Secondary Matters - iHub - Agriculture World Options - Kokoda - Senior Spotlight

Wednesday, 06 Mar 2024

Term 1 is moving along very quickly and a few signature events have been across our busy campus since our last newsletter. The Year 7 rite of passage into high school is now complete after their outdoor education experience and welcome back into our community by Mrs Brown. Year 11 are on camp this week at camp Kokoda which is an excellent development of character and time with their peers and Tutor teachers.

Parent Teacher Interviews Year 7 to 12

These commence on Wednesday, March 27 for Year 8 and Year 12 families. Year 9 and Year 10 are on April the 3rd and then Year 7 and Year 11 are on the 10th April.

Times become available through Parent Lounge when they are opened and we ask that times be kept on the night so that all families can have their bookings on time. The evenings are in the Branson Centre. We look forward to seeing you there with your child and please always contact a teacher if you have any questions or concerns (you do not need to wait for parent-teacher interviews).

At this time of Term, I suggest that it is a positive step to have a conversation at home about what students are enjoying, if they think they need any help to contact the teacher, and what are the key events coming up for them. Building a sense that education is something to talk about and important is essential. As teenagers, your interest at home in their education makes a difference (although sometimes you may need to ask several times before you get an answer).

Senior Spotlight

There were two Senior Spotlights shared this week and I encourage you to read both with your children. 

Learning and Study Skills Year 11-12

Recently, Year 11 and Year 12 completed workshops on methods of study, including planning, memory mnemonics, note taking and engaging with content. Thank you to Mrs Matthews for coordinating this and if you have a child in these years, please ask them to discuss some study skill techniques that they are using.

Careers Pathways

Over the early weeks of term, we have farewelled Mrs Gina Driscoll to retirement and Mrs Janine Ryan has been busy building connections with year groups and has welcomed students as they commenced TAFE, organised the White Card course, presented to senior students and completed organisation for university visits. We also had the university roadshow on campus. Please contact Mrs Ryan for all career pathway needs.

Service Learning

In the coming weeks, we will see the focus and organisation for our preparation for Easter and supporting our Anglican tradition. The World’s Greatest Shave and Year 12 has commenced fund raising, Humans Rights Group will coordinate Harmony Day and ANZAC Day information will be shared. We are fortunate that the college has a strong tradition of service learning and supporting our diverse community and we look forward to these over the coming weeks.

Uniform Code

Thank you to families and most students for their commitment to our uniform code and expectations. Two areas that we ask families to check and or remind students is for black polishable shoes with our summer uniform and that shorts or skirts should not be rolled up (shortening the length). The house shirts on a Friday are looking excellent and house points have been awarded every two weeks at assembly for the most consistent house group with house shirts. O’Shane and Sutherland have both received points since the swimming carnival.

We invite you to attend our Easter service on Thursday 28th March, 9am in the Branson Centre. Term 1 concludes Friday 12th April and recommences Monday 29th April with a Day 1 on our timetable. 

Mrs Sue O’Connor has begun the Acting Head of Secondary role during Nick’s sabbatical, Mr Terry Close is the Acting Director of Student Wellbeing and Mrs Erin Powell will be the Acting Year 9 Coordinator. I am looking forward to being in the Acting Principal role during Nick’s leave and I am very thankful with the number of staff who applied for the change in roles. We are very fortunate to have such great teachers who wish to be part of our different leadership groups.

Simon Doyle
Acting Principal

Senior Spotlight Lily Geddes

Hi I’m Lilly, and what I am going to talk about is an issue I have faced growing up.

We are told this at primary “to do your own thing and be your own person” but sometimes that is really hard when all you want to do is fit in. I was 5 when my mother took me to a specialist to get assessed. The doctor concluded that I was ADHD, Dyslexic and Autistic and that I was “too much”.

I spent the years from kindy to year 5 learning to read and write with my mother sitting me down for 1-2 hours every morning and afternoon teaching me to read. I spent most of those years crying my eyes out, saying “I would never learn to read”, “why is it so hard for me”,and “why can't I be like everyone else”.

I had to repeat a year as I had given up on my academic learning, which made school a lot harder for me to try and fit in with everyone, with many people saying “I’m dumb” and “weird”. The only place I could really be myself was when I was swimming. I was safe away from everybody's else’s words that were determining the person I was “your different, dumb and special”

Why couldn’t I be like everyone else?

Why couldn’t I fit in?

Is there something wrong with me?

I was 12 when I picked up the first chapter book to read for my own enjoyment, I’ll admit it took me a month to finish. But this is what I found to be my first accomplishment, to be able to read by myself and not have other people telling me what I can and can’t do.

I stand here in front of you all telling you my struggles. I was diagnosed with dyslexia again when I was 15, and it all finally made sense why I had struggled so much growing up.

Why I wasn’t like everyone else.

Why I was the only one struggling.

Why am I so different?

I am 18 now and have grown up having the labels “dumb, different and special”, while trying my hardest to fit in with everyone. But those are just labels, and it doesn’t define the person I am, I want to go to University, I want to read whatever books, and I want to learn! My disability doesn't define the person I am.

I know now that just because I’m dyslexic doesn’t mean I’m dumb or any different from anyone else, it means that I see the world in a different way and sometimes need a little extra help like anyone else. But I wouldn’t of been able to be the person I am today if it wasn’t from the support of my Mother, for the tireious amounts of hours she spent with me for my education but also swimming. My dad giving me the support to vent and give me advice to never stop going when something seems so far out of sight, and both my older brothers and friends who never gave up on me and taught me to accept the person I am, and the amazing teachers I’ve had through the years that would spend their extra time with me to make sure I get the grades I wanted to achieve, and showed me that I could do anything with the right people that accepted me for me.

I am Lilly and I am dyslexic

We are told “to do your own thing and be your own person”

“I did my own thing and I am my own person”

Thank you.

Lilly Geddes

Senior Spotlight Stephanie Evans

When I first found out I was doing Senior Spotlight this week, I wasn’t sure at all about what to talk about. And I needed to have something written down by Wednesday. Meaning I had an expiry date. Now, the last ever day of school is also like an expiration date. All the assessments and exams come to an end. But most importantly, it's the end of an era. 13 years of going to school and seeing your friends every day, sticking to a routine, organising fun events for carnivals and the list goes on.

So what does it mean to face an expiration date? Are we meant to know what comes next? Or is it okay to have nothing planned?

For the past couple of years, the question “What do you want to do when you leave school?” seems to be asked more and more. There are so many different career paths to choose from, so many options, it can become overwhelming. And getting asked that one question by everyone sometimes can only make it worse. Now, I have ZERO idea about what I want to do when I finish school. And that's OK. At the end of last year, I sat in a room with some of my peers and we were all asked that one question. Every single one of them had amazing answers and are off to great universities. However, I was the only one who said, “I don’t know”.

Feeling like you're unprepared and not as sure as your peers is not a fun feeling at all. It can already be so scary stepping out into the “big world”, and not knowing exactly what the next step you are going to take can make it even scarier.

But really, there is no need to worry or stress.

This is where the expiration date does not matter.

There are so many different opportunities, adventures, career paths, that are waiting for you whenever you are ready. Whether that is straight after you leave school, 3 years after graduation, or even 10 years later. There is no rush to choose what it is that you will do next.

If you’re like me and you don’t know exactly what it is that you want to do when you walk out these doors, don’t let the pressure and unknown scare you. It does not matter if you aren’t going straight to university or if you don’t know exactly how long your gap year will be before starting university, and it does not matter if you don’t go to uni at all. Don’t feel pressured to go where your friends go. Be brave and make your own choices. Do what you love the most, whether that is working to save money, travelling around a beautiful place somewhere in the world, studying an exciting course for your career at uni or doing volunteer work.

Life is full of amazing experiences and there is so much time to do everything you dream of. Do what makes you happy. Remember, just because school is going to come to an end, and a new beginning will start, it doesn’t mean you need to rush to make a decision on what it is that you will do next. I hope I have helped at least one person here today and I thank everyone for listening.

Stephanie Evans

Contemporary Agriculture World Option

The Contemporary Agriculture world option class had a great first trip out to the BDC farm, 'Farnworth'. It was a treat to have Ted Clarke (the gentleman who previously owned and donated the property), Neil Griffin (local Apiarist) and Michael Hayhoe (BDC Farm manager), join us for the morning's events. The students were able to get a feel for the property's location and topography and got stuck into some hands-on experiences with the honeybees, beef cattle and the vegetable gardens.

Kokoda Challenge

On Sunday 25th of February, students, parents and teachers participated in the first training session for the Brisbane Kokoda Event. The torrential rain and dark skies did not stop us! We ended up walking from the Jetty to Korora covering an impressive 15km. Mutton Bird was our end treat and many of our students got their second wind, running up in style. We were super proud of the outcome, so many positive and enthusiastic students. Edward in Year 7 stated, “I love this hill and can’t wait to dominate it.”

On the 2nd of June, we have over 30 students for the second year in a row completing the Brisbane Kokoda Challenge. This year we also have Year 9-11 students undertaking the 48 km event.

Participating in the Kokoda Challenge will benefit the students by fostering resilience, teamwork and leadership skills. The demanding physical and mental aspects of the event promotes perseverance and goal-setting. This event will provide historical insight, encourage empathy and appreciation for the sacrifices made by soldiers during the Kokoda Trail campaign which the students did so brilliantly on their first training session.

In the upcoming months the students will be raising money and we look forward to you supporting the disadvantaged youths. This event raises awareness for Aussie kids to experience programs, which help engage and inspire them to reach their full potential.

iHub Matters - A Hive of Activity

One of the things we love about our beautiful iHub space is the variety of ways it serves our students and staff. With their first assessment tasks well underway, our HSIE students are conducting library research ranging from:

  • Year 7’s study of Natural Hazards in geography 
  • The amazing Year 8 Oral Heritage task, where everyone selects a family item of significance and performs their own research based on interviews and conversations with family members.They then follow leads through our online and physical copies of encyclopedias, and learn about the range of historical resources that can help answer their questions.
  • Year 9 Food Symposium task, which involves students investigating real-world issues around food production, and sustainability.
  • Finally our Year 10 students focus on the First Nations Rights & Freedoms essay: where they research significant social issues and events in Australian history. Higher-level research skills, communication and the ability to analyse varying perspectives of historical information are all part of the development of their skills.

Some other groups that take part in our information and digital literacy lessons during the year include: Year 6 Orientation to High School; Year 7 Fields of Science; 7 and 8 Music; Science Extension; Preliminary Legal Studies; Community and Family Studies - to name a few.

Year 12

An impromptu hosting of the Year 12 Elevate study skills session was held in the iHub on Friday in Week 5. What a fantastic, and engaging presenter Jared was!

He covered aspects from time management and study planning; effective study methods; practical tips on exam preparation. The students had a great time, gained valuable insights, and the iHub provided a perfect academic space for them to take it all in!