Teaching and Learning Report – August 22, 2019

August 22, 2019

Cardinal Pell Appeal

In discerning the outcome of Cardinal Pell’s appeal, both as individuals and as a school community, I note the response from Bishop Paul Bird:

The outcome of Cardinal Pell’s appeal against his conviction on historical child sexual abuse charges is the culmination of months of uncertainty during which many people in our community have experienced conflicting emotions.

I recognise that the whole process of the trial, conviction and appeal have been distressing for many in the community, particularly for victims and survivors of abuse and their families. Publicity and discussion of sexual abuse often causes pain for victims of any abuse and this will be an extremely difficult time for many.

There is a special impact on those of us who live in Ballarat because of Cardinal Pell’s connections with this city.

This is also a troubling time for our Catholic community throughout the whole Ballarat diocese, not only because of Cardinal Pell’s connections with our diocese but also because the entire Church community is again confronted by the terrible history of abuse of children and the breach of trust that that abuse involved.

I hope and pray that the finalisation of the legal processes will bring some sense of resolution to all those affected by the proceedings.

Paul Bird

Bishop of Ballarat

As a Catholic school in the Ballarat Diocese, I also note the statement from the Director of Catholic Education, Audrey Brown:

Our Catholic education community has been shocked and deeply affected by the news of Cardinal Pell’s conviction on historical child sexual abuse charges and the ruling today by the Victorian Appeals Court that his appeal against conviction has not been upheld. This has been an exceptionally difficult time for everyone involved in the process of appeal and I am grateful to be part of a society that gives deep consideration to such important matters.

Every Catholic school in the Diocese of Ballarat holds the care, safety and wellbeing of children and young people as a central and fundamental responsibility. Whenever that trust is breached or appears to be breached, we know that our response must be firm and unwavering on the side of what is best for the children and young people in our care. When others look to us for evidence of this, we seek to be communities that demonstrate rigour, transparency and highly effective practice in all matters associated with child safety and wellbeing.

As a diocesan education community, through our actions and prayers, we stand in solidarity with victims and survivors of abuse within our Church and our education community. We respectfully acknowledge their courage and the commitment of those who support them.

Audrey Brown

Director of Catholic Education

As individuals, this outcome will affect each of us differently. Understanding this, I draw your attention to the following:

  • For any criminal matter, contact Victoria Police directly – 131 444

  • For queries about child protection matters, Catholic Education Office Ballarat’s Child Protection Officer is Susan Renn -“ 5337 7139

  • Relationships Australia, an external government funded counselling service provides support for victims/survivors and their families – 1800 052 674 –

    In addition to these services, please know that you are most welcome to contact either Mrs Elizabeth Ryan or myself regarding any additional support the College may be able to provide or assist you with.

    2020 Subject Selection

    Current Year 8 students will attend the student information session for 2020 Year 9 next Monday (August 26). While at this session, students will receive print copies of the 2020 Year 9 Information Booklet and the 2020 Year 9 Subject Selection Guide.– Electronic copies of the documents distributed during this session, including the PowerPoint presentation, will be emailed to the boys and made available to parents via the St Patrick’s College webpage.

    The Information Booklet will summarise the key aspects of the 2020 Year 9 program including an overview of the core and elective offerings for next year, while the Selection Guide includes the Return Intention page and the step-by-step process for subject selection.

    Families who require further assistance with Year 9 subject selection can contact:

  • their son’s Year 8 Pastoral Care Tutor

  • the relevant subject teacher or Head of Faculty

  • Mr Sam Cue or Mr Shane Hayes, Year 9 Co-ordinators

  • Mr Michael Busscher (Director of Middle School) or Mr John Richards (Director of Junior School) or,

  • Mrs Julia Petrov (Acting Deputy Headmaster -“ Teaching and Learning).

    Online submission of proposed 2020 Year 9 studies

    Students are required to submit their 2020 Year 9 course of study and program details using Web Preferences (the online subject submission portal). Students will be emailed a link to Web Preferences, along with detailed instructions next week.

    Please note: A parent and student signed copy of the 2020 Web Preferences Preference Receipt is to be submitted with the Subject Selection Guide.

    The Web Preferences Receipt and 2020 Year 9 Subject Selection Guide are due no later than Friday, September 6.

    In the coming weeks, parents of Year 8 boys will be mailed further details regarding their son’s study of English and Mathematics in 2020. This letter will list the English and Mathematics studies that have been proposed for their son for 2020. For English, this will be one of two studies – Foundation English and English. For Mathematics, this will be one of four studies -“ Modified Mathematics, Vocational Mathematics, Pre-General Mathematics or Pre-Methods Mathematics. Each nominated study will reflect the boy’s current level of literacy and numeracy based on the College’s analysis of internal and external Year 7 and Year 8 diagnostic testing data.

    Please contact Mrs Julia Petrov, Acting Deputy Headmaster -“ Teaching and Learning, for further information.