Welcome to the 2022 school year at Brigidine College!
As the College welcomes all staff and students on site from Monday 7 February, it is particularly poignant that the focus for our community, is one of Compassion.
As our community continues to unpack the Kildare Ministries Living Justice, Living Peace Charter, I invite all to engage in the opportunities to touch something deep within us, to ‘walk with the most vulnerable’ as well as provide care and compassion to all.
In exploring the understandings of what compassion might be for us and our community, we will be WALKING with and having EMPATHY for all!
We gather in this Year of Compassion and ponder the beautiful logo created by staff member, Michelle Sharkey. The two feet of justice illustrate how we might engage in living justice. The left foot identifies the long term, systemic causes of injustice and the right foot explores short term, charitable works that we might engage in.
At the heart of our action however we set our compass settings to a heart to be disposed towards compassion. The Catholic Social Teaching, Dignity of the Human person, is based on the scripture, “made in the image and likeness of God.” The likeness of God: Individual/personal relationships and or the likeness of God: Community engagement, links to the Trinity… Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Celtic symbol for Trinity) “The Trinity offers us this precise gift—a grounded connection with God, self, others, and the world. This ancient doctrine dared to affirm that God is relationship itself.
The way of Jesus therefore is an invitation to a way of living, loving, and relating—on earth as it is in God. In Corinthians Paul writes that through Christ we can access a different way of knowing, not in the words taught to us by human wisdom but in words taught by the spirit.’
Throughout his life on earth, Jesus’ spirit was of profound humility. He washed the disciples’ feet, ‘not to be served, but to serve’. Jesus is the embodiment of God deeply in love with us, embodied with gentleness and humility.
Compassion means to ‘suffer with’ – and this is even more demanding that empathy where we might genuinely feel terrible for the person suffering. Compassion is to walk right into the space of suffering with the humility and vulnerability of servant hood and act upon it, without knowing how much it will hurt us to do it, or how long it will last.
The feast of St Brigid, our patron saint is celebrated on the 1 February each year. According to the Ancient Celtic calendar in Ireland, this is the first day of spring and heralds in the beginning of new life and warmer weather after the long cold winter. It is apt therefore that Brigid’s feast day occurs at the beginning of the new school year.
Brigid’s spirit lives in our beginning. It is reassuring that characteristics of the St Brigid we know from the ancient stories are part of the everyday at Brigidine College. The warm welcomes, the laughter, the cheerfulness remind us of the beautiful, intelligent, quick and lively St Brigid whose kind heart and generosity were legendary.
As the College began the school year on the 31 January, I would particularly like to thank everyone involved in preparing, connecting and learning online. While there have been challenges, these have been met and managed extremely well. Congratulations to the Year 7 students, new students, new staff and all parents and families for your care and support to engage so effectively online. For those students, staff and families suffering Covid or as ‘close contacts’, please look after yourselves and we hope to see you soon.
With a warm welcome to students and staff next Monday, we hope that the traditional enthusiastic and energetic engagement in classrooms and school grounds will be enjoyed by everyone. Our senior students and ‘Big sisters’ will be there to welcome everyone with ‘joy and gratitude.’
Spirit of God,
Help us know that our human wisdom and good intentions are useless to the suffering.
Give us the insight and humility of Jesus, the wisdom of the Spirit, the gentleness of God and the capacity of our bodies and hearts to have compassion.
“What does it mean to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly (Micah 6:8)?”
News from our Deputy Principal Mission
and Fr Pan
YEAR OF COMPASSION: WALKING with and having EMPATHY for all!
The Catholic Social Teaching, Dignity of the Human person, is based on the scripture, “made in the image and likeness of God.” Perhaps in 2022, let us spend some more time in the area of what it means to be in the “likeness of God”.
“And God created people in God’s image, male and female, in the likeness of God, God made them. God blessed them and called their name Adam (Hebrew for Earth Child), on the day when they were created.” (Gen 1:27)
If we believe that the likeness of God is not only about the person of Jesus and his compassionate action in the world, but also that our God is Trinitarian, that is Father, Son and Holy spirit, then in essence community must be at the forefront of our year of compassionate engagement.
(Celtic symbol for Trinity)
“The Trinity offers us this precise gift—a grounded connection with God, self, others, and the world. This ancient doctrine dared to affirm that God is relationship itself. The way of Jesus therefore is an invitation to a way of living, loving, and relating—on earth as it is in God. We are intrinsically like the Trinity, living in absolute relatedness. While we may not always recognize it, we are all together in a web of mutual interdependence. When we recognize it on a spiritual level, we call it love.
In my book, The Divine Dance, I identified the notion that for God to be good, God can be one. For God to be loving, God has to be two, because love is always a relationship. But for God to share “excellent joy” and “delight” God has to be three, because supreme happiness is when two persons share their common delight in a third something—together.  All we need to do is witness a couple after the birth of their new baby, and we know this is true.” Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation (Whitaker House: 2016), 39–40.
Welcome to our Year of Compassion: Walking with and having empathy for all in 2022!
Andrew Beiers and Fr Pan
Deputy Principal – Mission
News from our Deputy Principal – Curriculum
I would like to welcome all students and parents to the College for the 2022 school year. Despite starting in an online environment, I would like to congratulate all our students, teachers, and support staff, for the way that they have managed our Learn at Home program.
Everyone is excited return to our College campus next week and meet their teachers and class mates face-to-face.
The start of the school year is an ideal time for students to set goals for themselves and put plans into place to assist them to be successful in their learning outcomes. I would encourage you to discuss with your daughter about the requirements of each of her subjects and assist her to organise and plan her time well. She should use her student planner and a term planner to record all her assessment items, draft dates, due dates and exam dates. All assessment information and due dates will also be available through SEQTA. Staff are in the process of finalising these.
All parents should now be able to access SEQTA Engage. This will give you access to information about your daughter’s classes, assessment, results, daily notices etc. If you have forgotten your login details, please email email@example.com. This site is very similar to SEQTA Learn. The students are familiar with this and will be able to assist you to navigate all the different areas. Overviews and outlines of weekly work, notices, homework, resources, timetables, excursion information, reports, assessment results and feedback, are just a few of the many items that can be viewed on SEQTA Engage.
Next week we look forward to presenting and congratulating many students with Academic Merit and Improvement Awards from their Semester 2, 2022 results. Students have been notified today if they are receiving an award. Due to COVID-19 restriction, only award recipients will be in Kildare Hall. The event will be streamed to the wider school community and other students in homerooms.
Deputy Principal – Curriculum
News from our Deputy Principal – Students
Catholic Social Teachings in the English Curriculum
Congratulations to all Brigidine students, particularly those new to Brigidine for the positive manner in which they engaged in online learning during this week. It was great to see everyone approaching a challenging situation with such flexibility and positivity.
At Brigidine, our commitment to student wellbeing and supporting young people to develop the skills required to thrive in the modern world has never been greater. There is an undeniable link between student wellbeing and achievement and with this in mind our pastoral care Formation Framework, and supporting programs, provide students with the knowledge, support, and resources required to develop greater self-awareness, encourage positive relationships, embrace a growth mindset, and express their voice.
Our age-appropriate learning experiences provide opportunities for students to build resilience, confidence, compassion, and create an environment where students can excel in their learning. Active participation in these initiatives challenge students to extend their understanding of themselves, their capabilities, their perspectives and encourage them to take responsibility for their actions, manage their emotions, maintain a healthy body and mind, develop concern for others, and maintain a sense of meaning and purpose.
In the current social climate, it has never been more important to provide students with the tools to build their resilience and train their hearts and minds. The combined efforts of staff, parents, and students themselves are required to ensure we meet the needs of our Brigidine students as we provide an optimal environment for academic success and support students to develop into people of impact with confident hearts and compassionate souls.
Please take this opportunity to read the information below regarding the Formation program for your daughter’s Year level.
Acting Deputy Principal – Students
Year 7 students begin their Formation subject at Brigidine College with a Unit called ‘Successful Learners’. In this Unit, students will get a clear understanding of the important link between learning and wellbeing that underpins all our Formation Programs. Students will understand types of learners and investigate how they learn best in different situations.
Students will also develop a basic understanding of how the brain works as a tool for their learning and the concept of neuroplasticity. Year 7 students will be given the opportunity to learn about the two types of mindsets and how a growth mindset is linked to performance. They will complete the unit by taking part in mind/body balance activities and learn how to write effective SMART goals for both their learning and their wellbeing.
Mr Ben Wilson (Foley House Pastoral Leader/Year 7 Formation Program Leader)
Term 1, Yr 8 Formation, explores 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. The students will also engage in a presentation by Eyes Open Social Media on how to engage safely with social media and other online platforms as well as how to avoid potential dangers of online interactions.
We will be drawing on some lessons from the curriculum (PEEC) produced by the Institute of Positive Education. These lessons will support and enhance the topics explored throughout the Yr 8 Formation Program.
Dr Karen Schofield (DePorres House Pastoral Leader/Year 8 Formation Program Leader)
Term 1, Year 9 Formation explores the theme of resilience through a range of skill building, self-reflection and practical activities. We will identify different ways to be resilient and persevere through physical, mental, social and spiritual challenges. Students will engage with a range of exercises, prepare for Solas Bhride camp in Term 2, and hear from a guest speaker for National Day Against Bullying.
Year 9 students will have the opportunity to extend their learning from Formation into the new Middle School Leadership program, including workshops offered by Brigidine staff and external guest speakers from ‘UP’. The Year 9 Formation program is developed to support student growth as leaders of the Middle School.
Ms Chelsea Thomas (Acting Damien House Pastoral Leader/Year 9 Formation Program Leader)
Term 1 is an exciting term for out Year 10 students. Their transition into the senior school has been marked with their Senior Tie Ceremony and beginning their role as Big Sisters to our Year 7 students. The Year 10 Formation program will begin with a ‘Discover’ unit, exploring a variety of topics relating to their identity as a Senior School student. Student will develop their social and emotional problem-solving skill and look at fostering positive relationships with themselves and others. Year 10’s will also explore ways to streamline their academic goals with self-care. Through hearing from a variety of health professionals, students will discover ways to look after and empower themselves.
Ms Jordan Whitney (Acting Chanel House Pastoral Leader/Year 10 Formation Program Leader)
Year 11 and Year 12
Term 1 in Senior Formation, in 2022, has been revamped to cater to student need and the changing world. It is designed to develop key aspects of the students’ understanding of themselves, their bodies, now and into the future. Senior students will be equipped with knowledge and skills that they can use in a range of contexts as they develop into adulthood. They will be able to reflect on what it means for them to be a senior student at Brigidine College, as well as delving into emotional intelligence, recognising the importance emotions play in our lives. Students are given the opportunity to discover their own strengths and areas of development when exploring their own emotional intelligence. Students will develop an understanding of the signs of and how to approach healthy and unhealthy relationships, gaining strategies in how to help others. They will explore the role of sexuality, identity, gender, and consent, developing their understanding of their own bodies and choices. Senior Formation gives students the opportunity to explore these important issues through discussion both in the classroom and during whole cohort activities such as guest speakers.
Ms Lisa Kelly-Crawford (Mackillop House Pastoral Leader/Year 11 Formation Program Leader)
Ms Clare Nelson (Acting Delany House Pastoral Leader/Year 12 Formation Program Leader)
Would your daughter like to learn to play, or improve their Chess?
Chess Mates run a weekly class at Brigidine on Wednesday afternoons from 3-4:30pm. For more information, have a look at their flyer or visit their website.