Principal's Message 2018 Term 1 Week 2

Dear St Finbar’s Community

Welcome you to 2018. A year of opportunity for growth and exploration, a chance to transform and be curious.

We welcome all members of our community back and especially welcome the new families that have joined us this year.  I look forward to meeting you all at our upcoming Welcome BBQ on Friday 9th February from 6pm to 8pm or at our Information Evening on Monday 12th February.

The start of the year is always a great opportunity to revisit our vision and mission, our values, school prayer and purpose and place.  I trust that the following information will provide an opportunity to connect or reconnect with our beliefs and reason for existing.


St Finbar’s is a welcoming Catholic community committed to the education and development of every member of the community be it child or adult.  Our school is a place where learning is comprehensive and all members are encouraged to value learning.  We consider that our care for each other is paramount.  We see change and mistakes as an opportunity to grow.  We we attempt a task we either win or learn new things.

At St Finbar’s we believe that Christ is present in each of us and the Gospel teachings are the centre of our being.  Staff, parents and parish are in partnership with each other in educating our students and one another.  Our school is a safe place where every individual feels valued and safe.  We all learn best when we experience a positive learning environment.

We value the role that the school plays in the  Parish and wider community.  We value the dignity of the individual and quality relationships.  We value the contributions of each member to the life of the school.  We pride ourselves on having a highly professional team who are committed to the welfare and education of each member of our community.

STAFF 2018



Donna McFadzean

Monday to Friday

Assistant Principal

Ben Ticehurst

Monday to Friday


Natalie Platt

Monday to Friday

Release Day:Friday


Alison Maunder

Monday to Friday

Release Day:Thursday


Alicia Borg

Monday to Friday

Jemima McLeod

Monday to Thursday

9.30am - 12.30pm

Fran Pietersma - Teacher’s Aide

Monday to Friday

Year 1

Georgia Hutchins

Monday to Friday

Sara Berger - Teacher’s Aide

Monday to Thursday

Library admin Tuesday PM

Year 2

Jonathan Tucker

Monday to Friday

Year 3

Ben Ticehurst

Monday to Friday

EMU Specialist Early Years

Jo-Ann Shean

Monday to Thursday

Year 4

Rebecca Southern

Monday to Friday

EMU Specialist Middle Years

Amber Baines

Monday to Friday

EMU release

Year 5

Alison Maunder

Monday to Wed, Friday

Judy Frazer


Leadership Release

Michelle Robinson - Teacher’s Aide

Monday to Friday

Year 6

Natalie Platt

Monday to Thursday

Leanne Baranowski-Brown


Leadership Release

Learning Support

Jo-Ann Shean

Mon,Tues,Wed, Thurs

Reading Recovery

Amber Baines

Monday to Friday

Mon to Friday


Amber Baines

Monday to Friday

Tuesday: Library admin

RFF Music

Chris Komorowski


RFF Visual Arts

Judy Frazer


RFF Dance or Drama

Judy Frazer


RFF Japanese

Andrea Andreou



Donna Beukers

Monday to Friday


Elizabeth Denham

Tuesto Friday



Mat Sharp

Mon Wed, Fri

Mon 10am - 2:30pm

Wed 7am - 2:30pm

Fri7am - 11am


Jim Legge

Monday to Friday

3 hrs per day

IT Trainee

Ross Carter

Thursday, Friday

8:30am - 3:40pm

School Counsellor

Annabelle Howse


8.30 - 3.30pm


Holy St Finbar,

ask the Lord to bless our school we pray.

St Mary of the Cross MacKillop,

lead us in God’s sacred way.

May your spirit guide us in faith, truth and knowledge,

As we strive to be all that we can be,

Serving our parish school community.



Faith, Truth and Knowledge

One aspect of our ministry as teachers and leaders in Catholic schools is to nurture the developing faith of our children and their families, as we strive to build our Catholic community.  As leaders, we must be both authentic and truthful in all our relationships within our school community.  We have no better model than Christ, to guide us.

We believe that the pursuit of knowledge and learning is a lifelong pursuit.  As leaders we aim to model this within our school community.


At St Finbar's Glenbrook we provide a safe, welcoming, stimulating environment as a prerequisite to productive learning that recognises the unique learning path that each child takes. We believe that students construct learning through exploration and experimentation, through questioning and with the experience of appropriate learning tasks, activities and technologies. Teachers facilitate children’s learning by:

  1. addressing the literacy & numeracy needs of the learner

  2. catering for the individual needs and learning styles of their students

  3. providing positive modelling experiences in the classroom

  4. encouraging students to reflect and act upon their learning experiences

  5. creating a classroom environment that is well managed with defined expectations and routines

  6. fostering a student’s self esteem by facilitating a responsibility for their own learning

  7. providing constructive and encouraging feedback that fosters future learning.

By providing a rich array of stimulating learning experiences we give our students every possible opportunity to:

  • Be a learner

  • Be responsible

  • Be safe


Our Patron - St Finbar

Finbarr, or “Fair Barry”, lived near Muskerry amongst the mountains of the western border of Cork.  Son of a local chieftain, born in approximately 570A.D, he accompanied two monks, Dermot and Lua, on their perilous journey across the sea to France and then followed the traces of St. Columba.

Later, Finbarr was himself to become a monk and establish a monastery near present day Cork.  Also established on this land given by a Christian chief, he laid foundations of a great school of learning.  We keep in mind that, during this period, often called the “dark ages” Ireland had become a great repository of learning and of the Christian faith, while Europe suffered from anti-Christian barbaric tribes.

Finbarr is reputed to have died at Cloyne in 630A.D and his feast day is kept on the 25 September.  The history of St Finbar’s parish is linked closely with that of the first railway that was brought over the Blue Mountains.  Between 1910 and 1912 the railway was built through the Glenbrook Gorge tunnel.

Hundreds of working men arriving at the Bluff wanted a Catholic education for their children.  In 1912 a church was built in Levy Street.  This was the first church.  Because a lot of working people were from Ireland the church was named the church of St Finbarr.  The little church was used by the Sisters of St Joseph as a school during the week.  When the Glenbrook tunnel was completed, worker’s families moved on, as did the Sisters and the school closed.

After the Second World War, the population of Glenbrook increased steadily.  A wooden school building was opened in 1954 to accommodate forty children from Kindergarten to Year 3, again staffed by the Sisters of St Joseph.  The Sisters of St Joseph travelled here from Springwood.

Brick buildings and amenities were added in the 60’s and 70’s with work carried out by the parishioner of the Parish.  More extensive building, including the new administration block, Library, Special Education Room were added and officially opened in 1994.

In 2000 the school underwent a refurbishment program.  Classrooms in the Primary were gutted and new amenities were added.  Classrooms now include withdrawal rooms and wet areas.  Two new classrooms were made in the area known as “The Undercroft”.  The building was officially blessed by Bishop Kevin Manning on 23 November, 2001.

In 2007, the school continued to upgrade facilities with major renovations to school amenities and playground areas.  2008 saw the creation of the Mary MacKillop Meeting Room(the current library).

2011 - 2012 saw the Labor Government’s BER (Building the Education Revolution) initiative.  There was a complete refurbishment of our school buildings and facilities that has helped us move to “agile learning spaces” that reflect a 21st century learning environment.

In 2013 we completed the refurbishments to the Fr Barlow room, which housed the original school and church over 100 years ago.

In 2014 - 2017 we refurbished classrooms, walkways, playground surfaces, enhanced playground facilities and addressed arborist reports.  We updated technology across the school.  In Stage 2 and Stage 3 are a 1:1 technology school.  Additional sports equipment has been purchased as well as musical instruments and Creative Arts supplies.

2018 will see the school refurbished through a major painting project as well as continual updating of technology to meet the demands of the contemporary classroom.  We are also exploring options for the lower playground grass area.

We wish to congratulate Mrs Natalie Platt and her husband Graham, on their announcement, that they are expecting a baby in June .  We are so excited for them!


Congratulation to Carmel Higgins who was named Blue Mountains Citizen of the Year on January 26.  Carmel received this award in recognition of all her work in the community, particularly in the development of Netball in the area.  Please click on this link