The commitments we ask of parents when they enrol their son in Wollemi.
Parent involvement at Wollemi means, first of all, involvement in the education of one's own son through the tutorial system. The tutorial system helps to ensure that parents do not lose their key role in overseeing the education of their son. Parents are encouraged to talk frequently with the tutor of their son keeping track of priorities in their son’s development as a student and as a complete young man.
When parents work closely with the tutor, the College is better able to address the specific needs of the individual boys. Parents are better able to direct their son’s upbringing even though a boy may spend much time at school, even more sometimes than he might spend personally with his parents.
The specific commitments asked of parents on coming to Wollemi are:
- to work closely with their son's tutor...involving a meeting of both parents together with the tutor, usually at the College, at least every term;
- to provide home follow-up of the goals from this parent-tutor meeting;
- to attend orientation activities organised by the College for parents new to the school;
- to attend the term parent functions and other formal functions organised by the College in order to keep up to date with developments at the school, be informed of issues which the College sees as important in the formation of the boys, and to meet with their son’s teachers;
- to do their best to help create an extended family within their son’s class, forming friendships with other parents and offering support when the small and more challenging crises of life arise.
- Furthermore we ask that if parents should have the great misfortune to be separated or divorced, that nevertheless they continue to work together with the tutor in the best interests of their child. We ask both parents to attend the interview with the tutor and that they do their best to maintain an amicable and effective ongoing cooperation with each other in the interests of the child.
Additionally, parents contribute tremendous energy and expertise to sports coaching and managing, and give their time generously to occasional working bees, and by helping out at the various College functions and activities during the year (Mother’s Day Stalls, fund-raising activities, performing arts nights, etc.). Nevertheless, the absolute priority is in booking up and meeting with the tutor of one’s son, and in attending the Key Parent Functions.
Some parents also contribute their time to the PARED Foundation in various ways, for example on Finance or Promotion Committees.
The Principle of Subsidiarity gives an understanding the respective roles of parents and school, and of how schools should assist parents.
Core principles of social ethics include the principle of solidarity (the duty we have to help those in need), the principle of subsidiarity, and regard for the common good.
The principle of subsidiarity, as first stated by Pope Pius XI in Quadragesimo Anno, and clarified by Pope John Paul II in Centesimus Annus, maintains that a society flourishes best when its citizens recognize that different social organizations have different tasks. "A community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good." The family, the church, the market, and the government each have different tasks in society. Accordingly, there is a difference in the lived experience of freedom in each.
Gregory R. Beabout, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Saint Louis University
The principle of subsidiarity leads to a number of practical conclusions about the relationship between school and state, between parents and school, and between parents and their own children.
- The principle of subsidiarity requires that a community of a higher order, civil society, may only take to itself matters which the family, a community of a lower order, cannot effectively look after. When parents seek to educate their children, they entrust specialized aspects of the children's education to schools, yet the parents still have a duty to retain responsibility for the overall education of their offspring, and certainly to set any agenda for the moral education of the child. They ought to ensure that, in the process of this specialized assistance, any values which are being imparted at the schooling institution reflect their own family values. If possible, they should seek a school which, besides providing a first class professional service, positively seeks to reinforce the family's deepest educational priorities such as the fostering of virtues.
- Whatever a child is capable of doing for himself he ought to do for himself. So, when he is old enough to make his bed or shine his shoes, he ought to be expected to do so. When he is strong enough to help with the lawns, he should. When he is reliable enough to catch the bus on his own, he ought to be allowed to. When he is old enough to organize a tennis afternoon for boys and girls, he ought to be helped to organize it himself. Not to follow this approach leads to pampered children whose parents have denied them opportunities to grow in responsibility.
- Parents should look after to tasks they are best placed to carry out for their own children. Hence sex education necessarily is a parental responsibility. Parents too are best placed to manage the beginning social life of their sons and daughters. They need to be able to judge the stage that their own children are at and what they are ready for. Parties and dances are best kept small and parents need to be in the loop so they can make these judgements. Father-son camps are run by the dads.