In the work of our Hands, in the desires of the heart
May the God of Creation, draw us more deeply into our own life.
May we give ourselves; our skill, our art, our vision, our life,
To the finding of treasure and to the fashioning of it.
May the Holy One who never ceases to practice the art of creating,
Keep us ever at the edge of our skills, our habits, our vision,
That we may never grow so content in our work, in our creating,
That we miss the God who is ever about to do a new thing.
Cf Jan Richardson; The Sanctuary of Women
Over recent weeks I have been interviewing many students in Years 9, 10 and 11 regarding academic scholarships, SET Plans and Leadership. It has been truly remarkable to share in the thoughts and ideas of our amazingly positive and aspirational young women.
One of the key discussions and explorations has been the ways students engaged in Learning from Home and when returning to school, how their ways of learning might have changed. Interestingly, many students identified that for a short period of time they were able to access, focus and structure their learning effectively at their own pace. It was as if they were more able to ‘be in charge of their learning.’ So, whilst the digital means provided the access and engagement, the pace and depth of learning competed with the pace of how rich understandings could be found.
Brigidine College continues to be strongly engaged in digital learning across the curriculum, through infrastructure, devices, embedded digital pedagogies and skills, that promote relevance and immediacy. The blurring of lines with learning from home and at school, has provided time to consider digitalism skillsets which might also reinvigorate curiosity and wonder. Croft, A (2011, p.7) suggests ‘children actively explore other environments with encouragement and support from adults, constructing meaning in context.’ There is much to consider as schools enjoy unprecedented connections with learning, balanced with the depth of effective understandings.
With students and teachers ready to use digital tools to be in control and structure their own learning capabilities, I also am mindful that we do not discontinue strong practices that lead to deep comprehension. Pre-digital skills such a reading and handwriting also provide opportunities for our minds to ponder, to reflect and to also articulate ideas that can have a profound impact on our engagement. Class writing notes allow our minds to process and critically reflect on information and as Bruce Addison (2020) suggests, ‘writing by hand is slower and at time cumbersome but provides further access to synthesis and summarising skills.’
Students and teachers at Brigidine are wonderful agents of change and models of resilience over recent times and I know that we will continue to engage in digital spaces, built from effective models of learning across millennia.
College Captains 2022 Announcement
Captains 2021 Captains 2022
College Captain Isabel Scott Samantha Lane
Mission Captain Zoe Tsibogiannis Charlotte Smith
Arts Captain Alice Keys Elly Rowbotham
Sports Captain Zaria Fetineiai Maddie Ellice
Families and staff are reminded that a letter to the community has been sent to everyone regarding the changing restrictions in Queensland. Thank you again for your ongoing support and care during this time. Please click here to view the roadmap to easing restrictions.
Middle School Matters
Middle School does matter. Recently, I had the privilege of being reminded of this opinion from Phyllis L. Fagell an American licensed clinical professional counsellor, certified professional school counsellor, and journalist. Fagell’s work in the space of middle schooling comes from connecting with students, their families, and teachers in middle schools throughout the U.S.
Her ideas documented in the book, Middle School Matters The 10 Key Skills Kids Need to Thrive in Middle School and Beyond – and How Parents Can Help privileges that this stage of adolescence can leave even the most, “…self-assured parents full of self-doubt,” (Fagell, p.4). However, she also reminds us that this time of adolescence is equally challenging for our middle school learners as their brains and bodies are developing, emotions are heightening, moral reasoning is engaged, and social-emotional maturity and beliefs and values are solidifying.
What she does propose is that young people need support and the skills to navigate this phase of their lives, so they emerge a healthy, adaptable, and capable young person, with a strong self of self and purpose.
Fagell (2019) suggests that we work with middle school learners to support them when:
– making good friend choices
– negotiating conflict
– managing student-teacher mismatch
– creating homework and organisation systems
– considering other’s perspectives
– self-regulating emotions
– cultivating passions and recognising limitations
– making responsible, healthy, and ethical choices
– creating and innovating
Interestingly, these ten crucial skills should help every child thrive in the middle years and beyond and can be taught at home and school.
I can’t recommend Fagell’s book enough and the practical strategies she provides about each of the skills above. I hope that you will experiment with your middle year learner as the risks are small, but the rewards can be big.
Acting Program Leader The Middle Years
Reference Fagell, P. (2019). Middle School Matters The 10 Key Skills Kids Need to Thrive in Middle School and Beyond – and How Parents Can Help. USA: Hachette Book Group.
To assist students in understanding and engaging with their Humanities units’ content, the team in the Tullow Centre Library has developed Course Companions. Each Course Companion presents resources, such as videos, fiction and non-fiction reading materials, podcast and primary and secondary evidence. The course companion is a valuable addition to the resources provided in class. It allows students to explore alternative aspects of the topic, delve deeper into the learning occurring in the classroom, and clarify the content they are learning. Students can access the Course Companion through the Tullow Centre Library page; we would encourage all students to access these excellent resources to become more emersed in their topics.
Australian and Geography Competitions
During semester one, selected students across years, 8-12 participated in the Australian History or Geography Competition. The competition consisted of multiple-choice questions related to sources/data covering topics associated with the Australian Curriculum. While some of the content may have been familiar to students, the data was unfamiliar; all students are to be commended for applying skills learnt in class to the unseen evidence/data.
Thank you to all students who participated, and we would like to acknowledge the following levels of achievement.
Australian History Competition: note that students who received a Distinction or High Distinction received a mark of 82 or higher (out of 100).
Australian Geography Competition: note that students who received a Distinction or High Distinction are part of the top 26 percentile within Australia.
Curriculum Leader Humanities
Road Safety Week
This week is Road Safety Week; road safety is everyone’s responsibility. We are blessed to have a group of wonderful young women at Brigidine College who form the Safety Squad. These students assist others to cross the roads safely.