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Term 2, Week 4 | 2024

Student leadership plays a pivotal role in fostering a sense of responsibility, confidence, and empowerment, particularly in an all-girls’ setting. It provides young women with the opportunity to develop essential skills such as public speaking, teamwork, and decision-making, which are crucial for their future endeavours. 

At Kildare College, the significance of student leadership was celebrated through special House assemblies, where the 2024 Student Leaders were acknowledged and given their badges after a blessing. These assemblies not only recognised their achievements and commitment, but also inspired their peers by highlighting the positive impact of strong leadership within the College community. 

We congratulate our 2024 Student Leaders and we look forward to seeing their many accomplishments. 

Bringing Laudato Si’ to Life – Paul Beltrame Awarded for Driving a Sustainable Future

Inspirational, passionate and innovative educator, Paul Beltrame, is the recipient of the ‘Laudato Si’ Award at the 2024 Catholic Education Awards, an annual event celebrating outstanding outcomes through commitment to Catholic Education. Dedicated educator of 24 years at Kildare College, with a commitment to and advocacy for Stewardship of the Earth, Paul ignites students’ passion and drive to build a sustainable world for the future.

An exceptional Biology teacher, Paul has consistently exemplified excellence in education, with his passion for biology extending beyond the classroom; leading the College Orchid Club, initiating the Wirra Garden at Kildare, and providing students with the rare opportunity to propagate endangered orchids at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. ‘Kildare is the only school partner that undertakes orchid propagation work in our lab, also assisting with field work such as the reintroduction of an endangered White Beauty Spider-orchid’ says Daniel Duval and Jenny Guerin from the South Australian Seed Conservation Centre. ‘There’s more seeds banked in long term storage, better propagation methods and there are more plants established in the wild as a result of this collaboration.’

Paul is committed to environmental conservation, showcased through Bird Banding, searching for endangered orchids at Anstey Hill and Kangaroo Island’s Revegetation project, helping restore vegetation after devastating bushfires.
The unforgettable camps for Kildare Physic students to Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, a place untouched by light pollution, was also made possible by Paul.

Paul’s leadership and ingenuity was the foundation for discussions about ‘what else’ for our students, planting the seed for the Kildare College Innovation Hub, the Tullow Centre. Transforming our curriculum at Kildare; Paul has a ‘can do’ attitude, leading our Material Solutions course, challenging the stereotype of the female learner and resulting in Year 12 A+ and Merit Achievements. His impact on our students remains evident; with some turning their discovered passion for woodwork into their career.

“I’m optimistic about the future of the Earth, this underpins my teaching in conservation,” says Paul. “I believe that is why we should plant alongside our students, why we can repair the material world with enormous Hope, right up to kingdom come – imagine how much better these plants will grow and blossom then.”

We congratulate Paul on this incredible achievement, and encourage you to read more and hear about Paul’s journey from our community here.

Awarded ‘Rising Star’ by The Educator – Patrick Johnson Officially Launches Gifted Education Program, Enlight

Patrick Johnson, English Curriculum Coordinator and Gifted Education Key Teacher at Kildare College, has been awarded the prestigious ‘Rising Star’ title by The Educator for 2024. Patrick’s outstanding leadership and innovative teaching and learning initiatives have garnered commendation from the community. His latest achievement marks the official launch of Enlight, a Gifted Education Program at Kildare College

During 2023, Patrick internally launched Enlight with the College community, successfully leading professional development sessions on how to implement the program. The Enlight Gifted Education Program aims to facilitate an educational environment that caters to the unique potential of highly abled learners. 

Now, in 2024, Patrick is proud to officially launch the Enlight Gifted Education Program to the community expressing that ‘researchers estimate that 10% of the student population is gifted’ (Gagne, 2000). This program will empower highly abled students to achieve their full potential in their domains of giftedness by tailoring teaching and learning to their specialised needs, talents, and aspirations.’

Patrick’s passion for learning extends beyond the classroom empowering students to enhance their literacy, critical thinking, and creativity. This is evident through initiatives such as the Writers’ Club and the College Newspaper at Kildare. Catherine James, who recently completed Kildare College’s Award-Winning Graduate Teacher Program, attests to Patrick’s mentorship role, stating, ‘Patrick is also a mentor to Early Career Teachers at the College. I, and many other early career teachers in our education community, wouldn’t be where we are today without him’. 

‘The Educator’s Rising Stars list recognises professionals working in the K-12 education space aged under 35 who are able to demonstrate effective leadership, innovation, and achievement in their career to date.’ (The Educator, 2024)

We congratulate Patrick on his outstanding achievements, and encourage you to read more about our Enlight, Gifted Education Program here.

What a delight it was to host our Experience Kildare Day with St Joseph’s Payneham Grade 4 students and staff.

The day included many opportunities to try new skills, connect with others and have lots of fun along the way. 

Students were in for a treat with a sneak peak of one of the performances from our upcoming Dance and Music Production La Nouvelle-Orleans (tickets available here), as well as painting their own pots, creating macrame keyrings and testing their knowledge with exciting balloon car racing! We were also so proud of our Student Leaders who joined in the day to support the grade 4 students.

With lots of smiles, laughter and wonderful connections made, it was indeed a joy to spend such a lovely day together at Kildare College with the St Joseph’s Payneham students.

Recently, Dannielle Miller, author and CEO of Enlighten Education came to work with our Year 8 students in a powerful half day workshop to nurture self-worth, resilience and conflict resolution skills.

The workshop saw students creating wonderful Joy Journals, in which to reflect each day on the good that happens and the positive emotions they experience. The finished journals were beautiful and powerful “take aways” from this event and allowed the girls to affirm each other with heartfelt comments and kindness.

The engaging morning concluded with a Forever Friends session equipping our students with the necessary skills to make safe, important decisions about their friendships, respecting diversity and vital conflict resolution skills.

Student comments were overwhelmingly positive, and at the end of the workshop many students stayed back to personally thank Dannielle for sharing her story.

‘Today was very enjoyable, especially interacting, singing, dancing, laughing, and learning useful information that we can use in the future. I learnt the respect rules, how to journal usefully, how to handle fights with friends and family, to not care about other’s opinions, and that gratitude leads to happiness.’

‘Thank you, Dannielle! Your presentation was amazing and you have changed lives! I especially loved making journals and writing messages to friends. I learnt to love myself, to find good people, to make good choices, to be myself, and to always follow my dreams.’

‘Thank you so much, Dannielle, you put a massive smile on my face and made me laugh so much. I now know to love myself, to have gratitude, to find positive people, to follow my heart, and to make good choices.’

‘This was so good, especially the interactivity and the welcoming vibe Danni made. I learnt how to solve friendship issues, to have gratitude, to be positive, to be kind, and to not care about other’s opinions.’

‘This was awesome! I really liked the kind messages from others because it made me feel happy and less insecure.
I learnt to be grateful, how to solve arguments, what people think about me, and that it feels good to do kind things.’