Dear Parents and Friends,
Last week was an excellent week of learning at St. Mary’s. The evening with Ian Lillico was well received by parents and there were some excellent ideas shared with how we can better support our children. Ian explained that for boys to grow up with a healthy sense of themselves as people with many values, these values need to be specifically modelled. He explained that boys will describe themselves as strong, sporty and courageous, but they usually do not see themselves as kind, understanding or courteous. He encouraged us to name these qualities for our children by saying such things as, “I noticed how kind you were when you helped your sister when she fell over. I’m so proud of you,” or “When you stood back and let your aunty through the door, that showed you are a courteous boy. Well done.” He was also very clear that when praising our children we need to name the focus of our praise. It is not good enough to say, I am proud of you, or well done when you see them doing something positive, but you need to name the action of your child. So, for example you would say,” When you marked the ball and looked around to see if you could handball to a team member, you showed good football sense. Well done.” When giving directions to boys, Ian felt it was important to give simple precise instructions such as “Pajamas, teeth then bed.” For boys, the less words, the better they hear. Ian also spoke about the time just before a child is ready to drift off to sleep as being a good time to sit quietly with them and talk – especially when you are concerned that they have something on their mind. As they are about to fall to sleep, they are most likely to tell you about things that may be worrying them.
On Friday the staff enjoyed an excellent day with Anna Bennett when we delved further into the topic of Feedback. It was evident that many of the feedback strategies Ian spoke were also reflected in Anna’s work. Teachers have been implementing the use of learning intentions and success criteria in their classrooms which allows the curriculum to become visible to our students. It is important that students know the real focus of their learning and are given the criteria for success so that they know what is required of them as they complete their work. Feedback then is the next extremely important strategy as it provides a further guide in supporting the student to take their learning further.
LIZ SULLIVAN ON LSL
As from the Thursday 21 May, Liz Sullivan will be taking Long Service Leave until the end of Term. Whilst Liz is on Leave, Mrs. Helen Hannay will be working with us Acting Deputy Principal. Helen is the former Principal of St. Damian’s Bundoora and is very much looking forward to her time with us at St. Mary’s. Helen’s email contact is firstname.lastname@example.org I am sure you all will join with me in wishing Liz a wonderful time away and I trust that she travels safely everywhere she goes.
CATHOLIC IDENTITY SURVEY
It would be much appreciated if all parents could please complete the Catholic Identity Survey. Details were sent home on the Skoolbag app. The survey is to be completed online and is open until 19 June. It is recommended that you save your password so that you can logon at a later date if you are unable to fully complete it in one session. Once the survey is done, you are asked to print off your Completion Certificate and bring it into the Office to enter into a draw for two Movie tickets. Thank you in anticipation.
ROBBIE WILLIAMS EXPERIENCE and LOUIE & THE PARTY BOYZ
Due to a lack of ticket sales, it was necessary to cancel our social/fundraising night which was planned for this Saturday 16 May. I apologize to those who were looking forward to the evening and to Louie Feltrin and the Band. I sincerely thank the Parent Association members who had done so much work in planning for this event. Hopefully there will be more people in a position to be able to attend our next event which is a Trivia night on 22nd. August. These events are a wonderful way to bring our community together, so please put the 22 down in your diary.
Thank you to those who attended our recent Working Bee which was held on 2 May and was assigned to the Yr. 6 families. Although there was only a small group in attendance, there was still some great work done. Thank you to all who came along as we do appreciate your support. Our next Working Bee will be held on 13 June and has been allocated to Yr. 2 families. Look forward to seeing you there.
The MaD Team and other volunteers are still hard at work finishing off the Junior playground. There are still a number of hidden tasks to be done prior to the installation of the turf. The money that these volunteers have saved our school is amazing and I know all in the community truly appreciates the hours and commitment given. It is envisaged that all work will be completed by mid-June.
ANNUAL REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY
St. Mary’s Annual Report to the Community has now been completed and is available on our website. Next week, hard copies will be available from the Office. This Report is mandated by the Government and will be posted on the Myschool website.
Gabee Leone (Director of Teaching and Learning) will conduct four sessions on Using the Blog to connect to Student Learning. These sessions will be held on Wednesday 20 May at 8.30am and 3.00pm and will be repeated on Wednesday 27 May at 4.30pm and 6.00pm. These sessions will run for 30 minutes and will be held in the Discovery Centre. To make a booking go to www.schoolinterviews.com.au and enter the code WVF82 and then follow the instructions to book a session.
Yr. 5 students and teachers will present an interactive presentation on Inquiry Learning using the Chromebooks as a learning tool. This presentation will be held in the MLC at 6.30pm – 7.30pm on 4 June with a question session following.
School Photos will be taken on 21 May and Family Photos on 28 May. Students are to be in full Winter Uniform on the day – no Sport Uniform. Due to a Yr. 1 Excursion, their class and individual photos will be taken on 28 May. Please ensure order forms are returned prior to Photo day.
EUCHARIST RETREAT DAY
Students in Yr. 3 will participate in a Retreat Day on 22 May as they prepare to receive their First Eucharist. This day will be held at school and students may wear free dress on the day. A Hot Dog lunch will be provided by the Parents’ Association.
ENROLMENT TO PREP 2016
All Open Days have now been completed and I sincerely thank all our students who have conducted Tours. A special thank you to our School Captains Sasha Piscitelli, Jayden Calleja for speaking at our Information Night and those students who made themselves available for our Twilight Opening. The feedback we receive about our students is always highly positive so I congratulate each of them on the great job that they do.
Enrolments will close on Friday 29 May. Please ensure you have made application if you have a child ready for Prep 2016
On Tuesday, Yr. Prep – Yr. 2 participated in an Oral Health session and some students had an Oral screening through the Banyule Community Health Service. This service is available to all children under the age of 13 years. Details are as below.
Principal Helen Anderson