pm – 5:00am. How can a young person concentrate if their phone is always pinging. One app is Forest, where you get to grow ‘trees’ if you are not disturbed whilst working. Students can always put their phone into airplane mode as well.
FOREST - Your focus motivation app, $2.99
Safe on Social media suggests the following for families:
Keep group chats positive, helpful and supportive. Don’t spread gossip or share images without consent
Make sure kids know that they DO NOT need to respond straight away. This could be a sign that something is up with the friendship.
Chats can be made public via screenshots
Avoid using late at night and keep devices OUT OF THE BEDROOM
Turn off notifications
For more information, please have a look at this website.
Have a lovely Christmas and enjoy the break. Looking forward to seeing everyone back in the New Year.
Lisa Roper Head of Middle School
Year 9 STEM News
Year 9 Stem Oral Presentation
During Semester 2, Year 9 Andrians planned, researched, built and tested projects as part of their STEM elective. On Wednesday, 10 November 2021, the students showcased their projects to the class and Dr Naidoo, their STEM teacher. The projects were of exceptional standard - demonstrating an in-depth investigation of a topic chosen by the students themselves. The following photos and description summarise the entertaining lectures confidently delivered by our students - a fine example of Learners Leading Learning at St Andrews Lutheran College.
In this presentation of Matthew's he talked about his project which was a shoe that tracks your steps. The reason for this project was the inaccuracy that other step counters have, such as the step counter on your mobile phone and the step counter in the fitbit watches. Matthew discussed how the accuracy of his shoe counter was 100% accurate for every test apart from one. He would like to implement this innovative concept for triathlons and race challenges.
Ziah presented his project on stem cell research and axolotls. Ziah discussed how axolotls are able to regenerate almost every part of their body apart from a section of their brain and a section of their heart. He then discussed that by studying axolotls and their regenerative properties, we may be able to implement this into human research and to develop limbs.
This is Lachlan presenting his project. His project was an Arduino servo. Lachlan explained how he made and coded the Arduino so that when you move the joystick the servo moves. This would be useful for video gaming and in manoeuvring disability wheelchairs.
Shae project was about extracting DNA. Shae discussed how he extracted DNA from his saliva. He discussed how extracting and identifying DNA can help in genetic mutation and variation, and in cloning humans.
Mia's presented her project on a device that she coded to sense when an obstacle is in front of it. The LED lights up when approaching an obstacle. Mia plans to swap the LED for a buzzer and to market this kind of device to blind people to help them navigate their way around the house.
Jonah's project was a model demonstration of Schrodinger’s cat. Jonah explained the concept of Schrodinger’s cat throughout his project and discussed how this idea impacts us every day in the Quantum Computing innovation.
Zac explained the physics of surfing. Zac made a model of a barrel wave and discussed the mechanics behind how and why such waves are formed in our beaches. He also explained how surfers made use of this knowledge to ride the waves.
This is Polly presenting her project. She made a scaled model of sustainable garden beds. Polly’s project discussed permaculture and other aspects of recycled and sustainable gardening good benefit food production on a large scale to feed an ever-growing population.
This is Isla presenting her project. For her project she swabbed a variety of surfaces at our College and grew the bacteria in a petri dish. Isla swabbed her hands before washing and after washing using the government approved washing method and showed the difference in the bacteria growth. She demonstrated the use of hand sanitation as a way to reduce bacterial growth and infection.
Dr Naidoo Year 9 STEM Teacher
Year 10 Physics
Year 10 Physics Lecture Guest Speaker – Barnard d’Artagnan
On Monday, 22 November, the Year 10 Physics class had the privilege of listening to a past St Andrews student Barnard d’Artagnan discuss what his pathway has been like since leaving school. Mr d’Artagnan’s lecture, which took place in the Senior Chemistry Science Lab, not only gave insights into the courses he has undertaken, including a Bachelor of Biomedical Science, but also provided us with tips from his time as a Physics student.
Dr Naidoo, Senior Physics Educator at St Andrews, described one of Bernard’s high-school assessments as post-graduate level. Some of the tips he gave to the Year 10 students included focusing on interpreting the questions and developing an evidence-based response to them. Tips for Modified Student Experiment: interpret the questions and understand what the aim is (what you are trying to achieve). Your report is the answer to a question. I quote “It is like a debate, you need evidence to support your answer.”
Barnard currently works in hospitals, doing work involved in COVID testing and pathology (blood testing). He emphasized that although his studies had a large focus on Biology and Chemistry, his participation in the Physics program in high school provided him with transdisciplinary skills in problem solving and analysing data which helped him excel at university. Barnard concluded by mentioning that GAMSAT (exam for medical students) has a large Physics component.
Michael M Year 10 Physics Student
Dr Gordon Naidoo Senior Physics Master
Friday Morning Sewing Club
Our Friday morning sewing club has come to an end for the year. Thank you to all the students that popped in to join in the fun of sewing. The students have enjoyed making pencil cases, drawstring bags, circular skirts, wrap skirts, headbands, scrunchies and pin cushions.
Middle School Elective News
Year 9 Sustainable Fashion Elective
This semester the Sustainable Fashion elective students used their sewing skills to construct garments made from preloved clothing, curtains and bed sheets. In Term one the students applied sewing techniques with the construction of their tote bag together. Term two is where the fun really started with them using their talents to construct their final outfits.
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INTERIOR DESIGN ELECTIVE
The students of the Interior Design elective class are putting finishing touches to their preloved lampshades. They used their math skills to measure the circumference of the shade, added a few centimeters to each end and glued their carefully chosen fabric to their lampshades that will be placed in a room of their choice.
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Middle School Teacher
Middle School Teacher
From the Deputy Principal Head of Junior School
YEAR 6 CELEBRATION
During the week we hosted our Year 6 students and their parents at a celebration ceremony in the MPH. We were treated to a fabulous meal catered for by our tuckshop crew. The Year 6 students entertained us with their musical and dancing talents. We celebrated success and enjoyed some fellowship together. It was a fantastic way to honour their journey through Junior School and to prepare them for the next phase in their schooling life. While the students will still be onsite, the Junior School won’t be quite the same without the energy of this group of Year 6 students. It was also pleasing to see that most students had begun their journey with us in Prep. I wish them every blessing for the future.
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This Saturday afternoon there is a combined Congregation and College Christmas Carols in the MPH. We will have a large number of performers and we encourage all to come along and sing along!
Reports will be available for viewing in Parent Lounge next week. A letter will be sent home shortly when they are ready. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the teachers for their outstanding work in putting together rich learning experiences for all of the students this year. Please take the time to read the report carefully in conjunction with the Learning Portfolio.
The Christmas Holidays are a great opportunity to take a break from school. Students are tired, and they need a rest from the daily rigours of school. However, we would encourage them to keep their skills sharp over the break. Things like daily reading, some journal writing and helping parents in the house are beneficial.
I would like to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Look forward to seeing you all in 2022!!!
Darrin Schumacher Deputy Principal Head of Junior School
From the Deputy Head of Junior School Pastoral
ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS
At this time of year there can be a lot of stress around finishing up the year, with many extra activities to attend, catch-ups to be had and for some, farewells to be said. All of these can cause us, and especially our children, to feel the pressure. Then you throw in the tiredness of another year finishing and the changeable weather leading you to see some changes in your children’s behaviour, attitude or demeanour. This is perfectly normal – we all show emotions when we are dealing with changes.
One of the ways we are aiding in this time is to have our annual Step-Up morning. On Monday 29 November, all students will have the opportunity to meet the new teachers of the next year level and spend time in the new environment. This will happen during the morning session, and although students won’t know who their teacher is for 2022, they will get to spend time with the teaching team for that year level and experience all the spaces. We have found previously that these sessions help to ease some of the ‘worries’ about next year and help to take a bit of pressure off.
Once we have all had a break, sometimes students can start to feel a little anxious about returning to school in the new year. Some ideas to help ease this anxiety could be:
have some playdates with friends over the break to maintain friendships;
spend time together reading or write a journal every few days so that children can maintain their skills;
if your child finds it hard to separate at the beginning of the year, start doing some drive-thru’s of the carpark a week or two out of our 2022 start, maybe even park and get out and practice. You could even take some photos of the playground and carpark to help your child to keep that in their memory; and
if your child is particularly worried about the start of the year, please contact Mardi Frost or myself in the new year. We are happy to support you however we can.
Endings and Beginnings can be hard for all – be gentle with the big emotions, care for them and give space for them to settle and become smaller emotions that we can work through. That’s how we build resilience.
Have a great break all and a blessed Christmas. See you in the New Year.
Karen Koehler Deputy Head of Junior School Pastoral
Arts Corner November
Last week saw our Middle School Elective – Musical Theatre present their production of Aladdin to the Junior School and to an audience of family and friends. This elective is visible learning at it’s very best where students of all ranges of experience have the opportunity to audition, rehearse and present a musical performance. Well done to the cast on such a wonderful performance!
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PAT (Performing Arts Tuition) 2022
A few things to note regarding our PAT Program for 2022
With the exception of Mini Musos (Year 4) and Year 3 Strings students, all PAT enrolments will roll over into 2022. Students in these programs will receive separate correspondence regarding next steps in their child’s musical journey.
Should you not intend for your child to continue their PAT lesson in 2022 you need to complete a cancellation form on the College Website.