The art of rewiring your brain

Dr Ann Farley, Director of Cross Faculty Initiatives In Year 7 Philosophy of Learning classes, we investigate some of life’s big questions: why do I respond the way I do under stress; what can I do when I do not understand new ideas or concepts in class; how can I maintain a positive mindset when faced with challenges? Students are not the only ones who need to consider these questions. Teachers must continually evaluate their own practice and approach to rise to the challenges of the profession. This article examines some of these questions from both student and teacher perspectives. Philosophy of Learning is different from other subjects. There is no assessment, instead personal reflection and insights form the basis for learning. Students are encouraged to respond to their thinking in order to gain an understanding of themselves. Hopefully, this type of thinking will help them to develop insightful strategies for dealing with the inevitable disappointments…

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Pause, Breathe, Smile

Dr Rashna Taraporewalla, History Teacher and Mindfulness Facilitator A yearning characteristic of the modern age is the desire to be more tranquil and focused. The wish to be calmer is almost universal. The age in which we live is wonderous in many ways, but also potently and tragically calibrated to predispose those living in it to low-level depression and a high level of background anxiety. Having been born into such an era, perhaps we should treat ourselves, and those around us, with a measure of gentle care. What can we do to alleviate our stress? There are ancient antidotes to the problems that beset modern humans, as simple as they are effective. Most cultures possess some form of contemplative practice, and these, adapted for a modern, secular world, lie at the core of mindfulness. One simple practice, taught to students throughout the School as part of our mindfulness program, offers a clear path to peace and…

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It takes a village

Mrs Jody Forbes, Director of Student Counselling This week our Year 12 girls sat the annual Queensland Core Skills (QCS) exam. While it is soon to be phased out, the QCS Test has for many decades represented the pinnacle of secondary school, with the result contributing to a student’s final Overall Position (OP) score. For many students, their OP number carries great weight. While some believe it is testament to their sustained effort, others feel it represents their value as a person and is predictive of their future prosperity, success and happiness. The reality is that the QCS Test is only one piece in the puzzle of successful graduation. While important, neither the QCS grade nor OP score define a girl, nor do they guarantee future success. In the coming months, while many will focus on our graduating cohort’s grades and scores, we must not forget to employ a holistic view of each student’s progress. What…

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