Senior School Report

May 14, 2021

by Director of the Senior School, Mr Hamish McCrum

On Wednesday our Year 12s and the Loreto Year 12s gathered together for a joint seminar on the topic of sexual consent.  The students listened to presenters from Ballarat Community Health, Victoria Police, and Ballarat and Grampians Community Legal Services who outlined what freely given consent is and what it is not. The laws around the age of consent and a range of sexual offences were covered, from rape through to sexting and distributing nude pictures.  Advice regarding what to do if you are a victim was outlined in terms of reporting to police and securing support, however avoiding any sexual encounter where both parties are not an “enthusiastic yes” is by far the best option for everybody.  Anything less can end very badly.  Various statistics were presented and while males and females can both be victims or perpetrators, males are usually the perpetrators and females the victims, particularly in this age group.  We finished with a Q&A session and students asked some insightful questions.  We would be naïve to think that one afternoon of education would correct all behaviour going forward. This seminar was an important addition the classes and seminars conducted over a number of years at St Pats and we will follow-up this seminar in our RE classes.  To help our young men act with empathy and kindness will benefit them all of their lives in terms of the quality of their relationships.  The trauma caused be sexual assault/rape can cause extreme and long-lasting trauma for the victim, and being accused or convicted of such a crime can also be life-changing.  The ripples of such harm spread right through families and friends; it is pain our community could do without, and we offer our support to those victims who are already having to deal with such trauma.  Students were informed that it is always OK for males or females to say “No”, and should there ever be a negative experience it is important to tell somebody they trust and use the supports available.  I would like to thank our Student Council for extending the invitation to Loreto, Loreto for accepting the invitation, Mr Andrew Chamings for putting it all together and our three external presenters for their time and expertise.


Next Thursday night (May 20) our Year 10s will be experiencing their “One Night of Homelessness”.  This is another opportunity for them to develop their empathy and be in solidarity with those who are less fortunate, sometimes through no fault of their own.  The experience is far from a real night of homelessness, however it will make them grateful for the warmth and comfort of their beds and it usually provides some good memories for the boys.  They are not required to front up to school on the Friday.

On Friday June 4, Year 11s doing a VCE Unit 3/4 Study (including a scored VET) will be given a Study Day for their exams while all the other Year 11s will be doing a Trial GAT in the 2022 format which will be new.  On June 9, those students who had a Study Day will be doing the actual GAT for 2021, and those who did the Trial GAT will have their Study Day.  Year 12s will be doing the GAT on June 9.  Year 12 classes will run as normal on June 4 and Year 11s may choose to attend these classes if they have one. Further details about what is happening will be emailed to parents next week, including clarification for Year 11s regarding for which GAT/ Trial GAT they are required.  In 2022, all VCE and VCAL Certificates will contain a rating for Literacy and Numeracy taken from the 2022 GAT.  Having been through the process once this year should help our boys give a good account of themselves in this area.

On Wednesday Evening (May 19) our Careers Expo will take place in the Pavilion from 5:30 to 7:30. It is a great opportunity for students and parents to come along and have a chat with people working in a very diverse range of occupations.  Mr Meehan (Careers) has put in many hours organising the evening and we are very grateful to all of those presenters who generously give up their time so that our boys may be more informed about their career options.