Brigidine College has a proud reputation for its deep sense of connection, care and compassion within our Pastoral program, evident in our motto of strength and gentleness. Despite the challenges that one may face throughout their school life, it is always comforting to see there is a genuine sense of connection and care that is freely offered by our supportive staff within our community. Earlier this term, our new Year 7 parents attended the ‘Meet the Mentor’ Parent Evening. Amidst the range of mentor led presentations, the evening was highly effective and allowed parents the opportunity to connect with their daughters’ Mentor, who plays such a pivotal role in her education and development.
Recently this term, Danielle Miller OAM from Enlighten Education presented to the Year 8 cohort during camp. The Butterfly Effect program was an inspirational and meaningful workshop that focused on skill development and the capacity to build friendships, be true to oneself and to reflect on their journey through life. Students engaged in fun-filled large and small group discussions, participated in dialogue about respectful relationships and shared empowering affirmations of positive qualities within their friendship group.
With the challenges of adolescence especially as young people navigate through the complexities of social media and the digital world, The Butterfly Foundation presented to our Year 9 cohort in the area of promoting healthy body image and how to implement effective strategies through their “Let’s Talk – appearance, ideals and expectations”. The Butterfly Foundation offers a range of services, including talks to young people in schools along with a range of resources for young people, parents, carers and schools to support anyone who is concerned about themselves or others.
Another engaging organisation that presented to Year 10 this week, was Batyr and ‘giving a voice to the elephant in the room’ with regard to mental health. Batyr shared the statistics that in Australia, seven in every 30 students will be dealing with a significant mental health concern. Alarmingly only two will reach out for help and support, while five will suffer in silence, largely due to stigma, fear and shame. The batyr@school program aims to remove the stigma associated with mental ill-health and empower young people to reach out for support when they are in need. At any point, if you have concerns for your daughter, please do not hesitate to reach out to her Mentor, Year Coordinator, College Counsellors or myself for assistance.
On reflection of Term One, our Brigidine students are very fortunate to be a part of a community that provides such attentive, wrap-around care from both a learning and wellbeing lens and how this transpires in developing students of character. This perfectly represents the foundations of our Pastoral and Wellbeing program – that “a sense of belonging at school means feeling a sense of acceptance, respect, inclusion and support in a learning environment” (G Gray, 2009).