Teaching and Learning

November 28, 2019

by Deputy Headmaster Teaching and Learning – Mr Stephen Hill

As we enter the final teaching days for 2019, 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.

Our current Strategic Plan challenges all at St Patrick’s who have the shared responsibility for curriculum development to remain focussed on meeting the diverse learning needs of our boys and the furthering of pathways to support their various learning goals.

2019 saw noteworthy progress made in the development and enacting of programs and other teaching and learning initiatives in response to this challenge. This was evident:

  • In the introduction of VCE Units 3/4 Psychology into the Senior School program. The College now has an established pathway for Years 10, 11 and 12 boys seeking to complete studies in Psychology.
  • Through the establishment of the Pathway to Hospitality offering in the Senior School program. With the support of Old-collegian and local hospitality consultant, employment advisor and trainer, Mr LeRoy Hand, Pathway to Hospitality provided interested Senior School boys with the skills and knowledge to gain entry-level employment in the hospitality industry.
  • In the construction and opening of the Year 12 Study Centre where, supervised and supported by experienced senior school staff and high achieving student tutors from the 2018 Year 12 cohort, 2019 Year 12 students attended their timetabled study sessions.
  • In the outstanding work of the Enhanced Learning Team, led by Enhanced Learning Co-ordinator, Maria Richards, to implement the many significant aspects of the newly launched Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on school students with disability (NCCD) program. The work of the Enhanced Learning Team ensured that all students with an identified need were identified and that the teachers had all the necessary information to make the appropriate adjustments to their classroom programs and student assessment.
  • Our continued exploration and consolidation of relationships with external educational providers to support and extend our programs. In 2019, our strong relationship with the many and varied STEM based programs and professional development offered by Ballarat Tech School saw many boys participate in a variety of STEM learning experiences to the betterment of their learning.

In addition to this, the College continued its ongoing work in furthering and advancing our teaching and learning programs as part of preparation for 2020. This included:

  • Preparation for the 2020 introduction of VCE Units 1/2 Environmental Science, VCE Units 1/2 Philosophy, Year 10 Commerce and Year 10 Legal Studies and Politics to meet student interest and demand in these emerging areas of the Senior School program.
  • As a consequence of the work done by the ICT Executive, a key recommendation of the College’s eLearning Plan, the introduction of laptops for 2020 Year 7 students, has been launched.
  • Extending our commitment to contemporary, evidence-based best practice in boys’ education through our membership of the International Boys’ School Coalition (IBSC).
  • The refurbishment of the Sir Bernard Heinz Theatre to create a second teaching space to support the College’s classroom Music, Instrumental Music and Bands program.
  • The refurbishment of Purton 006 to create a contemporary “black box” Theatre and Drama space to support the boys’ increasing interest in the performing arts.
  • Planning and preparation for the return to a single lunch.

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 2019 has seen a number of valuable initiatives activated or developed for implementation in 2020, all at St Patrick’s recognise the need for continuous curriculum review and development if we are to build and enhance what has been achieved to-date and to ensure that our teaching and learning programs are engaging, remain relevant and continue to meet the needs of students and parents into the future.

Many thanks to all students, parents and staff who contributed to all that made 2019 the success it has been!