Wellbeing Report – April 14, 2016

April 13, 2016

Dear Parents, Friends and Students of St Patrick’s College,

Welcome back to Term 2. It is great to see the boys around the place again, those who have shot up a few centimetres, those who have had a haircut and a shave and those Year 7 boys who are no longer unsure about the place and walk around as if they have been here for years, with pride that they are a Paddy’s boy. This is exactly how we want it to be. The College exists for your sons, so thanks for choosing St Pats.

Uniform Pride

One of the many attractions when I found out I was successful in getting a position at St Patrick’s College was the stories I kept hearing of the pride that the boys have in their uniform. I see it around the school, in the wearing of various badges, the Spit Crew top at Head of The Lake, or the many external events and sporting fixtures throughout the year. We truly have many wonderful boys.

Today I spoke to seven volunteers who are going to represent the school next week at the Legacy ANZAC Day Ceremony at The Melbourne War Memorial on April 22. It was clear by the way they presented themselves in uniform that they were proud of their school. I was also proud of them.

Unfortunately, our teachers currently spend many moments in and out of the class asking too many boys to tuck in shirts, tie back their hair and to consider getting a haircut. Some boys even argue the point, particularly about tucking their shirts in and pull it out at the first chance they get. This disrespectful behaviour unfortunately leads to uniform detentions, all negative energy for all concerned and- does not allow- teachers to teach and most importantly for students to learn, reach their potential and exceed their potential, our core business.

Tonight at our wellbeing team meeting we would like to be spending all our time on positive education initiatives and how we can plan for the development and growth of the boys’ emotional intelligence. Unfortunately, we will have to devote some significant time to how we can support teachers to address this uniform issue. How can we get a significant cohort of boys to demonstrate more pride in a very rich tradition of College history? We would like to avoid a purely punitive approach and for the boys to come to understand that uniform, worn well, is part of the fabric of the St Patrick’s community.

Working in partnership with us, what can you as parents do?

  • Please make sure your sons read this newsletter article

  • Make sure that they are dressed correctly when they leave the house. Coats are compulsory in Term Two.

  • If their shirts are two or three years old and too small to tuck in please purchase another one.

  • If their hair is too long, which means hanging below their collar or too long to tie back, they need to get a haircut.

  • If you receive a letter from a Year Coordinator in the near future to rectify any issues, please support our school culture by working with the Year Coordinators.

As always, your son’s pastoral needs come first so if any of the above concerns you please make contact with your son’s pastoral tutor to discuss your concerns.

Be assured, every teacher feels blessed to be on staff at St Patricks, teaching the boys and want to spend their time on teaching and learning.

To the many students who wear their uniform correctly every day, well done!!! You are great example for all students and we really value your commitment. It is no coincidence that the boys who wear their uniform well are also the boys who learn well and are very engaged in class. Lets’ hope all boys can do the same, reaching their potential.

Edmund Rice Day -“ Thursday 5 May

This is our main celebration of who we are that occurs in Week 4. It is the Feast Day of Blessed Edmund Rice (Tuesday May 5). This is a celebration of the life of the founder of our schools, the Irishman Edmund Rice, who started the great work of providing schooling to uneducated boys and young men, particularly the poor and disadvantaged. Through the order he founded, the Christian Brothers, schools were started all over the world, including many in Australia. Thirty eight of these schools now continue under the banner of Edmund Rice Education Australia, the body that now carries on the founder’s work, and of which we are all a part. We will celebrate with a mass in the gymnasium followed by the annual Walkathon and St Pat’s Has Talent.

The teachers live out Edmund Rice’s call to make a difference in the world, always looking out for the most marginalised and needy in our midst. We ask the boys to take up this call, not only in fundraising for the day through the walkathon but to understand that as a Paddy boy they are now expected to go forth in God’s name. This means they need to reflect upon how they can be more like Edmund Rice, who started God’s work, that we continue today. Devoting a day to who he was is so important. I personally have been deeply affected in my career through learning of his story and having Christian Brothers and teachers who inspired me to choose teaching as a career.

I would ask you personally as a parent, how are you being Edmund Rice like?

What messages and conversations do you have with your son about how he can make a difference in the world?

The support that we require from our parents, as the primary educators of your children, is a vital cog in raising the boys to be great men. In fact, we are supporting and following your lead, as the experts of your sons.

I remind parents and students that Edmund Rice Day is a compulsory day for all students. Obviously there will be legitimate circumstances such as illness that may prevent some students from attending. For these situations please contact the school on the day of the absence and leave a detailed message on the absentee line. This needs to be followed up with a note when the student returns.

Students are reminded that money raised needs to be returned to the College by Thursday 5 May. Students are also reminded to wear sensible clothing on the day so that they are able to fully participate including a jacket in case of inclement weather.

More information will come out via Pastoral tutors in the coming week.

Year- 7 Mothers and Sons Evening May 16th Date Claimer

This is a very successful and wonderful night for Year- 7 Mothers and sons, held at the College. Please keep this date available and more information will come out soon.

Take Care

God Bless

Mr Gerard Sullivan

Deputy Headmaster -“ Wellbeing