The development and implementation of the St Mary’s College Strategic Plan 2014-2020 has been a collaborative process of engagement involving all the members of the St Mary’s College community.
Through a series of activities St Mary’s College has taken a look back at its history and foundation, mission and guiding charism. This included an historical retrospective with present and past scholars, parents from both present and past, teaching and support staff and members of the Dominican congregation. The process was a very joyous and proud reflection exercise that gave a strong indication that the mission of the early founders was in good hands, evolving healthily into the present context and thriving to honour the vision of the founding sisters.
The College has examined the data of graduating groups, to analyse achievement, pathways and choices of students. SACE and NAPLAN data has been interrogated and compared with other schools and colleges. Conversations with the community and past students gave a clear view of a strong and positive focus on relationships, and an enduring respect and care between students and with the staff. The national and local context has been examined and the place and capacity of the College to meet the demands of the future, including professional standards, curriculum requirements, Catholic and public education imperatives and trends in Australian and international education.
Dialogue occurred regarding girls education, women’s’ participation in the workforce and university/training sectors, the focus and the issues of work/life choices and equity were examined. Partnerships have been reviewed and the engagement of the College with the wider industrial and business communities has been broadened. These links have formed vital reflection on the curriculum offered and its relevance to contemporary life, particularly for girls today and women of the future.
Staff have examined their own capacity as teachers and support staff and explored the priorities they see necessary for future growth and development of themselves as service providers and professional educators as well as the directions that the College needs to take to ensure the programs and services are contemporary and leading edge.
The notion of Learning Communities has formed and grown over time as a way of engaging in authentic professional learning and in establishing a research culture that better uses evidence base as a means of informing teaching. The continual struggle to achieve a standard of competency and sophistication in the application of digital technologies and social media has also been primary in discussions over time.
The question of “what would Dominic do?” has been brought into conversations about the future of the College and ways of achieving its mission in the light of that charism. That and the practical implementation by staff of the mission of the Dominican sisters to form women who are independent and critical thinkers and active, well-educated contributors to society who take a strong place in its leadership and economic, social and spiritual development has been ongoing.
This Strategic Plan is a tool for plotting the next stage in the development of St Mary’s College. It is designed to provide the College community with something of a panoramic view of the future shape of the College and the initiatives the College plans to embrace in its future development. The implementation of this Strategic Plan will ensure the College remains a safe, creative and vibrant centre of contemporary teaching and learning. Further, it will enable us to keep a constant focus on the educational currents and the needs of our students to ensure that the resources, physical, financial, intellectual and human, are always available.
Please CLICK HERE to access a copy of the 2014 - 2020 Strategic Plan