Middle School Report – February 2, 2018

January 31, 2018

Firstly, welcome back to all of the 2018 Middle School families. As always we are looking forward to working with your sons as they begin their Middle School Journey. In particular, I wish to make all of our new students feel most welcome as they embark upon their journey here at St Patrick’s College. May their time at the College be a rewarding and positive experience.

As a matter of introduction the 2018 Middle School Team consists of our two Year Level Coordinators Mr Shane Hayes and Mr Stuart Harridge and our Year 9 Pastoral Care Tutors including, Mrs Melissa Binnie, Mr Steven Biggin Mrs Louise Klopak, Mr Jake Clark, Mr Michael Weadon, Mrs Kristine Smardon, Mr Samuel Cue, Mr Andrew Agardy, and Mr Emmanuel Desfosses. I ultimately have the pleasure of leading these wonderful people.

The first few days have seen the boys settle into their new environment in the Sir Hugh Devine Wing and commence their subjects aimed at developing the skills they have already acquired in the Junior School. I encourage the boys to fully apply themselves towards their studies and ensure that they are meeting all requirements, in particular with regards to homework.-

The St Patrick’s College Middle School aims to be a significant and positive experience in the life of the Year 9 boys in our care.

We acknowledge the special needs of adolescents and we strive to provide opportunities for each young man to become independent and active learners through rich and innovative curriculum, a curriculum that awakens and stimulates the intelligence.- –

Our aim is to ensure students realise their academic potential.

Our desire is to develop in young men a willingness to take up challenges intellectually, physically and socially with a sense of purpose and responsibility. Students will be encouraged to get involved in all areas of their schooling and will be challenged.

We openly acknowledge that Year 9 is a time of significant change in the lives of adolescent boys and thus a vital time when your son’s journey into manhood begins in earnest.

The Rite Journey, which is our Pastoral Care Program, is once again a central element to the Middle School experience designed to nurture our boys as they develop from adolescence into adulthood. I encourage parents to become actively involved with their sons during this program and work with them as they develop the key skills of decision making and accepting responsibility.- The journey into adulthood is a key theme of the Middle School and this is a process which will require collaboration from students, parents and staff.

A new initiative for 2018 is our Middle School Community Service Program which will run concurrently with the Rite Journey Program. The Middle School Community Service Program will provide students with the following outcomes:

1. Personal Development Benefits

One of the big ways that students will benefit from the Middle School Community Service Program is through their own personal development. This happens in a number of ways:

Psychological benefits: Community service increases overall life satisfaction and helps you feel good about yourself because you are helping others. It can also help to decreases stress and further mental health.

Social benefits: Community service engages students with the community, creates special bonds with the population being served, and- increases- social awareness and responsibility.

Cognitive benefits: Community service helps students enhance their personal knowledge, grow from- new experiences, and develop better interpersonal communication skills.

2. Community Benefits

The Middle School Community Service Program will allow students to become directly involved in their community. Quite possibly, some students don’t realise how important volunteers are to the country and to many organisations. We need our students to understand that community service is a vital investment in our community and the people who live in it.

Our Middle School students, whilst conducting community service will be provided with the opportunity to try different kinds of work and work environments that they otherwise would likely not be exposed to at such a young age.

The experiences that they gain will also further their resume. A lot of the personal development benefits such as leadership skills and the ability to collaborate with a team, are things that translate well to many future jobs and workplaces.

While completing community service projects,- students develop- real-world skills that will help them succeed in the Middle School and beyond. Our students will get the opportunity to develop skills in the following areas:

Leadership, Problem-solving, Collaboration- with others, Time management and Communication skills.

The Middle School Experiential Program commences in March with the annual Queenscliff camp. Each Pastoral Care Group will experience the YMCA Camp Wyuna with their Pastoral Care Teacher over three days. This is a great opportunity to forge new friendships and maintain existing ones in an idyllic setting. Further information regarding the camp will be sent home with the boys in the coming weeks, in particular the dates when your son’s Pastoral Care Group will be embarking.

Finally, if you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your son’s Pastoral Care Teacher, one of the Year Level Coordinators or myself. I look forward to working with you all this year.

Wishing you all the very best for 2018,

Mr Michael Busscher

Director of Middle School