Website:http://ceo-web.parra.catholic.edu.au/maryimmaculate/ Number 1 28th January 2009 Dear parents and friends of Mary Immaculate It is with a sense of joy that I welcome each of you and all our new families to this new and exciting school year. We have returned well rested and full of energy to begin a new learning journey. I hope that the Christmas break has energised you, and to those who have enjoyed holidays away from the regular routine of work, I hope you are returning with fond memories of time spent with family on holidays. Our new school year comes with new challenges and exciting opportunities. Together we begin our journey for 2009. I have great pleasure in announcing 2 new staff members at Mary Immaculate. Mrs Sarah Harman starts as the new PE and Sport’s teacher and will provides for the weekly PE and sport’s classes for children from Kindergarten to Year 6. Mrs Michelle Rogers will provide the release from class for Melissa Beggs, who is one of the members of our Senior Leadership Team. I know you will make Sarah and Melissa feel very welcome as new members of our community. The following teachers are returning from Maternity Leave. They are, Mrs Alison Shanahan, Mrs Bernadette FenechSolar and Mrs Lindsay Scarlett. Mrs Kirsten Cooper returns from leave. It is wonderful to have these people back with us. There have been a number of articles in various newspapers over the past few months, writing about private schooling Vs state education. The authors have generally held views supporting state schooling, while at the same time denigrating private schooling and in particular, Catholic schooling. They use enrolment numbers to support their assertions. Rather then getting into a debate about the accuracy of their arguments and the evidence they use to support these, I would prefer to offer the following reflection. It is too simplistic to argue that one form of education is better then the other. Catholic education has a very long and rich tradition, spanning back to the 15th and 16th centuries, with a very significant Jesuit influence. Any worthwhile book on the history of education will mention the contribution made to European educational thinking and development in the 16th and 17th centuries by Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order of priests. It was at this time that Jesuit schools were opened all over Europe. Their influence on Catholic schooling from the 16th century was significant and we see evidence of this in our Catholic schools today. Catholic schools are not just about having a private school in the Catholic tradition. The task of Catholic education is to develop the whole person in a vibrant Faith community. At the heart of Catholic education is the education of the heart. The acquisition of information is not education. Education is the leading into wisdom. Wisdom is the fruit of experience and knowledge reflected on in the light of strong values. In a Catholic school, we want to produce young women and men who are agents of light for their world not points of darkness. We want to produce students for whom the morality of an action is a major consideration, be that action in business methods or use of the media or towards a fellow human being. We want to produce people for whom virtues like integrity, compassion and justice are not just good manners, but anchor-like values. Some state schools aspire to this as well but this comes from our discipleship of Jesus and the Gospel message It is not that one form of schooling is better then the other, but rather they are different. Mary Immaculate School is an excellent school and its students perform exceptionally well in State and National testing. In the recent NAPLAN literacy and numeracy test, Mary Immaculate students performed above the state average. We can be very proud of our school, where the whole person is developed in a vibrant Faith community. You have chosen to send your child to a Catholic school intentionally and with a strong commitment to Catholic education. I thank you for this commitment and ask that you continue to stay on this journey of Catholic schooling with us. -2- At Mary Immaculate Catholic School, we try to keep our school fees as affordable as possible. However we recognise that for some families this is still financially out of reach. Students who meet the enrolment criteria will not be refused enrolment because of a family’s inability to pay school fees. Please contact Angela Martyn or me to discuss any financial arrangements. This conversation will be treated with the greatest care and strictest confidentiality. We don’t want any of our students to be disadvantaged because of financial difficulties. Next week I will be sending home a letter to each family. It will contain a summary of important dates and events for Term 1 as well as a Learning Journey Summary from your child’s teacher. This summary will identify what your child will be learning in class over the term. This practice will continue throughout the year, with a letter going home at the beginning of each term. In this way parents will know what is being taught for that term and the partnership between home and school will be strengthened. Have a great year and once again thank you for continuing to support our wonderful Catholic school community. Peter Stoyles Principal Happy Birthday to the following children who celebrated their birthday between 1/1/09 to 28/1/09 Thomas Munday, Liam Pola, Penny Tahiri, Naomi Terrazzolo, Ryan Mueller, Aaron Caruana, Mainhi Dinh, Natalie Bickford, Adrian Perera, Isabele Kerr, James Kalogjera, Amanda Gilmore, Mitchell Deefholts, Aimee Tromp, Max Tromp, Victoria Robertson, Jeremi Bondoc, Joel Burgess, Leilani Belessis, Sean Bennett, Taine Griffiths, Brittney Galea, Thomas Lamb, Kyle Makdesi, Dylan Sweep, James Baker, Jacob Forster, Danielle Barlocher, Elena Babakhani, Naomi Reddy, Nicholas Howarth, Brooklyn Meredith, Corey Smith, Edward Shilton, Denzel Cea, Ziad Nazha, Christopher Dover, Alana Head, Mia Barbeitos, Prisha Singh, Lachlan Filmer, Jessica David, Cassandra Doran, Naomi Linarejos, Izac Akmakjian, Ryan Morales, Jacob Dulalia, QUAKERS HILL TIGERS SOCCER CLUB REGISTRATION DAYS Saturday 31st January 10am – 2pm Sunday 1st February 10am – 2.00pm Wednesday 4th February 6pm – 8pm At Paterson Reserve Quakers Hill SWIMMING CARNIVAL – PRIMARY STUDENTS The Primary School Swimming Carnival will be on Monday 9th February at 2009. A permission note will be sent home shortly. CANTEEN NEWS Please look out for your price list and canteen roster shortly. If you are able to help out on any morning please let Michelle know in the canteen. Helpers are desperately needed, even for an hour or so in the mornings. Your help would be very much appreciated. STUDENT BANKING Student Banking will commence Friday 6th February 2009.If you do not yet have an account please contact the office for a form. WORKING BEE Our first working bee for the year is on Saturday, 7th March from 8-11a.m. Each year we ask families to attend one working bee in order to keep the grounds and school interior in good condition. Both interior and exterior jobs are allocated to all who come along. A letter will be sent home in the next week with a return slip to send back with your preference of a Saturday to attend. Welcome to the 2009 school year!!!