Tuesday, September 25, 2012

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

After a  long period during which few, if any visible changes took place on the new building site the last week has been a literal hive of activity.

The temporary access road has been put in and the clearing of the site is progressing at pace to enable the beginning of the driving of the piles so that Rooms 4 and 5 can be shifted during the holidays.

It is a very exciting time at the school with: along side the acceleration of work at the new school site the smart new sports uniforms have arrived; the two class rooms, the storage room and the reading room at the western end of the main block are all empty and being prepared for the shift.  And of course this is the week during which ‘Animal Antics’ our annual school production is being staged.  It promises to be a great show so please make every effort to get along.

Early next term is our schools annual fair, this day is always highly successful both in terms of money raised and as a great social day for the families, but this year is going to be special, it is our final fair based at 62 Church Street.  All of the money raised will be used to ensure that our move to our new school will be highly successful, so please support our hard working and highly motivated P.T.A. and this will ensure that our shift will be a major success.

As this is the last newsletter for the term I would like to thank all of the people who have helped at school over the term, sport coaches, people who have worked in classes, those who have gone on trips and camp, and especially the P.T.A. and B.O.T. the amount of time and effort that these groups put in is often  not recognized—so thank you.

Next term will be a huge term for the school, our aim is to ensure that your children’s learning is effected as little as possible by the shift while ensuring that it is an experience that they will remember.

Have a great week and a happy and safe holiday.

Mike Brosnahan


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

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

Despite the snow that fell last week spring is definitely here and except for a few hockey representative players children’s winter sport is definitely over for the year.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the parents who have coached, managed or supported our sports teams over the winter months.  As I look at the models of schools that succeed in sport the two key factors that lead to their success is continual support and skill development. 


So thank you once again to all of you, your continual support leads to your children having a greater range of opportunities and enjoying greater success!


I would also like to thank and acknowledge the parents who helped with making the celebration of the First Holy Communion for our pupils so special.  The celebration of the Sacraments is obviously a hugely important part of our schools special character.  The preparation that the children put in, and thank you to the parents who lead this, is crucial to underline the importance of the sacraments to us.

The leadership of Father Michael and Mrs Dillon has made the whole process a highly successful and enjoyable experience.


Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan


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

Over the past week I have been involved in a number of rolls in a range of sporting codes.  From spectator to selector, from coach to supporter, and reflecting back on these experiences I would like to share some observations with you.

Firstly children succeed in sport when they enjoy the sport and are playing it because it is something that they want to do.  Often you will see children who have been pushed by their parents drop out at high school because they had become so afraid of failing that sport was not enjoyable.

The rule of ten thousand definitely is still a major factor, that is that to achieve at a high level you need to put in a minimum of ten thousand hours at your selected sport, but if you want children to put in anything like this level of effort then two factors are vital: they must have excellent support and they must enjoy what they are doing—feel part of a team or group.

My daughter’s hockey team has had a very successful season and the reason for this lies in their coaches ability to take a diverse group of girls ranging in age from 13-18 and including a national representative and some who only play for the school, and welding them into a team.

She was able to achieve this by her own skills but also by the fact that the older members in her team were real leaders.  Despite the fact; in one case they could have been playing for New Zealand one day and the next playing against South Otago, there was no self aggrandisement or self promotion but rather they emphasized the no ‘I’ in team saying.

The rest of the team responded to this leadership.  There was no talking down but only encouragement, no rebukes yelled but only encouragement, no snide remarks but rather support for a common goal.

I would suggest that sport here becomes a metaphor for life, if we want our team to succeed we need to focus on the collective not on our own aspirations.

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan