Newsletter (April 2009)
I am writing this epistle after attending a very successful Father and Son Breakfast meeting. I say ‘successful’ because it was attended by over 200 and it is tremendous when fathers and their sons get together in a relaxed and informal arena. The PTFA ladies did a great job with the breakfast and it was a good opportunity to catch up with Old Boys. The auditorium has proven to be a wonderful venue and we should think of more fund raising on our ‘own turf’, making such events very affordable.
CATHOLIC CHARACTER REVIEW
In my last newsletter I promised to share with you the findings of the three day Catholic Character Review, and I will do just that. It is important to know that it is a lengthy document so I will highlight the key points and summarise under their headings.
Rosmini College is strongly Catholic and firmly upholds both the values and traditions of the Catholic Faith and the philosophy of Antonio Rosmini, founder of the Rosminian Institute of Charity, whose members staffed the college at the time of its establishment. Although, with the imminent return to England of the current School Chaplain, the College will lose its last direct link with the Rosminians, the values of Antonio Rosmini are deeply embedded in all aspects of school life. These values are promoted, understood and lived by the school community. This should ensure that the College remains true to its Catholic and Rosminian traditions.
The School Chaplain sees the first purpose of Church as bringing the Gospel to others and Catholic schools have a unique role in bringing people to a knowledge of Christ. Rosmini College provides an environment where formally and informally this evangelisation takes place. The Chaplain gave as an example a teacher who had spent many years at the College being received into the Catholic Church before his death.
The school community is encouraged to live out its Catholic faith by example and by the values that are clearly communicated through the college prospectus, the Chaplain, the Principal, staff and student leaders.
Information about the Special Catholic Character of the school is given to new staff at the time of application and this is discussed by the Principal at the interview. A deeper understanding of the Special Catholic Character and the charism of Antonio Rosmini are provided on Induction Day and all new teachers attend the “Teachers New To Catholic Schools” course provided by the Diocese. In addition, a Catholic Character Guide, prepared by the college, is issued to all staff and BOT members.
A strong positive relationship exists between the Principal and the Board of Trustees which is very supportive of the Principal. Many BOT members are past students of the college and feel they have a good understanding of its charism. One BOT member is an ascribed member of the Rosminian Institute of Charity; he has occasionally visited the Rosminian brother school, St Peter’s in Gore, and with the previous Director of Religious Education attended a conference in Italy of Rosminian schools from throughout the world, spending a week “immersed in its charism”. The Proprietor’s representatives on the BOT are aware of their responsibilities and prepare a compliance report for the Proprietor annually; two of them are members of the Appointments Committee of the BOT.
Parents see support for families as one of the school’s strengths. As well as giving examples of individual situations they spoke positively of the Father and Son Breakfast which strengthens family bonds. Parents also spoke of the friendships made at school which become life long. These friendships and a strong sense of loyalty to the school among present and past students build a vigorous Old Boys network.
Excellence in the learning process is upheld as a strong Catholic value and this is demonstrated through the promotion of excellence in all aspects of college life. Parents and students appreciate that Rosmini College provides a holistic education: academic, moral, spiritual, sporting, cultural and one that also encourages service to others.
Visitors to Rosmini College are greeted warmly and made to feel most welcome. Respect for the dignity of each person underpins all relationships within the school and this is clearly set out in the Rosmini College Code of Respect. Courteous and considerate behaviour was noted between staff and students and students and their peers.
The leadership for the Catholic Special Character is strong at Rosmini College. The long-serving Principal is a committed Catholic and leads by example. He takes every opportunity to speak of the Catholic and Rosminian Character and its importance to the college with staff, students and the wider community. He is supported by a competent Senior Management Team and a passionate DRS, all working collaboratively to maintain and develop the Catholic Special Character of the school.
A strength of the school is the focus given to service and social justice. Care and concern for those in need is constantly emphasized by the Principal. One initiative, the sale of Entertainment Books, provides funds which are distributed internationally and within the local community. The college financially supports three students overseas through Child Fund New Zealand, as well as many worthy local causes.
Pastoral Care at Rosmini College is centred on the school motto “Charity Fulfils the Law” and on the belief of Antonio Rosmini that the absolute value and dignity of each human person must be recognised. It follows that the wellbeing and welfare of the whole school community and most especially the students is of paramount importance.
A guidance network of Deans, the Guidance Counsellor, DRS, Careers Counsellor and SENCO work together with support from the Principal to ensure that students experiencing problems are quickly identified and have strategies put in place for their support.
Rosmini College, ably led by its long serving Principal, with the support of a dedicated Senior Management Team and DRS, can be justifiably proud of the quality education and care it provides for the Catholic boys of the North Shore. All who know the school acknowledge that its success is founded on the Catholic and Rosminian values that are at its very core. The College will continue to flourish for as long as it continues to find ways to enhance and renew its Catholic Special Character.’
Please note that this represents only part of the report, so in a later newsletter I will summarise other findings. It is important to note that the entire report was very positive and I would like to sincerely thank all staff directly involved in the review and parents, BOT and students who were gracious enough to give of their time. Incidentally the findings were very similar to the ERO team’s last review.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS
Once again, Rosmini and Carmel students are combining for the re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross which will be held at St Joseph’s Church, Takapuna at 7 pm on Wednesday 8 April. This is one of the most famous liturgies of the Church which leads on to the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday. It will last for approximately two hours and everyone is most welcome to attend.
Kevin McClatchy and Jed Franich recently represented the Orewa Surf Lifesaving Club at the New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships in Gisborne where Kevin reached the finals of the Canoe event and Jed reached the finals of the Ski event and won a Silver in the Ski Relay.
Thank you to New World Devonport for their continued support of Rosmini College in the Shopping for Schools’ Programme. By shopping at New World Devonport you are supporting your boys here at Rosmini College.
Parent Interviews will be held in Term Two. An interview sheet is enclosed with this newsletter. The boys need to approach their teachers with their sheet and advise them of times that will suit their parents. All interviews will be held in the Auditorium between 3.45 pm and 8.00 pm. Surnames A – L on Wednesday 6 May
Surnames M – Z on Wednesday 13 May
Please note that the school library will be open between 10 am and 2 pm each day in the second week of the upcoming school holidays.
END OF TERM
Term One finishes on Thursday 9 April at 12.05 pm and Term Three commences on Monday 27 April.
T J GERRARD