Family Schools Partnership Newsletter

Sometimes it is good to stop and reflect on where we have been and what we have achieved. As Term 4 and the school year of 2017 comes toward an end I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on what has been our 2017 year and, in fact, our last 3 years of working in a Family School Partnership.

In April 2015, I was appointed by our 4 school leaders from St Brendan's, St Joseph's, St⁠ Mary’s and Padua Tyabb to lead our Family School Partnership. Our 4 schools in Western Port were already working together and saw this as a further opportunity to enhance the learning outcomes of the children in our care. Currently we have over 1000 children enrolled in Catholic education in the Western Port Parish.

The position of leading our Family School Partnership was funded by Catholic Education Melbourne and initially saw our cluster receive 12 months funding. We were delighted when this was extended for a further 2 years and now we are suddenly approaching the end of our funding period. I am not sure where the 3 years has gone but I know I have enjoyed the journey with all of you and I thank you for the opportunity. I have particularly enjoyed working with really great parents, school leaders and staff and getting to know you was my privilege.

It is really difficult to quantify our achievements but I want to reiterate that we have promoted fiercely the idea of working in partnership with you, your child and your family. This is based around forming positive relationships with teachers, parents and students. We have also been able to undertake individual school projects and cluster projects in working together. Our parent forums on positive mental health for our children and our cooking nights where we gathered at the kitchen at Padua Tyabb to cook meals for families in our school communities in need have proven to be very successful. Other individual school projects have also seen positive outcomes at the local level.

We have also promoted parent involvement as a positive step in forming a relationship with your school and then pushing this involvement to parent engagement. When parents are engaged in their children's learning then positive benefits are the result for the child's learning. Forty years of research supports this.

This work will continue through each individual school under the direction of our school leaders and staff or our schools. We have started something that will continue into 2018 and beyond. Every child deserves success and that success can be increased through working in partnership. Make it happen for your child and you will be glad that you did.