Acting Principal’s Message
October 15, 2020
By Acting Principal, Mr Stephen Hill
The return of all Years 7-12 boys on Monday has brought the vitality and energy of 1300+ young men back to the corridors, classroom and ovals of St Patrick’s (and, yes, we missed them!).
Our focus during the coming weeks will be on three key aspects – Wellbeing and Equity, Learning and Excellence and Transition.
Wellbeing and Equity
The wellbeing, and particularly the mental health, of every student and staff member will be our highest priority in the coming weeks. This means encouraging and sustaining motivation for learning, re-engaging students and families where needed, and supporting the social and emotional learning of the boys alongside their curriculum-based learning.
This also means ensuring support for school staff, who have sustained their efforts through multiple transitions in modes of teaching and learning delivery during 2020.
Learning and Excellence
Some students have been better able to progress in their learning in the remote and flexible learning environment, others have maintained their rate of progress, and some have, despite their best efforts and those of their families and teachers, fallen behind.
During the coming weeks, it will be critical that we ensure those who have fallen behind can catch up and that we continue to support those boys who have progressed by extending and stretching their learning.
Literacy and numeracy across all areas of the curriculum will remain a focus at St Patrick’s and we will be adapting our teaching and learning programs throughout Term 4 in response to student needs.
Term 4 is a critical period for students moving from Grade 6 into Year 7, and those in Year 12 moving into employment or further education and training. Students in other year levels will also be preparing for the change of teachers and new classmates that is part of their transition into 2021.
As a key focus of Term 4, we will be making every effort to ensure each of these end-of-year and beginning-of-year transitions occurs as successfully as possible. This will include finding contextually appropriate ways to conduct orientations and end-of-year celebrations and ensuring transition information captures additional details as necessary.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all parents for the way you engaged and supported your son(s) during remote learning and your positive interactions with the teachers. One of the many learnings from online learning will inevitably reflect the value and importance of the communication between parents and the school and how this communication can take place. The many online tools and features developed and used in recent weeks have gone a long way to furthering what we already know is a critical aspect of learning success for each boy – communication!
Let’s hope that we all remain onsite for the rest of Term 4 and that the coming weeks gives us the opportunity to consolidate and further each boy’s learning.