Thursday, October 23, 2014

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

Last week I attended an evening for the ‘locals’ at Otago University. The ‘locals’ is a group formed to give the local (Dunedin/Mosgiel) students the same opportunities as the students who live in one of the

Colleges (Halls of Residence).

One of the leaders of the locals, a group far larger the any of the colleges was an ex St Mary’s pupil.

I was very proud to see Mel Warhurst up front talking to a group of about 100 parents and prospective students, then circulating and ‘working the room’. This highlighted to me what we strive to achieve at St Mary’s—namely to give our pupils the best start possible to ensure that when they finish their secondary schooling they have all of the attributes; academic, social, physical, emotional and spiritual required to ensure that they are able to achieve what they want in life.

Mel is studying for a focusing on human resources and her next step is to complete an internship with the Highlanders.

An American educational researcher Malcolm Gladwell has made the assertion that success breeds

success, nothing new there. But he goes on to say that it is far better to be a big fish in a small pond and enjoy success than to be a small fish in a big pond, even if the big pond is one that everyone thinks is a really good pond. What he talks about is based on research at high school and university level in the United States where students who where the top of small schools did far better in exams and indeed in life than average pupils at a big school.

I have seen this over a number of years, our leaders (big fish in a small pond) go on to do great things in the big pond of high school because they are used to success.

Have a great week

—Mike Brosnahan


Thursday, October 16, 2014

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

Welcome back to everyone for term four. As you will have noticed there have been some changes during the holidays. The senior block is now the same colour as the rest of the school and it is looking very smart. And Room 3 is now full of pupils. We have had such a rapid growth in the junior part of our school that a new class was required to keep the number in the rooms at a level that was optimum for teaching and learning.

To help with planning for next year, if you know of any enrolments for 2015 please let me know as soon as possible. We already have 17 enrolments for next year which is excellent but it helps with planning to know our projected numbers.

The annual school musical was held in the last week of last term and it was a major success, a number of people told me the best ever. I would like to thank all of the staff and parents who helped out and of course the brilliant pupils. A special thank you to the Baines family for the visual effects which took the show to a new level.

This term is looking to be a very busy one with: athletics, senior swimming, beach education and the end of the year functions (to mention a little of what is going to happen). It is great to see the term starting out with such brilliant weather, hopefully we will have weather like this on our outing days.

Have a great term.

—Mike Brosnahan