Mid-year wrap up

In this newsletter:

  • Principal’s message,
  • Community spirit,
  • A message from Ms Dunn,
  • A farewell from Dr Criddle
  • Parenting tip from Dean of Carana, Stuart Gale,
  • Highlights from around the campus,
  • Community notices,
  • Dates for your diary,

Principal’s message

It has been a busy and fulfilling term for us all at St Stephen’s School. After starting the term literally with a bang when we achieved our goal of attaining the world record for most confetti cannons launched simultaneously, our students have gone on to some excellent achievements in the Arts, interhouse and inter-school sports and we have supported our senior students through the first round of major exams of 2024. 

On Monday we are looking forward to officially opening our brand-new, state-of-the-art Science building although I’m sure you’ve heard from your children about the fantastic features and the beautiful spaces in the new building. These new facilities have already sparked scientific interest and enabled a range of experiments not previously possible.  

We’re also releasing tickets for The Addams Family on Monday, so I encourage you to book your tickets quickly to avoid disappointment and come along to support our incredibly talented performers from both campuses. You will receive an email from me on Monday morning so keep an eye out for that. 

Thank you to all our staff for their commitment to coaching, rehearsals, extra academic support and running retreats and excursions which enrich the lives of our students and help to make our school community a vibrant one. 

I trust that you all will enjoy a happy, safe and peaceful mid-year break. We look forward to welcoming you all back for Term 3. 

Take care and God bless,
Donella Beare – Principal


Community spirit 

One of our students, Darcy Metcalf, was involved in a life-changing car accident in 2023. He spent four months in Royal Perth Hospital and is currently undergoing intensive rehabilitation in Fiona Stanley Hospital. His recovery is slow but progressing. He’s reached a point where he’s nearly ready to be home with his family, and his medical team are working towards discharging him within the next eight weeks. Chailee Richards, a close family friend has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for renovations to the family home that will accommodate Darcy’s wheelchair and future independence. Please keep Darcy in your prayers, and visit his Go Fund Me page to contribute in any way you can. Thank you on behalf of Darcy, his family and his great support network. 


Ms Dunn’s Digest

Mindsets matter!
Latest research states that a student’s mindset has significant influence on their levels of attainment in Mathematics, reading, Science and more. Students who possess ‘motivation calibration’ can identify what motivation looks like in everyday life and are most likely to succeed.

It is important to note ‘motivation calibration’ is different to ‘motivation’.  Students who self-identified as “wanting to be the best and wanting top grades” scored only 5% higher than those who did not.

What does motivation calibration actually look like?  It means to consistently do more than what is expected and always completing tasks to a high standard and then calibrating to this norm to improve study habits. Students with good motivation calibration scored 13% higher in their results.

Having a growth mindset and a sense of belonging has a positive effect on student outcomes.  Utilising self-regulation strategies and perseverance improves mindsets and is a promising way to support achievement and help students attain their personal best.

Recharge time!
At this time of the term students have been involved in exams or completing assessments and managing an increased workload. With the upcoming term break this is a timely reminder for our families to recalibrate and to be intentional in being in the present moment.

We can practice this by sitting quietly and tuning into our body or just breathing, or more actively practice through walking, mindful listening or through prayer. Research has shown the flow on benefits include increased resilience, concentration, and ability to learn.

There are also several apps that can be helpful to practice being mindful. Some recommendations are ‘Headspace’ and ‘Smiling Mind’. They provide listening activities of various lengths and can be listened to before starting homework, study or going to sleep.

Holidays are an opportunity to re-set, too!

Some quick tips to help maximise study

  • Eliminate all distractions such as mobile phones, TV and access to sites such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.
  • Keep the house quiet during study time.
  • Provide good lighting, cool temperatures, and a desk with a supportive chair.
  • Keep the workspace neat and clear of clutter.
  • Maintain an upright posture while studying.

 

Good organisation habits of successful learners to discuss with your children include:

  • Recording regular commitments and upcoming work set in advance.
  • Scheduling work to help keep workloads in perspective and prevent tasks being suddenly due or overwhelmingly large.
  • Making to do lists and crossing items off to provide a feeling of accomplishment.
  • Chunking tasks into small sections to complete.
  • Seeking clarification from a teacher when a task is not completely clear, well in advance of the due date.

Wishing you all a safe and rejuvenating break with your families and looking forward to your return for Term 3.

Rosemarie Dunn – Head of Campus


Farewell from Dr Criddle

My time at St Stephen’s School is coming to an end this term, and I will miss this community dearly. It has been a privilege to be part of this incredible school and to contribute to its story.

I have a lengthy history here. My first ever teaching role, as a brand-new graduate, was at Duncraig campus back in the mid-1990s. I held many roles in my first teaching position such as teacher, instigator of inter-school debating, CAS Coach, Head of Department, and founding staff member at Carramar – one of the first staff to work cross-campus. I left SSS to expand my career and enjoy opportunities at other schools across Australia.

When I returned to St Stephen’s ten years ago, wonderful reconnections were made. In particular the opportunity to work K-12 acro

ss all five of our sites with all our staff (both teaching and non-teaching) as the inaugural Director of Teaching and Learning was fantastic. There have been colleagues who I taught, parents I taught enrolling their children and alumni returning to contribute. While no place is perfect, the number of people choosing to reconnect with the school is significant, and reflective of why I returned. In total I have worked nearly 18 years of my career here and have never been stagnant, have always enjoyed the challenges.

This is a school with a culture that supports “giving it a go”. Our students are all-too familiar with my mantra which is for all to have a growth mindset – to approach tasks with curiosity, give your best, and understand that if you are struggling there will always be a strategy to assist. We are part of a school community that supports and enables this, understanding that we are all connected and want to belong.

As an educator, I often don’t see the wonderful ongoing effects and results until much later when an ex-student returns to tell their story or when I am lucky enough to bump into them elsewhere. We are curating the future and creating possibility every day, with a long-term view to the potential of every student and staff member.

In farewell, I offer this reflective prayer that I presented at a recent devotion. It holds much meaning for me.

I wish all in our community the very best for the future possibilities ahead.

Liz Criddle – Deputy Head of Secondary – Teaching & Learning


Parenting tip

In this edition we thank Dean of Carana, Stuart Gale, for sharing his insights and experiences relating to social media, technology and teens.

As we all know, technology plays a huge role in our lives and most of the time for the better. However, we do know that teenagers can struggle to regulate their own screen time and need assistance and guidance in managing their online interactions, and whether they know it or not (or even like it or not) they actually do need us to help keep them safe online.

As a parent of three teenagers myself, I am all too aware of the influence technology can have in our homes and on the lives of our kids. In my own home, we have had to address our use of mobile phones and computers and put strategies in place to help keep our kids safe online.

Social media
There are potential dangers online that many teenagers come across daily. Social media can be a huge part of a teenager’s daily life, and used well it can be beneficial, but there are many traps kids can fall into.

The impulse to obsessively check Snapchat and achieve ‘streaks’ can be a pressure for our kids, the constant ‘ping’ of notifications coming through at all times of the day or night can lead to anxiety and interrupt regular sleep patterns. Location and privacy can be problematic if the settings aren’t managed carefully.

The internet
The internet can be all pervading in our homes if we let it and so it is helpful for us as parents to be aware of what our kids are watching and participating in.

Pornography is all too easy for our kids to access. In a recent Australian study of 15–29-year-olds, 100% of boys and young men and 82% of girls and young women reported ever viewing pornography. The median age for first exposure was 13 years for boys and 16 for girls. Clearly, the young people in our care are certainly in that ‘at risk’ phase so we must be vigilant.

Online gaming
Gaming can also be of concern for some of our kids. Games are becoming more violent and more realistic in their violence, and sexual references and nudity regularly appear in video games that our children can access. Exposure to racist, misogynistic, and extreme perspectives are concerning, especially when teenagers don’t yet have the tools to analyse these ideas.

What can we do?
In the context of these issues, an important first question is whether we are comfortable with devices being in our kids’ bedrooms outside of our direct supervision. I encourage you to think carefully about this one, and to make the call and remove them if you are concerned. Your kids may not like this to begin with, but it will help them, and the whole household, in the long run.

Fortunately, there is a lot of help and advice available to parents. Of course, we must work with our kids to educate them and keep them safe at the same time.

There are also safeguards we, as parents can apply to our kids’ computers and phones to restrict certain content, turn off the device at night, and restrict what is watched or downloaded.

Below are some links to guide you through the process of setting up safeguards on your child’s device whether they have an Apple or Android device.

If you have an iPhone or Apple computer, you can use Apple screen time:

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/iphone/iphb0c7313c9/ios

https://support.apple.com/en-au/108806

Family sharing lets you set up permissions for your child’s Apple device from your own device:

https://support.apple.com/en-au/108380

Microsoft family safety for Microsoft devices:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/microsoft-365/family-safety

For Android mobile devices:

https://families.google/familylink/

Parental control apps

There are also many apps that parents can download onto our own phones to set up safeguards on a teen’s device.

https://www.techradar.com/best/best-parental-control-app-of-year

https://au.pcmag.com/parental-control-monitoring/44998/the-best-parental-control-software

https://www.safewise.com/au/best-parental-control-apps-software/

https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents/issues-and-advice/parental-controls

We urge you to seriously consider applying these, regardless of how well it appears your teen is using technology. I use these with my own kids not because I don’t trust them, but because I know the world they live in can be extremely difficult to navigate. There are temptations and pressures in their world that we just didn’t have when we were kids and it’s our responsibility to help them work through these pressures as best they can. It’s not about trust, it’s about guarding their minds and their hearts.

If you have any questions or would like some further guidance in any of these matters please don’t hesitate to be in contact with your teen’s Dean of House or Campus leadership team. As the saying goes, ‘we’re all in this together’ so if we can work in partnership our children can only be better off.

Stuart Gale – Dean of Carana, Duncraig campus
(on behalf of the Deans at Carramar and Duncraig)


HIGHLIGHTS FROM AROUND THE CAMPUS

Class of 2024 Year 12 Retreat
Thanks to Amelie van Wyk for sharing her thoughts about Retreat on behalf of the Class of 2024. Many thanks to all our staff who made Retreat a memorable experience for all our students.

“Last week, the Year 12’s retreated away for the last time to Swan Valley Adventure Centre, and for many, myself included, it served as an outlet and an opportunity for real reflection on our final moments of high school and the years gone by. For many, having spent their whole schooling from kindy all the way to year 12 at St Stephen’s, this year group holds specific importance and many nostalgic memories. Over the course of the stay, we were given the choice of many activities such as knitting, breath work, a highly coveted commando course, mindful colouring, grid-iron, and an Among Us adjacent/inspired game of Ms Dean’s creation to name a few. As well as this, we were given the opportunity in small groups to discuss things pertaining to life beyond school, finding motivation and appreciating the strength and love we all realize from our family unit. To end each full day on a high, we were treated to a quiz night full of laughs and surprisingly a rendition of Billie Jean, complete with dance moves, as well as a final night of social dancing. Finally, the year group crammed into the quaint little church on the property for a beautiful service complete with inspiring words from teachers, performances from the music students, and personal words shared by individual students to their year group, and safe to say, there were very few dry eyes in the room. This retreat was a very important and meaningful experience for the cohort, and served as a memorable closing farewell and acknowledgement of our time spent together and the time to come where we will be apart and carrying on with our lives.” Amelie.

Rookie Debating Grand Final
In last week’s Rookie Debating Grand Final “The Point Provers” in the affirmative took on “The Debating Dynamos” in the negative on the topic “Should Australia implement a four-day school week?”  After a well-argued debate, The Debating Dynamos took the honours. Congratulations to the best debater on the day, Eli Lawson, Year 6 best debater, Poppy Gilbert, Year 7 best debater and Grand Final Chairperson, Elliot Wright (pictured right). Thanks to our staff and Year 11s Jacob Atkinson and Victoria Hill for their guidance and support of our Rookie Debaters!

ACC Cross-country update
We’re incredibly proud of our ACC Cross-country team. After months of gruelling preparation we are proud that our female team was placed fourth overall with St Stephen’s School Duncraig placing ninth overall out of 84 schools. We also had some fantastic individual honours with Emma Hill- Year 7 (ninth), Willow Potter – Year 10 (ninth), Isabella Heathcote – Year 11 (second). Congratulations to all our runners and thanks to our HPE staff for their training and mentoring support. We’ve just heard, too, that Isabella (pictured centre) has been named in the School Sport WA Cross-country team which will be travelling to Melbourne to compete in the National event in August. Good luck, Isabella! 

Career Expo and University Interviews

Representatives from over 50 organisations came together for our 2024 Careers Expo. Hundreds of students and parents from both Carramar and Duncraig campuses were able to ask questions about courses, occupations, career pathways and business opportunities for their future.  We were especially blessed to have some of our parents presenting on behalf of their workplaces and industries. Everyone walked away with information to support their future career decision plans.

Despite torrential rain on Thursday 6 June, over 50 students and their parents from Years 10-12 came to the library after school to have individual meetings with representatives from Universities and North Metro TAFE. Students and parents were able to ask questions about specific areas of interest and alternate pathways to courses such as engineering, medicine and physiotherapy. It was fantastic for students to be reassured that there are many options available to them. They were all encouraged to continue to get the best possible marks that they can – whether that was ATAR or General courses – as that was the best way to ensure there were options for them when they finish Year 12. Everyone who attended appreciated the opportunity to get advice that was specific to their own pathway and abilities.

2024 Inter-house Surfing results

Some great surfing was on display last week during our Interhouse Surfing Competition! Congratulations to all involved and a huge thank you to our HPE staff, Chelsea Unwin and Sean Nugent for their coordination of a fantastic day.

 


COMMUNITY NOTICES

Train with AFL pros
Calling all footy players aged 14-17! Join the
Athletic Institute to train like the pros with football skills from AFL player Elijah Hewett, mindset training by premiership player Mark Hutchings and fitness testing benchmarked to AFL standards and more! Don’t miss this chance to elevate your game, book now at https://athleticinstitute.com.au/ 

 

Do you have any old glasses sitting around at home?
As part of our Service Learning tour to Vietnam in January 2025, one of the organisations we are partnering with, Hearts for Hue, have informed us that they would sincerely appreciate any donations of old reading glasses. We have placed a collection box in Secondary Student Services at Duncraig, and Student Services at Carramar for you to drop in any old, unwanted glasses. Thank you for your support!


Dates for your diary

Remember you can always visit the St Stephen’s School calendar for key dates

  • Friday 28 June – last day of Term 2
  • Monday 22 July – first day of Term 3 – winter uniform

 

Starting Term 2 with a bang!

In this Newsletter:

  • Principal’s message,
  • A message from Ms Dunn,
  • Highlights from around the campus,
  • Dates for your diary,

Principal’s Message

We can now proudly say that we’re Guinness World Record holders!  You can see the official statement on the Guinness World Records website. What a fantastic way to celebrate our 40th anniversary!

Thank you to everyone who played a role in ensuring everything went well for the record attempt! Each staff member carried out their role exceptionally and our students’ behaviour and engagement was outstanding, so much so, that it was commented on by some members of the media in attendance.

The attempt involved more than 900 students being transported by bus from our Carramar and Padbury campuses to join their peers at Duncraig, where we formed a giant “40” before setting off our environmentally friendly, biodegradable confetti cannons.

It is truly a proud moment in the history of St Stephen’s School!

Take care and God bless,
Donella Beare


Ms Dunn’s Digest

A highlight these last few weeks is seeing the return of students, the amazing Autumn weather and the students enjoying walking and talking as they move to classes and the sharing of lunches on the Quad and around the campus.  

This led me to reflect on the holiday break and how rewarding it was to have the time to have meaningful conversations with my own children. For each teenager this may look different.  Although my daughters are now at university, I have learnt to factor one-on-one time differently for them both.  For one of my daughters going to a café allows us to have a deeper conversation on where she is at any given time whereas for my other child a side-by-side activity such as cooking or dog washing works best for a conversation to occur.  Taking time to truly focus on the individual and show genuine interest and gratitude for the little things that arise and being with there to listen to the unknowns, to acknowledge and understand without trying to fix it for them was a great reminder to slow down and be present.  It is all they really needed from me, and the importance doesn’t diminish with age or time.  

Resilient Youth Australia report that over 90 000 teenagers been Years 7 to 10 say they cannot identify an adult in their lives who listen to them.  It is hard to substantiate if this is reality or teenage perception and it is not that we don’t listen as much as getting the conversation started.   

In building positive relationships and communication, a key component to success is highlighting and amplifying the positives in our daily interactions rather than negatives or catastrophising. A shared interest is a great starting point and helps retain connection and positivity during those challenging times where life doesn’t always unfold the way we wish it to be. It makes a big difference when we listen just to understand. 

Take care,
Rosemarie Dunn – Head of Campus


Pace yourself

We had outstanding team and individual performances in the ACC  “B” Division Swimming Carnival and congratulations go to all of the 125 members of the St Stephen’s team. We came FOURTH! 

  • Junior Girls Runners up 
  • Junior Boys Winners 
  • Overall Boys Winners 

These results are outstanding, and my thanks to the staff of our HPE Learning Area for their support of the team with intensive training sessions and outstanding motivation!

Our Interhouse Cross-country day was a stunning success and congratulations to all our runners, including the two overall champions Ben Hayes who is champion boy for the second year in a row, and Isabella Heathcote our champion female runner for a fifth year in a row. The staff race was hotly contested and well done to Mr Nicolson who placed first. 

While I am congratulating our sports stars, I want to recognise all our students who participate in any way in the sporting opportunities and competitions in the school. Your personal best is important. Physical competitions are about both competing against others and competitiveness for yourself. You know what you can achieve and how far to push yourself to get to the next level of your next goal. This does not always mean sprinting a marathon though! We all need to learn to pace ourselves and get to those growth goals gradually. At the start of the term, I spoke to our teaching staff about my most recent attempt to complete a 10km fun run, where I started way too fast, spent the first few km slowing down, almost ‘expired’ halfway through, before finding my pace and finishing well.

This term, let us pace ourself, finding the energy and motivation to get to the end of each week and then the end of term. Recognise the sense of accomplishment for the small goals, and the big goals will follow. 

Liz Criddle, Deputy Head of Secondary – Teaching & Learning


SECONDARY HIGHLIGHTS

GUINNESS WORLD RECORD

No-one could have missed the EXCITEMENT and achievement of the school’s attempt to achieve a Guinness World Record in our first week of term!

WE’RE IN OUR NEW SCIENCE BUILDING!

The Science staff have, with great excitement, commenced teaching in the newly refurbished Science building. This state of the art building includes new dedicated classrooms for our main subjects areas – Physics, Biology, Human Biology, Marine and Maritime, Psychology, Chemistry and Physics!


Dates for your diary

Remember you can always visit the St Stephen’s School calendar for key dates

14 May Careers Expo 

We are excited to present our 2024 Careers Expo, where we’ll have more than 50 organisations at the Duncraig campus sharing information on the huge range of pathways available to students once they leave school. There’ll be something for everyone! Parents and students from both Carramar and Duncraig are welcome to attend this free event. We look forward to seeing you there! See the Facebook post

8 May Parent Series with Vanessa Kay

In partnership with Parenting Connection WA and Ngala, St Stephen’s School is proud to host Vanessa Kay as she presents “Understanding behaviour through a self-regulation lens” as our first session in the Parent Series, 2024.

Vanessa Kay is a self-regulation consultant with a diverse background that includes teaching, behaviour intervention and counselling. Vanessa is the founder of InnerWise Education and brings a unique blend of personal insight, professional expertise and a genuine passion to share this valuable knowledge.

This free presentation provides a comprehensive exploration of the intersection between parenting and applied neuroscience, with a particular emphasis on the crucial skill of self-regulation and understanding the impact of stress on the brain and body. By the end of the presentation, parents will walk away with a deeper understanding of how stress impacts behaviour and the long-term benefits of self-regulation skill development over traditional behavioural methods.

This session is suitable for parents and caregivers of all school-aged children. Tickets are free but booking is essential

20 May Year 9, 10 and 11 (2025) Subject Information Evening  

Coming to the end of Term 1 already!

In this Newsletter:

  • Principal’s message,
  • A message from Ms Dunn,
  • A moment of appreciation for parents,
  • Highlights from around the campus,
  • Dates for your diary,

Principal’s Message

We’ve had a beautiful start to our 40th anniversary year, with such a lot happening in every part of our school.

I’m delighted to see our students settling in positively in a new academic year, and some wonderful inter-House spirit alive and well in our swimming carnivals. Congratulations to all our swimmers who put in such a fantastic effort for their Houses, to our staff who organised and ran the carnivals and to everyone who was able to come along and support them. 

Our music staff and students are busily rehearsing for our Night of Giving Thanks which is coming up on Tuesday 26 March. If you haven’t already done so, please book your free tickets. This is one of the most beautiful events of the School year as we celebrate and give thanks which is especially apt in our anniversary year. I hope to see you there.

We’re also looking forward to our Guinness World Record attempt which has been re-scheduled for Friday 19 April – the end of the first week of Term 2.  The schedule will be the same as our original date, with some additional reminders coming out in the first week of term. If you have any questions, though, please reach out to our Community Relations team 

We’re now just one week away from Easter which is one of the most important seasons of the year for my family, and I am very much looking forward to an opportunity to pause and reflect on the true meaning of Easter. No matter how you celebrate, may it be a time of rest, relaxation, peace and stillness.

Take care and God bless,
Donella Beare


Ms Dunn’s Digest

Wishing you all a Happy Easter 

I hope you and your family enjoy a lovely Easter and holiday break.  

Below are some articles and discussions you may like to have with your child/ren over the break while you are sharing some valuable time together. 

During adolescence friends matter and staying connected with them is essential to a young person’s health and wellbeing. It is at this time of their life when they are more attuned to social status and eager to gain peer acceptance, far more than when they were children or later when they become adults. Not being able to socially connect with their friends is likely to be much more distressing for them than any other age group. Fortunately, the online or digital world has provided them with a place to interact with their peers and although ‘staying connected online’ is not the same as ‘staying connected in person’, most experts believe that online contact can still be helpful. Unfortunately, increased use of social media also has some negatives.  

 Without guidance, they may: 

  • fall into the trap of saying things online they would not normally say to someone’s face. 
  • not understand that there is nothing ‘private’ once it is shared online. Just because they are chatting in a private group, doesn’t mean the information can’t be copied and shared to others. 
  • that talking about one individual negatively with a group online is a form of bullying behaviour. 

 

Within the I.G.N.I.T.E wellbeing program Homeroom teachers work with the students to address friendship dynamics, emotional and social maturity, and social media usage out of school.  It is important that family, other parents and the school environment support and guide the students’ changing social world as they learn to navigate and make good choices as they become more independent.  

Justin Coulson suggests ‘5 Better Conversations to Have About Screens’ and his tips regarding screen time and our teens . 

If anything, adolescents need your help in establishing boundaries as they traverse their teenage years. While they want more privacy, total independence and privacy is not such a good idea. Whether it is creating a safe and attractive place in your home where your child and her friends can hang out or creating a network of parents to supervise a group. As parents we all encourage our daughters to understand that we are there for them and their friends when they need a responsible adult. Justin Coulson has some good tips about navigating your teens quest for independence 

Helping a teenager manage friendships is tricky, and sometimes very hard. With communication, boundaries, and supervision, your child can develop and maintain healthy relationships. 

The beginning of Term 2 

Term 2 commences on Tuesday 16 April, all students should be wearing their winter uniform. Now is a good time to check all garments are clean and in good order and give the shoes an extra special polish. 

I look forward to seeing you all when school recommences. 

Take care,
Rosemarie Dunn – Head of Campus


A moment in appreciation of parents

 

As parents and carers, we often find ourselves making sacrifices for our children. Driving the kids to football or netball training, an extra music concert or drama performance may arise, perhaps it is spending extra time helping our kids with their homework or supporting their learning. The list of sacrifices is never ending and whilst we do these things because we care, they do come at a cost. A sacrifice of time, of finance or perhaps to our own opportunity to find rest and recoup ourselves from our own daily grind. 

Young people don’t always know how to express their appreciation for all that parents do as an expression of their love and whilst we don’t sacrifice for the accolades, be encouraged that they do appreciate your efforts and hopefully one day, they too will understand the importance of sacrifice for the sake of others.

Finally, as Easter draws near, I am reminded of the incredible sacrifice Christ made for each one of us. He made himself nothing so that you and I might spend eternity with Him in heaven if only we would ask Him into our lives. Happy Easter! 

All the best,
Russell Gilchrist, Deputy Head of Secondary – Care


Study and Regular Physical Exercise

Regular exercise is beneficial for our students for several reasons, impacting both their physical and mental well-being, and helping them become better learners. Exercise can make a difference, especially as a brain-boosting activity. It assists with cognitive function such as memory and learning, plus stimulates the release of chemicals good for brain health. Obviously physical benefits are achieved such as cardiovascular health and better sleeping patterns. And the important benefits to mental health cannot be overlooked. Exercise is known to reduce stress by increasing the production of endorphins, and to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, improving overall mental health. Our students are supported with study skills through Forum and Education Plus and we encourage parents to access the Study Skills Website also. 

In good health,

Liz Criddle, Deputy Head of Secondary – Teaching & Learning


SECONDARY HIGHLIGHTS

DEBATING UPDATE – Mr Howie Jakeway 

This year, we have six teams competing in the WADL Schools’ Debating Competition, three in each division (Novice, Junior and Senior). Each Tuesday, the school runs a ‘WADL Workshop’ which is lead by Jacob Atkinson and Victoria Hill. The idea behind these workshops is to train the students up on how to build their case, how to effectively rebut, points of information and how to work as a team. It’s worth noting that Victoria Hill has been selected for the WA State Debating Team and will travel to Adelaide to compete at the end of this term. She is the first St Stephen’s student to be selected in a state debating team. Following a restructuring of host schools by WADL, the debates this year will be held at Shenton College. It is amazing to see how alive and well public speaking is at St Stephen’s School. 

THE RITE JOURNEY CALLING AND DEPARTURE – Ms Sian Freeman 

The Rite Journey calling and departure event was held at Sorrento beach at the beginning of March and was a truly memorable experience! It’s heart warming to see families coming together and students expressing their gratitude to their parents through their handwritten letters. The presence of school staff underscores the significance of this journey for the students. The students were embarking on their first challenge, which was a walk from Sorrento to City Beach along the ocean, it was exhilarating. The beautiful weather added to the enjoyment of the experience. It was wonderful to hear that the students embraced the challenge with enthusiasm and shared plenty of fun stories along the way. The spontaneous swim and indulgence in cold ice cream reflected the joy and camaraderie of the occasion. It’s events like these that create lasting memories and strengthen bonds within the school community. 


A Note from the Canteen

The canteen for the last week of the term will have:

  • normal menu on Monday and Tuesday
  • limited menu of drinks, sushi, snacks only on Wednesday and Thursday

Dates for your diary

Remember you can always visit the St Stephen’s School calendar for key dates

  • Tuesday 26 March – St Stephen’s School Night of Giving Thanks 
  • Thursday 28 March – last day of Term 1
  • Tuesday 16 April – students return for Term 2 – Winter uniform
  • Tuesday 16 AprilRookie Debating Workshop (Year 6/7 students and parents)
  • Friday 19 April – Guinness World Record attempt
  • Wednesday 24 AprilSenior Music Concert

Welcome to 2024!

In this Newsletter:

  • Principal’s message,
  • A message from Ms Dunn,
  • Safety around Duncraig Campus,
  • Tips for parents at the beginning of a new school year,
  • Setting your students up for success,
  • Parents’ Series 2024 – Hot Topics: an invitation to our first event,
  • Dates for your diary,

Principal’s Message

It’s been a wonderful – albeit very warm – start to 2024.

We are delighted to welcome a new group of Year 7 students to Secondary with all the energy, enthusiasm and potential they bring. Welcome back to all our returning students, and to any new families joining us for the first time. We also acknowledge our Year 12 students, the Class of 2024, and the important leadership role they play in our School community. May each of you carry a strong sense of the support of our community throughout this important year.

In our 40th year, we celebrate our shared history as one community across two campuses. In each of these forty years, generations of staff and students have contributed their own entries to the story of St Stephen’s School, and in this anniversary year together we will together create many more memories.

Our first whole of community event is our Night of Giving Thanks on Tuesday 26 March. Please mark this date in your diary and keep an eye out for booking details closer to the event. I hope to see you there as we celebrate and give thanks for the many blessings with which our School has been graced.

Until then, take care,
Donella Beare


Ms Dunn’s Digest

Welcome back to all returning families, and a very special welcome to students and families joining our community for the first time. I am always extremely grateful to our St Stephen’s School community, the positive support we receive and share with students, parents and the broader community. This was showcased at our annual Year 12 Ball held on 25 January and we look forward to all the great things 2024 will bring through the year.    

Over the next few weeks there will be a number of events to provide an opportunity to meet current families and staff. Please check the school calendar for these and other events throughout the year.    

A quick reminder that students are to wear their summer uniform in Term 1. The Uniform Shop is open on Tuesdays 8am-4pm and Thursdays 1pm-4pm.   

Like most schools, St Stephen’s School has drop-off/pick-up areas that become extremely busy, particularly before and after school. The safety of students, staff, parents and visitors is our priority so please, make use of the drop-off zones to minimise congestion and please avoid stopping for long periods to keep traffic flowing. We also ask parents not to drive through the staff carpark to drop students as it delays bus drop offs and staff parking.    

Technology is changing rapidly, and the use of e-scooters and other electric rideable devices are being used for commuting and recreational purposes. New rules have now been introduced to keep e-riders and other West Australian road users safe.  Please have a look at the Road Safety Commission website for information related to e-rideables and young people.

Please familiarise yourself and your child with the following rules to maximise safety for everybody in our community with all transport options to and from school –   Student Transport Options 

Take care,
Rosemarie Dunn – Head of Campus


Did you know that it’s illegal* to park on the verge?

It surprised us too, but we’ve done some research recently after a number of complaints from local residents regarding vehicles parked on verges during school pick up and drop off times. Unfortunately, a number of residents have reported damage to their property due to parking by members of our School community. The City have let us know that they will be increasing their parking patrols during peak times so please work with us to restore our relationship with our neighbours and ensure you do not receive a parking infringement. We understand that pick up and drop off times can be stressful for everyone concerned, so please consider coming a little later for pick up or slightly earlier for drop off to avoid the busiest times. Thanks for your support in making ours a safe environment for our whole community.

* Clause 42(2) of the City of Joondalup Parking Local Law 1998. This law prevents motorists from parking on a road verge without the adjoining property occupant’s consent.

 


Tips for parents at the beginning of a new year

The beginning of a new academic year brings new experiences for each of our students. Work at school will be different from earlier years. Perhaps the content is more difficult, the workload greater or the time constraints tighter.

Friendship groups change, relationships can become complex and as a result, it is important that parents and carers provide support for our students, addressing these changes not with anxiety, fear or apprehension but rather address the experiences head on as challenges and opportunities to grow. 

We know that a safe and supportive home life, where health and wellbeing are encouraged, is paramount in helping to provide a solid foundation on which students can prepare for academic success. Here are a few hints that might assist you to support your children throughout this year.

All the best,
Russell Gilchrist, Deputy Head of Secondary – Care


Setting your students up for success

Embarking on a new school year provides an excellent opportunity to establish meaningful goals for personal and academic growth. By helping your child set goals for their school year, they can focus and you can help them shape the kind of student they aspire to become. Goals should be SMART:

SPECIFIC:  Encourage your child to avoid vague goals like ‘I want to do better in Maths’. Instead be detailed. Exactly what do you want to achieve? 

 

MEASUREABLE: Have a way to measure progress. Define clear indicators that signal achievement, enabling your child to track success along the way. This could involve setting specific targets such as ‘I want to achieve a ‘B’ grade level in all my in-class assessments’. 

ACTION-ORIENTED: Create short-term goals that outline the action steps needed, such as ‘I will set up a study plan by the end of this week.’ 

RELEVANT and REALISTIC: Goals change, so if the goal is no longer relevant, it needs to change. Stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone but don’t be unrealistic. 

TIME-BASED: Have a ‘to complete by’ date to aim for. 

You can help your child frame their goals in a positive and success-focused manner. Instead of focusing on what they want to avoid or improve, emphasise the positive outcomes you aim to achieve. A positive growth mindset fosters resilience, optimism, and a greater likelihood of success. 

Dr Liz Criddle
Deputy Head of Secondary – Teaching and Learning 


Parents’ Hot Topics 2024 – Learn more about our pastoral care system in our first session

In 2024, we are introducing a series of parent seminars entitled “Hot Topics”.

Feedback from our parents/guardians through our satisfaction surveys has indicated interest in more opportunities for parents to be involved in the life of the school. While this has been challenging between 2020 and 2022, we are excited to re-engage with parents in our 40th anniversary year. “Hot Topics” will be a practical series, covering a variety of contemporary issues in K – 12 education, providing you with an opportunity to grow your understanding of our philosophy and response to a range of current educational issues. The first “Hot Topic” will look at our approach to contemporary K-12 pastoral care. Incorporating our Six Pillars of Care, this seminar will have an emphasis on our IGNITE pastoral program, and will be presented by members of our leadership team, our Deans and other members of our pastoral care support team.

Each Term we’ll address a different “Hot Topic” and alternate between or a morning or afternoon session.

Tickets are free but booking is essential – click here to reserve your seats.


Dates for your diary

Remember you can always visit the St Stephen’s School calendar for key dates

  • 20 February – Parent Series “Hot Topic”: The Six Pillars of Care at St Stephen’s School
  • 21 – 23 February – Year 8 camp 
  • 21 – 23 February – Year 7 camp 
  • 26 March – St Stephen’s School Night of Giving Thanks 

Closing out 2023 – have a happy holiday!

In this Newsletter:

  • Principal’s message,
  • A message from Ms Dunn,
  • Parenting note,
  • Secondary highlights,

Principal’s Message

The end of another school year is upon us and with that comes a myriad of emotions. Anticipation of the upcoming summer break, quiet contemplation about what was achieved over the course of the year, regret that perhaps we didn’t achieve all that we wanted to, excitement at seeing another group of students graduate from St Stephen’s School and sadness as we say goodbye to staff and students who leave us at the end of this year. Each emotion reflects a part of life in a school and we give thanks for the opportunities that this year has provided. Thank you to our school community of parents, students and volunteers for your ongoing support. Our community is at the heart of St Stephen’s School and makes it the Christ-centred, student-focussed, community-based school that it is. I wish you a safe and happy Christmas, and look forward to seeing you in 2024. 

Until then, take care,
Donella Beare


Ms Dunn’s Digest

It is always a pleasure to join together with parents, our partners in learning, to acknowledge important milestones in the students’ lives and to celebrate their successes. Both the Primary and Secondary Presentation Evenings were joyous acknowledgements of the collective efforts of our students. The achievements of the year give a sense of pride in goals met, challenges surmounted and optimism as we look forward to what can be achieved in the New Year.

To the Class of 2023, thank you for being advocates and leaders of the School. We wish you well in your future endeavours.

As the holidays begin and Christmas approaches, we wish all parents and students a restful holiday and well-earned break, with time spent enjoying family and friends.

Take care,
Rosemarie Dunn – Head of Campus


Parenting note

As we finish another school year, take time to rest and recuperate, the Christmas holidays allow families to spend  valuable time together. The business of the year means that time with loved ones can often be reduced to a quick phone call or text message when what we really need to do is sit down and chat face to face with one another. This Christmas holidays, take the time to organise to catch up over coffee and cake, meet on the golf course, spend time playing board  games with the kids. Whatever you choose, it does not matter but make a concerted effort to build relationships with  those who matter. Spending time together allows us to build stronger connections and support networks. 

All the best,
Russell Gilchrist, Deputy Head of Secondary – Care


Secondary highlights

The annual secondary Presentation Evening was a showcase of student talent across the breadth of teaching and learning at the school. Several musical items were enjoyed by the school community and a number of different awards were presented. Students were recognised for academic achievement, for their willingness to serve their community as an involved citizen, and for extensive commitment to learning areas.  

Awardees included Ben Lyon the inaugural recipient of the Maths Medal, Kayla Allmark and Amberley Grace for the Athlete Development Program Scholarships, Victoria Hill and Nathasha Ruiz were recognised for leadership, and Abbey Carpenter and Maichael Noye for citizenship. Major award winners included – 

  • Sportspeople of the year: Tahlia Papworth, Oliver Bridgman, Hayden Windsor  
  • The Vocational Dux Proximae: Hollie Dalwood  
  • The Vocational Dux: Sholai Cantwell 
  • Academic Dux Proximae: Nathasha Ruiz 
  • Academic Dux: Thomas McIntyre

The St Stephen’s School Award recognises an individual who demonstrates noble characteristics and attitudes such as respect, empathy and gratitude within our community. This year’s recipient is committed to learning, shows a willingness to serve and endeavours to empower the people around them – we congratulated Braden Gostlow on achieving this award. 

While we are incredibly proud of our awardees, we want to celebrate and acknowledge the work of all our students. The significant efforts of our students and their ability to keep a growth mindset is fantastic. I encourage all our students to continue to strive to be their best.  

Dr Liz Criddle
Deputy Head of Secondary – Teaching and Learning 


Coming in September 2024 

We are excited to announce that the historic Lou Morrison Kimberley Tour for Year 8s will have a new look next year, exploring more back to country opportunities for our students and reconnecting with old acquaintances.  

We are currently working on a new itinerary that will hopefully include visits to Larrawa Station, a fully operational cattle station, Mimbi Caves where we will tour the amazing caves and engage with their local community, camp at Merry Pool and Parry’s Lagoon, participate in a Welcome to Country, dot painting and Aboriginal language lessons at Laarri Gallery as well as enjoy the gallery art display, and return to Frog Hollow where we will camp and participate in activities with the students of Purnululu School. Before flying home, you will be able to enjoy a visit and dinner at Lake Argyle. These are just some of the new additions to the tour.  Further information to come early in Term 1 2024. 

Source: Donna Wilson – Service Learning Tours Officer 


2024 School fee payment options 

In 2024, similar to 2023, parents/guardians will not be required to re-select a preferred payment method and frequency at the beginning of the school year.  The payment method (direct debit, or credit card, or BPAY) and frequency of payment (weekly, fortnightly, monthly, two or three or four instalments or annual upfront) that you had in place in 2023 will continue automatically in 2024. 

The dates to note for payments (based on frequency) next year are:  

  • 1 upfront payment due on 29 January 2024 (2% discount); or 
  • 43 weekly payments starting on Monday 29 January 2024; or 
  • 22 fortnightly payments starting on Monday 29 January 2024; or 
  • 22 fortnightly payments starting on Monday 5 February 2024; or 
  • 10 monthly payments starting on Friday 2 February 2024; or 
  • 10 monthly payments starting on Saturday 17 February 2024; or 
  • 2 instalments on 18 February 2024 and 18 July 2024; or 
  • 3 instalments on 18 February 2024, 18 May 2024 and 18 August 2024; or 
  • 4 instalments on 5 February 2024, 22 April 2024, 29 July 2024 and 14 October 2024. 

(Where a due date falls on a weekend or public holiday, payment will be processed on the next business day.) 

You will not be required to take any action, unless you would like to change the method of payment or frequency of payments. In which case, please contact the Accounts Receivable team on 9243 2103 or email accountsreceivable@ststephens.wa.edu.au as soon as possible. 

If you wish to change your credit card, or bank account details, you are able to do this at any time throughout the year via the Parent Portal. Click on the ‘School Payments’ tab and select login under Manage stored cards and direct debits to bank accounts or use the following link https://edinfo.ststephens.wa.edu.au/ManageStoredCards.aspx 

In January 2024 your annual fee invoice will be available for you to view on the Parent Portal in the ‘School Payments’ tab by logging into Statements and receipt history or use the following link https://edinfo.ststephens.wa.edu.au/fin.aspx 

Source: Accounts Receivable team


Dates for your diary

Remember you can always visit the St Stephen’s School calendar for key dates
See our website for 2024 term dates

  • From 12.30pm Wednesday 6 December – Monday 15 January – Student Services reception closed
  • Wednesday 20 December 2023 – Wednesday 3 January 2024 – St Stephen’s School administration closed
  • From 15 January 2024 – click here to view Duncraig Uniform Shop opening times
  • 29 January 2024 – Pre-Primary – Year 6 return
  • 30 January 2024 – Years 7 – 12 return

Duncraig Secondary Snapshot – Week 6, Term 4

In this Newsletter:

  • Principal’s message,
  • A message from Ms Dunn,
  • A reminder about pick up and drop off at the Duncraig Campus,
  • Christmas Markets thank yous,
  • Seeking feedback from the Class of 2025 and their families,
  • Secondary highlights,
  • Noticeboard,

Principal’s Message

Term Four is most definitely the pointy end of the School year, with exams, final assessments, reporting and a whole host of end-of-year events. As we round out all the activities associated with 2023 preparations are also well-advanced for 2024 with orientation for Year 6 students moving into secondary and the appointment of our 2024 School Captains. 

It can be a stressful time of year for parents and young people alike. When we look at our calendars and the volume of commitments associated with the end of year it can be overwhelming. If we pause, though, and look at what each event represents it can help put things into perspective. End of year events are about celebrating relationships strengthened, experiences shared and both individual and team achievements. My hope is that we can all find enjoyment in what the next few weeks of term have to offer us. I look forward to celebrating with you all that 2023 has given us when we gather for Presentation Evening on 5 December.

Until then, take care,
Donella Beare


Ms Dunn’s Digest

One of my favourite days is Kindness Day on the 13 November. It is the perfect time to stop and think about how kind we’re being, however, we don’t need to only think or be intentional with our kindness on one nominated day.  Imagine what the world would be like if each person did one kind thing for someone else. Some simple ideas to getting started and discuss as a family: 

  • Compliment the first three people you talk to. 
  • Say good morning to the person next to you at the shops or in the school carpark. 
  • Pick up litter. Spend 10 minutes cleaning at the beach or park in your neighbourhood, or the school play area. 
  • Place uplifting notes in your child’s lunchbox, library books, or on their computer screen. 
  • Dedicate 24 hours to spreading positivity on social media. 
  • Send a warm message to a friend telling them how awesome they are. 
  • Be kind to yourself.   

 

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”Scott Adams 

Take care,
Rosemarie Dunn – Head of Campus


Ongoing traffic challenges 

The safety of students, staff, parents and visitors is our priority, and it is the responsibility of all members of our community. The safe, orderly flow of traffic can only be achieved with the cooperation and patience of all drivers.  

Here are some simple guidelines designed to minimise risks and assist with traffic flow during busy periods: 

  • Be aware that many of our younger students may not be as visible as adults, particularly when you are reversing your vehicle. 
  • Stay below the maximum speed limit of 10 kilometres per hour at all times. 
  • Be aware of pedestrians, in particular, by stopping to give way at pedestrian crossings. 
  • Use the designated drop-off and pick-up areas, moving towards the front of these zones to allow access to other drivers behind you. 
  • Please do not collect or drop off students outside the designated areas, as this disrupts traffic flow and increases the risk to our community’s safety. There have been instances of students being dropped off or collected at designated crossings and on the main driveway. 
  • Observe the one-way system, as pedestrians will be anticipating traffic to flow from one direction only.  
  • Please do not leave your vehicle unattended or waiting longer than 10 minutes in front of Student Services or Hepburn Ave pick up/drop off zones.  

 

We do understand that traffic flow within the school at peak times can seem stressful, but please be patient and courteous towards staff and other members of our St Stephen’s community. We encourage the students to walk or cycle to school, if possible, and whenever possible organise a later collection time by 5-10 mins in order to alleviate traffic.


Christmas Market Extraordinaire 

A huge thank you to the Christmas Market Committee lead by Melinda Shreeve, Julie Wookey and Melinda Emmens, plus the innumerable volunteers and our fantastic sponsors. The relaunch of the Christmas Market at Duncraig on 4 November was highly successful and it was heartwarming to see our community engaged in the many fun activities on offer, purchasing gifts in the lead up to Christmas at the markets stalls and enjoying time with family and friends. These community events can only be achieved by much time, planning, organisation and sponsorship. Much appreciation to all involved! 


Seeking your feedback – Class of 2025

This note is for students who are currently in Year 10, who will eventually be in the Class of 2025.

We are currently in the planning process of a proposed Service Learning Tour to Vietnam in January 2025 for students who will then be commencing Year 12. We are investigating this option as a replacement for the RAW Impact Cambodia Tour due to costing.

At this stage, our thoughts are that the tour will:

  • Cost between $4200-$4500. (based on current prices and not including fund raising component) Involves working with Hearts for Hue, a local NGO, assisting the construction and decorating of a music room for the Quang phu Kindergarten in Hue.
  • Occur during January holidays prior to the School Ball and run for 11 days.
  • Begin with a flight to Ho Chi Min. We will then travel to Hue for six days of engagement before returning to Ho Chi Minh where we will take in the historic sites such as the war museum, Central Palace, China Town, Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post Office, Jade Emperor Pagoda, and travel along the Mekong Delta to the Cu Chi Tunnels.

 

We would appreciate your feedback on this proposal, so please complete this survey by COB Wednesday 22 November, 2023.

Any questions please feel free to contact Service Learning Tours Officer, Donna Wilson –  089 243 2458 or donna.wilson@ststephens.wa.edu.au


Secondary highlights

Never a dull moment!
It’s a short term but we’re packing plenty in! We were wowed by the student artwork on display for Synthesis and had numerous wonderful nights of drama with MaDD Night  and the Year 8 performance of ‘Disconnected’ by WA playwright, Donna Hughes. We’ve welcomed our new Year 7s who will join us in 2024 and named our School and House Captains for next year . We’re looking forward to their formal handover at the Presentation Evening in a few weeks. We’ve had Outdoor Ed camps to Kaadadjan and surfing lessons at Trigg, and our Year 7s had a great time at the Super Series. We’re extremely proud of our debaters, too! Victoria Hill and Jacob Atkinson took out the British Parliamentary Debating Grand Final  and were joined by Elissa Grove and Joshwa Ruiz to form the St Stephen’s School Junior Debating team and were the first ever St Stephen’s School team to make it to the WADL grand finals!

 


Noticeboard

Farewell to Term 3

In this Newsletter:

  • Principal’s message,
  • A message from Ms Dunn,
  • Secondary Highlights,
  • Parental Guidance,
  • Notice Board,

Principal’s Message

The best part of my job is acknowledging student endeavors, and this term we have had an extraordinary number of opportunities to recognise and celebrate the skills, achievements and commitment of our students. We have honoured the contributions of our athletes and our artists, our musicians, our actors, our film makers and our student leaders. I look forward to celebrating the year’s academic achievements at our various Presentation Evenings next term. I may be accused of bias, but I am constantly amazed and impressed by the strength of character, humility and sheer talent of our young people. 

It is an especially poignant week as we say goodbye to the Class of 2023. I am so proud to see how each of them has grown and developed over the years and look forward to learning of their progress as they go on to the next stage in their lives. For now, we wish all our 12s well as they complete exams, assessments and their certificate training requirements. As ever, our thoughts and prayers are with you all.   

God Bless,
Donella Beare


Ms Dunn’s Digest

You know that feeling, particularly at the end of a busy term, when there’s a storm brewing. Tempers feel fragile and ready to shatter with a wrong look or word or when you take a deep breath out instead of a deep breath in. 

Teens read emotion from the amygdala. The amygdala is the fight or flight response part of the brain and when it’s on, it will tend to interpret neutral emotion more often as negative. When it reads a threat, it will organise to fight it (argue) or flee it (ignore, be silent). 

 In that space, there will be little to do but wait until they’re ready to step out of the ring. To do this, let them know you’re there, without trying to change them in that moment, ‘I know you’re really angry at me/sad/scared. I want to understand what’s happening for you, but I can’t do that while you’re …. I’m here for you when you’re ready to talk.’ 

 When we respond with empathy it helps big emotions become more manageable and safer to let go of.  When we are open, often without realising it, we have one hand on the amygdala, soothing it gently to calm and maintain that safe presence – eventually.   

That’s not to say not joining in the fight or waiting it out is easy. Both will take the strength of a warrior.  It’s a time of learning and growth and patience for all of us.   Please take the time to refresh, recharge and reconnect over the school break. 

Take care,

Rosemarie Dunn – Head of Campus


Farewell to Pippa Travaglione, Head of Learning Area – The Arts

At the end of Term 3 we say a fond goodbye to Pippa Travaglione as she moves to Scotch College in Term 4. Thanks to Drama teacher, Teegan Dean, for sharing an excerpt from her poetic farewell here.

In the realm of arts, she held the reins,
A visionary leader with creative gains.
Head of Department, she guided with grace,
leaving a mark none can erase.

So, let’s raise a toast to journeys anew,
to horizons uncharted, skies so blue.
Your time here, etched in stories we tell,
Farewell, dear leader, in arts you’ve cast a spell. 


Secondary Highlights

Term 3 has been an incredibly busy one!
After some fantastic individual and team performances Carana came through as the stand-out winners of the Inter-House Music Festival. We’re incredibly proud of our athletics team for coming second overall in the ACC B Division with the boys taking out the overall shield! Swingin’ at St Stephen’s in partnership with WAYJO was a tear-away success with our Swing Band blowing everyone away with their soulful performances. 

Our Cert IV Business students impressed with a variety of products including next-gen fitness tracking rings, GPS-enabled golf balls and sleek solar powered camp kitchens at the Marketing Expo. We also recognised a huge number of students for their personal achievements and contribution to sport and the arts during the Sport and Arts Assemblies.


Parental Guidance 

Graduations, Challenges and an Exciting Future 

Our Year 12s have just celebrated the amazing achievement of completing 13 years of schooling.  Well done! Finishing school is an outstanding accomplishment and provides an opportunity for us to reflect on not only the past successes but also, the times where students have overcome challenges and displayed high levels of resilience from good old hard work. 

School can be a challenging environment. It’s a place where people are faced with studying in a specific learning  environment, constantly learning new content, mixing with a wide variety of people with differing attitudes, values  and beliefs and dealing with the challenges of peer pressure, all whilst dealing with hormones running wild in a growing body.  

 Equally, however, schools like St Stephen’s are also wonderful places for building lifelong friendships. They provide us each  with an appreciation for people, where we learn to respect difference and are encouraged to be our true selves. Graduation  from St Stephen’s is not the end but the beginning of an exciting adventure of change, challenge and possibility. We  want our students to move forward with confidence in who they are and what they can achieve. Class of 2023, all the  best for an exciting future. Share who you are and your talents with all those people whom you will meet. 

Russell Gilchrist, Deputy Head of Secondary (Care)

Notice Board

Term 3 so far…

In this Newsletter:

  • Principal’s message,
  • A message from Ms Dunn,
  • Secondary Highlights,
  • Parental Guidance,
  • Notice Board,

Principal’s Message

At St Stephen’s School we believe in the phrase ‘lifelong learning’ and so staff began this term with our annual whole school StaffExpo. Two days of professional development underpinned with the philosophy of professional development and personal growth. This year our theme for StaffExpo was on Stewardship – A Global, Professional, Personal Perspective.

A range of guest speakers addressed topics including sustainability, environmental building design, wellness, nutrition and resilience. Our staff spent time in learning areas across the School developing curriculum, addressing changes in educational practices and looking at ways to improve teaching and learning for our students.

There have been many events for our students to embrace over the first half of this term beginning with the exciting HASS tour for 50 Year 9 students from our Carramar and Duncraig campuses. Thank you to all the staff involved in providing our students with these experiences. The Term 3 Newsletter has more on this event.

Some of our secondary students have enjoyed volunteering to help our younger students succeed. Including assisting with the Duncraig primary musical Seussical, as part of the backstage crew and the Year 12 students at Carramar who helped with the inaugural Kindergarten athletics carnival.

This is a snapshot of the variety of events and opportunities that our St Stephen’s School staff and students have taken part in during the term. As we look towards the end of term and the upcoming break our focus moves to Year 12 exams, completion of VET certificates, final assignments and Year 12 graduation. Good luck to everyone.

God Bless,

Donella Beare


Ms Dunn’s Digest

Term 3 has been abuzz with activities, events and opportunities for our students to explore their passions and showcase their learnings and talents.  A highlight for me were the NAIDOC assemblies in week 1 where our  Year 7 – 10’s were treated to live music and a talk on Indigenous History whilst our Year 11 & 12’s enjoyed a wonderful talk looking at the history behind why Australia will be hosting a referendum this year.  

Throughout the term our students have been participating in a myriad of activities including Interhouse Athletics, swimming lessons, Book Week, Interhouse Music Festival and the highly anticipated Primary Musical, Seussical the Musical, which was an absolute joy, with our senior drama students assisting back stage. There is still so much more to come to conclude the term!

I have enjoyed sharing many of these experiences with the students and hearing about their learnings and reflections.  

As parents, alongside learning we want our children to be resilient and have the toolkit to overcome challenges and difficulties.  This link provides some elements to support resilience and emotional regulation at home – Resilience and Emotional Regulation

Take care,

Rosemarie Dunn – Head of Campus


Secondary Highlights

Term 3 has been very busy so far, NAIDOC Week events in week 1, the House Athletics Carnival, ABODA Band Festival, Science Week, Book Week and our talented debaters made it to the WADL Debating finals.

Some photo highlights include the mocktail party organised by Year 11 hospitality students for the top readers in Year 7 as part of book week, our inter-hour Choir competition and our inter-house Music festival. Thanks to all staff and students who have helped to make these wonderful events a success.


Parental Guidance 

On Friday 25 August the Duncraig Year 11 students shared together in a River Cruise. The theme for the evening was “A Night at the Movies” and I’m our students did not disappoint with their creative costumes, and masks. This wonderful highlight of a Year 11’s school year reminded me that sometimes as people, we too can put on masks that hide our identity in our everyday life, masks that allow us to fit in with the crowd or simply be someone who we are not.

God has given us each our own gifts and talents, He wants us to share these gifts with others.

In 1 Peter 4:10-11 it says “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in  all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”

As parents and influencers of young people, may we always encourage our children to be their true and best self. 

Russell Gilchrist, Deputy Head of Secondary (Care)

Notice Board

As Term 2 comes to a close…

In this Newsletter:

  • A message from Ms Dunn,
  • Secondary Highlights,
  • Parental Guidance,
  • Notice Board,

Ms Dunn’s Digest

As Term 2 draws to a close, all students are encouraged to be kind to themselves over the next few weeks by eating sensibly, enjoying nature and sleeping well.  This is also a time to take the opportunity to reflect on their progress to date. Their reports complement the assessment results and comments to date. I would encourage students to reflect on their strengths and areas in which they can improve.  It is an opportunity as a family to discuss where and how they think they can continue to improve and thrive.   

For families with younger children, we understand the importance of providing our young ones a safe environment, caring and loving relationships for our child’s development and good mental health through their formative years. When I read the caption for the TED talk by seven-year-old Molly Wright from Queensland. “What if I was to tell you that a game of peek-a-boo could change the world?” I was hooked.  

 This outstanding young person clearly breaks down the research-backed ways parents and caregivers can support children’s healthy brain development. She highlights the benefits of play on lifelong learning, behaviour and well-being, sharing effective strategies to help all kids thrive by the age of five. Molly illustrates her big ideas about brain science.  

Molly’s Ted Talk 

(This TED Talk was produced in collaboration with Minderoo Foundation as an educational tool for parents and caregivers around the world and is supported by UNICEF.) 

Rosemarie Dunn – Head of Campus


Secondary Highlights

The final weeks of Term 2 have seen considerable activity with both the Year 11 and 12 Retreats taking our Upper School  students off campus.  

The Year 12s attended the annual retreat at Swan Valley Adventure Centre during Week 8 . Students engaged in thought-provoking discussions on topics ranging from the impact of fame to persistence and the lengths parents go to to support their children. On Day 2, alumni speakers included: Tara Jeisman (2016), Simon Newton (1999) and Tim Barnes (1997).  Their insights on life and willingness to share their stories were particularly inspiring for our Year 12 students, as they consider life post-school. Staff provided a great combination of workshops including volleyball, knitting and a very popular, live-action version of the computer game “Among Us” expertly run by Teegan Dean. 

Well-deserved thanks to Mr Boyd Herewini, Miss Stef Ntoumenopoulos and the staff who facilitated this event which is a much-loved, school tradition. 

Sincere thanks also to Mrs Sarah Cooke and the staff who attended the Year 11 Retreat at Fairbridge, Pinjarra over Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Week 9. The focus of this retreat is on students’ growing  awareness of significant social issues, including homelessness, and a comparative appreciation for their own  context as students at St Stephen’s who are prompted to “Serve God. Serve One Another.” 

The Year 10 students didn’t miss out at the conclusion of Term 2 either, with the annual LIFT Week in action.  This series of tertiary tours, excursions and workshops encourages students’ independence and decision-making as they  approach Year 11. Students visited UWA, TAFE, Notre Dame, Curtin University, Murdoch University, ECU, AGWA,  WA Museum Boola Bardip and The Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS). Students also completed the Keys4Life  pre-driver education program to help them start their journey towards becoming safe drivers.    


Parental Guidance 

Reward, Recharge and Reflect

At the end of a busy term it is time to have a well earned break. Hopefully Semester 1 was a successful one for each of our students. Whether it was in your academics, sport, music drama, arts, the list goes on, I pray that there has been moments of joy and pride in what you have achieved.

Over the next 3 weeks I would like to encourage students and their families to Reward, Recharge and Reflect.

Rewardtake the time over the break to reward yourself by doing something you love. Many have worked hard to  achieve personal bests at school and this involves hard work, sacrifice and time. As a result, activities that you might otherwise engage with have been put on hold. Take the time to reward yourself and do them now!

RechargeFor many student the holidays will simply be a time where you need to recharge the batteries. Recharge and replenish your energy stores as this time is yours to use as you will. Not being at school from 8.25am – 3.20pm or CAS sport or band practice or simply study pressures. Recharge for the new semester so you are fresh and ready for the next challenges that come your way.

Reflect Finally with the end of a semester you will soon have access to all your subject grades. Does your mark reflect your ability or could you have done more? How did you use your class time? Did you make the most of your teacher’s expertise? Did you organise yourself well to prepare appropriately for your assessments? If the answer is yes, well done! If the answer is perhaps not then reflect on what needs to change to ensure you achieve your potential in Semester 2.

Happy holidays,

Russell Gilchrist, Deputy Head of Secondary (Care)

Notice Board

The second lecture in the 2023 Parent Series will be delivered by Linda Stade on Wednesday 2 August.
‘Friends or frenemies’ will help you guide and support your child through the challenges of building and maintaining friendships. Linda Stade – Education Writer is a WA-based education writer, speaker, and consultant who works with parents and teachers to help grow happy, healthy kids who thrive on learning. Linda has enjoyed 30 years in schools and working with young people and today has a 35k strong social media following and writes a practical and relevant fortnightly parenting blog.
Book your ticket now at https://loom.ly/GoLjzy0

Half-way through Term Two

In this Newsletter:

  • A message from Ms Dunn,
  • Secondary Highlights,
  • Parental Guidance,
  • Notice Board,

Ms Dunn’s Digest

Term 2 has so far been a hive of activity with Mother’s Day celebrated at the ELC, clubs, camps and the Interhouse Cross Country which brought an energetic air through all the events. These fabulous opportunities provide all students a time to connect and participate with peers and staff are always on hand to encourage and guide our students to ‘give it a go and dare to be their best self’. 

Many of our students will have started preparing for upcoming tests, assessments and exams. Managing workloads can be tricky at times as the amount of work due varies across the term. How students think and act at these times can transform or hinder their experience of stress. The TED talk by Kelly McGonigal on How to Make Stress Your Friend provides food for thought in all we do and the impact it can have on our wellbeing and performance. When you choose to view your stress response as helpful, you create the biology of courage. When you choose to connect to others under stress, you can create resilience.

To watch this TED talk with your child (or for your own wellbeing) simply follow this link – Ted Talk – Kelly McGonigal 

Rosemarie Dunn – Head of Campus

Secondary Highlights

Arts Tour

Over the April school holidays our Senior Arts students went on the trip of a lifetime to Sydney and Melbourne to be completely immersed in the Arts. Students had a great time together and are sure to remember this trip for the rest of their lives. Thanks to the staff who went along for the ride!

Year 10 Careers Expo

On Wednesday, 17th May our Year 10 students across both campuses, engaged in the 2023 Careers Expo on the Carramar campus.

Thanks to Sarah Cooke and Rob Crewe for their coordination of this annual event which connects St Stephen’s School students with workplace and tertiary providers. The opportunity to gain information and ask questions ahead of subject selection for upper school was invaluable for students’ decision making.  

Look out for more information about our upcoming Subject Selection Information evening in the Duncraig campus theatre on Monday, 19 June 2023 at 6:45pm.    

Exam and assessment preparation

Our Year 11 and 12 students have been hitting the books; revising for and sitting Externally Set Tasks (ESTs) and exams this term. In Education Plus, students have covered exam taking strategies and deconstructing exam questions in preparation. Exams can be a very stressful time for your child (you might even remember how you felt back in high school), as a parent you can help by providing a peaceful home study environment, ensure your child is eating nutritious meals and be conscious of how long your child spends studying. Encourage them to take breaks where they go for a walk and get away from their study space. We wish all our students the best of luck during exam time!

Parental Guidance 

IMADE – I Make A Difference Everyday

In a world highly influenced by digital media and other technologies, we often find ourselves wondering whether the messages we are presenting to our children are getting through and question, does that which we say and do, make a difference?

Access to the latest iPhone, iPad, apple watch, Macbook Pro or various android devices, means our young people have access to knowledge from around the world at their fingertips. Those influencing our children, both good and bad, come from all around the world. Despite this access, it is essential that we as parents and educators never underestimate the significant impact, we have on our kids every single moment, of every single day.  

Every day we all make a difference to the lives of the people we meet. The words we say, the jobs we perform, the attitude in which we “do life”, is noticed. Most importantly, our young people learn from and are guided by the principles they see exhibited by significant people in their lives.

My encouragement to parents, family members and significant others, is for us to each to recognise that

YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE EVERY DAY

 you are significant. Never underestimate how much you are needed. 

Russell Gilchrist – Deputy Head of Secondary Care

Notice Board

Our co-curricular offerings have recently been updated. If your child is interested in additional tutoring or extra-curricular activities you can find the timetable via the Parent Portal under “Plan the Day – After School Clubs”

Subject Selection Information evening for Year 10’s will be held in the Duncraig campus theatre on Monday, 19 June 2023 at 6:45pm