Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College
Sue Lennox - Principal
As we move into the middle of the term I would think that many students will be working hard to complete assessments and are preparing for examinations. Our assessments are primarily of learning and so unfortunately it is necessary that a body of knowledge and learning has happened before it can be assessed. The reality is that these assessments can then arrive in close proximity to each other, which can result in a very busy calendar. I was recently speaking with some girls in Years 8,9 and 10 and the one thing they have learnt over the years in high school is the importance of being organised and not leaving work to the last minute. I am also aware that in a number of courses girls have had class time to work on their assessments and these have been progressively marked.
Assessments are an important part of our education. They give students, parents and staff feedback on a number of things. They provide staff with feedback on the delivery of the course, they give parents an insight into the progress of their daughter which can be cross referenced with the level of commitment and they give students feedback on the effectiveness of their study routines and what they have learnt though the course.
Another important aspect of assessment is that they allow students to try different things and experiment with the skills that they have developed so that they learn from the feedback they receive. On some occasions these experiments bring success for the learner and on other occasions they don’t. In both instances the learner will learn; either through their mistakes or through their success, there is learning. There are many inspirational quotes which focus on the success achieved through trial and trial and more trial and of success achieved through perseverance, tenacity and creativity.
This is what we want for the girls. That they will experience a disappointing result, that they try something and learn it didn’t work, that they stick their neck out to learn that through their courage they will improve and get better. That they are not afraid to get it wrong. There is no one formula that will bring success. There are no one set of skills that will cover all situations. The girls need to be fearless in trying to learn what their strengths are and what they need to develop. They then need to work on this area of development. When we work on a weakness we will make mistakes and it will take time to be able to master it, but it will happen. So if your daughter receives a result which is below your expectation, have a conversation with her around what she has learned about herself and what was required in this assessment. If she gets it wrong, that is OK. We never stop learning and our capacity to grow never diminishes whilst we are still breathing.
Next week is National Reconciliation Week. The dates are 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey, the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision. The theme for NSW this year is Grounded in Truth Walk together in Courage.
Through the week a Sorry Day Service was celebrated in Holy Trinity Church in Minto. Once again the community was able to celebrate the contributions of the Aboriginal community and their capacity to continue to thrive against adversity. I will leave you with this prayer that was distributed to those who gathered. Let us pray that as a nation we continue to work towards reconciling the past so that we have a combined hope-filled future in this country.
Sue Lennox - Principal
Father of all,
You gave our Aboriginal People the Dreaming
You have spoken to them through their beliefs,
You then made your love clear to them in the
person of Jesus.
We thank you for your care of these people.
You own them. You are their hope.
Make them strong as they face the problems of change.
We ask You to help us, the people of Australia,
To listen to them and respect their culture,
Make the knowlege of You grow strong in all people
So that You can be at home in all of us,
And so that we can make a home for everyone in our land.
Adapted from the Prayer prepared by the Aboriginal People
for Pope John Paul II's visit to Alice Springs 1996.