Tuesday, June 28, 2011

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

What a great day Sunday was, the Confirmation is always a highlight of our school’s year and Sundays Mass was no exception. Thank you to all of the people who helped out but especially to Mrs Mary Dillon and to Fr Michael.

In Year Eight Religious Education we have been looking at symbols and how certain symbols let you know where a person comes from.

Our Catholic special character and the fact that we are a full primary school mark us as being unique. The attributes that we value are what makes our school so successful and such a special place.

Often the little things that we expect or take for granted are the obvious difference between our school and other schools: being gracious in victory and defeat, saying please and thank you, wearing your uniform with pride.

We often expect our pupils to do this but it is only when you look at others schools that you realise not all pupils behave in what we deem to be an acceptable way.

Little things like manners and pride in our appearance are skills that can take people a long way in life so thank you for your support and remember to praise up your child when they display the behaviour that we all agree is right.

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Something to think about.

A thought for the week…

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life, you will have been all of these.

George Washington Carver

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of

St Mary’s School,

Today is the winter solstice, midwinter's day, the shortest day. Last Sunday people leapt into the sea for the annual polar plunge and this Saturday is the midwinter festival in the Octagon.

I read a quote recently that said that the effect that we as parents had on our child was immense and life long. Not what we say but rather what we do. Think back to your own parents attitudes, values and how have they shaped you?

A vital component that young people need if they are to succeed in our modern future is to be life long learners. To achieve this they need your support, this doesn’t mean that you have to become another classroom teacher but rather you teach by the actions that you model: read in front of your children, play games with them,

discuss events with them and most importantly answer their questions, even when you are busy or tired.

Our children are only young for a short time and soon enough they stop asking you questions and start telling you the answers (as the parent of any teenager will know).

If you don’t know the answer to a question then, say I don’t know but lets find out together. With children most of the fun is in the finding out.

So if someone in your class asks what the solstice means, or they ask why do people march around the Octagon on a freezing night and you aren’t 100% sure, find out with your child together.

This shows that that even the people that they respect most ,are still learning, so it’s a good thing for them to continue to learn too

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

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

Cooperation is a word that you don’t hear spoken as often now as it once was.

I remember ‘Sesame Street’ the 1970 and 80’s television programme would have large sections of time to discussing this concept—that is working together for a common goal.

Another key word and concept is basic skills—no matter what the area of endeavor, be it school, sport, the arts or work, nobody ever goes very far if they don’t master the basic skills.

Last year my daughter who has played representative hockey for a number of year was selected in a team where the coach was very focused on pupils developing their basic skills first, walking before they ran. He told this group of young ladies and their parents that their basic skills just weren't up to an acceptable standard and that he was going to start from scratch. He said that one to two practices and a game a week was not enough time to correct these short comings and that the parents would need to ensure that this hard work continued at home.

Initially the team struggled because while their skills developed their game appreciation didn’t. I broached the subject with the coach and he said ’wait until our tournament and then we will see what happens’.

At their tournament they were a revelation, they beat teams that had previously thrashed them and were placed higher than Otago teams had been at this tournament for a long time.

The cooperation between home and sport worked wonders and achieved excellent results.

If this can happen in a sport like hockey imagine what can happen if the same rationale is applied between home and school. So please for the benefit of our pupils, your children, work with your child’s class teacher to ensure that those little home work tasks are completed well and I’m sure that you will be amased at the progress made.

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of

St Mary’s School,

Over a week is a busy time in the life of a school and over the last week a number of things have occurred at St Mary’s.

Last weekend we had another episode of people attempting to steal our copper spouting. Thanks to a vigilant neighbour and our own police/parents the thieves were apprehended quickly. We should have the spouting replaced soon with stainless steel so their will be no need for more of our spouting to be targeted.

I recently applied for a Grant for the Bendigo Valley Foundation and I am happy to say that our application was successful and we have been granted $4000 to spend on library books.

This will be most gratefully accepted as the purchase of new books for our library is something that is vital to develop in our

pupils a love for reading.

This week is our week set aside for parent teacher interviews—the purpose of these is to inform you on your child’s progress but more importantly to explain how we can work best together.

The developing of this home-school

partnership is vital to ensure that our pupils

become the best that they can be.

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of

St Mary’s School,

It must be getting close to the middle of the year as the teachers have written all of their reports and I am in the midst of reading them.

We have decided again to have interviews linked to these reports to allow parents to discuss any points contained in the reports that they would like clarified and also to discuss other areas of their child’s progress.

We also held our homework information evening a couple of weeks ago and it was very well supported. This was very heartening because for a school community to thrive we need to all work together. That is why I would ask you to look closely at the section on the reports entitled ‘next learning steps at home’, read through this and please try to use some of these suggestions. I’m sure that you will be thrilled with the results.

It would be good to see lots of parents at the Quiz night on Tuesday 14th June this is a great way to meet other parents and become involved in our school community.

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of

St Mary’s School,

I read with interest and a degree of pleasure that the dry run has finished for the Otago Nuggets. Thirty three games without a win, how sweet that victory must have tasted to Alf Arlidge and his team.

Often people say that sport is a metaphor for life. The challenges and trials that happen in preparing for and playing sport are similar to the ones that we face in life.

People who succeed in sport often possess the attributes that are required to succeed in life:

loyalty, persistence, determination and a willingness to set goals and work hard to achieve these goals.

Success in education is the same as success in life. Persistence, sticking to the task at hand even when the going gets hard.

For one person to learn a skill it may take four or five attempts, for another person it may take thirty. But if the first person stops after three attempts and the second person keeps going until they reach thirty, you can see who will succeed and who will fail.

Every sportsperson who never quite made the big time will tell you they should have but often the reason they didn’t get selected for the top team or win the big race is that somebody wanted it more or worked harder or longer to achieve their goals.

Education is not as competitive as sports but to succeed you need to persevere.

In the words of the famous American actress and singer Shirley MacLaine “It not where you start it’s where you finish”.

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan

Wednesday, June 1, 2011