Sunday, 29 November 2015

Dear Parents and Friends,

Last week we welcomed our new Kindergarten families for 2016. It was a delight to meet with our new Mums and Dads as they shared their hopes and dreams for their child's education at St Mary's School along with their keen desire to make new friendships as part of our growing faith community. They are looking forward to their first social event at the Meet and Greet Night for all parents next February 19th. Be sure to mark this in your diaries for a special occasion to start the year.

We have a total of 68 kindergarten students enrolled for next year with several still on the waiting list. All classes now have students wait listed as the population on the lower North Shore continues to grow placing pressure on local Catholic schools. In 2016 we will have 10 classes consisting of two streams in Kindergarten, Year One and Two and a single stream of Year Three, Four, Five and Six classes. Announcements of teachers for each of those classes will be included with the end of year student reports which are timetabled to be distributed on Friday December 11th.

Staff News
We shared some very happy news from our teacher Laura Hatherly who gave birth to her first child last week. Laura and her husband Ben are the proud parents of baby Harriet pictured on our website for her first official photo! Congratulations!

Also we farewell our much loved teacher-librarian Gayle Smyth who will be retiring at the end of this year after ten years teaching at St Mary's and many years within the Catholic education system. We wish Gayle many happy years of retirement and look forward to welcoming her back to the opening and blessing of the new school buildings in 2017.

This week we honour our wonderful students in Year Six as they prepare to graduate from primary school into their respective secondary colleges next year. A special Graduation Mass and Dinner will be celebrated for our students this coming Thursday December 3rd where we will have the opportunity to reflect on the achievements of all boys and girls from the class. Our students should be proud of their many successes at school throughout the seven years of primary education and we ask that you keep them in your prayers as they venture out into life's journey.

The next few weeks will see our school community involved in the end of year Mass on Thursday December 10th and the swimming carnival on Tuesday December 15th. Our final school assembly will be held on Friday December 11th with a delightful performance from the school band and choirs. We hope that you can attend and then stay for a morning tea as a token of our appreciation for the many generous parents who have helped us throughout this year.

Lord we pray for all who support St Mary's School. We give thanks for their willingness to share their time, talents and resources so that present and future students can enjoy the rich blessings of an education that inspires them to make their own contribution to society. Lord Hear Us.

Enjoy the week ahead.
Yours in peace

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Dear Parents and Friends,

Congratulations to all on the wonderful success of our 2015 Musical! Indeed it was a pleasure to be entertained by our highly motivated and energetic students last night and I'm sure that it was one of the best days of our lives!

The inspiration and power of the arts play a vital role in enabling our students to enhance their creative talent and develop their artistic skills. By engaging in these experiences within the expressive arts, children learn to recognise and represent feelings and emotions, both their own and those of others. The expressive arts play a central role in shaping our sense of our personal, social and cultural identity. Learning in the expressive arts also plays an important role in supporting children to recognise and value the variety and vitality of culture locally, nationally and globally.

A musical production of this scale would not have happened without the dedication and commitment of the teaching and support staff of St Mary's School. Our parents have also given their time and energy so generously to making this production possible. Thank you!

We are also appreciative of the mentoring support that has been offered by the Catholic Schools Performing Arts (CaSPA) team and the Principal and staff from Marist College for sharing their facilities on this occasion.

A special congratulations is given to our very creative and talented teacher Meghan Bassett, for her outstanding direction of our Musical Live Louder and for her encouragement always given to the students to let their colours shine. Well done to all.