Principal’s Message

Living Justice – Celebrating Refugee Week

Our refugee students and families play a vital role in creating an opportunity to celebrate the differences and diversity within our schools, helping students look beyond their own personal experiences to help others. Whilst this week in our Church community we are called on to pray for and celebrate all that refugees bring to us, it is also timely for us to acknowledge a simple but powerful strategy that Brigidine College has had in place for our refugee students.

Brigidine College has worked over the past ten years with Fr Pan Jordan (Chaplain), the Romero Centre, St Vincent de Paul and the Holy Family Parish to continue our ongoing support to refugees in Brisbane in partnership with the people and groups, the College students at Milpera State High School as well as Brigid’s House here in Indooroopilly.  Our students worked with volunteer tutors from the community. While it has been difficult during the COVID-19 crisis, our College continues to support and advocate for people marginalized in our society.

Capturing the Learning from Remote Learning

With Term 2 ending, it is time to reflect on the challenging events and how we begin to move forward into next term. Many teachers and students have reshaped the ways each of us learn and teach, by capturing the experience of remote learning and collaborating together; actively engaging in shared practices to increase levels of involvement and understandings. Several staff continue to engage in webinars, with researchers sharing the first findings emerging from analyses of the experience. Our student leaders have been engaging with students and gathering commentary on their experiences to add to our data we are collating.

As we begin next term with parent-teacher meetings online, as well as subject selection (Years 8 and 10) online, I encourage families to share experiences with teachers and Curriculum / Pastoral Middle Leaders.  I look forward to sharing further insights into Term 3.

Reminders – COVID-19

We continue to live with COVID-19 and as a community, we are attempting to suppress it as much as we can.  As we have seen in many parts of the world, complacency is of concern, particularly as increased people are moving more freely.

To ensure that we take disease prevention actions, please ensure that you undertake regular hand washing/sanitising, cough/sneeze etiquette, cleaning, distancing, ventilation, stay away if unwell – seek medical advice re-testing and following Government guidelines if returning from hot spots.

Marian Centre Opening and Blessing

Invitations have been sent to guests for the Official Opening and Blessing of the new Marian Centre. The College community gives thanks and acknowledges everyone’s contribution and support to this wonderful enterprise.  I look forward to welcoming guests (limited numbers due to COVID-19) on Brigidine Day to celebrate this milestone event.  The events of Brigidine Day, including the opening and blessing, will be live streamed for everyone to enjoy.

Thank you again to everyone in our College Community for your heartfelt and generous support during these challenging times. I look forward to our working together again as events and activities begin to change next semester.

With Strength and Gentleness,

Brendan Cahill
Principal 

Prayer

God, in your love and solidarity you call us to stand with those who are the most vulnerable, especially Asylum Seekers who risk all to find protection and a secure future for their families.

Hear our Prayer and the unuttered cries of our Hearts offered in the name of your son, Jesus, who was himself a refugee.

Amen

Arts Update 

Brigidine’s newly founded Cultural Canvas strives to include vibrant strokes of individuality, creativity and community in our Arts Department this year and the years to follow. Reflecting on the first semester of 2020, we are so incredibly proud of each and every Cultural member. They have definitely left their mark through their continued commitment, courage to take risks, passion and strength in their ability to adapt and remain resilient.

We are particularly grateful for those who were involved in the weekly online rehearsals via Microsoft Teams during isolation and would like to say a special thank you to our tutors for their dedication. It was wonderful to be able to welcome back rehearsals at the College campus these last few weeks and see and hear Brigidine’s finest talent. To capture Brigidine’s creative hearts, we published a weekly video series called ‘Cultural Canvas’ which shines a spotlight on the various ensembles belonging to the Cultural co-curricular program. These episodes can be viewed on the ‘Cultural Activities Portal Page’ on Seqta and on the Brigidine College Community Facebook page. We would also like to congratulate all participants of our ‘Create to Connect’ holiday art competition, following the theme of connection and community, in particular our winners, Claire Formby and Giorgia Nodari.

The Arts Department has been working diligently this semester on exciting projects and opportunities to be enjoyed by all, launched next term. Remember, there is always light at the end of the tunnel; stay safe these holidays and we look forward to seeing you all very soon for another memorable term.

Jessica Parcell, Savannah Wirtz-Feilding and Laura McKinnon
Arts Captain and Ambassadors

Deputy Principal Curriculum Update 

As we come to the end of the semester, I know that our whole College community is looking forward to having a well-deserved break.

We have had the whole school community back at the College for the past four weeks and have continued to adjust our learning, teaching and assessment to cater for the may challenges that were experienced over the past semester. It has been wonderful to observe the flexibility and adaptability of our staff and students as well as the resilience that has been demonstrated in challenging moments.

Although learning and assessment may have looked different this semester, all students have had the opportunity to produce evidence which has demonstrated the progress in their learning. Staff have been finalising results and feedback this week. While this feedback is on the final piece of work, it is important to understand that teachers provide a variety of feedback strategies with students throughout the learning and drafting processes. This is implemented in several different ways including written and verbal feedback with individual students, groups of students or the whole class.

As part of our Growth Mindset strategy, all students are asked to complete online reflections about their results. While the feedback itself is valuable, what matters most is what students do with the feedback. They should be able to focus on the feedback that has been given and consider strategies that they will act on to improve their work in the future.

It would be valuable to spend time with your daughter reviewing the feedback provided on her completed assessment and her own reflections about her learning. This can be helpful for the students as they reassess their learning goals in each of their subjects. The Study Skills Handbook which is available on the Assessment Portal on SEQTA, has a unit called After Tests and Exams that could provide you with some strategies or ideas about assisting your daughter.

As restrictions start to ease, there are still many elements of safe practices that we need to consider as we move into Term 3 such as –

  • Reports will look slightly different, as we have made adjustments for this semester.
  • Parent-Teacher Interviews will be online.
  • Information Evenings – QTAC and Subject Selection will be replaced by online presentations and live Q&A sessions.

Information regarding all of this will be communicated throughout the holidays.

Melissa Dever
Deputy Principal Curriculum

Health & PE – Movement as Medicine

Exercise is good for you. That’s hardly news. Research shows people who exercise tend to have longer, healthier lives. The recent conditions that lead to remote learning provided a revelation for PE staff as we grappled with ‘how’ we would continue to teach PE digitally. The ‘how’ we would teach has led to many varied lessons based on activities where students’ accessed online material and worked individually or with others online. Such as the Year 9 and 10 core PE workout sessions to teacher-produced video instructions such as the Year 7 HPE skipping unit.  Our Year 9 HPE and 11 PE classes did manage to learn sports aerobics routines and perform these within a few weeks of returning to face to face classes. Year 10 HPE students embraced Strava as a way of logging activity. Whatever the engagement mode, it is clear that movement has been a form of medicine at this time of stress, uncertainty and isolation. The importance that movement (in its many forms) has been for many of our students is apparent. It has afforded freedom from house seclusion, as a time to reconnect with parents and siblings. Movement has truly been a medicine.

To view a video of students (Lucy Boyce, Isabel Butcher and Steph Ramm) performing their sports aerobics routine, please click here.

Diana Chambers
Curriculum Leader PE

Literature News

Year 12 Literature students have synthesised their study of character, plot and key ideas of the text as a parody twitter thread. Good parody requires an intimate understanding of text. Each student was assigned a role/s. It also uses intertextuality to connect concepts with our own context – can you identify whom King Lear has been modelled on?

Please click here to read Act 1 and 2 of King Lear as a Twitter thread.

Romany Smith
Curriculum Leader English

Science News 

In Term 2, staff and students were excited to move into the new laboratories in the Marian Centre.  The new labs are bright and fresh with great lighting and tremendous views of the College.

After learning at home finished, the science team were keen to get students back into hands-on activities.

Year 12 Chemistry students have been studying organic chemistry. Recently, they made esters and students were not too keen on the aromas of the acids and esters.

Year 8 Science students have been presenting their fantastic “Rube Goldberg” projects.  Students had to design and build a series of steps to demonstrate changes in energy.

Year 9 students have been investigating what can change the rate of dissolving of substances, collecting the data and using this as a base for their work on how to analyse data and write scientifically.

Year 10 Natural Science students in their Biology unit have been discussing genetics including the fascinating structure of DNA and have extracted DNA from strawberries.

Year 11 Chemistry students have been investigating solubility and recently carried out a series of very accurate tests to develop their own solubility curve.

With over 120 Science Ambassadors and Representatives and with restrictions starting to lift – we are hoping to have a great Science Week coming up in Term 3.

Debra Guthrie
Curriculum Leader Science

Categories: The Brigidine Blog