This week members of the College Leadership Team are attending a Loreto conference in Ballarat, entitled ‘Living with Sincerity and Leading with Integrity’. The meeting seeks to share best practice whilst also seeking space and silence for contemplation of the shared mission across the Loreto schools.
John XXIII College is unique amongst the Loreto secondary schools given that we provide co-educational learning. At Open Days and at enrolment interviews I am often asked to give an opinion on the relevant merits of co-education and single gender schools. I always explain that it is a great to live in a part of Perth where we are blessed for choice and there are lots of excellent schools.
In recent decades there has been a move towards more co-educational Catholic and Independent schools. Historically, there have been pragmatic reasons for those changes. In the Catholic sector the declining number of teaching Religious Priests, Brothers and Sisters has meant that the amalgamation of schools has made good economic sense.
At John XXIII College we believe that co-education provides a comfortable environment in which students learn and grow. Gender is a core element of our identity and the formative years of childhood and adolescence are the right times to establish respectful, collaborative patterns of understanding and behaviour. One of the reasons our students are successful and comfortable in the tertiary sphere is because they are accustomed to co-education.
I have had the pleasure of working in co-educational and single gender Catholic and Independent schools and have thoroughly enjoyed each experience. It really comes down to an individual choice for each child and family.
There are wonderful co-educational schools and single genders schools throughout Australia and the world. It is brilliant that we live in a society where families can make informed choices. We are very proud of our Loreto and St Louis heritage and thrilled that we now offer the benefits of over 40 years of co-education at John XXIII College.
Although the weather was a little unpleasant last weekend, we still had over 670 people in attendance at Open Day. It was a very successful event and the example shown by our current students and staff was outstanding. Thank you also to our wonderful volunteer parents for their superb contribution to the day.
Demand for student places at the College is extremely high so I urge interested families to apply for enrolment as soon as possible to increase the likelihood of a place being available.