TERM 1 - 2019: PRINCIPAL'S MESSAGE

Friday, 11 Jan 2019


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. At St Patrick’s we take pride in offering a holistic education that is founded on a welcoming and inclusive community where strong relationships and partnerships between staff, students and parents is integral. I encourage each of you to join wholeheartedly in the community life of the College as it is our aim to work with you to allow your son(s) to develop into the best young man that he can be during his journey with us.

The College Leadership Team has spent much time planning and preparing for another great year at the College. During this year, it is our intention to consolidate on the changes that have occurred to develop a strong culture of learning within the school. We are looking forward to meeting with families during the information evenings and College activities to elaborate our vision and priorities for the year. Our priority school agenda is to improve the literacy outcomes of our young men. This will be achieved through:

  • Consolidation of teaching practices using the Art and Science of Teaching as our pedagogical framework and teacher data literacy to improve learning outcomes;
  • Enhanced teaching staff development with differentiated teaching practices;
  • Building quality feedback into our educational practices.

Furthermore, we will renew our engagement with the Charter for Catholic Schools in the Edmund Rice Tradition by addressing the recommendations made to us in the EREA School Renewal report done in 2018. During 2018, the staff have also developed an (updated) draft document outlining whole school student development program and procedures. This will be completed and implemented during this year as well.

Finally, 2019 heralds the end of the Queensland OP Tertiary entrance system and the beginning of the new QCE 2020 program. This year’s senior cohort will be the last to complete the OP Tertiary entrance system and the Year 11 cohort will commence the new system. Whilst it will be a transition year, much planning has been put into this and I am very confident that the transition will take place very smoothly. I can assure the students and families of Year 12 students that their final year will be given as much attention and energy as we have always given to any senior cohort. The new system that we will start with Year 11 students will have different requirements for the students and staff and this will be particularly evident in 2020. This will also mean some quite significant changes to our school planning, events and organization in the 2020 calendar year. More information about that will be given during the course of the year.

Once again, I would particularly like to thank Mr Darren Wells and the property services team for the work that they have done in preparing the College grounds and facilities for the beginning of our school year. These works have included the building of extra individual and small group music instrumental rooms, the refurbishment of the bottom level of the Morrissey Building, the refurbishment of the upper floor of the Waterford Building and building a new office in the O’Connor Building.

Professional Development Days for Teaching Staff

Professional development activities for all teaching staff will commence starting 21 January. The House Deans, Heads of Curriculum and new teachers will commence on that date, whilst all other staff will commence on Tuesday 22January and participate in professional development and planning activities and workshops until the beginning of classes on Wednesday 30 January.

Important Dates

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

  • Wednesday, 30 January at 8:30am - Years 5, 7 and 12 and all new students in other years levels commence.
  • Thursday, 31 January - All students classes resume
  • Wednesday, 30 and Thursday, 31 January - Student ID Photos
  • Monday, 4 February - House Family Fun Night for all new students
  • Monday, 4 February - Years 5, 6 and 7 Parent/Son Information Evening
  • Wednesday, 6 February - Years 10 and 11 Parent/Son Information Evening
  • Friday, 8 February - Opening College Mass and Commissioning of Year 12
  • Monday, 11 February - Year 12 Leadership Afternoon and Year 12 Parent/Son Information Evening
  • Monday, 11 February - Year 9 Rite Journey Information Evening
  • Tuesday, 12 February - College Scholars Assembly
  • Friday, 22 February - Inter-House Swimming Carnival
  • Monday, 25 February to Thursday, 28 February - Year 5 Camp and Retreat

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

The online calendar in REALM has now been updated for 2019. This can be synched via the College APP with your Outlook calendar.

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. These include swimming camp and clinics, cricket clinics and competitions and AFL clinics.

Academic Matters

The 2018 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; 21.1% of the students achieved an OP between 1-5, whilst 60.2% achieved an OP score between 1-10 and 88% received an OP score between 1-15. Special congratulations to Harry Lawrence, Maxwell Freedman, Callum Waite, and Harrison Wellman on achieving an OP 1. All students who received a score between OP 1-5 will be acknowledged at the College Scholars Assembly which will be held on Tuesday, 12 February.

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. During the course of this year 14 young men undertook a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship. We also has 1 student complete a Certificate IV course as a part of his studies whilst 35 students completed certificate III courses, 40 students achieved at a Certificate II level and another 98 students completed Certificate I courses. Th 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. 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.

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 Troy Schultz for assistance. All requests for subject changes must be made within the first TWO weeks of each term.

Often, at the beginning of the year, we are often contacted by some parents requesting for their son to be placed with particular staff members. It is important to note that 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. Therefore, I would ask all families to understand these circumstances and refrain from making such requests as some young men assume that the changes will happen and have to deal with the disappointment afterwards.

Parent Information Evenings

We have organised a series of Parent Information Meetings to be held early in Term 1. These meetings are set aside to assist parents and students with information and advice regarding the academic and pastoral expectations and processes for the year. I strongly encourage parents to avail themselves to attend these meetings as they will focus on ways in which we can work in partnership to best support your son to cope with the rigours of school and academic expectations 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 Mr Tim Kenny, Mrs Lorraine O’Sullivan, Mr Bernie Haughey, Mr Aaron Kerr, Mrs Elizabeth Gibb, Mr Geoff Samuels and Mr Paul Toohey back from their leave in 2018.

We also welcome the following full-time staff into the College:

  • Ms Ralda Deoki (Director – Pedagogy and Learning Innovations)
  • Mrs Celia King (Director – Junior School)
  • Mrs Tara Dunn (Program Leader Religious Education Years 7-9)
  • Mr Trent Sellars (Teacher of Humanities and Business)
  • Mrs Sarah Ferguson (Teacher of Senior Economics)
  • Mrs Gayle Rush (Teacher Aide Position)
  • Mrs Melinda Sommerville (Administration Assistant)

Mrs Kate Belfrage, Ms Nicola Bone, Mrs Ashleigh Walker, Mrs Katie Moro and Mrs Sandra Cartwright will be on leave during all of 2019.

The following staff will join us in 2019 to replace staff on leave or undertaking other duties.

Contract

  • Mr Samuel Sprenger (Teacher of Biology and Junior Science)
  • Mr Paul Pollock (Teacher of English, Humanities and Religion)
  • Mr Steven Wallace (Teacher of English, Humanities and Religion)
  • Mrs Lucy Hulme (Teacher of Media Studies, Art and Religion)
  • Ms Celeste Cook (Teacher of Mathematics and Junior Science)
  • Ms Nina Lau (Teacher of Mathematics)
  • Mr Michael Bramwell (Teacher of Manual Arts)
  • Mr Matthew Ingram (Acting Sports Performance Coordinator)

Pastoral Matters

House Deans
The House Dean’s role is significant 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. 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, 4 February. This year we have three new members of the House Dean team, including Mr Tim Hoysted (Mooney), Ms Paige McDonald (Rice) and Mr Andrew Scanlan (Acting - Treacy).

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 has been revamped this year into a student planner. The new design has been put together by Mr Troy Schultz and the Heads of Curriculum team. It is hoped that the new style will better assist students with their planning over the year. We will keep a close look over how well this new planner is embraced by the young men. There will no longer be an expectation for parents to sign the new planner at the end of each week. However, we would certainly encourage parents to review the new format and watch whether it is being used well over the course of this year. Any feedback would be appreciated. Replacement Student Planners will be available from the Student Office at a cost.

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, and 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 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 has now been phased out and is no longer part of the College uniform.

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 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.

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 Patrick's College and return them to the library as soon as possible.

Students Driving to School
TThe 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 park in the drive way of the residents 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 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 Dan Nethery, 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 2019 activities begin with the following:

AIC Cricket
Cricket Clinics and Internal Trials will be held at Curlew Park on January, 14 and 15. Some players will also be asked to play on January 23 in matches against Ambrose Treacy. For more detailed information please check the Cricket page on REALM and your Cricket Group under the “my groups” tab in REALM for all information and dates. If you have any queries, please contact Mr Daniel Nethery on dnethery@stpatricks.qld.edu.au or email sport@stpatricks.qld.edu.au

Volleyball
Volleyball training will resume from January 30. For all relevant information please check the Volleyball page on REALM and your Volleyball Group under the “my groups” tab in REALM for all information and dates. If you have any queries, please contact Mr Steve Copping on scopping@stpatricks.qld.edu.au or email sport@stpatricks.qld.edu.au

Swimming
The Swimming Camp will be held at Tallebudgera from Sunday, 19 January. Training will resume on Thursday, 31 January. For all training and meet dates please check the Swimming page on REALM and your AIC Swim Squad Group under the “my groups” tab in REALM for all information and dates. If you have any queries, please contact Ms Kelsey Duke on kduke@stpatricks.qld.edu.au or email sport@stpatricks.qld.edu.au

SPC Gym
Strength and conditioning sessions for first squads are underway. The Athlete Development Program is undergoing some changes and information will be published on Realm in the coming weeks. If you have any queries please contact Mr Jacob Jennings on jjennings@stpatricks.qld.edu.au or email sport@stpatricks.qld.edu.au for more information on using the gym.

Instrumental Music Program
The College will further expand the Instrumental Music Program in 2019. Registration will be available in Week 1.

Band Program
The College Band Program continues to develop and will take new directions in 2019. 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 Fess 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 and Textbook Collection

To avoid long queues during this period we have allocated days for each year level. Please refer to the College website or Facebook page for details. If your allocated day is not suitable please feel free to come on another day.

There is also now a booking system in place. Please refer to the College website for details. If you have any queries regarding this, please contact the uniform shop on 3631 9055. 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.

Text Book Collection will commence on Friday 18 January. Each Year level has been set a day for collection as set out below. The books can be collected from the Library.

  • Year 7: 18 January
  • Year 8: 21 January
  • Year 8 & 9: 22 January
  • Year 10: 23 January
  • Year 11 & 12: 24 & 25 January
  • Year 5 & 6 text books will be handed out in class by the teacher when classes begin.

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. Students will collect their laptops in their year levels at school if they have been replaced.

Communication

There are many opportunities that occur during the year for parents to meet with teachers, Group Tutors and House Deans. I encourage all families to make the most of such opportunities. Please do not hesitate to contact the College if you have any concerns.

Our Learning Management System, REALM, is the main source of communication within our community which can be accessed via the College APP along with our weekly College newsletter (The Calling), and our social media platforms, the College Facebook page and College Instagram account. Access to REALM and the Parent Portal are via a Login which will be emailed to new families early in 2019.

I encourage you to familiarise yourself with the various communication platforms 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 2019 and I look forward to meeting with you throughout the year.

God Bless.

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Mr Chris Mayes
College Principal