14 September 2017
At the end of another busy term and three-quarters of the way through the year, it is the time to thank and farewell some members of staff and students.
Mr Greg Sellars has been teaching a few of Mrs Waters’ maths classes in her absence during Term 3 and we thank him for his contribution.
Two teachers will be leaving us for a period of time as they go off to have babies; with best wishes and lots of love we say farewell for now to Ms Peta Vincent and Mrs Patricia Barbancon. Their classes will be picked up by Ms Fran Lelion (Mrs Barbancon), who joins us from France and Mr Peter Klein (Ms Vincent), who has done a lot of relief teaching at Glennie throughout the year. Ms Lelion is qualified to teach French, English and Social Sciences; she has experience both here and abroad. Mr Klein’s qualifications lie in the areas of Geography, the Humanities and Physical Education.
Mrs Pauline Gehrmann will enjoy a relaxing break in Term 4, as she heads off on Long Service Leave. Miss Leanne Mitchell will take up the position of Acting Head of Department - MY Social Sciences and Business.
Mrs Fransisca De Jager is retiring from teaching as she joins her husband on a macadamia farm they have purchased near Ballina. They are both very excited to be returning to the land after many years and we wish them well as they take on this exciting endeavour. I know that Mrs De Jager will be greatly missed by the many students that she has taught and mentored during her time here, but I have no doubt that she will pop in to say hello when she is in the area. Her classes will be picked up by Ms Stephanie Fox who is a Home Economics teacher with a specialty in Textiles.
Next term, we welcome back Mrs Cathy Waters, Mrs Sue Contarini and Mrs Kathy O’Brien after their Long Service Leave. We trust that they return well rested and re-inspired!
I would like to thank all the teachers who have picked up classes in their absence and Mrs Kaye Broadfoot who has been Acting Head of Webber House for Term 3 and now needs to change her colours to head Tufnell House for Term 4 and Term 1 2018.
To the handful of students and families who are leaving Glennie at the end of the term, I wish you well and may God keep you in the palm of his hand. You will be missed, and I hope that wherever you go you find love, happiness and support and take a little bit of The Glennie soul with you.
For all our Glennie community, go safely wherever you may be:
God of all, as we prepare to leave this place and journey home, we pray that you may watch over us and fill our lives with your Spirit. As we rest, may we not rest in developing our relationship with you.
As we enjoy our many blessings may we develop a keen awareness of our role in this world as peacemakers and blessing bearers.
Open our minds, our hearts and our souls to you as we spend time in relaxation and personal space. May we return refreshed and filled with a renewed vision for our lives here. Amen
Mrs Kim Cohen
8 September 2017
Yesterday I had a talk to our Year 8 cohort about the Vision, Mission and Values of the Glennie school. We have had this Vision and Mission for a number of years now and refer to them both regularly when making decisions, doing future planning or just going about the daily business of school.
The four values referred to have been decided upon through conversations with parents and students and formal staff working groups. These (along with the Vision and Mission statement) have underpinned all discussions and meetings relating to our new Strategic Plan for 2018 - 2020. This will be launched later this year.
To develop in each Glennie girl the intellectual, physical and spiritual potential to be All She Can Be® Glennie girls are to be educated to the highest standards of which they are capable. In addition, Glennie girls are to be given the opportunities to
develop their sporting and cultural talents through a rich, diverse and relevant co-curricular program. By achieving an understanding of their own spiritual
dimension, Glennie girls will make a positive contribution to the world with a sense of their own worth and character in addition to a well-developed sense of citizenship.
As well-skilled, well-rounded and well-grounded young people of excellent character, integrity and poise, Glennie girls will be able to be all they can be.
As a community where tomorrow’s women learn, our mission is to provide girls with dynamic opportunities in education, training and personal growth which
develop their individual potential and prepare them for life. We shall incorporate traditional values within a caring, Christian environment, together with the best contemporary teaching methods and learning Experiences.
Integrity We are truthful and sincere. We ensure consistency between what we say and what we do, as well as between what we believe and how we behave.
Respect We respect ourselves and treat others with courtesy, dignity and positive regard. We honour the rights of others. We respect our school, the environment and the world around us.
Compassion We are sensitive to the needs of each individual. We support and nurture those less fortunate than ourselves. We treat each other as we wish to be treated
Courage We continue to strive to improve as individuals and we remain positive, resilient and forward-thinking, despite adversity or challenge. We know that perseverance, effort and a growth mindset can help us as individuals and as members of a team, for the benefit of ourselves and our community.
Mrs Kim Cohen
1 September 2017
On Tuesday morning I took a stroll around the Middle and Senior Years campus at the start of the day. I should do this every day, it gave me a feeling of great contentment. The place was alive with the sounds of a school getting down to business.
Year 12 girls were being prepped for their first QCS paper; they were calm and ready and there was a sense of excitement about getting started. I popped into a tutor class where girls and their teacher were in conversation with music playing in the background. I could hear the discordant strains of happy birthday being belted out further down the corridor. I came across an Exec member hurrying dawdlers into classes with a firm hand and a kind word.
A peaceful, productive and caring atmosphere permeated. All this against the fragrant backdrop of the early blooming Glennie gardens and beautiful historic buildings.
The next evening I joined a group of excited Junior Years students who were gathered in their pyjamas in the library for story time. I loved reading to the little girls and was surprised at how long it took to get through one story; we had to stop frequently to discuss pictures and situations, and to hear personal accounts of what is happening in everyone’s lives! It was so much fun. The evening ended with delicious milo and marshmallows served from the Breezeway Cafe. I returned home with a smile on my face and a warm feeling - as did most of the girls I am sure.
On Thursday morning dads and daughters gathered on the Junior Years campus for breakfast together to celebrate Fathers’ Day. For the third time in as many days I experienced the warm, collegial atmosphere which is so unique to Glennie. That special something that no one can quite put a name to. I think the closest that we have come (to coin a phrase initiated by Mr Warren) is ‘The Glennie Hug’.
Of course not everything is always rosy and, like all schools, we have issues and situations that need to be addressed. What is important is that we do address them and that all members of the community feel that they are heard. Please remember that if you have concerns it is always best to speak up. In the first instance speak to the staff member concerned, as they are always best positioned to address the issue and sort it out before it grows. You may be surprised how often problems addressed early and at the right level can be solved very quickly. If you feel at that point that you need take the problem to the next level, please do so.
Mrs Kim Cohen
25 August 2017
At Middle Years Assembly this week, I spoke to the students about how we treat each other and how we approach different situations and relationships in our lives. I spoke about the fact that throughout our lives we will mostly find what we are looking for; if we look for the negative in people or situations we will find it, if we look for the positive we will find that too.
Too often, as normal human beings, we make up our minds about places, situations and people before even being exposed to them. How often has your daughter said that she is dreading something because it will be too hard, she won't like the people or that teacher will be too strict? Of course this will probably be exactly how it turns out as this is her expectation and what she is looking for. On the other hand if she seeks challenging work, interacting with a diverse range of people and a teacher with strong discipline and high standards, then that is most likely what she will find.
I shared this story with the girls:
A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment.
"What sort of people live in the next town?" asked the stranger.
"What were the people like where you've come from?" replied the farmer, answering the question with another question.
"They were a bad lot. Troublemakers all, and lazy too. The most selfish people in the world, and not a one of them to be trusted. I'm happy to be leaving the scoundrels."
"Is that so?" replied the old farmer. "Well, I'm afraid that you'll find the same sort in the next town.
Disappointed, the traveler trudged on his way, and the farmer returned to his work.
Some time later another stranger, coming from the same direction, hailed the farmer, and they stopped to talk. "What sort of people live in the next town?" he asked.
"What were the people like where you've come from?" replied the farmer once again.
"They were the best people in the world. Hard working, honest, and friendly. I'm sorry to be leaving them."
"Fear not," said the farmer. "You'll find the same sort in the next town." (www.pitt.edu)
Mrs Kim Cohen
18 August 2017
Following on from the success of her 2013 book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, established the Lean In Foundation, which now runs 32,000 Lean In Circles in 151 countries to encourage women to support each other in taking on new challenges and opportunities, such as negotiating a pay rise or seeking a better work life balance. The foundation also runs public awareness campaigns, funds research, and educates women and men on advancing gender equality.
Unfortunately, a lack of confidence starts well before women enter the workforce. Many girls undermine themselves through their words and actions, saying “I’m not sure if this is right but ...”. Girls also use phrases like “kind of” or “sort of” to weaken their statements, or turn a statement about something they know into a question as if they are not sure of their answer. Lean In says that “verbal crutches” like these can “hinder a girl’s ability to share her ideas clearly and confidently - a habit that often carries over into adulthood”.
When women speak confidently, take risks and own their accomplishments, they set a powerful and positive example for girls to follow. Essential to the Lean In philosophy, therefore, is increasing girls’ confidence in their ability to lead. Lean In - along with the Girls Leadership organisation and its co-founder, Rachel Simmons, researcher and author of two best-selling books on teenage girls - have provided a guide for instilling confidence in girls and encouraging them to be the next generation of leaders:
Coach girls to speak confidently
Research shows that in co-educational environments, boys receive more attention from teachers in class. Boys are more likely to call out answers and less likely to be interrupted. Lean In says that we need to “teach girls to counteract this by raising their hands and speaking confidently when they’re called on”. In particular, women should set an example: Speak with confidence so girls hear what it sounds like. Avoid hedging your opinions with disclaimers or apologies. If you observe a girl falling into these same habits, explain how it undermines the point she’s trying to make. Remind her it’s not just what you say that matters, it’s how you say it, too.
Teach girls to navigate conflict
Instead of learning to speak openly and manage conflict, girls are taught to suppress their feelings and keep the peace. As a result, working women avoid giving each other honest critiques and shy away from direct feedback. But while women avoid hurting each other’s feelings, they also miss out on the input needed to advance their careers more quickly. The solution is for women to “model honest, direct communication”. When girls are faced with a difficult situation, they should talk directly to those involved, rather than talking about them to others. Girls should also avoid “social shortcuts” like texting and social media as a means of avoiding direct communication. Role-playing difficult conversations can also be helpful in working out successful approaches. Above all, says Lean In, “explain that conflict is an inevitable part of relationships - it’s the way we handle it that matters”.
Encourage girls to own their own success
Girls who are confident in their abilities are more likely to take the lead. However, girls often underestimate themselves and deflect praise or minimise their accomplishments. As a result, others often underestimate girls, further eroding their confidence. Research by the American Association of University Women found that between primary school and high school, girls’ self-esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys. The same dynamics carry over into adulthood. Women underestimate their abilities and attribute success to “getting lucky” or “help from others”. As a result, women “get less credit for successes and can be blamed more for failures”. The solution, says Lean In, is for women to own their own accomplishments. Women should say “thank you” when receiving a compliment instead of deflecting it, look for opportunities to acknowledge girls’ strengths and celebrate their achievements, and “push back if they fall into the trap of sidestepping praise”.
Inspire girls to go for it
Women who lack confidence and fear making mistakes are held back, neglecting to put their hand up for high-profile projects or seek promotion. Similarly, under-confident girls shy away from risk, failing to speak up in class unless they are 100% sure of an outcome and avoiding new activities and challenges. Girls need to hear women talking about stepping outside their comfort zone: how good it feels to succeed, as well as how much they learnt when things did not go to plan. Girls should be discouraged from saying they are “not ready” or “can’t do it”. Instead, they should be encouraged to break down their goals into achievable steps.
Celebrate female leadership
Research shows that young girls worry they will receive a negative reaction if they take on a leadership role and that, by middle school, girls are already less interested in leading than boys. Women need to talk about their own experiences of leadership and celebrate female
leaders. If girls are criticised for being assertive or described as “bossy”, adults should step in and explain that girls should be “applauded, not chided” for their leadership skills. Finally, says Lean In, girls should be encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities as studies show that the leadership skills they develop stay with them for life. In fact, an American study found that more than 80% of female executives played sports growing up. Similarly, Dr Terry Fitzsimmons of the University of Queensland found that nearly all male CEOs played competitive contact sports at school and all but two held leadership positions in high school. In contrast, few female CEOs played team sports and less than one-third held a leadership position at school, leading Fitzsimmons to conclude that girls should be “given the freedom to engage in riskier forms of play” and “directed towards competitive team sports or other experiences which allow them to acquire leadership capital”.
Fitzsimmons, T.E. (2011). Navigating CEO appointments: Do Australia’s top male and female CEOs differ in how they made it to the top? PhD Thesis, University of Queensland Business School.
Lean In, Simmons, R., and Girls Leadership. (2017). How to be a role model for girls. Retrieved from the Lean In website: Rachel Simmons, Co-Founder. (2017). Retrieved from the Girls Leadership website
Mrs Kim Cohen
11 August 2017
Our current Year 9 students will be the first cohort to be exposed to the new senior curriculum. Students will still obtain a Queensland Certificate of Education, but instead of an OP or Field Position as their tertiary entry requirement they will receive an ATAR score.
Staff at Glennie are hard at work preparing for the new system while still ensuring that the Year 12s of 2017, 2018 and 2109 are fully prepared for their assessments and QCS tests. We will not take the eye off the ball for these students and will continue to support them with the same dedication that we have in the past to ensure they obtain their best possible OP.
In preparation for the new curriculum (for implementation Yr 11, 2019) we have done the following:
- Created a Senior Curriculum Working party made up of staff from across the MSY, who meet regularly to discuss subjects, assessments and implementation plans.
- Received input from all staff so that we can make the most use of their expertise.
- In order to determine best practice, senior staff spent time at high achieving schools in Victoria who have been involved in a very similar system for many years. The schools visited were Korowa Anglican Girls’ School, The Knox School, Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School, Caulfield Grammar School and Mentone Girls’ Grammar School.
- Chris Rider, the CEO of the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority has addressed staff about these changes on a number of occasions. QCAA’s key role is to assist and support schools to deliver the best curriculum and assessment practices for all young people from Kindergarten to Year 12. We work closely with QCAA to ensure that we make correct decisions around standards, and that these decisions are made reliably and with validity.
- All teachers of senior classes are attending workshops facilitated by the QCAA on the new syllabuses.
- Our Year 11 cohort took part in an external English trial exam in June and achieved far better than State average.
Mrs Jo Matherson, in her Headlights article this week, highlights what teachers and parents can do to help their child, no matter the age, to perform well. She quotes a book by Wendy Berliner & Deborah Eyre where they provide practical advice on how to make your child think in different ways by using cognitive skills, values, attitudes and attributes.
As you can see we are doing solid groundwork in anticipation of the changes and are ahead of the game as far as planning for the new system is concerned.
Mrs Kim Cohen
4 August 2017
It recently came to my attention that not all parents are aware of what our French Immersion program entails and why students should be considering it in Year 7 or Year 8 in 2018.
The French Immersion is a three-year program which currently runs from Year 8 to Year 10. Towards the end of the program, students travel to France where they stay with a French family and attend school for two weeks. They then explore parts of France for a further two weeks with their peers and Glennie teachers. During this time they should be speaking primarily in French.
From 2018 we will be offering the French Immersion Program from Year 7, which means that for a few years it will run across Years 7, 8, 9 and 10. So students who start in Year 8 (2016, 2017, 2018) will finish in Year 10 and those starting in Year 7 (from 2018) will end in Year 9.
Students who take French Immersion do not have to be A students, in fact their attitude is more important than their marks when it comes to being successful in the program. They need to have a passion for learning, a desire to expand their brains and the knowledge that they can achieve if they are committed and prepared to work hard.
The immersion program is not just about learning in another language and about another culture; it is about having a growth mindset, learning invaluable problem solving and higher order thinking skills and laying new and permanent learning pathways in their brains. Research shows brains are malleable, new neural pathways can be forged and developed through consistent use. As a skill (or language) is practised it becomes easier and easier until it is second nature. Like riding a bike, or walking.
Initially, in some cases, results may drop a bit (this is taken into consideration when doing calculations for Academic Awards) but in the long run, the development of learning methods and associated brain growth far outweigh the possible disappointment of a few lower results. Historically, students who have been part of the French Immersion Program have entered Year 11 with highly developed skills in these areas, setting them up for success in the Senior Years.
Mrs Kim Cohen
28 July 2017
At Glennie we strive to create compassionate, capable and confident young women. I discovered a wonderful article that echoes how I have tried to ensure that my own daughters have gone out into the world as kind and empathetic women. I have shared it with you below:
Families foster kindness and respect at home by setting expectations for manners, sharing, and helping with chores. And families hope, often with a tinge of worry, that children will continue those behaviours when parents and caregivers aren't nearby: in the school cafeteria, at a friend’s house, or on Instagram and Snapchat. But guiding children to be empathetic and ethical in their independent lives — even when no one is looking — can be more intentional than that.
Strategies for teaching children to think ethically, care about the people around them, and create positive change in the world.
To guide ethical thinking:
- Discuss ethical dilemmas you have encountered at work, with friends, or running errands. Ask your children what they would have done in that situation.
- Talk about ethical dilemmas your children might face in the classroom, at lunch, or during recess. Brainstorm and role-play possible solutions.
- Encourage your children to see conflicts from another person’s perspective. Discuss ways they can compromise between their needs and those of others.
To foster concern for others:
- Encourage your children to really listen to siblings or peers when they are upset, especially if they don’t initially understand that person’s views.
- Ask children to consider the perspectives of people they don’t usually talk to: a new student at school, a student who is often teased, a student experiencing family trouble, or a student of a different race or religion.
- Discuss hardships you see on the news, and talk about the experiences, challenges, and feelings of people who live in different places around the world.
To teach children to be change-makers:
- Inspire children to take action around issues that affect them and their peers, such as school uniform policies.
- Distinguish the importance of “doing with” others from “doing for” others. Encourage children to respond to community problems by working with and listening to a diverse group, rather than spearheading new initiatives without any guidance. This is particularly relevant for high school students seeking community service opportunities. Parents can guide children to take a richer, more meaningful approach to volunteer work.
- Model that communal approach and the importance of service. Volunteer together at a charity event or set aside a day as a family to donate unwanted clothes and toys.
Acknowledgement: Leah Shafer in Usable Knowledge 27 February 2017
Mrs Kim Cohen
21 July 2017
This week on the Middle Years and Senior Years assemblies, girls who had achieved very well academically or in their commitment to studies, were acknowledged. Below is the address I made to the Middle Years students. I will be presenting a similar one to the Senior Years girls next on their next assembly; we ran out of time this week.
Today we honour students who excelled academically or in their commitment to their studies in Semester One. Well done girls, your effort, hard work and perseverance certainly paid off.
Some of you sitting here may think that in order to achieve at the levels that some of these girls have, you must be born clever. Some may think that if you are a C average student or a B average student or an A average student, that is what you will always be. That is your level of intelligence and there is no way of changing it.
Well let me tell you this - the brain is a powerful thing and should never, ever be underestimated. You are in charge of your brain and you can train it and develop it. I'll come back to that in a bit.
I read an article recently where it was pointed out how ‘some people love challenges, thrive on them, roll with the punches, are resilient in the face of setbacks, and other people, just as able, wither, shy away from challenges, don’t want to make mistakes, crumble when they do?’ (Attard and Quarry, 2017). Why is this? I was one one of the latter - I was an A student (not A+) most of the time, but if I got a B or made a mistake - I believed I had failed - it was as if the bottom had fallen out of my world. For this reason at school, I did not rise to challenges in case my marks dropped or I failed to achieve what I had set out to achieve. I would choose the less challenging essay or speech topics; ones in which I knew I could achieve well without taking myself out of my comfort zone. And I wasn't much better at uni. I had a fixed mindset.
I wish that someone had taken me by the shoulders and given me a good shake and told me that there was so much more to learning than the marks - it is about being immersed in the learning, knowing things, developing skills, being interested and interesting people - that’s what it’s about! When this happens, when you enjoy learning and seek out further information or extend yourselves in your own time then learning becomes easier, then the good results follow suit. I am sure this is what a number of you who are receiving awards today already know, as well as a number of you who are not - but are working towards them.
Effort is an important factor that leads to growth, progress, learning and ultimately good results. But it is only one factor. There are many other things like using resources, getting advice, seeking and using feedback productively, receiving guidance and mentorship from teachers and parents, being engaged in lessons, developing strategies (of how to learn, how to plan, how to approach your work), and, of course, being responsible for your own learning. Your teachers aren’t responsible and neither are your parents, the responsibility of your learning lies purely on your shoulders.
All of this is called a Growth Mindset (quite the opposite to the Fixed Mindset that I suffered from in my youth). I have spoken to you about it before and I will again, and again! I wish that I had a growth mindset when I was young, but thank heavens I have developed one in my later years. I know that my talents, abilities and intellect are not fixed - I can develop them. It takes time, effort (yes), hard work, many failures, but most importantly a knowledge that I can do it and having the resilience to persevere if I don't achieve this time or the next or the next. That's the most difficult part - not giving up.
Easy to say, but how do we put it into practice. Well, the answer is that our brains can and do grow and we can guide the direction in which this happens. There are things called synapses which are really the interactions between the neurons in our brains. Simplified (and not very scientific) - the cells in your brain talk to each other. When they do this, physical pathways are formed - these are weak to start with, but strengthen if the communication happens often. In fact, if these pathways are used often enough - a layer of fat is formed around them making them permanent. An example is when you learnt to walk - you had to think about putting one foot in front of the other every time you took a step. It was hard, but the little you persevered. Very soon you no longer had to think about it, it just happened - because these pathways had become permanent fixtures. The same is true for riding a bike, swimming, driving a car. You have probably all heard the saying, ‘you never forget how to ride a bike’. Well, that’s true - because the pathways have been formally laid down and are permanent.
And the same can be said for learning. Think about learning to write - concentrating on each letter, learning your tables etc. When you practise a way of thinking, memorising facts or strategies for learning often enough - these pathways will develop and eventually become permanent in your brain.
So this talk is for every one of you here today - those who are to receive awards, those who aspire to achieve awards and those who are happily plodding along content with where you're at. Don't let your brain down - it's one of God's amazing gifts to you and it is your responsibility to make the most of it. Sometimes that may not end up with an academic achievement award, but it will certainly result in growth and development and none of us can say that’s a bad thing.
Congratulations to all who are receiving awards today. I salute your dedication, hard work and, above all, perseverance when times got tough.
Mrs Kim Cohen
14 July 2017
Welcome back to Term 3. As with all terms here at Glennie, Term 3 promises to be very busy. This is particularly true for the Year 12s as they prepare for their QCS tests which will take place at the end of August.
It is important that students maintain a balance in their busy lives and do not overload themselves with extra-curricular activities, part-time work or socialising. At the same time in this fast-paced, demanding world they need to develop resilience in order to cope with ever increasing pressures; below are snippets from an article by Harvey Deutschendor (https://www.fastcompany.com/3041723/7-habits-of-highly-resilient-people) on attributes that consistently stand out amongst those who display resilience in times of challenge. I encourage you to share these with your daughters and support them to develop these effective skills early in their lives.
Success is seldom a straight road; it almost always involves many detours and dead ends. It takes tenacity and determination to keep going, but those that do will eventually reach their destination.
Most of us have heard before that Thomas Edison failed more than 1,000 times but continued on despite being ridiculed by the media and those around him. And plenty more people refuse to quit long after most would have given up. What is it about these people that makes them different?
- HAVE A HIGHLY DEVELOPED SENSE OF SELF
People who are able to develop a strong sense of who they are and what matters to them are much better able to resist external influences that will keep many people from reaching their potential. They are able to draw strength from within and are therefore less likely to be influenced by what others think of them.
- LOOK FOR A POSITIVE TAKE AWAY FROM EVERY SITUATION
When things don’t go according to plan, resilient people look for the learning in the situation and the lesson they can take away. They don’t view failure as final, rather a necessary learning step that will take them further along the path.
- TAKE A LONG-TERM VIEW
Resilient people are prepared for the long haul, fully realising that anything worth achieving will be difficult and will take a great deal of time, effort and persistence. Despite not seeing any immediate results of their efforts, they are keenly aware that what their lives will look like in the future will be.
- HAVE HIGHLY DEVELOPED SENSE OF PURPOSE
Whether it is a belief in a higher power, a strong sense of purpose, or a great sense of humour, resilient people have sources of strength they can rely on to get them through difficult situations. This decreases their sense to belong and rely upon others for motivation.
- DON’T GET FRIGHTENED BY UNCOMFORTABLE THOUGHTS OR NOT HAVING THE ANSWERS
Most people believe that not knowing how to do something and not being able to, are one and the same thing. Highly resilient people don’t let not knowing how to do something stop them. They believe that they will find a way.
- ARE SELECTIVE IN WHOM THEY LOOK TO FOR GUIDANCE AND INSPIRATION
Highly resilient people don’t suffer fools. It’s not that they never look to others for guidance and direction, it’s that they are very selective in who they chose to follow.
- FIND HEALTHY WAYS TO RECHARGE AND NURTURE THEMSELVES
Resilient people are no less susceptible to pressures and life’s stressors than anyone else, but they have developed healthy coping mechanisms they know can be counted on. Whether it is meditation, exercise or an all-encompassing hobby, they have proven methods that allow them to recharge their energy and get back into pursuing their passion.
15 June 2017
I would like to wish all members of the Glennie community a joyful, relaxing and warm holiday. I have spoken to all students from Prep to Year 12 about helping around the house and allowing their parents to have a break too. Feel free to remind them of my words when necessary! If you are travelling, may God be with you and keep you safe.
I would like to formally congratulate Rebecca Brownhall as she takes on the new role of Learning Support Co-ordinator from the start of Semester 2. This is a big and important role within the School and I have every confidence in Rebecca’s ability to perform at the highest level.
It is the time of year when we say farewell to a number of staff and students who are leaving us for various reasons. We are always sad to say farewell, but wish all those moving on a bright and fulfilling future.
Joanna leaves us after eight and a half years at Glennie school, with her greatest contribution being in the French Immersion program. Joanna has made a huge contribution to the program during her time her and the students in her classes have enjoyed her dynamic lessons. Joanna will be missed by the Glennie community as we wish her well as she moves down the mountain to spend more time with her parents who have recently moved to Australia.
Sandy has been working in the area of Learning Support during Term 2. Her input during this time has been invaluable and in her short time here she has built great relationships with both the students and the staff.
Gappies: Jody Hender, Theresa Meyer, Jenny Wang
Our Gappies program has been running successfully for about 15 years and continues to be a point of difference at Glennie. It is a program where all parties gain great benefit; our students enjoy interacting with young women from different cultures and love the experience of sharing stories, our teachers and boarding staff receive much-needed support in many areas where the Gappies work across the school and, of course, the Gappies themselves learn so much about themselves, others and Australia. We wish all three young women a successful and happy ‘life after Glennie’.
STAFF TAKING LEAVE
We wish all our staff taking Long Service Leave a happy and very relaxing break. You work so hard teaching, nurturing and supporting the students in your care and we hope that you have a wonderful, well-deserved time away:
- Jody Lutvey (Kindy)
- Cathy Waters (Head of Webber House)
- Susie Jepson - French Immersion Teacher (taking over from Joanna Schooling)
- Jill Loveday - Kindy (covering for Jody Lutvey)
- Kaye Broadfoot - Acting Head of Webber (covering for Cathy Waters in her role as Head of House)
At the start of Semester 2, Sharon Gilbert and John Farmer will return after being on Long service Leave for Term 2. I would like to take this opportunity to say a very heartfelt thank you to Jason Wisley (Acting Head of The Arts) and Alison Bedford (Acting Deputy Head of Senior Years) for the outstanding way in which they seamlessly stepped into these positions.
9 June 2017
I love having parents, staff and students pop in for a chat. I know it’s not always easy given my full diary, but if you contact my PA at email@example.com she will always make a time for you. It is far more productive for members of the community to talk to me rather than worrying about issues and wondering why they are not being addressed. The reality is that in order to address concerns I need to know about them!
Having said the above, it is always good in the first instance to address concerns regarding teaching and learning with the teacher concerned. More often than not the problem can be sorted at that level as soon as the teacher becomes aware of it. The next port of call in the Middle and Senior Years is the Head of Department, followed by the Head or Deputy Head of Sub-schools. If the issue is regarding emotional or social wellbeing, the person to contact is your daughter’s Head of House (Middle and Senior Years) or Head or Deputy Head in Junior Years. The reason that we have this process in place is because these are the people who can address the problem quickly and effectively.
If you wish to make a complaint, please refer to the Complaints Management in Anglican Schools Policy.
At Glennie, we understand the importance of exposing our students to diversity in education. Part of these diverse experiences includes numerous excursions, activities, camps and tours. These may be curriculum related or linked to our extra-curricular program. In an effort to make extra-curricular tours as accessible as possible to as many students as possible, the Acting Head of Performing Arts, Jason Wisley, Head of Sport, Brad Griffiths, and I have come up with an eight-year plan. This is to ensure a spread of domestic and overseas trips. We have come up with the following:
- Performance - Domestic: 2018/2022
- Sport - International: 2019/2023
- Performance - International: 2020/2024
- Sport - Domestic: 2021/2025
While we will make every effort to adhere to these dates, sometimes competitions or opportunities may arise that we need to consider.
Wishing you all a blessed weekend and week ahead.
Mrs Kim Cohen
2 June 2017
Sleep, amongst other things, is an incredibly important factor in coping with a busy school day. As an educator and parent, I have noticed that the number of students who appear to be physically tired during the school day is on the increase. This appears to be a common problem across Australia, but one that as parents we often tend to downplay in a world where there are so many other stressors and anxieties. Yet, ironically perhaps, it is these stressors and anxieties that may be at the root of our girls’ tiredness which, in turn, results in further stress.
Dr Sadasivam Suresh, of the Mater paediatric respiratory and sleep medicine unit, believes that sleep is the foundation of good health. He warns that many adult health issues originate during adolescence and a number of these can be linked to poor sleep habits developed during this time. He states that parents should ‘make sleep time sacred time’. The Australian Sleep Association states that a reduction in nocturnal sleep of 1.5 hours for one night can reduce daytime alertness by up to 32%.
The National Sleep Foundation Scientific Advisory Council has recently revised the recommended sleep ranges for a number of groups. A summary of the new recommendations includes:
- Newborns (0-3 months ): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
- Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
- Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
- Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
- School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
- Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
- Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
- Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)
In a recent article by Leanne Edmistone she states that there is 'a looming global health crisis based on lack of sleep. A fast-paced, achievement-driven society, 24-hour access to information and entertainment, coupled with ingrained willingness to forsake sleep to fit more into our days, is taking its toll, particularly on adolescents. Australians are sleeping less and are more tired than ever, and our health is suffering as a result' (2013).
Lack of sleep can be linked to numerous medical conditions, including anxiety, depression and heart disease, as well as emotional and behavioural problems.
One of the reasons that adolescents are sleeping less now than ever before is, of course, due to their connection with technology 24/7. For many, there is no longer a downtime; with computers, TVs, IPads and Smartphones all residing in the bedroom. A number of teens, tweens and children sleep with their phones under their pillows or on the bedside table, with the vibrations interrupting their sleep when a friend decides to text, message or post online during the night. Parents of adolescents have told me that when they do take their daughter’s phone during the night; messages often come through between 1:00am and 4:00am in the morning! Sleep expert, Dr Sarah Blunden, discovered in a survey conducted of 12 000 adolescents, that when parents limited media usage by their adolescent children the result was better sleep, better relationships between parent and child and improved wellbeing and appreciation of life. Good news indeed, but how do we do it?
There are a number of ways that parents can help children to maintain, or even develop, good sleep habits:
- It is certainly worth the initial trauma to demand that all technology be placed in a central area, such as the kitchen bench or dining room table, prior to bedtime.
- If necessary most phones can be set for wake up alarm with the actual messaging/internet/phone functions being turned off.
- Screen time leading up to bedtime should also be limited; no screen time, including TV, for at least 30 minutes prior to lights out.
- Regular exercise, preferably in the morning.
- Bedrooms should be dark, quiet and comfortably cool.
- A set bedtime and wake up time, with a maximum of one hour’s difference on weekends (I find this one particularly hard!)
Do muscle relaxation exercises, have a warm bath, listen to soft music prior to turning in.
If you or your daughter have been struggling with sleep problems for a while and none of the obvious hints above are of any help, then it is important that you seek medical advice. It is also worth your while to visit the website: www.sleep.org.au
Wishing you all a peaceful and blessed weekend.
- Edmistane, L. (2013) Snooze Alarm. Courier Mail, QWeekend. July 2013
- www.sleep.org.au, retrieved 2 June 2017
Kate Powell has been Chaplain at The Glennie School for 22 years. During this time she has made an enormous contribution to the well-being and spiritual life of thousands of girls. It is thus with some difficulty that I announce that Kate has informed me that she will be retiring at the end of the year in order to focus on charitable work and volunteering. I Wish her all the best as transitions into the next phase of her life journey of service to others.
Kate has been the driving force behind MSY Religious Education and built a rigorous program for Year 7 to 10 students and guided senior students to explore ethical issues, various religions and the relevance of Anglican Faith in today's society.
Over the years, Kate has worked tirelessly within the school community to support local charities including Anglicare, Bush Ministry Fund and in the provision of funds to support various cancer charities, through the annual Ribbon Day fundraiser.
Her support for Glennie families, Old Girls and the community in times of need has provided ongoing comfort and support during difficult times.
I know that Kate will be sorely missed by many and we will have an opportunity later in the year to farewell her as a school community.
Mrs Kim Cohen
25 May 2017
One of the many positive comments that I get from the wider community about our students is the high standard of our uniform and how smart the students always look. It became very clear to me at the time of The Glennie Fair how incredibly proud the girls are of their uniform: senior students explained to me that they would much prefer to wear their summer uniform than their sports uniform as they love to stand out as Glennie girls.
In order to ensure that our uniform continues to instil a sense of pride and be a source of positive commentary, I urge you to support the staff in ensuring that you daughter wears her uniform correctly at all times. Of particular concern are the following:
- Panamas to be worn to and from school.
- The only acceptable earrings are small gold or silver studs (NO pearls), one pair worn in the lower lobe.
- Name badges to be on the outermost layer of clothes.
- When MSY students are off the property their outer layer must be either their vest or blazer (NOT shirt or jumper).
- Shoes must be polished
After discussion with staff, parents and students I have made a few tweaks to uniform requirements:
- Girls are not to wear their hair in a bundle on top of their heads, this would prevent them from being able to wear their hats properly.
- Sports shoes should be predominantly white if possible, otherwise grey or black. I understand that these options are not always available for students requiring specialised shoes, in which case colours will be acceptable, but NOT fluorescent colours please. Shoelaces for sports shoes must be white.
Thank you for your support in ensuring that our girls continue to maintain the high standard to which we have become accustomed.
19 May 2017
A few months ago Senator David Leyonhjelm reduced childcare workers' jobs to merely 'wiping noses and stopping the kids from killing each other'. His statement caused much indignation and rightfully so. At Glennie we understand the incredibly vital role that these staff play in preparing the little people for formal education and life in general.
Below is a piece published recently in the Wall Street Journal
Any preschool teacher will tell you that young children learn through play, and some of the best-known preschool programs make play central. One of the most famous approaches began after World War II around the northern Italian city of Reggio Emilia and developed into a worldwide movement. The Reggio Emilia programs encourage young children to freely explore a rich environment with the help of attentive adults.
The long-term benefits of early childhood education are increasingly clear, and more states and countries are starting preschool programs. But the people who make decisions about today’s preschool curriculums often have more experience with primary schools. As the early-childhood education researcher Erika Christakis details in her book 'The Importance of Being Little', the result is more pressure to make preschools like schools for older students, with more school work and less free play.
Is play really that important?
A recent study in the journal 'Developmental Psychology' by Zi Sim and Fei Xu of the University of California, Berkeley, is an elegant example of a new wave of play research. The researchers showed a group of 32 children, aged 2 and 3, three different machines and blocks of varying shapes and colours. The researchers showed the children that putting some blocks, but not others, on the machines would make them play music.
For half the children, the machines worked on a colour rule — red blocks made the red machine go, for instance, no matter what shape they were. For the other children, the devices worked on a shape rule, so triangular blocks, say, made the triangle-shaped machine go.
Both sets of children then encountered a new machine, orange and L-shaped, and a new set of blocks. The toddlers trained with the colour rule correctly used the orange block, while those trained with the shape rule chose the L-shaped block.
Next the experimenter showed a different set of 32 toddlers the blocks and the machines and demonstrated that one block made one machine play music, without any instruction about the colour or shape rules. Then she said: “Oh no! I just remembered that I have some work to do. While I’m doing my work, you can play with some of my toys!”
The experimenter moved to a table where she pretended to be absorbed by work. Five minutes later she came back. As you might expect, the toddlers had spent the time getting into things — trying different blocks on the machines and seeing what happened. Then the experimenter gave the children the test with the orange L-shaped machine. Had they taught themselves the rules? Yes, the toddlers had learned the abstract colour or shape rules equally well just by playing on their own.
It’s difficult to study something as unpredictable as play. Telling children in a lab to play seems to turn play into work. But clever studies like the one in Developmental Psychology are starting to show scientifically that children really do learn through play.
The inspirational sayings about play you find on the internet — “play is the work of childhood” or “play is the best form of research”, for example — aren’t just truisms. They may actually be truths.
Reference: The Wall Street Journal
12 May 2017
According to Dr Ben Jensen of the Grattan Institute, ‘The world’s highest-performing school systems provide time for teachers to be mentored, research best practice, have their classes observed and receive constructive feedback on their performance’ (2014). At Glennie over the next couple of terms teachers will be working in small groups; discussing students’ engagement, observing each other teach and giving constructive feedback. This is a powerful tool for collaborative professional development and, thus student learning.
Teachers will observe and be observed teaching, with emphasis on giving and receiving feedback about student engagement in class.
The professional learning groups are each made up of teachers across all sub-schools and faculties, allowing for much collaboration and collegiality across the entire school.
What teachers do in the classroom is always student centred and we are guided by The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. These comprise seven Standards which outline what teachers should know and be able to do. The Standards are interconnected, interdependent and overlapping.
They are grouped into three domains of teaching: Professional Knowledge, Professional Practice and Professional Engagement. In practice, teaching draws on aspects of all three domains, keeping the student as the focus in each.
1: Know students and how they learn
2: Know the content and how to teach it
3: Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
4: Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
5: Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning
6: Engage in professional learning
7: Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/ carers and the community
The domains constitute agreed characteristics of the complex process of teaching. AITSL (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership) is supportive of a collaborative learning culture to help teachers engage with the domains and support each other in ensuring that student learning of the highest standard is occurring.
According to AITSL you will know your school’s professional learning culture is collaborative when:
- teachers engage in frequent, ongoing formal and informal conversations about pedagogy and teaching practice
- teachers work together to research, plan and design effective teaching strategies and programs
- teachers engage in professional dialogue to evaluate and modify teaching strategies and programs
- teachers engage in regular classroom observation and feedback and can articulate how changes in their practice impact on student outcomes
- there is collective ownership of learning goals and outcomes, for both the individual and whole-school
- teachers undertake leadership roles that include initiating and leading professional discussions with colleagues to evaluate practice collaboration is prioritised and sufficient time is given to investing in the practice
5 May 2017
You will be aware that ahead of the 2017/18 Federal Budget next week, the Prime Minister and Minister for Education earlier this week announced significant proposed changes to school funding arrangements to be implemented over the next 10 years. These have been summarised below.
Commonwealth funding for schools will increase from $17.5 billion in 2017 to $30.6 billion in 2027.
The total Commonwealth funding pool for schools will be increased by 3.56% annually for the next three years; after that indexation of the total funding pool will be indexed annually.
Australian Government recurrent funding for Queensland independent schools is projected to increase from $909 million in 2017 to $1.145 billion in 2021, an increase of 26%. However, how the funding changes impact on individual schools is still being worked through.
A small number (24) of independent schools across Australia will have negative growth in their Australian Government funding in 2018 as a result of the changes. Details of these schools have not yet been released, however, we do know that Glennie is not one of them.
There will be significant changes to the funding arrangements for non-government school systems where the current weighted SES arrangements for systemic funding will be removed. Each school within a system will be funded according to its individual school loaded SRS. At this stage’ nobody knows how individual schools will be affected, though there are many in the media who are predicting doom and gloom.
The Commonwealth will also transition the calculation of loadings for students with disability to be based on the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD).
States/Territories will be required to maintain their real per student funding levels for both government and non-government schools as a condition of Commonwealth funding.
All of the changed arrangements will be subject to passage of amendments to the Australia Education Act with the Government intending to introduce the amendments into Parliament this month. This will probably be determined by the Senate cross-bench.
The Government also announced that David Gonski has been commissioned to undertake another review (already being referred to as Gonski 2.0). This review will focus on proposed policy reforms rather than funding. Mr Gonski will report by December 2017 with the outcomes to inform Agreements to be signed with States and Territories and the non-government sectors in early 2018.
Finally, the Government also announced today that the Students First Support Fund will continue.
Currently there is an annual allocation of $40 million (known as the Students First Support Fund) to the non-government sectors through this fund. This will be reduced to $25 million per annum. There will also be revised priorities and accountability arrangements with respect to the future Students First Support Fund.
Mrs Kim Cohen
28 April 2017
We have had a very busy start to Term 2 what with a full school Student Protection and Blue card Audit, High School Musical and many ANZAC services, not to mention our core business of learning and teaching.
I was so proud of our students, supported by hard-working and nurturing staff, as they danced, sang, acted, created backdrops, moved scenery and worked tirelessly on all the other jobs associated with a musical. After all this, they arrived at school fresh faced and ready to work on Monday. My heart was certainly warmed on Tuesday morning at 4.50am when I arrived at the Aquatic Carpark to find two busloads of boarders ready to pay their respects to the fallen at the Dawn Service. Girls were offered the opportunity to go to the service, and their attendance is purely voluntary.
I would like to thank all the staff who put in so many hours to ensure that the musical was the wonderful success that it was; in particular: Ms Elms, Ms Evans and Mrs Budden who have been working with the students for months.
I regularly turn to Carol Dweck and her research on the Growth Mindset for inspiration and ideas for articles. The concept of a Growth Mindset is one that we encourage our students to adopt, and teachers support them in this. As part of developing this mindset within students, Dweck has done studies into the most appropriate way of praising children. Judith Locke, a leading Australian psychologist and author of The Bonsai Child, echoes these ideas in her numerous books and presentations on parenting. I would like to share an article by Katrina Schwartz called Giving Good Praise to Girls: What Messages Stick:
How to praise kids: It’s a hot topic for many parents and educators. A lot of the conversation around it has stemmed from studies by Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford who has been researching this specific topic for many years.
“My research shows that praise for intelligence or ability backfires,” said Dweck, who co-authored a seminal research paper on the effects of praise on motivation and performance. “What we’ve shown is that when you praise someone, say, ‘You’re smart at this,’ the next time they struggle, they think they’re not. It’s really about praising the process they engage in, not how smart they are or how good they are at it, but taking on difficulty, trying many different strategies, sticking to it and achieving over time.”
But what some might not know is that this paradox is strongest for girls.
Dweck’s research, which focuses on what makes people seek challenging tasks, persist through difficulty and do well over time, has shown that many girls believe their abilities are fixed, that individuals are born with gifts and can’t change. Her research finds that when girls think this way, they often give up, rather than persisting through difficulties. They don’t think they possess the ability to improve, and nowhere is the phenomenon stronger than in maths.
“We have research showing that women who believe maths is an acquired set of skills, not a gift you have or don’t have, fare very well,” Dweck said. “Even when they have a period of difficulty and even when they’re in an environment that they say is full of negative stereotyping.” This research suggests parents and educators should rethink what implicit and explicit messages are being sent to young girls about achievement.
If adults emphasise that all skills are learned through a process of engagement, value challenge and praise efforts to supersede frustration rather than only showing excitement over the right answer, girls will show resilience. It also might help to provide a roadmap to correct the gender imbalance that already exists in fields requiring maths and science, jobs that often involve setbacks, “failing,” and overcoming challenges.
“The kids who are getting this process praise, those are the kids who want the challenge.”
Dweck has found that socialisation and beliefs about learning ability are developed at early ages. “Mother’s praise to their babies, one to three years of age, predicts that child’s mindset and desire for challenge five years later,” Dweck said. “It doesn’t mean it is set in stone, but it means that kind of value system — what you’re praising, what you say is important — it’s sinking in. And the kids who are getting this process praise, strategy and taking on hard things and sticking to them, those are the kids who want the challenge.”
Dweck understands it isn’t easy to praise process and emphasise the fun in challenging situations. Kids like direct praise, but to Dweck lauding achievement is like feeding them junk food – it’s bad for them.
An implicit argument here is that failure in small doses is good …“If you have little failures along the way and have them understand that’s part of learning, and that you can actually derive useful information about what to do next, that’s really useful,” Dweck said.
She believes families should sit around the dinner table discussing the day’s struggles and new strategies for attacking the problem. In life, no one can be perfect and learning to view little failures as learning experiences, or opportunities to grow could be the most valuable lesson of all. (Schwartz, 2013)
Reference: Schwartz, K. (2013). Giving Good Praise to Girls: What Messages Stick. [online] MindShift. Available at: http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/04/24/giving-good-praise-to-girls-what-messages-stick/ [Accessed 12 Jul. 2015].
Mrs Kim Cohen
20 April 2017
Welcome all new families and welcome back all ‘old’ families to Term 2 in the Year of Possibility. I trust that you and your families had a rejuvenating and blessed Easter.
This term we welcome back Kaye Broadfoot from Long Service Leave and Sandy Cox who will be filling in for Katrina Cutcliffe who will be on leave for Term 2.
There are also a number of staff who are in Acting Positions whilst others are on leave:
- Alison Bedford: Acting Deputy Head of Senior Years
- Jennifer McPhie: Acting Head of Middle Years Science
- Amy Theobold: Acting Head of Senior Years Science
- Sue Watts: Acting Head of Physical Education
- Jason Wisley: Acting Head of The Arts
We also welcome to The Glennie family, Franklin John Edwin Hede. Frankie was born on 12 April to proud mum, Crystal Hede, Head of Physical Education, and dad, Michael. Congratulations to the Hede family!
As you will have already heard we will no longer be taking part in the NAPLAN Online Trial that was supposed to be happening in 2017. We were to be one of 12 independent schools in Queensland to take part in the trial. We undertook a range of preparation and readiness activities to ensure that staff and students would be prepared for the online test. The independent schools decided to withdraw from the trial after concerns were raised by the Education Minister in light of unacceptable problems encountered during pilot tests were run by Ed Queensland. We are not prepared to have our students disadvantaged by the technology. (Since first writing this article, all states have withdrawn from NAPLAN online: http://www.smh.com.au/national/all-australian-states-abandon-online-naplan-due-to-glitches-20170419-gvnj6j.html )
Parker Palmer in his book, A Courage to Teach (2007), says, ‘There are no formulas for good teaching, and the advice of experts has but marginal utility. If we want to grow in our practice, we have two primary places to go: to the inner ground from which good teaching comes and to the community of fellow teachers from whom we can learn more about ourselves and our craft’ (p146). With this quote in mind and in the spirit of rising to challenges in the Year of Possibility, teachers will be welcoming colleagues into their classrooms to watch them teach. They will learn from each other by observing lessons and giving and receiving constructive feedback. This term I will move my focus from meeting with all staff to spending time in classrooms across both campuses, to gain deeper insight into the teaching, student engagement and learning that is happening across the school.
Wishing you a blessed weekend and week ahead.
Mrs Kim Cohen
29 March 2017
I have been thinking a lot about the power of silence as I am continually bombarded by the beeps, pings, chimes and rings emanating from all the devices I have dotted around my home and office, as well as those belonging to my family, colleagues, friends and passers-by on the street. Not to mention the continual Rugby commentary emanating from the lounge room! Oh for the sound of silence – that rare commodity; parents long for it and adolescents shy away from it.
As the girls come to the end of a very busy term and embrace their free time, I would like to reflect on the importance of silence and its benefits. It is so seldom that we can take a while to enjoy a moment in this bustling world, and yet it is so important that we do. All too often we have the TV blaring in the background, our children reach for the radio/IPad/mobile phone the minute they climb into the car and, of course, the incessant variety of sounds emanating from our phones and computers reminding us that we are on call 24/7. Is it any wonder that they, and we, are frazzled at the end of the day – only to have sleep interrupted by vibrations and buzzes from our ‘silenced’ technology? We seem to constantly feel the need to be in touch, to be stimulated and engaged mentally.
Yet there is a lot of research regarding the benefits of silence to one’s health. Noise and especially noise over 30 decibels is associated with high blood pressure, anxiety, and stress. Dr Paul Haider (2012) in his article, The Health Benefits of Silence – Simple Yet Profound, lists some of the benefits of silence:
- Silence lowers blood pressure and allows you to deal with life’s challenges in a better way.
- Silence is like plugging in your phone… your mind needs to recharge too… and it does more recharging in silence than it does during sleep.
- Silence boosts your immune system… making it easier for your body to fight off invading bacteria and other pathogens.
- Silence makes you happy, spending time in silence boosts your brain chemistry… and as a great side effect you’re able to focus better too!
- Silence reduces stress (lowers blood cortisol levels and adrenaline levels) which is the biggest killer in the world… adding 30 minutes of silence a day can change your life.
- Silence allows for good hormone regulation and interaction of all the hormone related systems in your body.
- Silence helps your brain to become more interactive, thus you work with more of your brain… leading to higher cognitive abilities.
It would be wonderful if, during the holidays, our daughters could take 5 to 15 minutes (or more) every day to immerse themselves in silence – no music, no phone, no computer. Understandably this may be uncomfortable for them and would require a certain amount of willpower. Susan Leigh, of Lifestyle Therapy, understands that this can be difficult; she says ‘Silence requires us to become more confident, confident in our ability to be quiet and still, to find an inner peace that can enable us to sit and enjoy the silence… It is enough to just be there, in a relaxed, comfortable state of mind’. For those who cannot bear the thought of doing nothing for a few minutes they could fill this time with silent prayer, learn to meditate, read a passage that requires some contemplation or spend time reflecting.
As you can see from Dr Haider’s list, embracing silence and being comfortable with one’s own company can be a wonderful way to reduce stress at the same time as being very therapeutic. In the words of Lao Tzu, Silence is a source of Great Strength.
Wishing you all a blessed and peaceful holiday and Easter weekend.
Mrs Kim Cohen
24 March 2017
On Friday 17 March I received a letter from Sherril Molloy, Executive Director Anglican Schools Commission. I have included snippets of it below:
Today the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse began a public hearing into the Anglican Church of Australia at which data from a national analysis of complaints of child sexual abuse reported to dioceses between 1980 and 2015 was revealed.
As expected, the figures for the Diocese of Brisbane were shocking, shameful and profoundly disappointing. The Diocese of Brisbane was found to have had the highest number of allegations of any diocese in Australia (371); the highest number of perpetrators (208) and the highest number of complaints to schools (173).
The figures were expected, not just because of the shocking abuse cases unearthed within the Diocese, but particularly because of how the Diocese of Brisbane handles allegations of abuse.
In her opening address to the Inquiry today, Counsel Assisting Gail Furness, SC, virtually singled out Brisbane as the only diocese in Australia that requires the diocese to be notified of all allegations of child sexual abuse in schools.
This is important as the data collection project only requested child sexual abuse data held by dioceses alone. Anglican Church dioceses were not asked to provide information in relation to complaints from associated institutions (such as schools) if information about those complaints was not already contained in diocesan records. In other dioceses, allegations of child sexual abuse in schools are handled by the school and not reported to the diocese.
In addition, the Brisbane Diocese has, for more than a decade, actively sought out survivors of abuse to encourage them to come forward to receive care and assistance.
This may go some way to explaining why Brisbane’s figures in relation to schools are so high, and while the figures from other major metropolitan dioceses are so low. It does not, however, explain away the fact that the Diocese of Brisbane had so many horrifying cases of abuse as there can be no justification for the failure of the Church and schools to protect children in our care.
Please be aware that at The Glennie School we have strict child protection policies and procedures in place, and all our staff undertake significant, regular training in this regard. The measures put in place to better protect children at Glennie (and other Anglican Schools) include:
- We have seven trained student protection officers who are supported by a former police detective inspector, a current police detective senior constable and a former State Government senior child safety officer at Anglican schools Commission.
- All staff have regular training to keep them up to date on legislation and issues about child protection.
- All potential employees undergo screening and have the legislated requirements to work with children.
- Background checks are done on all potential employees, undertaken by the Director of Professional Standards.
- There is mandatory reporting of any and all allegations (or suspicions) of child sexual abuse, to the Principal, the Director of Professional Standards, the police and the State Government.
- We have regular independent school safety audits to ensure child safety.
In support of the Anglican Schools’ Commission and The Glennie School’s commitment to child safety, we will be undergoing an Independent Student Protection and Working with Children Compliance Audit from Wednesday 19 April to Friday 21 April 2017.
Mrs Kim Cohen
17 March 2017
The Glennie family has once again shown its incredible community spirit as we celebrated the wonderful Glennie Fair together on Sunday, and what a joyful event it was. Huge thanks need to go to everyone involved; I wish I could name you all individually but I know that there were so many working behind the scenes and I would definitely leave someone out. It would be remiss of me, however, not to mention Jason Lipp and Sharon Wilmington, as well as all the hardworking members of the P & F, our facilities staff and the School’s development office, as well as all the teachers who worked on the day. I would also like to make mention of the Glennie Old Girls Committee, Mr John Devine, Ms Teresa Mundt, Mrs Lynda Shapcott and Mrs Cindy Ryan, who together created a very successful and highly enjoyable art exhibition.
Today we farewell our visiting students and staff from Kyoto Girls Junior High School. These visits are not only of great value to the Japanese students, but also to our own girls. All students who interact with our visitors learn something new about another culture and many create new and lasting friendships. I would like to extend my thanks to those who hosted the girls and I hope that your families were enriched by the experience. Thank you too to Ms Megan O'Reilly for her amazing organisation of the tour.
Mrs Kim Cohen
Photo galleries and video clips
10 March 2017
From the Principal
On Wednesday I addressed students on the importance of being feminists, not the slogan shouting, aggressive, man-hating minority of old, but rather those committed to the true meaning of the word. That is: the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. I have tasked our girls to be strong, to always question and to stand up to those who may try to bring them down due to lack of knowledge or understanding. I have tasked our girls to ensure that they do not accept sexist comments or put downs and that they educate their brothers and friends in the true meaning of the word. They can do this by encouraging them to actively support equality in all spheres; education, employment and leadership, to name only a few.
After my address, Anthea Moodie totally outshone me in her presentation to the girls. I have shared it below:
It has been my honour to be asked to speak to you all today, so without any further ado, I’ll get going.
So how many of you have brothers? How many of you have an older brother specifically? I know, I know today is about empowering women, but this is where I’ll begin. I personally have two older brothers, not just a little bit older than me, but quite a few years. They have always expected me to keep up with them and there was no slowing down for me as a little girl. I was treated as one of them, watching footy games as well as trying to play along myself. Of course, they were always stronger, always better and faster too. However, being my usual competitive self, I would strive to be as great as they were in every aspect of life. But now as I’ve grown older I’ve had a change of perspective. Why should I be the one trying to be like them? Why can’t I be the one they’re constantly striving to be stronger than, better than and faster than? Why can’t I be bold?
This has been a thought I’ve kept in the back of my mind throughout my sporting career. My brothers were always interested in my achievements, constantly messaging poor Mum as I completed each jump. Their interest in what I was doing and achieving was, and still is, motivating in itself. In simple terms I just wanted to “show them up”, and in some ways, I feel as if I have. Now that I have two nephews and another on the way, I want to aim to be someone they can look up to, regardless of my gender. I want them growing up believing that both men and women can be role models, that gender creates no barrier no matter the circumstance. This is why I choose to be bold.
As you all already know, this year’s theme for International Women’s Day is Be Bold for Change. But what does the term bold specifically mean? “Being bold” can be defined as a person who shows a willingness to take risks, being confident and courageous in their actions. I know for myself and possibly for many of you, I hear the term “risk” and think, skydiving, bungee jumping or doing a backflip. But for us as women, taking a risk can be something as simple as voicing our opinions, standing up for ourselves and what we believe in, having the confidence to express the person we truly are in any and every way possible. Because in the end, who is the person you spend every single second with? The answer is simple, ourselves. The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet. There is no reason why we, shouldn’t be bold.
The terms ‘bold’ and ‘change’ fit hand in hand. For women, being bold leads to something more, it leads to change within ourselves, our actions and effectively, the world around us. As Leon Brown once said, “for every positive change you make in your life, something else also changes for the better – it creates a chain reaction.” And for this reason, I cannot stress how important it is that we, as an all-girls school, empower each other. What a wonderful opportunity we have been given as young women to have the chance to inspire one another for the whole 36 weeks of the school year. There will never be another opportunity like it. So why should we wait? There is nothing to lose yet so much to gain, but we sit back in fear of being bold. We all need to be bold, not only bold but bold for change.
With a frame of mind like this, all of your dreams and aspirations will fall into place. Never doubt that there will be hardships, there will be negativity and people around you who tell you, you can’t. For myself with a sporting background, I’ve experienced these lows time and time again. Injuries are common, training sessions are gruelling, competitions very rarely meet with your self-expectations, and I ask myself why do I continue? It is the drive to be bold, the drive to have the courage to sacrifice and take risks. And also because I want to continue to show my brothers up. Each and every one of you sitting before me today can relate to me, you all have your very own reasons to continue your drive and to empower one another. We are women, and we will celebrate International Women’s Day. But why limit ourselves to be inspired for a short one day of the year? There are no limits; together - you, and you and you and you - all of us, all of the women in the world can Be Bold for Change.
Mrs Kim Cohen
3 March 2017
Recently I spoke to a teacher who has just returned from spending her entire Christmas break working as a volunteer teacher in a small town on the Burmese border. She spoke of the abject poverty and dirt in the town, but what made the biggest impression on her was the respect and gratitude that the students in her very cramped classroom displayed each and every day. They had so little, but they were so grateful for the opportunity to get an education that they disregarded the conditions of their learning and just savoured the opportunity to learn.
I often speak to students about the importance and benefits of being grateful. One of the topics that I have touched on is the acknowledgement of awesome things in the world around us. It is so easy to go through a day without noticing the little things; the smell of rain on a dusty road, the tear on a baby’s eyelash, the love of a pet dog. When we take time out to notice and appreciate these things – smell the roses if you like – our world becomes a better place. One of my favourite websites is called 1000 Awesome Things, it can be a great source of inspiration and can bring a smile to the most hardened hearts. Some of the examples of awesome things that it lists are: seeing wildlife when you’re not expecting it; getting the eyelash out of your eye; picking up a q and u at the same time in scrabble; and (I love this one) intergenerational dancing. Silly I know, but just reading them and thinking, ‘that’s good’, can make you feel warm inside and grateful for the smallest things. Things that we take for granted. You can find it here http://1000awesomethings.com/
Robert A. Emmons in his book Thanks! How practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier (2007), defines gratitude as ‘the acknowledgment of goodness in one’s life . . . and recognising that the source(s) of this goodness lie at least partially outside the self’. It is well documented that a person’s sense of wellbeing can be closely linked to their sense of gratitude and even more so if a person takes time out every day to write just one or two things for which they are grateful. It is therefore worth encouraging our daughters to take notice of the world around them and frequently (daily if possible) write or sketch something for which they are grateful – be it a bowl of breakfast cereal or a banquet at a restaurant, an iPad or a pen, a parent or Senior Resident . . . If they do this in a special book meant specifically for this purpose, it could become something that they may look at in years to come with appreciation.
Gratitude is a skill that needs to be practised, Martin Seligman, founder of the Positive Psychology movement, explains:
We think too much about what goes wrong and not enough about what goes right in our lives. Of course, sometimes it makes sense to analyse bad events so that we can learn from them and avoid them in the future. However, people tend to spend more time thinking about what is bad in life than is helpful. Worse, this focus on negative events sets us up for anxiety and depression. One way to keep this from happening is to get better at thinking about and savouring what went well.
For sound evolutionary reasons, most of us are not nearly as good at dwelling on good events as we are at analysing bad events. Those of our ancestors who spent a lot of time basking in the sunshine of good events, when they should have been preparing for disaster, did not survive the Ice Age. So to overcome our brains’ natural catastrophic bent, we need to work on and practise this skill of thinking about what went well.
Emmons, R.A. (2007), Thanks! How Practising Gratitude Can Make You Happier, Houghton Mifflin Company, USA
Teaching staff going on leave
As we approach the end of term, it is timely to inform you of some temporary staff absences over the next few terms due to staff on Long Service or Maternity Leave. All of this leave has been planned and arrangements made well in advance to ensure the least disruption to student learning.
- Mr John Farmer
- Ms Sue Contarini
- Mrs Sharon Gilbert
- Ms Kathy O’Brien
- Ms Crystal Hede (Maternity Leave for the remainder of 2017)
- Ms Sue Contarini
- Ms Kathy O’Brien
- Ms Cathy Waters
- Ms Pauline Gehrmann
Ms Tonia Gloudemans will provide you with more details regarding staff in acting leadership positions within the next few weeks.
Mrs Kim Cohen
17 February 2017
Last weekend, Head of Middle Years, Mrs Jo Matherson; Senior Resident of Boarding, Mrs Gayle Ash; Registrar, Mrs Karen Morris and I braved the 45º heat for the first leg of the Glennie regional tour. This was the first time I have travelled to these towns to meet boarding families who were unable to join us for the Welcome Drinks that occurred prior to the start of Term 1.
First stop was Millmerran where a lovely morning tea was hosted by Mrs McKinlay and her daughter, Year 12 student Meg, at their family property. A lovely garden setting greeted us for the function, and we appreciated the McKinlays’ efforts in making us feel so welcome. We thank the new parents and girls who came along to find out more about Glennie. Your time commitment on such a hot day was wonderful.
A short drive to Inglewood and a delightful lunch at Mr and Mrs Markey’s property was a wonderful way to catch up with current and prospective Glennie families in the area. It was also nice to catch up with Mrs Shona Clark-Dickson the local ICPA representative.
On the road again to Goondiwindi. Old Girl Melissa Lewis (Boughton, 1998) catered a wonderful function at The Larder for our boarding families and it was a delight for Glennie staff to speak with so many new parents and girls ready to start their boarding journey.
After a relaxing sleep in air-conditioned comfort at Ascot Lodge Motor Inn, we took to the road for Meandarra. Mrs Coggan and 2015 School Captain, Emily-Louise, were gracious hosts and introduced us to their friends and families in the region who are current boarding families or families exploring their boarding options.
On the way home, our Dalby families welcomed us with open arms. It was delightful to see a few new faces in the region, and we look forward to showing them around the School when they next visit Toowoomba.
The hospitality extended by boarding families was outstanding and paves the way for more exciting tours. I would like to thank Mrs Matherson, Mrs Ash and Mrs Morris for their company and time away from families to accompany me on the tour. I am looking forward to meeting more families when we hit the road again on the 25 February to visit families in the areas of Taroom, Roma and Chinchilla.
Wishing you all a blessed and relaxing weekend and fulfilling week ahead.
Mrs Kim Cohen