The Wellbeing of students at Brigidine has always worked in conjunction with the teaching and learning of students and the development of their religious and spiritual character.
The framework for the development of students is based on two key principles:
- Restorative Justice forms the basis of all student management at the College. Each student is encouraged to explore the impact upon others of their actions and behaviour and how they can best manage that behaviour in the future. At every level, students are given the chance to change their behaviour and be restored to the community.
- Positive Education is based on the work of Martin Seligman and others in Positive Psychology. This framework has a deliberate focus on developing resilience and a growth mindset in all of our students. Through the exploration and understanding of PERMA (Positive emotions – Engagement – positive Relationships – Meaning – Accomplishment), students are exposed to positive emotions, finding meaning and purpose in life, positive health, and developing and valuing the right relationships.
- The pastoral care program is infused with activities and strategies for building a positive mindset that enables Brigidine students to flourish and to challenge themselves in new ways of learning and thinking. At the same time this positivity allows them to fall back on their character strengths in times of challenge and difficulty which enables them to be more resilient and capable of managing the challenges of adolescence.
Our Camps program forms an essential element of the overall social, emotional and personal development of the girls. It addresses contemporary social-cultural issues such as the concern that many young people are retreating into a virtual world and losing contact with reality. Enjoying one another’s company in the calm of natural environments, students are encouraged to balance moderate reliance on technology with an appreciation that they can happily exist without many of the usual domestic comforts. Our students experience time in God’s creation and their time away fosters the opportunity for spiritual growth as well as a greater respect for the natural world.
Through the Camps program, the girls develop skills and values that they need to ably navigate their journey from adolescence to maturity and to improve their capacity for future success.
Brigidine College strives to provide students with a world class education that extends well beyond traditional academic expectations and experiences. Each student at Brigidine has the opportunity to participate in a diverse and challenging experiential program that aims for holistic personal growth, via the development of teamwork, resilience, creativity, passion, skill, confidence and teamwork. The Cocurricular program allows for young women to be much more than classmates. Here at Brigidine, every student can also be a part of the crew, the cast, the ensemble, the club, the community, the adventure, the outdoors, and the team.
Our cocurricular program offers wonderful opportunities for students to try new activities and further develop current interests. The diverse program allows them to try something new, meet girls with shared interests, learn new skills and become involved in other aspects of College life.
The College values an holistic education and provides opportunities inside and outside the classroom for girls to flourish, experience challenge, share interests, demonstrate the Brigidine spirit.
Brigidine’s Sport program offers over 20 different sports and activities, in both competitive and non-competitive environments. Students can compete for Brigidine in organised interschool competitions throughout the year, within four distinct sporting seasons (one per term). The College competes in the IGSSA sports competition and in many cases extends opportunities and pathways beyond this association. Pathways exist for both elite athletes and social participants alike. The College is committed to providing a sports program that is holistic and well supported by outstanding coaching, resourcing and athletic development for all.
- Cross country
- Football (soccer)
- Sport Aerobics
- Touch Football
- Water Polo
The College also provides opportunities for girls to follow school sport representative pathways in equestrian, golf, gymnastics, rowing, sailing and snow sports.
Brigidine College is a member of the Independent Girls’ Schools Sports Association (IGSSA). IGSSA has 31 member schools, including country schools such as PLC Armidale, NEGS, Calrossy and Frensham.
Its emphasis is on helping girls appreciate the value of physical activity, fair play, teamwork and good sportsmanship while building self-confidence, skill, self-discipline and responsibility.
In addition to providing inter-school sporting opportunities for girls, IGSSA also provides a pathway to representative competition at the state and national level. This commitment to school girl sport at all levels is central to the IGSSA philosophy of encouraging each student to develop her full potential as both an individual and team player.
IGSSA offers two Saturday sports per term as well carnivals for athletics, cross country, diving, gymnastics, swimming and tennis (Tildesley tournament). Saturday sports include basketball, football (soccer), hockey, netball, softball, tennis, touch and water polo.
All Performing Arts programs are supported by exceptional facilities, professional and experienced teaching and experienced artistic direction. Like many cocurricular activities, the Performing Arts programs provide a wonderful enrichment and complementary learning pathway to the academic program. Our musicians and singers, actors, directors, designers, choreographers, dancers and technicians all share a common love of performance and produce uplifting creative and artistic works that are celebrated and enjoyed within the broader College community.
Cocurricular Dance offers a variety of classes for students from Years 7 to 12 which cater to students of all abilities and interests. Classes may vary throughout the year, but generally include jazz, ballet, hip hop, technique, contemporary musical theatre, salsa and tap. Our highly successful eisteddfod dance groups are selected each year to compete at various eisteddfods.
Every student, regardless of ability, can develop their musical potential amongst the Music cocurricular program. Students perform at numerous events and compete in a range of eisteddfods and competitions. Large ensembles include concert and stage bands, orchestra and voice. Smaller and specialist ensembles are diverse and offer additional and enriching performance opportunities, including (but never limited to) strings, flute, saxophone/ clarinet, and voice.
The College offers private instrumental tuition including lessons in piano, voice, woodwind, brass, strings, guitars and drums, with AMEB exams being available as a tuition option. Options exist for students to hire, load and store instruments within the program.
This program is available to all girls interested in learning practical and technical skills applicable to theatre, music, film and live broadcast. The Girls in Black provide vital and professional stage management, event support, and production capability.
The College produces a whole school major musical theatre production annually in Term 1. All roles are filled by Brigidine students to maximise opportunities for experiential learning, participation, and the showcasing of talent. Between 80 and 100 students are involved as cast members each year, with additional opportunities for students to contribute via supporting musical ensembles and the Girls in Black production crew.
The Year 11 Play offers students the chance to explore and develop their creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills in producing and sharing a love of theatrical performance. The Year 11 play is staged here at the College in the exceptionally equipped and intimate Murray Theatre. The Play is an annual tradition in the College, and offers all Year 11 students an opportunity to be involved – as leads, cast members, stage managers, and support crew, both front of house, and via the Girls in Black.
Clubs and Activities
Covering a diverse range of interests, Brigidine’s ‘Clubs’ are student centred groups, run by passionate student leaders, for students within their clubs. All clubs are supported by staff and are generally run during lunchtimes. They offer a wonderful opportunity for like-minded students to collaborate, socialise, extend their learning and develop leadership capability in areas of specific interest, skill and passion. Currently, the following clubs are offered and supported here at the College.
Art Club is for any student who wants a little bit more creativity in their lives. The Art leaders run activities every week in the Art studio. With a fun, relaxed atmosphere, artworks range from drawing, painting, printmaking and mixed media. It is an opportunity to improve and gain skills in visual arts. Occasional opportunities arise for visiting artists to offer workshops, to attend exhibitions and galleries and to enter competitions.
The Brigidine Astronomy Club conducts stargazing sessions on site every Term. This involves the club members collecting on the school grounds after twilight while the Astronomy Club leaders utilise the College telescope to gaze at different objects in the night sky. The objects of interest vary throughout the year, from the moon, our local planets to distance clusters and nebulae. The club also conducts an annual road trip to various professional observatories around Australia where the students get to meet researchers and engage with the astronomy community. Occasionally the club gathers to watch Science Fiction movies in the theatre, this often occurs if clouds obscure the night sky for a planned stargazing event.
The Creative Writing Club meets every Wednesday in the library. The club aims to develop the students’ writing skills that go beyond the traditional domain of normal, professional, academic or technical forms of writing. Students are encouraged to develop and experience a number of different genres and styles across a whole range of fields of both fictional and non-fiction writing; storytelling, playwriting, poetry, prose, journalistic, and more.
Drama Club offers junior students a vibrant and energetic theatrical experience on a weekly basis. Students explore a range of theatrical and performance styles with a focus on having fun, developing creativity, gaining confidence and work together as ensemble teams. During Term 4, Drama Club offers a screen acting course run by professional actors. This course is for junior and senior students and provides participants with the opportunity to develop a professionally recognised ‘Show Reel’.
The History Club provides an opportunity for those students who love History to explore beyond the History curriculum. Students delve into a range of different historical periods, from expansive Ancient civilisations through to major historical revolutions. In this Club, students are given the opportunity to examine the way history has shaped and influenced contemporary society, developing their knowledge of the journey of humanity. At History Club we encourage all students to engage with various projects that reflect their specific interests and any student with a passion for the past is welcome to attend.
This club explores international language. Perhaps more broadly and importantly, this group of students explore and unpack the worlds people, their festivals, traditions, cultures and politics. Any student with a sense of cultural wonder, and an ambition to travel the world is encouraged to attend.
The Robotics Club is for students who are interested in robotics, coding, technology or engineering. Students typically spend their time working with various types of kits to construct fun STEM projects. Competitions are available for those who wish to participate, including Zero Robotics, FIRST Robotics, RoboCup, STEM Video Game Competition, Tech Girls are Superheros, and Grok Learning.
With hands-on activities led by our senior leaders, the Science Club offers anyone from Years 7 to 12 opportunities to find out more about the world around them via a scientific analysis. From flying drones to making slime, every Friday brings a new adventure.
Students who wish to discuss books really enjoy this club. Library leaders assist with the organisation and management of the club, and all members are encouraged to bring ideas and shared experiences about what they have read.
Duke of Edinburgh Awards
The Duke of Edinburgh Award (DEA) is an international award program providing young people between the ages of 14-25 years with the opportunity to experience a sense of personal achievement through individual challenge, teamwork and fun.
The Award is designed to individually challenge its participants in:
- Service – Volunteering time to assist others or your community.
- Physical Recreation and skills – Improving fitness and discovering new sports or active recreational activity.
- Adventurous Journey – Embarking on a journey in an unfamiliar environment, create opportunities for team building through shared planning, role allocation, problem solving and accommodating physical and personality differences.
There are three levels of the program (Bronze, Silver and Gold) and four components at each level. At Brigidine, Bronze is open to Year 9 students, Silver to Year 10 students and Gold to Years 11 and 12 students.
Speech and Debating
Debating – a formal argument between two teams, provides students with the opportunity to improve their public speaking skills and to develop skills in preparing, presenting and challenging logical arguments and structures of thought. Students work within teams, with experienced coaches, to debate against other competing schools.
The College competes in the Independent Schools Debating Association (ISDA) and all students are welcome to try out for the ISDA squad teams. Brigidine also participates in friendly inter-school debating competitions in Terms 3 and 4. These competitions are open to all students.
The Law Society of New South Wales’ Mock Trial competition is open to schools across NSW for students in Years 10 and 11. The program aims to introduce students to the NSW judicial system by providing practical experience in the running of a court case in a true-to-life adversarial setting. Students learn advocacy, debating and problem-solving skills.
The College enters a variety of public speaking competitions each year in which students from Years 7 to 12 have the chance to participate. These include Catholic Schools Debating Association Public Speaking, Rostrum ‘Voice of Youth, the Plain English Speaking Award, Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award, AHIGS Festival of Speech, Lions ‘Youth of the Year’, and Zonta ‘Young Women in Public Affairs’. The Public Speaking program develops confidence, persuasive speaking skills, critical thinking skills, and raises in students an awareness of global issues through self-directed research.
The Tournament of Minds is a problem solving program for teams of students in Years 7 – 10. Teams of seven students complete the challenges. Each team chooses a challenge from one of the following areas: STEM, The Arts, Language Literature and Social Sciences.
Tours and Immersions
The College encourages students to develop a contemporary and informed world view, that is supported by personal experience and insight. Each student’s developmental journey toward strength and gentleness at Brigidine, involves opportunities that promote empathy, understanding and wonder. Travel is among the greatest learning experiences, and each year our students are given opportunities to participate in a variety of tours that allow them to encounter, consider and prepare make a positive difference in the world.
Specific tours and immersions evolve and change. Recent international and national programs have included – cultural and indigenous domestic and international immersions, sporting tours, creative and performing arts tours and STEM tours.
Brigidine prepares students for a digitally connected world where technology is an essential part of daily life. Educational technology thoughtfully and appropriately applied, enhances the learning experiences of all students. Our teaching staff leverage technology to facilitate high quality teaching and learning opportunities, to fully engage our students. This was particularly evidenced when the College had to urgently switch to remote teaching and learning. Brigidine College’s preparedness and the staff’s ability and willingness to pivot to this mode supported the students and was acknowledge by our community.
Our 1:1 College laptop program provides each student with a modern hybrid 2 in 1 laptop (currently an ACER spin 5). Fast speed internet and Wi-Fi supplied across the College. Most classrooms are set up with the latest modern touch screen projection.
Many programs and educational software are available for students to access, including the full suite of Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud. Students will use these programs to develop new skills and expertise which are important in cooperative and collaborative learning environments.