From the Principal
A school is the collection of a wide array of people who gather to advance the learning, health and prospects of young people. We can boast a broad ‘catchment’ of students, staff, parents, families, volunteers and governors at Cathedral, and it is the culmination of all of their efforts that make us the school we have become.
Our School Council has been creating its new Strategic Plan over the past six months. Working in concert with our Masterplan, the new plan is nearing completion and will acknowledge the shape that our school community has taken in recent years as well as plot our continued improvement in the years to come.
We have changed significantly over the five years of the current plan; we look and behave differently. It has been a time of remarkable change, with some key movements being the consolidation of two campuses into one, the articulation of a robust VCE program, the heavy investment in Learning Enhancement programs and the progress being made in our sporting and Performing Arts endeavours. It has been a hectic time! Alongside the programming has been the development of facilities to accommodate the growth and ensure the best available resources for our students and staff. Some major works in that time have been The Arts Centre, The Science Centre, The Stadium, and the Middle and Senior Schools. The growth agenda nearly complete, we are moving into a period of consolidation in our numbers and offerings. The major works continue in earnest though.
This year, our VCE students have moved into their brand-new building and have enjoyed a wonderfully open and transparent space; one that offers a “home base” as well as state of the art teaching and learning spaces. The suite of eight classrooms and central “meeting place” is now in operation and affords purpose-built learning environments specifically for our senior students. They have embraced the concept very well and enjoy light, airy and inviting collaborative spaces in which to work. Above and around them, our brand-new library is being built and we look forward to moving in to the completed facility, that will look over the oval, in Term Two. This part of the building will be used throughout the school, allowing for a strengthened reading program, contemporary research facilities and very many books with which to engage. It will be quite magnificent.
As we migrate to our new strategic plan, we seek to further embrace the regionality of our school community. In raw numbers, we have around 970 students at Cathedral and of those, over 600 travel in from outside Wangaratta’s boundaries. We are truly regional in our outlook and serve a pinwheel of communities. Access to choice in education is vital, especially in a regional setting, and it is warming that so many families get to exercise that choice through travelling to us. It means that we are a gathered community made up of students from families engaged in urban, rural and regional enterprises. We are made up of great and enriching difference, but also there is a binding unity in the commitment that families are making to their children’s education by attending Cathedral. I do not underestimate the effort and discretion that families exercise in choosing us.
Ahead, alongside the Strategic Plan, our Masterplan is being fulfilled systematically. This year we intend to build a synthetic hockey pitch that will provide great flexibility in the way we use our site and allow for a host of potential activities. It will also be a community asset in time. Next year, we are planning to build our Chapel – a long awaited project that will tie together the various elements of our school in our spiritual space. Again, the broader community will have access to the Chapel in various guises in the future.
There is pressure on places due to our determination not to get too big; indeed, prospective families are requested to make their enrolment enquires well in advance of their child’s intended starting date.
The majority of students arrive in Prep or Year Seven, of course, though in 2019 we started students across every level of the school. We have enjoyed inducting new students and staff into our way of life here at Cathedral and are grateful for the interest that families and prospective employees show in us.
As we look forward to another dense year of activity, I thank school families for their ongoing support, the staff for driving our vision and, most of all, our students for the difference and commonalities that they bring to our fine school each day.
Mr Adrian Farrer