16th May 2019
I hope all mothers had a lovely day last Sunday and that the gratitude and extra care continues throughout the rest of the year, as it so richly deserves to do. A special thanks also to all those, be they mums, dads, grandparents, cousins, aunties, step parents, partners and others who often step in unselfishly and have as their only intention to love, care for and raise our beautiful children. It is a privilege and joy to thank our mums but equally we offer our love and gratitude to all the other, often unheralded, precious and loving role models in our lives. As the saying goes, it truly does take a village to raise a child.
Child Safe Framework- School Community Information Session
Last week we offered two sessions to discuss the measures we employ at St Damien’s to ensure all children are both safe at school and also have the opportunity to learn the practices and habits that will enable them to remain safe beyond the confines of the school. Please follow the link in the newsletter to see a copy of the presentation. Ensuring our children are safe is one of our very highest priorities.
NAPLAN Writing Assessment- Year Five
As I mentioned previously, there was a serious issue with the NAPLAN Writing Assessment for Year Five on Tuesday. Some students encountered connectivity obstacles that were beyond their control and outside the scope of our school’s systems. Special thanks to their teachers for maintaining calm and nurturing environments in the midst of the potentially distressing circumstances that arose from the issues attributable to Australia wide difficulties emanating from out of school system failures. The teachers, test supervisors, support staff and NAPLAN Coordinator (Mrs Caroline Leighton) all did a superb job. Thanks also to Ms Sandra Hilson for ensuring all the connectivity within our control operated as it was intended, that our systems were secured and that all the devices were operating effectively. For the very latest information regarding this matter, please read the memo from Mrs Eileen Climo- Director of Teaching and Learning from Catholic Education WA. Click here to access document
9th May 2019
This Sunday we celebrate Mother’s Day. The traditional cuppa, the breakfast in bed, the gift or the handmade card are memories we will treasure forever. We will recount anecdotes from Mother’s Day fondly from time to time, but the hugs, the love, the sweet little kisses will form part of our hearts, minds and souls every single day of our lives even when they are distant memories somewhere in the deep recesses of our busy minds. The miracle is that these beautiful hugs, kisses and love are so very, very precious because they are given by, received by and form the lifeblood of both the giver and the receiver.
We know that our Mums gave us life and we also know that they can support us as we grow into the person we will eventually become. I would like to pay tribute to all those mothers who work tirelessly each and every day in a myriad of ways, often with wonderful support from their families and partners, sometimes against great odds, to sustain the life they have helped create and form it into the blessed and unique creation God always intend us all to become.
In my privileged position as a principal I am always in awe of the many valiant, hardworking, selfless, tenacious and loving mothers I encounter, who want only the very best for their children.
From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank all mothers, and if I can be indulgent, I would like to personally thank and send my love to my own mum, Maria for the life, love and influence she has had in my life.
02 05 2019
Welcome back to all families. I sincerely hope you all had a restful and joyous Easter break. Term Two is always a very busy one, especially leading up to the mid-year reports. I believe it is important to remind children at every opportunity that the best results in any pursuit are achieved through consistent and sustained efforts rather than irregular spurts of exertion.
I would also like to thank the following sponsors of our recent Fathering Project Sleep out for their kind patronage of this wonderful event. Special thanks to Bunnings Halls Head, Woolworths Miami and Spud Shed in Mandurah. Their extremely generous assistance is greatly appreciated.
I wish all our competitors in the PSSA interschool sporting fixture this Friday against Lakelands all the very best. I wish to thank their coaches for their dedication and all supporters for their generous backing.
This week the swimming squad, renamed as the St Damien’s Sharks has recommenced thanks to the wonderful dedication of a number of parents especially Mrs Alicia Sun and Mrs Veronique Besson. The squad only has a couple of places available for the Wednesday Training Session. This is a fantastic achievement and will benefit the children attending greatly. Thank you to all concerned with reforming the squad.
I would also like to thank the P&F for their excellent Easter Raffle and to all the students who generously provided Easter Eggs as prizes. Thanks also to the P&F for once again providing opportunities for the students to purchase a gift for their precious mums at the Mothers’ Day stall being run next week. There is a great deal of planning, care and attention that goes behind providing this service and I appreciate their efforts, as do all our students (and mums).
Have a wonderful week.
Catholic Education WA requires all schools to maintain relevant and comprehensive forward planning documents (these documents are available for your perusal on our website). Periodically I will add excerpts from these plans to indicate how and why we may be undertaking various programs or decisions throughout the year.
This month I would like to highlight the following:
From our – Strategic Plan- Learning
Point 7. Introduce the tenets of New Pedagogies for deep learning
1. Character education — honesty, self-regulation and responsibility, perseverance, empathy for contributing to the safety and benefit of others, self-confidence, personal health and wellbeing, career and life skills.
2. Citizenship — global knowledge, sensitivity to and respect for other cultures, active involvement in addressing issues of human and environmental sustainability.
With the addition of the Champion Life Program and the maintenance of the various long established recycling/sustainability programs and life skills initiatives, including our Healthy Food Program, I believe we a are not only providing lessons on Character Education, we have continued to supply the means by which children can build their skills through the daily opportunities St Damien’s provides for us all to ‘walk the talk’. The recent ANZAC Day Commemoration showed the reverence, gratitude and admiration the children have for those who have made great sacrifices to maintain our freedoms as well as an deep understanding of the value of peace and the need for tolerance and mutual respect for all.
From Our – School Improvement Plan- Accountability – Embed Keeping Safe curriculum-
Staff received more training on Mandatory Reporting on Monday’s Pupil Free Day to ensure all staff are aware of their duty in regard to keeping children safe as well as ensuring they are fully capable of exercising their duties judiciously
From Our – Evangelisation Plan -The Experience of Christ and Church
Being drawn closer to God through Christ’s redemption
Deepening awareness, being loved by God
Inspired by Jesus as the model of holiness
Deepening experience of God – changing us from within –
Through various liturgies, Monday Gospel reflections, Parish Priest visits, Sacramental retreats, School Masses, Patron Saint Mass for St Damien of Molokai, Our Lady Help of Christians Whole School Mass, Communion Preparation Masses and Whole School Weekend Masses children continue to be given opportunities to be provided with in school and out of ways to embrace God’s love in fellowship and communion with other members of our school community and parishioners.