Wednesday, November 23, 2011

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

Week Five and what an important week this will be with the results from next weekends election promising to set the tone for the type of country that New Zealand will be for the foreseeable future.

We in New Zealand are lucky because our votes all count and we all have the ability to have a say in the direction in which our country is going. The challenge I think, is to not see the political landscape as parliamentarians do in terms of three years but rather to take a longer term view. What will New Zealand be like for my children when they begin to vote?

Obviously education is a portfolio that has a huge effect on the future of our country so please ensure that you know what each of the political parties will deliver with regards to education for our children’s future.

The children and teachers are working very hard at the moment on our end of year concert and there are a number of other outings and occasions coming up. If you can help in any way then please speak to your child’s class teacher as all help will be gratefully accepted—have a great week.

Have a great week,

Mike Brosnahan

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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

Well here we are in week four of what is a very short and busy term.

The pupils have a huge range of activities and outings coming up. Our goal is to ensure that our pupils receive every opportunity but to keep our primary focus on teaching and learning, therefore all of the activities will have a focus on curriculum .

To enable our pupils to take part in L.E.O.T.C activities we, like all schools, rely heavily on the support of our community so thank you to all of the parents and caregivers who give up their time to support our teachers. Without you these trips would not be possible.

As many of you know I enjoy and am involved with coaching a number of sports and have been over a number of years. The ‘Golden Rule’ I have found in coaching teams is to ensure everybody, children and parents know the game plan and everybody: parents, players and coaches get a fair go.

Sport is about enjoyment but it also teaches a huge number of life skills such as: independence, resilience, time management and how to work with team mates and opponents. Children don’t learn these skills in isolation, they learn them by seeing them modeled, and by having them reinforced constantly.

Have a great week,

Mike Brosnahan

Thursday, November 10, 2011

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

Last week I had the privilege of accompanying Room Seven on their annual camp.

This year it was a summer camp so the camp was held at Camp Columba in Pukerau.

Firstly thank you to Mrs Baines for organizing an excellent camp, and thank you also to the great group of parents who supported this camp, Mesdames Janine Will and Bridget Hall and Messer's Gary Hayward, Lindsay Burns and James Crooks. Without the help of these people giving up their time, important activities like camp would not be able to take place.

Outdoor education has unfortunately become an aspect of education that not all schools now endorse. As with all adventure based activities there is an element of risk, but there are risks attached to all activities. Scootering, results in many times more injuries than we have ever had on camp, as J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in the Hobbit “when you take a step outside your front door you begin an adventure”.

Abseiling or rock climbing or completing the high ropes course themselves are not crucial towards achieving in life, few, if any of us will regularly use these skills and fewer of us will make a career of utilizing them.

But what they do, is enable us to set and overcome challenges, they develop our feeling of self esteem and courage. They show us how to concentrate in situations that we are not used to.

As I watched a young person stand at the bottom of the climbing wall or the top of the abseiling cliff and look up or down—I could see them think I don’t know if I can do this? So when they did achieve this goal they felt they had proven something not to others but most importantly to themselves.

That is the value of outdoor education, it offers another dimension to our lives that dissuades us from the sedentary but also teaches us skills that show life isn’t a spectator sport, it’s about being fully involved.

Have a great week,

Mike Brosnahan

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

Well what a successful few days it has been for St Mary’s, firstly let me start by thanking the fair co-coordinators Karen Elliott and Rachel Morris and the P.T.A. for organizing and implementing a brilliant fair.

The whole day was excellent, and also a big thank you to all of the other willing helpers and to the families for all their generous donations of prizes and support of our fair.

The time and effort that the P.T.A. put in to running our fair is immense and the they do it with two clear goals, firstly to have a great day for our community and secondly to raise much needed funds for our school.

They achieve this goal by hard work and an immense level of loyalty and enthusiasm. So thank you to the P.T.A., your hard work is greatly appreciated.

Then yesterday we had our Athletic Sports and this turned out to be another great day. The weather looked marginal at the beginning of the day but our weather lady, Mrs Dillon said it would be fine and it was. I was thrilled by the effort put in by all of our pupils and as a school we were very proud that another St Mary’s pupil has won the Dillon Cup for the best overall athlete. Cameron Dyer won this award by achieving a perfect score of 36 points. Once again thank you to all of our great helpers, without you this day would not have been nearly as successful.

This year seems to have been a busy year right from the first of February when we started but the next weeks will be even busier so please check the diary of up coming events section to ensure you are all aware of all that is coming up at school.

It is the time of the year when the secondary school hold their senior prize giving ceremonies and I always read these with interest noting the names of our ex-pupils and remembering them when they left us after Year Eight.

To all of these ex-pupils who are reading this congratulations on your successes since you left us.

Have a great week,

Mike Brosnahan