Verbis - Term 1, Edition 3 2023 Verbis - Term 1, Edition 3 2023

2 March 2023

Year of Simplicity - Travelling Lightly

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

Principal, Mrs Dale Morrow

Dear Parents and Carers

Welcome to the Church’s season of Lent. There is something wholesome about starting the new year with this re-energising feast that calls us to renewal and rebirth. Lent is a time the Church sets aside for reflection on our lives. We reflect on both our hardships and our blessings. We live in a world that is hurt and wounded; people are struggling, our Earth is struggling. During this blessed season, may we pray for those in need and truly listen with a compassionate heart, just as Jesus listens to each of us. As we journey through the next 40 days, let us unite, listening to ourselves and one another, praying for justice, peace and hope throughout our world as we walk with Jesus through his life, death and resurrection.

In days long gone by, the wearing of a hair shirt, or sack cloth, was common practice among many early Christians. It was a garment woven from very coarse fibre – camel hair in some instances, goat hair more commonly. Some people wore the garment openly; others hid its presence by wearing it under their normal attire. The uncomfortable prickly sensation of such apparel would be enough to keep the wearer mindful of the reason for such mortification. It served as an aid in resisting temptations of the flesh and as an unostentatious antidote for the outward luxury and comfort of their lives. There was recognition that part of our human failing involved use of surroundings and embellishments of life to run from our true selves. This is still true for our lives today – perhaps even more so, given our propensity to fill our lives with all manner of gadgets and electronic gizmos. Why, even in our quietest moments we can escape that feeling of aloneness by hopping online and losing ourselves in virtual reality. It is so easy to avoid that inward journey into our true selves which in turn limits our spiritual growth.

The ashes that we receive on Ash Wednesday serve as an invitation to begin such a journey. Father Ronald Rolheiser expresses beautifully the symbolism of the ashes:

“There is something innate to the human soul that knows that, every so often, one must make a journey of descent, be smudged, lose one's lustre, and wait while the ashes do their work… Lent is a season for each of us to sit in the ashes, to spend our time... working and sitting among the cinders of the fire - grieving what we've done wrong, renouncing the dance, refraining from the banquet, refusing to do business as usual, waiting while some silent growth takes place within us, and simply being still so that the ashes can do their work in us.” (

I encourage all in our community to support Caritas in our Year of Simplicity. I hope we can be a generous community that is outward looking and seeks opportunities to assist those who need our help. Lent is a special time in our liturgical calendar and I pray that we may all grow closer to our God by looking to help others in our world.

I would like to share this prayer:

God of the Journey

May this Lenten Season

Challenge us to a change of heart

To live gently

To love generously

To count blessings and

Walk paths of peace and inclusion  

Parents & Friends 

Congratulations to our new Parents & Friends executive. My thanks go to the following who were elected at the Annual General Meeting:

  • President: Cosi De Angelis
  • Vice President: Naomi Lock
  • Secretary: Kelly Cameron
  • Treasurer: Murray Fairgrieve

I would also like to acknowledge and thank Scott Delaney for his work as Secretary. Please take time to read messages from the P & F President, who will contribute to Verbis in coming editions.  

God bless

Mrs Dale Morrow

Deputy Principal - Studies, Mrs Maree Trims

Academic Assembly 

Last Friday we celebrated the academic success of students in Semester 2, 2022. I would like to congratulate all students who received Academic Awards and Academic Improvement Awards. Engagement With Learning awards will be presented to students tomorrow morning during Year Level Assemblies. Parents and students can access the criteria for these awards on MySRC/Parents/Curriculum.

Review of Senior Subjects

We are currently reviewing the senior subjects offered in Years 11 and 12. Students across Years 10, 11 and 12 will be surveyed to seek feedback on student interest.


Parents and students are reminded that they are required to read the Assessment Guidelines on MySRC under College Policies and Procedures. Parents and students have been sent a link from Operoo requiring them to acknowledge that they have read and understood the policy and the expectations and requirements around assessment. Students have also been through these in their House Group.

As per the College Assessment Guidelines, if students in Years 10, 11 and 12 are absent for an assessment task (exam or spoken presentation) they must complete the online Application for Extension to Assessment. They must also provide medical documentation/evidence to support their application.

Group Tutoring

There are a number of group tutoring opportunities available at the College. The timetable is located on MySRC/Parents/Curriculum/Tutoring Services. There is no charge for students to attend as many of these sessions as they wish.

Parents wishing to engage a past St Rita’s student as a private tutor for their daughter may contact Mrs Timcke at Student Reception. Tutoring with our past students can take place at the College before and after school.

Extended Library Opening Hours

Students in Years 10, 11 and 12 are invited to utilise the extended Library hours on Monday and Thursday evenings until 5:30pm.

Assistant Principal - Learning and Teaching, Mr Martin Lobb

Early Career Teachers at St Rita’s College

We have endeavoured, particularly over the last few years, to provide support and guidance for our beginning and emerging teachers, so that they are able to do what they can do best – teach.

We provide, under the guidance of Mr Joel Negline, a Teacher Pathway Program which is aimed at assisting student teachers, in the final year of their university course, a chance to work as Teacher Aides, one day a week, over the course of one year. This experience enables these student teachers (many of whom have had a previous career in another field), to live the ebbs and flows of teaching in a busy secondary school – from start-of-year planning through to final end-of-year reporting. Ultimately, the program aims to provide an opportunity to integrate theoretical knowledge with professional practice. The program has attracted a high calibre of emerging teachers and we are proud that a number of them are now current staff at St Rita’s College. This year we have two Teacher Pathway participants, Ms Anna Walsh (Mathematics) and Ms Heather Boulton (Humanities/Business). We wish them well as they commence their journey in teaching.

Watch a video on our Teacher Pathway Program by clicking here.

We also provide mentoring and guidance for all of our early and emerging career teachers. We meet regularly to discuss the operational and pedagogical aspects of teaching and provide a chance for teachers to share their triumphs and challenges. Beginning teachers are also provided guidance and support within each of their faculties, particularly with their Heads of Faculty, to assist them in the planning and delivery of lessons. This guidance and sharing is extended beyond our College to our Graduate Teacher Network which provides our Early Career Teachers the opportunity to meet other beginning teachers from similar schools. This network, coordinated by St Rita’s College, provides the opportunity for experienced leaders and teachers to share their ‘wisdoms’ with eager and talented teachers from a number of schools.


A reminder to all parents of Years 5, 7 and 9 that NAPLAN is earlier this year, being conducted on 15, 16, 17 and 20 March 2023, with the full schedule below:

We have recently conducted some practice Test sessions, and all Years 5, 7 and 9 students are to be commended for their readiness, cooperation and application to the task.

Ultimately the best preparation for NAPLAN is the support of family and school. It is important that all students are reassured that while we all want success for our students, it is a ‘point-in-time’ test which is a measurement tool only. In many ways, a good night’s sleep and breakfast is the best preparation. It is important that while we want all students to give their best, they also do not feel any overwhelming pressure or stress to perform.

Requirements for NAPLAN:

  • A charged device (Year 7 and 9 laptop/Year 5 iPad)
  • A pencil
  • Students must bring wired earbuds/headphones to complete NAPLAN Online testing. Students do not require expensive earbuds or headphones. Wireless/Bluetooth earbuds/headphones (such as AirPods) are not permitted.
  • Water bottles are permitted.

You can access more Parent information regarding NAPLAN on the following link:

NAPLAN Online – information for parents and carers

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like further information about the College’s NAPLAN Online program.

Assistant Principal - Mission, Mrs Erica Qureshi

Last Wednesday, the Catholic Church began the season of Lent. The Church year is different from the calendar year as it divides the year into what it calls Liturgical Seasons. Throughout the Liturgical calendar, we focus on the life and work of Jesus and on the beliefs and mysteries of being a Christ-follower. Just as in the calendar year there are certain things people do, it is the same for Christ-followers who follow the Liturgical Calendar as it causes us to focus on the actions of Jesus, who He is, and the beliefs we have.

The journey of Lent takes in hope from a place of humility to one of light. The things we throw away, the people we disregard, are the very place we can encounter God. The rituals of Ash Wednesday have a special meaning for all of us. They call us to recognise the humanity we share with others and to return with our hearts to the God of justice. Like Mary, we are called to be a blessing for all generations to come.

During Lent, two activities take place: people prepare to be baptised and enter the Church, and people take stock of their life with God, seek forgiveness for wrongdoing and renew their commitment to God. This is a time of renewal and discovering God anew. Our community marked the start of Lent with a whole College liturgy last Wednesday and launched our Project Compassion campaign. This is a great way of embracing the journey of Lent. It asks us to remember that there are people in the world who are often treated unjustly. Metaphorically, they live among the ashes. Our decisions can make a huge impact on helping them journey with hope into light.

Each week during Lent, Caritas Australia asks us to think about a special story. The story focuses on someone who has benefitted from the generosity of Project Compassion. This week, we hear about 16-year-old Laxmi who lives in a remote part of Nepal. With the help of Project Compassion, she has been able to overcome family hardship to pursue her education. She was tempted to give up on school, but Project Compassion enabled her to follow a more positive direction and to realise what she could achieve for her community by becoming an engineer.

Please consider donating to our Term 1 initiative by clicking here.

Primary Years
Head of Primary, Ms Georgina Howard
Primary House Representatives
Primary Uniforms
Year 5 Library News: Soaring to Great Heights
Year 6 Library News: Meaning Makers

Head of Primary, Ms Georgina Howard

Our Year 5 students and teachers recently enjoyed an excursion to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. We encountered a wide range of beautiful animals and enjoyed feeding kangaroos, meeting emus, spotting crocodiles and petting snakes, koalas and turtles. Students were keen participants in our Discovery Sessions and worked alongside the Education Rangers to decipher the features of different biomes.

Year 5 students have been learning about animal adaptations as part of their Science unit this Term and it was lovely to see them putting this new knowledge in action as we walked around the Sanctuary. Students were particularly excited to identify different kinds of bird beaks, and were experts in ascertaining the ‘seed eaters’ from the ‘meat eaters’. They also had fun in identifying the adaptations of the platypus, crocodiles, raptors and wombats. Our Year 5 students are eager scientists and shared their ideas confidently and articulately, impressing the Education Rangers with their extensive general knowledge.

Thank you to Miss Fardoulys, Mrs Apps, Miss Richardson and Mrs Hukins for organising and attending such an exciting opportunity for our Year 5 students! We are very appreciative to the parent helpers who were able to attend, and to our Year 5 students for being such wonderful representatives of our College.

Primary House Representatives

Congratulations to our Primary House Representatives! Our Semester 1 Representatives were presented with their Primary Leader badges at our recent Assembly.

  • Hogan – Georgianna Cassar and Sydney Josephson
  • Xaverian – Ava McMillan and Bella Martin
  • Rosa – Grace O’Connor and Kristina Bowater
  • Cascian – Annabelle Cotter and Ruby Zamora
  • Nagle – Katherine Russell and Esther Wilkinson
  • Collins – Eva O’Keefe and Zara Andrews
  • Marian – Caitlin Niere and Elizabeth Barr
  • Kildare – Sophie Mitchell and Rosemary McDonald

Our House Representatives are working hard behind the scenes to organise our Primary House Assemblies this semester. They are leading their Houses in team building activities that have assisted our Years 5 and 6 students in getting to know one another and in building House Spirit. Our Primary students are very proud to be members of their respective Houses, and we look forward to continuing our House traditions through a Primary lens.

Primary Uniforms

New Item: Hat Clips are now available through the Boutique. The clip has a secure lock feature that wraps around bag handle to keep the hat safely attached. A super strong magnet never loses holding power and secures Formal Hats to school bags, keeping them safe and clean.

Accessories: In regard to appropriate accessories, students are reminded that stud earrings are to be plain silver, gold or pearl. Sleepers are to be plain gold or silver. Earrings with stones are not permitted.

Socks: Please ensure your daughter is wearing correct socks with her school uniform. White ankle socks are not permitted with either uniform.

Year 5 Library News: Soaring to Great Heights

Year 5 are Soaring to Great Heights at St Rita’s: The Fly and Hunt Academic Reading Strategy

The St Rita’s College Academic Reading and Notetaking Strategy is made up of two key processes: Fly and Hunt reading, and the Cornell Notetaking method. In 2020, St Rita’s College undertook an action research project that found these strategies were highly successful in improving student comprehension and self-efficacy (article published in Teacher Magazine here).

Fly and Hunt

Recently, all Year 5 students were taught the strategy and used it to analyse an informative text about common brushtail possums and their adaptations to rural and urban areas. First, they “flew over the text like an eagle” to activate their prior knowledge, identify the text type and identify the purpose of the article. Next, students “hunted like a wolf” to section and label the text and highlight and annotate it.

Cornell Notetaking

The following lesson, students engaged with the Cornell Notetaking method. Rather than a set-and-forget style of taking notes, the Cornell method is a complete “natural learning cycle”, as students actively engage with a single text by recording, reviewing and assessing (Pauk & Owens, 2010). Inherently, this process requires students to analyse and synthesise a text to make new meaning.

A study examining the effects of notetaking concluded that students who take Cornell notes outperform those students who do not (Evans & Shively, 2019). At St Rita’s, we too have seen improved engagement with texts and enhanced comprehension when students employ this strategy. When using this method, students must deliberately regulate several cognitive tasks simultaneously, which allows for the interaction of long-term memory schemas with new material brought into working memory (Paas, Renkl, & Sweller, 2003; Piolat, Olive, & Kellogg, 2005).

Year 5 students engaged well with the strategy and demonstrated excellent application of their prior knowledge to analyse a new text. A very impressive start to their academic reading journey.

We encourage students to practise these reading and notetaking skills whenever they encounter a complex text. Gently reminding students to “fly like an eagle” and “hunt like a wolf” are helpful ways of encouraging them to engage effectively with new texts.

Ms Noni Harrison

Head of Library


Evans, B.P., & Shively, C.T. (2019). Using the Cornell note-taking system can help eighth grade students alleviate the impact of interruptions while reading at home. Journal of Inquiry & Action in Education, 10(1). 

Paas, F., Renkl, A., & Sweller, J. (2003). Cognitive Load Theory and Instructional Design: Recent Developments. Educational Psychologist, 38(1). 

Pauk, W. & Owens, R.J.Q. (2010). How to Study in College (10th ed.). Wadsworth.

Piolat, A., Olive, T., & Kellogg, R. T. (2005). Cognitive effort during note taking. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 19.

Year 6 Library News: Meaning Makers

Year 6 Meaning Makers: The Fly and Hunt Academic Reading Strategy

Year 6 students were recently re-introduced to the St Rita’s College Academic Reading and Notetaking Strategy. This strategy, referred to as Fly Hunt, equips the students with the skills needed to read deeply to comprehend new or challenging texts. Fly Hunt can be applied to any text type: fiction, persuasive, informative, and even visual sources and maths equations.

This term, Year 6 students have been applying their Fly Hunt skills to digital texts by using OneNote to record their highlighting and annotations. To reduce cognitive load, the students have continued to create hand-written notes on paper. Some studies suggest this may also improve comprehension for younger learners (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014).

Fly Like an Eagle

The first phase is to Fly Like an Eagle. Here, the students make connections between the text and their prior knowledge. This focuses the reader and activates their schema. Students then read the text twice. While this may seem onerous, this is what forms the foundation of their analysis and understanding, as it encourages the students to slow down and read deeply. After reading, they identify the purpose of the text using the prompt: topic + main idea = purpose.

Hunt Like a Wolf

The second phase is to Hunt Like a Wolf. This is where students are encouraged to think more deeply about the text structure and the ideas within. First, they create sections by grouping together paragraphs that share a common sub-topic. They create a clear label for each new section that relates to the sub-topic presented. We treat these labels as signposts, therefore discouraging the use of labels such as ‘introduction’ and ‘summary’, as these do not reveal what the section is about. After sectioning, the students then highlight and annotate. They do this to identify key words, concepts, definitions, and important conclusions that the author is drawing. Annotations help the students to incorporate their own understanding with the text.

Cornell Notetaking 

Cornell Notetaking is the final step in Hunting Like a Wolf. Here, the students review their sectioning, highlighting and annotating to create notes which summarise the main points. Students use their section labels to populate the ‘Key Points’ column, and their highlighting and annotating informs the notes taken in the larger ‘Notes’ column. Most crucially, the students must wrap-up the Fly Hunt process by crafting a summary of 1-2 sentences at the bottom of their notes. These sentences should summarise the key learnings from the text.

How can you support your child’s academic reading pursuits?

Two ways in which your child’s academic reading journey can be supported at home include:

  1. Encouraging your child to slow down. Students often want to jump immediately into highlighting and notetaking. Reading deeply by slowing down is key to their success.
  2. To encourage your child to read deeply, remind them to reflect on their reading throughout the process. Professor of English Education at Columbia University, Sheridan Blau (2003) suggests asking the following three questions: 
  • What does it say? This refers to literal comprehension. Can the reader identify key information in the text? 
  • What does it mean? This refers to inferential comprehension. Can the reader draw conclusions about the main ideas in the text or paraphrase the information?
  • What does it matter? This refers to higher-order inference. Can the reader identify the importance or relevance of the information? Can the reader explain how this relates to the topic or purpose?

Ms Noni Harrison

Head of Library


Blau, S.D. (2003). The Literature Workshop: Teaching Texts and Their Readers. Heinemann.

Mueller, P.A., & Oppenheimer, D.M. (2014). The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking. Psychological Science, 25(1159), doi:10.1177/0956797614524581

What You Need to Know
Upcoming Dates to Note
WalkOut – Sunday 26 March, 8:30am to midday
From the Boutique
Years 5 – 8 Fathering Project Event: Pizza and Paper Planes
Australian Government 2023 Student Residential Address and Other Information Collection
Parent Council Meeting - Archdiocese of Brisbane
Service Rosters

Upcoming Dates to Note

  • Friday 3 March – Water Polo Presentation Evening
  • Monday 6 March - Year 7 Excursion (7.1, 7.2, 7.3)
  • Tuesday 7 March - Cascian and Rosa Community Mass
  • Tuesday 7 March - Mercy Community Aged Care Visit (Music - Prelude Voices, String Quartets)
  • Wednesday 8 March - Year 7 Excursion (7.4, 7.5, 7.6)
  • Thursday 9 March - CaSSSA Interschool Swimming
  • Thursday 9 March - Years 5 - 8 Fathering Project Event: Pizza and Paper Planes
  • Friday 10 March - Band and Strings Workshop
  • Friday 10 March - International Women's Day Senior Soiree
  • Monday 13 March - Term 1 Cocurricular School Photos
  • Monday 13 March - St Agatha's Choral Concert
  • Tuesday 14 March - Sports Subcommittee Meeting
  • Wednesday 15 March - NAPLAN begins
  • Friday 17 March - Nudgee vs SRC Volleyball

WalkOut – Sunday 26 March, 8:30am to midday

WalkOut is a compulsory Mission and Community event for all Years 5-12 students of the College. 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 Music & Movie Madness – dress up in something associated with the Movies and/or Music!

A modified version of the Walk is set for Primary Years students (details will come from Ms Howard).  

Thanks are extended to Mrs Carla 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.

From the Boutique

Boutique SALE

The Boutique is having an “IN STORE ONLY” sale starting on Friday 3 March.  

  • All of the items are old try-on stock or old brands, however they are all current styles of uniforms.  
  • Students can visit the Boutique to view the range available, however it will be a ‘first in, best dressed’ scenario.  
  • All items are reduced by 20% or more.
  • Limited stock available – some items have only 1-2 items per size available. No refunds or exchanges. No holds. 

Here is a list of items on sale:

Trading Hours Reminder

The Boutique is not open on Mondays. It is open Tuesday – Friday 7:30am - 9:00am and 11:00am – 3:30pm.

New Product - Hat Clip

Last week on Assembly, our Captains released the new Hat Clip. This strong, durable Hat Clip securely holds your child's Formal Hat to her school bag, reducing incidents of it becoming misplaced, soiled or damaged. Students can simply connect the hat via the super-strong magnet to their school bag. Order yours today via the Online Boutique by clicking here.

Years 5 – 8 Fathering Project Event: Pizza and Paper Planes

St Rita’s College is excited to partner with The Fathering Project to offer a ‘Pizza and Paper Planes’ evening to our community. This invitation is for St Rita’s College Years 5 – 8 students and their fathers or father figures. It will be a great opportunity to enjoy a fun evening with your daughter and to connect with other students and their families over pizza and a friendly paper plane making competition.

The Fathering Project recognises that fathers and father figures play a vital role in a child’s life. They promote evidence-rich opportunities for fathers and daughters to spend valuable, memorable and fun time together.

Years 5-8 Pizza and Paper Planes Father Daughter Evening

  • Thursday 9 March 2023, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Eirene Centre, St Rita’s College
  • Cost: Gold Coin Donation

Registrations are essential by clicking here.

Australian Government 2023 Student Residential Address and Other Information Collection

The Australian Government Department of Education would like to notify you that they have requested for the College to provide residential address and other information. This request is made under the Australian Education Regulation 2013. Please view the Collection Notice by clicking here.

Parent Council Meeting - Archdiocese of Brisbane

Catholic School Parents Queensland (CSPQ) is hosting a Parent Council Meeting for the Archdiocese of Brisbane on Thursday 9 March.

CSPQ wants to hear from parents about what they would like us to do for them in 2023/24.

This Meeting is also a great opportunity to hear from the BCE Executive Director and the Executive Officer to the RI/PJP Education committee.

Click here to register your attendance.

Service Rosters

Big Brekky

Students are to meet the supervising staff member at Student Services at 5:55am. Students are to wear modest comfortable clothing. 

Tuesday 7 March: Mrs Balfe will accompany Sarah Gallagher, Courtney Tucker, Mia Hunt and Eva Formosa-Kerr

Tuesday 14 March: Mr Green will accompany Summer Nash, Kate Taylor, Milly Ryan and Eva Cirsten

Tuesday 21 March: Mrs Qureshi will accompany Taya Kirk, Josie Kropp, Libby Tiffin and Chloe Barron 

Homework Club

Students will meet their supervising staff member in classrooms S07 and S08 after school. 

Tuesday 7 March: Annabelle Roach, Milan Brook, Bronte Flook, Gabi Canty, Portia Creevey, Ava Duggin, Lucy Swan, Abby Burke, Ruby Austin, Phoebe Shave, Claire Meekin and Beth Taylor

Tuesday 14 March: Liliana Osborne, Georgia Lobb, Celeste Ansell, Claire Meekin, Beth Taylor, Ava Taylor, Sienna Hockaday, Olivia Sim, Lysanne Lombard, TK Brindson and Grace Mulligan

Tuesday 21 March: Annabelle Roach, Milan Brook, Bronte Flook, Gabi Canty, Ruby Austin, Ava Duggin, Lucy Swan, Izzy Langestraat, Abby Burke, Emma Powell, Beth Taylor and Phoebe Shave

Rosies School Outreach Program

Students to meet their supervising staff member at 6:00pm. Students are to wear modest comfortable clothing. 

Brisbane North Wednesday 1 March: Ms Austin will accompany Sarah Gallagher, Courtney Tucker, Imogen Riethmuller and Erin Clany

Brisbane North Monday 6 March: Mrs Kirk will accompany Annabelle Schmierer, Enuri Malavi Arachchi, Jane Aneed and Grace Dardanis

Brisbane North Wednesday 22 March: Mrs Chapman will accompany Lucy Hall, Ava Wright, Ali Nightingale and Zoe Dalton 

Brisbane North Monday 27 March: Mrs Balfe will accompany Ella Zappert, Emma Hibberson, Poppy Fellowes and Hannah Cauchi

Faculty News
Science - Ms Isabel Trifaro, Head of Faculty, Science
Social Science - Mr John Mundell, Head of Faculty, Social Science

Science - Ms Isabel Trifaro, Head of Faculty, Science

The year has started with many exciting events in Science.

Year 9 Science Incursion

Year 9 Science are studying a unit in ecology and made terrariums to investigate cycles within ecosystems. Students were involved in a school incursion with Geckoes Wildlife. Martin from Geckoes introduced the students to many assorted Australian animals, and discussed human impact on our native species. Students and staff always enjoy this opportunity.

Year 10 Science and Engineering Challenge 

Thirty-two Year 10 students accompanied by Mrs White and Miss Spathis attended the Science and Engineering Challenge at QUT. The students participated in many construction challenges including bridge building. Students enjoyed the day and the opportunity to participate in STEM activities.

Year 7 STILE

Year 7 Students have been introduced to a new Learning Platform called STILE. STILE is an Australian platform developed by Alan Finkel who is passionate about science education. This engaging learning platform has been welcomed by both staff and students as it is developing the wonder and excitement for science.

Senior Sea2School Web Conference

Senior Biology students were able to engage with real world Scientists researching the sea floor near Antarctica through core sample investigation. The Sea2School education program afforded us the opportunity to engage with a Scientist aboard the RV Investigator. We were most fortunate to experience the laboratories on board. Thank you to Mrs Rushby and Ms Buzza for arranging the experience.

Science Ambassadors

Several events are being planned by the Science Ambassadors this year in Science Club. Exciting activities will be organised for this Term. Students from all Year levels are encouraged to attend. I would like to congratulate our 2023 Science Ambassadors: Hannah du Plessis, Charlotte Melksham, Kara Nguyen, Liliana Osborne, Amara Ramdath and Sarah Thambirian. These students will guide the activities to be conducted throughout the year with assistance from our wonderful Laboratory attendants and Science Teachers.


Just a reminder that tutorials are voluntarily provided by our experienced Science Teachers on various days. Students are invited to attend if they require assistance. 

Social Science - Mr John Mundell, Head of Faculty, Social Science

This Term, Year 8 Social Science students have being studying Mediaeval Europe as part of the History focus of this subject. To further enhance their understanding of this period, an excursion was taken to the Abbey Museum near Caboolture to allow the students to immerse themselves in the period. Valuable insights and hands on activities were experienced by all students. The students asked many insightful questions of the historians and enjoyed activities such as archery, dressing in Mediaeval armour, seeing how technology progressed during the time, and engaging with primary sources in the Museum's extensive collection of artefacts. This was the first excursion we have had in several years and the Social Science department hopes to offer more chances to learn in different environs in the future.

Study Skills News - Ms Amanda Wallas, Head of Study Skills
Parent Study Skills Sessions

Parent Study Skills Sessions

Our Parent Study Skills sessions in Week 4 were both well-attended, and I hope those of you who were able to join us found something of use to help you support your child in their studies at home. Turning the mobile phone completely off and removing it from your child’s study area until all their study is completed was the number one piece of advice I gave. Many students, including those in Years 11 and 12, still give their phone to a parent or caregiver while they are studying.

The Year 5/6 Parent Study Skills evening will now take place on Tuesday 7 March at 6:00pm via Zoom.

The Zoom link is available on the Study Skills tile on MySRC.

If you missed the earlier sessions, or you cannot attend the Year 5/6 session, you can still access the information. The session recording links and PowerPoints for the Years 7-9 and Years 10-12 sessions are already on the Study Skills tile. The Year 5/6 one will be available after that session. 

There are many resources that I have created relating to Study Skills available on the tile.  Please feel free to access these if you feel they would be helpful to your child.  

As always, if you have any questions or concerns relating to Study Skills at St Rita’s, please don’t hesitate to contact me on

Cascian House News
Cascian Colour Day

Cascian Colour Day

On Tuesday 28 February, Cascian families came together to celebrate Cascian Colour Day. On this day, Cascian students wear their gold House Shirt to spread House spirit throughout the College. Events of the day included the annual Cascian House Breakfast, collecting donations for our Presentation Ministry, Ecumenical Coffee Brigade, and fun Cascian-themed activities at House Assembly.

Families of all Cascian students were invited to the Breakfast to gain a sense of our Cascian community and take part in what we do as a House.

Ecumenical Coffee Brigade (ECB) works to provide food and drink to the city’s homeless and marginalised people. Donating non-perishable items is one of the many ways we support ECB in Cascian.  

One of our Cascian Colour Day traditions is a cake with our motto “Veni Vidi Vici” in icing. This year we hosted a cake-decorating competition based on this tradition during House Assembly. We certainly uplifted spirits in the Cascian community through sharing our cake creations! 

Lauren Whillans and Ella Zappert

Year 12 Cascian House Captains

Music - Mr Craig Kennedy, Head of Cocurricular Music
Mercy Community Aged Care Visit - Tuesday 7 March
Band and Strings Workshop - Friday 10 March
St Agatha's Choral Concert - Monday 13 March
Jazz Concert with Jazz Music Institute - Monday 20 March
Griffith University Young Conservatorium Concerto Competition - Tuesday 28 March

Mercy Community Aged Care Visit - Tuesday 7 March

Band and Strings Workshop - Friday 10 March

St Agatha's Choral Concert - Monday 13 March

Jazz Concert with Jazz Music Institute - Monday 20 March

Griffith University Young Conservatorium Concerto Competition - Tuesday 28 March

Sport - Mr Joshua White, Director of Sport
Cross Country
Water Polo

Cross Country

Cross Country students trained at Nudgee College last week, where we had 29 girls attend. For the warm-up, they ran part of the upcoming Interhouse Cross Country course so they were able to see what some of the terrain would look like on the day. We did some drills and some specific running as part of the session, followed by a few mixed-aged group relays which was a lot of fun.

The girls finished off with a game of touch football, then a stretch down. It was a great morning had by all.

Michael Hillardt 

Head Cross Country Coach  


The CaSSSA Tennis season is well underway, with St Rita's teams looking forward to Week 5 of an 8-week competition this Saturday.

The coaching team and support crews for all teams have seen strong performances throughout the grades. It has been great to see improvements in all aspects of our play.

The Open A team of Kate Taylor, Kara Nguyen, Isla Foster and Elke Cooper are undefeated (4 wins) and play the other undefeated team All Hallows this Saturday in what should be a great match. 

Senior A has 2 wins from 4, to be placed 4th going into Week 5. Senior B has 1 win from 4, with all players competing hard and improving during the matches.

Junior A is equal second in what looks like another possible battle with All Hallows in a final.

Junior B is competing hard and searching for their first win of the season in a very strong bracket.

Junior D has 3 wins and 1 draw to be 1st in their division.

Good luck to all players for the remainder of the season.

John James 

Head Coach Tennis

Water Polo

BWPI 2022/23 Competition

The final part of the season is underway, with Quarter Finals starting this Saturday, 4 March. We would love to have as much support as possible – the draw will be posted on the College App and via the calendar. Hope to see you there!

State Titles

Team lists for the Water Polo QLD State Titles competitions have been communicated to those that registered. We look forward to taking 7 teams across the U12 - U18 age groups to the Gold Coast for the competition in April.

Term 2 Water Polo 

Expressions of Interest for our Term 2 skills sessions will be sent out shortly. Please keep an eye on the College App and email to register your interest.


Our swimmers have been working hard in the pool. We are only a week away from CaSSSA and all eyes are on this Friday’s last lead up meet. Our Team will be announced on Monday after a 4-event lead-in. After placing runners-up for several years, we are stronger than ever and aiming for our most successful carnival to date. We wish our swimmers the best next week - good luck!