Mary, the Mother of Jesus
May is Mary’s month. Mary, Mother of God, holds a unique place in the history of the Church. She is a model of prayer and motherly love, the teacher of wisdom and our guide. As we are pressed in our journey of faith, we contemplate and imitate her faith, her outreach to the poor and her joy at the wonders created by God.
Mary, the Help of Christians, leads us to the fullness of life and gives us courage for the service of our sisters and brothers.
Mothers’ Day last weekend was a special time for our families to share and honour our mothers when we stop and contemplate the daily gifts of time and energy they devote to the care of children and families. Motherhood is about giving and giving, but it is also about receiving. Any new mother will tell you about the instantaneous joy and peace of mind that comes when the baby is placed in her arms. This loving relationship is often seen as being very close to divine love. In many photos of a mother and her child, we see the serenity of the mother looking down at her baby. Many famous depictions of Mary and the Christ child emphasise this calmness.
Even if we are not mothers ourselves, these images invite us to recognise the caring mother in all of us. There are many opportunities for us to nurture others in our daily lives. We are challenged to participate in loving relationships through giving selflessly as mothers do. And in giving in this way we also receive. The love from within, is translated into actions of heart and mind which bring peace and wholeness.
The Marian Centre has been beautifully incorporated into our new Brigidine landscape with students and teachers enjoying the new surrounds and resources this facility has to offer. Witnessing students and staff moving quickly to explore the spaces, find the new lockers and interact online in these creative spaces, has been life giving. The students, Years 7 – 10 will be able to come and enjoy these new facilities over the next week or so, and it will be truly remarkable to engage as a community with facilities that will respond to and help shape learning into the future. While it has taken a little longer than anticipated to arrive, I am thankful to everyone for their patience and support over the past three years, to now have these wonderful new spaces. I look forward to also showing the Marian Centre to the broader community over the next few months.
The Marian Centre is named after the embrace of the Spirituality of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Inspired by the Marist traditions, key attributes for the creative STEM space are also ones that provides the feminine learning spaces for growing, sharing and learning. These include:
- Grace, freedom and response
- A woman of faith and servant of God
- Embarking on a journey that involves light and darkness
- A contemplative, united to the Spirit and is one of the anawtm in solidarity with all peoples
- A la mujer para los demas (a woman for others) in the felicitous phrase of Father Jesus.
Teaching and Learning
Over the last few weeks there has been a tremendous response to the teaching and learning at home, as well as with the Years 11 and 12s returning to school this week. As my class identified today, ‘I worked well at home and could really focus on my work, but I missed the interactions with others and the opportunity to really comprehend what I need to understand.’ (Year 11)
At this time of many changes to our routines, I am forever thankful to the teachers, the College staff, the students and of our families, for their great resilience to forge ahead and continue learning. In many ways some or our new learnings about how education looks in the future, will forever be changed.
I am certainly looking forward to everyone returning on 25 May and I am sure we will all enjoy the energy that will be created across the campus.
God our Mother
Loving God, we give thanks for mothers!
Thank you for mothers who gave birth to us, and women who have treated us as their own children.
You teach us how to be good mothers, cherishing and protecting the children among us.
Help us mother lovingly, fairly, wisely and with great joy.
Help us raise our children to be the people they are born to be.
Help us create a world where mothers can raise their children in peace and plenty.
God of mothers, who created mothers, who came as a child and had a mother,
God our Mother, loving us with a sweeter and deeper love than we have ever known,
hear our prayer this day. Amen.
Deputy Principal Curriculum
The educational learning environment certainly has had a dramatic shift in the past 6 weeks. I would like to commend our staff, students and families for their ability to adapt so quickly, given the very short time frames that we were given to prepare for our Learn at Home program.
The outstanding work from our teaching staff has meant that students have had the opportunity to remain engaged with the College, their peers and their learning. Staff have shown strength, persistence and resilience as they have moved to an increased level of online learning and collaboration with each other and students. It is pleasing to see that the work that has been developed by all staff to ensure all student work is accessible in online platforms, such as SEQTA, OneNote and now Teams, has assisted with this transition.
I have reflected over this time on the importance of the Brigidine College Learning Framework. The design of this framework, is the student at the centre, surrounded by the outer circles of the key attributes of the learning paradigm, our whole school learning plan, our learning practices, our key structures and processes and our mission statement. The past 6 weeks has been a clear indication of how we live out this framework in everything that we do.
The Learning Paradigm (the second inner circle) was developed by staff in 2016, when the question was asked – what are the key attributes we want to see in the students in 2020? Each year since then we have focused on the development of one key attribute. This year, and the changes that students have had to recently cope with, clearly demonstrates that the students of 2020 are:
- Effective Communicators
- Flexible and Adaptable
While this time has presented opportunities to consider how we can use online technology in different ways in our teaching and learning, it has also reminded us of the importance of having students in our classrooms and onsite, as we our know our College offers learning in so many different ways and is most effective when we are able to physically work together. It has been wonderful to have our Year 11 and 12 students return this week and we look forward to our Year 10 to 7 students returning on Monday 25 May.
Deputy Principal Curriculum
Suspend Judgment Program
“And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth.”- Genesis 8:11
Reflecting on the beginning of 2020, we are drawn back to this passage from Genesis about Noah’s journey in waiting for the great flood to be over. The dove, a symbol of peace, is a sign that life will soon return to normal. Jewish artist, Carol Deutsch who lived during WWII, painted 99 illustrations of the Bible, including a depiction of the dove with the olive branch from the Genesis passage. Devastatingly, Deutsch passed away during the Holocaust but his legacy continues. Deutsch’s painting is a reminder to us that in this unique time in 2020, we continue to be reminded that there will always be renewal of life and new beginnings built on hope.
Although we could not commemorate Holocaust Memorial Week this term, many Year 10-12 students within the College are participating in cocurricular program called Suspend Judgment. The program supported by the Religious Education and Humanities Departments has been designed to support student learning about the Holocaust beyond the classroom curriculum.
The mission of the Suspend Judgment Program is to engender the ability of individuals to suspend judgment in the hope that justice, dignity, courage and compassion remain at the core of how we live our everyday lives. Thus, to suspend our judgment is to live and walk with values that underpin what is right and good in humanity.
It is our hope that the Suspend Judgment Program, like the dove and the olive branch, can be a symbol of new beginnings by taking a look at the past and creating a future where we are guided by strong values and actions that ensure humanity remains at the core of our lives.
We look forward to sharing the outcomes of the program with you later in the year.
Learning at Home
Please enjoy this short video created our Middle School Leaders: click here.
Character Building Workshop
Teamwork, leadership and communication were three of the many skills that the Middle School Leaders learnt about during the Character Builders Workshop, ran by Damon Joseph. The program started by sharing our determination and motivation in becoming leaders. This activity not only strengthened the bond between our group but also helped us realise our personal duties as leaders and how we can represent Middle School. A fun and easy-going rivalry initiated during a teamwork challenge where two teams were tasked to create the longest track and keep the ball on for the most amount of time. From this challenge, we developed a deeper understanding of taking initiative, teamwork and problem solving; essential qualities of a captain. The last section of our day was by far the most emotional. We were all encouraged to share our life stories and how they have shaped us to be the people we are today. This allowed us to communicate to our fellow students in an authentic way and revealed everyone’s strengths towards the team. Overall, the experience taught the Middle School Leaders so much about ourselves, each other and how we can lead Middle School.
By student Maddie Foster
Humanities teaches us to problem solve and devise solutions to current issues. With four weeks of remote learning under our belts, our passionate staff have created some creative and innovative ways for students to engage with their content.
Remote learning has not hindered Year 7 students completing field works in the context of their Geography studies, participating in virtual tours of the Indooroopilly area with the help of Google maps and pre-recorded videos. As part of their Liveability Investigation, students have been embracing their computer’s tablet function and various online tools to complete some amazing field sketches documenting critical aspects of the area.
Year 9 students have taken the opportunity to share their knowledge of Australia’s involvement in World War 1 in more visual formats creating engaging infographics.
Year 10 students have been investigating ancient civilisations, expressing their interpreting and hypothesis theories through the medium of creative writing. Click here to hear Maddie Ellice, Ella Watney and Charlotte Smith share their fictional, modern narrative based on the interpretation of artefacts from an Ancient Egyptian burial site.
Year 11 Geography students have been working with the nation’s leading GIS technology and services provided. Esri Australia is training them to create industry standard data representations using ArcGIS system providing vital real world application and future career opportunities for the students.
In the Humanities Department, as we transition back to face to face learning, we will continue to embrace new technologies and incorporate remote learning skills and resources into our classrooms.