Message from the Acting Principal
On Monday 11th November, I attended the Toowong RSL Sub-Branch’s Centenary of Armistice Remembrance Day Service, together with our 2020 Cor Unum Committee, Imogen Fraser, Lucy Baker, Hayley Bowden and Meghan Todd. It was a pleasure to attend with these girls, who represented Stuartholme beautifully and lay a wreath at the cenotaph on behalf of the School.
At School, we also included a prayer to reflect on Remembrance Day and held a minute’s silence at 11 a.m., to reflect the time the guns on the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare. 101 years after the cessation of World War 1, Remembrance Day remains a time to reflect on a conflict that saw more than 60,000 Australians killed, including 45,000 who died on the Western Front in France and Belgium and more than 8,000 who died on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey. As Australians, on Remembrance Day we pay tribute to all Australians who have fought or suffered, not just in World War 1, but in all conflicts since. We also use it as an opportunity to pray and hope for peace.
Class of 2019
This week we farewelled our Class of 2019. The girls finished their exams and assessment last week, so this week was an opportunity for them to engage in a range of presentations and activities, but it was also a chance for them to relax and have fun with their friends before they embark on their separate pathways and journeys.
The final week of school is always an interesting mix of emotions for our Year 12s. I am quite sure the overwhelming emotions include relief that assessment is completed, sheer joy at celebrating the final day, and excitement that secondary schooling is finally over! For many, there is also a twinge of nervous tension, perhaps even trepidation or some sadness, that comes when thinking about a future that doesn’t include being at Stuartholme every day.
As is tradition, we hosted a number of events, including the Valedictory, which allows us to thank the Year 12s for their gifts to our community and to wish them every joy and blessing in their future lives. However, whilst we have every confidence that they all have the success within them to do great things, we also know that life does have its inevitable highs and lows.
This is why it is so reassuring to know that they leave us equipped with a Stuartholme education which goes far beyond just academic knowledge. When our girls face hard times, not only will they have the strong foundations their family, friends and loved ones have provided, they will also have Stuartholme as a clear small voice in their hearts. Stuartholme, and the 5 goals of Sacred Heart education, have a profound impact on all our girls and provide comfort, direction and reassurance throughout life.
Goal 1 – Through experiences such as participation in the Eucharist, prayers, retreats and assemblies, our girls have been supported and encouraged to live and grow in their personal faith. We hope the personal relationship with God that they have developed will continue to have a deep impact on the rest of their lives and that they will, even in little ways, incorporate their faith beliefs into their daily lives, not just in the difficult times but also in the joys and celebrations.
Goal 2 – Stuartholme is a community where girls are nurtured, challenged and supported to participate, collaborate, think critically and achieve. Over their time at Stuartholme, our Year 12s have developed self-efficacy, grown in leadership and been empowered with the skills and confidence to compete, lead and take risks. They leave us as lifelong learners, capable of being creative and adaptable, of engaging in interconnected, complex and diverse societies, and of creating their own opportunities.
Goal 3 – Our Year 12s have exemplified the closeness that reflects understanding of connecting with others, fostering right relationships and giving generously of themselves and their gifts. They are not just socially aware, they are willing to stand up, act and make a genuine difference. They approach their adult lives willing to make a difference, not just locally, but nationally and globally.
Goal 4 – In everything they’ve done this year, our seniors have prioritised the building of community. By freely sharing the warmth of a simple smile, supporting their sisters with an act of kindness, accepting and respecting each other’s differences, they have worked together to build spirit and make this community stronger.
Goal 5 – As a school community, we take great pride having watched our Year 12s grow into the confident and talented young women who are now graduating. It is clear they understand what is truly important as well as the responsibility that comes with an atmosphere of wise freedom. The many lessons learned along the way have made them the women they are today and these memories and learnings will shape the women they continue to grow into.
We hope our Year 12s leave with fond memories of their time at Stuartholme School. On behalf of the Stuartholme community, I thank them all for their contributions and the many moments of joy, enlightenment and success they have provided. Every single one of our Year 12s will be remembered fondly and we wish them every blessing as they explore all their future possibilities and options.
Our Year 11 students are about to commence their first pieces of assessment for Unit 3 of the Queensland Certificate of Education. For those students who are ATAR eligible, this is the first assessment that will count towards the calculation of their Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank. Our Year 11s are part of the first cohort in Queensland to study the new QCE and we have been proud of the way they have embraced the new approaches, challenges and learnings. We wish them every success with their final pieces of assessment for the year and a well-earned break over the holidays.
Students in Years 7 to 10 will now be in the thick of assessment, including preparing for examinations. Being well prepared for examinations is the best way to increase confidence and reduce anxiety. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, many students try to learn the facts, concepts, skills or procedures needed for an examination the night before. Many argue that cramming keeps the information fresh. Whilst this may appear to be the case in the short term, over the longer term it will not facilitate the desired levels of success because a single study session, no longer how long it goes for, does not support long term learning.
It is important that girls in Years 7 to 10 develop the habits they will need when they enter later years where the types of assessment, and the depth and complexity of skills required, are more demanding. As they progress through high school, cramming for tests will not allow students to develop the understandings or practise the variety of skills required for success.
If they haven’t yet done so, I encourage all students to establish a study plan that spaces out their study and practice, to reduce distractions when studying and make use of any revision sheets, past papers or practice questions to practise the skills of the assessment. Girls should also talk to their teachers if they are feeling worried about upcoming assessment.
We wish all our students well as they finish the final two weeks of the school year.