Finding Communities at CBC Fremantle

As a school in the Edmund Rice tradition, CBC Fremantle holds four Touchstones at our centre. The concept of a touchstone arose in the 15th Century, when black quartz, the 'touchstone', was used to measure the authenticity or purity of metals. Once the origin of the idea is understood it reinforces that it is by these four Touchstones that the College can measure its authenticity as a community.  Borrowing from the Edmund Rice Education Australia website, our school '…strives to offer a Liberating Education based on Gospel Spirituality within an Inclusive Community committed to Justice and Solidarity.' emer-hickey_2023.jpg

Each Term, the College focuses on one of these Touchstones to reflect, consider and apply in our community. In Term 1, the focus is on Gospel Spirituality and so far, we have reflected on the importance of kindness, respect, patience, and temperance in our lives and in the success of our community. Fundamentally, the message is about how we relate to and interact with others in our community, and about bringing love to the lives of all people we meet.

Our pastoral structure of a House System functions as a catalyst for forging strong and loving relationships in the College. In each House, students should find the embrace of support, solace during challenges, and joy in shared triumphs. Each Mentor group with their Mentor teacher becomes a network of allies amongst which they can navigate the day-to-day life at the College. This term, and especially this week anointed 'House Week', the spirit and strength of these communities – the House and the Mentor – within CBC Fremantle has been on display.

The College Swimming Carnival, Cross-Country Carnival and House Week events are opportunities to build these relationships and engage with House spirit. Students commit to the common good, as members contribute their unique strengths whether that be sketching in the 'Portrait of a Principal', swimming 50 metres freestyle at a blistering pace, or racing around the cross-country track. Boys cheer each other on, pat each other on the back, challenge each other's abilities and shake hands when they cross the finish line. They celebrate those who simply do their best, recognising those who face challenges in participating and getting to the start line. They find satisfaction and pride in their achievements, and the achievements of their peers and House.

I hope that in our communities – CBC Fremantle, their House and in the Mentor groups, students find not only a physical shelter but also a social sanctuary where respect, empathy and love thrive. I know that while these are intangible and are difficult to measure, they can certainly be seen, they can be heard and most importantly they can be felt. Ultimately, as a pastoral leader, how our students feel about being at school is our measure of success.