St Aidan’s In Corinda : International App Designing, Top OP Results, Cambodian Orphanages, Mater Chicks In Pink Fun Run & Cross Country Champions

Photo credit: St Aidan's Anglican Girls' School/Facebook

St Aidan’s Anglican Girls School in Corinda was founded in 1929 and enjoys an exalted reputation, but did you know it is the only school in Queensland to be in the top 5 for all NAPLAN results last year; that its girls help build orphanages in Cambodia; or that St Aidan’s girls have an international reputation for building apps?

If we gauge St Aidan’s based on the recognition, awards and honours its students have received and won, it’s easy to say that the school is an overachiever.

Academic and Sports Achievements

2016 was an exceptional year for St Aidan’s as it registered its highest result on the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) since the NAPLAN test began in 2008. All the year levels (Years 3, 5, 7 and 9) were at the top five for the state for the said test. St Aidan’s NAPLAN results were also above the national average in 2016.

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In the past year, St Aidan’s was the highest performing girls’ school in Queensland based on OP results.

The 2016 NAPLAN results are a source of great pride for the school. Mrs Karen Spiller, Principal of St Aidan’s, asserts that the results “highlight the dedication of both teachers and students towards their work.”

Winning the CBCA Brisbane West Regional Readers Cup Competition is just one of the many achievements of St Aidan’s girls. (Photo credit: St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School/Facebook)

Aside from excellent performance in academics, St Aidan’s girls are also winners in sports, including tennis, hockey and Cross Country championship. Just recently, St Aidan’s managed to retain the Joan Benson Percentage Shield during the 2017 QGSSSA Cross Country Championship.

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We spoke to Mrs Spiller about the reputation her school has established.

Tech Girl Superheroes

Among the recent achievements that St Aidan’s is so proud of is its success in the field of mobile app development. St Aidan’s girls won in a national competition and were selected to represent Australia in a global challenge.

Georgia Brown, Robyn Conradie, Emmaline Monteith and Jessica Miller created an app called Pawsout, which connects dog owners with dog walkers. But instead of connecting with professional dog walkers, the app invites young, amateur dog walkers who want to spend more time outdoors and exercise. This also benefits dog owners who may not have time to take their dogs out. Learn more about the girls’ Pawsout app.

After winning the top prize at the Next Tech Girl Superhero in 2015, the girls were sponsored to attend the Technovation competition in San Francisco.

Speechability is one of two Australian apps that made it to the Technovation semi-finals (Photo credit: Video still from Speechability/YouTube)

Another batch of St Aidan’s girls also impressed in the arena of app development. Aeshlein Ralston, Lilyan Sullivan and Alisa Timofeeva developed a wonderful mobile application called Speechability. The app is designed to assist people with autism to find a variety of nearby jobs that will suit their skills and ability.

The Speechability app has been named as one of 200 semi-finalists in the Technovation Challenge. The St Aidan’s girls will be pitching their app in San Francisco in August 2017.

The success of the girls exemplifies St Aidan’s commitment to developing and encouraging student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

As part of its ongoing efforts to provide an environment to foster STEM development, the school is enhancing its Innovation + Design Hub in a redevelopment project worth $4.7 million.

Mrs Spiller tells us about St Aidan’s upcoming Innovation + Design Hub and their overall plan for STEM.

Music and Language Make a Difference

So what makes St Aidan’s students so good in all their endeavours, from academics to innovation to sports and fitness? Mrs Spiller believes that the secret lies in their unique music and language program.

One of the things that make St Aidan’s stand out from the rest, is its inclusion of music and language into the curriculum of students from Kindergarten to Year 3. Each day, students get 20 minutes of music education and 20 minutes of language, either Japanese or Chinese.

These short daily courses, over time, help stimulate the students’ thinking. Mrs Spiller attributes the school’s success in topping NAPLAN to this program of adding music and language in the daily curriculum of young kids.

Giving Back to the Community

St Aidan’s also makes it a point to give back to the community. The school is active in fundraising events such as the Mater Chicks in Pink Fun Run, which is held annually to support women battling breast cancer.

St Aidan’s outreach programs also extend beyond Australia. Every two years, the girls raise funds to reach out to an orphanage in Cambodia. The girls visit an orphanage to work and play with the kids in that orphanage.

This clip features St Aidan’s volunteers interacting with an outreach community in Cambodia.

Shaping Children’s Future

For St Aidan’s, more important than all the accolades and awards is seeing their students ready to integrate into the world and confident in being who they are.

Mrs Spiller talks about what St Aidan’s hopes for their girls.

St Aidan’s hopes to impart the core values of the school to its girls. When the time comes for them to leave St Aidan’s, they will become a valuable part of the community, they will leave their mark upon the world just like these notable alumni of the school:

  • Kate Miller-Heidke (’98) – singer-songwriter
  • Gayle Mayes (’73) – Olympian
  • Kate Carnell (’72) – Businesswoman and former Liberal Party politician, who served as the third Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) from 1995 to 2000
  • Sarah Clarke (’89) – National Environment and Science Correspondent for ABC