Thursday, 27 October 2016

Term 4, Week 3 2016

Dear Parents and Friends,

The month of October is traditionally where we reflect on the importance of Mary in our spiritual lives and all children have been praying the Hail Mary as part of their devotion this month. I hope they have shown you their special rosary beads.

Christians see Mary as a human being, who willingly allowed grace to work in her. St Luke tells us that from the moment that Mary was told that she was chosen to be the Mother of God, she expressed her natural human feelings: Mary was deeply troubled by the angel's message and Mary pondered those things in her heart. All mothers ponder things about their children.

Mary, like us, had to strive to understand the mystery of the revelation made to her with regard to her Son, Jesus. She had to make her personal journey of faith as we now make ours. St Bernard called her Stella Maris, the Star of the Sea, our guide and our assurance as we journey on the through the challenges of our lives.

The most famous Mary Shrine in the world is Lourdes and it attracts more than six million visitors or Pilgrims to its Grotto every year. In a recent address Pope Francis stated why so many people visit Lourdes each year from every part of the world, so as to entrust to the mother of the Lord, the intentions which they bear in their hearts and ask for help and intercession.

Innovate Now for STEM

St Mary's has successfully applied to Sydney Catholic Schools for an Innovate Now Grant which will assist in the development of the STEM program at the school. It will allow the program to continue through 2017 and into the following year as a creative, engaging and relevant source of learning for the children.

Funds will be used to supply STEM classes with science and technology resources along with materials for hands-on activities. They will also build the school's intellectual capacity by providing STEM literature and facilitating professional development as well as connections with outside sources of expertise.

We congratulate Markus Powling and Tim Butt for their excellent efforts in designing this submission for the Innovate Now Grant.

International Teachers Day

All teachers are very appreciative of the generous gift from the Parents and Friends Association in honour of the teaching profession. On behalf of all the teaching staff I would like to thank Hamish Hutton and the P&F Executive for their wonderful coffee making machine and the delicious selection of coffee. It will most certainly will be well utilised!

Academic Excellence

I congratulate all students from Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 on their excellent results in all ICAS competitions from the University of NSW. These competitions are sat by students from the Asia-Pacific regions and are highly competitive in the areas of Mathematics, English, Spelling, Science and Digital Technologies. A special commendation is given to Isaac in Year 6 for his outstanding achievement in Digital Technologies. Isaac will receive the prestigious medal for the highest achievement in NSW/ACT which is a wonderful recognition of his talent.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Beverly Coffey

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Term 4 Week 1

Dear Parents and Friends,

It has been delightful this week to welcome all the students and staff back from their Spring holidays and to see everyone looking so well and relaxed after the 2-week break. The classrooms have been abuzz with chatter and laughter as the students have enjoyed catching up with one another and sharing their holiday news.

It was lovely to welcome our new students and families:
Claudia (Year 1) and Hugh (K)
Caden (Year 1)
May your time at St Mary's be filled with great joy and learning!

The Year 2, 3 and 4 classes are particularly excited about being back at school as they are located in their new demountable classrooms for this term. At the moment they are busy designing a name for their new classroom which they will share at the Blessing Ceremony to take place shortly with Fr. Andy Bullen when he returns from his visit to Melbourne. We will invite parents to this occasion when a date has been formally set.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many parents who assisted with the setting up of the new demountable classrooms in making them attractive and welcoming learning spaces. Annie Austin and her team of helpers from the Lendlease company organised the outdoor spaces with a nice environmental touch and Simon Robinson and his team of generous Dads helped set up the technology in the rooms. All the staff and students greatly appreciated this support.

The Stage 2 Building Project will be commencing early this term and will be managed by Gledhill Construction Company. They have a strong reputation in the school building industry for excellent work so we look forward to welcoming them on site shortly.

The Year 5/6 classes are enjoying their excursion to Canberra this week and from all reports the students have been involved in some wonderful learning experiences. We have shared some photos of the trip with you.

My warm wishes to all students and families for a fulfilling and enjoyable Term 4.