St Joseph’s Catholic College provides a safe, caring and supportive environment in which each student is shaped by her relationship with Jesus in the Catholic tradition and is inspired by St Mary of the Cross MacKillop to make a difference in the world.
Students learn about leadership and learn to lead during their time at the college, becoming MacKillop women empowered to lead within the wider community.
Students are leaders when they:
- Demonstrate initiative, self-challenge, and responsibility for their own learning and actions – Leading
- Develop positive relationships within the college community – Connecting
- Seek involvement in a variety of significant college experiences to empower them to make a difference – Engaging
- Involve themselves in a process underpinned by new ideas, relevance, success and independence to develop the skills required for life-long learning – Learning
Learning leadership is a journey of understanding – understanding that leadership is learned; understanding that the skills of leadership are acquired by practising leadership; and understanding that we must learn how to lead ourselves before we can lead others.
Learning leadership units are an integral part of the college’s formal pastoral program. Students will learn about leadership and develop knowledge and understanding about:
- What it means to be a leader
- Values and attitudes people expect to see in their leaders
- Skills and behaviours of effective leaders
Additionally, students are provided with opportunities to acquire and practise the skills and behaviours of leaders as they learn to lead in the following stage appropriate leadership positions.
- Year 7 students are provided with opportunities to support the college community by managing the staff room recycling program. Students also join the environment group to remove litter from Russell Drysdale St.
- Year 8 students volunteer to serve afternoon tea to the elderly in Woy Woy Parish every month. This is an opportunity to develop empathy, demonstrate respect and give hope to others in our community.
- Year 9 students take on more leadership responsibility as they volunteer to assist in the canteen, the library and with managing the top office at lunch. These positions help students develop their confidence and to realise that by Year 9, students must step up to leadership.
- Year 10 students apply for the positions of Peer Mentor leaders. 5 students per house are appointed and trained to work with Year 7 on their orientation day, during their first term transition to the college and on special peer relationships programs in Terms 2 and 3. Peer Mentor leaders develop many leadership qualities and skills. Year 10 students also coordinate volunteer donors for the Red Cross Blood Bank visits to the college. An important social justice initiative is provided to volunteers to prepare and serve lunch to the disadvantaged in Woy Woy Parish.
- Year 11 students take on a leadership role in their House by nominating for the elected position of Year 11 House Leader. Students also offer to serve as Peer Mediators to assist younger students resolve conflict arising from friendship issues. Peer Mediators are trained in the strategies of conflict resolution and become strong role models for younger students. Additionally, Year 11 students volunteer as a Peer Tutor to students in Year 7 or Year 8. These students may be struggling with poor organisation and time management, or they may not understand the demands of assignment tasks. They may require assistance with literacy or numeracy. Peer Tutors are trained to provide support for these students.
- Year 12 students lead the college. The College Captain and 2 Vice-captains are appointed following a selection process that involves a speech, peer and staff voting and an interview. Students are also voted by their peers into the position of House Leader. Each house elects 2 leaders who work with staff Leaders of House to build community, organise inter-house carnivals and activities and organise various social justice and fund raising initiatives throughout the year.
Student Representative Council
Students also learn about, and learn to lead through serving on the Student Representative Council. It consists of the Executive (College Captain and the Vice-captains) and a house rep from each year.
The SRC empowers students by providing them with a forum to discuss issues of concern and proposals for change. Ideas and initiatives are presented to the SRC through house reps and all motions are voted before they are presented to the Principal for consideration by the SRC Executive.
The SRC enables the college leadership team and staff to consult students and invite them to participate in decision making when appropriate.