Teaching and Learning Report – December 1, 2016

November 30, 2016

As we enter the final teaching days for 2016, it is appropriate to reflect on the significant work that has been done in the key area of teaching and learning at St Patrick’s this year.

The release of the 2015-2018 Strategic Plan challenged all at St Patrick’s who have the shared responsibility for curriculum develop to remain focussed on meeting the diverse learning needs of our boys and the furthering of pathways to support their various learning goals.

In response to the Strategic Plan, the following Strategic Intentions were developed:

  • To ensure the College engages and challenges students and staff to assume collaborative responsibility for learning through a whole school learning and teaching vision which promotes excellence.

  • Continue to review and develop student classroom programs, pathways and certification which recognises and responds to the diverse learning needs of students.

  • Facilitate a program of staff professional development in the contemporary understanding of learning and teaching pedagogy.

  • Evaluate and identify students’ learning strengths and challenges to inform teaching and to provide rigours and meaningful learning.

Much progress has been made this year in exploring, developing and enacting programs and other teaching and learning initiatives in response to these Strategic Intentions including:

  • All students commenced 2016 with access to a 1:1 device, including the introduction of the HP Spectre into Year 10 and Year 12 boys having access to an iPad.
  • An expansion of the blocking model to deliver Junior School English through the introduction of Year 8 English blocks, furthering the work done in 2015 when the same blocking structure was introduced into Year 7 English, to support and further the learning outcomes of boys with identified literacy needs.
  • The introduction of new Senior School subject offerings VCE Units 3/4 Theatre Studies and VCE Units 1/2 Studio Art -“ Photography.
  • The continued development of Learning Areas through the Parent Access Module (PAM) to further our communication with parents by providing timely and efficient subject specific program information and access to assessment task results.
  • Trialing of a range of third-party resource providers including Edrolo – to support teaching and exam preparation in selected VCE Units 3/4; Stile – interactive science lessons based on the latest science news; and Hot Maths — an interactive online mathematics learning, teaching and assessment resource for students and teachers, for individuals or whole classes, for school and at home.
  • The full implementation and enforcement of the Expected Standards of Attainment in Assessment Tasks Guidelines which set the expected minimum standard of attainment for graded assessment tasks in all AusVELS, Awakenings and VCE subjects at St Patrick’s College at 50%.
  • Completion of the process to investigate and develop an exemplary applied learning program to specifically meet the needs of the boys of St Patrick’s College, culminating in the introduction of VCAL in 2017 at all three levels -“ Foundation, Intermediate and Senior.
  • The engagement of Mr John Marks to support and develop the leadership skills of each Head of Faculty.
  • And, the initiation of a full review of the Middle School program, supported by external facilitator, Ms Wendy Graham, to ensure that the Year 9 curriculum remains vibrant, engaging and builds the necessary skills and knowledge required by Year 9 boys to be successful learners as they continue their learning journey into the Senior School.- –

The purpose of each of the above is clear -“ to further the teaching and learning culture of St Patrick’s College in order to maximise the learning outcomes of each boy. Whilst 2016 has seen as number of valuable initiatives activated or developed for implementation in 2017, all at St Patrick’s recognise the need to continue the process of curriculum review and development if we are to build and enhance what has been achieved to-date.

2017 Booklists and iPad Resources Lists

All 2017 booklists have now been distributed, with current Years 7, 8 and 11 boys also receiving the 2017 iPad Resources List specific to their year level. All incoming 2017 Year 7 families, along with all other families new to St Patrick’s next year, have been mailed a copy of the relevant 2017 booklist and the 2017 iPad Resources List (as required).- A PDF version of each list has been emailed to parents and also been placed on the College website.

1:1 Program -“ update on 2017 devices

As previously notified, the 2017 1:1 program will operate as follows for each year level:

  • Year 7- – – (parent purchased, school supported iPad)
  • Year 8- – – (parent purchased, school supported iPad)
  • Year 9- – – (parent purchased, school supported iPad)
  • Year 10- (parent paid lease, school supported HP Spectre x360 Pro)
  • Year 11- (parent paid lease, school supported HP Spectre x360 Pro)
  • Year 12- (retain school owned and supported iPad)

Other points to note include:

  • To make the HP Spectre x360 Pro as affordable as possible for years 10 and 11 families, the College will administer a three-year lease (which will include the device, an appropriate bag and all required software pre-installed). Based on current calculations, the annual lease cost is expected to be approximately $495.00.

  • The costs associated with this lease will be directed to parents annually and will appear on the tuition fee account.The device will be owned by the parents/student once all lease payments have been made by the end of the student’s Year 12 (or earlier by negotiation should a student leave St Patrick’s before Year 12).An option will be available for those families that require an extended finance plan to conclude beyond the third-year of the lease i.e. after the boy completes Year 12. This may be negotiated or added to any existing Business Manager’s payment plan.

  • As part of the transition to the Spectre x360 Pro, current Year 9 students will have the option to either purchase the school-owned iPad their son has been using for the past three years or return it to the College. This will take place next week, after the Year 9 exams have concluded. As part of the preparation for the possible return of this device, Year 9 parents are asked to ensure that their son still has the iPad charger and cord, the protective case and the neoprene sleeve provided to him at the time the device was issued. Any iPad returned without these peripherals will see the replacement cost added to the tuition fee account.

  • A Frequently Asked Questions information sheet relating to the HP Spectre x360 Pro has been developed and has been emailed to 2017 Year 10 parents.

  • In recent years, Years 7-10 have been using LearningField to access subject specific electronic text resources. This arrangement will continue in 2017. VCE, VCAL and VET students will continue using printed texts resources for Years 11 and 12.

For further information on the St Patrick’s College 1:1 program, please contact Mr Mark Holland, Director of ICT, or myself.

Use of Parent Access Module (PAM) to access end Semester Two reports

St Patrick’s uses the Parent Access Module (PAM) to provide parents and guardians online access to a range of information specific to their son(s). The Student Assessment area allows you to view and download your son’s mid-semester and end of semester reports for both the current and previous years.

The schedule for the release of the 2016 Semester 2, End of Semester Statement of Attainment is as follows:

  • 4:00pm on Monday, November 21 – for all Year 12 students who studied a VCE Units 3/4 subject or second year VET certificate.

  • 4:00pm on Wednesday, December 13 – for all Years 7-11 students.

A PAM Parent User Guide has been written to assist you with the log-in process and to explain the key features of PAM. It can be accessed by clicking on the link on the College’s homepage (https://www.stpats.vic.edu.au/).

PAM can be accessed by either clicking on the link on the College’s homepage (https://www.stpats.vic.edu.au/) or by going directly to the PAM site (http://pam.stpats.vic.edu.au).

The PAM username and password previously issued to parents can be used again for the end Semester Two reports. Please email the College (adminsupport@stpats.vic.edu.au) or phone 5331 1688 should you require further assistance with your log-in.