I also congratulate Mrs Kate Atkin – Old Girl 1999 who will be next year’s Year 7 Coordinator. Mrs Samantha Lee will also join the Pastoral Care Team in an acting capacity, as Year 11 Coordinator while Ms Dianna Cameron completes a year’s leave of absence.
We say good bye at the end of the week to our much-loved Food and Textiles Technologies teacher, Mrs Glenda Hamilton and wish her, daughter, Dilan, in Kindy and husband, Mick all the very best for their adventures in New Zealand. It is with sadness that I share news also that Ms Ellen Shanley, English Teacher will resign from her English Teaching position to pursue her writing career and Mrs Sandy Parsons will retire from her Science Technician role at the end of the year. I look forward to being able to farewell Sandy and Ellen, in due course.
Last Saturday, Dean of Studies, Ms Lynda Wall and I hosted our final reunion event for the year in Melbourne. Just as for every other reunion event that I have attended, I was struck by the diverse array of inspirational women who so proudly stay connected to St Aidan’s. There is much to learn from these St Aidan’s Old Girls and others like them.
A recent study, conducted in Britain, ‘Disrupting the Feed’ comes to mind. It urges girls to follow at least four inspirational and ‘positive’ role models, flagging positive figures like Michelle Obama, Emma Watson, Serena Williams and Greta Thunberg, in order to diversify their social media, well beyond sometimes ‘negative’ influencers, such as photo-shopped models.
Researcher, Dr Terri Apter from Cambridge University asserts that social media is ‘embedded’ in the lives of teenagers and believes material including photo-shopped models and often unrealistically enhanced images is today’s “social junk food”. She suggests that social media use can be re-shaped to give access to a more ‘diverse’ landscape.
The study was found to dramatically increase girls’ mental health, with 93 percent of respondents indicating that their outlook had improved over a six-month period. Before the study, each girl was interviewed about her interests, values, goals, friends and social media use. They were encouraged to follow a wide range of inspirational women, not only famous role models but strong women, such as those who were survivors of genocide and human trafficking.
In following the female role models, the girls’ digital footprint changed and therefore a more diverse feed of people and topics were available to them.
Six months later, after the girls had followed at least four inspirational women, a second interview was conducted. Almost all of the girls reported that their outlooks had changed and their horizons had been expanded. Many of the interviewees said their self-esteem had improved and others set higher goals and achieved them.
My hope for our young women of St Aidan’s is to see beyond today’s ‘typical’ women of social media and take the time to thoughtfully consider women of genuine social influence they might like to research to ‘follow’.
Many thanks to P & F Vice-President, Mr Ben O’Dwyer for rallying a small band of fathers for two recent ‘sausage sizzle’ events at school; firstly, for the Opening of the Junior School refurbished playground and secondly for Monday’s Orientation Day for Year 7 students in 2020. When dads volunteer time, they do a great deal more than cook a BBQ for hungry children (and staff!). The presence of fathers in the day-to-day business of school is significant for girls’ educational outcomes and the interest fathers show in their daughters schooling is backed up with good research!
I take this opportunity to remind parents of up-coming P & F engagement events. The first of which is tonight. All are welcome to the P&F Meeting, at 6:30pm. The meeting is held on the first floor of the Science and Technology building, in the Senior School. The second event falls on this Friday evening and I wish all Dads and special male carers, relatives and friends, along with the girls, lots of fun at the K-6 Disco. Finally, a reminder to purchase your tickets, or even better your table at the upcoming Melbourne Cup Lunch.
I am super-impressed with a couple of parents who approached me, at last week’s GLOW evening to let me know they had completed the parent survey! Thank you to all the dedicated folk who have found some time to share feedback with us.
I hope everyone has received an email from MMG education with our 2019 Parent Survey. If you haven’t opened this email yet, I encourage you to do so.
We distribute a parent survey every two years and coupled with our annual staff survey, this research provides an important temperature gauge for how we are going as staff, leaders and as a school, in general.
The research is being conducted by MMG Education, a specialist education consultancy, which works with schools in the areas of school strategic reviews and stakeholder satisfaction.
The survey has been extended to Sunday, 27 October; in previous years, we have had between 30 and 40% response rate from our community. This year, our stretch target is 50% of families responding. Please help us to reach our goal.
All responses are anonymous and treated in confidence by MMG, the school does not have access to respondent data and we encourage you to share your views honestly.
At the conclusion of the research period, MMG Education will provide the school with a report. In turn, I will provide the School community with feedback from the research. I thank all who take the time to complete our parent survey.
World Teachers’ Day
Every day, our teachers are making a positive difference – creating opportunities for our students, empowering minds and proudly teaching our future leaders and innovators. Celebrated in more than 100 countries world-wide, World Teachers’ Day was established by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1994 to recognise the role of teachers in society. World Teachers’ Day is held internationally on 5 October. As the day usually falls during school holidays in Queensland we hold celebrations on the last Friday of October each year.
Appreciation for our highly dedicated and inspirational St Aidan's teachers on World Teachers' Day will be shown this Friday, 25 October. It is also on this day that the Queensland College of Teachers announces the winners of their annual QCT Excellence in Teaching Awards. We are very proud of Ms Carla Trott who is a finalist and will attend the Awards Ceremony on Friday. Best wishes, Ms Trott!
• Free Dress Day (Day for Daniel), Friday, 25 October
• K-6 Disco, Friday, 25 October, 6:30pm in the CHC
• QGSSSA Badminton for Senior students, Saturday, 26 October
• Big Sing Workshop and Concert, Sunday, 27 October in the CHC
• Prize Reading Assembly, Tuesday, 29 October, 12:40pm in the CHC
• Kindy 2020 Orientation, Tuesday, 29 October, 6:30pm
• All Souls’ Service, Friday, 1 November, 7.00am in the Chapel
• Juliette Pepin, Leila Riemann, Monica Behrenbruch and Poppy Roberts (Year 9) who won the Year 9 Interschool Readers Cup Competition at St Peters last week.
• Go to our Interschool Readers Cup competitors
• To all teachers across the world on World Teachers’ Day this Friday
• To everyone attending the K-6 Disco on Friday evening
• To our QGSSSA Badminton Senior players
• To everyone participating or just enjoying the Big Sing Workshop and Concert on Sunday