St Mary’s Hastings along with St Joseph’s Crib Point, St Brendan’s Somerville and Padua College Tyabb Campus form the Western Port Cluster. These four schools represent all Catholic Schools located in the Western Port Parish and together we have a collective enrolment of approximately 1000 students.
Anne-Marie Houlihan is our Family School Leader. She works with each of our schools in the Western Port Cluster on individual projects as well as seeking opportunities to work together across all our schools. Anne-Marie also works with other clusters located throughout Melbourne and across our local community to seek information and education opportunities that can benefit our students, parents and staff. The sharing of resources, knowledge and expertise allows us to deliver even more to the students in our care.
Our Core Philosophy:
One of the core philosophies our cluster holds to is the saying:
“It takes a village to raise a child.”
We want to be part of your village. Research shows overwhelmingly that when schools and parents work together in partnership for the purpose of sharing the learning journey of your child, then the child performs better. We define performing better in areas of academic, social and emotional learning.
What are Family School Partnerships?
Family School Partnerships are collaborative relationships and activities involving school staff, parents and other family members of students at a school. Effective partnerships are based on mutual trust and respect, and shared responsibility for the education of the children and young people at the school.
The Western Port Cluster was officially formed in 2015 with the commencement of Family School Partnerships. Family School Partnerships focus on building positive relationships between all members of our school community. In particular, our schools focus on forming positive, respectful and equal relationships with students, parents and teachers.We recognise that you, as a parent, are the first educator of your child and we value and need your input so together we can educate your child. Research shows that children flourish and achieve better outcomes with this model.
Supporting children’s learning at home:
Parental engagement recognises the important role that both parents and teachers play in developing positive attitudes towards learning and education for children, building their motivation and confidence as learners, and fostering their enjoyment of learning.
We want to work alongside families and help build a relationship where we work in partnership in the best interests of the child.
A school community that encourages belonging and engagement:
Parents and families often lead complex lives today. This makes it all the more important to provide a variety of ways, times and places for parents and families to participate in the school community. It also makes it important to acknowledge and value parent and community participation in student learning and in the school community. This engagement sends a clear message to children about the value of education. When it comes to building a school community that encourages belonging and engagement, Mapp (2003) highlights a ‘joining process’ that involves welcoming parents and families into the school, honouring their participation and engagement, and connecting with them through a focus on the children and their learning.
Facebook: Western Port Cluster
Sometimes getting to your child’s school is difficult. An easy way to connect with our community is through the Western Port Facebook page. In this, articles of interest relating to education, parenting and a broad range of topics are posted that increase your knowledge and awareness of how to connect with your school and other community agencies. Search Western Port Cluster on Facebook and “like” us.
Anne-Marie Houlihan, Family School Leader, can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.