Planning for the future
Over the course of 2018 we have been undertaking a master planning process for the next two decades. It is an exciting time as we envisage a Catholic College of the future. Planning is much more than buildings and facilities; it is re-imagining what a Catholic education in the Ignatian tradition may look like in the years to come.
Several concurrent processes have been occurring. Our Academic Leaders have been focussing on an ‘Educational Vision’ for the College. We are looking at what our students learn and how they learn. The Jesuit mantra of ‘the grad at grad’ is important. What attributes, values and skills do we want from our ‘graduates at graduation’? This message is particularly pertinent this week as our Year 12 students complete their final week of formal classes prior to examinations. Similarly, we are examining our timetable structures to ascertain what works well for our student learning and what needs to be adjusted. I was fascinated visiting very creative classrooms this week as part of our Primary Open Day. There is excellent integration of technology in the learning process and a constant assessment of the appropriate technology to assist learning.
Part of the ‘grad at grad’ discussion will revolve around educational outcomes. Examinations and standardised testing are important and provide one measure of academic performance. However, even more significant are the stories behind the individuals. Everyone has their own unique story and it is often an appreciation of our own personal narrative that enables us to ascertain the success of education. As I write, Year 11 students are on pilgrimage at international and Northern Territory destinations. They are pilgrims rather than tourists as they seek an enhanced awareness of the world beyond John XXIII College.
Currently we are inundated with enrolment applications for next year and the years to come. However, we also recognise that there is considerable scope for growth and improvement. That is what our master planning will be about.
When I conclude enrolment interviews, I often tell the prospective student that 'John XXIII College is a good school if you make it a good school’. I am thrilled that so many of our students at all year levels take advantage of the opportunities that are presented at the College.