Mount Alvernia College Brisbane has courage at its core
With a new strategic plan in place and a forward-thinking principal heading into her second year, Mount Alvernia College is brimming with ideas and potential. This vibrant girls’ school, located in the Brisbane suburb of Kedron, has courage at the forefront for 2022. With good reason, too!
“Our College’s guiding values are courage, joy, respect and service,” principal Samantha Jensen says.
“We thought that for this year, the first year of our strategic plan, that courage was the one to really focus on — for the students and for the staff.”
In such an unstable world, Ms Jensen believes courage is a critical value to embed throughout the College community.
“We hear so much about resilience, but when you start to unpack what is it required to be resilient in the world — yes, it’s perseverance, it’s fortitude. But there’s a good proportion of it just coming down to courage; just being brave.”
With a highly capable teaching team, courage is being blended into every aspect of teaching and learning at Mount Alvernia.
“One very deliberate practice is that we are asking students to look at feedback and find five things that they can use to increase their attention. Helping girls to not fear failure,” Ms Jensen says.
“This process is also about improvement. We shouldn’t talk about perfection — we should always talk about improvement.”
She says the school is encouraging students to try different things, to explore their gift and talents within the co-curricular.
“To have a go at something that they haven’t done before, because they don’t know until they try,” Ms Jensen says.
The breadth of teaching talent at Mount Alvernia College is helping with this rollout.
“We have a lot of early- to mid-career teachers, so that’s a really exciting dynamic. Then we’ve got the institutional wisdom of long-standing staff members as well. It’s a beautiful balance of generational practices.”
What the students think
Fast 5 from College Captain 2022, Aleisha
What made you want to be the 2022 leader of Mount Alvernia?
I wanted to give back to the College community. When I first started at Mount Alvernia in Year 7, I watched the 2017 College Captain and knew I wanted to be like her when I was older. I worked towards this goal by involving myself in different aspects of College life and applying for leadership positions. Through these experiences, my desire to become college captain was not only confirmed, but my love for the school grew.
What are some of your goals as captain?
My main goal is to help all students feel they can call Mount Alvernia their second home. Personally, I feel ‘at home’ when I am appreciated, and I feel appreciated when I know my ideas are valued. To create this atmosphere, I have been working with my team of whole-school captains to create forums where all students feel comfortable expressing their ideas. We also organise fun and inclusive events.
Can you share a stand-out memory from your time at the college?
The 2020 multi-sport camp [is a stand-out for me]. I was in Year 10 at the time and the school hosted a three-day cross country and swim camp at the Gold Coast. It was an absolute blast. I really enjoyed exercising with my teammates in new settings, and the bonding activities that brought us closer together.
What is your favourite subject and why?
I actually don’t have a favourite subject. All of my classes have amazing teachers and classmates in every one of them! I learn interesting things in each of my classes and enjoy their content for different reasons.
What will you miss most when you graduate?
The people. Mount Alvernia is such a tight-knit community. I am going to be devastated when I leave knowing I won’t be able to sit with my friends at lunch every day, compete in school sport, attend club meetings and say ‘hi’ to teachers and students in the hallways. I get emotional just thinking about graduating!
For more information on Mount Alvernia College, visit www.mta.qld.edu.au.
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Written by Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music.