Penola 2022 – Issue 13

Term Three is traditionally a time of celebration in our beautiful community. Not long ago, we celebrated Mary Mac Week. This week, it’s Book Week. This weekend, it’s the Sacrament of Confirmation for our Year 6 students and before long, it will be our annual faction carnival, the Performing Arts Festival for our choir and the EduDance concert. And somewhere in between, we will manage to fit in our usual teaching and learning programme!

Penola 2022 – Issue 12

This week, we are celebrating one of the most important events on our calendar, which is of course, Mary MacKillop Week. We are having all our usual events such as the Art Exhibition in the Church which Mr Miller and his team of helpers have set up. It highlights the talent of our budding young artists, and we all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Did you know that Vincent Van Gogh only ever sold one painting whilst he was alive? Now, his works are all considered masterpieces! The exhibition runs from 1 August until 12 August.  We also had a special whole school Mass this morning to celebrate the life and achievements of Mary. This was followed up with our traditional cup cake day with our classrooms being open for parents and grandparents to visit. This Friday, our Year 6 students will run a fete to raise money for the missions for the St Joseph sisters around the world. All money raised goes to help underprivileged people so please give generously. As our school is named after Mary MacKillop, it is a wonderful opportunity to reflect upon this unique and remarkable woman who is still Australia’s only saint.

Penola 2022 – Issue 11

Welcome back to what we hope will resemble more of a normal school term. I too joined the ranks and tested positive to Covid at the very end of last term. Luckily, it was a very mild dose, and I hardly had any symptoms. However, there is concern about new variants causing reinfections and there is a push for people to wear masks again.

Penola 2022 – Issue 10

I can honestly say that the last six months have been the most challenging I have ever experienced in over thirty years of working in schools. During Term 1, we had constant changes to the Covid restrictions which were confusing and difficult to implement. Many parents felt bombarded by the ever changing updates we were required to distribute to you which is understandable. On top of this, we had many students miss time at school due to illness and isolation protocols. At the beginning of Term 2, the restrictions eased which was great except that our staff tested positive to Covid in high numbers. As you may be aware, we are currently experiencing a teacher shortage in Australia, and we often had days with over ten staff being absent, which was a huge challenge as we didn’t have enough teachers to replace them. This meant we had to be very flexible and creative with our timetabling and myself and the Assistant Principals had to teach on many occasions just so there was a teacher in front of those classes on those days. I really need to acknowledge the mighty efforts of Lisa Liebregts and Jacki Tucker who did a huge amount of work behind the scenes just keeping us ticking over day by day. I also would like to acknowledge the whole staff as this semester has been very difficult for them too. I believe they have done an extraordinary job under very difficult conditions. Lastly, I would like to thank all our parents who supported us though this time. I appreciate it wasn’t much fun being contacted, informing you that your children are unwell and that you need to go into isolation. This has had a huge impact upon all of us, and as a community, I believe we had stood up really well and have come through in very good shape. I sincerely hope that next term, we can go back to a more normal routine where we are all safe and healthy and experience fewer disruptions.

Penola 2022 – Issue 09

We are very blessed to have a wonderful and supportive community here at Mary Mac, and whilst we are not perfect, things mostly tick along nicely. From time to time, we get situations where students make poor choices and say things to one another that are not nice and sometimes even end in a push or a shove. Please remember that at all times, the teachers, myself and the Assistant Principals are best placed to deal with such issues. We are all very experienced in this area and we have the capacity to remain neutral. However, when parents contact other parents or even speak to someone else’s children, the situation can escalate quickly and end badly. Therefore, it is imperative that when issues do arise, that you contact the appropriate staff members to deal with it. We will always do our very best to resolve any situation in a fair and compassionate way and keep you informed of the outcomes. The same applies with the inappropriate use of social media. Sometimes people just want to have a rant and they don’t think about the consequences of saying negative things about other people or even our community itself. Please come and talk to us if you have any issues so they can be resolved respectfully, maintaining the dignity of all those involved.

Penola 2022 – Issue 08

This week, our Year 6 students are enjoying a challenging and fun time at the Ern Halliday Recreation Camp in Hillarys. I’m so happy that they made it to camp this year as it has been a very disruptive time for all of us and it will be nice to relax a bit and enjoy each other’s company away from school. As I said in the last newsletter, I believe that this camp is the best one around and it always becomes the highlight of the year for most of our students. They will be doing archery, rock wall climbing, swinging from ropes at height, flying fox, BMX riding, team building games and a game called Lost Pilot which usually gets voted as the most popular. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain too much! At least they will have the long weekend to recover as they will come home very tired after all of these amazing activities.

Translate »