Deputy Principals’ Column


Positive Student Behaviour

From talking to parents and guardians at various College events, I know that you want your son to gain more from his education than just academic achievement, though this is imperative. You want your sons to grow to become faith-filled men, with the strength of character and self-belief to know that they can achieve their goals and cope in the face of adversity.

The Strategic Plan 2015 – 2018 articulates a student who has a “strong moral compass”, as one who is “compassionate, respectful, confident and motivated.” To “Live and Lead” these young men need such attributes as self-regulation, self-awareness and sound social skills. These are skills that research indicates lead to higher levels of wellbeing, academic performance and increased life satisfaction.

We seek to enact policies that treat students with respect and enable them to develop as individuals with a sense of personal responsibility, self-efficacy and agency within a community of learners. Our approach to behaviour management has shifted from a punitive approach to a restorative approach. We are now tracking student engagement and behaviour over time and deliberately working towards building a culture of high-expectations for our students in learning and life. This student data is informing various targeted interventions to challenge our students to be their best selves. There is no simple resolution for problematic behaviour, and it is not possible to apply a blanket approach in all circumstances. This makes discipline in schools very complex. You may receive emails from staff from time to time when they have needed to correct your son’s behaviour in the classroom. These communications aim to give you an insight into your son’s learning, to support us to work together to instil a passion for learning and an atmosphere of mutual respect and acceptance.

Focused Study

To support the endeavours of our Year 11 and 12 students, the library is open until 6:00pm, five days a week. Research shows that students who work together tend to do better on tests and retain information thereafter.

Some benefits of studying in the library include:

  • Fewer distractions
    Sitting in the silence of the library, with only their books and notes to focus on, makes their study more effective.
  • Resources at their fingertips
    Teachers, textbooks, obscure journal articles they can’t find online – the library has all the resources they need.
  • A learning environment
    Being in the library will in and of itself motivate our young men when they see other focused students who are there for the business of attaining knowledge… they will want to be a part of that.
  • Other students
    If they are confused about something, or they have missed a class and don’t have the notes they need, their fellow students are there to help.

Science Says Parents of Successful Kids Have These 13 Things in Common

Most parents want their kids to stay out of trouble, do well in school and go on to do awesome things as adults. While there isn’t a set recipe for raising successful children, psychological research has pointed to a handful of factors that predict success, summarised in an article by Rachel Gillett and Drake Baer. To read the article click here.

Four Personality Traits that Predict Teen Drug and Alcohol Problems

The latest National Drug and Household Survey has delivered the good news that fewer teenagers were drinking, with about one in five compared to nearly one in three in 2013. Excessive consumption of alcohol was responsible for 11,000 hospitalisations of young people aged 15–24 every year.

  • Higher than average levels of impulsiveness,
  • Sensitivity to anxiety,
  • Sensation-seeking, and
  • Hopelessness.

These four personality traits have been shown by researchers to predict those teenagers at the highest risk of becoming binge drinkers with 90 per cent accuracy. To read the article click here.

School connectedness is particularly important for young people who display these personality traits. Strong family involvement, parent and community partnerships, supportive school personnel, inclusive school environments and engaging curricula that reflect the realities of a diverse student body help our students at De La Salle College to feel connected to their brothers and to their school.

Ms Lisa Harkin
Deputy Principal – Students

Faith and Mission

The Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies

In the final week of Term Two, I travelled to Manhattan College in New York to begin Year One studies at The Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies. The Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies is an intensive Lasallian education and formation course that studies the life, work and spirituality of Saint John Baptist de La Salle and the origins of the Lasallian educational mission.

The Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies is a three-year program, conducted for three consecutive years, in two-week durations. Each year has a focus;

  • Year One: The Founding Story
  • Year Two: De la Salle’s Educational Vision
  • Year Three: De la Salle’s Spiritual Vision

As I embarked on this journey and began my first year intensive, I was introduced to a detailed and extensive study of the life and person of Saint John Baptist de La Salle and the context of the time in which he lived. The daily lectures, led by Brother Jeffrey Calligan, FSC, were composed of examination and discussion of the readings, writings and reflections of original biographical and autobiographical texts, including the letters that were exchanged between St John Baptist de La Salle and the early community.

As a Buttimer One participant, I discovered a new appreciation for Saint John Baptist de La Salle. I found his astounding perseverance and trust in God’s Providence in the face of frequent and overwhelming obstacles both moving and inspiring. Through the examination of the various letters he wrote to the Brothers, I was stirred by the authentic and personal experience they provided. The sense of community with my fellow participants at Buttimer was life giving. The experience of community prayer each day, being still and silent in God’s presence, sharing thoughts, discussing reflections and readings, further fueled my zeal for Lasallian education.

The most important thing I learned at the heart of what it means to be Lasallian is to develop relationships, to touch hearts and to be present to students. I completed Year One feeling inspired and renewed. The experience at Buttimer One will enable me, as Deputy Principal of Faith and Mission, to continue to shape and help ignite the already strong Lasallian spirit and identity that is alive here at De La Salle College, Malvern.

Lasallian Women’s Symposium 2017

The Lasallian Women’s Symposium took place this year in Auckland, New Zealand from 16 to 19 July. De La Salle College sent two representatives; Careers Advisor, Mrs Caroline Fitzpatrick and Music Coordinator, Ms Cindy Frost. The theme of the symposium was “Lasallian Women as Change Makers”, recognising the distinct role of women in the Lasallian mission as catalysts for change.

The Symposium provided opportunities for increased networking, empowerment for Lasallian women in leadership roles and the sharing of experiences. Participation in such an event is especially important because women represent over 50 percent of all Lasallians that contribute to the Lasallian mission each day, in over 82 countries around the world.

Superior General, Brother Robert Schieler, FSC, wrote in a letter about the Women’s Symposium:

I believe that you have been called by God to serve the Lasallian mission and that you have been given the grace of teaching for the sake of the children and young people entrusted to your responsibility… the Symposium will make you an even better mediator of God’s graces as a committed Lasallian educator”.
Brother Robert Schieler, FSC

Brother Robert’s words are both inspiring and heartening. It is encouraging to hear of the increased recognition and affirmation of the role and identity of women in the mission, and the promotion of the Lasallian vocation as a desirable and accessible option for females.

One of the invitations for this symposium was to ‘Sponsor a Sister’ from a developing country to attend. In a meeting with the Year 12 Lasallian Captains where the distribution of MAD funds was discussed, the students openly supported that we set aside the costs involved to ‘Sponsor a Sister’ to attend and participate in the symposium. We were pleased to receive notification that our sponsor sister was from Ayala Alabang Village, Philippines and that Mrs Fitzpatrick and Ms Frost would have the opportunity to meet with her during the symposium.

Term Three

Term Three is a busy term in the Faith and Mission life of the College. During the term, families will receive information about charitable donations of non-perishable goods that will go to local charities in need. Students and staff will also celebrate a prayer liturgy service for the Feast of The Assumption and we will conclude the term with a Social Justice Mass.

Also, Year 10 and 11 students will participate in the annual Reflection Days, run by the Lasallian Youth Mission team. 


Year 10 Reflection Days
All parents/guardians are reminded to please read, sign and return consent forms to their sons R.E. class teacher:

Wednesday 2 August RE01101 Mr Chris Church
RE01102 Ms Nicola Mairs
RE01105 Mr Graeme Lawler
Thursday 3 August RE01103 Mrs Georgina Dwyer
RE01106 Mrs Marta Webster / Mrs Jo Dickson
Friday 4 August RE01104 Mr Shane Mackintosh
RE01107 Mrs Catherine Loft

Upcoming Community Masses
St Columba’s Parish, Elwood — Sunday 6 August at 9:00am
St James Parish, Brighton — Sunday 17 September at 9:00am

Mrs Rana Brogan 
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission

Back to The Duce Issue 2017 10 - 20 July 2017