The variety of activities that students at St Mary’s are able to engage with during their lunch breaks has been beneficial in enabling them to use and build on their strengths, share their interests with others and develop strong friendships across all year groups.
One example of this is those students who are interested in performing arts, there are choir and dance groups.
The choir meets every Tuesday to enjoy singing popular songs. This activity has become so successful that the choir won the Primary Choir Own Choice division of the Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter Eisteddfod in Term 2.
Members of the dance group relish the opportunity to practise moves and have fun with their friends. The group has been working on some new performances to share with the rest of the school community.
Throughout the year the choir and dance groups perform at school events such as open days, Grandparents Day and the End-of-Year Presentation evening.
Another example is the many younger students who engage with their friends through playing board games and card games as well as learning about coding and robotics.
Each of these groups allows the students to pursue their interests and further develop their talents through a range of experiences.
The Tournament of the Minds (TOM) group is a team of Year 6 students who are given the opportunity to solve authentic, open-ended challenges that foster creative, divergent thinking whilst developing teamwork. Challenges are set in the disciplines of the Arts, Language Literature, Social Sciences and Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). The TOM team will compete in a competition later in Term 3.
In addition to the above, from Kindergarten to Year 6, students address social justice issues through their involvement in the Mini Vinnies group. This group take part in activities which support those in need including the Vinnies Sleep Out which raises awareness of homelessness and various fundraising activities to support the St Mary’s sister school in Cambodia and Catholic Missions.
St Mary’s Student Representative Council has also been active in raising awareness of our responsibility in the stewardship of creation by running a toy and blanket appeal in conjunction with the Mini Vinnies group and embarking on the innovative recycling program of donating ink cartridges for Planet Ark.
To find out more about St Mary’s, click here.