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St Bernard’s College E S S E N D O N

Achieving Excellence By Learning And Doing

12 March 2019

Dear Year 12 students, staff, parents and caregivers, To the students: I write to you with the purpose of encouraging you in your final year of schooling at St Bernard’s. To the adults who support our senior students: I write you to share with you the message that I wish to share with your sons and your charges. The more we all row in the same boat and in the same direction, the further we will get. A part of making sure that we are in the same boat and rowing in the same direction is to make clear expectations the College has of students and the supports that are available to them. Firstly, the Year 12 experience is not the same for everyone. For some it is a joy; for others highly stressful. It can be a combination of both, at different points in the year. Wherever you are at, I deeply desire the best possible experience for you at St Bernard’s. Students should seek the support of adults with whom they feel comfortable and confident. What must not happen is for difficulties to be left unshared. A difficulty shared is a difficulty halved. In a spirit of positivity and hope, speak up. If you are burdened, I encourage all students and staff to make full use of the College resources to support you through the remaining 23 teaching weeks. If parents have any concerns, please contact your Homeroom Teacher. Additionally, the College has three full time counsellors who can assist as required. Secondly, everything in its good time. Year 12 students can sometime sense a kind of ‘betwixt and between’ — they are not yet full adults in the world, but they are ‘growing out of’ the strictures of school life. There is, however, still a year of school to go: it can be tempting for some students to think themselves as being too big for the school context, which exhibits itself as not meeting the expectations of the College. We acknowledge, that as a Year 12 student, there are privileges afforded. An example of this is the Year 12 common room and study areas. However, there still remain some non-negotiable expectations which need to be maintained. Every time these expectations are breached, it potentially eats away at the confidence of the whole group. Every single Year 12 student has a part to play. Thirdly, I am pleased to say that at this point in the year, I can heartily congratulate the Year 12 cohort for the excellent start to their academic studies. The feedback from teachers has been positive and this bodes well for future success. That having been said, some of the issues I describe above have presented themselves and thus, I set out the College’s expectations of Year 12 below to avoid all ambiguity: • All Year 12 students are expected to be on campus from 8:45 am to 2:55 pm. The exception to this is Wednesday when classes are completed before lunch. Attendance requirements for VCAA require students to be present for 90% of all classes to achieve graduation. This includes full attendance at Homeroom and Enrichment classes. This expectation is highlighted on the Year 12 MySBC Page and were further clarified by Mr Smith at the Year 12 Information evening. • Attendance at schoolRoad, events, such as the Opening Mass, is compulsory. These are 41 Rosehill Essendon, VIC 3040 Ph: 03 9289 1000 College F: 03 9337 1741 ABN: 95 064 042 702 Santa Monica Campus: 970 Great Ocean Road, Eastern View, VIC 3231 important events celebrating who we are as a community and provides opportunities for our Year 12s to assist in setting standards for our younger students. I was disappointed 41 Rosehill Road, Essendon, VIC 3040 Ph: 03 9289 1000 F: 03 9337 1741 ABN: 95 064 042 702 Santa Monica Campus: 970 Great Ocean Road, Eastern View, VIC 3231


to note several students absent from our Opening College Mass. The College understands that there are going to be medical and personal issues that arise throughout the year and the College has processes in place to support students when these arise; but ‘optional’ attendance and missing important College events detracts from our Touchstones of Solidarity and Inclusivity, at the heart of the holistic Edmund Rice education we offer. • A pattern of non-attendance or non-engagement with College events will jeopardize a Year 12 student’s eligibility to celebrate the Valete Dinner at the end of the year. We look forward to further enhancing the positive spirit that makes being a part of the St Bernard’s community such a joy. Each of us must contribute to that, in our own particular way, to ensure that the Class of 2019 has the best possible year that it can have, maximising the potential of each and every one of our senior students. Should you have any questions about anything raised in this letter, please contact the Year 12 Level Leader, Mr. Nick Smith, or the Assistant Principal (Student Wellbeing), Mr Clive Haese to discuss any of these matters further. Yours sincerely

Adam Taylor Principal

41 Rosehill Road, Essendon, VIC 3040 Ph: 03 9289 1000 F: 03 9337 1741 ABN: 95 064 042 702 Santa Monica Campus: 970 Great Ocean Road, Eastern View, VIC 3231


Profile for St Bernard's College

Letter to Year 12 Community from the Principal  

Letter to Year 12 Community from the Principal