Term 1 Week 4 2020

From the Deputy Principal

The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDAon Friday, 20 March 2020

The theme for 2020 is Take Action Together.  Students are invited to wear free dress for this day with something orange in recognition. The NDA is a catalyst for Australian schools to take a stand together against bullying.  The day brings together more than 60% of schools nationwide, involving more than two million students in finding workable solutions to address bullying and violence.  Everyone has a role to play in saying Bullying. No Way!

During Term 1, in the lead up to the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence St. Michael’s College will be presenting a number of programs to highlight the importance and dangers of bullying, online and in person.  Two of the programs that we have introduced this term for our students and our parent community are Brainstorm Productions – Buddies (presented to our students during week 2) and the ThinkUKnow - Cyber Safety Program (coming up for parents and caregivers in week 6).

Brainstorm Productions – Buddies, is an anti-bullying and cyber safety program for our students that uses educational theatre to provide simple strategies all children can use to develop positive friendships. Buddies follows the journey of two students as they discover the secrets to building healthy relationships and staying safe online. Lucy is impulsive and breaks the rules to try to fit in. Charlie is being bullied, but he's afraid to stand up for himself and show his true feelings.  As players in an exciting virtual video game, Charlie and Lucy must co-operate to navigate the cyber chamber, overcome the forces of Aggrator, earn the eight Friendship Discs and restore the Ancient Ring of Friendship. They learn important lessons about online safety, such as not sharing passwords, not talking to strangers, and how to protect their privacy on apps and games. Together they realise that a true friend is someone who is kind, tells the truth, listens, makes you feel safe and allows you to be yourself. 

Buddies Cyber Safety Program Covers:


ThinkUKnow – Thursday, 5 March, 2020 at 3:15pm.

This is a free, evidence-based cyber safety program that provides presentations to Australian parents and carers, information on the technologies young people use, the challenges they may face and, importantly, how they can be overcome. ThinkUKnow Australia has been developed by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Microsoft Australia and will presented by our very own Adopt-A-Cop, John Bicanic in the PAC on Thursday, 5 March, 2020 at 3:15pm. Staff will be available to supervise students in the Library from 3:10pm, so please come along and attend this useful presentation.

The ThinkUKnow program aims to provide you with the tools to create a safer online environment for young people in your care. The presentation covers what young people SAYSEE and DO online and covers topics such as social media reputation management, cyberbullying, ‘sexting’, online grooming, online gaming, inappropriate content, privacy management, identity theft, how to protect your devices, and how to report matters when things go wrong.

The program bridges the knowledge gap between adults and young people so that everyone has an understanding of the roles they play and what they can do if something goes wrong online.

Throughout this Semester, we will be providing parents and carers links and information on Bullying and Cyber Safety. We will commence with the definition of bullying as described and provide a series of short animated videos that unpack the key components of bullying.

Definition of bullying:

The national definition of bullying for Australian schools says:

Bullying is an ongoing and deliberate misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that intends to cause physical, social and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power, or perceived power, over one or more persons who feel unable to stop it from happening.

Bullying can happen in person or online, via various digital platforms and devices and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert). Bullying behaviour is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time (for example, through sharing of digital records).

Bullying of any form or for any reason can have immediate, medium and long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders. Single incidents and conflict or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying.

Behaviours that do not constitute bullying include: 

  • mutual arguments and disagreements (where there is no power imbalance)
  • not liking someone or a single act of social rejection
  • one-off acts of meanness or spite
  • isolated incidents of aggression, intimidation or violence.

However, these conflicts still need to be addressed and resolved.

Download the national definition of bullying for Australian schools (PDF, 136KB).


Sounds to Letters Program – Parent Workshop Monday, 9 March, 2020 at 2:00pm.

Melinda Cassells will be holding a Parent Workshop to assist parents wanting to learn about the program and how they can assist their child in their learning.  The workshop will take place in the School Library on Monday, 9 March at 2:00pm.

Over the past few years, St. Michael’s College embarked on a new and exciting literacy journey with the school wide introduction of Melinda Cassells’ Sounds-Letters program.  The purpose of this program is to improve the long term storage and retrieval of information in our students’ brains to expand their spelling and reading practices.  Over the past few years, the Teachers and Educational Assistants across our College have undertaken in depth Professional Development with Melinda Cassells about sounds and the ways in which they go together with letters.  Throughout their training they have explored the complex relationship between sounds and letters and have built on their understanding of the importance of teaching the underlying literacy skills of sound knowledge, phonological awareness, letter knowledge, word knowledge, handwriting and linking sounds to letters.  

The ultimate goal of teaching and learning is for students to store information in their brains so they can retrieve and use this information when required.  Learning using our preferred style; aural, visual, verbal or physical, helps us to learn new things and store information in the brain. Learning in this way also helps to develop neuron pathways, which enable students to retrieve and store information easily. 

Letters can easily be taught using a range of different learning styles, while sounds can only be heard and said. Students may attempt to think in letters when trying to work with sounds so that they can work with something they can see. At St. Michael’s, sounds are being taught and connected with a gesture and picture icon to make it easier to work with sounds. The sounds and gestures add something the students can see and something they can do with their bodies all in the effort to improve the long term storage and retrieval of information to improve spelling and reading, providing them with a strong foundation in their literacy journey. 

How YOU can help your child on their Sounds-Letters journey...

© Melinda Cassells, Sounds-Letters 2016

Work with your child to use the following steps to assist with their spelling.

St. Michael’s College Sounds: Get to know the 44 sounds, gestures and picture icons as well as the spelling choices associated with each sound. A description of each gesture can be found below.  

St. Michael’s College Language: Get to know the key words and their meanings.

2020 Student Residential Address and Other Information Collection (Address Collection)

Please be advised that soon the Australian Government Department of Education and Training will be collecting specific data from all non-government schools. The data submitted by the College will determine our future Commonwealth funding entitlements.

In order to facilitate the data collection process, the College is required to provide parents with the following notice setting out what information is being collected, the purpose of the collection, and how the information may be used or disclosed. Please be advised that names of students will not be provided.  The personal information relating to this collection is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). Parents and guardians can also contact the department directly if they would like more information by:

Kind regards,

Chrissy Wellwood (Deputy Principal)

Classroom News

Museum Visits

Last week all of our classes visited the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology.  There they got to meet Mel and she discussed The Roman Age. The students were very excited to try on the Legionnaire’s armour and helmet – including a replica of a sword used in this time.  The students also got to stand and set on the road made from stone and were fascinated by the map from this era as they could compare it to Europe today. 

Many thanks to the Mel and the staff at the Abbey Museum for having us.

Here's a few photos of the visit.

A Presentation – Captain James Cook: A Culture of Music and Dance

Saturday 22nd February 7.30pm - 9.00pm

The Abbey Museum Friends invite you to attend their first talk for the year on Saturday 22nd February. Join Dr Heather Clarke as she reveals the untold story of how Cook used dance to keep his sailors happy and healthy, the role of dance in cultural exchanges when he toured the South Seas, and how Lord Morton influenced these encounters. Discover how the social English country dances of the period reflected Cook’s popularity with the titles: Transit of Venus, Island of Love, South Sea, Omai, and Captain Cook’s Country Dance. Tickets are $15, you can purchase here 

Abbey 2020 - Medieval Festival tickets now on sale!

Step back in time as 1,000 years of history comes to life. The 2020 Abbey Medieval Festival includes two Medieval Banquets, a Kids Dig It! Medieval Family Fun Week, and the jewel in our crown, the Tournament weekend. Visit Abbey Medieval Festival for more information and to purchase tickets.

Whats On Moreton Bay 2020

Upcoming Parent Support Programs.