News from the Nest

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As you would be well aware, this is a heads down,  intensive study time in the House. I am very happy with how hard the girls are working and many staff have commented on the girls’ seriousness and commitment to their study. The kitchen is producing nourishing, warm meals like beef casserole and roasted vegetables and the Years 11 and 12 students were delivered care packs last night!

I would like to acknowledge the tremendous support for the boarders provided by Kylee Brain and her team as well as Ms Baker and Mrs Johnston, our skilled and energetic counselling team. The work of these ladies is imperative in seeing that the boarders get any extra support that they need to be healthy, positive and focused at a challenging time in the term.

A reminder about end of term dates and leave: End of term leave needs to be in by tomorrow, Saturday 10 June. School ends on Thursday 22 June at 3 pm and Friday is Boarders’ Travel Day with the House being closed at lunchtime. The Year 12 Formal is that evening as Year 12 parents will know all too well!

 Miss Claire Lawler has done a wonderful job in revamping our Recreation Program and this week a yoga session is available on Saturday and a special surprise in store for Sunday afternoon. Ms Daff has organised a series of spiritual reflective exercises in the House for Sunday afternoon as well as transport to St Ignatius Parish at 5 pm for any girls wishing to attend Mass there. Fr Pan is not available this Sunday at Stuartholme.

Please enjoy Miss Claire’s piece on the 2017 Recreation Program which will be printed in the next edition of Cor Unum:

The recreation program for Stuartholme boarders strives to be innovative, authentic, engaging and plain old -fashioned “fun”. These values drive the creation of our program and assist us in our overall goal, to develop confident and compassionate young women.

Being a boarder is challenging at times. You are away from your family, your home, your community, your ‘normal’. To help create a happy and safe environment in boarding, the recreation program has introduced a series of activities that are designed to be ‘a little slice of home’. This year we have introduced a pet therapy afternoon, where members of our school community bring in their furry, fluffy, feathered, and sometimes scaly friends, for the girls to spend a few hours with. The laughter and joy that accompanies this activity rejuvenates our boarders and allows our community to engage in a different and positive way with the girls.  Additionally, this term saw the introduction of our Day Girl Immersion. This day includes free time for the boarders to show their friends from school around the boarding house, facilitated inside and outside activities and downtime for the girls to simply hang out. The day students enjoy being inducted into the boarding world and our girls appreciate having that ‘homely’ experience.

Another focus of the revamped recreation program is our encouragement of boarders to find joy, stillness and creativity, even in the smallest moments. The introduction of DITry (Do It Try) events, where boarders attempt to recreate craft, cooking, and home science experiments, has resulted in personalised jewellery, decorations for rooms and over 25 kilograms of slime. The Boarders’ Library, curated by one of our Year 9 students, provides escapism and sustainability of resources, with many of the books being donated by the school library or by boarders. Although these activities may be smaller scale, they facilitate opportunities for boarders to enjoy technology-free, childhood moments. To further nurture this concept, next term boarders will be given gardens to cultivate, Paddock to Plate meals to plan for, and weekly art and craft sessions.

 In order for a Stuartholme boarder to understand the wider world, they need to be an active member of it. This year our Year 10 – 12 boarders have been invited to volunteer monthly at Big Night Out (BNO), a disability disco that has been operating in Brisbane for over 11 years. I am humbled by the respectful and fun attitude our boarders have bought to BNO so far, and am impressed by the growing number of boarders signing up. Further to this, instead of standard shopping outings we have introduced op shopping. This activity aims to educate boarders about sustainable practices, budgeting, and environmental and social awareness. These additions to the rec program are a big step, but a necessary one. By introducing social justice activities and awareness, we hope to broaden our boarders’ understanding of the world, but more so, what they can do to make a positive impact.

Good luck to your girls for this assessment period! They have been well supported in the House and I hope that you feel confident about their progress this term. Once again, please contact me with any concerns or feedback.

Wishing you a happy, warm weekend!

Andree Rice
Deputy Principal Boarding

Ellen proudly showing me the results of her Home Economics work!