Principal’s Update

Welcome to the 2021 school year 

The school year at Brigidine College began on 27 January with a welcome to all students. The enthusiasm of our students to be actively engaged and connected to the College has been wonderful.

While there are many photos regarding the great range of activities over the past week, I am touched ultimately by the words of Erin Ahern (past student, reflecting on her friendship with Mother Foley, first College Principal):

know about the failures and successes, experience sorrow and joy, and realise that life is a great adventure – you can make it so, no matter what your destiny might be.”

Congratulations to all students and College Staff for such an exciting and energetic first week. The Year 12 Retreat, the Graduates’ (2020) Awards, Academic Assembly, Swimming Carnival, P & F meeting and initial lessons have provided a full opportunity to ‘celebrate all that is good with Joy and Gratitude.’

We celebrated the Class of 2020 last week and the tremendous success of the cohort. Congratulations to Piper Frederickson who was awarded College Dux for 2020 and to Skye Nugent who received the Sr Patricia Whitby award for Outstanding Academic Achievement.

Some lasting words from Skye – I am encouraging you to study what you love – without reservation. Whether it is the Arts, STEM subjects, Religious Education, History, Geography or languages, it is not your job to play by other people’s rules or to conform to what you think will get you the best academic outcome. It is not your job to measure your own success against a sliding scale that often discounts passion and fulfilment.

Some lasting words from Piper – I graduated with an ATAR of 99.15. This year, I am fortunate to be the recipient of the UQ Ramsay undergraduate scholarship, awarded for my academic and community service achievements in high school. This scholarship supports me in my dual Honours program of Advanced Humanities and Law at UQ, majoring in Western Civilisation. I want you to know that it’s ok to not know where you’re going to end up, and I actually think my uncertainty leaves me more willing to experience as much as I can and more open to finding opportunities in places I don’t expect.

Brendan Cahill
Principal

News from our Deputy Principal Students

In the year of Wonder at Brigidine, the focus for the pastoral area is to enable students to grow in self-awareness and build positive relationships with others. We are pleased to launch the new ‘Positive Relationships: Bullying Preventions and Response’ Brigidine College policy. Brigidine has a long history of proactively educating students about values and expectations. In 2021, we continue with explicit education about anti-bullying in Home Rooms, Houses, and the Formation Program; and through awareness days and other strategies such as anti-bullying signage. Each student will participate in a presentation by Bully Zero – a trusted eSafety provider – who will provide evidence-based information on bullying, including strategies to help them assess and respond to challenging situations. Later in Term 1, an online internal reporting tool ‘STAR’ will be launched to students.

The Student College Planner is a cornerstone of information, organisation and communication at the College. Please read your daughter’s Planner – including such information on expectations, uniform, travel and devices – and regularly discuss her use of this important resource for learning purposes. There is a helpful ‘What Should I Do If?’ section abut procedures at the College for parents and students.

Are you experiencing parenting challenges as your daughter navigates adolescence? A new useful resource is the Parent/Guardian Resources support page on the College website. Topics include:

  • Parenting Support
  • Developing resilience
  • Developing Friendships
  • Managing the Online World
  • Developing a Positive Body Image
  • Seeking Mental Health Support Services

SchoolTV is a new fact-based online resource that is now available to our parents. The topic available this week is ‘School Transitions’, which provides sensible advice from Dr Michael-Carr Gregg about how parents can reduce stress during the transition to secondary school.

Sometimes reading online is not quite enough, so we are pleased to invite parents and guardians to a presentation at the College by psychologist Dr Judith Locke on 11 March 6.30pm-8.30pm. In her presentation, ‘Five essential thing to help your teen become confident and capable in 2021’, she will provide achievable strategies for parents.

Parents and guardians of Year 7 and new students to the College are invited to a Parents’ Welcome Home Room experience on 16 February from 8:25am-9:05am. It is an opportunity to connect with your daughter’s Home Room teacher, Pastoral Leader and Year 10 Big Sister; and meet other parents. Students and their parents will be given information to assist with the transition to the College. There will be an opportunity to have a conversation and ask questions.

Melinda Egan
Deputy Principal Students

The Formation Program units for Term 1 2021 include:

Year 7

The Term 1 Formation unit in Year 7 is called ‘Navigating Brigidine’. This unit is designed to transition Year 7 students to Brigidine as smoothly as possible. The Formation Program also includes Solas Bhride (Light of Brigid), an extension experience that involves a camp in Year 7. Camp is held 24-26 February at Maranatha Camp, Yandina. It is an opportunity for students to meet more friends, develop a sense of belonging, challenge themselves and have lots of fun. Earlier this week, Year 7s heard from Tricia Munn from Eyes Open Social Media about the risks and dangers associated with social media and to help students feel safe on social media. Later this term, Rebecca Sparrow will speak to Year 7s about friendship and resilience, and the power of kindness.

Ben Wilson
Program Leader Year 7 Formation

Year 8

Year 8 will explore topics associated with the digital world such as friendship dilemmas, digital reputations, sexting, cyberbullying and bystander behaviours. We will identify strategies for managing these challenging situations, including where to seek help for further support. Resources developed by Australia’s e-safety Commission, ‘Tagged’ and the ‘YeS Project’, will form the basis of our lessons. Students have also engaged in a presentation by Eyes Open Social Media on how to safely navigate social media and other online platforms, as well as how to avoid potential dangers of online interactions. We also draw upon materials published by the Institute of Positive Education to support managing the online world.

Allison Power
Program Leader Year 8 Formation

Year 9

“Luck? Sure. But only after long practice and with the ability to think under pressure.”

Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias is an example of how mental toughness and extraordinary drive to practice can lead to being named the “World’s greatest woman athlete.”

Year 9 students will be developing similar traits that Babe showed during her career, including, grit, resilience and mental toughness. These key character traits will be put to the test during their Solas Bhride in Term 2, where they will participate in a variety of outdoor team building activities.

Next week students will be put their grit to the test by participating in a variety of challenges across two lessons. From here students will understand the interconnection of grit and learning, and the importance of mental toughness in becoming a more resilient young woman.

Tamara Porter
Program Leader Year 9 Formation

Year 10

This term, Year 10 students are welcomed into the Senior School. This is a critical stage in their academic, social, and emotional development. Year 10 Formation begins the year with a unit called ‘Discover’. Focusing on developing knowledge of strengths, weaknesses, and interests, students will explore who they are as individuals. Students will examine a variety of relationships and identify the importance of communication within these different relationships. Further, Year 10 will investigate the consequences of choices and actions, while developing skills necessary to establish and maintain positive relationships without compromising their personal values and beliefs.

Shannon Metzeling
Program Leader Year 10 Formation

Year 11

The start of Year 11 can be very overwhelming for many of our young people. The Formation program in Term 1 provides tools for students to become more self-aware and resilient. We begin with learning the valuable skill of mindfulness. The comparison of being ‘Mind Full’ (where your thoughts are taking you to the past or future) and ‘mindful’ (where you are able to focus on the present moment) is explored in our first lesson. Students continue to experience various techniques and use the Smiling Mind app. Mindfulness can help to calm the mind, emotions, and aid in sleep. Research shows that can improve a person’s health and wellbeing, and students are more focussed and engaged learners.

Liz McAnally
Program Leader Year 11 Formation

Year 12

Term 1 in Year 12 Formation is designed to develop key aspects of the students’ understanding of themselves, their bodies, now and into the future. Year 12s will be equipped with knowledge and skills they can use in a range of contexts as they develop into womanhood. They will be able to understand what emotional intelligence is, recognise the importance emotions play in our lives and discover their own strengths and areas of development when exploring their own emotional intelligence. Year 12 will develop an understanding of the signs of and how to approach healthy and unhealthy relationships, as well as gaining strategies in how to help others. They will explore the role of sexuality and gender, developing their understanding of their own bodies, as well as a knowledge of important health checks.  Year 12 Formation will give students the opportunity to these important issues through discussion both in the classroom and whole cohort activities such as Retreat and guest speaker opportunities.

Lisa Kelly-Crawford
Program Leader Year 12 Formation

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