Friday, 6 May 2016

1. Principal News - Week 1 Term 2 2016

Welcome to a new term

As you will have read in the letter from the board during the holidays, I have resigned and will be finishing at the end of this term. After ten wonderful years in Oamaru, it's time to return to my roots and spend time with my daughters and my elderly parents. Melbourne is where I started my teaching career, I haven't lived there for over thirty years and am looking forward to the move to Australia.

I began at St Joseph's as Assistant Principal and New Entrant teacher in Term 2, 2006 and then became principal in 2007. I have grown in my learning, leadership and my faith during this time and I thank the students, board, staff and Fr Wayne for their tremendous support and the opportunities I have had over the past ten years.

As our chairperson Bev Conlan said in her recent letter :"The school is in a strong position with excellent recent ERO reviews, a highly skilled staff and students who reflect the faith, values, and goals of our vision to Reach for the Stars as Lifelong Learners in the Catholic Faith. We are confident that the position of Principal will be highly sought after and that we will find an applicant to not only continue Jenny’s excellent work, but who will bring their own special talents to the role." 

I have full confidence in our St Joseph's Board of Trustees and the very well organised appointment process to know that an excellent principal will be appointed before the end of this year. There is another message from Bev today to keep you fully informed about the process. It's important to email Bev directly with any feedback to bevconlan@vodafone.co.nz. In the meantime, I will work with the Personnel Committee of the board to appoint an interim acting principal to take over the principal administrative tasks until the new principal starts. 

Thank you for all of your kind words and warm wishes and as one parent mentioned, we will be able to keep in touch through social media after I leave. In the meantime, we have another busy term ahead and I am keen to cherish every minute of my final term with you, our wonderful students and staff.

Peer Writing Programme
The staff have been working closely with our North Otago Resource Teachers Linda Schofield and Belinda Brosnan to prepare to launch our peer writing programme in Week 3 this term. Our goal is to improve writing across the school for all learners. This is one of our curriculum goals in our annual plan for 2016. The children will demonstrate how the Peered Writing programme works at our next Family Learning Hui Thursday 9th June and demonstrate all of the benefits not only academic but social and emotional benefits as well. Here are a few points about the programme:
  • Children all get the same message and language for when they transition through the school.
  • Helps all students, not just targeted learners but valuable for extending children as well.
  • Inclusive, team approach across the whole school.
  • Social interactions with all students and all abilities.
  • Good for children's self esteem.
  • Gives the children a deeper understanding about their learning.
  • Successful with English Language Learners.
  • First time we have done a whole school project of this kind and this is excellent for whole school professional learning and consistency of practise.
  • Once children are confident about what is expected of them, they become very engaged in the process and enjoy it.
  • Research proves this is the best way for children to learn and be able to articulate their learning.

Board Elections

All school parents and staff will have received nomination forms for the triennial board elections. Our board has space for seven parent trustees. Most of our existing trustees are keen to stand again, this leaves about two vacancies. If only two parents are nominated, then we won't need to have an election. If there are more, then we will move to the next stage of an election. Special thanks to Tony Brady who is our Returning Officer for our board elections.
As some of you will know, being a Catholic Special Character school, means we also have four Bishop's representatives on our board. They are members of the Parish who help to ensure the Catholicity of our school and Jesus Christ remains at the heart of all we do. Our Bishop Reps are Fr Wayne Healey, Bev Conlan, Adrienne Wylie and Des Burke. Bishop's Reps aren't elected but instead are nominated by the parish priest and approved by the Bishop.

Fr Chris Skinner
Our children were fortunate to have a visit from Fr Skinner on Tuesday. Here is a little information about him.

Chris is a Marist Priest from New Zealand living in Auckland. 
As a singer/songwriter and recording artist, he has been writing and performing his songs for many years. His songs have been inspired by his faith and reflect a love of nature, a respect for life, the dignity of the human person and a commitment to peace and justice. In 2007 he was voted artist of the year on Southern Star Radio and his version of 'You Raise Me Up' won song of the year 2008 on the same network. His popular songs include 'Awesome God' and 'Sons of Gallipoli'. 
Here are our children enjoying singing with Fr Chris.

Message from Rebecca about our new afterschool childcare facility

Dear Families,
Next week Mon 9th May- Fri 13th May we will be running open afternoons at our Busy Bumbles venue in the St Joseph’s hall. We will be open 3-4pm for you to pop in and meet the lovely Jocelyn and let your children have some fun with all our new and exciting toys and games. Come along and take a look. We would love to meet you.

Rebecca Scott
Busy Bumbles
Managing Director/Owner
03 3473031
0211553341

Mothers Day
We wish all mothers a wonderful day on Sunday.

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