Principal's Blog - 10 May 2018

07 May 2018

Dear members of the Marcellin College family,

A fortnight ago at Marcellin we provided an opportunity for prospective families to gain an insight into the environment and offerings of our College through the vehicle of our annual Open Day. It was very encouraging to see the many families who availed themselves of this opportunity as they discern one of the most important decisions they will make concerning their child’s growth and development. I know that this can be an anxious time for parents as they navigate the many secondary options they are fortunate to have in this part of Melbourne. Co-ed. or single sex, Catholic, State or independent, educational offerings, pedagogy, provision of co-curricular activities, faith based or secular, large or small… These and many other criteria clog the minds of parents as they attempt to decide which will best suit the needs of their child.

I often say to parents, both on open days and at our highly popular fortnightly tours, that this decision is made as much, if not more, with the heart and from the gut than in the head. At these moments I often reflect to when my wife and I were making this decision for our children, many years ago! First and foremost, our decision centred around a desire to continue to have our children educated in the practice of our Catholic faith. Secondly, we wanted a school which would know our children well and care for them in a safe and nurturing environment. We desired a school which would challenge our children academically and which would consistently encourage them to strive to reach their full potential as learners. We hoped that there would be a breadth of co-curricular opportunities which would connect them to school particularly in those times when their enthusiasm was less than optimal. Finally, and no less importantly we hoped we would find a school which focussed on the building of community and one which would assist our children to develop a sense of belonging as well as an understanding of their place as active and positive contributors toward the life of the school.

I believe that Marcellin is a place which delivers in each of these areas. At the same time, we know that there is always room for improvement and I am constantly encouraged and inspired by the commitment the Marcellin staff make to consistent growth and development in all areas of school life. One such area which I believe our College excels in is the provision of cocurricular activities and opportunities for our boys. The breadth of offerings is quite staggering matched only by the dedication and passion displayed by our staff who give generously of their valuable time and energy to a variety of cocurricular programs.

I choose to write about these things this week to remind our community of the incredible benefits of involvement in the cocurricular life of Marcellin. If you wander into the Brother Placidus Resource centre foyer and look up at the Honour Boards which celebrate the Dux of VCE and VCAL you will see an example of the inestimable benefits of embracing school life. Each one of those young men did not just focus on their studies. They realised that developing a sense of connection and belonging to school was a key ingredient in success at school. If you go to St. Marcellin’s Hall and read the names of the Captains of the various sports on offer at Marcellin you will see young men who realised that they owed the school equally as much as it owed them. Young men who realised it was as important to serve as to be served. I venture out to our College Musical, or a Debating evening or a chess tournament and witness the strong relationships being developed between teachers and students and which are a natural extension of the classroom and which help to build a sense of community and fraternity which I have not witnessed in other places.

As we enter the winter season I remind our boys not only of their obligation to involve themselves in the co-curricular life of Marcellin but of the many benefits both to them, their mates and their College which come from such involvement. I wish all those staff and students involved in the full gamut of cocurricular activities all the very best for this year knowing that the success of this program is not measured by results on the scoreboard but through the development of the character and integrity of the young men who participate.

Mark Murphy