Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Week 4 Term 1 2018

Dear Parents and Friends,

It has been encouraging to see our new Kindergarten children settling into their school routines so happily over the past two weeks. Congratulations to all parents for your wonderful support in this task. We also thank our students for making our new Kindergarten children feel so welcome at St Mary’s School.

Our new playground facilities have certainly been a delightful addition to the school and our students are enjoying the space and freedom which has been created. The transition to the new learning spaces is currently in place with all classes hopefully in their new rooms by the end of next week. The builders are finalising some minor defects on the first and second floors of the building before we are issued with the occupation certificate. There will be much to celebrate when we finally have all students working in their new learning spaces.

Our academic year has started smoothly with initial assessments and ongoing testing providing additional valuable information to ensure that strong and appropriate learning programs are in place. Our focus is equally directed to ensuring a schooling environment that supports social and emotional wellbeing. For us as adults, both as educators and parents, we want our students to be strong, courageous individuals with the capacity to stand true to their beliefs, to stand up against victimisation and to stand tall with integrity and honesty. Such courage is not innate, but comes with practice and when opportunities present for such actions to be taken.

The ability to persevere, delay gratification and find an inner strength to show grit when experiencing challenges and adversity is essential to our students’ wellbeing. We seek parent support in modelling a positive mindset and an enabling view so that this is the reality for each and every student at St Mary’s.

This year we will have the support of a School Counsellor, Mrs Tamara Murrell as part of the staffing allocation from Sydney Catholic Schools. Tamara will work closely with teachers and parents in the support of students with their wellbeing who need professional help to enrich their learning opportunities while at school. Tamara will work at St Mary’s on Wednesdays and Thursdays and referrals are to be made through my principal’s office. Our focus on student wellbeing links closely with the Sydney Catholic Schools theme for 2018 which is taken from Luke’s Gospel (1:30) “Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favour with God”
This message is taken from The Annunciation when the Angel Gabriel tells Mary that she is to be the mother of Jesus. The action statement we are working with at St Mary’s as our school theme is: Do not be afraid – Be courageous – Be adventurous – God loves you!

St Mary’s is a wonderful Faith community and I look forward to our first class Mass for Kindergarten and Year 6 students and their families this Sunday in St Mary’s Church at 9.00 am.

Next Friday March 2 at 6.30pm we welcome all families to the annual Meet and Greet celebration that will be a wonderful way to catch up with friends and welcome new members to the school community. A special thanks goes to our Parents and Friends Committee, particularly Susan Vaz for organising this lovely celebration.  I would also like to thank our Year 5 parents for the delicious morning tea they generously arranged after the Opening Mass held earlier this month.

May the week ahead be a peaceful one for all families.

Beverly Coffey