Community and Service has always been one of the fundamental aspects of the Mercy tradition, pastoral program and co-curricular activities at Monte Sant' Angelo College. The long established ethos and practices around community and service at Monte are reflective of the core values of: Mercy, Human Dignity, Justice, Service and Option for the Poor.
Community and service is also integral to the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme, which was implemented at the College beginning in 2006. The mission of the IBO stresses that the program extends beyond intellectual achievement: “students should develop a personal value system through which to guide their own lives as thoughtful members of local communities and the larger world”.
The MYP Community and Service program at the College builds on these foundations and aims to extend the student’s personal development and the arenas in which they are involved, in a way suited to their maturity, skills and growing independence. The scope and sequence of activities that the girls are involved in is based on the cycle of awareness, service and reflection.
In Year 7 the emphasis is on learning about, and joining the Monte Community through activities that build awareness and connectedness not just for the student, but also the family. The girls are guided in extending Mercy hospitality to others, beginning with their peers and through practical, hands-on activities are involved in support for Mercy charities both locally and overseas.
In Years 8 and 9 the girls are increasingly expected to take responsibility for their actions and explore independent opportunities for service while continuing with school organised activities. In Year 8 this includes taking part in initiatives to support environmental sustainability and raising funds for the Cancer Council through a ‘Fit and Fun’ day. In Year 9, a broader community focus is developed through connections with local aged-care facilities and an integrated program centred on building an awareness of indigenous community and culture.
Overall, the expectation is that the girls will develop a genuine understanding of the nature of communities and recognise the benefits and responsibilities of active citizenship. Through the program it is hoped that all Monte girls become committed to community service and see themselves as young women of action.
Yet So Much More!
In 2007, the College initiated a significant revision to our Senior School Community Service Program. This was inspired by the arrival of the CAS program as a mandatory aspect of the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
What is CAS?
CAS stands for Creativity, Action and Service. Creativity includes any activity which engages your imagination, inspiration and inventiveness. This could range from Thai cooking classes to designing sets for House Plays. Action includes participation in expeditions, individual and team sports and physical training, but specifically where new skills are being developed. Yoga was a very popular ‘action’ this year. Service activities are often the most transforming element of the program as it typically involves building links and interacting with the wider community. This community may be the school, the local district or it may exist on the national or international levels. Service is about doing things for and with others, and developing a real commitment with them.
What is C&S?
C&S stands for Community & Service, which is the parallel program for Year 11 and 12 HSC students. C&S has the same ideals and goals as CAS and offers students the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to personal growth as well as to the Monte and wider communities.
Both the CAS and C&S programs require each individual to set goals and that these be part of the reflection and evaluation that each participant makes. CAS and C&S embrace our Mercy values and are aimed at developing self-confidence and modesty, respect for human dignity, as well as a spirit of discovery, commitment, initiative, determination and perseverance.