Thursday, 18 September 2014

1. Principal News Week 9 Term 3

St Joseph's future-focused plans for 2015
As we are preparing to share our plans with you for 2015 based on consultation and engagement during meetings and gatherings this year, I thought it timely to reflect on the excellent education that we provide for your children.

 Here are some quotes from our 2013 ERO review. Not many schools achieve the status of a high performing school with a 4-5 year return and it's important to remind ourselves of the hard work that goes into achieving and sustaining this recognition. 

The board and staff believe that this is a high performing school and set expectations for students to be successful.The principal and senior leaders place a strong emphasis on increasing best teaching practices to benefit students. Students' learning is well supported by:very good to high quality teaching.

The leadership of the principal and senior managers is highly effective. The principal leads by example and models best practice. Communication is open and regular, ensuring that parents, staff and students are well informed, regularly consulted and their views are highly valued.

Principal and senior leaders effective in defining curriculum and leading changes.

Coherent and deliberate approach to changes.

The support that promotes high performance for all teachers is a strength with the emphasis on self reflection and continuous improvement. The staff culture is one of cohesion, openness to change and preparedness to trial new ideas.

'Teaching is an art that we practice and improve all the time' (excerpt from St Joseph's future focused plan information leaflet for 2015 prepared by Mrs Frances-Rees). We continue to work to provide the highest quality teaching that we possibly can and decisions we make are not made on a whim but are thoroughly researched and based around our schoolwide goal to engage EVERY student in deep learning for success.
On Monday we will be sending home an information leaflet that clearly outlines our plans for deep learning and engagement for 2015. Please look out for this and read it. We will come together early next term to explain the importance of our plans 'in the context of our deep commitment to learning and success for your children.'
Look out for this leaflet on Monday.
As the ERO report says, the high performance and strength of our teaching,staff culture and leadership cannot be overlooked. Be proud to know that your children are receiving and excelling in a school that is recognised by the Ministry of Education as an exemplary model of excellent practice.

Successful Literacy Strategies in Year 4-8
Mrs Patterson has prepared a report to share at the Accelerated Literacy Impact day in Christchurch today. The report is a summary of the excellent work that all of the senior school teachers have done to improve the writing skills of our learners. 90% of targeted learners are feeling much more confident about achieving success with their writing and the results show this. Some of the successful strategies being used include paired writing (learning with a trained class buddy and workshops (learners join in to strengthen a particular skill, for example spelling). Any strategies aimed at accelerating achievement for targeted learners, improve engagement and learning for all learners.

Special afternoon tea and assembly for Mrs Patterson
On Friday 26th at 2pm there will be a special thank you afternoon tea in the library for parents to come and join us to thank Mrs Patterson on her last day. Please come along and show your appreciation of the excellent work she has done during her time at St Joseph's. This will be followed by a final thank you assembly at 2:30 in the hall.
Board report
The Term 3 board news was sent home to all families yesterday. Thank you to Claire Cameron, mother to Jack Year 6 and Liam Year 3 and wife to Glynn, who is willing to share her voice and talents on our board as a parent trustee.
Thank you to Miss Jackson and a team of enthusiastic parent helpers for your support at the gym competition yesterday. The children will be presented with their certificates and ribbons at assembly tomorrow.You can learn more by visiting our school facebook page  or looking for the excellent photos from Miss Huls further down on our newsblog. Special thanks to the Keno family for sponsoring the leotards and singlets.
There will be no more gym for the rest of the term but it will recommence in Term 4 if there are enough parent helpers. Plans for a gymnastic display involving all children are underway. You can check out Miss Jackson's gym blog

Through their willingness to share their gifts and talents, our gymnasts, parents and staff are showing us how to Reach for the Stars as Lifelong Learners in the Catholic Faith.

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