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  • We believe everyday holds the opportunity for exciting learning
  • We value the uniqueness of each person
  • We engage students in positive and active learning
  • We uphold the philosophy of Equity and Excellence in Education
  • We promote respect and care for everyone in our community

Welcome to St Mary's Parish Primary School

St. Mary’s school is a place where, not only your child, but your whole family will be welcomed and valued as members of our community. At St. Mary’s we are acutely aware of the privilege it is to be invited into the educative process of your child. We recognize that your child is a special gift given to you, and now you are inviting and entrusting us to enter into a partnership with you, to guide and support their growth as a person along with their academic learning. Read more...

Principal's News

  • 19/02/15
    Dear Parents and Friends, Last week, Janet Zappulla (Student Counsellor) and Margaret Colangelo (Director of Student Services) conducted a session on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In our school we have a number of students who have a diagnosis of ASD or are on the spectrum with a diagnosis of Aspergers. ASD is a condition that is a lifelong developmental disability. Research and experience shows that the best treatment approach for ASD is a combination of educational and behavior strategies that are highly structured and designed to meet the particular needs of each individual. This disorder affects each individual in different ways and support programs need to be tailored for each individual. A person with ASD may experience all or some of the following: • Difficulties communicating with and understanding the world • Trouble with friendships, relationships and other social interactions • Unusual behaviours, obsessive interests and a need for routine and sameness • Some may also experience differences in the way they process sensory information e.g. what they see, hear, touch, taste and smell • Tend to think about and understand events literally Life for a child with ASD can be very difficult, especially in a setting such as a school where they are surrounded with noise, chatter, games with rules that they don’t understand, routines or rules that keep changing, new experiences to manage, having others who invade their space and the list goes on. Life for a parent with a child with ASD can be just as difficult – besides needing to manage the unpredictable behavior of their child, they are quite often ostracized by others because they have that “naughty” child. Allison Edwards a mother of a child with Autism, when reflecting on an incident when her child had a “melt down” in a book shop and was ordered to leave, says, “I am not a spiteful person, but I am tired of the way ignorant people treat those less fortunate than themselves.” Referring to the shop owner she said, “Perhaps she misunderstood the level of Jon’s Autism because he hasn’t got a limb missing.” This is often the experience of parents whose child has ASD – it is not obvious to others who then quickly make judgment when their behavior is different to what one would expect. Of course it is understandable that any parent whose child experiences a negative interaction with another child is concerned for their child. However, we should endeavor to understand conditions such as ASD and be aware that these children find interaction with others difficult and confusing. So what can we do to be supportive of all children? 1. Understand that a child with ASD finds self-expression difficult, so avoid getting into arguments and give them time to express their thoughts and feelings 2. Know that noise can be very disturbing to a child with ASD – so don’t scream and yell in their face 3. Ensure that you give others their personal space. ASD children especially do not like close contact 4. Avoid touching, pulling or holding onto a child with ASD. They can be particularly sensitive to touch 5. Explain the rules of the game. Children with ASD need clear, precise clarification 6. Be aware that they are very particular about the rules of the game – keep to the rules – don’t change them mid-game 7. Know that a child with ASD is just like everyone else – it’s just that they see and sense the world differently to others Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm 1. I am first and foremost a child. I have autism. I am not primarily “autistic”. 2. My sensory perceptions are disordered. 3. Please remember to distinguish between won’t (I choose not to) and I can’t (I am not able to). 4. I am a concrete thinker. This means I interpret language very literally 5. Please be patient with my limited language. 6. Because language is so difficult for me I am visually orientated. 7. Please focus on what I can do rather than on what I can’t. 8. Help me with social interactions. 9. Try to identify what triggers my meltdowns. 10. If you are a family member, please love me unconditionally. And finally three words: Patience, Patience, Patience. ST. MARY’S PARTICIPATION IN EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVES We have been invited to be one of three trial schools to implement the GAFE Project (Google Apps for Education). This is a component of the ICON (Integrated Catholic Online Network) roll out. Learnings gained will inform further roll outs to all schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Another acknowledgement of the innovative work that is being done at St. Mary’s. In the area of Literacy and Numeracy we have been asked to trial the implementation of new assessment tools through the Australian Council for Education and Research (ACER). We have agreed to do this. Some of the assessment tools are the same as what we do – some have been adapted to be used on iPads and there is a new International Assessment. St. Mary’s participation in 2014 in the ACARA 15 Illustrations of Curriculum Project has now been uploaded. The film clip of our participation is available on the ACARA website and YouTube. Principal Helen Anderson
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