Parent Corner

07 March 2019
Issue Two
Quick Dates
Deputy Principal Student Development
Year 7 Pastoral Guardian
Year 8 Pastoral Guardian
Year 9 Pastoral Guardian
Year 10 Pastoral Guardian
Year 11 Pastoral Guardian
Year 12 Pastoral Guardian
La Cucina
Community Notices
Mount Alvernia College
07 3357 6000
82 Cremorne Road
Kedron, Qld, 4031

Quick Dates

Week 7/8, Term 1

Friday 8 March

7.00am  Read Like a Girl International Women's Day Breakfast


Saturday 9 March

CaSSSA Tennnis


Monday 11 March

Year 10 Legal Studies excursion


Tuesday 12 March

Senior A & B Futsal Tournament


Wednesday 13 March

3.30pm  CaSSSA AFL, Indoor Cricket, Touch & Volleyball


Thursday 14 March

CaSSSA Swimming Carnival (Year 8 to attend as supporters)

Year 12 Geography excursion

Deputy Principal
Student Development

Are you Interested in Being Involved in our Community?
Why not become a Pastoral Care Parent?

For the last couple of years, the College has been fortunate enough to have a number of parents take on the role of Pastoral Care Parents.  Pastoral Care Parents have the opportunity to organise social events for their relevant year level, acknowledge and celebrate special happenings for families of a year level, and  invite people to provide meals and offer assistance to families experiencing difficulties.


In 2019, we are looking for an individual and/or group of parents to act as Pastoral Care Parent/s for each year level from Years 7 to 12.  In some instances, two parents of a year level have joined forces and/or connected with another year level to arrange events or provide assistance.  This works well within the different schools: Francis (yrs 7 and 8); Clare (yrs 9 and 10) and Elizabeth Hayes (yrs 11 and 12).

Here is a description of what this role would entail:

  • Promoting and organising off-site social events for the parents of a year level;
  • Acknowledging special moments for families in the year level, such as the birth of a new baby;
  • Coordinating meals or assistance for a family due to illness or other difficult circumstances (after the College has made initial contact with the family);   and
  • Developing a network of parents who can work together to positively support their daughters’ journey through secondary school.

If you would like to be considered as a Pastoral Care Parent for a year level, we would love to hear from you.  No former experience is necessary!  The role is not meant to be taxing, and promises to be a lot of fun when you meet with other parents and find out about life at Mount Alvernia.


Further information that will help you with your role as a Pastoral Care Parent will be provided to all interested parties. 


RSVP:  Please forward your name, contact details, and preferred year level to [email protected] by Monday 11 March should you be interested in taking on the role of Pastoral Care Parent.


Annette Butterworth





Year 7 Pastoral Guardian

Now that your daughter has entered high school, you may be wondering how you as a parent/carer can positively support and become involved in her education.  For many parents, involvement in primary school is eagerly embraced, but tapers once children enter high school for a variety of reasons. However, research shows that positive parent/carer engagement has a significant influence upon student achievement, attendance, and participation in school events, commitment to learning,  self- discipline,  aspirations and motivation,  social skills, behaviour, and attitude.  Being involved is also an excellent way of maintaining and strengthening parent/child bonds, especially at a time when adolescence aspire to greater autonomy and break away from family bonds and rituals.


At Mount Alvernia, parent involvement is highly valued and appreciated, for you have many skills worth sharing that enrich our students’ educational experiences.   With your involvement, together we are communicating that educational excellence is important and that we all want the best for our students. So how can you be involved?  Perhaps you would like to consider the following by being a:

  • classroom helper;
  • volunteer helper in the iCentre, La Cucina, SEAC
  • guest speaker to our students about careers, life beyond Moutt Alvernia, life skills that promote success,  independence, and resilience;
  • coach of a sporting team;
  • volunteer with our many Outreach programs;
  • positive advocate for our school in the wider community;  or
  • Pastoral Parent for the Year 7s of 2019.

Another way parents/carers can be involved in your daughter’s education is by actively supporting the College’s mission, curricular, and co-curriculum offerings.  This means ensuring your daughter attends and participates in the events and activities on offer. 


As parents/carers, I want to thank you for the active support you gave for your daughter’s attendance at camp.  It was incredibly pleasing that 100% of students attended camp - a special thank you to parents who encouraged daughters who were anxious and concerned about being away from home.  This was a significant step in building resilience and self-confidence.  The girls are to be congratulated for the way they embraced their camp experience.  All students can feel immensely proud for the courage they showed in facing and overcoming obstacles, for positively embracing opportunities to make new friendships and to learn more about themselves, and for their sense of fun and spirit over the three days.  For some students, camp was an opportunity to capture moments of gratefulness - the peace and quiet they felt out in nature away from noise and technology; and a chance to enact sustainable practices for living in our modern world - and, upon returning to home, a greater appreciation for their comfortable bed, more sleep, and longer showers!

Conversation Starters/ Some things to think about:

  • (Parent) In what ways can I make connections with Mount Alvernia and, thereby, show active support for my daughter’s education?
  • (Student) – What was the most enjoyable thing about Year 7 Camp?
  • (Student) – What was the most challenging thing about camp?
  • (Student) What was the most significant thing you learned about yourself through attending camp?


Until next time

Jeni Barlow

Year 8 Pastoral Guardian

The Positive Impact of Parental Connection

Research has shown the greatest positive impact is parents providing time to communicate and engage in their child’s learning.  The key to facilitating positive change in a child’s academia and social emotional wellbeing is the engagement of you as parents in your daughter’s learning in the home and at school. 


Evidence indicates that involvement in the form of good parenting has a positive effect on children’s achievement (Sheldon and Epstein 2005; Duckworth et al. 2009).  Parents can communicate their expectations and educational aspirations by discussing subject selection and choices, academic aspirations, and post-school pathways (Pomerantz, Moorman and Litwack 2007).   Such communication represents a style of parenting which is supportive of a child’s academic progress, places value on learning, and models behaviours appropriate for achievement (Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler 2005). 


At school, parental involvement that focuses on school-based activities, such as attending events or volunteering in class or extracurricular activities, is paramount in continuing the connection and relationship that had been long established in primary school.  So - why stop there?   Your daughter values this connection and at a basic level she sees that you are taking an interest in her.  Relationships are improved through common interest with your daughter.  Connections build a greater sense of belonging to the college community.

International research has shown that parental connection has a positive impact on student achievement, including: 

  •  higher grades and test scores; 
  •  enrolment in higher level programs and advanced classes; 
  •  higher successful completion of classes; 
  • higher graduation rates;  and 
  • a greater likelihood of commencing post-secondary education. 


This also includes social emotional indicators as listed below:

  • more regular school attendance; 
  • a greater connection and sense of belonging to school;
  • better social skills; 
  • improved behaviour;  
  • a greater sense of personal competence and efficacy for learning; 
  • greater engagement in school work;  and 
  • a stronger belief in the importance of education. 


Emerson, L. (2012). Parental engagement in learning and schooling: Lessons from research. Retrieved from:


Conversation Starters


As a parent, what connection do I have at Mt A?


Where does my daughter want me to help at school?


Do I know my daughter as well as I should?


Michael Butterworth

Year 9 Pastoral Guardian


When we held the Year 9 Parent Evening recently, you would have noted some common language such as Raising the Bar, and also an emphasis on us here at school working in partnership with you as the parents/carers.  This journey that your daughters are on, from Francis into Clare and finally into Elizabeth Hayes School, is one in which we, the teachers, the Mount Alvernia community and you, as the parents, are like the support crew for each girl, and they will function best when their support crew is in sync.  The girls may not always agree with the support crew’s views or will perhaps try to push one part of the support crew away; however, when the support crew operates as a united team, then the girls stand to reach their personal best.


Perhaps at times the support crew may also have different views.  However, the ultimate goal of your daughter raising the bar to achieve academically and to also be kind and mindful of others is the goal of everyone on the team.  The better the communication there is between school and home and, of course, with the girls, the better the outcome.


I encourage you to stay connected with us here at school, be involved where possible - be it through attending meetings, school social events, helping out at La Cucina, or perhaps enlisting as a Pastoral Parent for Year 9.  I urge you and your daughters to communicate with us when there is a concern or a cause for celebration.  As a fellow team member on your daughter’s journey to reach her best, I look forward to coming to know more of you.


Go Team Clare!


Conversation Starters:

What have you learnt about how much sleep you should be getting?

Who is Megan Bray and what did she come to talk to you about in PD?



Academic Profile

At the recent Year 9 Information Evening, parents were provided with a printed version of their daughter’s Academic Profile.  This details a transcript of most recent results, a comparison with previous results, and a comparison with the cohort in terms of academic GPA.  NAPLAN results are also included, again with a comparison to the cohort.  I explained how teachers, Learning Area Advisors, and I are using this information in 2019.  As part of our goal to Raise the Bar, we are looking closely at student performance.  Should you wish to discuss this with me, please feel free to contact me here at the College.

Sacha Carney

Teaching and Learning Guardian for Clare School – Years 9 and 10


Year 10 Pastoral Guardian


Parent engagement in learning is known to lead to improved outcomes for students of all ages.   Parents play an essential role as the first educators of children, therefore ongoing active engagement of parents, families, and communities has a major impact on a child’s success at school and beyond their schooling years.  Teachers and schools can support parent engagement in learning by building partnerships to connect learning at home and at school.  At Mount Alvernia College, there are many opportunities for you to be involved in your daughter’s school life, both in and outside of the classroom.  To ensure that you are up to date with your daughter's learning, you are able to access her Moodle pages for all her subjects and to download her Assessment Calendar.  Attending Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences and being in regular communication with teachers is a vital way to keep up to date with your daughter’s academic progress.  Parents' involvement can include volunteering to work at La Cucina, volunteering to coach or manage a sporting team, attending sporting games or drama and music performances, or becoming a Pastoral Parent for the Year 10 cohort. 


Many Year 10 students are striving to raise the bar every day, both in and outside the classroom.  Following are stories of some students who have recently embraced opportunities offered to them within the College.


At assembly last week, six Year 10 students were acknowledged as being chosen to be the Clare School Leadership Team.  I look forward to the dedication and initiative of these girls throughout the year.  Congratulations to Sneha Reju, Charlotte Russell, Alana Twedell, Samantha Maguire, Laila Powell, and Rhianna Janas. 

Each year, the Brisbane City Council offers high school students an opportunity to be part of several programs that assist student to develop leadership, team building, and resilience skillsThe Lord Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council (LMYAC) provides a forum for young people to discuss issues that are important to them, directly with the Lord Mayor and Civic Cabinet members.  This year Gabby Reis has been selected to represent Mount Alvernia CollegeAnother program offered to high school students is the Green Heart School Student Environment Leadership Network (SELN)This year Hannah Schaper and Jillian Effeney have been selected to be part of this programTheir first task will be to identify an environmental issue at our college or in our local community, and suggest actions they can take to improve this.   Gabby, Hannah, and Jillian will all attend several meetings throughout the year to share ideas with other high school students and contribute to the success of these projectsCongratulations to all three girls for their interest, dedication, and being selected for these programsI wish them all well for their future meetings and look forward to hearing all about it and the positive initiatives that can be used at Mount Alvernia College.   


Congratulations to Samantha Maguire, Jillian Effeney, Erin King, Ella Bull, and Caitlin Hind who recently volunteered in the Clean Up Australia activity at the Grange, which was organised by the Rotary Club of Brisbane North.  These girls were the first volunteers to arrive at this event, and they made a very large contribution to helping their local environment. 


On 3 March we participated in Clean Up Australia Day.  It was a wonderful experience that helped us feel motivated to help keep Australia clean.  Together, we learnt that all types of rubbish can be found even the unlikeliest of places.  This event helps people be aware of how much waste is produced a day and where it ends up.  Altogether we collected around four bags worth of rubbish, from cans and glass bottles to food packaging and even an engine.  Clean Up Australia Day inspires and empowers our community to clean up, fix up, and conserve our environment.  It was a very memorable experience and we hope that more people will contribute next year.                                       Ella, Erin, Jillian, Sam, and Caitlin



I would like to wish Year 10 students the best of luck for all assessments and extra-curricular competitions for the rest of the term.   I challenge each Year 10 student to aim high and Raise the Bar.   I look forward to hearing more success stories throughout the year.

Teena Christofis


Conversation Starters


How are you raising the bar inside and outside the classroom?

What are events that you are involved in within school that I can come to watch?

Have you printed the Assessment Calendar and highlighted your subjects?

Can you show me your Moodle pages for all your subjects?


Academic Profile

Over the next few weeks of Term 1, your daughter will be provided with a printed version of her academic profile.  This details a transcript of most recent results, a comparison with previous results, and a comparison with the cohort in terms of academic GPA.  NAPLAN results are also included, again with a comparison to the cohort.  This information is utilised by a range of academic staff at the College, including, but not limited to, your daughter’s teachers, her Teaching and Learning Guardian (ie me), and the Learning Area Advisors across all subjects.  With our focus on Raising the Bar this year, it is essential that you and your daughters have the full picture, in terms of academic achievement.  I would encourage you to discuss this profile with your daughters and together consider areas of strength and areas where improvement is needed.  Should you wish to follow up with your daughter’s teachers or with me, you would be most welcome.  Through strong and positive parent, teacher, and student connections, we can achieve so much.

Sacha Carney

Teaching and Learning Guardian for Clare School – Years 9 and 10

Year 11 Pastoral Guardian

As your daughter enters her final years of education at school, it is important that you continue to work in partnership and connect with her Pastoral Guardian, Teaching and Learning Guardian, teachers, and the College about college goals and expectations, pastoral concerns, your daughter’s progress - both within the classroom and co-curricular - and academic expectations in the new Australian Curriculum.  It is important that you have a one-on-one discussion with her about how she is managing her learning and assessment and how she is balancing her family, school, sporting, cultural, social, and working commitments.  We will encourage your daughter to communicate regularly with you about her senior journey in which you play such a significant role.  According to an Australian Government Department of Education and Training report, “Parent engagement and involvement in learning is known to lead to improved outcomes for students’ academic achievement and wellbeing”.


In assembly addresses, Dr Tuite reminds girls to consistently set goals by "raising the bar” to be “the best possible version of yourself”.  In support of this empowering message for our young women, our Captains have encouraged all students to “unlock their potential”.  Discuss with your daughter how she is unlocking her potential this year, both academically and in co-curricular involvement at the College, and how you can support her in this goal.


Students are well aware of the Raise the Bar Program across all year levels and you will have read about this program in Parent Corner and frequent communication newsletters.  Discuss this college focus with your daughter.  How can you make a positive connection with your daughter about her continued improvement and engagement in her school life?


As I mentioned in my previous Parent Corner, Year 11 students are engaged in ESK study skills lessons focussing on effective study strategies in the home and school environment.  In regular PD sessions each week, the Year 11 students are viewing videos and engaging in activities to focus on ways to manage stress by developing strategies such as relaxation, meditation, mindfulness, and exercise.  Later in the term, the focus is on identifying and developing strategies to counter procrastination.  PD sessions and ESK sessions complement each other to maximise wellbeing and academic success.  I encourage you as parents to be aware of the study and wellbeing strategies that your daughter is learning in ESK and PD sessions and to discuss her application of these to improve for success in senior school.  How can you as a parent in the home study environment assist your daughter to achieve her very best level?


In ESK, students have identified how well organised and conducive to concentration on their studies their individual home study space is, and what changes could be made to facilitate success in senior school.  They have also identified a list of most common distractions and reflected on how they can take control to minimise these.  Social media out of the study space is a helpful hint.  One hint for active learning management is to take breaks every half hour, clear the work space, and engage in a relaxing activity for five minutes and return to the next subject’s work.  Students in post discussion have agreed that this strategy works.  We have discussed colour coding subjects and folders, memorising by using palm cards or apps for recall, displaying an A3 assessment calendar on the study space wall, backtracking strategies for assignment preparation to start early allow enough time for research, consulting with library staff, drafting, starting peer study groups, and attending after school study.  In ESK, students in small groups will meet with their teacher mentor to share effective strategies for success in their like-minded subjects.  In my recent mentor session, students agreed that, in Year 11, they could and should be more proactive about communicating with their individual teachers if they feel unsure of assessment or homework expectations or task requirements, or are overwhelmed or struggling.  Check in with your daughter about how confident she is in communicating her needs to her teachers.


Educating your child is a partnership.  Schools and teachers can support parent engagement by building partnerships to connect learning at home and school.  You might be interested in reading a further Department of Education and Training paper titled Connect learning at home and at school , which is “one of the seven key dimensions identified in the Family-School Partnerships Framework as guidelines for planning partnership activities.  Strategies to help connect learning at home and at school recognise the importance of the valuable learning experiences that occur in the home and community, and link families to the learning that occurs at school”.


Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns about how your daughter is travelling on her new journey, or even connect with me to share any of her successes so I can celebrate and acknowledge with your daughter and with her year level.


I look forward to hearing from you as partners in your daughters' senior years.


Karen Farrow

Year 12 Pastoral Guardian

Stay Connected

It is important to remain connected with your daughter in her final year of school.   We know that having this sense of connectedness is one of the greatest protective factors for adolescents.  Feeling valued, listened to, and safe means that they are more likely to come to you for help with problems than engage in risky or harmful behaviour.  Research has shown that, when parents are involved in their children’s learning, children experience greater self-esteem, improved academic achievement, and stronger future relationships.  So what does this involvement look like for you?  How can you remain connected to your daughter and the college community in her final year?


To stay connected remember to:

  1. Access IGLOO - check continuous feedback, student timetable, quick links to portals, and sometimes even special notices.
  2. Encourage active listening as a way of responding which encourages the other person to continue the conversation while making sure you understand their message.   Also make sure you take the time to validate their thoughts and feelings (without dismissing them), and ask them how the problem can be solved - rather than you providing the solution.
  3. Support your daughter and encourage discussion on her learning.  Ask her to show you her assessment calendar, then chat about assignments and exams and, most importantly, check on her stress and anxiety levels.
  4.  Encourage her to make an appointment with her Pastoral Guardian – Mrs Bridget Piper, or her Teaching and Learning Guardian – Mrs Anita Goldie.
  5. Seek guidance and support from the College Counsellors who are experienced psychologists.
  6. Support the College by ensuring students are at school and not going on holidays during the school year.
  7. Create a supportive environment for education at home – an environment that values education.
  8. Look after yourself - as parents, it’s also important that you look after yourselves during this year.  It’s very easy to let your own anxiety spiral out of control and then impact not only your children but your own health.   You can’t do it for them!  Let them take responsibility for their own study, and don’t see it as a reflection of your parenting if, for whatever reason, they can’t buckle down – they may just have to be among those late starters.  Monitor your own self-talk, avoid buying into those destructive OP myths, and take time for yourself – whether that be exercise, reading, listening to music, gardening, etc.  “Think of yourself as a bank account – you can’t keep giving out if you don’t put in regular deposits.”
  9. Encourage healthy eating, exercise, and sleep habits.  (Download free mindfulness apps )

While stakes are high and the pressure cooker environment can affect your child’s performance, stress them out, and leave her wishing she could find a hole to crawl into, remember to stay connected with her and the College to give her the best opportunity so she can successfully leap into her future!


Bridget Piper


Do you have a fire in your belly, a burning desire for challenge, experiences, and learning?  Do you want see behind the curtain of some of the most innovative and exciting businesses in Brisbane?  Tanya at FUEL - Girl Shaped Flames is providing just such an experience for girls in Years 7 to 12.


As a FUEL girl, you will have access to:


Monthly Meetups, the perfect space to connect with other like-minded teen girls and receive the support of extraordinary female role models.

Company Excursions,  which offer unparalleled insight into different industries, companies, and roles. 

A Self-Awareness and Support community online forum, which gives the tools to build awareness of what you are passionate about and good at.

Inspiration, Clarity, & Focus two-minute takeaway video library showcasing first-hand, real pathways and journeys, to naturally begin to generate ideas and dreams about the future.

Increased confidence:  Self-belief builds when girls feel they have an increased understanding: of themselves, of the world, of how to tackle decision-making and setbacks.

Motivation from extraordinary women, who provide motivation in spades as they demonstrate their resilience, determination, and can-do attitudes!


Further details can be found here.


Mount Alvernia College’s P&FSN is offering the opportunity for twelve students to become FUEL girls for one year - four each from Francis, Clare, and Elizabeth Hayes Schools.

To apply, send an email explaining why you should be a FUEL girl to Ms Linda Clark [email protected].


Linda Clark

Digital Technology Teacher

La Cucina


Friday 8 March

Natalie Mills, Amanda Russell

Monday 11 March

Rachel Browne, Vicki Ferlito

Tuesday 12 March

Lidia Ranalli

Wednesday 13 March

Leisa Voysey

Thursday 14 March

Kellie Jilani, Colette Rosso


Open from 7.15-9.30am & 10.30am-3.00pm (3.15pm Wednesday).   Staff, parents, and friends are very welcome to drop in for coffee—$3.50; $3 in own cup.


Please direct any enquiries to Kim at College Reception, ph 3357 6000.

Community Notices

Junior Casual Position available

Our FRANKiE4 Concept Stores and sister store All Podiatry & The Shoe Co are on the hunt for a junior casual to work every Saturday at our Windsor and Indooroopilly Concept Stores.


Applicants should be:

- Motivated
- Able to take direction
- Energetic
- A good team player
- Available every Saturday!


The job will include:

- Tidying of the shoe room
- Packing shoes away
- Assisting our sales assistants
- Ad hoc jobs as requested


We will provide:

- Guaranteed shift every Saturday (8am - 5pm approximately)
- A great team environment
- Great staff rates on shoes
- Weekly pay


Please email [email protected] if you are interested.

Parent Corner