Monday, June 30, 2014

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,
In the famous western, “True Grit” - John Wayne answers when asked the question, how will he catch the criminals that they are tracking? “I know this country and I know these men.”
What he’s talking about in his laidback way is the concept of empathy. Knowing how other people feel and relating on a personal level to them. Far to often in this day and age the message we get is to only think of what is right for you, not your family or your team, or your school or community but for you!
The message that our current neoliberal leaders send out is that you only focus on what is right for you and as a result we see a growing range in financial situation between the wealthy and the not so wealthy in our society. But despite what political or economic situation we are in, we as Catholic Christians can make a difference by putting into practice the value of empathy. If you plan on doing something but you are unsure what the ramifications will be (sometimes even if you are sure) then ask the other people involved. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
We live in ever changing times, times when doing the correct thing is not always easy. What we are
focusing on during our whanau/values time at the moment is looking at the golden rule “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matt 7:12). Using this simple question we can move closer to becoming caring, empathetic Christians.
Have a great week and a restful holiday
—Mike Brosnahan

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,
The flu (influenza) season is well and truly upon us. Today (Monday) we have a number of staff and
pupils ill and not at school, and over the past couple of weeks this has been an ongoing occurrence.
There are certain steps that we can put in place to limit the spread of contagious viruses. The most
important is isolation, that is if your child is sick please ensure that they take time at home to get well and
that they don’t return to school until they are no longer contagious ie not sneezing or coughing.
Another important way to limit the spread of the virus is by washing your hands using the twenty/twenty
formulae (20 seconds with soap and hot water and 20 seconds drying).
The final three weeks of the term are going to be very busy as we have a number of important activities
and functions over this time. So please ensure that you read the diary section of our newsletter to make
sure that you are aware of what events are on and when they are on.
Finally please remember to be considerate with your parking practices before and after school as we still
have people parking in an unacceptable manner. Double parking is not safe so please don’t do it.
Have a great week

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,
Recently I have been reading a number of books on how best to prepare our children to be successful
citizens in this continually changing world. Key points that are recurring are: to take the holistic approach; remember that we are not entities that can focus exclusively on one aspect of our being. The skills and values that we learn at home need to be the same as those we learn at school or in our sports teams or in other social situations. Young people by definition will test the boundaries of what is or is not appropriate behaviour.
Loyalty is today a value that is often over looked. Loyalty by definition means to be faithful and true to allegiance. If you commit to someone or something (like a team) you stick to it.
Professional sport is a terrible role model in this respect. It teaches that you only focus on what is right, for you, you go to the highest bidder and the concept of the collective (team) is only a means to an end.
Team loyalty is something we attempt to develop in our youngsters, but what we do and say influences them more than what we tell them to do.
Youngsters will at times over commit themselves and as a result they will let others down. Parents need to monitor such things closely and ensure that if a commitment is made to a team, or group when time pressures occur the group that received the loyalty first (usually a club or school team) isn't blithely pushed aside in the search for greater glory. This may be only a small thing in junior sport but it teaches an attitude that youngsters will carry with them through life.
Have a great week

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,
One of the questions that we must ask ourselves as parents and as educators on an ongoing basis is what will the world our children will live in look like. Be it ten, twenty or even thirty years down the track, what is the norm in: 2024, 2034 or 2044 will not be the same as it is today.
My wife’s Grandfather lived until he was 102 years old, he was born in 1896 and died in 1998. He was born in Dunedin where lamplighters light the street lights, transport was by horse and buggy and ablution disposal required the night soil man.
He fought in World War One (it took him nearly four months to get to Europe) and he lived to see: supersonic air flight, man on the moon, atomic warfare, cellular phones, automatic motorcars, penicillin, computers and microwave ovens (amongst other things).
When he was a primary school aged child, if he had told his parents or his teachers what he would
witness in his life he would have been thought at best an aimless dreamer and most likely someone out of step with reality.
We have to remember that progress is accelerating to prepare our children for the future, we must focus on the skills, the values and attitudes that will enable them to be confident, successful and motivated global citizens of their
As we move into this election year I urge you as parents to listen closely to what the political leaders are promising.
Eliminate the rhetoric and note down what they are saying about their vision of the future. Are they looking to the future or the past with their policies? Are they presenting a picture of a future (both short and long term) that you want for your children?
Knowledge (Education) is power (Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est) wrote Sir Francis Bacon about four hundred years ago.
This truth must be pertinent and relevant.
So what world will your child inherit? How can you best prepare them for it? Which of our leaders are going to
guide us in that direction?
Have a great week
Mike Brosnahan