Committed To Co-Education by Bernard Dobson

///Committed To Co-Education by Bernard Dobson

Programs directed at addressing social and emotional learning help adolescents to improve classroom behaviour, become more engaged in the learning process and to perform better academically.

The educating community, taken as a whole, is thus called to further the objective of a school as a place of complete formation through interpersonal relations. (Congregation for Catholic Education, 1998)

This comment from the Vatican document, The Catholic School at the Threshold of the Third Millennium, underpins the educational philosophy at Mount Lilydale Mercy College: Fully Human, Fully Alive.

Ensuring the promotion of the dignity of the human person, this philosophy is demonstrated through our celebration of life, together with the formation of loving relationships within the community. Self-esteem is nurtured by promoting respect for each person’s uniqueness, dignity and worth within a stimulating and safe environment which accepts differences. Education of the whole person aims to develop gradually every capability of all students, his or her intellectual, physical, psychological, moral and religious capabilities.

Humans are relational beings and grow towards fullness through the development of healthy, respectful and right relationships. A truly holistic education recognises that both male and female, we are all sacred, created in the image of God. Co-education provides a real life model where personal wholeness and moral maturity is developed through decisions and actions that demonstrate our responsibilities to others.

In practical terms, Mount Lilydale Mercy College is co-educational across the board. There are no single-gender classes. Home Room Groups and core-based learning opportunities reflect the link between social and emotional competence, personal values and academic success, as well as the key ideal that individuals must `learn to be’ in order to `learn to live together.’ Thus, teachers and students are encouraged to use differentiated curriculum wherever possible. Our camps and retreats are good examples of holistic education with learning promoted through the development of right and respectful relationships.

Fully Human Fully Alive is a framework which overlays our personal development, health and sexuality education across Years 7-10. It supports the processes and recommendations provided in the 2009 CEOM document: Guidelines for the Sustainable Whole School Approach to Social and Emotional Learning.

Programs directed at addressing social and emotional learning help adolescents to improve classroom behaviour, become more engaged in the learning process and to perform better academically. Co-education provides the best environment for ensuring these outcomes are met and prepares students, male and female for a changing and challenging world. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive curriculum that enables young men and women the opportunity to develop skills and competencies over time, preparing them for active citizenship so that they are `prepared for their present and future lives as independent persons’ and `members of the Catholic Church’ (One Body – Many Parts: Strategy Plan, CEOM, 2009).

We are proud of the achievements of our students who have gone from strength to strength as young Catholic women and men of integrity based on their experiences within a coeducational school. This background

of success strengthens the College in meeting the challenges confronting our world today. We believe our students can, and will, make a difference in the world.

Bernard Dobson - Principal Mount lilydale Mercy CollegePrincipal Bernard Dobson has more than 33 years experience in co-educational schools. He was first appointed a Principal of a Catholic Secondary school in 1982 and has had the privilege of leading three Catholic Secondary schools since that time.

Bernard undertook theological studies and worked as a Faith Development Consultant before being appointed as Principal of Mount Lilydale Mercy College in 1999. Prior to his entry into Catholic education, Bernard worked at three Government co-educational High schools.

Bernard’s qualifications include B Com TSTC; Gr Dip Ed Admin; Gr Dip Ed (RE); B Theology;Master of Education