Thursday, 10 September 2015

1. Principal News - Week 8 Term 3 2015

Student Blogger of the Week
This week's student blogger is William Moore. He is in Year 6 in Senior Hub 2 (SH2). You can read some interesting book reviews and reflections on the sacraments (by going to a link on his blog). Here is the link to William's blog. William and his family check the weekly goals on our Teaching and Learning Site and have learning conversations that support and strengthen the home and school learning partnership. The ability to work towards being self directed and self managing learners is a lifelong learning skill that our St Joseph's learners practice and perfect during their time in SH2. This prepares them for the diverse learning challenges that they will face at high school and in their future workplaces.

Bed times
Here is a chart to help you work out recommended sleeping and wake times for your children. Do your children get enough sleep ? A good sleep is vital for the health and well being of adults and even more so for our children.

Special Character Review
On Monday, we will welcome the special Catholic character review team to our school. They visit every three years to provide an external review of our systems and practices. After staff prayers at 8:15 am, the students will lead a welcome kotuitui and combined prayer at 9.00 am on Monday morning. Parents are welcome to stay and join us for morning prayers together in the hall. We will share the outcome of the review with you when we receive it. Thanks to our staff and board who have worked hard to prepare to showcase and share our special Catholic character with the review team.

Over one hundred teachers and leaders have visited our school this year
The continued focus on our school wide goal to engage learners in deep learning for success in our Catholic environment and the success that is evident in learning outcomes is a draw card for visitors to our school. Murray Fletcher led the final day of the teacher leadership workshops with eighteen visitors in Ruma Koru today. As well as that, we hosted twelve Principals from Otago and Southland. They were keen to see our learning hubs in action. Some senior students and I shared the learning processes with them after their tour. Research proves that the best learners are learners that can share and articulate their learning to others. When our visitors come into our school and ask our learners questions about their learning, the ability to think carefully through the learning process and competently articulate this is a skill in itself.
Our learning hubs are organic and fluid. We are constantly reflecting and inquiring into how we can improve and adapt them to best meet the needs of our modern day learners. Teachers, students and whanau have to rise to the challenge of environments that are operating at the relational and extended abstract end of the SOLO rubric. Traditional classrooms and teachers sit at the beginning of the SOLO rubric. Sometimes this is easy and comfortable for all of us. Unfortunately that will not prepare our children for jobs in the future. As parents and teachers, we have to be brave and rise to the challenge. We have to have a growth mindset to what is possible. When we immerse ourselves and adapt to environments that challenge our thinking, that's when we grow and learn. This is one of the many ways that we Reach for the Stars as Lifelong Learners in the Catholic Faith at St Joseph's in Oamaru.

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