From the PrincipalFebruary 22, 2019
Despite a busy start, the year has started brilliantly for all our students and staff. I welcome all staff and students, especially those joining the College for the first time in 2019, SBC’s 90th birthday celebrating 90 years of Mercy education in the hills.
It has been fabulous having the opportunity to meet with staff, students and parents and I’m absolutely delighted to be back at St Brigid’s and to reconnect with the Mercy story and mission which had a significant impression on me when I was a staff member at the college in the early 2000s.
Two very special events took place at the College in recent weeks, the Opening Mass and my Principal’s Commissioning. Joining with college community together against the magnificent backdrop of the Lesmurdie House gardens was a very moving experience. It wasn’t only a beautiful Opening Mass but a special day for me personally. I was privileged to share it with my husband, family members and friends and our Sisters of Mercy and special guests, staff and students. Archbishop Timothy Costelloe’s challenge in his homily urged us all to reflect on the College’s many stories embedded in our rich history, and in this our 90th year, create our own, following the spirit of Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy”.
It was also an absolute pleasure to address the students at our first Assembly and I challenged each of them to strive to be the best they can be in all they do. Using a story about a young boy watching his grandmother use a pencil (I hope they’ve shared the pencil story with you and shown you their pencil) to write a letter, this year we are remembering five qualities of a pencil to qualities we would want to find within ourselves.
- A pencil’s wooden exterior isn’t important, it’s the graphite inside that really matters. Similarly, we must pay attention to what’s happening inside each of us and how this impacts others.
- Pencils always leave their mark. We all need to be conscious of our actions and the mark they leave on us and those around us.
- Like a pencil, we can also erase any mistakes we make.
- From time to time, pencils need sharpening, a process that is not always pleasant and likewise, we too must at times bear hardships and sorrows. Ultimately, these will strengthen us and make as better people.
- Finally, just like our hands guide a pencil, we must always be confident of being guided by God according to his will.
To remind the children of these five qualities, I gave each student a pencil to prompt them to recall these vital attributes and to utilise them in their quest to be the best they can be.
As a community, we were delighted with the results achieved by the Class of 2018 graduates. Ten girls achieved scores of 90 plus with a number also being awarded Certificates of Excellence. Distinction and Merit. An additional 16 students with scores over 80 added to our very pleasing performance. In the VET area, seven of our graduates completed either a Certificate IV in Business or a Certificate IV in Preparation for Health and Nursing Studies to complement their full time school based study programmes. A CertificateIV qualification qualifies students who are able to successfully demonstrate a broad range of specialised knowledge and skills in their chosen field. Most importantly, students who have completed this qualification are able to apply for direct entrance to university. We are extremely proud of these achievements and those of all our girls and we are certain that each of them will go forward with confidence in the spirit of mercy with every intention of making the world a better place. I was delighted to welcome girls with 90 plus scores back to a special assembly and morning tea last week. It was also very encouraging for all secondary students to hear from the College Dux, Lauren Knight who achieved a score of 99.2, her tips for ATAR success:
- Focus in class,
- sleep well,
- Keep study notes up to date
- Don’t give up doing the things that relax you and are enjoyable and rewarding
The relationship between the College and the home is integral to each child achieving their full potential. Our recent Parent Information Evenings were testament to the proactive and enthusiastic approach our parents take to support the College as we work together to deliver quality experiences for our children.
Enthusiasm was also certainly the order of the day at the House Swimming Carnival held in the Sister Mary Rose Aquatic Centre. Amidst some spectacular and some nail-biting performances from our very talented girls, I was able to meet and chat with many of you and I thank you again for supporting your children so wholeheartedly. I thank too, the PE Staff, led by Mr Liam Merrigan for their stewardship of the day.
Our first RAD Readers session, took place last week and it was wonderful to see the enthusiasm our older students displayed not only for reading in general, but also towards helping our younger girls and boys with their reading development by listening to their reading. It is these occasions that bring our younger learners and our senior girls together that often promote some brilliant learning and mentoring experiences.
The recent SRC assembly which allowed the Student Council to introduce themselves to the student body was very well received and I congratulate our student leaders for their efforts to date. I’m confident they will be wonderful mentors and ambassadors for our younger girls and boys.
This week, our Year 7 students head off to camp, an important launching point for the students’ transition into the Middle School, and I look forward to visiting them for some of the time they are away. The focus of the Year 7 Camp is to provide students with the opportunity to challenge themselves and learn new skills by participating in a range of controlled, risk taking activities. Students will have the opportunity to improve their leadership skills, build self-confidence and develop a positive attitude to face the challenges of starting Year 7. They will also have the opportunity to begin building new relationships with other students in the cohort and key Year 7 staff.
I thank everyone in the St Brigid’s College community for the warm, hospitable welcome they have extended to me. It has been an amazing start for all of us and we go with an exciting and busy schedule of wonderful learning experiences for our students.