Year 7 Camp
On Wednesday, 20 February, Year 7 headed off for their first St Maryâs camp at Wombaroo near Mittagong. They were all keen for adventure despite some nervousness about sleeping in tents and the challenges they were to face.
During the three day trip students were challenged-by-choice to complete a range of activities with the favourites being the Giant Swing, Vertical Challenge, Canoeing and the High Ropes. It was great to see the girls push their limits and to witness the support that other students gave when things became difficult.
The students cemented bonds with existing friends and had the opportunity to make new friends away from the classroom setting. It is always a great event for making students feel more at home in the St Mary's community.
The Autism Summit - ONLINE and FREE
The Autism Summit is around the corner! It is a FREE and ONLINE EVENT which offers a smorgasbord of ideas and interventions for parents of children with autism.
The Autism Summit is is jam packed with Australian trailblazers, innovators and inspirational speakers including Tony Attwood and Maggie Dent.
The Autism Summit will stream live on the website from 1-5 April (during Autism Awareness Week).
You can find out more about the summit here:autismsummit.com.au
Study Skills Tip for March: Setting up your Space to Study
The start of a year is a good time to reassess the space where you work at home. It is best to work in whatever space has the least amount of distractions.
Here are some points to consider:
1. Natural lighting is best, but if not possible then a good strong bulb in your room and a bright desk lamp is essential. What is the lighting like in your study area?
2. Fresh air and oxygen to the brain helps keep you mentally alert. What is the ventilation and air quality like in your study area?
3. Your work space sets the tone for the way you approach your study. Is your desk large enough? What is your working space or desk like?
4. The chair you use should be comfortable (but not so comfy you fall asleep) and adjustable to reduce strain on your neck and shoulders. What is your chair like?
5. When you are trying to memorise things, quiet is essential. No music (unless it is certain types of classical like baroque). How effectively can you keep your room quiet?
6. Storage is essential to help you keep your notes organised and sorted. Shelves, a filing cabinet or drawers. What is the storage like in your room?
7. It is important to keep your study area uncluttered and organised. A large pin board for notices and a calendar are useful. How organised is your study area?
8. How many distractions do you have in your room? Computer, phone etc? It is always a good idea to switch off or remove distractions before you start work. If you have to use your laptop make a conscious effort to not use personal technology during times when you are doing schoolwork. How well do you cope with the distractions in your room?
To learn more about setting up an effective work area at home (including the effect the colour of your room has on your ability to study and how to set up your room ergonomically) visit the Home Study Environment unit of www.studyskillshandbook.com.au.
Our schoolâs subscription details are -
190308 Sport Registration Form
Please see the link to the registration form on the right-hand side
Opportunities for Resilience
This week’s article from Parenting Ideas considers opportunities for our young people to learn resilience through every day moments. I like the article as it provides a simple catch phrase that can be adapted to a variety of situations. It is clear and ultimately provides a chance for growth in the young person. I read recently another article from psychologist Lisa Damour, she invited readers to consider the analogy of a bowling alley. Within this context she remarked that a good role for parents, educators and those caring for adolescents is as the bumpers on the alley. We can’t necessarily dictate what the results will be but we can provide practical support along the way.
Adolescence is a point at which brain development does not always provide the clarity or reason that we as adults have developed. Parents, care givers and educators can do their greatest work when they take the opportunity to coach and support young people develop their own strategies to manage challenges and hurdles. I encourage you to read the article in the downloads for further insights.
You may have also already noticed that our Student Diary also provides some practical approaches for building resilience via the resources provided throughout by The Resilience Project. The focus of these resources are based on the concepts of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness. If you haven’t explored these I encourage you to take a short while to review these. They provide questions and reflections that can be great starting points to conversations with young people.
Please see the flyer in the download section on the right-hand side.
MYP Information Evening
Dear Parents and Guardians
You are invited to a Middle Years Programme information evening.
Date: Tuesday, 2 April
Time: 6.30 - 8.00 pm
Venue: PLC - entry via Market Street
RSVP by: Thursday, 28 March by calling 4228 6011 or emailing Wendy Momsen firstname.lastname@example.org
The evening will be covering different parts of the MYP, such as: Assessment Criteria, Reports, Conceptual Learning, ATL's and the Personal Project.
There will be refreshments and time for questions. Your questions about the MYP will help to focus the evening on your areas of interest. Please share your questions with Wendy when you RSVP.
We hope you can join us.
From the Principal
The College community began the season of Lent on Wednesday with an Ash Wednesday liturgy that focused on renewal in our life, in our relationships and in our faith journey. The distribution of ashes has its origins in the ancient Jewish tradition of penance, where people would cover themselves in ashes and sacrifice through fasting as a way of repenting for their sins. Ash Wednesday takes place forty six days before Easter Sunday and is recognised as the first day of Lent.
For Christians, the season of Lent is a time for reflection on our lives and an opportunity to reset, where needed, to more authentically live a good life. I guess the important question is what do we mean by a good life? While this might be open to interpretation, I like to stick to an interpretation that focuses on being people of faith, believing in a loving God, following the teachings and example of Jesus, and recognising that by following His way we seek compassion for all.
Each year Caritas Australia has a Lenten theme that highlights a particular need or focus in the world. This year’s theme is based around hope, particularly
giving Lent 100% in the name of hope. Hope is one of the three pillars of Christian virtue along with faith and charity. It is a powerful force for
good and one that transforms lives. This Lent, Caritas will be focusing on six stories that show the power of hope in communities in Zimbabwe, Indonesia,
the Solomon Islands, Australia, Bangladesh and Vietnam. I will keep you updated on Lenten activities in the College over coming weeks.
Last Friday evening we welcomed Year 7 students and parents for the annual P&F Year 7 Welcome BBQ. This was a lovely night with students working with
their House Captains to create a House War Cry, parents meeting with House Coordinators and having the opportunity to put faces to names of their daughter’s
friends and having the opportunity to meet with other parents. I thank the P&F committee for their fantastic work with hospitality and for their
warm welcome to all new families. I was really pleased with the number of families that attended and the lovely feeling that was so evident on this
evening. My thanks to the P&F members, student leaders, our Year 7 girls, College staff and parents for their great contribution to a wonderful
The College welcomed prospective students from Years 5 and 6 to St Mary’s for our annual Open Day on Thursday, 7 March. We were delighted with the number
of girls and families from local schools who attended and the wonderful questions and comments offered. As I wandered around the College I couldn’t
help but be impressed with our girls who spoke about their school with great pride and fondness. I know I sound repetitive but the best ambassadors
we have for St Mary’s are our girls and I thank them for their love and care of our community.
The Ash Wednesday readings were very powerful and I was particularly struck by one verse that was repeated throughout the College liturgy. The verse“If
today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts” is from Psalm 95 and it has stayed with me. Perhaps it might be something you may wish to reflect on throughout this Lenten Season.
Best wishes for a peace filled and happy weekend.
Annual School Fee Statements have been issued to all families. Please contact the Fees Coordinator if you have not received your copy. Fees are due for payment on the 09/03/2019 or the College offers an instalment plan option, and this provides for fees to be paid by regular instalments over the year. To utilise this plan it is compulsory for families to complete a School Fee Agreement Form to advise the College of their intended payment option. This Agreement gives the College advice regarding parents/carers preferred method and frequency of payment. These forms are included with your annual school fee invoice/statement. A ‘School Fee Calculator’ is also provided on the College website to assist families to determine their regular payment.
DIRECT DEBIT OPTION - if you would like to continue or commence Direct Debit arrangements please complete the request form (included with statement) and return to the College.
Leaving the College: Just a reminder, if a student is withdrawn from the College one full term’s notice must be given in writing to the Principal. If one term’s notice is not given a full term’s fee will be charged.
Leave of Absence: If a student applies for leave of absence for a holiday or travel, school fees are to be paid prior to approval of leave.
Community Consultation on New Principal
Many thanks to those who contributed to the Community Consultation process last week. Whether you participated in person, or spoke to someone who met with the recruiter, the results were extremely helpful to the Board in its deliberations regarding the criteria for a new Principal. Responses from staff, students and parents were thoughtful and inspiring and the Board sincerely appreciates the time and effort you gave. I will keep you updated on the progress throughout the year.Â
Appeal for RSPCA bedding items
Thank you to the staff, students and families who contributed to the recent RSPCA Club appeal for bedding items. The Unanderra shelter was most appreciative of the items, particularly as it was pet adoption week.
The committee members pictured left to right: Jasmine Cutler, Kayla Perez and Jasmine Trajceski helped deliver the animal welfare items including blankets,
sheets and towels. They also took a private tour around the RSPCA premises to view many animals including dogs, cats, goats and birds. They noted the
staff had pride in their work and showed love and care toward the animals.
Thank you again to the St Mary's community for your support.
2019 Webinar Program for Parents
At Parenting Ideas, we are hosting a comprehensive program of webinars for parents in 2019. As your school has a Parenting Ideas membership, you can attend all of these webinars at NO COST. If youâre unable to make the scheduled time you can simply register and access the recording later.
Follow this link below to the parenting site or see the download section on the right-hand side.
The annual ITSOWEL Senior’s Festival
On Friday, 22 February, five Year 10 students ventured out as representatives of the College. We were given the opportunity to be volunteers at the ITSOWEL Senior’s Week Festival at Centro CBD. This event was also attended by religious and civil leaders from our local community. As students who study Italian at the College we were able to immerse ourselves in the Italian language and culture and converse with the guests in Italian.
Our day began with welcoming the guests and helping them to their seats. Once everyone was seated we were entertained by the St Mary’s Tarantella Dancers under the direction of Ms Visaggio. They performed the very popular and much loved Southern Italian dance brilliantly. Bravissime!
Afterwards, we enjoyed a three-course traditional Italian meal which included penne, osso bucco and contorno and tiramisu. We participated in traditional Italian dances with the elderly followed by another performance from the Tarantella Dancers.
Amongst all of the dancing, eating and celebrating it was rewarding to see everyone enjoying their day and to see bright smiling faces amongst everyone who attended. Many seniors commented on how wonderful it was to see young people volunteering at a senior’s event. We are extremely grateful we had this opportunity to celebrate with the senior citizens in our community.
We would like to thank ITSOWEL for this opportunity and Mr Timpano for encouraging us to engage in this community service activity which links with our ‘MYP Service and Action’ focus. It was a truly rewarding experience that we will certainly treasure for a lifetime.
Year 10 Students:
Siena Blasi, Laura Borg, Mikayla Kotsofski, Elena Ruscigno and Taylor Vourliotis.
NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge
Congratulations to Hollander Peterson, Year 10 who received the Premier’s Reading Challenge medal for completing the PRC every year since Year 3. The following Year 9 and Year 8 students received a certificate for completing the Premier’s Reading Challenge last year:
Year 9: Jessica Morgan, Charlotte Kelly and Emily Battersby
Year 8: Alexandra Jones and Sophie Dooley