Monday, May 20, 2013

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

Yesterday I attended a Principal’s meeting with a group of Principals from a range of schools state and integrated, large and small, rural and urban.  Two had just started in new positions that were significantly different from their previous positions.

Days like this are always invaluable as when they are finished you are able to put your own schools situation into perspective.

All schools face similar challenges, Novopay, National Standards, property matters, changing

demographics and an ever changing social landscape.  Different schools have different ways of dealing with these matters, one size doesn’t fit all and one approach is not always the correct or the only one.  The important thing is that we have a shared goal, that being, to achieve the best that we can for our children.

At St Mary’s despite the pressure of national standards, we strive to maintain a broad and inclusive curriculum.  The logic behind this is simple, if we want our children to be good at reading and writing we need to develop in them a range of topics and interests that they what to read and write about.  The idea of leading a horse to water but not being able to force the horse to drink!  We can teach a pupil to read and write to a basic level but to achieve at the expected level to achieve NCEA, a pupil needs to be widely read and be able to write confidentially on a range of topics.  To do this they need to be engaged in living a broad life.  Parents can help by ensuring that their children have access to a range of social outlets, and that reading and writing and math's are modelled to them by their parents.

But also talk about things that you have seen and done.  It never ceases to amaze me when I chat about things with my own children how different a perspective they have to some ideas and events.


Have a great week.

Mike Brosnahan



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