Fostering a Culture of Learning

Community is one of the Carmelite tenets – it conveys a spirit of togetherness and belonging. In communities, community members share commitments to common goals and values. Whitefriars College is a community of learning in which learners are committed to pursuing personal excellence.

Effective learners, at school and in life, are not afraid of challenge. They take risks, experiment and persevere when they are uncomfortable. They are open to feedback and see this information as useful in determining how to deepen and strengthen their knowledge and skills. I always enjoy the opportunity to engage in three-way conversations with students and their families at Student Parent Teacher Conferences.  These are meaningful opportunities to discuss student engagement in the teaching and learning cycle, and provide feedback that feeds forward into future learning, too. I thank our team of committed staff who have engaged in a collective 585 hours of learning conversations with students and families in recent weeks. These conversations truly strengthen the home-school partnership and enhance the learning culture that exists in our community.

Fostering a culture of learning is a focus for the College’s Learning Team this year. The College has implemented a new Supervised Study initiative for our Year 12 students, with all Year 12 VCE students having a common time in which to revise prior learning and to collaborate with one another to build new understandings. This also provides the opportunity to bring the group together for workshops, such as the Study Skills Workshop run by Ms Marina Ensor, or for delivering important information about VTAC applications. I wish to acknowledge the leadership of Ms Sandra Venneri, who has worked to shape this project and ensure that students are well supported with resources and information that if actioned, will improve learning outcomes. I commend our Year 12 students on the positive way in which they have utilised this time and I encourage them to emulate these same strategies and approaches at home, particularly over the Easter break.

The Academic Study Centre is another initiative which is continuing in 2022, under the direction of Mr Michael Douglas. Based in the Undercroft each day after school, both individual and group study is supported and encouraged. Previous cohorts of Senior Years students have commented about the value of completing homework tasks and revision before leaving the College campus. It is certainly not by chance that a significant proportion of these students have gone on to be our College’s High Achievers. I encourage our Middle Years students to take advantage of opportunities to work in the Study Zone in the Shortis Library, afterschool on Days 2, 3 and 7, where they can be supported to complete homework tasks and to develop their organisational skills under the guidance of our Learning Leaders. Similarly, if feedback from the recent SPT Conferences suggests that your young person might benefit from some additional support in learning from an older peer or Old Collegian in Term Two, I’d encourage you to seek more information about the Elias Tutoring Program via Whitefriars Engage.


Mrs Catherine Spurritt

Deputy Principal – Learning & Teaching