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On Tuesday, we celebrated St Patrick's Day. This is a very special day for our College. Rather than have a school assembly, the students gathered in their House groups and participated in a Liturgy and then moved to the back oval for the running of the Great Morven Race. I was most impressed by the student spirit and participation during this time. It was a wonderful way to celebrate our College patron saint and I am sure that he would be proud of this great College and what it stands for as well.

I started our last school assembly with a quote…"hard work will always beat talent unless talent works hard". My following argument to the students was that it is what we do after we are born that forms our talents. Some of us will be born with certain genetics that may allow us to have the potential to be better at certain things than others. Sometimes this is referred to as "natural" talent. But I believe that true talent is something that is developed through a will to succeed, persistence and hard work. I also challenged the students to be wary of becoming a one dimensional person. One dimensional objects do not have any depth and the same can be said of one dimensional people. These people focus all of their efforts on one talent to the detriment of all others that they may have or could develop. This can cause them to become very self-centred or ego driven. In turn, this can make them rely on only being successful at what they are good at and not allow them to develop resilience or persistence at other things. I would hate to think that any student at this College thought that a successful school life was confined to simply achieving a school-based apprenticeship, an OP 1 or making the First XV, First XI, First V or First VI. Whilst these may be noble and honest pursuits they are simply one of the many talents that they may acquire and enhance whilst at the College. When we talk about a holistic education, it includes the spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional development of the young men at St. Patrick's. As they develop in these dimensions they will also be able to develop other talents as well.

It is no secret that I see teaching and learning as the core business of schools. This message has been reinforced at the Parent Information Evenings and at our College Assemblies. Our Co-Curricular programs are a part of the teaching and learning but the core is in the classrooms. A most important part of this is to have the students engaged in learning within the classrooms as much as possible. Furthermore, that the teaching staff and parents work in partnership to ensure that our young men understand that homework is an important part of the learning process and that it is always done to the best of their ability. Sports training will be eased significantly over next week due to the start of the exam period. I encourage all of our young men, especially those on exam block, to utilise their time wisely and be well prepared for their tests. In that way, their results will be a true reflection of their efforts and abilities.

This weekend also brings the last round of the first term sports. I would like to thank the many young men who participated in the Volleyball and Cricket teams and hope that your last game is your best. To the Senior students who will be playing their last game for the school in these particular sports, I congratulate you on your team performances and your own efforts. Our Volleyball First VI team is undefeated and the Second VI have lost only two games. The First XI Cricket and Second XI Cricket have both only lost one game during the season as well. These are great results from a great group of young men. I would also like to make special mention of the Paddies Battalion, whose support throughout all of the fixtures this term has been outstanding. Matthew, Roy, Isaak and Ayden have led the battalion with an energy and enthusiasm that has been unrivalled by any other school.

Rather than wish all of our students "good luck" for their forthcoming exams I wish them "good preparation". I would also invite parents to sit down with their sons during the last days of this week and assist them to plan actions for ensuring that they have done enough planning to ensure that they are ready for each of their exams.

I hope to see many of you at the Shindig next Saturday 28 March.

God Bless

Mr Chris Mayes - College Principal