2022 Reminders & Expectations, Deputy Principal, Mr Richard Brodrick
January 25, 2022
25 January 2022
Dear Parents, Families, Students, Staff of St Patrick’s College,
Welcome to 2022!
I hope you’ve had an enjoyable summer break and were able to find some time to share in
the spirit of Christmas with each other and refresh, renew and reset. We now turn our focus
to the year ahead with a sense of optimism and courage to tackle any challenges that
College office: Open
Staff commence: Thursday, 27 January
Year 7 & 12 students: Monday, 31 January
Year 8 – 11 students: Tuesday, 1 February
Please note that the Parent Information Nights scheduled for next week (Year 7 – Monday,
31 January; Year 9 – Tuesday, 1 February; and Year 12 – Wednesday, 3 February) will not
occur onsite and face to face. The College will present these information sessions to parents
via a livestream link. The details of these important sessions will be sent to the relevant
parents in the days ahead.
Covid procedures and Rapid Antigen Testing
The latest School Operations Guide was released by the CECV yesterday, outlining updated
procedures for the commencement of the school year. It contains detailed information about
Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT), as well as managing positive and suspected cases of Covid. A
summary of the main points can be accessed in the attached document. If after reading the
summary you still require further information, please contact the College.
In short, the Victorian Government have assured schools that they will be supplying enough
free test kits for every student for the first four weeks. When these are available,
parents/carers will be directed to collect the test kits from the College. The students will selftest at home twice a week. They should report any positive results to the College and isolate
for a further 7 days.
An important update to note is that contacts of positive cases in class should only isolate if
symptomatic. More detailed information about the protocols can be found in the summary
and I encourage you to read it fully.
Please also remember that the following safety measures will be in place:
• Social distancing – will continue to be practised where possible
• Face masks – to be worn at all times indoors
• Physical greetings – avoiding physical contact such as hugs/handshakes
• Hand sanitizer – to be used on entering a room
• Wiping desks & work areas – at the end of a class
• Air purifiers – turned on and left on at all times
• Air ventilation – doors and windows to remain open
Reminders and expectations
We extend a very warm welcome to all new students and parents, particularly the 247 Year
7s. We are very glad that you have become part of the St Patrick’s College Ballarat
community and story. We trust that the next six years will be full of positive experiences and
wonderful learning within a nurturing environment.
The beginning of a new school year is also a good time to remind all families about the
expectations the College has of our students. To put it very simply, we expect students to
strive to be their best in all aspects of their schooling. However, a particular focus is on
respectful relationships and the way we treat each other.
I would like to emphasize the importance of the partnership between student, school and
home and of the positive impact fostering this relationship has on student outcomes.
Students will only achieve academically if they feel connected and safe at school, so please
do not hesitate to contact the College as soon as possible if any concern or difficulty
presents. College staff are accessible by phone and email and will respond to messages at
their earliest convenience. Your child’s pastoral care teacher is the first person to contact
with any concerns.
Uniform and hair
I want to stress the importance of wearing the uniform with pride, both at school and
especially in public. I would like to remind
parents/carers of the obligation to support the policy fully. Students will be regularly reminded
at school of the uniform requirements; however, it is incumbent on parents to know the policy
as well. In particular, please familiarise yourself with rules regarding:
• footwear and socks
Often, a small proportion of boys will mimic the hairstyles of public figures and it seems that
versions of the ‘mullet’ cut have a following. Please take note that ‘mullets’ are not
acceptable in 2022 at St Patrick’s. If a student presents with this type of style, then a
parent/carer will be asked to pick them up and organise for it to be cut. Students may not
return to school until their hairstyle meets the guidelines. Similarly, hair longer than collar length should always be tied back neatly.
Phones and connected watches
Mobile phones and connected devices, including smart watches should never be turned on
or seen inside the College gates. In 2022, phones will be confiscated, and parents will be
asked to come to the main office to collect them. Phones will not be returned to the student.
This may be particularly inconvenient for parents and therefore I would urge you to
encourage your son to follow this simple rule. I would also stress that the only appropriate
way for a parent to contact their son is through the main office.
Resilience and perspective
Over the past two years our students will have developed a degree of resilience, which is about facing their fears or an adverse event and then adapting to the new circumstances and recovering.
If there were such a thing as a resilience continuum, you might place your son somewhere between ‘coping’ and ‘thriving’. As a community and as individuals, we aren’t at the recovery stage yet but with the high rates of double-vaccing and the expected rapid decline in cases there is a sense it may be just around the corner.
Experience has taught us that tragedies and challenges pass and because time is only uni-directional, we understand that life isn’t static and moreover, you can never go back to whatever was before, regardless of the constant wishing to return to ‘normal’.
Even though we are still in this crisis, two years later, it is important to teach our young people about having perspective, the antecedent to resilience. In the ‘old days’ our parents or grandparents invoked perspective when they urged us to ‘count our blessings’. The intention was to persuade us to look at life differently, usually through a Christian lens of selflessness and service.
Young peoples’ perspective on life encompasses the way they see and approach things and determines how they relate to people, how they cope with adversity and how they live day-to-day. Having a good perspective on life is an advantage.
Generally, having perspective, or wisdom, comes with age and so the responsibility to teach perspective is with adults. If the students are to build resilience and thrive, they must be overtly taught about having perspective. Routines, positive self-talk, physical movement, avoiding avoidance – these are all simple behaviours that make an immediate impact to daily wellbeing.
‘Walking in another person’s shoes’ is an old favourite that still rings true. Like drawing a number on the ground and having two people stand either side: one sees a six and the other a nine. All it takes to learn perspective and build resilience is a small but significant mental and physical shift.
Thank you and I wish everyone a happy, safe and successful year.
It was Jesus who promised and said…
“Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.””-Matthew 11:28-30