As this is our last week of the year for our students, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all families for your support throughout this year. We have much to be grateful for as a community, and I certainly appreciate the wonderful people that we have within the St Patrick’s community.

During this week, I had the opportunity to attend the end of year liturgies and morning teas for our young men in Years 5 and 6. I cannot get over how much the young men have grown throughout the year, not just in physical size but also in confidence and manner. I hope that all the families, in Year 5 particularly, have enjoyed their first year at the College. Likewise, next year will see our Year 6 students enlarge as a cohort with new students to start their secondary schooling. I am sure that this will also be an exciting time for them.

During this week, much action has taken place in the rooms at the bottom of the Morrissey Building. Work will start on rebuilding this area as soon as next Monday. We will have a great new area ready to start the new academic year that will house our exceptional learner’s room as well as a refurbished Year 5 classroom and two other rooms.

The end of this term will also be quite a sad time for our staff as we will farewell some long-serving members as well as others who have been with us on short term contracts. The full-time staff members who will be leaving include Mrs Nicole Draisey, Mr Peter Bancroft who are both retiring and have been at the College for 20 years or longer. Mr Steven Lawrence and Mr Timothy Merrett have both been at St Patrick’s for over 10 years. They will also leave us at the end of next week.

I would also like to thank Mr Kev Van der Weide, Ms Jan Martens, Ms Nastassia O’Hearn, Mrs Megan McVeigh, Mrs Sara Lodder and Mrs Taryn Clarke who have been a part of the College for varying times of the year replacing teachers on leave. Their contribution to our community during this time has been very much appreciated.

Also, Mrs Sandra Cartwright will be taking a 12 month break for leave, and Mrs Kate Belfrage and Mrs Ashleigh Walker, will also be absent on Maternity Leave from the beginning of next year. I hope that they all enjoy their leave during the year and Kate and Ashleigh enjoy becoming mothers for the first time.

Over the coming weeks before Christmas, there are two significant staff and student trips. Our Indian immersion group will leave this Sunday. Eight students will be accompanied by Mr Luke Royes, Mrs Janet Garside and Mr Adam McPhee. They will spend just over two weeks in India. The following Thursday night, 15 students will leave for a European experience accompanied by Mr Matthew Seers, Mrs Anne-Maree Bliss and Mr Michael Alvisio. I would like to thank each staff member for making themselves available to provide these opportunities to our young men.

We also have a group of Volleyball players attending a tournament in Melbourne. The team will be accompanied by Mr Steve Copping and Mr Clint McGoldrick. There will also be many clinics, camps and competitions for Volleyball, Swimming and Cricket during the latter stages of the January holidays. I would like to recognise the work of Mr Doug Locke, Mr Daniel Nethery and Mr Jacob Jennings in planning these activities and thank the staff who will be involved with running some of the sessions.

Over the course of the final two weeks of this year, the College Leadership Team have been planning our priorities for 2019. These priorities will form the basis for our whole school professional development for the teaching staff during the course of next year. I will share these priorities with all families during our information nights at the beginning of next year.

We recently received our Year 12 QCS results. We are very happy with the overall results and how much the students have improved since we started gathering their performance data over their last two years. 53% of our students obtained an A or B on the test. This is a strong result for the cohort and is, once again, above State averages. Each young man who was OP eligible will receive his final Overall Position (OP) Score in the week leading into the Christmas period.

We finished our school year with the students by celebrating the season of Advent and having a little bit of fun with Jingles and Snowflake. We left the young men with the message that if we really mean “Live Jesus in our Hearts”, we must show this by our words and actions. These ideals cannot be promoted but left at our school gates. I would encourage all families to have this discussion with their son during the Advent period and reinforce our message of bringing out the best and love of others.

Live Jesus in our hearts

Mr Chris Mayes – College Principal