Principal’s News

COVID-19 Update

The Premier announced on Sunday 31 May that Stage 2 restrictions will generally be brought forward to commence midday Monday 1 June 2020 (today), rather than 12 June 2020.  The situation continues to evolve and Brigidine continues to be proactive in providing a safe place for all students and staff.  I thank everyone for their due diligence and welcome the ongoing support of families during this time.

Stage 2 includes gatherings of up to 20 people (increased from the previous limit of 10) for activities that do not attract the general school exemption in the Home Confinement, Movement and Gathering Direction (No.6), which will be superseded by the Movement and Gathering Direction effective from 12pm on 1 June 2020.

Stage 2 includes the following:

  • Gatherings of up to 20 people:
    • public spaces and lagoons
      (e.g. South Bank Parklands, Cairns, Airlie Beach etc)
    • non-contact indoor and outdoor community sport
    • gyms, health clubs and yoga studios
    • pools (indoor and outdoor) and community sports clubs
    • museums, art galleries and historic sites
    • libraries
    • hiking, camping and other recreational activities in national and state parks
    • places of worship and religious and civil ceremonies
  • Recreational travel, camping and accommodation, including caravan parks (anywhere in Queensland)

School Sport

On Friday 31 May, the Department of Education advised that a final roadmap to guide a return to school sport will be made available very soon.  We hope to receive the final version of this material next week to distribute to the broader Brigidine community.

National / World Events

While the world has been focused in COVID-19 and its implications for ongoing health matters, many other events and activities continue here at the College. National Reconciliation Week (27 May-3 June) incorporates two very important days in Australian History: National Sorry Day (26 May) and Mabo Day (3 June). The theme for the 2020 Reconciliation Week is In This Together which is more fitting now, than ever.

Brigidine College has a wonderful engagement with local indigenous sisters and brothers and with our indigenous students, they lead our community in broader understandings of how reconciliation is something for all people to work together.

“Reconciliation Week and Sorry Day are important days on the event calendar for all Australians because we can’t rewrite the past, but we can change how we acknowledge it now and in the future”, says Katrice May, Wodonga TAFE’s Koorie Liaison Officer.

World Environment Day


May we have the courage to take the step into the unknown that beckons us.
Trust that a richer life awaits us there,
that we will lose nothing but what has already died.
Feel the deeper knowing in us sure of all that is about to be born beyond
the pale frames where we stayed confined,
Not realising how such vacant endurance was bleaching our soul’s desire.

(J O’Donohue, 2007)

Brendan Cahill
College Principal 

Settling back into College life

A very warm welcome back to all Brigidine students, it has been very refreshing to see students back in the classroom and to hear the familiar ‘buzz’ as you walk around our College. As students returned last week, I was reminded of the Brigidine spirit that our students show each and every day.  Year 12 leaders summarised the Brigidine Spirit with the phrase ‘#togetheringreen;foreverateam’.

As Year 11 and 12s experienced a fortnight ago, it can take time to adjust back into school-based learning. It is normal for a transition like this to take some time and for it to be different for everyone.  Change takes time, even if it seems like it is a change back to something that was normal. A reminder to please be kind to yourselves as you reacclimatise to the routine of school, altered sleep patterns and the physical and social engagement of classes.

The key to any healthy transition is self-care, patience and resilience.  The resilience demonstrated over the past two challenging months is to be commended. A reminder to students that whilst we transition back to this ‘new’ normal, do things that make you feel physically and emotionally safe. Spend time with those that are helpful to your wellbeing and continue to engage in activities and routines established over the past few weeks that promote a sense of calm in your lives.

I would encourage parents to discuss the positive habits developed over the past few weeks at home that may be helpful to maintain whilst returning to school.  There is significant research to support that taking time to focus on the good things in our lives improves our wellbeing. It can be easy to give into the sometimes overwhelming ‘negativity bias’, however we can counter that by deliberately focusing on what is good, even during challenging times.

Below are some links that parents may find useful in exploring as their daughter return to school:

Building Resilience in Young People – Dr Andrew Fuller  – access here.

Supporting your teen during Coronavirus – Reach Out Australia – access here.

Dani Sprenger
Acting Deputy Principal Students

Languages Update

Congratulations to our Year 12 UQ Language Ambassadors, Rashmi Kahwatta and Ava Southgate, who led a very successful Languages Club in Term 1 with students flocking to lunchtime games of Kahoot, Pétanque on the Curragh and a Mini Japanese Olympics! Our Ambassadors look forward to informing about language study at University in the lead up to subject selection next term.

Just before isolation hit, Senior Language students enjoyed a Japanese dinner outing and a French social dinner at Marist College, complete with photo booth! Our Japanese University assistant teacher, Hikari Yamauchi, and exchange students Riko Shimazu, (kindly hosted by Joanna Handicott , Amy Johnson and Jazmin Nolan) and Reika Ogawa (hosted by Alice Fiorini, Chloe West and Abby Connolly) were able to return safely home after a cherished stay with our families. French exchange student, Blanche Tanguy, also said teary farewells to Annabelle Hogarth after her 9 month exchange.

Although this year’s French trip to New Caledonia and sister school visit to Brigidine have been cancelled, Year 8 and 9 students are excitedly preparing for an email exchange with Collège Mariotti, with their assessment pieces forming the first piece of correspondence with the Francophone students. Years 10 to 12 French students also began an exchange with a senior high school in Valence in the south of France, Lycée Émile Loubet.

Language exchanges, either in person or online, are invaluable in enabling our students to practice language in an authentic context, and to discover another culture and lifestyle.

Catherine de Vos
Curriculum Leader Languages

Senior Years Update

The last few weeks have seen the return of students  after a significant period of learning from home. It has been interesting to hear the impressions and insights of the students about themselves and their learning as they return.

Comments such as “I work better when I am by myself,” and “I found making and using my own checklist kept me focussed,” demonstrate that many of the Year 11 and 12 students relished the greater flexibility afforded to the organisation of their day. Unsurprisingly Year 10 students found the discipline required to maintain focus while alone more difficult. Comments such as “I am looking forward to collaborating with my friends and teachers,” were more typical in their responses. This suggests that students in later years are ready for the transition to university style learning, with fewer constraints on the organisation of their time.

Across all three year levels there was overwhelming evidence of positive outcomes from online learning. From a greater appreciation of the impact of their teacher and gratitude for the IT infrastructure provided by the school and their families, to the increased independence, determination and tenacity developed during this period of isolation.

John Crawford
Program Leader Senior Years

Reading Comprehension Framework

Brigidine students, particularly those in the middle years, have been utilising the College’s Reading Comprehension Framework to help them understand complex texts. Over time, this framework has been developed and refined to suit student needs and their growing expertise in its execution. It has now evolved into a simple placemat structure, which, once completed, allows students to quickly and easily discern important information and the validity of sources.

During our online learning, students have been encouraged to apply the framework independently. Consequently, an infographic and video (access here) were produced, which allows students autonomy when applying the framework to the complex texts with which they are engaged.

This newly released infographic (access here) guides students – quickly and easily – through the steps of the Reading Comprehension Framework. It has now been added to relevant class lessons and students are able to apply it in their independent research tasks. All resources related to the Reading Comprehension Framework are located on the Brigidine Library Website.

Further information regarding the Reading Comprehension Framework will be provided at a later date via Conversation Starters on the internal College Facebook page.

Estelle Chapman

Chanel House Update

Chanel House kicked off the year with our traditional House breakfast, welcoming new Year 7s and engaging in some fun community building activities. The breakfast was a great way to put the House value of ‘hospitality’ into practice, providing and serving for our peers. Going online this term was challenging initially, however, Chanel persevered with regular weekly House updates and challenge videos from the prefects. Prefects sent letters to groups of people starting with the letters in the word P.O.S.I.T.I.V.I.T.Y – view the video here. Chanel House students were then challenged to do the same to lift the spirits in our communities.

Chanel students were also encouraged to have their own mini Cross Country carnival with their family while at home.

We are extremely proud of our Chanel students and excited to have them all back so we can continue demonstrating hospitality in our school community.

Madison Schumacher and Nicola Read
Chanel Prefects 

Categories: The Brigidine Blog