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Last Friday morning I had the great privilege of attending our annual Grandparent's Mass. Once again we had many parents, grandparents and at least one great grandparent (93 years old) attend the Mass and morning tea. This not only a great opportunity for our young men to show off their school to their grandparents but also a chance for the grandparents to spend some time with their grandsons in their school environment. It would be fair to say that there was much pride displayed from everyone across the morning.

Certainly this event reminds us of the importance of immediate and extended family. In some European cultures extended family members are residents within families. Whereas our Australian culture this is not usually the case due to many reasons. However, that does not mean that grandparents are not revered by their grandchildren. One great attribute that grandparents do have is the gift of hindsight. They have seen and experienced many things within their own lives and have become much wiser people as a result. It is a consequence of adolescence that many of our young men will rely on their own judgements or worldviews to make decisions or take certain actions. Realistically, these views are often very narrow and based on peer group commentary rather than wiser counsel. I would like to think that no matter how old our communities might make our grandparents feel, their own families (particularly their grandchildren) respect their advice and make the most of what they can learn from their wise grandparents.

On Tuesday, we held a spirit assembly for the College Cross Country Team. This assembly allowed us to congratulate the team members on their selection and to thank them for representing the College in this week-end’s AIC Cross Country Championships at Limestone Park in Ipswich. The team has been training very hard for most of this year and we all wish them well in their endeavours on Saturday. We are running a bus for supporters on Saturday and hope to have a number of our young men travel to support the team. If your son is interested, please ensure that he has registered for the bus through the sports office.

Unfortunately we have had to postpone the SPC Sportsman Lunch that was to be held on Wednesday 10 August (EKKA holiday). The numbers who had registered for the event were well down compared to last year and were not enough to support such an event at this time. We will review the situation and decide whether it is worthwhile trying again with the concept at a later date. I apologize to all of the parents who have registered for this event. It was not a decision that was taken lightly. We will advise the community of the new date as soon as possible if we go ahead later this year.

Our students currently in Years 10 and 8 are about to make their subject selections for next year. In the case of the Year 10 students, they will make some important decisions regarding their preferred study pathways and subjects that suit that choice. Each students has participated in a career program facilitated by Business Improvement Australia (BIA) as well as gathering further advice from Heads of Curriculum on Friday. The students and their parents will also meet with the Heads of Curriculum and CLT members next Monday evening to gather further information and advice about subject choices. This will be an important meeting as we will also share information and data that has been collected in regard to each student and explain how this can be interpreted and used to assist in making informed choices. The final stage of the selection will take place on Friday 19 August when each of the students and parents meet with their staff mentor for final discussion and selections. This is a thorough process and hopefully one that gives as much assistance and advice as possible to help in the decision-making.

The Year 8 students will meet with the Heads of Curriculum tomorrow to hear more about each elective (subject) choice that they have available. They will meet again with the CLT and Heads of Curriculum on Monday 15 August before deciding on two elective subjects to complement their core subjects throughout Year 9. They will also participate in the Year 9 Rite Journey program as well throughout the year.

Congratulations to our senior theatre sports team who successfully competed in their semi-finals last week. The team moves into the State finals at the Power House theatre on Tuesday 23 August.

On Tuesday 16 August we will hold our College Open Day. This event starts directly after school at 3:00pm and concludes at 6:00pm. We are expecting a large crowd and have requested that our young men remain at school until 6:00pm and assist with family tours, classroom work and displays and any other areas they may have been asked to assist. I would ask all of our parents to assist us by allowing your son to remain at school during this time. Likewise we are also looking for parent volunteers to assist with the BBQ. If you are able to help cook some food for our guests and also be available to help them with any questions about your experiences at the College, please contact Mrs Stacey Bishop through the College office or at sbishop@stpatricks.qld.edu.au. Also please remind any friends or acquaintances who may have children who wish to attend the College to be sure that they attend.

I hope to catch up with many parents at the Cross Country on Saturday and Year 10 parents next Monday evening.

God Bless

Mr Chris Mayes - College Principal