Welcome back to the start of the new school year.
A particular welcome to every new family.
All year levels have now returned and seem to be in fine spirit. Upon asking a number of boys about their vacation, they agreed that the time away was refreshing, whilst they were also glad to be back amongst their classmates.
Our Year 7 students have begun with great gusto and an infectious enthusiasm. I was with both camp groups this week joining them on Monday and Wednesday afternoon and then staying on for a meal. It is clear that friendships are forged early at Whitefriars. Parents of these boys are to be congratulated for the preparation of these young men for secondary school.
Our senior students have been of great assistance in helping settle the young ones in to a routine. They have been excellent mentors. The Year 12 group have themselves been away at Mannix College for their academic conference. Whilst the majority of our boys are undertaking a straight academic course, we have some who have decided on a VCAL pathway. Both groups focused on their preparation for the time to come and bonding with their fellow students. Congratulations to these young men who have started so positively.
You may be interested in knowing that the entire Whitefriars staff began the year at the Carmelite Parish in Middle Park and Port Melbourne. The staff heard from a number of Carmelites. We are continually seeking to remind ourselves of our common heritage, and calling, by working in a Catholic school enhanced by a Carmelite charism.
Within each learning and office area of the College is a copy of the Mission and Values Statement and our Global Citizenship definition (both of these are given at the conclusion of this article).
Our Mission and Values are to be re-launched at our Opening Mass. We have again looked at these in light of our students and recent work with the CIS. We continually try to ensure they are lived-out. Whilst we are imperfect, we are making a genuine effort to work by these as well as possible. It is our hope that all members of the Whitefriars Community are aware of these documents and can speak with some conviction about what we do and why we do it.
The Global Citizenship statement attempts to give a Whitefriars version of our understanding of what it means to live in a diverse world and think globally.
Those parents returning to us this year will be aware that the College has been on a pathway to gain International Accreditation to benchmark ourselves against high standards. That 2-year process becomes more formal with the visit of an international and interstate panel who will join us in early March for a week. This will be a wonderful opportunity to share our practice. We are hoping that accreditation is attained.
Our building program has begun. The lower car park is back in use whilst the upper car park is not far away. The first soil has been turned for the Science and Technology Building; this will be a fourteen month process.
We look forward to gathering the College for our Opening Year Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral. All families are welcome to join us on 14 February at 10.00 am. It is important to recognise that we are part of the wider Melbourne Church. At the conclusion of the Mass, there will be a formal investiture of our leaders and a recognition of our well performed 2016 VCE students. Upon closer inspection of our results from last year, we remain delighted at the performance of our boys. So many boys achieved beyond predicted expectation in most subjects. The amount of value adding by the school was very affirming. We have put significant efforts in developing our own system of analysis.
Let us hope that the Lord looks favourably upon our year and that all who are part of our Community feel welcomed, loved and supported.
Almae In Fide Parentis