Middle School Report – August 31, 2017

August 30, 2017

Classroom and Yard Behaviour

It seems an import time in the term when I remind boys that their journey into the Senior School is assisted by their subject results and classroom behaviour, as this information is used to assess their readiness to undertake VCE Units 1/2 in Year 10 and thus accelerate their schooling. Poor classroom behaviour is detriment to everything we need to achieve as our core business within the College. Quite simply; teachers need to teach and students need to learn via a myriad of experiences offered in each of our classrooms every day. When this formula is broken, teachers are thus required to stop teaching and then to correct the behaviour which ultimately stops the rest of the class members from continuing their learning. Calling out across a classroom, misuse of the IPad and loss of concentration levels are the most regular disruptions I am witnessing this week. Within the College Yard, I have been witnessing equally frustrating behaviours of late. Boys have been instructed not to eat in our corridors on the way out to both Recess and Lunchtimes, boys know the areas they are permitted in at these times and boys know that inappropriate behaviours are not acceptable, YET they seem to forget these expectations regularly. As we rapidly approach the Term Three holidays it is important of me to remind the Year 9 families that if they need to take family holidays, out of the set school holiday period, that they must advise the College of their travel arrangements asap. Student’s with prolonged absences due to varying medical conditions must do likewise as well as supply the necessary medical documentation which supports the absence. Recent weeks have seen significant student and staff absences due to a range of illnesses hitting the Ballarat region, with Spring hitting us today all I can hope for is better weather ahead and a return of everyone to school. I would like to pose just one further thought for this edition of the Crest: Just imagine what a teacher and their class could achieve if there were never any interruptions to the teaching and learning process?

-No act of kindness is ever wasted.- Aesop

In 2018 The Middle School Community Service Program will be reintroduced as part of the Middle School timetable.

Community service is when you work for free to the benefit of your community rather than yourself. In our modern world, we need to consider community service not only as a local opportunity but, one that has the potential to recognise and meet global needs.

The St Patrick’s College Middle School Community Service Program will have many positive effects on our students including helping them to develop their listening and communication skills, making contacts with members of the wider Ballarat community, and allowing students to support and further others in need. By engaging in community service, the Middle School Community Service Program will provide our students with the opportunity to become active members of their community and it will have a lasting, positive impact on society at large. Most notably, the Middle School Community Service Program will enable our students to acquire life skills and knowledge, as well as provide a service to those most in need.

My scenario in 2018 looks like this: I will have approximately 120 Year 9 boys, on a Wednesday afternoon once a fortnight and on either a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon the alternative week between 1.45/2.00pm until 3.30; available as boy power to undertake Community Service placements throughout the Ballarat region. Clearly, I am not short of boy power but I do need places for the boys to do their good work. This is where I need your help. If we can be of any assistance to your organisation or contacts that you have, perhaps we could even expand or start new projects now that some -boy power- has become available I would love to hear about them and see what partnerships we can form.

Please contact Mr Michael Busscher on 5322 4429 or mbusscher@stpats.vic.edu.au

As always, I look forward to many great teaching and learning days ahead.

Michael Busscher

Director of Middle School