Wellbeing at Brigidine College
The Wellbeing Program at Brigidine College covers topics each year under the four main headings of:
- Transition and Belonging
- Relationships and Sexuality Education
- Empowering Choice
- Social Responsibility
The order of these broader units is flexible with the topics covered under each being the determining factor as to the most relevant and poignant time for the students. These four headings form a broader span of the topics and each year whilst topics are returned to, these are done in greater depth each time.
The Wellbeing Program is overseen by the Deputy Principal Pastoral, with each Pastoral Leader being responsible for a year level. It is then their responsibility to devise and update the program and to disperse this to the other teachers involved. The majority of Wellbeing lessons are taught by the Pastoral Leaders with the Middle and Senior Years Program Leaders also involved with their respective year levels.
In Years 7 to 12 the students receive one Wellbeing Lesson each week. In Years 11 and 12, the students also receive an Optima lesson that focuses on preparing the students for the QCS test in Year 12. Once this test has been completed, a second lesson each week is then available for Wellbeing. These lessons are coordinated with the Senior Years Program Leader.
In Semester One, there is a specific focus on the girls’ successful transition from primary to high school. To facilitate this, a Twilight Retreat and an Induction Program are held in Term 1 as well as the 3-day Solas Bhride camp at Maranatha in Yandina. Throughout the Wellbeing program, the students engage in learning about the importance of belonging as well as making friends and how to be a good friend. The program also includes a day-long conference, presented by external facilitators, where Growth Mindset is introduced, and a variety of important study skills needed in secondary schooling are also examined.
In the second semester, the program addresses the changes that occur in adolescence, both physical and emotional, with emphasis on feminine hygiene. Personal safety is an important aspect of the adolescent’s life and information about protecting yourself while out in public are covered in a presentation by the College’s Adopt-a-Cop. Of growing concern, is the impact of online interactions on the wellbeing of teenagers, so lessons that outline safe practices and ‘netiquette’ are also presented at this time.
Throughout each of the topics covered over the year, ideas and strategies about building self-esteem and resilience are included to ensure the wellbeing of all students is fostered.
Any questions can be directed to the College’s Year 7 Wellbeing Program Leader, Allison Power, on PowerA@brigidine.qld.edu.au.
In the Year 8 Wellbeing program, students continue their growth mindset journey, learning about ‘Grit’ and how it leads to learning, improving and thriving. Students are given the opportunity to explore their character strengths, set goals, understand habit formation and learn the vital role failure plays in developing resilience, embracing a challenge and building on success.
Throughout Year 8, students are involved in a range of activities designed to build self-esteem and self-confidence. They are encouraged to explore their identity and understand how this influences their relationships with parents, other family members and friends. We also address media stereotypes and their impact on body image, which is a topic that resonates strongly with girls of this age.
Growing up as a digital native brings with it a myriad of hazards, courtesy of social media. This program addresses important issues regarding unwanted contact, cyberbullying and the digital footprint.
This is also an important age as girls continue to develop both physically and emotionally. We take time to discuss healthy choices, identifying different types of health and ways to stay healthy. This is reinforced through an introductory course on positive psychology, which promotes the power of positive self-talk and the importance of positive relationships.
Please direct any queries regarding the Year 8 Wellbeing Program to Rosa Sernia, Year 8 Wellbeing Program Leader, on SerniaR@brigidine.qld.edu.au.
As Year 9 is a time when the girls are still negotiating their physical and emotional development, there are issues surrounding relationships with their peers as well as pressure from society to look and act a certain way. In recent years, this has been exacerbated by the digital, social networking technology.
The program is designed to incorporate lessons that give information, skills and strategies about these issues. Students have numerous opportunities to work together and discuss their ideas about self-worth, belonging, their sense of purpose and mental health.
Year 9 is also the students final year in the Middle School and therefore are offered many leadership opportunities. The program focus’ on being a leader in their everyday interactions with others and develops the skills of team work, confidence and effective communication.
If you have any queries, please direct these to Dani Sprenger, the Acting Year 9 Wellbeing Program Leader, on SprengerD@brigidine.qld.edu.au.
Year 10 at Brigidine College is an important year in the Pastoral Care Program as the students settle into the senior phase of education in the College community. Throughout the first semester, the girls undertake many activities that highlight to them their own strengths, weaknesses and interests that will contribute to both their future pathways and their own identity. They then move on to discuss more personal issues such as the importance of Communication in Relationships, Resilience, Gender Issues and both Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships. They finish the Semester by investigating the world of work, jobs they are possibly most suited to, how to find and prepare for employment opportunities as well as their rights as employees within the workforce.
In the second Semester, the girls continue with work connected to Future Pathways by completing their SET Plans and finalising their subject options for Years 11 and 12 through the subject selection process. Finally, the Year 10 students will move away from future pathways and careers to discuss societal issues such as alcohol, drugs, safe partying and drink driving.
If you have any queries regarding the Year 10 Pastoral Care Program, please contact Ben Wilson, Year 10 Wellbeing Program Leader, on WilsonB@brigidine.qld.edu.au.
The transition to Senior School is often a time of increased pressure both academically and socially for young women. The Pastoral Care Program in Year 11 looks to address many of the concerns that are at the core of the girls’ development. It looks to guide them towards growing into young women able to negotiate successfully the increasing demands of Senior Education. The program covers many of the key aspects of Time Management and Planning that are at the core of a successful adaption to senior learning. The importance of balance in a young person’s life is valued and this is placed alongside other aspects such as Planning for the Future through exploring options in Further Education.
Leadership is also another key area that is addressed given that the students will, at the end of the year, take on the senior position in the school and the corresponding responsibilities that go along with this. The major emphasis of the program is placed on the holistic education of the students; in helping them to see their place in the school and ultimately, the wider community.
To make enquiries regarding the Pastoral Care Program in Year 11, please email Maree Austin, Year 11 Wellbeing Program Leader, on AustinM@brigidine.qld.edu.au.
The Year 12 Wellbeing Program reflects the College’s aim to educate young women who “will make a difference in the world as self-confident, flexible and compassionate adults.” The program is designed to promote the wellbeing of students in their final year of high school studies, a time which can be stressful and challenging. It is delivered in a timetabled lesson each week and complements the other pastoral practices embedded in the College’s curriculum. The lessons are designed to inform and equip our students with the necessary knowledge and skills to cope with the challenges of Year 12 and life beyond school.
Personal development continues through the practice of leadership within the College and opportunities to acquire skills needed throughout life. Topics that are covered in some detail include leadership, managing one’s self, relationships, sex education, managing stress, mindfulness and transitioning into life after school. As a part of this program we invite guest speakers to speak with our students and encourage them to reflect on their lives as well as to critique the values presented to them by contemporary society.
Please direct any queries regarding the Year 12 Wellbeing Program to Merryl Wheaton, Year 12 Wellbeing Program Leader, on WheatonM@brigidine.qld.edu.au.