TERM 1 – STAFF AND STUDENT INVOLVEMENT
As we approach the halfway point of Term 1, it is an opportune time to highlight the way in which the College has transitioned to a new academic year. Reflecting on the myriad of opportunities that students and staff have adopted, immersing themselves in the College. The College prides itself on the rich extracurricular life that is a constant in the College and the opportunities afforded students on a regular basis. The diversity of events in all areas of culture, social justice, academia, boys’ education and sport occur due to the commitment of the staff here. Their efforts, when one takes into account full teaching loads, are quite extraordinary. The success of these programs also is dependent on the level of involvement and commitment by so many of our students. The success of events such as MCS sporting success in Basketball, Cricket, Tennis, Swimming, Y7 Camp, Dharuk Red Day and other College initiatives, excursions and incursions for a lot of our students throughout the first half of the term. So many of these events will continue along with the introduction of our Caritas Australia, Project Compassion where we are called to ‘Give Lent 100%’ in the Lenten period. Along with more opportunities for students to become involved in representing the College in MCS RL and Football. Students are reminded that they should keep up to date with their canvas notifications so they don’t miss these events, with such a large community these opportunities come and go quickly and can be easily overlooked.
TERM 1 – PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
At our High Achievers Assembly, I had a chance to address all the students regarding their personal responsibility; emphasising three main areas; learning engagement, organisation and preparation. The overarching theme for the presentation was that in every sense the decisions we make are our own. The choices we undertake in given situation can often change the outcome or result through discussion or reflection. Staff at St Dominic’s are working with the students to ensure the decision-making process of the students is appropriate for the specific context. When situations are out of the students control then restorative processes are adopted to rectify and mend the relationships.
Students are reminded that in all cases they are expected to treat themselves, their peers, their teachers and their families with utmost respect, both in the way they speak and the choices that they make. Similarly, every St Dominic’s boy should be prepared to take full responsibility for his actions. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, and as an authentic Catholic community, the College endeavours to help students learn from and move past their mistakes, restoring those relationships affected by poor choices. Owning and accepting responsibility for our mistakes is essential to maintaining one’s place in the community and earning the respect of others. As a reflection from Term 1, many student choices lead to further issues were ones, which could have been avoided by individual personal responsibility. Asking yourself first whether the outcome of an individual action will have adverse effects – may have changed the outcome of the original decision. Many of these poor choices were a direct result from not communicating correctly with the people directly involved. In most cases, these involved the use of mobile phones and/or social media avenues inappropriately. In today’s society, we are all learners as part of the technological highway and the young people we are dealing with are no different. Please be vigilant in having appropriate conversations with your son about his usage of social media and encourage them as often as possible to ask questions and seek advice. A useful resource we have used previously at the College is https://www.esafety.gov.au/ This website has a number of resources, including cyber-bullying information (which included gaming). The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is committed to empowering all Australians to have safer, more positive experiences online. The Office was established in 2015 with a mandate to coordinate and lead the online safety efforts across government, industry and the not-for profit community.
OPEN DAY – Sunday 3rd March
As a College community we indeed celebrate 60 years of education in the Penrith area. So many of our students have volunteered their time for Open Day as either a tour guide, KLA classroom helpers or simply to showcase the College in practical areas such as Hospitality, Music, Drama and Timber. Having undertaken building projects and continual learning environment upgrades throughout the past decade, I would invite everyone to come in on Open Day to view first-hand the magnificent facilities the students have at St Dominic’s to ensure their learning is at the forefront of everyone’s agenda.
Mr B Walsh
College Deputy Principal