Connecting Learning to Life

Ciara Duffy (Class of 2011) has shown through her research that the venom from honeybees is remarkably effective in killing some types of aggressive breast cancer cells.

This is an incredible finding that could potentially change the lives of so many and their families.

What a remarkable idea! Ciara thought beyond the boundaries of what others in her field had considered and what was familiar to her and then came up with this incredible idea of studying the impact of honeybee venom.

Her willingness to try, test, adapt and no doubt try again through her research are the types of life skills we endeavour as a school to develop in all our girls. This is a great example of how our students need to prepare for the future!

We want our girls to go out into the world and have the skills to solve problems such as breast cancer. They may not find a cure for cancer, but there are many ways, through creative thinking and problem solving that new ideas can change the quality of life for others or the quality of our world.

Many of the skills Ciara used to develop this potentially life-changing research can be found in our Connecting Learning to Life Strategy. All of the attributes below were needed by Ciara, in her groundbreaking research.

What our girls need in the future

In the study produced by PwC called  The Workforce of the Future: The Competing Forces Shaping 2030, it suggests we should be encouraging students to:

“Think of yourself as a bundle of skills and capabilities, not a defined role or profession”

This sums up the focus employers will be looking for in graduates of the future. Our students will have many varied pathways and roles within their careers beyond Santa Maria College.

The article also states, “Adaptability in organisations, individuals and society is essential for navigating the changes ahead.” This is a skill clearly shown by Ciara in her research; the ability to adapt and think differently has led to the success of her research.

It is an exciting time to be developing our Strategic Plan for 2021-2023. With a big focus on ensuring we are embedding not only the skills of the future but equally as important, our values, in every aspect of College life. We have much to think about and just like our students, as leaders of the College, we need to be agile, creative and forward-thinking in our planning.

Our amazing Sisters of Mercy

The Mercy Sisters were a group of amazing women who belonged to one small organisation, founded by Catherine McAuley in Dublin. Over the years this group spread across the globe to become the world-wide faith community it is today. The Sisters continually demonstrated their skills of problem solving, creativity and adaptability; without these, they would not have achieved the growth nor the impact they have had and continue to have today.

As Principal, I want our girls to be empowered to shape and change the world, even in the smallest way. I hope our girls will develop these attributes and be empowered to believe they can do and be anything, and find solutions to any problems they encounter.

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