Monday, 22 August 2016

Term 3 - Week 6

Holy Spirit, you are the Helper Jesus sends to be our friend.
You bring your special gift of Wisdom to understand all the teachings of Jesus.
Guide our minds and hearts to be like the Heart of Jesus.
Help us to know what God would like us to do, and give us the courage always to do what is right.

Dear Parents and Friends,

We congratulate our Year 6 students who received the Sacrament of Confirmation during the weekend Masses in the parish of Our Lady of the Way. Members of the parish community celebrated along with the students and their families in a very special occasion. Bishop Terry Brady's message to the students was to go forth and be disciples of Jesus and be peacemakers in the world. We encourage all students of St Mary's to follow Jesus' way in their daily interactions with others.

Champion Teachers and Learners
One of our focus areas for school improvement this year is around Change. Through a collaborative process the teachers are engaged in seeking and acting on feedback and through innovation and implementation of evidenced-based leading practice. The teachers are involved in reflecting on their current pedagogy to determine the impact they have on student learning. Essentially, knowing thy impact means connecting what we do as educators with what happens to learners. This continual inquiry into impact will drive improvement at all levels.

This process aligns with research on learning from Professor John Hattie from the University of Melbourne where he speaks about Visible Learning. Central to Hattie's work is the importance of feedback and the purpose of assessment which should provide answers to these three goal-directed questions: Where am I going, how am I going and where to next? Teachers know their learning intention for every lesson and the success criteria for every student by differentiating the curriculum to meet student needs. As a staff we are all very passionate about our Change project and look forward to implementing insights by creating challenging learning opportunities for all students and to help them embrace their futures with confidence.

Learning Celebrations
We invite all parents to see St Mary's learning in Action on September 12th between 9 and 11am. Parents will have the opportunity to see how learning is differentiated as part of the school's involvement in the Newman Program. We hope that you can make this experience a priority for your diary.

Excellence in Religious Education
We congratulate the Year 6 students for their outstanding performance in the recent Diocesan Religious Education Test.

St Mary's School was awarded 2 High Distinctions; 5 Distinctions; 14 Credit and 9 Participation Certificates.  Congratulations to our Year 6 students.

All students in Year 3 and 5 received their results in NAPLAN last week. St Mary's students continue to perform well on this testing. We will provide a detailed analysis for the next newsletter showing student growth and school trends.

Best wishes
God bless,