Verbis - Term 1, Edition 4 Verbis - Term 1, Edition 4

24 March 2022

Year of Compassion - Begin with the Heart

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

Principal, Mrs Dale Morrow

Dear Parents/Carers

It can be quite emotionally unsettling and even somewhat depressing these days reading the morning newspapers or online news feeds. The world is experiencing unprecedented turmoil in a number of ways, and we can be left feeling very unsure about what is going to happen, not only in the distant future, but also in the near future. This experience is made all the more acute for many of us, given the fast-paced nature of our world and the seemingly never-ending pursuit of perfection as promoted on so many online forums. We are led to believe that we need to control our world and that achieving the perfect look, the perfect life, and attaining materialistic goals can do that for us.  Unfortunately, this is just illusory because, as you gain experience in life and reflect on what makes us content, we learn that the pursuit of these things does not lead to any deep sense of fulfilment and happiness. This is variously pointed out by a number of spiritual philosophies as well as our own Catholic religion. While we are all familiar with the teachings of Jesus and what he has said about where happiness lies in life, it can help our insight into what truly matters by considering the way another philosophy teaches the same truth. 

Wabi Sabi is a Japanese philosophy that recognises as a basic truth that all things including people and life itself are transitory, incomplete and imperfect, and that becoming content with living and life entails being able to look for the beauty in imperfection and accept the natural cycle of life – all things grow, age and decay. The beauty lies beneath the surface of what we see, even in what seems to be broken. This is another philosophy that urges us to embrace nature in its rawest form with an awareness that everything changes and nothing lasts forever - including ourselves. It promotes the importance of taking on an attitude of gratitude, contentment and appreciation for each moment as it passes by us - no matter how ugly or messy things may seem at times. I’d suggest that this concept can be very helpful in helping us trying to make sense of our world in its current state and help us find contentment and happiness in much of what is happening in our lives at present. 

We are now coming into the last few weeks of the Term and I would like to commend the students for the many ways they have coped with the various tasks and challenges they have met throughout the term to date. This includes both curricular and cocurricular activities. Just recently, St Rita’s students joined fellow students from across the country on Friday 18 March to promote inclusion, respect and community belonging as part of the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence. This year’s campaign marks 12 years of action against bullying and violence with the theme ‘Kindness Culture’.  Our students have taken on the challenge of establishing a ‘Kindness Culture’ and fully embrace the goals of continuing to promote inclusion, respect for others and building a community where everyone feels as though they belong. 

This is the last Verbis for Term 1, and I am writing it thinking how quickly this Term has gone. Our students, no doubt, will be looking forward to their holiday with family, and hopefully will be a time to re-charge batteries before moving into Term 2. Finally, I will be taking Long Service Leave over this time. In my absence the following people will be acting in the following positions: Mrs Trims will be Acting Principal; Mr Lobb will be Acting Deputy Principal – Studies; Mrs Chapman will be Acting Assistant Principal – Learning and Teaching; and Ms Ikin will be acting Head of Faculty - English.

I wish you all the blessings of the Easter season and may the hope of the resurrection rest in our hearts.

God Bless

Mrs Dale Morrow

Deputy Principal - Studies, Mrs Maree Trims

Absence from Assessment

With many students currently absent it is important for students to follow the correct procedures in regard to an extension. If a student is isolating as a family member has tested positive for Covid, students must submit assignments online, however, exams will be rescheduled. Students must complete the Application for Extension to Assessment on MySRC.

As per the College Assessment Guidelines, if students in Years 10, 11 and 12 are absent for an assessment task (draft, assignment, exam or spoken presentation) they must complete the online Application for Extension to Assessment and provide medical documentation/evidence to support their application. Medical documentation is evidence required of you having Covid, such as PCR result or email from QLD Health when registering a RAT. If you are isolating you will still be able to access classwork, teacher feedback and submit assignments on time. Exams will be rescheduled. If you are isolating due to a family member testing positive and you will miss an exam, you must still attach evidence to support this. 

Year 11 2023 Subject Selection Date Claimers

Wednesday 15 June: Year 10 Careers Day (Students only)

Wednesday 15 June, 6:00pm: Year 11 2023 Subject Selection Evening (Online. Students and Parents)

Thursday 16 June – Year 11 Subject Talks (Students only)

Thursday 16 June, 4:00pm – 5:00pm: TAFE @ Schools Information Session (enrolment in courses opens early in Term 3) (Students and parents)

Deputy Principal - Students, Ms Catherine Allen

Hard to believe that Term 1 is nearly finished. I hope that this issue of Verbis finds you and all in your families in a place of hope. Our world has certainly thrown us challenges. Many of these have been imposed: floods, COVID, international unrest. Some have also suffered more personal challenges. I hope that the holidays offer some reprieve and space for rest, relaxation and reflection. I am writing this whilst at the Year 7 camp. Outside I can hear excited chatter and laughter as the students get ready for another day of activities. It is heart-warming and confidence-boosting to see the energy and fabulous potential that these students are demonstrating. Thank you for entrusting your precious children to us. It is indeed a privilege to share this formative time with them in partnership with you.

Thanks to our P&F, you have access to SchoolTV. SchoolTV is a resource for schools, created to educate parents and support families across all areas of mental health and wellbeing. Increased statistics in this area must call us to question what it is in our world that is impacting our young people so negatively. You can access this here.

eSafety Commissioner is also a resource available for all in case of upsetting or dangerous online activity. You can access it here: Parents | eSafety Commissioner

May you each enjoy an Easter filled with blessings of Faith, Hope and Love.

Assistant Principal - Learning and Teaching, Mr Martin Lobb

NAPLAN Online – Years 5, 7 and 9

In 2022 St Rita’s College will be completing NAPLAN Online on May 10, 11, 12 and 13.

The schedule for the tests is as follows:

If a student is absent on the day of testing, please, in the first instance, follow normal procedures regarding absences. It would also be appreciated if, in the case of absence, an email to or, indicating how long you expect the absence to be so that Catch-up tests can be arranged.

Preparation for the tests is currently underway, particularly in Mathematics and English classes. All Years 5, 7 and 9 students have also had access to the NAPLAN Practice Tests. The Public demonstration site ( is a useful resource to gain familiarity with the online testing environment.

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 daughters and 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: 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. Students must also bring a pen for their planning/working out. Water bottles are permitted.

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

NAPLAN 2022 Parent Information 

 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

Sometimes we hear Indigenous people refer to Jesus as a ‘person of Country’. It is hard to imagine the Gospels without the connection of Jesus to the sea, the river, the desert, the fields and the mountain. His teaching often featured seeds and birds and sheep and corn. In Sunday’s Gospel, we heard the parable of the fig tree. The impatient person wants to cut it down. A wiser person is prepared to work with nature by putting manure on the tree and looking after it. This is a story of growth. God is creative. God is patient with us. God gives us another chance.

We have so much to learn from the depth and resilience of Australian Indigenous culture and spirituality, both of which are intimately linked to Country. This week, Project Compassion features the story of Janice, a Wagilak woman from the Northern Territory. Janice, who lives in a remote community, is part of the Djilpin Arts Aboriginal Corporation, supported by Caritas Australia. Janice is among those overcoming many obstacles to keeping their culture strong. She does this through dance. She honours the generations who have come before her and taught their community how to respect the land and live in harmony with it. Project Compassion is providing practical support for the blossoming of Indigenous culture for all future generations.

May our journey to the freedom God wants for us also begin with the realisation that we too are standing on Holy Ground. God calls us all to be people of Country. 

Donate to Project Compassion here.

Watch Janice’s story here.

Visit the Project Compassion website here.

Primary Years
Head of Primary - Miss Belinda Emmi
Primary Library - Ms Noni Harrison, Head of Library
Primary Debating - Mrs Lorraine Specogna, Debating Coordinator

Head of Primary - Miss Belinda Emmi

Embracing St Rita’s Culture and Pillars

This Term Year 5 have fully embraced the culture and ethos of St Rita’s College. Our study of Religion has focused on understanding the life and mission of Nano Nagle and St Rita. Students have explored their lives, their beliefs and the foundation of the Presentation Sisters. Students in Year 5 were thrilled to receive a visit to their classroom from Mrs Maree Trims who shared with the students her pilgrimage to Ireland, the birth place of Nano Nagle. They were able to hear firsthand stories about the buildings and places Nano lived and supported children to learn. Mrs Trims' photos of Nano’s letters, Ballygriffin and Kildare enthralled the students and supported them to connect further with the story and life of Nano Nagle.

In completing their studies this Term, students have also discussed and unpacked each pillar. They have explored the connections of each pillar to Nano Nagle and St Rita and further connected meaning to the pillars in their own lives. As a community of learners, students have discussed moral choices and the importance of making good moral decisions. Connecting the pillars, the life of Nano Nagle and Bible passages has supported the students to develop an understanding of the importance of making good moral choices. 

We continue to see many of our youngest learners demonstrating the College pillars.  Congratulations to the following students who received Pillar Awards at our recent Year Level Assembly. 

Katherine Russell: Hope

Summer Dening: Hospitality

Charlotte Patterson: Compassion

Willa Koch: Hope

Eloise Busch: Courage

Elsie Bloom: Courage

Millicent Hambrect: Simplicity

Marley Grimward: Courage

Primary Library - Ms Noni Harrison, Head of Library

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 on these strategies and found they 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 clownfish and their symbiosis with sea anemones. 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 week, 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).

The Year 5 students were highly engaged when learning these new strategies and they demonstrated great discernment in their analysis of the 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.


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.

Primary Debating - Mrs Lorraine Specogna, Debating Coordinator

Year 5 Debating

From Term 2 Year 5 will begin their QDU (Queensland Debating Union) competition. An information session will be held, with interested students, after the holidays in the first week of Term 2 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 27 April. Students will be able to sign on through a student access only survey on MySRC and available through student morning news.

As the competition is capped to three teams, 12 students will be selected to form four teams of four members so each team member debates across all positions within a debate (first, second, third and chair). Following the Sign On, a selection process will occur in consultation of the primary teachers and Miss Emmi. The selected 12 members will be advised by 29 April.

Initially, three training sessions for skills of debating will be held one day after school from 3:15pm to 4:15pm beginning in the week 9 May until 27 May. This day will be decided after reflecting with the 12 debaters’ school commitments. By 6 May, a confirmation for after school coaching will be advised.

Starting in the week of 27 May, coaching for competition will begin. The senior debating students will coach during lunch time and continue until the end of the season. Lunch time coaching will be once a week. Teams will use the feedback from the coaches to write their own speech and propose possible rebuttal. Speeches will be fully completed, and a copy will be given to the coach the day before competition. This will support sudden and unexpected absences on the night of competition. The scheduled competition dates are 9 June, 14 July, 4 August, 1 September. The school can apply for a postponement where a competition date clashes with an evening school event.

For all enquiries, please contact Mrs Lorraine Specogna, Debating Coordinator:

What You Need to Know
COVID-19: Masks
Dates to Note
Mother Daughter Dinner
Rita's Longest Lunch
Next Step Survey - Year 12 2021 Graduates

COVID-19: Masks

All schools are seeing increases in positive case numbers of COVID-19 and there is also an increase in family members needing to isolate. A communication has been sent to all parents, students and staff this week to encourage the wearing of masks whilst on campus, and in any situation where you find yourself unable to socially distance comfortably. Students are particularly encouraged to wear a mask whilst moving from class to class. Parents are able to come onto campus and, likewise, we encourage your wearing of a mask. These measures are in place to the end of Term in aiming to provide a safe learning environment for our students and our staff.

Please continue to monitor the health of your daughter, and if she is unwell for any reason, please do not send her to school. 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).

Dates to Note

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

  • Monday 28 March, Year 10 Drama Class Performance, 4:00pm
  • Monday 28 March, BGDA Debating Rd 3
  • Tuesday 29 March, Year 7 Track & Field Talent ID, 6:30am
  • Tuesday 29 March, Vicki Wilson Trials #2, 3:30pm
  • Tuesday 29 March, Young Conservatorium Concerto Competition, 7:00pm
  • Wednesday 30 March, CaSSSA Sport Rd 6
  • Wednesday 30 March, QDU Debating Rd 2 Year 10
  • Friday 1 April, Interhouse Cross Country
  • Friday 1 April, Term 1 concludes, 3:04pm
  • Monday 4 April, CaSSSA Term 2 trials
  • Friday 15 April, Good Friday
  • Sunday 17 April, Easter Sunday
  • Tuesday 19 April, Term 2 Commences
  • Wednesday 20 April, Year 9 Retreat
  • Thursday 21 April, Years 10-12 Music, Frozen performance, 6:00pm
  • Saturday 23 April, SRC Club Netball fixtures commence
  • Monday 25 April, ANZAC Day Public Holiday
  • Wednesday 27 April, Year 8 Camp commences
  • Wednesday 27 April, CaSSSA Sport Rd 1
  • Wednesday 27 April, QDU Debating Rd 3 Year 11

Mother Daughter Dinner

Saturday 21 May - Tickets on sale now!

Mothers and Daughters across all Year levels are invited to attend our Mother and Daughter dinner. A favourite among the traditions of the College, this is a night to dress up at little, spend some time on the dance floor and enjoy each other’s company.  For full details and to book tickets: CLICK HERE

Rita's Longest Lunch

Save the date!

Rita's Longest Lunch is a must-do event presented in the traditional European Long Lunch style along one grand table. The event will be held on Sunday 12 June 2022.

Next Step Survey - Year 12 2021 Graduates

Dear St Rita’s Students of Year 12 2021

The message below is sent on behalf of the Minister for Education and is sent Statewide to all Year 12 2021 graduates.

The Queensland Government is conducting its annual statewide survey of all students who completed Year 12 in 2021. The Next Step survey is a brief, confidential survey that gains a comprehensive picture of the employment, study and life choices made by Queensland school completers in the year after they finish Year 12.  Insights gained from Next Step assist schools to review and plan their services for students, and school system personnel to evaluate education policies as they affect the transition from school to further study and employment.

Between March and June, all our students who completed Year 12 last year can expect to receive instructions to complete a web-based survey or a telephone call from the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office. You are encouraged to take part.

Thank you for your support of the Next Step survey in 2022. Further information on Next Step, including results from previous years, is available online at or on toll free telephone 1800 068 587.

Yours sincerely

Ms Grace Grace, MP

Minister for Education

Sport - Mr Dane Robinson, Director
Cross Country
Representative Sport
Swimming – CaSSSA Review
Track and Field


Congratulations to Jordan Massingham (Yr 10) who has just been selected as an Australian representative to attend the ISU Synchronized Ice Skating Development Training Seminar in Vierumaki, Finland 9-15 May 2022.  Jordan has been selected along with three other skaters from the Boondall Synchronized Ice Skating Club and their coaches to attend.  This group was the only group chosen to attend from throughout Australia. A fantastic achievement and we wish Jordan all the best in Finland.

Cross Country

A Cross Country Camp will be held from Friday 22 April to Sunday 24 April at the Gold Coast Recreation Centre. The camp is open to all students in Years 7-12, with a focus on those students aiming to compete at the CaSSSA Championships. 

The Camp provides opportunity for the students to train and develop as an athlete, as well as bond with their fellow squad members. It is a fun weekend for all, with a mixture of quality training and fun activities. It would be great to get as many students as possible attending the camp.

While the cost of the camp is still to be finalised, the expected cost will be approximately $150 per student. In the event you have two or more children attending, approximately $120 for a second child and approximately $90 for a third.

More details regarding the camp will come out closer to the date, however if you are interested in attending, please register your interest by clicking HERE.

Representative Sport

Congratulations to the following students that have been selected to represent Metropolitan North School Sport for Triathlon 11-19 years:

  • Abby Vickers
  • Stella Kay
  • Nina Vickers
  • Isabella Farkas
  • Romy Vickers

Swimming – CaSSSA Review

Another CaSSSA Swim season has come and gone in a flash with an impressive display by our swimmers on Thursday 10 March at Chandler. Led by our fearless Year 12 swimmers, including captains Mia and Sofia Nielson, we were ahead in the point score for much of the day only falling short by 24 points… less than one 1st place finish or 0.37% of the total points available on the day!

Nothing this year seemed to go as planned. First was the cancelled swim camp, then a delay in the return to school, followed by three attempts to get the age championships run and two more rained out time trial opportunities. But we have developed a resilient team at the pool and no matter the challenge we didn’t complain and just went about the jobs we knew we had to do for each other. We have learnt over the last three years that one swimmer doesn’t make a winning team CaSSSA swim team, it takes a group of 60 swimmers to perform at their best (more than once) to have our best chance of being successful.

We recognise the following swimmers who achieved individual 1st place finishes on the day: Abbey Crowe, Adelaide Bowman, Alexis Farrell (2), Amelia Calder, Amelie Grohn, Bella Bolton, Caitlin Emmerson, Claudia Keating, Eliza O’Hara, Emily Crowe, Evelyn Harding, Gemma Hutchings, Isabelle Langestraat, Keira Coscarella, Maddison Ashby-Cliffe, Madeleine Carr, Madeleine Crowe, Matilda Canning, Ruby Crowther (3), Samantha Conias (2), Sarah Pascoe, Sienna Counsel, Tatiana Veselova and Zara Goff. We equally acknowledge the following relay teams that were also in 1st place: 12 years medley relay, 14 years medley relay, 13 years freestyle relay div 1 and div 2, 14 years freestyle relay div 1, and 15 years freestyle relay div 2.

We managed to secure the 13 years, 14 years and 15 years age trophies along with 2nd place in the 12 and 17 years and 3rd place in the 16 years and open events.

Special mention goes to the following swimmers who won the coaches awards for the day for outstanding achievements: Senior - Lily Carrick (scoring a massive 91 points by herself across 10 events), Intermediate - Sienna Counsel (stepping up when needed by the team including breaststroke) and Junior - Ruby Crowther (3 individual wins and 2 relay wins). 

We are exceptionally proud of OUR team and despite the many adversities we managed to come away with a result that far exceeded the expectations leading into the day.

Now it’s time to get back to the pool to learn how to do butterfly!

Honour Swimming Teams

Congratulations to the following students who made the 2022 CaSSSA Swimming Honours:

Mr Michael Bromley – Head Swimming Coach

Track and Field

With Track & Field (T&F) commencing soon, we are conducting a Talent ID morning specifically for Year 7 students. The talent ID morning will be held next at the College Tuesday 29 March, from 6:30am to 8:30am, in Assumpta Pavilion.

The morning will involve a series of stations testing a whole range of abilities from strength, speed and power. These will be helpful in allowing our coaches to encourage students to partake in certain events. It will also assist students in deciding which Track & Field events they may wish to participate in at the carnival. Every Year 7 student is welcome/encouraged to attend.

Please complete the EOI form by clicking HERE to register your participation in the Talent Identification morning. Please complete this form by 9:00am Monday 28 March.

Year 8 Music Piano Workshop

Year 8 Music Piano Workshop

The Year 8 Music class recently engaged in a Piano performance workshop. Mr Brendan Murtagh, Cocurricular Music Teacher (Piano) showed students new skills and performance techniques allowing them to develop different ways of playing a studied chord progression. Mr Scanlan was thoroughly impressed with the way in which students interacted, supported each other when facing challenging new concepts and ultimately enjoyed learning Music.

Mr Michael Scanlan, Teacher

The Arts - Ms Ellissa Purser, Head of Faculty
Senior Drama - La Boite Excursion
Year 5 Incursion

Senior Drama - La Boite Excursion

Senior Drama students had the pleasure of visiting La Boite Theatre Company at QUT to attend ‘The Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner’. It was a deeply meaningful, hilarious at times and an eye-opening production about racism, cultural appropriation and online (Twitter and Instagram) culture. The students thoroughly enjoyed the play, specifically the incorporation of social media posts, gifs and memes to create political commentary on the influence of celebrities such as the Kardashians.

Year 5 Incursion

Our Year 5s had a blast with Shake n Stir visiting the college to perform ‘Terrortorial’. An entertaining piece about three best friends beginning high school, the students enjoyed and related to the characters as they experienced their first few weeks in a new school. There were many laughs at the actors dancing, and giggles at the girl and boy holding hands as friends. Shake n Stir enjoyed performing for our students and are grateful for being taught the Year 5 ‘Frog Dance’.

Community Notices
Voices of Birralee - Open Choir Rehearsals

Voices of Birralee - Open Choir Rehearsals