St Columba

St Columba College


Principal’s Report - Term 2, Week 5

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

As a school we continually work with our students to develop the skills to foster positive relationships with others. This is a critical life skill not only for the school environment but for future work and family relationships. In the Junior School, this year we have introduced ‘What's the Buzz’, a social skills program. In the Middle and Senior Schools the House structure through the Kinship program aims to develop relationships with peers and key teachers in their House.

On Monday afternoon, Year 12 student, Ashley Taverner, presented his research project to all R-12 teachers on the topic “What are the positive and negative effects of vertical pastoral groups on students, and in what ways can teachers maximise the effectiveness of these groups in early years?” This is the second time Ashley has shared his work with teachers. His research highlights that we are moving in the right direction at St Columba College in aiming to develop strong student/teacher relationships.

As Ashley explains, "the relationships that students form with their teachers can have a major effect on the students’ development, their engagement within the class room and it can be a main driving factor as students strive for academic success." Ashley goes on to explain, "having students interact with peers, who are both younger and older than them, allows them to gain a deeper, more meaningful understanding of the people around them. With both old and young students coming together, new friendships and bonds are formed between people who might never have necessarily connected with one another before. These new, more dynamic friendships and friendship groups actually translate into a greater sense of worth for students. This is due to the fact that the vertical classes become a sort of second home of which students know each and every person there and have the time to connect and support one another, like a family does naturally. This is why some schools have now begun to name the vertical pastoral classes in ways which may reinforce the close bonds or family like nature which schools are trying to implement into the groups such as kinship here at St Columba College, where students are with the same teacher and peers throughout their schooling life allowing for a much more meaningful and deeper bonds to form."

While we are in the early phase of developing the House Program in the Middle and Senior School we hope over time we will form the environment that reflects Ashley's research.

Congratulations and thanks go to the following Year 12 Food and Technology students who waitered at the Cafe Conversation last Tuesday night - Chanel Ganzon, Maria Hughes, Zoe Hammond and Brittany Newmann.

Last night, our Year 10 Drama students performed the play 'In Cahoots'. Well done to everyone involved in this lighthearted production and to Mrs Alice Pudney for producing the play.

Finally, it has been wonderful to see so many students take up the opportunity to participate in the various sporting competitions that we have offered this year. Our thanks go Mr Tristan Lorensini and Mrs Tamra Symons for their coordination and all the teachers who support the program through coaching or managing the teams.

Ms Leanne Carr Principal