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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A Message from the Head of Senior Years

20 April 2017

It was wonderful that we were able to present some 15 and 20-year long service awards at our staff meeting this week. We are very fortunate to have so many knowledgeable and experienced professionals at Glennie.

In terms of teaching staff, schools (like universities and governments), have a particular responsibility to nurture and support those new to the profession. The future of education in Australia depends on providing time and space for our best and brightest young practitioners to become proficient and experienced. It takes between five and eight years to become a great teacher. Five to eight years of mentoring, pedagogical development, kindness and understanding. It is a responsibility that we take very seriously here at Glennie. All beginning teachers work as part of a team. Decisions about assessment, marking, moderation, methodology, sequencing, timing and support are all made collectively.

As we appoint new teachers to replace those on leave this year, please trust that our teaching teams are working towards achieving the best for each and every Glennie girl. Different teaching styles of new and experienced teachers – be they direct, student centred or a hybrid of both – are all valued at Glennie. Variety develops in students the skills of critical thinking, metacognition, collaboration, responsibility and adaptability – skills that will assist them to live and work successfully in the 21st century.

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Head of Senior Years

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A Message from the Head of Junior Years

29 March 2017

When we reflect back over the term, and Mrs Cohen’s first, there have been so many events and activities in which the girls (and our Kindy boys!) have been involved.

The term has been a very busy, yet productive one, with our new students settling into the culture, ways and routines of this special place and achieving well across so many different areas. The staff and girls here last year have assisted, too, in making the transition for everyone very smooth indeed. Thank you!

It is time now for a recharge for all over this ‘HolyDay’ break - an opportunity to relax, reflect and rejuvenate before the new term begins.

Mrs Cohen and all of the staff join me in wishing families a Happy and Holy Easter break together. Stay safe and we look forward to your return!

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

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Headlights

24 March 2017

Years 7 to 9 enjoyed the camp experience this week and Year 10 left for their adventure today. Camps offer more than a list of activities to participate in, and the girls learn much about their strengths and how well they manage when taken out of their comfort zone. They learn that it's okay to make mistakes, just give everything a go anyway. When old girls come back to Glennie, it is often camps about which they reminisce. Your daughter may come back excited about her time away, or maybe she did not enjoy the activities much. Either way, remind her that the important thing is what she learned along the way about herself and others. Those are the life-long skills and memories that will stay with her.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Head of Middle Years

Here are a few photos from the Year 8 camp, more to follow next week.

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A Message from the Deputy Head of Senior Years

17 March 2017

As we head into the final two weeks of term, the attention of girls – and staff – is turning to end of term assessment. For Senior Years girls the first exam block of the year is an important moment to set the right pattern to help them get the best results they can. Think of the cricketer who wants to finish the season with a great batting average – good scores in the first few innings are a huge part of the foundation in achieving this goal. The moral of the story?  Hit the ground running, girls!  Now is your chance to show your teachers what you can do and make a start on earning those great results that you dream about getting at the end of the semester – or the year in the case of Year 12s. Good luck in your exams girls!

Mr John Farmer
Deputy Head of Senior Years

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A Message from Mr Warren

10 March 2017

This morning, whilst walking in the courtyard, I was reminded by one of the Year 1 girls; “only two more sleeps until the Glennie Fair, Mr Warren. Are you excited?”

I think we all get very excited by the Glennie Fair, as our Glennie School community comes together for a wonderful day of both ‘Friendraising and Fundraising’- two things for which our Parents and Friends’ Association and our many helpers are so renowned. Thank you, one and all!

We look forward to seeing you all on Sunday - excited, like our Year 1s and enjoying this very special day in the life of our school.

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

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A Message from the Head of Middle Years

3 March 2017

It was lovely to have the opportunity to chat with most of the Year 7 girls individually this week, although the circumstances could have been better. It was immunisation day, and while some of the girls found this easy, others found it more challenging. Something easy is not necessarily memorable, and the girls who found this difficult really had to dig deep and find strength in themselves to see the task through. It was hard work for some, and in the end, they learned that they could push through and complete a task that they originally thought they couldn't. They learned something about themselves and next time this new-found inner strength will serve them well.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Head of Middle Years

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A Message from the Principal

24 February 2017

This week the Chronicle published an article in which they listed the number of OPs 1-5 achieved by schools in the Toowoomba Region. The report was unusual in that it listed total numbers of OPs achieved in this category as opposed to the percentage of OP eligible students who obtained these scores. The article also implies that schools that achieve these scores are of a better standard than those with a greater spread of OPs. I was disappointed that while we are listed as having 15 students who achieved scores in the range of 1 to 5, the article did not mention that this number represents 24% of our OP eligible students. I am personally more interested to know the percentage (not number) of students who were offered their first or second preference of tertiary course. When this information becomes available, I will share it with you.

Interestingly in 2016 across Queensland only 50.9% of students used the OP pathway to gain access to tertiary study. Our approach has been to take a personalised approach to provide expert individual guidance and support to every Glennie girl in order for them to achieve their chosen destination.Every student who finished Year 12 in 2016 did so with a pathway into a career; be that a university entrance through the OP or ranking pathway, a Certificate II or III, a diploma, traineeship or apprenticeship.  

At this point I would like to reiterate what we hold dear at The Glennie school; that is inspiring our girls to Be All they can be, to learn through engagement and taking challenges, to learn how to be critical thinkers, to learn myriad skills such as analysing, evaluation and creative thinking, all of which can be transferred to numerous contexts.  

A great example of a student who has risen to a challenge and achieved reward, as a result, is Bella Joseland (Yr 12). I would like to share with you the story she wrote which won her a prestigious Heywire award and the opportunity to attend the annual Heywire Regional Youth Summit in Canberra. Heywire is a competition where people aged 16 to 22 living in regional Australia can submit a story about life in Australia outside the major cities. It gives young Australians the opportunity to tell their story and allow their voice to be heard. Each winning story was recorded and featured on the ABC website and also the ABC Local Radio in early December.

I hear the UHF radio crackle in its leather case as the mustering helicopter flies overhead. The sound stirs a ripple of excitement through my whole body and I am grateful to be here on my horse and to be trucking our cows back home after so many tough years of drought; mustering them together, loading and moving from one agistment property to the next as the grass vanishes from each place, we’ve been just battling to keep our breeding stock alive. I’m freezing cold and completely wet from my workshirt to my socks but there’s just another 4km to walk the cows though the soaking rain - the rain we’ve been waiting for, for so long. I am heartbroken to look through the foggy, drizzle and see a little mickey calf with a dingo bite and chunk out of his back leg and a cow with a full udder and after birth searching for her calf, I eye off the fresh dingo tracks and know in my gut she won’t find her calf alive.

There is nothing more depressing than the drought and to watch the cottonseed get devoured by starving cattle as fast as I shovel it in the tubs, the cows are still hungry but I know that’s all they can have until tomorrow. At the second water I stop and notice a cow lying down, skin and bone and too weak to stand. I take a deep breath and reach for the gun, I know we have done all we can to keep her alive yet my eyes still well with tears as I am forced to point the barrel, pull the trigger and orphan her 2 week old calf. As I pull up at the last water hole I see a cow struggling to free herself from the bog, I once again hook up the snatch-em strap to the tow ball and drag her up the bank.

It’s a hard life on the land but if you ride out the tough times it is also very rewarding and I would not trade it for anything. Growing up out here in western Queensland is something that for many kids is only a dream. The biggest advantage is the wide open spaces and the close-knit communities. Not every pub has a man like Grimmo, an ex-truck driver who has taken the town on as his family. He’s always there for a yarn, to shout you an ice-cream and most importantly he makes anyone who walks in feel as if they belong.  

Living 30km from your closest neighbour is something that may seem completely unrealistic for people in the city however how I’ve grown up, distance is nothing and just becomes a part of life. Growing up in regional Australia I have gained a perspective about life. It is a unique gift that most will never understand; total value for family, friends, neighbours and community. Through it I have learned to cherish every moment.

I grew up on our family cattle property in the small community of Yaraka where our population of the town is smaller than the number of pets I owned. Just the same as all small communities in outback Australia, Yaraka has taught me everyone has to come together and pull their weight to get the job done. No matter the size of the task ahead, the most important thing is the bond between the people, the spirit they bring and the responsibly taken from such a young age. This truly is what I believe is so special about growing up on the land in rural Australia.

Bella addressed students at assembly last week and said of her experience in Canberra, ‘Over the course of the week we talked of the issues amongst rural and regional areas such as mental health, education in rural areas, not enough young Australians interested in agriculture and drug and alcohol abuse etc. We then split into seven groups depending on what we were most passionate about then aimed to develop ideas into a proposal that will create change in our local communities. Throughout the week we discussed our ideas with politicians, members of the public and people from each different department. They helped us to enhance and develop our idea for our pitch on the final day to the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal who may provide a $10 000 grant for our program if they believe it has a future.

The opportunities Heywire has given me are invaluable, and I believe it taught me two things: that I have a voice, and what my voice is! Thanks for listening and I encourage each and every one of you living in regional Australia to enter your story and may just be lucky enough to be part of Heywire 2018’.

Congratulations Bella and all the best for the outcome of the grant presentation!

Wishing you all a blessed and rewarding weekend and week ahead.

Mrs Kim Cohen
Principal

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A Message from the Head of Middle Years

17 February 2017

After a warm few weeks, the Middle and Senior Years girls were keen to hit the pool today and compete in the annual Swimming Carnival. The cup was hotly contested again this year, and girls proudly displaying House colours cheered on those competing to do their best in each event. A day like today really highlights the vitality you feel as a member of the Glennie community. It is not so much about winning or losing but about having a go, supporting others to do their best and sharing in the highs of House spirit.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Head of Middle Years

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A message from the Head of Junior Years

10 February 2017

This weekend is one of those great events at Glennie, where girls across Junior, Middle and Senior Years join together with their teachers and tutors to practise their repertoire for the Eisteddfod later this year and to learn to work together in ‘ensemble’, not only in music, but in the many social opportunities of Music Camp.

This annual event highlights the benefits of our K to 12 structure, with girls in the Junior Years participating in music with their leaders in the Middle and Senior Years; seeing them as both friends and mentors.  

Thank you to all of the tutors and teachers for giving the girls this fantastic opportunity to both work and have fun together.

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

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