In February 2009 the Mercedes College community began a three year partnership with Dr John Edwards, founder of the International Community Designed Schools Network, to develop a shared Vision for the future of the College. Seven research themes emerged from our Shared Vision which became the focus for seven research teams throughout 2009. Each research team recommended to the College community aspects to develop in order to move towards our shared vision. We reached concensus as to which recommendations were ready to implement and an Extended Leadership Team, comprising members of Executive, middle managers and teachers, organized the recommendations into a five year future plan for the College. This Plan is captured by the three words - Aspire, Excel, Lead.
At the heart of our Shared Vision were our College values – Compassion, Justice, Service, Excellence and Integrity – which are important to allow each of us as individuals to learn and grow as Mercy people. Living these values is at the very heart of our Community as we strive to live each day in the spirit and footsteps of Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy, and Ursula Frayne, who led the first group of pioneer Sisters to Victoria Square in 1846.
The Quality Catholic Schooling Project
The Quality Catholic Schooling (QCS) project was initiated by the Catholic Education Office of WA (CEOWA) in 2008. It supported the development of a framework for school improvement in Western Australian Catholic schools and its brief was to devise both a process for schools to engage in the further strengthening of their professional learning cultures and to better connect the support offered through the CEOWA with the improvement efforts of schools. The QCS project has recognized that, in times of enormous change and increasing accountability, real and sustainable improvement can only come through deep professional engagement.
The QCS Framework puts students at the core of all improvement efforts in schools. The 24 components of the Framework, the domains of which are drawn directly from the Leadership Framework for Catholic Education, are reviewed within each cycle of five years. At Mercedes College, the components have been mapped against our future strategic directions and priorities. This alignment is both strategically and time effective. What is most important is that the QCS project facilitates a review conversation within the College and ensures a focus on continual improvement to maximize learning outcomes for all students.