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Tuesday was a very special day for Catholics in Australia as it was the Feast day of St Mary of the Cross (Mary MacKillop). St Mary of the Cross is Australia’s first and only saint in our Church. She particularly holds great significance for our schools as she was a nun and educator within Queensland amongst her many other great achievements.

On Tuesday afternoon, we held our Open Day. The main purpose of this afternoon and evening is to open our College to prospective students and their parents. I believe that the event was a great success in that regard. I would particularly like to recognise Mrs Jackie Upton, Mr Frank Torrisi, Mrs Stacey Bishop, Mr Darren Wells and Mr Jonathan Miers for their great work in planning and setting up for the event.

The other more indirect success of our Open Day is the chance for us to allow our young men to show off their school to other students and families. The very positive feedback that we have received regarding our young men as tour guides and classroom and activity volunteers has been simply wonderful. They have an obvious pride in being a SPC Man of Action that very clearly resonated in their interactions with so many people on Tuesday. As a staff member, I get a great sense of pride in looking at the confidence that our young men have in themselves and the good manners and humility in how they interact with other adults and young men. I find that to be one of the great success of our Open Day as well. On behalf of the College staff, I would like to thank the many students who assisted us on the afternoon and to their families to allowed them to be a part of this activity given their own family commitments.

Tomorrow, we will start our interviews with families and young men who wish to start at St Patrick’s in Year 5 (2019). These interviews will carry on for a period of three weeks. I always enjoy interviewing the young men and their families as it is refreshing to hear about their thoughts and dreams for the future and the role that they see St Patrick’s playing in that journey. We are blessed as teachers to be given the opportunity to work with families to develop and form boys into young men of substance. It is also a delight to try and interview a young man from Year 3, their enthusiasm is infectious.

This week has also been an active week in terms of student and parent information sessions. On Monday night, we welcomed our Year 10 parents and students to discuss the curriculum organisation and subject selections and processes for Year 11 next year. This is the third stage of the process for these students as they have also had counselling sessions with Business Improvement Australia (BIA) and student workshops with our Heads of Curriculum. The next stage for them will be for them to meet with their parents and an academic mentor as a part of the SET Planning process.

Last night, all the students who are currently in Year 9 met to discuss the new senior assessment and tertiary entrance system that will be introduced in their senior year (2020). This new system has caused us to reconsider how we deliver Year 10 in terms of curriculum delivery and organisational structures. There has been a lot of work done in this area through Ms Elizabeth Gaber, Mr Chris Campbell and the Heads of Curriculum. This is a very different system than we have used in the past because of the pathway into the new system in 2020. We have set up a College staff working party to review the changes and options that we might take to ensure that our students are well prepared for the future changes. These discussions will not focus on our organisational structures and curriculum delivery in Years 7-9. This committee is led by Ms Elizabeth Gaber. I would like to thank the many parents and students who attended this evening and I hope that it was a very interesting and useful presentation.

On Wednesday afternoon, our College Cross Country team competed in the AIC Championships at Limestone Park in Ipswich. Overall, our team finished in third position. This is the eighth straight year that our cross country team has finished in the first three place-getters. There were also some very strong individual and age group results. I would like to single out the Open team who finished first in their age group. This team has been very successful every year since Year 8.

We host Marist College Ashgrove in basketball and tennis tomorrow. It will be a big day of sport as both schools have a large number of teams in each sport. Currently, the First V Basketball teams from both schools are undefeated as well.

Once again, we are opening the library from 9:00am for student to do some work and go up to watch the First V play at noon. There will be QCS workshop sessions run by Mr Chris Campbell for the Year 12 students as well. I would encourage as many boys as possible to attend these sessions.

Our College music and choral ensembles, bands and choirs are also in full preparation for the Queensland Catholic Schools Music Festival to be held at Villanova College next week from Thursday through until Sunday afternoon. If you enjoy quality music and singing, I would recommend this event as it attracts some very talented young men and women from Catholic schools across the State.

Mr Chris Mayes - College Principal

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