Thank you for what has been a tremendous year at St Ursula’s College. The end of 2018 was heralded by the distinguished exit of our Year 12s as they completed their final year of schooling which culminated in ‘last events’ that characterised their grand hurrah. These girls impressed me with their welcoming nature, keen sense of humour and ability to ‘get on with the job’. We wish them well as they begin the next phase of their journey.
However, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the recent Year 7-11 celebration of learning held at the majestic Empire Theatre. This event, in my mind, demonstrates what can be achieved when students strive for excellence in a range of domains. It was so pleasing to see so many girls achieving success and paying tribute to others.
As this is the final newsletter for the year, I wish to recognise our former Principal, Mrs Ann Marie Pawsey, and thank her for her service and dedication to the College. I especially acknowledge the seminal work undertaken and her vision of building Global Connections so that our girls are forevermore able to gain opportunities to travel abroad and meet their sister Ursulines in Europe, Asia and America- Thank you Mrs Pawsey!
To help parents and guardians have a better understanding of what lies ahead for 2019, I thought that I would provide a summary of some of our projected new undertakings.
Ignite Gifted and Talented Scholars Program - Open invitation to Apply
Ignite Gifted and Talented Scholars are students from Years 7-9 who are invited to gain a place in the unique Gifted and Talented Program at St Ursula’s College. This program targets the development of an individual sustained project of interest that is complex, student-derived and challenging.
Ignite projects are cross-curricular in nature and encourage high-levels of independence, creativity, critical thinking in literacy and/or numeracy and resilience in learning. Students, as part of this program, are fast-tracked in skills that support self-directed learning, including accelerated skills in research, referencing, essay writing, data analysis and design development.
Ignite students are also invited to participate in external gifted and talented group competitions and additional enrichment opportunities.
Access to this program is by a selection process which includes:
* data informed academic achievement
* student developed application
* parent reflection
* teacher recommendation
Additional information about the Ignite Gifted and Talented Program will be released in Week 3 of Term 1, 2019.
Applications open Week 4 of Term 1, 2019.
St Ursula’s College Academic Scholarships
Having achieved Board approval, the College now offers Academic Scholarships to either enrolled or prospective students. It is envisaged that with continued financial patronage, we will be able to offer other generous scholarships at the College. Please note that further information about scholarships will be made available in 2019 to prospective and current students enrolled at the College.
Further to this, as part of this new scholarship program, we have also introduced The Principal’s Mentorship Program, which is a unique new program designed to provide sustained individual coaching and mentorship for Academic Scholarship recipients to develop skills in:
* goal setting mentorship
* growth coaching
* resilience in learning
* academic and wellbeing alignment
* faith and spiritual formation
* aspirational leadership formation
Embedded in rich research on how girls learn best, this individualised program is specifically designed to enhance the self-efficacy of young women as leaders in a contemporary changing world (Archard, 2013). Constructed to provide ongoing support and feedback to enhance individual development, the Principal’s Mentorship Program is founded on the premise that collaborative and sustained effort can ensure accountability and personal growth (Goldsmith & Morgan, 2004). The program forms part of a two-year cyclical program comprising of regular individual meetings with the Principal for growth coaching and mentorship sessions.
Parents/guardians are also invited to be part of their child’s progress over the two-year cycle and therefore, become part of the Parents as Partners in Learning initiative that will commence in 2019.
Archard, Nicole. Female leadership framework: Developing adolescent girls as future women leaders through the formation of a female leadership identity [online]. Leading and Managing, Vol. 19, No. 1, Autumn/Winter 2013: 51-71. Availability:<https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=569463423607984;res=IELHSS> ISSN: 1329-4539.
Goldsmith, M., & Morgan, H. (2004). Leadership is a Contact Sport: The 'Follow up Factor' in Management Development. Retrieved July 2011, from http://www.marshallgoldsmithlibrary.com/docs/articles/LeaderContactSport.pdf
Elite Athlete Program
We are very fortunate at St Ursula’s College to have many talented elite athletes. To ensure that these athletes are recognised for their achievements, and supported through our academic and pastoral care, we have developed a program to support rising talent and achievement.
As part of this, girls from any year group who represent at a state, or national level, are eligible to apply. The program is focused on the following areas:
* Goal setting program
* Developing individual assessment plan to support their pattern of assessments especially during training or representative competitions
* Nutrition program
* Strength and conditioning program
* Sport psychologist to support mental health and wellbeing
* Media training
This amazing program is also facilitated by a skilled educator who was a former elite athlete.
More information about the program will be available in 2019.
Aspire Leadership Program
At St Ursula’s College, we recognise that girls of all year groups need to be exposed to greater opportunities to experience leadership. As a result of this, we are currently re-invigorating our leadership program to ensure that a greater proportion of our girls have opportunity to lead in different ways.
Part of this program will involve direct instruction on leadership building skills, goals development, emotional intelligence and resilience training that will be provided to all our students. In addition, new roles and groups will be formed that will invite girls from Year 7 onwards to lead by example. These will be badged positions with portfolios and added responsibilities at the College. We believe that leadership skills development is necessary for all our girls. It is important that girls, especially those who aspire to be leaders beyond school in roles such as CEOs, Chairs of Boards, financial leaders, politicians, leaders in their own organisations and businesses have the skills that they need to best position them for an ever-changing world.
Girls will be informed of the new leadership opportunities in 2019.
Blended Learning- Aviation Project Year 7 and 8
As part of our drive to offer further challenging, innovative learning that establishes high-expectations, critical thinking and collaboration, we have developed a program focusing on aviation. Due to our proximity to Wellcamp Airport and eagerly awaiting the Qantas Pilot School Program in Toowoomba, we will focus our blended learning study on a comprehensive study of aviation. Supported by USQ as a partner in our learning, we have committed ourselves to learning about how girls can inform the future of aviation. The work developed here will be collaborative in nature and the girls will design, create and re-conceptualise all aspects of the Aviation Industry.
Blended Learning- Young Entrepreneurs Year 9 and 10
In the spirit of innovation, challenge and critical and creative thinking, we will launch our Young Entrepreneurs Program to students in Years 9 and 10. This blended learning program will target skills that girls need to develop a small business. It is critical in the contemporary age, that girls have the financial know-how, literacy skills and ability to test their designs and ideas. It is also important for them to have the know-how to get a business off the ground and secure their own finances. We have been supported by a number of community groups including USQ and the Foundation for Young Australians and the Commonwealth Back to drive this new initiative.
Parents as Partners in Learning
We welcome the opportunity to invite our parents and friends of the College to help us in the learning process. As part of the Young Entrepreneur Program, we are looking for parents who own their own businesses, or perhaps hold positions in companies to help teach our girls about the ‘joys and drama’ of building a business and working with employees. We ask if you can spare 30-45 minutes of your time to offer a one-off ‘masterclass’ where students can learn from your experiences. We would be so grateful.
We are also seeking parents who would like to act as a panel of judges to help us identify our rising entrepreneurs. If you would like to assist in any way, please contact Mrs Maria Gibson at the college on firstname.lastname@example.org
I am delighted to invite our parents to help support our many projects at the College. We are currently inviting sponsorship from families to help promote our College Calendar and Year Book. If your family would like to help, you can sponsor part of the Calendar or Year Book from as little as $25 to $1,000.
Any help here is mutually beneficial as we can support your sponsorship through advertising your business. Please contact Mrs Mary-Lou Coorey– email@example.com to see how you can help us.
Bequests, Financial donations and Awards to the College
Recently, we were blessed to have received a most generous bequest from a past Ursuline student, who had sadly passed away. This bequest money (as promised) has been reserved to support a 2019-2020 scholarship and a perpetual award that will recognise academic achievement. I thank the family of our past student and acknowledge the legacy of this generous gift.
How can my family sponsor an Award, Trophy or Shield?
Families do not have to be rich or well-off to sponsor an award, trophy or shield. Perhaps, your family has had a long association with the College or you would just like to thank the College in a tangible way. Then why not consider sponsoring an award, trophy or shield to encourage future generations of Ursuline students.
For example, you may like to donate a trophy or a shield that is given out at final year assembly to recognise any aspect of education at St Ursula’s College. It may include your family name or your child’s name. Some examples may include:
* The Jones Family Award given to a Year 7-8 student who has overcome adversity to improve their academic results
* The Mendez Family Shield which recognises the best result in Year 10 English.
* The Miller Trophy for consistent effort and improvement in the areas of Music.
* The Smith Family Shield awarded to a Year 9 student for conscientious improvement in NAPLAN
* The Sarah Dulhunty Trophy for Excellence in Year 9 Science.
* The Everest Family Shield given to a boarder who has shown leadership in Boarding and academic consistency.
If any family would like to make a financial donation, bequest or support an award, please do not hesitate to contact Mary-Lou Coorey on firstname.lastname@example.org
I thank all those staff who have served our College and especially those retiring from our profession. I sincerely thank Jenny Sardoni, Linda Hutton, Narelle Wiseman, Wendy Collins, Katrina Sharpe, Peter Klein, Cathryn Zarnke and Shayne Hayes.
I also say thank you to Mrs Kay Gleeson for service to the College as Deputy Principal. I wish her well in her new leadership role.
Finally, as Christians begin the Advent journey, let us all take the time to pray that we will take the gifts of the infant Jesus into our lives as we prepare for Christmas:
God of hope, who brought love into this world, be the love that dwells between us. God of hope, who brought peace into this world, be the peace that dwells between us. God of hope, who brought joy into this world, be the joy that dwells between us. God of hope, the rock we stand upon, be the centre, the focus of our lives always, and particularly this Advent time. (http://www.faithandworship.com/prayers_Advent.htm)
I wish each of you a happy and holy Christmas. May God keep you in his care, until we meet again next year. In the meantime, be kind to each other and enjoy the spirit of Christmas.
Mrs Tanya Appleby PRINCIPAL
Thanking staff for a great year.
Looking forward to 2019- Love from the P and F!
IN THIS ISSUE...
From the Deputy Principal...
Thank you all for a wonderful 2018, it has been wonderful to work with you and your daughters throughout the year. I wish you all a wonderful and holy Christmas and a safe holiday.
Term 4 Reporting
All students in Years 7-11 will receive a full academic report, these will be available via the Community Portal by close of business on Friday 14th December 2018. An email will be sent to all parents to advise once all reports have been successfully uploaded. Please contact email@example.com if you have forgotten your password or are having trouble logging in. Boarding and music students will also be able to access their semester reports via the parent portal as well. Please discuss this report with your daughter over the break to set some goals for 2019.
Holidays and Laptops
Our College IT team have been working hard to provide the girls and staff with seamless upgrades to the software on their Mac devices. This has meant that upgrades to College policies, operating system, software and other rollouts will occur automatically, and as required, when your daughter logs into the school network or remotely.
The change to these processes will mean that all students are able to retain their laptop over the Christmas holiday period. This will assist with any students that are engaged in the VET programs, Enhanced or Headstart University programs or any of the other external programs the students are involved in.
A couple of tips to ensure the girls have a happy holiday and the device is ready for 2019:
Ensure the laptop is charged and never goes fully flat. If the laptops are not being used they will last a considerable time but a good rule of thumb is to put them on charge once a week for an hour.
The College has been able to secure the services of the local Apple repair agent – eStorm Service Centre. They are located at 11/12 Prescott Street, Toowoomba City. They are able to offer a free Apple Care check for all St Ursula’s College Student Laptops. The check includes battery operation and capacity, loose hinges, screen operation etc. If the eStorm find any issue with the check they are able to repair at no cost to the student/parent.
Encourage your daughter to back up all 2018 work on a hard drive and delete all non-school business e.g. music, videos, photos etc. in preparation for 2019.
Remind your daughters that the College internet filtering and supervision software will still be in use, therefore the College will be able to monitor all computer use as per usual.
A reminder that the College Mac Program’s insurance coverage does not cover overseas travel. We thank you for your support of this initiative and I would like to thank the IT Team for all their efforts in 2018.
Finally as I write to you for the last time I would like to thank you all for your warmth, compassion, care and honesty during my time at St Ursula’s College. Education requires all of us to play a vital role in ensuring that each student is able to know in their hearts that they are able to reach their true potential and I thank you for allowing me to share that journey. I conclude with a prayer that I offered the girls in my scriptural reflection at our final Mass 2018:
I pray for these girls as they move into advent, Christmas 2019, and beyond. That they realise that each of them has the courage of Mary, of Joseph, of Jesus, of the Shepherds of Ursula and of Angela.
That each of them realise they have the ability to be people of hope, joy and love, by ensuring they leave no one behind. By looking beyond the clothes, the job, the house. By knowing the name and the story of each person they meet and by welcoming them into their hearts and their life.
I pray that they will continue to be gifted with this courage even when things are tough and the presence of God seems distant or inexistent. That each of them continue to seek and search to find their something to;
risk new things
So that as serviam people they can bring the surprise of faith, hope, love and peace to our community and our world.
I ask this through Christ our Lord
Amen. Until we meet again God Bless.
Ms Kay Gleeson DEPUTY PRINCIPAL
From the Assistant Principal - Identity & Culture...
Advent is a significant period of the Church’s liturgical year; in fact it begins the new liturgical year. The four weeks before Christmas, are set aside for preparation of heart and spirit for the celebration of Christmas.
In today’s world, at a time when it is easy to be drawn in to increasing commercialisation and the hectic pace of life, it is important that we take time for reflection and personal preparation for Christmas, when we celebrate Incarnation, the coming of Jesus as a human child, God immersed in the human experience.
This year as a College community we have embraced the theme – Seekers and Searchers. As we enter into this time of waiting, we are also challenged to think about the ways we live our faith and reflect on the year that has been. This Advent I challenge you to think about what new challenge or practice you may take up and see how this can enrich your life over the Advent period, and looking to 2019. Advent gives us the opportunity to take new things into the new year that will enrich our own spirituality and the way we interact in the world. Here are a couple of ideas that you may like to try;
Read some scripture each day and contemplate how this could help you in your daily routines
Walk every day to appreciate God’s gift of creation
Spend quiet time in a park or the garden and try some deep listening
Have a definite time for prayer;
Family evening once a week – games/interaction, no TV;
Write a journal;
Volunteer for some charitable group.
As we journey through Advent travel the well-lit path, guided by the stars….
As we walk the well-lit path to the manger in Bethlehem, we walk under night skies resplendent with stars, tiny lights in a canopy of blessings. Stars that remind us of our place in God’s unfolding universe, stars which give us direction, starlight which has shone on women and men for aeons past, stars which share our DNA. May we be in this world a ray of that light which shone forth from Bethlehem bringing joy and peace to the hearts of all men and women. (Pope Francis)
May the Star of Devotion glisten in your work and in the care you offer others. May the Star of Peace be a ray of steadfast calmness and tranquillity within you. – Out of the Ordinary, Joyce Rupp, p14
I have included the following poem to share at home with your loved ones.
Memory of the Great Birthing,
the Holy One emerging
from the womb of Mary,
coming with a heart
to embrace the one and many
with the fullness of acceptance.
More than a memory.
embrace the one and the many
with the same wide love.
Open what is closed,
widen what is narrow,
make love large where it is small.
Keep birthing Christ into the world.
Let this wide love
emerge from the womb
of your Christmas-self.
Joyce Rupp - Prayer Seeds
Mrs Debbie Ryan ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL - IDENTITY & CULTURE
From the Assistant Principal - Pastoral Relationships...
Pastoral Care Re-Designed
We are coming into a time of exciting possibilities. Sometimes change is daunting but it can also be rejuvenating. In 2019, we are going to re-design our Pastoral Care structure to better cater for the needs of each of our girls, to cater for smaller year groups and to align our programs with and complement the College Wellbeing Framework.
Our Pastoral groups are quite small at the moment and in order to build a stronger community and give girls opportunity to interact with more students, we are going to combine groups within the House structure. So for those students who are the only one in their year level in the group, they will now have a companion or two. Staff will have a PC partner which will support the new program and help out when they attend professional development, are on excursions or leave.
Another reason for the re-design is that we have staff who are moving to part- time roles, retiring and others who have gained new roles in the College or elsewhere.
This will be the beginning of a whole new way in Pastoral Care, and I am confident that the girls will be provided with even better care.
There has been a process of consultation with the girls:
I spoke to all the students in an open forum where students were able to ask questions. Mrs Appleby and Mrs Gleeson were also present to answer questions
Mrs Appleby and I met with individual Pastoral Care groups
We communicated with specific PC groups impacted most by the redesign
We have been open to communications with students at all times
Parents of any student who was immediately affected by this change received a a telephone call.
What other exciting things are happening in 2019?
ASPIRE Leadership Program for Years 7 – 11 where students will be given more opportunities for leadership right from Year 7
The introduction of a Transition Teacher to support mid-year arrivals of students.
Exciting times – great possibilities!
If you have any questions or queries then please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Girls were permitted to take home their laptops over the Christmas break. You may be aware that your daughter’s laptop has a filtering system caller Cyberhound. What this does is pick up the following:
inappropriate website searching.
A report is then sent to the Principal so she is aware of what the student is doing on her laptop. It is important to note that the student may be in a chat room, on messenger, on social media and it may not be her who is using bad language etc but we get the notification as it is coming from her laptop.
Please remind your daughter of these things.
Thank you to the P&F for sponsoring SchoolTV for another year in the College. It is such a valuable resource for parents and staff.
Rob Leishman from SchoolTV made this point in his latest email: James Toomey, CEO of Mission Australia, stated that this year’s 2018 Report found that of the 28,000 young people surveyed, mental health was listed as their number one concern. This is the first time in 17 years of reporting that each state and territory named mental health as the top issue in Australia. In a recent radio interview, he also emphasised the importance of educating parents to help them identify the issues that concern today’s youth.
If SchoolTV can help even just one parent identify an issue early enough, it will allow them to get their child the help they need. We think that makes our mission worth it.
We really hope you do too and support us in spreading the word about SchoolTV.
So look out for the emails for the SchoolTV articles in 2019.
Have a wonderful family Christmas and I look forward to working with all families next year.
Ms Jennifer Langton ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL - PASTORAL RELATIONSHIPS
From the Head of Boarding...
As we approach the Christmas break after an incredibly long and busy term, I would like to thank staff, students, and parents for their continued support in everything we do.
I would like to recognise the efforts of our students in raising $1000 for charities such as “Aussie Helpers”. We are so proud of the girls for their commitment and service to others in need.
On a sad note, we say goodbye to Mrs Kay Gleeson, Deputy Principal, who is leaving to take up a position at another independent school in Brisbane. The Boarding Community would like to wish Mr and Mrs Gleeson and Bella (the puppy) a wonderful future.
On Tuesday 29 January, 2019 at 3pm, our Year 12 girls will welcome parents and students for afternoon tea. The new students will spend their first night in Brescia followed by a scrumptious breakfast before orientation at the College at 8am on Wednesday 30 January, 2019.
An Invitation is extended to all Parents and Staff to attend afternoon tea in Brescia at 3pm on Wednesday the 30th January, 2019.
Please keep checking the new College website as updates are uploaded over the Christmas period. I should also remind parents that any special leave must be approved by the Principal at least two weeks prior to departure.
I hope you all enjoy a peaceful Christmas and a very happy New Year and look forward to seeing all our students return refreshed and ready for a new school term on Wednesday 30January, 2019 at 3pm
Mrs Jan Pearman HEAD OF BOARDING
Bernaid Mughenyi from St Jude’s School in Tanzania sent a thank you note to the College for their generous donation. The letter read……..
Thank you a lot for the gifts you sent to me. I really like them and I will take care of them. I wished to see you again but in bad luck I was not there with you the day you came.
I wish you all the best for all the time with you will be spending at the college and also doing all the activities in a good way. May your family and relatives be blessed and to you be granted what you all need and wish. I love you all! May God Bless you.
Love and happiness from Bernaid Mughenyi Tanzania
During the year the girls raise awareness and support St Jude’s with their fundraising and generosity, meeting every two weeks. Suzannah Deshon, our Boarding Vice-Captain 2018, was always positive and enthusiastic about St Judes’s, starting her journey with the group from Year 8.
College Office - Holiday hours
The College Office will close at 11:30am on Friday 14th December, 2018. The office will reopen on Monday 7th January, 2019 at 9am.
2019 Term Dates
College Retail Shop - Holiday hours
The College Retail Shop will be OPEN until 4pm on Friday 7th December, 2018. The Retail Shop will be closed over the Christmas holiday period and will REOPEN on the 7th January, 2019.
The holiday opening hours will be 10am to 5pm (Monday to Friday). The Retail Shop will also open on Saturday 12th January & Saturday 19th January, 2019 (9am to 1pm).
Regular opening hours will commence from Thursday 31st January, 2019 (Monday to Thursday, 11am to 5pm & Friday, 11am to 4pm).
In February 2019 the Darling Downs Secondary Principals’ Association is fortunate to be able to bring educator Marie Crabbe to Toowoomba to work with staff and also to present to parents on the topic: ‘It’s time we talked’. Specifically, Marie will be discussing pornography and its effects on adolescents. She is a noted presenter world-wide and her research work uncovers the way in which the easy access that many young people have to pornography is having significant repercussions, repercussions that are felt deeply by families, adolescents and schools but not necessarily understood or discussed. We acknowledge that values and beliefs vary across our parent populations. This presentation does not advocate a position, it simply seeks to address and discuss issues that are real, trending and demand the attention of schools and their communities – including, and importantly: parents of adolescents.
When we consider the following statistics:
We are in collective evasion mode if we believe that pornography is an issue that affects the minority of adolescents, only. We are naïve if we believe its pervasive effect will diminish if we avoid discussing it, or pretend it doesn’t exist, or if we don’t begin to converse about it more broadly as a community, and set in a context of how we believe respectful physical relationships should occur.
Marie is an experienced and highly engaging presenter, and somehow she manages to address a difficult, controversial and contentious topic in an interesting but intelligently executed manner. Whilst the topic is confronting, she manages to provide honesty, context and room for reflection. This is an exceptional opportunity for our community – for parents and educators to take the time to understand a cultural landscape that may be very different from their own experience.
Please save the date and commit to broadening your own understanding of the world of many adolescents, a world that includes your own: directly or indirectly.
Presentation Date: Thursday, 21 February 2019 Time: 6.30 – 8.00pm Venue: Centenary Heights State High School Assembly Hall, Ruthven Street Toowoomba Contact: Your school office for further details
Darling Downs Secondary Principals’ Association