Monday, July 25, 2016

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

Welcome back to everybody for Term Three.

After looking at my diary I can say that this promises to be a very busy term.

Please remember to always read the diary of upcoming events in each newsletter and also

remember that all up coming events will be listed on the school website and facebook page.

One of my earliest memories of school was being in Miss Horgan’s junior room at Patearoa School and listening to the commentary on the radio of the moon landing. I can still well recall, "That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind".

Every boy had a set of plastic astronauts to play with along side his soldiers and cowboys and


Man travelling to, and then landing on the moon, was astounding. It meant that people looked to the night sky to study the stars wondering, "where to next?"

Apollo 11 was surely only a gentle beginning. Next stop mars then the stars. After all we had Star Trek, Lost in Space, and U.F.O.

But then Nasa stopped it’s space programme, well certainly the manned flight aspect.

In recent times a large number of people have become sceptical about whether man has really landed on the moon. These sceptics point to a range of reasons why, they say this could not have happened: Van

Allan's belt, solar flares, the relatively primitive state of computers at the time. They look at the films and photos and say; the flag is waving, the shadows are wrong!

They suggest that the moon landings only happened on a film sound stage and they were done to "put one over the Soviet Union" at the height of the cold war.

I have read a lot about both sides of this debate. Neither side is conclusive. Neither side has definitive proof. But really for me and for a huge number of other people this matter has achieved a lot. It has got us to really think about a topic.

That is a very important part of education. No matter what, you encourage your children to think and question. That is how you learn, that is education.

Have a great term. Mike Brosnahan


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

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

Over the last week several of our staff have been to courses to support the implementation of ALIM (Accelerated Learning In Mathematics). Mrs Baines will be lead teacher in this contract and she will be working with a group of six pupils for out of class sessions and a further three pupils who she will work within her class.

The parents of the pupils chosen to take part in this project will be contacted over the next weeks.

While we have a high number of our pupils who achieve at or above the standard in mathematics, it is

important to remember that all learning is on-going and new:

Techniques, strategies, knowledge and approaches are always being imagined and developed.

While not many people use the most pure type of maths in their everyday life, most if not all of us apply some mathematical learning to almost every task that we preform.

That is what the focus is for ALIM—it is about accelerating the ability of the pupils to understand and

apply strategies to solve problems—mathematical but often with a practical purpose.

So for all of us we can help our child’s development in Maths by encouraging them to solve problems by using whatever technique they feel most comfortable in utilising.

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan

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

Well here we are in week ten of term two. We have passed the solstice and according to my diary, the half way stage of the year.

The question that we often ask yourself is where has the year gone? The answer is easy to see, in all that we as a school have done.

It seems to be a time when a number of representative teams are selected at both the primary and

secondary level. Whenever these teams are selected there are winners and losers. Some children get

selected who didn’t think that they would, some don’t get selected who thought they would. To make it tougher, some, who made a team the previous year, don’t get selected in the new year.

As with all selectorial matters there are winners and losers, happy and sad and even angry.

Writing as a parent who has had children move through and one who is still in this process, selectors and non selections normally equalize. The more advanced the team then the more impartial the sectors and coach tend to be as they also are judged on results and are often looking to achieve good results in the team they coach so they can fast forward their coaching career.

My daughters have been lucky to have coaches and selectors who had no children in the team, so merit generally was all that counted. Yes in some cases parents did try to have input but their sports body put a firm notice out saying, "that no correspondence from parents was acceptable and any would be sent to the administration to deal with".

We are all human, and we all want the best for our children. But it’s not about whether you get selected or not it’s how you deal with the fact. One of my daughters has three times missed out on selection in teams that general consensus thought she would have made. She was sad, but then she looked forward and set new goals and made the teams she aspired to.

Many people think that sport for children, under 15, should be only for fun to develop skills. They think that it’s not until they are adults, under 18, that teams should be totally competitive.

That is a question that varies from sport to sport, region to region and time to time.

What I do know is that people who stay in sport after they leave school are the ones who enjoy the sport—they play it because they want to, they are not always the ones who make the teams, but they are the ones who play sport for the right reasons.
Have a great break, Mike Brosnahan ( Principal)

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

Well here we are in week nine and what a busy term it has been so far and promises to continue to be.

The weather has been very atypical of what we expect in Dunedin in winter but this has reflected on our roll being less affected by illness.

I would like to draw it to everybody's attention that there have been several health scares in the North

Island through Measles out breaks. The time that illnesses that are prevalent in the North Island are most likely to reach the South are the periods of time straight after a school holidays. So please take every

sensible precaution to ensure that your children obey the health departments hygiene advice (wash your hands regularly for a minimum of 20 seconds with hot water and soap and dry for 20 seconds).

Where possible avoid ill children and most importantly if your child is exposed to a serious illness like the measles you keep them isolated and inform the school as soon as possible.

Later this week we will be circulating a consultation document on our schools vision. Please read it and send in your feedback. Remember our vision is where we see our pupils going in the future.

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan