Thursday, 1 December 2016

1. Principal's News - Week 8, Term 4 2016

Intermediate Information Evening and Family Learning Hui
Family Evening.
Thank you to the families who came to get information about 2017.  The responses I heard from people afterwards were very positive.  The door's always open so do keep talking to me.  We will have another Family Learning Hui early next year where you can meet the new staff and get some ideas about specific ways you and your child's teacher can work together for the good of your child.

We were blessed with a lovely evening for our family picnic, and games for the children.  Thank you to the Home and School who also provided ice blocks for all the children.

Home and School and Board Get Together
The Home and School committee and the St Joseph's Board of Trustees shared a meal together at Northstar on Tuesday.  It was a great opportunity to get a better understanding of everyone's roles and how we can support each other.  Every parent is part of the Home and School and we strongly encourage all families to step forward and be part of this.  The hard-working parents on the Home and School committee fundraise to raise the money that contributes towards all of the children's education.  At the moment this is falling to a group of 5 or 6 parents.

The Home and School contribute a significant sum of money each year to the Board of Trustee's budget.  The Ministry funds us but all schools find it is never enough.  Some of the money the Home and School contributes goes towards leadership badges, bibles for the new entrants, engraving of trophies, Year 7 & 8 social and extra curriculum resources such as text books.  This year the Home and School has upgraded the hall kitchen and we now have a lovely, modern, functional kitchen for all of the school and community to use.  Many thanks to the Home and School parents who continue to do this work for the school and we hope in 2017 many more families will step forward to help.

Staff Graduations
Congratulations to Stephanie Mann-O'Malley and Megan Day who have completed their provisional teacher registration and are now fully registered teachers.  I am proud to have these two wonderful young teachers enter our profession and I know many children in the future will benefit from their enthusiasm, commitment and talent.

Multicultural Day
Our annual multicultural day is next Tuesday 6 December.  We encourage all children to come wearing dress from around the world.  If you have an outfit which comes from your own culture we would love for your children to wear it.  There are workshops presented in the morning where the children have the chance to participate in fun activities represented by the diversity of families in our school.  Please bring a plate of food for a shared lunch at 12 o'clock  in the hall.  It would be great if the food can represent your culture.  Lunch will be followed by cultural performances in the hall.  Please join us for any or all of the day.  A huge thank you to Mrs Plieger and our cultural leaders Keane Pe and Vannisah Ramu for all the preparation that's going into this day.

Reconciliation Mass
Congratulations to our children who received their first Sacrament of Reconciliation after Mass last Sunday.  There was a great turn out to support them.  We were hoping they would understand that this is something you continue frequently throughout your life so it was really good that adults were also queuing for Reconciliation and the queues were so long.  That was a really good way for the school and parish to support our children and help them understand the importance of this Sacrament.

It is now the season of Advent.  In our busy lives its really easy to let the seasons drift by and just not have time to do anything about it.  Dynamic Catholic is an American organisation aimed at young Catholics.  If you wish to subscribe for the season of Advent you will get a daily message to your email inbox to give you a reflective focus.
Over several years we sought feedback from the parent community about our end of year reports and we have adapted and improved our reports.  We believe our reports reflect what we care about - they show the core curriculum (RE, Reading, Writing, Maths) and the broader curriculum with indications of how your child is showing our values, the key competencies, their inquiry skills and attainment in Health and Physical Education as well as the Arts curricula.  Last year we changed our Student Management System and our new system has a set of generic end of year reports.  We can adapt them to some degree to meet our needs, but not enough.  So I apologise to those families who have given feedback over the years and helped us to develop our St Joseph's report as it stood.  Next year we will have to pay to have a report format created that suits our school needs. - it takes weeks to do and so won't be ready for this year.  For this year, the staff have worked extremely hard to get their assessments and reporting organised and they are doing a fantastic job.   Next year's reports will cover our broad curriculum and values.

God Bless,
Lorraine Frances-Rees

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