News

TERM 1 - 2018: Principal's Message

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Dear Members of the St Patrick's College Family,

I would like to extend a warm welcome to all families, staff and students especially those who are new to the St Patrick’s College community. Strong relationships and partnerships between staff, students and parents is integral to the fabric and tradition of this College and I encourage each of you to join wholeheartedly in the community life of the College.

The College Leadership Team has spent the past week planning and preparing for 2018. We are looking forward to meeting with families during the information evenings and College activities to share our vision and priorities for the year.

I would particularly like to thank Mr Darren Wells and his property services team for the work that they have done in preparing the College grounds and facilities for the beginning of our school year. I am also pleased to inform you that our second refurbishment to the Seaview Building has been completed and the Enrolment and Foundation Office as well as the Communication and Marketing Office is now located next to the Merchandise Store. Mrs Stacey Bishop, Mrs Jackie Upton and Ms Antonella Emanuelli relocated into their new offices at the end of last year.

Professional Development Days for Teaching Staff

Professional development activities for all teaching staff will commence this week. The House Deans, Heads of Curriculum and new teachers will commence on Monday 15 January, whilst all other staff will commence on Tuesday 16 January and participate in professional development, planning activities and workshops until the beginning of classes on Tuesday 23 January. The workshops will include reporting data from 2017, activities designed to develop growth mindsets, formation of staff with the new EREA Charter for Catholic Schools in the Edmund Rice Tradition and staff training for the new REALM Learning Management System.

Important Dates

Once again, a copy of the College Calendar will be given out with your son’s textbooks. Particular highlights early in the year include:

  • Tuesday, 23 January at 8:30am - Years 5, 7 and 12 and all new students in other years levels commence.
  • Tuesday, 23 and Wednesday, 24 January - Student ID Photos
  • Wednesday, 24 January - All classes resume
  • Friday, 26 January - Australia Day holiday
  • Monday, 29 January - House Family Fun Night for all new students
  • Monday, 29 January - Years 5, 6 and 7 Parent/Son Information Evening
  • Monday, 29 January - Year 9 Parent Information Evening
  • Wednesday, 31 January - Year 11 Parent Information Evening
  • Friday, 2 February - Year 12 Induction Mass
  • Monday, 5 February - Year 12 Leadership Afternoon and Year 12 Parent/Son Information Evening
  • Tuesday, 6 February - Academic Assembly
  • Wednesday, 7 February - Year 10 Parent /Son Information Evening
  • Friday, 16 February - Inter-House Swimming Carnival
  • Saturday, 17 February - Years 9-12 Social

Information regarding these events will be forwarded out over the next week and will also be available via REALM.

During the holiday time and the days leading up to the commencement of school there are a significant number of school related activities involving students, staff, old boys and parents. Many thanks to all those involved in these holiday programs, your time and efforts are very much appreciated.

Academic Matters

The 2017 seniors have now received their senior school results. The cohort worked very hard and consistently throughout last year, and have been rewarded with excellent results. In regard to Overall Position (OP) scores; 28% of the students achieved an OP between 1-5, whilst 66% achieved an OP score between 1-10 and 90% received an OP score between 1-15. Special congratulations to Max Hornigold, Pearson Locke, Liam Smith and Fraser Killen on achieving an OP 1. All students who received a score between OP 1-5 will be acknowledged at the Academic Assembly which will be held on Tuesday, 6 February.

Once again, most students who undertook a Vocational Education pathway have subsequently received traineeships and apprenticeships as a result. At this stage, I am aware of 15 students who have accepted apprenticeships. Several others have also commenced full-time work or accepted positions relating to further vocational training. My congratulations to the students for their achievements and I am sure that the courses, skills and competencies they completed during school years will be most beneficial to them in their future.

Timetable and Teacher Allocation

All students will receive individual timetables on their first day of school. If there is any concern regarding subject choices before or from that day, please contact Mr Chris Campbell for assistance. All requests for subject changes must be made within the first TWO weeks of each term. Allocations of students to classes are based on numerous factors including student’s subject selections, House Deans and Head of Curriculum’s advice and equity of class sizes. Consequently, it is not possible to request a student to be placed with a particular teacher.

Parent Information Evenings

We have organised a series of Parent Information Meetings to be held early in Term 1 to assist with information and advice regarding your son’s journey at St Patrick’s College. I strongly encourage parents to avail themselves to attend these meetings. The meetings will focus on ways in which we can work in partnership to best support your son to achieve his academic potential and cope with the rigors of school within the context of his particular year level. The schedule for these meetings is set out in the College calendar. Information will be forwarded out over the coming weeks and available via REALM.

Staffing

We welcome to the College, and wider College community, the following new (full-time) staff.

  • Mrs Liz Skinner has been appointed as the Head of the Library Services
  • Mr Liam McGuire will be teaching in the English and Humanities Departments
  • Mrs Tayla Fitzsimon will be teaching within the Science and Religious Education Departments
  • Mrs Samantha Churchill has replaced Mrs Maxine Nott within the Curriculum Office
  • Mr Daniel Nethery has replaced Mr Ryan Schultz from our Sports Office.

The following teachers will also commence at the College replacing staff who have taken leave during the semester or year:

  • Mr Hamish Teitzel
  • Mrs Sonia O’Brien
  • Ms Nastassia O’Hearn

I am sure that each of the new staff members will make a very significant contribution to the teaching and learning processes at St Patrick’s College.

Mrs Susan Harris will return from maternity leave on a part-time basis in the Exceptional Learners Department, Mr Blake Loudon, Mrs Cassie Purcell, Mrs Andrea Hey and Mr Paul Arcodia also return after leave in 2017.

Mr Mike Bramwell, Mr Paul Toohey and Ms Nicole Draisey will be on leave for the entirety of 2018 whilst Ms Nicola Bone will be on leave for the first semester and Mr Frank Torrisi will be absent for the first three weeks of Term 1.

Mr Dan Reid and Mr Ryan Schultz resigned from the College staff during the December holiday period. Dan has decided to retire. He has been a member of the College teaching staff for 25 years. During that time, he has taught Years 5, 6 & 7 and has also been committed to the College co-curricular program from his initial appointment. I would like to thank Dan for his wonderful contribution to St Patrick’s College and wish him a long and healthy retirement.

Mr Ryan Schultz has taken up a role with Brothers Rugby Club. Ryan is a past student of the College and has been employed in our sports department within several roles for the past 8 years. During this time, Ryan has made a significant contribution to the sporting program within the College. This has been very much appreciated. I would also like to thank Ryan and wish him and his family the very best in the future.

Pastoral Matters

House Deans
The House Dean has a significant role in the development and leadership of the Student Formation and Behaviour Development programs within the College. I encourage you to keep in contact with your son’s House Dean and utilise their expertise in supporting your son whenever required. Through their role, they will be significant adults throughout your son’s journey at the College. Families new to St Patrick’s will have an opportunity to meet your son’s House Dean and Group Tutor at the House family evening scheduled for Monday, 29 January.

Student Information
It is very important that all parents keep the College informed of any changes in their son’s health, home circumstances or other matters which may affect his participation in College life. All such information is kept strictly confidential. When any changes do occur please inform your son’s House Dean as soon as possible. Any change in medical, address or contact details can be made directly through Parent Lounge via REALM.

College Diaries
The College Diary is to be used solely for recording homework and for communication between home and school. At the end of each week there is a place for parents and Group Tutors to sign the diary. All parents are asked to review their son’s diary once per week and to sign in the appropriate space. The diary should not contain any graffiti or pictures and I ask for your support in this matter. If your son’s diary is found to be in an unsatisfactory condition, it will need to be replaced. Replacement diaries are available from the Student Office at a cost of $25.00.

Uniform Matters
The College has clear expectations regarding the wearing of the correct school uniform. All items of the uniform, including hat, should be clearly marked with your son’s name, his tutor group and year level. Any lost items will be placed in the Student Office until claimed by their owner. If your son has lost any clothing or property, this should be the first place for him to contact.

If your son has a reason for not wearing the correct uniform, please send a note in his diary explaining the circumstances to his Group Tutor or House Dean. The College has a school bag that is sold through the Merchandise Store, this bag is a compulsory part of the College uniform for all students. During Terms 2 and 3 all students in Years 10, 11 and 12 will be required to wear long trousers, tie and their College blazer. All other students will wear the College grey jumper and tie during the second and third terms. The old College spray jacket was phased out at the end of last year and is no longer an option.

Hair
The diversity in hairstyles popular amongst our students (and those at other schools) prompts me to make a number of observations that may assist parents in discerning an acceptable and appropriate style of haircut. Hair should be kept neat, tidy and above the collar and eyebrows at all times. This is the underlying regulation regarding hair at St Patrick’s College. The College’s Hair and Grooming Policy may be found on REALM (under Policies) and I encourage parents to review this to save any issues of concern that may occur. Students not meeting these conditions from the first day of the term will be advised that their hair and appearance is not appropriate for school. They will be required to make the appropriate changes before returning to school. I thank you in advance for your support with this matter.

Absentees
The Attendance Roll is taken each day at morning Tutor Group and again during each lesson. If your son is going to be absent from the College, please phone the Student Absentee Line – 3631 9077 or send an email to absentee@stpatricks.qld.edu.au before 9.00am. Students arriving after 8.30am must report to the Student Office and collect a late slip.

It is extremely important that parents contact the College via phone or email prior to 9.00am if their son is going to be absent. An SMS Text will be sent if a student has been recorded as absent without parent notification.

The term times for the academic year are clearly set out in the College calendar. To ensure that we have maximum time for teaching and learning, it is usual practice for us to run exams through until the last day of each term. Consequently, it is expected that students attend school until the end of each term so that they can complete all their assessment. Unfortunately, it is not possible for students to complete any exams prior to the set exam dates. I urge all parents to plan holidays around the set school dates. If this is not possible, please contact me by email.

Lockers
All students in Years 7 to 12 will be issued with a locker and lock in the first week of Term 1. The lockers are large enough to hold all schoolbooks, schoolbags and training gear. House Deans will organise the lockers for their respective Houses and will pass the necessary information on to the students. Students are required to keep their books and bags in their lockers and change their books at the morning tea and lunch breaks. They are not permitted to carry school bags with them during the day.

Library Books
We are seeking your support to check at home for any library books belonging to St Patricks College and return them to the library as soon as possible.

Students Driving to School
The issue of students driving to school is a complex one. Parents of Year 12 students only, may request permission in writing, for their son to drive to school. There are strict guidelines for student drivers to follow and any breach of these guidelines will result in a loss of driving privileges. Under no circumstances are any students permitted to be passengers in cars driven by students without having sought and gained authorisation from Mr Darren Kearney, Dean of Students. We also ask students to be mindful of our neighbours and other students when driving and parking. I would ask parents to assist the College with this issue of student drivers and student passengers.

Student Drop-off and Pick-up
The Twamley Street entrance to the College is closed permanently. Students who are dropped off or picked up in Signal Row can use the Zeehan Lane entrance. This is a quite a narrow laneway. Consequently, it is most important that anyone using this lane be very mindful of cars that might use it as entry to their premises. It is our preference that students avoid this laneway and use other entrances and departures from the College if possible. I would also remind parents who drop off or pick up their son in Yundah Street and Pier Avenue to be mindful of the signage regarding bus zones and please not to park in the drive way of the Units adjoining the College.

Co-Curricular Program

Throughout the year, St Patrick’s will compete in numerous sporting and cultural competitions. St Patrick’s College competes in the Associated Independent Colleges (AIC) competition. The College also competes in external debating competitions during the year. The College encourages all students to support these respective competitions with active participation. There is much to be gained and learned by participating in the respective sporting and cultural programs.

The College Calendar has details of all sporting and cultural activities. However, it is in everyone’s best interests to refer to our newsletter ‘The Calling’ or REALM for correct information pertaining to ovals/courts and timings. It is essential that all students check Daily Notices and the Activities Noticeboards early in the first week of each term for training and playing schedules.

All sporting activities for students in Years 5 to 12 are coordinated by the College Director of Sport, Mr Doug Locke, whilst all cultural activities for students in Years 5 to 12 are coordinated by the College Director of Culture, Mr Geoff Samuels.

During the first term sporting commitments, the AIC competition runs from mid-January to late March and a commitment of at least two training sessions a week is required. It is an expectation that competing for St Patrick’s College should take priority over club commitments. If students choose to compete both for the College and a club, they are expected prioritise their College commitments and to arrange their club commitments around their College expectations. I ask all families to support this position. The 2018 activities begin with the following:

AIC Cricket
Cricket Clinics and Internal Trials will be held at Curlew Park. For all relevant information please check the Cricket page on SPC Connect. If you have any queries, please contact Mr Daniel Nethery on dnethery@stpatricks.qld.edu.au

Volleyball - AIC Volleyball 2016 Summer Training
Parents and ‘Old Boys’ interested in coaching /managing / scoring for volleyball teams in 2018 are asked to contact Mr Daniel Nethery at the College on dnethery@stpatricks.qld.edu.au or 3631 9028. New students are very welcome to attend training. Students can check REALM for training details.

Swimming
The Swimming Camp will be held at Tallebudgera from Sunday, 14 January.

SPC Gym
Strength and conditioning sessions commenced on Wednesday, 3 January at the College gym. Contact Mr Jacob Jennings on jjennings@stpatricks.qld.edu.au for more information on using the gym.

Instrumental Music Program
The College will further expand the Instrumental Music Program in 2018. Registration forms will be available in Week 1.

Band Program
The College Band Program continues to develop and will take new directions in 2018. Further information regarding this program will be available once school commences.

Debating, Public Speaking, Chess
The College will again offer these activities to students from Years 5 to 12 throughout the year. Information regarding these activities will be available throughout the year and I again encourage students to be involved in these activities.

School Fees and Building Fund

School fees are issued four times per year and are payable by the due date. The College has a variety of means by which fees are payable. The payment of school fees is a condition of enrolment at St Patrick’s College. I ask all families to honour their financial commitments by paying their fees on time. If you have any queries regarding school fees please contact the Assistant to the College Business Manager, Ms Judy Kelly on 3631 9019.

Associated with the school fees is the College Building Levy. This is a compulsory levy that assists the College in maintaining and enhancing the buildings. In recent time, significant money has been spent on improving the College buildings and further building programs are planned for the future.

Merchandise Store

To avoid long queues during this period we have allocated days for each year level. Please refer to the College APP for information. If your allocated day is not suitable please feel free to come on another day. There should be plenty of stock so please do not all turn up at 9:00am on the first day of trading which has happened in the past and created long queues. Our staff during this period are voluntary helpers who are only too happy to give you the benefit of their own experience and we are thankful for their valuable assistance.

Laptops

As part of the College’s educational program all students are supplied with a College laptop. Students who did not keep their laptop over the holiday period will receive their laptop on their first day back at school. This year we will be giving them to the students in their year levels at school.

Communication

I strongly encourage parents to utilise the many opportunities that occur during the year to meet with your son’s teachers, Group Tutor and House Dean. Please do not hesitate to contact the College if you have any concerns. Along with the College newsletter (The Calling), Parent Lounge, Smart Phone App and Facebook as communication channels.

This year we will change our parent portal format to sync to the College APP and the Student Learning Management System known as REALM. This means that we will move from Connect to our new REALM system. Parents who are new to the College will receive their log-in details on 19 January 2018. Current parents will not need to do anything as their current login details will continue. The format of the portal however will be different, and information will be forwarded to parents regarding this before the new REALM and St Patrick's College APP goes live on 22 January.

I encourage you to familiarise yourself with the various communication media used by the College and to utilise them throughout the year. I am also aware that some parents may have set up social media communication sites for some of the year levels. Please be aware that these sites are not administered by the College and information passed through these channels may not be reliable. I strongly recommend all parents to use our communication channels as their preferred means of gathering relevant information.

St Patrick’s College is a great community because of the significance that we place on partnership and cooperation between us and the students and their families. I urge all members to contribute in whatever way they can so that our young men receive the best possible quality holistic education. I wish each member of the College community the very best in 2018 and I look forward to meeting you throughout the year.

God Bless.

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Mr Chris Mayes
College Principal