Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

What tumultuous times we live in :Nuclear melt down and ten meter high Tsunami waves in Japan, Christchurch (or large parts of it) destroyed by not one but two huge earthquakes, anarchists revolt in London and most of the Middle-East in armed revolt.

It’s times like this that we often re examine our own beliefs, faith and morals. We search in a sea of chaos for something solid and meaningful that we can cling to.

Our Catholic Special Character enables us to give our pupils, if not a map then a moral compass that helps them to plot the right direction even in the most turbulent of times.

It is often said that more people seek out something greater, something that will continue to give meaning to their lives.

We at St Mary’s, and I think most people with Christian beliefs, have as a core belief the golden rule ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.

It is amazing how simple life becomes if we focus on this core principle. So when your child asks you a question about how they should act in a certain situation or you need to correct their behavior over a certain matter just pose the following question to them: “How would you feel if that happened to you?”

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of working with Room Seven for the day. The setting wasn’t in Room Seven but rather it was in the great outdoors. As a component of their education outside the classroom programme the Year Seven and Eight group had the great opportunity for a day’s tramping, jet boat riding and rafting.

The goals of the day were based around team building but tied in well the key competency aspects of the National Curriculum: managing self ,participating and contributing, relating to others and thinking. But the real challenge in all of these targets is that these things need to be done in a challenging or unknown setting.

I have seldom been as proud of a group of young people as I was on this day. All challenges were accepted, all tasks completed and a genuine sense of comradeship developed.

Problem solving can be a purely theoretical task, but it does lose something when a problem is solved while seated at a desk. Most problems are identified, faced and solved in situ and that is what outdoor education brings.

A.J. Hackett once said “I like to scare myself at least once a day”. Most of us would find this a little too challenging but growth is about facing challenges and overcoming them and that is what our senior school did on Wednesday. And I may be wrong but I think the group that arrived back at school was just a little taller and stood a little straighter than the group that left.

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

On Friday I was just settling down for my weekly dose of humour by watching the Graham Norton show. However when I turned on the T.V. I wasn’t greeted by scenes of humour but rather by the scenes of devastation of the earthquake and Tsunami that was happening in Japan.

As the extent of this devastating event transpired, we watched open mouthed at the scale of devastation. Visions of seven metre high walls of water travelling at 800 kilometers per hour, cars, trucks, and boats thrown around like match box toys and fire burning with such heat all that the firemen could do was water down the surrounding buildings in a vain attempt to stop the fire spreading. This was before there had been a mention of nuclear power stations and their cores melting down.

After the devastation that had been inflicted to Christchurch, we as a nation, can sympathise with the Japanese people as they battle these cataclysmic events. The loss of life will be severe. As Christians we need to remember the people of Japan in our prayers but also to keep in the forefront of our mind that most important of our schools Mercy Values -’Compassion’.

Have a happy and safe week.

Mike Brosnahan

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

One of the feel good stories of the year to date is the rise and rise of the Highlanders rugbyfranchise. Last year they were a dysfunctional group of underachievers, (in fact they had been for a number of years). This year they have leapt to the top of the points table with three wins, each breaking some record.

How does a group of perennial under achievers become a group of world beaters in such a short time?

If there was a simple formula to follow then every leader striving for success would implement it.

What we as leaders;’be it parents, teachers, or coaches need to remember that to succeed we need to develop a plan, put in place procedures that help us implement this plan and be prepared to continually monitor where we are, what we have achieved and where we plan to go to next.

Jamie Joseph is a strong leader. Even when not a captain he led by example and that is what a leader needs to be and do, lead from the front.

It’s not enough to talk the talk we need to walk the walk.

Have a great week.

Mike Brosnahan

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of

St Mary’s School,

Welcome back for Week Five of Term One.

Sometimes its hard to believe how fast time flies. Much has changed for us over the past week with the events in Christchurch.

This time a week ago the people of Christchurch were recovering from the events of the proceeding September where they had experienced significant damage but thankfully no loss of life. Then at 12.51 everything changed.

I have been reading Bert Sutcliffe, the great Otago Cricketer’s Biography and in it talks about the famous test held at Ellis Park Johannesburg where he was hit in the head by South African fast bowler Neil Adcock. He had to be taken to hospital after falling unconscious twice.

New Zealand were losing the test so he elected to return to bat again covered in bandages (in the end a towel was taped to his head). When the ninth NZ wicket fell he was joined at the crease by Bob Blair, no one thought Blair would bat because he had been made aware that his fiancé had perished in the Tagawai train disaster only hours before.

The two batted for a long period and when their partnership was finally ended and they were walking off the huge crowd rose to give a standing ovation. Not for the man who had the physical wounds for in a fit young man wounds heal quickly. It was for the other batsman that they stood to applaud, the one who bore the emotional scars and they take much longer to heal.

With these thoughts in mind we remember today at 12.50pm our friends and relatives from Christchurch and know that like the Phoenix they will rise from the ashes.

Have a safe week.

Mike Brosnahan