Principal's Video - Issue 7

Welcome to our second newsletter for the term.

Recently, our Year 12 students had the incredible opportunity to participate in a three-day school renewal program that proved to be a transformative experience. This program provided them with time and space to pause, reflect, and contemplate their story so far and their short-term and long-term goals. The invaluable guidance and support provided by our dedicated staff made this experience truly meaningful. We are deeply grateful to the staff who devoted their time and energy to helping our students navigate this crucial stage in their lives. Their commitment and dedication played an instrumental role in empowering our students to explore their passions, identify their aspirations, and chart a path towards a successful future. We thank the staff for their unwavering commitment to our student's growth and development.

I asked the House Coordinators about their experience and they shared the following thoughts.

Head of Butler - Patrick Prendergast

The Butler renewal took place in Anglesea. It was an opportunity for the Butler students to take a break from study and reflect on their journey and the experiences that have shaped them. I was pleased with their commitment to doing this and I was blown away by the positivity and kindness that was on display over the entirety of the camp. I felt that we all left much closer as a group and with a better understanding of who we are and where we are heading.

Head of Brophy - Matthew Walsh

The Yr 12 Brophy Cohort had another rewarding and empowering Renewals experience over the 3 days in Warburton. They engaged and reflected across several practical and insightful activities and came away from the Renewals with a better sense of the path they’ve travelled and the journey they’re currently on. All of the students who attended should be commended on their engagement and attitude throughout the experience.

Head of Foley – Elley Heard

Our year 12 Foley Students spent 3 days at Mill Valley Ranch in the Yarra Valley for their Renewals. The students were involved in many exciting and challenging activities that provided students with the opportunity to reflect on their personal journeys so far and share their hopes and goals for their futures. The Foley students approached every opportunity with open hearts and open minds, developing deeper connections and respectful relationships among their cohort.

On behalf of St Joseph's College, I would like to extend my gratitude to all who gave their support and contributions during our annual Edmund Rice Day. Thanks to your unwavering dedication, we are thrilled to announce that we have raised over $30,000.00, a remarkable achievement indeed!

The success of this event would not have been possible without the active participation and engagement of our incredible students. It was truly inspiring to witness their enthusiasm as they took part in various activities throughout the day. From the Cross Country race to a range of general activities, their energy and spirit were contagious. The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the Staff versus Year 12 Student Gaelic football match, where both teams displayed exceptional sportsmanship and camaraderie, with our staff coming out victors, but we must acknowledge the fantastic goal by Nicholas Wrigley and his awesome A league response.

I would also like to express my deepest appreciation to our amazing staff members for their tireless efforts in preparing and organising this memorable day. Their commitment and hard work ensured that everything ran smoothly and efficiently. The Edmund Rice liturgy reflects on the remarkable woman who supported and influenced his achievements and added a profound spiritual dimension to the event, allowing us to reflect on the values and principles that underpin our College community.

The funds raised during this event will go a long way in supporting Kensekka and our ongoing educational initiatives which provide invaluable resources for students. This collective effort demonstrates the power of our community and the shared commitment we have to support those who live on the margins.

I would now like to provide a video of Principal Tony Paatsch as he recently travelled to Kensekka, opening one of the buildings we have previously sponsored.

I would also like to acknowledge the work of our Wellbeing and Respectful Relationships Teams in engaging the work of Richie Hardcore and his presentations to our Year 10 and 11 students in the area of consent education.

Furthermore, I am delighted to learn that our college's Wellbeing Team has been recognised ahead of many other schools in this area. This was outlined in the SBS TV series "Asking For It" where episode three had some of our boys showcase the impact and influence of creating a safe and open environment for discussing sensitive subjects such as those in Richie’s presentation.

This week a number of our Year 9 students have completed the Teen Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training. Training began during the student's Wellbeing period over the past three weeks, with the remaining cohorts to complete their training in the coming weeks. The trainers are from a range of staff at the College, who undertook facilitator training last year sponsored by our Old Collegians. The Teen MHFA course is based on guidelines developed through the expert consensus of people with lived experience of mental health problems and professionals. The course equips teenagers with the skills to recognise and respond to a friend who may be experiencing a mental health problem or crisis. Using a practical, evidence-based action plan, the Teen MHFA course helps build the confidence needed to support a friend until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves.

Thank you to all the mothers/grandmothers and special women in our students' lives who joined us for the Mother's Day breakfast last Monday. The overwhelming response from over 700 families made the morning truly special and a resounding success.

Your presence not only brightened the event but also showcased the strong bond between our students and the important women in their lives. We recognise the invaluable role you play in shaping the lives of our boys. Your love, guidance, and support have contributed immensely to their growth and development. The Mother's Day breakfast provided a wonderful opportunity for us to acknowledge and honour the significant impact you have had on our students.

This week we joined Sacred Heart College to introduce the 2024 timetable to our parents. We acknowledge change can often be an intimidating prospect, as it requires us to step out of our comfort zones and venture into the unknown. However, embracing change is crucial for schools to support the development of vital skills such as self-regulation and independent learning. By introducing a new school timetable that offers greater flexibility for individual learning pathways, we are fostering an environment that enables students to take control of their education and become self-regulated learners. This shift prepares our students for the challenges they will face as adult learners but also cultivates essential skills such as time management, decision-making, and goal setting. While change may initially evoke fear, it is through these experiences that individuals can grow, adapt, and thrive in an ever-evolving world.

One change we are trialling this year is in the area of Microcredentialing. These are short, focused learning programs designed to enhance specific skills or knowledge in a particular field. They have gained significant popularity in recent years due to their flexibility and practicality. In a secondary education setting, microcredentials provide valuable support to students by offering targeted and specialised learning opportunities directed to their interests. By earning microcredentials, students can delve deeper into subjects or develop proficiency in specific areas that align with their career aspirations. These credentials offer a more personalised and adaptable learning experience, allowing students to acquire relevant skills quickly and efficiently. Additionally, microcredentials often have a strong practical component, enabling students to gain hands-on experience and showcase their competence to potential employers or universities. St Joseph’s College wants to provide microcredentials in our new timetable to support our students with an avenue to acquire focused expertise and stay ahead in a rapidly evolving job market through credentialing.

Currently with the support of Head of Innovative Learning, Tom Cashin and Year 9 Entrepreneur Project teacher, Ms Annalee McKew, we are trialing credentials as part of the student’s homework. The results so far have been very pleasing with our boys quickly engaging in the credentials. We also extend our thanks to the Collard Family who are supporting our entrepreneur program.

The units offered to our students are:

  • New Business finding and finance
  • New business resource acquisition
  • Proposing a Business Idea
  • Opportunities to start your own business
  • Social Media 101

An example of our microcredential certificate can be seen below, which can be linked to a student's curriculum vitae, and social media accounts such as LinkedIn.

Lisa Pope
Acting College Principal