December 3 2020
Well, what a year 2020 has been! As I reflect, I don’t think I, or anyone, could have foreseen the challenges and opportunities that this year would provide. Polaris, MyMC, bushfires, COVID, Home Learning, lockdowns, just to name a few.
When our Year 9 and 10 young men returned in early February, they were immersed into the Depth Stage of Polaris. With more choice, greater autonomy, opportunities for self-directed learning, the emphasis was not only on content, but the skills needed to be successful life-long learners. The feedback from a recent survey of the Depth Stage students, staff and parents was very affirming. As we continue to develop and adjust this program, we believe the benefits will be immense for our young men.
This year also saw the launch of MyMC, the College’s learning management system. MyMC has allowed for greater transparency with courses and units of work available for staff, students and parents to access. We moved to a continuous reporting model with feedback to assist students to think about their own thinking as a part of the learning process. This model of reporting also allowed parents to see growth in their son, rather than waiting till the end of a semester.
Then COVID emerged and we implemented our Home Learning Program, moving to online classes, setting and assessing student learning remotely, communicating virtually, all relying on our young men having skills to work in this environment. Outstanding leadership was shown by our teachers and staff at this time. The move to online learning took creativity, patience, and determination. It involved long hours of careful and resourceful preparation.
I wish to acknowledge our hard working and dedicated staff that always have the young men at the forefront of their thinking. I have been so inspired to hear statements like, “How will this support student’s growth and understanding”? Their outstanding efforts to ensure our young men achieve personal excellence is commendable and I thank them for their commitment and devotion.
I also wish to recognise our students and parents. I come to work every day, filled with energy and enthusiasm, blessed to be a part of our Marist community. Thank you for your support, your willingness to walk alongside us, your affirmation and encouragement as we work in partnership for each young person who we want only the best. To quote St Marcellin, “We want our students to grow to be, Good Christians and Good Citizens”.
Finally, I wish all our young men, our families and all in our community a very happy and holy Christmas and I look forward, with eagerness, to working with you all in the New Year.