Over the past two weeks I have been conducting interviews for prospective Year 5 students for 2018. Whilst the young men are only in Year 3 at this point in time, it is an opportunity to listen to them and their parents’ thoughts about our College, and why they might want to join our community. One of the dangers in my role is that I can take things for granted, in that I become used to the great abilities of our staff or the facilities, opportunities and organisation offered by the College. The awe and innocence of the young men who I...
Over the past two weeks I have been conducting interviews for prospective Year 5 students for 2018. Whilst the young men are only in Year 3 at this point in time, it is an opportunity to listen to them and their parents’ thoughts about our College, and why they might want to join our community. One of the dangers in my role is that I can take things for granted, in that I become used to the great abilities of our staff or the facilities, opportunities and organisation offered by the College. The awe and innocence of the young men who I interview, and the questions and statements from their parents, are always very humbling experiences.
One thing that should never be taken for granted is that our College is a Catholic school. Often Catholic schools are referred to (mistakenly) as private schools. This connotation comes from the notion that any school that is not a part of the state school education system, EQ Schools, are considered to be private. In Queensland, there are three education sectors; State, Catholic and Independent. Within Catholic education there is also a further distinction between the schools. Those that are run by the Catholic Education systems throughout the state (such as the Brisbane Catholic Education Office) are referred to as “systemic” schools and those, such as ours, that were foundered by a Religious Order and are still affiliated to an order, are known as Religious Institute (RI) Catholic schools. St Patrick’s was foundered by the Christian Brother’s and Edmund Rice Education (EREA) replaced the Brothers as our educational leaders.
It is most important to remember that we are known as a Catholic Schoolin the Edmund Rice Tradition. Our Edmund Rice Tradition is set out in the Charter for Catholic Schools in the Edmund Rice Tradition.
One thing that has been made very clear to me within the interviews is the great reputation that this College has developed over many years for its sense of community. Students (and their families) want to be a part of a community that respects the dignity of all of its members, and works hard to ensure that each member has the opportunity to be a part of a safe and supportive community. This is so significant to Catholic Schools because our communities are called to be communities that place Jesus Christ as our core and centre. In our EREA schools we do this by ensuring that the Gospel values of love, justice, compassion and peace are reflected in our practices and explicit in our teachings.
This week, all of our Year 9 students have been involved in retreats and camps. In this year level, the young men are also undertaking the Rite Journey program. This course has also been built into the retreat and camp program. The Rite Journey is a national program that is aimed at developing good young men. At St Patrick’s we have also contextualized this into good young Catholic men. I hope that each of the students return from the week energized from their experiences over the past five days.
Yesterday, our Year 12 students completed their last QCS feedback session before the real tests next Tuesday and Wednesday. I have been really pleased with the preparation offered to the students and their efforts in preparing for the tests. The results of the tests will have an impact on their OP scores at the end of this year, as it is used to rescale our school’s “within school” results or measures (WSM), against those of all other OP eligible students across Queensland. The students will have the last opportunity to work with each other in the College library this Saturday morning, before moving to the First Basketball game to cheer our First V. The library will be open from 9:00am and staff will be available to work with the young men.
This afternoon, many of our Year 12 students will join senior students from St John Fisher to participate in a student forum. The forum will be facilitated by Ms Davina Donovan, one of our College Consellors, and will focus on developing and maintaining healthy relationships, in particular:
- What is a controlling relationship, and how should you deal with such a relationship?
- What do healthy relationships look like, and what role must you play to develop a healthy relationship?
We believe that this is a very good topic for our young people to consider as they prepare to leave school and begin a new phase in their lives, where their relationships with each other will be at a different level from their adolescent years. The forum will be followed by a BBQ. I am sure that the young men and women will enjoy this great opportunity to come together and take away some very useful information.
We are now completing the seventh week of this term. By now, each of our young men should be quite busy with assessment items due as well as preparation for their exams. Once again, I would encourage all parents to check to see if your son is “on top” of everything that needs to be done. If not, work with him to identify who can best assist him to get to where he needs to be.
Yesterday, I received the resignation of Mr Murray Schultz. I accepted this with mixed feelings, as Murray holds a fond place in the folklore of this College. He will finish with us later this year and move into retirement. Murray was one of the “originals” of the Curlew Park transformation from a dump to playing fields. He is still an active member (after 22 years) of the Curlew Park Sports Association. During his time at the College, he has been the Property and Facilities Manager for 10 years, President of the Sports Support Group, member of the College Board and the P & F Association. Murray, and Lee (also past staff member), have also had three sons pass through the gates of St Patrick’s College. I am sure that I speak on behalf of the entire SPC community, past and present, when I say that Murray will be sadly missed when he finishes with us, but we also wish him the very best in his retirement.