"Educating young women in the Franciscan tradition"
Mount Alvernia College, Kedron QLD
Mount Alvernia College is committed to a holistic education providing a wide range of academic, cultural, sporting and outreach programmes.
Visit our website www.mta.qld.edu.au for more information on our College and Open Day.
Contact our Enrolments Officer on (07) 3357 6000 for all enrolment information and tours or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
From its foundation on April 22nd 1956 by the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Mount Alvernia College in Kedron has provided an education which has at its heart the Franciscan values of simplicity, love, joy and respect for all creation in the tradition of St Francis and St Clare in a modern vibrant educational community.
This ethos provides the framework for all the educational opportunities, both in and out of the classroom that our young women experience. In a world that, at times, promotes an unhealthy emphasis on success and materialism, these Franciscan values provide the touchstone for an authentic Catholic education for young women in the 21st century.
Mt Alvernia College exists to provide quality Catholic secondary education in the Franciscan tradition appropriate for young women of the 21st century. Our mission is to develop and support young women who:
- live their faith in today's world
- commit to life-long personal and intellectual growth
- care for the earth and all of humankind
- work towards justice for all
- build community wherever life takes them
The college has a fine reputation for academic excellence in both Middle Years and in the Senior Phase of Learning and recognises the importance of providing flexible pathways that respect the gifts and talents of each young woman. Our Pastoral Care that is proactive and positive is an important feature of school life and all students are made to feel welcomed and included in all aspects of school life.
The college has an international reputation for its music programmes and offers the complete suite of music to suit all students’ abilities and interests. Our teachers are world leaders in music education and are renowned for their innovative programmes to develop this important part of a young woman’s education.
The Franciscan values of love, simplicity, joy and respect for all creation are interwoven in the life of the college and these values are actively promoted in all aspects of the school community whether it is in the classroom, on the sporting field in the music centre or in the various outreach programmes which the college supports.
Mount Alvernia’s co-curricular program is an important and exciting part of college life. Students can choose from pursuits such as sport, outreach and cultural activities. Our co-curricular program is designed with the aim to further enhance the experience of a Mount Alvernia education. It provides opportunities for all of our students to develop their confidence and to grow intellectually, socially, physically and spiritually. Combined with our academic program, our co-curricular activities help ensure that all our students have opportunities to reach their full potential, no matter where their individual talents lie.
New Horizons– Mount Alvernia College Staff Learning Conference
“Change is the only constant in life” – Heraclitus
“Schools are microcosms of society” (Treston, 2007, p1), and reflect the shifting societal trends within the cultural environment in which they are situated. As such, the educational landscape is in a constant state of change.
All students at the College are ‘millennials’, having been born in the 21st century. This requires exploring new horizons to engage and achieve excellence in educating the young women of this particular generation.
In addition, societal changes present several challenges for Catholic schools in fulfilling their purpose. Catholic schools are challenged to preserve their Catholicity while, at the same time, being “integrated into a new context that is more appropriate to the multicultural and pluralistic dimensions of modern Australian society” (Belmonte, Cranston, & Limerick, 2006, p1). New horizons need to be explored to understand and find meaning in the complexities of the Catholic school achieving its purpose.
Alongside this journey, senior schooling in Queensland is embarking on one of the most considerable reforms in the last twenty years. This reform will have far-reaching impact across the curriculum, and will see educators seek new horizons in developing relevant and engaging learning experiences that set our girls up for excellence and success beyond the gates of Mount Alvernia.
The topics covered were diverse and aimed specifically at providing students with the skills needed to make their mark on the outside world.
Hello Gen Z: Engaging the Generation of Post-Millennials
The conference’s opening keynote address was from social researcher and media commentator Claire Madden, widely regarded as a leading voice on multigenerational engagement and emerging social trends in the community. She assisted us to better understand what makes younger generations tick and how to create an organisational culture to best harness and integrate their strengths, in what was an entertaining and thought-provoking presentation.
Exploring the Enhancing Catholic Schools Identity Project
Delegates also heard from Simon Mahaffey from Brisbane Catholic Education, who explored issues around contemporary Catholic school identity and the theological preference for a Catholic school into the future. From analysis of data from the Enhancing Catholic Schools Identity Project, we developed an understanding of how people understand and relate to faith, our type school, and how Mt A works as a Catholic school. The presentation was also instructive in looking at the strengths, challenges, and ways forward into the future.
An Authentic Perspective on the Horizon
Mount Alvernia Teaching and Learning Guardian Sacha Carney described the session she presented as follows:
Why do we keep doing what so many people think is an awfully onerous job? Well, if you are like me, it’s because you gain energy and liveliness from the young women (millennials) in your classrooms. Through positive, animated interactions with them, as teachers we provide new horizons for our girls to consider and explore, both within and beyond school and, just as importantly they can – if we are open to it – open our eyes to new horizons as well.
Girls and Spatial Intelligence
The importance of spatial ability in educational pursuits and the world has been examined in many studies since the 1950s. This has often been related to the STEM domains, but is relevant to many subjects – teachers need to know where and point this out.
In this workshop, led by College Deputy Michael McDonald, teachers had fun learning about their own spatial abilities, thereby developing an understanding of spatial intelligence, and explored strategies for developing their students’ special abilities.
Stories that Matter
This workshop was presented by our teacher-librarians, Helen Stower and Margaret Donaghue, and explored recently published contemporary realistic fiction – “stories featuring young protagonists solving problems in real-world settings” (Nilson, et al, 2013, p103). Engagement with these stories provides a guide for adults to understand the issues facing many millennials, and builds empathy. The participants found this to be a useful tool in the pastoral care of students.
Since the introduction of NAPLAN, the ACARA syllabus, and the recent QCAA Senior Syllabus, there have been increasing demands on both Middle and Senior Years teachers to incorporate literacy and language skills into our students’ daily learning. These demands have become even more necessary since literacy has been highlighted as a focus of the General Capabilities. This workshop, delivered by experienced member of teaching staff Caroline McLean, encouraged teachers to ask: Why should students be learning grammar in my subject?; What explicit literacy skills should I be teaching students in my subjects and at each year level?; and “What teaching strategies can I use to help my students apply grammatical knowledge and skills when creating or analysing texts in my subject area?
Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover
Did your mum or dad ever warn you not to judge a book by its cover? It’s the idiom that condemns prejudice and one by which social enterprise The Unknown Project lives. Olivia Roney, co-director of this enterprise, discussed the emergence of social enterprise, and the importance of teaching young people entrepreneurial skills. She explained how these skills helped her to found the enterprise, and explained The Unknown Project, who it assists, and how schools can become involved. Participants explored together different ways to engage student of all ages and interests in business and social frameworks that do good works. With Mt A’s firm grounding in its commitment to social justice issues, this was a significant contribution to the conference program.
This is a selection of the workshops incorporated into the annual conference. The management and staff are committed to continuing professional development, and to putting their learning to full effect in adhering to the s
Our key intent is to engage learners as this will ensure success at every level and stage of our young women’s Mount Alvernia journey and beyond.
The Staff Learning Conference is a cornerstone of Professional Development at the College.
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