Principal's Message

23 August 2019

Dear Parents and Carers, 

Last Thursday saw the very best of our students honoured with joy and awe.

Beginning with the Mass of the Feast of the Assumption, during which I believe our community experienced a collective moment of grace through the beauty of ritual, Scripture and the giftedness of our choir; to the excitement and sugar-fuelled buzz of the fundraising fete; and then the hilarious, uplifting and inspiring celebration of our many talented students at the annual Concert, it was a day that will be long remembered.

As we hosted Dr Frank Malloy, National Director of Marist Schools Australia, he noted that few schools could undertake such a celebration, led by students, for students and in celebration of student life, with such confidence that the adolescents would engage with enthusiasm and generosity. High praise indeed!

To follow this wonderful day with a weekend of positive events and genuine community spirit such as that engendered by the Sacred Heart Exchange is yet another example of how our students continue to rise to the challenge of living by the motto Quae Supra Quaere.

On behalf of the whole community, I would like to acknowledge and thank Mrs Jenny McKay, Mrs Narae Blackwell, Mr Paul Reed, the team from Danihers, the Marlhes catering team, the P&F volunteers, the billeting families and the many other staff and helpers who created the framework of a marvellous weekend during which our students could shine.

There were many, many hours of behind the scenes work (including two nights beyond midnight to set the Gonz for the following day’s activities!), and plenty of tired adults by the end of the weekend, but as a community, we can once again hold our head high at our capacity to come together to make amazing things happen!

MyMAP…Learning Domains Guide and Course Builder Released

Later today you will receive the next two documents to assist with the discussions you are undertaking as a family to prepare to make your MyMAP decisions.

The Learning Domains Guide is a fantastic interactive PDF which outlines all the subjects on offer and demonstrates how they connect to one another, and articulate into VCE or VCAL pathways.

The Course Builder Guide is your foolproof subject selection guide! There is a page for each year of the MyMAP journey and by simply using the drop-down menu, you child and you can ensure that you develop a balanced and engaging learning program for 2020 (and beyond if you’re feeling very brave!).

Your Learning Mentor will work closely with you, and as you know, the Pathways Team will be happy to be of assistance.

 We ask that Year 7-9 students/families be patient as the Pathways Team prioritises to the Year 10s (selecting their first senior school classes) and the Year 12s (choosing their University preferences).

There will be plenty of time for everyone, but some degree of ‘triaging’ will need to take place. Your child’s teachers and House Leaders can also assist if you would like to chat with them about the possibilities.

CEMSIS Survey of Students, Parents & Staff

Each year we participate in a survey of students, parents and staff to help garner feedback to guide our College Annual Action Plan for the following year. In past years we have used the Insight SRC Surveys, but from 2019, Catholic Education Melbourne has entered into an agreement to undertake the development of a new set of surveys called the ‘CEMSIS’.

Ninety parents/carers are randomly selected to complete the survey (a little under 10% of our families), along with 50% of the students and 100% of the staff. Please keep an eye out for the link, which will be emailed to a selection of families from each year-level and House.

Thanks in advance to those who are able to take the time to complete the survey…we usually have about a 50% return rate, which we’re told is pretty high compared to most other Catholic Secondary schools!

Father’s Day Breakfast

Each year, St Patrick’s Primary School and ourselves take it in turn to host either the Mother’s Day or Father’s Day Breakfast for our families. This year it’s our turn to host the Father’s Day Breakfast again, and we’ll be doing so on Friday August 30th.

We’d love to see as many dad’s and male carer’s there as possible – it’s usually a lovely (early!) morning, with some terrific door prizes and a sumptuous breakfast. We look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.

The first will be last…

This Sunday’s Gospel sees Jesus lecturing his followers on the importance of being a servant – of putting others before yourself whenever possible. I don’t think Jesus is encouraging us to be doormats – to let people walk all over us, nor is he saying that we shouldn’t care for others at the expense of our own wellbeing.

His point is that if we make ourselves grandiose, or see ourselves as above others, God will not look kindly on our actions. If however, we are humble and generous in serving those less able or fortunate that ourselves, our work to build God’s kingdom will be noticed.

This week we invited the Year 11s to consider applying for a student leadership role. They are asked to honour and value the notion of ‘servant leadership’ – that to best lead a community, we need to be attuned to its needs, and to respond generously with our giftedness for the betterment of all.

Servant Leadership reminds us to constantly ask ‘what can I do for you?’ whether that be to a peer, a person in need, or our community more broadly. It is a counter-cultural model of leadership that sees the leader ‘doing good quietly’ or, in the words of Champagnat ‘being good citizens and good Christians’.

Loving God, let a spirit of ‘Servant Leadership’ touch my heart today. May I see the needs of others and generously reach out with compassion and integrity. Amen.

Peace and Blessings,

Kate Fogarty