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On behalf of the St Patrick’s College community, I would like to welcome you to the 2018 academic year. It is always great to see our young men walking back through the gates re-energised after their Christmas break. For many families this week is full and overflowing with permission notes, training schedules, new faces and trying to establish new routines. For this reason, my article in week 1 will be short and to the point.

Friendships between Big Bothers and Little Brothers were formed and strengthened. In student well-being circles we talk about the need to provide our young men with positions of responsibility. The benefits of added responsibility were certainly clear this week. The Big Brother program is always seen as a support network for our younger students, however, I believe the men of Year 12 benefit as much, if not more. In one week I have seen these men rise to a new level of maturity. Watching the face of a Year 12 student as he walks a Year 5 Little Brother to catch a bus, or witnessing a group of Year 12’s talking freely to the Year 5 cricket team as they escort them to Curlew Park, are sights I truly wish I could capture and show all of our community. Well done gents.

The other challenge for the College community in Term 1 regarding the formation of relationships is to facilitate the building of friendships within each grade, especially Year 5 and 7. If your son is in Year 5 or 7, I hope he has come home talking passionately about the wonderful activities that have taken place for these grades. This week your son has learnt the School Song, been piped into his first College assembly and shared his lunch breaks with his Big Brother. Please put your son on the spot over the dinner table by asking him to sing the chorus.

Can I encourage all our new families to please ensure they have made contact with their son’s House Dean and Group Tutor. A strong relationship between your family and these members of staff will certainly ensure a smoother journey as your son progresses through St Patrick’s College.

In summary, student well-being and behaviour development is the responsibility of every teacher, every parent and every student. We will work tirelessly as a community to ensure your son feels a sense of belonging and respect within our College community. However, we can only achieve our goals through the formation of strong partnerships with families. Please assist us by ensuring that your son is an active member of our community and that he utilises all the support networks available within the College. Is he attending tutorials? Does he have a practical space designed for study? Is he managing his time effectively? Is he connecting with the community of St Patrick’s via the wonderful co-curricular program?

Fight the Good Fight

Darren Kearney – Dean of Students