GET TO KNOW OUR COLLEGE LEADERS AND HOUSE CAPTAINS
NAPLAN online testing will take place during Week 3 on 11, 13 and 14 May. Please click the link below for more information and timetable.NAPLAN
ECO SQUAD NEWS – YOUTH ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL
This year Joshua Carr (10PC-01) and Caleb Mann (9BPC-05) have joined the Youth Environment Council of South Australia (YEC). The YEC is for students in Years 7 to 11 who want to contribute to ‘achieving a more environmentally sustainable future for SA’. As a part of this group, members learn and share ideas about sustainability through online and face to face forums, camps, workshop days and individual projects.
Joshua joined the YEC in Year 8 and has served as a member of the Council since then. During his time on the Council, Joshua has investigated ways to support and protect threatened bird species and how to encourage more pollinating species into our gardens. As part of this, he has constructed bird nesting boxes and insect ‘hotels’, both of which have been installed in the College grounds. The insect hotel is in the ‘The Garden’ (our vegetable gardens on Lawrie Street) and the Eco Squad has already noted the range of insects that have moved into our garden and the increase in biodiversity.
This year is Caleb’s first year on the Council. He is interested in helping to improve soil in our vegetable gardens and has started to investigate the importance of animals such as earthworms. As part of his project, Caleb intends to develop a worm farm that will help us to improve the quality of our soils.
If you would like to know more about the Youth Environment Council and their activities, you can have a look at their website here or come and have a chat to Miss Catherine Pearce, Ms Bridget Kearins or Mrs Robyn Palmer. We’re in ‘The Garden’ Tuesday and Friday lunchtimes. Nominations open early in Term 1 each year.
Miss Catherine Pearce, Head of Department – Humanities
YEAR 7 RETREAT
Reflections written by students.
On Tuesday 4 May, all Year 7 classes went on a Retreat to the Christian Family Centre which was run by the teachers and older students. We were split into pastoral care groups and were sent off to do four different activities revolving around the three school mottos ‘Community, Challenge, Choice’, and also communication.
These activities were a learning experience for us all and taught us numerous things. My favourite activities were the ‘rock, paper, scissors’ game which taught us about choice and how everything we choose influences our everyday life. ‘The newspaper tower’ where we had to link our minds together to overcome challenges and create the tallest tower of newspaper. And our final activity was kick-it cricket which taught us about how important communication is. We also had a community cooked sausage sizzle which the teachers and older students ran.
We went home tired, but with a new refreshed mindset and knowledge about what our school stood for.
Khoa Anh Lu (7BPC-03)
On Tuesday, the Year 7 cohort took a trip to the Christian Family Centre for a Retreat. When we got there the Peer Support Leaders, Lasallian Youth Leaders and the Year 12 College Leaders welcomed us. We got paired with another class and begun the activities. This involved reflecting on ‘Community, Challenge, Choice’ and communication, the values of St Michael’s College.
During the activities we had fun while also trying out new things and getting the opportunities to reflect on ourselves. We worked with other people who we don’t usually work with. This gave us the chance to meet new people and put ourselves out there. Overall the day was a big success and an opportunity to take time away from school to reflect and spend time with other people.
Isabella Dragini and Margo Loriya – 7GPC-04
WELCOME TO THE NEW LIBRARY AND LIBRARY CLUBS
Our newly refurbished library opened on Tuesday and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. It has been wonderful to see students and staff walk through the doors and express such surprise and excitement as they see all the changes and think about all the new possibilities and comfort our library will bring. Click here to see photos of the new library.
Term 2 and 3 sees the return of our already existing clubs as well as some new clubs where staff and students can work and grow together, developing personal interests or important study habits and skills. Please see the link below for more information about the different clubs and activities.
Mrs Maria Pepe-Micholos, Head of Librarylibrary clubs
YEARS 7-9 LEARNING AND WELLBEING CHARACTER STRENGTH FOCUS
Week 1: Social Intelligence
“The single most important lesson I learned in 25 years of talking every single day to people, was that there’s a common denominator in our human experience. The common denominator I found in very single interview is we want to be validated. We want to be understood”. – Oprah Winfrey
Social Intelligence is the ability to be perceptive and understand our emotions and those of others around us; to really grasp what makes us and them ‘tick’. It helps us to successfully build relationships and navigate social environments with family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues and complete strangers; being aware of the emotions and motives of both ourselves and others. It also helps us to regulate our responses so that we can carry ourselves comfortably in different contexts. As a result, it can also help people progress in their careers.
Sometimes people who have strong social intelligence can come across as self-assured or we might see them as having ‘strong people skills’- an attractive skill to potential employers in our increasingly global world. People with strong social intelligence also usually enjoy helping others to navigate complex social situations and feel comfortable in addressing challenges they may face.
Interestingly, on a physiological level, the strong relationships that can develop as a result of social intelligence can improve our immune system and help combat disease, so we can see the importance of growing this strength. In ‘Braving the Wilderness’, Brené Brown shares that loneliness and weak relationships are some of the major sources of stress, health problems and depression, and living with loneliness increases our risk of premature death by 45%!
It seems that those who have strong social intelligence have some traits in common. They are often effective listeners; truly paying attention to what others tell them. They look for and listen to all of the cues including facial expressions and body language, just like we did when our kids were little and were just learning to string sentences together. They listen with an open mind even if they disagree with what is being said. Conversational skills are also typical of people with strong social intelligence. They can talk to anyone of any age occupying any role in society. They can play different roles in the conversation as is required. They remember details about people that allow the dialogue to be more meaningful so that people really do feel listened to and valued. Strong social intelligence also allows us to manage the impression we make. It is a delicate balance between creating the best impression of ourselves and being authentic and letting others see who we really are.
How can we develop social intelligence and allow for our relationships with others to be more meaningful and genuine?
For our young people, it’s tricky as they often do not regulate or read emotions accurately as a result of the developmental stage of their brain. An intentional focus on becoming a better conversationalist, thinking around how conversations normally go and identifying what makes the conversation meaningful for us or others are a good start to developing this strength. We can work on becoming a more effective listener through an approach called “active listening” where we rephrase what we believe the speaker said so that we check understanding. Most importantly, we can study social situations and our own behavior and responses, learning from our social successes and challenges, and importantly, we can reflect on the manner of those around us who really make us feel listened to and affirmed. What is it that they do that allows us leave that conversation feeling valued and cared for?
Hoping we all have a happy and healthy week 2!
Mrs Tonia Carfora, Year 7-9 Learning and Wellbeing Initiatives Leader
What is Social Intelligence? Why does it matter? https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201407/what-is-social-intelligence-why-does-it-matter
Cultivating Social Intelligence: Three Ways to understand others. https://positivepsychology.com/social-intelligence/
The Positivity Project: Social Intelligence https://www.wcpss.net/cms/lib/NC01911451/Centricity/Domain/1069/Social%20Intelligence%20Character%20Card.pdf
Strengths Mining: Social Intelligence https://www.strengthsmining.com/via-strengths/humanity/social-intelligence/
Peterson, C and Seligman M Character Strengths and Virtues A Handbook and Classification
McQuaid, M and Lawn, E Your Strengths Blueprint How to be Engaged, Energised and Happy at Work.
Brown, B Braving the Wilderness