I hope that last Sunday was a wonderful and relaxing day for the many mothers within our community. This day should always be special to our young men (all young men) as their mothers play such a significant role in their development. Last Sunday's gospel message centred on what is meant by love and why it is so important to us. Jesus' story was quite clear, love is not something that is to be stored and used when we want something or to be used as a weapon against someone or as a means of controlling someone. Love is...
I hope that last Sunday was a wonderful and relaxing day for the many mothers within our community. This day should always be special to our young men (all young men) as their mothers play such a significant role in their development. Last Sunday's gospel message centred on what is meant by love and why it is so important to us. Jesus' story was quite clear, love is not something that is to be stored and used when we want something or to be used as a weapon against someone or as a means of controlling someone. Love is always to be unconditional. In other words, there are no conditions that we should place on our love for others. A simple message and concept to understand, but in the frailty of human nature, not one that is easy to practice. In my experience, mothers above all others seem to understand what this means. Their protective and patient manner with their children is true testimony of this no matter what the circumstances. That is not to say that these instincts might not be tough love on occasions, but they are always done with a protective and loving purpose. To all of the mothers within this College community, thank you for what you do for your sons and our community.
I watched a recent ABC news broadcast with a sense of despair. The arrest of a 17 year old young man on serious criminal terrorism charges is beyond my comprehension. At the College assembly on Tuesday, I spoke to the staff and students about this matter. My point to the students is that as we grow older each of us form opinions, assertions and judgements on various matters. Our reactions to certain situations are often based on these things. This is often referred to as our "worldview". It is developed by our experiences, readings, media viewing, peers, families and faith. The older we become the more we experience, read, watch, listen to peers etc. However, the more limited or narrow that a person becomes in their experiences, readings etc., the smaller their worldview may become. Someone in this circumstance will often not be open to other views or influences when they become older because they do not see a need for another point of view. More importantly, their worldview will cause them to react to certain situations in ways that may well be quite unbalanced or inappropriate. A seventeen year old will more likely than not have a relatively small worldview (although they may not think so). Consequently they may well be vulnerable to narrow views through media and peers. My challenge to the student body was to look at their own worldview and see how narrow it might be and always look for ways to expand it. This can easily be done by selecting a contentious matter such as refugees or asylum seekers or abortion etc. and ask what they may feel about this and why. Another simple way is for them to ask themselves what upsets them the most and why this is the case. As parents and adults, it is always good for each of us to model a worldview that accepts tolerance. A tolerant worldview does not mean that a person does not have their own opinions, it simply means that they are informed opinions and ones that are also open to critique and not so narrow that other opinions cannot be considered.
Our Years 5, 7 and 9 students have been busily completing their NAPLAN tests during this week. Much has been said about these tests and in some cases they have polarized opinions. As Principal it is my role to ensure that the tests are administered correctly. As educator, the tests can be a very useful diagnostic tool for each student and the College. It provides us with a "point in time" view of the cohort's abilities in the areas of literacy and numeracy that are tested. Comparisons of these results (and others) over time also allow us to monitor our own teaching strategies and programs to see if they are value adding to the student's progress through school. I find that data to be very valuable to any school. I am also very much aware that the academic development of a child whilst at our College is one dimension of many within our wholistic education at St. Patrick's College.
Yesterday morning I attended the College Foundation Business Breakfast. It was a great morning attended by 80 guests from businesses across the local area. During the breakfast I explained to the group the role of the College Foundation and what great work they do in assisting us with our capital works, bursaries for students who ordinarily could not afford to attend the College and support for our immersions and service programs. It would be fair to say that many of our own community members do not really understand the role of the Foundation. In the coming months this role will be changed to meet the current circumstances of the College and this will be clearly articulated to the community. St. Patrick's is indeed blessed to have a committed group of directors on this board and their role is significant to the College. Watch this space in the future.
I would like to thank all of the Year 10 students and their parents for attending our subject information evening last night. I hope that the information was relevant and useful and sets a clear understanding of the selection process in the coming weeks. I would also like to thank Mr Paul Chesher from Business Improvement Australia for his attendance and explanation of our partnership in this venture. We are very excited about this new program and I am sure that our Year 10 students (and their families) will also benefit greatly.
Last Saturday was a fantastic start to the AIC rugby and football seasons. Our results were outstanding across the age groups and our student behaviour and sportsmanship was exemplary. I would like to thank all of our young men for their great efforts. Likewise our Chess team travelled to Padua on Friday afternoon. They came away from the fixture with a draw, another great effort. This week our Year 5 - 8 games will be at home and the 9 – 12 teams will travel to Villanova's fields.