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St Paul's School Community

Parents and Friends (P & F)

The P&F is a means through which a happy working relationship can be encouraged between parents, staff and the school Principal.

As such, the advantage to parents who attend the meetings is invaluable. At meetings, information is shared about the school and student activities. Issues and events can be explored and discussed in advance, in a non-threatening and relaxed environment. The meetings allow parents to have a hands-on involvement with the school.

In taking such an active role, parents feel empowered and involved in the school processes. The opinions of parents are sought and encouraged in order that families feel a valued part of the St Paul's school community. The focus is on working as a team to support the school, the students, their families, and the staff. A partnership between the parents and the school is strongly evident in the discussions that eventuate following the presentation of valuable information by the Principal.

Fundraising is vital to the provision of a superior environment at St Paul's. The yearly chocolate drive and a super raffle are the main vehicles through which major funds are raised. In 2010, the P&F contributed significantly to the installation of more water coolers and smart boards at St Paul's. Ideas and input are sought from parents in order to make fundraising events viable and successful.

Trivia nights are popular and provide the opportunity for staff, students and parents to socialise. Another opportunity for meet and greet is the P&F B-B-Q provided for the parents and students of the feeder schools at the Year 7 information night. It not only provides a welcome and hospitality, but is a clear indication to new comers, that there is a strong and enthusiastic parent involvement at the school.

Student Leaders and SRC

The formal leadership structure of St Paul's is a team of four school captains from Year 12, two of each gender. An election process is held each year to fill these positions consisting of nominations, staff and student voting, and a final round of interviews. The school captains are a highly visible part of school life, running weekly assemblies and participating in many other ceremonial and leadership activities.

Opportunity for student leadership is an important part of life at St Paul's. In addition to the School Captains, there are two formal student leadership groups comprised of students from each year group. Each Tutor Group elects aTutor Group Representative for the school year, who is responsible for daily administration tasks and is involved in organising Tutor Group activities. Two students are elected from each year group to the Student Representative Council (SRC) through a student election process. The council meets twice per term to discuss activities and issues relevant to the students of St Paul's. Through these groups, students have ample opportunities to have their views heard. It was the initiative of the SRC in 2010 to pursue a concern regarding school bubbler water that resulted in the installation of new refrigerated water fountains in the school playground.

There are many additional opportunities to be involved in student-organised charity fundraising activities, for example: Shave for a Cure Day, Bandana Day, St Paul's Day Celebrations, Caritas (Catholic Overseas Missions), and community focused activities such as Blood Bank donations, and the Environmental Action Team.

The Environmental Action Team continued to have a positive impact in 2010. The school was presented with the School Environment Award by Lake Macquarie Council. Their efforts included the planting of grasses and shrubs to enhance the environment and prevent erosion, the maintenance of school gardens, and the continuation of recycling programs for paper in classrooms, reading glasses and mobile phones.

The St Paul's community tries to be responsive to student concerns, encouraging them to act on their beliefs – letting students know they have "a voice" and encouraging them to accept responsibility for their community and the wider world.