20 July 2017
Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends of Assumption,
Hello! Greetings everyone and a warm welcome at the beginning of term 3. A special acknowledgement to our new families who joined us for second semester – we hope you find our community joyful and life-giving.
Thanks to all those who’ve touched base to catch me since my return from leave. I had a terrific experience during second term joining my fellow Marist principals on a "pilgrimage" through significant Marist sites in France (including sitting at St Marcellin's table in Lavalla) and Italy, where we had an audience with Pope Francis. I also completed a course on Mark’s Gospel in Israel (click on pictures below). It was a really privileged experience, and I have many stories to share in the coming months and years. I offer a hearty vote of thanks to Vaughan Cleary for stepping into the chair while I was away. From all reports, he did a terrific job. Thanks also to the staff and Advisory Council, who supported Vaughan in his work.
Learning mentor interviews – next two Mondays
If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to make an appointment to catch up with your child’s learning mentor (LM). Now in second semester, your LM has had plenty of time to come to know your child better, and can be a great asset to you and your family in building the best learning experience for your child at Assumption. Building a strong, positive relationship between the LM and home is a great step to ensuring that, should things go awry, or there are problems with your child’s education or wellbeing, there is someone who knows you and your child well. Don’t miss this great opportunity to do some planning for growth and improvement in terms 3 and 4. Bookings can be made via PAM. A reminder too that next Monday, July 24, is a student-free day.
Year 9 Camp
This week and next our year 9s are attending the City Camp. During this terrific experience, they explore career options, and experience some of the many and varied occurrences of city life. On behalf of the year 9 parents, I thank Peter Jongebloed, Peter Augustine and Jennifer McKay for their tremendous work in bringing the experience together. Of all the additional experiences we offer our students, this is by far the most complex and time-consuming, but we are proud to be able to offer such an immersive and personalised experience. At a time when school funding is being called into question, you can be sure that we are offering first-class opportunities with what is available to us.
In a couple of weeks, a familiar face in our school community will be leaving us. Lesley Noto, who has been the welcoming face of the school at reception for many years, is returning with her family to England. We thank Lesley for her service and warmth in the "frontline" and for her calm management of this busy part of the school. If you’re dropping in over the next few days, you might like to wish her well.
Sixteen new staff have joined us this semester. You will be introduced to them in the coming weeks, but with a number of maternity leave placements and some growth in the senior school, we’ve needed to bring in some new people. I know you’ll make them welcome as you encounter them over the coming weeks and months. There are about 10 new teachers and 6 ancillary staff – all with great energy and skills for our team.
A prayer for peace
Spending a month in Israel recently brought into sharp relief for me the gift that living in a peaceful country really is. I met and heard from Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Muslims, Christians and those of no faith who are working for understanding and positive relations hopeful that, as in other countries where peace has become possible, their work might contribute to a bigger move for good. Today, I pray for the peacemakers of our world – big and small.
God of peace, give energy and drive to those who strive for peace. Let them not be wearied by setbacks, but know that their actions and words, however seemingly insignificant, build towards a more just and welcoming world for the young. Let those with hatred or mistrust be converted, and those who stand by and allow injustice and warmongering to prevail recognise in themselves and others the possibility to lead change and build peace. Amen.
Peace and blessings,