Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School Important Information


ABC News highlights OLR's NAPLAN success

posted 14 Dec 2017, 17:59 by Nicole Albatti   [ updated 14 Dec 2017, 18:00 ]

Children who grow up speaking a language other than English are outperforming native English speakers in spelling in some states, the 2017 national school assessment report card shows.

Key points:

·         Migrant children top the nation in Year 3 spelling

·         Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children improved their NAPLAN results significantly over the past 10 years

·         Federal Education Minister says overall decline in writing and reading scores as a "wake-up call"

The literacy achievement of primary school students who speak languages other than English is the surprising success story to emerge from this year's NAPLAN results.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are also standout performers in reading and maths improvement over the past decade.

But this year's national picture is mixed, and the Federal Government has described an overall decline in writing and reading scores as a "wake-up call".

Hundreds of children begin their first year of primary school in Australia speaking limited English, and in some cases no English at all.

But by Year 3 they are outperforming native English speakers in spelling in New South Wales and Tasmania.

In most other states children with a language background other than English are performing on par with native English speakers.

Fairfield, in Sydney's south-west is a melting pot of diverse cultures. A local Catholic school, Our Lady of the Rosary, welcomes about 90 students into kindergarten each year.

For almost all of those children, English is a second language.


PHOTO: Teacher Julianne Merhi with some of her pupils at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School. (ABC News: Natasha Robinson)

Despite the challenges, it is among about 40 schools nationwide that have been identified as making the biggest gains in literacy and numeracy achievement.

The school said it scored above the state and national averages in spelling, and has been consistently above state and national averages over the past five years in Years 3, 5 and 7 NAPLAN spelling.

"We've got children who are very, very willing and ready to learn," school principal Brother Nicholas Harsas said.

"It's wonderful to see them coming into school with little or no English, and then 12 months later how far they've come."

Kindergarten teacher Julianne Merhi puts the results down to explicit phonics instruction in the early years of school.

"Because a lot of the children do come to us with limited language, building letter and sound correlation is very important," Ms Merhi said.

 

Brother Nicholas Harsas receives Pride of Workmanship award - Fairfield Champion

posted 2 Nov 2017, 17:10 by Nicole Albatti   [ updated 2 Nov 2017, 17:11 ]

It’s often said quality is more valued than quantity. But what happens when you have both?

You get Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School principal Brother Nicholas Harsas.

On Monday he was recognised for 30 years in education with a Pride of Workmanship award from the Rotary Club of Wetherill Park for his outstanding qualities in terms of approach, dedication, attitude and commitment to service.

The nomination was made by members of the school's leadership team with the citation read by religious education coordinator Anna Sacca.

“It is not only the length of Br Nicholas’ time in education that we acknowledge but the difference he has made to the lives of many students and staff members during this period of time,” Mrs Sacca said.

“Much of his time in education has been spent in schools in the City of Fairfield. Brother Nicholas takes pride in the work he does as a leader in education and always strives to achieve the best for the school community.”

Mrs Sacca said as a member of the Patrician Brothers congregation, Br Harsas lives by the words “an education for all” – and through his work, demonstrates and lives by the words 

He has created a culture of welcome and hospitality within the school community and is always willing to assist those families who often need an extra helping hand.

 “..from the marginalised to those who just need a listening ear,” she said.

“No matter how busy or demanding the day can become, Brother Nicholas always makes himself available and takes the time to listen or offer words of support or encouragement. His focus is always on the students in his care and how he can make a difference in the lives of others.”

Br Harsas said it was an was an “honour” to receive the award and was recognition of the combined hard work and commitment of the leadership team. 

“The principal of a school is only as successful as the team and staff he or she has to support them in their work, for the benefit of the students. Yet to be nominated by the school's leadership team was a source of great affirmation and encouragement for me and for which I am very grateful,” he told the Champion.

“I am most proud of the tremendous school spirit we have at Our Lady of the Rosary School, Fairfield. It is a school of high expectations for all and where all in the school community work together to ensure the school is a place of great faith and learning.”

He said providing 21st century learning opportunities for students and embracing contemporary pedagogy, technological advances and creative innovations in a harmonious, Christian school environment was a main priority going forward. 

To view the full article, please visit: http://www.fairfieldchampion.com.au/story/5026549/principal-honoured-with-rotary-award/?cs=1448


OLR student earns selflessness recognition

posted 2 Nov 2017, 17:00 by Nicole Albatti

James’ selflessness earns recognition

The kindness and selflessness of a Fairfield primary school student has earned him recognition for a Fred Hollows Humanity Award.

James Nguyen Bui spends his free time helping his school peers at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary Fairfield with their work and sits or plays with those needing company during lunch breaks, especially with those who find it difficult to make friends.

School Principal, Br Nicholas Harsas, fsp, said James had proved “deserving of this award for his commitment to care, respect and concern towards his peers.”
“He is also a most helpful and humble member of the school community,” Br Nicholas said. “James supports those who seem unhappy or lonely. He is always quick to assist any one who is injured or hurt in play or sport. He is courteous and respectful to others and their opinions.”

James was one of 176 schoolchildren from NSW recognised for their compassion, integrity and kindness at a ceremony for the Fred Hollows Humanity Award at Parliament House in Sydney this week.

James is a real leader for the school community and a great ambassador for our school. He is always inclusive of others and ready to help out wherever and whenever he can.

– Soniya Mendoca

The award is distributed by the Fred Hollows Foundation in recognition of Year 6 students who have contributed positively to their communities, reflecting the care and compassion that Professor Hollows showed.

The late Fred Hollows was an ophthalmologist and extraordinary humanitarian who worked tirelessly to restore eyesight for thousands of people in Australia and overseas.

The annual Fred Hollows Humanity Award began in the ACT in 2012 and expanded into NSW in 2015. In 2017 the award became a truly national initiative, with 420 children nominated across the country.

Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary schoolteacher Soniya Mendonca said James was nominated for his good sportsmanship and willingness to listen and converse with peers.

“He is humble, selfless, has a gentle personality, and really lives out our Christian values,” Mrs Mendonca said.

“If another students has accidentally dropped something, he will pick it up for them; If a Kindergarten child doesn’t have anyone to play with, James will go out of his way to find a friend for them; If any student in the playground falls over or needs assistance, James is the first to go over to them, and leave his games to help; As a sports captain, he will always makes sure everyone gets an equal share of the equipment.”

With 96 Year 6 students at the school to nominate from, Mrs Mendoca said James came to mind first and was an easy choice.

“James is a real leader for the school community and a great ambassador for our school,” she added.

“He is always inclusive of others and ready to help out wherever and whenever he can.”

For James, who was acknowledged for his first award ever, being encouraging and showing kindness is something he credits his teachers and school for.

“Everyone in this school is like family to me,” he said.

Other students from Sydney Catholic Schools to receive the award in 2017 included:

• Sally Francis from St John Vianney Catholic Primary Greenacre for her incredible support of an orphanage in South Africa.

• Nicholas Mamo from St Peter Chanel Catholic Primary Regents Park for being welcoming of the Syrian refugee community at his school and for standing up for injustice.

• Dylan Dimceski from St Felix Catholic Primary Bankstown for being kind and always going out of his way to help his peers.

For the full article please visit: https://aboutcatholicschools.wordpress.com/2017/10/27/james-selflessness-earns-recognition/

Fairfield school principal’s work recognised

posted 2 Nov 2017, 16:45 by Nicole Albatti

Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary Fairfield Principal Br Nicholas Harsas has received a Rotary Pride of Workmanship Award for dedication during his 30-year career in education.

Many of those years were spent at schools within the Fairfield area, and 20 of them in the role of school principal.

The Patrician Brother was recognised by the Rotary Club of Wetherill Park at a celebration at Smithfield RSL Club on 30 October.

OLR’s Religious Education Coordinator, Anna Sacca, read Br Nicholas’ citation at the awards.

He was praised for his dedication in creating a strong learning community in which staff and students demonstrated care and diligence, and for living by the words ‘An education for all’.

“Br Nicholas takes pride in the work he does as a leader in education and always strives to achieve the best for the school community of Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School,” she said.

“He has created a culture of welcome and hospitality within the school community and is always willing to assist those families who often need an extra helping hand – from the marginalised to those who just need a listening ear.

“His focus is always on the students in his care, and how he can make a difference in the lives of others.”

Please visit the below link for the full article:
https://aboutcatholicschools.wordpress.com/2017/10/31/fairfield-school-principals-work-recognised/

Fairfield Champion: Our Lady of the Rosary transformed into art studio

posted 26 Oct 2017, 19:13 by Nicole Albatti

Our Lady of the Rosary transformed into art studio


“Parents and visitors were so impressed by the skill, talent and high quality. The teachers and the staff presented the artworks so creatively.”

Brother Nicholas Harsas, principal

Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School at Fairfield became a huge art studio recently. Every pupil – kindy to year 6 – produced some artwork to put on display in a giant collaborative art show for the school’s feast day. The Vine Street Studio featured a wide variety of visual-art media, including collages, paintings, sketchings, sculptures, printings and mosaics. “Parents and visitors to the school were so impressed by the skill, talent and high quality of the work,” said the principal, Brother Nicholas Harsas.

“The teachers and the staff presented the artworks in such a professional and creative way.”

The school’s mission is to:

Follow Jesus’s example and Gospel teachings;

- Respect and nurture the dignity, wellbeing and uniqueness of each person;

- Provide a learning environment enriched by faith, spirituality, values and Catholic tradition;

- Foster engagement between school, home, parish and community to embrace diversity.





Fairfield Advance: A showcase of creativity at OLR Fairfield

posted 26 Oct 2017, 19:08 by Nicole Albatti   [ updated 26 Oct 2017, 19:09 ]

A showcase of creativity

School hall converted to art gallery so students can show off their artwork to family and friends

IN A showcase of the arts, Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School, Fairfield, recently was transformed into “Vine Street Studio”.

The spotlight was on the school hall, where every student from Kindergarten to Year 6 proudly displayed a piece of artwork.

Parents and visitors to the school were very impressed by the skill, talent and high quality of the work, which was presented in a professional and creative way by teachers and staff.

Vine Street Studio enabled every student at OLR School to “unleash their creativity!” and, across the school years, students did this using a wide variety of visual arts mediums including collage, painting, sketching, sculpture, printing, stencilling and mosaics.

The OLR Primary School, Fairfield, art exhibition coincided with the school’s feast day.





http://newslocal.smedia.com.au/fairfield-advance/ (pages 12-13)


OLR Fairfield features in About Catholic Schools magazine with a focus on wellbeing.

posted 10 Oct 2017, 19:07 by Nicole Albatti   [ updated 10 Oct 2017, 19:37 ]

Fairfield students take time out to focus on wellbeing.

Students at Our Lady of the Rosary Fairfield have celebrated R U OK Day? with a full week of wellbeing-focused activities, performances and games.

Children spent time saying thank you to the important people in their lives, making a wish for their future, thinking about words they could say instead of “this is too hard” and recognising that achievement takes effort.

“The activities of the week supported the children in how to personally feel ok and also how to assist others to feel ok,” said Principal Brother Nicholas Harsas.

Wellbeing is such an important part of life

– Br Nicholas Harsas

R U OK Day? which encourages honest conversations about mental health, was commemorated on the Thursday with a special visit from theatre group Brainstorm Productions. They performed their show Sticks and Stones, which provided children with strategies for resolving conflict and building good relationships with friends.

Br Harsas described it as a “brilliant” way to support children to feel well, and focus on helping others.

“Wellbeing is such an important part of life, for young and old,” he said.

“With strong and positive wellbeing then the learning of children will flourish.”

Parents were invited to join in the fun, meeting with students for a picnic lunch on Monday.

Children also enjoyed Friendship and Funny Friday, which saw mixed-age groups gather together to make friendship bracelets and share jokes.

For the full article please visit: About Catholic Schools: Fairfield students take time out to focus on wellbeing

Daily Telegraph names OLR School as one of the best for NAPLAN success

posted 13 Mar 2017, 20:29 by Nicole Albatti   [ updated 9 May 2017, 21:33 ]

Please see attached Daily Telegraph article featuring OLR Fairfield as one of the best performing schools in NAPLAN!

This is the second year in a row that Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School, Fairfield, has been acknowledged by ACARA as a “school having demonstrated substantially above average gain in NAPLAN results” in both literacy and numeracy. Congratulations to students and staff on the high quality learning and teaching at OLR School - we have much to be proud of at OLR! Brother Nicholas Harsas, fsp - Principal


CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK AT OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY

posted 26 Feb 2017, 13:56 by Nicole Albatti   [ updated 27 Feb 2017, 19:52 ]

Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School, Fairfield is among the more than 620 Catholic schools in NSW and the ACT that will celebrate Catholic Schools Week from 5-11 March 2017.

During Catholic Schools Week, we take the opportunity to strengthen relationships between our school and valued community members including parents, grandparents, carers, parish friends and the priests of our parish.

This year, Sydney Catholic schools, including Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School, Fairfield, have adopted the theme Inspiring Spirits and Minds. The theme highlights the rich spiritual, academic, and social aspects of a Catholic education and draws inspiration from Pope Francis, who has called the Holy Spirit a gift which inspires a deeper understanding of God’s word and the teachings of Jesus.

Along with providing the many learning opportunities which stimulate students’ minds and ready them to make a valuable contribution to their communities, our teachers are committed to being inspirational role models who enrich the Catholic spirituality of our young people in a deep and meaningful encounter with Jesus.

We have planned various opportunities to showcase the many wonderful ways inspiration is shared at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School, Fairfield during Catholic Schools Week next week. Please join us for one or all of them.

·              Tuesday, March 7: Open Classrooms from 9.15-10.45am

                Visit your child’s classroom and see learning in action.

 

·              Wednesday, March 8: PEG (Parent Engagement Group) Meeting, 9am in the School Hall Foyer

 

·              Wednesday, March 8: Inquisitive Minds incursion for Years 4 and 5 in the school hall. 

            See Mathematics in such an engaging way. Year 4 from 9-11am; Year 5 from 11.35-1.35pm

 

·              Friday, March 10: Special Catholic Schools Week Prayer Assembly at morning assembly.

 

·              Friday, March 10: Parent Morning Tea in school hall from 9.30-10.30am.

I look forward to you sharing in the activities of Catholic Schools Week.


OLR IN THE FAIRFIELD ADVANCE NEWSPAPER FOR NAPLAN ACHIEVEMENT!

posted 23 Mar 2016, 21:51 by Nicole Albatti   [ updated 23 Mar 2016, 21:58 ]

Enjoy reading the attached article which appeared in this week's 'Fairfield Advance' newspaper celebrating our NAPLAN achievement! 

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