SEMESTER 1, 2019 - Acting Principal's Message

Wednesday, 03 Jul 2019


Dear Members of the St Patrick’s College Family

Your son’s Semester One, 2019 report was made available through the Parent Portal on Monday, 1 July. He will also be able to access the report himself through the Student Café from the same date. Please take some time to review this report with him to assist him to determine whether you both believe this report to be a true reflection of his abilities. We believe that it is an important practice for our young men to take some time to reflect upon their reports and determine what worked well for them within their studies over the semester. Likewise, it is also important to identify the challenges that they encountered in their schoolwork and study and consider ways to further improve on their results over the remainder of the year. The following steps are one possible way of reviewing the report with him. These steps are more suited to students in Years 7-12.

  • Establish the target results that he set for himself for this semester with his group tutor at the beginning of the year;
  • Compare his results with those that he set as a target for each subject;
  • Review the subjects that he may not have achieved the target and note down the things that worked well for him in the subject and the challenges that stopped him from achieving the target;
  • Review the overall subject results and identify what strengths and challenges he found over the semester;
  • Note down questions that will be useful to ask the teacher at the parent/teacher interviews;
  • Discuss new targets with your son for the coming semester;
  • Work with him to list a series of actions that he will need to make to achieve the target. This should be done from an “overall” perspective as well as individual subjects.

Students in Years 5 and 6 will need much assistance in articulating their challenges and what they can do to improve. Their classroom teachers will be a great resource for this. At the beginning of the year, these students set goals around social well-being and friendship, schoolwork and sporting and cultural activities. Parents of these young men might like to ask their son to try and recall what they discussed with their teachers and whether they achieved what they wanted to in these areas. It is also worthwhile helping them set others in these areas for the rest of the year. Rather than concentrate too much on results, it might be more relevant at this age to also discuss behaviours in class and at school. Some suggestions might include:

  • What they like most about school;
  • If they feel safe and comfortable at school and with their group of friends;
  • Any co-curricular goals that they might want to set for the remainder of the year;
  • How do they feel that went in their results for the semester;
  • What do they think that they can do to improve;
  • What could they do better;
  • What they found most challenging.

The last four questions are directly related to their reports and I am sure that you will agree that the boys will find this difficult to articulate without your expertise in drawing this information from them. In terms of how they can improve, it might be worthwhile to set simple behavioural tasks that they can do in class. These can then be followed up with the teacher at parent/teacher interviews so that they are also aware of the behaviours that your son would like to display in class for the remainder of the year.

This reflection process will also assist you and your son in your discussions with his subject teachers during the parent/teacher interviews to be held on Tuesday 23 July as you will have some clear questions to ask for clarity, assistance and feedback given the short meeting times.

If your son is undertaking his senior studies in Year 12 and completing an OP pathway, he will receive his “bubble report” and other feedback and OP estimation during his meeting with his academic mentor. Parents are also able to be a part of these discussions by booking an interview with the mentor during the parent/teacher Interviews. Mr Adam McPhee will send out more information regarding this process.

Parent / Teacher Interviews

Parent / Teacher Interviews will be held in the Christian Brothers Building on Tuesday, 23 July commencing at 1:30pm and concluding at 8:30pm. We expect all students to attend these meetings so that they can also be a part of the discussions regarding their progress within their subjects and what actions they can take to further improve. Students in Years 5 - 11 will be dismissed from classes at 12:30pm before the interviews begin. Students in Year 12 will be dismissed at 2:30pm after sitting a QCS Trial.

Interview bookings will open on Monday, 15 July at 4:00pm via REALM. Please ensure that you have access to REALM and try to avoid booking on a mobile phone. If you have any technical difficulties accessing REALM please email the St Patrick's College IT Department via servicedesk@stpatricks.qld.edu.au. If you have forgotten your password, please use the Password Reset link. When resetting your password, an email will be sent to the email address you have registered with the College with a security code required to change your password. For security reasons, the College does not keep a record of any parent's password. If you have forgotten your Parent Code, please email office@stpatricks.qld.edu.au to obtain this information.

Many of our young men have worked hard and achieved impressive results during the first semester. I hope that all our students view this first semester report as a fair indication of their efforts over this time. In the case of the students who feel that they did not work to their potential, this report offers them an opportunity to consider what may need to be done to reach it. I have also noted that there are still too many of our young men who are not completing their homework as required or spending the recommended time doing their study and revision work once they have completed their written homework. I am also concerned about the number of hours that some of our young men are spending on computer gaming and social media sites. Changed habits in these areas will reap rewards immediately.

However, these are not the only reasons why some students do not achieve to their potential. Consequently, it is important to have a positive and supportive dialogue with your son(s) if he has not achieved to the best of his abilities or not tried as hard as he could have over this time. If he struggles with knowing what to do in terms of revision or study, I would encourage you to seek assistance from his teachers during the interviews. It is important that all our students work hard to develop and maintain a solid work ethic as this attribute will be significant to them no matter what pathway they may take upon completion of their schooling. These habits should be developed from their beginning in Year 5 (or Year 7) and be honed over the remainder of their years at the College. I would urge all parents to work with their sons to develop a sensible and balanced approach to all their activities within and outside of school so that they are working to achieve to their own maximum potential with their studies.

2020 Subject Selection

During Term 3 students currently in Years 7, 8, 9 and Year 10 will undertake a subject selection process for 2020. There will also be an evening for Year 12 parents and students for an update and explanation of the planning and progress on the QCS preparation, OP and VET pathways and a representative from QTAC to inform students about tertiary entry procedures.

Students in Year 9 will undertake a different Year 10 program than we have offered in the past. Consequently, parents who may have had a son who completed Year 10 in the past will need to understand the new changes. The new program has been developed to assist our young men prepare for the new Senior Assessment and Tertiary Entrance system that they will undertake during their senior years of schooling (2019/2020). There is an added Parent/Student Information Evening to present this new structure on Thursday 8 August. It is most important that every student and parent/caregiver attend this meeting as we will discuss the new Senior Assessment and Tertiary Entrance system that these young men will commence from the end of next year. It will be held in the Christian Brothers Building commencing at 6:00pm.

I have listed below the dates for these Parent/Student Information Evenings and strongly encourage parents to include these dates in their diary as we discuss significant information at the meetings:

  • Thursday 8 August, Year 12 Parent/Student Information and QTAC Evening in the Callan Centre commencing at 6:00pm.
  • Thursday 8 August, Year 9/2020 and Year 10/2020 Subject Selection Evening in the Christian Brothers Building commencing at 6:00pm.
  • Monday 12 August, Year 11/2020 Subject Selection Evening in the Christian Brothers Building commencing at 6:00pm. Year 8/2020 Subject Selection Evening in the Callan Centre commencing at 6:00pm.
  • Friday 16 August, Year 11/2020 SET Planning day (current Year 10 students). No classes will be held for the Year 10 cohort on this day. Students and parents will be provided with an appointment time to discuss their subject choices for Years 11 and 12.
Staff Movements

The College is pleased to inform parents of a number of staff changes that will occur starting Term 3:

  • Mrs Anne-Maree Bliss, Year 6/7 Maths Science Teacher will be replaced by Ms Jodi Biggar.
  • Mrs Talya Fitzsimon, Religion and Science Teacher replacement will be announced shortly.
  • Mr Jacob Jennings, Strength and Conditioning Coordinator has been replaced by Mr Luke Stutter.
  • Mr Paul Pollock, RE and English Teacher will be replaced by Mrs Eloise Svendsen.
  • Ms Monique Matthews will be replaced by Mrs Fiona Engwirda.
  • Mr Nic Sculpher will join the HPE Faculty for Term 3.
  • Mr Rob Wood, Lab Technician will be replaced by Ms Sarah Powell.
  • Mr Chris Brown will be taking leave for Semester 2 and be replaced by Mr Tom Christie.
Pastoral Issues

Student reports inevitably bring some challenging news to some of our students and parents/caregivers. If issues arise from your discussion with your son causing you to feel that you may need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the staff of the College. Perhaps as a starting point you could contact your son’s House Dean to raise the issue and work with them to seek the best course of action or relevant staff member to contact. Our teaching staff are very committed to assisting and supporting each young man achieve to the best of his abilities.

Forming ‘Men of Action’ in Partnership with Parents

Monday, 26 August 6:00pm - 7:30pm parents of students in Years 6, 8 and 11.

The St Patrick’s College Student Wellbeing and Behaviour Development team have in recent years, worked closely with 'Unleashing Personal Potential', 'Real Talk', 'Rite Journey Program’, 'Rite of Passage Institute', 'PARTY Program@PA Hospital' and 'Brainstorm Productions' to develop a sequential Formation Program titled ‘Journey to Men of Action’.

On Monday, 26 August St Patrick’s College will again launch our second ‘Working in Partnership with Parents’ evening. The purpose of this event is to inform parents of the topics covered by their son through the ‘Journey to Men of Action’ Formation Program and to further strengthen the partnership with our families.

Grandparents Liturgy and Morning Tea

A reminder that the Grandparents’ Liturgy is scheduled for Friday 26 July, 9:00am in the Callan Centre Building. Please contact Mrs Helen Righetti on 3631 9014 or hrighetti@stpatricks.qld.edu.au to indicate your attendance.

Grooming

Haircuts and Jewellery

I would expect that you and your son are quite familiar with the College Policy on haircuts and jewellery by now. If you are still a little unsure, it is outlined in REALM under Student Life. To assist us, please remind your son of these guidelines by the time he returns to school otherwise he will be required to leave the College until the matter is rectified.

Uniform

During the third term all students are required to continue to wear the College tie as part of their uniform. All students in Years 10, 11 and 12 are also required to wear their College blazer each day. Students in Years 5-9 are expected to wear their grey jumper with their uniform. The hoodie is only to be worn with sports uniforms for Years 5-6 or on Saturdays at sport (all years).

Sporting and Cultural Program

I was very impressed with the dedication and commitment of students within the Term 2 Co-Curricular activities and I would like to think that this support for our co-curricular program continues in the second semester. It is an expectation of the College that a student’s participation in the College’s Co-curricular program take precedence over club involvement. Students who choose to also participate in club activities, should not do so at the expense of the College program.  I ask for your support on this issue.  It would be my hope that, again in this Trimester of sport, we display the strong St Patrick’s spirit and support. The Trimester 2 Co-curricular Awards will be held on Tuesday, 30 July, beginning at 1:40pm. Students who will receive awards on this date will be notified early next term by the Sports Office.

College Security

The College has completed a review of the access points of the College. At present we have a number of entry points for students and staff. As a result of this review the College will implement the following:

  • Gates at the entry points of Yundah Street and Zeehan Lane will be closed at 9:00am and reopen at 2:30pm to allow for student dismissal.
  • All staff, students and visitors to the College will only have access to the College during the hours of 9:00am- 2:30pm through the main entrances of Park Parade and Pier Avenue.
  • All Visitors must report directly to the Main Office or Student Office not directly to the classrooms. These new requirements are for the safety of all members of the community.

Building Development

Over the holiday period, the construction of the Café precinct will commence. This will certainly impact on movement around the campus for both staff and students. We are hoping that the majority of the concrete removal and demolition work will occur over the break.

I take this opportunity to thank parents for their ongoing support. Our partnership with your son and his educational outcomes is very much enhanced through your support and interest in his education. I invite you to continue to liaise with the College and seek information and support as required.

I wish everyone a productive and fulfilling second semester.

God Bless.

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Mr Frank Torrisi
Acting College Principal
St Patrick's College