Monday, February 27, 2012

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

As we move into Week Five of Term One for this year, I wish to highlight that one of the most important , though often understated events of our school year happens this term.

The PTA Annual General Meeting is a very important occasion for a number of reasons. The most important being that the PTA at our school is a vital component of our school’s special character. We have dedicated and motivated group who put in a large amount of time to arrange social events, raise funds and support the links between home and school.

As a Decile Eight school we receive little additional money in the form of grants from the Ministry of Education and yet we would be one of the best resourced primary schools that I am aware of. The reason for this is the funds that our PTA raise annually through the school fair and other activities. The money raised on a per capita basis would easily be the highest that I am aware of, and this money is the reason our pupils enjoy the excellent resources and support that they do.

The PTA AGM is in the school Foyer at 7pm this Thursday. Our guest speaker is David Young, an expert on e Learning and ICT, and he will talk about what electronic devices are the best option for your child and cyber safety. Dave spoke last year and he was such a popular guest speaker a number of people wanted to hear more. On top of this at our recent parent information evenings a number of parents asked questions on the matters, so here is someone to give you the answers.

The reason that our PTA is so strong is because of the exceptional group of people on it, but there is always room for more helpers, if you would like to support your child’s learning in this most positive way then please come along to the AGM and be prepared to serve on the committee.

Have a great week,

Mike Brosnahan.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

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

Tomorrow 22nd February is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday has always been an important date in the Christian Calendar because it is the beginning of the season of Lent, the time when we prepare for the celebration of Easter.

It was during the season of Lent last year that we were stunned by two natural disasters that had a huge effect on our lives and will for years to come.

I am writing of course about the Christchurch and Japanese earthquakes. Both events were defining moments for us as a nation, the Christchurch earthquake because I think we all believed that things like this only happen on T.V. so the reality of people we know being effected bit deep. The Japanese earthquake was terrifying for a different reason, because it wasn’t just a huge earthquake; it was a massive Tsunami followed by a near nuclear meltdown. Thing that popular authors like Clive Cussler and Tom Clancey wouldn’t write because they would be seen to be too far fetched. But they were and are real, and the healing process goes on, made all the harder by the after shocks.

Lent allows us a time to reflect on ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ - (to quote Shakespeare) that we face.

But it is also a time when we can focus beyond the traumatic at the tranquility that exists in our world. Life is a path that for every climb has a drop and for every person who loves to climb we have one who loves to descend. The challenge in life is to be a person who accepts the climbing and the falling, the ups and the downs and to know that our faith is what enables us to keep going even when the climb appears too hard or the descend too steep.

Have a great week,

Mike Brosnahan.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

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

It was written by a famous author that all of us are standing on the earth but some of us are reaching for the stars.

When you think about this, I think that we would all agree that anyone who achieves anything always aims high, and of course this is especially true in education. We, and I speak as a parent here, all have great ambitions for our children.

Right from birth we have dreams and aspirations for them, but having dreams, reaching for the stars, is only half the battle. Once we have our dream we often have to work hard, to make it a reality and it is the same with our child’s education.

Those times when we are busy and it would be easy to just not hear the reading tonight or leave that project until tomorrow. But when we do listen and help and organize their projects, these are the times that help our children to achieve their potential and reach the stars.

At St Mary’s we try to be realistic about the amount of work that we give our pupils to complete at home. We take into account the busy lives and the many extra-curricular activities that children have these days, but the work that is given is important and necessary, so please ensure that you support your child and enable them to complete this work. As well as the extra knowledge this home support helps them to attain and the attitude and values that they learn, will enable them to reach their star.

Have a great week,

Mike Brosnahan.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

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

We are into Week Two already and it’s hard to believe how fast Week One disappeared. We have a number of beginning of the year occasions coming up this week.

On Wednesday evening we have our class information night. The purpose of the evening is to allow your child’s teacher to outline to you how they will organize their class for the year, the topics that they will be teaching and their expectations for the year.

Please remember that the expectation is that the teacher will be presenting general information, if you wish to discuss any personal or specific matters relating to your child then please make an appointment to meet your child’s teacher at another time.

On Friday we hold our beginning of the year Mass and Whanau day. The Mass will be held at 9.15am at St Mary’s Church and at 12.30 the pupils will have a picnic lunch (they bring their own lunch) at Brooklands Park (the Rec across the road), followed by an afternoon of fun games starting at 1.15pm. We will have a wet weather back up plan if required. Parents are most welcome to come and support the pupils.

Our Whanau programme is a vital component of our school as it allows our senior pupils to act as leaders and to develop the necessary skills.

These skills will be with them for the rest of their lives. It also allows our younger people to work as part of a group, larger than a family but smaller than a school and set the framework that allows them to aspire to a leadership role.

Have a great week,

Mike Brosnahan.

Monday, February 6, 2012

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

Welcome back to the 2012 school year. I hope that everybody was able to take a break during the summer and a happy and restful holiday period was had by all.

2012 brings some changes to our schools staffing; and I would like to welcome Mrs Lisa Matheson into Room Four where she will be the full time class teacher and also to welcome Mrs Anne Kenneally back into her role as Deputy Principal and class teacher in Room Six.

Term One is going to be another very busy and engaging time for our pupils, we have listed a number of key dates for you to keep an eye on further in the news letter.

During the holiday break a friend of my son’s a young man of fifteen passed away in a tragic accident. He was a young person who had achieved a lot in his brief life and has a lot more to look towards.

Tragedies like this force us to reflect on the big questions in life, but they also enable us to take stock of where we are and where we want to go.

I think for anyone to enjoy a fulfilling life they need to live by the old Latin quote which roughly translates as ‘seize the moment’ meaning don’t put off until tomorrow what you should do today.

I think that at times we all procrastinate but a challenge for all in 2012 is to seize the


Have a great year,

Mike Brosnahan.