Thursday, 2 February 2017

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

Principal's News Week 1, Term 1, 2017
Respect, Reverence, Resilience, Relationship
In term 1 we are particularly focusing on building relationships

A very warm welcome back to school.  Its been great to see the familiar faces as well as some new faces in the school.  Classes have had a settled start and the children are enjoying having their own desk space as they requested.

Welcome to New Staff
Mrs Nicola Winders our new year 5 teacher, deputy principal and co-DRS with Siobhan Burke.
Mrs Sara Jones-Hogan our year 7 teacher and SENCO (Special Education Needs Coordinator)
Mrs Lena Klenner teaching numeracy in our NE/Yr1 class while Mrs Brookes does reading recovery.
Miss Olivia Pope our new sports coordinator.
Also a big welcome back to Miss Morgan Tangney.  Back in mid 2015,  Miss Tangney applied for leave to have some overseas experience.  Our Board granted six months leave which Morgan took in the second half of 2016 and we are very pleased that she was not lured into an overseas classroom and has returned to us as year 8 teacher and intermediate leader.
Mrs Winders and Mrs Jones-Hogan (absent Miss Pope)
Mrs Klenner
We have made a longer lunchtime in order to increase the length of the prime time learning session in the morning, to make the periods fit the length of a natural lesson period especially for the older children and to eliminate the small afternoon break.  We hope this will maximise our learning time as we were finding there was some wasted time.  Teachers will give their class movement breaks when they see the need and when it fits in with the class process.  Movement breaks, does not mean PE. Physical Education is a curriculum area and we take it seriously and give it its own time, its not just a break.

Although our longer lunchtimes will allow us time to do some other activities such as Dominican choir practice, it also gives the children more opportunity to engage in free play which is good for their creative and social development.  Lunch play time is from 12.40 to 1.30 pm.

To maximise learning time, as well as reduce rubbish we are asking the children to bring their "feed and read" or "play lunch' inside and put it in their desk/cubby hole before school.  There is a five minute warning hand bell at 8.55 am to give them time to get organised.   So at 10.30 am when they eat their snack they don't have to stop and go out to their bags to get it, they can carry on with what they are doing.  At 12.30 pm they sit in their classes or on the verandah to eat lunch.

Personally, I think climbing trees is great and should be highly promoted but we have asked our children to stay out of our trees because of the extensive damage that has been caused to the trees by climbing.  We would rather still have our trees even if we can't climb them.

Strategic Plan
The updated charter and annual plan are on the "2017 Strategic" tab of the Teaching and Learning site.  The 2017-19 summary is below.  This plan will be adopted at the next board meeting and any community member is welcome to give feedback or comments on it before then.  The plan is the over-arching guideline for what we do in school.   If you wish to give comments on the summary you may need to understand the reasoning behind it which is based on the special Catholic character of our school, achievement information, community consultation and our school vision.  There is extensive information about the information behind the charter on the "2017 Strategic" tab.  You can also find this year's achievement targets there.

And empowered - teaching the children to own the learning process and show evidence of their learning – strong formative assessment

Every child engaged -scaffolded inquiry learning, enriched maths and science contexts

in deep learning - key competency skill teaching for 21st century skills

for success - monitoring systems for all at risk learners and extension provision.

Sports Update
We now have staff liaisons for each code and some parent/community liaisons.  We are still looking for more parents or community volunteers to put their hand up to help set up the sports teams for the season.

Teacher Liaison
Parent/Community Coordinator
Football (soccer)
Mrs Frances-Rees

Miss Tangney
Paula Brien
Mrs Jones-Hogan
Justin Fowler
Miss Mulholland

Miss Day

Mrs Jones-Hogan
Justin Fowler, Glynn Cameron
Miss Gray

Miss Pope (sports coordinator)
Miss Pope

Please see me or call the office if you are interested.  It involves going to the sports code meeting if there is one, going to our sports committee meeting and then entering the names of children in the teams.  The weekly draws will continue to be put up by the sports coordinator.

Please note our Special Character blog page will resume in week 2

God bless,
Lorraine Frances-Rees

Our Strategic Goal for Learning: Every Child Engaged and Empowered in Deep Learning for Success
2017 - Consolidate
Embed St Joseph’s curriculum and pedagogy
Knowing our whakapapa: being a Dominican school
High achievement, future-focused, making a difference, being Catholic
2018 – Platform for growth
Using technology,, design processes, critical thinking and creativity in transformative ways,  to engage with a relevant, active, purposeful curriculum
2019 - growing
Making a difference to our community and world through solving problems that matter
Special Catholic Character
Goal 1 To ensure that our Catholic character leads and enriches all aspects of school life.
Maintain Catholic Character at  the forefront of policies, plans, curriculum, assessment and professional learning for staff (2017-19) and at the centre of all self-review.
Goal 2 Continue to practice and grow high quality religious education
Address next steps for targeted learners in Religious Education based on assessment information gathered over the past three years (2017)
Use reflection on our completed three-year cycle of using consistent key ideas in RE to plan and develop staff formation, and strategic planning and resources for RE (2017)
Continue to embed the key ideas for RE learning throughout the school and further investigate how we teach and maintain content knowledge from one year to the next and continue to address the needs of learners who only access a portion of our RE curriculum (2017-18)
Significant formation and professional development opportunities offered in Religious Education (all staff are expected and supported to work towards RE diploma) (2017-19)
Goal 3 To continue to involve the St Patrick’s Parish community to enrich and support the school
Action baptism and faith development opportunities for children and their families with parishioners (2017-19)
Continue to focus on growing the parish/school relationship reflecting the Dunedin Diocesan Action Plan (2017-19)
Stewardship – (Board of Trustees) - Empowered for Success
Continue to build Board governance capacity
Support professional growth and innovation.
Review, realign and continue to improve our self-review processes to reflect our emerging understandings and direction derived from our major self review of 2016. and implement Schooldocs system.
Engage with diocese to plan for school property development.
Plan for development of senior playground
Continue to monitor Board performance as a good employer.
Resourcing for transformative practice.
Maintain and develop school buildings and grounds to support diocesan plans for property development.
Leadership for equity and excellence – Empowered for Success
Develop senior leadership team capacity
Improve progress and achievement in learning for all children particularly Maori, Pasifika and children with special education needs.
Review and maintain structures at all levels of school to promote high expectations
Student leadership focus.
Te Reo support
Develop senior leadership team capacity
Develop a strategic plan for transformative practice.
Maintain and improve structures, procedures, and accountabilities, keeping our school values at the forefront.
Implementing strategic development in innovative practice, whilst maintaining structure and expectations.
Educationally powerful connections and relationships - Empowered and Engaged
Ensure our digital presence meets our communication purposes
Work towards full representation of ethnicities in school decision-making processes.
Investigate literacy learning needs throughout the school and provide parent/student support sessions.
Continue to focus on successful transitions from pre-school, within the school and to high school
Investigate ways of combining forums for dialogue.
Learning which is deeply situated within multicultural Oamaru in the present time as a starting point for developing global perspectives and understanding of our place in time
Our local parish, cultural and community capital is highly evident within our school curriculum and we engage in learning with a strong sense of purpose.
Responsive curriculum, effective teaching and opportunity to learn – Deep Learning for Success
Revise and update our school curriculum
Promote and track student key competency development.
Develop teacher capacity to support students to evidence their learning.
Develop further understanding of student-based inquiry learning.
Science as a vehicle for the development of literacy and numeracy learning
Rich learning and problem-solving promoted in maths
Investigate and develop assessment, monitoring and reporting practices for formative assessment, student agency and to measure progress
Schoolwide spelling development - consolidating previous pd
Curriculum development led by key competencies.
Engagement with real world problem-solving
Core subjects integrated with student-led inquiry - science focus
Core subjects strongly connected with learning across the curriculum and continue to build on our understanding of this within the area of social sciences and the arts.
Professional and collective capacity - Every child engaged and empowered in deep learning for success
Embed the pedagogy behind our curriculum – SOLO, student-based inquiry and student “learning to learn” capacity.
Investigate and develop strong pedagogy for transformative digital learning
Update appraisal systems.
Participate in Community of Learning
Provide targeted professional learning for all staff.
Senior and experienced staff supported to engage in formal educational study opportunities with a focus on transformative innovative practice for high student achievement particularly in the future-focused STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) areas.
Less experienced staff strongly supported and developed through purposeful staff development and syndicate structures to promote growth.
Evaluation, inquiry, knowledge-building for improvement and innovation - Every child engaged and empowered in deep learning for success
Engage with up to date research and evidenced-based practice in order to challenge and improve practice.
Continue to review practice and curriculum against internal evidence-based reflection and research-based indicators of good practice, seeking external guidance as required.

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