Last Saturday, I had the great pleasure of interviewing a group of young men who are hoping to be new members of our College in Year 7 in 2018. These interviews are usually very enjoyable as I have the opportunity to listen to the thoughts, expectations and dreams of the young men. One of the challenges for all schools is that they never become complacent and close their eyes to change. I often find these interviews with the parents and boys as a great opportunity to find out what it is that makes our school a good school and what the...
Last Saturday, I had the great pleasure of interviewing a group of young men who are hoping to be new members of our College in Year 7 in 2018. These interviews are usually very enjoyable as I have the opportunity to listen to the thoughts, expectations and dreams of the young men. One of the challenges for all schools is that they never become complacent and close their eyes to change. I often find these interviews with the parents and boys as a great opportunity to find out what it is that makes our school a good school and what the expectations are for future parents. At times, these future expectations may challenge us to review our current practices and consider new ideas or ways of doing things. It also reminds me of the importance of our roles as educators and the impact that we can have on the young men that attend St Patrick’s. Once again, I certainly was not disappointed in the calibre of young men who wish to attend our school in future years.
Good schools are good schools because of the people within them. It is important that all students who attend St Patrick’s understands that when they join our community, they are entering into a partnership with us. Our staff at the College will work with them to make them the best students that they can be in all that they attempt. In turn, we ask each of our young men to work to the best of their abilities in all that they do and also work to bring out the best in others. If each of us did this on a daily basis, we could not help but be a great school.
Yesterday, I had the great opportunity to attend a Future Business Leaders forum facilitated by QUT. The guest speaker was Simon McKeon and the MC was Kerry O’Brien. Simon McKeon has held many significant leadership roles in business, including at well known institutions such as Macquarie Bank and CSIRO. It was very heartening to hear him talk about the importance for all leaders and institutions of their work within communities and how thy too get involved in assisting those in most need within the community. He spoke about the importance and opportunities for “the big end of town” to become involved in not-for-profit ventures and how these strengthen communities as well as remind us of our own social responsibilities. This notion of egalitarianism and social justice is a trait that is very much embedded into the Australia psyche. It reminded me of the many good things that happen within a College such as ours, where young men are very much encouraged to be involved in service programs and become advocates for those who are at the margins within our society. It is not only our intention to develop young men who have a passion for and engagement in learning, but are also young men who will use the knowledge and skills that they acquire to make the world a better place for others too.
Yesterday afternoon I attended the first meeting of our staff data team. This team is made up of CLT members and teaching staff across the College. It is our intention to use the educational data that we have to better track our students so that they have every opportunity to reach their potential. We are very fortunate to have Dr Judy Smeed, an academic from QUT, to assist us as a critical friend in this endeavour. Over the coming months we will work on developing systems and practices to be able to achieve this goal. Some of this has started already with ACER testing and target setting. It is also our intention to have as much data and information as we can available to both students and parents.
Last Friday morning the Year 9 students and their parents gathered on the beach area in front of the College at 5:45am to participate in The Call. This is a short ritual that starts our students on their Rite Journey program. It was also quite an emotional experience for many and I would like to thank Mr Brian Polich for his organisation of the event, the teaching staff who will be mentors on the journey as well as the many parents who were able to attend. I hope that you found the experience to be very worthwhile.
On Tuesday we held a spirit assembly for our AIC Swim team. They competed at the AIC Swimming Championships at Chandler today. I hope that each of the young men within the team enjoys the occasion and achieves a personal best - we can ask for no more than that. The team competed against Padua College last Friday evening in their final hit-out. This has become a tradition over the past few years with the winning team taking home a shield. The St Patrick's team came home with the shield once again this year. I would like to thank Mr Blake Loudon, Ms Kelsey Duke, Mr Alex Paznikov and Mr Chris Brown for their support and coaching of the team over the term. Their efforts have been greatly appreciated.
I would like to thank the parent body of the College for your patience in regard to the industrial action taken last Thursday. Unfortunately, I was disappointed that some of our Year 12 students chose to remain at home rather than attend a full day QCS practice and workshop. This test very much relies on a solid cohort result and I am confident that all of the students will attend the future practices as their attendance and efforts are important to the whole cohort.