“So, I’m really excited for this year, at what’s going to happen with our Year 11’s, who are now Year 12’s, moving through the new ATAR system,” Principal Connolly said in the video interview above.
“I think we’re really prepared for that, and I think our staff are really on top of what they need to do there, to get the very best results for our students.”
Further, Principal Connolly talked about the reasons why the college has increasingly become the primary choice of parents looking for a high school for their child.
“We’re an Edmund Rice school and we’re based around our charism of presence, compassion and liberation and bringing that to the fore and bringing that alive in everything we do, being present for those people who need us, being compassionate to people who aren’t as fortunate as ourselves, and actually liberating ourselves to be great contributors to this world,” Principal Connolly explained.
Principal Connolly pleaded with parents to get enrolment applications in now for next year to avoid disappointment.
Read the St Columban’s College, Caboolture Principal’s interview TRANSCRIPT:
I’m expecting this year to be a great year for us with our new refurbishment of the classrooms and the introduction of some really new technologies too. It will become part of the way we do things here at St Columban’s. We’re about to enter into a week of in-service, learning how we use all this great facility to get the very best out of our students. So, I’m really excited for this year, at what’s going to happen with our Year 11’s, who are now Year 12’s, moving through the new ATAR system. I think we’re really prepared for that, and I think our staff are really on top of what they need to do there, to get the very best results for our students.
Over the holidays and before the holidays we’ve actually appointed some really key staff at our college. As you know, we don’t only work from 8:00 to 3:00, we have an extra-curricular activities that happen. And some of the expertise that we’ve got, particularly in the area of sport and in the area of culture is phenomenal. People who have been great in their particular area and are now wanting to come back and give that to young people. So I’m excited of the calibre of staff that we’re getting into St Columban’s and the expertise and the benefit these staff are going to give our students with all their life knowledge and their work that they’ve been involved in over this time.
One of the things that we do in employing staff is always look for what is the best fit for our college and our students. And first and foremost, the staff members must be able to relate to students and be able to engage with students at their level. So we’ve got a graduate program here that we’ve had for a number of years now and we’ve got eight sensational new graduates that are going to come and what they bring to the table is quite phenomenal through their own skills. I know one of our staff members has played for Queensland many many times in basketball. Another one of our staff members that we’ve employed new is a really talented musician. And we’ve got a couple of staff members that are dancers. So we, we’ve really tried to chase those people that are going to supplement our extra-curricular program. But aside with that, some of the staff that we’ve got that have come with more experience are coming with academic rigour and expertise coming out of the university sector and having worked at other places and worked in middle leadership positions and senior leadership positions over Queensland. So I’m very lucky to have a very good mix of staff both young and old.
We’re an Edmund Rice school and we’re based around our charism of presence, compassion and liberation and bringing that to the fore and bringing that alive in everything we do, being present for those people who need us, being compassionate to people who aren’t as fortunate as ourselves, and actually liberating ourselves to be great contributors to this world.
You know, whilst ATAR is a system, it is essentially an entry system into university. But what we look at as a college here is what other qualifications can we give our students to give them another pathway into university? So, what we’re encouraging our students to do here is to get a toolbox of skills and a toolbox of knowledge so that when they do leave here, as we’ve seen this year, they’ve all got pathways to move on to. They’ve all got skills that they can carry on in the future and they are well-rounded human beings.
We’re involved with the universities now. Lots of our students have already engaged with universities. We start that at the Year 10 level. So there’s that opportunity to engage with the other providers as they’re going through. But it’s not only the universities, we’re engaging with the TAFE’s, we’re engaging with other educational institutes. We’re engaging with the workforce and we’re engaging with industry. So when our students actually graduate from St Columban’s, they come out with that toolbox full of skills that is going to take them into the future.
I’m excited for this year because we’ve actually entered into a different stage of our learning environment and we’re trying to get a lot of the stuff, meeting the needs of the students through technology and doing things in blocks and doing things that they can actually engage to broaden their experience rather than the straight traditional classrooms. So, we are working very hard with our staff on that and we are getting experts from the outside to come into to give us ways of being able to engage our students, and not only while they’re at school, but when they’re at home too, to make their minds richer and to make them, true students of the 21st century skills.
I think why we are in demand at the moment, Andrew, is because people want more than just the knowledge and what comes with knowledge. They actually want the relationships, they actually want the ability of learning leadership. They actually want the ability to be out and be in the TAS sports arena or the TAS cultural arena. They want more than just sitting in a classroom getting a piece of paper at the end, and I think that’s what we need to encourage our young people to do is be out there to learn and to be well-rounded human beings that are going to contribute positively to our world.
I plead with you, if you’re looking at getting your son or daughter into the college next year, could you please get those enrolments in now. We are filling fast and I, at this stage will probably close enrolments off at Easter for next year. So I know they’re entering their final year of primary school. Well, really we should have those applications in now, and hopefully we can give you confirmation by Easter, next year, whether your son or daughter can come to us in 21. But also 22 and 23 we’ll start interviews with them after Easter because we want to get prepared and get ahead.
For all those parents wanting their son or daughter to have a taste of what St Columban’s is all about, the 11th of March is our first Open Taster Day, and I’ll just ask you to contact the college or through our website to make contact about that so we can organise the numbers for this day. I’d also invite you to our Information Night, 3rd of March, starting at 6:00pm in our Mary MacKillop Centre. If you have any questions or you want to find out a little bit more about the college, any of these two events will be a really great thing for you to come to.