Verbis - Term 1, Edition 3 Verbis - Term 1, Edition 3

10 March 2022

Year of Compassion - Begin with the Heart

From our College Leadership Team
Principal, Mrs Dale Morrow
Assistant Principal - Learning and Teaching Mr Martin Lobb
Assistant Principal – Mission Mrs Erica Qureshi

Principal, Mrs Dale Morrow

Dear Parents/Carers

It certainly has been a strange start to the year with a number of short weeks in this Term. I was delighted to hold our first whole school Assembly for the year on Tuesday this week. I am particularly proud of how the Years 11 and 12 students have welcomed our newest members of our community - the Year 5 and Year 7 students. It appears both Year levels have settled in well and that is due in large part to the way the older students have looked out for them. I am also proud of every single student who has continued to strive to do their best whatever the circumstances. Already we have had Learning At Home, Covid restrictions and of course the flood. We are not alone in facing these challenges, and our strength as a community is revealed when we face hardship together. I know that many families are checking in on each other and offering assistance and kindness wherever possible.

I would like to share this email from Mrs Hinder in the Boutique:

I have had a call this morning from our major uniform supplier and sadly, their whole business went under water. They were able to save some things but not all. In the darkness of their clean-up last week, a St Rita’s student visited them randomly and gave them a huge bag of lollies to give them some sugar and some energy. The owner of the business sadly does not know the name of the student but wanted to pass on their thankfulness. It brightened their day. Such a small act, reaped a little happiness in the darkness of the mud clean-up.

It is moments like these that show us that we can always rely on the human spirit to get us through the worst of times. When we heard flood victims being interviewed recently - many who had lost everything, the common response was to get back up and start rebuilding and that there are many more people worse off than them. This wonderful human characteristic, to help those in need, comes to the fore in times of great hardship. We saw it in the bushfires, we have seen it in the recent floods, and I pray that we will see it across the world if and when it is needed in coming months.  

At Assembly on Tuesday we acknowledged International Women’s Day. This day is held on 8 March every year. It is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the world. The theme for 2022 is ‘Gender Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. This link to the United Nations’ Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, explaining the meaning of this year’s theme.

Even after so many years of people pushing for equal opportunities for girls and women in societies, there are still so many ways that traditional attitudes, structures and even language can create barriers for women to prevent them from being able to contribute to the advancement of humankind. We all have a role to play in helping to empower women. We must challenge any message, subtle or otherwise, that pushes the message that women are somehow less capable than men. This video clip has an important message for all of us. 

I would like to think that St Rita’s students will move into the wider world with the confidence that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. Remember that women have the right to stand wherever they want in this world, to be whatever they want as long as they do the work to get there. I hope our students all feel encouraged to take their place in the world. I ask that they dream big, believe in themselves and to never listen to the messages which aim to diminish women and girls in any society across the globe. May we support women across the world to be whatever they want to be.

Happy International Women’s Day.

God Bless

Mrs Dale Morrow

Assistant Principal - Learning and Teaching Mr Martin Lobb

Homework at St Rita’s College

At times homework can seem like Goldilocks and the Three Bears: sometimes there seems to be too much, sometimes not enough and sometimes, it seems just right. The reality probably sits somewhere in the middle of it all.

Research tells us that there is a strong link between good homework habits and student achievement in the classroom. Leading educational researcher Robert Marzano identifies that learning new content requires practice over time. While practising, students have time to adapt and shape what they have learned. Homework is also a vital part of a flipped classroom where students are learning key components for the next lesson. Homework can include the consolidation of learning, revision activities, assessment preparation, assignment completion and reading.

How much homework should my daughter be completing? The following link to the College’s Homework policy is a good guide to the amount of time that should be given to homework and what homework is; a mixture of set work, study, assignment work and reading.

Assistant Principal – Mission Mrs Erica Qureshi

Project Compassion

St Rita’s College will be fundraising for Caritas Project Compassion as a whole school initiative for Term 1.  Money boxes have been placed in each House Group room for loose change to donated, however, this often doesn’t happen as our House Groups meet in the morning – before students have accessed The Pantry!  This year, we have taken on the Caritas challenge to also collect via digital means.  We invite your family to consider donating to Project Compassion using the link below. All money collected via this site will count towards our school’s total fundraising effort.

St Rita's College, Clayfield • Project Compassion 2022

Over the Lenten season, we will be learning about the communities that Caritas support.  Every donation helps to make a difference for these marginalised communities.  To give you an idea:

$6.00 can provide soap and a tap to protect against COVID-19 in the Democratic Republic of Congo

$25.00 can provide a duck to a rural training school in the Solomon Islands

$85.00 can help to form a farmer support group in India

$148.00 can provide a toilet for a family in Mozambique.

Your generosity is most appreciated.

Primary Years
Head of Primary - Miss Belinda Emmi
Primary Library - Ms Noni Harrison, Head of Library

Head of Primary - Miss Belinda Emmi

Supporting Students with Multiplicative Thinking in Year 5

As we move through Term 1 and are fast approach the end of our first Term together, it is timely to take this opportunity to highlight a key learning concept in learning Mathematics for students in Year 5.

What is multiplicative thinking?

Multiplicative thinking is a big idea in mathematics and a core concept for students in Year 5. This is the ability to understand multiplication and division based on using a range of different models and quantities. Students are multiplicative thinkers if they can apply their knowledge in a variety of contexts, using flexible strategies. 

Why is it important?

Developing multiplicative thinking develops success for students not only in Year 5 but in learning mathematics in future years. This is an underpinning concept for algebra and can be a key cause for students having difficulty learning mathematics. Establishing number knowledge now is vital for students to access the curriculum as they develop into secondary school. 

How is it developed?

Multiplicative thinking goes beyond just knowing facts for times tables. To be a multiplicative thinker, students will draw on strategies they can apply to a range of contexts.

Click here for a Multiplicative Program to consider

Primary Library - Ms Noni Harrison, Head of Library

Building a Reading Identity

Who am I as a reader? A question we have been reflecting on with our wonderful Year 5 students.

The St Rita’s Primary Library program is driven by our mission to foster intellectual curiosity and to develop autonomous life-wide learners. The program encourages students to read widely and supports students to self-select recreational reading material that aligns with their developmental stage and, crucially, their interests.

It is important to note the distinction between what children’s literacy expert and Teacher Librarian, Megan Daly (2019) refers to as “learn to read” books and recreational books. While classroom readers (“learn to read” books) are specifically selected as teaching tools (teacher-chosen levelled readers), recreational books are self-selected. These recreational books instil a love of reading and help young people develop lifelong reading habits. According to Dr Stephen Krashen (2006), this pleasure reading is a cornerstone to language and literacy development. 

At St Rita’s, we have adopted the Good Fit Book recreational reading model (from the evidence-based program The Daily 5). Self-selection is at the core of this model. Each Year 5 student has been given a bookmark outlining self-selection strategies; including, selecting for interest and using the five-finger rule to assess complexity. The students have adopted this strategy very quickly and naturally. Beyond vocabulary complexity, complexity in themes is also important for growth and interest. While a book might appear easy on the surface, the themes present within might put your child in their stretch zone where they are exposed to new ideas, concepts and more sophisticated devices that deliver meaning and purpose.

Choice is an important aspect of reading success, and it is closely linked to reading motivation. “The effectiveness of self-selected recreational reading is very well-established” (Krashen, 2004). Specifically, autonomous motivation when engaged with reading activities is associated with more positive outcomes than prescribed reading (Csikszentmihalyi, 1991; Derouet, 2021). Children need to be able to choose their own reading materials that align with their interests. This builds their reading curiosity.

The St Rita’s Library team brings a wealth of experience and passion to the Library program. We work with your children one-on-one and in their class groups to build a passion for reading and to support them in selecting recreational reads. In addition to weekly library lessons, we also offer a Primary Book Club (facilitated by Ms Barn and Ms Jackson), coordinate CBCA Readers Cup teams, and hold author events throughout the year. Our Year 5 Library collection is growing constantly, and we actively encourage students to build the collection with us by making book recommendations. We have cherished working with the Year 5 students so far and are excited for the year ahead.

Children “enjoy reading the most when they can escape into a book with no expectations, when they don’t have to worry about analysing themes or other literacy devices a parent or teacher may want them to learn from the book” (Daly, 2019, p. 111).


Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1991). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience: Steps toward enhancing the quality of life. Harper Collins Publishers.

Daly, M. (2019). Raising readers: How to nurture a child's love of books. University of Queensland Press.

Derouet, L. (2021). The power of recreational reading. QSLA Brisbane Subcommittee.

Krashen, S. (2004). The power of reading, 2nd ed. Heinemann Publishing Company.

Krashen, S. (2006). Pleasure reading. Young Learners SIG Spring Issue.

What You Need to Know
Covid-19: Masks and Restrictions
Enderley Road
Dates to Note
WalkOut – Sunday 27 March, 8:30am to midday
College Events Save the Date

Covid-19: Masks and Restrictions

With the lifting of the majority of restrictions by the government from 6:00pm on Friday 4 March, the College is pleased to be back to some sort of 'normal'. 

There is no longer any requirement for masks to be worn by students, staff or visitors either indoors or outdoors, although masks may be worn if you feel more comfortable doing so.

Parent meetings can be hosted again on campus and without the need to Sign In. Parent volunteers for the Pantry, Contractors and Suppliers must continue to Sign In at College Reception.

Our Cocurricular programs return to normal, with some minor adjustments to some events such as the CaSSSA Swim Championships today: no Student spectators at today’s meet due to continued COVID circulation among school aged population; parent spectators are permitted. There are also some mask and capacity restrictions with Debating which have been conveyed on the App.

We continue to be notified of positive cases among the College community daily, and a report on case numbers will be given to the College Community on a periodic basis via email. Health authorities have not required us to take any further action at a school level.

Students who are Unwell

Students who are unwell must remain at home and the College requests the support of parents in not sending your daughter to school if she is unwell for any reason. Parents must register their daughter’s absence via the Student Absentee Form (via the College App – the College does not accept telephone or email advices of absence).

Enderley Road

Drop Off and Pick Up in the Enderley Road precinct continues to be monitored on a daily basis. We are very pleased with the continued courtesy displayed by most of our drivers during the mornings and afternoons.

We have, with the permission of law authorities, installed 'Witches Hats' along the yellow lines that bound the Enderley Road/Liverpool Road corners to deter the illegal use of these areas as drop off and pick up zones, and this measure has contributed significantly to increased visibility for drivers and students crossing the road.

Sadly, some areas of concern remain, and it is disappointing that some parents are repeatedly ignoring our requests to adhere to road rules and laws at Drop Off and Pick Up times. The safety of the students and staff is our priority.

  • Please do not drop off or pick up, nor park for any length of time in any of the yellow lined area on Enderley Road directly across from the College. Some parents who have been asked to move ignore the request and/or are back there the next day. This displays a lack of safety concern for students of the College. 
  • There is also a noticeable use of this area as a changeover area by parents for their student Learner Drivers. We see this on a daily basis, and the use has also been reported to the College by parents.
  • Please don’t stop in the middle of the road, to drop off or pick up your daughter. This is exceptionally dangerous.

 Students must use the Assisted Crossing at the Pool entrance of the College. Enderley Road is a deceptively wide road and, whilst it is not illegal to cross further down, it is dangerous and can be frightening for a young student.

Dates to Note

Greater detail can be accessed via the date entry in the MySRC Calendar

Thursday 10 March, QDU Debating Rd 1 Years 9 and 11

Friday 11 March, Commencement Mass, 9:00am (Year 12 parents attending. Year 11 families catering)

Friday 11 March, Senior Drama Excursion, 7:00pm

Saturday 12 March, Water Polo Rd 13

Monday 14 March, St Agatha’s Choral Concert, 6:30pm

Tuesday 15 March, Cascian House Community Mass, 8:00am

Tuesday 15 March, AFL Schools Cup Trials

Wednesday 16 March, CaSSSA Sport Rd 4

Wednesday 16 March, QDU Debating Rd 1 Year 10

Thursday 17 March, Intermediate Volleyball Q Schools Cup Trial, 3:30pm

Thursday 17 March, QDU Debating Rd 1 Year 8 and Senior A

Thursday 17 March, Young Women Leaders Soiree, 4:00pm

Friday 18 March, Rosa House ‘Bullying ... No Way Colour Day

Friday 18 March, Autumn Concerts, 5:30pm

Friday 18 March, Water Polo Presentation Evening, 5:30pm

Saturday 19 March, Water Polo Semi Finals

Monday 21- Wednedsay 23 March, Year 7 Camp

Wednesday 23 March, CaSSSA Sport Rd 5

Wednesday 23 March, QDU Debating Rd 2 Years 9 and 11

WalkOut – Sunday 27 March, 8:30am to midday

WalkOut is a compulsory Mission and Community event. The Walk commences at John Wren Oval, Sixth Avenue, Kedron and proceeds along the Kedron Brook Bikeway to the College. WalkOut raises funds for student nominated charities. Each student is asked to give the minimum of a gold coin donation to the charity of their preference. Students and their families are very welcome to give more than a gold coin and/or support more than one charity.  Our fundraising will be warmly received by these charities.

This year’s theme is SRC – come dressed as anything starting with an ‘S’, an ‘R’ or a ‘C’!

Thanks are extended to Mrs Carla and Mr Scott Burns for the coordination of the many parents who assist with WalkOut, and our thanks are equally extended to each of these parents.

‘Showstoppers’, with awards for the most innovative in costume is held on arrival back at the College. A Sausage Sizzle and drinks will be on sale, organised by the Sports Subcommittee

College Events Save the Date

Service Rosters
2022 Service Roster

2022 Service Roster

Zillmere Homework Help Roster

Students are to meet the supervising teacher outside Student Reception at 3:10pm. Please note, students will be dismissed from Zillmere Library at 4:30pm

Wednesday 16 March:  Mrs Star will accompany Sarah Gallagher, Kate Taylor and Summer Nash

Wednesday 23 March: Mrs Casey will accompany Erin Clancy, Sarah Rees, Charlotte O’Keefe and Mikayla Jebreen

Ecumenical Coffee Brigade Roster

Students are to meet the supervising teacher at the ECB premises, corner of Isaac and Rosa Streets, Spring Hill by 6:00am.

Monday 21 March: Mrs Blake will accompany Millie Overs, Charlotte Blackmore, Lauren Whillans and Eliza Christie

Rosies School Outreach Program

Students are to meet their supervising staff member at Little Flower Kedron Parish Hall at 6:00pm. Students are to wear modest clothing and enclosed shoes.

Monday 14 March: A staff member will accompany Taylah Coughlan, Gabby Tealby and Caitlin Gunn

Monday 21 March: A staff member will accompany Ava Bernard, Bella Wilson, Issy Cremer and Maisie McLachlan

Homework Club

Students will meet their supervising staff member in the College Library after school.

Tuesday 15 March: Mrs Miller will be supervising Ava Wright, Alex Vergara, Pia Skarparis, Rachel Copsey and Amelie Grohn

Tuesday 22 March: Miss Atkinson will be supervising Charlotte O’Keefe, Lottie Cooper, Ruby Terecans, Holly Simms and Charlotte Lewis

Curriculum News
Study Skills Ms Amanda Wallas
Pathways and Careers Mrs Melanie Sax-Wood

Study Skills Ms Amanda Wallas

Over the last three weeks, I have visited each Year 7 core class to deliver a lesson relating to the development of study skills. These fundamental precepts are relevant for all students; they include ensuring they have a functional study space set up, a clear study plan, and specific goals set for each subject.

I am including some ideas here for parents or caregivers of students in any Year Level who would like tips on how to support their daughters.

If your daughter is struggling with homework:

  • Ask questions that may help her to approach the problem differently.
  • Explain concepts.
  • Check that your daughter is willing to ask for help at school, that she knows which staff member is best-placed to help and where to find that person.

You may like to check the flow chart in our Homework policy that examines the options for when your daughter says she has NO homework. There is always work that can be done to enhance her learning!


  • Independence.
  • The development of problem-solving skills through critical thinking.
  • Positive self-talk.
  • ‘Chunking’ tasks into manageable parts and study time into 20 or 25-minute blocks.
  • Trying a new approach.
  • Just ‘having a go’ (to get over the barrier created by a tendency towards perfectionism).
  • Positive self-talk.


  • Phones/iPads/television in her study area.

As per our Homework Policy, we advise that phones are turned off and given to you (I know of a number of highly successful Years 11 and 12 students who still do this) or placed in a closed drawer in another room. Students should not check them until ALL their study is completed.

  • Sitting next to your daughter the whole time she is studying so that you can help with it all.
  • Doing the work for your daughter or engaging a tutor who does it for her.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me on if you have any queries regarding Study Skills at St Rita’s.

Pathways and Careers Mrs Melanie Sax-Wood

Save the Date - Year 10 Careers Day, Wednesday 15 June

Call out for Guest Speakers

In Term 2, in the lead up to Senior Subject Selection, the Year 10 girls will be involved in Careers Day. This day features guest speakers working with the girls in small groups. Numerous industries are represented and based on the request of the girls. Many of the guest speakers are parents, past students or Alumnae members. If you would like to assist us by speaking with the girls so they can discover greater insight into particular jobs/careers please email Kylie O’Hare at

Options Career Bulletin

Each fortnight in Verbis I will highlight snippets of information from the Options Career Bulletin. This bulletin is stacked with the latest information gathered from numerous sources; local, state, national and international. I spoke with the Year 12 girls last week and stressed the importance of keeping up to date with careers information. They need to be researching the best options for them post school.  This is one great resource that you have available to you each fortnight. The link to the bulletin will be posted in my article and I would encourage all parents to take the time to read this. It will also be emailed to the Years 10, 11 and 12 students each fortnight. Many important career decisions will be made by your daughters over the coming years and it is extremely important that you are both fully informed.

Each edition includes information relating to skill shortage areas and the projected job demands.  The defence forces highlight important information. Some great strategies for Career Exploration are included or there are some competitions that students may be interested in. The latest course and institution updates are available along with the dates for your diaries for 2020 open days, expos and careers markets. Please add these to your diaries to avoid any disappointments. Tips for those possibly looking at post school scholarships and gap year programs, have a read. The occupation highlighted this fortnight is security and policing in Australia. Don’t forgot the all-important QTAC and Tertiary Entry pages. The Study Skills section at the back also offers some very useful tips.

Australian National University (ANU) 

Like many universities, ANU are harnessing the soft skills of university applicants and including this as part of their application process. Universities are beginning to see the benefits of recruiting well rounded students to their courses. For students to apply through the new direct entry system at ANU they must meet the co-curricular or service requirements which includes: community engagement, inclusion and awareness of diversity, communication, leadership, personal responsibility, teamwork and creative and critical thinking. See or for their courses. 

Tax File Number

Students often ask about how they get a Tax File Number (TFN). The process for applying for a TFN had changed, and schools can no longer verified students. I encouraged all Years 10, 11 and 12 students to apply for a TFN even if they currently do not have a job.  This can sometimes be a lengthy process and once they get a job they do not really want to be paying more tax than necessary while waiting for their TFN to be processed. Students are required to have a TFN when they enrol for tertiary places post school.

Access the bulletin for a comprehensive read and important dates here.

Debating Mrs Lorraine Specogna, Coordinator

Debating Mrs Lorraine Specogna, Coordinator

Year 7 Debating

Next Term, Year 7 will begin their QDU [Queensland Debating Union] competition. An information session will be held on Wednesday 17 March at lunch time. Details will be posted in the daily news for students on MySRC. Following this information session, students can sign on for Debating which will close on Wednesday 23 March. Sign on will be through a survey on MySRC and available through student morning news.

The Year 7 teams will comprise of four members and each team member debate across all positions (first, second, third and chair). Four training sessions focussing on skills of debating will be held one afternoon each week beginning in the week of 25 April until 20 May, from 3:15pm to 4:15pm. The dates will be determined after reflecting with the debaters and school commitments and advised by the end of Term 1. Team selection and coaching during lunch time will begin during the week of 23 May and continue until the end of the season. The competition dates are 15 June, 28 July, 18 August and 7 September.

Year 5 Debating

Year 5 debating begins late Term 2. More information will be published in the next Verbis.

Sport Mr Dane Robinson, Director

Sport Mr Dane Robinson, Director

CaSSSA Term 2 Sport

Registrations are open for Term 2 CaSSSA sport. Please register if you wish to take part in the following sports:

  • Hockey (Junior and Open)
  • Netball (Intermediate and Open)
  • Touch Football (Junior)
  • Volleyball (Junior)

The nomination information has been sent out via the College App. Alternatively, please find the necessary information and nomination link on MySRC under Cocurricular Sport/CaSSSA and Sport Admin.

Cross Country

A reminder that Cross Country is open to ALL students. There is no minimum or maximum requirement for sessions, please turn up whenever you can. Students of all abilities can attend.

Training Days are:

Monday/Wednesday/Friday – 6:15am – 7:45am

All training sessions meet on Hogan Place (the Flat) at St Rita’s College. 

Strength and Conditioning

Registrations for Term 2 will be posted on MySRC in the Strength and Conditioning Page and on the College App next week (week commencing Monday 14 March)

The Arts
Arts Week

Arts Week

Misinformation in the age of social media

Misinformation in the age of social media

Misinformation in the age of social media

Ms Noni Harrison - Head of Library

Information fluency is an ever-growing skill set needed of 21st century citizens. As the online environment continues to develop it becomes more complex and the validity of information becomes harder to ascertain. The open and ubiquitous nature of digital information has accelerated the spread of misinformation and disinformation, which has potentially dangerous implications (De Paor & Heravi, 2020). 

Young people are more likely to get their news from social media and alternate sources rather than traditional news outlets. While important that students engage in dialogue about current events and build their cultural capital, simply being exposed to more information will not make them informed citizens. Information fluency is not acquired through osmosis, therefore, at St Rita’s, the Library and the teaching staff embed these skills explicitly into the students’ learning (Gavigan, 2021; Wineburg et al., 2020).

Studies have found that students who are exposed to information fluency instruction had greater academic success (Blake, Bowles-Terry, Pearson, & Szentkiralyi, 2017; Laskin & Zoe, 2017). Information fluency also combines interpersonal and social knowledge and skills (NSW Department of Education, 2021). Importantly, this helps to develop students’ social and emotional capabilities. Beyond schooling, information fluency prepares students to live and work effectively in society and equips students with the critical skills needed to become autonomous lifelong learners.

To be information fluent in the age of misinformation, digital literacy expert, Mike Caulfield (2019) suggests we SIFT through the information.


Blake, J., Bowles-Terry, M., Pearson, N. S., & Szentkiralyi, Z. (2017). The impact of information literacy instruction on student success: A multi-institutional investigation and analysis. Central University Libraries Research, 13.

Caulfield, M. (2019, June 19). SIFT (The Four Moves). Hapgood.

De Paor, S. & Heravi, B. (2020). Information literacy and fake news: How the field of librarianship can help combat the epidemic of fake news. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 46(5).

Gavigan, K. W. (2021, November 5). Librarians help students navigate an age of misinformation – but schools are cutting their numbers. The Conversation.

Laskin, M. & Zoe, L. (2017). Informational literacy and institutional effectiveness: A longitudinal analysis of performance indicators of student success. CUNY Academic Works, 2017(60).

NSW Department of Education. (2021). Information fluency framework.  

Wineburg et al. (2020). Educating for Misunderstanding: How approaches to teaching digital literacy make students susceptible to scammers, rogues, bad actors, and hate mongers. Stanford History Education Group.

Community Notices
Irish St Patrick’s Day Mass

Irish St Patrick’s Day Mass

Irish St Patrick’s Day Mass

The Annual St Patrick’s Day Mass, organised by the St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee as part of the Brisbane Irish Festival, will be celebrated again this year in the Cathedral of St Stephen, Elizabeth Street at 10.00am on 17 March. Fr Gerard McMorrow will be the celebrant. 

All are welcome to attend, Irish or not. And, for those who may be unable to do so, the Mass will be live-streamed through the Cathedral website on this link -  Live web cast - Archdiocese of Brisbane ( You may wish to pass the link on to someone overseas.