At the student Assembly on the 10th of May, College Principal Mr Crothers announced the introduction of two new Houses for 2024.
Frayne House will honour the work of the Australian Foundation Mercy sister, Ursula Frayne.
Champagnat House recognises Marcellin, the founder of the Marist Brothers. The addition of Champagnat will serve to remind us that Our Lady of Mercy College has its origins in Bunbury Catholic College. The Marist Brothers made a significant contribution to Bunbury Catholic College.
The colours proposed are orange for Frayne and green for Champagnat.
Mr Crothers stated that “The House structure at the College allows students to feel a sense of belonging, and it provides the main basis for the organisation of Pastoral Care. It connects students to students and students to teachers.”
The positive growth in student numbers prompted consultation with staff, students, and the College Advisory Committee resulting in the proposal to introduce two new houses in 2024.
Whilst in its early years, the current House system is working successfully, and the vertical Pastoral Care Group model continues to develop in a positive direction.
Mr Crothers advised students that “The addition of the two new Houses will require the College to rebalance the number of students in the existing Houses to ensure that there is an even distribution of year groups and gender. He understood that the strong sense of allegiance to the current Houses, might make rebalancing current student and staff numbers across the six houses challenging.”
It was indicated that the starting point would be to provide students and staff with choice.
“Some will relish the opportunity to become Foundation members of the new Houses. Others will be drawn to the leadership opportunities which they will create,” said Mr Crothers.
Students will be sent a form early in Term 2 asking them to indicate their preference to either remain with their current House or move to one of the new Houses.
To ensure that families would not be impacted by the cost of purchasing a new House shirt, a strategy to swap their existing shirt for a new one would be implemented.
Mr Crothers acknowledged that “It may be necessary to relocate students to other houses to maintain appropriate balances of age and gender. Should this be required, it will be done on a random allocation basis.”
Students were encouraged to discuss their House preferences with their parents.
Staff will also be given the opportunity to nominate to become foundation members of the new houses.
Mr Crothers believes that these necessary changes will help the students to further develop their sense of belonging, personal identity and engagement across a range of activities and experiences.