It has been a truly wonderful end to the 2016 school year and a pleasure to see so many celebrate with us at our recent carols night and at Mass followed by morning tea last Thursday.
It is such a blessing to all of us when we see the growth and change that has occurred in our students over the year. As a Catholic school our education is faithful to the tradition and teachings of the Church and follows the ideals of St. Brigid of Knowledge, Strength, Faith, and Hospitality. We, students and their families, friends and staff, have all worked to make the Kingdom of God present to our community and through God’s grace and guidance we have been enriched not just in our spirit and intellect but in our hearts.
This year has been one of tremendous growth both in the students and in our school. We have introduced more rigorous data collection to enable teachers to have more assessment tools in order to continue to differentiate their teaching according to students needs.
Our student data shows much development in student learning and data collection from parents obtained through external means has shown fabulous parent support for our school.
The Catholic Education Office has been supportive of our school and together with schools across the diocese they introduced collectives which are designed to focus on a particular area of the curriculum. At St. Brigid’s we had an emphasis on mathematics this year and met regularly with our cluster schools from Narre Warren, Berwick and Officer, to engage in learning initiatives with the premise of schools improving schools. Learning and Teaching collegial networks were introduced by the Catholic Education Office to assist with unpacking the new Victoria Curriculum for implementation next year.
As I mentioned in my address at the Thanksgiving/Gratitude Mass we embarked on a journey this year with a new Parish Priest, we prayed, reflected and supported social justice through our action in Mini Vinnies, Project Compassion and St. Vincent de Paul Appeals. Through the Harmony Project we extended friendship and have dialogue with our neighbouring schools, government, private and of different faiths. The Year 6 students have an opportunity to engage in different activities with these schools and build good relationships within our local community.
During the year we inspired each other, thought creatively as a team and expressed ourselves in many ways through sporting activities, our school concert, general school yard play and celebrations but most of all we have supported, comforted and encouraged each other. It is through the grace of God and the genuine, respectful and honest way we work with each other, the students, parents, grandparents, teachers and friends, that has brought us to the end of this year.
Although some of our students, in particular, our Year 6 Graduates and staff are moving on this year we feel blessed that each one of them have been on this journey with us here and contributed to the life of our school. I hope they will remember us fondly and set their goals that lead to a happy future that God has gifted them with.
We await the beginning of the 2017 school year with anticipation and look forward to continuing our educational journey next year and beyond and we thank you all for your wonderful support this year.
Until then may the love of God bring you all peace, joy, hope and love this Christmas.
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