February 7, 2020
Dear Parents, Carers, Staff, and Students of St Patrick’s College,
Welcome back to the 2020 school year. While it has been an incredibly busy start, it is wonderful to see our students return each year, ready for the journey ahead.
In writing this first Crest for 2020, I am ever mindful that the summer break has been a very difficult for so many Australians with the devasting bushfires across the country. I am aware there are families at St Patrick’s that have loved ones and family who have been affected. We pray as a Catholic community, in the Charism of Blessed Edmund Rice, for those affected and for the many women and men risking their lives to protect others.
As a community, we keep Leo Sinclair (Year 8) and his family in our prayers with the recent passing of his Mother, Natasha. May God hold the Sinclair Family in the palm of his hand.
Strategic Plan and Focus Areas for 2020
Towards the end of the 2019 school year, a great deal of time was spent with the Leadership Team and with the College Staff identifying key focus areas for 2020. It is important to emphasise that each of the Focus Areas have, at their heart, the best interests of our students. Each of these areas will require great energy from us this year.
The key areas relevant to students and parents are as follows:
- Explore and clarify our student management processes, Behavioural Tracking and Student Commendations, with an emphasis on expectations of Staff, Students and Parents in supporting the learning of each boy.
- Furthering our understanding and use of contemporary pedagogical practice in boys’ education.
- Seek and better utilise opportunities to engage parents in our strategic vision and their ongoing support for the areas of focus for 2020.
- Better utilise opportunities to engage our boys in the areas of focus for 2020 to provide consistent reinforcement of our expectations and to highlight examples of where these are being lived out.
- Address issues of concern within our student cohort including their care for the College environment and facilities and respectful behaviours to all.
- Continue to educate our community around respectful attitudes and behaviours towards women.
- Continue to build a community where students, parents and staff commit to a shared understanding and ownership of our vision for Raising Fine Boys to the Status of Great Men.
As a community we welcomed the following staff last week to SPC:
Mike Kent, Technology Faculty
Ingrid Perkin, Assistant Director of Library and Information Services
Rachel Zuidland, Science / Maths Faculty
Noel Bamford, Science / Maths Faculty
Riley Polkinghorne, Grounds and Maintenance Trainee
Cooper Andrews, HaPE Trainee
Hugh Macdonald, Faith in Action Trainee
Mark Stahl, Junior School
Marian Haddrick, Study Centre Coordinator (Wednesday to Friday)
Alison Thomsitt, Art Faculty (Term 1 for Melissa Griffin)
Adam Romey, HaPE Faculty (Term 1 for Nathan Geaghan)
Gabriel Connoll, Gap Tutor Boarding
We also welcome back a number of staff who have been on leave last year:
We formally commenced 2020 with a student assembly where College Captain, Will Rothe, presented his first address to the community. We wish Will, our College Vice-Captains, Finn Lappin and Max Waller and our Year 12 Council all the very best as they begin their journey this year. The Council includes:
Captain Elect: Elijah Cross.
Vice Captains elect: Jasper Magri and Blake Scott.
Captain Elect: William Gilbert.
Vice Captains Elect: Joseph Freeman and Bailey McCabe.
Captain Elect: Angus Treweek.
Vice Captains Elect: Owen Pearse and Darcy Cosgriff.
Captain elect: Jack Sampi.
Vice Captains Elect: Griffin Andrews and Charlie Molan.
Mrs Jane Charles was also formally welcomed at our assembly last week into the role of Board Chair. Jane takes up this role after the recent retirement of Professor Emeritus Terry Lloyd. We wish Jane well as she begins this important role within the College.
For the purpose of clarity, 2020 will see my title, and that of our two Deputies, change from “Headmaster” to “Principal”. This change brings consistency through all EREA schools throughout Australia.
The College has commenced the year with approximately 1357 students walking through the front gates, together with 68 Boarders. We particularly wish all of our new Year 7 students well as they commence their journey at SPC, together with many new students throughout Years 7-12.
A number of new projects commenced at the College towards the latter part of 2019, including the refurbishment of the Sir Bernard Heinze Theatre. The building has now been returned to its original glory and design and looks magnificent. It will be used as a music teaching area, performance space and gathering area.
A Black Box Theatre has been established in the former Music Room in the Purton Building, which is being utilised well by all of our Performing Arts Students. New music offices have been established in the Waterford Wing, along with some refurbishments in the Wilding Wing and Kelty Resource Centre.
Currently, with the decision to introduce a single lunchtime for all boys in 2020, we are planning for the removal of the roofing structure that extends over the former assembly area (now our Canteen under croft). This area will be replaced with a beautifully designed covered-in area with walkway, that will provide a picturesque seating and gathering space for the boys. These works will commence throughout the year.
Parent and Carer Medical Validations- IMPORTANT!
At the end of each year, we ask parents and carers to validate the medical history of their son via our Parent Access Module (PAM), as well as submit to the College a current Anaphylaxis and Asthma Management plan for all required students. This is a legal requirement of the College. Please contact the College office urgently is this has not been completed or if you need help with logging into your PAM account.
Please note that all parents and carers visiting the College must report to the front reception. Parents attending the College to volunteer in the Canteen must hold a valid Working With Children Check (or VIT) which needs to be presented and validated through Jo Dickson. In addition, any parent volunteering within various groups within the College such as Football, Rowing, etc, must also hold a valid Working With Children Check (or VIT). All staff members who are responsible for a particular area that relies on volunteers are expected to ensure this occurs.
If you have any questions, please contact our Director of Human Resources, Lisa Oldham at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 5322 4489
Finally, I offer the following prayer for our community as we begin another year together:
May the urgency of God’s mission unsettle us
the compassion of God motivate us
the justice of God inspire us
the love of God expand us
the healing of God encourage us
and may the Providence of God be our trust, now and always.
(from Act Love Walk: Praying in the Josephite Spirit, 2014: 27)
I hope you have a great weekend