November 18, 2022
by Assistant Principal – Mission and Identity, Mr Geoff Brodie
The VCE exams are completed for 2022 and we move into a new initiative at St Patrick’s College: the HeadStart program for every Year Level. Without a doubt, every new initiative will have its challenges in the implementation, but challenges are an essential dimension of the desire for progress. Deliberately, the College has chosen to mark a clear time when the development of every student is acknowledged, expected, planned, and supported.
Though the year has been a long one – we must celebrate a year without a Covid interruption – it is important to pause and reflect on the markers of progress. Starting with the importance of the question in education, development may be observed when our students are asking new questions and expecting new achievements of themselves.
This is how Jesus taught. Using parables, Jesus challenged the horizon of his audience. Rather than being mere morality tales with a pleasant and comforting – comfortable? -message, the parables of Jesus were intended to unsettle his audience and provoke new questions: do I really understand the world? Am I the person who can meet the challenge of living consistently with the beauty of God’s truth and goodness? A Year 10 student still asking all the same questions as they did as a Year 8 student is not evidence of development through education.
The HeadStart program is intended to be engaging, renewing, and challenging. The changes in curriculum and patterns are designed to provoke new questions within our students. Rather than merely seeing out these remaining weeks, our students will experience their growth and maturity through these new questions emerging – and the challenge of being the person capable of discerning the answers that meet their questions. Raising and answering new questions – the signposts of intelligent and responsible development – is nothing less than sharing in God’s hope for each of one us: personal fulfilment in our mission to have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).