A Message from the Head of Senior Years

17 November 2017

What a week it has been for our Year 12 students! Together, they have celebrated the end of their time as a secondary school student through the Senior and House Picnics, the Mother-Daughter Breakfast, the Morning Tea in the Junior Years, the Father-Daughter Bowling, the Formal and the GOGA Mocktails. What a delight is has been to witness, at each event, girls’ thankfulness and recognition of the support they have received from parents, staff and other students over the course of their schooling journey. And so, it was with much excitement but also a bit of sadness, that we said farewell to our Seniors of 2017 on the oval after the “last blast” following the Valedictory Eucharist and Senior Graduation.

We will miss these wonderful girls who have shown outstanding leadership and have been an inspiration to the incoming Senior leaders of 2018.

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Head of Senior Years

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Senior Picnic

17 November 2017

The Hall family opened their home to the Year 12 girls for the Senior picnic. This is a fun and casual gathering for the girls away from the formalities of all the official meetings, events and celebrations of their final week.

Thank you to the Hall family for taking on such a big event.

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Junior Years Carols

17 November 2017

Parents are reminded that the Junior Years Carols services will be held at St Luke’s Church this Sunday evening: Years K to 3 at 4.30pm and Years 4 to 6 at 5.30pm.

For the service for Kindergarten to Year 3, girls in Kindergarten, Prep, G Minor Choir, and the Bible and prayer readers are asked to be St Luke’s Hall by 4:00pm please. At the conclusion of the Kindy/Prep item, children are to be collected by their parents (from where they finish their item) and they sit with parents for the remainder of the service.

For the Service for Years 4 to 6, G Major Choir, String Ensemble, Dancing, Bible or Prayer Readers and the Tableau are to be at St Luke’s Hall by 4:45pm please. All others sit with their parents.

All children are expected to attend, please, in uniform. No hats are required. Other family members are most welcome to join us for these short services. There will be a collection of groceries for the St Luke’s parish larder. These may be left under the Christmas tree. Thank you in anticipation for your donation. If you have a daughter in both year level groups, you may choose which service you attend as a family, unless she has a specific role in one of the services.

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A Message from the Head of Junior Years

10 November 2017

Headlights
At 11am on 11 November 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare. The allied armies had driven the German invaders back, having inflicted heavy defeats upon them over the preceding months.

In November, the Germans called for an armistice (suspension of fighting) in order to secure a peace settlement. They accepted the allied terms of unconditional surrender.

This first modern world conflict had involved over 70 million people and left between nine and thirteen million dead, perhaps as many as one-third of them with no known grave. The allied nations chose this day and time for the commemoration of their war dead.

After the end of the Second World War, the Australian and British governments changed the name to Remembrance Day. Armistice Day was no longer an appropriate title for a day which would commemorate all war dead.

In Australia on the 75th anniversary of the armistice in 1993 Remembrance Day ceremonies again became the focus of national attention. The remains of an unknown Australian soldier, exhumed from a First World War military cemetery in France, were ceremonially entombed in the Australian War Memorial's Hall of Memory.

This ceremony, which touched a chord across the Australian nation, re-established Remembrance Day as a significant day of commemoration to remember those who died or suffered for Australia's cause in all wars and armed conflicts.

Today in the Junior Years, we commemorated this event with a short service in the Assembly Hall focusing on the gallantry of John Simpson Kirkpatrick and I told the girls the story of this soldier and his special donkeys who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his fellow men and his country. One story of so many from the tragedy of war.

We will remember them - Lest we forget.

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

Click here for a few photos of the Junior Years Remembrance Day Ceremony

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A Message from the Head of Senior Years

3 November 2017

This week, Year 12 students eagerly received their end of year arrangements sheet outlining all the special events and activities held during the week of their graduation. The sheet is a timely reminder that, for all students and staff, the time between now and Speech Day is just bursting with study, marking, cross-marking, results checking, report writing, excursions, functions, costume making, singing practices, letter and speech writing, textbook returns, locker clean-outs and multiple rehearsals for everything.

As we enter and navigate this four-week whirlwind, please take the time to look after and support each other. We all handle stress differently, and a little bit of kindness and compassion will go a long way towards supporting effective teaching and learning, connection and engagement, and motivation right up until Speech Day.

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Head of Senior Years

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A Message from the Head of Middle Years

27 October 2017

With examinations, not too far away from completion and school winding down the girls are looking forward to the long holidays ahead. Not all have a job or activities planned, and many students are having to learn to manage their free time. This includes determining how much of it they will spend on their devices and, for all of us, it’s getting increasingly difficult to extricate those devices from our daily lives. Now, I know I have mentioned IT use recently but I find that professionally and personally (as I am the parent of four teenagers) IT misuse causes the most distress to 'tweens' and 'teens'.

Ana Homayoun, author of Social Media Wellness: Helping Tweens and Teens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World, offers some valuable advice.

Instead of punishing our children or monitoring them 24/7, we should focus on healthy socialisation, effective self-regulation and safety - helping them to make positive choices and exercise freedom and responsibility.

HOW TO BUILD GOOD SOCIAL MEDIA HABITS

Check your child’s phone. Children should know you can ask for their phones and expect full access. While some parents take a hands-off approach because they want to respect their children’s privacy, it’s important to make the distinction between privacy and safety. 24-Hour access doesn’t mean 24-hour snooping. It means that a parent is still responsible for monitoring what a minor does online. It’s not just what they put out there; it’s also what they’re receiving. If you find something you don’t like, talk to your child about why you find it inappropriate — and then ask them what they think. Once they verbalise their thoughts, it allows them the opportunity to think things through and come up with their own set of values.

Be app-savvy. If your child is on it, you should be too. At least try it out so you can have informed conversations about it. If your children know that you understand the social media they're using, they’re more likely to come to you to talk about issues that arise.

Help children understand their ‘why’. Inspire children to act out of internal motivation instead of fear by helping them build their own filter. Encourage your children to ask themselves ‘Why am I picking up my phone? Am I bored, am I lonely, am I sad? Am I insecure?’ Or ‘Why am I posting this? Does this make me feel up or down?’ This helps them make decisions that reflect their own values and choices and separate their online experiences from real-life ones. Asking themselves why’ also slows down impulsive online communications, and encourages children to make smarter choices.

Set clear ground rules. Talk to your children about appropriate social media use before you give them a phone or allow them to download a new app. Clearly state rules and expectations, and stick with them as much as possible. This may include not putting anything online that you wouldn’t want your friends’ parents to read (because several of them will); getting permission before downloading a new app; and checking phones into parents at bedtime.

Do a digital detox. Learn to be okay with being offline. Parents can start by modelling that behaviour: no phones at the dinner table, for example, or no checking texts while you’re talking with your child. And while most children won’t admit it to their parents, when parents put restrictions on how much and when children can use technology, it can be a relief.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Head of Middle Years

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A Message from the Head of Junior Years

20 October 2017

When you are travelling with a group of girls for a week, one soon gets to know them well. There are many differences within a cohort of Glennie girls, (and yes, like all students, they have their moments!), but there are some traits that seem to remain year in year out at Glennie. I refer to the way our girls present themselves when out within the community and their ability to be themselves, and yet present in a manner which makes them noticed by others - but in the nicest of ways!

Last week in Sydney and Canberra, we were approached by so many members of the community to say how well the girls behaved; their courtesy towards others, both within their own group and outside of it and also in the way they presented themselves in their uniform- wearing it with pride. Watching them standing with such respect in the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial and laying a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier really brings a lump to your throat, not only because of the solemnity of the occasion, but also due to the way the girls conduct themselves during this ceremony.

No more than we would expect really and yet sadly, we seem to stand out as being an exception to the rule. Both parents and the teachers should share in the credit here. Compliments were given from our first flight to the last. At various attractions, girls were given those extra little privileges just because of the way in which they presented themselves. An example was on a cruise around Lake Burley Griffin, where under guidance from the Captain, the girls ‘took the helm’ of the boat. Not much you might say, but when the driver tells you that there wouldn’t be many schools he would let anywhere near his wheelhouse, you know they are exceptional.

This is only one example and staff always talk about this across the school, after trips away - from day excursions to overseas tours. There is something special about Glennie girls and we need to nurture every little bit of this. It does make you proud to be associated with these girls and work in a place that holds on to what is important - well I think so anyway and I am sure that you do, too!

Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

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A Message from the Head of Senior Years

13 October 2017

Martin Seligman defines optimism as reacting to problems with a sense of confidence and high personal ability (1991). Specifically, optimistic people believe that negative events are temporary, limited in scope and manageable. This week I would like to share another article by parenting expert Michael Grose titled Optimism: 10 essential optimism skills to teach your kids so they can achieve. Grose writes:

Children learn optimism or pessimism from their experiences of success and through their interactions with parents, teachers and other significant adults. Adults can help children and young people become optimistic thinkers with the use of modelling and also by directly teaching and drawing kids’ attention to the skills of optimistic thinking. The following are 10 broad skills you can use to develop a sense of optimism in your kids.

1. Change your self-talk.
Get kids to listen to their self-talk and help them work out alternative messages that they can use if they are self-defeating:

  • Pessimistic talk – “This is really hard and I’ll probably stuff it up”
  • Optimistic talk – “This is pretty challenging but I should do okay”

2. Slow down and think through the options.
Teach kids to slow down and think through situations rather than jumping to conclusions:

  • Pessimistic response – “They ditched me”
  • Optimistic response – “They missed their bus. No one has a watch. They’re held up by someone’s mum.”

3. Positively reframe.
Get kids to notice the good in themselves and others. Then encourage them to find something positive in a bad experience, no matter how small:

“You may have been unsuccessful this time but you know what to do next time” or “It may have been a boring party but you did meet a new friend, which is great.”

4. Look for the lesson.
Teach kids to look for the learning in every situation rather than look for blame. When mistakes are made or situations don’t quite go to plan encourage kids to ask themselves - “What can you learn to avoid or turn this situation around?”

5. Apportion blame fairly.
Teach kids to blame accurately based on facts, rather than emotion. Most things, whether good or bad happen due to a mixture of luck, other people and personal actions. Apportioning blame fairly is about getting the mix right between those three areas.

6. Practise perspective-taking.
Make sure you model upbeat, positive thinking as young children take their cues from their parents, particularly the parent they spend most time around. School-aged children need to be encouraged to keep things in perspective. Challenge your child’s propensity to catastrophise - “Does it really matter?” “You may be right, but is it the end of the world as we know it?”

7. Wind back your language.
Teach kids to turn down the catastrophe switch a few notches. Extreme language leads to extreme thinking. Encourage kids to replace “I’m furious” with “I’m annoyed”, “It’s a disaster” with ‘It’s a pain”, “I hate it” with “I don’t like it”. This sounds minor but by changing kids’ language you change how they think about events and, more importantly, how they feel.

8. Set realistic goals.
Teach kids to set realistic goals and make steps to achieve them. Goal-setting is a potent skill as it involves movement and invokes action rather than stagnation or inaction. E.g. Learning 3 spelling words each day is an effective goal as it is achievable, measurable and specific rather than vague ‘I want to be a better speller’.

9. Use the disaster meter.
Help kids get some perspective by encouraging them to give their worry a score out of ten, on how important the issue really is. Establish with children benchmarks for each number from 1 to 10 on a disaster meter. Draw on children’s past experiences. For instance, a score of 1 out of 10 may be losing your sock. A score of 10 out of 10 may be linked to when ‘grandma died’. Use the benchmarks as a reality check when children overreact to negative or bad events.

10. Count your blessings daily.
Encourage kids to look for the good things that happen to them. One way to change the default mechanism from pessimistic to optimistic is to encourage kids to look for and count their blessings on a daily basis. Encourage them to think hard – good things will be there – they just have to look. This activity trains their default thinking mechanism to look for positives rather than always being on the lookout for the negative or worst aspects of any event.

Tonia Gloudemans
Head of Senior Years

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A Message from the Head of Middle Years

6 October 2017

Over the holiday break my family and I spent time at a destination with no Wifi or phone service. For me, it was pure heaven, but my four teenagers found it a little challenging after a time. This made me think about the time we all spend in front of screens and how we can achieve balance in our lives. The article (below) by Caroline Knorr from Common Sense Media relating media time to a healthy diet, ensuring all types of media are 'consumed' in moderation, really resonated with me. Although it talks about parents setting the boundaries for their children, it made me think that the first step is to set the example. We as adults need to ensure that we follow the rules we set and not be exempt from them. We too need a healthy media diet.

SERVING A HEALTHY FAMILY MEDIA DIET

Many parents struggle with exactly how much screen time is okay for their children. Is a half-hour TV show okay but a full-length movie bad? How much gaming should you allow when your children also use their computer for homework? Does Wikipedia count as reading? And when does a passion for, say, video games become problematic?

The truth is, there is no magic formula. And just as every family differs in what they eat, when they eat and what they like, a healthy media diet is different for every family. The key is making sure that the things that are important to your family are fairly balanced over the long term.

A healthy media diet balances activities (games, social media, TV), time (fifteen minutes? three hours?) and choices (YouTube, Minecraft, “Star Wars”) with offline activities (sports, face-to-face conversations, hobbies).

  1. Find balance. Instead of counting daily screen-time minutes, aim for balance throughout the week. Help your children plan a week that includes stuff they have to do and stuff they like to do, such as schoolwork, activities, chores, reading, family time and TV or gaming. Decide on limits and behaviour using a Family Media Agreement.
  2. Walk the walk. Put your own devices away while driving, at mealtimes and during important conversations. Children learn habits from the adults around them.
  3. Talk about it. Ask questions about their favourite games, shows and characters. Discuss ideas and issues they read about or learn about through a TV show or a game. This is an opportunity for bonding, learning and sharing your values.
  4. Create tech-free zones. Set rules that fit your family, such as no devices during dinner, no social media during homework or all screens off before bedtime. Some families have a central spot for charging and all devices must remain there after bedtime.
  5. Check ratings. Choose age-appropriate, high-quality media and technology for your children.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Head of Middle Years

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A Message from the Head of Senior Years

14 September 2017

As we move towards the end of term, I would like to share some snippets from an article by parenting expert Michael Grose titled True GRIT helps kids succeed. In the article, Grose argues developing character is just as important to a child’s future success as building academic skills. Grose writes:

“Talent or persistence. Which would you choose for your child?

I often ask this question at my parenting seminars and the responses are fascinating. Parents naturally want both. Sorry, but that’s not an option.

When pushed, most parents choose talent over persistence which, in many ways, reflects the current thinking around achievement. Intelligence, sporting prowess and ability, in whatever it is we value, will only get a child or young person so far. Talent is purely potential. They need more than this to achieve sustained excellence in anything they do.

Character matters

Many recent studies (most notably the work of US-based Angela Duckworth) have found that character, not cognitive ability, is the single most reliable determinant of how a person’s life will turn out. These traits include the inclination to persist at a boring task (grit); the ability to delay gratification (self-control); and the tendency to follow through with a plan (conscientiousness), which are invaluable traits at school, in the workplace and in life in general.

Character is forged under difficulty

The key character traits of grit, self-control and conscientiousness are forged under hardship and duress. This makes our current propensity to over protect and over-indulge kids problematic. When kids continually experience easy success we set them up for failure, because when they finally face up to difficult situations, many lack the capacity to push through the tough times.

Encouraging kids to step out of their comfort zones and take learning and social risks is one of the great challenges for modern parents. It’s critical that we challenge children and young people to attempt activities where failure is a significant option. Overcoming setbacks and pushing through difficulties is how character is formed.

Character is malleable

It’s important to establish in your own mind as a parent, and also in your children’s minds, that character traits such as grit, self-control and conscientiousness can be developed. To this end it’s important that parents steer clear of using absolute language to label behaviour and express views that traits and abilities are fixed. Comments such as ‘You’re no good at math’ become a rule that young people learn to live by, and become default thinking that’s hard to budge.

Make grit part of a family’s brand

Parents can actively promote grit and persistence in kids by making character part of their family’s brand. They can focus on character in conversations. They can share experiences where character paid off for them in their lives. They can discuss how character contributes to excellence and success in everyday life including at work, at school and in the sporting field.

Build proprietary language around character

Parents should reflect on the language and terms they already use and build key phrases and terms around the following key character strengths: grit, self-control, conscientiousness, enthusiasm, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism, and curiosity.

Character becomes the default mechanism

…In the long run conscientiousness serves a young person well when it’s their default because when the stakes are high and they really need to work hard, they will automatically make the right choice. In fact, it will be the only option they see when excellence really matters.”

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Head of Senior Years

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A Message from the Head of Junior Years

8 September 2017

Headlights
This week in the Junior Years we saw the culmination of our annual Bookweek celebrations with a wonderful parade of colourful characters from the children’s favourite books, a carefully crafted dramatisation entwining characters and stories from this year’s shortlisted books, and last week, an evening of bedtime storytelling with Mrs Cohen, Mrs Suhr and Mrs Miegel.

These events assist us to focus on the importance of books and reading and the enjoyment that can be gained from these stories. I still remember vividly my own childhood and having bedtime stories read to me and how I looked forward to this most evenings. My father also used to make up stories which were told with such descriptive language that I can still recall some with fondness over fifty years later.

The Scholastic (2015). ‘Kids & Family Reading Report: 5th Edition.’ New York: NY looked at reading at home. It also has tips for us in the classroom, too.

According to the report, ‘more than half of children aged 0-5 (54%) are read aloud to at home five to seven days a week. This declines to only one in three children ages 6-8 (34%) and one in six children ages 9–11 (17%). When it comes to being read aloud to at home … [83 per cent of children across the age groups] say they love/d or like/d it a lot.’

The report found that over 90% of parents started reading to their children before the age of six. Of those, 80% said they did it because they wanted their child to enjoy books.

Twenty-three per cent of parents said they stopped reading books aloud to their children before the age of nine, the reasons being: ‘My child was old enough to read on his/her own’ (75%); ‘My child wanted to read independently’ (58%); and ‘I wanted to promote independent reading’ (49%).

According to discussions with most children, they don’t want their parents to stop reading to them altogether, even if they are independent readers. This, they see as a special time just to be with mum or dad (78%). Most also said that reading together is fun and that they can read books that perhaps are too difficult to read alone. Nearly 35% also said they loved to hear different voices and also talk about the story being read.

So, even though you may feel exhausted at night the more you read with them, the more they will read alone and the better readers they will become over time, which will have a positive impact on their overall success in school.

Some interesting reading statistics on four different children:

  • Jane reads for 1 minute a day- that’s 180 minutes per school year and 8000 words approximately.
  • Caitlin reads for 5 minutes a day - that’s 900 minutes per school year and 282 000 words approximately.
  • Sue reads for 10 minutes a day - that’s 1800 minutes per school year and 564 000 words approximately
  • Simone reads for 20 minutes a day- that’s 3600 minutes per school year and 1 800 000 words approximately.

If this starts in Kindergarten and goes on to Year Six:

  • Jane will have read for  the equivalent of 3 school days
  • Caitlin will have read for the equivalent of 12 School days
  • Sue will have read for the equivalent of 24 school days
  • Simone will have read for the equivalent of 60 school days- two extra months!!

Source: William Nagy and Patricia Herman 1987 University of Illinois  ‘Why read 20 minutes at home?’

Happy reading! It’s worth it!!

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

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A Message from Mrs Suhr

1 September 2017

Flashback:

In 1992 Glennie was undergoing a major refurbishment program and old demountable buildings were placed on the backs of trucks and taken across Herries Street to their new home, where hitherto there had been three houses. The plan was to re-establish the Prep School without it costing the earth.  We were promised that if it became successful, the school would one day be re-built.

In that first year, we were in the spotlight daily.  After all, we had to put Glennie Prep (as it was then called) on the Toowoomba map!  We did not miss an opportunity to showcase what we were doing.  We had two teachers, no office, no administration staff and twenty-six children.

2017

From these humble beginnings, grew what is now The Glennie Junior Years.  We have fantastic buildings and resources.  We had for many years said that it does not matter what the buildings look like, it is what goes on inside them that matters.

Now we have both!

Mrs Brenda Suhr
Deputy Head of Junior Years

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A Message from the Head of Senior Years

25 August 2017

As we know, ‘growth mindset’ is the name given by psychologist Carol Dweck to the idea that intelligence can develop and that effort leads to success. Those with a growth mindset have a huge appetite for learning, are keenly attentive to information that can help develop their understanding and skill, and are not discouraged by failure. Indeed, those people don’t actually see themselves as failing – they see themselves as learning. Although the term growth mindset is generally attributed to individuals, schools can also be described as having a ‘fixed’ or a ‘growth’ mindset. A school that believes external factors such as students’ backgrounds, available resources or current levels of achievement limit what’s possible in terms of student or curriculum outcomes will find it difficult to grow and improve. On the other hand, a school that believes no matter how well (or poorly) the organisation is performing it can always improve its practices and thereby raise student outcomes, is a school with a growth mindset.

Schools with growth mindsets demonstrate a culture of continuous improvement. There is a shared commitment to an improvement agenda, a willingness to learn with and from each other, and an enthusiasm for new initiatives, new approaches and experience learning. Schools with growth mindsets encourage innovation and appropriate risk taking, reward employees for important and useful lessons learned, share information with each other, support collaboration across all department areas, are committed to the professional growth of every staff member, regularly seek feedback on operations and performance, and admit when they have got it wrong.

The Glennie School is in a period of change. We have a new Principal, a new strategic direction (soon to be released), a new Senior curriculum to plan for and implement, and a new focus on developing in students the 21st-century skills needed to succeed in a complex, competitive, technology-driven economy and society. With all these changes, it would be easy to fall into insecurity or defensiveness and do what we have always done. Instead, our staff are feeling involved, empowered and committed. Without question, adopting and maintaining a growth mindset is hard work. But the rewards are invaluable in terms of connection, purpose, direction and improvement – not just for the school, but for all key stakeholders, including staff, students

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Head of Senior Years

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A Message from the Head of Junior Years

18 August 2017

Headlights
I often get asked the question, “so what is the Andrews Cup competition?”

Today, I offer a little history about this amazing competition which will move into its 80th anniversary in 2018 with some special events in the planning stage.

In 1938, Miss Jessie Andrews (1910-2008) and her older sister Isabel, (1898-1981) both teachers at Somerville House, approached the Principal at the school with the idea of commencing a sporting competition for primary aged girls and wished to donate a trophy ‘The Andrews Cup.’ The Principal, Miss Jarrett agreed, (probably very reluctantly at the time!) and an invitation was sent to sister school Clayfield College, to commence some competitive events in swimming, athletics, ballgames, tennis, lifesaving and basketball for the girls at these two schools in the primary years - up to Year 8 at the time.

These amazing teachers were well ahead of their time. Whilst there had been many competitions for boys and a few secondary girls competitions in ‘selected sports’, girls primary sport was not considered a priority, and certainly not necessary, with traditional ‘girls’ activities’ considered to be far more important!

And so ‘The Queensland Girls Primary Independent Schools Andrews Cup Association’ was born! How things have changed over the last 79 years! Today- Glennie, Fairholme, TACAPS, Somerville House, Moreton Bay College, Clayfield College, St Aidan’s, St Margaret’s, Ipswich Girls Grammar School and St Hilda’s - ten schools that all share very similar philosophies on sports competitions, are involved in Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics as core sports, along with the elective sports of Netball, Touch Football, Artistic Gymnastics, Softball, Basketball, and Tennis.

Girls from Years 2 to 6 are involved in core sports and Years 4 to 6 in elective sports across the four terms. With most tracks and pools limited to ten lanes, no more schools are able to join, unless a school resigns from the group.

The Association has worked hard in recent years to become a leading sporting group utilising facilities for the girls such as the Queensland Athletics Centre, Nathan and the Chandler Aquatic Centre (both have been Commonwealth Games venues), providing the competitors with an amazing experience against probably the best primary sportswomen in Queensland. A part time Executive Officer is employed to assist school sportspersons with the organisation of these events.

Glennie is continuing to make great gains and achieve successes across a broader range of sports and our coaches are to be congratulated on their commitment to the girls, and our girls are to be congratulated for their commitment to their sport.

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

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A Message from Mrs Matherson

11 August 2017

As we in the Middle Years plan our program to prepare the girls in the best way possible for the new Senior Curriculum, we have been discussing new skills that we need to develop in the girls and, therefore, the skills that teachers need in order to do this. It is an exciting time for us to review our program, identifying what we do well and where we can improve. One of our focus areas will be to develop independent, adaptive learners - girls who are actively involved in their learning and take ownership of it. After all, it is their future, and the skills they develop at school will be something they carry with them and rely upon in years to come.

At Glennie, the partnership between the School and parents to support the girls to be 'all they can be' and develop the skills for the future, is essential. Below is an extract from Great Minds and How to Grow Them, by Wendy Berliner & Deborah Eyre. I hope you find it interesting.

BRINGING OUT THE INNER GENIUS

What support do children need from teachers and parents to develop the cognitive skills, values, attitudes and attributes needed for lifetime ­success? Here are some ideas to help your child become a high performer.

THINK RIGHT

  • If children get stuck at something, don’t sort it out. Ask “How could you do this?” “Have you done anything similar before?” “What did you do then?” This helps them develop their own learning ideas and makes them much less likely to say they can’t do things.
  • Build big picture thinking. Ask “What would happen if … it never got dark/the rivers ran dry/ everyone ignored the law?” A key characteristic of students labelled as gifted is their ability to see how learning connects to the wider world. 
  • Build imagination. Ask “How would you weigh a giraffe/rhinoceros/bridge/house/star?” Creativity builds learning capability and is vital for high performance.
  • Develop critical or logical thinking. Ask ‘Why do you think … bread goes mouldy if you don’t freeze it/babies cry/ leaves fall when autumn comes?” The ability to deduct, hypothesise, reason and seek evidence is probably the characteristic most ­associated with academic success.
  • Help them monitor their own ­progress. Ask: “What do you need to be able to do this? How can you check you’re on track? How can you tell whether you are doing it right?” This is the key to maximising thinking skills.

BEHAVE RIGHT

  • Intellectual confidence. This is a “can do” approach to learning, even when it’s hard. If a child says they are no good at something, say: “I know you can learn how to do this if you work at it.”
  • Open-mindedness. Being open to new ideas is the hallmark of an advanced learner. Start with being open-minded yourself, so you model what it’s like to be receptive to ideas that differ from your own. 
  • Curiosity. Children ask lots of questions if you answer them. The desire to know more – curiosity – is at the heart of all learning. The more curious children are, the better they do at school and in life.
  • Practice. It’s the only way to get good at something. Make sure it is regular, deliberate and planned, working towards achievable incremental goals. Practice what you can’t do well.
  • Perseverance. To keep going when it’s tough is the most important behaviour in high performance. With younger children you can talk about what would happen if no one persevered – the farmer who didn’t bother to harvest his crops, the builder to finish the house, the ­surgeon to complete the operation. With older ones, encourage a sense of pride in what they do so that they are motivated to persevere.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Head of Middle Years

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A Message from the Head of Senior Years

4 August 2017

With only 15 – 18 months until QCAA officially implements the new senior curriculum (recently re-named the new Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) System), schools and teachers are busily making decisions about subjects and timing, as well as immersing themselves in the detail of the new senior syllabuses. I have attached a new document for parents from the QCAA outlining popular questions and answers for families with students beginning Year 10 in 2018.

While this document outlines some general changes, it is important to note that at Glennie:

  • Staff have already been involved in professional development to learn about the new quality assurance processes and to familiarise themselves with the new General syllabuses
  • Heads of Departments have begun to plan for changes associated with more defined syllabuses, quality assurance processes for school-based assessment, and the introduction of external assessment
  • Senior leadership staff have already facilitated a number of professional conversations with teachers about the underpinning construct and design features of the General syllabuses as well as the new QCE system

When the last of the QCAA decisions are made about how the new system will operate in schools, we will hold an information evening for Year 9 parents and students. We had hoped this detail would be available by now; however, it looks as though it will be released by QCAA in October. As such, this evening will be held early in Term 4. In the meantime, please take the time to read the new QCAA flier for parents and be assured that extensive planning has been underway all year to ensure The Glennie School develops a curriculum model of the Senior Years that will be the envy of all schools in the region.

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Head of Senior Years

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Documents:

A Message from the Head of Junior Years

28 July 2017

“I just love reading books” was a comment that I heard the other day from one of our Year 2 girls. She is not alone - it’s a regular comment. A visit to our library, particularly during a cold lunchtime, will see a number of girls on iPads and tablets, and others curled up on lounges and the floor engrossed in the books, sharing them with their friends or reading alone.

Sometimes, we question the relevance of ‘real’ books in these days of ebooks and the availability of literature through technology with online sources, yet in the Junior Years, it is clear to see that our girls love nothing more than delving into the pages of a book to experience the excitement and fantasy that these books provide. In Semester 1 alone, 16,872 books have been borrowed by Junior Years girls for their work and recreation.

We might think that children are more likely to read if it is on a device such as an iPad or Kindle, but research by Professor Margaret Merga, Lecturer and Researcher in Adolescent Literacy, Health Promotion and Education from Murdoch University in a study on 997 children from Year 4 and Year 6, shows that this is not necessarily the case. Those who had regular access to devices with eReading capability (such as Kindles, iPads and mobile phones) did not tend to use their devices for reading - and this was the case even when they were daily book readers (2016 Western Australian Study in Children's Book Reading). Research also found that the more devices to which a child had access, the less they read in general. Encouragement and role modelling by adults with reading is therefore crucial to their later success as readers.

“The popularity of physical books is borne out by Aust­ralian market figures, with Nielsen BookScan reporting children’s book sales rose 18 per cent between 2012 and 2016, while the Association of American Publishers reports e-books sales fell 14 per cent in 2015.” (Leanne Edmistone, Courier-Mail June 22 2017)

Unfortunately, many primary schools have chosen to reallocate their teacher resources away from having a fully qualified Teacher Librarian to work with their children and staff. In fact, there are less than a third of Toowoomba’s primary schools  (approximately 40 primary schools in the local area) who have a Teacher librarian. We know the value that Mrs Miegel, as a fully qualified Teacher Librarian, adds to the children’s lives through her love and passion for literature and the sharing of this with our girls at this critical stage in their reading development.  

Here are some tips for encouraging your child to read. These are all supported by research as being successful. These include:

  • As adults, be seen to enjoy reading. 
  • Create reading-friendly spaces. Loud noises, poor lighting and numerous distractions will not help provide an enjoyable reading experience, and are likely to lead to frustration.
  • Encourage regular silent reading of books. 
  • Adults should talk about books or articles in magazines, sharing ideas and recommendations.
  • Continue to encourage your child to read for pleasure. Children tend to become disengaged with books over time. For some, this can be due to withdrawal of encouragement once children can read on their own. This may lead to them thinking that reading is no longer important once they have the basic skills. Yet reading remains important for both children and adults to build and retain literacy skills throughout their life.
  • Find out what your child enjoys reading, and support their access to books, both at school and at home. 
  • Join the Toowoomba Regional Library as a family.
  • Limit screen time, and model reading as an enjoyable pastime for all members of the family

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

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A Message from the Head of Middle Years

21 July 2017

It has been wonderful to celebrate the academic achievements of our girls in Middle and Senior Years this week, and it is the time of the academic year to reflect on the goals we set for Semester 1 and adjust these or consider new ones for Semester 2. As parents, we hope to support our daughters in achieving their goals whether they be academic, in the performing arts, on the sporting field or in some other pursuit and it can be difficult to ensure our girls are keeping balance in their lives while setting attainable yet challenging goals.

Michael Grose, who writes the supplement Parenting Ideas, that we add to eNews periodically, penned his thoughts about how parents react to academic reports. I thought his comments are fitting as the girls consider (and hopefully celebrate) their successes in Semester 1 and set new challenges for Semester 2.

'Expectations are tricky. If they are too high, then kids can be turned off learning. Too low and there is nothing to strive for. Pitch your expectations in line with a child’s abilities. Remember there are slow bloomers, late developers and steady-as- you-go kids in every classroom, so avoid comparing your child to siblings, your friends’ children and even yourself when you were young. Instead, look for individual progress. No matter how good or bad your child's report may be, they can wipe the slate clean and make a brand new start next year. And it's amazing the difference a holiday can make.'

Mrs Jo Matherson
Head of Middle Years

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A Message from the Head of Senior Years

14 July 2017

With Queensland’s system of senior assessment set to change, a great deal of work has been done by teachers to ensure The School is ready for 2018 and beyond. Central to the changes include:

  • new processes to strengthen the quality and comparability of school-based assessment
  • an external assessment introduced in most subjects
  • a move away from the Overall Position (OP) rank to an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)

Although we have most of the information we need to make decisions about how we will implement the changes at Glennie, it is important for parents to note that some of the fine print has yet to be released. What does this mean for parents of students who are currently in Year 9? In terms of making decisions about elective subjects for 2018:

  • We may not have enough syllabus information to outline the detail of those subjects on offer
  • We may not have all the answers to questions about student acceleration in the Senior Years
  • We may not know how special arrangements will work for individual students seeking a unique study program 

All parents are invited to read the attached QCAA information sheet outlining a comparison of the current and new systems. We will also have a Year 9 Parent Information Evening later in the term outlining the changes as they will affect students at Glennie. Note: this evening is not the one next week! A date will be determined in the next few weeks.

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Head of Senior Years

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A Message from the Head of Junior Years

15 June 2017

I am not sure where this term has gone! It has certainly been very busy, with all sub-schools involved in a myriad of activities across the departments of the school. The girls have, on the whole, been very involved and have given of their best in the classrooms and out of them. I congratulate them all on their work and effort. I know that our boarders, in particular, are looking forward to spending some time at home and in their communities.

I would also like to thank the staff, both teaching and non-teaching members, who have worked so hard to provide the best opportunities and care for your children.

On behalf of Mrs Cohen, I wish you all a very relaxing and enjoyable winter break with your sons and daughters. Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you all back for the start of Term 3.

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

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A Message from the Head of Middle Years

9 June 2017

As the semester comes to a close, it is time to reflect on the things we have achieved and where we could have improved. This week in Middle Years Assembly, I spoke to the girls about how those who work hard are usually contented and satisfied with the way they have lived their life because they know they have done their best. Educating a child is a team effort but ultimately, it is their future, and they must take responsibility for their own learning. Teachers and parents are there to provide the support they need to embark on their learning journey. The article (linked here), Ten Ways for Parents to Help Teachers Help Their Children Learn, provides some good advice to enhance the partnership between parents and teachers to support a child's learning.

Ten Ways for Parents to Help Teachers Help Their Children Learn

  1. Create a smooth take off each day. Get organised the night before. Give your children a hug before they leave the house, and you head to work. Tell them how proud you are of them. Your children's self-confidence and sense of security will help them do well both in school and in life. A positive, happy start is the best foundation for the day at school.
  2. Prepare for a happy reunion at the end of the day. Create predictable rituals such as 10–20 minutes listening to your children talk about their day over an after-school snack—before you check phone messages, read the mail, or begin dinner. This is truly quality time when your children know your attention is focused on them, and they can count on you every day after school.
  3. Fill your child's lunchbox with healthy snacks and lunches. Have dinner as a family, preferably round the table, at a reasonable hour. In the morning provide a healthy breakfast with whole grains, protein and fruit. A well-balanced diet maximises your children's learning potential and helps them stay alert throughout the school day.
  4. Include peaceful times in your children's afternoons and evenings. Maintain a schedule of regular bedtimes, device free at least half an hour prior to bed time, that allows them to go to school rested. Children need plenty of sleep for healthy physical and mental development and success at school.
  5. Remember it's your children's homework, not yours. Create a homework space that's clutter-free and quiet. Encourage editing and double-checking work, but allow your children to make mistakes, as it's the way teachers can gauge if they understand the material. It's also how children learn responsibility for the quality of their work.
  6. Fill your children's lives with a love for learning by showing them your own curiosity, respecting their questions, and encouraging their efforts.
  7. Fill your home with books to read, books simply to look at, and books that provide answers to life's many questions. Public libraries are an excellent resource and can become a habit from a very early age.
  8. Be a partner with your child's teacher. When you need to speak to the teacher in reference to a specific issue with your child, do it privately, not in front of your child. Never criticise your child's teacher in front of your child. Keep adult disagreements among the adults concerned.
  9. Set up a system where routine items are easily located—such as backpacks, shoes, signed notices. Create a central calendar for upcoming events to make sure everyone is prepared.
  10. Become involved in school activities. This could be helping with a sports team, joining the P & F or helping out at an event. Teachers appreciate the practical support of parents  - and children whose parents are involved do better at school.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Head of Middle Years

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A Message from the Head of Senior Years

2 June 2017

What sort of feedback should students receive on assignment drafts? This is an important question because often there is misunderstanding about the purpose of formative feedback. According to the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority, when teachers provide feedback on drafts, they indicate aspects of the responses that need to be improved or developed in order to meet the objectives and standards. This may include advice to re-sequence ideas, better explain a point raised or amend spelling, punctuation and grammar. Thus, feedback is a developmental process. It is not a re-working of students’ responses, nor is it a summary of all the issues the responses have failed to address.

To put it bluntly, teacher feedback is not a road map to an “A” result. On the contrary, feedback is teaching. It is about developing in students the ability to judge the quality of their own work and to regulate what they are doing while they are doing it. In essence, it is strengthening students’ capacity to self-regulate their own performance. While there is no question that teachers want students to do well, our goal in providing feedback on student performance and how it can be improved is to develop independence in learning.

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Head of Senior Years

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A Message from the Head of Middle Years

19 May 2017


After such a long dry spell, it was a guarantee that it would rain on the day scheduled for the Junior Years Athletics Carnival. The girls and staff have adjusted quickly to a school day today, and the rain is welcome. In a short term such as this, there are many events compressed into the middle of the term, and the girls are busy with assignments and the seniors are beginning their examination preparation. The Science Experience Day today was an amazing opportunity for girls to engage with scientists from USQ exploring what scientific research is all about and investigate careers in STEM. The timing of this is crucial so that they can make informed decisions about their senior study pathways.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Head of Middle Years

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A Message from the Deputy Head of Senior Years

12 May 2017

Winter is certainly on its way at Glennie. The temperature is dropping, the girls are in winter uniform, and the Term 2 exam block is rapidly approaching. Two ways Glennie girls can be organised this term is to ensure they have all components of the winter uniform, and if need be, hems have been let down to ensure skirts are the right length. Visit the GOSS if you need to replace anything.

Another important way girls can be organised is by ensuring they have looked ahead to their assessment and examination schedule and have developed a study plan that will let them meet their co-curricular commitments, be well prepared for assessment, and also have time to relax. Girls can approach their tutor or classroom teachers if they need assistance in organising their time effectively. We look forward to seeing our warmly dressed and well-prepared girls do their best as we enter the last half of the term!

Miss Alison Bedford
Deputy Head of Senior Years (acting)

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A Message from the Head of Junior Years

5 May 2017

With the Middle and Senior Years Musical behind us, our attention now turns to the Toowoomba Eisteddfod which started this week and continues into next week.

Our choirs, speech and drama students and pianists across the school have been preparing over the last few months for their performances’ and we are all looking forward to their presentations in the coming days.

Girls and staff, good luck with your performances and thank you for your commitment to the Arts and all that these activities add to the culture of our school.

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

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