Headmaster’s Message – September 6, 2018

September 5, 2018

Dear Parents, Carers, Friends, Staff and Students of St Patrick’s College,

Update on planning for 2019 and beyond

As all members of our community will be aware, there is a great deal of activity around our planning for 2019 and beyond. This includes several important initiatives in the- areas of Learning and Teaching, Mission and Wellbeing.- – – – – – – – – For your information, I- provide some important updates on our planning as it currently stands.

Strategic Plan 2019-2021

Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Strategic Plan are now complete.

Stage 1 involved the establishment of our Foundational Statements – those clear proclamations which to answer what our hopes are for our students and community at St Patrick’s College. Stage 2 has seen the identification of three goals under each dimension: Learning and Teaching, Staff and Student Wellbeing and Mission, together with a series of actions and success criteria that accompany each of these goals. Please click on this link for a copy of our Foundational Statements.

Stage 3, which is currently being developed, involves working with a sub-committee of the Leadership Team and Development Office to determine the best way of presenting this document to our community.

Stage 4 will see the Finance Team carefully cost these initiatives and allocate necessary resources to it. Beyond this, the Business Office is facilitating a review of a full Master Plan of the College designed to help us realize our Strategic Vision for 2019 – 2021.

I want to acknowledge all members of our community – including many parents, carers, and students, for their enthusiastic contribution to what is now a robust, comprehensive document that will guide our energies over the next three years at SPC.

Proposed Year 12 Study Centre in 2019

I have asked Ms Julia Petrov, Director of the Kelty Resource Centre, to begin an investigation into the establishment of a new Study Centre to support our Year 12 students in 2019.

Likely to occupy the space in the former Boarders’ Dining room, the vision for this centre is to create an interactive environment for students in their study sessions, which compliments the teaching and learning in the classroom, where our Year 12 students can access a number of support staff to assist them in maximising their engagement with their various learning pathways.

This Study Centre may feature the following: (amongst other possibilities to be explored)

  • contracting in of tutors across a wide variety of subject areas;

  • the employment of a Study Centre Supervisor who will coordinate the Centre and our team of tutors;

  • the potential offering of specialised study skills seminars for students;

  • engagement of a range of key speakers to address the students in targeted areas of need;

  • after-hours additional tuition

Developing a consistent homework routine for our boys

I am pleased to report to all parents and carers that our Directors of Schools have addressed all students throughout Years 7 -11, carefully examining the differences between homework and revision and encouraging them to develop and embrace a more regular homework routine each night in accordance with our specified homework guidelines.

I would ask all parents to support the College in furthering this conversation at home and to encourage your son to set aside an appropriate amount of time for homework each night. It is important that we are all on the same page with regards to this expectation.

If any parents (with sons in Years7-11) have experienced difficulties in accessing APP4 as a means of checking homework, I would encourage you to contact the College office for assistance. In addition, if you have any questions about homework set in a particular subject, please contact the specific subject teacher for clarification.

Development of a Student Assistance Centre in 2019.

In the process of identifying three key strategic goals in the area of Wellbeing, Elizabeth Ryan, Deputy Headmaster of Wellbeing, together with the Wellbeing Team, have identified the need for the College to consider how best we, as a school community, support those boys who are experiencing high levels of disengagement with their studies.

With this in mind, the Wellbeing Team are now exploring the establishment of a Student Assistance Centre in 2019 which would seek to coordinate a series of targeted responses where boys are experiencing high levels of disengagement as well as strategies to reconnect them back into the classroom. – This conversation is continuing at the moment and updates will be given as Elizabeth and the Wellbeing Team continue to examine a range of possibilities in this area.

Edmund Rice Education Australia 2018 Congress (EREA)

This weekend, approximately 400 people, representing every EREA School across Australia, will gather to reflect upon EREA’s mission as it has been expressed since the 2012 Congress and to determine the broad directions of EREA in the next period of its story.

Congress delegates will include representatives from EREA Member and Associate Schools, EREA Council, Board, Executive and National Office Teams, Christian Brothers and other Religious Institutes, Catholic Education as well as invited guests from a range of international and local communities and traditions.

The EREA Congress will provide the opportunity to:

-¢ engage in dialogue about the experiences of EREA since the last Congress

-¢ identify and celebrate the significant areas of growth and transformation

-¢ vision the new horizons for EREA within the context of the broader Australian Church

The four EREA Charter touchstones, Gospel Spirituality, Justice and Solidarity, Inclusive Community and Liberating Education, will be used to frame the Congress program and associated symbols and imagery will use the language of journey, exploration, charts and maps.

As a school community we pray for God’s grace and blessing on the 2018 EREA Congress, that our conversations and discernment may be inspired and guided by the light and love of Christ, whose example and message underpins all that we are at St Patrick’s College.

Have a great weekend

Mr John Crowley