Dear Parents and Carers
Today our Years 8 to 11 students will finish exams before commencing the 2023 school year next Monday as our ‘Head Start’ program commences. We feel that Head Start plays an important part in ensuring students know their timetable and are comfortable with their subject and elective choices. It also provides the opportunity for teachers to get to know students, set expectations for the school year and ensure that the last few days of the school year involve meaningful and challenging work rather than ‘busy work’.
One important feature of the College is our ongoing shared working relationship with Sacred Heart. For about 30 years now the two Colleges have operated aligned timetables, with senior students from each school able to take one or more subjects at the other school. In 2023 there will be over 150 Sacred Heart students taking a subject at St Joseph’s and over 100 of our students studying at Sacred Heart.
In a sense, such a relationship gives us the best of both worlds. In the junior secondary years, we have the proven advantage of a single-gender student cohort. Boys in single-gender classes at this age have been shown to speak up more, take on challenges that they wouldn’t when girls are present, be more involved in less typically masculine pursuits and receive more praise from teachers than they do in a co-ed environment. In the senior secondary years we have a peer female presence on-site and in many classes, which creates a positive social environment.
We are currently working closely with Sacred Heart to ensure that this relationship continues and together we are planning possible adjustments to the school day and school week for some students. Such changed arrangements will offer some exciting opportunities around blended and offsite learning and we expect changes to be in place in 2024.
Last week the College Advisory Council formally ratified our new strategic plan. This document is the product of over 12 months consultation with, and contribution from, the College community. The document itself is deliberately and necessarily high level and will provide the basis for all of our decisions and actions and the next few years.
I encourage you to spend some time considering this document.