The Gritty Reality of a Transformative Ursuline Education
Recently, I had the opportunity to address the College community on unlocking the ‘why’ things that happen for specific reasons. The philosopher Aristotle helps frame this quandary with the understanding that the world is always in a state of constant motion - always evolving. However, that at the same time, there always remains a constant in everything. Aristotle called this constant entelechy and this is defined as the potential stored within a person, animal, or thing.[i] When applying this to our College context, I explained to the staff and students that change and evolution are part of a constant. A constant that stems from our shared values, Ursuline charism and our deep desire to keep learning and growing. In other words, “our human self must realise our best self in deed and action; to strive until our personality attains, in Aristotle's word, its entelechy; its full development”.[ii]
According to Aristotle, to help our entelechy flourish, we require changing experiences that shape, define and transform our learning. Using the analogy that young women are like ships sailing in the vast ocean of human experiences, many factors influence their journey. Be they the changing winds of friendship, the tides of nature that govern their cycles, or the occasional rocky outcrops that send them in another direction. Being prepared for the journey of life is founded on the understanding that change is the only constant. Therefore, their ability to adapt, remain agile and to change is part of growing up with a mindset that keeps them (and us) resilient to the rocky outcrops that pop up in life. What remains the constant, is the understanding that in order to propel ourselves forward, we must adjust our sail to the changing conditions of contemporary. Angela Merici, our foundress, also reminds us that with chang(ing) times and circumstances, if it becomes necessary to make fresh rules or to alter anything, that we should do so prudently, after taking good advice.[iii]
In an educational context, like the ocean, we are governed by many things that impact on the learning journey. Our current educational context is very different from the context of yesteryear. We now have mandatory hours of study in certain subjects, a brand new ATAR curriculum that will have a ripple-effect from Year 7-12, more accessible pathways of post-school learning, and a complex curriculum that requires educators to now teach about topics such as civics, ethics, financial literacy, entrepreneurialship, safety, sexuality, the cyberworld, relationships and augmented realities in addition to everything else! To ensure that this is presented in ways that are meaningful, and age and stage appropriate, our girls need pastoral care and learning frameworks that are agile and robust to meet these new learning needs.
At the core of what we do at St Ursula’s College is knowing our girls. Knowing our girls means engaging with them in multiple ways. Our new envisaged pastoral care groups and wellbeing program is only one way in which we know our girls.
The new envisaged pastoral and wellbeing programs enable this agility to occur by facilitating:
broader group discussion across Years 7-12, capturing more voices on topics that are pertinent to adolescent girls and women;
the ability to morph from a bigger to a small group discussion to create new levels of intimacy on topics that are age and stage appropriate;
greater opportunity to be inclusive of all Year groups. Our Pastoral Care groups now have all Year groups truly represented, and
greater opportunity for students to build relationships with more than one staff member, thereby enabling broad and interactive foci with multiple adults.
In addition, we have deployed a pilot program of growth coaches for our students. This pilot group of specifically trained teachers, meet individually, face to face with students to:
understand their wellbeing and help them proactively manage their wellbeing needs and goals
guide the student in optimising their opportunities in terms of their academic needs, leadership opportunities, service profile and co-curricular involvement
track the holistic progress of our students and liaise with Heads of Years and Pastoral Care Teachers.
Finding a new way forward in the context of change is about transformation and the process can be, “gritty” as Bunting in his text The Mindful Leader states, it ultimately takes courage and strength.
God of endless love, ever caring, ever strong, always present, always just: You gave your only Son to save us by his cross and Resurrection. Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace,
Breathe wisdom into our prayers, soothe restless hearts with hope,
steady shaken spirits with faith:
Show us the way to justice and wholeness, enlightened by truth and enfolded in your mercy.
Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts, heal your people's wounds
and transform our brokenness.
Grant us courage and wisdom, humility and grace,
so that we may act with justice and find peace in you.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” –Albert Einstein
International Women’s Day was a wonderful way to finish week 6. Our guest speaker Katie Kelly (an ex St Ursula student and Australian paratriathlete) reminded us of appreciating our talents and gifts, the strength diversity can give and the importance of never giving up. There are times in our lives when we encounter obstacles and it feels easier to give up than keep going. Katie reminded us that whilst we may not be able to change the circumstances or obstacles we face we can choose our attitude. We can choose to believe in our potential and find ways to achieve. As we head towards assessment I encourage you to talk with your daughters about ways to move forward when they start to feel it is all getting a bit too much. In the last two eNews I shared some strategies you may wish to revisit:
Creating a schedule where students backward map assessment tasks
Reading – a great way to relax and develop Vocabulary.
Some more strategies to assist your child’s learning are:
Encouraging your daughter to explain to you a topic/concept or idea learnt in class.
Diagrammatically represent new learning/concepts.
If they are preparing for a knowledge test- have your daughter write some questions that you can ask her. Also ensure she writes the answers and shares these with you.
Enjoy sometime outdoors in the beautiful fresh air.
NAPLAN: Term 2 Week 4: 14th May to 17th May – Year 7 and Year 9 NAPLAN tests the sorts of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life, such as reading, writing, spelling, grammar and numeracy. It is important to remember that NAPLAN is not about passing or failing, but about assessing learning progress. At the classroom level it is one of a number of important tools used by teachers to measure student progress. (ACARA)
From Week 8 we will be running afternoon masterclasses twice a week for all Year 7 and Year 9 students who would like the opportunity to sharpen their skills. A letter will go out this week providing the details of the masterclasses, topics and presenters and asking you to register your daughter’s interest. Numbers will be limited. Together we will enable our girls to feel ready to give, to use their talents and gifts to make a difference regardless of the situation. SOME REMINDERS:
If your daughter is having difficulty completing assessments on time, talk to your Head of Year - you may need a variation.
Mobile Phones: These are not to be used during the day whilst at the College. If you need to contact your child please do so by ringing our wonderful office ladies who will get the message to them.
Leaving the College: If your daughter has to leave the College during the day for an appointment please ensure she has a note that can be shown to the office as she signs out. If your daughter needs to be collected unexpectedly please phone the College and we will arrange to have her ready.
HIGHLIGHT FOR THIS WEEK: Madonna King : Thursday 14th March at our College!
Ms Bernadette Witham DEPUTY PRINCIPAL
From the Assistant Principal - Identity & Culture...
Journey towards Easter
We celebrated the beginning of Lent last week with a prayer service held in each Pastoral Care Group for Ash Wednesday. Lent is a special time when we stop and think about how we can play our part in God’s hope for a world that is fair, just and peaceful. Through prayer, fasting and almsgiving we take the focus from ourselves and instead focus on our relationship with God and how serving others draws us closer to God. We also think about giving all of ourselves to be God’s love and mercy in our world as we look to give Lent 100% in all that we do as people of hope.
Father Michael O'Brien certainly opened up this concept in his Parish Newsletter this week (March 10, 2019) challenging us to look deeply at the concepts of GIVING, FASTING and PRAYER this lent. He encourages us to take a broader view of what these concepts mean to us and to be creative and lateral thinking this Lent.
GIVING: Have we considered giving in terms of our time or energy? Visiting those that maybe lonely or isolated, volunteering or helping our neighbours. Have we considered giving forgiveness or giving someone another chance? May we can give joyfulness and hope?
FASTING: Instead of fasting from food or drink, maybe we could fast from nasty words, gossip, self-centred behaviour, avoidance of jobs or issues, bearing a grudge etc.
PRAYER: Often we think of prayer as constructed and formal. Lent is a time to try a different way of connecting with the divine. Sometimes we don’t think we have time in the busy-ness of our day. Maybe this Lent we can find opportunities in the ordinariness of life. When we are waiting in a queue, we could be praying for all those refugees queuing for a new life, or those waiting for food. In the car we could pray for those travelling, those who have lost a loved one in an accident or be prompted by whatever store we happen to stop nearby, such as “Forty Winks”, praying for those who have no bed and sleep in the streets. When gardening we could pray for the care of the Earth, the season and for those suffering in the drought.
I sincerely hope that you find some inspiration in Father Michael’s words to begin your Lenten Journey this year.
I would sincerely like to thank the Project Compassion Ambassadors, Grace Watts, Julia Lynch, Riley Flynn, Georgia Waters, Alice Allport and Lucy Ingold for being part of the Project Compassion Launch event at St Patrick’s Cathedral. These students also organised the Year 12 cohort to run a pancake stall for Shrove Tuesday. Many thanks to all those students who contributed to the success of this. The girls have raised in excess of $400 for Project Compassion.
It was also wonderful to welcome Katie Kelly back to St Ursula’s for International Women’s Day last week. Katie finished as a boarding student in 1992. Katie has an inspirational story which she shared so engagingly with the entire College community. Katie was diagnosed with usher syndrome in 1998 and classified as a para-triathlete in 2015. She went on to win gold at the Rio Olympics. Katie is an amazing individual who has never let her disabilities impact her chasing her passions and dreams. A true inspiration and Serviam woman.
Mrs Debbie Ryan ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL - IDENTITY & CULTURE
From the Acting Assistant Principal - Pastoral Relationships...
Student voice involves students actively participating in their schools and communities and acknowledges that students have unique perspectives on issues that affect them.
Research supports the importance of student voice as a means of improving well-being. When students have a voice, they are five times more likely to experience student engagement in school, five times more likely to experience a sense of purpose in school and three times more likely to experience self-worth. Significantly, they are seven times more likely to be academically motivated.
The Captains’ Council is a forum where school leaders come together to collaborate and network. This has for many years been facilitated by St Ursula’s College and this year’s theme focused on Student Voice with a particular emphasis on clarifying the difference between student voice and student noise. This sparked many robust conversations and some excellent summary statements.
“Student voice filters the student noise to seek appropriate channels to create change”
“Turn student noise into student voice in a respectful way”
“Actions speak louder than words”
“As leaders we need to teach students to turn their noise into a voice by teaching them how to solve a problem as opposed to just seeing the negative”
“The standard you walk past is the standard you are willing to accept”
Every time we accept the status quo of poor behaviour, we are endorsing it. As we lead into National Day of Action Against Bullying on Friday March 15, the St Ursula’s girls are challenged to make their voice heard and make it clear that this behaviour is not accepted both in our school community and the community at large. On Friday they can demonstrate their voice by supporting the activities the House Leaders will be conducting alongside reading the booklet provided by Headspace that each student will receive, engaging in positive and respectful behaviour and showing the ability to be an “upstander” rather than a bystander.
Ms Ann Brownlie ACTING ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL - PASTORAL RELATIONSHIPS
From the Head of Boarding...
American Hot Dogs proved to be the popular choice on the menu for International Women’s Day. A big thank you to the girls and it was wonderful to have helpers in the kitchen. The girls did a wonderful job, making a profit of $350 and raising funds for Aussie Helpers.
A big thank you to Kim and Alec Edwards who drove all night from Quilpie to visit their daughter Catherine and managed to help us at the stall. Nicole Booth from Transition Support who looks after our indigenous students gave us a helping hand in the canteen.
A fantastic weekend for our senior futsal team who made the finals and will play next week.
Chelsea Ferguson who was successful with equestrian, and cattle entrepreneur Lilly Newberry won many prizes for her judging and showing. The next big event will be the Royal Easter Show.
Lilleah Newberry attended the Armidale Show on the weekend.
Achievements at Armidale.
Qualified for the State to enter the Royal Easter Show Parades
1st in Junior Judging
Champion Junior Judge overall
Lilleah’s Heifer came 3rd in British Breeds
Chelsea competed with her horse “Mount Moy Duchess” (Paddock name Dever) at “Cedar Grove Hack Day” on Sunday the 10th March.
Achievements at Cedar Grove:
Reserve Champion led Galloway
Champion Novice Galloway
The girls had the opportunity of going to Glennie Fair on Sunday. Markets, rides and meeting up with their friends from home proved to be a positive and rewarding afternoon. Other activities included shopping and netball.
My name is Mikayla Davey, Boarding Vice Captain for 2019. I come from a property between Stanthorpe and Texas where my family run an Australian White sheep stud. I have a twin brother Angus who attends Toowoomba Grammar and both Angus and I have been boarding since Year 8. Graduation is just around the corner, a lot of hard work ahead to follow my dreams to be a vet. My desire to study veterinary sciences started from an early age, listening and learning from my Dad.
As a student in a Leadership role, one of my top goals in boarding is to bring our community together, promoting the College and being the best role model I can be with the younger students. My goal is to promote our fundraising efforts in our boarding community, to continue supporting our school motto “I Will Serve."
In the past couple of weeks we have seen an increase in girls presenting to the Health Centre with respiratory infections - mostly colds and not influenza. It is obviously not the main flu season, but there has been an increase in confirmed cases of Influenza so far this year, so we have to be alert to this.
Colds and influenza (flu) are both viral respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Both of these illnesses can have similar symptoms and at first it can be difficult to tell the difference.
While neither virus is pleasant to catch, the flu can be much more severe than a cold and lead to potentially life-threatening complications, so it’s important to know what to do when you are sick and how to limit the virus from spreading to others.
In general, the symptoms of influenza are more severe and last longer than those of a cold. The symptoms of flu can include fever (or feeling feverish/having chills), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches and pains, headaches and fatigue (tiredness). Although some adults will also experience vomiting and diarrhoea these symptoms are more common in children.
See the table below for a breakdown of cold and flu symptoms. Keep in mind that symptoms and their severity may vary with age and health status.
Symptoms Flu Cold
Runny nose or nasal congestion Rare Common
Sneezing Rare Common
Sore throat Common Common
Fever Common Temperatures between 38°C and 40°C
Treatment for colds and flu
Antibiotics don’t work against a cold or flu because they target bacteria rather than viruses.
Instead, you can treat yourself at home by:
• getting plenty of rest and sleep (this means staying home from work or school)
• drinking plenty of fluids (particularly water)
• If you have a sore throat, eating soft foods that are easy to swallow.
If you don’t experience any complications, or have high risk factors for complications, treatment of the flu requires no prescription medication. Over-the-counter medication is available to help relieve headaches, muscles aches and fever, and while these won’t cure your illness, they may make you feel more comfortable.
In certain cases, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medicine to reduce the duration and severity of your symptoms. This type of medication is most effective when taken at the onset of an infection.
See your doctor or call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) if you have a cough and high fever (38°C or more) that is not improving, trouble breathing, chest pain, or if you have any other concerns about your symptoms.
Stop the spread
If you have the flu, it’s really important that you take steps to minimise your risk of spreading the virus to others, especially those who are high risk of serious complications from influenza. People at high risk include the elderly, young children, pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people with existing medical conditions such as heart or lung diseases and diabetes.
Follow the steps below to reduce the risk of spreading flu or cold viruses:
cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw it away immediately after use, or cover a cough or sneeze with your elbow
wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after you sneeze, blow your nose or cough
wash your hands before handling food or drinks
stay at home as soon as you notice symptoms of the flu.
Unless otherwise advised by a doctor, home is the best place to be while you have the flu or a cold. By staying at home, you limit contact with other people and reduce transmission of the virus.
You can greatly reduce your risk of contracting the flu by getting a flu vaccination each year.
Find more information about influenza from Queensland Health influenza factsheet.
From the Director of Sport...
The semi-finals for the Futsal summer competition will be held at Downlands College on Wednesday 13 March and Thursday 14 March this week with the finals next week. On Wednesday the Ursie year 7s are in the minor semi-final and the Ursie year 8s are in the major semi-final. On Thursday Ursie 3 and Ursie Girls play in a minor semi-final.
On Wednesday and Thursday this week, a number of students will compete in the South West Futsal titles to be held at Highfields Recreation Centre. We wish them well in this event.
The recent House swimming carnival was held at Milne Bay Aquatic Centre. The following students won their respective age groups:
Under 12 – Lily Schneider
Under 13 – Lilly Wade
Under 14 – Amelia Wade
Under 15 – Hope McKellar
Under 16 - Lucy McGrath
Under 20 - Isabelle Mason
Overall most points: - Isabelle Mason
B events – Speranza and Stella
Spirit - Stella
A events – Fiducia
Congratulations to Isabelle Mason who broke 4 College records on the day. Open 200m Freestyle, 200m IM, Open 100m Butterfly and Under 20 50m Butterfly. Fiducia also broke the Under 16 relay record.
A fantastic day was had by all. Congratulations to all girls that attended and competed on the day. We wish our TSSS Swimming team every success on Thursday at Milne Bay Aquatic Centre.
A number of girls attended Darling Downs trials at Gatton last week with several making it through to represent Darling Downs. Isabelle Mason broke 6 records out of 8 events. A truly wonderful achievement.
A great start by our teams last Tuesday night at Harristown State High School with a number of them having their first victory of the season. The excitement and enthusiasm shown by our teams was evident for all to see. We look forward to watching the teams improve each week.
Congratulations to all girls who have trialled for College teams over the past week. We look forward to working on the skills and fitness to play for the College against other schools throughout the year.
The girls played a strong Fairholme College team last week and face Dalby State High School this Wednesday at Newtown Park. It was evidence of the skill our girls have to push the Fairholme College team but the most pleasing part was to witness the pure enjoyment of all players in playing this great game.
Mr Dan Fox DIRECTOR OF SPORT
IN THIS ISSUE...
The first round of the Queensland Debating Union Competition has just ended and our enthusiastic teams debated with gusto against teams from around the district.
Debating is an excellent verbal ‘sport’ which develops higher order thinking skills and confidence in the public domain. In addition, it is great fun.
Even if your daughter is not debating this year, you might like to try some of the upcoming debating topics during meal times – they should make for some lively discussions!
That schools should offer 'e-sports' as an extra-curricular activity That children should not be allowed to attend protests
That all workers should be required to join a union
That the West should impose economic sanctions on China
We congratulate Phoebe Thompson, one of our Year 12 Visual Arts students, for her selection as one of only 10, 2019 Supanova Odyssey finalists. Later this year she will compete by exhibiting her cosplay character and detailed handmade costume in the finals at the Gold Coast. Phoebe is busy appliquéing and hand embroidering the surface of her costume based on these initial designs. We will keep you posted on her progress.
THE LORAX is the JUNIOR PLAY for 2019
Junior Play auditions began last Thursday (7 MARCH) with much excitement.
Drama Leaders, Georgia, Rachel & Hannah set up a most supportive atmosphere to ensure everyone was comfortable with the process. If your daughter missed this event and would still like to audition for a place in the cast of The Lorax there is still an opportunity to do so. Auditions will continue on Thursday 14 March 3.15pm to 4.30pm.
Remember all students who audition will be in the cast.
More information about the Junior Play for 2019 is available on Firefly (follow the path: Resources, co-curricular, Arts, Junior Play 2019) or send an email to me (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date Claimer – The Junior Play’s production of The Lorax will be performed in the Salo Centre, Thursday 25 July.
The first whole cast rehearsal will be Thursday 21 March 3.15-3.30 on the Salo stage.