Headlights

17 August 2018

As parents, we all value and support independence in our children. I know I was certainly happy when our own children gained greater independence, self-help and problem solving skills. Parenting guru, Michael Grose’s latest book entitled, ‘Spoonfed Generation: How to raise independent children’, provides some valuable thoughts, tips and ideas to assist in supporting this development and also provides some food for thought in what we should not be doing as parents, if we are to really develop this independence.

We all know that we do too much for our children every day, often because it’s seems easier and less stressful at the time to just do it ourselves, but is this really helping in the long term? Michael Grose would argue that this makes them more dependent for longer and hence our redundancy does not occur. It is well documented that this generation are the most spoonfed of all others. Think back to your own childhood. I am sure that like me, the expectation was there to do more for yourself. Perhaps because families were larger and parents just didn’t have have time to do everything for everyone.

Michael reveals that  “it’s time to remove the spoon and put it back in the drawer.” He feels that parents know what to do, but perhaps they need help in understanding what not to do.

In the book, he reveals a number of poor behaviours. We have all exhibited these, I certainly have, but it’s about being aware that they are very unhelpful! To which of these can you say yes?

Doing too much: We all know that children need to learn to fend for themselves and stand on their own two feet. Independence is the aim for parents. Learn to delegate. This is the number one problem

Winning arguments: The need to win arguments and prove that we are right harms relationships and creates fertile ground for conflict. Which ones are really worth fighting for and which ones we should let go?

Expecting too little: Expectations are tricky. Too high and children can give up. Too low and children will meet them too easily. We need to make sure that expectations match their developmental level.

Speaking when angry: Choose the right time to speak to your children. It’s better to wait until you are in the correct frame of mind before responding.

Failing to give proper recognition: We often take good behaviour for granted. Catch your children doing the right thing and recognise this.

Playing favourites: Children usually know who’s the favoured or preferred child in their family. Your discipline and expectations give this away. Share the parenting so you share the favouritism.

Letting your children drop out of the family: In small families, every child has a bedroom, which means isolation is easy to achieve. Teenagers, in particular, tend to prefer their own company, rather than the company of peers and parents. Put rituals in place and make sure everyone turns up to meal-time.

Taking the easy way out: Unfortunately, as we all get busier with work and other things, we can be tempted to avoid arguments by giving in to our children. Refrain from this when you know it’s the right thing to do.

Judging yourself too harshly: Parents are generally hard markers of themselves. Children are more forgiving of their parents’ blunders than their parents are on themselves.

Solving too many problems: Parents try to solve their children’s problems, rather than leave them some to solve. Forgetting their lunch or musical instrument is their problem, not yours.  Pose problems for children, rather than solving them.

Confusing helping for responsibility: We all love it when our children help at home, but this shouldn’t be confused with taking responsibility. A child who gets herself up in the morning is learning to take responsibility. If you want a child to be responsible give her real responsibility.

Not listening: We always want to talk and help them solve their problems so they go away. Listen first and then decide if you need to speak.

Refusal to express regret: Sometimes parents can work themselves into a tight corner after they’ve said something out of anger or desperation. Sometimes you need to acknowledge your mistakes and start over again.

Failing to use communication processes: Establish communication processes and communication places well in advance of when you really need them.

Neglecting your own well-being: Many families operate under a child-first mentality, which places a lot of pressure and stress on parents in our fast-paced lives. Carve out some time for your own interests and leisure pursuits.

Giving feedback at the wrong time: Timing is everything when we give children feedback. If you give negative feedback immediately after an event or action, you risk discouraging them. Use ‘just in time prompts’ to remind them how to do something. Pick your timing when you give feedback.

Clinging to the past: in some instances we unknowingly put some of our problems onto our children. The problems we may have experienced growing up won’t necessarily be shared by our children. Retune your parenting antennae to your children’s lives.

Believing everything your children say: As loving parents, we want to trust our children and believe everything they tell us. Children are faulty observers and frequently only see one side of an issue. Help children process what happens to them and see issues from every side.

How did you go? It’s tough being a parent isn’t it!

Source: ‘Spoonfed Generation: How to raise independent children’ Michael Grose

Penguin Random House Australia, 2017.

 

Mr Steve Warren

Head of Junior Years

 

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A Message from the Deputy Principal

3 August 2018

The Problem of Popularity

We all worry about friendships, play dates, birthday parties, who’s in and who’s out. Sometimes we worry more than our children do. We want them to be happy and enjoy having lots of friends. We are sad when they fall out with friends and anxious when they make a friend we are doubtful about. Popularity is a minefield, for parents as well as children.

While many friendships don’t last long when we are young, the effects of popularity, or lack of it, can endure a lifetime. If you’re popular, you’re given more opportunities to practise social skills or gain access to new information. The flip side is that unpopular kids don’t get the same advantages.

When it comes in the form of likability and making others feel included and welcomed, popularity leads to good outcomes. Adolescents, however, tend to admire being cool, visible, influential and dominant, and kids who trade on status may vie for it as adults and fail to develop other important skills. As a result, they may be more likely to experience depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties or addiction.

Here are some thoughts about how you can help your children develop the right kind of skills. Of course, we need to model this to them as parents and ensure that we, too are seeking the right kind of popularity.

Move the focus away from status.
Stop liking, liking, liking, and counting your likes. Ask questions that encourage children to target real, quality friends rather than fly-by-nights. Offline, don’t convey to your kids that they need to be in a particular club or clique, rather that it is the quality of their friendships that is important. When you focus on ephemeral popularity, they won’t learn how to identify healthy, reciprocal relationships.

Address their desire for popularity.
When children are unhappy with their place in the pecking order, offer extra love, acknowledge their feelings and share your values. You can’t persuade them to not care, but you can try to understand why this matters to them. Remind them what they’d lose if they sacrificed their existing friendships to pursue popularity.

It’s difficult when a child wants to be popular, and there are no easy answers. Adults can point out that the most popular kids may also be lonely and lack trusting reliable friendships. We can never know what is really happening in others’ lives.

Focus on what they can control, such as being kind.
In every community, there are things that make you popular. If it’s a wealthy community, it might have to do with your level of wealth. If it’s a religious community, it might be about your parents’ status in the religion. You can teach skills that will make a child more likeable, but helping them attain status is trickier. By encouraging them to focus on what they can control, including being kind, you’ll increase the odds that they land the right friends.

Turn outward to find new friends and activities.
There’s a primal social impulse to be part of the pack, but children thrive when they think less about themselves and more about others. If your daughter comes home and says, ‘No one likes me’ or ‘Everyone is walking to lunch without me,’ turn the tables. Encourage them to invite that new student to lunch or to tutor a younger student. When kids transcend the self, they feel empowered and confident. Engaging in something bigger than themselves also helps them stop ruminating about unreturned Snapchats or their social position.

Cultivate good matches.
The unspoken rule of adolescence is that you’re supposed to interact with the people closest to you in the social hierarchy. The culture may value physical attractiveness or athletic ability, but your child may thrive in a setting that values academic achievement or community service. Look for activities that align with your child’s interests. Your child’s teachers and counsellors can suggest good friend matches, pair them on projects and reinforce social skills.

Teach them the skills they need to be more likeable.
Help struggling kids practise basic skills such as asking questions. Help them focus on connecting instead of impressing. Encourage children to identify common ground. If you’re talking about something that only pertains to you, it’s irrelevant to the friendship.  Are they wearing a shirt from a music group you like? Did they watch the same football game last night?

Some children may not know how to join a conversation. Show them how to slide into action without interrupting, and match the emotional tone of the group. When we look at videos of children who end up being the most liked, they listen to others and try to build on and shape what they’re doing instead of saying ‘No, that’s stupid, let’s do it this way’.

Learn from children who change often.
Children from some business families may move several times during their school years. Other students can learn from their openness. They may be more likely to approach a stranger in a crowded common room or to appreciate positivity over status. These children have figured out what works for them. They’re not trying to find a forever friend or a best friend. There’s a freedom to take risks on new friendships when you live in the moment. When the goal is to befriend people who are nice, the burden of popularity is lifted.

The best antidote to craving the wrong friends is finding the right ones and parents can help by offering transport or making their home welcoming.

Acknowledgement: Seven steps parents can take to ensure kids work for the right kind of popularity by Phyllis Fagell.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Deputy Principal

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A Message from the Dean of Students

20 July 2018

Welcome back to school for Term 3 and a warm welcome to our new students and families. I hope that all students are well rested and ready to take on what promises to be another busy term. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms Kathy Lee for all of her work as acting Head of Donaldson last term. The pastoral care she provided students was much appreciated. We welcome back Mrs Susan Rollason from long service leave. Mrs Leanne Wisely has stepped in as acting Head of Hale while Ms Sue Reynolds is away on leave for the first three weeks of term. Please contact your daughter’s Head of House if you have any queries or concerns regarding her wellbeing.

While we are currently reviewing our Student Smart Device Policy, as it stands at the moment, students must have their phones switched off from 8.30am - 3.15pm, and they are not to be accessed during break times. If students are found using their phone during the day it will be confiscated. The Year 7 and 8 students were reminded of this policy along with our expectations of behaviour as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct Policy and the School Anti-bullying and Harassment Policy during the Student Activities session on Wednesday. All of these policies can be accessed in the Student Handbook.

Research supports that the presence of wellbeing in students can improve important educational, social and health outcomes. At Glennie, we are ideally placed to address the wellbeing needs of our students, and by integrating and delivering a whole school approach to wellbeing, we can equip students with strategies and skills to not only combat mental health issues but to also flourish in life.

We have recently received the results from the Centre for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne from the Wellbeing Profiler survey, which many students in Years 7-12 participated in last term. I look forward to sharing the results with you in the coming weeks. In order to improve our students’ wellbeing literacy, the Wednesday afternoon Student Activities sessions are an optimal time to enhance these skills so that our students can not only survive but thrive in our ever changing, complex world. Some of the topics covered this semester will include Child Protection, Cyber Safety, Leadership, Protective Behaviours and Safe Partying, Healthy Relationships, Resilience, Mindfulness and how to Manage Stress and Anxiety and Positive Sleep Habits, to name a few. Participation will occur in year levels for age-appropriate information as well as in House groups. The Student Activities sessions which run fortnightly on a Wednesday afternoon are an integral part of your daughter’s education as we strive to develop in each Glennie girl the potential to be All She Can Be.

Mrs Jodi Blades
Dean of Students

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The Learning Hub – Term 3

20 July 2018

The Learning Hub is a vibrant learning space that operates in the Middle & Senior Years Library before, during and after school. It is a place for students to study, receive subject specific assistance and further develop their learning.

The Learning Hub is run by teachers across a range of subject areas. It aims to provide a focused study space to aid concentration along with the opportunity to ask questions to assist with the completion of tasks and further develop understanding of concepts and theories.

Students are encouraged to use the Learning Hub as best suits their learning needs. Some senior students timetable these sessions in to their study planners while other students drop in for help on a needs basis. Other students choose to attend for a number of sessions with a particular subject specialist to clarify and refine understanding of a particular skill or part of the curriculum. Some students choose to use this time to complete their homework in the afternoon in this focused working space.

Teachers share their expertise and advice in these sessions and it has been a pleasure to see students’ confidence develop, their skills improve and the gratitude they express from this learning opportunity. Students benefit from advice about time management and study strategies; organisation; the benefits of working collaboratively and with specific goals in mind; and they feel supported and empowered to take control of their own learning experience.

Opening hours for The Learning Hub as well as the timetable of sessions for Term 3 will be published to students via Tutor Groups on Monday, and via the Student Handbook. A copy of the timetable is available here.

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Dean of Teaching and Learning

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A Message from Mr Warren

21 June 2018

Last Saturday’s ‘Winter Wonderland’ Fundraiser in the Junior Years was an outstanding success, with over 400 attendees, both adults and children well-dressed in their winter gear.

Every year, these events are organised by the Year 6 families as opportunities to raise valuable funds towards projects that would not perhaps otherwise be funded. We have seen so many facilities and equipment items purchased and built for the Junior Years as parting gifts from that year group.

Since our Centennial year, the following items and facilities have been provided by these Year 6 co-ordinated functions:

  • 2008  Gazebo near the western car park
  • 2009  Gazebo near the western car park
  • 2010  Tuckshop fitout
  • 2011  Tuckshop fitout
  • 2012  Sports shed on the back block
  • 2013  Outdoor seating and large donation to the Pyjama Foundation
  • 2014  Courtyard stage
  • 2015  Courtyard stage
  • 2016  Large pop-up tent for the Junior Years Stage area
  • 2017  Funds for the front entrance area
  • 2018  Funds for the front entrance area

This year’s funds (which are still to be finalised - stay tuned early next term), will go with the money raised last year to improve the front entry area of our Junior Years campus and will improve both the visual aspect of the area and also the safety for the girls.

I do thank you so very much for your support of this event and I hope that you had as much fun and enjoyed it as much as we all did putting it on for everyone. I would particularly like to mention Mrs Lynette Poole and thank her for her co-ordination of the event which has been months in the planning. Thanks also to all of her fantastic team co-ordinators, who then sought helpers from the Year 6 parent body. A huge thank you to you all.

I would also like to thank our many wonderful sponsors and donors, who made everything happen at as low a cost as possible, maximising our profits for the event. Your generosity is acknowledged.

Special thanks to the following:

  • Burger Urge
  • Homestyle Bakeries
  • Telstra Grand Central
  • Elisha Kennedy Massage
  • Applebom Beauty, Hair & Wellbeing
  • Liam Lourigan Plastering
  • Podiatry Point
  • Dancewear and Gifts by Lana
  • Toowoomba Mobile Care Detailing
  • Inflatable world Toowoomba
  • Price Attack
  • Chemist Warehouse
  • Premier Conditioning
  • Elite Fitness and Performance
  • Ortem Coffee Shop
  • Parkhouse Café
  • The Glennie School Foundation
  • Kelco Contracting
  • GOSS (Glennie One Stop Shop)
  • Clifford Gouldson Law
  • Marlene Studios
  • Judith Shoesmith
  • Cooby Wines

Please support these businesses who have so generously given to support our Fundraiser.

With every good wish for the winter break. We will give you an update on the profits next term.

Click here for a gallery of photos

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

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From the Head of Junior Years Mr Warren

15 June 2018

I will be taking Long Service Leave for the first four weeks of Term 3. In my absence, Mrs Brenda Suhr will be Acting Head of Junior Years and Mr Darryl Griffiths will take on the role of Acting Assistant Head of Junior Years. I will return to the School on Monday 13 August. During this period of time, please direct any issues to Mrs Suhr or Mr Griffiths.

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

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A Message from the Deputy Head

8 June 2018

How to help your child through exams and assessment block

This time of the term, when many assessments are due and exams have begun, is a stressful one for families. With regular weekly commitments still to manage, the added workload of study and completing assignments can have an impact on everyone.

The best way to support your daughter is to ensure life at home is as calm as possible. Make sure there are plenty of healthy snacks in the fridge and try to encourage her to eat good, nutritious food at regular intervals. It is always beneficial for family members to eat together and even if it's a busy revision day, it is important to have a change of scene and get away from the books and computer for a while. Also, encourage regular exercise. A brisk walk around the block can help clear the mind before the next revision session.

Try not to nag or make too many demands on your daughter during exam time. Relaxing the regular chores may be a short-term necessity and only insist on what is important.

It's important to get a good night's sleep before an exam, so encourage a regular bedtime, and make sure she eats a good breakfast on the morning of the exam.

The 2015 Mission Australia survey suggests that school and study are the top concerns for teenagers aged 15 to 19. In response, Reach Out Australia has provided information for parents which can be downloaded below.

If your daughter really isn't coping with their study load it may be time to seek further help. Speak to her Tutor Teacher or Head of House to discuss ways the School can assist her. She may wish to visit our School Counsellor, Kim Coleman, for some stress management strategies.

With planning, patience and a little leeway, assessment block will soon be a distant memory and school holidays will allow for a slower pace of life.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Deputy Head of School

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Bridge Builders

18 May 2018

With the introduction of our conflict resolution program, ‘Bridge Builders’ in the Junior Years, I have been reading articles looking at the impacts of intervention programs on the change to mental health, well-being and anxiety in children.

In a recent article, parenting expert Michael Grose discussed the topic of exposing children to safe challenges and the impact that this has on promoting better mental health and resilience in them.

Two studies were referred to in this article one from Beyond Blue looking at children’s well-being and the other from Macquarie University- a long-term study looking at children’s mental health.

These studies found conclusively, that young people who were able to talk about their emotions and those who were exposed to failure and loss at a young age, had much better skills in dealing with challenges in their lives as they grew into adolescence. Children who were exposed to safe risks were happier and much less anxious when dealing with failure or rejection from their peers.

It is recognised that children do need to experience failure in a safe and supportive environment such as they have at Glennie, where they are taught strategies to support them on their learning journey.

Research from Macquarie University indicates that one in six children and teenagers are experiencing anxiety on a regular basis, so the more we can do to support their mental resilience, the better they will be as they get older.

Michael Grose suggests five strategies which are straightforward and easy for all children and families to adopt.

  • The need for children to spend physical time with other children- not just in an online way! When children play without adult intervention, they create their own games and rules for these. Yes, from time to time there will be disagreements as to the “rules”, but in most instances, they will problem solve and work out solutions for themselves. The Victorian Education Department has encouraged “Pod Play” with younger children - a shed full of recyclables that can become whatever the children want them to be; encouraging creativity and language development, but at the same time, the valuable skills of team building, problem solving, negotiation and resolution of differing opinions and ideas. The results have been very positive with fewer issues being identified in the older year levels who also want to be involved! It is acknowledged that there are times when adults need to intervene and offer support and guidance- the key is not to solve the problems for them, but to give the guidance and intervention needed at that time.
  • Being a good loser and a gracious winner- There has been a big push in recent years to make everyone a winner, particularly on the sporting field and whilst this might be ok at a very young age, once children get to the end of early childhood years, there need to be opportunities for children to realise that loss and failure happen and that this is ok and a normal part of life. This helps to not only build resilience over the disappointment, but also confidence building from the satisfaction that comes with winning - when it happens. I have often said to the older girls you go into a competition prepared to do your best and to try to win, that’s what competitions are about, but when you don’t, you lose graciously and congratulate those who did. There are many other times when events are just for fun and that’s different.
  • Encourage children to talk about their feelings and emotions- Children need to be comfortable with the uncomfortable- unpleasant feelings such as disappointment, nervousness, and loss need to be experienced as they grow and learn. This can be hard for adults and especially parents, as we never want to see our children “hurting.” Sometimes, our reaction can escalate these feelings in the children, rather than diffuse them and it’s important that we listen, acknowledge that we understand and that their feelings are ok, and support without carrying their problems totally ourselves. When we enable children to verbalise their feelings to us, it helps them to process and make sense of them. Sometimes too, they need to understand that there are behaviours associated with these feelings that we won’t tolerate as adults!
  • Model calm and rational thinking- we need to remember that high emotions can be contagious and we can feel the same way as the child when they are angry or upset. As adults, we need to manage our responses and emotions so that we can provide effective and empathetic responses and support.     
  • One of the first lessons in Bridge Builders has involved teaching children how to take a deep breath and regain control and a sense of calm. Once calm, we can then help them to logically think their way through the situation and avoid catastrophising and letting things get out of control. Adults who model calm behaviours, when faced with stress, show children how to respond in a safe and effective manner, rather than reacting at an emotional level.
  • Encourage children to become independent problem solvers- If adults continually solve problems for children, they reinforce the child’s sense of dependency and they can start to feel worried about taking risks, through fear of making mistakes and may blame themselves for not being good enough. 

When as adults, we are presented with a routine problem, eg they left their musical instrument at home or have forgotten lunch or sports gear, step back and get them to provide a solution. The children need to know that growing up increases their level of responsibility and that they need to develop the skills they need to manage challenging situations which will present as they get older.  

We don’t, however, want to deter them from talking with us about bigger issues and problems, so there is a line to be drawn and a close understanding of when to seek help and when they should be able to manage it for themselves.

So, if we as teachers, and you as parents, work to provide them with these skills and strategies, they will soon be able to navigate all manner of challenges and issues knowing they are supported, yet not over-protected.

We have a great parenting library in the Junior Years which is available to all Glennie families. Please feel free to borrow any of these practical resources.

Source: Parenting Ideas Michael Grose.Child Development and Parenting advice 2018

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

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Teaching Assertiveness

18 May 2018

As our girls grow through their teen years, it can be difficult to navigate how they speak to others. At times, when they try to express their views or express how they feel, they can come across as aggressive, but as they grow older and begin to see the wider perspective of the relationships they have, they learn that respect is paramount in all communication.

At a recent conference, it became apparent to me that many teenage girls are not challenging what they see around them, even if they think that it is not acceptable. They are demonstrating passive compliance - doing and accepting things with which they do not agree.

Our girls need to practise assertiveness. In many circles, they are excellent at expressing themselves, but this can become more difficult when applied to relationships because of the perceived social impact.

Assertive communication is a skill that needs to be learned. Our culture sometimes tends to reward aggression. Putdowns are framed as humour in cartoons and sitcoms, and the internet can be a platform for bullying. It’s hard to find examples of assertiveness in the public sphere. That’s why teachers and parents need to explicitly teach assertiveness, so students internalise skills and use them in everyday situations.

Kristin Stuart Valdes suggests some techniques in her article 'Modeling Assertiveness with Students' (Edutopia, 2018).

The “nice no” – When a student feels pressured to go along with other people’s ideas or invitations (“Do you want to trade lunches?”), it can be effective to say, “No, thanks” or “Thanks for asking, but not today.”

Setting a boundary and holding to it – When asked to do something outside your comfort zone (“Can I copy off your paper?”), it’s effective to say, “No, I’m not comfortable with that” and not feel compelled to give reasons.

Asking for some thinking time – When asked for something and you’re not ready to answer, an assertive response is to say, “I’m not sure how to answer that right now. Can I get back to you later today?” Ask for the amount of time you need to get more information, weigh other options, and reflect on your feelings about the situation.

Stating your needs – It may seem that others are ignoring or disrespecting your needs when the problem is that you actually haven’t articulated them clearly enough. For example, a student might say to a teacher, “Could you please repeat that? I need to hear the directions again”.

Using an “I feel” message – This may be the best way to communicate your feelings and emotional needs, so others have a chance to understand – for example, saying to a friend, “I feel sad when you cancel our plans because I love hanging out with you.”

Responding to aggression – Sometimes an assertive statement is met with an aggressive response. A good next step is to calmly remove yourself from the conversation, saying, “I think I communicated my thoughts clearly, so there’s not much more to talk about.”

Being assertive allows us to show integrity by standing up for what we believe in while being respectful in our communication with others. Girls, let's stand up for what we believe in and ensure that the world around us reflects our values.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Deputy Principal

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It's not your fault; your phone is designed to be addictive.

4 May 2018

On Wednesday during our Student Activities session, Mr Tim Causer held a discussion with our Year 8 students around the topic of mobile phone usage. We believe this content to be worthwhile to all girls and parents.

The beginning of this video was used as the stimulus. A discussion ensued:

  • the social problem caused by mobile usage - http://humanetech.com/problem/
  • the design features that made them addictive
  • things the user can do to fight back - http://humanetech.com/take-control/
  • how to aid yourself to have the self-control desired
  • what healthy social interaction/phone usage looks like
  • the manipulative practices of companies like Facebook 

Some examples of the discussion points about how apps are addictive:

  • Apps contain many of the same characteristics as gambling slot machines with similar sounds, lights and even interactions like scrolling or lever pulling to load content
  • Autoplay feature doesn’t have an endpoint thus we are more likely to continue watching despite not being any more satisfied
  • Less control as our content is delivered to us continuously, such as via autoplay or apps which have infinite scrolling

Some examples of the discussion points about how to reduce phone addiction:

  • Change the colour scheme of your phone to make it less appealing to look at, greyscale your screen. AndroidiDevice
  • Turn off non-human notifications
  • Receive notifications in batches at set points during the day rather than continuously
  • Restrict your home screen to apps which have practical/ everyday value, i.e. calendar, clock, weather, Uber
  • Filter out apps which have infinite scrolling and numerous notifications, i.e. Instagram, Facebook. This is easy on Android, hard on iOS - put in folders on other screens is an interim step
  • Make conscious decisions about what things are worthy of your attention
  • Use self-control apps/extensions on both phone and laptop to block websites and monitor usage (wastage) time

The discussion also centred around home rules:

  • devices out of bedrooms for night time,
  • using light settings towards sleep time, 
  • DO NOT DISTURB mode overnight (and during class)

The girls participated whole-heartedly in this vibrant discussion and are aware of many of the issues; however, the challenge is for them to have the courage to take these steps. Girls were prompted to discuss the content with parents and to invite their parents to also live in the moment, not in social media.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about this content, please contact Mr Tim Causer causert@glennie.qld.edu.au or me bladesj@glennie.qld.edu.au.

Mrs Jodi Blades, Dean of Students
Mr Tim Causer, e-Learning Co-ordinator    

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Wellbeing Initiative

27 April 2018

As educators, we are concerned about the growing rates of anxiety and depression evident in students, whereby mental illness is the greatest disease burden for young people (World Health Organisation, 2017). There is growing recognition that schools play a key role in the treatment, prevention and promotion of youth mental health. Furthermore, evidence suggests that wellbeing supports academic growth and accomplishment. In fact, wellbeing and academic performance go hand-in-hand.

There is a multitude of definitions of wellbeing. However, Professor Seligman (2011) defines wellbeing in terms of high levels of PERMA: positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment. At its core, wellbeing is the combination of feeling good and functioning well.

Adolescents today face complex challenges with the rapid development of technology, social media use, evolving economic climate, urbanisation, educational demands and unique biological and psychological maturation processes. In order to support and empower our young women to thrive and flourish in this evolving society, we need to measure and monitor their wellbeing so that we have a deeper understanding of their strengths, challenges and needs. Therefore, we have engaged a research team from the Centre for Positive Psychology at The University of Melbourne to measure the wellbeing of our students in Years 7-12, which will, in turn, inform a whole school approach to wellbeing.

An email was sent to all Middle and Senior Years parents earlier this week informing you of this wellbeing initiative and seeking your permission to allow your daughter(s) to participate in the wellbeing survey that will be completed during school hours. I urge you to provide consent for your daughter(s) to participate in the survey by please responding YES or NO on the digital consent form by Friday 4 May 2018.

If you have more than one daughter in Years 7-12, this digital consent form allows you to indicate consent for all of your children at once. The survey is anonymous and the responses are strictly confidential and only group results will be reported back to the school.

Further information about the survey can be found in the attached Parent/Carer Plain Language Statement and the Student Plain Language Statement that will be shown to your daughter(s) before commencing the survey, should she have consent to participate. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about your daughter’s participation in this wellbeing initiative.  

Mrs Jodi Blades
Dean of Students

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Results, Reports and Assessment

27 April 2018

Term 1 results for Years 7 – 12 and progressive reports for Years 7 – 10

As the lovely expression goes, one of the best ways to boost student learning is by providing ‘dollops and dollops’ of appropriate feedback relative to students’ learning goals.

One way we have been doing this – and making it visible to parents at Glennie in the Middle and Senior Years - is by progressive reporting. I am pleased to let you know that cross marking has been completed and results as well as feedback for Term 1 assessment items are now available in SEQTA.

To access these results and comments, please select the Assessment tab in the SEQTA Engage menu on the left of the Portal. Select the subject you wish to see, then click on each assessment item to see the results and teacher feedback.

Years 7 – 12 Assessment Information

Assessment dates for Term Two are also finalised for Years 7 – 12. To locate your daughter’s assessment information, please select the Assessment tab in the SEQTA Engage menu and select Upcoming. You can personalise your view by selecting either “cards” or “list”.

The information listed on this page is your daughter’s personalised exam and non-exam block assessment items for Term 2. If you feel an item is missing, please contact your daughter’s teacher. All assessment information has been reviewed.

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Dean of Teaching and Learning

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The Learning Hub – Term 2 2018

20 April 2018

Continuing with our goal to create independent and autonomous learners, the Learning Hub returns in Term 2 with an emphasis on developing effective study habits and writing skills. Students can attend sessions related to effective note-taking, applying spaced learning techniques and using flash cards effectually.

The Learning Hub also continues to be a space where students can get together with other students and teachers to solve problems, answer questions, formulate questions of their own, discuss, explain, debate and brainstorm ideas and concepts. Students in Years 7 – 12 are encouraged to use the Hub to work collaboratively, share skills and knowledge, and deepen their understanding of their coursework.

Opening hours for The Learning Hub as well as the timetable of sessions for Term 2 have been published to students via Tutor Groups and in the Student Handbook. A copy of the timetable is available here.

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Dean of Teaching and Learning

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A Message from Mr Warren

22 March 2018

Headlights
The end of Term 1 is always exciting for the Junior Years children from  K-6 who, after counting the last few “sleeps”, have the opportunity to share their day with their grandparents; showing them their classrooms, introducing their friends and joining with them in various activities in and out of the classroom.

Well over four hundred grandparents and ‘adopted special guests’ joined us for one of three special days across the Kindergarten and Junior Years. The grandparents too, enjoy the opportunity to come back to school and share some special moments and record others for reminiscing over later.

Each year, I highlight to them the important role that they play in the lives of their special children. This role has in most instances, increased over the last few years, as more and more families have both parents working to make ends meet and grandparents taking on the role of caring for their children’s children on a more regular basis. The Census held in 2011, found that grandparents are the biggest providers of informal child care for children between birth and 12 years,  particularly babies and toddlers while their parents are in the workforce or studying (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011).

I don’t yet have my own grandchildren, but can only imagine what a special time it is when the first grandchild is born and you can be actively involved in the child’s growth and development. Time to spend with them listening, observing and attending to the smaller things for which busy parents do not have the time.

Grandparents can reflect and pass on to their grandchildren cultural knowledge as well as family and community traditions, building a sense of belonging and connectedness to the past. Research has shown that hearing stories about family members overcoming hardship can actually help children become less discouraged when they face hardships - such an important life skill for them all. When they tell stories to their grandchildren, it assists in making them more real in the lives of the children.

Traditions, too, help children feel secure, give them a sense of family identity and let them know that they are a part of something larger than themselves. New traditions are often created during these times together.

Grandparents are also great at teaching basic skills and often have more patience with their grandchildren than perhaps they had with their own children! For many, growing up in a less mechanized time, means they have skills that some parents lack and because of their concern for their grandchildren, they will teach these skills safely. Skills such as sewing, knitting, gardening, small repairs, carpentry, cooking and baking are just a few.

From a very young age we can teach the children to set a table, sew on a button, pump up bicycle tyres, fold towels, tighten screws and hammer in a nail or to use simple hand tools. Older grandchildren can be taught more complex tasks, especially around their particular interests.

Grandparents understand so well that life is full of ups and downs, we all falter and fall, and it is at those times we need a little extra love and support. A close relationship with grandparents helps grandchildren grow in confidence and realise that mistakes and failures are a very important to growth and a normal part of life, helping  them maintain a sense of self worth and sense of security.

So, we salute you and thank you for what you do! Keep being involved!

What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humour, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies. ~ Rudy Giuliani

An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again. Anything longer than that, and you start to age quickly. ~ Gene Perret

My grandkids believe I’m the oldest thing in the world. And after two or three hours with them, I believe it, too. ~ Gene Perret

A full gallery of photos from today's Grandparents' Day and Ballgames Carnival will be featured in the first eNews of the new term.

Happy Easter!

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

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Baton Relay

22 March 2018

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay promises to be an exciting event for Glennie as it will be travelling through Newtown on Wednesday 28 March. While it is during the holidays, it would be wonderful to have you and your son or daughter support this event by lining the footpath along Herries Street, with Glennie students in uniform please.

Our very own Anthea Moodie (Sport Captain, 2017) is set to receive the baton outside Glennie at 3:19pm, with Glennie parent Eliza Whiteside also in the baton relay at 2.45pm along Holberton Street. We have been advised to be here by 3:00pm to be sure not to miss it. The participants will be stopping and regrouping outside Glennie, so that is quite exciting.

There will be temporary road closures in the area to enable the community to safely view the QBR. Parking will be available in our western carpark or the Chapel area and pool carpark. Street parking will be very limited due to restrictions imposed.

This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for many of our students, especially being so close to the action! You may find this interactive map interesting as it outlines the Toowoomba routes and the list of baton bearers:  

Exciting times indeed.

Ms Jodi Blades
Dean of Students

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Teaching how to cope with disappointment

16 March 2018

As the assessment period draws to a close and students await their results, you as parents can help to prepare your daughter so that she can gain the most out of an assessment period. Too often, we focus on the result and praise or chastise our children accordingly. The first thing we should focus on is the effort each student has put into preparing and completing their assessment task. If the effort is in any way lacking then, that should be the focus of any conversation about the result - good or bad, not the result itself. Some students can achieve reasonable results with minimal effort up to a point, but as they progress through the Middle and Senior Years, the chances of this quickly diminish.

There are times when a hard-working student does not receive the result they were expecting, and they can feel extremely disappointed. It is important that the girls learn from this experience and gain skills in dealing with this. Now is the time to try some of the suggestions below to assist your daughter in dealing with disappointment in the future - after all, it is a part of life.

  •  Help your children identify the emotions they feel and express them in an acceptable way. Keep a clear head yourself. Sometimes you can get emotional too, and logic goes out the window. The simple act of remaining calm will defuse some of your child's negative feelings.
  • Give them an opportunity to talk about why they think things didn’t go the way they expected them to go. This way they can get it out of their system especially if you just quietly listen without criticising or jumping in with solutions. Venting to a trusted adult can be a helpful release.
  • Celebrate having a go as if it were a win. Give as much praise for having a go as you would do for winning. Reinforce the message that winning isn't always the most important thing – what’s important is the effort you put in, your positive attitude, and the fact that you can learn from everything and should keep on trying are equally important life lessons.
  • Children watch how you respond to failures in your own life. It's helpful sometimes to share your disappointment and show them how you learn from the experience.
  • Learning to lose at something with grace will eventually help your child develop into a more resilient person in life. Congratulate them on handling a setback so well.
  • Teach self-calming skills. This may be going outside to kick a ball, listening to upbeat music, taking a deep breath, having a chat, using positive self-talk, reading a book, getting a hug, watching a funny movie, going for a walk. Give suggestions if your child is little or provide a diversion, but by the time they are 7 or 8, they should be able to figure out for themselves what helps them calm down and move on.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Deputy Principal

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Bullying, No Way!

16 March 2018

Today as we celebrate the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDA), around two million students from 4,575 Australian schools stand united to send a powerful message that bullying and violence are never okay. The National Day of Action is Australia’s key anti-bullying event for schools and in 2018, schools are called to imagine a world free from bullying. The Glennie School is an official NDA school and yesterday at our Middle Years Assembly, we highlighted authentic student voice when our Year 12 student Hanna Hayes shared her own positive messages (see principal’s message for Hana's speech). Engaging young people with powerful messages is really important to us.

This week during Tutor time, students opened up the conversation, generated ideas and spoke about positive action to address bullying. Each Tutor group presented a slide in response to this year’s theme, Imagine a world free from bullying, which was presented during Assembly yesterday.  

Girls in Years 4 to 6 participated in an interactive online session, Imagine a future free from cyberbullying, which was conducted by the Office of the ESafety Commissioner for all Anglican Schools in Queensland.

It’s fantastic that students from The Glennie School are getting involved in the National Day as it is a positive day of action, bringing school communities together to help find workable solutions that address bullying and violence, and to share one powerful message: Bullying. No Way! Let’s take a stand together.

Website

Resources for Parents

Mrs Jodi Blades
Dean of Students

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Everyone’s Learning

9 March 2018

Throughout this term, staff have undertaken professional development activities to reflect on their teaching practices and prepare quality educational programs and pedagogical practices. These will continue to enhance the learning environments for the girls.

Teachers in the Middle and Senior Years are undertaking QCAA (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority) modules that quality assure teacher skills in leading the development of student assessment and verify student results. These modules require both group discussion and individual testing (with an 80% pass mark).

We encourage the girls to use these same strategies for revising for exams and checking their understanding. Working together supports one another, builds shared and common understanding.

“Education is not the learning of facts, but training the mind to think” - Albert Einstein

10 Amazing Life Lessons from Albert Einstein.

  • Follow your curiosity
  • Perseverance is priceless
  • Focus on the present
  • The imagination is powerful
  • Make mistakes
  • Live in the moment
  • Create value
  • Don’t be repetitive
  • Knowledge comes from experience
  • Learn the rules and then play better.

All the very best to the girls and staff in their assessments.

Mr Russell Baldock
Associate Dean of Staff

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From the Deputy Principal

2 March 2018

Recently, I read an article by John Rosemond that he wrote after asking parents who the most important person in their family was. The overwhelming response was 'Our kids!' He goes on to challenge this response asking why parents have given their children that status in the family.

He suggests to parents that their children exist because of their relationship and they thrive because they have created a stable family. It is the parents who provide nutritious meals and work hard to educate their children, provide them with nice clothes and enjoy great holidays. For this generation, living in Australia, our children live relatively carefree lives compared with children in other countries or children of previous generations.

When people of my age were growing up (in the fashion deprived 1980s) social, and family etiquette demanded that children waited until adults had finished speaking and they were not allowed to interrupt. We looked up to adults, knowing that one day we would be one and our turn would come. There was a respected hierarchy and children were less important than adults. The weekly calendar included family time and community events and did not rotate solely around the children's' activities. Adult time was a high priority.

It is essential to nurture our adult relationships and ensure we spend time with those who support us, strengthening the relationship, while our children respectfully watch on, not interrupting or demanding our time. Although our children may not realise it, it is the modelled behaviour of a supportive network of adults that demonstrates to them the values of that community.

John finishes his article with the following reflection. 'The most important thing about children is the need to prepare them properly for responsible citizenship. The primary objective should not be raising a straight-A student who excels at three sports, earns a spot on the Olympic swim team, goes to an A-list university and becomes a prominent brain surgeon. The primary objective is to raise a child such that community and culture are strengthened.'

Mrs Jo Matherson
Deputy Principal

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From the Dean of Students

2 March 2018

This week during the Activities Program, we focused on our four core values.

Integrity: be truthful and sincere; ensure consistency between what we say and what we do and what we believe and how we behave.

Respect: be respectful of ourselves and treat others with courtesy, dignity and positive regard; we honour the rights of others and we respect our school, environment and our world.

Compassion: be sensitive to the needs of others; be supportive and nurture those less fortunate than ourselves and treat each other as we wish to be treated.

Courage: be positive as we continue to strive to improve as individuals; be resilient and forward-thinking despite adversity or challenge; perseverance, effort and a growth mindset can help us individually and as a team, for the benefit of ourselves and our community.

Last week during a special ceremony, each House Captain drew a ‘value’ out of a hat, which then became their focus for this week’s House time.

  • Donaldson focused on compassion.
  • Hale focussed on courage.
  • Tufnell focused on integrity.
  • Webber focussed on respect.

The House Committees, with the help of the Heads of House, planned and organised a series of interactive activities and fun games designed to reinforce the meaning and importance of our core values. These included the creation of role plays and/or a dance illustrating each value, mindfulness colouring-in whilst listening to music and writing definitions, quotes, messages of compassion, integrity, respect and courage, identifying people they respect, having the courage to complete an obstacle course blindfolded, building bridges, acrostic poems of integrity, Chinese Whispers, team challenges, to name a few.

It was a wonderful opportunity in House time to focus on the core values that underpin all that we do at Glennie, as we endeavour to develop in each girl, the intellectual, physical and spiritual potential to be All She Can Be.

Click here to view the photo gallery.

Mrs Jodi Blades
Dean of Students

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From the Dean of Teaching and Learning

2 March 2018

Progressive Reporting

One of the School’s aims in moving towards a model of progressive reporting in the Middle and Senior Years was to provide timely and meaningful feedback to students and parents. So successful was the trial last year that all subjects in Years 7 – 10 will be involved in progressive reporting this year, as well as English and Drama in Years 11 & 12. By 2019, all subjects in the Middle and Senior Years will be reported on progressively.

Why?

The research on feedback practices is clear – teacher feedback is the most powerful single moderator that enhances student achievement. Effective feedback identifies what a student is doing well, the areas for improvement, and offers ideas and suggestions about how to improve. Effective feedback is clear, practical and encourages in students a growth, rather than a fixed, mindset.

What is progressive reporting?

As the name suggests, progressive reporting is the process of reporting continually. At Glennie, this involves results and teacher feedback at an individual assessment task level. This means students and parents have access to meaningful and targeted feedback regularly throughout the year, and in much more detail than the traditional summative comments in the end of semester report.

Progressive reporting allows students to regularly reflect on their progress, set learning goals, and make improvements during the year. Students have a clear picture of where they are and what they need to do in order to move to the next level. It also facilitates meaningful discussions between students, parents and teachers about the student’s learning and how they can be further supported or challenged.

Ultimately, progressive reporting shifts the focus of assessing for reporting to assessing for feedback, and this benefits everyone – students, parents and teachers.

What about Interim and Semester reports?

As we move towards a new system of senior assessment and tertiary entrance, our model of reporting needs to change. In 2018, the following reporting methods and periods will apply.

Years 7 – 10

Students will not receive interim reports because teachers will have provided ongoing written feedback about student progress throughout the year.

Students will receive an end of semester report containing a Tutor Teacher comment and overall subject results, but no subject comment, Again, student progress will have been reported on progressively throughout the year.

Years 11 & 12

Students in Years 11 & 12 will receive both an interim and end of semester report, as per previous years.

For a more detailed overview of our reporting periods for 2018, please see the table above.

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Dean of Teaching and Learning

 

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Middle and Senior Years Academic Support

16 February 2018

 At Glennie, there is an extensive range of academic support opportunities for students in the Middle and Senior Years:

Students are encouraged to discuss any academic concern with their teacher outside of class time.
The Learning Hub – The tutoring timetable for Term 1 has been finalised, circulated to all Tutor Groups and published in the Student Handbook. A copy of the timetable has also been attached to this week’s edition of eNews.
Students in Years 7 – 9 can practise English, Mathematics, Science, Social Science and Languages skills and concepts via the program Education Perfect.
Students in Years 10 – 12 have access to Studiosity, which offers one-to-one, personal help in real time for English, Mathematics, Science and Business subjects.
Beginning this year, students have fortnightly study skills lessons.
Students in the Senior Years are encouraged to form subject study groups, to deepen their understanding of the course material.
As always, if students have an academic concern, they should see their teacher in the first instance, or the relevant Head of Department.

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Dean of Teaching and Learning

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Celebrating 80 years of Andrews Cup

16 February 2018

The Andrews Cup sporting competition in which Glennie Junior girls from Years 2 to 6 participate, forms an important part of our sporting events calendar, along with our Interhouse and Friday afternoon sporting competitions. More formally known as the Queensland Girls Independent Primary Schools Sporting Association, QGIPSSA, leads into the Queensland Girls Secondary Schools Sporting Association, QGSSSA and provides a sporting program for girls who share a similar philosophy for sport.

This year, the Association celebrates its 80th anniversary and will commence with the Swimming competition, at Chandler, hosted by The Glennie School. Special pennants and ribbons have been designed for all events this year.

In 1938, the foundation year, there were many long established girls’ independent schools in Queensland, however, few had junior or primary grades.

Two sisters, Isabel (1898-1981) and Jessie (1910-2008) Andrews, both of whom were teachers at Somerville House, felt that young pupils who competed in Interform competitions, with the senior school, though very enthusiastic, were never going to be successful in sporting competitions.
They asked Miss Jarrett, Principal of the School if they might donate a trophy for sporting activities between Somerville House and sister school Clayfield College at the junior school level. Thus the Andrews Cup was born.

At the end of each year the Cup was awarded to the School which had achieved most points in the sports: swimming, athletics, ballgames, tennis, and basketball. By 1944, Moreton Bay College joined the competition; in 1962 St Aidan’s, St Hilda’s and St Margaret’s were added. Two further schools, Toowoomba Preparatory School (now Toowoomba Anglican College and Preparatory School) and The Glennie School joined later (1993) whilst Ipswich Junior Grammar School and Fairholme College became members in 2012.

Today, the range of sports in the Andrews Cup Program includes Swimming, Tennis, Touch Football, Cross Country, Netball, Athletics, Softball and Artistic Gymnastics. Basketball has been included as an invitational event as well.

With the girls interest in different sports changing, the Association is looking to the future with a new strategic plan being developed in 2018, which will investigate the sports on offer to ensure that it remains a relevant Association, as it moves towards its centenary and continues to work towards fulfilling the aim of encouraging girls to remain active in sport.

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

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A Message from the Dean of Students

2 February 2018

What a wonderfully, warm and welcoming community Glennie is! A heartfelt thank-you to the many staff, students and parents who have been so kind, friendly and supportive as I find my feet in the new role as Dean of Students. I am looking forward to working with the Heads of House, Tutor teachers and all staff to develop and strengthen the School’s pastoral and wellbeing programs. Communication channels remain the same, so if a Middle and Senior Years student or parent has a concern about your daughter’s wellbeing, you are encouraged to contact the Tutor teacher initially and then the relevant Head of House. If you still have concerns, then please contact me.

Best wishes for a fabulous 2018.

Mrs Jodi Blades
Dean of Students

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A Message from the Deputy Principal

25 January 2018

I am excited about my new role as Deputy Principal and looking forward to becoming involved in the Junior Years and Senior Years again, as I was in my previous school. The singing in Junior Years assembly was just lovely and brought joy to all the adults there, and it will be wonderful to be a part of the Seniors final year of school.

All staff have missed the girls over the break, particularly those still at school, as the girls are the heart of our culture and the energy is lacking when they are not here. I hope they have returned refreshed and excited about what 2018 will hold for them. Their smiling faces and positive attitudes are great to see, and I hope they will try new things and not give up when it becomes difficult.

If your daughter is new to Glennie, I hope she feels like she is a part of our school very soon and that she is getting any help she needs. Please do not hesitate to contact her Tutor Teacher or class teacher with any concerns, no matter how small.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Deputy Principal

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