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I would like to extend a warm welcome to all the new families within our community. I hope that your son(s) has enjoyed his first few days at his new school. To our continuing families, I hope that you had some time to relax and refresh over the Advent season. I certainly enjoy the beginning of the school year as there is a real buzz of energy from everyone within the school.

On Wednesday morning, we welcomed around 220 new students. Many of these were from Year 5 and Year 7. Our Year 12 students need a huge pat on the back for their assistance and support with their little brothers. They were outstanding, and I am sure will provide excellent leadership and service to our community throughout this year. We also welcomed the new staff members during our assembly yesterday morning.

During the course of last week, the teaching staff returned from their break and participated in a series of professional development and information workshops. These workshops centred around developing strategies and plans to meet our College priorities for 2019. These priorities include:

School Improvement Agenda:

  • Improved Literacy Outcomes (Reading and Writing)

How?

  • Establish Literacy Committee and set literacy targets;
  • Art and Science of Teaching Consolidation;
  • Data for School Improvement Consolidation;
  • Understanding and implementing differentiated teaching practices;
  • Embedding Quality Learning Feedback into our Practices;

Other Priorities

  • Engaging with The Charter for Catholic Schools in the Edmund Rice Tradition;
  • Implementation of new QCE 2020;
  • Implementation of whole school expectations - St Pat’s Way document;
  • Master Plan (2019–2030)

Our College Strategic Plan (2019-2023) has been finalised. The priorities mentioned above are also addressed within the plan

In the past four years we have endeavoured to further improve our College communication channels and resources. Mrs Jackie Upton was appointed to the role of Marketing and Communications Manager. Since her appointment, the communication to all members of the community has been outstanding. It was our vision to have such a role to ensure that everyone was kept as informed as they could and to create an environment where families were not relying on each other to find out about events and other school matters. Whilst, Jackie has done this, I note that there are some social media sites available to families associated with our College. In some cases, our school name and crest has also been used on the sites. Firstly, I would ask that any member of the community that administers such sites to please remove any mention of our College or any use of our crests or emblems. In the coming weeks, I will forward a draft of proposed St Patrick’s social media guidelines for feedback. In the meantime, I would remind all families that the most reliable information regarding events and College activities is through our own sites.

In my address to the students for our first assembly for the year, I asked them to consider planning a New “School” Year Resolution. To provoke some thought I suggested the following considerations:

  • Past experiences have shown us all that we will have good days and some bad days. The plan is to have as few bad days as possible. Most bad days are caused by our reactions to things that do not go to plan. Try and always look for the good in situations. Remember … a pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity and an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.
  • Always look for the good in other people. Try to understand why they think or act in that way and always give them respect. Try and make the hallmark of your time at St Patrick’s about how well you treated other people.
  • Admire the skills and attributes of others but do not waste your time and energy in comparing yourself to them. Bring your own gifts to the community and value yourself just as you are.
  • Stretch yourself by setting high standards and realistic goals and targets. Always be open to change and new ways of thinking and doing things. Believe in yourself and apply persistence, attitude and effort into everything that you do.
  • Rather than aim to be perfect, aim to be authentic in your values and treatment of others and be consistent in what you do.
  • Try and make sure that you say something or do something positive for others every day. Make their day through a smile, acknowledgement, kind words or kind actions.

I would be grateful if parents were able to find the time to sit down with their son and talk about these ideas. As mentioned to the whole school body, we all want to create a safe and enjoyable place for everyone to learn, work and play every day. If everyone considered some of these ideas and really tried to put at least one into practice across the entire year, we would be able to achieve this.

I hope that each young man enjoyed a great start to the new school year and I look forward to catching up with many families at our information nights spread across the next two weeks.

Live Jesus in our Hearts!

Mr Chris Mayes – College Principal