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Year 4 Retreat to Mary MacKillop Place

posted 20 Sep 2017, 22:56 by Michelle Virgona   [ updated 20 Sep 2017, 23:05 ]

‘Never see a need without doing something about it.’

On the 19th September 2017, Year 4 went on a retreat to Mary MacKillop place. The Year 4 teachers, Mr Modini, Mrs Best and Miss Virgona, and our Learning Assistants, Mrs Calleja and Mrs Oliveri organised and came with us. We’d like to share with you what we did and learnt on the day.

We travelled by bus to North Sydney and when we arrived we were greeted by Sr Niesha . We found out that she travelled to Rome when Mary MacKillop became a saint in 2010. Some special volunteers guided us through the museum and told us about Mary MacKillop’s life.

We learnt how special Mary was because she is the founder of the Sisters of St Joseph and helped Fr Woods start a Catholic school in South Australia. We visited where she lived in Sydney. This is called Alma Cottage. We even got to see the place where she passed away. Mary MacKillop liked looking out the windows of the cottage towards the harbour because it was so peaceful. In the museum, there were many glass boxes that held objects from the past and were used by Mary MacKillop and other people she knew. For example her inkwell and pen. We even got to pray around her tomb.

Finally Fr Kevin met us and said mass in the chapel. During his homily we gathered around the keyboard and he sang us a song he wrote about Mary MacKillop. We had communion and noticed that other people joined us.

We all had an enjoyable day. We each took some time to pray, reflect and talk to
St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. When she was alive she showed compassion by helping the poor to be educated. She is our first Australian Saint and we can always count on her.

Written by Sabina and Ambar Yr 4 

MacKillop Athletics Carnival

posted 20 Sep 2017, 22:54 by Michelle Virgona

18 Villa Maria students participated in the MacKillop Athletics Carnival at Homebush on Monday. The standard of competition was very high and our students competed with aplomb.

Congratulations to our three relay teams who all improved their times from the regionals carnival. The junior boys team were so close to a medal, registering the same time as 3rd place (1.00.98), but being declared 4th, by just 2/1000 of a second, on further judgement. Well done to Toby H, Lachlan W, Thomas G, Brandon S and Thomas L. The Junior Girls team of Madison L, Charlotte H, Skye H and Arabella C came 11th in a time of 1.05.15. The Senior Boys team of Hwi S, Lachlan F, Ben H, Sebastian K and Henry H ran a swift time of 56.72 sec (the 2nd fastest of any Snr Villa boys team in 20 years) and came 9th overall.

Dance Fever 2017

posted 20 Sep 2017, 22:50 by Michelle Virgona

Last Friday night, 140 students from Years 3 to 6 gathered at the Genea Netball Centre at Olympic Park for the Dance Fever Inter School Challenge. There were 3 other schools in our competition - St. Francis Xavier, Arncliffe; Corpus Christi, Cranebrook and St. Anthony’s, Girraween. We had a number of students who won ribbons on the night for the partner dances. Special mention must go to Sasha D and Oliver G in Year 6 who won the finals for both the Tango and Jive.

Our school won the Year 4 Trophy and also the Best Overall School Trophy, which are proudly displayed in the Office. Our Showdance was based on music from the movie “The Fast and the Furious” and all students are to be commended for their skill and enthusiasm. It was wonderful to see so many Villa Maria parents in attendance, cheering their children, and getting involved in learning some dance moves when they were called to the performance area.

Thank you Mr Turner, Mrs McAloon, Mrs Best, Miss Virgona and Mr Modini who attended the event. A big thank you to all the families who helped put together the Dance Fever costumes, under the expert direction of Mrs Loadsman.

DanceFever Kinder, Year 1 and Year 2 Performance - Monday 18th September
On Monday afternoon, the Kinder, Year 1 and Year 2 students had an opportunity to perform in the undercroft. It was wonderful to see that many parents (and grandparents) attended and get involved in learning some new dance moves. 

Public Speaking Grand Finals

posted 14 Sep 2017, 02:43 by Michelle Virgona

This week the Cluster Public Speaking was held at Our Lady Queen of Peace Gladesville. Villa Maria was represented by the following students: Stage 1 – Laura H; Stage 2 – Lachlan W; Stage 3 – Bryce K. Congratulations to these three representatives on the excellent speeches presented. Everyone delivered their speech with confidence and enthusiasm. A special mention to Laura who was runner up in the Stage 1 section.

Demonstrating Gratitude

posted 14 Sep 2017, 02:39 by Michelle Virgona   [ updated 14 Sep 2017, 02:44 ]

We have been visiting St Anne's Nursing Home on Gladesville Road for many years and the children have a wonderful experience just being with the elderly and sharing stories. We are grateful for this opportunity to visit that allows our children to be mindful of growing old and companionship.

We have invited some of the residents to Grandparents Day, but we need 6 parents to accompany them from St Annes to Villa on the morning of Friday 22nd September (approx 5 mins walk). This will entail pushing them in their wheelchair around to Villa, sitting with them in a special designated spot, joining them at morning tea and pushing them back at around 10:30am. 

What a lovely way to celebrate with our elderly neighbours. So, in order for them to celebrate with us we need a few generous parents to offer their services. If you could help out can you please let the office know by Monday 18 September. Thanks for your kindness and support.

Villa Maria Sunglasses

posted 14 Sep 2017, 02:35 by Michelle Virgona

Following the presentation at the P&F meeting in Term 2, it has been decided to introduce school sunglasses for sale through the uniform shop. UV exposure to the eyes in childhood has been well researched and can increase the risks of cataracts, macular degeneration, pterygium, photokeratitis and skin cancer of the eyelid and eye area later in life. These sunglasses will allow families to minimise UV eye exposure in their children if they wish.

The glasses will be in navy, have VILLA MARIA printed on the arm and have a space to mark with your child's name. They are made of durable polycarbonate and come with a matching case with a bag clip. They will be $15 each and samples are available in the office if you would like to have a look. They will be available to purchase in Term 4, but to aid with ordering, we would like to get an idea of how many people are interested in purchasing glasses. Could you please complete the survey below to help in our estimates. Please find the link in this week's newsletter.

Sesquicentennial Celebrations for Holy Name of Mary Parish Hunters Hill

posted 7 Sep 2017, 01:38 by Michelle Virgona

This weekend Holy Name of Mary Parish celebrates 150 years (sesquicentennial). The construction of Villa Maria church began with the laying of the foundation stone by the Archbishop of Sydney, John Bede Polding on 15th September, 1867. The first wedding was held in 1868 prior to the roofing being completed. The church was opened in 1871, and a marble altar was installed in 1890. It was extended by two bays in 1904 as a memorial to Father Muraire who had died in 1903 after thirty nine years in the parish. James Park of Gladesville carried out the work involving the two extra bays and dismantling and re-erecting the front facade with a new bell tower. To celebrate this important event I encourage all families to join Father Kevin and Father Wills at the 10.00am Mass this Sunday in the Church grounds.

Public Speaking 2017

posted 7 Sep 2017, 01:25 by Michelle Virgona

Another wonderful year of Public Speaking has come to a close with the in-school Finals being held on Wednesday 6 September in the School Hall. We are very grateful to Miss Jenson who was the Adjudicator for this round. All of the students spoke with confidence in their pre-pared speeches and received excellent feedback and praise from Miss Jenson. We would also like to acknowledge the Year 6 students who assisted with the organisation.

Our Finalists were:
Stage 1: Laura (Yr 2)
Stage 2: Lachlan Williams (Yr 4)
Stage 3: Bryce Keevers (Yr 5)

These students will compete at the Cluster Finals for Public Speaking to be held at Our Lady Queen of Peace, Gladesville on Monday 11 September. It is due to commence at 4:00pm. Good luck Laura, Lachlan and Bryce from all at Villa!

CaSPA Review

posted 7 Sep 2017, 01:22 by Michelle Virgona

My name is Charlotte. I am in Year 6 and I am going to share my story with you about my life at CaSPA 2017.

This was my first year participating in CaSPA. But hold on, you might be wondering what is CaSPA? CaSPA stands for Catholic Schools Performing Arts. In CaSPA you can either do Dance , Drama , Voice or Music. To get into CaSPA you need to audition. My first audition for CaSPA Live was in Term 4, 2016. It was really fun, nerve-racking and also very hard. I had to compete against really cool and talented people, that in the end I got to work with and became great friends with.

A few weeks had gone by and I received an email from the CaSPA team saying "CONGRATULATIONS you have made it into CaSPA Live!" I remember that day so well and I thought to myself OMG!!!!! Did I really get in or am I just dreaming! I was so happy, excited and relieved at the same time. CaSPA live went for 20 weeks, (2 Terms). We rehearsed every Monday from 5pm – 8pm. 

At the end of all our rehearsals we put together an immersive theatre experience for an audience. An immersive theatre is when the audience participates and then they also become part of the actual show. The audience travel from room to room and are a part of each and every scene. The concept of the show was based on ‘What Kids Want’. It was a great success!

When this was over we received another email asking if we wanted to join CaSPA Danceworks. Of course I did and I had to audition again. This time we had to choreograph our own dance routine that could be taught to other dancers at the audition. At this audition there were even more talented dancers stretching, preparing and doing jetè's on the side.

A few weeks had passed and I received an email saying that I was successful and have been accepted into CaSPA Danceworks 2017. This time I thought it was just a dream because I, Charlotte, had the chance to go on tour and do what I love. CaSPA Danceworks was much harder and more challenging than CasPA Live. It went for a shorter period of time and within that time we had to choreograph eight dance routines by ourselves. The hardest thing was compromising and agreeing with other dancers on steps, music, formations and all other changes. This went for five weeks and each lesson went for three hours on a Monday night 5-8pm, so that in total makes 15 hours to create the 1 hour show. The theme for these routines was based on ‘Well Being for Life’.

In Week Seven we went on tour. Going on tour was amazing!!! We travelled to many different schools within Sydney. On the first day we went to Holy Spirit, North Ryde and St Peter Chanel Regents Park. On the second day we went St Mary's Erskineville and St Michael’s Daceyville. On day three we performed at two High Schools, Mount Saint Joseph's Milperra and Marist College Penshurst. On our final day we travelled St John Bosco Primary School and Holy Family Menai. All students at each and every school were responsive and enjoyed our performances. I was even asked for an autograph and to take a selfie.....he he!

The time spent travelling on the bus was made up of partying, listening to music, singing and making great friendships. We all became very close at the end of our CaSPA journey and I did not want it to end. I really enjoyed my year in CaSPA. It was a fulfilling and a wonderful experience, and just to let you know that auditions are coming up in Term 4 for 2018. So remember if you are a vocalist , dancer , actor or a musician take the time to go and check out the audition dates for CaSPA 2018. I highly recommend it. 

Happy Father's Day

posted 1 Sep 2017, 20:01 by Michelle Virgona

Our Father’s Day breakfast was a roaring success. “Best day ever,” said Anne and Anna. Our father’s gathered for wonderful conversation and a hearty breakfast before work. Many stayed around to visit the classrooms. This year we had some special dads sharing their stories of gratitude and life lessons. We are grateful to have so many wonderful dads in our Community. 

The raffle raised a whooping $7,384.50. Also, congratulations to the following dads who won prizes in the Father’s Day Raffle. 
* Mr Winters (Elizabeth Yr 2) Weber Q 
* Mr Worrell (Ruby Yr 5) Big Bugg 
* Mr Vella (Sofia Yr 3 and Ivy Yr 1) Rock’s Brewery 

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