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.


Resources for Parents

Mrs Jodi Blades
Dean of Students

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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.


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


Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

A Message from the Head of Middle Years

24 November 2017

I love this time of year. It is full of energy, fun and a sense of relief now that assessments are over. Term 4 is a short and consequently busy term for all, but is the most rewarding. The end-of-year activities build house spirit and celebrate achievements, creating an atmosphere that has a buzz about it, and this is what the Glennie community spirit is all about; it is hard to describe to others that aren't a part of it.

I hope that your daughters have enjoyed the year and look forward to family time over the Christmas and New Year period. We look forward to them returning, recharged and refreshed and we hope you will have time to relax over the summer school holidays.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Head of Middle Years

Read more

A Message from the Head of Senior Years

17 November 2017

What a week it has been for our Year 12 students! Together, they have celebrated the end of their time as a secondary school student through the Senior and House Picnics, the Mother-Daughter Breakfast, the Morning Tea in the Junior Years, the Father-Daughter Bowling, the Formal and the GOGA Mocktails. What a delight is has been to witness, at each event, girls’ thankfulness and recognition of the support they have received from parents, staff and other students over the course of their schooling journey. And so, it was with much excitement but also a bit of sadness, that we said farewell to our Seniors of 2017 on the oval after the “last blast” following the Valedictory Eucharist and Senior Graduation.

We will miss these wonderful girls who have shown outstanding leadership and have been an inspiration to the incoming Senior leaders of 2018.

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Head of Senior Years

Read more

Junior Years Carols

17 November 2017

Parents are reminded that the Junior Years Carols services will be held at St Luke’s Church this Sunday evening: Years K to 3 at 4.30pm and Years 4 to 6 at 5.30pm.

For the service for Kindergarten to Year 3, girls in Kindergarten, Prep, G Minor Choir, and the Bible and prayer readers are asked to be St Luke’s Hall by 4:00pm please. At the conclusion of the Kindy/Prep item, children are to be collected by their parents (from where they finish their item) and they sit with parents for the remainder of the service.

For the Service for Years 4 to 6, G Major Choir, String Ensemble, Dancing, Bible or Prayer Readers and the Tableau are to be at St Luke’s Hall by 4:45pm please. All others sit with their parents.

All children are expected to attend, please, in uniform. No hats are required. Other family members are most welcome to join us for these short services. There will be a collection of groceries for the St Luke’s parish larder. These may be left under the Christmas tree. Thank you in anticipation for your donation. If you have a daughter in both year level groups, you may choose which service you attend as a family, unless she has a specific role in one of the services.

Read more

A Message from the Head of Junior Years

10 November 2017

At 11am on 11 November 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare. The allied armies had driven the German invaders back, having inflicted heavy defeats upon them over the preceding months.

In November, the Germans called for an armistice (suspension of fighting) in order to secure a peace settlement. They accepted the allied terms of unconditional surrender.

This first modern world conflict had involved over 70 million people and left between nine and thirteen million dead, perhaps as many as one-third of them with no known grave. The allied nations chose this day and time for the commemoration of their war dead.

After the end of the Second World War, the Australian and British governments changed the name to Remembrance Day. Armistice Day was no longer an appropriate title for a day which would commemorate all war dead.

In Australia on the 75th anniversary of the armistice in 1993 Remembrance Day ceremonies again became the focus of national attention. The remains of an unknown Australian soldier, exhumed from a First World War military cemetery in France, were ceremonially entombed in the Australian War Memorial's Hall of Memory.

This ceremony, which touched a chord across the Australian nation, re-established Remembrance Day as a significant day of commemoration to remember those who died or suffered for Australia's cause in all wars and armed conflicts.

Today in the Junior Years, we commemorated this event with a short service in the Assembly Hall focusing on the gallantry of John Simpson Kirkpatrick and I told the girls the story of this soldier and his special donkeys who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his fellow men and his country. One story of so many from the tragedy of war.

We will remember them - Lest we forget.

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

Click here for a few photos of the Junior Years Remembrance Day Ceremony

Read more

A Message from the Head of Senior Years

3 November 2017

This week, Year 12 students eagerly received their end of year arrangements sheet outlining all the special events and activities held during the week of their graduation. The sheet is a timely reminder that, for all students and staff, the time between now and Speech Day is just bursting with study, marking, cross-marking, results checking, report writing, excursions, functions, costume making, singing practices, letter and speech writing, textbook returns, locker clean-outs and multiple rehearsals for everything.

As we enter and navigate this four-week whirlwind, please take the time to look after and support each other. We all handle stress differently, and a little bit of kindness and compassion will go a long way towards supporting effective teaching and learning, connection and engagement, and motivation right up until Speech Day.

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Head of Senior Years

Read more

A Message from the Head of Middle Years

27 October 2017

With examinations, not too far away from completion and school winding down the girls are looking forward to the long holidays ahead. Not all have a job or activities planned, and many students are having to learn to manage their free time. This includes determining how much of it they will spend on their devices and, for all of us, it’s getting increasingly difficult to extricate those devices from our daily lives. Now, I know I have mentioned IT use recently but I find that professionally and personally (as I am the parent of four teenagers) IT misuse causes the most distress to 'tweens' and 'teens'.

Ana Homayoun, author of Social Media Wellness: Helping Tweens and Teens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World, offers some valuable advice.

Instead of punishing our children or monitoring them 24/7, we should focus on healthy socialisation, effective self-regulation and safety - helping them to make positive choices and exercise freedom and responsibility.


Check your child’s phone. Children should know you can ask for their phones and expect full access. While some parents take a hands-off approach because they want to respect their children’s privacy, it’s important to make the distinction between privacy and safety. 24-Hour access doesn’t mean 24-hour snooping. It means that a parent is still responsible for monitoring what a minor does online. It’s not just what they put out there; it’s also what they’re receiving. If you find something you don’t like, talk to your child about why you find it inappropriate — and then ask them what they think. Once they verbalise their thoughts, it allows them the opportunity to think things through and come up with their own set of values.

Be app-savvy. If your child is on it, you should be too. At least try it out so you can have informed conversations about it. If your children know that you understand the social media they're using, they’re more likely to come to you to talk about issues that arise.

Help children understand their ‘why’. Inspire children to act out of internal motivation instead of fear by helping them build their own filter. Encourage your children to ask themselves ‘Why am I picking up my phone? Am I bored, am I lonely, am I sad? Am I insecure?’ Or ‘Why am I posting this? Does this make me feel up or down?’ This helps them make decisions that reflect their own values and choices and separate their online experiences from real-life ones. Asking themselves why’ also slows down impulsive online communications, and encourages children to make smarter choices.

Set clear ground rules. Talk to your children about appropriate social media use before you give them a phone or allow them to download a new app. Clearly state rules and expectations, and stick with them as much as possible. This may include not putting anything online that you wouldn’t want your friends’ parents to read (because several of them will); getting permission before downloading a new app; and checking phones into parents at bedtime.

Do a digital detox. Learn to be okay with being offline. Parents can start by modelling that behaviour: no phones at the dinner table, for example, or no checking texts while you’re talking with your child. And while most children won’t admit it to their parents, when parents put restrictions on how much and when children can use technology, it can be a relief.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Head of Middle Years

Read more

A Message from the Head of Junior Years

20 October 2017

When you are travelling with a group of girls for a week, one soon gets to know them well. There are many differences within a cohort of Glennie girls, (and yes, like all students, they have their moments!), but there are some traits that seem to remain year in year out at Glennie. I refer to the way our girls present themselves when out within the community and their ability to be themselves, and yet present in a manner which makes them noticed by others - but in the nicest of ways!

Last week in Sydney and Canberra, we were approached by so many members of the community to say how well the girls behaved; their courtesy towards others, both within their own group and outside of it and also in the way they presented themselves in their uniform- wearing it with pride. Watching them standing with such respect in the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial and laying a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier really brings a lump to your throat, not only because of the solemnity of the occasion, but also due to the way the girls conduct themselves during this ceremony.

No more than we would expect really and yet sadly, we seem to stand out as being an exception to the rule. Both parents and the teachers should share in the credit here. Compliments were given from our first flight to the last. At various attractions, girls were given those extra little privileges just because of the way in which they presented themselves. An example was on a cruise around Lake Burley Griffin, where under guidance from the Captain, the girls ‘took the helm’ of the boat. Not much you might say, but when the driver tells you that there wouldn’t be many schools he would let anywhere near his wheelhouse, you know they are exceptional.

This is only one example and staff always talk about this across the school, after trips away - from day excursions to overseas tours. There is something special about Glennie girls and we need to nurture every little bit of this. It does make you proud to be associated with these girls and work in a place that holds on to what is important - well I think so anyway and I am sure that you do, too!

Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

Read more

A Message from the Head of Senior Years

13 October 2017

Martin Seligman defines optimism as reacting to problems with a sense of confidence and high personal ability (1991). Specifically, optimistic people believe that negative events are temporary, limited in scope and manageable. This week I would like to share another article by parenting expert Michael Grose titled Optimism: 10 essential optimism skills to teach your kids so they can achieve. Grose writes:

Children learn optimism or pessimism from their experiences of success and through their interactions with parents, teachers and other significant adults. Adults can help children and young people become optimistic thinkers with the use of modelling and also by directly teaching and drawing kids’ attention to the skills of optimistic thinking. The following are 10 broad skills you can use to develop a sense of optimism in your kids.

1. Change your self-talk.
Get kids to listen to their self-talk and help them work out alternative messages that they can use if they are self-defeating:

  • Pessimistic talk – “This is really hard and I’ll probably stuff it up”
  • Optimistic talk – “This is pretty challenging but I should do okay”

2. Slow down and think through the options.
Teach kids to slow down and think through situations rather than jumping to conclusions:

  • Pessimistic response – “They ditched me”
  • Optimistic response – “They missed their bus. No one has a watch. They’re held up by someone’s mum.”

3. Positively reframe.
Get kids to notice the good in themselves and others. Then encourage them to find something positive in a bad experience, no matter how small:

“You may have been unsuccessful this time but you know what to do next time” or “It may have been a boring party but you did meet a new friend, which is great.”

4. Look for the lesson.
Teach kids to look for the learning in every situation rather than look for blame. When mistakes are made or situations don’t quite go to plan encourage kids to ask themselves - “What can you learn to avoid or turn this situation around?”

5. Apportion blame fairly.
Teach kids to blame accurately based on facts, rather than emotion. Most things, whether good or bad happen due to a mixture of luck, other people and personal actions. Apportioning blame fairly is about getting the mix right between those three areas.

6. Practise perspective-taking.
Make sure you model upbeat, positive thinking as young children take their cues from their parents, particularly the parent they spend most time around. School-aged children need to be encouraged to keep things in perspective. Challenge your child’s propensity to catastrophise - “Does it really matter?” “You may be right, but is it the end of the world as we know it?”

7. Wind back your language.
Teach kids to turn down the catastrophe switch a few notches. Extreme language leads to extreme thinking. Encourage kids to replace “I’m furious” with “I’m annoyed”, “It’s a disaster” with ‘It’s a pain”, “I hate it” with “I don’t like it”. This sounds minor but by changing kids’ language you change how they think about events and, more importantly, how they feel.

8. Set realistic goals.
Teach kids to set realistic goals and make steps to achieve them. Goal-setting is a potent skill as it involves movement and invokes action rather than stagnation or inaction. E.g. Learning 3 spelling words each day is an effective goal as it is achievable, measurable and specific rather than vague ‘I want to be a better speller’.

9. Use the disaster meter.
Help kids get some perspective by encouraging them to give their worry a score out of ten, on how important the issue really is. Establish with children benchmarks for each number from 1 to 10 on a disaster meter. Draw on children’s past experiences. For instance, a score of 1 out of 10 may be losing your sock. A score of 10 out of 10 may be linked to when ‘grandma died’. Use the benchmarks as a reality check when children overreact to negative or bad events.

10. Count your blessings daily.
Encourage kids to look for the good things that happen to them. One way to change the default mechanism from pessimistic to optimistic is to encourage kids to look for and count their blessings on a daily basis. Encourage them to think hard – good things will be there – they just have to look. This activity trains their default thinking mechanism to look for positives rather than always being on the lookout for the negative or worst aspects of any event.

Tonia Gloudemans
Head of Senior Years

Read more

A Message from the Head of Middle Years

6 October 2017

Over the holiday break my family and I spent time at a destination with no Wifi or phone service. For me, it was pure heaven, but my four teenagers found it a little challenging after a time. This made me think about the time we all spend in front of screens and how we can achieve balance in our lives. The article (below) by Caroline Knorr from Common Sense Media relating media time to a healthy diet, ensuring all types of media are 'consumed' in moderation, really resonated with me. Although it talks about parents setting the boundaries for their children, it made me think that the first step is to set the example. We as adults need to ensure that we follow the rules we set and not be exempt from them. We too need a healthy media diet.


Many parents struggle with exactly how much screen time is okay for their children. Is a half-hour TV show okay but a full-length movie bad? How much gaming should you allow when your children also use their computer for homework? Does Wikipedia count as reading? And when does a passion for, say, video games become problematic?

The truth is, there is no magic formula. And just as every family differs in what they eat, when they eat and what they like, a healthy media diet is different for every family. The key is making sure that the things that are important to your family are fairly balanced over the long term.

A healthy media diet balances activities (games, social media, TV), time (fifteen minutes? three hours?) and choices (YouTube, Minecraft, “Star Wars”) with offline activities (sports, face-to-face conversations, hobbies).

  1. Find balance. Instead of counting daily screen-time minutes, aim for balance throughout the week. Help your children plan a week that includes stuff they have to do and stuff they like to do, such as schoolwork, activities, chores, reading, family time and TV or gaming. Decide on limits and behaviour using a Family Media Agreement.
  2. Walk the walk. Put your own devices away while driving, at mealtimes and during important conversations. Children learn habits from the adults around them.
  3. Talk about it. Ask questions about their favourite games, shows and characters. Discuss ideas and issues they read about or learn about through a TV show or a game. This is an opportunity for bonding, learning and sharing your values.
  4. Create tech-free zones. Set rules that fit your family, such as no devices during dinner, no social media during homework or all screens off before bedtime. Some families have a central spot for charging and all devices must remain there after bedtime.
  5. Check ratings. Choose age-appropriate, high-quality media and technology for your children.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Head of Middle Years

Read more

A Message from the Head of Senior Years

14 September 2017

As we move towards the end of term, I would like to share some snippets from an article by parenting expert Michael Grose titled True GRIT helps kids succeed. In the article, Grose argues developing character is just as important to a child’s future success as building academic skills. Grose writes:

“Talent or persistence. Which would you choose for your child?

I often ask this question at my parenting seminars and the responses are fascinating. Parents naturally want both. Sorry, but that’s not an option.

When pushed, most parents choose talent over persistence which, in many ways, reflects the current thinking around achievement. Intelligence, sporting prowess and ability, in whatever it is we value, will only get a child or young person so far. Talent is purely potential. They need more than this to achieve sustained excellence in anything they do.

Character matters

Many recent studies (most notably the work of US-based Angela Duckworth) have found that character, not cognitive ability, is the single most reliable determinant of how a person’s life will turn out. These traits include the inclination to persist at a boring task (grit); the ability to delay gratification (self-control); and the tendency to follow through with a plan (conscientiousness), which are invaluable traits at school, in the workplace and in life in general.

Character is forged under difficulty

The key character traits of grit, self-control and conscientiousness are forged under hardship and duress. This makes our current propensity to over protect and over-indulge kids problematic. When kids continually experience easy success we set them up for failure, because when they finally face up to difficult situations, many lack the capacity to push through the tough times.

Encouraging kids to step out of their comfort zones and take learning and social risks is one of the great challenges for modern parents. It’s critical that we challenge children and young people to attempt activities where failure is a significant option. Overcoming setbacks and pushing through difficulties is how character is formed.

Character is malleable

It’s important to establish in your own mind as a parent, and also in your children’s minds, that character traits such as grit, self-control and conscientiousness can be developed. To this end it’s important that parents steer clear of using absolute language to label behaviour and express views that traits and abilities are fixed. Comments such as ‘You’re no good at math’ become a rule that young people learn to live by, and become default thinking that’s hard to budge.

Make grit part of a family’s brand

Parents can actively promote grit and persistence in kids by making character part of their family’s brand. They can focus on character in conversations. They can share experiences where character paid off for them in their lives. They can discuss how character contributes to excellence and success in everyday life including at work, at school and in the sporting field.

Build proprietary language around character

Parents should reflect on the language and terms they already use and build key phrases and terms around the following key character strengths: grit, self-control, conscientiousness, enthusiasm, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism, and curiosity.

Character becomes the default mechanism

…In the long run conscientiousness serves a young person well when it’s their default because when the stakes are high and they really need to work hard, they will automatically make the right choice. In fact, it will be the only option they see when excellence really matters.”

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Head of Senior Years

Read more

A Message from the Head of Junior Years

8 September 2017

This week in the Junior Years we saw the culmination of our annual Bookweek celebrations with a wonderful parade of colourful characters from the children’s favourite books, a carefully crafted dramatisation entwining characters and stories from this year’s shortlisted books, and last week, an evening of bedtime storytelling with Mrs Cohen, Mrs Suhr and Mrs Miegel.

These events assist us to focus on the importance of books and reading and the enjoyment that can be gained from these stories. I still remember vividly my own childhood and having bedtime stories read to me and how I looked forward to this most evenings. My father also used to make up stories which were told with such descriptive language that I can still recall some with fondness over fifty years later.

The Scholastic (2015). ‘Kids & Family Reading Report: 5th Edition.’ New York: NY looked at reading at home. It also has tips for us in the classroom, too.

According to the report, ‘more than half of children aged 0-5 (54%) are read aloud to at home five to seven days a week. This declines to only one in three children ages 6-8 (34%) and one in six children ages 9–11 (17%). When it comes to being read aloud to at home … [83 per cent of children across the age groups] say they love/d or like/d it a lot.’

The report found that over 90% of parents started reading to their children before the age of six. Of those, 80% said they did it because they wanted their child to enjoy books.

Twenty-three per cent of parents said they stopped reading books aloud to their children before the age of nine, the reasons being: ‘My child was old enough to read on his/her own’ (75%); ‘My child wanted to read independently’ (58%); and ‘I wanted to promote independent reading’ (49%).

According to discussions with most children, they don’t want their parents to stop reading to them altogether, even if they are independent readers. This, they see as a special time just to be with mum or dad (78%). Most also said that reading together is fun and that they can read books that perhaps are too difficult to read alone. Nearly 35% also said they loved to hear different voices and also talk about the story being read.

So, even though you may feel exhausted at night the more you read with them, the more they will read alone and the better readers they will become over time, which will have a positive impact on their overall success in school.

Some interesting reading statistics on four different children:

  • Jane reads for 1 minute a day- that’s 180 minutes per school year and 8000 words approximately.
  • Caitlin reads for 5 minutes a day - that’s 900 minutes per school year and 282 000 words approximately.
  • Sue reads for 10 minutes a day - that’s 1800 minutes per school year and 564 000 words approximately
  • Simone reads for 20 minutes a day- that’s 3600 minutes per school year and 1 800 000 words approximately.

If this starts in Kindergarten and goes on to Year Six:

  • Jane will have read for  the equivalent of 3 school days
  • Caitlin will have read for the equivalent of 12 School days
  • Sue will have read for the equivalent of 24 school days
  • Simone will have read for the equivalent of 60 school days- two extra months!!

Source: William Nagy and Patricia Herman 1987 University of Illinois  ‘Why read 20 minutes at home?’

Happy reading! It’s worth it!!

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

Read more

A Message from Mrs Suhr

1 September 2017


In 1992 Glennie was undergoing a major refurbishment program and old demountable buildings were placed on the backs of trucks and taken across Herries Street to their new home, where hitherto there had been three houses. The plan was to re-establish the Prep School without it costing the earth.  We were promised that if it became successful, the school would one day be re-built.

In that first year, we were in the spotlight daily.  After all, we had to put Glennie Prep (as it was then called) on the Toowoomba map!  We did not miss an opportunity to showcase what we were doing.  We had two teachers, no office, no administration staff and twenty-six children.


From these humble beginnings, grew what is now The Glennie Junior Years.  We have fantastic buildings and resources.  We had for many years said that it does not matter what the buildings look like, it is what goes on inside them that matters.

Now we have both!

Mrs Brenda Suhr
Deputy Head of Junior Years

Read more

A Message from the Head of Senior Years

25 August 2017

As we know, ‘growth mindset’ is the name given by psychologist Carol Dweck to the idea that intelligence can develop and that effort leads to success. Those with a growth mindset have a huge appetite for learning, are keenly attentive to information that can help develop their understanding and skill, and are not discouraged by failure. Indeed, those people don’t actually see themselves as failing – they see themselves as learning. Although the term growth mindset is generally attributed to individuals, schools can also be described as having a ‘fixed’ or a ‘growth’ mindset. A school that believes external factors such as students’ backgrounds, available resources or current levels of achievement limit what’s possible in terms of student or curriculum outcomes will find it difficult to grow and improve. On the other hand, a school that believes no matter how well (or poorly) the organisation is performing it can always improve its practices and thereby raise student outcomes, is a school with a growth mindset.

Schools with growth mindsets demonstrate a culture of continuous improvement. There is a shared commitment to an improvement agenda, a willingness to learn with and from each other, and an enthusiasm for new initiatives, new approaches and experience learning. Schools with growth mindsets encourage innovation and appropriate risk taking, reward employees for important and useful lessons learned, share information with each other, support collaboration across all department areas, are committed to the professional growth of every staff member, regularly seek feedback on operations and performance, and admit when they have got it wrong.

The Glennie School is in a period of change. We have a new Principal, a new strategic direction (soon to be released), a new Senior curriculum to plan for and implement, and a new focus on developing in students the 21st-century skills needed to succeed in a complex, competitive, technology-driven economy and society. With all these changes, it would be easy to fall into insecurity or defensiveness and do what we have always done. Instead, our staff are feeling involved, empowered and committed. Without question, adopting and maintaining a growth mindset is hard work. But the rewards are invaluable in terms of connection, purpose, direction and improvement – not just for the school, but for all key stakeholders, including staff, students

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Head of Senior Years

Read more

A Message from the Head of Junior Years

18 August 2017

I often get asked the question, “so what is the Andrews Cup competition?”

Today, I offer a little history about this amazing competition which will move into its 80th anniversary in 2018 with some special events in the planning stage.

In 1938, Miss Jessie Andrews (1910-2008) and her older sister Isabel, (1898-1981) both teachers at Somerville House, approached the Principal at the school with the idea of commencing a sporting competition for primary aged girls and wished to donate a trophy ‘The Andrews Cup.’ The Principal, Miss Jarrett agreed, (probably very reluctantly at the time!) and an invitation was sent to sister school Clayfield College, to commence some competitive events in swimming, athletics, ballgames, tennis, lifesaving and basketball for the girls at these two schools in the primary years - up to Year 8 at the time.

These amazing teachers were well ahead of their time. Whilst there had been many competitions for boys and a few secondary girls competitions in ‘selected sports’, girls primary sport was not considered a priority, and certainly not necessary, with traditional ‘girls’ activities’ considered to be far more important!

And so ‘The Queensland Girls Primary Independent Schools Andrews Cup Association’ was born! How things have changed over the last 79 years! Today- Glennie, Fairholme, TACAPS, Somerville House, Moreton Bay College, Clayfield College, St Aidan’s, St Margaret’s, Ipswich Girls Grammar School and St Hilda’s - ten schools that all share very similar philosophies on sports competitions, are involved in Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics as core sports, along with the elective sports of Netball, Touch Football, Artistic Gymnastics, Softball, Basketball, and Tennis.

Girls from Years 2 to 6 are involved in core sports and Years 4 to 6 in elective sports across the four terms. With most tracks and pools limited to ten lanes, no more schools are able to join, unless a school resigns from the group.

The Association has worked hard in recent years to become a leading sporting group utilising facilities for the girls such as the Queensland Athletics Centre, Nathan and the Chandler Aquatic Centre (both have been Commonwealth Games venues), providing the competitors with an amazing experience against probably the best primary sportswomen in Queensland. A part time Executive Officer is employed to assist school sportspersons with the organisation of these events.

Glennie is continuing to make great gains and achieve successes across a broader range of sports and our coaches are to be congratulated on their commitment to the girls, and our girls are to be congratulated for their commitment to their sport.

Mr Steve Warren
Head of Junior Years

Read more

A Message from Mrs Matherson

11 August 2017

As we in the Middle Years plan our program to prepare the girls in the best way possible for the new Senior Curriculum, we have been discussing new skills that we need to develop in the girls and, therefore, the skills that teachers need in order to do this. It is an exciting time for us to review our program, identifying what we do well and where we can improve. One of our focus areas will be to develop independent, adaptive learners - girls who are actively involved in their learning and take ownership of it. After all, it is their future, and the skills they develop at school will be something they carry with them and rely upon in years to come.

At Glennie, the partnership between the School and parents to support the girls to be 'all they can be' and develop the skills for the future, is essential. Below is an extract from Great Minds and How to Grow Them, by Wendy Berliner & Deborah Eyre. I hope you find it interesting.


What support do children need from teachers and parents to develop the cognitive skills, values, attitudes and attributes needed for lifetime ­success? Here are some ideas to help your child become a high performer.


  • If children get stuck at something, don’t sort it out. Ask “How could you do this?” “Have you done anything similar before?” “What did you do then?” This helps them develop their own learning ideas and makes them much less likely to say they can’t do things.
  • Build big picture thinking. Ask “What would happen if … it never got dark/the rivers ran dry/ everyone ignored the law?” A key characteristic of students labelled as gifted is their ability to see how learning connects to the wider world. 
  • Build imagination. Ask “How would you weigh a giraffe/rhinoceros/bridge/house/star?” Creativity builds learning capability and is vital for high performance.
  • Develop critical or logical thinking. Ask ‘Why do you think … bread goes mouldy if you don’t freeze it/babies cry/ leaves fall when autumn comes?” The ability to deduct, hypothesise, reason and seek evidence is probably the characteristic most ­associated with academic success.
  • Help them monitor their own ­progress. Ask: “What do you need to be able to do this? How can you check you’re on track? How can you tell whether you are doing it right?” This is the key to maximising thinking skills.


  • Intellectual confidence. This is a “can do” approach to learning, even when it’s hard. If a child says they are no good at something, say: “I know you can learn how to do this if you work at it.”
  • Open-mindedness. Being open to new ideas is the hallmark of an advanced learner. Start with being open-minded yourself, so you model what it’s like to be receptive to ideas that differ from your own. 
  • Curiosity. Children ask lots of questions if you answer them. The desire to know more – curiosity – is at the heart of all learning. The more curious children are, the better they do at school and in life.
  • Practice. It’s the only way to get good at something. Make sure it is regular, deliberate and planned, working towards achievable incremental goals. Practice what you can’t do well.
  • Perseverance. To keep going when it’s tough is the most important behaviour in high performance. With younger children you can talk about what would happen if no one persevered – the farmer who didn’t bother to harvest his crops, the builder to finish the house, the ­surgeon to complete the operation. With older ones, encourage a sense of pride in what they do so that they are motivated to persevere.

Mrs Jo Matherson
Head of Middle Years

Read more

A Message from the Head of Senior Years

4 August 2017

With only 15 – 18 months until QCAA officially implements the new senior curriculum (recently re-named the new Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) System), schools and teachers are busily making decisions about subjects and timing, as well as immersing themselves in the detail of the new senior syllabuses. I have attached a new document for parents from the QCAA outlining popular questions and answers for families with students beginning Year 10 in 2018.

While this document outlines some general changes, it is important to note that at Glennie:

  • Staff have already been involved in professional development to learn about the new quality assurance processes and to familiarise themselves with the new General syllabuses
  • Heads of Departments have begun to plan for changes associated with more defined syllabuses, quality assurance processes for school-based assessment, and the introduction of external assessment
  • Senior leadership staff have already facilitated a number of professional conversations with teachers about the underpinning construct and design features of the General syllabuses as well as the new QCE system

When the last of the QCAA decisions are made about how the new system will operate in schools, we will hold an information evening for Year 9 parents and students. We had hoped this detail would be available by now; however, it looks as though it will be released by QCAA in October. As such, this evening will be held early in Term 4. In the meantime, please take the time to read the new QCAA flier for parents and be assured that extensive planning has been underway all year to ensure The Glennie School develops a curriculum model of the Senior Years that will be the envy of all schools in the region.

Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Head of Senior Years

Read more