Principal's Message 15th December 2021

Dear families,


It felt way too soon to bid you farewell last Friday, so we felt compelled to publish a proper end of year eNews.

 

It was such a joy to be able to gather as a school and wider community to celebrate our special milestone moments this week, particularly our Graduation ceremony last night and end of year Mass this morning when we also announced our School Leaders for 2022.  See our other eNews article for a list of next year’s leaders.


As we close the page on 2021, we look forward to an exciting new year. Next year we will be working on an important body of work that will see us develop a school-wide set of values that will drive so many other aspects of our school life. And we start this work today, by inviting you along to participate in contributing to the early work in this space.


Over the holidays, I ask that you spend some time contemplating the following:

  • What values are most important to instill in your child?
  • By the end of their time at St Mary’s, what values do you want your child to represent?
  • What values do you want to see develop in your child?

You are invited to fill out this form and identify 5 of the values that are most important to you. 

Next year, our students will explore the concept of values and will also have the opportunity to have a say in what is important to them.

From this we will identify our St Mary’s values. At this stage we are hoping for four values. This work will then inform our wellbeing work, behaviour management policies and procedures and many other school-wide practices.

From this work, we intend to have students learn about various people in our community and the world who live by these values. Four people will be selected and we hope to be able to name our 4 house colours after these inspirational people.


Another large body of work that will be undertaken next year is around Visible Learning. This 3-year professional learning cycle will see our teaching more targeted than ever before. This work will involve having our practices assessed by independent educational leaders before our curriculum leaders having the opportunity to undertake training in coaching. This assessment, which will take place every year, will highlight our school’s priority learning needs and will help us set goals and targets for ourselves as teachers and for our students. 

I was involved in this process in my former role and it is truly transformational. I cannot wait to share this learning journey with you and our students.

If you are interested in learning more, feel free to Google Visible Learning and John Hattie. I’m a bit of a fan! 


I conclude with a few other announcements/reminders:


  • We have begun adding some dates to our school calendar. This can be accessed via the website and our Up-dated App. Where possible we have tried to arrange school closure days either heading into the holidays or coming out of them. We will continue to add dates to that calendar as they are finalised.
  • A fee summary for 2022 is attached here for your information. In the new year we will send home a note outlining this summary and asking families to nominate how they intend to pay their fees.
  • If COVID restrictions remain at bay, from the beginning of next year, we will once again commence the year by having parents on the school grounds at the beginning and end of each day.

We will continue to have students enter their buildings on their own as it has been a most positive experience for their independence to walk into class and set themselves up for the day. 

We will also begin (and hopefully end!) the year with our regular 3pm finish on Mondays and 3:20pm finish on Tuesdays to Fridays



Wishing you all a blessed Christmas and a safe, happy start to the new year. 


Sonia