One of the last College events for 2016 was actually the first event for 2017 – the Year 7 2017 Orientation Day. On the morning of Tuesday 6 December almost 200 boys arrived at St Joseph’s College for their first day as St Joseph’s students.
Joined by a group of Senior School Big Brothers led by incoming College Captains Nick Sondhu and Sam Stoitsis, the Year 7 students-in-waiting met their 2017 teachers and classmates for the first time, and started to become familiar with St Joseph’s College. The Year 7 boys gathered in the Arts Courtyard where they mingled with each other, staff and the Big Brothers.
There is always a measure of uncertainty and even anxiety on days like these, and there appeared to be lots of nerves on show; the boys, however, seemed fine. It was a great support to have the Senior School boys present with them at the gathering, in the assembly that followed, in the classroom and in the yard.
It was a wonderful day. Not the least because of the enthusiasm and energy that the newest members of the St Joseph’s community brought with them on the day, but also because of the care and commitment of the Year 7 teachers and the reassuring presence of the senior students.
And now, as if in the blink of an eye, all of the players from that closing event of 2016 are about to be reunited. Except this time it won’t be a preview of things to come, but it will be the actual thing: the start of the 2017 school year at St Joseph’s College.
The support available to the incoming Year 7 boys on that December day is emblematic of the support available to them throughout their journey at St Joseph’s College: their families are vital to the journey, they are accompanied and guided by a professional and caring staff and they have models and guidance from the students around them.
The Year 8 students who were in the Year 7 students’ position twelve months ago would attest to this as they prepare the next phase of their journey. With a greater level of comfort and familiarity at St Joseph’s they begin to assert their independence a little more, something reflected in the academic and outdoor education program of Year 8.
Likewise, the Year 9 boys at an age of self-discovery set off to the unique Valdocco experience, a program designed to capture the best academic and personal growth opportunities that can be provided to a Year 9 boy.
Those in the Senior School are on the threshold of manhood and their programs reflect this. Year 10 students undertake work experience and have a varied ‘taster’ program of diverse academic disciplines, all designed to assist them making the most informed choices as they embark on to the next phase. Year 11 is about specialisation, with VCE and VCAL providing pathways into future careers. Finally, Year 12 is where the consolidation happens. Here, the personal, spiritual and academic journey of St Joseph’s College reaches a climax, where the boys’ potential is revealed to themselves and to the school and wider community.
And it all started six years previously, on a December morning filled with nerves and anxiety. Until they met that teacher, until that big kid introduced himself. Then it got a little easier, and then it became the most natural thing in the world.
On Tuesday 31 January 2017, the cycle starts up again. New Year 7s, teachers to nurture them, older students to guide them. A new journey begins.
Mr Guido Piotti
Deputy Principal – Students