Tuesday, August 9, 2011

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

School is a very busy place at the moment with pupils preparing for our cross country, choir festival and ‘Stars on Stage’. Miss Cooper and the ’Stars on Stage’ cast have been working very hard often in their own time to put together a top level presentation.

The arts have long been a forgotten area of our education system in New Zealand and I am very pleased that, driven by a group of motivated teachers, their importance is again being recognised.

As a society we must strive to cater for the skill, interest, needs and talents of all of our citizens and while we in New Zealand focus a lot of our interests on sports and sporting prowess, I assure you that this is not the case throughout the world.

The key for any successful society is to have balanced education of learning: the academic, the artistic and the physical equally.

Often you will find pupils who struggle in other areas come to life with enthusiasm and energy when performing. Pupils who are quiet in class speak forcefully and with much motivation in a debate setting, they beam confidence in a choir, their artwork tells a story.

We as a society must remember that while the basics in all areas are very important the parable of the talents tells us that all talents are God given and should be used. How easy would it have been for van Gogh to stay with his family in Holland or Beethoven to say I can’t hear anymore.

So please encourage your child to have a go at the arts we offer at school: choir, Stars on Stage, public speaking, guitar and piano lessons, a school production, and of course in class learning drama, dance, music and the visual arts.

I will leave for final word for this week to William Bennett the former US Secretary of Education who said “The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing and arithmetic. Music, dance, painting, and theatre are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment”

Have a great week, Mike Brosnahan.

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