Both times I was struck by the universal power of a parent’s determination for their children to reach for the stars and reach their wonderful potential. Despite this, it is during our journey that not only our children grow in confidence but parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching to see what we do with ours. Whilst we challenge our children to reach for the stars we must also do the same as parents! So how does ATC challenge your son to become the young man he has not yet dreamed of yet one we know he is capable of? Through our Formation Program. Formation is central to the identity and authenticity of our community and a distinctive ‘point of difference’ for our Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition. The ATC Formation Program includes our formation curriculum, rites of passage rituals, Service Program, Pastoral Care Structures, Camps, Retreats and Masses.
Why is this important at Ambrose Treacy College? Whilst we will build the capacity for your sons to be plumbers, paediatricians, priests and parents, our world needs people of values who practice what they preach. Our world needs young men who are courageous ‘Signs of Faith’ committed to the lifelong pursuit of our College Touchstones:
An Ambrose Treacy Gentleman is an engaged learner who endures to achieve their personal excellence.
An Ambrose Treacy Gentleman is a courageous leader of action who is present and respectful.
An Ambrose Treacy Gentleman is a faithful servant who builds relationships that empower the marginalised.
So how are these aspirations experienced throughout 2017? Our staff will continue to build quality relationships and a network of support for your son. Our staff will continue to be proactive in their dedication to our students’ longitudinal and holistic pastoral care supporting issues that arise inside or outside the classroom as well as at home. Our staff will continue to provide clear, consistent and high expectations of your son.
Throughout 2017 we will provide leadership initiatives such as our Student Councils, ERA for Change and Service Program. We will continue to provide opportunities for your son to be influenced by staff, students and the wider community as well as opportunities for your son to inspire others. Our formation curriculum is designed to build your son’s self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and capacity to make responsible decisions.
So how can you contribute to this formative journey given, as a parent, you are the first teacher of your son? Research confirms that there is a significant positive impact on boys’ success, not just in school but throughout life, when there is an effective partnership between home and school. We will offer programs throughout the year such as the Mum’s Network, Dad’s Network and Building Bridges weekend. Despite these opportunities, the most effective partnerships are characterised by the following 3 Rs: Respect, Responsibility and Relationships.
Respect is built when both parents and the school are valued and trusted. This occurs when the needs of your son come first and his needs form the basis of all interactions. From this both parents and the school must share responsibility for the success of the child as we look to maintain a parent-friendly school and school-friendly homes. Respect and responsibility open the door for meaningful relationships characterised by positive interactions and role modeling that make a lasting difference to your son’s future.
For all those within our community I offer the following prayer in our shared quest to reach for the stars throughout 2017:
God give us strength. Strength to hold on and the strength to let go. Amen.
Conor Finn, Dean of Formation