EDITION 2 2016
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From the Principal

Dear Parents

I have just returned from attending the 2016 ISCA and AHISA National Education Forum in Canberra. The Forum was an opportunity to hear about the latest research and trends in education, but also a timely opportunity in this, an election year, to hear from Government, Leader of the Opposition and other political parties regarding their policy and promises for the future of education in Australia. All were resounding in their support of parental choice in education and in their recognition of the contribution of the Independent Schools Sector to the Australian economy and education system.
The main reasons given by many parents for choosing an Independent School are: academic standards, pastoral care, quality of teachers, parental involvement and co-curricular opportunities. Academic standards are but one measure of a good school, albeit an important one. Part of the information given at the Forum related to the performance of our students in the OECD’s Programme for International School Assessment (PISA) rankings . In 2012, PISA tested 15-year-old students in 179 nations and economies. Based on raw average scores, students in Australian independent schools ranked among the world’s top performers and significantly better than the Australian national mean scores. This research reaffirms that selecting an independent school certainly does offer academic advantage. Please look at the results in the infographic found here:
While academic standards are one measure of a good school, another is the sense of connectedness that students feel towards their school. At St George’s we strive to develop a strong sense of community and connectedness through the House and TAG programmes. One such example is our Annual Sync Swim competition. Those of you who are new to the School are strongly encouraged to attend our carnival on 31 March to view the Sync Swim phenomenon! The Sync Swim routines are choreographed by the student leaders of each House and the entire House practices together during extended TAG for most of Term 1. The routines are fiercely competitive and the students and staff of each house direct much energy into coming up with the best and most enjoyable routines. Sync swim may seem like a lot of fun only, but it is so much more than that. It is a big part of teaching teamwork, School and House pride and cooperation. In addition, it teaches our students resilience (as they may be taken our of their comfort zone) and the important value of commitment, as each student’s participation is vital to House success. I appeal to parents and careers to please support us by ensuring that your child attends the carnival on 31 March. Please view this day as, not only a compulsory school day, but also a day where our students learn the importance of commitment by turning up and playing their part - an invaluable life skill indeed.
There have been so many wonderful activities taking place over this term in sporting, cultural and academic forums. Our students have had the opportunity to compete in the Inter-School Swimming Carnival, Mock Trials, Have Sum Fun Mathematics competitions, Basketball competitions, perform at the Music Concert and so much more, along with the usual academic and co-curricular offerings. Although we are a small school, we certainly offer a fantastic breadth of activities for our students to enjoy.

I certainly enjoyed having the Year 7 students for ‘lunch with the Principal’ recently (pictured above). I had a most enjoyable time, chatting to them about their start to high school and how they were settling in. They all appear to be loving their new school, with their favourite things being sport, music, mixing with the older students and their great teachers! I am delighted that our older students have taken the time to make the Year 7 students feel welcome.  The way in which our students interact with and support each other across year levels is real evidence of the great community we have at St George’s. 
I look forward to seeing many of our parents at the Swimming Carnival on 31 March.

Rensché Diggeden

School Ball
This term started in glittering fashion, with the Year 12 School Ball at the Duxton Hotel on Saturday 13 February. What a fabulous Roman-themed night it was! The students had worked very hard designing and making the decorations for the ballroom. Their hard work certainly paid off, as the venue looked amazing.

The evening began with welcoming speeches by the Head Boy and Head Girl, followed by a superb three course meal. The students all looked fantastic, and selecting the Belle and Beau of the Ball was no easy task; however, the very worthy winners were Amy Tan and Yeri Hardono.
Artist in Residence Program
The Stations of the Cross Art Exhibition
As part of the Year 11 and 12 Visual Art program this year our students have been invited to partake in a special exhibition of work to accompany the Stations of the Cross Exhibition, to be held at Wesley Church over Easter. Recently, renowned Perth Artist, Dr. Donna Franklin, together with the curator, Claire Bushby, visited the School's Art Department.
Dr. Franklin is one of the guest artists for this year’s Exhibition, and is well known for her work with SymbioticA the Centre for Excellence in Biological Arts, School of Anatomy and Human, a University of WA Science and Art collaboration.

As part of her address Dr. Franklin provided students with an informative presentation that gave a fascinating insight into her arts practice. This assisted students in understanding the artistic processes involved with being part of such an exhibition. It included the generation of original ideas and the processes involved, from the development of initial concepts to the completion of artworks. The experience gave students a wonderful base from which to start generating ideas for their own works. It was also an opportunity to ask questions for their case study investigation and to experience being part of an authentic arts project. 

In sharing her ideas and methods of work Dr. Franklin demonstrated how she approaches problem solving, this was particularly useful for our students who could relate to how she created her latest commission for the Stations of the Cross Exhibition. Students were able to witness the creative process first hand and glean a clear insight into contemporary arts practices.     

Carol Wohlnick
Head of the Arts
Dr Franklin’s living fungus dress 'SymbioticA' which was exhibited in BioDifference at the Lawrence Wilson Gallery during BEAP2004 in 2014 is described by the West Australian Art Review as:  “...a white dress 'colonised' by a fungal growth. This encrustation was in reds, oranges, pinks and dull greens, transforming the white purity of the cotton fibre into a living fabric of dazzling beauty... The invasion of something so closely connected with self by a beautiful but alien life form was wonderful but alarming – like the earth reclaiming the body after death.”

Simon Blond, The West Australian Arts Review, 25 September 2004
During our first week of rowing at the West Australian Rowing Club, one of the coaches remarked that “Rowing is the ultimate of all team sports”. While not all other sport teams’ members may agree, everyone can agree that teamwork is certainly the essence of successful rowing. Read more here.
Click here to read more about St George's Rowing programme.
The Inaugural St George’s Senior Boys Basketball Team have been very busy preparing for the School Sport WA Round Robin Competition. They are pictured above in their new basketball uniform. Special thanks to Mr Peter Quan for his expertise and organisation of the team.

Click here to read more and for fixtures information.
Term 1 has seen a busy start to the year in Music. Instrumental lessons have begun, and we have launched four new ensembles: Funk Club, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and Year 7 Rock Band. Our Chapel Band, Swing Band, Choir and Year 8 Rock Band are continuing from last year. We have also started our new Vocational Education & Training Music Course (Certificate III) – a nationally recognised qualification – in Year 11.
In Year 10 we have been working on putting together a YouTube Orchestra in collaboration with some other schools in Australia (WA and over East) and in the UK. Years 7-9 are working in group band work on various different songs. The Music Department is open during recess/lunch and before/after school for students to practice, jam, listen or just hang out.
Our Musicianship & Theory books are now available from Ground Floor Reception. Music students in Years 7-9 require the Level 1 book ($20), Year 10 require Level 2 ($25).
For your interest
Yamaha has put together a video from a parent’s point of view with all the reasons to learn an instrument. Watch it here.
Every culture ever studied has been found to make music, and among the oldest known artistic objects flutes carved from mammoth bone some 43,000 years ago — 24,000 years before the cave paintings of Lascaux. It’s been assumed that the human brain is equipped with some sort of music room because of the antiquity, universality and deep popularity of music. Now there’s scientific evidence. Whether it’s Bach, bluegrass, hip-hop, big band, sitar or Julie Andrews, and whether or not the listener likes the sampled genre or can’t stand it, when a musical passage is played, a distinct set of neurons inside the listener’s auditory cortex not only fire in response, but will only fire in response to music. Other sounds - a dog barking, a car skidding, a toilet flushing - leave the musical circuits unmoved. The brain gives music recognition specialised treatment, and regards music as fundamental a category as speech. Why? There are theories that music is older than speech or language, and that speech may have evolved from music. Find out more here.
Michael Newton 
Music Coordinator
During Week Five, the Year 12 Drama students attended a full day excursion at the State Theatre Centre where they watched James Berlyn’s one man show from the Perth International Arts Festival, “I Know You’re There”. Afterwards the students took part in a free workshop with this amazingly talented performance artist on solo performance. The students were entertained and inspired; we are so lucky as a school to be so close to the best theatre in Western Australia. It’s also very pleasing that our association with the State Theatre Centre and our opportunities to work there are growing.
Economics Conference
Recently some of our Year 12 Economics students attended a conference at Murdoch University where several professors spoke to students about current and possible future trends in the economy. This topic is a major focus of the Year 12 WACE Economics course and it was a privilege for our students to have the opportunity to gain insight from such outstanding and respected speakers.

In addition the speakers provided a smattering of new ideas, theories and applications, which motivated and inspired our students.

Gemma Colgan
Economics Teacher
SSWA Netball, Soccer and Badminton Teams
As part of our Co-Curricular Programme both St George's Soccer and Netball teams have commenced training at UWA on Wednesdays. We aim to put these teams into the SSWA competitions to join the School Badminton team who train on Tuesdays.
Thank you to Mr Yousri Gharsallah and Mr Ernesto Ramirez for their expertise and assistance with these teams.

New Parent Sundowner
Thank you to all the new families that attended the New Parent Sundowner at the end of Week 3. It was great to hear so much positive feedback on the School, we are pleased your children are off to a positive start at high school.

We look forward to sharing more special times with you!


Year 11 Physical Education Studies ATAR
The Year 11 Physical Education Studies students have completed the Functional Anatomy content. Their visit to Good Life Health and Fitness Centre consolidated learning about the Muscular and Skeletal Systems, especially “antagonistic pairs”. 

The class has also enjoyed taking practical sessions at Ossie Indoor Beach Volleyball to work on “setting” and “digging”. The ATAR team will now be moving onto Biomechanics.

Recycling and Environment Club
So far this term in the Recycling and Environment Club, our four keen students have started planning two major projects. Firstly, setting up a recycling system for plastics and paper in the school and secondly, building a rooftop garden. This has involved researching ideas for recycling within a school environment and contacting the local council to find out how recycling is undertaken in the City of Perth. For our rooftop garden, students have been researching what herbs and vegetables would best suit the rooftop and brainstorming ideas of how they can be grown. If any other students are interested in gardening or recycling, they are most welcome to join us after school on Thursdays in 2.2!
The St George's Swimming Team recently participated for the second time in the SSWA Inter-School Swimming Carnival at HBF Stadium after training really well under the guidance of Courtney, a Coach from Kingsway Swimming Club. We have been able to hire the use of Mercedes College’s swimming pool every Tuesday and Thursday mornings which has been an ideal venue to assist with our swimming programme. Our students have demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment to these training sessions. It is pleasing to observe students developing healthy habits of getting their exercise in the morning and achieving the necessary level of organisation to make it to these sessions.
We have a variety of swimming abilities but what is most impressive is that every one of these students is giving it their best and even Courtney commented, “they are getting stronger!” I have seen improvements as well and am very proud of everyone’s efforts. One thing I will recommend is a good pair of swimming goggles and a swim cap for long hair. The school will provide caps on the carnival days.

At the Swimming Carnival they swam their hearts out! They won the Meritorious Shield, based on our student numbers, and came sixth overall (not last), doing the School proud. Well done to all!


Sync Swim will be held on 31 March, at Bold Park Swimming Pool in City Beach. I encourage family spectators to attend this special calendar event that unifies the students of each House. The Houses have been working with their House Captains on the development of their Sync Swim routine and this year we are including an Inter-House Swimming Carnival too. I look forward to observing student House representatives challenging themselves to do their best for their House and establish the St George’s Anglican Grammar School’s Swimming Records.

Jodie Scheele
Sports Co-Ordinator

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