During 2019, I took the opportunity to meet with representatives from each of the Year groups in an effort to better understand their hopes and thoughts about their new school.
The students responded to questions such as, "What should we keep doing, stop doing, and start doing?" Students also had the opportunity to pose questions for me to answer.
There was a single question posed by every group, "Would Our Lady of Mercy participate in Country Week?"
In my response, I had to admit that I had very little knowledge and experience when it came to this event. However, the message was clear that it was of importance to the students. As such, I gave an undertaking to consider the matter during our first year.
Since those meetings, I have learned that Country Week is run by School Sport (Western Australia) and takes place in the last week of Term 2. It is an annual event for senior students in country schools to participate in a range of sport and arts competitions and activities during the week. Students travel to Perth for the week of events, and schools arrange their transport and accommodation facilities individually.
I am currently working with the leadership team and other staff to initially evaluate the option of participating in this event from 2021. Part of that evaluation is likely to include surveying students and parents to ascertain their views on the matter.
I hope that after carefully considering the benefits of such a learning experience with the associated expense and time away from the College, we will be able to develop a balanced community perspective to guide us in our decision making for 2021.