Principal’s Update

Queensland Catholic Education Week

Catholic Education Week begins on Sunday 25 July with the official launch by Education Minister Grace Grace. At the launch event, hosted by Brisbane Catholic Education,  there will be a liturgy in the Cathedral of St Stephen followed by the presentation of the Spirit of Catholic Education Awards to this year’s six recipients.

More information about the award recipients can be found on the Catholic Education Week website, along with resources to assist schools in celebrating throughout the week.

Staffing Changes

Earlier this term Ms Berni Sligar informed me that she requires extended leave to focus on her health. I have granted this request and therefore, she will be away for the reminder of the year. I wish Berni well as she undertakes treatment and recuperation. Ms Niesha Hart will be the Acting Program Leader, Middle Years for the remainder of 2021.

Other changes include:

  • Jennifer Lyon – 8A Maths, 7A Maths, 7D Science and DM4 Home Room
  • Estelle Chapman – 11 Essential English, 9B Religious Education (from the start of Week 4)
  • Clare Nelson – 9B Religious Education (Week 3 & 4)
  • Andrew Gardiner –  IT Systems Integrator

Good news:

  • Ms Nidean Dickson had a baby boy : Myles Peter born on Sunday 18 July, weighing 3.25kg

Alumna News

Congratulations to alumna Rhianna Patrick who gave one of the keynote addresses at the Australian Association for the Teaching of English Conference held last week over three days. The title of her address was ‘The power of storytelling for young people in the digital era’. She was listed in the conference program as ‘Rhianna Patrick, Audio Content Creator and Head of Audio and Podcasts at IndigenousX’. Rhianna cited her mother (an English teacher for 43 years) and our Gina Brosnan as the principal formative influences on her reading outlook. Of Gina, about whom she talked for a good five to seven minutes, Rhianna said ‘She (Mrs Brosnan) gave life to stories and spoke to me because there was magic about her as a teacher’. Apart from Gina’s passion for her subject and her students, she also praised Gina’s capacity for critical thought, her promotion of multiple readings of texts (this was the early 1990s), and her preparedness to risk different forms of spoken and written assessment to cater to students’ interests & needs (i.e. differentiated learning). Brigidine College invites Rhianna each year to our International Women’s Day event (in March) as a panel facilitator.  We are so fortunate to have played a role in the journey of such an intelligent, engaging and proud First Nations alumna.

Brendan Cahill

Deputy Principal Curriculum 

Welcome back to Term 3. It was very pleasing last week to commence the semester with the College Academic Assembly. Many students were recognised for their academic achievements by receiving Merit or Improvement Awards. I would like to congratulate all students on these achievements as it demonstrates a strong commitment to learning.

Endeavour awards will also be presented to students in their House assemblies.

During the holidays you would have accessed your daughter’s report from SEQTA Engage. I hope that you have been able to take the time to go through the results. It is also important you and your daughter access her results and feedback for each of her assessment tasks as they are made available.

If you have not already accessed this area of SEQTA Engage, I would encourage you to look at individual assessment results and feedback. This provides you with more timely information about your daughter’s progress.

It has been a busy start to Semester 2 for all year levels, as many students commence some decision making for next year. Our Year 11 and 12 students are also working towards key points in their learning and assessment.

Year 12 – Students are finishing off the last of their internal assessment tasks and most subjects have commenced new work which will be assessed as External Assessment. Students will soon register for both their QTAC and ATAR portal accounts, as they start to consider decisions for next year. Our annual Master Classes will be held in the 2nd week of the September school holidays, as students start to focus on targeted revision for the External Assessment.

Year 11 – Students have completed Unit 1, which was reported on in the Semester 1 Report. Their report. Students are continuing to consolidate the formative work as they complete assessment task for Unit 2. Unit 2 will be completed at the end of this term and work for Unit 3 will commence in Term 4.

Year 10 – Term 3 is an exciting time for Year 10 students as they continue the Senior Education and Training (SET) Plan process and start to make decisions about appropriate pathways and subjects for their education during 2022 and 2022. This process commenced with the online Year 11 Subject Information Presentation this week.

Year 9 – Students in Year 9 will make subject choices for Year 10, 2022. Students may choose to continue with electives that they are doing this year or choose different electives for Year 10. Information has been emailed to all students and parents.

Year 8 – Students in Year 8 have the opportunity to choose 2 elective subjects for Year 9, 2022 so need to make subject choices for next year. All subject information and videos are available on the SEQTA portal.

Year 7 – Year 7 students have had a positive start to the semester and are enjoying their new enrichment subjects. They will receive information about choosing an Arts and Technologies elective for Year 8, 2022, later in the term.

A reminder that all Year 8, 9 and 10 students must have completed their online preferences by 9am on Thursday 29 July.

Melissa Dever
Deputy Principal Curriculum

Flourish in the wonder of Mathematics

This year is a year of Wonder for Brigidine College. The Mathematics Department has since set the goal to help our students “Flourish in the wonder of Mathematics”. We aim to guide and support all students, regardless of their individual differences, to have fun learning Mathematics and to make (and celebrate) positive progress throughout the year. They will thus become more engaged and want to know more about Mathematics. 

One of the approaches we have been implementing in the Middle School (i.e., Year 7 to 9) is to design real-world problem-solving and modelling tasks that incorporate the use of technology such as GeoGebra (dynamic Geometric and Algebraic software) and Excel, in place of the more traditional examinations. In these tasks, students learn not only the concepts and processes of Mathematic but also the real-world applications of the concepts and processes. For example, in a fabricated scenario for Year 7 in which the Curragh lawn needs to have its turf completely replaced, students are tasked to find out the total area of turf that is required. In a Year 8 task, students are engaged in designing their own business models to see how much profit or loss they will manage to make. In a Year 9 task, students are asked to work out how much paint is needed to re-paint the College entrance gate on the Fairley Street.  

It is our goal at the Mathematics Department to help our students develop a deep appreciation of the wonder of Mathematics in their everyday life and in the wider world. 

Adam Juang 
Curriculum Leader Mathematics

Deputy Principal Students

It has been a positive start to Term 3, with many students involved in a range of College activities and events. Being involved and connected makes for a more enjoyable and hope-filled experience. The benefits of participation and positive relationships at school have a flow on effect into learning and life more generally. I admire the resilience and perseverance of students at the College, particularly as we continue to navigate the uncertainty of COVID-19. The latest edition of SchoolTV, featuring adolescent psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg, explores the toll of COVID-19 on adolescent emotions and development. Whilst the statistics presented about COVID-fatigue and youth mental health in Australia are sobering and confronting, a new understanding of your child’s experience during COVID-19 can be gained. Significantly, the brief video presents some helpful insights about how to support your child if they are struggling:

  • Focus on your child’s health and safety, and wellbeing
  • Focus on what can be controlled – sleep, diet, exercise and socializing with friends
  • See life as it is – encourage your child to reflect on what went well and why
  • Emphasise that we can’t choose what happens, but we can choose our response
  • Encourage your child to reach out for help if needed
  • Parents are encouraged to look after their own wellbeing

Depending on their needs, students who require support can seek help at their GP, external psychologist, College Counsellor or online. The website Moodgym is highly recommended for anxiety and depression – an interactive self-help book which helps learn and practise skills to prevent and manage symptoms.

I encourage Years 8 and 9 students to participate in the upcoming Social Afternoons with Ambrose Treacy College – a healthy way to build positive relationships with others. Parents from both Brigidine and ATC are also encouraged to attend the Consent Education Evenings – to assist you with preparing your child about topics such as respectful relationships, consent and the law, and sexual harassment. With upcoming fun-filled events such as the ‘WonderQuest’ and ‘The Wiz’, there are many things for our community to look forward to this term.

Term 3 Formation Units

Year 7

Students in Year 7 are adolescents, in transition between childhood and adulthood, and their increasing independence brings about new challenges. This unit will provide students with the opportunity to learn about changes that occur during puberty, within a social emotion context, before exploring changing friendships, bullying and effective communication. Guest speakers include nutritionist Alexandra Lindeberg and Brigidine College Adopt-a-Cop Jacquelyn McLeod.

Ben Wilson
Year 7 Formation Program Leader

Year 8

Year 8s will examine some of the elements of PERMAH – the positive psychology framework. They will consider their habits in relation to eating and exercise (H – health) and learn the importance of these in supporting good mental health. Students will learn about the mental health continuum and how circumstances can mean they sit at different points along this at various times in their lives. Strategies for managing anxiety will also be explored (P – positive emotion). An introduction to the topic of consent will be presented – with a focus on building respectful relationships (R – relationships) and understanding what consent ‘in action’ looks like. Students will participate in several activities throughout the term which are designed to boost their wellbeing through active engagement with their peers (E – engagement) – the most significant of these being the 2-day Solas Bhride experience.

Allison Power
Year 8 Formation Program Leader

Year 9

As a child we participate in activities that we enjoy doing and make us happy, without realising we practise Self-Care from a very early age. However, as we get older and other responsibilities start to build, we sometimes lose sight of the importance of Self-Care. This term Year 9 students will reflect on their ability to engage in Self-Care and acknowledge the importance of it as they progress through their lives. Students will experience a variety of strategies including; dance, fitness circuits, rhythm drumming, and mindfulness. These strategies aim to enhance their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

Tamara Porter
Year 9 Formation Program Leader

Year 10

Year 10 students will continue looking to the future when contemplating subject selection for senior years. This includes the preparation and presentation of SET Plan Folios. Additionally, students will commence a new unit “Embrace: Individuality and Acceptance”. The unit explores the ideas of understanding and acceptance of what makes us unique and special, acceptance of differences, and embracing the significant role that each student plays within the Year 10 cohort. This unit will culminate with Year 10 Solas Bhride in Week 1 of Term 4.

Shannon Metzeling
Year 10 Formation Program Leader

Year 11

Term 3 commences a very significant time in the lives of Year 11 students as they embark on the journey to become leaders in the Brigidine community. Throughout Formation lessons students will explore concepts related to not only leadership but their development as young adults who are about to embark on a very exciting and challenging time in their lives. They will be exploring concepts of gratitude, humility, perseverance and determination, and the importance of these qualities in their lives. Students will be supported to reflect upon and develop their own skills in these focus areas.

Dani Sprenger
Year 11 Formation Program Leader

Year 12

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow”.

 Year 12s will be encouraged to look within themselves as they approach their final two terms at Brigidine. This unit is designed to develop key aspects of the students’ understanding of emotions. Students will be equipped with the knowledge and understanding of key themes including Meaning and Purpose, Values and Trust, and Courage and Vulnerability. Some of the topics this term will explore the management emotions and looking after ourselves via self-care and mindfulness, the science of emotions, how to discover meaning and purpose in our lives, as well as how we demonstrate courage, vulnerability, and gratitude.

Lisa Kelly-Crawford
Year 12 Formation Program Leader

Melinda Egan
Deputy Principal Students

Mission News

St Vincent de Paul Group Term 3 – Meeting Update 

Our group had its first meeting for the term on Tuesday last week. We had a guest speaker Claire O’Donoghue who graduated from Brigidine in 2018. Claire is now 3rd year Arts at ACU. She spoke about volunteering opportunities post school. She suggested that joining groups at university in first year was a great way to make new friends and contribute to society. She commented that since leaving school she has really appreciated the strong Mission focus we have and how much it benefits students to realise that giving back to others is an important part of living in a civil society. Students remembered that Claire had been very good at Art when at school and asked if she had been able to continue that at university. As well as describing the visual art subjects she was doing, Claire sent her regards to her former art teacher Ms Strachan who she remembered as being such an inspiring teacher.

Left: Caitlin Fisher, Claire O’Donogue (speaker) and Adeline Brock

We recently received a letter from Vinnies Inala thanking the College for the generous Winter Appeal groceries. The letter was from Monica Tupicoff who spoke to our group last term. She shared in the letter that “the selections were varied and will make up great food parcels for our companions who come to us for assistance.”

Letter received from Inala Vinnies, thanking us for the Winter Appeal donations

At the end of the meeting we went on to plan our Vinnies contribution to the fundraising at Wonderquest. We’re looking forward to it !

Students Zoe, Ella and Isabella