Dear Parents

School Reports (Feedback)

Thank you to those who took the opportunity to provide feedback on the Interim School Reports distributed late last Term. This feedback will be taken into consideration with the Staff's own reflective professional discussion in this area. I will in the next couple of weeks provide parents with further information about this.

While talking about the School Reports, and specifically what seems to be heightened level of concern with the grading for some individuals, I would like to raise the following from the perspective of both parent and as an educator.

As a parent I am conscious of the response and reaction I make to my own children when their reports are received at home. My actions are however not dissimilar to that which I do as an educator.

Children transferring from a different school to this one invariably come to the school for an interview with their parents and with recent school reports with them. My first action is to look at the Self and Social Management and Awareness section of the Report (we previously called this Personal and Social Development), then the General Comments, then, and only then I go back into the Report itself and examine both the Achievement (Grade received) and the Effort sections.

Three of these sections of the School Reports provide the qualitative information and data about the child; the fourth is the quantitative information I need. All four are important, all are needed, and all four should be viewed in the context of one another.

Our responsibility is to educate the whole child and to prepare them academically, spiritually, socially and emotionally for the world in which they live today.

I am sure in the vast majority of workplaces, it is both quantitative and qualitative that is required. It is necessary to have the formal education achievements for that job and to have done this well is a bonus. This alone is not the criteria employers use, rather it is the qualities of that individual, compared against other equally qualified candidates, that ultimately secure the position and makes one person more preferred than the many others. That's why we have interviews and why job advertisements all have similar content.

Here, by way of demonstrating, are three examples taken from www.seek.com.au today, all for top executive positions.

"To be successful in this role you will possess a high degree of people management skills and capabilities, together with demonstrated experience at…"

"Creative thinking and a passion for resolving issues effectively & efficiently "

"Applications are encouraged from appropriately qualified and proven senior executives with experience managing complex challenges in a service based organization. Personal qualities sought include the warmth, authenticity and energy necessary to engage, influence and lead people, superior communication, interpersonal and negotiation skills and high levels of strategic, political and business acumen."

Staff Change

I write to inform you that Miss Conny Whyte, after 19 years as Assistant Principal here at Orana, is resigning from this part of her employment at Orana Catholic Primary School effective as at the end of the current School year. While the opportunity to acknowledge the service and commitment made by Conny over this time will be done in the future, I thank her for the enormous amount of work over many years all with the primary focus being for the benefit of the students at Orana Catholic Primary School.

Performing Arts Festival

The 26th Annual Catholic Schools Performing Arts Festival commenced last Friday with the Opening Mass celebrated at Infant Jesus School in Morley. With close to 200 of our students participating in this year's festival, it is planned to provide a weekly account of students or classes who receive special mention as part of their participation.

Prayer Reflective Area

You may recall that early in the School year, submissions were sought for ideas for a prayer focus area within the school grounds. The sub-committee representing school, parent and parish representatives have met with the following being recommended. On behalf of the School I thank those who took the time to make a submission and to members of the committee for their deliberation and work.

Cross Country (training)

Thank you to the students who have started the School's training in the lead-up to the cross-country carnivals and to Catherine Payne for volunteering to train the Students here at Orana this year. For the duration of the training period, those students attending cross country training on their non-sports uniform day have the option to train in their school sports uniform and continue wearing that uniform for the rest of that School day or; as is the case now, attend training in casual sports clothes but change into the correct school uniform before school officially commences. Please keep in mind when planning what your child will wear such things as Performing Arts Festival events, as these will dictate the uniform required. Training is on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings from 8.00am and as was the case this morning - Rain, Hail or Shine.

Assembly

As indicated the assemblies, for this term due to EduDance being in the hall, are conducted in the afternoon time slot commencing at 2.30pm. Based on the number of parents present at assembly last week, this has not been met with overwhelming support. Parents please know that you are most welcome and encouraged to attend. It could be a great opportunity for the Pre Kindergarten and Pre Primary parents and grandparents, who have to physically come to the class to collect their child, to attend and see the Assembly in action.

Condolences

Last term we lost one of the most respected staff members with the passing of Mrs Jacqui Earl in late April. Sadly, her husband, Colin, who many only met more recently, has too passed away and again we pass on our condolences to Daniel, David, Georgina and Genevieve Earl, this time on the sudden passing of their father.