Thursday 17 September 2015

Principal's News and Updates, Week 9 Term 3 2015

Student blogger of the Week
This week's student blogger of the week is Ellie Jorgensen in Year 6. Ellie's reflection on sacrifice and Jesus making the ultimate sacrifice is a shining example of the uniqueness of our Catholic character school and all that we stand for. 
The Catholic review team who visited this week said that we are to be proud of the rich and authentic Catholic education that our children receive. That is the reason for the existence of our school and we work hard to ensure a high standard of modern education in a faith filled environment. Our thanks and blessings go to our families who are committed through and through to a Catholic education for their children.

Staff appointments and hub plans for 2016
It is with great pleasure that we announce confirmation of the appointment of Mr Paul Cartlidge to the Deputy Principal vacancy. Mr Cartlidge is a wonderful asset to our senior leadership team and I am looking forward to working closely with him and our Assistant Principal Mrs Siobhan Burke as we begin to make plans for 2016.
I am also pleased to confirm the appointment of Miss Christina Gray and Miss Megan Day for 2016. 
We are also in the process of reviewing our hub environments. In term 4, Year 8 will resume as a single class in order to prepare for their transition to high school, their school camp and end of term leadership plans and activities. We will also be reviewing the junior hub classes with the growing number of New Entrants from this term and will provide details next week.
Plans have begun to be developed for some adaptations to the organisation of classes in Junior Hub 1 and Senior Hub 2 for 2016.
I will keep you fully informed.

Promotion of the video and movie night
The Filmmakers in Schools Film Festival is to be held at the Oamaru Opera House at 7pm on Tuesday 22nd September and is open to everyone. The cost is $5 per person or $15 for a family with up to 3 children, payable at the door. Our school entry is called Lord of the Swings. Please come along and vote for our school's entry.

Learning update from our speech and drama teacher Mrs Bridget McNally
Students are busy preparing for their exams  at the moment. Mrs McNally explains:

I must say, this time last year I was chasing students to get their talks done for exams and it was quite a task getting them motivated to write their own. This year however with the invention of google docs and all of your wonderful teaching I am having no problems.The students are extremely motivated and share their docs with me so I can help them shape it for speech. They have their own personal voice and the personalities are shining through which is exactly what we want in a talk.
In a nutshell I am really impressed at the ownership students are taking of their learning and the initiative they are taking when researching for their topics.
This is exactly what we want our students to do at St Joseph's and we thank Mrs McNally for her input into this process that gives the children self esteem and confidence with their learning.

Do we engage our learners in deep learning for success ?
This is the feedback from our twelve visiting principals last week. They were very impressed with our children and the way that they take ownership for their learning. They particularly liked the fact that we have a blended learning environment. Our children use devices as one of the many means to engage children in their learning along with pen and paper.

Free School Absentee and Calendar App
We have recently joined the community of schools who are keeping parents up to date through a free app called Parent, teacher and calendar PTC app. Thanks to advertising sponsors both locally and nationally, you can access information easily and quickly from your phone. Mrs Brien has included extra details about accessing this further in this newsblog.

We have had some beautiful Spring days this week and the children have enjoyed playing in the sunshine. The children in Junior hub 2 were motivated to write about the blossom on the tree in the playground. See if you can find the tree based on Atlanta's rich piece of writing.

The blossoms look like a flock of pink, fragile butterflies flapping their wings. The petals look like a ballerina's tutu when it's spread out. It smells like heaven. They are as soft as a sheep's wool.

Thanks to all of our staff for your support this week during our Catholic review. You are all showing us how to Reach for the Stars as Lifelong Learners in the Catholic Faith.

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