St Patrick's College, Start of 2021

Monday, 18 Jan 2021


Dear Members of the St Patrick’s Family,

Welcome to the new year, especially those new to St Patrick’s. We take pride in nurturing inclusive relationships between staff, students and parents and I encourage each of you to join wholeheartedly into the community life of the College. In partnership, we aim to form Men of Action who will make a positive difference throughout their lives.

Over the latter part of last year and the past week, the College Leadership Team has spent much time planning and preparing for the year ahead. This week the whole College staff will gather for Professional Development workshops and planning so that we can deliver another enjoyable year at the College. We are looking forward to sharing our 2021 priorities with families during the information evenings and College activities across the year.

Mr Darren Wells and the Property Services Team have, once again, have done a lot of work in preparing the College grounds and facilities for the beginning of our school year. Over the second semester and the holidays, the De Gee Building Group have refurbished some of our staff areas and we have continued with our painting work in the halls and classrooms in the O’Connor Building.

At the end of last year, we took ownership of the Units on the corner of Yundah Street and Pier Avenue (next to Callan Centre). The Master Planning Committee is in the initial stages of reviewing our Master Plan (2020-2030) that was developed last year to review what can be done with this space. This additional land will allow us to build more contemporary learning spaces and improve the spaces that we currently have.

IMPORTANT DATES

Once again, a copy of the College Calendar will be given out with your son’s textbooks. Important early dates include:

  • Wednesday, 13 January College Leadership Team resumes
  • Monday, 18 January Finance Office opens
  • Tuesday, 19 January Teaching Staff resume
  • Wednesday, 27 January First day for Years 5, 7, 12 (+ new students in other year levels) (8.30am – 3.00pm)
  • Thursday, 28 January Classes resume for all students
  • Monday, 1 February Years 5 & 7 (and new families) House Family night and Years 5, 6, & 7 Parent/Son Information Evening
  • Wednesday, 3 February Years 10 & 11 Parent / Son Information Evening
  • Friday, 5 February Opening Mass (8.45 - 10.30 am)
  • Monday, 8 February Year 12 Leadership Afternoon; Year 12 Parent & Son Information Evening
  • Tuesday, 9 February College Scholars’ Assembly
  • Monday, 15 February Year 9 Rite Journey Information Evening
  • Friday, 19 February Inter House Swimming Carnival
  • Monday 22– Wednesday 24 February Year 5 Camp
  • Wednesday 24 – Friday 26 February Year 7 Camp

Click here for a digital version of the 2021 printed calendar.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR YEAR 12:

Year 12 students are required to be at the College by 7:30am on Wednesday 27 January in preparation to meet their little brothers. Due to COVID restrictions, the senior students are not required to bring morning tea for their little brothers, this will be supplied by the College Café.


During the holiday time and the days leading up to the commencement of school there have been 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. These include Swimming training and the Camp, Cricket matches and clinics, and AFL clinics. I would also like to thank Mr David Brushfield and his team for the preparation of the playing fields at Curlew Park. They are in outstanding condition and ready for our Cricket season starting in the first week back.

ACADEMIC MATTERS

The 2020 seniors have now received their senior school results. The cohort have been rewarded for their efforts with excellent results. For the first time the senior students received an ATAR score. This new system placed students into groups of 30 starting at an ATAR score of 99.95 down to ≤30. Special congratulations to Connor Stewart (99.60) who was College Dux for 2020 and to Connor Andersen, Henry Swan and Mitchell Bell on achieving an ATAR score above 99.00. All students who received a score of 95 or above will be acknowledged by being presented with the inaugural Tom Hardyman Academic Excellence Medal at the College Scholars Assembly’ which will be held on Tuesday 9 February. Overall, 29% of the cohort received an ATAR score of 90.00 or above with the mean score at 85.00.

Once again, most students who undertook a Vocational Education pathway have subsequently received Traineeships and Apprenticeships as a result. Several others have also commenced full-time work or accepted positions relating to further vocational training. We also had 1 student complete a Diploma course as a part of their studies whilst 56 students completed Certificate III courses, 92 students achieved at a Certificate II level and another 88 students completed Certificate I courses. The number of students who completed the VET courses offered at the College is quite outstanding and testimony to the work done by the staff in these courses. We have also been notified of 20 young men receiving full-time Apprenticeships or Traineeships. My congratulations to the students for their achievements and I am sure that the courses, skills, and competencies they completed will be most beneficial to them in their future and assist them with credits within future training courses. Some of these young men will also be recognized at our Scholars’ Assembly.


TIMETABLE & TEACHER ALLOCATIONS

All students will gain access to individual timetables on their first day of school. If there is any concern regarding subject choices before or from that day, please contact Mr Troy Schultz (Dean of Teaching and Learning) for assistance. All requests for subject changes must be made by the end of the second week of the first term. We sometimes receive requests for students to change teachers and be placed with other staff members. It is important to note that

allocations of students to classes are based on numerous factors including student’s subject selections, the advice of House Deans and Heads of Faculty and equity of class sizes. Therefore, I would ask all families to understand these circumstances and refrain from making such requests as some young men might assume that the changes will happen and must deal with the disappointment afterwards.

PARENT INFORMATION MEETINGS

We have organised a series of Parent Information Meetings to be held in the first weeks of Term 1. I strongly encourage parents to avail themselves of these meetings as they will focus on ways we can work in partnership to best support students to cope with the rigors of school and the academic expectations within the context of each year level. The schedule for these meetings is set out in the College Calendar.

STAFFING

Mr Geoff Samuels, Mrs Meagan Grant and Mrs Rebecca Harris will be taking 12 months leave this year and Mr Geoff Whiting and Mr Neville Dowell (Property and Services Team) will be on Long Service Leave for the entirety of the first term.

We welcome the following staff into the College or new roles within the College.

Full Time Continuing Positions

  • Program Leader Literacy – Mrs Melanie Steven (current Staff member)
  • Teacher of Senior Science – Mrs Veronica Bannan
  • Teacher of Music – Mr Kevin Camrass (current Staff member)
  • Teacher of Drama/English & Acting Head of Creative Arts – Ms Bianca den Hollander
  • PA to College Principal – Mrs Lisa Locke
  • PA to College Deputy Principal – Mrs Paula Badger (current Staff member)
  • Finance Officer – Mrs Melinda Sommerville (current Staff member)
  • College Receptionist – Ms Anna Carter
  • Teacher of HASS – Mr Cheyne Moodley
  • AV Support Officer– Mr Liam Gilliland
  • Learning Support Teacher – Miss Clare Mackie
  • Learning Support Teacher – Miss Kirsty Muller
  • Teacher of RE, ENG, HASS – Mr Edward Russell
  • Administration Support Officer (Co-Curricular Music) Mrs Melinda Bell (current Staff member)
  • Creative and Performing Arts Support Officer (.4FTE) Ms Ally Garside (current Staff member)

Fixed Term Contract Positions 2021


  • Mrs Chelsea Parakas – Acting Director – Pedagogy and Learning Innovations (current Staff member)
  • Mr Steven Wallace – Acting Head of Faculty – English (current Staff member)
  • Ms Kate Albury – Acting Director of Culture (current Staff member)
  • Mrs Fiona Engwirda – 12-month contract (current Staff member)
  • Mr Aaron Lee – 12-month contract (current Staff member)
  • Mr Chris Charnock – 3-term contract (current Staff member)
  • Ms Veronica Phillips - 12-month contract (current Staff member)
  • Ms Kerrie Petersen - 12-month contract (current Staff member)
  • Mr Daniel Dilger – 6-month contract (current Staff member)
  • Miss Irene McLaughlin – 12-month contract
  • Mr Kent Bulger (Term 1)
  • Mr Michael Bramwell (Term 1)
PASTORAL MATTERS

I encourage you to keep in contact with your son’s House Dean and utilise their expertise in supporting your son whenever required. 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 evening scheduled for Monday, 1 February.

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 provided directly to the College Office.

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, and his Tutor Group and Year Level. Any lost items will be placed in the Student Office until claimed by their owner. This should be the first place to contact when looking for missing items.

If your son has a reason for not wearing the correct uniform, please send a note 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, school tie and their College blazer. All other students will wear the College grey jumper and school tie during these terms.

Whilst there is a great diversity of hairstyles popular amongst our students (and those at other schools), the College’s Hair and Grooming Policy can 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.

We ask that students do not wear Smart Watches to school as these devices have a capacity to impact on student concentration similar to mobile phones. After discussions with similar schools, we made the decision to no longer allow the use of Smart Watches on school premises. Smart Watches will be treated the same as mobile phones, and will be confiscated, handed to the Student Office and a detention will be issued by the House Dean.

The Attendance Roll is taken each day at morning Tutor Group and during each class. 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 so that their presence can be recorded. 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 to parents of any students who have been recorded as absent without parent notification. This will usually be sent after Morning Tea.

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. Please read the College’s Assessment Policy which can be found on REALM, regarding processes with respect to assessment. Assessment schedules for semester one will be released early in term one.

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. 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.

The issue of students driving to school is a complex one. Parents or carers of senior 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.

The Twamley Street entrance to the College is closed permanently. Students who are dropped off or picked up in Signal Row must use the Zeehan Lane entrance. This is quite a narrow laneway. Consequently, it is most important that anyone using this lane be 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 do not park in the driveway of any resident’s properties adjoining the College.

CO-CURRICULAR MATTERS

Sports and Culture: 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 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 REALM for correct information pertaining to performance facilities, ovals/courts, and timings. It is essential that all students check Daily Notifications in REALM and their REALM groups for all news and associated training and playing schedules.

All sporting activities for students in Years 5 to 12 are coordinated by the College Director of Sport, Mr Jim Potts, whilst all cultural activities for students in Years 5 to 12 are coordinated by the College Director of Culture, Mrs Kate Albury.

Students who sign up for sporting commitments are expected to fulfil their responsibilities to attend team trainings and weekend fixtures. It is an expectation that competing for St Patrick’s College should take priority over club commitments. I ask all families to support this position.

Registration forms for the Instrumental Music Program in 2021 will be available in Week 1.

The College will again offer Debating, Public Speaking and Chess 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.

SERVICE & ADVOCACY

St Patrick’s offers an extensive range of service and advocacy opportunities to our young men. We encourage them to be active members of society who can help to make the world a better place for all people. Involvement in the Paddy’s Van ministries, offering friendship, food and service to people in need, is available to young men in all year levels at the College. More information about the Van and its ministry can be found on Realm or by contacting Mr Clint McGoldrick our Program Leader for Ministry and Service. St Patrick’s encourages our young men to learn about and speak out on issues of injustice in the community and we run ERA for Change (Edmund Rice Advocacy) as a program for students to work together to respond to issues they are concerned about – information about ERA for Change can be found on Realm or by contacting Mr Tim Kenny.

SCHOOL FEES & 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 families can pay fees. The payment of school fees is a condition of enrolment at St Patrick’s College. 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. 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 College Business Manager, Mr Liam Casey.

COMMUNICATION

There are many opportunities that occur during the year for parents to meet with teachers, Group Tutor and House Dean. A list of the direct telephone numbers to many of the staff at the College is set out on the College Calendar. We use REALM, Parent Portal, Smart Phone App and Facebook as communication channels. Access to REALM and the Parent Portal are via a Login which will be emailed to new families. I encourage you to familiarise yourself with the various communication media used by the College and to utilise them throughout the year.

I am aware that some parents may 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. I would also remind parents who administer and communicate through such sites that they are to do so in accordance with our College Social Media Guidelines. If you have any concerns regarding communication, please contact Ms Lesley Sims on 3631 9059.

At the end of last year, I communicated that we would reprint the College Yearbook due to some significant errors. This is in the process of being completed and we will pass the new version onto the students as soon as they have been received. We will post a copy to the senior cohort of 2020.


St Patrick’s College is a great community because of the significance that we place on partnership and cooperation. It is our firm belief that our school community is an exciting and enjoyable place because of the people within it. I urge all members to contribute in whatever way possible so that our young men receive the best possible quality holistic education. I wish each member of the College community the very best in 2021 and I look forward to meeting with you throughout the year.

God Bless, 

Mr Chris Mayes
College Principal