...called by God, to listen with the ear of the heartRule of Benedict
The recognition of the uniqueness of each person underpins all that we do at Mount St Benedict College. Accordingly, Pastoral Care structures, developed in response to students needs, permeate the life of the College and are reflected in:
- the teaching and learning programs
- the rich and vital co-curricular opportunities available to the girls
- the structures which support the sense of community in the College.
At Mount St Benedict College, we bring together the science of Positive Psychology and best teaching practice to encourage our students to flourish (optimal wellbeing) at school. Positive Education highlights students understanding of their own strengths and develops skills that our students can harness to strengthen their relationships with everyone in their world. This includes building and understand positive emotions, enhancing resilience when faced with adversity, practising mindfulness, and fostering a healthy lifestyle. It is underpinned by seeking meaning in life through service to others and providing skills in achieving personal goals. We encourage our girls to seek and cultivate the best within themselves and strike a fulfilling, manageable balance in their experiences of love, work and play.
Houses & Homerooms
The house structure within the College plays a valuable role in the development of our students.
The houses become a community within a community, and give opportunities for closer relationships, mentoring and the expression of our Benedictine values.
There are eight House groups named after Benedictine monasteries: Arcadia, Maredsous, Monte Cassino, Montserrat, New Norcia, Stanbrook, Subiaco and Terracina. Each House has a House Patron, a role model from the Sisters of the Good Samaritan.
Each House takes on the responsibility of supporting one of our chosen Partners, and seeks to inspire the students to value service to others. Through this they also learn about and develop their understanding of the factors that lead to injustices and inequalities in our community.
The College’s has a vertical pastoral care structure that ensures strong relationships between students and staff. The older students provide support and are role models for the younger students. There is a House Coordinator with a team of mentor teachers for each House’s seven Homerooms, whose roles embrace the holistic vision of education we have at Mount St Benedict College. Each student is part of a Homeroom of around twenty students from Years 7 to 12. The Houses are supported by the Assistant Principal, the Dean of Students, the Learning Support Team, the Careers Advisor, and two Counsellors.
This vertical structure ensures that each girl develops an understanding of community at Mount St Benedict College. The Homerooms provide an avenue for mentoring, communication about the life of the College and are vehicles for developing and building school spirit. If you have more than one daughter at the College they will be in the same House but different Homerooms.
House Partner: Mater Dei School
House Patron: Sr Catherine Teresa Mercovich
This Benedictine community was established by the Sylvesterine order of Benedictine monks in 1962.
They have had regular contact with our community since the College began in 1966 and they also serve the St Benedict’s Parish community at Arcadia.
Their chapel features two of the oldest stained glass windows in Australia, known as the ‘Dunbar’ windows.
House Partner: Bacolod Kinder School Philippines
House Patron: Sr Philomena Gallagher
The Benedictine movement spread from Italy throughout Europe in the centuries that followed Benedict’s life, and the Rule of Benedict was used as a model for monasteries throughout the world.
In 1872 the monastery of Maredsous was founded in the province of Namur in Belgium.
The monks were German Benedictines.
House Partner: Kiribati
House Patron: Sr Clara McLaughlin
The monastery of Monte Cassino was founded in 529 CE by Benedict.
The monastery is built on the top of a mountain and it is where the Rule was written by Benedict.
Today its library contains 150,000 volumes and many of its texts are rare treasures written on parchment.
House Partner: Santa Teresa, Alice Springs.
House Patron: Sr Christopher Burrows
This Benedictine monastery was founded in 1025 in Spain and it sits upon a mountain top with spectacular views over the valley.
Similar to Maredsous, it reflects the development of the Benedictine way of life through Europe.
Today it contains the wooden sculpture known as 'The Black Madonna' which is a popular pilgrimage attraction for visitors.
House Partner: Bacolod Kinder School, Philippines
House Patron: Sr Peter Damian McKinlay
This Benedictine monastery is in Western Australia and was founded by Dom Salvado in 1846.
As one of the earliest Benedictine communities in Australia, they had strong links with the aboriginal people and their just and fair treatment of them was unique for its time.
House Partner: Santa Teresa, Alice Springs
House Patron: Sr Helen Lombard
This Benedictine community is in England, and it comprises an order of Benedictine Sisters.
After establishing themselves in France because of the exile of Catholics from England, they returned in 1838.
They have become renowned for literary and musical pursuits, and the education of young women in England.
House Partner: Mater Dei School
House Patron: Sr Clare Slattery
Benedict lived as a hermit in a cave for three years in the 'sacre speco' grotto in Subiaco, Italy and began his vision that became the Rule of Benedict.
In Subiaco today a monastery and an abbey still remain.
The abbey is known as St Scholastica's (Scholastica being Benedict's twin sister).
House Partner: Kiribati
House Patron: Sr Marcella Kenny
The city of Terracina in Italy is near the monastery of Monte Cassino.
It is a city with a beautiful harbour.
There is an abbey known as Fossa Nuova in the diocese of Terracina.
Terracina is a town of 22 parishes and 45,000 people.
Student Leadership opportunities abound at Mount St Benedict College. The leadership structure for students at the College promotes the idea of servant leadership based on the traditions of the Good Samaritan Sisters.
Across the year groups students may be voted into the Student Representative Council. More recently, Years 9, 10 and 11 have the opportunity to join the Student Alliance. Year 9 students are trained as Peer Support leaders and in Year 10 meet regularly with the Year 7 students in their House. At the end of Year 10 they have the opportunity to be House Vice-Captain. Year 11 students partake in a leadership formation program that results in the voting of College Captain, Vice-Captain Spirit and Vice-Captain Portfolio. House Captains and Portfolio Captains are also elected and House Ambassadors are appointed. It is the great energy of our leaders that has resulted in many successful community initiatives at the College.
A large number of informal opportunities also exist. Students at all year levels may opt to lead a variety of initiatives within their House or Homeroom. The many social justice initiatives, service learning opportunities and events that occur at the College also increase the opportunities for students to develop leadership skills. Year 9 students are considered leaders without badges and are involved in developing the life of the College community throughout the year.
The College has an active Student Representative Council (SRC). Eight students (one from each House) are voted to represent their year group on the SRC. Two staff members and the SRC Portfolio oversee the meeting and activities of this group.
There are also other leadership opportunities available to the students through the House System as various House activities allow students to take up leadership roles throughout the year. Within the House are mini portfolios that allow further opportunity to those in Years 7, 8 and 9. There are three mini portfolios – Mission, Public Relations and Sport within each House.
The Merit System - Celebrating Student Success
The College acknowledges the importance of recognising and rewarding effort and achievement in all aspects of College life.
As a community that values holistic education, awards of recognition are a tangible way this can be translated in the community. The College Merit System has been designed to acknowledge School Service, Effort, Academic Achievement, Christian Commitment and co-curricular Involvement. The system promotes self esteem, builds school ethos, as well as community, and offers students positive goals to work towards. Merits contribute to the House point scores, so that the award of a merit recognises the individual, as well as the individual within a House.
Outdoor Education Program
As part of our commitment to holistic education, the Outdoor Education Program offered at Mount St Benedict College provides experiences that foster personal growth in a safe and encouraging environment.
Through personal challenges the girls gain skills in teamwork, leadership and positive decision making.
Students in Years 7 to 9 take part in camps that combine outdoor skills, challenging tasks and adventure activities that build self-esteem, focuses on individual strengths and builds rapport within the year groups. The camps are structured so that students build on their experiences and develop their confidence. Year 9 students also take part in the ‘inspire’ program in Term Four, a week long program that provides authentic opportunities for students to utilise their strengths in dynamic environments, demonstrating the enormous potential for learning beyond the College walls.