Term 3 Week 6 |  18 August 2021
College News

As I watch the continuing lockdowns in NSW and Victoria and with over half the country in lockdown once again, I continually feel very blessed that we are not in a similar situation.  We have been lucky here in Queensland comparatively, but that doesn’t mean that the recent lockdown, continual changes to our lives, and the loss many people feel through lost holidays, remote family and friends, or changes to work is no less hard or draining.  Our children often feel this as much as we do, sometimes more so.

Helping Students Cope

Resilience in the face of adversity isn’t a fixed personality trait. Resilience is an ability we can help our students build. This is an important fact for children who suffer from a serious illness or experience a grievous loss or setback.

What are the best ways that parents can support traumatised children?

  • Tell them they are loved and are not alone. Children need to hear this over and over again.
  • Show them that they matter. This is the question children ask as they grow up: Do I make a difference to others? Do other people notice me, care about me and rely on me? When young people think that they don’t matter, they’re more likely to engage in self-destructive and antisocial activities, or simply withdraw.
  • Companionship. Parents and other adults can make a difference simply by walking alongside troubled children and listening with undivided attention, forming warm relationships, communicating openly and allowing children to talk about their thoughts and fears.
  • Discuss coping mechanisms. These can include understanding that:
    • It’s okay to be sad and take a break from any activity and cry.
    • It’s okay to be happy and laugh.
    • It’s okay to be angry and jealous of friends and relatives who are not suffering.
    • It’s okay to say to anyone that we do not want to talk about it now.
    • It’s okay to ask for help.
  • Establish positive rituals. This could be something like a family dinnertime practice of each person sharing the best and worst moments of the day – the things that made them sad and those that made them grateful.
  • Embrace family history. Having a sense of their roots builds children’s sense of mattering, of being connected to something larger than themselves. This includes knowing where their parents and grandparents grew up, what their childhoods were like and how the family fared in good times and bad.
  • Keep memories alive. Remembering a loved one who has been lost builds mental health and even physical health over time.

Acknowledgement: “How to Build Resilient Kids, Even After a Loss” by Sheryl Sandberg in The New York Times, April 24, 2017


Simon Hughes
Head of College

Billy G’s Gourmet Cookie and Biscuit Dough College Fundraiser

Junior Campus: Cookie Dough orders are due to arrive this Friday 20 August
Due to the wide delivery window we have been provided with, the College will be notifying Junior Campus families regarding distribution details via SEQTA and Facebook on the day.

Senior Campus: Cookie Dough orders are due to arrive this Thursday 19 August
Orders will be distributed to students prior to them leaving for the day, please let your child know they will be bringing the order home with them.

Junior Campus News

Interested in more Tech Talks?  Browse the 15 part blog series here »

Parenting in the Digital Age

The musings of an empathetic mum, Head of Junior Campus, and global digital citizen. (aka Mrs V)

For many years I have observed, read about and experienced the Digital Age growing at a rapid pace. As most of you would be aware, I am a mum to three beautiful kids, and the wife of a self-confessed ‘big kid’ who is a huge technology fan, a genuine life-long learner, and a Research Scientist who has worked in the fields of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Sensor Networks and many more.

I knew from the moment I met Phil that we would be moving headlong into the Digital Age throughout our life. It has been quite the journey trying to keep up with all of the latest tech changes and the newest gadgets that keep coming our way. It has been a blessing in many, many ways — and if I’m honest, a serious frustration in other ways. I also knew that our children would be exposed to a lot of technology as a result of Phil’s passion and love for the field. So I have made it my business to try to be open to learning about each new thing as it comes along.

You see, as a parent and educator, it doesn’t take long for you to realise that some things are just going to be. For example, if we wanted to, my husband and I could make a concerted effort to restrict, block and deny all attempts to access technology or digital platforms by our children. However, as an educator, I also know that when they come to school, they will still be surrounded by peers who will have access to these devices and play these games at home, as well as an education system that must embrace and educate our students for their future in the Digital Age. I guess what I am saying is that my children’s exposure to technology is going to happen one way or another.

So with that in mind, how do we parent our children in a technological age when each one of us carries a different understanding of, confidence with, and desire to learn about the Digital Age? There is no denying that the world we live in — and that our children will inherit — is going to be extremely heavy in technological influences and advances that will affect work place practices, job creation and replacement, and their leisure time activities. So to begin, I have included some tips for you to consider as we continue to navigate this journey together.

Now I need to be clear, I am not a Digital Age guru, a tech-wiz or a gaming expert. What I am is an empathetic mum, teacher, leader and global citizen who believes that together, in community, we can discuss, debate, learn, grow and support each other as we parent our young people to be the best they can be. So to get started I have pulled together some tips for parents in the digital age. Each of these tips have come from a variety of different sources, including educators, parents, psychologists and digital experts.


Create a Family Media Use Plan. The technology of today needs to be harnessed to work for you and your family. It needs to sit within your values structure and work with your parenting styles. Consider making a time to sit with your family and brainstorm the ways that technology has made your life better. Discuss openly how technology makes you feel, modelling to your child both positive messages and negative. Listen openly, actively and empathetically to your child’s perspectives on technology. Collaborate with your child to create a Media Usage Plan that will work for your family.

*Mrs V’s musing: Open dialogue is key. Show that you are ‘hearing’ your child by acknowledging their words in ‘I’ statements. For example: I am hearing that you find it really tough at school when your friends are talking about using their devices all the time. Tell me more about that.

Set Limits. As with all other activities, too much of a good thing isn’t good for you. Consider and discuss with your family what reasonable limits for technology use are. This includes where it can be used in the family home, how long it can be used for and what access your children will have.

*Mrs V’s musing: This is the time for honest conversations about the differences in digital access for the different children in your family. Honest dialogue about the child’s age, appropriate access times and available games (suited to the children’s ages), while difficult, is critical. This is where the Digital Age needs to mirror other aspects of our life. It is normal for the eldest child to generally gain greater access and responsibility to many aspects of life before their younger siblings.

‘Screen time’ doesn’t have to mean ‘alone time’. The ability to observe your child, play with your child, learn from your child and engage with your child is critical in all aspects of life, including the Digital Age. Consider the benefits of playing with them, modelling sportsmanship, gaming etiquette and enabling you to discuss matters as they come up.

*Mrs V’s musing: Most children will relish the opportunity to play digital games with you, especially if they are better than you. SEIZE THIS MOMENT! What a wonderful opportunity to turn the tables and let the student become the teacher. While you are trying to remember how to jump, dodge, fly and hit something — you will also be able to demonstrate kind words when you lose (which is inevitable I’m afraid). Getting involved brings opportunities to teach good gaming-etiquette, and pick up on misunderstandings that your child may have — such as when they think the person they are playing against is their ‘friend’, even though they have never met before. You will also gain a quick and clear insight into how your different children respond to digital media and which, if any, have a tendency towards more addictive traits.

Do YOUR Homework. There are tens of thousands of apps labelled as educational, with very limited research or evidence to back up that statement. It is critical that we ‘test drive’ and research each app or gaming platform that we allow our child/ren to use. Remember, that as teachers modify and adjust learning experiences for children to meet their needs, so too as parents we need to be mindful of each of our children and ensure that what they are accessing meets their needs and tendencies.

*Mrs V’s musing: Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would play Minecraft, join a Clash Royale Clan or be following various digital experts online to educate myself to keep up with my children’s technology usage, but boy am I glad I did. Not only has it allowed us to have some fun with my children (usually at my expense as I burn in a pit of lava), but it has helped me prevent them from falling into — and allowed me to help them out of — some digital potholes. And remember, just because it is good for someone else’s child, doesn’t mean it will be for your child.

So I encourage you to join me as I continue on this journey as a mum, teacher, leader and global digital citizen, and feel free to leave any comments you wish to share below.

I pray that the weeks ahead are filled with much joy, digital conversations, learning and support as we traverse the Digital Age together.


Mrs V
Novice Minecraft player, Level 13 Clash Royale Clan member, firm but loving digital parent, mistake-maker and Head of Junior Campus

References and further resources:


Bebras Challenge – CSIRO

It’s Bebras Challenge time again! Starting from next week students from Years 3-6 will have the opportunity to complete the Bebras Challenge. Bebras is an international initiative aiming to promote Informatics and Computational Thinking among students.

Started in 2004 by Professor Valentina Dagiene from the University of Vilnius, ‘Bebras’ is Lithuanian for beaver. This refers to their collaborative nature and strong work ethic.

Bebras Australia began in 2014 and is now administered through CSIRO Digital Careers. In Australia, the Challenge takes place in March and August-September each year. As of 2020, different challenges are offered for each round. Students may participate on any day during the two-week challenge periods. This is to accommodate the schedules of coordinators with multiple classes participating in the challenge.

Students have 45 minutes to complete the Bebras Challenge, however Years 3 and 4 are given an additional 15 minutes to bring their total to 60 minutes. Students will be automatically logged out once their allotted time has expired. Each challenge has 15 questions with the highest possible score being 135 points. The level of difficulty of a question determines how it will be scored. Easy questions are worth 6 points, medium questions are worth 9 points, and hard questions are worth 12 points. Any incorrect or unanswered questions are awarded zero points.

The Bebras achievement level breakdown is as follows:

  • Participation 0-59 points
  • Merit 60-86 points
  • Credit 87-101 points
  • Distinction 102-113 points
  • High Distinction 114-134 points
  • Honour Roll 135 points

Students who receive full marks in the Bebras Challenge are awarded a place on the Bebras Honour Roll.

If your child is keen to test their computational thinking skills, forms are available from Mrs Bruyn.

Rebekah Bruyn
Learning Coach

ICAS—Junior Campus

Due to continuing lockdowns in other states, ICAS have offered a second sitting opportunity at the beginning of Term 4. Junior Campus have opted to run ICAS for those who have registered during the second sitting.

Next Week is Book Week!

We have some exciting events planned for Book Week this year with the theme being, “Old World’s, New World’s, Other World’s”.

Tuesday 24 August—Book and Blanket

The Year 6 students have chosen their picture book and are looking forward to sharing these with the rest of the Junior Campus.

Wednesday 25 August—Book Week Parade

Rebekah Bruyn
Learning Coach

Senior Campus News

It has been an interesting couple of weeks. We applaud the way our students and staff have adapted to recent changes. The students were missed during Week 4, but they made the change to FLEX@POP seamlessly. We are so proud of Binga Group 2, for their flexibility as we needed to delay departure.

We have returned to campus, with the extra restriction of masks. It is so great to have the students back on site, even if it is a challenge to see their lovely smiles. Marking the roll has become more difficult as we figure out who we are looking at—we are all getting used to wearing face masks to keep each other healthy. The new restrictions that have resulted in compulsory face mask wearing has been challenging, but students have adjusted. We thank the students and staff for their efforts.

There is an old song that says:

Keep on smilin’, ’cause when you’re smilin’
The whole world smiles with you.

Mask wearing has made it tricky to smile. I have caught myself on a number of occasions, thinking that I was responding with a smile, then realising that my delight, interest or welcome was not evident to those around me (because I was wearing a mask). It does take more effort to project your voice and smile with your eyes. We are reminded that God’s love never changes. We just need to be resourceful in finding ways to communicate the love of Jesus in a positive manner.

Stay Safe

Michelle Nisbet
Head of Senior Campus

Get Ready to Celebrate Book Week!

This year’s national theme is: Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds.  Take this as your inspiration for the costume parade, or just dress as your favourite character from any book.

Each day we are doing something at the Senior Campus to celebrate Book Week:

  • Mon 23 August: Writing competition prize winners announced—see below for competition details
  • Tue 24 August: Book Scavenger Hunt – PC time
  • Wed 25 August: Costume Parade- PC time- come dressed as a book character, be an individual entry, dress up with a friend or represent one book with your whole PC class!
  • Thu 26 August: Book Trivia- Second break
  • Fri 27 August: Spelling Bee- PC time

Year 8 Musical

The rehearsals for the Year 8 musical are underway and we are seeing some excellent performance work in the making.

Please ‘save the date’ for the shows. They are:

  • Friday 10 September 6.30pm – Cast B
  • Saturday 11 September 6.30pm – Cast A

Cast A and B lists have been sent via Direct Message in SEQTA.

We look forward to seeing you at the show!

Subject Selection Year 9, 10, 11 2022

A detailed message was sent via SEQTA detailing the arrangements for subject selection for Year 9, 10 and 11 in 2020.

Due to COVID restrictions, we have moved to a digital platform for the subject selection process; the presentation can be found here.

We understand that these decisions are very important and that an opportunity to ask teachers some questions may aid in the subject selection process. We are providing an opportunity for you to make short appointments to ask questions in relation to subject selection on Thursday 18 August and 24 August via Zoom. You may book this via sobs here.

Public Speaking Events

Over the last few weeks, students from the Senior Campus have been involved in public speaking events. Rosina Floriani, Year 11, took part in the ESU Senior Competition on 19 July in Newmarket, speaking on the topic of I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better (Plutarch). Rosina presented many interesting points and delivered an engaging presentation. She said that she learned valuable lessons during the experience and that it was enjoyable, including getting to meet lots of great people.

Emily Warburton and Chloe Selwood, Year 8, took part in the BGDA Case Competition, progressing to the finals and presenting on the topic of We should force all students who persistently bully other students to be home schooled (negative side). The final took place on 2 August with the increased complexity of being via Zoom, due to lockdown! Emily and Chloe were congratulated on their identification of stakeholders, use of research and choice of arguments. They said the competition was fun and a great learning experience, and they are keen to enter next year… hopefully with a live debate forum!

We are very proud of all three girls.

Elizabeth Edwards
Curriculum Leader English

Music and the Arts

Junior Campus Music News


Sadly performance opportunities for the choirs this term have been postponed until further notice.

The Albany Creek Uniting Church fete on Saturday 28 August has been cancelled.

The Peninsula Retirement Park concert on Tuesday 7 September has also been cancelled for the Senior Choir.  However, there will be a lunch pizza party that day.

Sherree Cudney
Junior Campus Music

Senior Campus Music News

Thank you all for your patience across our lockdown and then for the pause in normal ensembles and lessons. It is very important to all of us that we take time to get these things right. Many ensembles are larger than a normal class and involve physical activities which require deep breathing. Some, like singing and playing a wind instrument, have required even more specific examination to make sure that everyone remains safe.

You should have been notified of a few changes through SEQTA for Ensembles and directly by tutors regarding Private Tuition. In brief, everyone must wear masks at all times, everyone must socially distance. I am working out how we can run wind tuition and Concert Band and hope to have a solution in place ASAP, but at time of writing, these lessons and ensemble will not take place in Week 6 but hopefully will resume in Week 7.

Many lessons have happened through ZOOM / TEAMS and I am grateful to the tutors and students who have sought to maintain their skills this way. Also our Extra-Curricular TEAM has channels for each ensemble which often have useful recordings and scores to keep your ear in.

At this stage we are still working to performances in Week 10. Stay well and practice diligently so that we can celebrate all of this when the time comes.

Thanks again for your support and always stay tuned for more fun!

Linda Brady
Senior Campus Curriculum Leader of Music and Coordinator of Extra-Curricular Music

Church News & Notices

Worship 22 August

9am Worship

5PM Together@5

Please keep an eye on the Prince of Peace Church Facebook page for service updates.

Useful Links

College Calendar

Note: On some phones, this calendar may be best viewed  in landscape view (ie turning your phone sideways)