We continue to keep in our prayers the communities that are being impacted by floods across our region. In particular the communities in Wee Waa, Gunnedah and Narrabri. Your resilience in the face of yet another adversity is admirable. I know you will continue to take care of each other.
Last week we held our final Principals Meeting for the year. During the meeting there were many sessions that spoke to leadership and the building of relationships to create a high trust environment; the importance of collaboration at a systemic level (CSO to school to classroom); teachers and leaders having a spirit of inquiry in their daily work; initiatives in literacy that provide equity for students and lifelong opportunities in a rural, regional and remote setting; the use of data to inform the next best steps in improving the learning and wellbeing of our students.
This work was supported by examples of strong women in leadership roles. These women represented the past, present and future for leadership in our communities. Sister Christine Belling rsm (former principal of St. Mary’s Gunnedah) helped us to reflect on the history of Catholic education which this year celebrates 200 years in Australia. Professor Brigid Heywood (Vice Chancellor of UNE) challenged us to consider leadership in a contemporary and competitive setting. Several members of our Mission and Learning Team—and definitely female leaders of the future—outlined the literacy initiatives that have brought us improved student learning outcomes. A combination of leadership infused with experience, expertise and passion for our vision and mission will continue to ensure ongoing system and school improvement.
I hope all school leaders can see the importance of including these two tools in your induction processes for new staff in 2022, they could be complemented by the ‘best of e-bulletins’ collections previously published in these 3 books:
At the beginning of the secular New Year on January 1 people have a habit of making resolutions for the year ahead. Yesterday, the First Sunday of Advent, we began the New Church Year, where we commenced our spiritual preparation for Christmas.
As Fr Paul reminded us at Mass yesterday, Advent is a time of hope. Hope in the future because of our belief in the person of Jesus Christ and His teachings. This hope comes from the belief that God’s love came into our world through Jesus and we believe this presence is amongst us everyday - not just Christmas day.
As we journey through the four Sundays of Advent we journey through the story of Staying Awake, Prepare, Rejoice and Receive. As the Carmelites put it so beautifully, we journey from Maranatha (Come Lord Jesus!) to Emmanuel (God with us!)
So what will your Spiritual new year’s resolution be? Think about it and use this time, this journey of Advent, to decide on what you need to do and how you will focus on becoming a more loving, more hopeful, other centred person in the year ahead - to be more open to the presence of Christ in your life.
Gary Burdett: Deputy Director
Unfortunately COVID-19 meant CSO could offer only one retreat in 2021. Those who took part were all very loud in its praise Please see links for information and the opportunity to express interest.in a retreat set for March 2022. Note that this retreat is not open to those in school leadership positions nor to employees based at Catholic Schools Office.
As always, the Society of St Vincent de Paul seeks to share the peace and joy of Christmas with the poor of our communities. See this from Cassie Croft about how your school can be involved.
New Bibles? They've Arrived!
I wrote to RECs late last term about the soon to be published Holy Bible CEV Catholic Edition with Encyclopedia. I think it looks excellent, a wonderful resource. I’ll arrange distribution via CSO personnel visiting schools or by post.
Caritas Advent Resources
Quality resources for the coming season can be accessed here.
Online Advent Retreat?
Some members of school communities may be interested inthis online event running through Advent from FRG Ministry.
Tree Assessment Change to Schedule Due to Flooding
Schools that we will be attending this week instead of next week:
St Mary of the Angels Guyra; St Michael's Manilla; St Joseph's Barraba; St Joseph's West Tamworth; St Edward's South Tamworth; St Edward's Infant School South Tamworth and St Nicholas' PS Tamworth
Schools that will be moved into next week (week beginning 6th December):
St Joseph's Wee Waa; Wee Waa Residence; Sacred Heart Boggabri & Residence; St Francis Xavier's Narrabri; St Joseph's Walgett & Residence; St Mary's College Gunnedah; St Xavier's PS Gunnedah; St Mary's College Gunnedah Ag Plot and St Joseph's Quirindi.
Everything else on the itinerary will stay the same. (Geraldine Chapman)
Pre-2004 Teachers Maintenance of Accreditation
NESA is allowing pre-2004 teachers to submit your maintenance between the start of Term 2, 2022(/2024) and 31 December 2023(/2025) once you have met the requirements.
This will give you the opportunity to complete your maintenance requirements earlier so that additional professional development (PD) can count towards your next maintenance period or later if you need more time.
Please contact me if you need support or have any questions. (Millie Woolaston)
Week 8 Cut Off for Proficient Teacher Submissions
This term, the end of Week 8 will be the cut off for Proficient Teacher submissions for 2021. Please contact me if you need support with your submission or have any questions.