From the Principal - February 2021

From the Principal - February 2021

From the Principal – February 2021

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From the Principal, Ms Wendy Lauman

It has been an invigorating start to the new school year, welcoming students as they return to the classroom and the Boarding House, and once again being able to invite parents to attend events on site.

Thank you to those who have been able to attend our Parent Information Evenings to meet staff and establish connections with the St Hilda’s community. As the year unfolds, you will receive invitations to sessions specifically designed to support your interest and involvement with your daughter’s learning, and community events to connect families with the School.

We have appreciated the community’s amenability and continued recognition that we are operating with COVID guidelines and planning. When you are attending our events, you will become familiar with our process for enabling contact tracing to manage risk of infection – please remember to register.

2020 Scholars’ Assembly

Our 2020 Seniors, along with all Queensland Year 12 students, were the first cohort to experience external testing in this State for many decades. Much was written last year about the resilience of these young people and the number of firsts they experienced as a cohort. Needless to say, it was with great pride that we invited eighteen of our 2020 graduates to our Scholars’ Assembly to recognise the achievement of those awarded a 95+ ATAR score.

Interviews with our newest Old Girls, facilitated by our Academic Prefects, covered queries relating to: What kept you motivated when times got tough? Favourite study techniques? Favourite ways to de-stress during exam block?  The responses were varied and served to reinforce for the audience of current Years 6 – 12 students, that ‘working out what works for you’ is the best way to achieve your academic goals.

The success of this cohort has been equally enjoyed by parents and staff who navigated not only the demands of the final year at school and a new system for the selection of tertiary entrance, but also the challenges of navigating COVID restrictions. As in the past, our graduates’ ability to select from twenty-three Senior subjects as well as Diploma and Vocational Education Certification, has positioned them to select tertiary pathways which reflect their career interests and passions.

Destinations

Their acceptance of offers from the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre reflects the diversity of St Hilda’s students’ aspirations. Many of our 2020 cohort have enrolled in dual degrees in disciplines ranging from: Doctor of Medicine (UQ), Bachelor of Paramedicine (Griffith), Bachelor of Veterinary Science (James Cook), Bachelor of Design (Architecture)/Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (QUT), Bachelor of Economics (UQ), Bachelor of Teaching (QUT), Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Actuarial Science (Bond), Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) – Science (ANU).

This small snapshot of courses and destinations enables you to appreciate the myriad of opportunities which your daughter may seek to pursue. At present, each student will be identifying their personal goals for 2021. Students in Years 7 – 12 will be identifying their iSMART goals (inspirational, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound). One-on-one academic mentoring conversations will commence for Years 8 -12 early this term, Year 7 will begin their conversations in Term 2. Students in Years 10-12 will also avail themselves of opportunities to discuss career pathways and attend tertiary information sessions. Parents of our 2020 Scholars offered highly positive feedback on the value of the support systems St Hilda’s staff have provided their daughters. We seek to provide this experience for each and every student and look forward to developing our scope of programs to personalise meaningful learning.

It is a great pleasure to serve our St Hilda’s community; I look forward to working with you, your daughter, and our staff to create a memorable year. To that end, I have asked our Head of Students, Research and Engagement to share a precis on technology considerations. Whilst social media may have assisted the connection of many over the break, transitioning back to school for some students can be a little fraught as their use of social media may have negatively affected friendships.

From the Head of Students, Research and Engagement, Ms Sheri Upasiri

As we approach Safe Internet Day on Tuesday 9 February, it is timely to focus on safe practices to help our girls navigate the worlds of technology and social media. Theirs is a generation that has not lived in a world without social media. In fact, with pregnancy announcements and ultrasounds posted on various platforms, this is a generation that has been on social media even before they were born. As caregivers and educators, it is important for us to work together to build the digital intelligence of our girls. At school, our GROW, and THRIVE Succeed programs focus on building digital literacy as well as the importance of a positive digital footprint and personal brand.

To safeguard your daughters at home, the ESafety Commissioner suggests three top tips for parents:

  1. Be engaged, open and supportive.
  2. Set some rules.
  3. Use the available technology.

Get to know the devices you and your children use and set them up for privacy and online safety. Take advantage of parental controls to monitor and control screen time and access to content in ways appropriate to your child’s age and experience.

Choose apps and games carefully, taking age ratings and consumer advice into account. Check the App Store or Google Play, and for games, the Australian Classification Board’s online database. The Australian Council on Children offer information about apps, games, and websites searchable by age.

An increasingly popular social media platform is TikTok which registered 850, 000 users in Australia in 2020. This platform has an increasing trend of followers aged 13-18 and increasing reports of children being exposed to inappropriate content or being approached by strangers online. You can learn more about TikTok and Snapchat through the links below as well as find information relating to the ESafety Commission and help seeking organisations such as the Raising Children Network, Parentline Queensland and Headspace.

  1. https://www.esafety.gov.au/key-issues/esafety-guide/tiktok
  2. https://www.esafety.gov.au/key-issues/esafety-guide/snapchat
  3. https://raisingchildren.net.au/
  4. https://parentline.com.au/
  5. https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/

 

Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Hope, Grace