We realised that privilege is not about what you have, it is about what you don’t have to think about, and this trip (to MVC) put this perfectly into perspective. It is easy to get worked up about the little things and forget to reflect on how fortunate we are to live where we do and be able to focus on school and friendships rather than how we are going to find a meal that day.

Spotlight On: Just Read

22 November 2019

The faint glow of an iPad backlight has merely replaced the faint glow of a torch under the sheets as my night-time routine for a lifetime. Books are a gift. The joy of reading opens your eyes to experiences you will never have or sheds new light onto ones you have had. This gift of a lifetime is one we aim to support through our Just Read program in 2020.

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Spotlight on: Theory of Knowledge

15 November 2019

‘There’s so much information out there, I just don’t know what to believe’.

Over the last few decades, we have created and consumed increasing amounts of knowledge. Libraries stored vast quantities of books and journals, radio and television transmitted events from around the world into our front rooms and most recently the Internet put all of that and more into our pockets. We now have access to literally everything. But what exactly is this knowledge?

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Spotlight On: The Role of a Year Coordinator

1 November 2019

As a progressive school from the start, Queenwood has always given a student’s wellbeing priority. In the Junior School, the girls have one class teacher who gets to know that girl and her family well, and can quickly respond to the needs of the girl as necessary. However, as girls enter high school, they enter a different environment where they have multiple teachers each day.

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Spotlight On: Geography

25 October 2019

If you could only study one subject what would it be? Surely a serious consideration would have to be Geography. When discussing with parents what their daughters will be studying through their years in Geography at Queenwood, they are frequently surprised that we won’t be learning the capital cities of some of the 195 countries or learning to read maps most lessons! Instead, Geography plays a crucial role in understanding our world.

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Spotlight On: Learning Indigenous Cultures

18 October 2019

Over a decade ago, the teaching of Indigenous histories and cultures was identified as a priority in the Australian Curriculum, to allow students ‘to engage in reconciliation, respect and recognition of the world’s oldest continuous living cultures’ (Melbourne Declaration). My concern has always been about the implementation of that priority when teachers themselves have not been taught, either in their schooling or university training, which means that even well-meaning attempts to teach such culture and history can easily end up being superficial, misleading or even unintentionally disrespectful.

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Spotlight On: Labelling

20 September 2019

It is easy for adults to label children, even from an early age. How many times have you heard someone say, “She is just so shy”? The impact of these words can be staggering. Yet, children change and develop significantly over time. Unfortunately, labels do have a tendency to stick.

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Spotlight On: Over-Parenting

30 August 2019

Taking responsibility for our own lives is hard work. It is mental effort that we would all like to avoid – and that includes our children. They will assume the mental load of taking responsibility for themselves only if the circumstances require it. As parents and teachers, our duty is to shape circumstances such that they will demand personal responsibility of our children.

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Spotlight On: Effort and Motivation

23 August 2019

Teachers regularly assess students in terms of the effort they put into their schoolwork. Effort is crucial to success and to assist students to rise to their potential we need to help them find the right kind of motivation. So which type of motivation are we talking about? Intrinsic motivation? Extrinsic motivation? Or perhaps a combination of both?

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Spotlight On: Studying History

16 August 2019

Teaching about a nation’s past, particularly about dark or confronting events, remains as contested as ever. As a History teacher, I’m often struck by the topics students engage with and those they do not.

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Spotlight On: Science Week 2019

9 August 2019

Destination Moon: more missions, more science is the school theme for National Science Week in 2019, which begins on Monday. The theme is designed to reignite the passion for solving problems that sometimes seem unsolvable, with a particular focus on space. Big picture thinking is required to solve problems in Science. Teachers at Queenwood are inspiring students to undertake their own ‘big picture’ thinking in a number of ways.

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