Thursday, 18 May 2017

Term 2 Week 4

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Reinhold Niebuhr

Dear Parents and Friends,

Change is part of life.  When St Mary’s opened it’s doors on 26th February 1888, North Sydney was a working class area.  The two-roomed school was surrounded by bush on one side and paddocks on the other.  By 1913 enrolments had reached 300 boys.  The year of 1956 saw the demolition of many nearby homes to build the Warringah Freeway, subsequently enrolments started to drop, to a low of 69 in 1978.  From 1980 enrolments started to increase once again, the school growing in size to cater for all those who desire a Catholic education for their child. We currently have 373 students enrolled with three more classes planned by the end of 2020.

Our building project is progressing well now and we are looking forward to our ten new learning spaces, library, canteen and playground areas. Over the coming weeks staff, students and parents will have an opportunity to collaborate on how we utilise these new learning spaces for excellence in student learning.

This week I have been involved in a review of education in Sydney Catholic Schools as a panel member looking specifically at the quality of teaching and learning in our systemic schools and the opportunities for student engagement across the primary school curriculum. It has been encouraging to see many outstanding examples of dedicated teachers and leaders in our primary schools and the positive impact they are having on student learning,

Thank you to the Year 2 parents, led by class mums Joan Larkin, Nicci Rowe, Tara Egger and Genevieve Costelloe for the wonderful Mother’s Day breakfast.  Indeed it was very special to savour the many delights! Thank you also to all those who were part of the very special liturgy that followed.

May I also take this opportunity to personally thank the parents who were involved in my recent contract renewal process. Your encouragement was greatly appreciated as we work closely together in the development of our school community over the next few years.

A school calendar update was sent out earlier this week.  There are many upcoming events of which you are kindly invited to take part.

Best wishes
God bless

Beverly Coffey

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Term 2 Week 2 2017

A Prayer for Mothers
All-loving God,
we give you thanks and praise
for mothers young and old.

We pray for young mothers,
who give life and count toes
and tend to our every need;
May they be blessed with patience and tenderness
to care for their families and themselves
with great joy.

We pray for our own mothers
who have nurtured and cared for us;
May they continue to guide
in strong and gentle ways.

We remember mothers who are separated
from their children because of war,
Poverty or conflict;
May they feel the loving embrace of
our God who wipes every tear away.

We pray for women who are not mothers
but still love and shape us
with motherly care and compassion.

We remember mothers, grandmothers & great grandmothers
who are no longer with us
but who live forever in our memory 
and nourish us with their love.
- Heide Busse

Dear Parents,

Welcome to Term 2!  I hope that you had a wonderful break, whether you went on holiday or just enjoyed a change from the school routine.  We look forward to a term filled with learning and happy memories.

Over the coming weeks we have several events which are outlined in our newsletter today as well as on our school calendar, which can be accessed via the Blogsite.

I look forward to joining you in Mother's Day Celebrations this coming Friday 12th May. Thank you to the P&F, Susan Vaz and the Year 2 parents for organising this event.  A Happy Mother's Day to all our mothers!

We have several information sessions which we invite our parent community to:
  • Literacy information session for Kinder Parents on  Tuesday 16 May at 5.30pm.  At this information session we will discuss how to best support early reading at home and in the classroom and also share pedagogical insights from the reading recovery program.  If you are wanting to help out with classroom reading groups, we ask that you please attend this session.
  • STEM information evening on Tuesday 23 May at 7pm.  Markus Powling has recently attended two overseas conferences where he has delivered papers on STEM teaching in Primary Schools.  We are proud that we are competing at an international level with our STEM program here at St Mary's.
  • Two Newman Program Information sessions on  Tuesday 30 May at 7pm and again on Thursday 8 June at 9am.  These sessions will be presented by Amanda Tinson, Sydney Catholic Schools Leader of Learning in Gifted Education and Meghan Bassett, our Newman Facilitator at St Mary’s.  
Our newsletter today will outline further information on these sessions. Our school blogsite has considerable information on both the STEM and Newman Programs.

Building update:  Works are progressing well with the reinforcement to the Ground Floor Slab being completed by end of May and the pouring of the concrete floor on June 1st.  Estimated completion date for the project is 21 December 2017.

Enjoy a glorious Autumn weekend!

Kind regards,
Beverly Coffey