Thursday, 3 August 2017

1. Principal's News Week 2, Term 3, 2017

Whanau Groups
Our student whanau groups met today to share their RE learning, ably led by our year 7 students.

Parent Consultation about class compositions for 2018
On Tuesday we met with a group of parents to discuss potential class compositions for 2018.  Participants came up with some pros and cons for the possibilities we discussed.  We will take these into account in our planning for 2018.  Thank you for your input.

Mid Year Parent Surveys
The exit surveys from our mid year interviews for the senior school were very positive.  97% of parents thought their child's teacher knows them very well.   97% felt that their parent knowledge was a valued part of the process.  71% of parents said our communication is clear, and 29% they get what they need.  We had a variety of responses that give us some direction about what you want in your reports.  The ending optional comments were positive and affirming of St Joseph's and the work the teachers are doing.

A Message from Mrs Winders about Reading

Looking for another way to help support your child’s learning and build vocabulary at home?  Read to your child for twenty minutes daily.  When children are read to for 20 minutes daily, they are exposed to 1 800 000 words in a year as opposed to 8000 words if reading once a week for 20 minutes. Take some time read to your child today.

Continue to read with your older children.  Most children will enjoy this until they are about 12.

Well-being at St Joseph's
At St Joseph's we are committed to student well-being and we aim to be proactive and create the conditions where children will flourish and grow in a respectful environment.

Our well-being team consists of myself, Mrs Winders and Mrs Jones-Hogan.  All of our children who have specific learning or behaviour needs have an individual education plan, all who are below, or at risk of falling behind in their learning have specific plans, and we differentiate our planning and delivery to aim to meet all children's needs, specifically aiming to extend our gifted and talented students within their classroom programs.

We have developed systems and practices for promoting self awareness, self control and group accountability.  In term 2 the introduction of mindfulness practice has enabled many children to put a moment's thought and self control in between thought and action.  This has made for better decisions about their actions.  One of our children said last week, "People are kinder."

One of our proactive measures is to ensure our children and our community have a shared understanding of what bullying is.  One of the main misconceptions I find is that people think that conflict is the same as bullying when its not:

This graphic is from the latest resource from bullyingfreenz

Now, more of our children are taking more positive actions when they get into conflict - they walk away, talk it out, or tell someone.  Through class circle times the children are engaging in more meaningful conversations and negotiations around differences and getting along together and they are also bringing this into their normal day to day interactions.

Learning about God
The children are now learning about God (the Father and Creator) in Religious Education.  The Key Concepts we teach about God are:
1. God created the world.
2. Ways we can know about God - God is revealed through Jesus
3. God is all powerful and remains a mystery.
4. God loves us individually (He has made a Covenant with us).

Check out: St Joseph's Oamaru "God for Parents" Page for more information.

God Bless and Aroha
Lorraine Frances-Rees

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