Secondary News

Curriculum Update

The start to the 2020 Academic year has been a busy one as we welcome a number of new teaching staff and students into the community. As we say goodbye to the OP era and embrace the highly anticipated ATAR/QCE system, the College has implemented a number of initiatives to better prepare our students for the changes that accompany the new system. Initial feedback has suggested that the changes to the timetable have been positive. Students now commence learning from the beginning of the school day. The provision of Study Skills/Learning Optimisation sessions for all year levels is allowing teaching staff to communicate important skills and information to students in a manner not previously possible.

In Year 12 we will be rolling out a number of initiatives intended to assist students in customising their final year’s learning experience. The first initiative is the introduction of a customised University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) preparation program for students who are intending to enter Medicine beyond Year 12. Further initiatives for both Year 11 and 12 will follow.

St John’s is also proud to announce that we are developing a bespoke Gifted and Talented program to be led by Mrs Fiona Gunthorpe. This involves a multi-pronged approach to identify gifted students. This includes the analysis of academic results, specialised testing (where applicable), teacher feedback and meetings with students. Once identification of students has concluded, individualised Enriched Learning Programs will be developed and implemented.

It is anticipated that by providing additional assistance to students who require learning support as well as identifying and extending gifted students, all will experience a benefit.

The current Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak has provided challenges for all educational institutions. At St John’s, students who are off-campus are being well catered for. Lessons containing important content are being video recorded and distributed to students via SchoolBox and email. Additionally, all relevant content and resources have been made available on the course and class pages on SchoolBox, and class teachers are maintaining regular contact via email. Where appropriate, assessment due dates are being modified to ensure that no student is disadvantaged by not being on-campus.

Andrew Landroth
Deputy Principal – Curriculum and Innovation


Pastoral Care

The theme for the Archbishop’s Message to Schools for 2020 is ‘Being Together’. 

The purpose of the message is twofold: to generate greater connectedness between School communities and the broader Church within Southern Queensland; and to ask School communities to support a particular theme or priority for the year as a faith in action or practical Christianity initiative.

You can view the Archbishop’s Message to Schools 2020 here

Anglican Schools Commission
Southern Queensland


Year 12 Biology Camp

The 2020 biology camp was an amazing experience which left an indelible imprint on our memories. Whether it was the kind staff, comfortable accommodation or adventure-packed itinerary, there was always a positive environment.  When we first stepped into the mangroves, fresh water rushed into our shoes, cooling us off. As we entered the creek, the fish were disturbed and fled away. I felt guilty about agitating their life. However, when we stopped for halophyte plants, the little fish came back and swam among us which left a great impression on my heart. Though the coming of us bothered those fish, human and animals could live in symbiosis. The ecosystem is not dominated by human beings, but all the creatures cooperate to preserve our home.

In the afternoon, we set about our biology data collection at Hastings Point where the sea was roaring, spattered the seashore with vigorous waves. After receiving a file of different characteristic of marine creatures to identify them, we climbed across several rocks, approaching to boulders those closed to shore. The scenery amazed all of us, the boulders were thickly covered by oysters and some unnameable shells. They are the gems of nature also the gifts to human.

Overall the camp was a great experience in which all the senior biology students learned about the species along Hastings Point and collected relevant data for their upcoming assessment.

Otto Hellwig and Zifu Zeng
Year 12 students


Year 10 to 12 Parent and Student Information Evenings

We invite all Year 10, 11 and 12 families to attend an Information Evening in the St John’s Performing Arts Centre, Secondary School. These sessions are for both parents and students and will be held on the following days:

Year 10 families – Tuesday 25 February | 6.00pm to 7.00pm
Year 11 families – Tuesday 25 February | 7.00pm to 8.00pm
Year 12 families – Wednesday 26 February | 6.00pm to 7.00pm

This is an opportunity to learn more about the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) and how we will be preparing our students, what to expect in each term and senior subject selection (for year 10 families). Attending students are required to wear their formal uniform.

We look forward to welcoming you at these events.


House Representatives

We are seeking parent House Representatives for Years 7 to 12 to liaise between the College and Parents. Being a House Representative is a rewarding and vital role within our College where you can become more actively involved within our community.


  • Welcoming new families to the College community
  • Coordinating parent support for fundraising initiatives and school activities, such as the College Carnival, Sports Centre Redevelopment, Foundation Week
  • Encouraging parent participation at College events such as Mother’s Day High Tea, College Musical, Let’s Talk About Breakfasts, College Creations


  • Get to know families within your child’s house/cohort
  • Become more actively involved within the College community

If you are interested in being a House Representative for 2020 please fill in a nomination form. If you have any questions please email me at

Samantha Jackson
Development Coordinator