Monday, March 3, 2014

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,
As I look out the window this morning I am greeted by the type of dark steely grey sky that signals our
summer has ended and we are well into autumn. One of the interesting points to note about education is
that most if not all of the great universities in the world are located in the cooler temperate climates;
Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, The Sorbonne and of course Otago. Many theories have been
circulated as to why this occurs and one logical explanation is that the cooler climate encourages people
during the cooler seasons to stay inside and study. It must be hard to stay inside reading “War and
Peace” when you live in Hawaii.
Study is often a personal thing, people approach it in different ways to achieve different goals. I am the
kind of person who is able to study very intensively for short periods (cram), while other people like to
allow a longer period for their learning.
The new structure of NCEA of a mixture of internal and external assessment based over a year seems to
be a much fairer system then the old School Certificate model of a half pass and a half fail, all in one
One of our schools key phrases on our vision is the term ‘life long learners’.
Everybody is a life long learner—there is always something new that we desire to or simply need to learn.
A famous quote states “the more that I know then the more I want to know”.
This is a very true statement when you consider, that once you learn something new you will have
questions that occur to you. The broader your knowledge the more questions. The challenge for our
young people is to keep the base of their learning as broad as possible.
The broader the base of learning then the higher the possible apex because the student is more likely to
find a subject that truly interests them and we always study harder if we are interested.
Have a great week
Mike Brosnahan

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