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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A Message from the Principal

3 February 2017

I thought that I would take this opportunity to share a snippet from my presentation at the Commissioning ceremony last week:

My first goal when arriving at The Glennie School was to touch base with all the staff, students and members of the broader Glennie community in as many contexts and as often as possible. And to this end I have spent much of my time thus far meeting and listening to what these people have to say. From these conversations I have learnt much about Glennie and the requirements of the role that I have inherited:

  • I have learnt that the community is cohesive and excited about the future.
  • I have learnt that the girls are funny, warm, committed to their studies and The Glennie School.
  • I have learnt that the teachers are dedicated to our girls and passionate in their desire to ensure that all Glennie girls can be All She Can Be.
  • I have learnt that the younger girls love learning and want to have fun and feel loved.
  • I have learnt that the facilities staff and the cleaners look forward to coming to work and being in an environment where all members are treated with respect and compassion.
  • I have learnt that parents have justifiably high expectations of the school and want to feel confident that their daughters are in the best hands for the important job of educating them in an all-round manner.
  • I have learnt that the boarders love being here – that this is their second home, where they can study, socialise and feel nurtured.
  • So, we’re in a good place. I have stepped into an environment where the community seem content and good learning is happening.

All of my learnings from my conversations underpin what I believe about girls’ education and why it is so very important. As an educator and leader of young women in girls’ schools for over 13 years and a mother of three daughters, I am passionate about the intellectual development, faith engagement and well-being of girls. My desire is to ensure that our school is a safe, welcoming environment where all students are treated respectfully as individuals and encouraged to develop a love of life and learning that will support them to achieve to their full potential emotionally, spiritually and academically at school and beyond. My vision for The Glennie School is to continue on the trajectory on which Wendy Ashley-Cooper and previous principals placed this school; that is to ensure that Glennie goes from strength to strength as it becomes the school of choice in girls’ education in Regional South East Queensland and beyond.

Middle and Senior Years Parents Focus Group

I would like to take this opportunity to invite interested parents to send in expressions of interest if you wish to be part of the Middle and Senior Years Parents Focus Group that I meet once a term. The group comprises of eight parents and we currently have four vacancies to be filled for 2017 and 2018. Please contact my assistant if you are interested.

All the best for a fulfilling and blessed weekend and week ahead.

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A Message from the Principal

27 January 2017

Welcome to 2017, The Year of Possibility. First up, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the wonderful welcome that I have had to The Glennie School. Students, staff and parents have been overwhelmingly kind in their words and gestures of welcome.

In line with The Year of Possibility I have been speaking to students about the quote by St Francis of Assisi, "Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible”. I explained that whilst at the start of a big project (be it an artwork, a maths assignment or preparing for a big test) the task may seem overwhelming, if it is broken into small chunks anything is possible. An example that I shared was when sitting down to study for two hours for a looming test, rather study for 20 minutes, break for 5, study for another twenty and so on. In this way the task is no longer daunting, yet the outcome has been achieved.

I also stressed the importance of taking risks, of not being afraid of ‘failure’. Afterall, nothing great was ever achieved, no learning ever done without an element of failure, an element of disappointment. At Glennie our focus is on immersing yourself in learning, on becoming more interesting and interested people. As such there can be no such thing as failure, if you are prepared to listen to feedback, revisit the situation and try again, and again and again. I am not promoting a desire to fail, far from it, but rather a desire to rise to the challenge, to take risks in a secure environment. There can be no better place to fall down than when surrounded by supportive staff, students and parents who can help pick you up, dust you off and encourage you to make another attempt. I will leave you with the famous quote by Michael Jordan that I shared with the girls, “I have failed over and over and over in my life and that is why I succeed’.

Ellie de Jong and Pippa Beeson addressed the students on middle Years and Senior years assemblies this week. They had some wonderful messages for the girls. Please see their speech below:

 

Mrs Kim Cohen
Principal

Welcome back everyone to the start of a new school year. It is a real pleasure and an honour for Pippy and myself to be able to welcome you. I hope you all had a great holiday: sleeping in ‘til lunch time, catching a movie or some sun at the beach . . . however you spent your time I hope you feel recharged and ready for 2017.

2017 - The Year of . . . Possibility. Let’s start by asking “what does possibility mean”. Possibility can be interpreted as: a thing that may happen. So, perhaps, the year of possibility means making the most of opportunities that Glennie has in store for us.

Another definition of possibility is "...one's utmost power, capacity and ability." To reach our individual possibility and potential, and really be all we can be, we should try to take every opportunity that comes along to grow and to develop in ourselves, whether it be academically, in sport, performing in the arts, or anything we choose.

Think back to last year....I'm sure we can all think of things that went really well for us - and things that didn't. Things we enjoyed doing, and things we didn't. The challenge this year will be to try to change those things that we didn't enjoy doing, or where we didn't perform at our best. This is where possibility happens! When you begin to think about how things could be different, you are considering 'possibility'.

The only limits to our possibilities, are the limits we place on ourselves. Fear of what others think of us and doubt in our own abilities will stop us from being all we can be.

On the holidays, Pippy and I went a Student Leadership Conference where we had the opportunity to listen to the personal stories from truly inspiring female leaders. One of these speakers was Liz Volpe, one of Australia's leading female entrepreneurs who founded the League of Extraordinary Women. Her message was to embrace the word 'yes' - say “yes” to as many opportunities as we can. She also added that attitude matters - a positive attitude and mindset, and drive to have a go, will lead to success.

One of the workshops we participated in encouraged us to reflect on things that could be changed about our own school environment. Pippy and I both agreed that this year we would like to encourage and challenge everyone to join in school events, whether it be signing up for the swimming carnival, toughing it out at cross country or getting the most out of PDP days. Seize these opportunities while you are at school; they are there for a reason!

Have the courage to be involved. When sport sign-ups come around, consider the possibility of enjoying a new sport – there’s a good chance that you will have fun, learn a new skill and enjoy getting to know new girls, but you will never know unless you take that opportunity. Maybe you need to consider the possibility of putting more time into studying a certain subject to improve your grades. Remember – ‘power, capacity, ability. Set yourself some goals for what you want to achieve this year and write them down - once they're written down they will be easier to stick to. Don't feel like you have to achieve the possible on your own either – decide to do things together, and don’t forget to ask for help - make the most of the many talented, dedicated and experienced girls around you. Put your hand up in class and ask questions - your teachers are here to help you meet your goals. Maybe you are the talented, dedicated one - consider helping your friends and classmates reach their goals!

To the seniors - we are about to begin one of the busiest, most challenging years of school, but it will also be rewarding. It will be a year of 'lasts' - last assemblies, last exams - but perhaps you may also find some way to add in some 'firsts'. Stay organised, stay positive and remember that you don't want to look back wishing you'd done more, or wishing you could've tried harder.

So, ask yourself - what can I do to make this year great? Be courageous and take opportunities to achieve your personal possibilities.

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Ellie and Philippa kickstart leadership journey

27 January 2017

Our 2017 School Captain, Ellie de Jong, and her Vice-Captain, Philippa Beeson kickstarted their leadership journey at the Student Leadership Conference at Bond University.

Ellie writes: The conference was such a worthwhile experience and has certainly given me confidence and a head start in my role as School Captain this year.

We participated in workshops about leadership, listened to amazing guest speakers talking about their own leadership journeys, and had the opportunity to interact with other female school leaders from all over Australia, New Zealand and even the USA.

I hope that, as part of upcoming assembly speeches, I will be able to share some of the lessons I learnt with the rest of the girls at school.

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