A WELCOMING, learning community that promotes a quality education and trusting relationships in a supportive environment is the ethos behind St Mary's Primary, Dubbo, according to principal Luke Wilson.
St Mary's has provided a Catholic education for children in Dubbo since 1904.
"We have 24 teachers on staff who teach our 14 classes ranging from kindergarten to year 6," Mr Wilson said.
"Our highlight of the year was to see the genuine joy and excitement on our children's faces when they returned to school after the COVID break.
"All children love holidays but they clearly missed the daily interactions with teachers and their classmates, the fun of being with friends, learning and meeting new challenges in the classroom and gathering as a community."
Mr Wilson said staff at the school knew parents played an important role in their children's education and the remote learning earlier this year put a huge spotlight on this fact.
"Keeping kids on task while learning from home, in most cases, became the sole responsibility of parents," Mr Wilson said.
"This was made extra challenging due to the fact many parents were juggling their own work commitments and disruptions.
"Parents have always been the first and most important educators in their children's lives but when school-based instruction couldn't be offered they had to become teachers.
"Our teachers provided guidance, access to resources, education, tools and technology and we enabled our parents to meet the challenge of having their children learning from home.
"Our families and our schools stepped up. Our teachers went into overdrive and parents made huge adjustments to their routines.
"Under challenging conditions, the partnership between families and school became more important than ever."
Mr Wilson said he enjoyed working in a school where children, staff and families worked together to make St Mary's a learning community, where children were given the opportunity to achieve to their full potential.
"I feel very lucky to be a member of such a great community," he said.
St Mary's is a learning community where all children are given the opportunity to achieve to their fullest potentialPrincipal Luke Wilson