St Martha’s students take charge of celebrations

Thomas Coorey and Aiden Elias.

St Martha’s primary students Thomas Coorey and Aiden Elias prepare a sacred space for Catholic Schools Week.

St Martha’s Catholic Primary Strathfield Year 4 students will take the reins at an assembly to mark Catholic Schools Week.

Year 4 students Thomas Coorey, 8, and Aiden Elias, 9, are among the students who will run the event to schedule on Friday, March 11 from 9am, with prepared readings, technology support, and a special news report on what each grade has done during the week. The assembly will be the fourth or fifth that the boys have helped with, and they are confident it will run smoothly.

“The school tries to get each class to run one assembly every term, so we’ve done one pretty much every year,” Thomas said. “It goes more smoothly with practice and you can make more eye contact when you’re doing a reading because you know some of the words off by heart.

“We’ve been through what the assembly is going to be about briefly. Week 6 [Catholic Schools Week] is kind of busy because we have an incursion and an excursion too. Some actors are going to come into the school and act out a fairytale because in class we’ve been looking at fairytales, fables and aboriginal dreamtime stories. The excursion is to the rocks. We’re going to go to a museum where there’s digging for actual artefacts from the first settlement.”

Aiden said the assembly would also include a news report, which gave information on what students from each grade were doing.

“We’re going to have two people as news reporters, sitting at a desk, and they’re going to turn to someone in each grade to tell them what they’re doing in the week,” Aiden said. “If Archbishop Anthony isn’t better yet we’re going to do a prayer for him, and we’re probably going to sing the school song. By leading an assembly you get some reading skills, and to practice your speech in front of the whole school.”

Year 4 teacher Dominique Cutler said the purpose of the assembly was for parents and carers to see what was happening in classrooms, and will emphasise the school’s relationship with families and community.

“It gives the students that sense of ownership over presenting,” Miss Cutler said. “As teachers we want them to be involved and gaining those skills of organising and time management and knowing what goes into preparing an assembly. It’s driving them to act out and live out what they are learning in the classroom, and to share that with other people.

” The students read at assembly and even the Kindergarten children get involved.”

The Year 4 students also created a sacred space around the Catholic Schools Week theme I belong. You belong. We belong. The students painted paper cut-outs in the shape of their own hands to add to the wall and talked about their perceptions of belonging.

“For the sacred space we really wanted to hone in to the theme of Catholic Schools Week, and to get the children to think about how they are a part of that theme – belonging individually and branching out into wider society, and how that impacts them.”

“We all have hands playing a part in building community, but not just at school: there are all of these different communities we’re involved with and all of these diversities we’re surrounded with. As a faith community we pull together no matter what.

“The parents are fantastic. They really want to get involved and give up their time to do an anything they can to aid their child’s learning or the growth of the school.”

Catholic Schools Week events at St Martha’s:

Monday, March 7:  Launch at 8am, Morning tea for current parents at 9am, and open classrooms 9.45am -10.30am.

Tuesday, March 8: Morning tea for prospective parents at 9am, open classrooms lead by Year 6 student leaders at 9.45am.

Wednesday, March 9: Mufti Day with gold coin donation to support international aid organisation Caritas.

Thursday, March 10: Open sports day 8.50am to 12.30pm. Parents can observe their children’s sports lessons.

Friday, March 11: Assembly led by Year 4 students at 9am.

Details: 9764 1184.

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