Monday, 23 January 2017

Dear Parents and Friends

It is a sign of how busy our contemporary lives have become that December has crept up all too quickly and here we are composing our last newsletter for 2016. Throughout the last couple of weeks St Mary's has been abuzz with the end of year activities that have added to the long list of  events and activities for this year which make our school an exceptional learning community.

St Mary's has a rich culture of learning and one that encourages and expects excellence, dedication and commitment from all members, staff and students of the school. Our children are encouraged to reach their full potential, to be true to themselves, find their own personal interests and passions and improve all aspects of their learning as they grow from Kindergarten to Year Six. It is a holistic education that develops students' intellectual, spiritual, social, emotional, physical, artistic and creative capabilities.

This year our teaching staff have been professionally challenged during the weekly Tuesday  afternoon staff meetings where they work in Professional Learning Teams (PLT's) to understand in greater depth the learning needs of all students in their classrooms. To do this, they have been using a variety of diagnostic tools and student learning data to further understand the student learning needs in implementing a purposeful program in line with the revised Australian curriculum. Our aim is to ensure all students, no matter what level, have measurable learning growth and are supported in a positive and encouraging environment. I thank all staff members for their commitment and loyalty to providing a learning environment where all students can reach their full potential.

I also extend my appreciation of the outstanding support provided by our parent community that continues each year. The generosity and level of compassion shown by the parents in the St Mary's community is very unique in so many ways. Blessings to you all!

As a Catholic school we are also privileged to have the Jesuit priests to guide and direct us spiritually throughout the year and remind us of our vocation to educate and care for children. On behalf of all the community I personally thank Fr. Andy Bullen, Fr. Michael Stoney and Fr. Daven Day for their great wisdom and compassion.

In the spirit of our theme for the Jubilee Year of Mercy let us all pray for mercy in the lead up to Christmas. Jesus was born into this world to show us how we can be merciful to others. May the message of Jesus' life live with us each day, knowing that God's love dwells within us, giving us the courage that we too can bring mercy to our world.
"What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8

With every blessing for a happy Christmas and safe and relaxing holiday.