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| Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle | www.mn.catholic.org.au
reaches out to all
By PAUL O'HEIR
STUDENTS AND TEACHERS at Holy Spirit
Primary Kurri Kurri and Holy Spirit
Infants Abermain have been 'focused'
on literacy for the past two years. The
school has been participating in the
National Partnership Program funded by
the Federal Government. Participation in
this partnership has given teachers and
the school executive opportunities to
further develop their teaching of literacy.
Involvement in this partnership has
also supported the school in developing
and building on effective evidence
based teaching, shared leadership and
engagement in literacy and processes to
monitor student performance.
The key to the school's success over the
past two years has been the professional
development using Focus on Reading (FoR)
which systematically developed teachers'
skills. This was led by Catherine Murray
(School Facilitator/Catholic Schools Office
Curriculum Advisor) and supported by
Margaret McCartney (School Mentor).
Catherine led the staff through a number of
effective reading skills which in turn were
taught to students. These skills were then
trialled in the classroom and teachers were
supported by the mentor. Teachers used
video recordings of themselves and
students to assess progress. This
encouraged dialogue between teachers
and gave students a wide range of
Teacher Amanda McFarlane is a strong
advocate for Focus on Reading. Recently
she presented an overview at the Primary
Co-ordinators day. "FoR has been the
best professional development I have
participated in because it is practical,
it's based on credible research and it
provides teachers with strategies that
actually work, especially the Six Super
Students have enjoyed learning new
ways to improve their literacy. Reading
has taken off in a big way. Joshua, a
student in Year 6 said, "It has helped me
understand new and difficult words. I can
use strategies like base words to help me.
I now enjoy reading a lot more."
Focus on Reading has built on teachers'
knowledge and skills and has developed
their capacity even further. I am confident
these new approaches and skills will be
sustained. We have been very fortunate to
have had this opportunity.
CATHOLIC CHURCH INSURANCES
(CCI) is celebrating its 100th
anniversary in 2011 by thanking the
people it holds most dear -- its valued
clients in the Church community
CCI began from simple origins in 1911
when the Catholic Bishops of Australia
decided that it was prudent for the
Church to establish its own insurance
company to provide fire insurance for
Today, Catholic Church Insurances has
diversified into a general insurance
and financial services provider, offering
insurance products to Church and
Religious Institutes in Australia,
including property, motor vehicle,
liability, workers compensation, as
well as providing personal insurance
products to the broader community.
Catholic Church Insurances CEO, Peter
Rush, says the Centenary celebrations
provide an opportunity to reflect on
CCI's history, its place in the Church
today, and its vision for serving Church
into the future.
"Catholic Church Insurances is proud
to be the trusted partner of so
many different Church entities and
operations," Mr Rush says.
"The occasion of our Centenary gives us
the opportunity to thank our customers
for their ongoing faith in us and to
recommit ourselves to protecting their
interests in the best possible way.
"There's no-one we'd rather share this
historic milestone with more than our
valued friends, clients and partners
right across the Church community."
Mr Rush says that Catholic Church
Insurances is one of the oldest
insurance companies in Australia and
that right from the beginning it was
unique among its competitors.
"It has always existed, not to make a
profit, but to protect the interests of
the Church community and to return
any surplus made back to the Church
community -- in this way, helping to
support the mission of the Church,"
Being owned by the Catholic Dioceses
and Religious Congregations of
Australia, CCI continues to understand
the unique needs of the Church
community like no other.
"It's this understanding that has helped
us build a valued relationship of trust
with the community we serve," Mr Rush
says. "It's a trust that we never take
for granted as we continually strive
to grow and develop according to our
"We hope that our friends in the
Church community will join us in
celebrating the Centenary of Catholic
Church Insurances and that together
we can embark on a new century of
Madelyn Wyborn, teacher Amanda McFarlane and Jakob Bar tley focusing on reading at Holy Spirit Primary Kurri Kurri.
The roof of the historic Schoolhouse at Penola, established by St Mary MacKillop, has now been restored to
hurricane standard, after a tornado damaged it severely last year. CCI assessors ensured that repairs were
finished before the town s celebration of the Canonisation of St Mary in October 2010.
100 years and growing strong
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