24 November 2017
Yesterday we celebrated the end of the Year of Possibility and acknowledged student achievement in its very different forms during The Glennie School Junior Years and Middle and Senior Years Speech Days and Prize-giving Celebrations. Below I have shared parts of my presentation for those who could not be there.
Start by doing what is necessary, then do what’s possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible (St Francis of Assisi).
This quote has inspired me (and often kept me going) during this, the year of Possibility. At the start of each term I have reshared this quote with all staff members, hoping that they might be similarly motivated.
I have been delighted to see the community embrace the theme that Wendy Ashley-Cooper and I chose over a year ago. It is hard to embrace change especially when a new person takes over the helm after fifteen years. I thank all of you who have done just that this year. Instead of pining for the old, and focusing on ‘how we’ve always done it’ – you embraced the Year of Possibility and the new Principal, done what is necessary, then what’s possible and finally we are ‘negotiating the impossible’. Be that in the classroom, on the sports fields, in staff rooms, in the kitchen and in the boarding house, Junior Years and Middle and Senior Years. I thank you - but this is only the Beginning!
During Term 2 and 3 as a staff we have been working hard on the creation of the School’s new Strategic Plan. We relied on input from parents and students and have created our living document.
First we determined the four underpinning core values of all that we do here; the values that determine how we live our lives at Glennie and go about our day to day activities.
These values are - Respect , Integrity , Compassion and Courage .
- Integrity: We are truthful and sincere.
- Respect: We respect ourselves and treat others with courtesy, dignity and positive regard.
- Compassion: We treat each other as we wish to be treated ourselves.
- Courage: We continue to strive to improve as individuals and we remain positive and resilient, despite adversity or challenge.
Once these values were determined and agreed upon we decided on the five Pillars of our core business at Glennie and came up with:
- Empowered Girls
- Enriched Learning
- Passionate Staff
- Connected Community
- Sustainable Operations
There is of course more detail under each of these Pillars and this will be available from next week on the school’s website.
I have decided to continue the tradition the Mrs Ashley-Cooper started, where the Principal determines the theme for the year and how to name it. She called the theme, The Year of . . . for example, The Year of Possibility. From the very first time I heard the Glennie tag line – “All She Can Be”, I fell in love with it because of its complexity, and at the same time simplicity. So going forward the annual themes will focus around this tag-line, from now on we will refer to the theme of the year as ‘Being’. In other words Be Courageous, Be Inspiring, Be Active etc.
And our theme for 2018 is Be Like a Girl.
What does it mean to Be Like a Girl? It will mean different things to different people. But in this day and age it certainly should only have positive connotations. To me Be Like a Girl means:
- Be feminine yet strong
- Be compassionate yet firm
- Be nurturing yet challenging
- Be gracious yet competitive
- Be thoughtful yet ambitious
- Be respectful yet respected
- Be helpful yet independent
It means - Be all you can be!
I expect that it means very different things to each of you, but I certainly hope your list does not include - be subservient, be submissive, be content with less than you deserve.
We’ve come a long way in the past few decades, but girls, it is now up to you to take it the next step and empower yourselves to step forward and run, throw, study, lead, achieve like a girl.
Being empowered does not mean be like a man and that is why I like this theme. So often people, men and women, believe that to get ahead, to be successful you need to be like a man. When I say ‘like a man’, that is the conventional idea of men - authoritarian, hard, uncompassionate. We all know that is not what being a man is about - but I will leave that for the Principal’s of Boys’ Schools to delve into.
We need men and women, girls and boys, working together, on an equal playing field in order for society and our culture to move forward positively. There is no ‘better’ gender. There are just different genders.
Emma Watson (Hermione to many of you) said, “Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong”
In my speech at the Year 12 Graduation, I referred to strong women in the bible who epitomise different values. I would like to refer again to two women in particular – Lydia and Phoebe. According to Joan Chittister, both of these women behaved like girls in the true sense of the word – they were strong and independent, trustworthy and did good by others. These characteristics are not the sole preserve of girls – but they certainly have them in truckloads. Lydia opened a whole new way of thinking about the world, she was a business woman who negotiated with those who made clothes for kings. She had influence. Lydia did what she set out to do.
Phoebe was also an independent woman, but certainly not self-centred. To her, friendship to all obligated her to the good of the other but at the same time did not deny the obligation to fullness of self.
So Glennie girls of 2018 and Seniors of 2017 I encourage you to stand up for yourselves and others. Do not shy away from a challenge or opportunity because you believe you cannot do it. Instead of having the mantra I can’t do it (I never want to hear that) rather add an important word to your vocabulary, ‘yet’; rather say, ‘I can’t do it yet’.
This week we sadly farewell a number of staff members from Glennie and wish them well with their future endeavours:
Teachers leaving us at the end of their contracts are:
- Mrs Victoria Macdonald
- Mrs Debbie Leis
- Ms Katelyn Hannah
- Mr Richard Jessop
- Mrs Kristen Sessarago
- Mrs Liza Barnes
- Mr Wally Richards
- Mrs Kelly Dyson
- Ms Stephenie Fox
- Mr Peter Klein
Teachers who have been teaching with us for some years and are heading off to pursue further career options are:
- Mrs Kerryn Chapman is leaving after 11 years providing dedicated learning support to Glennie girls to commence her own business assisting children requiring extra support.
- Miss Lauren Potter is leaving after many years of building the Junior Years sports program. Miss Potter has worked with every Junior Years girl and has had a positive impact on their lives.
- Mrs Sue Fuss has worked at Glennie for over 20 years, teaching in all year levels from Prep to Year 6. All Junior Years girl will miss Mrs Fuss.
- Mrs Shaz Willmington who has been on leave this year has decided to conclude her part-time role in Year 3. We thank her for her support and care over the years.
- Mrs Amber Vendramin has been a passionate supporter of the students in Learning Support during her time here. Her friendly smile and engaging demeanour brightened up the day for many girls.
- Mrs Caroline McLean leaves us to take up a position at Mt Alvernia in Brisbane. The love and dedication that she has brought to her role as English teacher and Head of Middle Years English will be missed by all.
- Mrs Jennifer McPhie is currently on leave and during her time away made the decision not to return to Glennie and has resigned with effect 31 December. Ms McPhie has been at Glennie for four years and during this time has been a passionate teacher of Science.
- After almost 22 years Reverend Kate Powell has said her last goodbye. Miss Powell has had a profound effect on most who have crossed her path during this time. One of her lasting legacies will be the amazing Ribbon day which she initiated.
- Mrs Anthea Rowe has been familiar face in the Glennie Junior Years Tuck Shop for some years now and she has made sure that girls have healthy and well balanced options to choose from. The Junior Years girls will miss her.
Mrs Tracey Patrick has worked at Glennie for almost ten years. She first joined us as Administrative Assistant in the Performing Arts Centre. For the past few years she has been the face of the Middle and Senior Years Office as the Academic Administration guru. She will be missed.
Director of Operations Mr John Devine is taking up a new role in Tasmania as State Manager of AICD. We thank him for his dedicated service to The Glennie School over the past two years.
As a staff we will be saying our farewells formally today to our departing colleagues, but in this forum I would like to express my thanks and wish you all well in your new ventures.
To all our Glennie families, may God bless and keep you until we meet again in a couple of month’s time. Best wishes for a blessed and joyous Christmas.
We thank you Lord, for this year. For the challenges, the successes and the mistakes from which we have learnt.
Be with us as we spend our time with family and friends.
Guide us to be peacemakers, and to always be conscious of you in our lives.
Keep us safe in all that we do; give us good rest and good fun.
Bring us back refreshed and ready for a new term.
Mrs Kim Cohen
17 November 2017
What an amazing week this has been, filled with bittersweet emotions. The Year 12s and their parents have enjoyed a time of shared goodbyes. Thank you so much to all involved in the planning and organisation of this very special week and a heartfelt thank you to the Year 12s for ending in such a gracious manner. You girls have been a joy to have as the leaders of the school. God go with you.
As we are at the end of the year it is important that I inform you of some changes that will come into place next year.
In order to create more tangible links across the whole school and to ensure that we provide the required about of time for every subject in every grade throughout the year we have decided to match up the structure of the day across JY and MSY. We will also be starting each school day at 8.30am, except Monday which will start at 8.45am in the Middle/Senior Years:
- 8:30 – 8:45 Tutor Time (Except Monday)
- 8:45 – 9:25 Lesson 1
- 9:25 – 10:05 Lesson 2
- 10:05 – 10:35 Recess (30 minutes)
- 10:35 – 11:15 Lesson 3
- 11:15 – 11:55 Lesson 4
- 11:55 – 12:35 Lesson 5
- 12:35 – 1:15 Lunch (40 minutes)
- 1:15 – 1:55 Lesson 6
- 1:55 – 2:35 Lesson 7
- 2:35 – 3:15 Lesson 8
The lessons highlighted in bold will be doubles in the MSY.
According to Ben Jensen et.al., teachers’ professional development is a key factor in improved student outcomes. In their journal article, Beyond PD: Teacher Professional Learning in High-Performing Systems they recognise that PD cannot be an add-on to be done in one’s ‘spare time’
For all of these people, professional learning is central to their jobs. It is not an add-on. It is not something done on Friday afternoons or on a few days at the end of the school year. Teacher professional learning is how they all improve student learning; it is how they improve schools, and it is how they are evaluated in their jobs. They work in systems that are organized around improvement strategies explicitly anchored in teacher professional learning. The reasons for this are straightforward. High-performing systems focus on the professional learning practices that the evidence has consistently shown appreciably lifts teacher and student learning. ... ensures that collaborative professional learning is built into the daily lives of teachers and school leaders, which is reinforced by resourcing policies that free up teachers’ time for collaborative professional learning (Jensen, et.al., 2016).
With this in mind, at Glennie we will be incorporating a portion of teachers’ professional development into the teaching day once a fortnight. This will not impact on learning time as it will be when we timetable specialist lessons, House and Junior Chapel services, guest speakers, personal development workshops, House time, study sessions etc. MSY will also be lengthening their school days by 10 minutes a day, 4 days a week, which equate to 80 minutes a fortnight.
Mrs Kim Cohen
10 November 2017
Every year at this time I think not only about the young women in our care who are about to embark on their next exciting adventure, but also about you, as parents, and how you are managing this time of their, and your, lives.
As the mother of three daughters, the youngest of whom graduated from school in 2015, I understand the feeling of panic as the final day of the final year of school arrives. After the dust of the celebrations settled we found ourselves wondering: ‘What now?’ The lines that demarcated rules and boundaries become blurred as the structure, supported by years of schooling, shifted. We all felt somewhat at sea. The comfort and security of the school day routine had been pulled from under our feet and, as a family, we were left to muddle through a whole new set of challenges without guidelines or the clearly defined set of boundaries that school life provided.
I found consolation in the fact we were not alone. Most parents had come down to earth with an anti-climactic bang after all the school-is-out excitement was over and the realisation hit home that our daughters were moving on to the next great adventure — The Rest of Their Lives.
The Year 12s of The Glennie School start this journey in just over a week. It is an exciting and exhilarating time, filled with promise and anticipation; a time of both setting forth and letting go. For many of them it will mean the shedding of an old skin to make way for the new. They will find it necessary to relinquish the idealised versions of themselves and others, of relationships and life after school, in favour of the real version. This process may involve coming to terms with opportunities not taken, situations mishandled and the fact that childhood is definitively over. With all of this there is an inevitable sense of loss; new doors cannot open unless old ones close. Thus, it is important for us to allow our girls a space to negotiate the various and often contradictory range of emotions that accompany leaving.
As your daughters settle into life after school, you as parents may often feel frustrated at their apparent disinterest in taking full advantage of all the opportunities available to them — especially as they may appear to have so much time at their disposal. It helps to remember they are at a different developmental stage to us. They are in the process of finding their own way — and not necessarily taking the path we would have them choose — while seeking to understand their place and role in the world. The ties that bind them to us are often stretched taut during this time of change. The good news is this is the time when they begin to value their parents once more (Carr-Gregg and Shale, 2002) — though this may not be immediately apparent!
While the end of School is exciting, it can also be the source of great anxiety.
Remember, this is a time when many young people may be experiencing a degree of fear. A fear of failure, which may be compounded by the initial lack of recognition of their skills and accomplishments by the university, TAFE or new employers, is not uncommon. With the support of parents and family and the knowledge that it is sometimes safe to fail, they should be well equipped to face what lies ahead. We would be wise to remember the words of Thomas Szasz who said: ‘A child becomes an adult when he realises that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong’. During their time at secondary school they may have experienced what they perceived as failure. This may have been in a test, on the sports field, when applying for positions of leadership or even in the awarding of academic prizes. The fact that this occurred in a safe, supportive environment would have taught them some of the skills required in overcoming disillusionment or failure in later life.
There are a number of ways in which we can support our daughters during these years of transition. These include listening, being encouraging, staying calm, accepting of them (but not their bad behaviour), assisting when appropriate, being patient as they adapt to this new period of their lives and respecting their decisions (Edwards and English, 2005). In respecting their decisions we show them that we view them as young adults. At the same time they know if they make the wrong decisions their parents are always there as the safe haven to which they can return. Relationships will mature into ones based on mutual respect and affection and young people may even accept assistance in planning strategies when making decisions or aiming to achieve goals (Carr-Gregg and Shale, 2002).
And there’s you. Allow yourself a sense of sadness as your girl–woman moves into a new space, emotionally and physically. But also allow yourself a sense of joy. For you, as parents, have brought them this far, holding, nurturing, caring and guiding. And by doing so you have given them the ability to be all they can be.
Mrs Kim Cohen
3 November 2017
This is a time of year which is filled with a mix of emotions. Sadness, excitement and fear is experienced as Year 12s and Year 6s prepare to leave the comfort of a place where they have spent the majority of their time for many years in order to move to bigger things. For the Year 6 girls they may be leaving the halls of the Glennie School to embrace a new adventure, or making the big move across the road to experience all the Glennie Middle and Senior Years has to offer. Our Year 12s are preparing for their very last school exams, thinking ahead to the celebrations that follow and dreaming of the world that lies out there beyond the Glennie picket fence.
At the same time the Year 11s are experiencing some trepidation tinged with either joy or maybe some sadness as they learn of their success or otherwise in securing a coveted leadership position. It is important at times like these that students who have not received the position they desired can reach deep and use the resilience they all have within to bounce forward, rather than bounce back.
Our Year 11s have managed themselves with grace throughout the leadership process. They have done themselves, their families and their school proud. I speak of the girls who have realised their goals of being elected into their chosen leadership positions as well as those who were disappointed not to be elected. The students have encouraged, supported and helped each other on a challenging journey; at all times keeping it in perspective. The gracious way in which they have congratulated the chosen leaders or reminisced with those not chosen should be a lesson to us all.
Disappointment is not a bad thing; it is normal and can be worked through, but regret is a sad emotion. Regret can be summed up as ‘would of, should of, could of’. Many of our Year 11s may be feeling some disappointment - that’s okay, this can help them to create strategies to cope with let-downs in later life. It is an opportunity to grow in confidence and resilience. Very few, if any, of our girls will be feeling regret; throughout the process they were honest, they spoke with conviction and showed themselves in a great light. And if a few tears were shed along the way - well that’s just human nature.
I believe that with the calibre of students at our school the Year 12 cohort for 2018 will go from strength to strength, as all students join in leading the School into the future.
Congratulations and good luck to our new leaders:
School Captain: Rachel Hall
School Vice-Captain: Zoe McLoughlin
Committee Leaders 2018
- Academic Captain: Claudia Sullivan
- Academic Vice-Captain: Charlotte Lindemann
- Arts Captain: Georgia Meise
- Arts Vice-Captain: Sophie Little
- Boarding Captain: Paige Corke
- Boarding Vice-Captain: Shannon Rush
- Chapel Captain: Josephine Mahony
- Chapel Vice-Captain: Rachel Turner
- Interact Captain: Stephanie Wentzel
- Interact Vice-Captain: Chene Malan
- Sport Captain: Georgie Daniells
- Sport Vice-Captain: Abigail Schoorl
- SWC Captain: Isabella Nolte
- SWC Vice-Captain: Kate Reeves
- TIP Captain: Piper Salisbury
- TIP Vice-Captain: Alexandra Gurner (Whittaker)
- Donaldson Captain: Renee Clark
- Donaldson Vice-Captain: Amy Eiser
- Hale Captain: Matilda Parry-Okeden
- Hale Vice-Captain: Kodi Koina
- Tufnell Captain: Amelia Moss
- Tufnell Vice-Captain: Lily Ryan
- Webber Captain: Maddie Malone
- Webber Vice-Captain: Ellie Reedy
Mrs Kim Cohen
27 October 2017
I am delighted to announce the appointment of two new key staff members to The Glennie School for 2018:
Ms Jodi Blades will take on the newly created role of Dean of Students and Rev Sharon Baird will take over from Rev Kate Powell as The Glennie School Chaplain (K to 12). Both Sharon and Jodie come with a wealth of experience in Independent Schools in Queensland.
Ms Blades is a passionate educator who currently holds the position of Head of Year at St Ursula’s. She has a deep understanding of the integral part that relationships play in learning and the interrelationship between pastoral care and academic success. She has led and managed students and teachers across multiple educational platforms. Jodi has a deep commitment to girls’ education and has taught in all girls’ day and boarding schools for 16 years. I have no doubt that the experience, professionalism and passion that she will bring to the role of leading the Pastoral Care team at Glennie will add to the culture of the school and enhance the wellbeing of our students.
Rev Baird has worked as a School Chaplain since 2006 across Kindy, Junior and Secondary campuses. She is currently the School Chaplain at Hillbrook School in Brisbane. Rev Baird is committed to fulfilling God’s call on her life as a Priest and an educator, leading school communities and inspiring young people to explore a relationship with God. As a mother of a teenage daughter, Sharon is sensitive to the joys and challenges of raising and educating girls and young women to live fulfilling lives and to be the best they can be. We are excited to welcome Rev Baird to the Glennie community as she encourages and continues to develop the identity of the School as an Anglican faith community through encouraging and nurturing Christian faith amongst staff and students, developing the practice of Service Learning and offering pastoral care to students, staff and parents.
As we come to the end of the Year of Possibility and I draw close to ‘unveiling’ the new Strategic Plan to the School community at Speech Day, it is timely for me to inform you of changes in the structure of the School’s leadership team.
Until the end of 2017 the structure is:
- Principal (on executive team)
- Head of Senior Years: Mrs Tonia Gloudemans (on executive team)
- Deputy Head of Senior Years: Mr John Farmer
- Head of Middle Years: Mrs Jo Matheson (on executive team)
- Deputy Head of Middle Years: Mr Russell Baldock
- Head of Junior Years: Mr Steve Warren (on executive team)
- Deputy Head of Junior Years: Mrs Brenda Suhr
- Director of Finance and Facilities: Mr Jason Hockaday (on executive team)
- Director of Operations: Mr John Devine (on executive team)
The new executive team (2018), made up of positions aligned with the new Strategic Plan which focuses on wellbeing, learning, teaching, community and sustainable operations, is as follows:
- Deputy Principal: Mrs Jo Matheson
- Dean of Teaching and Learning: Mrs Tonia Gloudemans
- Dean of Students: Ms Jodi Blades
- Head of Junior Years: Mr Steve Warren
- Deputy Head of Junior Years: Mrs Brenda Suhr (not on executive team)
- Associate Dean of Staff: Mr Russell Baldock
- Director of Finance and Facilities: Mr Jason Hockaday
After many years in leadership roles, Mr Farmer has decided that he would like to focus on his teaching. Whilst sad that John has decided to step away from a formal leadership position, I am delighted that he will continue to teach Economics and see out the QCS program at Glennie.
Mrs Kerryn Chapman will be concluding her work in Learning Support at the end of the year to pursue a new business venture. I know many of the girls have benefitted so much from her work with them over the years.
Mrs Sue Fuss will also be taking a break from her teaching here at Glennie, as she, too, pursues other interests. Mrs Fuss has worked from Prep to Year 6 over the years and has given wonderful support to the girls.
Miss Lauren Potter will conclude her work in PE and Sport in the Junior Years and is moving to Adelaide. Starting here as a coach, before graduating as a teacher, Lauren took over a much smaller position than she now has, as sport particularly has expanded so much under her direction in the Junior Years.
Mr John Devine, current Director of Operations will be taking on the position of State Manager of AICD Tasmania. In the two years that John has been at The Glennie School he has played a pivotal role through his contribution across numerous areas, but in particular Philanthropy, Development, Community and Enrolments. John and Kirsteen are excited to be returning to Tasmania at the end of the year and they go with our very best wishes as they embark on their next adventure!
I am also delighted to announce that alongside his role as Associate Dean of Staff, a role which will focus on the culture, development, pedagogy and wellbeing of our teaching staff, Mr Baldock will be the new Head of Department - Science. I am every confidence that Russell’s experience, professionalism and passion for education and The Glennie School make him highly qualified for both positions.
A number of parents have asked how they can be involved in farewells to Rev Kate Powell. Kate has requested that her farewells are ‘low-key’. We will have a small service for Rev Powell next week for friends, colleagues and students who have played a major role in her time at Glennie. On Wednesday the Chapel Committee have organised a picnic when staff and students will have the opportunity to farewell Kate in a relaxed environment. The greater community will be able to say their goodbyes at the Carol Service and/or Speech Day later in the term.
Mrs Kim Cohen
20 October 2017
From the Principal
As we are currently finalising the position of Head of Department Science for 2018, I have been thinking a lot about this particular faculty within our school. I am delighted that at Glennie we have the majority of our students taking at least one, and often more, science subject/s in their senior years. Our science teachers are all highly qualified, professional and passionate about their craft and this rubs off on the girls. The teachers challenge them, push them out of their comfort zones and expect them to use ‘failure’ as a stepping stone to achieve their goals.
UNESCO’s latest report on the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) begins with the confronting fact that only 17 women have won a Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry or medicine since Marie Curie in 1903, compared with a staggering 572 men. Even today, only 28% of all the world’s STEM researchers are female. “Such huge disparities,” writes UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, “do not happen by chance.” Rather, she says, the under-representation of girls in STEM “is deep rooted and puts a detrimental brake on progress towards sustainable development”.
UNESCO’s report, Cracking the Code, analysed STEM participation and outcomes in more than 100 countries participating in international studies including PISA 2015 and TIMSS 2015. UNESCO found that differences in boys’ and girls’ mathematics scores widens between primary and secondary school and that, by the age of 15, boys outperform girls in two-thirds of countries measuring applied learning in mathematics. The good news is that UNESCO’s analysis also found that the STEM gender gap is closing in middle-to-high-income countries, particularly in science, possibly because parents - and particularly mothers - with higher educational qualifications and socio-economic status “have more positive attitudes towards STEM education for girls”.
However, there are significant regional differences. In Australia and New Zealand, Year 4 girls slightly outscore boys in science, whereas boys outscore girls in mathematics, particularly in Australia where the differential in boys’ favour is nearly ten points. By age 15, however, boys are outscoring girls in PISA testing in both science and mathematics, with Australia ranking 36th and New Zealand 46th out of 70 participating countries. Interestingly, however, the independent sector in Australia ranked amongst the top performing sectors worldwide. “When we look at other test results, such as the 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), it is pleasing to see that Australia’s independent schooling sector is achieving results equal to some of the best countries in the world,” according to Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) Executive Director David Robertson,
“When comparing PISA raw average scores, Australian independent school students outperformed all countries in reading and ranked second only behind Singapore in science.”
Countries where girls outperform boys in both science and mathematics at age 15 include Albania, Finland and several Arab and Asian countries, including Jordan which tops the list with girls outscoring boys by nearly 40 points in science and 15 points in mathematics. Girls from Arab countries outperform boys in other secondary school subjects as well, and young women are “seeking and succeeding in higher education at higher rates than young men”. This could be because girls and young women in Arab countries have “greater engagement overall with education”. Another interpretation, writes UNESCO, is that “single sex learning environments present in the region allow greater time for teacher interaction and opportunities for inquiry for girls”.
Addressing the issue of why boys outscore girls in many countries, UNESCO writes that: Research on biological factors, including brain structure and development, genetics, neuroscience and hormones, shows that the gender gap in STEM is not the result of sex differences in these factors or in innate ability. Instead, current research suggests that “learning is underpinned by neuroplasticity” - the ability of the brain to expand and form new connections - which means that educational outcomes, including in STEM, are “influenced by experience and can be improved through targeted interventions”. Importantly, the Cracking the code report states that: Spatial and language skills, especially written language, are positively correlated with performance in mathematics and can be improved with practice, irrespective of sex, especially during the earlier years of life. Because of this, UNESCO says that we must look to other factors to explain the STEM gender gap. These include the “social, cultural and gender norms” which influence the way parents, teachers and the wider community interact with girls and boys. All of these interactions explicitly and implicitly pass on gender stereotypes to girls from a young age, shaping their identity, beliefs and choices.
The evidence shows that “girls’ self-efficacy and attitudes related to STEM are strongly influenced by their immediate family environment, especially parents”, as well as by the wider social environment. Parents, whose own beliefs and expectations are influenced by gender stereotypes, may unintentionally treat boys and girls differently in terms of play and education. In fact, writes UNESCO: Mothers, more than fathers, appear to have a greater influence on their daughters’ education and career choices, possibly due to their role-model function.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova concludes that girls and women will be “key players” in providing a sustainable future and improving the lives of us all. “They are,” she says, “the greatest untapped population to become the next generation of STEM professionals - we must invest in their talent”.
The Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia is currently funding an important research project by Monash University academics, Helen Forgasz and Gilah Leder, on female participation in STEM. A major aim of the study is to track the impact of school setting (single-sex or coeducational) on girls’ subject choices at school and eventual career paths in STEM. Preliminary findings are very positive for girls’ schools and the Alliance will release a the full report in the near future.
- UNESCO. (2017). Cracking the code: Girls’ and women’s education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0025/002534/253479E.pdf
- ISQ. (2017). Toowoomba Independent School Leaders Briefed on State of Play in Education. Retrieved from: https://www.isq.qld.edu.au/media-resources/toowoomba-independent-school-leaders-briefed-on-state-of-play-in-education
Mrs Kim Cohen
13 October 2017
I must be honest, with four late nights in a row and meetings back to back - I ran out of time to write an article. But I am all about finding a solution, not focusing on the problem, so I found someone else’s article to share. I hope you share it with your children too. Enjoy!
What makes sports stars like Serena and Venus Williams great? We think we know: they are naturals who came into the world with a talent for playing tennis. Fortunately for all the rest of us, it's not so simple.
The good news is that talent has little or nothing to do with success. In virtually every field of endeavour, most people learn quickly at first, then more slowly and then stop developing completely. A few people keep improving for years and go on to greatness.
But greatness isn't handed to anyone; it requires a lot of hard work. Yet that isn't enough since many people work hard for years without getting significantly better. What's missing? The best people in any field are those who devote the most hours to the kind of practice that's intended to make you do better, tells you how well you are doing and involves doing the same things over and over again.
So how do you practise schoolwork? Think about all your schoolwork, like writing, reading, calculating, sitting tests, understanding difficult material – the list goes on and you can practise them all.
First of all, you have to start every task with a new goal: instead of merely trying to get it done, you aim to get better at it. Everything that you do at school, from the most basic task to the most demanding, is a skill you can improve. Once you know that, you will approach your schoolwork in a new way. You will process information more deeply and retain it longer. You will want more information on what you’re doing and adopt a longer-term point of view.
You aren't just getting the work done, you're trying to get better at it.
Feedback is crucial, and getting feedback is easy at school. Some students give up when their work is criticised. The ones who do well welcome criticism as the path to getting better results. They even ask teachers to show them where they are going wrong and how they can get better.
The important truth is we can make ourselves what we want.
Here are some ways you can try:
1. Approach each school task with the goal of getting much better at it.
2. As you do the task, focus on what's happening and why you're doing it the way you are.
3. After the task, ask your teacher for feedback on your work. Make changes in your work as necessary. Practise the changes.
4. Think about your future and the jobs you will be able to do, the life you want to lead.
5. Do these things all the time, not just now and then.
Acknowledgement: Adapted from What it takes to be great
by Geoffrey Colvin, senior editor-at-large, Fortune Magazine
Mrs Kim Cohen
6 October 2017
Welcome back to a muggy Term 4 in the Year of Possibility. This term we are very excited to launch the Capital Campaign for our brand new three-court Sports and Health Centre. We are hoping to be turning the first sod in January 2018. Mr Hockaday and I are presenting the digital walkthrough to the girls on assemblies and they are thrilled with what they have seen. They’re delighted that we will be the only school in Toowoomba with three courts under the same roof!
We are committed to empowering our girls to embrace fitness for life through access to all levels of competitive sports and social health and fitness activities, and this new centre will play a major role in complementing the health, fitness and wellbeing curriculum at The Glennie School.
The sports that we will offer in the centre are netball, basketball, volleyball, badminton, futsal and indoor hockey. It will also be a venue for wet weather training and HPE lessons for students across Junior, Middle and Senior Years. We have already had some sports associations approach us about using our facilities. There will be two classrooms, a staffroom and a gym. I am also very happy that we will finally have a venue where the whole school can come together under cover for assemblies, celebrations and times of worship. Though, of course, we will still be using Assembly Hall, Chapel and St Luke's regularly.
By helping us to build a new Sports and Health Centre, you will enable each Glennie girl to realise her physical potential to be healthy and active in mind, body and spirit, which of course has the added benefit of increasing focus and brain function and thus, intellectual development. For details on how to donate, please refer to the article by the development office below.
Many of our Glennie girls do go on to pursue careers in sports sciences and other sports-related fields; the new centre will stand them in good stead as they start that journey.
I wish you all a rewarding and exhilarating Term 4.
Mrs Kim Cohen
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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