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Vision Splendid A.B. Paterson College

Registered by Australia Post

Publication No. 100000142

Issue 67 June 2017

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Vision Splendid A.B. Paterson College

PUBLISHER A.B. Paterson College PO Box 460, Helensvale QLD 4212



Qld State da Vinci Decathlon

Over 1300 of the State’s greatest student thinkers and scholars gather for this 3-day academic event at A.B. Paterson College.


Principal’s Comment

06-07 Learning to Read in the Early Years: Understanding the Process CRICOS Provider No: 00902F

08-09 Creating a Culture of Thinking

A.B. Paterson College Ltd. Trading as A.B. Paterson College ART DIRECTOR Janine Torrisi (Accent Print and Copy)


Merilyn O’Toole


Printed by Accent Print and Copy (07) 5597 3322

When a young lady creates her own destiny, it generates amazing opportunities. Isabella’s story is one of inspiration, courage and accomplishment.


Collaboration Snapshot in the Advanced English Classroom

A sneak peek into the classroom of the Year 10 Advanced English Class, and the strategies used to deepen their critical thinking and academic conversation skills.


World’s Best in BMX

Meet our 6-year-old BMX prodigy, as he slides down his helmet and prepares himself to represent Australia at the UCI BMX World Championships.


18-19 Catch-up with Old Collegians

Ben Palmer talks of the importance of staying connected through our Old Collegians.

20-21 When Doors of Opportunity Open

Vision Splendid is produced quarterly by A.B. Paterson College. Vision Splendid is copyright; no part of it can be reproduced in any form by any means without prior written permission of the editor. All material is published in good faith; however, the publisher and editor will not be held liable for any form of damage whatsoever, or liability, claims or proceedings arising from the printing of the same.

Four students from different year levels share their enriching learning journeys.


Our Year 12 students had an appetite for success, as they seized the opportunity to network with leading industry mentors at a dinner not to be missed.

14-15 For Isabella Crain a Life Without Ballet is Pointe…less


12-13 Learning Pathways Through Academic Talent Development

Merilyn O’Toole

(07) 5594 7947

Preparing students for success by facilitating deep thinking and application of knowledge to generate understanding.

10-11 Business Industry Dinner



Find out what kinds of practices, in the early years, support the development of successful readers.

College Alumni, Zoe O'Dwyer, takes us behind the scenes of the United Nations Association of Australia.

22-23 Workplace Well-being


Winston Churchill says it best, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” See our workplace well-being in action. Vision Splendid page 3

Qld da Vinci Decathlon State Titles

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Almost 50 Queensland schools, with over 1300 of the State’s greatest Year 5-10 student thinkers and scholars, gathered at A.B. Paterson College for the 2017 QLD State da Vinci Decathlon. The da Vinci Decathlon is an academic competition, designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of school students right around Australia. This academic competition focuses on the principles of a decathlon and as such there are ten events. These are as follows: Engineering Challenge, Art and Poetry, Science, English, Creative Producers, Code Breaking, Cartography, Mathematics and Chess, General Knowledge and Ideation.

From the Principal


“To be someone’s best friend requires a minimum investment of time. More than that, though, it takes emotional energy. Caring about someone deeply is exhausting.” Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference What an interesting sentiment – to be someone’s best friend requires a minimum investment of time; it takes emotional energy. Caring about someone deeply is exhausting. In his book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell takes seemingly minor stories that build to matters of great consequence. A writer for The New Yorker, Gladwell uses the metaphor of epidemics to describe these events and asks the question, “Why is it that some ideas or behaviours start epidemics and others do not?” Although I do not intend to give a book review in this article, Gladwell’s examples serve his conclusions that ‘The Law of the Few’, ‘The Stickiness Factor’, and ‘The Power of Context’ are the three ‘Agents of Change’ in any such epidemic. Gladwell argues that in any movement of change there exists a bedrock belief that change is possible. If we accept this premise, it opens the possibility that the change we seek is actually within each one of us. In one illustration, Gladwell refers to, and describes a social experiment conducted by psychologists John Darley and Daniel Batson, in which they investigated how our perceived ‘urgency’ or ‘busyness’ affects our willingness to help others in need. It should be noted that previous studies have failed to find a link between personality traits and the likelihood of helping others in an emergency. However, changes in the number of people present in a particular situation did have a significant effect on our choices and behaviour.

In this study, the psychologists established that a person in a hurry or attending to an urgent matter is less likely to help a person in need if helping them would distract from the urgent matter. Does this suggest that our ‘ethics’ are indeed a luxury that can be dispensed with in the speed of our daily lives or does it suggest that our vision of those in need is somehow distorted and reduced when we are in a hurry? The researchers concluded that it was indeed the conflict that a person experienced between the need to complete the prescribed task and that of helping someone in need. They concluded that it was, “conflict rather than callousness that explains the failure to stop” [and render help]. Can we truly believe ourselves to ever be this busy? We all have the same number of minutes in a day – the magic number of 1440. This is the gift that we all share each and every day. The difference is how we spend our time. Many people believe in the importance of time management but they do not recognise the simple truth that time is a finite resource. Instead, energy, as defined by science, as the capacity to do work, is able to be managed and replenished. This suggests that we need to manage our energies, and that we should more fully understand and be mindful of those activities which are energy depleting and those which recharge us.

with others the way we do? Why do we take the journey in life we do? We need to understand our why, and in so doing be energised in all that we do. Being someone’s best friend does require an investment of time and it takes much emotional energy. Caring for someone is deeply exhausting, but this is the change in the world that we all need, and should be one that energises our souls and re-ignites the why in all of us. I hope that you read this edition of Vision Splendid and that it gives you hope, reminds you of your why, and the wonderful energy that we gain when we truly care about those around us. Brian Grimes Principal

I believe that when we truly understand our why, we are energised. Why do we get out of bed each morning to do the job we do? Why do we engage

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Learning to read is fundamental to functioning in today’s society. As you are reading this article now, it is likely you learned to read at school, and that you had a series of teachers who provided you with a range of experiences that helped you to learn to decode the print in books and understand the messages presented within the text. It could be argued that learning to read is one of the most important outcomes of primary education, and our early years' reading program very much reflects this importance. Our younger students spend a good proportion of their school day learning to read, and our teachers are skilled in differentiating the reading program to ensure that each student is receiving the kind of reading instruction that they need.

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Learning to read is a complex, sequential process that builds upon oral language in the first instance; indeed, research tells us that children who are surrounded by, and included in, rich and increasingly complex conversations have an overwhelming advantage in vocabulary development, in understanding how language is structured and how to tune into the sounds of the English language. Oral language is important for both reading and writing and because of this, early years' teachers place emphasis on prompting early intervention for students who present with speech and language delays. The next stage in the process of learning to read is developing an understanding that spoken language can be divided into units of sound and

meaning; sentences, then words, and that words can be broken down into discrete sounds. This understanding is called phonological awareness and most children’s early and pre-school oral language and literacy experiences help them to tune into the sounds of their language and prepare them for learning to read. For many children, the development of phonological awareness occurs when they are exposed to nursery rhymes or rhyming word games or rhyming word texts – Dr Suess books are a classic example of children’s texts filled with rhyming words. Once children are able to recognise rhyming words, this is a good indicator that they are developing phonemic awareness. The level of phonemic awareness of children entering school

Graphic by Freepik

Learning to Read in the Early Years: Understanding the Process

is an excellent indicator of future reading ability; being able to blend together and segment sounds are essential skills for learning to read and spell. Children generally begin school with phonemic awareness, and it is upon this understanding that teachers begin to build phonic knowledge, an understanding that there is a consistent relationship between letters and sounds. In addition to this, Prep teachers teach sight words which are some of the most frequently read words in the English language. Once children begin to automatically recall sight words, they are then ready to begin the process of making meaning of words they read. Teachers are then able to build in the range of comprehension strategies that students need progressively and systematically as they move through the years of schooling. It is the combination of all of these skills that allow children to become fluent readers. Students come to formal schooling with a wide range of individual and varied

literacy experiences. In the Prep year, teachers assess the various pre-reading skills that students have through a variety of methods and, based on this, they are able to determine the best path of progress for each and every student. As a result, the road to becoming a fluent reader rarely looks the same for any child. As our students move through the early years of schooling, teachers make assessments of their phonic and comprehension knowledge, and implement programs to support the development of vital reading skills. The students at A.B. Paterson College benefit greatly from a wide variety of resources that help them learn to read. These include digital teaching resources, access to online texts that can be accessed both at school and at home, plus written texts of all kinds. In the early years there are home reading and sight word programs and, in class, students access numerous resources that support oral language, phonic and comprehension development.

From time to time, some students experience delays in developing reading skills. Early detection of this and intervention is key in the early years. When teachers detect that students are not progressing as they should, they are able to develop individual support plans to help move their students through the various stages of reading always with the goal of them progressing towards becoming a fluent reader. Teachers really value the support role that parents play in working with them to help their child make progress. Instilling a love of reading and literature is a gift for life that we can give all of our students. This begins from our children’s earliest days and should continue throughout their childhood. Countless studies and results of research point to the importance of proficiency in reading to overall life success and, as such, it is vital that reading in the early years is understood and promoted. Karen Roman – Head of Junior School



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Creating a Culture of Thinking The College has long recruited and will continue to recruit teachers who are expert in the classroom, have a passion for their subjects and are innovative, reflective and willing to collaborate and support their peers. Armed with this knowledge, for a number of years now the College has used one Professional Learning Day per year to run a series of workshops led by our own staff in order to share our very best practice and pass on effective skills and educational strategies to colleagues. The intention of the day is to formalise something that we do informally every day – to share strategies, ideas and expertise – to ensure that we have the very best teaching and learning happening at the College. The Professional Learning Day at the beginning of this term was the day for 2017! The diverse range of workshops available to staff covered topics such Vision Splendid page 8

as: Differentiation – an Academic Talent Development and English Faculty Collaboration, An introduction to Robotics, Teaching in a 21st Century Classroom, Effective Use of OneNote in the Classroom, The Male and Female Brain – Nothing versus Everything, and Integrating Complex and Challenging Questions into Classwork. These are but a few! As a staff, we do appreciate the support of our colleagues and as the co-ordinator of the day I, in particular, was grateful for how quickly the ideas for potential workshops came through once I had put out the request. I would like to highlight one workshop for you in this article, not because it was a particular highlight of the day – indeed all of the workshops were exceptional – but because I know it well, as it was the one that I delivered! Preparing students for success in assignments and examinations is a

necessary part of any child’s education. The pedagogical approach used should not be at the expense of thinking and understanding along with those vital soft contemporary skills such as creativity, innovation and critical thinking. It is well known that teachers are no longer the exponents of knowledge. Knowledge is readily available via a diverse array of media and a multitude of educational websites. Teachers must nurture and facilitate deeper thinking and the application of knowledge to generate understanding. Rote preparation for tests must be consigned to the past. Dr David Perkins from the Harvard Graduate School of Education defines understanding as the, "ability to think and act flexibly with what one knows". Perkins goes on to describe understanding as a flexible performance capability.

As stated by Perkins: Understanding shows its face when people think and act flexibly around what they know. In contrast, when a learner cannot go beyond rote and routine thought and action, this signals a lack of understanding. To achieve this, teachers must set intellectual challenges, differentiate learning to an individualistic level, and be responsive to student needs – particularly in terms of self-regulated education and in our design of the curriculum. Ultimately, we want students who are curious, sceptical, open-minded, strategic, metacognitive, reflective, truth seekers, inquisitive, responsible, independent, listeners, adventurous, inventive, original, creative, flexible, questioning, risk-takers, mindful, considerate, full of wonder, compassionate, balanced…..and this list is not exhaustive! A tailored curriculum such as this is entirely dependent on the teacher being fully aware of a student’s thinking, with regard to academics – without that, true differentiation is impossible. An excerpt from an article by Ron Ritchhart, also from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, entitled the Six Principles of the Cultures of Thinking Project also delivers a key message: Under normal conditions, a student’s thinking is invisible to other students, the teacher, and even to him/herself, because people often think with little awareness of how they think. By using structures, routines, probing questions, and documentation we can make students’ thinking more visible toward fostering better thinking and learning. As Dr Ritchhart suggests, a commonly used strategy to enable visible thinking is the utilisation of a thinking routine. These have long been in use at the College as a part of our Teaching for Understanding Framework. I would like to discuss, in more detail, one thinking routine that particularly helps shy and introverted students.

It is called Chalk – Talk. Chalk Talk is a silent way to enable reflection, generate ideas, check on learning and develop projects or solve problems. It can be used productively with any group—students, faculties, workshop participants and committees to name but a few. Because it is conducted completely in silence, it gives groups a change of pace and encourages thoughtful contemplation. This allows the quieter and more introverted student time to reflect and add their thoughts without stress – which dovetails extremely well with their needs. The thinking routine gives unique insight into student learning and the teacher can then begin to facilitate and construct more supportive teaching strategies. The routine allows coconstruction, effective and meaningful follow-on questions and challenges, and hence tests understanding. What else can we do to assist learning in the classroom? Again, if we look to Dr Ritchhart's extensive and well received research, we find that creating a culture of thinking enhances the learning of students. Now that we have begun to make the thinking visible, we need to ensure that it is good thinking. What a classroom needs is enculturation – creating a learning culture and hence enabling students to grow into an intellectual life.

in the class are aware of what good learning looks like in the classroom – how can we expect exemplary learning without an initial exemplar? Ron Ritchhart states that: The culture of the classroom teaches. It not only sets a tone for learning, but also determines what gets learned. The messages sent through the culture of the classroom communicate to students what it means to think and learn well. These messages are a curriculum in themselves – teaching students how to learn and ways of thinking. Thus, our teachers will communicate what counts in effective learning and what is required to be a good student. Learning is a consequence of thinking. Students must think with the content. They must be given time to, and expend energy, interacting with the content. Learning occurs at the point of challenge, thus at A.B. Paterson College we must continue to ensure that there is challenge for all students! We must also carry on making certain that thinking is valued, is actively promoted and regularly facilitated in the classroom! Richard Worsey – Director of Teaching and Learning

Enculturation is a process of internalising the message and values that we repeatedly experience through our interaction with the learning environment. The teacher needs to assimilate the attitude to learning such that it becomes a part of the student’s nature. To assist with this, there needs to be identification of the message and values that surround the learning, and then measures taken to ensure that they are both consistent and recurring. Mixed messages take more time to internalise, and thus the consistent use of language and the creation of an effective learning culture will accelerate the teaching and learning process. It is important to make sure the students Vision Splendid page 9

Business Industry Dinner This term, our A.B. Paterson College Board hosted 53 industry leaders at our annual Business Industry Dinner. Representatives included Educators and Solicitors, Corporate Managers and Financial Advisors, Film Makers and Journalists as well as Illustrators and Engineers. Our Year 12 students seized the opportunity to network with industry mentors and to ask advice on career pathways to enable them to flourish, thrive and stand out in a crowd beyond A.B. Paterson College. The evening began with an entrée and students met their first two mentors. Conversations ranged in topic from what advice they would give students starting out in the profession, to what was the worst/best part of your job, what makes you strive to do your job better than everyone else, and what advice do you have to avoid pitfalls in career progression? Our students had the opportunity to do some preliminary research prior to their evening, with many posing insightful questions to their industry mentors.

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As the main course was served and students moved to another two industry representatives, we had the opportunity to listen to our speaker for the evening, Dr Joshua Shingles. Dr Shingles’ overriding message was for students to not pursue a title, but rather a sense of purpose and with that sense of purpose, the skills, the expertise, the recognition and the mastery will come. He reminded us to not look on obstacles as negatives, but rather as learning opportunities to help us develop our sense of core values. After dessert and our final two mentors, College Vice Captain Erin Cronin presented her student response. She reminded us all that it comes as no surprise to our students that it is not a career ladder they are pursuing, more a career jungle-gym, especially when companies such as Google and Apple have indicated that employment of graduates is not only contingent on their degree, but more on the applicant’s skill sets and experience.

Erin thanked our industry leaders and the A.B. Paterson College Board for donating their time and expertise during the evening to help our Year 12 students. Our annual Business Industry Dinner was thoroughly enjoyed by our students as they head into their final six months at our College. Joanne Sheehy – Head of Senior School

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Learning Pathways Through ATD When it comes to individualised, high quality, academically rigorous educational opportunities, A.B. Paterson College is a leader in educational pathways offered to highly capable academic students. Additional opportunities offered aim to address the learning needs of high ability and gifted students, in particular the

Erin Cronin, Year 12 When I joined the Honours Society in Year 10, I had no idea how valuable it would be in all aspects of my life; not just academically. I had the opportunity to experience a day at Bond University, gaining access to their resources and a Bond University student mentor. I competed in the State finals of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge, a neurology competition. I learnt a range of skills regarding writing a literature review, a report, and a seminar that I had a chance to present to my peers, family and a wide range of professionals. I had the opportunity to Vision Splendid page 12

Honours Society Program co-ordinated by the Academic Talent Development Faculty. The learning journeys of past and current students have been remarkable, with participants readily attributing their continuing growth and academic success to the skills, knowledge and learn all of these skills, and more, whilst researching a topic I found highly interesting: The correlation between music and maths in a population of Year 4 students. The following year, when I was granted the opportunity to again participate in a more self-directed aspect of the Honours Society, I eagerly accepted. Similar to Year 10, I chose a musical approach, and had the wonderful opportunity to combine my passion for the theatre and performance into my project. I spent the year watching different musicals, operas, concerts and cirque shows, then writing reviews for them. Alongside this, I had the chance to co-mentor three Year 5–6 da Vinci Decathlon teams, act in another Honours Society student’s film

personal qualities developed through ATD additional opportunities. Four students, across the spectrum of year levels, have been invited to share their learning journey through the various ATD pathways offered at A.B. Paterson College.

about schizophrenia, and represent the ATD Faculty at a number of events. Helping me with my project, and providing me with these added opportunities, was my Honours mentor, Miss Samuels, and my Faculty mentor, Mrs Walker-Joyce. Having teachers to collaborate with, and to help make my work of the highest calibre, was extremely beneficial, and helped me to further expand my knowledge on my chosen topic. Overall, my experience within the Honours Society has been nothing less than spectacular. The opportunities provided to me, and the lessons I have learnt, have been invaluable. I am extremely grateful for the ATD Faculty staff for their help in organising and running this wonderful Society.

Adrian Rajkamal, Year 11 I was watching some TED Talks recently, drawing inspiration for what to share with you in my learning journey, and I came across two men whom I admire for their innovation in the education industry. Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy and Anant Agarwal, the founder of edX. What I found in both of their talks was that, although they had striking differences in certain aspects of their presentations, they both had a near-identical overarching viewpoint of how education can change for the better, because it really hasn’t until recent times. Last year, I was accepted into the Honours Society, and our then task was to produce a university-level research paper on a topic of our choice, with guidance from our mentors. I chose to focus on a new internet communication technology known as Li-Fi, which uses light to connect to the internet, rather than radio waves. The implementation issues present with this emerging technology are what I aimed to resolve. My experience working on my research paper draws back to what I said earlier about the overarching viewpoints of Khan and Agarwal. The Honours Society, and the rest of the ATD programs, are examples of modern education. Although you may disagree that writing a research paper is considered modern, it is an academic extension that leads to the development of skills that I would not actually acquire so explicitly within a traditional school format. Furthermore, the Year 11 program for Honours, is a self-directed project. This year I am going to start a company. I know past students who made a virtual reality program, a short film, and online diary software as self-directed projects. The contemporary, flexible structure of the program allows us to develop a set of important skills for our modern world; these are coined as 21st Century Skills including creativity,

critical thinking and collaboration. The program also strengthens general important skills, such as analysis, work ethic, and time management. Plus, the Honours Society isn’t the only program that offers this contemporary learning here at the College: the ATD Faculty has many programs on offer that follow this modern ideology. For example, Future Problem Solving, the da Vinci Decathlon, the Mooting Competition and Philosophy Club. I would highly recommend talking to Mrs Bolton and the ATD staff to find out more.

Regina Hoare, Year 6 The ATD program at the College has extended my ability and enriched my learning experience. My ATD journey began in Year 4 – Extension Mathematics and Writing. I was excited, as it was my first chance to get involved with the ATD programs. I really enjoyed going to these programs and learning something new every week about writing styles, techniques, mathematical concepts, and problem solving. Another opportunity came to me later in the year – Innovators of the Future. I was thrilled because science was always one of my favourite subjects, and this was an opportunity to enrich my knowledge in that field. When the day came, I learned so many new things about science and collaborating with others. In Year 5, I continued my ATD journey through participating in the da Vinci Decathlon, Future Problem Solving, The Write Stuff, Kid’s Lit Quiz, CSIRO Crest and The Spelling Bee. I was the first in the school to finish all three levels of CSIRO Crest: Crest Science and Technology Program, as well as winning the Year 5 Spelling Bee! I accepted these challenges and became more self-confident. My highlight has been this year when I went to Sydney to represent the College with my Kids’ Lit Quiz team.

We achieved an overall ranking of sixth in Australia! This was a fun adventure and has broadened my knowledge of literature. It would be awesome if we could have entered the World Final representing our College! The ATD program is a wonderful opportunity for me and other students to achieve our personal potential. For me, the ATD program has ignited my personal passion for learning and continues to have me engaged in creative activities and to seek my personal interest, motivating me to achieve at higher levels across all aspects of my academic learning.

Zinan Mustafiz, Year 5 I have been in the ATD programs for a couple of years, and they have taught me different skills that have helped me greatly. I feel that the ATD programs have expanded my knowledge of many different subjects. In my younger years at A.B. Paterson College, I was only interested in a few subjects like Math, Science and English. After broadening my knowledge and exposure to other subjects I knew very little about, I started to become interested in experiencing new opportunities. Some of the ATD opportunities I have been involved in are, the Spelling Bee, The Write Stuff, Innovators of the Future, and I am currently involved in Future Problem Solving and the da Vinci Decathlon. All of these opportunities have taught me different skills that I use in my current schoolwork in Year 5. Overall, the ATD opportunities I have participated in were, and still are, significantly enjoyable experiences and I would like to thank the College for the amazing programs that I have been involved in during my short, yet inspiring, school experiences at A.B. Paterson College. Mardi Bolton and Kymberly Hampton – Academic Talent Development Vision Splendid page 13

For Isabella Crain a Life Without Ballet is Pointe...less Beneath every strong, independent young women, lies a little girl who had to learn how to get back up again. A.B. Paterson College Year 11 student and ballet dancer extraordinaire, Isabella Crain, will soon call Switzerland home, as one of 28 students worldwide to be awarded a place to train for two years, at the prestigious Rudra Bejart Ballet School. Isabella’s journey is proof that it costs you nothing to dream, and everything not to! Wheelchair bound for almost a year, and in severe pain from a rare nervous system illness when she was 11 years of age, spending months in hospital unable to walk, with extreme physio sessions, Isabella had to learn how to use her feet again. With plenty of time to think, Isabella, having never danced before, said to her Mother and Grandmother while in hospital, that if she was ever to get out of this wheelchair and walk again, she would like to be a ballet dancer. What seemed hard for Isabella now, would someday be merely her warm up! As part of her recovery, Isabella’s Grandmother bought her a little ballerina statue that they would place a few meters away for Isabella to try to walk to.

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Each week, the ballerina statue moved further and further back, and with each step, Isabella was one step closer to dreaming her way out of her chair and back on to her feet for good. Completely out of her wheelchair less than one year later, Isabella, at 12 years of age, put on her first pair of ballet shoes and started training at Amanda Bollinger Dance Academy. Less than a year later, Isabella received the highest result in her class for her first exam, and very quickly caught up to everyone else her age. Now at age 16, Isabella is in the A.B. Paterson College Honours Society Program for academically talented students, the College musicals, dance troupe and choir. With the support of the College, Isabella spent time auditioning in London, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, France and The Netherlands and was given multiple offers at very prestigious ballet schools throughout Europe. After her trip, Isabella fell in love with the European culture and has chosen to do her two year training at The Rudra Bejart Ballet School in Switzerland, with all training costs covered by the Swiss Government.

Isabella was the only Australian chosen out of the 28 selected students worldwide for this ballet school. Isabella has recently left A.B. Paterson College taking up ballet as her full time study, with a training schedule of 10 to 12 hours a day, six days a week. This will hopefully lead Isabella to be accepted into a Ballet Company, and in turn, make ballet her career. Isabella reiterated how supportive and encouraging the College has been. The A.B. Paterson College community has supported my ballet dream every step of the way. I have left A.B. Paterson College with amazing memories, life skills and friendships that I will cherish forever. I am so excited for what the future holds, and I am so grateful for the ongoing support I have received from the College, my family and all of my friends.  Isabella’s Mum Mrs Crain would like to thank the College. Isabella has so greatly enjoyed her time at A.B. Paterson College, and her academic achievements made it a tough decision to leave. We know, however, that her age is critical to the decision and the opportunity may not present itself again.

We cannot speak highly enough of A.B. Paterson College and we are very proud of the school and the staff. It has such a nurturing environment where the students thrive. Isabella has a group of friends who are supportive, polite, respectful and empathetic.  Parents do steer, but the schooling community certainly plays an enormous part in the growth of a child. Special thanks to Brian Grimes, Lana Milton, Stuart Sullivan and all of the staff in the Arts Department, who have supported Isabella all the way. She could not have gone this far without the support of the College staff. Brian Grimes wishes Isabella all the very best. Martha Graham once said, “Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body.” On behalf of A.B. Paterson College, I wish Isabella a wonderful journey in dance as an expression of her voice and her spirit. She is a highly talented dancer and I am sure her inner beauty will shine as she challenges herself in this demanding art. She leaves our College with our very best wishes, and our strongest hopes and aspirations for her future. Nikki Ward – Director of Community Relations and Development Vision Splendid page 15

Collaboration Snapshot in the Advanced English Classroom r is it er real o

Is pow


an illus

At what point do we create our own identity?

Questions such as these were generated by Year 10 English students as they delved into strategies to deepen their critical thinking and academic conversation skills. The results of such strategies have supported the collaborative practices and improved student outcomes in Advanced English classes. These strategies have been implemented by the English and Academic Talent Development (ATD) Faculties to blend their expert knowledge in order to engage, enrich and extend students. The rigorous identification and tracking system established at our College for high ability learners, combined with teacher collaboration, facilitates a specialised approach to meeting the unique educational needs of high performing students. Key traits of these learners, such as fast acquisition of new concepts, ability to readily make connections within and across disciplines, and aptitude for advanced thinking processes, requires differentiation of content and processes in the classroom. Pre-testing, scaling the learning, adding complexity, and working with concepts were adopted early on in the planning process and enabled compacting of the curriculum. Vision Splendid page 16

Is self-defence or revenge a justifiable reason for murder?

Why do people valu e owning land or having a space they can call their own?

Collaboration among students

Student reflections

Students were introduced to the Community of Inquiry discussion model, to hone their ability to summarise, reason, evaluate and synthesise. The depth of understanding of the topics and themes covered is obvious in student reflections and the quality of their ideas in their thesis construction and extended writing.

After three successful Community of Inquiry discussions, sparking from students’ study of ‘The Secret River’ by Kate Grenville, students came to a range of conclusions about Australia’s settlement history and how we are still influenced by it today:

ATD and English teachers worked together in their own collaborative sessions, researching and applying an array of methodologies to deliver strategies that engage, enrich and extend high ability students. Teachers were often left astounded by the depth of the students’ reflections and the conversations that continued well after the activity was complete. The results of the Community of Inquiry speak for themselves. Students are thriving on collaboration and engaging in the rich discussion around student-generated questions, while drawing conclusions to finalise their inquiry – conclusions that may have altered their original thoughts on topics such as power, land ownership and morality.

Power is present in everyday society and will stay this way in the near future. It isn’t possible to not have social hierarchy as there will always be people ‘more equal’ than others. Patrick Hall – Year 10 Student People’s sense of morality is dulled in the presence of achieving what they want. Joanne Quach – Year 10 Student The ‘blame game’ may not be the correct way to go in order to advance. Mahima Mahesh – Year 10 Student Tammie Gilbert – English Teacher Kymberly Hampton – Learning Enhancement and Academic Talent Development Teacher

World’s Best in BMX When a little boy has big dreams on his mind, and a BMX beneath him, anything is possible! For Year 1 student, Zion Brown, life went a little bit like this… Step 1: Crawl Step 2: Walk Step 3: R  ide, without ever having training wheels of course! All the tyres have lined up for this courageous, talented and fearless 6-year-old, who holds a sporting resumé that not many can top! Zion’s passion for bikes and BMX was apparent from an early age. At the age of three, he started riding his first real bicycle and refused to have training wheels attached. Later that year, Zion joined the Ashmore BMX Club and has never looked back. Despite his mother’s many attempts to steer Zion towards less thrilling sports, his love for speed and the adventure of BMX is unstoppable.

Zion Brown’s determination, drive and passion for BMX has earned him a spot on the Australian National BMX Team. He will represent Australia at the 2017 UCI BMX World Championships in the United States, and race in the Sprocket Class for 6-year-old boys. Rock Hill, South Carolina USA will host the 2017 UCI BMX World Championships. The event is expected to bring an estimated 3000 challenge participants from more than 40 countries. Training twice a week and competing in local races once a week, has helped Zion to consistently finish in the top four spots of all competitions.

March 2017 gave Zion his first trip on an airplane, as he competed in his first international event at the Oceania Continental Championships in Bathurst NSW. The Oceania Confederation includes BMX riders from New Zealand, Guam, Fiji and Australia. Zion placed 3rd for the Oceania Confederation. Zion’s great results in the 2016 Queensland State Championships and 2017 Oceania Continental Championships, helped prepare him for his first time competing at the 2017 Australian National BMX Championships in Brisbane, where he placed 1st and 4th. We wish Zion every bit of support as he, at the early age of 6, slides down his helmet and prepares himself to represent Australia, at the 2017 UCI BMX World Championships in the United States.

Zion’s 1st and 2nd place wins at the Ashore BMX Open Day in 2016, was his first competitive race against other BMX Clubs from the South East Queensland region. The Open Day led to the August 2016 BMX Queensland Nikki Ward – Director of Community State Championships, where Zion Relations and Development again received 1st and 2nd place wins.

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Catch-up with Old Collegians Whilst at school many of us wonder – What will I be doing 5, 10, 20 and 50 years from now? Our schooling years play an important part in our development. It shapes us as people, defining our characteristics and most of all building networks. We tend to appreciate and acknowledge the importance much later on down the track. Namely, when you feel it has come time to reconnect and give back to this part of your life. We didn’t realise we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun! Which brings us here, to staying connected, and being a part of the A.B. Paterson College Alumni. Back to the building of networks - this ‘building of networks’ is something which I have reflected on a number of Vision Splendid page 18

times since leaving school and I would confidently say that I am not alone in this regard. Many of us have moved friendship groups, made different alliances and may still hold many or a few close friends from our schooling days with us. When you tend to spend a lot of time in close proximity with others, you form friendships and relationships whether they be as colleagues or professionals in the same setting. Though life outside school is different and brings with it many challenges and experiences, giving back is always something we should all do, and be a part of. A.B. Paterson College has, in recent years, established an Old Collegians network for Alumni of the College. It has been successful in reconnecting

students who have graduated from the College with those in years preceding them. The recent ‘Lawn Bowls’ event was a successful afternoon for those who attended, giving everyone a chance to sit back, talk about old times, and network to see what experiences and travels we have all been on since leaving the College. Bianca Palmer and Mark Gardner, graduates of the classes of 2013 and 2010 respectively, won the prizes on the day - a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne and a night’s accommodation at the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort. These are just some of the prizes the Alumni committee has donated, as we continue to grow.

We encourage all who have left the College to reconnect and come to the next Alumni event. It is an open setting and gives you the chance to see what the College Alumni is about. It may help you figure out career direction, create new networks of people, or just to enjoy a good time with great people and catching up with past friends. The next event will be held on Friday 8 September at the Garden Bar, The Star Gold Coast Casino from 6pm – 8pm. We look forward to seeing many of you there. Ben Palmer – Class of 2008

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When Doors of Opportunity Open Zoe O’Dwyer graduated from A.B. Paterson College in 2014 and commenced a double Bachelor degree of Law and International Relations at Bond University in 2015, on the Collegiate Scholarship. Today, at 19 years of age, and in her third year of her degree, Zoe takes us behind the scenes of university work experience and internships, as she reminds us that the doors of opportunity will open to those who are bold enough to knock. I am extremely excited, yet also a tad nervous, to be finishing my degree next year! My decision to study at Bond University was essentially very easy. I had completed a Student for a Semester program at Bond, studying an Introduction to International Relations, whilst in year 11. The intimacy of the classroom environment, the open door policy and the tight network of support Vision Splendid page 20

and alumni were attractive aspects of the university that I could not pass up. Throughout my time at A.B. Paterson College and university, I have been fortunate to travel extensively with my family and have experienced a variety of cultures. From having departed Egypt one week prior to the 2011 uprisings, to my involvement with a Queensland philanthropist who builds water wells in South Sudan, has only cemented my interest in foreign aid, and inequality in third world countries. I distinctly remember sitting in Jo Sheehy’s office at the very start of Year 12 telling her that my end goal was to work within the diplomatic corps or a humanitarian organization, where I could help effect real change in the world. At that stage, and still to this day, working with the United Nations would be my dream job.

My studies have helped me better understand the intricacies of global politics and how best to communicate and respond to the plight of those who are most needy on the international stage. I cannot wait to put this knowledge into practice. In August 2016, I was fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to partake in some work experience with Queensland Senator, Barry O’Sullivan, during a parliamentary sitting week at Parliament House, Canberra. From researching and collating notes for Senate briefings and sittings, to drafting Senate correspondence, and speech writing on behalf of the Senator, I was exposed to a range of issues, particularly associated with Australia’s rural and regional areas. I was also able to attend meetings with various organizations and lobby groups with the Senator. In one meeting, I participated in discussions with the National Executive Director and the National President of the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA). I was proactive in keeping in touch with the UNAA contacts and, in March this year, I was invited by the Queensland President of the UNAA to attend and participate in the UNAA conference on Uniting Women’s Voices in Queensland. This gave me a taste for how the UNAA seeks to promote and address international issues domestically. I was then fortunate to be offered an internship to work with the national office of the UNAA reporting to the National Executive Director, Matthew Kronberg. This is an invaluable opportunity for me to be able to put my university theoretical studies into practical work. In saying that, the UNAA were considerate of my university studies and have allowed me to complete the relevant work required from the Gold Coast, so I am still able to study fulltime. I have just come back from Canberra after an initial meeting with Mr Kronberg. I have weekly Skype meetings with the UNAA, and I am given different tasks each week to analyse and provide

recommendations on Australia’s position on international issues and councils. I am also expected to attend and participate in UNAA events that are held in the State. Australia’s role on the world stage is one not to be underestimated, but rather to be reckoned with. With the turn of the century, the climate of international affairs is changing, with new security risks arising and economic globalization defining the rise of new actors. This was brought home to me when I met with one of Australia’s envoys to the Australian Mission to the United Nations during a visit to New York in January this year. I am beyond excited by the doors that Bond University have opened for me, and I pinch myself that, in a small way, I am playing a part in Australia’s role in international affairs. My next objective is to attain further work experience, this time hopefully in the office of Australia’s Foreign Minister, Ms Julie Bishop. Zoe O’Dwyer – Class of 2014

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Workplace Well-being Pioneering positive psychologist, Martin Seligman, states in his book, Flourish that it is possible to teach the skills required for well-being, that it is actually possible for people to not only survive but to thrive, or to flourish in this lifetime. According to Seligman (2011) individuals can flourish by cultivating: Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment. These five measurable elements are referred to as PERMA. Whilst no one thing defines well-being, research supports the notion that strengths in each of the PERMA domains play a significant role in contributing to ones well-being, thus helping people reach a life of fulfilment, happiness, and meaning (Slavin, S. J. 2012, p. 1481). Source: positive-psychology

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At A.B. Paterson College, we are committed to creating a culture of well-being not just for our students but for our staff and the wider College Community. Throughout the year, a number of activities are organised by the Staff Well-being Committee to continue to enhance staff well-being utilising the PERMA framework. In Term 2, we were fortunate to participate in the Cancer Council's Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea to raise funds for cancer research. According to the Cancer Council, almost 1 in 2 Queenslanders will be affected by cancer at some stage in their lifetime. With staggering statistics such as these, some, if not all staff, have a friend or family member that has been affected; supporting the Cancer Council is a cause that is close to the hearts of many.

Not only did this event allow us to raise much-needed funds for the Cancer Council through our morning tea and cent auction, it also provided our staff with an opportunity to put the PERMA elements into action. Getting together for morning tea to share positive emotions with others, to laugh, to eat, to share, to engage with a cause bigger than oneself, to relate with colleagues in a positive, friendly manner with the sole purpose of raising funds to assist others, was a truly marvellous occasion. Raising over $1600 allowed us to feed our sense of accomplishment by beating our 2016 efforts by over $400! Co-ordinating an event for over 100 people is no mean feat, and something that cannot be achieved by one person alone. Thank you to the following for ensuring the success of the Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea at the College: - Our fabulous bakers; the sea of delights was a testament to the hidden talents of many a staff member - The learning assistants and teachers who assisted with event set up and pack down - The Staff Well-being Committee for facilitating the event

- The College staff for supporting the event both financially and personally. I would like to leave you with a quote by Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” If we can all be mindful of this and consider how we can continue to assist others, we are creating a more positive experience for all. References: Seligman, M. (2011). Flourish A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being. U.S.A. Simon & Schuster. Slavin, Stuart J. MD, MEd; Schindler, Debra PhD; Chibnall, John T. PhD; Fendell, Ginny MSW; Shoss, Mindy PhD. Academic Medicine: November 2012 Volume 87 - Issue 11 - p 1481 Teacher Wellbeing. n.d. The PERMA Model of Wellbeing. Retrieved from: www.teacher-wellbeing. (Image).

Toni Kirton – Director of Positive Education and Leadership Thank you to our gracious donors who supplied cent auction prizes: - The Kaftan Queen - Can Tho Restaurant - Streakers Hair Design - Parkwood Village International Golf Course - Australia Post LPO Ashmore City - Arundel Meats - Event Cinemas - Xtendbarre Broadwater - Ripley’s Believe It or Not - Pancakes on the Rocks - Village Roadshow Theme Parks

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RIGHT NOW STUDENTS ARE RECEIVING A PERSONALISED EDUCATION WITH SMALL CLASS SIZES AND ACCESS TO WORLD-CLASS ACADEMICS “I chose to study at Bond University as it offered me opportunities that other universities couldn’t provide, and it also offered a greater platform to advance my learning. My first semester has been loaded with opportunities. During Orientation I made an active commitment to be part of all the initiatives the University has on offer to familiarise myself with the Bond atmosphere. The smaller class sizes advance my ability to express ideas and make closer relationships. The study material in my Bachelor of Film and Television course has been fascinating – I feel great studying something I am very passionate about. I have also had the opportunity to volunteer on film projects for work experience including student films and another was an advertising production for a video game. I would recommend it to anyone who is passionate about going further and doing more exciting things with their university years.”

Nicholas Bradshaw Former A.B. Paterson College student and current Bond University Bachelor of Film and Television student

For more information about undergraduate study at Bond, please contact:


Scott Williamson Manager, Schools and Community, Gold Coast North Phone: 0419 483 340 Email:

Apply direct at CRICOS Provider Code 00017B

Vision Splendid June 2017  

A.B. Paterson College Vision Splendid Magazine Issue 67 June 2017