Friendship, faith and college values in focus
By Wendy Shaw
Strengthening bonds of friendship and faith and gaining a deeper understanding of the school’s core values are just some of the aims of reflection days and retreats at St Patrick’s College in Prospect Vale.
Every student from year 7 to 12 is required to attend, to explore the college’s values of Catholic identity, individuality, excellence and endeavour, leadership, relationships, stewardship, compassion and social justice.
COVID-19 risk management prompted modifications to the program this year, particularly in terms of halting off-site camping for years 11 and 12.
Kate Rockliffe, Director of Catholic Identity and Mission at St Patrick’s College, said: “We hope that the days strengthen the bonds between students in their class groups, house groups and year groups respectively, as they take time to explore the values of St Patrick’s College and their own personal growth journey.
“We hope they will be challenged, be more connected and their understanding of themselves in relation to their family, peers, school community and own spirituality will be developed and strengthened.
“Our reflection days focus on each of our school values, and are sequenced to support students’ life, school and faith journey, as they progress from grade 7 to 12.”
Ms Rockliffe added that reflection days support the faith lives of students by immersing them in a day of scripture, prayer, games and opportunities for connection with each other and with school values.
“Students are provided with the time, space and resources to explore their own faith journey,” Ms Rockliffe said.
“Students are supported by their religious education teachers (years 7-8), house heads (year 10), and staff members who play key pastoral roles in students’ lives (years 9, 11 and 12). All of these staff members are instrumental in providing students with guidance in their Catholic formation and identity, through their own lived experience.”
Ms Rockliffe thanked the Meander Valley Catholic Parish at Westbury for supporting the year 9 retreats with a ‘scrumptious spread’, a highlight of the day.