Thursday, 18 May 2017

Dear Parents, Students and Friends of St Patrick’s College,

When I reflect on this statement I am reminded of a speech from the former UN Secretary Kofi Annan where he states:

‘Research in both education and public health has increasingly focussed on the school experiences of early adolescence as crucial in promoting engagement with learning and enhancing physical, social, emotional and spiritual well-being. The school social environment has been shown to directly influence a young person’s sense of attachment, emotional well-being and health. Genuine engagement with learning and with others within the school environment is a key to positive outcomes across a range of immediate and long-term health, academic and life outcomes.’

For me, as a parent all I want for my children is to have a happy, meaningful and healthy life where they engage in and experience the world in which they live. For many that is much easier said than done, but the first step in the process for the young people we all care for is to be present in the moment. Engage in learning and be respectful of others both near and far.  

As a Catholic college it is incumbent of us to offer the best possible opportunities for students to take advantage of and prosper. Education is Choice! Whichever pathway the students choose there are multiple possibilities to become a valuable member of the community. While it is incumbent of the College to provide the pathways, it is the student’s responsibility to engage in them. 

Many parents ask me how they can be part of the journey. Educational Researcher John Hattie’s research shows that home environment and support structures in the home can affect student outcomes and achievement. Simply showing an interest in helping them in organising themselves can be very helpful. 

Every aspect of the student’s growth is important for future success. The spiritual, emotional, social and relational aspects of student development are just as important as academic outcomes. You only have to glance at the first two weeks of Term 2 to see all the opportunities the students can take advantage of. 

In Week 1 the production of Footloose energised the College with joy. For me, one of the most enjoyable moments of watching a production is when the curtain goes down for the last time at the last show and you hear the screams of joy and satisfaction from behind the curtain. It was truly memorable on every level and I thank all the production staff, led by Mrs Mallory Schipper and Miss Amelia Clark as Directors and the Producer, Ms Rachael Holloway. Without the gracious help of the staff and volunteers these types of productions would never proceed.

It has been pleasing to see the winter sporting teams start their seasons. The Seconds and Firsts Football teams had great wins last weekend. I was lucky enough to see a number of wins for the College Netball teams and the U/16 Girls Hockey had a great victory while the U/16 Boys had a narrow loss, but showed great spirit throughout (on a side note the Hockey Centre at St Leonards is the coldest place I have been to since I have been in Tasmania). I am so pleased to see the St Patrick’s College spirit and sportsmanship shine in the many and varied sports. 

This week at the College the events continue with the Girls’ Night In, Year 10 Career Days and Retreats, the first ever night game for the First XVIII on the Old Collegians’ Oval on Wednesday night, the first ever Women’s Football match on Saturday and the continuation of the debating and the Launceston Drama competition. In addition, the Year 9 winter sports also commence this week. 

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Finally, I would like to remind you of the expectation of students to wear their uniform with pride and respect in accordance with the Uniform Code. This can be found on the College website here and I would like to specifically draw your attention to page 5, points 13 and 14 in reference to the wearing of the College issued raincoat or tracksuit (formally a different style and referred to as ‘spray jacket’) and also reiterate that white, not black socks, are part of the correct PE uniform requirements. Ensuring that students correctly respect and adhere to the College expectations now, reinforces the importance of following expectations which will be an inevitable requirement of them in future work situations. May I please ask for your support in our endeavours for our students to represent the College with pride and respect.

To read this week's full newsletter, please click here.

Yours in Faith

Mr Tony Daley