Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,
Next week we host Paul Ferris and his team from the Catholic Review Office. They will come
into our school to look at how our school’s Special Character manifests itself. The key phrase I
believe in this is “our schools” special character. All schools are different because they serve
different communities or Parishes comprised of different mixes of people.
St Mary’s special Catholic Character will be subtly different from other Catholic Primary Schools;
we are the only surviving full primary, we are the only Catholic School on the Taieri, we have
children from rural and urban families, our ethnic mix and the backgrounds of our staff,
pupils, parents and parish will be unique. Even our physical setting in a new school is unique.
The challenge for us all is to ensure that within our unique setting we ensure that our school lives
the values and Charism of The Mercy Sisters and the Catholic Church. That our pupils live by a
moral compass based on the Gospel and that as a school at the beginning of the twenty first
century we ensure that we are instilling in our pupils all that they need to be Catholic Christians
in an ever changing modern world.
John Wayne in his epic film ‘True Grit’ said “looking back is a bad habit” and to a degree I can
see what he means. We don’t want to become focused on the past and things that we can’t
change, but we equally need to consider the saying “those who don’t learn from history are
doomed to repeat it”. What we need to do is to learn from the past to give our young people the
skills, values and attitudes that they need to work in the present and to move confidently into the
Have a great week.
Mike Brosnahan

Monday, August 5, 2013

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,
Over the past week one major topic has caught the imagination of local people: the potential loss
of a large number of jobs at the Invermay Research Centre. The loss of each of these jobs,
when added to other job losses in Dunedin is a highly significant event. Each job lost is a family
that needs to reconsider it’s future; do we stay or do we go? Centralization is a model that brings
with it huge risks. We only have to look at the South Island and the Christchurch Earthquake. If
all of your eggs are in one basket and the basket gets knocked over, where do you go?
Bigger is not always better and if you have only one centre of importance in each Island then you
court disaster in the event of a catastrophic event. We only need think of the floods of a few
months ago when no one South of the flooding could get bread.
This time of the year is also the time when parents are considering the educational journey that
their child will begin once they leave their primary school. Secondary school’s spend vast
amounts of money on promoting their schools. They present the very best that their school
offers while eliminating any reference to the negative. As always I urge parents to be cautious,
don’t merely look at the superficial glossy promo, but rather list what your expectations are and
ask the tough questions.
Recently a number of Taieri College leaders, including Ryan Rosevear the Head Boy, have been
working with Year Six sports teams. All of the leaders were pupils who graduated from our Year
Eight class!
To keep our Year Five and Six parents informed of the opportunities that our senior class offers,
we will be holding an information night about our senior school. It is open to all, but, we especial-ly encourage our Year Five and Six pupils and their parents to attend.
Have a great week.
Mike Brosnahan
Room 4 “The Great Escape”