Thursday, 23 March 2017

Principal's News 24 March 2017

Dear Parents and Friends,

It is possible that the most important conversation we have each day is with ourselves. This conversation could determine if our outlook for the day is to be one of optimism and so fill us with confidence to accept and deal positively with the days' menu of events. The way adults feel about themselves will have a big influence upon the manner in which our children view the prospects of their day. A healthy positive attitude to life is contagious and if we parents are carriers, then our children are sure to be infected.

As teachers of St Mary's School, we try to bring a positive gospel perspective to every aspect of school life. Here are some examples:
  • God reaches out to all of us in our day-to-day life: Finding meaning in our experiences is a sacred act. When our Kindergarten children recreate their experiences in talk and play they are being touched by God.
  • We are both blessed and broken: Each one of us has enormous potential; talents to be developed and challenges to be met. At the same time we seek healing and forgiveness, the opportunity to learn from mistakes and to start again with confidence.
Through the diverse curriculum offered at St Mary's School our learning intention is to help students make sense of their world.

Sport is always a celebration and it is wonderful to see our children participate in the many opportunities that are available these days.  Our Blog showcases our children and their sporting achievements.  We were particularly proud this week that Joshua M from Year 6 has achieved State Level in Swimming.  Well done to Josh and to all the children who use their special gifts to represent the School in such a wonderful way.

Thank you

Thank you to Year 4 parents for co-ordinating a lovely morning tea for Grandparents Morning.  We have had wonderful feedback from Grandparents and appreciate all the support to make this a special occasion for grandparents and the children.

Annual Improvement Plan:
This week I will share the Annual Improvement Plan for the 2017 school year. This plan identifies areas for improvement as part of the Sydney Catholic Schools Strategic Improvement Plan for individual schools. Following a process of discernment with the St Mary's Leadership Team and consultants the following plan was developed showing our learning intentions and success criteria.
An appendix has been added to the Newman Project for your understanding.

Annual Improvement Plan Link:

Newman Project Link:

Have a wonderful weekend,
Kind regards,
Beverly Coffey

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Principal's News - 10 March 2017

Dear Parents and Friends,

This week we once again ask all families to reflect on the importance of the Church season of Lent. We talk to the children about the special ways they can show compassion towards each other and how love is a vital component in their lives, just as Christ made it the basis of His whole message to us.

Lent is a time when we focus on our relationship with God. It is a time of letting go of what prevents us from being the person we want to be. During His public life, Jesus faced temptation, suffered hunger, thirst and betrayal as well as the agony and humiliation of crucifixion. He did not face these things so that we could be exempt from them but that we could approach our difficulties in life with dignity.

I have included these thoughts from Pope Francis about our commitment to Lent.
  • Fast from hurting words and say kind words.
  • Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.
  • Fast from anger and be filled with patience.
  • Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.
  • Fast from worries and have trust in God.
  • Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.
  • Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
  • Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy.
  • Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.
  • Fast from grudges and be reconciled.
  • Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.
Himalayan Trek
It is with great excitement that we update our community on the Himalayan Trek that is currently being organised by two of our parents Mr Craig Donnell and Dr. Kaustuv Bhattacharya. As you my remember, the idea of the trek was originally planned for November 2015 but was postponed due to the serious earthquake that hit Nepal in April 2015.

On Friday 28 April 2017, the team of trekkers which includes our parents, will depart for Kathmandu, Nepal to make an ascent on Imja Tse (Island Peak, 6189m). Their mission is to raise $100,000 for the Rare Disease Research Fund at The Children's Hospital at Westmead and St Mary's School. Dr. Kaustuv, who is the paediatric metabolic specialist at The Children's Hospital Westmead, outlined the challenges that lay ahead for his patients and the need for further research to help find cures or treatments.   

In addition to the funds being raised for research in Australia, St Mary's Parents and Friends Association along with our students are organising educational supplies that will be carried up the mountain to donate to Shree Himalaya Primary School in Namche Bazaar. A list of what is needed is included in this newsletter so we hope that you can support us. A need for warm clothing for Sherpas and their families has also been identified due to recent hardship caused by the earthquakes and avalanche.

This will be a wonderful opportunity for our community to be involved in this needy cause. Further details are included in today's newsblog.

We wish the Trekkers every success in this very worthy mission to help those in need.  

Parents and Friends Association
This week we welcomed many new faces to our first meeting for the year which outlined the plans for the social activities that will take place in 2017. It was a delightful opportunity to engage our parents in the ways they can support the St Mary's School Community this year. 

Building Project
Gledhill Constructions are making good progress on the building site now that the traffic management issues have been resolved with North Sydney Council. Work to be completed during this month includes:
  • Complete detailed excavation
  • Shotcrete works to both elevations
  • Commence in ground drainage plus hydraulics below basement slab
  • Reinforce and pour concrete footings/shoring columns to Ridge Lane
  • Prepare, Form, Reinforce and pour basement slab by April 12th. 
Enjoy a relaxing weekend!

Kind regards,
Beverly Coffey