Wellbeing Report – February 4, 2016

February 3, 2016

Welcome and Thankyou-¦

Welcome to 2016, no doubt with many boys (and their families!) having hopes and dreams of what the year ahead holds for all of us at this wonderful community of St Patrick’s College. I have personally felt so supported and genuinely welcomed by many parents and staff as I learn how best to serve and lead at St Pats.

In the last two weeks my family and I have also felt so welcomed by the friendly community of Ballarat. The most almost immediate response that many locals have when they ask where I will be working is that St Pats is a great school. I have heard it time and time again.

-‘Raising good boys to the status of great men’

This vision of St Patrick’s College is alive and well and every boy I have met are an example of the wonderful potential these boys have to be great young men. How blessed we all are to be a part of this community.

EREA (Edmund Rice Education Australia) Student Leader’s Conference

This year our student leaders for 2016; College Captain John Brodie, Vice Captains Hasker Dawborn and David- O’Doherty have already begun the journey to great men. They have had the opportunity to attend a conference for student leaders in Perth before formal classes began. – This is a wonderful opportunity for the boys to meet other boys in similar leadership positions and share ideas, challenges and dreams. We all can learn how to be better teachers, better students, better parents and ultimately better people by looking beyond our own horizons. This only occurs due to the significant support and wisdom that is shared across the national EREA networks, for students, teachers and school leaders.


A key element in helping your son succeed at the college is communication between you and your son’s teachers. While the diary is the primary means of communication between teachers and families the use of contact by email is also encouraged. Staff can be contacted by using their initial of their Christian name followed by their surname. For example my email address is gsullivan@stpats.vic.edu.au Please feel free to make contact with staff should you have any questions or concerns. We want to know if we are not meeting the needs of your sons and rectify issue as soon as possible.

– Events

The Year 7 Camps are one- week in and one week to go. Mr Willis, Mrs Burge and the pastoral tutors do a wonderful job in settling and introducing the boys to the rich culture of St Pats. The role of the current Year 12 boys and the 2015 Year 12 boys is something very special and quite unique in my experience of schools. The war cry is definitely a unique a and great experience.

The annual Academic Assembly will be held on Tuesday 16th of February, commencing at 9.40am in the O’Malley Gymnasium. This will provide an opportunity to recognise the academic efforts of students in 2015. These students have been selected due to their academic excellence at either Year 12 or at Years 7-11. The Year 12 awards are known as the VCE Excellence awards, and there are two types of awards at Years 7-11; The Chris Nolan semester 2 awards and the Headmaster’s awards for those students who received a Chris Nolan award in both semesters.


A significant number of our boys travel both to and from St Patrick’s College on buses.- With so many students from the Ballarat area catching school busses it is important for all students and their families to be fully aware of behaviour expectations while on the bus and the consequences for breaching these.

Poor behaviour on the busses jeopardises the safety of all and often intimidates younger students. It is the responsibility of bus drivers to transport students to and from school safely and this job is made more difficult if students are behaving in a distracting manner.

The following list includes the expectations of all St Patrick’s students travelling on any bus either to and from school or on school based activities:

  • Where possible students refrain from moving around the bus and remain in seats at all times.

  • Students are not to engage in any physical contact at any time.

  • No items are to be thrown around or from the bus.

  • Consumption of food and drink is at the driver’s discretion however; all rubbish is to be appropriately disposed of.

  • The use of offensive language is not acceptable.

  • Behaviour that intimidates other students is unacceptable.

Students not abiding by this list of expectations will face suspensions from the bus along with other school based consequences. Clarification of any detail outlined above can be sought by contacting Mr Gerard Sullivan, Deputy Headmaster – Wellbeing at the College.

As part of our St Pat’s community we expect all students, but particularly older students, to model exemplary behaviour and when necessary challenge other St Pat’s students to do the same. It is this sort of positive role modelling that makes St Pats a great school.

Traffic Management

In the interest of student safety, the listed procedures will be in place to make the school a safer environment for all.

  • Students are not allowed to be dropped off within the College grounds. Student drop off areas remain on Wanliss Road and Sturt Street Service Road preferably and Alfred Street as a last resort.

  • Traffic flow will be in one direction on the eastern side of the College, entering via Junction Street and exiting through the Wanliss Road gates.

  • Signage and speed humps have been installed to make the movement of vehicles within the College grounds clearer and safer for pedestrians.

  • Parents visiting the College for Canteen duty etc. will still be able to park within the College property.

    Ready To Learn-have a learning conversation with your son- (and persevere!)

    Please support your son to be ready to learn. Contributing and engaging in a positive learning environment early is important. This does require the straight forward expectations: correct uniform, punctuality to class and having the right resources and equipment.

    – It also requires the following qualities of an engaged learner.

  • Comfortability in the class/pastoral tutor groups

  • Necessary sleep and a healthy, diverse diet

  • Regular exercise-about 30 minutes a day

  • Parents who take an active interest in their son’s learning

  • Teachers who take an active interest in their student’s learning, adjusting to the educational needs of each student as needed.

  • Students who are open to developing and deepening their understanding of all subjects offered.

  • Students who ask for assistance when they find the work difficult or confusing.

Boys will often use the words -‘fun’, -‘cool’, -‘my teacher really listens’. This is all code language for a student who is highly engaged in their learning. When they are disengaged they will say -‘it’s boring’, -‘I don’t get it’, -‘No, I don’t want you to ring or email my teacher’. Please persevere, and make contact if you need to or want to. Be the parent that shares the co-responsibilty for your son’s learning and they will thank you for the rest of their life.

At the end of the day the best pastoral care and wellbeing is positive, engaged learning and teaching. As educators and carers for your sons we need and invite your support, guidance and expertise about how to tap into your son’s learning and social and emotional growth at St Pats. –

Last Friday, one Year 7 boy responded with -‘Awesome!’ when I asked what his day had been like. His response was the highlight of my day. The staff at St Pats have great hopes that all boys would have many memorable, awesome experiences at our college. This is living out the mission of Jesus Christ.

-‘I have come that you may have life and have it to the fullest.'(John 10:10)

May we all have a great year, sharing the mission of raising good boys to be great men.

Take Care, God Bless

Gerard Sullivan

Deputy Headmaster – Wellbeing