Dear Parents and Carers
We meet the mid-point of Term 1, a term with students focused on learning - faith, academic and wellbeing. There have been many events where students and teachers have been working hard to enhance the learning opportunities for all.
We joined with St Mary’s to celebrate the Beginning of the Scholastic Year Mass. Thank you to Fr Gleeson for celebrating the Mass and for his wise words to our students on the merits of hard work. It was a special time to welcome new members of our school communities and to bless all students, teachers, ancillary staff and parents for 2017. Thank you to all who attended. The students were reverent and I received many positive comments from the community about how great our students were.
On Friday 17th February, we held our Activities Fair where students could sign up for a range of extra curricula activities. Some of the many activities on offer were Vinnies, Z-Club, philosophy, music, drama, dance and many different sports including mountain biking, football and hockey. Teachers volunteer to run these many different activities to cater for a range of students’ interests. The response from the student body was overwhelming and a big thank you to Mrs Simpson and Miss Roache for organising.
Why is it important for students to join clubs and participate in school events? Research has shown that students’ sense of belonging is linked to many long-term educational benefits including school completion. When students feel a sense of belonging, students’ engagement in their learning is enhanced. This is especially true for important transition times in a student’s education, when they start secondary school, when they change school or when they move into senior school. If students have a strong sense of belonging, they will see the benefit of school even when they find the work hard. Encourage your son or daughter to make the most of the opportunities available at O’Connor to participate in extra curricula activities to build their sense of belonging.
Congratulations to the many students who nominated for Student Leadership positions recently. Many of our Year 11 Students nominated to be LaSallian Youth Leaders. Students applied by giving reasons why they wanted to become a LYL and they were then interviewed by Mr May and Olivia Moore. It was great to present the LYLs with their badges following the Family Mass at the Cathedral on the 26th February. The Mass was a wonderful celebration of our faith. The next Family Mass where O'Connor Students will be assisting will be on Sunday 26th March at 5.30 pm.
Congratulations also to the students from Year 7 -11 who nominated to be part of the SRC and to the students successful in becoming part of our SRC. It is important for students to have a voice in enhancing the learning environment of our school and I thank Miss McQuilty for her work with the SRC and organising the nomination and voting process.
The Swimming Carnival was an outstanding success thanks to the great organisation by Miss Clydesdale, the fantastic participation of students and the work of our staff. Special mention to our Year 12s on 100% attendance and great participation. Congratulations to the students who qualified to attend the Diocesan Swimming Carnival and we wished them all the best at this event.
Well done to Eliza Clark (Year 12) who will be representing NSW at United Nations Youth Australia’s Pacific Project, held in July 2017. Each year, UN Youth selects 12 high school students to attend the Pacific Project. Eliza will take part in a two week immersion in East Timor to learn about sustainable development and the challenges of International Aid. The theme of the tour is “Development and Reconstructing Society”. In East Timor the delegation will engage with the partner organisation Encouragement House, helping out on projects that are driven by them with local communities. What an amazing opportunity and we know Eliza will be a great ambassador.
Wednesday 1st March, was Ash Wednesday and we entered the season of Lent, a time of prayer, fasting and giving in preparation for Easter. Mass was held in our Chapel for students from Year 7-9 and 11 and 12 while our Year 10s joined the parish Mass in the Cathedral. In the Sunday Bulletin of our Cathedral Parish there were a number of ways we can ‘do’ Lent including:
Join the ‘40’ Families for Forty Days by bringing your family to attend one of the daily Masses Monday to Friday during Lent…families to commit to one Mass during the 40 days of Lent
By attending the Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings at the Cathedral 5pm & then Holy Mass. Our school leaders led the Stations of the Cross on Friday 3rd March
Put something ‘violet coloured’ up at home to remind the family – 40 days of Lent.
By giving up something we like and putting the money toward Project Compassion (boxes have been distributed to students).
Take the time to talk to your child/children about their learning. Encourage them to participate fully in the opportunities available in our O’Connor community, a community founded on faith and focused on learning.