Dear Parents,

Ash Wednesday

Today marks the start of the Lenten season in the Christian calendar. Lent is the time for Christians to prepare for Easter and beyond. It's a time to renew and deepen our faith through reflection and prayer, and to sacrifice something to learn what it means to rely on God and put our faith into action. Mass was celebrated today for students in Years 3-6 while students in PP-2 came together for a liturgy and prayer service.

Project Compassion

A part of the liturgical season of Lent is the contribution we make through Project Compassion and it is one of the ways we in the Catholic Church are able to give to others in need. The foundational call of Christians to charity is a frequent theme of the Gospels. During Lent, we are asked to focus more intently on "almsgiving," which simply means donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity. In addition to what families might be giving through the Parish and at home, each class here at school has been presented with a Project Compassion box providing children with an opportunity to also make a contribution through school.

Parking

The school has recently been contacted regarding vehicles parking illegally in and around Huon Street (opposite driveways). Parents are asked to be mindful of our neighbours and respectful of their property. When contacted by members of the public, there is little the school is able to do, aside from requesting adherence to local government parking regulations from our parent community. I have asked staff to, when responding to these matters, indicate our intention to remind parents of this and also that it is within the rights of the individual property owner to make contact with local government authority should they feel the need to do so.

Parent Information Evenings (Years 3,4,5 &6)

Thank you to the staff and to the parents for attending the information sessions earlier this week. These are an important part of the lines of communication we have between school and home. You are encouraged to maintain communication between home and school when and where necessary. Later this term we will be holding one on one parent - teacher interviews, providing you with the opportunity to know more about your child's progress. There will be more information forthcoming about these interviews closer to the actual day (Wednesday 25 March).

Final Notice - Photos for Public Display

Should you not wish your child's photo, image or name to appear in any of the public forums within the school (Website, Newsletter, FaceBook, etc), please indicate on this form or write directly to the office. The onus rests with those families not wanting their child's image to be displayed to inform the school as a matter of priority.

Swimming

As we have commenced the lessons for Years 4-6 students I again take the opportunity to thank the staff, the students and the parents, for the extra work involved with ensuring the success of the swimming lesson programme.

P&F Meeting

In 2014 our P&F meetings are to be held in weeks 3 and 7 of each school term, the first meeting therefore will be conducted on this evening in the school library. Primarily the P&F serves two very valuable roles within the school community - to build and foster a strong sense of community amongst families here and, to raise funds that can be allocated directly for use and benefit of children within the school. P&F meetings are open for all to attend.

Bike Education Programme (Year 6's)

An important part of growing up is learning to ride a bicycle. In previous generations, it was possibly simpler, with fewer cars, more space, and greater opportunities to practice, and time to improve the skills necessary for riding in public. This is not so today and therefore one of the initiatives taken by Year 6's over the last few years is to work with children on a specifically designed bicycle education programme. This four-week programme will again be conducted here for Year 6 students starting next Wednesday 25 February.

Assembly

Whole school assembly this Friday with honour certificates for students in the junior classes. As a welcome to all returning to Orana in 2015 the assembly will be followed by morning tea for parents, courtesy of the P&F. Parents you are most welcome to stay for a cup of tea immediately following the assembly.

David Barns

Principal