From the Principal – 23 February 2017

The school year has started very successfully with a large number of study, cultural and outdoor focused camps as well as the usual ‘busyness’ of classroom experiences. The students have used these occasions to develop friendships with each other and relationships with teachers so enabling conditions for learning can be fostered. Strong relationships already exist within the student body as do growing relationships between the teaching staff and students. It is an encouraging and supportive place to be.

Many characterise wellbeing as having three main elements: identity, relationships and community. For a young person, each of these elements should be clearly formed, strong and functional. I would suggest it is the same for organisations such as schools.  Schools have a biological /organic element as we focus on the living beings within – the students, teachers and the broader community. As one considers a young person growing, there is no doubt that their identity is fluid and morphs with time, experience and influence. It is the same with schools – each school has its own culture and identity. Schools likewise form relationships that build on student/student, student/staff, staff/staff and interactions; as well as that most important of partnerships: school and family. The school/family partnership is always a personal, and has a (generally) elastic and fluid component. The management of such a fluid and usually intensely emotional space is one that is best served by clear communication and a common understanding that all parties are focussed on the children. I have had the great pleasure of meeting a number of parents and these occasions have been an opportunity to emphasise the importance of school and family communication. I would like to think our school is characterized by open communication based on strong values and an understanding that all parties are working together for the benefit of the young people in our care.

New Strategic Plan
At the forthcoming Meet the Principal sessions, we will be exploring the trends that are influencing education nationally and internationally as well as sharing some thinking as to how the school may respond. The next strategic plan formulation has commenced, and if members of the community feel they have yet to share their thinking, I would encourage them to communicate with the Parents’ and Friends’ Association via Shemane Nathanielsz on or me directly at

SMS and BGS Family and Friends’ Association
I would also encourage family members to consider being a part of the Parents’ and Friends’ Association. Having met the group a number of times, they are friendly, fun and creative. Please contact Shemane Nathanielsz on if interested in being a Year Level Representative or being involved generally.

Community Scholarship
The South Eastern Chances, Connections Uniting Care provides scholarships of up to $1500 to support young people up to the age of 25. See or email for further details. 2017 Funding rounds are as follows:
Round 1 – Friday 4 March
Round 2 – Friday 1 July
Round 3 – Friday 28 October

Independent Schools Victoria Parent Seminar: The impact of pornography on young people
The St Margaret’s and Berwick Grammar School community may be interested in attending the following session run through Independent Schools Victoria. The impact of pornography on young people has been described as an emerging public health crisis. What can parents do? The issue will be addressed in a free seminar for parents hosted by Independent Schools Victoria on Wednesday 15 March 2017, from 6 pm to 8 pm.  Hugh Martin, a psychotherapist and founder of the Man Enough program, will provide expert advice and lead the discussion.

The seminar – the first of The Parent Seminars at ISV program – will be held at the ISV offices at 40 Rosslyn Street, West Melbourne, and light refreshments will be served. ISV is close to public transport and there is plenty of parking. To register, send your name to with the words ‘Parent Seminar’ in the subject line.

Ms Annette Rome